I want to be like my four year old daughter

Doesn’t it seem like we see it all on Halloween?  Super Mario Brother’s family? A dog dressed up like a latte?  Tony Stark and Pepper Potts?  (These are some of my personal faves from real life)

With the addition of the internet I don’t think many awesome costumes pass without our knowing about it.

But the most amazing part of my Halloween?  Watching my four year old pass out candy to other trick or treaters for the the first time in her life.

There are things about your children that are innate and have little to do with in-house parenting strategy.  They’re all nature and not much nuture.

Noelle’s encouraging spirit is one of those.  Can I be honest here?  I’m not the most encouraging person you’ll ever meet.  Although I’m working on all of this, my standards are too high and I’m an ENTP, who always sees room for improvement.

Then God gave me a tender, beautiful daughter from whom love and encouragement flows endlessly.

Halloween Noers

Last night when the first round of trick or treaters came to the door she held the candy cauldron with delight.

“Here guys, have some candy!  Great princess costume!  Good trick or treating guys!  Good job!  Thanks for coming!”

The phrase: “great trick or treating guys” undid me and I laughed as instant tears welled up in my eyes.  I had nothing to do with parenting that, that’s a piece of thread woven by a God who creates masterpieces when he makes people.

It was one of those moments where you see something on the face of the broken earth that rings so loudly of heaven it nearly brings you to your knees.

So pure and beautiful you don’t dare touch it because you’re sure you’ll screw it up.

As the evening went on she started to refer to the trick or treaters as customers and when some came while she was in the bath she wailed: “Mom, there’s customers and I’m naked! Dry me off and get my PJs, quick!”

Her face was a perpetual grin. She even complimented the people passing out candy on how well they did it. “You’re a great candy hander outer!  Thanks!”

There is no costume on earth that could have awed me as much as her spirit did on Halloween.

It amazed me and scared me to my core.  It caused me to sing God’s praises and beg for his help all in the same breathe because I don’t want to be the one who infects her heart with cynicism.

I don’t want to be one of the reasons she stops loving so purely.

When we see something of heaven down here on earth, we can react a myriad of different ways.

We can write it off, too busy to fit it’s wonder in our busy schedules.
We can take a picture or memento to try and remind ourselves of what was and could be someday.
As for me?  I am going to hit my knees and pray for the wisdom to nurture the beauty entrusted to me, a tongue that flows words like water, less muddied as the years go on.

Pray for a spirit that looks a little bit more like my daughter’s, so: “Great blog reading guys, thanks for coming!”

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Stop Counting Beavers

My four year old Noelle has no interest in drawing pictures or coloring inside the lines.  When presented with a blank piece of paper, she takes a few crayons to it, hastily draws a circle or a blob, and moves on.

I’ve googled this issue repeatedly spent a lot of time sweating it.

I know coloring inside the lines is overrated, but I just need to to know that she’s able to do it… if she wants to.

I have mini panic attacks when I see the art of my friends’ preschoolers online, they’re drawing people!  With faces and recognizable limbs!

I regularly freak out over this as though this is huge benchmark in Noelle’s future life success.


But this past Sunday afternoon, during a rainy-day painting session, she painted a beaver!  With a pond!  And a tree!

All the !!!!!!!

Real understandable things, on paper!  

And the mother rejoiced!  There was much celebration and high-fivery and fist-bumpery.  

Because finally, we arrived!  We were going to be okay!  We had beavers!

Wait a second.  Where were we yesterday?  Were we any less awesome in out pre-beaver existence?

Am I really going to be the kind of mom who only believes in her kids when they’re hitting the pre-prescribed benchmarks?

Ewww.  No. What?  Continue reading