Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Brave.

Tee hopped in the car yesterday afternoon a little down in the mouth.  It's taken me years to figure out that saying means frowning.  I'm not exactly quick on the up-take.

Some friends had been giving him a hard time and he was upset.  When I asked what his friends had been saying, he said they had made fun of him because he wouldn't ride a roller coaster.

"Mama, they said I was a chicken."

I thought about my boy, about the fact he doesn't ride roller-coasters, is not a fan of heights, and can shed a tear or 75 when he gets knocked around on the football field, baseball field, or a good ol' fashioned Monopoly game.

Then I thought of what really makes him brave.

"Tee, you are surrounded constantly by kids who've grown up a lot differently than you.  They don't look like you, talk like you, or even play the way you do and you handle it great.  You have a kid living in your house right now, sharing your room, your clothes, your Wii, your Mom and Dad, and even once gave your brother a black eye but you've seen what his home was like and extended an incredible amount of grace and mercy to him.  Even if he's not loving you back.  Even if he might steal from your piggy bank.  Again.  You're loving on his little brothers not because you especially love babies but you understand they are your neighbors and God tells us to love them.  You, son, are brave.  You're brave in the big things, the things that matter, the things that are hard and build a lifetime of character."

Lots of people ask about how my kids handle living where we live, dealing with what we deal with on a daily basis. 

I think they are amazing, gracious, funny, and sometimes fearless.

Olivia was with me when we got the call about the kids last Thursday.  She'd had a fever virus but NOT THE SWINE FLU, DEFINITELY NOT THE SWINE FLU - and we had just finished lunch.  We drove over to the apartment which was surrounded by police cars and a fire truck.  The police had kicked the door in, retrieved the children and had their mother in handcuffs.  The kids were sitting in the back of a police car and obviously scared.  I told Olivia to go sit in the car with them and talk with them which she did happily.  She told jokes, talked about our dog, and Slurpees, and Wii Sports.  She was a little ray of sunshine for them that day and kept telling them she hoped they could come live with us.

After the drama had quieted, I pulled her aside to talk with her and thank her for being amazing.

"Baby, you saw a lot of stuff today, are you ok?  Do you have any questions for me or anything you want to talk about."

"No, Momma but you have food in your teeth.  There.  And there."

Our kids are are learning to put on the full armor of God daily and to do it with joy.  They are learning that life isn't pretty or perfect and can be full of heartache.  But they're seeing the Lord provide for them, use their individual giftings for His glory, and that His strength is made perfect in weakness.

And they are brave, roller coasters or not.

24 comments:

Grace said...

So blessed by your post today. Can you believe that like 10 days ago your blog entry was "big bunch of not so much goin on?"

Henley on the Horn said...

Of course I cried again. Sweet post. Wish I could meet you when we come to Dallas next weekend! You are my heroine!!

hannahgarippa said...

They are BRAVE, SWEET, and AMAZING and they bless me.

Yesterday in the midst of all the craziness...I mean blessed hupla at your house, Olivia was loving on Jameer and Graham came up and gave her the sweetest kiss on the cheek. It was so precious, so loving.

Zan said...

Well said.

emily said...

I distinctly remember being at Six Flags with Tee's daddy and he also didn't love the roller coaster so much- he now would happibly jump out of a plane or the highest bungee jumping contraption on the planet! Those kiddos will be shaking in their boots one day when Tee invites them on some new adventure.

This is a beautiful post- your kids are handling this so well and the Lord is teaching them much about mercy ministry.

Joyce said...

This was so well said. We've never met but the sweetness of your family just shines thru here.

ps. I hate roller coasters too.

Kari said...

Perfect post today!! Check out my crazy fun contest Brave Hearted Chicks... I know you have a few fans:)
I adore your sis & hope someday to hang out with both of you... what a day!!
Kari
www.mycrazyadoption.org

The Niemeyer Nest said...

You made me teary! You are awesome at building your kids up for this world that we live in! I hope that I will be able to be able to a mom similar to you when my Evie faces the hard parts of life.

Holli said...

tears.
brave. yes very brave indeed!

Jen said...

Very few kids could show the grace as your kids do! Very brave!

They must have some great examples of seeing their parents live it out daily. ;)

Abby said...

What a sweet, sweet post. So true, and so precious.

jody said...

Just wanted to thank you as a simple blog follower for opening our eyes, inspiring and challenging our own family.
"It is not in the calm of life that characters are formed. Great necessities call out great virtues." (abigal adams in a letter to her own son as she sent him to the front lines as well). You do this better than anyone I've encountered...
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What your children have is what is important to the LORD and they are a blessing and witness not only to their "hood" but to all their friends and family that see their witness at such a young age. BTW tell Tee Keegan and Preston don't like roller coasters either, but they love people!!

Tracie

Sheryl said...

your children amaze me...guess it's because they are being raised by amazing parents. parents who obviously love their GOD with everything they have.

i cracked up OUT LOUD two times. you taught me what "down in the mouth" means. (that means i am even slower than you). died laughing that after all that was going on all she could point out was the food in your teeth!!

thanks again, for sharing your lives with the rest of us.

Andrea said...

Instead of indignantly getting on the case of the name-caller (or his/her mom), you point out the true nature of Christian bravery and teach so much more to your son than achieving "fairness" in this world. Thanks for your authenticity and priceless parenting lessons.

Sue said...

I always feel so inspired after a visit to your blog. Your kids are brave and they are going to be all the richer for the experiences they are taking part in within your ministry. God bless them and you!

Jill said...

You'd think I had enough of my own life here in Fl, with four kids in my house daily, when only two belong to me....dance, ballet, school...etc..but I LOVE living in Dallas through your family and Mercy Street. We pray for you. When I haven't heard from you through a post, I get on and read the tweets. You are amazing, even with food in your teeth.and brave too. Just like Tee.

Lea said...

Rollercoasters-schmollercoasters. He is so brave to love dangerously. All of you are!

melanie said...

brave indeed.

Becca said...

I LOVE this so much - I love your heart and your kids too!

ps - is it still cool for us to come visit? even with the extra kiddos around?

The 5 Bickies said...

Beautiful! I agree with you...you don't have to ride roller coasters to be brave. Roller Coasters make me sick. Bravery does not.

Kim said...

Kids are amazingly resilient. They also have the ability to zero in on the things that really matter, ignoring all the other stuff that simply complicates matters and causes our adult heads to ache.

Praying for you, the situation with this family, Mercy Street and all who are helping... God's plan is so much greater than we can fathom and at times like these we can only throw up our hands in worship and surrender. Because we don't have a clue! What is He going to do? What will He bring out of this? We can only rest in knowing that it will ultimately bring Him glory.

LoLa said...

omigosh...I've missed alot.

coneymama said...

Well, from someone else who is not a fan of the rollercoaster or heights, I believe staying off a rollercoaster is just plain smart! Keep your feet on the ground Tee, you are still gonna soar!!!