I am easily distracted. I started this blog hours ago. I wasn’t sure where to begin so I decided to go find a photo. I found a beautiful photo taken by my beautiful 12 year old daughter. Then I have 3 kids standing around me asking me about the process or asking me if they can do such-and-such tomorrow or next week. My brain bounces back and forth between photoshop/photography thoughts to the social lives of my kids. Looking up I realize it’s time to go pick Christopher up, but I want my kids to brush their teeth first so that when we come home they can dress for bed, pray, laugh, and get their last drink for the night before heading to bed. Today I need my quiet evening. I tried taking a little quiet rest time in the middle of the scorching afternoon, but somebody kept “forgetting” that some of us were trying to rest. Somehow Sage slept through the ruckus.

I registered kids for school today. It costs a lot of money. Not more than some of my homeschool years, so I can be thankful for that. I’m signing 2 of my kids up for fall sports. I’m thinking that football will help Sage work out some of that anger that seems to burst out all over the place. I know when I’m consistently doing hard work outs that I’m much more sane and calm during the day. Ah my dear Sage, I wish I knew what went on in the heart and head of his. It is a hard thing for a young boy to not have a father. He’s only called a couple of men “Dad”, but he doesn’t know what that means. I can see him watching the men and older boys. He is learning how to be a man by the men that surround us. Do they know that? Do they care? Sage needs them to care.

Ugh. Distractions. So, I checked my email and joined pinterest after I book marked something in delicious. Is Pinterest the new Delicious? Is Google+ the new FB? Do I join or do I wait? I join because I’m a sucker for technology and social media.

Today was a good day and yet as it wore on I felt more stressed. There weren’t any major meltdowns ending in thousands of Legos littering my floors, but there was this feeling of…well, I’m not sure how to describe it. I think it’s just life. There are fees to be paid, papers to be turned in, bills to be paid, cars to maintain, laundry to be done, menus to be planned, schedules/routines to create, photo projects to finish and/or begin, and the list goes on. It’s life. I’m not complaining, or at least I’m not trying to. I get worn out with the day-to-day stuff. There is much to be done.

Then there are those voices questioning my every choice. Am I good enough? Am I enough?

Well, am I enough? Can I properly raise these children to be productive adults who are not a drain on society? Will they love and serve Jesus? That’s what I’m really asking, isn’t it? Will they be good spouses and parents? Will they know they are loved? Will they love as we’re called to love when their mother feels like she knows nothing of love?

A good friend texted me today, “Been thinking about you & praying for you…I want to encourage you to be brave when you’re afraid. Love you.” I needed to hear that right then.

Later I read a blog that makes a reference to the hymn “Jesus Paid It All”. I begin to listen to it and so many emotions wash over me as I hear, “I hear the Savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small, Child of weakness watch and pray, find in Me thy all in all.'” Ah, that’s right, He doesn’t expect me to be strong. I pray and watch. That’s all. Oh, I guess there is the receiving, too. I don’t exactly understand why, but it makes me want to cry when I hear it.

Time is quickly passing me by. My children are growing and I wonder if I am missing out. I remember that there are women who don’t get to have their children in their own homes and then I remember to be thankful. I remember that a friend of mine has a son who had cancer. I wonder if she forgets to be thankful for his life or if the fact that she gets to see his face every day is a reminder of what a gift she’s been given.

Last night I went to dinner with a friend I don’t see very often. At one point she tells me I’m brave. I laugh and tell her, “I’m not brave. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t choose to be a single mom.” She replies with, “You chose to adopt the kids.” Indeed, I did. [I realize that some can contend with whether or not I chose singleness. That’s not a discussion I care to have. Mostly because it’s moot.] That word: brave. I don’t equate myself with such a word. My computer dictionary says it means, “ready to face and endure danger or pain” or as a verb, “endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behavior) without showing fear”. So, is the key to being brave not in whether or not there is fear, but in not showing that fear?

As I watch The Lord of the Rings where Eowen kills the Nazgul I would say there is fear and courage present. She is terrified, but still she faces the monster and kills it.

In Deuteronomy Moses tells all of Israel, “Be strong and caourageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Then immediately after that he calls Joshua to him and repeats the same thing in front of all Israel. If that’s not enough, after Moses dies God himself tells Joshua about 5 times to “be strong and courageous”. Sometimes he tells him to be “very courageous”. I figure that God wouldn’t need to tell good ol’ Josh that if Josh didn’t have any fear, right? David repeats these same words to Solomon. And finally, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” Oh love. That thing. Perfect love casts out ALL fear.

What is love?

God is love.

Oh yeah, that’s right.