Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Searching for rainbows

In George Matheson's famous hymn O Love That Will Not Let Me Go, there is a line that says, "I trace the rainbow through the rain".

I've been searching for rainbows, friends.

Sometimes rainbows stand out and demand our attention, bright and vibrant, they arch giant distances across the skies. Most of the time though, we have to look for them, squint our eyes and search through gray clouds. We may only see a tiny square, a thin line.

A few weeks ago, Brady and Anne were spraying the hose, washing Brady's wheelbarrow. Anne exclaimed, "LOOK Brady, a rainbow!" He very matter-of-factly said, "Yeah, sunshine and water make a rainbow, Anne." Sometimes you even have to make rainbows.

Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you O Lord, I lift up my soul. 
Psalm 86:4

I've been searching for rainbows lately.
Big rainbows, little rainbows, I don't care.
I don't need more rainbows,
I need to find them.
It's not for lack of rainbows,
it's simply the burden's,
this soul weariness I fight, hiding my reasons to be thankful like deep, dense clouds.

I can't control many things in my life.
I can't control others around me.
Not the world near me, the world outside me, the world around me. Sometimes the things that shouldn't effect my life because they are far away from me physically, do because they hit close to home emotionally. Brokenness and sin, fracture, rip apart and destroy not just the world, but my world.
I don't get to pick the storms that come.
I don't get to ration the rain.

I do get to search for the sunshine,
to go with the rain,
to make rainbows.
If you are like me and are also in a hard place of sorting and sifting though innumerable thoughts and emotions, I just need to remind us both to take ourselves to Jesus. Even when words escape us,
when we can't even explain our hearts,
when we don't know what we need,
take our burdened, hurt, soul-weary-selves to Jesus.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 
Romans 8:26-28

The responsibilities and demands of mothering and educating 7 kids, make my days very full of harried must do's and frazzled thoughts. It's challenging to make the time to linger, to search for rainbows, to take my broken heart to Jesus. I have found over and over and over again the faithfulness of the Lord to meet me wherever, whenever I make the time to ask for His healing. Whether 100 times a day or {sadly}once a week His love and mercy are abundant and I could not live this life without Him.

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glories me... 
Psalm 50:23

Being grateful to the Lord has always been a favorite thing I love to do. Gratitude has become a kind friend of mine all throughout motherhood. This blog exist as an avenue of thanksgiving. During this season I'm in the midst of, it's felt harder. Not for lack of rainbows, but the clouds have been really heavy. I read the scripture above and it made me realize that sometimes thanksgiving is a sacrifice. It made me all the more eager to be that kind of woman, mom and wife. I want to glorify the Lord in my sacrifices of thanksgiving.

When we search for rainbows to give thanks, we will surely find them. I have seen them in the faces of my kids, in the cute way Laynee talks, in the bruised flowers picked by chubby hands, in a thank you note from my 10 year old, in baby giggles and sunlight, in gathered acorns and bright red berries, in my kids reciting poetry, in unloading an overflowing cart of groceries, in a breeze blowing through the window, in my kids gathered up at the end of the day reading aloud, in Joe's constant love for me, in fall leaves, in a pile of 30 books for 10 cents each, in Laynee learning how to fit the right shapes into their proper holes, in tire swings and dusty feet, in a daughter who complains about school yet chooses to read and write in her free time, in friends who text me to talk about the hard things in life and send me their sermon notes, who make me laugh, who lighten my weariness by saying, "Me too."

I make rainbows when I take the time to create memories and linger with my kids. When I spread a blanket and quiet my heart to hear my kids talk. When I delete my social media apps to turn down the voices drowning out His. By giving my burdens continually back to the One who knows what to do with them so that I can rest in His care for me, in His healing for my hurts and His plan for my life. Tomorrow I won't wake up to a world rid of hard realities, my heart clear of all it's dealing with but I will wake up in the loving care of a Savior, the Creator of rainbows. I lift up my soul daily.

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. 
Psalm 143:8

Monday, October 10, 2016

Beautiful Bethany

I remember the day she was born, how I bawled and stared at her Polaroid picture, the nurse gave me, because she had to stay in the nursery. I remember how she loved to be swaddled tight. I remember holding close in complete amazement that she was the prettiest baby ever and she was ours. I remember the first time she smiled at me from her crib. I remember how she loved splashing with a rubber duck in the tub. I remember her bluest eyes and her rosy cheeks. I remember how crazy smart she was from the beginning.
I remember when she had the worst attitude about taking pictures, when she battled me daily about everything, when her leggings were sure to have holes in the knees, when she begged me to fix her hair and then immediately demanded I take it out because she didn't like it. I remember her packing her doll Mary Lou around under her arm and dressing in all kinds of crazy mismatched clothes. I remember her calling Joseph "Ophiff" and then "Ophie" and then "Jophie". I remember her locking me out of the house, standing on the other side of the storm door laughing hysterically, in her bathing suit, and then running off to watch TV with Joseph. I remember her climbing her dresser, one drawer at a time, and ripping up books at the top.
So many things I remembered while taking her pictures. I kept looking at the screen on the back of my camera, wondering what happened to not just my baby girl, but the challenging toddler and the little girl that came after. My eyes water even now. I'm so very proud of our Bethany Rose. She is beautiful, strong, level-headed, helpful, take charge, she has the best vocabulary and she loves to learn. She reads thick books, like Sherlock Holmes, and keeps me Googling word definitions. Someone who just met her recently described her as a "no nonsense kinda girl", they couldn't have been more right. She is 12 and I'm still just as amazed at who God created her to be and that she is ours.
I love watching her grow. She has overcome things that didn't come easily for her, she has faced challenges head on and learned to rely on the Lord for answers to hard questions. She has a strength I never knew a child could have and when her strength and desire for control were not enough, she has fought to find her strength in the Lord and peace in the truth that He is in control.
Her and Joseph still share a special bond that only 14 months apart can create. She started tutoring Jenna today, that makes me laugh a little, we will see how that goes. Not because Bethany isn't capable of tutoring Jenna, they just have very different personalities. Brady and her are quite alike so often they butt heads. Anne relies on Sissy alot, she is a challenge in herself but Bethany handles her bossiness well. In return Anne is very attached to Bethany. Laynee asks for Sissy first thing daily, she likes to snuggle with Bethany in the mornings. All the littles can be really strong and demanding and sometimes that makes for lots of fighting but other times Bethany brings order and helps me out constantly. Bethany is dependable and we all appreciate her capable attitude.
I refrain.
I just love her!

Sunday, October 2, 2016


I just lost a long post I'd typed up... I don't have the heart to even try to redo it...

I talked about the sunlight being golden. I shared how I feel weary, soul weary. Not motherhood weary, not just normal must do's weary, the bone tired weary dealing with the hard things in life and struggling to find the time to sort through my emotions and thoughts coherently. I don't even know what to say about it enough to post it here, especially a second time. Ugh! 

This week is fall break, I'm excited to linger and not have to rush to start the days and push my kids all day. I'm looking forward to camping and enjoying beautiful fall weather and making memories with our family. 

Tonight the 5 youngest and I went outside and lingered in the quiet woods. We picked flowers and watched the sunset. I watched Laynee drag her blanket, demand her paci and clutch Bunny Boo. I saw Anne's curls shine in the sunlight. I watched Jenna and Brady run to the top of a hill of clover. 

I'm making time to embrace the beautiful in my life this week. This week I'm lingering. This week I'm taking time to love the simple but priceless moments that surround me daily. I'm going to breathe in deep breaths of fall air and exhale slowly. I'm going to give thanks for all the good gifts I don't deserve and give God all the hard things I've been shouldering, burdens that make me weary. 

It's fall break, I'll be lingering.

Matthew 11:28-39
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”