Thursday, July 10, 2008

An unloading of my thoughts

I see a cute little blonde-headed boy about 3 years old, barefoot, stepped up next to a black tee with a baseball on it. His hands are wrapped around a little aluminum bat, and over his tiny hands are his father's stronger hands directing the swing of the bat to precisely meet the ball. A giggle erupts as the toddler drops the bat and runs in a circle ahead of the tee. An imaginary baseball field. I know the scene all too well from the reflections of my childhood. He stops mid-stride to smile and wave at me as I jog by. I wave back.

Will I be able to see this same scene with father and son in my front yard in a few years? Will Nathan be able to swing a bat with his father's hands guiding him? Will he run around imaginary bases? I think so. But I don't know.

Ahead of me, an unsteady little 1 year old boy wobbles from one foot to the other. Each step brings a smile to his face and worry to his grandfather's who is walking behind him with arms out-stretched to catch the wee one lest he should fall. From the memories of my girls at around this age, I see that lad is learning to walk. His wide, unsteady gait is unmistakable. He is oblivious to me coming in his direction but centered solely on the concentration required for such a monumental task. His grandfather gives an uneasy chuckle and mini-wave as I jog by. I smile and wave back, but my heart is heavy.

Will Nathan walk these same unsteady steps in a few months? Will we cheer him on as he walks between us as we have done twice before with our girls? Will he smile that same mischievous smile of freedom that every toddler smiles when experiencing this newfound skill? I think so. But I don't know.

The questions are familiar in my head. They are the same questions I have been wondering about since I was pregnant with him and knew that there could be problems. Will he be able to...? I have plans and aspirations for all of our children. I have visions of baptisms, ball games, vacations, driving lessons, graduations, marriages, grandchildren. They are the plans of most parents...we just expect them to happen.

I am a planner to a fault. I fill out our calendar every January for nearly every trip and important event for the entire year. I keep stacks of lists...of plans...of expectations. This is my security blanket of control. If I have planned it, I know what to expect. I feel confident over the situation.

I don't do well "flying by the seat of my pants". I get behind in my daily tasks. I forget to make lists of things to do. My mind is a jumbled mess trying to find structure. Things I have planned go undone. Visions of our family like I have always pictured change. Our life as a family does not go how I have planned it.

"As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him." Psalm 18:30

My way is not perfect. My way, my plans, my expectations will never be perfect. And although those plans feel so comfortable, so right, I must not trust in my own ways, for they are not perfect. God's way is perfect. Through a little boy with an uncertain outcome in this world, God is teaching me to let go of the comfortableness of the plans I have in my head for our family, for my son, for our lives...and trust in him to the fullest effect.

It is not an easy lesson. I fight against it almost daily. I desire to feel like I am in the driver's seat, but with each protest, I am brought down to my knees again...asking, begging for strength, for help, for forgiveness in my hardheadedness.

I don't know what Nathan may or may not be able to do as he grows older. I don't know what Abby and Emma may or may not be able to do as they grow older. I don't know what God has planned for our family, but I am learning daily to trust in only him.

For his way is perfect.


Beth on July 10, 2008 at 2:08 PM said...


As usual your words have touched my heart. I think of you so often. Brother David preached for us a few weeks ago and shared your family's story. I knew most all of it from reading your blog but it was so amazing to hear it all again.

I don't have any answers but I do believe that God would not have brought you all this far to leave you. He is able to do anything and His plans are just right.

As I said, I think of you and pray for you often!

Beth J

Kathy on July 10, 2008 at 2:08 PM said...

Whatever Nate may be able to do or not do in the future, he will love you because you have shown him love. Whats better than that? Big hugs to your family.

The Princess on July 10, 2008 at 2:08 PM said...

I love you and your family. I love that you always trust in Him regardless of gut feelings and reports from doctors. I love that you share you(r family's) spirituality and faith in Him ALWAYS. You have such a way with words that always makes me feel closer to Him because of your faith.

Anonymous said...

Sister Dina

Laura on July 10, 2008 at 8:08 PM said...

I, too, am touched and am left feeling a new sense of trust in Him! Y'all are precious and we continue praying for you daily!

Katie on July 10, 2008 at 9:25 PM said...


Kayla on July 10, 2008 at 10:06 PM said...

So often I read your thoughts and think how alike we are. This lesson you are learning is such a hard one to learn. I have asked God to finish teaching it to me so many times, but I continue to learn. I agree with you. God's plans are perfect and mine will never be. We just keep trusting.

Becky on July 10, 2008 at 10:36 PM said...

Oh my goodness...I read your beautiful words with tears in my eyes and then scroll down to that picture and...well, beast.

Erin Faubus on July 10, 2008 at 10:36 PM said...

You are a beautiful writer...I enjoy so much reading about your family and I am blessed by what you have to share. It's always good to be reminded of God's perfect plan. God bless you and your family!

Kathy U on July 11, 2008 at 12:33 AM said...

Amber, one thing I have learned from being a mom, wife, sister . . . well just life in general. It is certain that when I try to drive (plan every detail) on my own we our headed for disaster. Maybe, you can still plan but make sure you do it in pencil. That way when the Lord has different ideas all you need is a big eraser :) We love you!
Sis Kathy

Anonymous said...

You writing brings tears to my eyes. You are one of the strongest people I have ever "met".


~sydney~ on July 11, 2008 at 12:13 PM said...

Amazing words. I can see Christ so well through your words and faith. We pray for you often... and always remember Christ's plan for you and your family.

Other Mother on July 14, 2008 at 12:39 AM said...

Oh Amber -

You express so well what the rest of us are feeling. Your thought that you also don't know what is ahead for Abby and Emma, again shows how much we must rely on God in raising our little ones. He is using you mightily to minister to others through this time in your lives, and we love it when you "unload your thoughts."

I may have shared this with you before, but in case I didn't, your thoughts today reminded me of Emily Pearl Kingsley's writing, Welcome to Holland. You can find it at along with other places.

Andrea on July 20, 2008 at 6:39 PM said...

Amber, As I read your words, tears stream down my cheeks. Your honesty is refreshing and humbling. And you speak truth about the character of our amazing, all-powerful God. It is so hard to trust, yet he promises to give us the strength and the grace to endure the trials and learning times of this life. You have been such an encouragement to me during this season of your life. Thanks for letting me share a little part of it.The Lord is faithful and nothing is a surprise to Him.

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