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The Book Thief
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
On Gold Mountain
Bread & Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter
City of Tranquil Light: A Novel
The Distant Land of My Father
The Paris Wife
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Fall of Giants
World Without End
A Stolen Life
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
The Pillars of the Earth
Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
The Road
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 Samuel (22)


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. 



carry me

This morning Sam woke up barking like a seal. He had swim lessons yesterday and I think the pool chlorine irritated his airways. His asthma makes him more sensitive like that. He asked me, like he usually does first thing, “Mom, do I have school today?” 

When I responded “yes,” he began to cry. Little whimpering cries required some effort on his part to maintain. I knew time would heal his airways and he would clear the drainage. And he did. 

But when he began to cry, I picked him up and just held him. His head nestled into my neck and rested on my shoulder. He is still small enough to cuddle and I can hold him and walk. We made our way to the chair where we sit in the mornings. Skip rested on the edge. My Bible was already open. The chair is large and holds Joshua as well when he pads in later in the mornings. 

I wrote in my journal... Lord I am fretful.

See I have a big meeting today with some people who have a little earthly power bequeathed to them by a title. Really, I have nothing to lose in this meeting. The only “bad” thing that could happen is they may choose not to believe me. It’s as if the Lord is saying to me... “Gigi, who will you choose to believe? Me or them? Will you believe what I say about you is true? Will you fret over what these people MAY think about you?”

Later today after I fed Joshua a hardy breakfast so he is ready for his tests, and after I dropped Sam at pre-school; I called a dear friend. I told her of my angst. She lead me to a verse in Deuteronomy.

The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.'

I thought of how I carried Sam this morning in his momentary distress. And so now, I lift my arms up to my Abba. And I say, “Carry me.”


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