I've been reading Donald Miller's new book called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life". I've laughed a few times and cried MORE than a few times while I've been reading it. It's about how two guys approached Don to make a movie from his memoir, and the struggle he went through to make "a story" from his life. It's also about how he realizes what makes a good life story and how to make it memorable. I've found it to be challenging in more than a few areas. Lots of good quotes that I'm sure I'll take with me...and I'm sure I'm going to reread it as soon as I'm finished.
I love a good non-fiction that makes me think about why I'm here--why we're all here. With the way I've been feeling lately (that something is about to change), it has been timely. I've often wondered how to make my life into a good story. I'll never write it down, but I want it to be memorable. I want to be able to remember little moments even more than the "big" ones. I want to remember the way it feels when my kids kiss me with their sticky lollipop lips and even how they sound when they're screaming at each other. I want to remember the warmth of Sean's arms around me and the feeling of being small next to him. I want to remember the times when I forgot my fear and stepped out and just lived. I even want to remember moments when I've felt misunderstood and misjudged and alone because I know those are things Jesus felt--realizing that makes me feel that at least someone has been able to understand me.
Reading a book like this at what feels like a crossroads in my life is an emotional experience. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I feel like I'm all "rumbly" inside, like a thunderstorm is coming my way. I love thunderstorms. They make me feel small and help me remember that I'm not in control. That's probably why I've felt so "out of control" lately. I'm keeping my focus on God, though, and he's walking me through the obstacle course.
Tomorrow is Brendan's 4th birthday. I can't believe how time has flown. Before I know it, he'll be driving or telling me he's in love with a girl. I'm choosing to enjoy every minute of his childhood.
I'm grateful for Brendan's mischievious grin. When he has that little twinkle in his eye, watch out! He keeps me on my toes, but I need that.
I'm grateful for the change that Brendan has made in my life. People tell you that your 2nd child will be so much different from your 1st, but you really have no idea what they mean. When Brendan was born, I didn't know what hit me. He was lively, never sat still and had a deep belly laugh. He couldn't have been more different than Liam, but he has made me more patient, more loving and more able to laugh myself.
Brendan's passionate heart. He sees things in a "black and white" way, meaning it either is or it isn't, or you either mean what you say or you don't. When he's happy, he's REALLY happy and when he's sad, he's REALLY sad. Brendan has a depth of emotion and such a passion in him that I know that God is going to use. I can't wait to see him grow up and to see the man he becomes.
I remember April 19th, 2006. I was excited and anticipating the following day when I'd go to the hospital to be induced. My belly was huge and I felt like a blimp. I could feel his little limbs as he tried to stretch or roll over. I would watch as little arms and legs would suddenly protrude from the beach ball in my midsection. I wondered what he looked like and if he had my chin. My pregnancy with Brendan wasn't easy, but he was well worth the wait. That night, though, I remember crying while I talked to Liam about how his little life was going to change. He'd no longer be the baby, but he was now going to be a big brother. He had no qualms, though, and he was excited to meet the new baby.
Liam welcomed his baby brother with open arms, with no jealousy or fear of being loved any less. I will always remember the first time Liam held Brendan in his arms and he sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in his tiny, whispering voice. At the time, that song was Liam's lullaby choice almost every night (that, and "Georgia On My Mind") and I think at that moment he wanted to show his love for his little brother and to make him feel at home. It was a beautiful moment and it is one that will always be in my head.
My boys have been such a blessing to me and I tear up sometimes just thinking of all the amazing ways they have changed my life. God has used them to show me how to love unconditionally, how to be myself without shame or worry about what others think, and how to be childlike and to see the world around me with wide, wondering eyes. Even though I have moments where I want to fork myself in the eye if they scream at each other one more time, I know that God chose me to be their mama. I am blessed beyond measure by these two little boys and I can't imagine life without them.
Tomorrow, Brendan will be four years old, but he'll still be my baby. He'll be going to preschool this year. He'll be heading into a whole new world of learning and of learning to be part of a group. I'm looking forward to watching him grow and blossom in this new realm. I am asking God for the strength to keep up and to follow His parenting advice. I know that God has Brendan's little heart in his hands and loves him even more than I do, though that seems impossible. God has given me the gift of two amazing sons, and I only hope that I can be a blessing to them in the same way they are to me.