Saturday, November 07, 2015

My daughter, my sister, my friend

Dear Maggie Mae,

Today you and I shared the most special day together that we have shared in your eight years of life. You have been working hard for several months to earn incentive points for your piano practice and school work that you could then redeem for a special day out with mom. Today was the day!

Our first stop was shopping at the Rhea Lana kids consignment sale. Today was the first time I have taken you shopping to pick out your own clothes. For the past couple years, I've noticed a growing trend: my idea for your clothing style and your idea for your clothing style are not quite aligned. I pick out adorable outfits for you, and you never ever wear them. Right before my eyes, your own personal style is making its debut.

So this fall, I decided to let you come shopping with me to pick out your own clothes. You were pretty into the process.  Like, SUPER into it. I told you how many items you could choose. You went through every. single. clothing. rack in your size– piece by piece. You pulled out dozens of possibilities and then studied each one before making your final selections. I can honestly say that if I had been shopping those racks, I would not have picked out any of the items you chose. You really like BRIGHT things! And SEQUINS– lots of sequins! But you were so happy with your selections, and I was proud to see what you chose, too. Everything was modest, nice and reasonably priced. You are a great shopper!

When we were in the checkout line, you were studying the stack of purchases the lady in front of us was about to buy. You turned to me and said, "Mom, see the stuff that lady is picking out? Ruffles, flowers, browns and pinks? That's the kind of stuff you usually pick out for me. And that's the stuff I don't wear." Good to know.

After shopping, we went out to dinner at– your choice– McAlister's Deli. You leaned toward me across the table and over your kids meal pita mini pizza and suddenly lowered your voice. "Mom, can I tell you a secret? I think that most restaurants focus more on the adult food than the kid food. That's sad." You told me about your plan to open a restaurant that has mostly choices of foods that kids like and only a few choices for adults.

We ate and enjoyed a really great conversation about love languages. I told you about the five love languages, and without hesitation you told me that you thought your top two are Quality Time and Words of Affirmation. Maggie, you have a great sense of self-awareness. I couldn't help but think about how great it is that you are learning about some of these great relational concepts at eight years old. God has great things in store for you, Maggie. He will use all of these things that you are learning for His glory and for the good of the Church. I can hardly wait to see.

We rode home in the dark, with the windows rolled down and cold fall air pushing into the car and Christian music cranked up on the radio. You leaned over toward me and yelled, "Mom, I love Christian rock music."

I smiled and nodded. You leaned over again. "Mom, I said I love Christian ROCK music."

I smiled and nodded again. "I think that's great, Maggie!"

You leaned back to your seat, looking a little surprised that I was ok with that. It's fascinating to see you process the world around you. You are figuring it all out. I'm glad you are thinking and feeling and working through it. I'm even more happy to know that when you get to the end of that process, you'll realize that it's okay to not have it all figured out.

We got cold and rolled up the windows and turned down the music a little bit. And then we had the most amazing conversation we've ever had. I'll never forget our conversation in the van tonight, Margaret Mae.

Over the past six months or so, you've been asking your Dad and I about when you can be baptized. We've been talking it through with you, but we wanted to be sure you understand what you need to understand about faith in Christ before you take that important step. Since you started asking to be baptized, I've been praying about it, asking God to make it really clear to your Dad and me when you're ready.

We started talking about baptism again tonight, and I asked you some questions about what it means to trust in Christ. You told me the Gospel in beautiful, truth-filled simplicity. You said trusting Christ means that you know and believe that Jesus died to pay for your sins, even though you were the one who deserved to die.

You asked me to tell you about when I was baptized. I started to tell you the story I've told you before, about how I became a Christian at home after I asked my mom if she would help me know how to be saved.

And there in our dark van, driving down the winding, tree-lined roads of highway 112 on our way home, you casually said– almost under your breath– "Your story is better than my story. My story is a little boring."

Your story? I've never heard you mention this. I sat up straighter in my seat and looked over at you.

"What's your story?"

"I was trusting Christ last year in second grade. One day I was just sitting at the computer and then– BAM– I was trusting Christ."

"Maggie! Why didn't you say anything about this?! Why didn't you tell me?!"

"I didn't think it was a very good story. I was just sitting there, and– BAM– I was trusting Christ."

Margaret Mae Roebuck, your story is the exact opposite of boring. You were a seven-year-old girl, orphaned by sin, sitting in a second grade public school classroom, and the God of the Universe came for you and adopted you into His family. FOREVER. His Holy Spirit came to live in you as the deposit guaranteeing that you will be His forever. FOREVER. Your story is a glorious story, my dear girl– a story with the most dramatic and happy ending of any story ever written.

I got to hear your story tonight for the very first time, and I'll never forget it. Tonight I knew for the first time that forever you will be my daughter, my sister and my friend. Nothing– NOTHING!– could make me happier or more grateful. Thank you, Jesus.

I love you, my precious Maggie Mae.



Friday, October 23, 2015

It's My Time

Found this gem today dated Oct 23, 2012:

I came into the bathroom to see 7-year-old Max brushing his teeth wearing pajama pants and no shirt. He said he didn't like the shirt that went with the pants. I said he could just toss on a t-shirt. He responded very seriously:

"Mom, men wear pants like this with no shirt. It's my time."

Well, okay!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Conversations with Alexander

(While reading a planets book)
A: (long sigh) I wish I could go to space...
Mom: Well, maybe someday you can. 
A: But I haven't even been to India yet!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Cousin Love

Jake and Laura brought their family to Siloam for the showing of Jacob's film Loving Lynda at JBU Homecoming. We had a great visit and took advantage of the opportunity to snap a couple pictures with all the Roebuck cousins!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Supermoon Full Lunar Eclipse and a Decade of Life

Ten years ago tonight a nurse placed this tiny bundle of a baby boy in my arms for the very first time. 6 pounds and 15 ounces of flesh and bone and blood housed a giant of a soul that we are only now beginning to witness in its full unfurling. 

Not too long ago, I walked into a room in our house to find Max sitting there still and quiet, with tears streaming down his face. "What's wrong, Max?" I asked. He looked up. His eyes met mine and I could see the grief in his eyes; he allowed me in with a level of transparency that most of us adults have forgotten is possible. 

"I've been self-righteous," he told me with the tears still streaming down his cheeks.

Tonight, this boy-man and I sat in the dark on the sidewalk in our front yard and watched a supermoon full lunar eclipse together on his tenth birthday. I had one of those moments where I sucked in a deep breath, closed my eyes and tried to freeze time with my ten-year-old. Astronomers say the next time an eclipse like this occurs will be 2033. Maximus will be 28 years old. 

Maximus, tonight I'm praying that if we are still hanging out in this old world in 18 years, that the next supermoon full lunar eclipse will find you as a man who has a heart for God, who walks in the Spirit and who spreads the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere you go. I love you, Max. Happy 10th birthday!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Conversations with Alexander

After we dropped Max and Maggie off for a kid's bowling outing at church. 

Alexander: I want to go in there, too! I saw kids in there.
Mom: I'm sorry, buddy. This event is only for bigger kids. 
Alexander: But I AM a bigger kid. I'm seven units tall!

Conversations with Alexander

After his piano lesson, Alexander brought me a piece of paper he had drawn on with a pink crayon. He took the paper and set it on the piano, looked at the paper and plunked out a few notes. 

Alexander: This is my song I wrote. It's called "Trouble (treble?) in the bass."

Later I was talking to Lucas about this. I said. "He might be a genius." Lucas didn't hesitate: "A genius who can't put his poop in the toilet?"

Friday, June 19, 2015

Conversations with Alexander

Mom: Xander, you need to put your pee-pee in the potty right now. 
Xander: But I'm just a regular guy!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Conversations with Alexander

Alexander: Mom, text this to Aunt Meagan: "God loves you so much. You are special. Who is the right person? Jesus! God loves you no matter what. Of the great Jesus. " That is all. 

Mom: (continuing to type the message I was already working on to Meagan)

Alexander: (looking at phone screen) Ummm, that's not it. It starts with a 'g': "God loves you so much. You are special..."

Friday, April 03, 2015

Conversations with Maximus

Max: if I have a son someday, I already know what I will name him. 
Mom: oh, yeah? What?
Max: Maximus the Second. And if I get to have a second son, I will name him Zane. 
Mom: what if you have a third son?
Max: William. And if I have a fourth son, Amadeus. It's a good first name. 
Mom: I would love it if you had four sons someday. I would also love it if you had four daughters. And I would especially love it if you had four sons and four daughters. 
Max:Yikes. Hey, mom, have you ever noticed that it's usually men who name their sons down and down and down, but the women don't usually name their kids after themselves?
Mom: yes- why do you think that is?
Max: I guess it's just nature. Just the way people think. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Conversations with Alexander

Alexander: What is this?
Mom: That's a coupon. 
Alexander: This coupon says: "Go to a hotel-house, go to Silver Dollar City, go to the bouncy house play house, go the fireman's landing. That's what it say. We have to leave right now because it takes a long time to get there. How can we get there fast?"

(Sounds like somebody had a good time on our little spring break getaway!)

Conversations with Alexander

Alexander:Mommy! Don't put that toy away!
Mom: I'm putting it away in your room. 
Alexander: Leave it in the living room!
Mom: No, It's time to pick up. 
Alexander: But I just want to make a mess!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Conversations with Max

Me: Max, was your lunch yesterday enough food to give you the extra energy you need for the tests you're taking this week?

Max: Yes, it only takes brain energy, and I've got plenty of that. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Conversations with Max

Me: Max, can you help me think of something Xander can take for "n" day at show and tell?
Max: I can build him a Neptune out of duplos...
Me: Hmmmm... Do you think the preschoolers would understand what that is?
Max: Yes! They would understand planets and Neptune! When I was in kindergarten I was creating my own planets... Back before I understood the physics of gravity. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Good Ol' Days

Max (9): "(SIGH) I remember kindergarten... The thrill of going to school..."