my valentine ebenezers

So it’s Valentine’s Week. And here are my ebenezers…a repost from a blog entry last year.

For 2 Valentine’s Days, these gentlemen gave me flowers:

This morning I woke up thinking about these children, how much they mean to me, and how much I miss them. I cried and watched videos of them before church. I miss…

Cooking and talking with this one.
One on one time with Mac.
This one’s grins and heart full of love.
Discovering things that Yates LOVES. I miss getting to love hearing his laugh.
I miss Mimi’s desire to always be held.
I miss silly lunch dates with Grey and the conversations that we would get to have.
I miss late afternoon snacks and playtime.
I miss seeing some of the funny things they did for the first time…like deciding to sit down in a line to eat a snack together instead of running around.
I miss this one’s curiosity and opinions.
I miss having the attention of all 4 at once….(almost).
I miss dates to the park.
I miss pushing this….
….and having this view. And knowing I could handle all that this picture entails.

I think the hardest thing for me about being a nanny was/is that I loved those children so much, and at the end of the day, I had to leave. I miss walking in every morning to grumpy children waking up and screams of “KK!” from the kitchen while they ate their breakfast. I miss hugs that almost knocked me over. I miss struggling to dress flailing arms and kicking legs every morning (and sometimes several other times each day), and taking them for walks, and playing outside, and working through temper tantrums, and getting shoes on and off of 10 feet, giving 50 kisses out each day, dance parties, making pumpkin play-dough with Grey, talking with Libby, walking to Honey’s house, swimming with 5 under 4, bath time, going to parks, telling them how much I love them, telling them Jesus loves them so much more. I miss praying for bumped elbows and scraped knees and begging God for patience. I miss praying with the babies before lunch sometimes and covering my face with my hands and begging God to show us his faithfulness and to give us patience and grace and help us make it to nap time. I miss going into their rooms when they woke up from their naps and seeing them standing at the part of their crib that was closest to the door and staring at the door and then grinning so big when they saw my face. I miss that a lot. I miss their mom. I miss how Libby was always kind to me. I miss seeing how much she loved me and loved her children and loved the Lord. I miss the way she made their home beautiful. I miss her dedication. I miss seeing the way McLean loved his family, seeing how much he adored his wife and how Grey was so excited every time he came home from work, and I miss how the babies would stand at the window or gate and wave good-bye as he went to work. I miss my friends.

So sometimes I buy flowers.

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ebenezer sundays

Today, someone GAVE me an Ikea bed. In the words of my roommate, “I mean, you had a bed, but it was really more of a cot. Now you have a bed!” Before, with my cot, it was very hard to lie in bed and read or type because I did not have a headboard to prop my pillow against. Also, with my cot, it was very low to the ground and not cozy. If I scooted around in the middle of the night, the cot rolled a little bit. I had a regular mattress on said cot, a really nice mattress in fact, but the frame was still cot-like. And now I have a BED FRAME. A real, live, white, beautiful, wooden bed frame with a headboard and a footboard and side rails. And I got it for free.

This is an ebenezer. I just read this prayer of Henri Nouwen’s:

“Dear God,
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen

My new bed, and the fact that God gave it to me, symbolizes a lot for me. For one, I have trouble resting. I get exhausted, but sometimes I have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. For years I feared that sleep would one day be a problem for me because I watched others suffer from insomnia, and now it is. For years I have put so much stock in GOING AND GOING AND GOING and not letting myself take naps or sleep in because I thought I “should” do more, “should” get up and not be lazy. Lazy? Seriously? Since when is it lazy to enjoy the gift of sleep and rest that God has given? So in God giving me this bed, I see him affirming that it is good for me to rest, that HE values my sleep.

I also have been a little restless, a little unsure of where I am going, what I need to do next. For all of your life until your 20s, you have definite yearly goals: get through kindergarten, get through 4th grade, get through high school, apply to college, get a degree, get a job. Go to graduate school, get a job. But then what? You try to settle in to your little niche. Some settle down in marriage, or with kids. Some settle down in a great job with the potential for upward mobility. I am a nanny. I get raises, and the children grow, but there is some question of how long I will do this. And then what? What happens when this family doesn’t need a nanny anymore? Do I nanny for another family? Do I use my education degree and license and go teach? Do I go back to school? (I should state here that I do not like school.)

I’ve been wanting to buy a house, but don’t have the money for a down payment, and it’s a little bit daunting to buy a house by myself. I LONG to be settling in to life in St. Louis. And so today, my bed is also a gift of stability from the Lord. I may not own a house, but I own a very sturdy bed.

“Here I raise my ebenezer, hither by Thy help I’ve come.” -come thou fount

KK's bed