Abe’s Life

Yesterday.

Abethewisekid

Yesterday was really bad, and I couldn’t tell you exactly why if you asked. But it was just one of those days, ya know? Where your mind is broken and your heart hates not being in control. Last night I laid on the couch and cried. The day was filled with unmet promises to Abe and me dozing off while feeding the baby and pumping at the same time (please don’t ask me why I’m not breast feeding). Small group had left, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had failed them all somehow.

My 4 year old sat down next to my head and asked me what was wrong. I told him I was feeling very overwhelmed and like a complete failure. I cried harder and apologized for not getting to play hide and seek with him even though I promised I would. He had a pensive look on his face and said, It’s ok, mom. Emery needed all of your attention today.” I smiled and thanked him for being gracious and understanding, to which he replied, “It makes you feel good.”

Oh yeah. It does. I forgot. Grace does make me feel good. I wish I didn’t resist it like I often do.

About a half an hour later, Daniel was holding Emery and trying to get him to stop crying. The more Emery cried, the more Daniel got flustered until he finally gave up and handed the baby over to me. He got up and went outside, leaving us in the living room. Abe turned to me on the couch and said, “Mom, you need to pray for daddy tonight because he is afraid of being a daddy to two boys and thinks he’s bad at it. I pray for him all of the time.” My jaw dropped.

When Daniel tucked him into bed, I could hear sniffles echoing from the room. When Daniel emerged from his room tear-eyed, he told me that Abe had prayed for him, but it wasn’t his regular kind of prayer that usually only makes sense to Abe. It was an intercession for his daddy and a plea for help. And then he went to sleep.


It’s humbling to watch the Holy Spirit use a child to remind us of the gospel things we so easily forget and can’t seem to give to ourselves, especially when the usual prescription for reminders looks like our kids pushing us to our limits. But not yesterday. Yesterday it came in the form of a 4 year old understanding things more clearly than I do 99 percent of the time.

I can’t believe God would allow me to live in a home with people that fight for each other.

Grace floweth over.

 

Abe DIY-ed: Leaf Collage

DIY Leaf Collage

 

Last Monday was a sweet day. I had a burst of energy, and got all kinds of things done around the house. Daniel and Abe worked outside on that industrial table that was in my last post and did stuff around the yard. It never rained that day, which was nice. At one point, Abe came inside while I was washing the dishes and wanted something to do because he was bored.

I don’t know why I’d never thought of this before, but I handed him a container and told him to go collect a bunch of different looking leaves, and then we would make a picture with them. He got super pumped about this mission, and went outside and collected leaves. He came in a few times with a couple, but I told him to keep collecting more (mainly because I was trying to buy time so that I could finish the dishes).

When he finally had what I thought was enough, and I was done with my chore, we sat down with a piece of card stock, some Mod Podge and his leaf collection. First, he showed me all of his favorites, which of course were the tiny ones. Sidenote: Abram LOVES tiny things. Like, the smallest, almost unseeable things. When he was two, he found a very small fake diamond, and he called it his sparkle. He managed to keep that thing for quite sometime, and he was the only one who could find it if it got lost. It’s astonishing to me.

After he showed me his favorites, I had him start spreading the mod podge of the back of the leaves with a small paint brush. I’m the one that organized them the way you see them above, in case you were thinking my son was some kind of leaf collage genius. But he did the collecting and the glueing. When we were done, he was so incredibly pleased and proud of his piece of work. It felt good to see his little satisfied reaction. We set it aside to dry, and he went back outside to play and help his daddy.

I had to run up to Walmart for toiletries and such, and while I was there I found a plain, matte black picture frame for like $3.47. I grabbed it to surprise Abe with. When I got home, I stuck his leaf collage in the frame and put it upĀ on the wall. When he came inside, I showed him, and that happy, little face…. man, there’s nothing like the sight of that face.

Now, anytime someone comes over, he has to tell them about his leaf collage that he made and how mommy hung it up. This was the simplest of projects, and it can cost absolutely nothing, if you already have a picture frame lying around or would rather just washi tape it to the wall. It was fun to look at the leaves and talk about the differences in colors and textures. It wasn’t a lengthy project and it put a smile on everyone’s face.

That’s just a win all around.

Abe’s Life: Loneliness

AbeHave you ever thought about what it would be like to travel back into time to when you were younger, and watch yourself from the fly on the wall’s perspective?

Having a child is very much like that. You’re not as useless as you’d be from the fly’s perspective, but you can’t really control the way things go either.

There is loneliness in his eyes, and while I think a sibling might help, I don’t think it’s going to fill the longing in his little heart that’s been there since the day we met.

My mom said she watched me play alone on the beach, and she saw those eyes. She knew it was time to have another child so that I could have someone to play with. And while I love my sister very much, that still didn’t fill the gaping hole that made itself known through my eyes.

Having Abram as my son has been like time travel. I’ve been given this human to watch over and care for that is so much like me. I am deeply familiar with that loneliness I see in his eyes everyday, because it’s the same gaze that looked back at me in the mirror for so much of my life.

I watch him with his friends. His anticipation to be with them next is sweet at best and annoying at worst, but as soon as he’s with them, that gaze settles back in. That overwhelming feeling of being alone shows up on his face in a room full of peers and laughter.

He’s so desperate in his quest to feel like he belongs. It’s why he got so bent out of shape last week when I told him our television didn’t belong to him, but just to us and that we let him use it. The thought of him not being included in that ownership wrecked him.

It’s why, no matter how many times a day we tell him that 1) we love him and 2) he’s not alone, he still falls apart when we ask him to go play in his room.

I could go on and on with the examples I’ve taken note of and observed to explain the longing that I see in my son, but continuing to write them out would just make me sob, and I’ve already done that once today.

What’s so hard about this part of my job as Abe’s mother is that there’s nothing I can do to convince him of the truth. I can teach it to him formally, I can have dozens upon dozens of conversations with him about what he’s going through and what I’ve gone through, we can fight about it and then pray until our voices give out. But at the end of the day, there’s no transaction of truth we can make that will leave his heart convinced until the God that created and treasures him convinces Abram Himself.

I anticipate the day when I see that lonely look turn into one of peace and satisfaction. The fact that I can’t control when that happens doesn’t mean I’m going to give up telling my son the truth, day in and day out. My job is to help him plow the fields of his heart and sow the seeds. The growth, the changing of seasons and the pruning- that’s not up to me.

And I have to surrender to that reality everyday.