Kiss Your Miracle

motherhood after infertility

Helping December 11, 2009

Filed under: Family,Marriage — Linnea @ 11:34 am

Near the time of my dad’s death, my mom wrote a post on her blog about being her husband’s helper. When she was overwhelmed with the idea of caring for him through his cancer, she felt God reminding her that all she needed to do was the thing she’d always done: help him. Her words stuck with me, partly because I know she really lived that way. I have no memories of my mom belittling my dad, correcting him, or nagging him. Even during my self-centered teenage years when I was hyper-critical of my father and constantly pointing out his flaws, my mom never once agreed with me. She would always defend her husband.

Ad & Sky Longboarding--2-2

Now that I’m older and married, her philosophy of helping has even more meaning, and I keep thinking about it. To be honest, it’s not really that difficult for me to want to help Adam, and I guess that’s mainly because he’s always helping me. I used to give Sky a bath every night, but now that my belly is big enough to make the process really awkward, he does it. “No, you put your feet up,” he tells me when I offer to help.

Sky just cut two new teeth and she’s been irritable this week (major understatement). But Adam still jumps right in with her when he gets home from work. The other day after he put up our Christmas lights while I sat in a lawn chair on the driveway, he took Sky for ride after ride on his old long skateboard. I grabbed the camera and found myself overwhelmed with gratitude for my husband, who takes such good care of his family. Things in our marriage are really good right now. But I’m also praying we have many more years together, and that will probably include some tough stretches. I hope I don’t forget my mom’s wisdom when those difficult times come, and instead of pushing my own agenda or trying to prove that I’m right, I hope I step back and focus on what God really wants us to do in our marriages: help each other.

Ad & Sky Longboarding-


Grace September 24, 2009

Filed under: Faith,Marriage — Linnea @ 1:12 pm

There are some things about life as a Christian that are hard for me to understand. Take grace, for example. I love the word; it’s actually Skylar’s middle name. We chose it because of the definition pastors often use to explain the concept – grace is something God gives to us that we don’t deserve. And Sky easily fits that description.

I feel like I have at least a little understanding of big picture grace. Ephesians 2:8 says that it’s by grace we have been saved, through faith, so I get that grace is a gift, an unearned thing. My problem is in how to apply grace in my everyday life. I’m afraid that if I concentrate too much on how my walk with God is not based on works, but on what God has already done, then I’ll let myself do whatever I want and I’ll be a lousy Christian. And I can hear you right now. You’re saying, “You don’t understand grace, Linnea.” And that’s exactly my point. I want to understand it, but for some reason, it feels unnatural, like it goes against me.

Philip Yancey, author of the best book about grace on the planet, writes, “I cannot claim that grace is fair. By definition, it’s unfair: we get the opposite of what we deserve.” He points out that grace is scandalous. It’s only by grace that a person could forgive a thief or an abuser or a murderer or anyone else who clearly doesn’t deserve forgiveness. It feels wrong. But the people I know who seem good at receiving and extending grace always appear to be so peaceful. People like me who struggle with being judgmental tend to be more anxious and guilt-ridden, sometimes over things that may not even be wrong.

So the other night Adam and I were having dinner and talking about grace and the fear of God, and I was questioning how we’re supposed to fit both of those concepts in our head at the same time. Adam nodded and listened. He said some things too, though at the moment I can’t remember what they were. All I know is that when dinner was over, I felt better. I always feel better when I talk to my husband. This Sunday is our sixth anniversary and I didn’t realize it when we first got married, but Adam is a man of grace. When I tell him about my struggles and weaknesses and doubts, all the things that make me feel like a pathetic Christian, he doesn’t get upset or try to argue with me about why I shouldn’t feel the way I do. He doesn’t start preaching or give me a bunch of advice on how to “fix” myself. He just listens to me. And then we talk through it. I might not have a complete understanding of grace. But I do get to live with an example of it. I’m so thankful for the six years I’ve had with him. And I hope I appreciate him every day for the rest of our life together.