Friday, December 26, 2008

A thought on Motherhood

"I cannot forget my mother.
She is my bridge.
When I needed to get
across, she steadied herself
long enough for me
to run across safely."

I don’t know who wrote this quote but it has become significant to me. Our children need countless bridges throughout their lives. It is up to us, as parents, to be that bridge for we alone have the commitment, insight, and strength needed by our individual children. Unfortunately, far too many mothers refuse to be a bridge. Being a bridge is not easy; have you ever tried to physically be a bridge for someone? The effort is the same to be a “bridge mother”, though mothers do not only play the role of a physical bridge (pregnancy, childbirth, etc.) but also mental, emotional, and spiritual bridges. Though some women honestly do not know the desperate need for or how to be a bridge mother, sadly, many other women choose not to be a bridge mother.

"The commonest fallacy among women
is that simply having children makes them a mother –
which is as absurd as believing that having a piano
makes one a musician."

Most all of what we do as mothers is being a bridge for our children. Pregnancy and childbirth are the first bridges. They are not easy in any way. Perhaps we should see this time as training for motherhood, for to be the mother our children need, that “suffering”, that marathon effort and patience must never end.

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. We are career warriors. Our battles are no less difficult than those fought on the battlefield, and we fight these battles for a lifetime. I think that you may think that this sounds somewhat cliché… but if you doubt the truth of this, try daily to make a hundred times the choice to do what is best for your children instead of what would be comfortable or even best for yourself. You will quickly find that one’s own self-focus and self-righteousness, self-indulgence and laziness, fear and insecurities, discomfort and pain are some of the most wearisome, relentless and powerful foes ever faced on earth. Attempt to die tiny deaths dozens of times a day, every day, every month, every year for decades and you will not suppose to call motherhood insignificant or dishonorable or second-rate.
I hope that more women will choose to seize the strength God has given them (He offers all the needed strength to every woman) and begin a new legacy of mothering in their own families.
As my mother did for me,
I will steady myself and be a
Bridge Mother.
“She has a more influential and powerful role than any political, military, religious or educational figure. Her words are never fully forgotten. For good or for ill, a mother’s impact is permanent. A child’s mother is arguably the most influential figure in his or her life, giving credence to the old adage: the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”
"Mother—in this consists the glory and
the most precious ornament of woman."
-Martin Luther.
"I cannot name myself as one
Who never goes astray,
Who never stumbles on the road,
Or leaves the hallowed way.
But when I know that baby feet
Will follow where I’ve trod,
I walk with care that they too may walk
That road that leads to God."
-Margaret Fishback Powers
"The Sweetest sounds to mortals given are heard in
Mother, Home, and Heaven."
-W.G. Brown

The bravest battle that ever was fought!
Shall I tell you where and when?
On the maps of the world you will find it not;
'Twas fought by the mothers of men.

Nay not with the cannon of battle-shot,
With a sword or noble pen;
Nay, not with eloquent words or thought
From mouth of wonderful men!

But deep in a walled-up woman's heart -
Of a woman that would not yield,
But bravely, silently bore her part -
Lo, there is the battlefield!

No marshalling troops, no bivouac song,
No banner to gleam and wave;
But oh! those battles, they last so long -
From babyhood to the grave.

Yet, faithful still as a bridge of stars,
She fights in her walled-up town -
Fights on and on in her endless wars,
Then silent, unseen, goes down.

Oh, ye with banners and battle-shot,
And soldiers to shout and praise!
I tell you the kingliest victories fought
Were fought in those silent ways.

O spotless woman in a world of shame,
With splendid and silent scorn,
Go back to God as white as you came -
The Kingliest warrior born!

- Joaquin Miller (1839-1913)

Monday, December 15, 2008

December Day

It has been 10 degrees or less for the last few days, and we have about 8 inches of snow now with drifts. When Winter decided to come, it really came. I'm not looking forward to seeing htis month's heating bill....

Hemi has been staying inside most of the time now because of the cold. He had been banished outside this summer because he kept going potty in the house, but luckily (for him) he hasn't had any accidents so far....

About a week or so ago, Cienna began rolling over from her tummy to her back. She also loves to blow bubbles. She often ends up with a little foam goatee. This new past time combined with teething has got us going through bibs like crazy. She's not happy leaning back on things anymore, she's got to be sitting up. And she's discovered rattles and her toes. Poor girl has been really teething hard this week. She's not a happy camper.

I looked around online for ideas of things to do with Cedric to keep him busy this winter, and I found this web page that has a bunch of great "Rainy Day Activites for Toddlers" that just use things around the house and that you can do with only 1 toddler (my situation).( I've been trying to do at least one a day with him. He has a tendency to get pretty destructive (not breaking, just moving and emptying everything) when he's bored.

Here is a picture I took just today. I love it....

Cedric and Cienna took a bath together for the first time a few days ago.

This is my favorite.

Watching the rubber ducky.

Look at all those rolls on that chubby baby!

He wasn't actually sticking out his tongue.... I caught it at the perfect second!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lots of snow!

Six inches of snow has fallen here since yesterday morning. Cedric is having a great time playing out there. He spent a half hour out there this morning playing while Tim shoveled snow and came in with some slight frostbite on his cheeks. He didn't complain about it though and it cleared up within an hour.

Cienna is majorly teething this last week. There have been some days that I ended up using at least a dozen bibs on her. Poor girl.

I really like the idea of sharing my to-do list for the day so here is mine. I hardly ever get to complete the list every day and often complete just half a task at a time... My list is usually extra long because I never know which tasks will actually fit into the day. That has been one of the biggest adjustments of being a mom. My mind has to change subjects and tasks very quickly, which has been rather annoying. Anyway here it is (doesn't include any of the child tasks of course :):

Clean bathroom
Change bed sheets
2nd draft of Christmas letter
Balance checkbook
Wrap some more Christmas gifts
Pet Hemi for at least 5 minutes (I have to schedule this :)
Sweep kitchen

We decorated for Christmas last weekend. Here are a couple pictures of the kids decorating:

Cienna reaching for an ornament that she later got to put on the tree (with Daddy's help of course).

Cedric holding a 50-year-old ornament that came from my Dad's side of the family.

Cienna and Daddy admiring the tree.

Cedric and his "camera smile". He's not very good at making it look natural yet. :)

Here's a better smile!
Here are a series of pictures that we took of Cienna last week in her church dress. I love the pictures so I posted all of them.

We are gathering information for our adoption application, which we will be sending out next week. We have heard the call to adopt for over 2 years and feel God prompting us to begin now. For sure, this is a "stepping out of the boat" experience. We don't have any sort of "floatation device", but we are confident of God's call and will trust His provision. One of my favorite qutoes is, "God will often call you to do something that without Him you can not and without you He will not." We are going to be adopting an infant from Ethiopia through Holt International.