Wednesday, April 30, 2014


On MLK Day:
Gavin: "Momma, Martin Luther Kingdom said we should love each other."

Early morning happiness:
Gavin: "Mommy, can you dress up today so I can tell you you look pretty?"

Opening the refrigerator to put away his drink:
Gavin, while butt-shaking: "I'm gonna do a little jig to put away my milk."

After a spring snow:
Gavin: "Mommy, does God knows it's spring?"
Me: "I'm sure he does, buddy. Why do you ask?"
Gavin: "I'm gonna tell him it's not 'posed to snow when it's spring. Do you think he'll be mad at me?"

Typical 5-year-old humor:
From a CD: "Merrily, merrily, merrily, is but a dream."
Gavin: "[giggle] They said butt."

After throwing a fit when he didn't get his way:
Me: "Gavin, I can't hear you when you whine. Make your voice sound like mine."
Gavin: "I can't make my voice sound like yours. I'm a man."

After Bennett made a giant mess while eating a cookie:
Me: "Bennett, that's quite a mess you made there."
Bennett: "Ya."
Gavin: "He's being creative."

Friday, April 25, 2014

April Snow

It snowed in April on the same day my Grandma Green left this earth and moved permanently to heaven. There was something about it that just seemed fitting to me that day. The joy and life of new flowers springing from the earth while the sky spat sadness from its gray clouds. The juxtaposition of joy and sadness. It's how I I still feel about losing her.

Grandma had lived in Texas for all of my adult life, but we'd kept in touch through letters, photos and visits at first, then Facebook and e-mail later. I visited her with my Dad in November 2012 and got to spend a whole weekend reminiscing about my childhood adventures at her house. I'll forever be thankful I got to spend that time with her, in the place she called home for so many years.

When I heard she was moving back to Missouri, and would be just down the street from my house, I was elated! I knew it would be hard for her to leave her friends and her home, but I was so excited to get the chance to spend more time with her, and let my boys get to know her like I knew her as a child. I talked with her about dinners at our house, coming by to visit, and picking her up for church on Sunday mornings.

Unfortunately, when she moved here a month before she died, she got sick pretty quickly, and ended up spending about a week in the hospital. Once she was settled in her new place and seemed to be doing well, I took the boys for a visit. I have no photos, which makes me sad, but the pictures in my head of her playing cars with Gavin, tickling Bennett, and giving big hugs and kisses to both of them will never leave me. It made her so happy to see us that day, and it makes me happy every time I think of it.

I will miss her sweet, sweet spirit in this world, but as Gavin reminded me when I told him of her passing, "Now she gets to live in paradise."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

One Question, Six Voices: Lent Week Four

This week's Lenten question from Rethink Church:
Where are you encountering Jesus in the unlikeliest of places? #spirituality

The past couple of months, Gavin has been struggling with some anxiety, especially with new people and/or new places. We're pretty sure it has everything to do with starting kindergarten in the fall. We've been talking it up a lot at home, his teachers and friends have been talking about it a lot at daycare, and I think my poor guy is just getting more anxious the more we talk about it.

It manifested at his Taekwondo classes a few months ago when a new boy talked to him. He didn't know him, he didn't want to talk to him, and he lost it, running over to me with fear in his eyes, unable to articulate why he was so upset. Since then, it's been a slow road helping him get up the courage every Monday and Wednesday to participate, especially if that means someone new might talk to him, someone new might teach him, or something new might happen during class.

He's doing great, and I'm so thankful we've got this experience to lean on when kindergarten comes in the fall and these same fears creep up for him again. But I'm even more thankful for the community of people who've helped him (and us) through the struggle of the last few months.

A counselor friend created a plan to help us work through his fears, even more friends prayed for him every Monday and Wednesday night, other parents encouraged him during class and cheered him on when he did a good job, friends and co-workers asked how he was doing, a class helper gave him a medal "just for being brave." The list could go on for a good long while.

They're people who love him, people who care about him—even people who barely know him—but all of those people have been Jesus in the flesh for him. The unexpected part in all of that is not that these friends and strangers reached out to a kid who was struggling, but that they went out of the way to help him in his struggle. They looked outside of themselves.

Because of their kindness, because of their love...he's been able to get past some of his fears, and as small as those things may sound, their actions have made a monumental difference in our lives.
Gavin and his buddy Jacob, who encourages him at every class. 

This post is one of six points-of-view on the same topic. Check out what my friends think of this week's question on their blogs: ShawnHeatherStephBrian and Julia.