Seek First

Dear Leiana,
You are such a sweet, outgoing, friendly girl. Today while playing with the boys next door you kept “falling” and telling Dominic to help you up. Dominic is the oldest boy and so use to helping his three younger brothers that it really doesn’t seem to bother him to help you every time you ask… Or tell.
Yesterday we went to Walmart with your adopted gramma, Susie. He wanted to buy you something and get you out of the house so we went on a mini adventure. You sat in her cart on a soda 12 pack container and were the sweetest girl the whole time. You whispered to me once that you wanted something but then I reminded you to be thankful for whatever she wanted to buy you. The rest of the trip you contained to be extremely respectful and sweet. When we left Susie said, “I can’t believe it, I’ve never been in a store with a child who didn’t continually ask for something.” She bought you a cute little green shirt that had a main one shoulder and just a strap over the other and she bought Elise a onsie.
I need to remember to have us make her a thank you card.
She brought you over a razor scooter today. And you got the hang of it pretty quickly.
We have been so blessed while bing here at the ranch. God has truly provided for all our needs. I hope you remember at least some of this time.
I do see that one quality that you already possess is calling people by their names. I know that the people you know think that it’s really neat when you know them and you call across the room or road, “Hi, Christian!” And you say it until they respond. And wen you go give Carlos a hug, or ask John, Juan, or Diane to sit with us.
I hate to tell you because I fear that it will be really traumatic for you but the boys are moving this week. They just found out. Those boys have not had an easy life. I would say that in some ways you haven’t either, with all our moves and daddy and me fighting so much but they have a ton more things going on with them. It may be different for them because they are boys and they may not internalize things like girls, but I’m certain that it’s not easy. They’ve seen much more than they ever should at such young ages.
Just remember that when dealing with people, normal, difficult, nice, weird… We are all broken people. We are either broken people who have our hope and fulfillment in Jesus or people who are pretending and have stuff that they are coping with in their own strength.
I’d rather be dirt poor (we are sure close to it), and surrounded by people who love Jesus and are on a mission to learn and grow to spread His truth than in a mansion. Now if God decided that the rich needed to be ministered to and they would listen, then “Lord, bring on the riches.” But then again, even though in our society we don’t have much, to the world we are still in the top 5% richest. Billions of people go hungry, don’t have medical care, and die every day while we can complain about only having one car… Well, one working car. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.” We are those rich people and we are blessed beyond measure. I don’t ever want you growing up thinking that being rich is anything. If God gives us money may it only be the further his kingdom and to meet people’s needs. God has taken everything away and I don’t want to start collecting again or putting any emphasis on stuff because that’s all it is, stuff. What worth is stuff if people are dying? What worth is stuff if we can help send someone to spread the love of Christ? Watch Schindler’s List if you haven’t already. I hope I’m around to talk to you about it when you do watch it.
I love you so much. None of these posts are meant to put pressure on you to do anything. Seek God and His Spirit will lead you and guide you to be who He has made you to be. “Seek first the kingdom of God and all else will be added unto you.”
Love,
Mommy

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The Ranch

Dear Leiana,
I want to write you this way for a few reasons.
1. I want you to know how much I love you, and I want you to look back and read this one day for a memory and to see that even though I am not perfect that I want to be a good mom even though I don’t act like it all the time.
2. There are so many things that I want to be able to tell you but you won’t understand at four-years-old. (You told everyone you saw yesterday that you were four even though your birthday was a few weeks ago. Everyone loved it.)
3) I think you are so fun and really amazing, but I know that it’s hard to believe when all it seems like I do is yell and discipline.
I am not that great at talking. I am much better at writing my feelings, the thing is is that you can’t read yet. I actually did try to talk to you tonight button just kept saying “poopoo butt” and laying on me and touching my “beebees” and licking me and driving me nuts. I know that supposedly I’m supposed to know that a four-year-old is going to act like a four-year-old but oh my goodness, you drive me crazy sometimes. I want to have a on-on-one to find out what was your favorite part of today, and you can’t sit still for a minute or just answer my Questions. The thing is that I feel like it’s my fault when I rarely ever actually talk to you or let you talk and I actually listen and suddenly I expect you to have a civilized, grown-up conversation?

We had some fun today. We went to the ranch library, then to lunch, and then we walked to the prayer garden and helped Diane water the garden, trim trees, and hung out with her. We came back, took a bath, and went to dinner.
I know that you are dealing with a lot of changes recently. Moving to the ranch to a smaller place with no ac so we can’t really spend time in the trailer during the day. You are getting used to having a baby sister and not having my attention all day. I know that we can’t spend as much time together as we used to. I also know that I’m less patient, more tired, and more annoyed than I used to be. I’m so sorry for that.
We are blessed though. I know that you love being here at the ranch seeing Carlos, Shooby, Juan, Shaun, Jeanie, Susie, and John all the time. We get to see the animals, play on the play ground, go to the computer lab, take walks to the orchard, herb garden, and to the thrift store, and we get to eat lunch with all our fiends all the time. You also have a cool baby sister who wants to do everything you do.
We are blessed. God has provided for all of our needs and the people here really made your birthday special. God has special plans for you, Leiana. You are so strong, outgoing, and already a leader. I pray that you use those leadership qualities to lead people to God and to not follow the crowd or let your desire to be liked to make you do things you know you shouldn’t do.
I pray that God gives me and daddy the wisdom to know how to help grow you into the woman that He can use for His glory.
Love, Mama.