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Written by

Kelsey Fink

Kelsey Fink is wife to Sam Fink and mom to Emmylou, age 3, and Eli, age 1. She and her family currently reside in St. Louis, MO, where Sam is attending Concordia Seminary. When she is not chasing one child or the other, Kelsey reads, writes, and sews. You can find more of her musings at thesemfinks.blogspot.com.

Recent Posts by Kelsey Fink

Sharing God’s Love with New People in New Places

Our family is on the road again, transitioning from our time at the seminary to my husband’s call and a life in western New York. Transitions with three small children are messy. There are abnormal bedtimes and meals, toys packed into boxes and onto a truck despite the protests of a four year old, and lots of emotions. The simple reality is that saying good-bye is sad and saying hello can be scary. About a week ago now, after being shipped off to grandma’s house so my husband and I could finish packing, load a truck, and clean our apartment, my daughter said to a family friend whom she hadn’t seen in sometime, “My heart missed you. I’m so lucky I get to love people in lots of spots. Some people only love people in one spot.”

An Empty-Handed Valentine’s Day

February is already upon us.  My children are suddenly experts on groundhogs, and are counting down to Valentine’s day. Children like Valentine’s Day. Probably in the same way they enjoy all holidays where they receive candy.

The Vocation of Childhood

She found me in the kitchen, the nine-month-old strapped to my back and a washcloth in hand. Big, crocodile tears welled in her eyes as she said, “My life is not easy. Every time I do something, my little brother ruins it.” Her language was slightly comical and a smile briefly crossed my face. It didn’t stay there long, however, because these are serious five-year-old problems. It is hard to be five and have a sibling ruin your artwork or Lego creations. For her brother, it’s hard to be three and sandwiched in between a rather precocious five-year-old and a baby. It is also hard to be the third child in a family, and let’s face it, not get as much attention as the oldest did as a baby. This is certainly not hard compared to my adult problems, but it’s tough for a kid and it is real to them.

Thank you and I'm Sorry

The first couple of years after becoming a mother, I would frequently call my mom on the phone to say one of two things: thank you and I’m sorry. One particular day, I called her to say I was sorry and also to give her some good news. The good news was silly and made her laugh, but it was where my need to apologize was rooted. I had, successfully and every day for two weeks, made our bed. Turns out my mom was right. It did feel good to go to bed every night with a made bed. It did help us keep our room clean. I apologized for all those years of disobeying and not trusting her, all those years of not making my bed.

Sometimes it's Simple

There is a phrase we use a lot in our house. In fact, we probably use it every day. Sometimes it is posed as a question; and other times, it is a gentle reminder.

The Proper Place

I’ve been thinking about the First Commandment a lot lately. It all started back in December when we decided it would be fun for our kids to memorize the Robert Frost poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” And it was fun. There was something slightly magical about our two-year-old son marching around the house saying, “Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though,” as the snow swirled outside our window. I couldn’t help but stop in amazement at his ability and the mind God gave him. And yet I also wondered if the priorities in our house and in my heart had slipped a little out of place.

Moments

It was a Tuesday morning. We had company coming into town, and so naturally, I felt a delusional need to try to make my house look like three children under the age of 4 didn’t live there. I had plans for a video-chat with a friend. I figured it was also my responsibility to feed those three small humans all day. And then I needed to finish my Bible study homework. Oh, and the laundry. There is always laundry. Instantly, my heart was anxious, and it showed in my impatience with my children, who were simply asking to color.

First Things First

On June 26, we welcomed our third baby into our family. On July 19, an empty moving truck arrived at our apartment. On July 21, the truck pulled away from our apartment filled with the things we wouldn’t need over the next couple of weeks. That same day, our remarkably full minivan pulled away from our life in St. Louis to begin a 3,800-mile road trip that took us across ten states and into Canada before we landed in Orchard Park, New York, where we would live the next year of our lives. If you are doing any sort of calculating right now, yes, that means we drove 3,800 miles with a baby who was not even one month old. Oh, and we camped. In a tent. We might be slightly crazy.

The Anthem of Motherhood

They held up their dirty feet, clumsily resting them in my hands. My hand, draped in a white washcloth, gently moved from toe to heel and back again, removing a morning spent outside with no shoes. Giggles escaped from their mouths as I couldn’t resist the urge to tickle their toes. There I was, their mother, their teacher, washing their feet. And as I scrubbed their filthy little feet, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I am grateful for the ways motherhood has changed me, for piles of dirty laundry and a crumb-covered kitchen floor. I am grateful that motherhood points me to Jesus, a Savior who came down to live in our daily, ordinary, filthy human world. I am grateful for a Savior who knelt down and washed the feet of those beneath Him, those He came to serve.

Vicarage . . . To Unpack or Not?

During the course of a seminary career, a seminarian moves a total of four times in four years. This is assuming, of course, that you don’t live in St. Louis or Fort Wayne when you first begin. In 2015, we moved to St. Louis. This summer we will move for my husband’s vicarage placement. The following summer, we will move back to St. Louis for one more academic year. And then in 2019, we will move for Sam’s first call. In anticipating our move this summer, I am, of course, spending an embarrassing amount of time thinking about packing and unpacking.