Sunday, November 23, 2008

We're not that great

If the size of this post is daunting, please skip to the bottom and read what I am encouraging you to do.

Well, I would apologize for the delay in updating the blog, but it would be insincere. We have been focused on incorporating Hazel into our lives, and it has been a fun challenge that does not afford much time for reflection- or going to the bathroom for that matter.

Thanks to all of you who have recently gotten in touch with us and shared your own story. We greatly appreciate it. I do apologize for the wonderful e-mails and calls that have not received a reply. Apparently a lot of folks watch Oprah. Please do not confuse our lack of response with a lack of desire to respond.

I am striving to make this blog about things other than just my family. However, this week I fail because, for now, this is what I am learning.

Within the thousands of e-mails, letters, and blog comments that we have received there have been a few common themes. One of them is something to the effect of commenting on how great Ginny and I are- either we were the greatest parents, or so wise to enjoy the time we were given, or my favorite- how we are “great Christians”- whatever that means.

While we really do appreciate the gesture, we constantly remind folks that the video was only 6 minutes long. Also, for some reason, the guys at IgniterMedia didn’t seem to focus the video on my problem with pride, lust, and just basic sin. This is not an attempt to feign humility and therefore really do the opposite. It’s just the pent up grimaces and desire to set the record straight.

One of the many powerful things that have impacted various parents about Eliot’s story is the encouragement to slow down and hug your kids; however, the lesson has often been misinterpreted when others think that we have somehow overcome this very struggle simply because we have been taught otherwise. Although the lesson has been learned, we strive to apply it each and every day.

So, here’s an update for all of you who have felt like lousy parents after seeing our story. We’re right there with ya. Just days after Oprah, and awash in e-mails of how we were the ideal parents. I woke up. I woke up mad. I was frustrated with this little girl who would not allow me or her mother to get over one hour of sleep. Not the “ahh schucks” frustrated. I mean really angry. It was the first time I had felt this. I am sure it will not be the last. It then took about 5 minutes for me to begin to feel like something I hate to step in. And I talked to God about it, and He forgave me.

I actually never imagined that I would feel this toward a child of mine. Especially in light of what we have walked through. But I did. So there. If anything is great about my parenting, I am pretty sure it is not me.

I am Israel. Always forgetting what I already learned. We are truly battling to live in light of what we know. Not always easy as the defaults attempt to wade back into our lives with this new little one.


We recently had the opportunity to “dedicate” Hazel before our church. It was really pretty fun, and somewhat emotional for both Gin and I. We had never done that. Here was the voice over that we read as her picture was behind was up on the screen:

Hazel Emerson Mooney. You are one amazing girl. It is proven by the fact that you got your mom up on this stage. She hates that.

You are our second child and are so we honored to get to know you more each day from here on.

Please be patient with us…as we have love for 2 just waiting to be poured out on you.

Although your birth was amazing, we pray and await your 2nd birth when you will begin to walk with our Savior.

Our prayer is that He would enable us to parent you in light of the lessons He has taught us…most importantly that you are not ours, but His.

We love you. He loves you.

Job 1:21 God gives. God takes. God’s name ever be blessed.


A shout out to the mothers…

I want to make you aware of something that I think is pretty cool. A husband (who will remain anonymous) is doing something really cool for his wife for Christmas. You can read all the details here.

Basically, out of an agreed conviction from his family that they will not spend money on Christmas this year, rather, they plan to set the amount of money they would have spent aside and give it away. Thus, this means that gifts are required to not cost him money.

He is asking for mothers to write a letter to another mother. He is gathering all of these letters and giving them as a gift to his wife (if you participate, he will give you the end product as well).

Here’s the thing. What will make this project special is mothers who are willing to be gut-level honest in their assessment of motherhood as they know it. The more honest, the better. I don’t do this often…OK, never. But I am asking you to do a couple of things:

1.) Spread the word…Tell the moms in your world to participate (e-mails, blogs, etc.) This really only works if the word is spread.

2.) Write a letter….I think the process of doing this for mothers is the appeal. Anything that forces you to think back and reflect on what you have gathered along the way, is a good thing. And we have been witness to the fact that your own story- when told- can allow others to believe that their world is not as lonely as they once thought.

OK, enough car salesman, go do it.

I know, I know. Pictures will come.