Archive for the ‘Just a note’ Category

You’re my favorite thing about every day

Sam Bug,

Today is my birthday!!  I am feeling reflective today, not just on my life but on ours.  I’ve been so enjoying watching you grow that I was startled by the upcoming road sign that reads, “Adulthood – 9 years ahead.”  How could we be half-way to that landmark so soon?

Road sign

I wonder if either of us will remember how we spent sunny homeschool afternoons reading in the hammock, or how you have begged me for hours to spin you on the makes-me-sick-to-watch merry go round.   I hope you forget the way I have groaned for the last 4 years as you learned to tell jokes.   But, I hope you will remember a heaping handful of my parenting mistakes so you feel like a rockstar when you are a mom – and you will be an amazing mom someday.

At least once a day lately I find myself saying, “I never want to forget this moment.”   When that happens, I try hard to tattoo it into my mind in full glorious detail.

Yesterday’s moment was the monkey-in-the-middle game we played as long shadows faded into dusk.  You were literally foaming at the mouth with excitement.  Your dad and I threw the football back and forth while you squealed and giggled, barely getting any audible words out.  You, only child, have been content to be the monkey for the last [nearly] 9 years.  In fact, the few times you got the ball, you have given it back to us.  Today, though, in a Samantha first, I missed a catch and you beat me to the ball – fair and square,  you were just faster than me.  Then, instead of handing it back, you said with smoothly fabricated sympathy,  “Awwww.  Did you want this?  Here, you can have it back.”  You seemed sincere so I reached out for it, just in time for you to snatch it away.  “Ohhh.  I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” you said, with convincing remorse, “I didn’t mean it, here you go.”  And you snatched it away again!

Master humor….Check.     Growing up too fast…..Check. Check.

You are my favorite thing about every day.



When the voice lies to you

Tsam discouraged 2o my amazing, beautiful, smart Samantha,

Yesterday you told me about the voice in your head.  The one that harps on your mistakes and calls you worthless.   The one that tells you, “great job, you messed up again” and “you’re never going to figure this out” and “just give up.”

In that moment, I had the privilege of telling you the simple truth.

That voice is lying to you.

And it is doing so LOUDLY.  

So loudly, in fact, that you have had me yelling over it for weeks.  I found myself screaming things like, “Look at my face!  I am not upset with you!” or,  “Listen to me!! You have done nothing wrong!” and, “I love you so much!!!”

After not too many days I realized how ridiculous I sounded, so I stopped.   That’s when I heard it – the voice.   It was full of lies.  Unoriginal ones.  Picking on an elementary school girl over spelling rules and capitalization.  Despicable.  I can’t believe I didn’t recognize it sooner.

I felt an uneasy mix of heart-brokenness and relief.  I have been fighting a losing battle with the voice in your head.  The voice has been taking over our classroom and our life.  But it stops today.  This voice has already been defeated.  The battle plan has already been written and tested.

I looked intentionally through your eyes, into your heart and spoke slowly.  “If the voice isn’t telling you that you are amazing, that you are beautiful, that you are smart, or the like, then it is lying to you.”   It was a powerful moment.  I half-expected thunder.  But in that quiet space where we lingered, I hope you felt what I felt – Truth was rising and the voice was shrinking away.

sam encouraged

“Everyone has a voice that tells them they’re not good enough.  I do, Daddy does, everyone does.  I can take on MY voice, but I can’t defeat YOUR voice.  It’s yours to conquer.  Only you can be in charge of it.”

Your eyes were big with worry, but you were listening.  I did my best to keep my voice even and calm as I explained the plan.

“In fact, it has already been defeated FOR you.  So all you have to do is claim it!  And do you know how you do that?  You defeat it with the truth.  Because lies can’t exist in the presence of truth, and the truth always wins.”

You were full of questions.  “How do you know it works?   What if it doesn’t?   I hate it, I have to make it stop!  It feels like I am being attacked in my head.”

I pulled out your bible verse journal and dusted it off.  “You are going to start memorizing all the things that are true.  They have already been written in a love letter to you, in the bible.”  I thumbed through to the next unfilled journal page and at the bottom gleamed this verse:

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely…think about such things.  Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

“I have to cut it out and tape it to my wall so I can remember it!” you exclaimed, digging through your desk for scissors.

“You’re going to do that, and better.  You’re going to tape it to your brain so it sticks forever!  And when you find yourself in need of it again, it will always be there.  And trust me.  You WILL need it again.”whatever is true

Courage to correct little mistakes comes from the same place that  you will find courage to fight your greatest battles in life.  It rises from confidence in the truth that you are amazing, beautiful, smart, and so much more.

Amazing. Beautiful. Smart. and So Much More.

Never quiet in my love for you,

P.S.  I, for one, am glad to have the privilege to start this discussion at eight, over 3rd grade spelling, instead of at sixteen over your no-good boyfriend (wink).

Some resources that I was glad were “stuck to my brain” before starting this discussion:

The Armor of God, teaching ideas for children

“Truth Box” with God’s promises, personalized for you

Solid Joys, daily devotional by John Piper, “The Window of the Heart”