Nosebleeds & Dirt & Plants & Snuggles

My little Rico-Bean had a pretty bad nosebleed at school yesterday….like, I had to go get him. 😦 So, the Bible verse that my Mama prayed over me for years is now the verse that I am praying over my son (Ezekiel 16:6). That kinda breaks my heart a little bit; I hope he grows out of this before I did. I never really grew out of it; rather, I got healed of them in my 20’s.

David still gets them, and like me, he had them while growing up. Nosebleeds run rampant on my bio-dad’s side of the family, and with David getting them? Yikes–bring on the prayers and the Vitamin K.

So, before I got the call from the school to come and get my child, I was doing my annual plant purchasing. I bought herbs and annuals, and was fortunate enough to get a few things on sale. I’ve done well with discounted plants! My little $0.50 Japanese fern from Lowe’s, from 8 years ago, is thriving!!! I was supposed to see my MD yesterday, but those plans were thwarted by the call from the school.

I picked Rico up, and everyone said they were so pleased by how calm he stayed. His nose bled for over 30 minutes, which is a lot; he never cried or acted scared, so when he asked me to take him to the store, I caved, and he got some Hot Wheels. 🙂 We went home, & he asked me if he could help plant.

My parents had a nice garden when I was a kid, and even though there were some things I hated (picking beans!!!!!), I loved the idea of getting grounded in planting something new. I had a raised garden for a while, but it became too difficult to maintain between parenthood, my job, and the fatigue that is such an issue. My front yard, however, is doable, and I keep it pretty low-maintenance.

I think Rico-bean just wanted to play in the dirt, but honestly? Since he already had blood on his shirt, what harm could dirt do? So, together, we planted my herbs and flowers. It was fun to work with him, & he was so good!!! He listened, he followed instructions, and he helped to make the work go much faster. He’s getting so big, & I can really see how much he’s matured in this first year of school.

He’s definitely still my little boy, though! I usually go to bed before David, as does Jericho; last night, he said, “Mommy, can we go to sleep like we used to do? I wanna hop in your bed.” So, in he went! We snuggled under the blankets, read a story, and he said our prayers: “God, we just want You to be in control, so please show us Your ways.” I think that’s a pretty great prayer.

A friend of mine has a kid that’s hit the “terrible twos,” and I have to be honest–Jericho was pretty good thru the two’s and three’s, but four?!?!? FOUR WAS NOT FUN. This kindergarten year has been a blast, though, and we are seeing his personality really develop!

I know that I usually blog because I want to sort through an issue or make a point, but today? I just want to document a memory. I want to remember yesterday, not because of the nosebleed, but because of the sweetness of working together with my ever-growing young man, and the cuddles with my forever-little boy. I don’t want to forget the dirty fingers and flushed cheeks, or the innocent prayers and the bubble baths. There is so much beauty in an average day with your kiddo…I need to write it down, because when they’re growing up, nothing is “average.” Everything they do is full of wonder; we’re just too busy to stop and to breathe it in.

I’m breathing it in.

This kid is amazing…as tired as I am, as busy as we get, I have to stop & breathe it in, and make these memories, because otherwise, what am I doing? I don’t want to be 10 years down the road and have forgotten these moments. I love that we have smartphones that make photography second-nature, and there are perks to having the ability to document everything.

Some day, I’ll read over these blogs and be thankful that they’re not all angsty emo-diatribes of whatever I’m sorting out.

I’ll be grateful for the time I took to document the wonder and joy of a dirty, snuggly, adorable little boy and his Hot Wheels, and of an afternoon spent on plants and prayers.

Giving Your Kid Weird Names is Fun…AKA The Promises of God…

My name is Cassidy.

Cassidy Sarah, to be precise.

I’m named thus, in part because of my paternal grandmother (who I never got to meet; I understand she was short & plump, and that’s all I know), and in part, because nobody liked my mom’s other suggestion: Bethany.

By the time I came along in my parents’ marriage, things were NOT going well. My biological father hadn’t really proven to be overly interested in my pending birth, so he didn’t have any input into the name I wound up with. “Cassidy” came from a person who said “hello” to their daughter Cassidy on a game show, that my mother happened to see. The rest is, as they say, history.

I’ve only ever met one Cassidy who is my age. The name had a surge in popularity in the late 80’s or early 90’s, thanks to Kathie Lee Gifford. She named her daughter Cassidy, and then nicknamed her “Casserole,” so if I ever see her, I won’t need a reminder to slap her silly.  Other Cassidys that I’ve met have all been younger, and Lord knows, there’s a TON of spelling variations on the name (Kassidee? Kasidy? Casidy? Cassadee? Some of those hurt to type).

The name “Cassidy” has a few different interpretations. It’s undeniably Irish-Gaelic, and was traditionally a boy’s name. It can mean “clever,” “inventive,” or “Curly-Haired (yes, I’m serious),” and in some cases, it’s defined as meaning, “sly.” That’s flattering, right?

I’ve always believed that whatever you name your child is a proclamation over them for the rest of their lives. When I first looked up my name and saw that it meant “clever,” I wasn’t a fan. Further research made me reconsider; I definitely qualify as “crafty,” given my love of my glue gun (yes, I know, that’s not what “crafty” is inferring, but work with me), and “curly haired?” Really? Shut up. 🙂 I can’t imagine myself with any other name. I’m glad that my mama took a chance on this crazy name, and I’ve slowly gotten over feeling slighted because I can’t find anything personalized.

I recently received an e-mail from my son’s kindergarten teacher. He’s getting ready to graduate (sniff!!), and she does something with the meaning of their names every year in the ceremony. She asked me if there was any special definition we knew that she couldn’t find, because the only definitions she could find were “fragrant” or “City of the Moon.” I had to laugh–it’s come full circle, that the girl with the odd name would, after years of swearing off of odd names for her children, name her son something that’s not going to show up in a Christmas ornament kiosk. So, I had to expound a tiny bit on why we gave our child the unusual moniker shared with a city that got destroyed (and that had a curse attached to it, were it to ever be rebuilt…which it was….and bad things happened).

Even without researching the definition of the name, “Jericho” seemed like a perfect name for my son. It wasn’t just a city that was destroyed for the glory of God and the progression of His people.

It was a city that seemed indestructible.

It was a city that seemed overwhelmingly unstoppable, incredibly protected and well-armed, and like an impenetrable fortress. It was sophisticated, metropolitan, and and a place of great value. When the Israelites looked on the city of Jericho, they knew they didn’t stand a chance….but God said to take it.

He said it was theirs.

He promised them.

And they believed.

By now, you know the story–Jericho’s older sister died, and my heart failed. We were told we’d have no more children, unless I was ready to be too dead to raise them. Doctors told us “no” so many times that my husband was ready to stop asking; I begged for one last appointment, and that doctor (Michael Paul, MD, Missouri Baptist Hospital perinatology) said “yes.” We got pregnant in 2012, and I will never forget the spiritual battles that took place for the entire 36 weeks (okay, 35) that I was pregnant. The first 30 days of my child’s life were some of the toughest days I have ever known (post-partum piled onto everything else), and I was in the fight of my life…but we won.

We all won.

The people of Israel were told to march around the city of Jericho, silently, for 6 days. Only the trumpets could be played (how annoying would THAT be?!?!  I sense a strategy…). On the 7th day, they were told to march around Jericho 7 times, and on the last time, to deliver a mighty roar. When they did this, God moved and the walls of Jericho fell down. The battle was won! The people of Jericho had put all of their faith into those walls–they didn’t have an army that could fight. I’m guessing their army was untrained, because they were so secure in believing those walls would never come down. They were wrong.

God moved, walls fell, and His people took the city.

They took what He promised them.

So did we.

“Jericho” has a few different interpretations in history, but the ones my son’s teacher found are the most common: “Fragrant.” “City of the Moon.” There’s also “City of Palms” (a place of respite?), or these definitions, which talk about “breath,” “way,” or “width.” Those are less common, and I tend to stick to the definition of “fragrant.”

Fragrance is a powerful word in the Bible; it’s mentioned quite a bit, and evokes a lot of sentiment. It’s used by itself and in conjunction with the word, “incense,” which was always used as part of the sanctification processes in the Tabernacle, and symbolized faith that our praises and prayers are heard. Psalms 141:2 says, “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” (NIV) In the Book of Revelations, it talks about incense rising with the prayers of the saints before the Lord.

The fact that my son’s name means something that seems so mundane, but has such a powerful connotation, is not lost on David & I. Every time we speak his name, we’re pouring out over him the fact that he is like a fragrance of worship before the Lord. Day and night, even when we’re in terrible moods, even when times are tough, no matter what happens, he is an answer to prayer and a testimony that resounds in our lives and evokes worship–that’s a powerful name. The kid was born out of prayers and trust, and he doesn’t know it yet, but he has a destiny to worship the Lord.

No pressure, kiddo.

So, yes, Jericho’s teacher, his name means, “fragrance.” And sure, he’s a stinky boy (are all boys stinky? Is that just part of it?!?!), but his heart was formed in the fires of intercession and prayer.

Our son is a living testimony to the promises of God that many people told us were not achievable (you know who told us they were wrong? Joe LoRusso.). We were told “no.” God said, “yes,” and we obeyed Him. Jericho was delivered to us, and our praises and prayers before, during, and after, are the least we can give a God Who kept His promises and blessed our socks off.

There’s a song called, “Worthy of It All” by David Brymer. It became a cornerstone song in my life during my pregnancy with Jericho, even before he got his name. My pregnancy was tough…really, really tough…and I’d sing this song to remind myself that God’s plan was worthy of all of it. I needed to anchor myself and remember that He is GOOD, and that He doesn’t fail, regardless of the past, regardless of the future, and regardless of the fears. He is WORTHY, even if you can’t see the outcome.

There’s a section of the song that says, “Day and night, night and day, let incense arise.” There is worship around the throne of God for infinity–it doesn’t stop. My prayer for my son is that he would learn the significance of his name…that he would know the power of God in his life, and that he would live to point others toward worshiping the Lord….that his life would be like that fragrance that rises before the throne, dedicated to Him and knowing His love…of knowing wholeheartedly that Jesus is Worthy of it All…

We’ve named our child well.

Oh, and if you’re curious, his middle name is “Daniel,” which means, “God is my Judge.” To this day, every time I think of the meaning of his middle name, I think of Tupac….but I never told my husband that when we were choosing names. 🙂