That’s my boy

I am so blessed to have a boy.  I would have taken gladly whatever God gave me but I was over the moon when I found out that our first was a boy.  It just seemed right.

Grant is amazing in so many ways that its tough to sort it all out but this week I tried to do just that.  See, he is Student of the Week in his 4th grade class and this year that includes having letters from Mom & Dad read aloud by the teacher.  I was excited to get to do this and find my happy balance between bragging him up, embarrassing him, and letting him know that I think the world of him while still maintaining a shred of Mom-coolness.  I hope I did it….here it is…

Oh…….what can I tell you about Grant D? 

He has been called ‘Grant D’ since he was a little baby – it just stuck. 

He was a big ‘ol boy when he was born and had such chubby feet that we couldn’t fit shoes on him sometimes!!

He has loved watching football on TV since he was 2 weeks old – Seriously.  If you turned him the other way in the room away from the TV he would twist himself around until he could see it again!! 

His first word was ‘Ball’ and therefore his first big birthday party was a Ball Party.  It seems like he has never been without one in his hands since. 

I’d tell you about what an athlete he is but that is something you probably already know.  What you may not know is how many sportsmanship honors he has received.  How he gives a pat on the back to players from the other team after they make a great play – how he flies out of the dugout to congratulate a teammate who just hit a homerun – how he listens to his coaches and shows them respect.  I am always proud to watch him play, but really proud of HOW he plays.

On Grant’s 6th birthday we brought Caroline home from the hospital.  He immediately became the person in the house who could calm her down the quickest when she cried!

When his sister, Peyton, was in a bike race in our old neighborhood and was coming around the final turn neck & neck with an older boy he got off his bike to run alongside her and cheer her on to the finish line!

Now, just so that you don’t think I’m TOTALLY biased, I will give a little fair balance:

He never puts his shoes away.  There are always socks of his lying around our house – ALWAYS – and in the most weird places ever.  He is a messy eater.  His bathroom looks like a toothpaste tube exploded in there.  He rarely cheers for the Cowboys.  (grrrrr!)

But the real truth is that those things are nothing compared to what makes Grant so great.  God blessed us with the best boy ever and I couldn’t be more proud to be his Momma.  I think he’s the bomb!  Nope – take that back – he’s totally beast. 

I love you, buddy!


**Not sure if my use of ‘beast’ earned me Cool-Mom points or gets filed under embarrassing.  We’ll find out after school, I guess.



I was told that parts of my letter were in fact embarrassing.

Me:  Which parts?

G:  The fat feet part.

Me:  When you were a baby?  Really?  What about the ‘messy eater, socks everywhere, toothpaste explosion part’?

G:  Oh no!  All the guys gave me fist bumps like “Yeah Dude!  Socks!”

Me:  And what about when I called you ‘beast’?

G:  They all yelled ‘Beast!’ and fist bumped me again.

Yep, that’s my boy.  ❤

Published in: on November 30, 2011 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment  

Thanksgiving Tradition

Like nearly every Mom on the planet, I long to give my kids traditions. Those things that they will tell their kids about and look back on with nothing but fondness….things that will cause their faces to light up and their hearts to give a silent shout – “Man, I love this family!” and “My Mom really IS the best!” But alas, even the best laid plans fail. I make the cocoa too hot – they don’t decorate the cookies to my liking so I take over – I yell when they don’t share the gingerbread house decorations – that is what they will probably remember most clearly!

So, we don’t take part in EVERY tradition. We can’t. Life then would become about the check list and not about the moment. There are things my friends do and I think – “That is so cool! We should do that!” and then I realize no, we can’t. Plate is full. Overflowing as it is. I don’t want them to remember the overflowing plate but rather the handful of things that truly meant something. Enter in: Thanksgiving posters.

We started this tradition in 2005 when the Handful of Deffenbaugh’s was just a quartet. We got white paper on a roll, cut off a 5 ft chunk, labeled it “Thanksgiving 2005” and let each kid draw a picture and write out what they were thankful for that year.

They are so stinking cute! Hand print turkey’s are a popular drawing, as well as the first Thanksgiving dinner scene and for the boy, Indians shooting pilgrams with arrows (huh?). The list of thankfuls are always fun. Squanto makes the list each year – that cracks me up. And we’ve even had someone thankful for Buzz Lightyear (proving that this is truly a kid made list not edited by Mommy!) What I really love are the thankfuls that are consistent year to year:
God and Jesus
Our family
Our friends

After Thanksgiving I run our poster down to Mardel’s and get it laminated for $0.25 per foot (another reason I love this tradition — it costs me about $2 a year!). Each Thanksgiving we get out all of the past years posters and hang them up around the dining room. The kids have fun looking at them all day, remembering what they wrote, seeing improvements in both their writing and drawing skills, and remembering that no matter where we have lived or who celebrated with us that we are blessed….truly blessed.

And that it will be 365 days until the word ‘Squanto’ is written again.

Published in: on November 29, 2011 at 10:56 am  Comments (2)  

A longing for heaven

If you would have asked me 10 years ago my thoughts on going to heaven I would have quoted the yet to be written Kenny Chesney song – “Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to go now!” Maybe I still viewed my salvation as a cosmic insurance policy that I cash in when the end is near? Maybe I didn’t know enough about what heaven really was to care to be there any sooner than I had to? I don’t know – but when I searched my heart I could honestly tell you that not only would I go kicking and screaming but I was CERTAINLY not longing for heaven!

Enter in Kevin & Amy Tollefson. 2 of the sweetest people on the planet. They were Grant’s 1st Sunday school teachers when he was just 9 months old and though they had no kids of their own they took immense joy in loving on those they were in charge of 1 hour a week. We grew to be friends and were so excited for them as they welcomed Samuel into the world! He was sweet and perfect and at 9 months old diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of cancer. They battled as a family for another 9 months until he finally went home to heaven. During his illness we had moved away but kept up with them through a CaringBridge blog and email and felt like we walked the journey closely with them. To say I was affected was an understatement. The day I heard of his death I spent the morning at a neighbor’s house in a fog, as though one of my own had been taken from me. I was in awe of Kevin & Amy’s strength (though I’d always known their faith was strong) and how they spoke of letting him go, knowing that he was healed and in Jesus’ arms and how one day they’d all be together again. They spoke of their longing for heaven like they’d never known it before and I remember confessing that day – “I don’t long for heaven! I can’t even comprehend what that feels like! Lord, give me that!”

The way God works with me is rarely a lightening bolt answer to prayer. It is more of a slow continual climb until one day I look back and I am up on a mountain wondering how and when I got so high?

In the years since God has steadily built that longing into me. I can honestly say that I DO want to go now! (Sorry Kenny!) I literally could go on for days here writing all that I have learned and what has formed this change in me, but I’ll try and bullet point it for you the best I can:

1. I realize that heaven is my true home.
There is a way to see this world for what it is – to step back and peek through the curtain and see what is really going on here. It isn’t as though this life doesn’t matter — we are here for a purpose — but everything in this world is temporary and fades. Relationships, building and maturing our hearts, serving others – those things are eternal. It is both freeing and exhilarating to grasp this!

2. I know that this is how I am wired.
A common push back of heaven is that it is a 24/7 praise fest and if you aren’t a singer that doesn’t hold much appeal! How boring! We prefer the opposite view that heaven is all that WE want it to be — a beach paradise, your own golf course, perfectly behaved kids (no tears, right?) But if we are wired so that what brings God glory brings us ultimate joy, then let the praise fest begin!! There is no such thing as boredom!! We will be doing what we were ultimately made to do and THAT is why there is no tears, no sadness. I will FINALLY be were everything fits – everything makes sense.

3. I studied Revelation.
I happened to do Beth Moore’s study on Revelation but I think that any good study will yield the same result. God started in Genesis with a plan that gets fully worked out in Revelation. Nothing is an accident. All gets made right. I encourage you to study it. Reflect on the wedding banquet as a picture of what heaven will be like! Who can’t get excited about that!!

4. I read ‘Heaven is for Real’ and ’90 minutes in Heaven’.
In either true story account – whether from a 3 year old boy or a middle aged pastor – the fact remains: after getting a glimpse of heaven they longed to return!! They saw life here on earth differently and didn’t hold it in such a tight grip. Sweet Colton would encourage people on their death beds of what awaited them! I truly believe that we are given these accounts as an encouragement to long for greater things!

It has taken many years and didn’t happen overnight but that longing is there in me – so much so that sometimes it hurts. I talk with my kids about it all the time in the hope that they could grow up with this longing and view heaven as their true home. How much easier would that make the pressures of adolescence and the teen years? And how much easier will it make the struggles of this life — including a grandparent with stage 4 cancer — to know where our true hope lies?

Published in: on November 14, 2011 at 10:23 am  Comments (1)  

Who’s the Boss?

Right there off the bat we can start to get fired up because our sweet human souls all want to say “Me!  I’m the boss!”  Or we picture that boss that did us wrong and we immediately think Boss=Bad.  So 2 things to keep reflecting back on as you read this:

1) “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.  Isaiah 55:8. (He goes on to say not only are our ways and thoughts different, but His are better)

(case in point…)

2) “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death.”  Proverbs 14:12

Gulp.  We could just end it there, I suppose.  Seems pretty straight forward.  But there is something in us (its called sin, btw) that just won’t let that lie.  We rebel against someone else being our authority.

We most commonly do that in a couple of ways –

In a very blatent “no one is gonna tell me how to live my life!” way.  This tends to go pretty hand in hand with an ignorance of God’s word and who He is.  Many of us assume we know Him and what He is all about but we really truly don’t.  I don’t mean that in a rude way…but the fact is that over 3000 times in Scripture the phrase ‘Thus saith the Lord’ or something to that nature is used.  He speaks to us through His word.    The Bible is not a book about us – a road map for life – it is a book about HIM!  Its how we get to know Him.  Its how we learn that He is for us and not against us, that He can be trusted, and that maybe He should tell us how to live our lives.

We also rebel by justifying ourselves with the idea that God just doesn’t understand our particular situation.  He doesn’t have these kids or live with this spouse or have this job — so therefore I am the best authority in these situations.  The greatest analogy I ever heard is this:  imagine walking in to the room with a movie playing.  It is a 2 hour movie and you are allowed to see 1.2 seconds of it somewhere in the middle.  You are then asked to leave the room and give a full explanation of the plot, the characters, the theme and how it is going to end.  Impossible.  Same goes with our lives.  We have NO IDEA what God is doing in and around us.  The years we are given are but a 1.2 second peek into an eternity that He has fully planned out.  (And btw – read Revelation.  He knows how it ends.  He wins and so do we.)

There is a group called I am Second.  If you’ve never watched their videos I dare you to check it out.  These are athletes, actors, authors, successful business people and they all 100% get it — they aren’t their own boss.  They come second in their own lives behind an authority figure who can be trusted, who can be fully known in a relationship and who truly has our best interest at heart.  Maybe not in the same way that WE would, but look again at #2 above….we make a crappy Boss.




Published in: on November 7, 2011 at 10:48 am  Leave a Comment