I’m a model, you know what I mean?

Before I left for Tanzania, I reached out to several bloggers who had travelled with Compassion in the past. I needed to talk with someone who knew what I was about to walk into, who could tell me it was all going to be okay.

I was scared.

I wasn’t scared for the noble reasons you may think, of course. The travel part thrilled me. There’s nothing I love more than a good adventure. Remember, I was raised by a woman who was placed on a small airplane with strangers when she was ten so she could fly back to the States for boarding school. Neither one of my parents have ever shied away from traveling adventures and they have always encouraged me to explore the world.

That part didn’t scare me.

No, my fears in going on this trip were laced with insecurity – what if I failed? What if I let Compassion down? What if nobody sponsored a child through my blog? What if I was just too small, too insignificant, to make any kind of impact on this ministry?

We all know how that turned out, don’t we?

So I reached out to several past bloggers and they reached back with prayers, scriptures, encouragement and grace. They told me not to worry, not to fear, that God was going to write a story bigger than anything I could imagine. Do you know how true that is? I went back to my posts from Tanzania the other day and I honestly don’t even remember writing some of them. It’s all such a blur.

One of the bloggers who reached out to me was Kristen from We are THAT Family. I have long admired her, I appreciated her words of encouragement and now, after watching the following video, I am in awe of her. Not because of what she’s done, but what she has been willing to allow God to do through her. If you haven’t seen the recent video on the organization Kristen and her husband started called The Mercy House, you should watch it.

It’s the very first lines of that video that have clanged through my head, reverberating off the inner walls of my heart the last couple of days. “I asked God, ‘How can you allow so muh suffering?’ And I really felt like He said to me, “How can you allow it? What are you doing?”

Last night, as we made our way to church, Lee and I began to discuss heaven. “Do you think we’ll be free of the constraints of procrastination in heaven?” I asked Lee. “Because we’ll no longer be bound by time, will we finally be able to accomplish all the tasks before us without dropping the ball?”

Because I feel like I am always one step behind in life. There are one or five tasks that I cannot seem to keep up with on this Earth. Part of that is my fault – I put things off until they build to the point of being too much, then I lose sleep for a week and finally spend an entire day trying to catch up only to fall behind on something else.

We discussed our ideas and thoughts and dreams for all that heaven will be and they are, of course, nothing more than suppositions made on the very little information we have but it left me wishing and hoping for the day when there will be no more strain – no more stress – no more unattainable tasks.

We continued the conversation this morning as I shared with Lee the above video. The idea that heaven will also be free of the horrors of human suffering is hard to wrap my mind around. I believe it and I long for it, but I am here, on this Earth, bound by time and suffering.

And what am I doing about any of it?

“What kind of Christianity are we modeling for the kids?” Lee asked me this morning as we navigated our way through the rainy streets of Tampa to grab some breakfast. “When they’re grown, what will faith look like to them? What are they learning from us that’s going to free them to impact the world?”

It’s overwhelming and frightening if you think about it. Who do they think God is?

Who do I think God is?

Are we modeling a faith based on fear? A faith that says do enough for others to feel good, but not so much that it makes life uncomfortable?

There are things to be done, needs to be met, lives to change – and none of it comes without a price. How much am I willing to sacrifice? What am I doing? What am I teaching my kids, because rest assured, they are watching, they are learning and they will live out the faith that was modeled to them in some way or another.

There will never be enough time to do everything here on Earth. So where do I choose to focus my time and my efforts and what sacrifices am I willing to make to meet the important needs around me?

Someday I will be free from the constraints of this world, but until that time there are tasks to accomplish if I have the courage and the will to go after them. Today, I just want to keep up…

And now I’m back

Oh hi there! How are you? Me? Oh, I’m fine, thanks. Now that I’ve finally finished all three books in The Hunger Games Trilogy. I read them on my iPad. I don’t know how many pages the books were, but on the iPad, all three books totaled 15, 215 pages. I swiped my iPad screen 15, 215 times in the last four days.

My eyes hurt.

Yep. I took the plunge. I started The Hunger Games Saturday night and I finished the third book, Mockingjay, last night around midnight. I have done absolutely nothing in between those times. Except turn thirty-four, which I largely ignored anyway, so no big deal.

So my take on the books: I was skeptical when I went in to the series. I didn’t want to like it but, alas, I did like it. I had to fight through the first five chapters of the first book, which I found to be painfully boring. I almost gave it all up, but once the story finally picked up, I was hooked.

From a story standpoint, the books were great. There was a love triangle, lots of action and fantastic descriptions that pulled me right into the world of Panem. I could see it and smell it and feel the terror of it all.

That is great storytelling.

My suspicions that it isn’t the most grammatically sound piece of literature were correct, but I see the freedom that the author took with creative license and I could appreciate it. There were a few paragraphs that were overly fragmented in my opinion and a couple of times I laughed out loud at the, perhaps, overly judicious use of creative license, but overall I understood why she wrote the book the way she did and why an editor didn’t change it.

About half-way through the book I started to feel a bit squicky about the idea of watching the movie. There was this nagging idea that the author was making a pretty braod social statement, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. But all I could think was that The Hunger Games were meant to be a thing of entertainment. People from the Capitol watched children killing each other as a means to entertain themselves.

Doesn’t it seem odd that we would want to watch the movie in that context?

By the end of the series, though, I got it – I saw exactly where the author wanted to lead us, which made watching the movie version of the book less offensive to me (though I still don’t know if I’ll see it). The Hunger Games is supposed to be an allegory of war. It’s a loose allegory and I think it’s meant to be an extreme picture on purpose.

We send young people into battle and they have to fight to the death with the knowledge that really, there can only be one victor. But in the battle, the good guys and the bad guys get muddied and soon, everyone kind of looks alike, because the battle for survival makes us all act in desperation.

Just as in a war, the end results of The Hunger Games are devastating. The victor is never the same, having seen and done things that are unspeakable. The families of the victims are forever left without their child and every community is ultimately affected with the horror of it all.

But who is the Capitol supposed to represent? This is something I had a hard time figuring out. Maybe it’s not a representation of any one thing or group of people, but on occasion I got a vague sense that maybe the Capitol was supposed to represent America and it felt a bit underhanded.

Other times, however, that didn’t seem to be the case at all.

In the end, it was one more story that leads us to believe that the only answer is a sort of Utopian society, where a new race of peace loving people is the only hope for the world. A nice thought, I suppose.

But in the end it’s all just fiction, isn’t it?

So what do you think? I realize I’m roughly two years late to this conversation. I’m edgy like that.

*eye roll*

In all honestly, though, before I read the books I truly had no idea what they were about so I’ve read nothing on the subject. What message did you take from The Hunger Games?

What if we all slowed down?

We wandered through the brush, the bristled fronds scraping against our bare arms.  December 7 and in shorts.  This is the things dreams are made of.

We stopped and peered inside the little windows and I let my mind wander.  Who were they that lived there then?  What sounds filled their homes in a time when the whirring of electronics was not yet realized?  When televisions didn’t dictate every thought and movement?  Did they, too, feel the rushing passage of time – they who had no option of jumping in the car and buzzing to this meeting or that event?

As the quiet moments ticked away the evening hours and their hands, weary from a long day’s labor, sat still in their laps, were they able to drink the moments in?  Or did those mothers, like me, find themselves each night wondering what happened and how did the day blur by in a blink?

One day older.

Did those mothers nestle their babes each night and wish they could freeze time for a brief moment just so they had the opportunity to drink it all in?  Did those same mothers also have some nights when the darkness brought a sense of sweet relief as the bustle and the energy finally stopped and they had a few brief moments of peace before it all started up again?

I imagine the mothers were very much like me in this regard.  Equal parts sad to see the days fly by and anxious for the peace the nighttime brings.  Perhaps even more so as the burden they shouldered was far greater than mine.  Their days were filled with much more labor and with far fewer luxeries.

As we walked into the tiny house, the tour guide met us with twinkling eyes, the lines in his face evidence of a life well lived.  With a gentle smile, he guided us through each room, his aging voice filled with awe, wonder and appreciation.  He understood simpler times and I heard the longing in his words as he pointed out the small tools and toys.  The days of quiet are not far removed from his mind.

I love the quiet, too.  Not setting up cable has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.  Evenings are filled with quiet togetherness.  Sitting on the floor, rolling the ball to one another.  Walks around the block.  Ice cream on the lanai.  Together without the noise.  It’s a step toward the simpler times.

What if we all slowed down just a little bit?  What if we all spent a little less time watching the lives of others and living our own? What if we all cut out just a few things so that the precious moments could at least be soaked in a bit before zipping past?  What if we just stopped for awhile?

I confess, the stopping and soaking in is hard for me.  It’s really, really hard.  There is so much to be done and the stopping feels like a halt in progress.  But is it?  When we stop, sit, listen and wait – does this stagnate us or, perhaps, move us forward still but in a deeper and more fulfilled manner?

As we pulled out of the gravel driveway, I turned off the radio and rolled down the windows.  This is a big deal for me.  I’m not a “wind in her hair” kind of gal.  I find it annoying and loud.  But today, instead, I listened to the wind whipping through the car, the echoes of movement passing through.  I breathed deep the salty air and glanced at the ocean just across the street.  I drove the speed limit, not pushing my speed but instead taking the time to enjoy the journey.

And they enjoyed, too.  We talked about the seagulls and the graceful way they danced on the wind.  The discussed what we would do if each of us were a bird.  How would the world look from the sky?

Even the (smokin’ hot) minivan has the potential to slow down.

What if we all just took the time?

What would life look like and how would it be different?

All photos taken during today’s field trip to Heritage Village in Largo, Florida.

The In-Between

He didn’t want to try it. Fear prevented him from true joy, from enjoying to the fullest that which stood before him. The vibrant blue waters of the pool were enticing and he tasted the joy when he stepped into the water.

But fear held him back.

He couldn’t bring himself to put his face in the water. The fear of the unknown was too much and so he simply watched in longing. Every once in awhile he put his chin beneath the surface, delighted to feel the cool water – such a contrast to the blazing heat of the sun. If, by accident, water splashed into his eyes he cried and dashed for a towel, wiping it away before realizing how refreshing it could actually be.

I wondered if he would ever overcome this fear. I wondered if he would ever experience the miracle and joy that comes with taking the plunge and diving beneath the surface. I wondered if he would ever realize that conquering fear leads to freedom.

And then one day he did it. He stepped off the edge and took a leap of faith. Faith that he wouldn’t sink, but would indeed return to the surface as promised. Faith that fun awaited if he just took a chance. And do you know what happened?

Photo courtesy of my sister-in-law, Becke'

Inexplicable Joy.  Freedom. And he hasn’t looked back.

We’re stuck in the in-between right now.  We’re in Arkansas for a week visiting family, which simply feels like any other vacation.  I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that we won’t be going back to St. Louis from here.

We head to Clearwater to stay in my parent’s condo until we either find a house or decide to rent.  That, too, will feel like a familiar vacation, which in the past has always ended in us returning home.  But Florida is home now.  It doesn’t feel that way yet, but that’s what it is.

Mark Twain once wrote, “Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with.” I so hope for miracles as we make this move.  What does a miracle look like?  I don’t know.  Maybe it will be something big and measurable.  Maybe it will be something that can’t be seen but only felt…realized only upon looking backward after time has propelled us past this unsure moment.

Maybe the miracle is our willingness to take the plunge – to face our fear of change and dip our head beneath the cool waters of the unknown.  We would have been fine splashing in the waters of familiarity, but then we might have missed out on the joy and freedom that comes from taking a plunge beneath the surface.

Maybe the miracle will be my children suddenly waking up each morning with smiles on their faces and nothing but kindness on their lips.  Maybe the miracle will be my children sleeping past 6:30 every morning!

I can dream can’t I?

Change leaves your heart and spirit in a vulnerable place.  When you’re cut off from the passivity of the familiar, suddenly a whole new world of options are opened before you.  There are no schedules to keep up with, no obligations to meet.  Those will likely develop quickly, of course, but in the beginning, when life has finally, mercifully, slowed down the prospects of a clean slate leave me excited.  What will we finally do that we’ve been dreaming of but lacked the time?  What lies in wait for our fragile hearts?

It’s terrifying and exciting and wonderful.  A tightly woven ball of “What if?”  What if we had the time to finally do that?  What if we were closer to finally participate in this?  What if we finally set aside the resources to accomplish that dream?  What if we watched in grand expectation and looked for the miracles?

While the in-between has given me a touch of vertigo, unsure of which way to turn, it’s also left me excited.  I love what ifs.  I love to see miracles happen and for the first time in a long time, I’m finally watching for them.

“Change is the handmaiden Nature uses to do her miracles with.”

Have you seen any miracles lately?  Let’s share and all join in the excitement!

“For I know the plans I have for.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

For more pictures by my awesome sister-in-law, visit her blog.  We’re having some wonderful, sweet cousin time.

On Jeremiah and being a Disney Princess

“What do you want me to do?!”

Alligator tears roll down her soft cheeks, her blue eyes swimming with a mixture of frustration and sorrow.

“I want you to obey.”

I don’t know how to obey!” she wailed, flinging herself down on the floor in fantastic Disney Princess fashion.

“But if you listen to me, you will hear exactly what you need to do to obey and when you obey me, things will go well with you.”

Oh the mournful sobs.  Being five is hard.  It’s hard, people!

Being 32 is hard too.

I have my own Disney Princess moments where I fling myself onto my bed, dramatically sighing with such force that the air pressure of the room changes.  I bemoan how difficult it is to obey, how I don’t waaaannnna do this or I’m not goooonnnaa do that.  Sometimes I cry, other times I pout.  Sometimes…sshhh…I toss out a few four letter words for good effect.

All in private, of course.  Wouldn’t want anyone to know I do that, you know?

Today I received a phone call as I was just on the cusp of a full blown Disney Princess moment.  I was working up to it.  It was slowly simmering and boiling and I was ready for a full out drama fest.  Hand on the forehead, fist clutched to my chest, “Oh my,” flop to the floor in a heap of hefty sobs.

And then the phone rang.  And a friend shared Jeremiah 42-43 with me.  You know the passage, right?  You don’t?  I didn’t either.  The Isrealites go to Jeremiah and ask him to pray to God on their behalf.  They want to flee from Babylon to Egypt and they want God’s confirmation.  So Jeremiah does what they ask and he comes back with the Lord’s answer.

“Don’t go.  Stay here and I will bless you.  I will show you compassion and favor.  Don’t be afraid.  Trust me.”

Ah, but they didn’t like that answer, you see.  Because they had already purposed in their hearts to go.  They weren’t really looking for God’s answer – they just wanted a little justification for their actions.  And in the end, they chose to go their own way.  The way that seemed easier to them.  Because staying in Babylon?  That was too scary, too hard.  No.  Going to Egypt felt right…it felt better.

Things didn’t go well with them.

We are constantly drilling Ephesians 6:1-3 into our children’s heads: “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.  Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise) so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the Earth.”

They hear that a lot.  So much so that I can guarantee when they are all young adults, they will probably sit around the dinner table and make fun of us for it, rolling their eyes and laughing.  Hopefully in a good-natured way, of course.  I can see it in my head, like a movie reel.

“Hey, remember when Mom and Dad used to tell us to obey them so it things would go well with us?”

“Aaaaww, yeah, that drove me nuts.”

Then they laugh and all take turns telling us every reason why they love us and why they’re thankful for our constant discipline as they grew up.  They tell us how right we were and laud us for pouring so much of ourselves into them in their formative years.  They do this while giving us each back massages and presenting us with lavish gifts because they are just so thankful for their upbringing.

This vision of mine may have spiraled slightly into the realm of fantasy, but whatever – I like it.

No matter what your age, obedience is hard.  And it’s not always fun.  Just because Tia feels ready to ride her two wheeler to the park a mile down the road, doesn’t mean she should do it.  When I tell her no, she needs to obey even if she doesn’t want to.  When Sloan wants to play with the boys down the street and I tell him no because I’m not sure who their parents are, he has to obey, even though he doesn’t understand.

“Things will go well with you if you obey.”

Sometimes that’s the only excuse I can give.

And sometimes it’s the only excuse I get.  Some decisions seem scary and hard and big and…

It would be so much easier to just move in the direction that feels good enough. The one that’s easy.  But the hard decision, the one you feel in your heart is right even if it’s scary, sometimes that’s the safest place to be.  And there’s no sense throwing a Disney sized fit about it.  Trust and obey and things will go well with you.  This is where freedom sets in.

And that’s a good thing because the drama filled life of a Disney Princess gets exhausting.  Who wants to be stuck wearing ball gowns and glass slippers all the time, right?

To the friend who gave me that timely phone call today…I thank you from the bottom of my heart for pointing me to this scripture.  If I could sing you a Disneyesque song in true Princess fashion, I so totally would.

May Day

On Saturday, Lee and I took the kids to a 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union.

Try saying that five times fast.

For an hour and a half, we heard stories from local veterans about their experiences during World War II.  Most of them were Jewish and experienced the effects of the Nazi hatred as well as the Soviet hatred.  It was emotional and poignant and beautiful and sad.

The kids didn’t appreciate it at all.

“When can we go,” they whined over and over.  And like any good Mom, I shushed them and shot them daggar eyes, melting them from the inside out.

At then end of each testimony, each speaker (most of whose stories were read by younger family members while they stood up front), made very similar statements.  They lauded freedom.  Freedom to practice religion, freedom from oppression, freedom to survive, freedom to love.  Those men and women are deeply loyal to the lands of their birth.  But they are also deeply loyal to their adopted land.

Attending this ceremony cemented my desire to bring the history of the former Soviet Union alive.  It reignited my passion for the people of Ukraine, in particular, as several of the speakers were from Ukraine, from towns and cities I have visited.

We Americans have no idea the depth of suffering other parts of the world have experienced.  That’s not to say we can’t sympathize, of course.  I feel deep pain for the suffering around the world.  But I don’t truly understand it because I haven’t lived it.  My pain at the suffering we endured on 9/11 is even different from my fellow countrymen who were directly affected by the loss of loved ones.  But think of this perspective:

It’s estimated that Ukraine lost up to 10 million people during World War II.  That’s half of the population of the entire Soviet Union and twenty percent of the entire world’s death total.

I know my children are young and I don’t expect them to appreciate or even understand why I continue to expose them and push them toward the language and history of that part of the world, but I hope to the depth of my soul that someday, as they grow in maturity and understanding, they will develop not only a love for Ukraine and the russian language, but also for all the different cultures of this world.

I also hope that they will grow with the understanding that they have been privileged to be born in the most amazing country in the world.  It is a flawed nation, to be sure.  But America is a land to be loved, a loved to be applauded and a land that deserves our deepest appreciation.

That’s the lesson I’m hoping to teach my children as they grow.  One of them, anyway.

Georgia on my Mind

I have lots on my mind today.  Not just Georgia, although that song has been rolling through my head all morning.  I love that song, don’t you?  I’ve had the amazing opportunity to sing with a local jazz band a couple of times in the last few months and twice I’ve gotten to sing that song.  There’s something about that song that just kind of takes you over when you’re singing it.  It may be one of the greatest songs ever written and recorded.

I have other things on my mind, too.  Sleep.  I’d like to do that again and I think I’ll have the opportunity once Easter passes by.  Maybe.  I can at least hope, right?

The house.  While I wasn’t sure I was ready for it to sell right away, I am officially over this business of trying to keep it clean.  What a hassle!  I miss my floor being dirty and beds going unmade.  But the good news is that we’re having showings almost every day, so high traffic is a positive. 

I’m thinking about schooling and summer vacation, kids and life.  I’m wondering where our next house will be and I’m so thoroughly overwhelmed with trying to sell this one that I haven’t been looking for a new one.

I’m thinking about coffee with Peppermint Mocha Creamer (and yes, I currently have six bottles of it in my fridge.  I refuse to run out of it).  I’m thinking about rain and the dream I had about tornadoes last night that woke me up all feverish and nervous.  I’m thinking about how my kids wake up frequently with similar dreams and I usually laugh at them for it, but dang!  Those dreams are scary.

I’m thinking about missions and what kind of missions journey God would like to take our family on.  I love this post by my uncle, an amazing missions minded and hearted man that I look up to.  I’m thinking about when, how and if I’ll ever be able to take my children to Ukraine, which feels like a second home to me and something that I should share with them.

I’m thinking about how I need to run today but I don’t really want to, but really I should because I signed up to run a 5k in June.  I’m thinking about how foolish I am to keep running when I don’t really enjoy it very much.  I’m thinking about how I can possibly get an awesome, toned runner’s figure without actually running…

I’m thinking about how we need to write to our Compassion International sponsored child.  Jonri is seven years old and lives in the Philipines and my kids faithfully pray for him.  But I am admittedly not good at having them write to him.  We are overdue for another letter.

I’m thinking about Easter and what that means.  The drama our church is putting on is really amazing and I’ve learned more about the death and resurrection of Christ in the last two weeks of working on that than I ever have before. 

I’m thinking about making another video, as soon as time presents itself for me to pull it off.

I’m thinking about washing my face and how much I love to do it.  I got new face products the other day and it just made me happy.  It’s the simple things…

What are you thinking about today?



Passion.  It’s a word that invokes emotion, excitement, joy, need, soul moving desire.  Passion.

Last night I was in a rehearsal where we sang the song My Passion by Travis Cottrell.  Here are the lyrics:

You alone are my passion forever.
Song of my soul,
Desire of my heart.
You alone are my passion, my treasure.
I love You for all that you are.

To the ends of the earth I will follow.
There’s nothing that I will not do.
You alone are my reason for living;
Jesus my passion is You.
Jesus my passion is You.

My Life.
My Love.
My God.
You are my Life.
My Love.
My God.

Everything I do
Everything I have
Every breath I breathe
Everything I do is all for You.

The lyrics to this song kind of took my breath away.  It’s not just because they’re beautiful, especially paired with the melody, but because they are simplistically deep.  I found this to be a difficult song to sing.

Is He alone my passion and my treasure?  Will I follow Him to the ends of the earth?  What if that requires walking through heartache?  Can I sing this song and really mean it?

Our wise choir director addressed this last night.  “It’s not possible to always sing this song and mean every word,” he said.  “But we can sing it and genuinely want to mean it.”  There is truth in that.  Right now, I don’t think I’m being honest if I say to the Lord, You alone are my passion.  It’s the alone part that gets me.

But I want that to be true of my heart and spirit and I believe that when desire and willingness meet, passion can spring forth.

I desire to be able to fully and unabashedly sing that song without an ounce of shame.  I desire to approach the Holy of Holies, beneathe the Veil of Grace, and sing Everything I do, Everything I have, Every Breath I breathe, Everything I do is for You.

My desire is that Passion would overcome flesh.

On Earaches and Mary

On Friday night Landon asked to go to bed.  This was after he asked to take a nap on Friday afternoon and he slept for two hours.

Not normal.

At 11:00 Friday Landon woke up crying.  He was at the tail end of a cold so a little medicine, a kiss and a cup of water and everyone settled once again.  Until…

One O’clock rolled around and we heard the desperate pleas of our little one.  And he never went back to sleep.

“My eeaaaw huwts,” he cried all night, clutching at his left ear.  We rocked and sang and he’d slowly drift to sleep only to jolt awake again with a cry.  Back and forth we went between his room and our own room, Lee and I alternating trying to sleep and holding our hurting boy.  We debated heading to the ER but knew it was an ear infection and decided to wait it out until morning.

At 5:30 we put in High School Musical and I dozed on the couch.  By 9:00 we were in the pediatrician’s office where it was declared he had a nasty inner ear infection with a painful looking bulge and by 10:30 we were home with a little boy who looked like this.

Pitiful Landon

Not only did he look exhausted, he also look abused due to an unfortunate run in with the corner of the iPad the night before that left him with a shiner.  He was pitiful and in pain most of Saturday but by Sunday morning had perked up considerably thanks to numbing drops, antibiotics and twleve hours of solid sleep.  We were on the mend, and we were happy.

When his ear began dripping blood on Sunday morning we began fast and furiously treating what we think may have been a slight perforation in his ear drum with both antibiotic ear drops and oral antibiotics as we are flying a week from tomorrow and we need his ear healed.  So far the pediatrician has cleared us to fly and is confident that he will be fine by the time we leave.  This is a good thing because if she said he wouldn’t be I was already planning the car trip.

Sunday afternoon I went to a practice for an Easter drama that a few of us are putting on on Easter Sunday.  It’s a beautiful piece of work and I found myself very emotional at one point when the character of Christ speaks the word, “Mother?” This happens during the crucifixion scene.

And my heart broke a little as I pictured Mary watching her baby suffer.  My heart crumbled just seeing Landon suffer through ear pain, but Mary watched her son beaten, bruised and hung.  She watched the blood drain from the very hands that she held as a small child.  She saw the flesh torn from the back of the boy she bathed as a boy.

She suffered.

As my children grow I’m realizing more and more that I will always and forever see the infant form of them.  Sloan is developing a man-child look about him and yet I still see the expressive toddler who marveled at the moon.  Tia’s face matures a little more each day and yet I still see the big-eyed infant who couldn’t wait to conquer the world.

Landon is right where I want him right now.  He is today who I will never forget.

Mary felt the same way.  I understand that more and more the longer I parent.  She saw the man who hung on the cross, but did her mind flash to him toddling into her arms?  It most surely did.  Did she remember sloppy kisses and delighted laughter?  I’m sure of it.  As she stared at his arms stretched wide across the beams, did her own arms ache with the memory of the weight of her infant?  Did she smell the stench of the stable and see the dark, round eyes of her firstborn nuzzled against her chest? 

What kind of memories flooded her mind’s eye? 

And as he suffered and died slowly, did she experience pain herself?  What was swirling through her heart?  It pains me to even think about it, as it pained me to watch my toddler clutch at his ear in pain.

When they hurt, we hurt.

And then, when she heard He was alive – what did she feel?  What kind if disbelief and shock and fear and joy coursed through her veins?  When she saw His resurrected body, did she still see the little boy she raised or was He different somehow?  Did He give her an extra long hug and a kiss on the cheek, a balm to the wound she had suffered three days before? 

I wonder about these things.

Mary was a mother.

I am a mother.

And so I ponder.