Seeing Them through Someone Else’s Eyes

seeing them through someone else's eyesI dread 3 pm. Naps are done, the energy is high, and the witching hours begin. I look at the clock and try to figure out how we can quickly pass the next four and a half hours before they go back to sleep. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a playdate in, but if we’re not, it seems as though the clock has decided to take its sweet old time between the tick and tock.

By dinner, I’m done. I want them to cooperate and hurry everything up because I want the quiet of my own space. Even though I know these moments will soon end, that the kids will grow up faster than I think, I still rush. I still make them rush. I don’t have my kids in sight at that point. I only see the goal of peaceful freedom, and I try to run to it… with legs made out of lead.

But lately there have been moments when I get to see them through someone else’s eyes. It can be a stranger passing by or a family friend or the many people who love them at church. Our kids say hi to them or reach over to give them a hug, and when I look at their faces, I’m stopped. Intrigued. I see such softness and delight. I see gladness filling up their hearts, and they take in the love, they enjoy their presence, and they stay there.

I look at them, and I don’t feel the same look on my face. Instead of a smile, I feel a frown. Instead of softness, hardness. I wonder how seldom I have that look of pure joy, how frustrated and despairing my face must look during witching hours. And it grieves me to my core. Yes, they scream. Yes, they disobey and hit each other. But when I see them through someone else’s eyes, I get to see them for who they are most of the time. They are a delight. They’re hilarious and sweet, and nothing compares to the love and hugs they give.

I want to see them more with those eyes. I need to see them more with those eyes. I want them to know how loved they are not only by the many others but even more by their mommy whose heart could burst when she sees them with the right eyes.

Dear Three Year Old of Mine

The sun hasn’t come up yet, and it’s still quiet. The decorations have been put up, and the table is ready for us to gather around and celebrate our baby lady turning three. How is she 3 already?? How is it that it also seems like ages ago that she was in my belly?? Time hasn’t made sense since she was born.

Baby brother cries, and it’s time to start the day. As she comes downstairs, she notices the streamers hanging over the window. Gasp! It’s pink, Mom! She does a little jig and sings. Happy birthday me! It’s my birthday! She turns to see the table and gasps again. It’s going to be cake and candle, and it’s my birthday! It’s my birthday, Mom! It’s my birthday, Peter! 

I gaze at her as she dances about, and I can’t believe the girl she’s becoming. I was in disbelief when she was born, and I’m still in disbelief now. She is more than I could’ve ever imagined or asked for.

Baby girl, you are my joy. I’m in awe of you every day, and I love how you’re becoming your own person more and more. You’re so much like your daddy. He’s a nerd with an artsy side and athletic skills. He’s kind and generous AND good-looking. Goodness gracious, he’s got it all, and you are just the same. One of my favorites is how you pretend cook at your toy kitchen. You fry something on the pan and stick it in the oven just like he does. You love sprinkling salt on the food as your serve it to us, and you do it like a true professional. It’s hilarious, and I’ll be sad when you stop serving us hot soup with fruits, vegetables, and a hot dog in a bowl. 

In some ways you’re like me, and it thrills me when I see it. You like to make up songs and do little jigs when you get excited about something. You love with your words and cheer people on over the littlest thing. Like peeing in the toilet. I’ve been doing it successfully for more than 30 years now, but you are just as proud of me as I am of you, and how could I not love that? 

When you were in my belly, I prayed that you would be kind and compassionate. I prayed that you would be a good big sister to all the siblings who would come after you, and you are. You are the best big sister to your baby brother, and your friendship is something special. The two of you fight all the time, but you love each other fiercely and I love that you come alive when you’re together. 

I hope that you know how loved you are. All of us are head over heels for you, and we’re so glad you were born. Happy 3rd birthday, baby. 



31 Days of Writing Freely

FREE-5I had a Story & Soul Session with the lovely Ashley Abramson last week, and she encouraged me to turn down the editor’s voice in my head so I can write freely. I’ll be honest. It takes me days, sometimes even weeks, to write a post. I edit as I write, and too often people’s faces come to mind and I wonder, Will I offend them? Will they misunderstand my intentions? Will they get what I’m saying? I go over each word and its placement and question whether it’s the right or best one. It’s exhausting, and writing starts to become a chore instead of an act of worship.

I want to write freely. I want to turn down the critic’s voice in my head. I want to edit less and write more. I want to weave writing into every part of my life by making it a habit so I’m taking up the 31 Days writing challenge. The goal is to write every day for the month of October, and even though I was thinking of quitting even before it even began this morning, I’ve decided that there’s nothing to fear and nothing to lose.

There may or may not be a theme to what I write this month. Most likely it will be a continuation of what I write most about- faith, life, and motherhood- but I’m hoping that my writing will take us down some new paths. I’m hoping to explore and uncover deeper things as well as be surprised by simple delights, and I hope you’ll come along with me.

See you tomorrow! (Hopefully)

Each day a post goes live I’ll be adding a link + title below so all the posts will be accessible on this page at the end. You can sign up to receive posts by email or you can follow along on Instagram!

Day 2 – No post

Day 3 – Dearest Single People

Day 4 – Dear Three Year Old of Mine

Day 5 – Being Other

Day 6 – No post

Day 7 – You Are the God Who Sees Us

Day 8 – You’re a Good, Good Father

Day 9 – No post

Day 10 – When Your Kid’s Just Like You

Day 11 – No post

Day 12 – No post

Day 13 – In the Middle of “Not Anymore” and “Not Yet”

Day 14 – Longing for a Soul That’s Well

Day 15 – No post

Day 16 – No post

Day 17 – This Is Why I Write

Day 18 – What I’m Loving

Day 19 – Catching the Sun

Day 20 – Taking a Step Closer Toward the Light

Day 21 – No post

Day 22 – No post

Day 23 – No post

Day 24 – Feeling Miss-y and Embracing Vulnerability

Day 25 – What I’m Loving

Day 26 – It Does Get Easier

Day 27 – No post

Day 28 – No post

Day 29 – No post

Day 30 – It’s Almost Christmastime

Day 31 – The End + Beginning of Writing Freely