Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Year Ago.

A Year Ago this week we took a trip to Costa Rica.  I spent some time rereading the posts I wrote while we were there.

If you are in the need of a beach you could live vicariously through our photos.....that's what I did today. 

Click here to check it out.

Can't believe it was a year ago.  The memories will bless me for a lifetime.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Piece Of My Heart...

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What I am about to share will probably provoke all sorts of emotion for you folks.  And the emotion will probably be different for each of you depending where you are, what you have been through or where your heart will let you go.  Some of you will automatically be embarrassed for me - embarrassed that I would share this with anyone, others of you will judge because you will think this will never happen to you or maybe it never did, some of you will be sad because you remember it happening to you and others of you may just feel a feeling of sisterhood perhaps that cheers me on.....prays hope for me.

And so it goes.

I alluded to the fact that we have been having a difficult time with my boy child.  I love him so much my throat feels scratchy and tear are in my eyes filling them with warmth and my heart hurts.  You see he really is most like me out of the two.....he thinks, he ponders, he lies awake for much of the night....he has a heart big enough to swallow up the whole world and this bogs him down makes him heavy.  This heaviness often gets in the way for him because he hasn't learned how to manage it all yet and so he worries....he's anxious.  He let's it all get the best of him some times, actually most of the time.

In some ways this boy is wise beyond his years....we have joked since he was about two that he is a forty year old man stuck in a little boy body.  He is smart as  a whip, he learns things at a pace that is is hard for me to keep up with....his brain often makes me feel incapable to mother needs much explanation.  With the need for explanation has come much, he is not the kid that can take no for an answer, he is not the kid that can be talked over or around, he understands things way beyond his age and his person needs the understanding.  Sometimes I become exhausted in the amount of talking Elliot desires and needs.  I have heard the no means no theory, I have heard the because I said so and sometimes that is so true and warranted.  But with this child it is different.  He needs something different.

This different has become difficult in the recent months though because we have reached a new stage.  We have reached a stage of experimentation and testing.  And so now no just means no and he doesn't always understand that.  He is a learn by doing type and so that means sometimes you learn simply by getting busted.  Even though you know something is wrong you might try it because you are now almost 10 and so it may be okay now.  Yeah, well he is quickly learning that is not how it works but that understanding has come with much discipline and heartache on both sides of the fence.

This kid....he has had the roughest time with this move.  He does not understand why we made this choice.  He wants to believe we will move back to Lynden, which isn't happening.  He thinks his life is horrible.....which I can see, everything is different and his personality does not lend to different.....he desires a regimin and a routine and that has all changed drastically.  He is doing very well in homeschool but he dislikes it very much.  He misses his freedom that comes with being in school everyday and he misses his friends. For a nine year old this is horrible.

But as of recently we have had to take the stance of well son it does suck that you feel that way, but it's time to buck up and move forward.  These are hard words to take with your kids, a mothers natural response is to coddle and comfort.  The truth is though that this is our reality now and it really is not all that bad, we do have friends, we do have each other, and we are doing what God called us to do.  

And so we have had attitude, we have had fits, we have had so many meetings and talks between the three of us I could scream.  Nevertheless we move forward we stick to our guns and we stay firm.  But last week it came to a head and my sweet little boy managed to break my heart into a million pieces.  We were having a discussion-just the two of us-and he was crying.  And he looks at me and he whispers.....I hate you.  Oh boy........I know he doesn't really hate me but I believe he meant it in that moment.  Who knew those three words could rock my soul in the way that they did in that moment.  I mean does he not know that I was the one who carried him in my womb for nine months.....nine excruciating months of vomit, pre-term labor and hospital visits?  Does he not know that it was me that fell in love with him first?  Does he not know that it is me that lies awake and prays for him every night?  Does he not know that all the decisions we make are first for God but always prayed for with him and his sister in mind?

Now this is the part where you all get to feel the emotion of your liking. 

I will tell you I knew this would come some day... a time where our viewpoints would not meet and he would view me as insane in the membrane and quite possibly out of my ever living mind.  And all of that confusion and possibly all of his crazy hormones would create this feeling for him.....but I am not sure I was quite prepared, and I suppose now that I really think about it I am not sure you ever can be. Can I tell you the first thing that came to my mind was, hey Jager's don't say hate.  Yep, earth to Jessica Jager we are not preschoolers anymore and sometimes they no longer care so much in the heat of it what Jagers do or don't do.  And so it remains, he said he hated me. Are you wondering how I reacted.  I cried my eyes out.  I told him I was sorry that he felt that way, I reminded him of what hate really meant and then I told him that those words did not change the way that I felt about his recent actions and he needed to find out where God wanted his heart to be.  I told him that it was okay to feel that way about me but that he needed to know that there was no one else on this green earth that loved him more than I did.  Then I reminded him that he owed me a chore and I sent him on his way.

Now I don't know if I handled it right.  And believe me I marched myself into the bathroom quickly after our altercation and I balled my eyes out, but I didn't let my emotions rule me in the situation because I don't think he really would have cared, I think the situation needed a cool down.  He did apologize to me today 6 days later.......I am not sure what provoked that but I'll take it.  

I will tell you that somethings in this situation I have not changed much since my kids were young, I have always encouraged them to show emotion.....happy, sad, angry, whatever.  Sometimes that lands you a trip to your room until you can be a part of society with those emotions but you should still be able to have them and most of all I think identifying them is important.  I also think that words are important.....I think that it is important to explain to your kids that some words carry weight....That whole sticks and stones saying is a big bunch of bologna in my opinion, words hurt more than sticks and stones sometimes and when you let them out of your mouth its pretty hard to take them back.  

We have had two really good conversations over the last days.  We have talked about relationships and how they can be broken, how they can be hurt.  We have talked about how we can feel negatively about things while still respecting others. We have talked about his lack of ability to fully understand why parents do what they do. And we have talked about how following what God wants in spite of it all is the hardest part.  Really it's all been about respect - for ourselves and others - and self control.  

In the end friends I was reminded in this Easter week that I to need much redemption, that I too need much forgiveness and grace.  That God could ask each of those question I asked of Elliot in reference to me and my love for Him, and His love for me.  We all fall short and we all hate some times wether we want to admit it or not.  We all fall short.  

I pray mostly that I taught Elliot about forgiveness this week, that I taught him about love and grace.  That even when he hates me he know that I love him most of all.

Being a mom is hard work, let this be a reminder.  But God calls us to hang in there and stick with it.  It would be easy to throw in the towel....not caring would be a breeze.  But with me and I know many of you we are not just growing up people we are growing up followers of Christ, leaders of households, strong men and women working for the good of our Father.  It's no small job....but I am glad it's mine.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Auntie Love.

One of my favorite things about our trip to the other side was the time I got the spend with my Josher.  It appears that there is no distance that can separate our love for each other.  He is definitely going to be two.  It is apparent in all that he does.  

The major change is that he now talks, runs and is very familiar with the word no.  He also calls me Jess and runs around the house looking for me when I leave his sight and it melts me just melts me.  I love you is a new phrase and he freely gives kisses whenever you ask.  

Did I mention that the Josher is going to be a big brother in a few short months.  We are hoping and praying that June will bring another healthy, sweet boy into our mix.  We are all excited even the Josher.

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And in case you are wondering those are most definitely chocolate cookie crumbs around his mouth.  I also fed him an entire meal with chopsticks, because it was the only way he was eating lunch for me that day.  What can I say he's cute and I just can't get enough!  

I have lovingly dubbed the new baby Doogie.  That is his name in my mind until my sister decides to share his real name and then it just might still be Doogie for me.  I have been knitting for Doogie and shopping for Doogie and pining for his arrival.  I suppose you can guess that there will be no shortage of love for this next little boy.

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Yes I draped the blanket over the side of Mr. Jager while he was driving to get a photo. He could still see plenty, no one was at risk here folks.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Throwback.

Here's one from way back.

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Poor Ruby!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I love family stories.  I love seeing how people create their families.  I love that there are so many options in which to do so.  And love that no matter how different each family begins the end result is much the same.  I have been blessed enough to be part of many friends journeys in becoming a family, some have been more heartbreaking than others.  Some have started out so incredibly sad but ended so joyously.  BRian and I have our stories on how family went form two to is personal to us it is part of what makes us 4Jagers:)  

Sometimes your own friends become part of your family though if you are ever so blessed.  We are blessed with some of these friends.  Its when the word friend doesn't seem to cut it anymore that you know you have made this crossover.  When you have walked alongside each other through enough good and bad that you seem to know more of the story than you don't.

Our friends Sarah and Justin are like that.  On this old rag of a blog I usually refer to them as The Rah and The Brewer.  I have explained before what these guys mean to us but you should know they are the gift that keeps on giving and I am always praying that we bless them even half as much as they bless us.  

Well the pair of them are in the process of starting their own family.  It has been an amazing thing to watch.  It has been an amazing thing to be apart of and if you ask me there are not two people more suited for this ride.  Justin and Sarah are in the process of adopting a tiny person from Bulgaria.  They have put in so much work already.  They have spent countless hours pouring of paperwork and documents to prepare themselves and this tiny person for what is to come. Yet they still wait.  The waiting to me seems like the hardest part.  Most of the world does not see them as parent yet.  I mean there is no visible baby. There is no tantrum ridden toddler thrashing about.  But I can assure you that if you took the time to talk with them about their family you would know that they have a child that is already a very big part of not only their hearts but their homes as well.  And so has this child become the same for us.

Sarah and Justin have lovingly dubbed their tiny person Bubs while we wait to see who they are to bring home.  My children are well aware of Bubs and although they are a bit confused that this is taking so long. Grace is very concerned that they are not as ready as they should be and Elliot is hoping for a  boy.  They must ask about Bubs at least twice a week if not more and I think its because to them it's already happened.  Bubs is already real and here and alive and part of their hearts.  And in my opinion that is how it should be.

We so quickly forget sometimes that becoming a family isn't as simple as making the decision and  taking care of some business to coem out with the end result of a trip to the hospital to bring a pink or blue bundle into the world.  There are many ways and sometimes many struggle in getting to the end result.

At Christmas I decided I was going to make a quilt for Bubs.  Now from the beginning I have thought Bubs to be a boy.  I had a dream about was real....judge on judgers.  No one really knows yet:)  But the quilt I made ended up looking pretty girly.  So hopefully his favorite color is pink.  The reason I wanted to sew the quilt was because we too are so very excited, so very much anticipating his/her arrival and it felt good to create something with those thoughts in mind.

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It still needs two more strips and the binding.

I chose a scrapped pinwheel pattern.  Not all of the fabrics match separately but together they fit perfectly.   That is how a family works too.......

We Love You Bubs And We Can't Wait Until You Come Home!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No Guilt

I took last week off.  I spent the week in Bellevue with Brian while he worked.  And I did nothing and everything.  I let myself relax, I reflected on what I needed to change and I tried to remember what I was like before this move. 

I had quite a few comments from others mentioning sarcastically not to feel guilty about taking the time for myself.  And you know what honestly I didn't.  I didn't feel guilty one lick.  I never feel guilty when I give myself a time out because unless I am at my best I can't do anything right.  The things I do feel guilty for are when I'm exhausted, impatient, snappy, grouchy, when I yell, when I am unable to give my children the grace they deserve and when I just can't hack it at this mom thing.  Sometimes I can't hack it and I am not ashamed to say it out loud.  Sometimes I need a break.  It used to be that I could have a break whenever I felt these symptoms coming on. I had the support of friends and family around and if I needed a night off it was simple call and help was there for me to have.  I was spoiled folks I realize, but it was what I was accustomed to for the past nearly 10 years and it helped me to operate at an optimal level:)  I miss it beyond anything you could imagine and it is hard to become accustomed to anew normal but I will get there.

Over the last months I have found myself trying to accommodate for what my kids are now missing. Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, Friends and neighbors and the like and I am exhausted.  And over the last week I have realized that that really isn't my job or my responsibility.  Guilty feelings associated with this move are what have caused me to react in such a way and it is over the top ridiculous.  You see no matter how much better our current existence has become for me over the last month my kids are still struggling and maybe its because I am constantly trying to make it better for them rather them making them buck up a bit.  Even though I am not audibly apologizing to them I am enabling them to wallow a bit in what they miss, what they desire constantly trying to stretch myself in a new way fashion myself into someone else that they miss. And friends I don't think its helping.  In fact it is an action I promised my self I would not perform when we first moved.

Elliot is most definitely taking it the hardest.  In fact mothering him as of late has been so incredibly difficult I am not even sure I know how to help him or fix him or make it better.  I have been at my wits end, every day is a new challenge.  I think part of this is just a new phase we are entering, a new stage of development that we would be experiencing no matter where we are.  But part of the problem is a reaction to the move and he is acting out as a way of allowing us to know his distaste for the situation.  I have tried every tool in my toolbox, have instituted positive reinforcement, initiated every form of discipline and consequence and he just doesn't seem to care.  And even though I am beyond frustrated and exhausted with him mostly it just breaks my heart and every night I fall asleep praying that God would show me how to fix him.  I share this openly because I think it is important to not only share the good moments I have with these little cherubs but the bad as well.  Although I don't know right now how I will survive this time I do have hope that we will make it through to the other side. And I will share that here as well because I know God will lead the way and hopefully at the end I will have the tiniest bit of wisdom from my experience.  I think there is value when we acknowledge openly that we are going through a rough bit.  its not always rainbows and butterflies.  Sometimes this parenting thing baffles me and I have no idea what I am doing!

Grace on the other hand is thriving for the most part.  Homeschool seems to be her jam, it has not only fit her personality but has built her confidence.  Over a year ago she chose to quit ballet and art and over the last month she chose to add them back in.  It has been beautiful to watch her blossom and grow and for me to know that God used me to help her through what she was experiencing is a blessing as a mother!  She does get homesick from time to time and cries for her Grandma's and her girlfriends, but for the most part this girl is on fire.  Believe me I am under no delusion that this will last forever and at some point she will most likely trade places with her brother and we struggle through a new phase with her.  But right now she's great and she's a blessing and she bring light and love to our family through singing and dancing and her overall exuberance for life.

The exhaustion that has come with homeschooling here away from my support system has exhausted me.  It is day in day out 24/7 attached parenting from morning until night and most days I do pretty good but its still tiring.  Add some parenting issues on top of that and we have a recipe for a much needed mommy time out.  And so that is what I had last week, a mommy time out.  I had visions of coming back from our vacation from each other with magically fixed attitudes and spirits but that really wasn't realistic.  It seems that the vacation gave me a new outlook.  It showed me once again that I need to take time for me and there needs to be no guilt attached to that.  A trip to Target is not a break, buying toilet paper and toothpaste is not therapeutic or cleansing.  I also realize that my wonder woman complex is way out of control right now, I believe it can be an effective tool because some days you do just need to throw on your cape and fly forward but some times we need to hang up the cape and throw on our favorite sweats and retire for the day, some days you have to give someone else the cape and ask for help.  I stink at asking for help but I am realizing more and more that that doesn't mean that I don't need it, it simply means that I suffer through things that I don't need to instead of sharing the load.  I do this in my marriage, my friendships  and I do it with God and its exhausting.  I pledge to work on it. 

And so this is what went through my mind last week.  I attempted to make a plan....I also stink at plans.  But I for surely got myself into a new frame of mind.  I came to the conclusion once again that I have know way of knowing what the future holds.  I do k now however it will bring more change and more room to grow, it will most likely bring another move much sooner than later.  But you know what I remembered the most is that God is with us no matter where we are no matter what we are experiencing and he holds all the answers and all the hope.  This last week was good for us all and a break was what I needed. 

No Guilt.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Place To Belong.

Philippians 3:20

The Message (MSG)
20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

I have a longing to belong.  I have a longing to walk into church and be surrounded by people that I love because I know them and they know me.  I am a longing to be used and to be needed and to be worked.  I have a longing to be a part of something.  Notice the "I."  Unfortunately, for the "I" in this situation we are currently on a journey that is searching for what He desires and longs for.  And so we, the "I" and the "me" sometimes allow ourselves to think we are out of luck as far as what we long for goes:)  

We have been trying a new church.  Its big and loud and boisterous   In fact it is everything I am pretty sure that I never wanted in a church.   This past week when we dropped the kids off for children's church I felt a tightening in my chest and my eyes starting to burn and initially I thought it was because we were leaving the kids with loud, noisy crazy strangers, but it turned out to just be a scratch on the surface of what was really going on.  As we started singing I started letting the words be a prayer and I started searching for why I felt the churning.  Why I felt the anxiety or unease when the words, I want to belong came to mind.  

Welp, it appears I am still on the train to redefining.  I am still on the path of finding out what God really means to me.  And really it continues to be less of me.  

On the subject of belonging.  Wow, back in the comfort on the other side of the mountains I "belonged" everywhere I went.  I was involved everywhere I went.  God was using me to work within His kingdom.  And it was crazy, and thrilling and fulfilling and tiring and wow it was a lot.  But I was never lonely, I was never alone.  And I have felt more alone in the last months then ever.  At the same time I have never felt closer to God then I have in the last weeks. He is with me all of the time.

And so as I struggled to hold in the burning tears that were slowly seeping from the corners of my eyes I was reminded once more that my belonging and my life really is much simpler than I have ever realized.  I belong to something so much greater than what I long for.  And even though I reside here on this earth I am a citizen of heaven. Heaven is where I belong and one day I will be.  

The redefining continues on and I am searching more and less all at the same time for God desires for me to have and to be.  And as it turns out with GOd I may be out of luck but I am never out of hope. 

I left that crazy church on Sunday feeling again renewed.  The sermon was a reminder to rest in Gods presence that sometimes what He wants from us is to simply receive.  The truth is I have know idea what God has in store for me but the reminder to see this time as rest is something I am thankful for.  I to simply receive this time as a gift in itself is lovely.