Saturday, June 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Bob!

Forty seven years ago a tiny little baby boy was born a couple months premature in a Children's Hospital in San Francisco, California. I'm thankful he survived because that tiny little baby grew up to be my best friend and love of my life. I met him when he was 20 - tall, dark and handsome! I celebrate him today and am so thankful for the gift he is to me. Not only has he changed my life, he has impacted the lives of so many. When I think about some of the lives he has poured into, I think about policemen, teachers, pastors, entrepreneurs, moms, dads, business men and women, artists, actors, musicians, administrators, and that's not an exhaustive list. It's amazing to me how the life of one person can impact the life of so many. He is strong, sensitive, bold, fearless, kind, loving, smart, a trailblazer, and most importantly a man of God. I am blessed to have him as my life long partner in the covenant of marriage. He makes me better.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

25 and counting...

This morning I told Bob I thought that by the time we were married 25 years we would be old. Ha! I guess it's all relative. 25 years!! Incredible. That was quick! When I look back at our lives, all that has changed, how we have grown, gains and losses, I am amazed. I'm not sure what I expected things to be like after 25 years of marriage. The only thing I knew for sure was that I would be by his side. And I am - for the long haul and through it all.

Way back then, as a young college student, I looked at marriage as a fairy tale. All we would need is love and each other. Well...we did need love and we did need each other, but marriage is far from a fairy tale. I learned that the hard way. We needed a lot more. Through my husband God has refined me in many ways. Going through the refiners fire is not easy, quite frankly it isn't pleasant either. But I'm thankful for it. It has brought me into deeper relationship with my Father and with my husband.

I have learned a lot from Bob over the past 25 years - more things than I have time or space to share here. He has taught me to think before I speak and to weigh my words heavily. He has taught me to take risks and trust the outcome. He has taught me how to stand firm and stand up for myself. He has taught me not to run from conflict. He has taught me to examine the teachings of others carefully so as not to be deceived. Through it all, he has pointed me to Jesus.

There are so many things I love about being married to this man. He is fun and funny. He is handsome and charming. He is sensitive and caring. He loves our children with a tough love, that at times is frightening and difficult for me, but needed nonetheless. He is strong and tender. He leads with confidence and wisdom. He is thoughtful and creative.

I didn't know 25 years ago what things would be like today. I didn't know we would move 10 times. I didn't know we would live far from our families. I didn't know we would be blessed with 3 incredible kids. I didn't know we would lose a baby. I didn't know we would lose my mom at such a young age. I didn't know we would find such blessing and heartache in ministry. I didn't know friends would betray us. I didn't know I would get gray hair so early! I didn't know we would both change so radically between our 20's and our 40's. But this I did know...that we would love, honor and cherish each other; that we would be faithful and true to each other; that we would stay together through sickness and health, for richer or poorer.

I'd do it all again, just to call this man my husband. He is a blessing and I love him with all my heart.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

One more year to be a teenager

Nineteen years ago today I learned that my heart was indeed big enough to love 2 babies. Emily Brooke Bickford was born at 5:17am with big brown eyes, dark skin and curly black hair. Once again I understood in a new way God's love for me. After the birth of our son I couldn't imagine how I would be able to love another baby as deeply as I loved him. So I was relieved when that fear vanished the moment I laid eyes on her. She was perfect in every way.

It has been amazing to watch her grow over the years. We have had many big life changes over the course of her life- some harder than others. It has been my privilege to be beside her and be her Mama each day. I pray some day God will bless her with a precious little girl who expands her heart more than she thought possible. That's what He has done for me.

So on your birthday, sweet Emily, I wish you joy, a heart that longs for holiness, the peace that only Jesus can give you and more love than you thought possible. Happy Birthday Peanut.  I love you more than words can say.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

He's 21!

I can't believe I'm saying it, because it sounds so old, but my son, my first born, turned 21 today. He is an adult. How can I be old enough to have an adult child?! Where has the time gone? I had a dream about him the other night. In my dream (which was one of those that feels real) I had gone in to wake up my youngest for school, only it wasn't her. It was Alex when he was about 5 years old. He was sleepy and wanted me to crawl in bed with him and snuggle. His hair was full, soft and straight - just like it used to be. I ran my fingers through it and savored those moments of loving. I woke up after that, sad that it had just been a dream. But thankful for the memories that it brought to me. Every night he would ask me to "be soft" - which meant rub his head while running my fingers through his hair. Such a tender time between us that I miss so much.

Alex is still sweet and tender though. He cares for the lost and downtrodden. He sticks up for the underdog. He fights against injustice. He is super creative and crazy talented musically. He wrote a song for his littlest sister to encourage her. He is responsible and brave. He is hard working and fun. He is a problem solver and envelope pusher. He is a loyal friend and trusted confidant. The sound of his voice is music to my ears. He is a blessing to me and I'm so honored to be called his mom.

Happy Birthday Son

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Four Years and Counting

Exactly 4 years ago today, my family and I drove into STL after having packed up all our worldly possessions and hauled them here from Dallas. My oh my how things have changed in 4 years. So much has happened. We moved here for my husband's job, which changed last fall. We came here with no place to live, but through the generosity of a very sweet lady, we had a temporary home in the city until we found our house in Webster Groves. Our son graduated high school, went to college for a year, then launched out full time pursuing a career in music back in TX. Our oldest daughter played all 4 years on her high school volleyball team, graduated and is heading back to TX for college in 3 weeks. Our youngest daughter joined Girl Scouts, began playing organized basketball and will start middle school in 2 weeks. We have said goodbye to our then 11 year old dog and hello to our now 3 year old dog. We all left behind many good friends in TX and have been blessed with many good friends here in STL. God has stretched and grown each of us in ways we could never have dreamed or imagined. He continues to do that. He has opened our hearts to so many new things. I'm thankful for the many changes and know His promises remain true. He is faithful.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Walking with Emily

Thirteen years ago I walked my 2nd born child, Emily Brooke, into the doors of Dawson Elementary in Corpus Christi, TX, for her first day of kindergarten. Tonight I will watch as she walks across the stage to receive her high school diploma from Webster Groves High School in Webster Groves, MO, graduating magna cum laude. The walk from kinder to senior has been full of beauty, mountains, valleys, laughter and tears. It has been one of the deepest joys of my life to walk through life with this incredible young lady.

The first time I saw her, after just 3 1/2 hours of labor, she captured my heart. Her tan skin and curly black hair were so beautiful. I took her sweet little hand in mine and have watched it grow, as her Daddy and I have walked with her through the adventures and challenges of growing up. We've navigated the beach, many different schools, new friendships, a baby sister, new churches, mean girls, thoughtless boys, being lost in SAM's, learning to ride a bike, having a relationship with Jesus, homework challenges, clothes not made for tall girls, learning to drive, laughing 'til we cry, and choosing a college. It's amazing to look at her now and see God's hand on her life. He has been walking this journey with her too.

As she embarks on a new adventure in life, studying Elementary Education at Dallas Baptist University, I'm excited for her. I look forward to watching her grow into a young adult who cares for others, serves those around her and makes a difference in the world. I know the impact she has will be far reaching.

I will always enjoy holding her hand and walking with her, even if only in my heart.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is always a bitttersweet day for me. I love what it stands for - celebrating the joy of being a Mommy, which, next to being a wife, is my favorite thing to be. But it's a day that I miss my own Mommy just a little more than every other day. It's been almost 16 years  since my mom died. I miss her so much. She is such a huge part of the person and mommy I am today. As I think about Mom, and being a mom, I think about so many other special ladies who have impacted my life. So many moms who have also helped mold me into the person and mom I am today. I am thankful for them as well. I have many friends who share the difficulty of this day. Some for the same reason - they have lost their moms. Some for other reasons - they are struggling with the reality of not being able to become a mom. So I have many prayers today - prayers of happiness and thankfulness, prayers of sorrow and lament, prayers of desire and hopefulness.