Last Friday Easton and I sat in a plane and flew to NYC. Our church here has partnered with a church plant in Brooklyn. Eight of us went up to help them with a block party. My favorite thing was constantly being reminded of the way kids have zero filter and aren't afraid to cross cultural boundaries. I love meeting and talking with people...as you may have guessed ;) and with several bus and subway rides, that was easy to do!
Easton was in the carrier unfortunately most of the weekend (poor guy!) and just about every ride, he found a friend. I definitely helped encourage the conversation and doors were always opened. I was able to share why we were there and even invite a couple ladies to the block party but my focus was just getting to love on whoever we were around. Isn't that always the goal? Sometimes people just want to be heard. They want to speak to someone who is giving them their full attention rather than half listening. And maybe not everyone, but I would say most people love when a sweet baby flashes his cheesy little dimple smile at them.
When baby boy falls asleep and the moment comes with you holding a magazine and you actually get to read it...thank you flight time.
(just missing Mr. Frank!)
We flew up Friday and back home on Sunday. Friday we had some time to walk around the city. We enjoyed dessert from Carlo's bakery. Yum. Also, the other two couples bought more than one dessert and then shared what they chose. I couldn't really share with Easton...and only trying one sounded like an awful plan. Don't you worry, I ordered myself two different desserts to try and I enjoyed both of them. Ha.
On Saturday I was mainly at the kids activities area. There was one little girl that I found myself trying to connect with. Her and her brother actually. They were so sweet and their mom had left so they were just hanging out around the table I was at waiting for her to get back. I pulled out the chalk and asked if she wanted to color with me. We started drawing and ended up making this huge picture together. I was kind of just doing whatever she was telling me to. She had this vision and went for it. We colored for a long time and every now and then, she'd look up at me and smile and then started coloring again. I don't know, it wasn't something huge or amazing but I loved it. I loved watching her.
My most favorite moment of the whole weekend was on Sunday. We went to church and there was a need for nursery workers so they asked if I would serve in the babies class. After the service was over, most everyone stayed and just kept worshipping. I went in and sat there soaking it up. It was beautiful. The service started at 11 and after 1 is when people were finishing up and leaving. Can I just be bold enough to say that most of the time churches are filled with people unwilling to keep worshipping and just ready to leave and get lunch?
I loved loved loved watching this group of people who were willing to set their grumbling bellies aside, throw up their arms and worship.
During this time, I noticed the pastor's 14 year old son walk up to his mom, lean into her and talk. The music was still pretty loud for the small space we were in so she leaned pretty close to listen and respond. I couldn't hear them but I watched as he all of a sudden wrapped his arms around his mom and clung to her and she wrapped her arms around him and she began to pray. His back was to me but I could see her face. I could tell she was praying with passion. Tears started streaming down her face and as I sat there watching this precious moment, I began to pray telling God that I want to be that mom. As my two littles grow, I want them to know that they can come to me and I will battle in prayer for them. I want to be the wife, the mother, the sister, the aunt, the cousin and the friend who will weep and pray for the people in my life. It was powerful and a moment that I will never forget.
Speaking of prayer...
This week has been difficult for Cale and I. There has been something that has come with Cale's brain injury that our family has battled with for 3 years now. There was a point on Monday that I was so frustrated. I was angry. I got on the treadmill and ran a very fast 3 miles as I cried and cried and cried.
I'm going to be honest here, this is one of the reasons I don't want to post on here. Obviously everyone's life isn't perfect. I know that. but this area in our lives that seems to never go away is hard and ugly and in the midst of anger, I yelled out to Mama, "I feel like a fake! I feel like this is all a joke." Now, I don't really feel that way. I just also know that I can't just openly share everything and I don't want to post as if everything is perfect when it's not. Also, I never post with the intention of everything looking perfect...but again, I was angry and hurting.
Anyways...thankfully there are beautiful wonderful people in my life to speak truth into my life and who are willing to take time to think through some of the hard stuff with. I spent time with a friend Tuesday morning and then met with another couple right after and by the end of the the day I felt completely different.
First, I had to take time Monday before meeting with anyone to get on my knees and pray over my life. My marriage. My family.
Prayer is no small thing.
It's been encouraging this week to see light. To see that no, maybe everything isn't solved and maybe it never will be, but God is faithful. His promises are true and I can claim them-rest in them.
Wednesday morning at breakfast, Nora asked if she could take a picture of Mommy and Daddy kissing.
The picture is mostly of the table and maybe not the best but I love it. I love the sweetness that I know that moment was. The giggles that took place. The conversation between the three of us before the picture happened. I love that even though there are some really hard hard things we as humans walk through, God is rich with mercy and grace.
He is enough.
There is nothing, nothing that can compare and I am so very thankful for that.
"I'm so busy."
"Today has been so busy."
"We're always so busy."
"This week has been so busy."
It's everywhere. I hear it all the time and I know I even say it.
As a mommy, I think sometimes there's this idea that life needs to be busy or that we have do be doing all of the things all of the time.
In this season of life, my "busy" is playing with the kiddos. Days and weeks are full and although we are involved in several things, it's ok to just play. It's ok to jump into the world of little ones and let that be something that fills part of your day.
It's ok during the quiet afternoon time when baby is napping and the other is resting, to read a book.
That hasn't actually happened yet but I'm trying to work hard on what our "busy" looks like. I have never been good at this and I am one who will go from visiting with one person to the next and from one activity to the next. Mama likes to point out that I need to be around people and she doesn't as much. It's true. I also want to be really great at being around my people and that being ok.
Does this make sense? Do any of you ever have these thoughts? I don't even know if I'm getting it out clear. I just know that my days lately feel so busy and when I look back at the day, it was busy with playing with Easton & Nora and I love it. I love getting to play with them...and I know a lot of you may need to be reminded to pause and play too...