It’s been more than a year since I found a moment to share the words of my heart through this forum; unbelievable to think that a year has past already!  I remember being a teenager and thinking my life would NEVER really start.  Now, many years later, my life has indeed started and is in fact passing so quickly.  I have a teenager who is sprouting like a weed and three more following closely in his footsteps.  LIFE IS BUSY!  It’s the kind of busy that is amazingly rewarding but also keeps you from stopping to smell the roses without purposeful steps.

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It has been an incredibly long time since I blogged and honestly it’s not for lack of thoughts or happenings in my life but really more about time, not really feeling much like sharing and maybe just giving the whole blog thing a break when more important things need to be focused on.  However, this week has been interesting.  Full of inner turmoil and so many thoughts in my head.  If you are reading this, I guess I did decide to share it but there is a small part of me that wants to keep it for myself because not everything has be shared publicly right and it’s an unfinished, unanswered part of my life journey?!  But we share so we can learn, share so we can support each other, share so others may know they are not alone in how they feel, or share for the sake of making a difference.

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I’m not really one to write a huge, long birthday post every year for each of my kiddos.  I hope that they know they are special and loved without that.  In fact as they get older I imagine they won’t always appreciate having the details of their lives and birthday bashes splashed across my blog, accessible to the world.  However, there are moments that I feel the celebration of their birth is really more about my unpacking where they’ve come from and where they are going.

Lanae is my third child.  In so many ways she fits the mold of “birth order”.  She’s a middle child!  I can see that she sometimes feels forgotten, ignored, unimportant.  She yearns to shine bright but I see the crushing of her little heart overshadowed by two big brothers and a baby sister.  I know she’ll be fine.  She’s resilient, beautiful, amazing, smart and host of other wonderful attributes.  But she’s also my sweet, sweet little girl.  I long to hold her close, protect her, tell her she will succeed, she is loved, she is worthwhile and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she hears me and believes me from now until her last breath.  But I see in her a niggling of doubt.  A constant pain of uncertainty, insecurity, if you will.  And I pray that she will overcome that.

You see she is the child I prayed I would get but never fully believed I would.  I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way to those who have faced issues of infertility or who have lost a child.  What I mean is that her arrival bestowed upon me the immense privilege of experiencing life with a daughter (and in fact, granted me the opportunity to experience it twice).  After the arrival of our two boys I pondered what life might look like in a houseful of boys.  My outlook shifted a bit as I tried to wrap my mind around that.  When I first found out I was expecting our third, I had in my mind that this little one may be the completion of our family.  James told me we would be finding out the gender because he knew he could survive three boys, but the possibility of four boys was more than he could fathom.  More importantly, he needed me to wrap my head around what my life would look like long before the child arrived.  He had no interest in a wife delivering a healthy, wonderful little boy only to be overcome with disappointment because he wasn’t a girl.

But, of course, God always knows the plan.  I sometimes wonder if he doesn’t look at us with a minor smirk and say, “if only they’d just trust me, they’d know I already have it all figured out”.  In this case, I’m sure He did.  When we found out Lanae was on her way, it opened the door to possibility.

131214_MHP_Davenport_029When I look at her now I see this stunning, little lady.  I can’t imagine how different my life would have been without her.  Sometimes I struggle to “get” her.  She’s intense!  She’s affectionate but standoffish.  She knows what she wants but sometimes struggles to go after it.  She’s so, SO precious.

My privilege in raising her is recognizing the ways she is herself.  I can pinpoint exactly who she looks like, oddly a total “mini-me” of her Uncle Cam, James’ youngest brother.  But I can’t pinpoint those obvious character traits that place her more in relation to my side or James’ side.  However, I am reminded through that, that she is her own person.  She’s exactly who God created her to be and while she may find along the way that she favours certain relations in her life, I think she’ll be a much happier, content individual when she settles into the fact that she is herself.  Perfectly made for a purpose at this time in history, in this family, as Lanae Daelyn Davenport!

HAPPY 8TH BIRTHDAY SWEET CHILD.  You are LOVED!!

I took up reading this book as I was finishing my Teacher Education Program.  I knew I would have quite a bit of spare time on my hands through the summer being finished my schooling and recognizing that I was likely not going to be working until September.  So I decided on a book that was non-fiction, a subject I’ve been contemplating, struggling with for quite a period of time now and it would ease me out of the life of being a full-time student as I began summer vacation with my kids.

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Someone asked me that today.  It was a heartbreaking question in the wake of a tragic circumstance.  Both of us sitting on the sidelines of someone else’s tragedy but feeling the soul-crushing loss deep in our own souls because we live in community and we share each other’s burdens.

It doesn’t end, my dear.  But it changes for those of us on the sidelines.  Our heart scars bear testimony to what we witnessed and life goes on.  What changes is the pit in our stomach goes away and the memory of the tragedy doesn’t haunt us in every moment.  We daily are reminded, often in the little things, because it’s impossible to forget.  The tears don’t flow every time we relive the moments but the heaviness remains in the memories.

Sometimes I remember something about that day or week or month and my mind relives the entire process.  Sometimes it stretches that scar enough to make it hurt and other times it feels like the pain of a wound reopened.  It’s never far from my mind, easily retrieved from the corners of my mind to be understood and not understood all at one time.

Sometimes it’s in the witness of another’s circumstance that we are brought back to the gut-wrenching knowledge of our own loss.  But as time passes we are able to pick ourselves up much quicker.  To find the joy in the places we know we can, to continue with the life we’ve been given.

I felt that today after the question had been asked.  I stood in the pew in our morning worship service, thankful as always to be surrounded by people I love and who love me.  My children crowded into the chairs beside and in front of me.  Sunday mornings are often mornings of remembrance for me.  I still can’t define why this is the case but I often find myself thinking of little Ryker as I worship.  This morning my heart was full but he wasn’t far from my mind.  Then a dear friend shared her heart.  She shared of God’s mercy in the midst of tragedy and I was thankful for the reminder.  But seconds later I felt the opening of my heart as my youngest son, hurdled the chairs in front of me, into my arms and sobbed, great heaving sobs into my chest.  He felt it too.  The reopening of a that wound, the recognition that suffering on this earth doesn’t ever end.

We find joy because God has shown us mercy but the sorrow never ends.  It just changes.  It is there for us to give back to Him daily.  To live with the peace that one day it will be taken from us.  But until that day it reminds us that we cannot travel this earth alone.  It brings us back to His feet, seeking comfort.

Dear friend, it will end the day we come face to face with our Creator and alongside those gone before us, are able to lay ourselves at His feet.

I had this great moment of realization and reassurance awhile back.

My oldest was asked to babysit for a friend.  Her boys are at just the right age for his first experiences babysitting for someone other than his siblings all on his own.  I was impressed to see how enthusiastic he was in this adventure and her boys were happy to have a “boy babysitter”!  The thing is that I recognize how rare of an opportunity this is.  No matter how much of a natural instinct boys have for caring for children it is always going to be the girls that will get a call to babysit first.  I get it…when Sam and Jake were still young enough that they needed a sitter and the girls were just little I didn’t feel quite comfortable having another young man in the house to make sure they got into their jammies, tucked them in and give them a snuggle if they needed it.  Somehow that worked okay for a young woman to take care of those things with my boys but not the other way around.  Having said that I have met a few guys over the last few years that I may have reconsidered for and my experience as a momma of older boys has given me some perspective on that as well.

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I’VE BEEN BUSY…

It has been a few weeks since I’ve touched the pages of this blog.  I could say it’s because I’ve been busy and that would be true to a degree…I’ve been busy reacquainting myself with my children after a very long year of being tied up with studies, I’ve been busy galavanting through the natural beauty of the province I live in, I’ve been busy reconnecting with friends whom get neglected when the chaos of school and extra-curricular takes priority, I’ve been busy, busy, busy.

OR PERHAPS I HAVEN’T HAD MUCH TO SAY.

I love blogging.  I love journalling. It gives me a chance to look back and see where I’ve been, how my journey has unfolded and perhaps give me insight into where I’m headed.  But there are times that life goes quiet.  I contemplated an update about how life was going in our home earlier in the summer but it seemed a bit silly to spend time sitting in front of a blank screen and imagine some important words to share when really life has been pretty average.

AVERAGE BUT AWESOME!

Okay “average” makes it sound like we’ve done nothing and that’s not entirely true.  James and I navigated an across the world trip for 12 days that was amazingly successful and enjoyed that opportunity immensely.  Our children survived and even more than enjoyed their time with both sets of grandparents.  We’ve done some pretty cool small trips with our kids this summer.  I took the kids to Whistler at for a few days with friends and we enjoyed the sights of a magnificent piece of nature that I haven’t seen in 13 years.  The six of us also headed to Seattle for a day and night for a Mariners game and to stay in a hotel.  It was only one night but our kids were ecstatic to have our attention for 48 hours and the thrill of a hotel with a pool never seems to lose its appeal.  We did the PNE for a day and I took the kids back to Whistler with my parents to experience the peaks of those beautiful mountains.  We stayed in “our own backyard”, so to speak, and enjoyed all it had to offer.

We’ve also spent a great deal of time with family, cousins and friends just basking in the glorious weather and the joy of being spontaneous!  Sleepovers, BBQs, bowling, swimming, etc. have been incredibly fabulous.

WHAT’S NEXT?

As our summer has drawn to a close we’ve faced some serious uncertainty!  Many families on our side of the Coast are in the same boat.  The usual anticipation, anxiety, and excitement has turned to a seemingly endless summer.  While my kids are not really upset by the whole situation, I feel the wearing on them and the need of return to routine.  We’re trying to make the best of a situation that appears to have no end.  A return to the routine of extra-curricular activities, the addition of a few “educational” endeavors at home and the hope that school will return to regular session VERY soon.

As we get back to some of the normal things we do I’m hoping to add a few more thoughts to my blog!  Share some of the joys of parenting, marriage and eventually joys of my new journey of teaching.

So we’ve arrived…tired, sweaty, excited, relieved!  Welcomed with open arms and settling into to our home away from home!

Saying goodbye to our kiddos was easier than I expected and tears were only shed the night before we left, NOT as we were walking out the door.  Thankfully I know that our kids will be well taken care of, distracted from missing us by grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins, camping, swiming, waterslides and many other fun activities. Continue reading

So James and I are on our way, shortly on an adventure that was totally unexpected.  It’s kind of a cool story actually…

Here’s how it started…

James and I were having dinner with his mom and she was sharing some things that were on her heart.  Nothing really new in terms of what she’s passionate about but things she’s always placed priority on.  We were happy to listen and share in her enthusiasm for said passions, the most important being support of friends in Taiwan.  She was telling us how she felt certain there was some way for her to be involved in encouraging them but she wasn’t sure quite yet what that may look like and we were under no illusions that this was her calling, NOT ours. Continue reading

Having a teenager in my home was always something I looked forward to.  The silly banter, awkward discussions, crazy mood swings (okay maybe I didn’t look forward to these but they are interesting to say the least), the activity and generally the life achievements that come at this age!

Enter said “one day teenager” (May 30, 2001)…

photo 1When I first met this sweet little boy I was not really thinking of the gamut of emotions I was likely to experience on a daily basis in parenting him.  I was more enthralled with his beautiful face, perfect features, warm snuggles and joyful firsts that come with a firstborn.  I filled a scrapbook with WAY too many pictures, wrote him long letters (that he’ll likely never read), basked in the glow of motherhood cherishing every little movement and noise that he made!

photo 3And let’s be honest James and I were too busy growing up ourselves to fully appreciate what we had gotten ourselves into!  We were almost newlyweds…two years into this amazing journey of marriage, now entering the rollercoaster of parenthood and all the trials that come along with it.

Which stage was your favourite….

photo 7I have been asked this question a lot!  Many parents do have a favourite stage and I do not fault them for their preference.  When I was pregnant with Sam I told my mom how terrible I felt to not be excited for the baby stage.  I was pretty sure I wasn’t the affectionate, coddling mother of newborns that I’d seen other women embrace.  However it didn’t actually take that long into Sam’s “newborness” that I was cooing weird little words to him and doing all the baby type things I wasn’t sure I’d like.

But as he grew I found myself enjoying every stage as much as the last.  He was sweet and funny, daring and adventurous, snuggly and kindphoto 5 and all the things a mother loves to see in her son.  I mean really, how could ANYONE not love the many faces of this humorous little man.  Of course, each stage brought its challenges.  Life isn’t rewarding unless you see through the moments that are difficult but somehow we were created to find the good and hold onto that for dear life.  I haven’t found being a mom particularly easy.  I realized some pretty serious weaknesses on my part pretty early on in Sam’s life and I spent many a night on my knees asking for patience and wisdom (find myself that way even more often these photo 6days).  But in each stage I have loved getting to know who this young man is.  His quirks, his strengths, his weaknesses, his passions, joys and disappoints.

What’s best about this stage…

photoOver the years he has blessed our home with many memories.  We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, we’ve yelled at each other and smiled at each other.  He has given us so many moments to be proud of him and a few disappointments.  James and I have seen him grow into a smart, hard-working, honest, young man.  He holds his friends close, values his family beyond belief and has a soft-heart that he tries desperately to hide.  He is quiet, not outspoken or gregarious like some of his siblings but he is SOLID!  He knows what he believes and stands firm in his understanding of what his faith looks like.  He is not keen to conform but is pretty conservative in his views.  While James and I are not perfect parents and he’s not a perfect son we’ve found our way through these last few years and I know that we will continue to work through even these challenging teen years.  Quite frankly I think that so far I’ve enjoyed this stage the most.  Half boy, half man…stuck in these weird years of trying to manage his emotions, still needing the love and affection of his parents but sometimes just hating the whole, wide world.  It’s a bit of a disaster but it’s our disaster and every moment of it brings us to a new understanding of ourselves and each other!

This kid is awesome and I’m looking forward to many more years of fun stages, crazy laughter and good times!