I feel like I have been gone so long, that we all need a re-introduction to each other. I haven’t blogged regularly since we lived in Seattle, and that was over TWO YEARS ago. A lot has changed about our lives–where we live, doubling the number of children we have, Jeremiah finally being done with training… And I think a lot has changed about us on the inside as well. Or maybe it’s not so much that we have changed, but that we discover more of who God made us to be with time to pilfer through–trying to uncover the person He created us to be from the start.
As grown-ups, we don’t often see a lot of fast change, do we? I pull out my little trowel from time to time and dig with all my might at some weed I notice in my garden. I try my best to get all the way down to the roots of that weed, not wanting to miss a single sinewy branch. Half the time, I find that while I was digging away at one weed, I was piling all the dirt I on top of some poor budding flower. Rooting out over-commitment, only to cover up fellowship. Rooting out idolatry, only to cover up a spirit of thankfulness for what I have….
In my experience, children don’t use trowels, they use back-hoes–and they don’t operate heavy machinery very well. One day Pace loves life, her friends, and her school. The next day she is convinced that she will never be able to do Math and none of her friends like her anymore. The back-hoe makes some progress, then drops the load back into the hole.
Mary Aplin is making Pace a bookmark one hour, asking her sister how to write “I love you Pace” so that she can decorate it for her. The next hour she claws Pace–drawing blood–for playing with her toy. Dig, dig, dig, dump, dump, dump.
One minute Jay Paul throws his arms around my neck and pulls back to smile in a way that says “I love you” like no words ever could. The next minute he hits me with all his might just to see how I will respond. Dig, dig, dig…throw it all around the room and see where it lands.
Mae’s sweet baby smile can morph into a cry of pain so swiftly that I’m not sure where the smile ended and the wail began. She digs, then she dumps.
So, with all this digging and dumping we’ve been doing over the past two years, I’d like to take a little time to re-introduce the family one by one. Starting with…Pace. Snickel-Dace. Or just Dace. Why do we give everybody nick-names?
Pace is seven (almost 8), with the heart of a thirteen year old. I am afraid she is going to be an old soul, like her Momma. By the time I was in Middle School, I felt like I got along better with my friends’ parents than my friends. If she’s on the same track, I’m hoping that by the time everybody else is complaining about the overly dramatic episodes, hurt feelings over imagined slights, and inexplicable goofiness their children are experiencing at 13, I’ll be able to say, “Oh yes, we went through that at 7 and it really stinks!”
While her 13ness has its negatives, it has its positives too. Because she is mature for her age, it feels like I have a contemporary in the house instead of a child. We talk, really talk, about all kinds of things. She also HELPS. I sort of hate that I am doing the exact same thing to her that my Mom did to me–making her a live-in babysitter. She is just so responsible and loving that it’s almost impossible not to take advantage of her. I couldn’t run this crazy show without my Dace.
I just started to write a paragraph about Pace’s struggles, and it hit me that some things are going to have to change about the way I blog as these babies grow into little people. It doesn’t feel right to dissect her heart and struggles without her permission–without her knowing about it. And even if I asked and she told me it was alright, I don’t know that she’s old enough to make that decision for herself. So, while I am sure I will talk a lot about these precious children that encompass the majority of my life, I will try to keep the heart dissection for myself… Y’all remind me if I forget.
Are positive heart issues ok to share, though? Because Pace is tender-hearted, and loves big, and gives even bigger. She revels to be in the middle of everything–everybody’s attention and everybody’s business. She hates for Mary Aplin or Jay Paul to be upset and will go through all sorts of shenanigans of silliness to make them smile again if they’re crying. She is a wonderful big sister and daughter and friend.
I’m pretty sure I said this on your last post, but I’m SO glad you’re back to blogging! I find your outlook so realistic and encouraging.
I can imagine as the kids grow, it will be a tough balance act on what to share/not share–props to you for recognizing that.
Thanks again for sharing. You’re an encouragement!
I found your blog this summer and what a gift you have for both words and photography! We have 7 children (ages 25 down to 7), and one of my regrets as a mother was that I never journaled over the years. I would give anything to have a record of our daily lives, both the good and bad–and all of those cute/obnoxious things the children say and do that time eventually dims from the memory. This blog is a gift to your whole family–and all of us readers as well. I find myself nodding my head when reading some of your posts. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. 🙂
Even though I only had the opportunity to teach Pace for a short time in GAs last year, I definitely agree about her maturity! She was always so well behaved and amazed me at the questions she asked; well beyond her years. I miss seeing her!
Pace…..there will never be another one like her:))) She is the most incredible role model for Mary Aplin, Jay Paul, and Mae:):) A blessing she is to us all, and her little servant heart will always be a light so bright, that EVERYONE will always feel like they are HER best friend!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo