Most of you know that name meanings matter to our family. We have always chosen our kiddos' names with great care - and we have been asked many times, "Where did Malia come from?"
Well... it's not because we're copying President Obama. In fact, we didn't know he had a daughter named Malia until Erik's brother informed us the other day. :)
When we went into labor, we had a fairly long list of names, still. We narrowed them down to two while I was still in early labor and could think straight. :) We loved the way Malia sounded - and we knew we wanted to use Gabrielle (which means 'devoted to God'). But I struggled with using Malia because the technical meaning is "bitter." It is the Hawaiian variation of Mary. As we talked - about twelve hours after her delivery when she was still nameless, we decided that the meaning of Mary has been overcome by the personhood of the biblical Mary. Mary was the Lord's handmaiden. She declared, "Let it be to me as you have said," and she proclaimed the Lord's greatness in song as He filled her womb with His essence. She sang, "My soul magnifies the Lord."
So, just in case you were wondering, our little Malia carries, not the burden of bitterness, but the song of glory. Her name, to us, means, "My soul magnifies the Lord."
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Over and over this summer, I have felt the Lord impress my heart with need to capture my children’s. School this year was a big adjustment for all of us… and while our kiddos thrived academically and socially, I feel like I lost touch with their sweet little souls in the shuffle of drop-offs and homework and bedtimes. When you homeschool, you have so much time to snuggle and read and just love on those little people, and that time got swallowed up by the long hours and high homework demands of the girls’ school. So, this summer, I have prayed to reach my girls’ hearts.
We don’t have the luxury of hiring sitters so that I can have one on one time with each child, and I can’t do “special” activities like having nails painted or treating them to lunch at a café. Our life and budget operate on a simpler scale. So, I have been trying to figure out ways to touch the souls of my daughters in the midst of our mundane… and the Lord is faithful to provide those moments!
I think sometimes it as a simple as saying “yes.” It’s letting Sadie paddle me around String Lake on our rented paddleboard, her standing strong and tall while I sit cross legged and round in the middle. It’s swimming with Elisa to the rock across the lake when I have just warmed up from jumping in an hour ago. :) It’s taking a moment to snuggle a wiggly one, or to grab a cup of tea and invite one little girl onto my lap for a story. It’s letting them choose menus for a day and fill their own little shopping cart with the items they need – even though those items are not completely, 100% mama-approved. It’s a slip and slide and a sprinkler and laughter, and it’s hugging my feisty ones tight instead of giving the harsh reprimand I am so tempted to mete out.
It’s staying just five more minutes to hear their stories when the dinner dishes are calling and the night is late and I just want to shut the bedroom door. It’s laughing at Duck Dynasty together while summer thunder crackles outside.
I fail so many times to reach for the opportunities to hold and engage with my sweet ones. I send a text, I mop the floor, I fold the laundry, or skirt busily around them as they play. I say “no, just wait a minute.”
But I am realizing I cannot disciple hearts unless I reach them with love and service first.
What are some ways you reach the hearts of your children with simple acts of sacrifice and kindness?