Read below to find out the winners of Emily's new novel. Plus, we'll give you information about where to find it for yourself. Now... back to the blog...
He stares up at me with his father's eyes and it's five in the morning, books strewn all over his bed and his two year old hands reaching up to touch my face.
No, I'm shaking my head, no, it's not time to get up yet, but it's too late.
And it's already a no-good, very bad, terrible kind of day.
The coffee stronger than ever and Netflix playing a little longer than usual, I flip through the Bible for some half-hearted devotions then check my email, and Facebook, and Twitter. And the screen pulls me in, somehow, like a pair of comforting arms.
The boys come into the office and they play at my feet but I don't really see them. And yet I can smell: Kasher's pooped in his pajamas.
And soon he's crying on the potty because we've been potty-training him for months now and some weeks he's good, and other weeks, this. And I'm crying in the bathroom with a pair of soiled underwear in my hands and the coffee isn't working.
The half-hearted devotions aren't working, meditating on my first world problems isn't working, all I want is sleep.
And that's when I decide I'm done with this.
I'm done with seeing my kids as a nuisance, as a problem to be fixed. I want to see them as they truly are: Precious gifts, moldable human lives, future leaders and teachers and parents.
I want to turn Facebook into Face-time with my family.
I rinse out the undies in the toilet, stick them in a bucket to soak, clean up Kasher and then help him pull on a pair of clean soft pants. Aiden is patting Kasher's back, feeling badly for him and I sit there on the floor and pull them both to me.
I refuse to let the bad days get to me. And the only way I know how to do this is by spending more time with my children.
Never once have I ever regretted holding my boys.
But I've often regretted spending too much time on my laptop. Checking the statuses of people I don't really know when I don't even know the status of my own sons.
And so, I make a vow, right then, to live in the present with my pre-schoolers. To not check my email in the morning even though I might miss something on social media--because it will be there later. The posts and the assignments and the "likes" on Facebook will be there later.
My kids will not be.
This does not mean I spend every waking minute with my boys. Yes, I home-school them and we tickle and we read stories, but then they do puzzles while I shower and comb my hair and feel human. But the computer stays off until noon these days, because a kids' life trumps the computer screen. And the allure of the laptop has proven too strong in the past--the pull of Facebook, the endless tweets.
In three years they'll both be in school. I'll have all the time in the world to stare at my screen. And that's when I'll miss them.
There are days when I literally ache for the numbing effect of the laptop. My four-year-old talks back and my two-year-old, colors on the walls with marker and then they both grab hold of my legs and insist on me pulling them around the house with them attached. There are days when I slip out to the back deck and wish for those days when I was single and productive.
But then I go back into the house and my sons squeal like I haven't just gotten cross with them and they run into my arms and say, "Mommy, Mommy," and I will never, ever regret it. This stopping everything in order to hold them. This closing my computer to see them.
This being a present-day mama.
Book Contest Winners
On Emily's last post we asked who would like a copy of Emily's new book. Many people responded, below are the two lucky winners.
It's been three years of desperately trying - and four babies in heaven - and I cannot renovate the nursery. No! No! No! You have touched a cord so deep in my soul. Thank you for your candor on the subject, and thank you for the wonderful work you are doing as foster parents. May God abundantly fill the gaping holes in your hearts.
Our book club would love to read this book!
For the rest of you looking for a good read. Emily's new book is called A Promise in Pieces. It's historical romance, and is part of the Quilts of Love series. If you want to order it, you can do so HERE, and you can also download the first three chapters of the book HERE for FREE.
Emily Wierenga is wife to a math-teacher husband; mother and foster mother to four boys; an artist, columnist and the author ofChasing Silhouettes: How to help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder, Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy and A Promise in Pieces (Spring 2014). Emily speaks at women’s retreats, universities, churches and conferences, about her journey with anorexia nervosa, and was one of the keynote speakers at the premiere Christian eating disorders conference, Hungry for Hope 2013. She lives in rural Alberta, where she snowboards, makes wine and goes geocaching. She also plays guitar and paints. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.