Sunday, November 10, 2013

noah's preschool

he's leading noah to glory. and it looks different than the people on his right and left (or on the other side of the world).

this will probably be a forever kind of lesson for me. for his life and for mine.

i spiraled into somewhat of a pity party the first week of noah's school. i just saw what was right in front of me and it was a little rough, a bit bumpy. but then through His word, His voice, and His people (and your prayers), i was pushed to trust. to BELIEVE. that even if noah understands no one, God still speaks! what a beautiful picture of Noah understanding NO THING but God's voice directly in His ears all day at that little preschool. 

you know, i just really do believe that.

so i present to you our monday/wednesday/friday routine. 
he's been going to school now for a little over 2 months.

we start out on our elevator, of course, as we head to my friend's car.

as we wait on carpool. i love this picture because it reminds me of what i thought i wanted: smocked clothes (i still love those things!), a hardee's biscuit on the way to school, and mother's day out. instead i get a mismatched child who actually refused my mashed potatoes last night because he only likes white rice. he loosens me up. 

in my friend's car, about a 6 minute drive. this is noah's best asian friend. he calls him "didi" which means little brother. God's gift to him and to me.

when noah walks out the door, this is addie's typical disposition.

as i wait on the gates to open. yeah so who knew the school pick up line would look so... car-less? lots of grandmothers walk their kids on their backs. some drive. others scoot on their scooters.

picking up noah from school at 12:00. he waits in a little bed, where all his friends take naps because they stay from 8:30-5:30ish.

our way home looks different every day. sometimes a scooter. sometimes a car. we just never know.

we get home in time to eat lunch. sometimes in "sunny block" 
(a place that has lots of restaurants) or at our apartment.

a friend of mine told me that it's completely insane to think that the Lord would have us move all the way over here and not take care of us and our kids better than we can take care of ourselves. he reminded me that He's way too good of a dad to do that.

he's right. and in this time i've seen  good fruit in noah's life through this little school. his crazy, extremely strong willed spirit has softened. he actually hugs me now and tells me he loves me weekly. i really do know that it's because we have walked forward in a YES that's a little uncomfortable.

but He's invading my everything and replacing this hole of fear in my life with faith.

Monday, September 2, 2013

first day of school.

**although it's what i would have written and wanted for Noah's life and mine, this isn't a cute story about preschool with fun pinterest-y picture ideas of the first day**

[I heard the words this morning… that the cross may just come before the crown on this one. I’d have no idea how much I needed a word from him yesterday to truly get through today. He gave it to me. I received it. And I walked forward.]

Scott, Noah, and I drove our Asian van to the school gate. Noah and I walked out together to his class. We heard sad screams from every direction once we entered the school.  These Asian kids are used to being with their folks. Every day. They’re accompanied for nap time and night time. They’re hardly ever alone. Today marks the first day for most that they’d be dropped off with people outside of the family. They go from 9-6 every day. Starting the first day. (Noah only goes 3 times a wk from morning until lunch).

I could feel Noah’s tight grip on my shirt as we entered the building. He was sensing that this wasn’t exactly the school that he had imagined in his head. This particular day was very rainy. Not a hard rain, just a constant. As we approached the classroom, I found many parents standing and sitting around the room with the kids. 30 kids to be exact. There were 3 teachers. The main teacher had a microphone earpiece that had a long chord, attaching to a hand-sized speaker. She used it constantly, begging the parents to please leave the kids so they’d stop crying. She lifted the speaker high in the air to the crowd and up to my face when we talked. It was bizarre.

 Some listened, others stubbornly stood by. I think I was just in shock.

I showed Noah his cubby, the bathroom, and many tables that had centerpieces of tubs overflowing with toys. He wasn’t interested. He kept holding my face asking me to please not leave him there. From this point on he was just begging me not to leave him there. He said all he wants to do is stand in the rain. I just decided that I couldn’t take it anymore and that maybe I should try to leave him. So with that, I gave him a hug and walked away. His scream was so loud that everyone stopped and stared. I started asking people to stop looking at us and I held Noah. We headed for the door to avoid any further attention. As the teacher was shoving me out of the door, she told me that it would be best to go home and not return with Noah that day. Once my feet were out of the door, she slammed and locked it. I was astonished. “What in the world? Where do I live? Is this really happening?”

Kids’ hands were clawing the door from the inside as the parents were toppling over each other on the outside of the door, yelling through the circled windows carved into the top of the wooden door.

I walked along that wall, down the hallway next to his classroom, praying with Noah that God would do a miracle and allow Noah to let me go so he could attend school today. About that time, my friend (Yang Zhou) and her son (didi) walk up. Noah was so relieved. Now he had a familiar friend. My friend gets the teacher to open the door so I squeeze by with Noah. All Noah wants is to be beside his friend all of the time. I make a quick decision to say bye to Noah and leave while he’s calm with his little friend. I quickly ran out of the room. Then as I was in line at the front of the school, my friend’s husband comes up to me saying that Noah has stopped crying. It was indeed a miracle.

I went home and waited.

A couple of hours passed and I came back to the school to pick up Noah. I knocked and knocked on that door. Finally the guard came. He said to bang on the door until someone answered. (Don’t tell Scott, but…) I banged hard my iphone frantically on that door until I heard the lock twisting. There were so many cries that I couldn’t even tell if noah’s was in there. She opened the door. I found Noah wandering. The teacher told me that he cried the entire time and didn’t eat lunch. I didn’t even care. I was just glad to see him and assure him that I did just as I said I would. I came back for him.

The whole car ride back Noah explained to me how he cried the entire time. That he even cried my name out of the window but the teacher shut it. That he cried and then so did didi. That they offered him food and he said bu yao (don’t want). And also kicked a girl. I explained to him that everything is okay and that he should treat people well. He assured me that next time he would try not to cry so that it would keep his friend from doing the same.

I’d say the only thing that got me through this day was a reminder. This is not about my comfort or my son’s comfort. It’s about God’s glory. My son is the only little boy in that class with the knowledge of the one true God. As we have taught him to pray to the only Comforter who can help him and meet him exactly where he is, he knows that’s how he helps others. To intercede. My hope is that his little life as the first foreigner at this school will spread God’s glory throughout. That somehow, God would use this 3 year old to make way for the glory of the Lord.

Oh how I want kingdom eyes to wait and expect and see glory spread.

I wore this necklace that shouts reckless abandon today. It was purposeful. I received it in the mail yesterday and I knew it was for today. Him reminding me to not let anything get in the way of the object of my devotion, not even the normalcy of what life of a preschooler “should be” or what I think is “fair” for what my life should look like.

God reminds me today that I’m not the author of any life. 
Not even my own. 

He holds the pen. 
He grips tight and impresses on my heart His ways that are higher than mine.

So here I am this afternoon. Gaining
For what can I lose? 

He’s making His name bigger in me as I become looser with each grip of control and bolder with each YES in Jesus.

Monday, June 17, 2013

staying put

sometimes i walk around this place i wonder how i even got here.
[pictures taken on my walk this morning.]

for all my little life, all i've ever known for summers is alabama.

it's my normal.

i'm starting to see a pattern lately in my relationship with the lord... how he loves to shake things up. 

i think it's so that i can see the stuff that still stands. 
you know, when all the fluffies are gone.

i want for my house to be found on that rock in matthew 7. that after i have a summer away from my usual spot, the winds could blow and the rains could come. 

they could come and sweep away all my comforts so that i could really see and know 
the rock that upholds me.

so here we are. staying put (away from alabama) for the summer.

with my cute kids [most days].

and my sweet, happy husband [i swear, it's every day].

Monday, March 18, 2013

catch up

i could fill this little blog with a bajillion [i've always thought this was a word until the squiggly red line just proved it otherwise] pictures of the past month or so. i could tell you the places we've traveled and who has come to visit us.

or i can just share something my wise little sister scribbled on a piece of paper before she boarded the plane a couple of days ago.

she writes... "i heard someone once say that when we are in our flesh, we go from struggle to struggle, from misery to misery, from mishap to mishap. 
but only when we look to Jesus can we go from glory to glory."

and that... that sums up my past month more than anything else i could ever think up. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

what do i need?

i would love to say that this first week of a beach-y place (thailand) has been great.

[this pic is for you, mimi. reminds me of your bracelets we always played with!]

but it hasn't.

my insecurities are heightened (motherhood) and my sleep is lacking.

we're in a little hotel room. no big deal. it really isn't.

[in the hallway, waiting on the kids to fall asleep.]

noah's in childcare and hates it. also not a big deal.  it's just the way i'm handling it all. it's the opposite of graceful.

i told my mom that i need a vacation away from myself. and that all i do is fail and fail and fail.

she said "ummm. that's the point, you can't do it."

there's a thought.

she ended the conversation with an "i love you and you are NOT a perfect mom and NOBODY is and that's why we need a savior."

i've been asking God why this week is so hard for me. maybe i just need to realize some things. 

i'll start with my NEED
at first i thought it was need for quiet time and space.
no, maybe it's sunshine.
never mind how about reading a good book.
or maybe 2 hotel rooms.
western food?
how about chats with other moms.

i had it all wrong. i need a savior. 

sounds cheesy, but it's never been more real to me.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

last month

there may not have been many traditions [anyone else overwhelmed with the list of "50 new traditions to start with your family!" out there?] or family visits or christmas light sight seeing, but there were special times had with good people.

i'll start you off with a little tummy time:

[sweet angel baby is 4 months old]

followed by some forced photos:

[i swore i'd never do this ridiculous bow thing, but there it is]

[my new mama friend's son, jack. which is addie joy's new friend. love this newness.]

then there was some spend the night company:

[a friend whose roommate was out of town, so she stayed with us]

[sam gave noah this little shirt and bear for christmas]

followed by christmas day: looks a little different on this side of the world. took some getting used to, but now i feel like maybe it's the way it should be... welcoming folks in rather than pushing them out. again, i'm getting used to it. i'm definitely not some angel that bakes for hours and stands at our door welcoming people in with a permanent smile on my face.

come to think of it, i never did like that kind anyway.

i'll leave you with a little cleaning from our oldest, most rambunctious child:

so there's our december.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


let me tell you about yang zhou (pronounced yong joe)

she's a wonderful woman. we live in the same apartment complex. she was nice enough to say "hi" to me last year. i think it started then, when she opened her heart and home to our family. i wondered how we would ever know each other beyond:

how are you. 
what did you do today.

[at this point yang zhou told noah that he doesn't really have to get that 
close to his face for him to understand something]

now she sends me a text letting me know she'll be here soon and brings baked goodness (today it was cinnamon rolls. but minus the cinnamon. and plus black beans instead?) from her mom. we talk about this and that. i nod my head pretty much the whole time she speaks [chinese] to me. i'm sure that's probably why she's still doing that. oh, if she only knew how little i understand.

[didi, a month younger than noah]

before she left my apartment today, she said "hey, tuesdays i don't work in the morning..." she said a few sentences after that but the only part i really cared about was the first.

because i knew what it meant.

i know i can expect a knock on our door these tuesday mornings with a didi ["little brother"] bursting through the door straight for noah's toys. there'll be cries and laughs and hits and total misunderstandings [neither knows what-in-the-world the other is saying].

best of all, there'll be company.

[noah and adelaide introducing didi to "ariel", noah's mermaid love.]

it'll be our tuesdays.