Astonish and Wonder

Apr 22

‘Twas a great weekend.

My Maren turned five.  I remember oh-so-well that feeling of giddiness when it is your birthday and you’re little.  She wiggled with the joy of it all weekend.  At her party I learned what a leader she is among her peers, and so enjoyed watching how she relates to the littles in her life: very tender and attentive (and, at times, alarmingly bossy).  When I tucked her in on her birthday’s eve, she asked to read the bedtime story to me.  And she did.  I’m not sure whether the ache in my chest is pride or heartache that she’s growing so fast.  I told her I was giving her the last of her four-year-old kisses, and that tomorrow I would have to start giving her kisses for a five-year-old.  She smiled, and then looked up at me and said, “Mom, do you know that today I lost all of my four-year-old powers?”  Shrugging, “They’re gone now because I’m almost five.”  She astonishes me daily.

Greta, eleven months old now, has developed a book addiction.  She toddles over with a book in her hand and puts it in my lap.  If I don’t start reading it to her immediately, and let her turn the pages, she bursts into hysterical tears.  She talks to the people, lifts the flaps and points to the shapes and colors that interest her.  She already has favorite books.  She’s understanding words and knows book, baby, kisses, bye-bye and all done.  I’m choosing to believe she doesn’t understand ‘no’ yet, as it induces no reaction whatsoever.  She is so willful and intentional with everything she does; distracting her from what she is interested in is a herculean effort.  She fills me with wonder.

These girls, I love them so much.  It is such a privilege to be their mom.


  1. Happy Birthday Maren! So glad God gave you Jen for a mom!

  2. Michele Weaverling /

    Hi Jen — I have loved following your story and think of you daily. I too have a Maren who is about to turn 5! You are clearly the ultimate cool mom for having chosen such a perfect name (hahaha:). Please know that I am one of the many who are pulling for you and who are filled with hope with each blog post. You are a wonderful writer (spoken as a writer myself), and your grace in facing your medical journey is amazing. Keep up the great work on all fronts, girl!

  3. You are a beautiful mom. I am praying for your cure.

  4. Happy Mommiversary to you! First borns are alarmingly bossy, I think it comes in the rule book! 🙂 Sending you love and LOVING the verses you posted a few days ago. Need to stickie note them for myself. Praying for a week of good moments like these as you do today well all week!

  5. Sue Nitz /

    Happy Birthday Maren! Oh they grow so fast. They are lucky to have you as their Mom! God is looking down on your beautiful family and He is smiling! You praise Him so well by being the wonderful person you are! As always prayers and love coming your way.

  6. Haha! I bet it’ll be fun to see what 5 year old powers are! Bless you always!

  7. chubbyroad2skinny /

    My 15 month old does the same thing with the books. God forbid I don’t drop everything I’m doing and read it to her, she has a total meltdown. How sweet that Maren wanted to read to you.

  8. I love hearing about your kids! Mine are 5, 2.5, and 14 months, so I can definitely relate. I really love every age, but we’re really enjoying 5. Love watching their “big girl” personalities develop.

  9. My #1 son turned 5 a few weeks ago. Kindergarten registration this week! It’s a great age.

    My #2 son is 2.5.

  10. Happy Birthday to Maren! Today is the 5th Anniversary of my baby sister’s death..she died of cancer…but she was terminal by the time she was diagnosed… she was 40 when she died. She left two boys 4 and 8, who were left with an amazing dad..Thank God.
    I get a glow whenever I read your blog..I feel like you have the hope she never had. I pray for you every night, as I do for her.
    I pin my hopes and dreams on you now..the pain of her loss never leaves me..but I feel like she’s watching over us all, and I feel she has her eye on you, to live a life uninterrupted, staying with the family you love so much and who love and need you..If I never comment again, know that my love and prayers are always there for you and your family. I know you will win your fight.
    Love and Peace

  11. ohiofishergirl /

    I’m glad your weekend was great and give my little buddy Maren five big birthday hugs and kisses from me! Five-year-old’s powers are five times better than four-year-old’s!! ;-p Love you!! Lauri

  12. Tina Mathie /

    Happy Tuesday! Much love, prayers and hugs. XoXoX

  13. Bonniebj /

    Thinking and praying for you today, Jen. It’s a beautiful day…full of hope and grace.

  14. Books Can Open so many doors * They enlighten & teach, yet allow fun & help ~ It is so Wonderful that You read to your girls & let them read to you ~ Such a normal day 🙂 Continued Prayers * You are on our Church Prayer list 🙂