From Half Past Eight to Twenty-One

The winers of the He Loves Me dvd’s from Cindy Bultema are: Elizabeth, Lori, Niki, anonymous & Lisa Schorp. My assistant Kim will be emailing you for your mailing address. Congrats!

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Twenty-one years ago today, after twenty-three hours of labor and an emergency c-section, our daughter Kenna was born.

Kenna three hours old.

Later, joined by two brothers she prayed for, she grew into an arstsy, outspoken, outta-the-box, Jesus-lovin’ fashion plate.

Today, she resides in Charlotte, NC (left just weeks after turning 18) and is a full-time cosmetologist and part-time nanny. I thought today I’d run a piece I wrote in 1999 when she was 8 1/2.

She is coming home for her birthday this coming weekend and bringing her 17-year-old brother with her (who has been spending second semester of his junior year of high school in Charlotte too. Long “God story” for another day!) She’s smuggling my friend’s youngest daughter home with her for the weekend whom I love to spoil.

Kenna & brother Mitch on the day of his junior prom this year.

Needless to say, my mind is not on blogging this week! So, I will be taking this week off to prepare for their visit.

And I’ll be taking next week off to put the finishing touches on the 6-week dvd curriculum I am recording soon for my new book LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faith. (releasing in October)

So, that means I will see you back here the day after Memorial Day.

Enjoy the ones you love—-both family and friends. The years fly by!

Half-Past Eight

A reminder of just how quickly the days fly by:

Dear Lord, Where has the time gone? It’s already half past eight. It seems just a minute ago the clock read one or two.

Just a while ago, you were so tiny, so fragile, and there was so, so much to do: Midnight feedings, endless rocking, learning to do all a new mother must do. I was scared. So were you—your tiny little fingers curled around mine—but we learned together, you and I, and the clock kept ticking.

Every tick, every tock, passed slowly, I thought then. I couldn’t wait to see you talk, then to walk, but each day seemed an eternity. And then your personality began to emerge. You cooed “dada” and strung together random words like a priceless string of pearls. What queen could buy these treasures?

First steps: “Oooohh”—Boom!—“Get up and keep going, honey!” First dresses: “Mommy, I pretty!” “Yes, you are my sweet.”Your first pony ride: I walked so close. You clung so tight. Before too long you begged me to let go. “OK, honey, but just for a moment.”

Everyone from doting grandmas to complete strangers told me how very quickly time would fly, but for me it seemed to march slowly on.

The clock soon struck three. Peter was there. And Flopsy and Mopsy and Cottontail, too.

So many hours we spent with them curled up in that old oak rocker. We left them only briefly; to visit with others.

Do you remember? Pooh and Piglet, Papa Small and Curious George.

They were our gang each afternoon before I lay you in your bed. You were too big by then for your crib. And besides, a new baby bundle of brotherly blue had taken over that corner of your room. “Shhh . . . baby’s sleeping. We’ll read one more and then off to bed, my lamb. It’s nearly half past three.”

Kenna 4. Mitchell 9 months.

The cuckoo clock cheerfully announced the arrival of four. With it came many new adventures. Your first trip to the dentist (you were very brave), staying all night at Grandma’s (how many cookies did you eat?), and Sunday School, birthday parties, and on and on and on.

No sooner had the cuckoo tucked back in and shut his wooden doors when the chimes rang out five times.

Is it five already? Where has time gone?

The chimes brought with them lace and frills and everything pink. We then spent our afternoons chatting over tea. Pooh and Piglet still visited at times, though not quite as often.

For the most part they were replaced with a new found friend. Remember? She met us in the old oak rocker faithfully each day. It was Laura. And Mary. And Carrie. And even that mean old Nellie Olson.

Oh how you loved their world! Your curls were replaced with two long braids; your pink with gingham blue. (It was Laura’s favorite too.) You wore that old bonnet strung down on your back and would answer only to “half-pint.” “Pa called Laura that,” you’d insist. So we churned butter and baked biscuits and I learned to answer to “Ma!” (What happened to “Mommy?”)

No time to question. Just look at the time . . . .

Six . . . and then seven. Maybe they were right. Time marched more quickly. You no longer needed me for books. Now you could read by yourself!

And often you did as that baby bundle of blue turned into a toddler who simply adored his Big Sis. So we journeyed to the library, blew off the dust and got reacquainted with Peter and friends. You introduced them to your brother who now occupied your lap. “One more time sissy, please just one more!” he would plead. “OK,” you’d answer. “But just this once, brother. It’s getting very late.” Oh, darling, if you only knew.

And now here we are at half past eight. Who knows at the stroke of twelve what you’ll be?

Kenna 7. Mitchell 3. Spencer 3 months.

The stork came again. Again he brought blue. “Two brothers. How wonderful!” came your reply to the news. This one came to rest happily upon your left hip. And there he remains perched as you now go about your day.

Mixing dough in the Kitchen Aid (what happened to your plastic play stove?) and answering the phone (what about the toy one with the curly cord you dragged behind you all those years. Where is it now?).

You’ve come so far, my baby. From scribbles on scrap paper mailed to loved ones far away to now answering e-mails. (Will you show me how to use it sometime?)

From ribbons and smocked dresses to bobbed hair and bell bottoms. Sometimes I feel as if I’m peering into a mirror from long ago.

“Your whole life is ahead of you!” strangers say to my girl. But not for me, for me time speeds by.

Help me make the most of this hour, Lord. I can never live it again. Just look at the clock on the wall. I’m afraid for this mom it is getting very late. Slow the time down dear Lord, please.

It’s already half past eight.

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  • Awe so sweet Ma! This is beautiful! I loved it! now I am ALL grown up and we are friends! I like this season of life, Let’s stay in it for a while! I love you!

  • OH dear Karen – you made me cry :( I’m living the very words you wrote about – with my little girl – age 7 – she wore her hair in 2 braids like Laura today! You remind me to savor these days and not rush them. Thank you! This was a beautiful post.
    Courtney

  • Oh my. I had to stop reading after about the 3rd paragraph. I was starting to cry and I’m at work. Can’t let my mascara run here at the office. People might think I’m weird. My first turns 21 on August 3rd this year. Even though he’s a boy… well, a guy, I can still relate. I will try to read the rest at home tonight when I won’t care who sees the mascara running down my face. Thanks for the memories!