Tuesday, April 9, 2013


(my beautiful girls. first and third grade.)
My children are incredibly happy that we are moving home.

It's sort of ridiculous how happy they are, but I get it. Because I feel the exact same way. Most afternoons and evenings these past two weeks have been spent working on our new nest, which means that we don't see our children from the moment we park the car until the moment that it is time to leave. They are off running, exploring, playing with friends, poking holes in the ground with a big stick (That would be Jack. I don't understand boys.), covering their bodies in dirt. And they come back to our new nest when the sun is setting low. Exhausted, smiling, and in desperate need of a bath. And I think to myself what a beautiful childhood they are living. And while I know this season of childhood will not last forever, I desperately pray that the beautiful part does.


I have shared before that the early years of my own childhood were beautiful. Idyllic, even. Family, friends, holidays, swimming, snow cones, dance lessons. I had seven years of sunshine. And I am grateful for the fact that the beginning of my story was strong. After seven years of working in the foster care world, I know that is not always the case. Many children only know darkness, so I will forever be thankful for the years where the sun shined brightly in my life. But the rain clouds were coming.

We moved to Texas when I was eight years old. We moved to the pink house, where our family would live until I headed off to college. I started second grade at Jane Long Elementary school and second grade was good. Second grade was where I fell in love with writing. With words. And I knew then that I wanted to change a small piece of the world through the writing of my words. Someday. Somehow.

But then came third grade, and along with it the first darkness in my life. In third grade I learned that children can be cruel. I learned that fitting in was more important than finding myself. Blending in better than becoming who God created me to be. Third grade was where I felt for the very first time in my life that perhaps God had made a mistake when he made me. In third grade there was no sunshine. I started to feel ill. All the time. And while I now know it was anxiety and depression induced, at the time it felt real. Nine years old and living began to feel too hard. I missed school more than I attended, and it was then that I learned the unhealthy habit of running away when life began to feel too overwhelming. Third grade started me down a path of darkness, and it would be years before I would be brave enough to let my light shine once more.


So I look at my daughters, one of them the very same age I was when the darkness came, and the sunshine they still have makes my soul sing. To be honest,  one of the reasons we home school is to keep the sun shining in our children's lives for as long as is humanly possible. Or to keep the Son shining. Really, it's one in the same. My children do not live in a bubble. Living alongside foster children has taught them that there is pain and darkness in this world. But there has yet to be extreme pain and darkness in their world. I know it will eventually come. I am not naive. But my prayer is that when the darkness does come, my children are able to be rooted and strong. Rooted in God's Word and strong in their faith, so that they will not be easily swayed by the words and opinions of others.

Childhood can be cruel. It can be crushing. But it can also be beautiful. It can be sisters, and swing sets, and summer, and sunshine. And that is the gift that I want to give to my daughters. It is my prayer that the Son will always shine brightly in their lives. That even through the rain clouds life brings their way, that their lights would still shine. That is my prayer for these beautiful daughters of mine.


Dad said...

It was not, repeat, not a "pink house." The correct term would be "southwestern" brick. We would never live in a house that was the same color as Pepto Bismol.

Sarah said...

I loved that "southwestern" house, and all the fun times we had. And I agree - I am forever hopeful that my baby has a less burdened heart than I did.