the field trip

Before the museum, there was anticipation.

Promise that you’re coming on our field trip, mom?” With my affirmation, a relieved sigh and smile.

And then after, there was peaceful satisfaction.

“I am the luckiest one because I got to be with you ALL day.”

Those words, they washed away all the frustration and fatigue I felt from the day. For it became apparent to me that first grade boys and museums aren’t exactly best friends. Museums don’t smile upon running, or touching, or speed. Things my first grader is very fond of.

But those words. Those words. They made it so very worth it.

I will remember them. Always.

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Easter

I want so much.

I want the teenager to see. Really see how precious those around her are. And how precious she is. Her ipod set aside this week, I wonder how that will impact her heart.

I want my little Legolas to know he is precious. School is hard. Home is hard. Everywhere in between is hard. Could it really be that no one likes him? Could it maybe be that what is inside is what is hard? Grace is what heals that place. So I wait for God.

I want the seven year old to stay small. His heart, a beautiful mix of compassion and boyishness. Can it just stay that way? Can he always just look at me with those beautiful blue pools of wonder and be innocent? I want this. For him. For me.

I want the almost-kindergartener to know he is loved. Bedtime comes, and we talk. His favorite thing of the day? That people were nice to him for a change. And he still manages to pray “God, change my heart so I don’t get so mad.” And my heart leaps and weeps all at once.

I want the baby to be the baby. Always. Being almost-two is taxing. On me. Can we leave the tin foil alone for just one day? And possibly not throw raisins around just this once? My heart bursts. Because its hard. And I fear ruining her with all my mistakes.

And still, there are so many more wants in my momma heart.

This weekend, this Easter, I wanted more than anything to know HIS love and feel HIS joy and revel in HIS goodness. My greatest struggle is knowing I am not enough. Mothering is hard and raw and real. And it sends me screaming into myself. Hidden away inside is ache that I can not do this.

But I know the ONE who can.

The ONE who does.

HE did it. It is FINISHED. All I need to do now is to COME.  In the coming, HE meets. HE sustains. HE shoulders my load. Carries my burdens.

These children? They are not mine. Not really. They belong to HIM. And HE will meet them through the ages and weave their lives into tapestries of grace. Me? I am HIS servant. Blessed beyond measure to witness this weaving. Blessed beyond measure to let HIM use me.

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Emily’s first birthday

Emily is ONE. The big ONE. Today. I look at her and I marvel. How did the year pass me so quickly that I feel as though it was merely a dream? How did eight pounds of helpless turn into twenty pounds of walking adorable? A strange mix of sorrow and joy swirl madly within me. I want to rewind. To go back and do it again. Not to have another, but to experience her. All over again. On the other hand, I adore who she is and is becoming. I delight in her growth. And so I will pray that God helps me to cherish each and every moment of this sweet little one’s life.

Her party was marvelous. From the sitting on big sister’s lap for gifts, to the delight on her face when we sang Happy Birthday, to meeting her first Cabbage Patch baby, to resting by Grandpa for a bottle after the festivities.  I will remember it always. Happy birthday, sweet Emily. (An enormous thank you to Ellie Baumann for the beautiful cakes!!)DSC_9422DSC_9412DSC_9408DSC_9439DSC_9414DSC_9538-2DSC_9446-2DSC_9474DSC_9478-2DSC_9481-2DSC_9502DSC_9521DSC_9543DSC_9552-2DSC_9551DSC_9600DSC_9584DSC_9631DSC_9633

remembering my calling

I wrote this as a guest post awhile back for aboutproximity.com. I realize you may have read this before. So have I. But I needed to reread this today. For me. For my family. I struggle with roaming “out there” to find purpose. I struggle with neglecting my family and ignoring God while I look for “who I am”.  And “out there” I feel so anxious and unfulfilled. Silly me. Who I am is God’s beloved. Who I am is a mother to 6 littles, a wife to an amazing guy. And I find that right here, right where I am. And where God has called me will bring the most fulfillment. My soul can rest in God alone. He alone is my rock and my salvation. So thankful today for his reminders to my soul, his rest for my weary.

 

Name: Amy Bosma

Your Family: My husband Shane and I have six kiddos ranging in ages from 17 years to 6 months, three girls and three boys – Taylor, Makayla, Ryan, Daniel, Noah and Emily.

Your Location in the World: Holland, MI, USA

Three favorites: (I am going to break the rules and give four….) Giving birth, sitting on the beach soaking up the sun, photography (both the act of and the enjoyment of)  and coffee (even though it makes me crazy if I drink it every day)

What is your calling?

When I was presented with the question “What is your calling?” my mind started scrambling for something worthy of writing down. To me, “calling” means purpose. It means passion.  I thought of a few things I am involved in that I could pretend I was most passionate about, but my heart kept drawing me back to what I know is my true purpose right now.

Lets start at the beginning. I was thrust into motherhood at the tender age of nineteen. I had no idea what I was doing and it didn’t feel all that important either. God allowed me to roam around looking for my “calling” in those first years of motherhood. I wanted it to be something important out there.  By “out there” I mean out of my home, away from my family, in public view. Certainly God couldn’t be calling me to just be a mother. So in an attempt to find purpose I did mission trips, led GEMS, trained for prayer ministry, became a youth leader, and so on. None of those felt like they were it.

The past few years God has been drawing my heart back to my home.

My it? My great calling right now? Motherhood. Simple, non-glamorous, I know.

Lets face it, cleaning puke off a crying child at midnight doesn’t earn a spot on the missionary bulletin board at church. It doesn’t even draw forth a thank-you most of the time.

But mothering truly is my passion now.

I don’t want you to think for even one second that we’ve got it all together over here just because I am passionate about being a mom. We are not Pinterest-worthy. We’re a messy bunch of people. Both figuratively and literally. (I can’t even count the times my boys have worn holey jeans to church, or forgotten their underwear, or skipped brushing their teeth. The times we’ve forgotten to do family devotions FAR outnumber the times we’ve done them. And let’s not even talk about the yelling and the fighting.)

And most of the time I downright stink at this. I really do. But the purpose of my calling is not to be a perfect mother. It is to have an open, humble heart to learn from the perfect parent – God. Perhaps my imperfection is the reason this is my calling. God knows that failing constantly and crying out to him for more mercy and guidance every day is what will break me and then grow me. And it will grow them. And that is my passion.

Share a way God has worked through you, part of your redemption story:

My redemption story is not a story of one miraculous rescue, but a series of rescues. Because of rejections and woundings in my life, I spent most of my life feeling unloved. I lived by these woundings and in turn my life bore the scars of rebellion,  teen pregnancy, addiction, depression, pain and self-loathing. But God, in his infinite grace, has been whispering his love to my heart right from the start. Sometimes I can not hear him. But there are times where His voice breaks through the drone of the world’s noise and I once again see who he is, and then I can run to his arms.  And at those times God is able to change my heart. He faithfully picks me up, once again, and proves his love for me.  By God’s grace, I can say that I no longer see myself as a victim. I no longer see myself as damaged goods. I no longer define my identity by my sin, but by the way God sees me. His goal is for me to know I am his beloved. My redemption story is ongoing. I pray it will not end until the day I see His face, and I pray that at every turn in my life God somehow uses my story to bless others.

How do you place yourself in the proximity of renewal?

Although my family is my number one ministry right now, God does use my limited time and resources to focus me on other ways of renewal/service for short seasons.  From a youth group lesson I feel inspired to share, to helping my son raise money for a well in a third world country, to praying passionately for an issue God presses on my heart, to blogging about human trafficking, to bringing a meal to a family. These are all moments in time, short periods of my life, where God gives me incredible passion for something. When I have full filled what he has asked me to do, I am released from that burden and I just keep on living my number one calling. For now, I don’t feel desire to be committed long-term to any of the these things. But that’s not to say I won’t in the future. My greatest desire is to follow God wherever he leads me.DSC_4513

 

 

 

what ten months looks like

My Emily is ten months old this month. My heart leaps, and grieves, and cherishes what this time looks like.

Ten months looks like a whole lot of cuteness.

Ten months looks like trying to master this thing called walking. And falling down a lot.

Ten months looks a lot like strong opinions. She certainly knows what she wants and when.

Ten months looks like life is flying by way too quickly. She is growing up way too fast.

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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Ernie and Denise // married // West Olive, MI

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of witnessing the marriage of my wonderful Aunt and new Uncle. The weather was a bit wet and cloudy all day, and it rained {well, down poured actually} during their backyard ceremony. But even the rain couldn’t take the joy out of this day. We simply sought shelter under the deck 🙂 The rain came to celebrate a new beginning, and the sun followed to grow it. Congratulations Denise and Ernie!
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Ryan and Amber // married // Holland, MI

I may have been completely in love with the details of this day. The vintage lace table cloths, the antique plates hand-picked by the bride’s mother, the vases of wildflowers, the highchairs set up for all the babies, the paper lanterns and fireworks at the end. LOVE. I also confess that I am in love with the people. I have known the bride’s family most of my life and they are just wonderful. Add in Ryan’s wonderful family and it is no wonder Ryan and Amber are such a great couple. And did I not say they deserved super weather for this day because of what they endured during our engagement shoot? Well, that sunshine and warm weather came through for them! A perfect day for their outdoor wedding at Ryan’s parent’s house.  Thank you for sharing your special day with me Baumann and DeWind families!  Enjoy your preview, Amber and Ryan!

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Kambry // newborn lifestyle

Heaven to me is snuggling and sniffing a soft squishy newborn. And Kambry was no exception. I had baby-fever the moment I laid eyes on her. Perfect little round head, button nose, and full head of hair. And her smell…oh my. I don’t think my husband would let me do this job if he knew how much it made me long for another little one. 🙂 Welcome to the world, little Kambry!
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Ryan and Amber // engaged

These two are awesome. Not only are they completely adorable and fun, they braved misty rain and 50 degree temps for their engagement shoot. Their wedding is only two weeks away and I, for one, am so excited! And I’m pretty sure they deserve some super weather that day for enduring this rain! 🙂 Enjoy your preview Ryan and Amber!

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