We’re sitting here in the morning sun, breakfast and chores behind us, free to just enjoy fresh breezes and scent of grass. Boys happily play Legos at my feet. And she — this amazing she who has quietly slipped into our family circle — is curled on my chest, perfectly still. For many moments, I sit, thinking she sleeps. But then I move just enough to peek at her little face, and find eyes wide open. She’s not asleep at all, but happy to have her ear pressed against my chest, her sweet hands tucked under her head, just breathing and being.
Once I started this, I couldn’t put it down. It was one of the most refreshing perspectives on parenting I’ve read in a long time. An accomplished child psychologist who got saved after having spent his entire life devoted to family psychology, John Rosemond dispels myth after myth of humanistic modern parenting. He reminds us that only two or three generations ago, people’s ideas on children were largely formed by a biblical perspective — and their expectations for what parenting would be like, and for how children would turn out, were radically different than what we currently see.
He pointed out near the beginning of the book that “the raising of a child, once a fairly straightforward, commonsense affair, has become the single most stressful thing a woman will do in her lifetime.” That’s not the way God planned it, “but then, God’s way is not modern psychology’s way, either.”
For several weeks before getting this book, I’d been sort of haunted by the suspicion that somehow parenting — what was to me becoming a behemoth, complex task threatening to overtake my sanity — used to be simpler. More straightforward.
And then I read this:
Mothers today are among the most stressed out “professionals” in the world — worried, frazzled, pressured, unsure, and jumping through continual hoops.
That hasn’t always been the case. It used to be that non-college educated women, without the help of a single book written by someone with a Ph.D at the end of their name, used to raise respectful, hard-working, God-fearing children — and they did it without the task consuming the entirety of their mental, emotional, and physical reserves.
Goodness. Don’t you want to get back to that?
This book helped so much to reinforce the simple, clear goals of biblical child-rearing that I’ve learned from my parents — but that get so continually eroded by the parenting-trend-following mommies all around me.
My favorite part: His chapters on self-esteem, what a totally unbiblical concept that is, and how much destruction it brings.
My least favorite part: His rather lousy exposition in the last chapters on discipline. He should just state his opinions without trying to be an expert theologian. I think. ;)
Life with Jameson
Life with Jameson has had its fair share of challenges, as he exerts a bit more opinion, a bit more will, a bit more Adamic nature. (Ah, yes. Sorry, kid. No fun.)
But it’s also been sweeter than ever. He’s a joy…
- When he runs, his feet barely touch the ground. It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
- When we cross the street, he waves the orange flag madly and waves to all the cars. He thinks it’s a parade, and that he’s the star. You are, son, to me.
- When he watches Peter Pan, his eyes are huge, his face beaming.
- When he goes to bed, he runs to me with his lips puckered for a kiss. He never forgets.
- When we sit down for dinner, he’ll say, “Mmmm, thanks, Mom!”
- When I cook, he “helps.” And it all takes forever, but it’s so much more fun.
- When I’m overwhelmed by something and need to pray, he’ll hold my hand and pray with me. Always.
I love him. To pieces.
…And in Pictures
This is him watching the men mowing our lawn, which he loves. He’s so focused!
And this is him posing with a birthday gift we made this week for a little girl. He loves to say, “Cheese!”, but I’m wondering how many years it will be before I’ll be able to capture a real smile on film again.
smile option #1:
smile option #2:
I can’t imagine there will be many more opportunities to write in this before the big day. The countdown is getting close. (Did I ever think it would really be only 9 days away?!)
Half a dozen times each day, I find myself overwhelmed with one emotion or another, whether it be leaving home, perfecting plans, or wondering how long before Ryan and I really understand one another’s communication. Any one of these things would usually be carefully processed and prayed about and not impede the progress of my day. But all at once? All at once is a different story. Inevitably, I end up living the day with the gnawing fear that I’m not spending enough time with Merrick, with Mom, with Ryan, with my projects, with the Lord… Agghhh!
And so last night when Ryan shared his heart once again—how he wants to serve the Lord each day, doing whatever is before us, and finding peace in the calling as servant—I took a deep breath. Oh yeah, that’s right. I’m a Christian. Worry is not just pointless, but sin. Each moment is ordained by the Lord, and each one is better than the one before (Proverbs 4). I don’t have to carefully craft my life in order to love enough, give enough, live enough; He crafts it perfectly. If I have memories and wonderful relationships and a bright future, it’s because I’ve trusted Him with each day. And if I started that way, with such wonderful results, why would I continue on my own strength and wisdom?
There are so many things coming to a close, and so many things about to begin–but what a beautiful moment to live, like the carefully orchestrated modulation at the climax of a symphony. My eyes are on Him, the baton is in His hand, and the sound will be nothing less than heavenly.
Yesterday is gone–
went and left it far behind me.
Tomorrow’s a gossamer dream.
I know I said that You could have my whole life.
Well, I guess there’s not much that I’m holding–
I guess there is only this moment,
So You can have today. (–me!)
Hurray! Pictures of my shower!
It’s been a busy week. Let’s see:
Within 7 days, I was in Albany for two days and Rochester for three… and the two in between didn’t count for much other than preparation to leave again!
America got an Idol—the wrong one, but at least a decent one. It could have been worse (it could have been Fantasia again, right?)
After ridiculous deliberation (decision making is not my favorite), I finally bought dishes for our new home. White, because I’m not settled enough to pick a few colors. (White is amazing wisdom for a girl who likes brown and bamboo, pink and gingham, orange and watering cans, and holiday decor!)
The said apartment made progress: carpet measurements, doors hung, and a shower installed!
I played a concert during Memorial Day weekend—one of the first nice evenings of the year (so you can take a guess at how the turnout was!)
My own dear boy moved out of his last bachelor pad, and I got to clean. Let’s just say, he needs a wife!
The homestead is being turned upside down—time for summer projects, and a wedding is a great goal to work towards. Paint, sand, goop, and sort…
And most exciting to me is that in the last seven days, summer has arrived in Northern New York! The gardens are finally full and ready to burst into bloom, the grass is green and growing like crazy, birds are singing, bugs are buzzing, and the sun is pouring its warmth. Ahh, there’s nothing better than digging in the garden with the sun warming your back. Of course, I could do without the wasp that is presently flying around my head and now trying to land on my leg. Gross.
If we trace back a few more days than seven, I can tell you about my wedding shower. How much fun it was! Of course, my little sisters and cousins manned the camera that day, so instead of shots of the huge number of wonderful women who came to support me and share their love, we ended up with baby Bronwyn sitting, baby Bronwyn drooling, baby Bronwyn grinning, baby Bronwyn crying, baby Bronwyn crawling… You get the drift! But it was a lovely party, and I was so very, very blessed. The setting was lovely, the food was incredible (thanks to my amazing mom, sister Bri, and lots of others who helped with prep!), the gifts were wonderful, and the fellowship was special and will be cherished. There were hugs and words of advice and prayers that brought me to tears, so real was the love and affirmation expressed by all. I’m excited to iron the fun napkins and cook my first meal, but I’m especially excited to get married, having within me the investment and example of so many.
But perhaps most monumental is that today it became June—the June when my life will change forever. This is the first time that I’ll have lived anywhere but with my family—and our family in the same house for almost two decades! It’ll be the first time I have a husband, too, and people tell me that’s an even bigger change than moving! I’m growing in excitement as I hear the Lord speak to me, as my love for Ryan increases, as my desire to sow into his success gains expression, and simply at the amazing change that’s around the corner. I’m not one who will volunteer for change—I like tradition and constancy more and more—but this is a change worth running whole-heartedly into. Bittersweet, yes, but more than that, the Holy Spirit gives the ability to mourn as those who do not mourn, for our true Love and Desire lies ahead, far from 1942 State Highway, Madrid. And though change may come at a cost, and the future demands that we trade in the past, undiminishing joy and the fulfillment of our hearts’ longings is waiting for those who run with an unwavering love for the Prize.
On June 25th, in a few short weeks, Ryan and I begin running this Christian race together. And how blessed I am to be joining a man who will not only take care of the “togetherness”, but will see to it that we run in such a way as to attain the prize, Christ alone.