Surrender

What an amazing quote, decision and life-altering declaration!  I came across this today on Pinterest and the timing could not have been better.  I truly believe this is what God was trying to convey to me as I laid awake 3:00 AM this morning.  It was after I sang the Matchbox 20 song in my head for half an hour, nevertheless His presence was there.  The truth is, in that moment I did feel lonely.  Which is crazy because my life is non-stop as a full-time wife, mother, part-time Project Manager, maid, cook, house manager, book-keeper...my life just does not stop.  But there alone in the dark stillness of early mornings, I rarely feel peace.
I usually start thinking about Ethan and my thoughts head to the darkest memories.  Then I starting getting anxious that I won't be able to stop thinking about him thus not be able to fall asleep, there in which I will be exhausted when my daughter wakes me up at 6:00 AM. And then what if I fall asleep on the couch and one of my kids gets hurt!  Dang...I need a Xanax right now just thinking about it.
However, if I am completely honest with myself, a rarity these days, I know that it's not just in those late nights that I let my mind wonder to the point of panic.  My husband teases me that I am the consummate planner.  Always thinking ahead.  To the next vacation, next house project, next room to decorate, next house to buy, next season, next kid's birthday party, next, next, next!  And he is right.  I usually just tell him I was born this way I can't help it!  To some degree I can blame it on the fact that, like this morning at 3:00 AM, any stillness which forces me to really absorb the present, I find myself looking around for a blond-haired, blue-eyed 4 year old that I know I will not see.
So perhaps for me it's just easier to lose myself in planning and looking forward to things that might make the pain of this presence easier.  And I believe that God does want that for all of us to some degree.  God does want us to work for tomorrow, and yearn for the coming of His Son and for the wonder and awe that awaits us in heaven.  But I know He does not want us to constantly be planning and and worrying what, when, and how we will build our treasures on earth without stopping and thanking Him for the blessings He has already provided.
So as I read Julia Cameron's declaration I feel God is asking me to do the same.  To slow down and firmly plant my feet down and feel the earth.  To acknowledge the pain of the present imperfect world.  For He is asking me to acknowledge, hold fast, and fight this good fight.  I am now starting to understand and even trust that He will keep His end of the bargain and finish what He has started.
I believe we will grow from the unanswered prayers, heartaches, and disappointments and God will use these to mold and guide us to that place and moment where alas all is right with world.   And for me, I can then open my eyes and see the smile of a perfect, beautiful blond-haired, blue-eyed boy.

Sanity, Starbucks, and Solace

Yesterday was a rollercoaster of emotion.  It was the first day of preschool for both of my little ones!  After a hectic morning I managed to get both kids dressed, fed, lunches packed, and out the door.  On the way to preschool I was feeling tired because my daughter is going through a wake-up, wake Mommy up, and beg for chocolate milk at 4:00 AM phase.  In the madness of getting the kiddos ready, my coffee sat on the counter untouched.  At this point my eyes started glossing over and the only thing I could think about was the Starbucks that was 2 miles away from the preschool.  But that thought was instantaneously met with guilt as I just promised my husband I would cut down on frivolous spending.  So at that moment, I realized the financially responsible thing to do is to go home and nuke the the now chilled coffee that awaits my return. Ughhhh...

So we make it to school, I'm trying to excite Aria who is clearly showing signs of angst, and in the the door we go.  The first door we pass is the classroom for the 4 year olds.  I see the teacher has put all of their names on 4 leaf clovers - very clever and cute.  I smile until my eyes see one of the clovers has the name "Ethan" on it.  I felt like someone punched me right in the gut.  Now I know that Ethan is a common name but it still hurts when I see it.  Especially when he would be four at this time.  I immediately thought, "That would be his classroom if he were alive, that should be his clover."  My sanity is clearly being tested today.

With the rest of the children filing into the hallway I was quickly snapped out of my momentary trance.  It was loud, my heart hurt, and I really needed a flipping cup of COFFEE!  Okay focus, I have to get my two other children to their classrooms with the least amount of kicking and screaming as possible. Deep breath.  Let's do this.

I drop Gabe off first.  He did really well once I gave him a pacifier.  Oh that pacifier...he's gonna be a tough cookie to break on that.  To my surprise, Gabe's teacher handed me $10.00 and told me I had overpaid for Gabe's school bag. Yay extra $$!

Next, Aria.  As expected she was less agreeable to being dropped off than her little brother.  She immediately starting crying and took a little bit of hugging and singing to get her calmed down but finally she does and I kiss her goodbye and dash out the door.  I walk past the 4 year class room and glance at the Ethan clover and sigh.  I sit in my car and exhale.  Sooo tired and emotional.   Wait...I have an extra $10.00!  I thank God for his small blessings and head to Starbucks.

I pull into the Starbucks drive-through (a blessing in itself) and I almost fell out of my seat.  The Pumpkin Spice Latte is BACK!  It is ninety-five million degrees outside and I, practically hyperventilating with excitement, order a piping hot pumpkin spice latte.  I  take a sip, and there it is, that unmistakable flavor that's like a warm hug from an old friend.  

It's funny how some smells and tastes can elicit memories.  Because I have been drinking this cult classic since Starbucks introduced it, I have quite a few memories associated with this holiday treat.  The one that came to me was a true blessing.  It was Ethan's first Halloween.  He was four months old and I told my husband Ethan and I were going pumpkin hunting.  Ethan and I headed to a local pumpkin stand.  I put his little chubby self in my baby bjorn and off we went.  It was a special moment for me, holding him closely, picking out his first pumpkin.  And as I opened my eyes, wiped my tears, I realized how good God really is.  The clover, the extra $10, the pumpkin spice latte; it all brought me back to a special moment with my son.  In that moment, I was with Ethan again. And that was the solace I needed.