Today, my boy is five.

I get melty at the thought of it.
I have murmured around the house this week, wondering how all his baby-days could fly away and be gone forever so quickly.  Dave tells me he's taking Levi from me:)….and all of the sudden it feels like a rite of passage to 'become dad's son' more than 'mama's baby'.

When Levi was born, I was as weak as I've ever been physically for about a month.  In so many ways, my weaknesses as a mother linger on, well-sustained, and I get proud and wonder Why can't I just be better at this, Lord?
But, oh how faithful God has been to us. Wide faithfulness spanning five little years.

Levi, I would be different person without you in my life.  You are surely a gift.  
I'm so privileged to be your mom.
But I know you will keep having birthdays (as often as I jest that you can't)…
And I know you really are not mine.

I want you to be one of the best men that ever lived—to see God and to reveal Him to men. This is the burden of my prayers. My whole being goes out in passionate entreaty to God that He will give me what I ask. I am sure He will, for the request is after His own heart. I do not pray that you may 'succeed in life' or 'get on' in the world. I seldom even pray that you may love me better, or that I may see you oftener in this or any other world—much as I crave for this. But I ask, I implore, that Christ may be formed in you, that you may be made not in a likeness suggested by my imagination, but in the image of God—that you may realise, not mine, but His ideal, however much that ideal may bewilder me, however little I may fail to recognise it when it is created. I hate the thought that out of love for me you should accept my presentation—my feeble idea—of the Christ. I want God to reveal His Son in you independently of me—to give you a first-hand knowledge of Him whom I am only beginning to see. Sometimes more selfish thoughts will intrude, but this represents the main current of my prayers; and if the ideal is to be won from heaven by importunity, by ceaseless begging, I think I shall get it for you."  
-Forbes Robinson

May it be so, buddy.
Happy Birthday!


Scenes of Summer.

Summer, glorious summer.  You have my heart.
It's truly been marvelous….just spending continuous strings of days being together, making memories.  We've travelled four states, spent time with all our extended families, and enjoyed many days at home with no agenda.

And amidst the joy, there is heartache, hardship, waiting…the ache of a broken world.
But always hope.

And always the endless common graces of sun, and warmth, and water, and on and on.

Summer, you're not off the hook yet.  Three more weeeeeeks!


Father's Day Camping.

In line with last year (let's call it an official tradition!), we spent a couple of nights camping this weekend.  It was a good 'ole time of togetherness, campfires, celebrating, resting,
 and exploring:).  Nothing can beat watching these kids light up around their dad…..they love to be with him so much!  

This year, we ventured over to Cape Perpetua and camped within a mile of some beautiful forest hiking and the beach.  It was green (all those photos aren't even edited).  We could have spent a week there!  Glory, glory.
The last night we set up the camera to take a family picture.  Then, Dave let the kids take a million shots of everyone doing whatever they said.  Here is one of everyone 'swimming'.  Ba!!  It made me laugh out loud:).

Babe, thanks for endeavoring to show these kids the love of our true, perfect Father.  You are doing it well!
You are priceless to us.  


Eleven Years + Eastern Oregon

Last month, Dave and I celebrated eleven years…..we spent a couple of nights in Bend, OR.  I took in my first sights of eastern Oregon, rugged and magnificent.
These little moments away, making a memory, taking a break to just be together….they are life-giving.  Being married to Dave is such a deep delight; I wouldn't even try to put words to it (at least not here).  But the work of marriage proves itself a reality in the midst of these busy days.
By God's grace, we keep sowing….and reaping. And watching these years add up is like watching art take form.  It's bigger than us….and if I think on it long enough, I just wonder why I get to be part of something so marvelous…and I come up short….but oh, so thankful.

Thanks for marrying me, Dave Mann.
I love you.