It’s a . . .


Yep, you guessed it. Or maybe you didn’t…

Frankly, I should have known…. I am a boy mama through and through.

Four boys!!!!  Four.  FOUR.

I was up early this morning, not anxious or worried… preoccupied is the best word. I couldn’t sleep for the curiosity and hopeful wondering of WHO this little one would be?!? Who has the Lord chosen to round out our family? I would have put money on the fact that this would be a girl. From the dreams and words people have given, to the fact that my symptoms were altogether different this time around, I was convinced that those balloons today would be pink.

But as I talked to Jesus this morning, I had this sense that my hands needed to loosen from around something I didn’t even know I was clasping, and I just needed to ask him to give me JOY whatever would come. It was the same thing I asked Him when I had an inkling I was pregnant with #1… and He answered so faithfully… but that is a story for another day. So I opened my hands and heart and wondered aloud and into the pages of my journal and skimmed my bible and asked Him for joy…

Hours later, with blue goo all over my belly and eyes searching the screen, Marshall and I saw the little appendage that we both have become familiar with on that ultrasound screen. And I began to laugh. LAUGH. With joy and this sense of, OF COURSE! Of course it would be a boy. God knows the heart He has given me.

See, for as sure as I might have been that this was a girl, and for as many people have assumed this #4 is a final attempt for a girl, I have always pictured myself as a mom of all boys.  Yes, I would delight in a little girl; I would love for my husband to be a girl-daddy, for my sons hearts to become soft toward a sister. To be honest, there was a moment about an hour after we left our appointment when a little wave of grief for what would not be washed over me. I will not experience a relationship with a daughter, or swoop her off to a bridal shower with me, or braid hair or go dress shopping.

If we are honest, there is a moment when we must respectfully honor what is not to be so that we can fully embrace what is.

And so I spoke these things aloud to my wonderful husband and a few tears sprung up, and we had a moment of quiet before beginning to dream about the person who God is weaving together. We dreamed of the friends and “adopted-daughters” that will flood our home over the years, of the daughters-in-love that we will get to experience in all their glory {post adolescence!  I was a girl once; I know how challenging I could be!}  We rejoiced over this nameless little man who would round out our family, and in effect, all the others he would bring into the fold.

The fact is that somewhere along the way, long ago, my heart broke to be a mom to young men. As ministry with Young Life has brought so many young people through our home, and given me conversations over my kitchen table and in my living room with high school and college-aged and 20-something young men, I have seen a trend… so many of them are defeated. So many of them have not experienced respect and honor from the women in their lives – moms, sisters, friends. In the name of feminism {and I am all about strong, capable women with equal opportunity!} there has been this subtle, or not so subtle, demeaning of the men who we are called to love and honor and raise up. I so desire to be a mom that raises young men that don’t wonder what it is like to hear words of affirmation and of hope. Who are treated in a manner of respect long before they have earned it, and particularly when they are disrespectful. I fail often, but I hope for these things and ask forgiveness regularly. And I have an incredible partner in crime; Marshall could not be a more incredible example of a compassionate, self-controlled and humble man, with a quiet strength and a teachable heart. I hope my boys are like him in so many ways. I pray our home will be a refuge for our boys and their friends – a place where life is spoken into them, where they are seen for who they are and not who others want them to be, where hope is instilled and at the center of it all, God does mighty mighty work.

I have so far to go. Most days I battle my own tongue, my own humility in not being able to tame these little people, who contrary to popular belief, have free will, and don’t seem to care that I am using all of the perfect parenting techniques the books say will elicit obedience. Nope. They do what they want.  They give me a run for my money.

But over and over, and yet again today in such a clear way, the Lord has invited me into this crazy mighty calling of raising little warrior leaders who will fight for what is good and honorable and right.  And who will know that failure leads to great wisdom. and that forgiveness {asked for and given} will be their greatest strength. And who will know that they are loved beyond compare.

Four boys, people. I might be years without babysitters. And I will be haggard and war torn.  But I have a feeling my heart will be more full than I could ever imagine.

Let’s go. 

5 thoughts on “It’s a . . .

  1. Hi Emily, It’s lisa (Jeff Phillips sis). I get posts forwarded to me from my mom every once in a while. I really enjoyed reading this. Congrats on your next boy!!


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