Posted in Parenting

Whispering Truths

I love the time my wife Kate and I get to spend with our son every night. . . We have a routine that we religiously run through to wind him down and get him off to sleep. The bath usually starts the night off. . . Once he’s in the tub, Kate and/or I will hang out on the floor or the toilet (with the seat downūüėČ) and listen to his imagination run wild with story after crazy creative story.

 We play made up games with ridiculous rules that we have to follow, like “guessing” the foam numbers or letters that he puts up on the tile wall – ones that we can plainly see. . . we have to look away and give our best guess until we usually get it right around the third or fourth try.

 Eventually, after more stories and games it’s time to wash him and scoop him out… Then we brush his teeth with his special Ninja Turtle toothbrush & toothpaste while telling him stories of how Michelangelo and the rest of the heroes-in-a-half-shell defeated the evil Shredder who was wreaking havoc on his teeth.

 Next up it’s on to the bedroom where the wrestling begins to get his clothes on because all he wants to do is dance, climb on our backs, and run to the toy room to get one more toy to bring to bed with him. . . We’ll read a few books together and, like all kids, he’s always wanting just one more. Now comes the time for him to lie down.

 The lights go off. . . and Kate and I each bust out our freestyle story telling skills, making up stories about anything from dancing Hippos trying to find their favorite ice cream to Rocky the Crocodile who just wants to learn how to surf. . . we pray together. .. .we sing a few songs to him . . . And then we get to my favorite part. And not just my favorite part of the night. . . but my favorite part of my whole day! . . .when I get to just lie down next to my son and whisper truths into his ears. .

 To say things to him like “you are strong” , ” you are gentle” , ” you are my son” , “your mommy and daddy love you” and “I really like you”. In a world where children, and really, most people are told so many negative and untrue messages about themselves, it’s a sweet opportunity to whisper truth into his ears to replace all of the lies of the day.

 I love knowing that the last things he hears as he falls asleep – the things that he will think and dream about – will be the things that I whisper to him.. . The truths of who he is and who he can become. . .and a reminder that he is valued and loved!

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Posted in Family

Three Best Friends!

I love the scene in the movie The Hangover where three of the main characters Stu, Alan, and Phil are driving out to the middle of the desert after they won enough money, playing blackjack, to pay off their friend Doug’s ransom and get him back. Alan is so happy that he is finally truly part of the group (the wolf pack), he belts out singing “we’re the three best friends that anyone can have” and finishes it off ¬†with a somewhat stalkerish ” and we’ll never ever ever ever ever be apart” . . .

That song has actually been one of our favorite ones to sing together as a family when we’re driving in the car, playing on our trampeline, or just hanging out together and having fun as a family!

Recently my wife Kate made some wall art to put up in a collage in our living room and we decided to make a frame with that chorus “We’re the three best friends that anyone could have!” written on it to add to the wall.

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We get some pretty funny responses from people when they come over and see it . . . Some people don’t even notice it because they assume it’s a lovely bible verse or some famous saying . . . But every now and then someone will give us a confused look and ask, “um, . . . So why do you have a quote from the hangover on your wall?” And I love it because I love sharing why it’s so important to us. . .

This last year has been a pretty rough one for us because we’ve been trying really hard to get pregnant and add a fourth member to our family of three. . . But we just haven’t been able to.

At first we were really excited and felt like it was finally time to add more more life to our fun chaotic world! To have a second child and little brother or sister for our son Holden, who was just over two years old at the time. . .When we had Holden, it was as simple as getting pregnant sounds like it should be. We decided to try. . . We tried. . . She was pregnant! . . . This time down the baby-making path has been a much different story.

We started trying that summer!

Summer came and went . . . no pregnancy.

Fall came and went. . . no pregnancy.

Winter came and went. . . . no pregnancy.

At this point we decided to seek out some medical help to see if either of us had any infertility issues, which we did. . . Disappointment came but so did Relief. . . The road seemed so long to try and solve these issues but at least we finally had a reason why we weren’t able to get pregnant . . . and we also had new Hope for a solution to our problem. So we walked down that road together disillusioned of our old dreams of a “perfect” family with three to four children, yet hoping that it still might happen the way that we had dreamed it would.

We kept trying!

Spring came and went. . . we began the medical process. . . No pregnancy.

Summer came. . . we continued the medical process . . . Kate was finally pregnant!

. . . and had a miscarriage.

We were obviously both heartbroken but with the support of friends and family, and the notion that we were actually able to conceive, our pain was also met with gratitude and hope for the future.

We kept trying again.

Near the end of summer . . . Kate was pregnant again!

. . . and had another miscarriage.

This was devastating. . .

Since then God has worked a miracle in both of our hearts. Our dream of what we had always thought our family would look like is gone. And there is actually a lot of freedom in that. Because we have looked around and “noticed” so many good things in our lives. Instead of hoping desperately for things that may never come (for whatever reason) and grieving for the loss of a life that doesn’t even exist yet (and may never exist) we have chosen to be super grateful for what we already have. And one of the things that we are most grateful for – and had begun to miss out on because we were so fixated on our dream of more children – is our beautiful son Holden!

Another special thing we now have, through all of this, is the ability to walk through the pain of similar experiences with others and offer love and support. . . Through the pain and sadness, our capacity for empathy and gratitude has grown.

We definitely still want our family to grow – and we’re gonna keep trying to have a second child – ¬†but the difference is that we are grateful and content with our family! . . . It’s our new dream family! . . .The three of us. . . And we truly love it and mean it when we sing out together that “we’re the three best friends that anyone can have!”
This is our song. And we’re gonna keep singing it together! And if our family grows in number, that’ll be dope and we’ll sing a different song. But for now, this is our song. And we love it!