The 2nd Birthday of Our 2nd Son

Two years ago today I woke up at 2am with a contraction. After confidently laboring at home for awhile we arrived at the birth center at 6am. Moses arrived after two (or was it 3?) pushes and was placed in my arms at 7:03am. A fast and furious labor, this boy has changed my life in more ways than one.
We call him passionate. Passionate in his joy and passionate in his grief. If he is upset, everyone in a 2 mile radius will know it (kidding, sort of). But his zest for life lights up the room and you can’t help but smile alongside him. Living up to his name, at age 2 he is already a great leader and encourages his older brother to follow after him. This usually results in both of them having more fun, albeit more dangerously than I prefer… We like to call him Mo, Mosey-bear, Mo-Mack, or Mo Mo.
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Self potty-trained before 23 months of age, this not-so-baby-of-mine is fiercely independent, but a great snuggler when he wants to be. Moses is very different from his brother in almost every way. They both have white hair and are named after prophets though, so there’s that. Two years have indeed flown by, and it’s been so fun, but also SO HARD.
It took me awhile to figure out how to have two kids as opposed to one, and it took me awhile to figure out that I don’t (and will never) know everything about parenting. This job on the day/night (parenthood) shift is no joke. Social media makes it look like all fun and games, sunshine and roses, cuddles and first words, but there are some incredibly frustrating moments where I am critical of myself and doubtful of my abilities to accomplish this difficult task. It took me awhile to learn how to extend grace to myself, and it took me awhile to forgive myself for things that were not my fault. Other people offer me grace all the time, why can’t I receive it from myself? I’ve learned a big lesson in this: the only person requiring perfection out of me is ME. My family doesn’t expect me to be perfect, and neither do my friends, and God definitely doesn’t require me to be perfect, He loves me in spite of all my failures.
But, this isn’t about me.
Happy Birthday to my dearest Moses. Birthing you made me aware of a strength I didn’t know I possessed, and parenting you has truly made me enjoy life more than I did before. It’s a blessing to be loved by you <3

Sunday Confessional

I confess that I skipped church today.  The first Sunday of every month is a time of breakfast, fellowship, and a guest speaker at Millbrook Church. I was slated to speak about our time in Haiti with my lovely wife.  This morning I went into Hosea’s room and he was covered in the early stages of chicken pox.  I picked my boy up and carried him into our room where his mom and little brother were already snuggling on the bed and the two boys immediately started to wrestle. I looked over at Abigail and told her that she would be the one speaking at church today.

Normally when we speak, I’m the one that does most of the talking but I was confident that Abigail would do an amazing job.  I told her to go because I know that she is an incredible communicator when she is confident in what she knows. I told her to go because it was her turn to get out of the house for a bit, and she hates missing church. I knew it would be so much harder if she took Moses with her so I asked her to leave him too, and the 3 of us had a boys day.

Today I skipped going to church, and instead I was the church to my boys. I put my sweet baby down for his morning sleep, and then I held my sick big boy while we watched How to Train your Dragon and put lotion on his itchy spots.

There are times as a parent, and as a minister of the gospel, when I am called to stay with my children and show Jesus to them. Today was a “stay home day” filled with wrestling and cuddling.

I confess that my heart is full and my body is tired. I love my family so much!

I’ve made my confession, now go make yours.

Sunday Confessional

I confess that I have been spending far too much time on my phone while we are at home.  I noticed it this last week, when I got upset at Hosea.  He was jumping on his brother and I had asked him to give Moses a little space.  Only instead of actually asking him I briefly looked up from the email I was reading and told him.  Then I told him again, and again, and when he still didn’t listen, I yelled at him.

Yelling always makes everything worse.  I felt terrible the moment after I yelled, and I apologized to him, but the reaction was still there.  Later that night after Hosea had gone to bed, I found myself thinking and praying about why I had snapped at him so easily.  I realized two things. For one, I hadn’t been engaging with him and he was aware of that.  He knew I wasn’t paying attention and he was just being a little boy with boundless enthusiasm. I had not been paying attention and was therefore missing out on spending quality time with my boy because I was reading an email, or scrolling Facebook or some other silly thing that could have waited.

I confess that I don’t want to be that kind of parent.  I don’t want to teach my boys that its okay to half-way engage in what you are doing because you’re playing on your phone.  I definitely don’t want to be the kind of parent that snaps at his boys.  I want my parenting to be marked with grace, and I want my every moment in life to be marked with that same grace.

I am so relieved that God gives me grace in all things, because it is a huge responsibility to be a parent who models Jesus.  I find I have to ask for forgiveness from God and from my boys much more often than I would like.  Praise God for grace.