Monday, March 28, 2011

In reverse

I'm not much of one for interpreting dreams, writing them down, and pondering what they might mean. Certainly the Lord can speak to us through dreams, but, well, I tend to leave that alone.

When I was in high school and college - and sometimes even now - I had a recurring dream where I was running - usually in a cross country race - but I could not get ANYWHERE. My legs were going, but it was like being on a treadmill and I couldn't gain any ground. Sometimes I was being chased, but usually I was just in a race and becoming more and more frustrated that I couldn't GO. I usually ended up running backwards. Weird.

Occasionally I have a dream where I'm desperately trying to dial a number, and I keep getting the last digit wrong, and have to start all over again. It's intensely frustrating, and I actually lived it out yesterday at work when I was trying to call someone and kept hitting the wrong last digit. Kinda freaked me out.

But recently I have a new dream that keeps showing up: I'm driving by myself in a car. Levi's in his car seat, and he's younger - like 1 month old. But my car's in reverse. And in my dream that seems totally okay - like I'm doing nothing to change the fact that it's in reverse - but I'm truly trying to drive down a reverse. And no one else is going in reverse, and in fact, I'm going uphill and these huge semis are pouring over the hill right at me, and I'm fully turned around trying to tend to Levi, while trying to steer backwards. Mind you, I'm not really panicked or frantic, I'm just trying to steer and protect my son...all while going in reverse.

It just occurred to me that in my running dream, I always ended up running backwards. Huh.

Anyway, I was up quite a bit with little Levi last night. He usually sleeps well at night, often waking once and needing a quick paci-plug before going right back to sleep (I know, we'll have to break that habit at some point, but one thing at a time...). No idea why, but he woke up about three times before I finally gave in and fed him, and even then he stayed up gabbing away to himself in his crib for at least a half hour before he fell back to sleep. It was probably about 3 before he really called it a night. Aye. Truly, he hasn't partied like that since like his first week home. Not sure why he resurrected the idea.

I try to enjoy those moments with him, rocking and feeding him in the dark. Because I know I'll put him back down, kiss him goodnight (again), head up to my own bed, and when I open my eyes again he'll be grown.

So I was rocking him and thinking about my recent recurring dream. And whether or not it really "means" something, it seemed as clear as day that parenting Levi the way we intend to parent him will be much - MUCH - like driving down the highway in reverse.

I've heard people say they would never want to raise their kids in this generation. To be sure, it'll be a challenge. Raising a godly young man in a me-focused culture will be a challenge. We don't seek to hide him from the big, bad world...but we do want to teach him discernment, wisdom, and discretion before he's exposed to some of it.

Levi was one of 7 boys born at our church this past year. My friend's mother remarked (my friend had one of those boys), "God must be raising an army of godly young men." Wow. No matter how you see that remark, the responsibility to raise a young man full of integrity who will demonstrate servant leadership is humbling and staggering. I'm honored to be up to the challenge, but it makes me tremble with awe...and perhaps a bit of trepidation.

How do we teach Levi to view women in a way that a man should view them...rather than just in the way a male would view them? There's an incredible difference.

How do we raise him to think about things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy, in a society that scoffs at truth, elevates lewdness and is lost on what really is lovely, and sets us adrift in low expectations?

What about raising a son who quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger? When everyone around him will tell him to stand up for his rights, be heard, speak his mind? What's it like to instill that a fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion in a culture like ours, where we clamor to be heard, heard, heard but rarely listen and consider our words?

I want Levi's hands to be held out in service, but he will be told that it's his turn to be served, to receive what he deserves, to take what he wants...because he needs to look out for himself.

No, no son. The Lord is your shepherd, you shall not want. He will be your Provider, Defender, and Keeper.

Is it possible to teach self-control in a decadent world that celebrates self-indulgence?

Yes, that highway is long and wide. And we are charged to show him the path that is narrow. Our little car is in reverse, and truckloads of lies that are wildly opposed to Christlike values are heading our way full speed ahead. Buckle in, kiddo, it'll be quite a ride.

But it's my job to show you the narrow road. The tougher road. Many will scoff at you for taking that road. And the cost of that road is high.

God gave Levi to us to parent. My daily prayer is that He will make me a student of my son's heart. Our hand is at the plow of his heart for only so long. I know that we will be criticized for being too strict, too vigilant, to sheltering, too-too-too...but that's the cost we're willing to pay to parent this child in the way we feel led. We'll make grand mistakes for sure.

My hope is not for Levi to be successful...though I would love to see him succeed.

It is not for him to be happy...though I want to throw myself in front of any train that could crush him.

It is that he takes after his Father...the One who knew his heart even before mine was beating.

And if it seems like we are pedaling backwards in a culture that is quickly moving in the opposite direction, then that's what we'll do.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I know this falls in the WTMI category, but I have to share.

Five days. Five days without anything escaping from the rear hatch, if you know what I mean.

He's gone maybe two days, but once day three and day four crept up, I wondered what was up (down? anywhere?). There was only breastmilk in there...and peas...and squash...hmmmm...

I wasn't worried. He was happy. Good appetite, soft tummy, all the things that should have indicated all things were go - except that there was just no go.

So I dug in the auxiliary stash and found the prunes. He loved 'em. Like pureed sticks of dynamite, down the hatch they went.

I waited...

....and waited......

.....and waited.........................


All day!! I kept getting emails from Matt asking, "Ka-blam yet???" No, no ka-blam yet.

See, when I hear a baby ka-blam, my stomach just feels better by proxy. I knew Levi didn't need to feel better. I did.

Hauled out the prunes again, much to his delight. Shoveled them in like they were going outta style.

Dinnertime, sitting in his little seat-thingy. He grunted, turned red. Matt and I looked at each other. But no ka-blam. C'mon kid. Grunt. *silence* Seriously.

Sigh. Oh well. We tried. It'll come when it comes. Well, we'll try a few more tricks up our sleeve. Let's play airplane!!!! Rolling Levi on the bed, this way and that, pulling up his legs, Matt's playing fighter-jet-artillary-boy-stuff with Levi's feet up in the air...Levi's having a grand old time...

....but still no ka-blam.

Time for a bath, then, let's wrap this show up. Clearly it'll happen when it happens and we shan't worry.

Pull off his little pants....

....the onesie......

......a finger check of the diaper, quick peek into the dark cavern of that scary place where only mothers dare to tread........

......................................ohhhhhhhhh nooooooooooo.................................


Those quiet, surreptitious grunts at the dinner table?

Beneath them slipped a monumental, horrifying mess of biblical proportions.

And then we made him play "airplane" in it!!!

Five days!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Change is Afoot

So I went back to work about 2 months ago now... was the hardest thing I've ever done. I told Matt that it broke my heart nearly as much as losing our Glory Baby, maybe even more.

But it didn't take long to get back into the swing of things. We had great daycare worked out, I had my new schedule all worked out, and our next phase of "new normal" was about to implemented.

Well, it's a fairly long story, but I'll just sum it up by saying that the Lord had a lot to teach us in a small amount of time. It's been a little rough. Good, always good, but rough. Matt and I have had some decisions to make, some priorities to rearrange, and yes, some arguments to hash out.

Some questions to ask:

Where does our treasure lie??

What is God's plan for our family?

Do we trust in the Lord, or do we trust in our money?

Do we trust Him to give us exactly what we need - our daily bread - no more and certainly no less?

As always, the Lord is kind enough to bring us back to the same answer: He is our sole sufficiency. He is enough. He is our Provider.

I'm not quitting my job outright...I'm dropping down to one day a week, and the way my weekend schedule works out, that means that I'll work my weekend every three weeks and the Saturday of my weekend will be my one day for the first week, Sunday will be my one day for the second week, and I'll work one weekday on the third week. And then repeat the following weekend. So essentially, Levi will be with a sitter one day every three weeks, which will be at the house of one of my besties. I love my job. But things have changed.

So, I guess I'll be a stay-at-home mom who wears scrubs occasionally. And I really like that.

I think he will too!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

*Ahhhh*....(record scratch)

Look!!! Levi's dinner matches the wall!!

Ahhhh....I sat down blissfully with a bowl of popcorn to enjoy a quiet few precious moments to finally blog. Nothing like a baby sleeping blissfully in his car seat after running errands.

Annnnnd...cut. Nap aborted. *sigh* Maybe later!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Worst. Blogger. EVER!

So I'm a total bloser. (That's street talk for "blogging loser.") I truly long to sit down and write and write and write. You'd think I could just "write while the baby sleeps." Yeah, that's as laughable as "sleep when the baby sleeps" (who SAYS that anyway??!! and does it really WORK for anyone?).

Anyway, first, I went to work. Then Levi got sick. Then Matt got sick. Then I got sick. And Levi got sick. Then I got sick. Levi stayed sick. That pretty much sums up the past six weeks! The bulk of our electricity goes to running a humidifier (Levi's room is like a tropical oasis), it smells like Vicks VapoRub, the little bulb booger-sucker-thingy is begging for a break...aye!!! 'Tis the season!

So that's why you haven't heard much from me!!! Someday, someday it'll change and I'll be able to write!

In the meantime, though, this little guy is a crackup and changing like ca-RAZY. Check 'im out:

This is his favorite place to hang out - his play mat. That's why you see so many pics of him on it!

Not exactly what I had in mind when I put out the quilt and toys for tummy time.
Molly's like, "What? I'm *on* my tummy."

Aunt Renee. :)

I busted out the exersaucer a couple weeks ago. You should see this kiddo's dance moves!!

Starting to purposefully grab at his toys...

I bought him a high-chair thingy that you strap to your chair so he can join us for dinner. He's quite social that way - loves to just sit at the table with us, this little fuzzy bobbing head.

I really wish I could well describe what a hoot he is!! You know how some babies are just sweet, chubby little babies who, I don't know, are just babies?? And then there are the "little old man" variety, who look like they already understand you, watch you intently, and almost make you feel disconcerted because maybe, just maybe, they DO know what you're thinking and saying? That's Levi. He's very social, is quite a talker, makes very direct eye contact...I'm not saying, "Oh, my kid's a genius" or anything. He's just funny. Way more of a personality than I even realized a four-month-old could be!!

Right now, he and Matt are having a very intense vowel-oriented conversation. :)

Well, I better get ready for work. Got a nice surprise bonus day with my family, and I'm surprisingly okay with that. More soon!! (I hope!!)