on racial injustice

I am a stay at home mom.

I don't work at an office. I don't have a boss. I don't work with colleagues. So I don't stand around a water cooler or a conference table and talk about current events with other adults. I don't get to share my opinions on news with other people who understand everything that is going on in the world around us. I don't have a large impact in the public sector.

But I do mother three little people on whom I have an enormous impact.

Over the past two days, America has seen at least two instances of racial injustice. Social media has allowed us to replay the events in Baton Rouge, LA, and Falcon Heights over and over again. As I watched the news unfold on my iPhone via Twitter, I was confused, scared, and heartbroken.

We no doubt have a problem in our country. These instances happen far too often and each time, I feel like they get worse and worse. As a mom, my first instinct is compassion and tenderness, and my second instinct is action and protection.

So, as a mom, what can I do? What is my responsibility as a Christian and as a mother? I think there are several things.

First, I am called to love. I am called to love my neighbors. I am called to view every single person I come into contact with as an image bearer of Christ. And if I do just that, how can I condemn racism and bigotry?

Second, I am called to act. I am called to stand up for those who are helpless. I am called to love the unloveable. I am called to show mercy to the merciless. I am called to care for those in need. The Lord showed us time and time again examples of putting others first. Standing up for others. Loving others. And I am called to follow His example.

Third, I am called to teach my children that we are all made in God's image. Just the other day, my four-year-old noticed that Steph Curry looked different than some of the other basketball players on the court. She knows that his skin is not the same color as hers. And it is my job to teach her that this is okay. It is my job to teach her that the Lord looks not at the outside of man, but at the heart instead. It is my job to set an example to all of my children that though skin color may differentiate us physically, it does not, in any way, make us better or worse. We are all made in God's image.

I did not know Alton Sterling. I did not know Philando Castile. And I do not know their families. But I do know Wattsie Alexander, Ford Alexander, and Jim Alexander. And it is my responsibility to raise them in such a way that if one day they come into contact with an Alton Sterling or a Philando Castile, that they would treat them as Christ has treated them-- with enough love in their hearts to give their lives for them, just as Christ has laid down His life for us.

Even so, come quickly, Lord.


how my two year old and i are basically just alike

this morning, my husband and i had an argument. i did something that sort of messed up his day, and to his defense, he's requested several times that i not do this one thing. but, i did it yesterday, anyway, because i wanted to do things my way. i didn't want to be told what to do. i wanted my life organized and put away, and he wanted his life convenient and accessible. so we argued.

i took my babies to preschool this morning, and when i picked them up right after lunch, wattsie was crying in her chair in her classroom. her sweet teacher was bent down next to her explaining to her why we cannot push our friends. wattsie was crying big, big tears and saying, "i want my momma. i just want my momma." i walked right in, bent down to talk to her and whispered in her ear, and she apologized to her little friend, jacob, and then to her teacher (after a bit of direction from her momma). i then scooped her up, dried her tears, and took her home to be with her momma.

wattsie had a tough day in preschool.

i had a tough day with my husband.

are my two year old and i basically just alike? yes. yes, we are.

but, you see, many, many years ago, someone else said, "i want to do things my way. i don't want to listen to anyone else."

that person, dear friend, was our mother, eve, in the garden that the lord had so graciously and lovingly given to her and her husband, adam.

but, eve, along with adam, said they didn't want to do things god's way. and we've all been bucking the system ever since.

but, then, years and years later, one came who did do things god's way. and he did everything god's way. when tempted by the same one who tempts us, he said, "not my will, but the will of my father." and that's what he did. and he did it all perfectly.

and that perfect and beautiful submission is the same righteousness that is credited to us through that same savior.

and so when we tell god, "not your way. i am going to do things my way," and then we realize how we've messed up by fighting with our husbands or pushing our friends at school, god says to us, "it's okay. we'll try again tomorrow." and we do just that. looking forward to the prize which is ours in christ jesus. we try again through the strength and guidance of the one who forgives us.

so, maybe i'm just like my two year old, and my two year old is just like me. and we are both just like eve.

but praise be to god for one came who was not just like us. one of us? yes. but not just like us.

the righteous one. the messiah. the spotless lamb slain before the foundation of the world.

and what joy for us! what forgiveness for us that he finds us where we are-- full of self, full of self-righteousness and full of self-centeredness-- but he does not leave us there. he stirs us to say, "i am sorry. i repent," and he scoops us up in his arms and loves us until our tears are dry.

and one day, he'll take us home to be with him. and what a glorious day that will be.

thank you, jesus, for always teaching this momma things through her children. may i never stop learning from them. praise you.


pumpkin patch comedy.

We went to the pumpkin patch on today with Gran V, Aunt Kelly, Bryleigh and Aaron. We had the best time. The patch was super close to our house (in Sardis, AL), so it was an easy trip on the babies (and on us!). We got there soon after it opened, and even though I thought it was going to be really crowded, it was actually wasn't. We were thankful!

As soon as we got there, I thought it would be best if I wore Ford, but it has been so long since he and I did any baby wearing, so I wasn't sure how it would go. Turns out, he lasted a pretty long time in his carrier, and I finally took him out because he wanted to play on the playground. I love baby wearing, so it was fun to know that he actually will tolerate it, even though he's so big now.

After we got our tickets, we did the duck races first. Bryleigh and Watts had a blast racing their little duckies. Watts was pumped about the water, of course. Ford loved chewing on his duck more than racing it, though.

After we played with the ducks for a bit, we let the girls play on the playground. Watts loved every single second of it. She is really into what she refers to as "playtrounds" these days, so this was right up her alley. She and Bryleigh played and played. Ford had fun, too. He especially loved the horse swings.

Watts saw the cow train rides while she was playing on the playground, and after much deliberation, we decided to let Watts ride it with Gran V. Gran V said she had a blast on it, which I am glad because we weren't sure if she'd like it or not.

While we were waiting on the tractor to take us to the pumpkin patch, we played on the playground a little more. Because PLAYTROUND.

We rode the tractor trailer to the pumpkin patch, and I had talked to Watts about what we were going to do once we got to the patch. I told her we'd pick out one pumpkin then ride back to the playground.  After we got off of the trailer, Watts and I walked over, and she picked up the first little pumpkin she could find. She walked over to Mat while he was standing beside the trailer, and she took that little pumpkin in her little, grimy, chubby baby hands, and she chunked it up onto that trailer. After that, she got up in the trailer, took a seat, and she was ready to go. The whole thing was very utilitarian for her. She got her pumpkin, and she was ready to head out. Sweet little girl is all work and no play when it comes to things like that.

I got to help Ford pick out his pumpkin, then we all loaded up, and went back to the playground area. After Daddy and Aaron shot a few corn cannons, we made a couple more photos, and we left for lunch. It was such a fun day, and I am glad Watts could spend some time with her cousins.

Happy Fall, y'all.


Just a Bit of Fall Festival Fun

We had a blast at our church's Fall Festival yesterday. We are so thankful that we serve and attend a church who loves our community, and this event is just one way we show our community how much they mean to us. Ford and Ama-Watts had a ton of fun, so I thought I'd post a couple of photos. Enjoy!