Saturday, August 29, 2015

running running running

I captioned the above picture, "Me Time".

By the time I had adjusted my book and my favorite candy just so, taken a picture, readjusted the book, taken a few more pictures, uploaded to Instagram, played with a filter, posted to Instagram and Facebook... both children were begging for attention.  Nap time - "Me Time" - was over.  Already.  Before I had a chance to indulge in some sugar and fiction.  I felt that irony then, and find it more amusing now.  It's not even a great picture.

That was nearly two months ago.

Now, with a two month old and an almost two year old, I feel like I'm constantly CONSTANTLY constantly running.  Running behind Daphne trying to grab the remote from her before she screws up all our settings (which has happened twice, and takes almost an hour to reconfigure).  Running over to Charles in his bouncy seat, who has had an enormous diaper blow out that has - impressively - gotten into his hair (that happened this morning, no lie).  Running to take a sock from Bilbo before he bolts under the bed to rip it to shreds (happens all the time, and frankly I've quite given up on chasing him on this one).

I truly think this season of my life is a perpetual enactment of the chicken-fox-grain puzzle.  You know the one.  I think we learned it in 7th grade math class.  You have to get all three items across the river in one small boat without the chicken being eaten by the fox, or the grain being eaten by the chicken.  Naturally, you can't take them all over at once, so you've gotta make a few well-planned trips.  That's my life.  Keeping Daph away from the baby.  Keeping Bilbo from growling at Daphne near his food.  Keeping everyone occupied and relatively content while I manage to get just one thing done off my list for the day.  It's a puzzle.  It's like a really complex and exhausting riddle.  That lasts all day, and never ever ends.

So, when I finally get a chance to sit down and have a moment (just a moment!) to myself when both of the children are napping, and Bilbo is quietly laying at my feet... why on earth would I waste those minutes taking a picture of what I'd like to be enjoying?

Monday, July 13, 2015

darling charles ender

We welcomed Charles Ender Trivits into our world just two weeks ago, but it's difficult to imagine life again without him.  He is as consistently calm and charming as Daphne was at this age.  This bodes well.  I don't want to jinx myself, but it's seeming as if we have twice struck gold.  We feel so very blessed.

His birth, as you may or may not have heard, was not without incident.  I labored for 24 hours (when Daphne's was, from start to finish, just SIX hours).  He was nine pounds (when my doctor told me he'd be about the size of Daph at birth, who was almost three pounds lighter).  All that is excusable, though.  The part that gets me about his birth was that a few things went wrong right at the end.  He was coming out at the wrong angle.  The cord was wrapped around his neck and arm.  The doctor's expression changed from excitement to concern, and she reached in and yanked him out by the shoulder.  He laid there for a moment or two without moving or breathing.  

These moments, though probably only a matter of seconds, must have felt like an eternity to Kevin (who was watching and experiencing this trauma in a way that I, strangely, was spared).  After Charles finally began to cry, the nurses quickly cut his cord and whisked him to his little warming station.  I knew something was wrong at that point, because Kevin had been asked if he'd like to cut the cord.  At that point, the doctor and nurses were calm and tending to me, so it seemed to me all was fine.  Kevin, though, had seen something that left him in shock, filled with horror.  It took a while for him to realize that our child was alive and well, and not dead, as he must have looked when the doctor laid him down after pulling his arm (and eventually, his body) free.  

Later that night, as I sat holding Charles and listening to Kevin process what he had experienced, I remembered Charles' passage of scripture.  
Side note: When Daphne was born, we did the same thing -- prayerfully consider a passage of the Bible that we believe applies to the life she would lead.  Hers is Isaiah 55, which says, briefly, "You shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."  We believe she is a ray of joy, beaming into the world, for the purpose of spreading the love and peace of God wherever she goes.  
The scripture we had chosen for Charles is also from the prophet Isaiah, based on the meaning of his name.  Charles means "freed man", and Ender (or Andrew) means "strong man".  His passage says, in Isaiah 45:

Thus says the Lord to his anointed,
whose right hand I have grasped;
to subdue nations before him,
and to loose the belt of kings,
to open doors before him
that gates may not be closed.
I have stirred him up in righteousness,
and I will make all his ways level;
he shall build my city
and set my exiles free.

As I recalled those verses, I was struck by the phrase, "Whose right hand I have grasped."  The doctor had pulled him, yanked him free, by his right hand.  I don't mean to get all mushy and sentimental here, but I am truly convinced that God led us to this passage for a reason, and I have full confidence that God has a life of freedom and redemption in store for Charles Ender, little though he may be.  It begins now.  God's purpose and his plan are already established.  And I find incredible comfort in that.

Monday, June 1, 2015

to love at all

I think about this quote a lot.  I've actually written about it before.  My friend Jack says, "There is no safe investment.  To love at all is to be vulnerable."  Think about that for a second.  A few years back, I wrote about this quote in the context of marriage and the relationship between two broken people who have bound themselves to one another, and what a scary thought that is.  I called it marriage is risky

This past week, it has struck me in a new way.  CS Lewis's sayings tend to do that to me, I think.  Not only because he was a genius, but because he was gifted with the ability to take the wisdom found in scripture and rework, repackage it in a strikingly poignant way.  And, like the wisdom found in scripture, his speculations find application in so many stages of life and circumstances. 

So, as I found his To Love Is to Be Vulnerable teaching to be relevant in reflecting on marriage, I now find it to have much to say about parenthood.  It may have even much more to say about parenthood.

Here's a bit more of the quote, so we're all on the same page:

There is no safe investment.
To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, 
you must give your heart to no one,
not even to an animal.

Okay.  So.  Surely you can see where my thoughts went with marriage.  Romantic relationships are hard enough when people are in the dating stage... Can you see how the fear could escalate when you've pledged your whole self to another person for the rest of your life?  To be loved is to be known, I conclude in my earlier post.  What a risky thing to fully put yourself out there, with all your quirks, secrets, imperfections, insecurities... and say, "Please know and accept and love me - all of me."

Imagine, then, how this could affect parenthood, the other most important relationship a person can have with another in this life.  While I personally fear less of my daughter 'accepting' me and loving me despite my faults (though I am fully aware of future fears with this, when she's more 18 than 18 months old), the riskiness of love only increases when a child comes into the picture.  

I love Daphne with all of my being.  It's actually useless for me to compare the way I love Daphne to the way I love Kevin, because it's apples and oranges.  Kevin and I have chosen each other.  Daphne has been given to us, and she is us.  The fruit, the blessing of our togetherness.  So, I love her with the love only a mother can have.  It is fierce.  It is fiery.  I will love and I will protect my baby girl, because she is equal parts me, and equal parts Kevin, and yet completely her own unique and dynamic little person.  

And even this is not a "safe investment", though all the forces of nature and God himself conspired to place her in our lives.  She is no less risky to love than a significant other.  Perhaps, she is more so.  A child, though a gift from God, demands your heart and your protection and so much responsibility.  Yet, a child's life cannot be controlled, from her circumstance to her very will.  

This terrifies me more than anything, when I wake up nights with this new baby squirming and kicking inside me.  Right now, my body is all the protection little Charles Ender needs.  I can fully control his environment, because it's me.  I know where he is, what he's doing, and can protect him in a way that I no longer can with Daphne.  Daphne is out in the world.  I cannot protect her from every bump and bruise she will inevitably receive from experiencing that world.  

I fear I am not strong enough to give her back to God, to surrender control of her life to him, to see her as first a child of God and second a child of mine.  I feel conspicuously vulnerable as a mother.  I am utterly invested in this little life.  My whole heart is on the line here.  I fear I cannot protect my heart in regards to her no more than I can protect her against the world.  Anything, it seems, could happen.  This is not a safe place to be, parenthood.  It is profoundly risky.  It is risky to consider God as capable and trustworthy and faithful, not for my own life or relationship with Kevin, I'm finding... but for my children.  Do I trust him with these little lives?  

Making myself vulnerable before him, completely offering up my all in surrender, with the knowledge that that must include my babies, is his hardest lesson yet.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

this is home.

This is something I swore would never happen.  Literally.  I told Kevin I'd never never everrrrr live in Delaware.

And yet, here we are.

How... did this happen?

Oh dear, God knew better.

The first of May marks the fourth month that we've resided in Delaware, the "Small Wonder".  (That, I think, is a better nickname than "First State".  Better as in more amusing.)  And since day one, we have felt nothing but love and welcome and joy and warmth and support at our being here.  

Naturally, being near Kevin's family has been an enormous blessing.  Thank God for free childcare whenever we want or need.  Just three days ago, Christine took Daphne for the afternoon simply so I could nap.  What a blessed relief!

More surprising than the benefits of living near family, though, has been the gift of our church.  Already.  Four months in Delaware, but really only three months at Calvary, and I almost cannot believe the way we were welcomed.  It's like, "Oh!  This is how a church welcomes, invites, encourages, incorporates, functions...."  

What a beautiful thing to see God's people love one another!  And what a breath of fresh air to be so taken care of by a body of believers.  This has been such a time of healing for Kevin and me, to see that community is not lacking here!  I can truly buy into this!  I've already met people that I would consider 'good friends'.  And that's a big deal.

We have the privilege of living in a house provided for us by the church, and it's no exaggeration to say that it's the perfect situation for us.  Kev and I have been able to have people over meals, students over for movies, and friends over for coffee in a way we weren't (or our space wasn't) always capable of in the past.  I have had so much fun dreaming and decorating and hosting and chasing Daphne around the rooms!  Sometimes Kevin and I are just sitting at our dinner table and we look at each other and say, "I cannot believe we live here." 

I think that, even though our situation in Colorado was full of good memories and good people who truly loved us, we have had a lot to heal from, especially in our view of church.  I cannot imagine a better place for Kevin and I to reconnect and grow and heal, and for our children to be raised up and be taken care of than here at Calvary Wesleyan.  Certainly, this place is made up of as many fallen people as any other place we've been, but we believe in the vision and the leadership and the community and the God who has brought us here.  Brought us home.

Friday, December 19, 2014

so long, colorado.

In 10 days, the Trivitses are packing up and heading out back across the country!

For this next season of our lives, especially now with Baby Number Two on the way, we are feeling the particular importance of being near family. So, we'll be starting the next chapter of our lives setting up our home in Delaware!

We are excited, too, to be closer to friends from college, to prioritize Kevin finishing his education, and to continue serving God wherever we land!

Even as we look forward to being back on the east coast, though, the feelings are bittersweet.

We will miss Colorado.

This is our home.

Kev and I moved out here six months into our marriage, and this is where we added Bilbo and Daphne to our family.  We became a family.

And that's not to mention the family we found out here.

Dear Starbucks family, you will never know the impact you had on us, on me. You loved us as only Coloradans can. You accepted me as a friend when it's been hard for me to make friends.  You took care of us when Daphne was born. You welcome us back every time we stop in, even after I stepped back to be a "stay at home mom". Thank you for the friendships, the laughter and good conversation - but thank you for the community. (P.S. Howard Schultz, I think, would be proud.)

For the families that loved us at First Baptist: we will miss you, and expect to stay in touch! Thank you to the youth group for a fun (though sometimes challenging) two years of ministry. Not a few of you made an impact on our lives - you know who you are. We love you and will see you again.

Goodbye, Idaho Springs, you crazy little mountain town. Thank you for Tommyknockers, and football games, and long walks by the river, and fireworks, and your quirky, interesting, genuine people. We hope to see you thriving whenever we come back for a visit.

By faith, we made our way here. And now, by faith, we journey on.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

so, we wait

"Think about the things you can do - how flexible your life is right now! 
Do you really think you're financially stable?
You've only been married two years!

"This is how I imagine people will respond to me saying that my heart breaks when each month rolls around, and I am still not a mother. When I see pictures of new moms and their babies, expectant ones with their enormous tummies, I despair. I know I'm not alone in this feeling of sorrow, but good discussion is not really happening, either. But it's starting. Think of this as a companion piece to this one, written by my best friend and true confidant through times like this. I'm following her lead.

"On this topic, I don't speak up; I'm not brave. It's as if I'm ashamed of this "inability". There shouldn't be shame: it's a godly sorrow. I'm like Hannah in 1 Samuel. She went to the temple "deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly." Month after month, I feel as though I am literally pouring out my soul to God, with the assurance of faith that He will answer. Months come and go, yet I have no reply except to wait. So, we wait."

I wrote that last year... the day before we found out we were pregnant with Daphne.  And now, as I read it, aching and weepy due to the memory - and the fact that I'm eleven weeks pregnant with Baby Triv #2 - I'm overwhelmed with the fact that life is full of mystery and anticipation.

What an appropriate theme for this season.  Anticipation and Advent go hand-in-hand.  The mystery of the coming of God as a tiny infant human; the anticipation of the universe as all is to be set right. As this is the first time I've lived the Christmas season expecting a child, the beauty is remarkably real to me.

2014 has not been an easy year for us.  There have been extreme highs (primarily because Daphne radiates joy) but also significant lows and disappointments.  Events have made us despair of our desire to live in an often cold and distant state (emotionally and geographically, haha), caused us to doubt God's purpose and calling, and feel like failures in ministry and relationships.  When our things were stolen (though some were eventually returned) we lost hope in the justice system and felt the despair of not having our cause heard and upheld.  I hope I'm not overdramatizing the year we've experienced - I realize we are better off than others - it's just that the hardships we've been through are nothing like I imagined life to be.  God answered our heartbroken prayers for a child, and now we anticipate His healing of this past year.  He will continue, mysteriously, to works things out for our good and His glory.

So, we wait.

We wait for this chapter to end.

We wait for the day when we will be taken care of as a family, protected by a community if not by the law enforcement, acknowledged for our obedience to a call to ministry.  This may not be what God has in mind for us, even in this lifetime, but still we wait.  We anticipate the day that all is to be set right.   Come, Lord Jesus!

Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, 
we do not lose heart.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; 
perplexed, but not in despair; 
persecuted, but not abandoned; 
struck down, but not destroyed.
Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away, 
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us 
an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, 
since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:1, 8-9, 16-18 NIV

Friday, December 6, 2013

i don't look back much, as a rule

No, this isn't my journal... but just imagine if it were...

The title of this post is misleading; it's a lyric to one of my favorite songs.  Truth is, I look back fairly often.  I like to read and reread my old diaries.  A lot.  Much of it ranges from incredibly irritating... to embarrassing... to outright disturbing, but on occasion, it reminds me of a happy memory that would have otherwise stayed unrecalled.  

Such is the case with this entry from September 23, 2008.  It's pretty sweet, and as we are coming upon our third anniversary at the end of this month, I thought it appropriate to share: the day I realized I was supposed to marry Kevin.  And this, five months before we even started dating, when I was on a self-prescribed "boy fast".  It's titled, First Day of Autumn.  Enjoy!
Mmmk... so I'm definitely smitten - which isn't at all what I want or need.  But Kevin is such a great guy!  He helped me out by coming with our group to NYC this past Friday (so I wouldn't have to third-wheel), and all Sunday, I hung out with him and his band... which was awesome.  But honestly - if I can flesh this out - he's everything I could want in a boyfriend.  I know that's quick judgment, but I'm just so impressed!  And I also know that he's very friendly and very comfortable with people - girls especially.  But he's such a protector.  And I just want to keep getting to know him - and he's so stinkin cute!
I need to prevent myself from being needy.  Confidence in myself - who I am as me.  Not that when this boy fast is over, I won't have a chance... I just worry so much that if I don't make a move, I'll lose my chance with him.  And the thing is, that's not the way God planned it.  If we're meant to be together, it's going to happen.  How dare I think I can manipulate God and make things work my way?!
I need to calm my childish self down and dwell on what I know to be true.  God is in control.  There is a cute guy who happens to be my friend.  I shouldn't change my behavior in the least.  I want the type of guy who is attracted to the type of girl I am - who I am, not what I might change myself to try to be.  Sigh.  I just want him to be part of my life.
For your viewing pleasure, two pictures taken the week we started dating.
As it turns out, we lived happily ever after.