Wednesday, May 11, 2016

when it's overwhelming

FOUR. {4}. four. 

I have four little humans that have been given to me and entrusted in my care. 

I feel blessed. Blessed beyond measure, honestly. But also, in all honesty, absolutely terrified. 

I don't want to mess them up. 

I want to guard them fiercely from the darkness of this world. I want to parent with grace and gentleness and love. I want so many things for them and I don't know how I can possibly do it all.

And the truth is, I can't.

But there is someone who can. 

And He comes to breathe grace and life into my tired mama soul in the smallness of the day-to-day moments when I choose to turn my eyes upward. When I choose to be still and stop worrying and planning and micromanaging. He comes to me when I say "yes" to reading stories with my Gracie instead of worrying about her picking up that larger than life pile of books in her room. He comes to me when I walk away from a sink full of dishes to go splash in the kiddie pool with my preschoolers in the warm sunshine. 

He comes to me when I sit, exhausted and sore from childbirth, with a satisfied slumbering newborn on my chest and He whispers to me in my sleeping baby's soft breaths a sweet song of the beautiful gift this very moment is


I don't want to waste this chapter away by longing to fast-forward out of this "baby phase" or this "terrible two's/three's phase." 

On the hard days, it is so easy to just dream it all away and live in survival mode with your finger on life's "fast forward" button, pressing harder and harder willing it to skip to the next scene. 

It's a natural coping mechanism all tired, frustrated Mama's at the end of their frayed ropes reach for.

But something miraculous happens if we ENTER IN to the meltdown moments. When we chose to stay present in the mess and embrace chaos with gentleness: 

God shows up shifts our vision away from today and onto eternity; 
and suddenly, a burden lifts and we are free to just "be" 
in this season that He has purposely planted us. 

There is something about taking time to just hold a child--to stare at them in all of their beautiful uniqueness and watch their chest rise and fall with the gift of life. How their eyes light up with joy when you smile at them and pause to just drink them in. 

It invites a spirit of gratitude for the moment; and that is where Jesus lives: 

the stillness in the midst of the mess. 

Let's go there, Mama's. 

Today is beautiful in the garden we are growing. 

[watch & listen & let the words sink deep].

In His grip,

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Birth Stories (to be continued...)

Kai Quincy
July 30, 2010
8.5 lbs. 20.5" 
Good Shepherd Medical Center, Hermiston OR.

Birth story: 

You were quite comfy in my huge tummy and didn't exactly want to come out! (You still love to snuggle with your Mama). Your Daddy had to leave for a job shortly after your due date to go diving down in the Gulf of Mexico and I wanted him to get to meet you before he left so I was induced at a little over 41 weeks. 

I had a very strong epidural once the induction was well underway and didn't feel much of anything through my labor with you. Once it was "go" time I only had to work at things for about 15 minutes until you were finally in our arms. You were a big healthy boy and born with the sweetest little cleft lip which you had repaired at Doernbecher's Children's Hospital when you were barely 5 months old.

We knew before you arrived that we would call you Kai. It was a beautiful not "too" common name which has the most beautiful meanings in every dialect (Ocean, Happiness, Forgiveness, Strength). We chose "Quincy" as your middle name because that is where your Papa was born and raised---and little did we know how much your shy little smirky smile and quiet, laid-back personality would resemble the very individual your middle name grew from.

You were an easy, happy baby and and the joy of our lives--which you continue to be with your sweet, loving spirit and old soul. 

There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful that YOU were the one who first made me a Mommy. I love you with everything that I am, my sweet boy.

And look at you now:

Sunny June
July 23, 2012
7lbs. 21.5" 
Good Shepherd Medical Center, Hermiston OR.

Birth story: 

Oh, Sunny Boo. I couldn't have imagined an easier pregnancy or delivery. Maybe that is part of the reason we felt so inclined to call you "Sunny."

You came RIGHT smack dab on your due date. My water broke as I bent down to grab a beach towel for your brother who was busy swimming at Nana & Papa's house. I non-chalantly called your Daddy who was just a few minutes away working in Boardman. He met me at our house and we excitedly drove together to the hospital (after stopping at Starbucks first for an iced coffee and then the Snow cone shack for a pina colada treat--there is a reason you love that pina colada flavor, sweet girl). 

I remember my water leaking profusely on our elevator ride up to the maternity floor. I wasn't in any pain at all--and that was probably one of the most uncomfortable things I can remember about your birth. 

We checked in to our room, the Doctor came and "checked" our progress and I proceeded to have a few minor contractions while walking out on the warm rooftop deck before getting the epidural. After I was tucked in and comfortable, your Daddy asked the nurse if he had "time" to run to Walmart to grab a movie and some snacks. She said "of course" and he took off. Well, I watched my contractions get stronger and stronger and started feeling lots of pressure and had to call him to tell him to rush back--he literally walked/ran back up to the room and in one push there you were! 

It was too easy and too perfect. It felt like a dream. Your big brother was over the moon to meet you the next day--and you two have pretty much been inseparable since. 

We had a few names in our back pocket ready to give you--we liked Harper and Bailey. We knew you would carry your Daddy's Grandmother's name as the middle (June) but we hadn't really settled on a first name. A few weeks before you arrived your Daddy recalled how I'd talked a lot about the name "Sunny" for your brother if he would have been a girl. You know how much I love the sunshine. I knew, right then, that the sheer act of your Daddy "re-introducing" that name the deal was done. 

From that moment on, you have been our sunshine. 

I was really nervous about having a daughter--I'd always envisioned being a Mom to a bunch of boys, but you have been such a joy. Full of spunk with the biggest, most beautiful smile. I have fallen in love with having a daughter--someone to get pedicures with and share earrings and blush brushes. 

And if you haven't already figured it out, you have your Daddy absolutely wrapped around your finger. 

And look at you now:

Gracie Sage
April 24, 2014
8 lbs. 20" 
Good Shepherd Medical Center, Hermiston OR.

Birth story: 

Sweet Gracie girl. You made Mama feel it for the entire month of April before you decided to finally show up around 10 days before your cinco de mayo due date. My pregnancy had been quite easy up until that point--but after teasing us for almost an entire month, I finally felt crappy enough to tearfully have your Daddy drive me to the hospital to see if I was really in labor or if you were just teasing me some more. 

Thankfully, it was the real thing (especially since I'd had your Daddy drive home from his job in Portland the day before).

Papa came and stayed with Kai and Sunny while your Daddy and I were at the hospital. Once we checked in, they told me to "walk around for awhile" until I progressed a bit more in order to get that lovely epidural. I walked for about 10 minutes and then started having massive contractions--so I decided to go back to the room. They got harder and harder, crashing over me like waves to the point where your Daddy went out to get the nurse because he was sure you were close. 

The doctor came and checked things and passively informed the nurse that I would not be getting an epidural because I was already dilated to almost 9 cm. 

And, I cried. I was terrified because up until this point I had not had to face an entire labor without the wonderful numbing crutch of my dear epidural. I could see the fear in your Daddy's eyes as the doctor walked out and we were left in foreign territory: NATURAL territory. 

The next 20-30 minutes felt like a lifetime of wrenching pain. I remember just watching the monitor and squeezing the living daylight out of your Daddy's hand (he ended up only letting me hold/squeeze the left hand just in case I broke something). I remember crying to the nurse and asking her WHY WHY WHY anyone would ever CHOOSE to feel this. And then, I remember feeling the most insane pressure and remembering what my natural birthing mama friends referred to as the "ring of fire" and not being afraid anymore, but instead SO STOKED that it was all coming to an end. 

The doctor ran in and you were out in a single push, my love. 

And I felt every square inch of your feisty body. 

It was raw and hurt like hell but was SO beautiful and exhilarating (As horrifying as it felt at the time I'm actually not convinced that I wouldn't do it again if I were to arrive to L&D that far along...).

To this day you are our spitfire. You are stubborn and bossy and scary smart. You are super social and you love to be with people--and you are usually the life of the party with your contagious laugh and boundless energy. 

As exhausted as you make me, I cannot for one single second imagine life without you. 

We had planned to name you "Sage" but once we laid eyes on you it just didn't feel right. We wrestled for a day or so between "Jory" and "Gracie" and your Daddy called you Gracie. I think it had something to do with the double G's and the fact that that cute little Gracie Gold was all over the television for those 2014 Olympic games. It just fit. YOU just fit.  

And look at you now:

"Baby Rivers"
Due May 03, 2016

Birth story: 

To be continued...

(I can't WAIT to add to this section!)

There is nothing that fills me with the fullness of the joy of God like being a Mommy.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter melt-downs & mercy

This morning we hurried out of our car into the pouring rain and through the puddle filled Ferris High School parking lot for our church's last Easter service of the day.

G carried Sunny while I instinctively but ever so awkwardly carried the heavier Gracie. I decided, in much discomfort, about halfway through our parking lot trek that her 35 pound body riding on my 35 week belly wasn't actually the best idea so I implored G to drop Sunny and instead carry the clumsier, heavier almost two-year old who really actually wanted to walk but would inevitably head straight into the nearest muddy puddle. He obliged and a 3-year-old melt down of epic proportions ensued.

We made a grand entrance into the the buzzing Easter-adorned auditorium foyer, soaking wet and turning heads with our screaming Sunny desperately clawing at our legs and demanding in the most loud and annoying toddler scream/cry/whine to be picked up and carried. It was glorious. My eyes immediately landed on a large bowl of donut holes near the entryway and I somehow broke away from the chaos and made a beeline toward the sugary treats in hopes of a possible diversion/bribe (don't judge) AND because I'm pregnant and pretty much couldn't help myself.

I returned to a newly silent but very sulky Sunny who refused the donut hole and instead thrust her skinny little arms upward in what I assumed was yet another attempt to get me to pick her up--to which I calmly replied "I'm sorry, baby, but Mommy CAN'T  carry you."

She quickly corrected my errant assumption and to my surprise cried "no, HUG, Mommy, HUG!"

I knelt down beside her in the middle of that busy foyer and she melted right into my shoulder and cried the sweetest, sorriest tears of apology known to man. It was as if she literally could not take another single step toward her Sunday school classroom until she'd apologized and been forgiven. 

It broke me and I couldn't stop thinking about her urgent, emotional apology throughout the service...

About the way it feels to know you messed up and the desperate longing for mercy.

About how it feels to be guilty and sorry and then embraced and loved and forgiven.

About how it feels to be defeated and dead on Friday,
scared and uncertain on Saturday, 

and then alive and full of hope everlasting at an empty tomb on Sunday.

Oh, happy day!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

"take a deep breath, sit down and read to your children."

I overdid it a bit a couple of weekends ago when I spent 14+ hours too many in the car traveling to Portland and back. My 32 week pregnant body made me pay and I ended up being "laid up" (i.e. basically immobile) for the couple of days following my return. With G still working out of town, I found myself struggling to "take it easy" while my sweet little spawns tore the house apart with their incredibly feisty imaginations. With each crumb and dish that cluttered the kitchen I felt more and more like a failure on the verge, and beat myself up internally over having to keep my kids "in" so I could "rest," and for the fact that they were still in their pjs as we ate our dinner fresh out of the microwave.

Joy seemed as out of reach for me as that matchbox car, miles away at my feet that I kept swiping for over my swollen belly.

And then, out of the blue, in the mix of the bills and junk mail I found a card from my sweet Grandmother, who has gift for mailing letters and birthday cards and love--a lost and beautiful blessing of an art. It has been a little over a month since we have last spoken, but the Good Lord must have told her that I desperately needed these words:

As I read and re-read, my tears seemed to lighten my dark burden and create space for light--for joy.

While this final stretch of my final pregnancy has me weary, winded, and fatigued, I am so encouraged by the wise and God-fearing women in my life who continue to lift me up and remind me that it's actually NOT all about "keeping it together."

These women--grandmas, sisters, moms, friends--remind me that these brutally messy times are all about being desperate--not desperate for things like a vacation or more "stuff" or money--but desperate to find that joy, often hidden but always waiting, in the midst of the chaos. 

And sometimes, that looks like dropping to your knees in the eye of your storm to pull that sweet busy baby into your arms, and just read. Breathe, and read, and hold. 

And now, I offer this letter of blessing and encouragement to you:

Dear tired one--sleepless one--anxious one,

I know at times you must feel completely overwhelmed and like you have "had it." 

But please, remember you are a GREAT mother. You work hard to give your children such great experiences. You work hard to give them the very best of all of you. You are selfless and you are enough.

When dirty clothes are piled high and the sink and countertop are heavy with dishes, please, stop striving. Give yourself enough grace to slow down and drink in this very moment that you can never get back. Take a deep, slow breath--grace in, praise out. Grace in, praise out. Grace in, praise out. 

Find a child and meet them at eye level with an unhurried embrace and their favorite book. 

You are enough and you are SO loved. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

10 ways to reverse a "hard" day.

I'm having to prepare an arsenal for days like this since Kai is now old enough and intuitive enough to sense when I'm having one. 

"Mommy, are you having a hard day today?"

It's what he says when he sees me throw a little tantrum when I can't get the lid on Gracie's cup when I'm in a hurry, or when I take that breath of exasperation as I frantically dig for my keys in the black hole of my purse while holding Gracie and a bag full of groceries with a very full (er, overflowing?) bladder, or when I look at him with sad eyes after giving up on chasing Gracie (again) down to wipe her still-poopy bum after wrestling her down to get the dirty diaper off of her in the first place. 

We all have them. 

Wherever you may find yourself in this beautiful mess of life, the inevitable "terrible, horrible no-good, very bad day" or sometimes "week" shows up. I don't care if you have six kids or no kids, or if you work or stay at home or if you work from home...the "hard day" manifests for all of us in it's own ugly way. 

I don't know about you, but there are moments on these "hard days" when I feel like I have to do something, like RIGHT THIS SECOND to keep me from exploding or crumpling into a ball on the kitchen floor or locking myself in the bathroom with a Costco sized bag of chips. I have to work diligently to change the position of my sails ASAP to avoid a wreck of Titanic proportions. 

I don't have this all down pat--and I certainly don't always gracefully reposition the wind of the "hard day" storm--but every so often, in the midst of a moment where I'm teetering on losing it, I have a break through. And it usually involves doing one of the following:

1. Being silly.
Wrestle and tickle and laugh that tension away. Your shift from pouty to playful will take your people by surprise and serve as an instant mood booster for all involved. Seriously, this works. Do something off-the-wall fun that seems over-the-top. I struggled last night in that pre-dinner but after-school trouble zone and my floors were already toast so I rolled up all of our big area rugs and let the kids go nut-so in the house on their bikes. They even helped me sweep afterward. 

2. Locking myself in the bathroom. Not with chips. 
You guys I don't ever shut the door when I'm in the bathroom. I have pretty much given up on not being interrupted or needed or called upon or ALONE, like, ever. But, every so often, on said "hard days" I will actually shut and lock (gasp!) the door behind me. And do something luxurious like wash my face with warm water without one of my girls sneaking away with my makeup bag or playing with bath toys in the toilet. It's just me and my drippy shower. I breathe and pray and collect myself and maybe even look in the mirror and say some empowering affirmations or something like "NOT TODAY, SATAN!" Yes. This is something that typically helps. 

3. Fresh air.
My go-to for the non-frigid months. Not to say it's not beneficial when it's so cold your lungs burn and your nose and fingers feel like they might fall off. But a walk to the park or around the block to just get out and listen to the birds and watch the squirrels is just what the Dr. ordered. 

4. Misery loves company.
Text a family member or friend who gets it. Don't worry about what they might think--if they are a true friend they will sympathize and maybe even show up to your messy house after your kids have gone to bed to drink wine and cry with you while you watch Parenthood. We are all in this together. Vent, encourage, love each other through it all. 

5. Focus on helping someone else. 
Do that thing for another person that you "never get around to." It can be as simple as calling your Grandma or sending a package to far-away family. Look at your calendar and see who has a birthday coming up and make them something thoughtful. Take your neighbor cookies. Go through your toys or clothes and donate. The act of giving is really allowing yourself to receive--and there is no better time to give than when you feel like all the world does from you is "take." It's' life giving to get your mind off of yourself and pour yourself out. Even when we feel empty, we are not.

6. Exercise.
Activate those post-workout endorphins and get your heart rate up. Maybe this means checking your hoodlums into the gym daycare. Maybe this means throwing them all in the stroller or wagon and heading out on an adventure. It might look like an impromptu yoga session on your living room rug, or maybe even you doing something extreme like dumping a bunch of rice into a tub and letting them go to town so you can do burpees and pushups while you listen to the sound of rice scattering all over your hardwoods. But I guarantee, you will feel a lot less resentful and bitter cleaning that rice-mess up AFTER you have broken a sweat and gotten your heart rate up! 

7. Bake something. 
WITH your kids. Preferably involving chocolate and batter and beaters. It's an instant pick-me-up for you and the kiddos who are stoked to stir. Then deliver to neighbors or firemen or nursing home so you don't eat them all while the kids nap. 

8. Shred the "to-do" list to do a messy creative thing.
Do that crafty project that you have been pining to do but haven't taken the time for yourself to sit down and do! Ignore the laundry and the floors and the dishes. Drag your kids to Michael's or JoAnns or Hobby Lobby and get what you need and get going. Let the kids craft along with you. It's a big chaotic FUN time. 

9. Sing the first uplifting, positive song that comes to mind. At the top of your lungs (that part is key--even if your "key" is very, very off).
My kids have learned many a chorus from me randomly belting them out while I'm struggling through lunch or dishes or toilet cleaning or even a super nasty diaper change. Don't think, just do it. I

10. Take it up with God.
This doesn't have to be a whiny, angry conversation. It actually serves me best when I attempt to be thankful. Gratitude is like a softening agent to a hard, anxious heart. It's amazing what choosing to be thankful can do to an overwhelmed spirit. 

Often times it comes out something like this:

God, thank you for all of this. 
Thank you that my daughters are so painstakingly strong in spirit. 
Thank you that my son is so creative that he wants to build things all over the house. 
Thank you that my husband is gone because that means he is making money. 
Thank you for all of these dirty dishes because that means you gave us food to eat...
Thank you for this chance to chat because if things weren't so chaotic chances are we wouldn't be talking right now...

I know I'm not telling you guys anything you didn't already know. 

I'm simply giving you permission to do the thing that might seem silly or irrational or spontaneous to get yourself out of your rut. 

Pray (plead) aloud. Sing like you mean it. Model for those little eyes that are watching your every move that you CAN, in fact, reverse and find joy in a "hard" day. 

From one person on the verge to another.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Clean up & dance: Embracing your inner "5"

This is Kai and his very best friend in his pre-k class, Lydia:

We have heard loads about how "fun and silly" she is from Kai, and G and I couldn't help but fall in love with her contagious smile and spunky personality--even if it was just in the few minutes we get to interact with her in the drop off/pick up line.

Well, Kai has been telling us for some time how he and Lydia "dance together" in class almost every day. He doesn't always give the most accurate and detailed descriptions, so we haven't really been clear on what context this dancing was occurring in. It's not like we've been worried, just curious. Kai is pretty reserved and neither one of us could picture our timid son "twirling" his sweet little friend around to music.

Well, today I got to witness it with my very own eyes. 

I didn't cry, but I can't say I didn't have to blink back a few tears (duh). 

So, when it's time to pick up after free-play there is a song that is played, and if the students have the room completely cleaned up by the time the song concludes they get to have a "dance party." Well, today, they got to have a "dance party" and I watched as Kai and his Lydia immediately found one another and excitedly grabbed hands. When the "dance party" song came on they twirled and whirled and laughed and smiled and looked into each other's eyes with the most pure, adorable, fun-loving gaze I have ever seen. I could hardly handle it. 

. . .

We can learn a whole lot about relationships from children. 

They don't know how not to be real. 

With enthusiasm, they seek each other out. With eye contact, they engage in smiles and laughter, and without abandon, they dance.

What if our "grown-up" relationships with our spouses, our children, our friends and our family reflected the playful joy and engaging presence that we see in Kai and Lydia? 

There would be presence over presents.

There would be acceptance instead of expectation.

There would be joy instead of apathy.

There would be laughter instead of gossip.

There would be self-confidence instead of self-consciousness.

There would be dancing instead of doubting.

There would be life lived with glorious intention instead of hurried ambition.

So hurry up! Clean up your act before the song is over...

there is a dance party waiting to be had!

"Living a life fully engaged and full of whimsy 
and the kind of things that love does 
is something most people plan to do, 
but along the way they just kind of forget." 
Bob Goff (Love Does)

Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Crying all the tears.

Normal, well-regulated people don't cry actual liquid tears every time they are moved. 

Unless they are 30 weeks pregnant and well, me. Today. 

The kids and I had a great morning spent downtown frolicking in the cool sunshine of Riverfront park and playing with friends at Mobius (the Children's museum).

The waterworks didn't get started when we got home--around 2:00pm. 

Kai and Sunny knew that it was well past Gracie's nap time, and I had prepped them as I put the car in park in our drive way to put their shoes and jackets in the closet and wash their hands while I put Gracie to bed. Well, I got sidetracked with something along the way and when I finally made it to the living room I saw that my sweet Kai had made Gracie a cozy little bed on our rug with with her favorite blankies and buddies and had her all tucked in and was snuggled up next to her singing "Peace" (Numbers 24--our family lullaby). It was too sacred to even snap a picture of. I couldn't even move. All I could do was cry at the sweet, sweet sight of it. 

And then a dear friend from Bible study texted me to see if I was home so she could bring us dinner "just because" she knew i'd been fighting off a mean bear of a sinus infection and of course planning and cooking dinner was literally the very last thing on earth that I wanted to do or even think about and, well, SHE JUST KNEW. So, she dropped a Papa Murphy's pizza and activity book and popcorn off for my kiddos and I managed to hold back my tears until she left but then, well, you know. 

And THEN, you guys, it just HAD to be Kindergarten open house at Kai's school. Not like actual registration or anything, just a simple "open house" for prospective parents to come and check out the room and curriculum and schedule and overall vibe of the school (this was at the private Christian school they have both been attending preschool at). 

I didn't enjoy one single minute of it. 

I sat uncomfortably crammed beneath a kindergarten sized desk and awkwardly wedged into a plastic chair built for a 5-year-old and held my tears back as the sweet little teacher spoke about everything I already knew but was not ready to hear. I sat there and focused on the little baby kicking like crazy in my belly, trying not to remember how it had just been yesterday that I was feeling those same flutters and taps from Kai. I didn't make a scene and even managed to keep it together in the car on the drive home. 

I walked into the house and immediately busied myself with the task of outlining all of our "options" for school next fall and resenting how early this all has to be done. I filled up three whole sheets of notebook paper with all of the different scenarios and options that we have available to us for Kai's kindergarten and Sunny's 4-year old preschool. 

And then I cried a little because there are so many darned options. When we lived in a small town I think I cried a little because there was such a lack of options. But now I was crying because there were too many and the pressure of the decision was overwhelming--even on a rainy Thursday in February, months before the new school year will even begin. 

I took a deep breath and went to clean up dinner while G and the kids continued to play "WrestleMania"on the rug. A few minutes passed until Kai came and sat at the table and I stopped washing and just watched him, sitting there, taking big gulps out of his water glass while watching the rain drops slide down the big window in front of us and that is when the floodgates really opened. 

I'm not ready for him to be gone from me all day...all week long. 
How did this even happen? Why does this have to happen? What kind of cruel world do we live in that forces us to sacrifice our children for seven hours a day once they reach Kindergarten age? When did he get so handsome? Why does he have to grow up? 

ALL THE TEARS OF ALL OF THE LOVING MOTHERS streamed down my cheeks until G had to come into the kitchen to make sure I wasn't going into early labor. 

And as he hugged me he chuckled and said, "Oh babe, you're just pregnant." 

I can't argue with that. Not one bit. But I'm also grieving the growth of my first born that seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. And I'm looking around at my daughters running around the house like wild kittens in pink minnie mouse undies and thinking about how all too soon they will leave me too and how just like that we are going to be empty nesters and OH MY GOODNESS the tears. 

It was over-the-top and highly unnecessary, I'm sure. And I may or may not be a bit out-of-sorts in the hormone department, BUT those tears needed to fall. Necessary or not. I needed this night of pregnant, hormonal, Mommy grief. 

I needed to sneak into Kai's room after he had fallen asleep and just stare at him and push his red waves back off of his smooth, freckled kissed cheeks. I needed to hear that gentle, loving voice in the silence in-between his steady sleeping breaths whisper to my anxious Mama heart, 


And as I feel with each year and week and day and second, his little fingers slowly slip out of my grasp I know that out "there,"  in the unknown and dark places, there are arms wide open--waiting, eager and overjoyed at the anticipation of his embrace. 

He may be my son, but he is a child of God.

So tonight, with tears run dry and a peace that surpasses all understanding, I surrender.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. 
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. 
It’s wonderful what happens 
when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. 
(Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

And now I'm going to enjoy some pickles and a bowl of cereal since, you know, I'm pregnant, and crying all of the tears certainly takes a lot out of you.