Sunday, April 25, 2010

is the mother of a boy

I am the mother of a boy.

 For those who are the mother of a boy that sentence alone says VOLUMES! And I have only one boy, but I have friends with more than one boy. I admire them.

For those of you who haven't a boy in your home, let me just tell you life is never the same when a boy lives in your home. Am I right, ladies?

I knew that God made me to be the mother of a boy without a doubt in my mind, but I prayed for a girl first because my husband NEEDED to have a girl. Girls have a way of messing up their daddies and granddaddies. Then I prayed for my boy. I didn't pray nearly specific enough, but God doesn't make mistakes. God also has a warped sense of humor at times too. I thought by adopting outside our gene pool that I would circumvent my mother's prayer, "Please, Lord, give her one just like her." He answered her prayer in the form of a boy.

I thought I was ready to be the mom of a boy because I was very much a tomboy growing up. I climbed trees, popped wheelies, pulled the fat ticks off dogs without getting grossed out, caught tadpoles and watched them flop on a hot-tin roof, got into a fist fight with a boy when I was in the fourth or fifth grade, and the list goes on and on. But none of this prepared me to be the mother of a boy and all of the little surprises that go along with that title. I was wrong.

No matter how much of a tomboy I thought I was I never processed information quite the way my son does. For example, no one ever had to tell me, "Kristy, don't eat dirt," but apparently, I should have told my son. No one ever had to tell me not to catch a field mouse with my bare hands. No one ever had to tell me not to keep moving a dead bird from place to place with my bare hands even after the maggots were in its belly. These things would have NEVER crossed my mind. I'm waiting for the day that I wash and dry a frog or a lizard. I'd almost prefer to wash them than stick my hands in his pockets and find them…Know what I mean?

I have to also tell you I didn't have a brother, and the last time we had a male born to my mom's side of the family was over 30 years before Pearce came along…30 YEARS!

He takes things apart with no interest in putting them back together. I have vacuumed up more little Hot Wheel tires than I care to count. When there is a bad storm heading our direction, my goal is to hopefully find enough pieces to make one working flashlight out of the ten that have been dismantled. Perfectly good toys are taken apart to be used for purposes such as weapons and "bullets" for a slingshot.

I've talked to my friends who have boys, and I've been assured my son is perfectly normal in all these respects.

Boys are not content to sit and watch things happen. They are out exploring their world, and without warning and without thinking things through can put themselves into precarious situations. It takes but a moment for one of these little creatures to scale a ten-foot ladder. I know this because when my son was two, we were outside together, and Patrick turned to talk on the phone, and from the time he took the phone from me, Pearce had scaled the ten-foot ladder. I'm really surprised that he has reached it to the ripe, old age of five.

So, with Mother's Day approaching, my hat's off to those of you who are the MOTHERS OF BOYS, especially if you have a strong-willed, active one like mine. And for those of you who have raised your boys and they now have boys, don't forget to encourage young moms today. You may not agree with everything they do, but you can still encourage them. Just hearing a funny story about a stunt your son might have pulled can lift the spirit of a mom who is raising a boy now.

For moms of boys, a few verses to give you hope and encouragement with just a dash of humor and irony…

Isaiah 40:30-31 (New International Version)

 30 "Even youths grow tired and weary," (Eventually, the little darlings do have to sleep.)

       "and young men stumble and fall;

 31 but those who hope in the LORD
       will renew their strength."
(You know where you have to go to get fueled up for the job.)
       They will soar on wings like eagles;
       they will run and not grow weary,
       they will walk and not be faint."
(And ladies, let's face it. There are a lot of things that can cause us to faint…i.e. read previous paragraphs.)

Jeremiah 31:25-26 (New International Version)

25 "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.
 26 At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me." (Ladies, may your sleep be restful and pleasant and without worry.)

Now, to the flip side of that adventure coin. There is no sweeter lovin' than that which comes from a boy to his momma. His soft kisses on your cheek, his arms around your neck, the spontaneous "I love you," just can't be beat. Nothing can quite melt a scorning mom's heart like the love from her boy.

SO, whether or not you are the mother of a boy, encourage your girlfriends, daughters, and granddaughters who are raising the next generation of men because we need some godly men to be raised up. Amen? Amen!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Loves Her Girlfriends

It was my daughter's third grade field day, and she and one of her best friends were walking together to the football field to compete in the tug of war with her class. It was bright and beautiful, and the girls were chattering away as they walked ahead of me. I noticed how closely they were walking, and looking down I saw these nine, year-old girls holding hands. It sent me back to my third-grade, best friend. Her name was Jennifer.

 Jennifer and I were always together in during the school day, and I remember spending the night at her house maybe once or twice that year. I, like Erin, held Jennifer's hand as we would walk through the school corridors. It was a sweet and innocent kind of friendship. There wasn't any competition. I didn't realize then how rare and special that friendship was.

 As we grow up, relationships change. We change. Our friends change. Sometimes young women drop their girlfriends when a man enters the picture, but picks her friends back up when he is no longer in the picture. But what I discovered after I got married is I wanted my girlfriends even more. A girlfriend to whom I could compare notes, share ideas and recipes, and yes, gripe about my husband leaving his dirty underwear on the floor. Then we had kids, and I see myself becoming friends with the mothers of their friends.

I know friendship with women can be hard at times and difficult too, especially if one of the parties in the friendship is competitive, but there is nothing like a good, healthy relationship with a girlfriend. I look at my mom's group of girlfriends. My sister and I try to crash "The Sisters" on different occasions, but we aren't allowed. This group of women from different churches get together, do retreats for themselves, laugh till they pee in their pants, pray for each other when life gets hard, and when life gets downright impossible, they are there supporting each other.

So, let me encourage you this day. Be the kind of friend you want to have. Be respectful of your friend's boundaries. Be brave enough to be transparent. Be reliable. Be honest and not competitive. Be willing to apologize. Look for opportunities to have time together to laugh till coke comes out your nose or you pee in your pants. You deserve it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Have Confidence

My son has known who he is since he was at least 18 months, maybe younger. I refer to him as my "man-baby." When Pearce and I would be in public, women would fawn all over him because he's that cute, but to my mortification at times Pearce would just stare a whole in them. He wouldn't smile. He wouldn't engage them -- the very opposite of my daughter. However, if I were to take Pearce to Lowe's (his happy place from about 1 year old), he would wave and jabber at any man and especially the older men. He would shake their hands and grin. From the time he could move if there was a gathering at our house, the women would migrate to one room and the men to another. Pearce would buck until I let him down, and he would make his way to the room where the men were. I have never seen anything like it in all my life. Although, I have to say my exposure to little boys before Pearce was very limited.
 Pearce has also known not only who he is but what he wants out of this world and how he wants to get it. And WHOA to the person who gets in his way which is usually me. He has such confidence, such strength, and character, and he's only 5 years old!
 I started thinking about his confidence this weekend when he asked me to paint his toenails red like his sister's. I told him his daddy wouldn't be very pleased, but he insisted it was something he wanted to try. So, I did. He was perfectly fine with it until my husband and one of his friends came home and saw his toes. "Biscuit" asked Pearce, "Are you sure you're a boy?"
 I told him that any little boy who has a mustache by two and sideburns by five is most definitely a solid little boy. He is 200% boy. He is confident in who he is.
 When I was contemplating his confidence I thought, "For I know whom I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able." Then I thought of the verse in Hebrews 4:16, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." And then Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" – sounds like confidence to me. Both verses say we can be confident that even when we don't see Him, we can still approach Him with our needs, and He will give us the grace and mercy we need for the moment, for the day. Have confidence in Him. When all else fails have confidence in your Creator who loves you endlessly and without limit and without strings.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Birth Father’s Sacrifice

Some people wonder how anyone could place their baby for adoption. Some people never try to put themselves in the shoes of the woman making that heart-wrenching decision. It's a decision made under great stress and sometimes duress. It's a decision that will break her heart day after day from the moment she settles on the decision until many more years to follow. Some never overcome guilt. It's a decision in which they are sacrificing their desire and their heart for the well-being of their child. They are choosing to give their baby what they believe is a better life, better opportunities, and stability. For some of these women, it's more than they can even hope for themselves. Some don't even know when or if they will ever see their baby again, but they hope.

Now, put yourself in God's shoes. He chose Christ's parents like many birth parents do today. He chose the ones who would raise His son, love Him, nurture Him. Now, what's even more amazing than this is that He knew before Jesus was born the kind of excruciating torture and death He would have to endure in His death, and He sent Him anyway. It was a decision He made from His heart for YOU! Do you get that? He did it for YOU. How grateful are you? How humbling is it to know that He thinks you are worth it? He finds you worthy of His love. He wants to love you with a perfect love that doesn't hurt. He wants a relationship with you. He sacrificed one Son, so He could adopt many. He doesn't force you to be His child. He won't make you choose Him. But you need to know He paid a mighty high price, so you could be redeemed. His perfect blood covers our multitude of sins, so we can go to heaven to be with Him one day. There is always a cost and a sacrifice in adoptions.

It's not just enough to know that Jesus lived, died on a cross and rose again. It's not. Satan knows that. It takes recognizing that you are an imperfect, unholy mess like the rest of us, and because we make mistakes we can't make it to heaven (a perfect place). There isn't enough good deeds that can overcome any amount of sin in a person's life. We have to admit we are sinners, ask Him to come into our hearts and to forgive us. Then you need to find some place to get plugged in, so you can be mentored and discipled. Living a Christian life isn't easy, but it helps when you are surrounded by other people who love Him and have growing relationships with Him.

I'm thankful I have never been in the position that I had to contemplate placing a child for adoption, but I'm thankful for adoption. If it wasn't for adoption, I wouldn't be a mom. If it wasn't for adoption the way God chose to send Jesus (adopted by his earthly father), I wouldn't have hope. I have hope because I know that no matter what happens my future is secure because I've asked Him into my heart, and He has adopted me as His child.