Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"I Miss You"

This morning I had a long overdue opportunity: 15 minutes of a quiet, empty house quickly filled with my heart song to Jesus. I got to sit at the piano and love on my best friend! This used to be a more regular occurrence but hasn't happened until even before my shoulder surgery.

I just sang to Him all the things I love about Him. Any eavesdropper would have thought I was a love sick girl singing to her lover. They would have been correct. Ahh, it was so refreshing to my soul and spirit to be with Him. And then something happened. I stopped playing the piano and quieted my voice and heard Him whisper "I miss you". "I miss you too," I immediately responded. Here's the significance to this interaction: This was the first time that I could hear Him express His longing for me without putting even the tiniest bit of shame or guilt on myself. I truly could feel His enjoyment of me alongside of His longing for me. What I felt can hardly be put into words. This is my life. I'm doing my best. He knows my heart and my unwavering love for Him. I don't have to prove it to Him or anyone else. He's crazy about me, regardless!

Let Him love on you today!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Poo-Poo Sticks!

The potty training saga continues. I've been trying to put Jonah on the potty before naptime so that he doesn't poop in the midst of it and then never go to sleep. Not to mention the simple fact that 4 year old poops are NASTY!

So today, I put him on the potty and go downstairs. About 10 minutes goes by and I hear the shriek "My pee-pees comes down!" Good job buddy! His sister quickly rewards him with a Mike & Ike. I give him the choice to either go to bed for nap or put poo-poo in the potty. He chooses the latter. Oh, I guess it's also important to note that I bribed him with a half eaten chocolate bunny if he fulfills the mission. That's enough to keep him on that potty for a LONG time. So long, in fact, that he had to take 2 breaks from the potty so that other family members could use the bathroom, one of them being his sister Seraphina. Jonah stands by as she demonstrates how to put poo-poo in the potty. As he peers into the potty he suddenly cries out, "sticks!" Seraphina proceeds to explain to him that he can have sticks too if he puts his poo-poo in the potty. It then occurs to me that the only shape he has seen poop is either a formless mass or the shape of inverted hiney cheeks. C'mon, moms and dads, you know what I'm talking about!

Jonah climbs back on the potty, this time I deliver the "Text and Learn" for him to play with while he waits. After cleaning up the kitchen a bit, I start my 10th ascent in an hour (at least it seemed like that many!) to the bathroom. As I begin my climb, I hear Jonah exclaim, "Poo-poo sticks!!!!" Sure enough, mission accomplished. He was so excited he was bouncing around the bathroom with only a t-shirt on his lanky body. In my attempt to make it an experience that would lead to many others, I asked him if he felt it coming and then just decided to push it out. "Yes!", he said, "and I pushed really hard!"

Needless to say, the bunny has been consumed by a very proud 4 year old boy!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Bunder

Entry from Monday, the 26th.....my husband finally came home tonight:
My hat's off to all single moms. Tonight my husband helped me get half the kids to bed before heading off to Virginia where he will be taking a class for work.

So, of course, on one of the very rare nights that I have the kids alone overnight, there has to be a thunderstorm. Overall, my kids do really well and really don't battle much fear. Most of them still need convincing, however, when a big thunderstorm rolls in. Grace, who was trying to fall asleep in my bed, found me on the computer in the basement, tears rolling down her panicked face. I led her up to bed as she cried "I'm worried about daddy on the road!" I reassured her of Jesus' love and presence and that worry is really fear and needs to be dealt with using the power and authority of Jesus.

Then I checked on the boys who were loudly carrying on in their room, still trying to get settled for sleep. Jonah, who is 4, asked me, "Is that bunder mom?" "Yes, that's thunder", I replied with a chuckle. "Open the window, mom, so I can see the bunder." I patiently explained to him that you can't see thunder, only hear it. "Will the bunder be there in the morning?" Ah. So cute. Then suddenly he realized daddy is gone. "You better make sure daddy doesn't get scared of the bunder, mom!" I assured him that I would call and check on daddy.

My 2 year old who was pleading "Holeju, holeju" (interpreted, "hold you" - he wants me to pick him up). I put my arms around him as we listened to the thunder. I said, "That's thunder, isn't it neat?" He responded in a quiet, wimpering voice, "Yeah, meat!"

Thankfully, two of the five children made it into slumber land before the storm came through. And now, all is quiet on the home front. I better get ready for the morning rush since my beloved is not here to take care of his usual lunch packing, breakfast making, coffee serving, child corralling tasks. Whew, I'm weary just thinking about it all AND reminded of what an amazing man I have married!

Clean cleaning

My wonderful husband got the kids motivated this morning to clean the house! Grace was excited to mop the floors, only to discover that our bucket had a crack in it. Thankfully I was on my way to the grocery store anyway.

So I got to Giant and ventured down the cleaning aisle, the aisle that I always pass by and mumble a quick thanks to Jesus for Shaklee. I found my bucket as I glanced at the wide variety of chemicals and toxins available to "clean" house. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but not so much when "bliss" fills your lungs with yucks. So here is my little plug to anyone reading this post. Please consider looking at the ingredients and warning labels on the cleaning supplies under your sink or elsewhere. Whether you have children or not, you owe it to yourself to replace those toxins with just as effective, but safe cleaning products! You can find some of my favorites here. But even vinegar and water is a good choice (although I must say, someone did the math and Basic H2 is still cheaper!!! LOVE IT!). Or some more costly choices for "clean" cleaning can be found in that same aisle at Giant.

Well, having said that, happy clean cleaning!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Race for Education....Lessons for Life

Today was the kids' "Race for Education" at their school. The purpose is to raise money for the school's needs (i.e. last year they were able to purchase a much needed school bus for the school). The children get sponsors and then have an hour to run as many laps as possible. I love watching the little ones. All three of my girls were in the the Pre-K through 2nd grade time slot from 9-10am. Just imagine a pack of kids, no taller than 4 feet-ish, at the starting line, ready to sprint.....for an hour. Yes, that is an absolute contradiction, but such a good workout, none-the-less. You see, family and friends are encouraged to attend to cheer on their students as well as participate in the run. Last year, it was possibly the most intense workout of my year aside from my half-marathon. which doesn't really say much considering I'm a mom of 5 little ones and barely eek-ed out 3 runs a week to train for the half. Anyway, sprinting for 3/4 of a lap and then walking for 1/4 lap over and over for an hour gives me something to sweat about. I decided to try to run with them again this year despite my recovering shoulder. It worked out pretty well but I must say that my seven year old, Elizabeth, kicked my butt! She's an amazing athlete!

Which brings up my deeper thought and challenge.....encouraging the God-given abilities in our children while reinforcing that their true identity and security is found only in Jesus. Heck, I can't even get it figured out for my own life most of the time. Praise and encouragement gives us a sense of being appreciated and valued. But, truly, allowing our value to be determined by our measure of success or giftedness or talent only keeps us on a fruitless cycle of expectation and disappointment. In my own life, I've recently thrown up my hands (again) and said "Jesus, I don't know how you're gonna do this, but PLEASE help me find my security and identity ONLY in You!" And even more recently, I've done the same on behalf of my sweet little Elizabeth....sigh...I'll have to post on her later. Let's just say that we now have a little game we play:
ME: Hope, why are you good?
HOPE: Because Jesus made me that way.
ME: Can you do anything to be more good?
ME: Can you do anything to be less good?

Game over.....until next time...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Can anyone identify?

A friend recently passed along this blog post:

What To Do When You Want To Give Up and Stay In Bed

I cannot tell you how many times I have had these exact same thoughts waking up in the morning. Usually I voice them to my husband as "I don't want to be a mom today"...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spiritual Immaturity

Here are some thoughts to chew on from Mike Bickle's book, "The Seven Longings of the Human Heart":

"Many people assume that each time they stumble in spiritual immaturity, God reacts as though they are in rebellion. This is not the truth. There is a vast difference between rebellion and spiritual immaturity...A spiritually immature person is sincere in their intent to obey the Lord and is frustrated by their own immaturity. While outwardly or to the undiscerning eye they may appear rebellious, inwardly they are very different. The spiritually immature believer continues to declare war on their failures and set their heart and soul against them, which in turn builds and creates in them the maturity that they lack. God actually enjoys them while they are still struggling in their immaturity and growing into maturity." Pg 32

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Selfless Act

As I was trying to fall asleep a couple of nights ago, my thoughts somehow lead me to my dad and his health. I began to reflect on how both of my parents work hard at taking care of their physical bodies through exercise, rest, supplements and eating healthy. Gratitude filled my heart as I thought about how their care would impact our future! What a gift it is not only to me, but to my children AND grandchildren! I still have memories of my great-grandmother and how healthy she was until the day she passed away. Herein lies yet another way we can lay down our lives for our children and all those we love.

When I was in high school, I had a conversation with a friend who didn't see the value of buckling his seatbelt. I remember telling him, if you can't love yourself enough to buckle your seatbelt, at least love the rest of us enough to do it!

So with that being said, take a walk or go for a run!. And, could you do a mile or two for me while my shoulder recovers!? :-)