danny is the hottest


Dear Mothers (Past, Present, Future),

Seth put toilet paper in my stocking. We had run out of facial tissue, and he had foreseen my need to soak up some tears, so he put a half-used roll of toilet paper in my Christmas stocking.  At the time, I didn’t see what there was to cry about (except this pitiful gift). I just knew that toilet paper had to be one step down from getting a sock of coal, and though I have thrown a few of my very own toddler tantrums, I figured some of my low-down mommyworks deserved fuzzy Minnetonkas and the two-toned watch I couldn’t buy in the same place I purchased my milk.  

Do you hear that, Mommies?

The sound of ingratitude is deafening.

Most often, we don’t even know what we want – much less what we need. We are toddlers with a more refined taste. We want aprons from Anthropology. We want the perfectly functional family. We want planners with lists covered in checkmarks. We want clean houses that smell like exotic figs and hard kitchen-work. We want well-mannered children – who say “thank you.”

But oh how God flickers into the deep dark, how he ignites the fiery, thumping circuits, how he knows us fiber by fiber and holds us in a cup of time, how he sees so far, and his gifts are light-years in the coming. His thoughts toward me within such a scheme are nearly unbelievable, and His passing His love between us and running a long circuit of blood between us is hard to accept.  

—————————-

When I first met Seth, I loved him. After two weeks, compelled to scare him away sooner rather than later, I emptied all my old purses for him, all the things I struggled to give to God daily. I was a toddler, a wobbly milk-drinker, and he looked at me from one of those super Christian snow-like side-hugs, and he asked me if God hadn’t forgiven me and taken all that baggage from me, and I said yes, so he said, “I have nothing against you,” and he’s lived as if I never carried those old things. He treats me like I’m new.

———————–

When I sat in my sister’s lap to look at her computer for a few seconds (tricky!) and I began to realize the enormity of The Mother Letter Project, (the many comments on my blog, the video and art, Caroline’s poem, and the compilation of these most precious letters), I nearly turned inside out. God’s kindness, Seth’s kindness, and your kindness, it is so hard to accept. I am not even a “Mother.” I’m just a regular ol’ “Mama.” But how can I not receive? After all, I do believe that grace is irresistible. I can read like a Mother, and as I do, I am accepting this beautiful fellowship with you, with my husband, and with my God.

Thank you, dear Mothers in heart and deed, for the word of your testimony. I have only been able to read your letters through my blurry mascara. You have changed my life. One of the sweetest parts has been remembering how swiftly and gently Kindness knocks us to our knees – the freedom in repentance.  

King of Glory, You know full well how awful a pair of house-shoes would have been compared to this. You are concerned with the whole. You are self-sustaining, and I am sustained in You.  Thank you that the “MLP Husband” is mine. Thank you that I get to be a “Mother” with these gorgeous women.

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amberhaines
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23 Comments

Mel
Reply December 27, 2008

Amber I am so glad you are being blessed by such an amazing gift.

Rachel
Reply December 27, 2008

Hi Amber,

I'm so glad that you loved your gift, and I feel so incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to be involved. Praise God - for once I didn't procrastinate myself out of something super cool!

I'm so blessed by your husband, his idea and his commitment to follow through and rock your world!!! At one point, I read somewhere that tons of women were thinking their husband was the one. I told a friend, I'd sooner think my husband was Batman, than that he was behind this project! My husband is amazing, and I wouldn't trade him for anything, but if Seth writes a book on how to wow your woman - yeah... I'll be buying that for my man!

This year has been a redefining of Christmas for us, and this project was one of the things that really made me think. Enjoy your beautiful gift! I know I am!

Rachel p.199 :)

Jayme
Reply December 27, 2008

Amber,

I am so glad that I did not ruin the surprise. I was shocked when I found out that the MLP husband was Seth. As you can tell from my letter I had no idea that I was writing a letter to my dear friend since I signed the letter Jayme Walker from Arkansas. I love you and hope that you had a Merry Christmas.

Jayme

Allison Nelson
Reply December 27, 2008

Sadly, I did not ever put my thoughts into words for this sweet project! I would SOOOO love to read the letters someday, so I'm going to have to borrow from someone! :)

Amber, you deserve this most special gift. The beauty of the Lord is very apparent in your life and in your marriage.

And on a materialistic note, I have coveted my sister in law's Anthropologie apron that she got as a house warming gift for about 6 months now! :) We must have the same tastes.

Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light
Reply December 27, 2008

It is so wonderful to finally meet you! I look forward to following you and your wonderful family. You write so eloquently, and writing a letter to YOU has made my Christmas. These letters are amazing!

I feel a kindredness to you and your family through this experience, and I will be praying for your beautiful family!

Blessed
Reply December 27, 2008

I'm so glad that I found out about your husbands gift to you and I too am being blessed by the many letters!

Merry Christmas - God truly is awesome.

Chris, Kristin, and Emily
Reply December 27, 2008

Amber, I am so happy that you were excited about this amazing gift! I thought, and anticipated, that I would cry with your reaction as I have with so many of the letters, but God surprises us all. As I was reading your post, instead, I began to grin and as I read the smile became wider and broader. I am so happy for you that you are blessed by this husband and gift He has given you!

Jolanthe @ No Ordinary Moments
Reply December 28, 2008

The toilet paper in your stocking reminds me of that mastercard commercial when the husband gives his wife the tissues, paper bag and trampoline...all in anticipation of what's to come as her real gift. :)

I love how God is able to meet us wherever we are and surprise us - when we are least expecting it. I hope these letters are an amazing blessing and encouragement to you in the weeks, months, and years to come. And a constant reminder of the wonderful husband and Father that you have!

Jolanthe

Milton
Reply December 28, 2008

A-dawg,
I'm pretty sure I got that forward from Jayme about this MLP project and have NO idea where that e-mail is now or that it was Seth. Anyway, I'm with you... house-shoes ARE over rated. I am hopeful to have a good chat with you real soon. Maybe you can even bring your letters and we could sit for a while? Merry Christmas, friend! I hope you feel as special as you are. Milt

Laura
Reply December 28, 2008

Your response was a gift to me. :)

So happy your gift touched you so deeply.

Kara
Reply December 28, 2008

we love you amber. i'm pretty sure my comment was deleted somehow before it posted...just know that you are favored and He so delights in you...because you're you! and you're His.

Heather of the EO
Reply December 29, 2008

This post is a blessing to all of us who read it too. You are a gifted writer.

I'm slowly pouring over the Mother Letters myself. I'm appreciating this gift more and more. I'm so thankful I stumbled upon the project in the blogosphere. The two of you are quite a find. Precious, really. Enjoy your letters, lady.

Peace,
Heather

Rosie and Derek
Reply December 29, 2008

I haven't had a chance to finish my Mother Letter yet since I didn't discover the project until shortly before Christmas, but I absolutely loved your response!

I will work on getting my letter finished, and I'd love it if I could borrow a copy from someone-- what a precious gift!

Michelle
Reply December 29, 2008

I have wept every time I have read about your husband doing this...I just think that it is one of the sweetest things I have ever heard.

Megan @ Little Bella Bean
Reply December 29, 2008

Hi Amber!
My name is Megan, I am the letter on page 91 of your MLP book. =) I am glad to hear how blessed you were by this project!! How is it having 3 kids so close together? I look forward to reading your blog and following you!
God Bless,
Megan
www dot littlebellabean dot blogspot dot com

Jane Anne
Reply December 30, 2008

I am bleary eyed after reading your post. It is wonderful to hear your reaction. What a wonderful blessing- to you and to SO many! I thank God for this project. Seriously, it has been amazing part of a journey for me this Christmas that started at my church with Advent Conspiracy. Thanks for posting! I loved it.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting
Reply December 31, 2008

You are so very sweet. I love the image of turning yourself inside out. So vivid!
Happy New Year!

Short Stop
Reply January 10, 2009

For many years to come, "Mamas" will be reaping what your husband has sewn for you.

I loved reading every word of your response.

Melanie @ This Ain't New York
Reply January 10, 2009

God is Good.

I'll never look at my fuzzy house shoes or toilet paper the same way again. :>)

Linds
Reply January 10, 2009

Hi Amber.. what a delight to be a part of this beautiful project! You have one exceptional husband there, and the blessings are being heaped on everyone involved too.

So much joy for us all!

shepherdsgrace
Reply January 10, 2009

this was lots of fun...

glad it blessed you....

Sarah
Reply January 12, 2009

I scanned through enough to find myself on Page 324, and now I can't wait to get out a box of Kleenex and read through them all. This gift is a blessing to all of us.

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