Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tea for Two, and Two for Tea... Me for You, and You for Me

The book was getting REALLY good...... I estimated that I had about 40 pages left. Just about to the point where all the characters' story lines collided, and I got to see the loose ends tied up. The 3rd shift hubby was sleeping, the elephants were upstairs playing quietly.
Then I heard it.
 
"Mama?"
 
I looked up from the book. There stood Pink Elephant at the bottom of the stairs, hands full and eyes hopeful.
 
"Yes, baby?"
 
"Would you like to have a tea party with me?" she asked, brandishing Disney Princess dishes.
 
I hesitated.
 
"You know," she continued, " because we are both girls!"
 
How do you deny THAT cute statement?!
 
"Well......OKAY!"
 
The smile that lights up me heart lit up her face.
 
"OKAY!! I got the Belle plates, you know, because we both love Belle! Do you want the pink plate, or the purple plate?"
 
"Purple!! You set the table, Pink Elephant, and I'll get the tea made!"
Plastic and ceramic tea set odds and ends, one Keurig cycle and a decaf teabag, some sugar and almond milk, and we were all set.
 
British accents (on my part) birthday rehashing (on her part) and conversations about the weather abounded. Big brother wandered in, and then fetched another cup for himself. Sure, there's room for more elephants at the tea party. And of course what's a tea party without treats?! Diced GF brownies, cup after teaspoon-sized cup of sugary tea, smiles, laughs, and goofy voices with silly questions.
 
That book has yet to be finished.....I am aiming for the minute they are tucked in bed tonight to pick it up again. I'm so thankful I decided to put it down, and pursue what mattered.
 
This time, the chance wasn't lost, the opportunity didn't pass me by. The tea for two (and then three) happened. And you know what?
 It filled our cups; the plastic ones with tea, the heart-shaped ones with memories.
 
I love my elephants.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

5 Years of Joy

Blue Elephant was 10 1/2 months old, and I was exhausted. I don't mean "mother of a crawling baby" exhausted, I mean utterly going-to-fall-asleep-standing-upright exhausted. The day I fell asleep during his nap time and woke up 2 hours later to him crying vigorously, I knew I was in denial. It was time to take a pregnancy test.

I waited till first thing in the morning....because the tests always say that worked best. I distinctly remember walking out of the bathroom the day I found out I was pregnant with our Blue Elephant, crying. Back then, I was crying from joy.

The moment I dipped the stick, that thing lit up like a Christmas tree. Second time around was the same as the first; it was early morning, I was in the bathroom testing, it was positive, and I was crying. Only, sad to say, in that moment, there was no joy in my heart. Only terror.

Quick math....my children are one week under being 19 months apart. I get asked more often than not "Are they twins?" My gracious reply is now "No, but they are very close...18 months apart, and they sure do love each other!" It took a long time to see the good in having two babes that close together, though I know many, many people do so intentionally, some (saints) have multiples, and that babies are ALWAYS a blessing from the Lord.

But you see, I wasn't 'intending' for this to happen..... I knew He was, but my heart, my brain, my fears, and my pocketbook...oh my!

I distinctly remember with our first baby, coming to wake my husband and both of us being over the moon that I was expecting.

Second time around? I opened the bathroom door, literally tossed the test at him, sat on the bed crying, and said, "Well, I've got deja vu how about you?"

Poor Pink Elephant, it took me weeks to get used to the idea of another baby all over again. I wish I could say I enjoyed the queasy exhaustion of my 1st trimester, but alas, enthusiasm was lacking.
I smiled my way through our Thanksgiving announcement to family, even as we got a lot of quizzical looks. Were we kidding? Um...nope. Baby #2 was on the way.

Of course, it's been over 5 years since those days of "I don't think I can DO this!" and we found our footing. The first time Pink Elephant kicked me, I smiled; the ultrasound showed that pink was in our future, and we really WERE thrilled! Name picking, nursery d├ęcor, baby showers, hospital prep, through all of that, we were delighted. The day, the moment, she was born was so very fulfilling. A blessing from the One who really was in charge all along..the One who knew His plans and timing far better than this silly scared young mom ever could have. He knew that not too many months after PE joined us, I would be medically unable to bear more children. You see, if we had waited, if we had done the "family planning" on our own timeline, we wouldn't have our beautiful little girl.

What a void there would be in my heart...in my life, in my parenting, in my purpose as a woman, without this sweet one He sent to us. She was never a "surprise"...we knew we wanted more than one little elephant. We just like to say that Pink Elephant was a "year earlier than we planned". And my heart is SO VERY THANKFUL that she was!!!

 
Happy, happy birthday, sweet Pink Elephant. Thank you for five years of joy, laughter, and love. Looking forward to watching the woman you will become!! <3  


 
 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Blueberry Summer

 
 
We went back to our new favorite pick-your-own farm this morning. We were after blueberries and possibly blackberries. God was after so much more.
 


 
They give you these cool picking buckets that strap around your waist so you have both hands free to pick berries.

 
Hubby was interested in finding blackberries more than the blueberries, so he took Blue Elephant and headed over to the other patch. That left Pink Elephant and I to pick and talk while the men were gone.  
"I want to share the berries with the birds, Mama." 
 "Well, then leave the ones that aren't ready yet on the bush, and after we are gone and the berries are ripe, the birds will have those."
"Okay." 
 "Isn't it pretty out here, PE? All the bushes full of yummy berries for us to eat? It reminds me of the garden of Eden."
 " Yes, with Adam and Eve. And then the serpent came and tricked them, and God said they had to leave the Garden and--" Pink Elephant launched into the Bible story, with every single fact in place.
To tell the truth, I was a little surprised how much she had retained!
 I asked her what sin was; she told me. I asked her about Heaven, the cross, and Jesus' love. She answered all my questions. I asked her how she gets to Heaven.
 "Pray and ask forgiveness and ask Jesus to live with me in my heart." 
 " That's right, baby girl. Have you prayed like that before?"
 "No."
  "Would you like to pray about that?"
 "Yes."
 "Would you like to pray here, right now?"
 "Yes!"
 "Okay, you go ahead, Mama will listen." 
 That little Elephant sat down her blueberry basket, clasped her hands under her chin and prayed. "Dear God, I'm sorry for disobeying and for sin. Will you forgive me? I want Jesus to be in me. Amen." 
 Hugs. Tears on my part, and THIS, this beautiful smile from my Pink Elephant.

When I asked her how she felt now, she said "Really, really GOOD!"
I pulled out my cell phone, called Daddy, and he didn't pick up. I went back to crying, (quietly!) but Pink Elephant wasn't done praying!
 "Mama, I want to pray and thank God for all the pretty bushes!"
 "Okay, honey, you go right ahead!"
 I could listen to the prayers of that new creation all day long!!
 "God, thank You for the bushes and the berries and all the yummy fruits and foods You give us. Amen." 
 Thank You, indeed, Father, for the fruit of Your Spirit welling up inside of my beloved Pink Elephant this morning. We were after blueberries and blackberries....You were after So. Much. More. Daddy Elephant called me back. I handed the phone to PE and said "Tell Daddy what just happened, girl!"
"Daddy, I'm a Christian!"
I could hear excited exclaiming from the phone.
I talked to my husband. We both cried! He and BE headed back from the blackberry patch, and Pink Elephant ran to meet him down the row of bushes. My husband grabbed my baby girl in his arms. I'm telling you, my heart was fuller in that moment than it was the day he held her when she was born to this earth. Now our Little Love has been born for Heaven! We got back to the business of picking after awhile, and I guess the excitement put me into hyper-drive. We picked about 10lbs of berries, and I'm pretty sure 8 of those were my doing!
 
 

More pictures of my cuties.

 Taking home our haul.

Ever wonder what happened to poor Daddy Elephant's quest for some blackberries?
They weren't *quite* ready, yet. We are planning on going back to pick again next week. The bit he did manage to pick? Well, somebody turned that into a blackberry cobbler. 

 
Which Daddy Elephant took to work for dinner tonight. Yes, all of it!! ;)