In preparation for my first ever garage sale this Friday we spent this past weekend digging through closets. I can't believe the amount of items and clothing that were lying around that we are not using! Embarrassingly, some still even have price tags! I blame part of this on the fact that we have moved a few times in the last five years and with two pregnancies back to back I held on to some clothing thinking I'd wear it after the babies only to realize how dated it looks now! The general rule is that if it hasn't been used in two years, it goes. When I was cleaning out my closet at my mom's house I found trinkets and jewelry that dated back to probably high school! It was amazing to look through the kids clothing and toys and see how much they have grown. "Can you believe he was this small?" "Remember how he loved this lamb?"We reminisced about so many shoes, hats, pictures, books, you name it. There were a few items that I had debated tossing, knowing that whatever goes into the sale would not be coming back home as we would donate the leftovers. But as we pulled everything into the living room, cleaning as we went, there was this refreshing sense of relief. There are some things that as we grow we don't have room for in our lives. The big question we would ask ourselves, and that everyone else always asks us is... "Are you/we going to have any more kids?" If we knew that we were, we would keep 90% of the kids clothes, toys, shoes, bedding, blankets, etc. If not, it would be nice to get rid of it. To put your minds at ease, we have not made any decisions, but have decided to keep big ticket items that we wouldn't want to have to purchase again. In my time of reflection, I visualized Cruz as an infant and could hardly recognize the big boy that he is today. Knowing the things that we now know, it is easier to look back and see early signs of problems. I can't count the number of times that people would come up to Cruz and try to get him to smile and he never would. People would ask if he was okay, or scared, or shy... we didn't know what it was but he just would stare at people to the point it made them uncomfortable. I will never forget being in a coffee shop when he was probably 11 months and some guy came up to the table and asked why our kid was staring at him so much. Jason and I didn't really know how to respond. Cruz didn't like toys, he didn't watch TV or Baby Einstein, he cried all through the night, couldn't self sooth, never took a pacifier, gagged on baby food, wouldn't put his hands down when he fell, the list could go on and on and on. So we reminisced, as I am sure we will many times over. In some sense we are cleaning out the old and making room for the new. We look back with mixed emotions, joy, love, laughter, frustration, and relief that some of those difficult times are over. We are forging ahead into unchartered territory allowing these new experiences in with open arms. There is seemingly a weight lifted knowing that we can somewhat close a chapter on that murky time of misunderstanding and confusion. As boxes, toys, and anything you could possibly name lay strewn throughout the house like a death trap, we learned of the horrible tornado that devastated Joplin. The kids had just gone to bed and Jason and I walked out onto our front porch. It was still lightly raining, but all of the neighbors were gathered in the street looking east. There were two huge glowing rainbows side by side. The air was green and still and thick. Standing there side by side looking towards the light everything seemed to stand still momentarily and the cool rain dripped onto our balmy skin. I was reminded of so many of God's promises. The inside of my house was absolute chaos, at times our lives feel like chaos. The truth is that there is hope, there is joy, and there is peace. Only one hour away lives and homes were destroyed and demolished. We may have seemingly difficult times or situations, but we are still thankful. Thankful for what we have. We have each other and we have hope. If I could do it all over again, I would choose us and I would do it all the same. So, now I am sorting through the chaos, getting rid of it, standing side by side looking to the light and remembering to hope. I am eagerly expecting to see that soon the sun is going to break through the storm and there are going to be two beautiful glowing rainbows. Two, because it is extra special and rare, just like our Cruzie.
This song featured in the video below is my prayer, my anthem for where we are right now. I had never watched the music video before and Jason and I were surprised to see that they focus on children. The lyrics are amazing.