Mack is 12!

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Mack turned 12 today! Wow! Twelve years went by in a flash. He has been a ball of laughter ever since he entered our family. Something about the baby of the family— they always have an audience ready to laugh at them and give them constant attention–they are just funny!! We love laughing at and with Mack.

He requested lunch at Chick-fil-a and then a day at home playing outside and ending with me cooking hamburgers and French fries and baked beans for dinner. He threw some baseball with Josh using his new glove. He had some Reeces Ice Cream cake and is now watching the University of Georgia baseball team on television. He’s had phone calls and text messages and even a visit from our favorite 20 year old intern.It’s just a been a great day all around as we’ve celebrated Mack.

I hope Mack has an amazing year being 12 years old. He is a fun kid, and he is growing up so fast {and let’s me know he is isn’t a baby anymore in many, many ways!}. I love being his mom.

I’d be happier if….

There’s no life in “stuff.”

This is a statement I have heard Josh make many, many times throughout the last 10 years or so of our marriage. We came to realize that there is no life in stuff only after trying to find some life in some stuff. And from time to time the lie tries to weasel its way back into my everyday thinking. Sometimes I am at the mall when it happens, but mostly it happens when I am driving down the quaint streets just outside of the Queen City’s sky rise buildings. These southern Charlotte homes are large and situated on immaculately landscaped lots—lush and quite perfect. The front doors seem so welcoming. Sitting in the driveway is usually a Land Rover or a Benz (or both!). These people clearly have it made. 

One evening several months ago I was driving through an area of gorgeous homes with my kids in the car. Feeling the desire to have one of these houses rise up within me, I said to my kids, “Isn’t it funny that sometimes I ride past these amazing homes and think that I would be happier if I lived in one of them? I know that is not true at all. I realize there is no life in stuff, and even if you have one of these houses your life does not consist of your stuff, but MAN these houses are soooooo gorgeous.”

Then, I asked them, “What, in your mind, would make you happier?” 

Ruby said if it was summer all the time then she would be happier. {In my opinion, that was a great answer that I could relate to easily.}

Molly mentioned that having another dog would make her life better. {In my opinion, that was clearly a silly, untrue answer that I couldn’t understand at all.} 

Mack was fairly quiet, so I jumped in and said, “Like, the SEC Championship, Mack. If UGA had beaten Alabama, your life wouldn’t be better.”

He quickly said, “Oh yes it would.”

“No, Mack. You would not have real happiness just because Georgia beat Alabama. It wouldn’t make life truly better.”

Again, the reply from Mack came quickly and confidently, “Mom. Yes it would. I would totally be happier if UGA had beaten Alabama.”

He was clearly not tracking with my whole “real joy isn’t dependent on circumstances” talk.

I tried several more times to re-phrase my point or help him get what I was saying, but it never got through to him. I suppose I chose a bad example for an 11 year old football-loving boy.

He is still 11. And on Sunday the pastor had us write down five things that bring joy to our lives. He even told us that since we were in church we should write Jesus in our number one spot. So let me share the rest of Mack’s list:

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I told the girls we made it in at number five as “Fam,” but it’s super heavy on the Josh side. 

This boy cracks me up. He’s honest, I’ll give him that. But what must a mother do to make it on his top five joy-giving list? Josh even makes the ribs and mashed potatoes he loves. And Josh watches the most football with him! 

Mack clearly has plenty to learn about where real joy and life that is truly life comes from. But don’t we all?

Luke 12:15 “Beware and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”

First-time Mom

There’s nothing quite like a first-time mom. 

I tried to read the list entitled, “Ruby’s Schedule,” outloud to my family when I found it in the mail just last week. But I could barely speak for laughing. At myself. Ruby, now almost 15 years old, just looked at me, confused.

Evidently, my mother was coming to watch Ruby when she was a baby so Josh and I could get away for a night. A night. One single night. I left instructions for my mom and 14 years later she found them and sent them to me in the mail.

I carefully positioned dashes next to what should happen every 10 minutes or less. I suppose I intended my mom to check off each “event” as it happened. And I included many clarifying details in case my mom was still confused after reading the basic command.

“________ Ruby wakes up

(Go downstairs with her and she will play on her blanket with her toys or standing at her table while you fix her bottle)

  _________ Feed Ruby her bottle”

Yes, mom, don’t let baby Ruby who cannot even walk yet go downstairs alone. And also, duh, she made a bottle. Ruby is the only baby in the house. Probably a safe bet that she would feed that bottle she just made to Ruby. But thanks for the clarification, Kristy.

“________ Ruby will take a bath

(Dry off, diaper, lotion, brush hair, etc and dress in whatever you want)”

Because obviously this woman I call mother wouldn’t know to DRY OFF the wet baby?!? Again, what in the world was I thinking? She successfully raised three kids of her own. Someone should have reminded me of this fact before I printed this hilariousness.

I take some solace in the last part though, “dress in whatever you want.” I didn’t have Ruby’s clothes pre-picked out for my mother, so I must have been a teeny-tiny bit laid back…maybe?

Maybe not. 

But what got me rolling in laughter was the second page of directions under “BATH TIME.” 

  “This is a fun time for her especially if you are giving her constant attention.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! This is code for : Please, mother, pay close attention to Ruby while she is in the tub of water lest she drowns on your watch.

In my defense (really, there is none), my mom came to stay with Molly when she was only 7 weeks old because Ruby was in the hospital for four days due to septic knee. Miraculously, when I returned home, Molly was sleeping through the night. I was totally surprised! 

“So, you never had to get up in the night with Molly crying for a bottle??” I had asked my mom.  

“No, I never heard her cry one bit,” she confidently replied.

Molly probably realized pretty quick that Sweety is near-deaf and wasn’t gonna hear her crying, so she might as well sleep through the night.

My point being that my mom is pretty laid back or maybe can be easily distracted, so the extra details were just for my peace of mind in case Sweety had forgotten anything about taking care of a baby.

What a text book “first time mom” I was!!!

We tend to think “first time mom” refers only to that first year or two when your whole world is rocked and you start to come to terms with how very little sleep you will be getting and how this little person has shaken up every part of your life. I was the shocked young mom waking up in the middle of the night to feed my new baby. Yes, I survived the toddler years and even taught her how to read and tie her shoes. But I am still a “first time mom” to a 14 year old girl that has emotions and opinions and a mouth and face to express them. I am still “first time mom” as I am signing her up for Drivers Ed classes. Still wanting to make all the right decisions, give her opportunities to grow and develop her interests, still wanting the absolute best for her. I still worry—not that she will drown in the tub if my mom isn’t paying attention—but if she will make good friends, find her true identity in Christ, and live for Him instead of herself. As my first born enters each new phase, I go there with her as a “first time mom.” 

What’s a “first time mom” to do with all this potential for worry? 

Crawl onto her heavenly Father’s lap and remember that she is His child.

Psalm 131 gives us a beautiful picture of a weaned child resting against his mother.  The weaned child no longer needs milk, but is growing and advancing and gaining strength. The child no longer is in hysterics for milk, wondering if he is going to get what he needs, but has come to trust and relax that his mom is taking care of his needs and that child has a composed and quieted soul. And all of us moms {and dads!} are invited to remember Whose child we are. 

God is the One that cares for each of my kids more than I do. He is the One who never takes His eyes off of each one of them. He is the One who knows what they need and when they need it. He is the One who hears and understands their cries. He is able to take care of it all. And He is able to take care of me in these same ways! What an encouragement. 

O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;

Nor do I involve myself in great matters,

Or in things too difficult for me.

Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;

Like a weaned child rests against his mother,

My soul is like a weaned child within me.

O Israel {first time mom}, hope in the Lord

From this time forth and forever. (Psalm 131)