Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Mama said...

...there'd be days like this. There'd be days like this my mama said. mama said, mama said!" My, how many days this song goes through my head.....

Today was such a day. The following are two excerpts from "boil over" e-mails to a couple of friends:

Oh, I know you already are....but I could still really use some prayer regarding our house situation. I've been fighting not getting down about it. If I had more energy and felt better, it would do me good to get some little pre-moving projects done. At least I would feel like I was moving in that direction. It's been forever since I've even really cleaned the house, let alone projects. Oh well. Such is life right now. Jesus hasn't forgotten us. I know that. It's coming. I just have to keep telling myself even though there is no reason to believe it in the natural. That's faith though, right? The evidence of things not seen....

I did make it out to Kohls for a bit today and bought the sweetest little newborn layette set. I think I will hang it in my room to keep me smiling. I've also figured out that if I get rid of my night stand, I could fit a tiny bassinet next to my bed. I'd just have to find a place for a lamp and to set my glasses and clock.

(The question posed upon hearing our baby news was "Looks like you may need more space?")
Yes, more space. What a challenge at times to believe the Lord for His "above and beyond what we can ask or imagine" while being faced with so many opportunities to "settle" for something that works. Most people don't understand why we would hold out when we could make something work. Sometimes the dreams and desires He puts in our hearts just can't be explained to others. I held out for the man of my dreams and got even more than I'd hoped for. We held out, believing through 4 deliveries that I would go into labor on my own, but it didn't happen until the 5th one! BUT, it DID happen. We have too many other stories of the Lord's faithful provision to give up now. One thing is for sure, I don't want to miss the Lord's best because I lost my patience and lost hope.

Anyway, there's a bit of venting :-) We have so much to be grateful for...our family, our health, JESUS, laughter, our home, our food.......the list could go on and on. When it all boils down, without HIM, we truly have nothing. So grateful for Jesus!

Truly it amazes me to think, on a day like today, what would I do without the hope of Jesus? On a day when all I want to do is cry, eat chocolate and sleep, what would be my reason for thinking tomorrow would be better? What reason would I have for kicking myself in the butt for whining and telling myself to get a reality check? The reason is: THIS IS NOT MY REALITY! The supernatural, the things unseen, that's my reality. That's where life truly lies. How hard it is to "live" in that when you can't see it. I envy the "seers" out there. How comforting it would be to walk into my tiny house and see it packed out with angels. Or to have taken my pregnancy test and immediately gotten a thumbs up, visually, from Jesus himself. One more thing to hope for.....eyes to see.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I did a foolish thing last night. After doing some after-bedtime grocery shopping in preparation for making applesauce today, I slowly made my way over to the coffee shop at Wegmans to treat myself to a decaf. latte. After coming home and unpacking, I began my pursuit to clear off the dining room table which required organization of some of last year's school stuff(it's a long story). Anyway, about 9:30 or so, I started to feel a second wind coming on. I knew I should really be dragging worse than I was at the store. Suddenly it dawned on me....I forgot to ask for decaf!!!!! Augh! I am pretty caffeine sensitive. So I just decided to cash in on this quiet time to get some things done. After working on our business for awhile, organizing the school papers and doing a few other misc. tasks, I decided to at least try to lay down and sleep. By now it was past 11pm. So I laid there and, you guessed it, I wrote another post in my head. But to my surprise, I did fall asleep relatively quickly. Now I'm up too early with the boys so here's my was that for an intro?

Let me preface all that is to come by saying that my children are WONDERFUL. They are amazingly, powerful little creations who really make parenting a joy....most of the time, well, lately it's more like just a lot of the time. There seems to be an infiltration of disrespect and dishonor in our house lately. Hmm, just had a thought, is this possibly due to our influence as parents? Have Brian and I been more unloving lately? I'll have to talk to Jesus about that thought....later.

Anyway, this disrespect has played itself out in the form of yelling, nasty talk, dirty looks and just general meanness. It has truly thrown me for a loop since my children have never shown this type of behavior with such intensity and frequency. It's primarily the girls, although the boys are picking up on bits and pieces. But the girls are aiming this ugliness towards each other and us, their parents! Now, in the past, we would have come down with the hammer to attempt to control this behavior. You know, fear tactics, "do this or else...", bullying methods, etc. But since we have learned that truly we cannot control our children (nor should we try), it has taken our parenting to a whole new level of challenge.

In the moment of conflict (or sometimes a bit later to let the steam subside), we help them identity the "mess" they have made with whomever the victim is in the moment. They have learned that when they can recognize the mess, it is their responsibility to "clean it up", with sincerity. This has been a pretty effective approach (thanks, Danny Silk). It helps them identify disconnected relationship and causes them to evaluate why disconnection is not cool. They are learning to choose love.....hopefully. However, lately it seems that these incidences are so frequent and recurring, I wonder if they are really having a heart change...

Anyway, I realized in bed last night, I suppose it is much better for them to learn to choose the way of love, honor and respect at this age than to try to control them as toddlers/children only to have them realize as pre-teens that truly they cannot be controlled. By that point, time would not be on our side for building true, covenant relationship and teaching the value of choosing love.

But, man, this has not been fun. Being pregnant (thus hormonal and exhausted much of the time) has not been helpful to me in having grace for their immaturity. Truly, if God can see us in our immaturity and not count it as rebellion, than I need to have the same perspective of my children. It's sure been a challenge for me to have that kind of understanding love. Yet I know it's that love that will win their affections for life! My heart is hurt. I feel disrespected, unappreciated and undefended. I have found myself being on the defensive much of the time. Lately, it is even hard to just be with the girls at times. Just being honest. It wears on me.

I love my children deeply. They are each so unique, so special. They make me laugh. They teach me sooo much about Jesus and the kingdom! The Lord has such great things in store for them in the years to come as well as today! Jesus, give me grace to love them right in this place of immaturity knowing that you constantly show me that same love and grace. I wouldn't trade this calling for anything!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Crash Landing and Other Things

Well, four of the five kiddos started school last week. So hard to believe....Grace is in 3rd, Elizabeth in 2nd, Seraphina started 1st and sweet little Jonah ventured into Pre-K for 3 mornings a week.

I always have high hopes of being fully prepared for school in plenty of time. This includes having the children's bodies acclimated to getting up early. Well, this pregnancy has all but kicked my butt this first trimester so my best laid plans.....yes, foiled again! It was a rough week last week. Everyone got up fine, even made it out the door early. But by the time they came home, we were all serious grumps. I couldn't get dinner on the table. Brian got called home early a couple days to a war zone. And the house, well, at least it's been sanitary....mostly. That's about it. I like to say, we crash landed into this school year.

So here we are in the middle of a long holiday weekend! Yay! A much needed opportunity to catch our breath and hope for a better week. I just got up from a nap. After I woke up I just laid there thinking about the half dozen blog posts I've written in my head over the past weeks. It's frustrating when you feel like you can't take time for the things that matter. For me, logging my thoughts really matters. It's a way of taking care of myself even if no one else ever reads them.

It seems like lately I'm always abandoning my amazing husband to either take a nap, lay on the couch 'cause I'm too sick for anything else, get something to eat, or use the bathroom facilities for one thing or another. Even now, I humbly requested that I retreat to the basement (where our computer resides) to get some thoughts out of my cluttered brain. He's cooking dinner (apple oatmeal).

Speaking of apples, this morning we made time to take an annual trip to Paulus Orchard for some apples. Last year we canned 80 quarts of mostly applesauce and some apple butter. It makes me chuckle to think about the ways I've morphed into a central PA girl. Born and raised in the D.C. area, I was clueless what my college roommate was lining her shelves with our freshman year. Turns out it was pickled veggies, applesauce, peaches and pears among other things. So why do they call it 'canning' when it's really jars that display the final product? Whatever. All I know is that our applesauce give Motts a run for it's money!!!

This year's trip to the orchard was highlighted with the treat of an apple cider donut, freshly made this morning! Yummers! What a gorgeous day to spend some family time gathering apples and munching on goodies! These are the days when it is easier to say "Yeah. I'm a pretty good mom, taking time to build memories with my beautiful children." Most days, I wonder if I will even remember these "happy blur of survival" days...sigh...So glad Jesus sees things differently and doesn't judge us based on our trips to the orchard or the library for that matter (it took me about 5 years to even have the courage - or energy - to step foot into a library with my kids).

Well, 12 weeks prego tomorrow. I Look like I'm about 20 weeks. But why do I care? Probably because I feel chronically tired and hormonal and I'm actually ready to look cute prego and not chubby. Oh, yeah, muffin tops are beautiful. Who said that anyway?

I must admit, I am VERY thankful to Jesus that I have felt well enough to be able to resume running 3 times a week. I have a rare opportunity 3 days a week to bond with my almost 3-year-old, Timothy. As the other four walk out the back door for school, he says "wait, wait! I go gool too!" So, instead, we load up the jogging stroller that was given to me and go for a run. Well, truth be told, I've only run with it twice because the alignment is so bad, my shoulder and arms were hurting just from trying to keep it going straight. So we will walk for now until I can get my super mechanical father-in-law to take a look at the stroller. At least I can still get out, and with only one kiddo! He is so fun, but truly isn't sure what to do without his partner in crime, Jonah, around to keep him busy.

Wow. I'm feeling a bit lighter now. At least in the head. So much to be thankful for. So much humanity to negotiate. So grateful for Grace and unconditional Love!