Poison Dart Frogs are some of the tiniest and beautiful creatures on the planet; they are also incrediably deadly. So, why call this blog "Tiny Dart Frog"? It goes back to the old adage - good things come in small packages. We are all created exactly as God has intended - unique, strong, and beautiful.
I'm moving. Moving...
It still sounds strange for me to say it.
But, I'm actually not moving yet...because I have to pack.
I'm packing. Packing, packing, packing...at least I am trying to.
I'm not so good at packing because I am not a pack-rat. I do not by my very nature keep things that I do not think I need. Most things I own because in some ways they are special to me.
So, when I sat down this afternoon to go through the FIVE large shopping bags filled with artwork my children made... WOW!
That may be all I can say- WOW! I looked at all their 'All About Me' books from pre-school and their hand-print turkey pictures and their funny chalk self portraits.
I don't need this stuff...it's been in my closet for years and I haven't peeked at it, but oh, did my heart just swell. Swell with happiness when I thought about how Cooper used to want to be an astronaut; swell with longing for those tiny baby dimples of Carter's; swell with joy at the "You are the Best" cards from Jackson. And then I saw this scrap...this tiny scrap that I had saved and I remembered it immediately.
It was just a piece of computer paper, with two red stick figures, standing by a little yellow stick figure baby. Above it were 3 blue candles and 1 pink candle. And I remembered this picture. I remembered the day that Cooper brought me this picture and gave it to me with a huge smile on his face. And he told me to hang on the fridge, because that's where all the best art goes.
That was a day when I knew that God had been working in Cooper's life and I didn't even know it. That was a day when the Spirit was manifest and I thought, "Oh - this may be what being a mom is all about....a scrap of paper, a few crayons, a giant smile, an outstretched hand with a gift just for me."
If I'm being honest...I almost have tears in my eyes now.
I need that picture.
I can't recycle it. I must pack it up and take it to our new home. There are many of those pieces of art which will not make the journey (because, let's be honest...I really only need one bag - not five!). But I think, that scrap may find a new home...
It's a home we don't know yet, but I have a feeling that when I hang that picture up it'll feel a bit more like home.
But, in the meantime - I will have to continue to pack...maybe I will find more treasures.
Lately I've felt my oldest son pulling away...this doesn't really bother me because I know he supposed to do it. And - he still talks to me - sorta. And every once in awhile he'll send me a text that's a smiley face or something - so I know we're good.
Today he and I were in the car alone together and I was goofing around with him. I said something like, "Oh, you know Bud, this is what mom's do. We are supposed to act silly and embarrass you. It's just because I love you."
He rolled his eyes.
I continued talking about an idea I had to do at church...something I thought he would like. Something I thought was "cool" enough for him...
He laughed and rolled his eyes.
I teasingly said, "You used to not roll your eyes at me, you know? You used to snuggle me and look at me like you loved me."
He rolled his eyes and said, "Oh, Mom, don't worry - this is just the new way I look at you to tell you that I love you."
Then he rolled his eyes again and went back to looking out the window.
I'm glad he said that. I didn't need to hear it, really. He and I have a fun relationship and most of the time I look at him and think he's amazing. But, I'm glad he said it to remind me (and himself) that love looks very different and varying points in our lives. And not one of them is better than the other - just different. And harder to appreciate sometimes.
The look of love - look for it, you may find it in unexpected places...like in a van on the way to a birthday party.
My name is Christine Stephan, although I answer mostly to Mom or Pastor.
I am a Lutheran pastor for an amazing group of Jesus' disciples just outside Washington DC AND a mom to 3 of the best boys in the universe.
I blog here about family and faith and frustrations....That thing we call 'life'.
My boys are passionate about all things legos, anything involving a ball, video games, and chocolate.
I am an avid runner, a lover of interesting books and deep conversation, a very amateur writer, and also a lover of chocolate.
I also love theology (which is weird, I know), but I don't love theology more than Jesus.
This blog is hardly ever profound, but it is real. As a pastor and I mom, I find 'real' to be more helpful in my journey with Jesus than crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's.