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Trials of the Earth: The Autobiography of Mary Hamilton
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
Cutting for Stone

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Entries in Joshua (17)


11 years ago today

Joshua means Jesus saves. My Joshua turns 11 today. He lives life 110 miles per hour and gives 110% to everything he does. The last eleven years have been far richer with him in my life! 

Eleven years ago today, I slept in an uncomfortable bed at Baptist Hospital. Matt had missed the Brickyard, some NASCAR race, so that he wouldn’t miss the birth of his son. He was a little mopey about it and I did not understand that altogether. But boy I bet he was glad when little Joshua decided a little past midnight to make his way into the world. 

Joshua sat breach in my womb so a C-section had to be performed. Dr. Growden, a seasoned surgeon and OB/GYN, lifted Joshua out of me at about 3:00 in the morning. As he lifted the baby up, Joshua grabbed a hold of a blue surgical rag. All the way, up up up, he grasped it. Dr. Growden proclaimed, “I have never seen anything like that in all my years!” 

That dogged determination still marks Joshua on the soccer field, in the swimming pool, at Scrabble. He is a competitor. Yet, he is tender. Because he is eleven, I can still say this. He still gives me hugs and while he is beginning to prefer not to give a lot of public affection, he is a snuggle bug in private. 

God uses my children to wrap my story in on itself and to bring healing to parts I did not even know were broken. Recently while I spoke with a friend of a de-railing life event, I asked her what she wanted for her daughter in the area she was struggling. Sometimes, I said, we know better what we hope for for our children than for ourselves. 

In my life, God has used my hopes for Joshua to remind me what I myself need. As I have boldly hoped, in the face of odds hoped, God has shown me that to hope for him is to hope for myself. If I cannot trust that God can heal, lead me, how can I hope that He can heal, lead Joshua?

On this, the hallmark of the birth of my son Joshua, I give thanks to the Lord. The following verse was on his baby announcement.


the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

PSALM 118:23




what mothers do

Friday Matthew arrives home from UT. I hug him while chastising him for not returning my phone call. The old iPhone bad battery story silences my objections. Turns out he had a blow-out on I-40, changed to the spare, drove over to buy a tire. Changed that tire and headed home. A whole lifetime lived in one day. This, of course, justifies a mother’s worry when the phone battery dying and the tire blowing out coincide in one afternoon. I jot down a to do list topped with “buy car phone charger.”

As I pluck the 50-pound laundry basket from his arms, I see the faded blue IGBOK sweatshirt and make a mental note to lift it and take it to Italy with me. 

The next morning as Sam watches cartoons and I slice apples, Matthew gave me a blow by blow of the chick flick he and his girlfriend, Lily, watched the night before. Since I NEVER get to watch Chick Flicks, he spoils the plot for me right then and there. While I scoop out peanut butter into bowls, he captures the plot in eight words: Love and fame cannot live in same place.

Joshua bursts through the back door and demands a snack. “I’m working on it!” I say.

Then Matthew describes precisely the moment when the main character decides to take her own life. He googles the theme song stuck in his head and plays it for me right then and there. I don’t think to marvel at his astuteness until now because Sam hollers from the den, “another one!” This means he wants me to put another cartoon from the On Demand menu. To be a child again!

I chase Sam outside because who wants to watch tv on a gorgeous Tennessee morning?

These are the moments of motherhood that weave together and make a beautiful story.

And there are the other moments...

Matt and I sit in fold-up chairs on the sideline watching our third soccer game of the day. Joshua grabs at his hair after watching the ball land in the opponent’s goal. He turns and walks away from the goal toward center field as our goalie throws in the ball. I scream a little too loudly and harshly, “JOSHUA, WATCH THE BALL!” Matt points out not so gently that the ball is not live. The goalie is just returning the ball to mid-field for the kick-off. 

I cope with being exposed as one of THOSE parents by taking out my iPhone and studying my Twitter account. 

I’m at one of those crossroads as a mother when you begin to focus less on the ways your own parents harmed you. With maturity comes the realization that I will undoubtedly inflict pain upon my own children. An important rite of passage, this transition adjusts my vision much like the reading glasses I am needing recently.

 I am human. I will likely hurt my children. My mother was human. Even the wounds, perhaps ESPECIALLY the wounds I carry glorify my Heavenly Father.

Can I trust Him with my own humanness? Will I let go of the idol of Perfectionism? Will I live full out and acknowledge my ability to hurt or harm my children while giving everything I have to the task?

I will relish every moment of this journey and run fast to the one I have harmed to ask for forgiveness. And sit quietly and enjoy the one who is talking. And give myself space to be able to love from an overflowing heart. 

Today I thank God for my story. I give the stories of my children over to the Story Teller and admit that He knows better than I. 


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