Thursday, December 11, 2008
Well- it worked for one day. We did all mom all the time for one day- and you know what? they were done with the homework in record time! It was beautiful!!! the next day there was very little homework so it didn't matter. The day after that I had to make dinner before an event so they were on their own. It spiraled downward from there. It just takes so much work. It doesn't seem like it would, but I am not home all day long, and there is so much to do, and well- you know how it goes. Inviting myself to be in the middle of the battles just doesn't appeal to me. I just don't know how God puts up with us. I know I love my children deeply and I am certain that I would lay down my life for them, but they have an incredible gift of frustrating me on a daily basis- no- hourly basis-sometimes even more frequently than that. I am sure that I do the same to my Heavenly Father. How does He not just appear before me and jump and down and pull his hair out and scream and yell at me the way I want to before my own children? I mean to do well, but I fail so many times a day. My girls are good girls, they mean well, and most of the time, they are well behaved, decent human beings. It is just when they are at home, in the comfortable surroundings, in the place where love cannot be lost, they turn into these strange people who cannot speak in a kind tone, who whine incessantly, who cannot begin to pick up after themselves, and who have lost all respect and motivation to do anything that is good or decent. Since I am the role model they spend most of their time with, I must come to the conclusion that I do the same thing. How frustrated God must be. I do mean well. There just aren't enough hours in the day to do it all and do it well. How do you decide what is from God and what is placed upon you from others? There are plenty of good things to be done, and plenty of fun things. When do you say yes and when do you say no? I would write all day if I could, but I don't think that would be the best answer. I just feel so blessed that God is a perfect parent. I am sure he does get frustrated, but He keeps on loving, He keeps on forgiving, and He keeps seeing all of us through the cross. He sees the people we are becoming, not the people we are, or the people we were. Maybe if I can remember that with my children, I will be a little more patient, and can put in a little more time with the monotonous things until they can handle them on their own. I know this time will be gone in a blink of an eye, but it just doesn't seem like it now! If I focus on the blessings of the situation it will be more positive, and therefore more enjoyable. I am sure the girls will pick up on that, and it can be a learning experience for all of us. Then in 30 years when they call and complain about their kids and homework I will have a nice little story to share with them as well. God is good.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Winter has arrived. It is brisk outside. The snow has blanketed the ground, the trees have branches of glistening white, and life is beautiful. Until the kids get home. Then the bickering begins. I don't think they are physically capable of saying ANYTHING to each other that is not mean, nasty, annoying, argumentative, teasing, or just generally worthless. I truly truly love my kids, but sometimes I don't like them very much. I have noticed that I have started to put more time into other things and less time into the kids, and therefore the behavior has gone noticeably downhill. I guess my dreams of lounging around the house because the children I have trained so marvelously well are doing the laundry, dishes, baking, cooking, cleaning, decorating, have been shattered. It is difficult enough to get them to do their own homework. I am going to try a new plan after school today. It will be all about them. I will not do a thing that does not involve them and see how the afternoon goes. I am picking an easy afternoon since they have choir at 5, but hey- it will still be two and a half hours of all mom all the time. I will let you know how it goes.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I am a sucker. I knew I was going to have one sick child at home with me today, but I thought maybe I would get my act together and get something done. This morning the 9 year old tells me she still doesn't feel well. Mind you this is the one who was sent home sick from school yesterday. This is the one who went to the doctor and was told that she was fine. This is the one who is quirky quirky quirky. I tell her to get dressed, eat, and see how she feels. She does and I think I am home free until the bus pulls up and she says "mom, I can't make it." In a complete moment of weakness I say fine. Not even 2 minutes later I hear feet running around in the bedroom. Not only hers, but the 7 year olds as well. AAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!! Can you say sucker? I need to have my head examined. I can't send the 7 year old- she was running a fever of 102 at the doctor's office. I have to keep her home. However, I should have just sent the 9 year old. I knew it, but I think I was secretly hoping they would entertain each other so I could be productive. They are actually doing pretty good at that. They are having a race at the moment to see who can get dressed first. I should just drop everything and pray that God sets my path today. I should ask him to get rid of all distractions so I can do what He has planned for me today. My to do list is overwhelming. Of course, if I just ventured downstairs and started attacking the piles on my desk, the odds of feeling accomplished would be better. Instead I sit on the computer! It is my time! See- I ask God to take away distractions because I don't want to do the work myself and be disciplined. Even when I want to be good, I still look for the shortcuts. I have decided that being a grown-up isn't all that fun. Like most things, it takes a lot of work. Jim and I often joke that someday the real parents are going to show up at our door and tell us our game of house is over. I am missing out on so much of the present because I am feeling guilty about the past or wishing for the future. I wish I was strong enough to live in the moment. I know there are an abundance of blessings right here and now, but I often miss them. I want to be content in the present, but I have messed up so royally in the past, that I can't let go of it. I know that God has already moved on, but for whatever reason, the hold is too strong. I am beginning to believe I have the strength to work through it, but it is frightening just the same. I began praying for surrender a long time ago, and God has been answering by showing me just how little control I actually possess, but I still have figured out what it is He wants me to do each day. I am making progress, but it is a long journey and I have just started. I think there is freedom in knowing that I will only arrive on the day I enter Heaven. It isn't overwhelming- it is reassuring to know that I just have to do my best each day, and some days will be better than others. I will never be perfect, but I can aim for perfection. Each day I get closer to the goal- in spite of myself.
This week started off with a bang. My 7 year old started complaining of a stomach ache last thursday. I hear "my tummy hurts" a lot, so I did the mom thing and asked all the right questions and determined she was ok. Saturday morning after I got home from a 3 hour meeting at church, I was informed that the pain had travelled to the throat. Now this child has the biggest tonsils in the northern hemisphere, so I looked down her throat and saw.....tonsils. Nothin' but tonsils. When my wonderful husband got home from his 4 hour meeting at school, he checked it out. He is the resident expert on all things medical. He saw....tonsils. We discussed it and figured we could send some ibuprofen into her system and all would be well. By 3 pm she was giving us her big eyes look and we decided to call the doctors. They told us to take her to the hospital. See, in all our financial wisdom, we are part of an HMO. We can't go to any urgent care centers- we go right to the ER and plop down out $50 and get told that it is a sore throat and to go home, get plenty of rest and fluids. So- we decided to just forge ahead. She had no fever, we saw no white spots, and we wanted to make 5 pm church. We go to church, pick up the 4 kids who were coming for a sleep-over and go home. We had a great night- we also invited friends over, so there were now 11 children and 4 adults in the house. The 7 year old isn't herself, but she is hanging in there. Sunday arrives and she now has a fever. Guilt is rushing over me- we should have just gone to the hospital even though it is 45 minutes away. We should have gone even though she had no fever. We should have gone even though she did fine. Ah well. Jim takes one load of kids to sunday school. I take the other. I go back home and take care of the sick child. I go back and pick up my load of children (who are staying at our house all day- their mom, like me, isn't fazed by mere viruses). The kids play and have fun and run around. Jim needs to head back to church at 2:15 to rehearse for the Celebration Event that is happening at 4. I leave my 13 year old in charge of the sick one, and head out with just 6 children. It is an amazing event that may be covered in a different post. Monday comes and I know that today I will take her to the doctor. Now she has the fever, she can't really eat and she has that strep voice. I get the other 3 off on the bus and get the sick one to go back to sleep. At 8:30 I get in the shower so I can be ready to go to the doctor right at 9 when they open. At 9 the line is busy. Over and over and over. I finally get through and get in at noon. I should be so productive right? Well, I make the mistake of showing the 7 year old how to use the intercom option on our phone. Every few minutes I get an update. "Mommy?, my throat really hurts, is it time for more tylenol?", "Mommy?, I finished my ice water, could you please bring me some more?", "Mommy?, Do we have any jello?", "Mommy?, the movie finished, should I watch another one?", etc. etc. It is now 10 something and I get a call from the school. My 9 year old is in the office and has a 1 degree fever and says she has bronchitis. I respond with the ever so compassionate "Of course she does." The 9 year old informed me of the bronchitis in the morning and I checked her temp (normal). She had asked me to write a note to her teacher so I emailed the teacher informing her of the "illness". I told the 9 year old that I thought she could make it and prayed over her and sent her on her way. I made the fatal mistake of telling her that if she absolutely could not make it, to call and I would come get her. The phone rang about 45 seconds after I poured the milk in my cereal for breakfast- even though I had been up and awake for several hours, it was the first chance I had to eat. I think I threw the school secretary a bit as I laughed and asked her what my daughter wanted me to do. The secretary kind of paused and then said, "well, she does have a fever, I think you should come get her." I left my raisin bran crunch on the table and left. I had to call my friend on the way to school because I was laughing like a maniac. I just couldn't stop. I felt like I had the giggles and if I couldn't calm down they would think I had been hitting the bottle when I walked into school. I gathered my composure as best I could and collected the sick child. I called the doctor and asked if I could bring both of my sickies in to be seen. We make our way there and the results are not surprising. 7 year old has scarlet fever (which only means strep throat with a lovely rash all over her neck, back, and tummy). The 9 year old is fine. It is worth the $10 for her to hear it from the doctor. This is my quirky child. She is really smart, but really anxious. She is also the one who broke her leg in 3 places over the summer. We try to be a bit more cautious with her. So- we head to target to get the meds for the 7 year old and then head home until it is time to pick up the other 2. It is a long day- my husband has to attend the school board meeting so it is just me and the kids. I think God gave me the giggles earlier in the day to frame my mind. It was only yesterday, but I am not sure what I actually did all day long. I know laundry got done, and dishes were cleared, and people were fed, but it sure seems like a lot more should have been accomplished. Ah well. The children all made it through the day. I laughed instead of cried. My husband got home earlier than expected. I loaded pictures on facebook. Not a bad day.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I am always amazed when I actually stop and reflect upon how God is omnipresent in my life. I have my shares of trials and my life is far from perfect, but I really have nothing about which to complain. I am blown away by the goodness of God and how evident His blessings are in my life. We had a Celebration event at our church tonight. POP is starting a capital campaign. It is called the Dei Campaign. It is an exciting time for our church and for us. It is a time of sacrifice as all the members of POP are called to give above and beyond for the next 3 years to make a difference. I am excited to see it play out. I am excited to be a small part of something so cool. I can't decide if I am more excited about a new church plant, a new Hispanic church, the mission tithe, or paying off the mortgage. It is all so wonderful. Jim and I are making changes in our own lives as well. I feel like we are on a campaign of our own, and it is a turning point in our lives. I am full of hope. I know it will not be easy, but I know that God is working with us, and we will be so much better off by being disciplined and changing what we do. I feel like our marriage is only getting stronger, and the more challenges we face, the stronger we are. It is a blessing. I am so in love with my husband and feel so blessed to have him love me. He is a gift. When I think about how blessed I am, I can't help but wonder why God loves me so much. My husband is my soulmate, I have 4 beautiful daughters who are good and kind and compassionate, my friends support and encourage me each and every day. I get to spend my days hanging out at school being with my kids and am surrounded by people who really love God. It can't get much better than that. Yet- there is so much more. Life isn't easy. It isn't all good. There are demons that haunt. There are physical ailments. There are hardships. It gets easy to forget that blessings are among the trials. God does not leave us. He can use anything. I am just now beginning to get to the demons in my life with open eyes. I am seeing how God has been with me through all sorts of things- times when I made poor choices, times that I am still not fully ready to accept responsibility for my actions because they are difficult to face. Yet this time is different. I am full of hope. I know that it will be difficult, but I am ready to start a new road. I am surrounded by support and encouragement, and God has me in His palms. He will walk me through it. It is a new day.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Summer is but a memory and fall is here. How do I manage to waste so much time. I love to write, and yet I spend very little time actually writing. I would love to publish a book someday (as if I have the talent to do so) and yet I want it to fall into my lap. I have had amazing feedback on the writing that has been shared publicly, and it does encourage and uplift me, and yet I still sit waiting for the deal to come. I am not an arrogant person by nature, and here I am, arrogantly thinking I am worthy of something at all, let alone, having it fall into my lap. How frustrated God must be with us when we live so much of our life wasting time instead of enjoying the goodness He gives us. I firmly believe that God only gives us glimpses of joy on earth because we cannot handle the full joy that will be ours in Heaven, but I also believe that we miss a whole lot of the goodness that is delivered to us. As much as I shake my head at my kids, God has to be shaking His head at me. I just finished reading the Shack. It is a wonderful book. It did make me think about relationships and how blessed I am in my life. There is so much I want to write at the moment, and yet, I feel compelled to go take care of some other things. So- for now- this is it- just some ramblings and nonsensical thoughts......
Monday, March 31, 2008
The birds are singing outside my window and it is raining instead of snowing. Spring is here! I hope. Ernie Banks got his long overdue statue at Wrigley and the Cubs are playing ball. It is a very good day. I had a long conversation with a friend of mine today about wanting to be perfect. He is caught up in wanting to be perfect for God and is forgetting that Jesus is the perfect one. We are to aim for perfection, but we also need to realize that we will not achieve it on earth. It is not a free pass to be a slacker. It is, however, a promise full of hope. I am listening to the Cubs play and Ernie is talking- what a man. He too has always been full of hope. He is a gracious man, and so humble. He is amazing. I can't wait to get to Wrigley and see the statue. I digress. I pray that my friend can be content in his brokenness and can see the beauty of what God has made in him. I pray that everyone can see God knows what He is doing, and that we have to stop pretending to be something we are not and let the potential that is in us out. We are like spring- there is beauty within and in the right time, we will burst forth and share our beauty with all those around us.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I wonder sometimes what would happen if people followed their true calling. I mean all people. I am sure that there are people in the world who are doing what they were created to do, but I also know that there are many people who are just plodding along trying to get through each day without too much defeat. Maybe it is just overwhelming to do what we are called to do. Maybe we are doing what we are called to do but we have trouble seeing it as a calling. Maybe we just need to look at specifics instead of the general picture. There are those who are called to teach, to serve, to research, to heal, to nurture, to study, to disseminate information. Perhaps we need to remember that the sum of our parts is equal to the whole, and that is what makes us Holy. People spend a lot of time doing good things throughout the day and although they may seem insignificant on their own, when added together, a difference is being made. Stay at home moms are a perfect example. When you look at one day and the things that occur, it may not seem all that great. Wiping noses, washing dishes, playing Candyland over and over, doing laundry, driving kids here, there, and everywhere, recess duty, computer duty, lunch-room duty, art mom, cooking mom, bringing forgotten items to school so the field trip can be attended, the saxophone can be played, the test can be signed- all those things seem so insignificant in the grand scheme of life. Can one truly be called to do that? Not very glamorous. However- when you look deeper and really consider it a calling, then you are doing those things, but you are also instilling confidence (they know you will be there for anything), you are giving tangible evidence of love (you spend your time where they are instead of elsewhere), you are building relationships with your children, you are serving, you are setting examples, you are giving something that is much bigger than yourself. That is Holy. Obviously, I am biased toward stay at home moms since I am one, but I also fall into the trap that what I am doing is not important. It is so much more than being a mom. I am in the business of building disciples. Not just my own children, but all the children I come into contact with every day I spend at school. I don't often really take the time to consider that my calling. Here I am doing exactly what I always wanted to do, and I am taking it for granted. I am plodding along instead of greeting each day with praise and adoration for what God has done for me. He placed me in my sweet spot and I am letting it sour. Each day we fail to see the blessings God has placed in front of us, we are missing an opportunity to pour out thanksgivings to our Saviour for what He has done and for what He will do through us. Can you imagine the kind of world we could have if we all realized what our calling is and then lived it? Talk about Heaven on Earth!! I am blessed that I at least believe I know what my calling is. It has been placed in front of me- I just have to take it and run with it. Are you following your calling? If so- are you jumping for joy that you know what it is? If not- what are you going to do today to get a step closer to it? God tells us through His word that his plans for us are to prosper. If we are not prospering, then we need to take a close look at what we are getting wrong in our daily life. We need to ask for wisdom and discernment so we can find our calling. For once we do that, we can't help but prosper. We can all make a difference in this world; we were all created for something much bigger than we have planned for ourselves. Our dreams are so limited. It is such an amazing thing that our Creator is limitless and He is waiting for us to follow His call on our lives- follow it fully with joy and thanksgiving. When we follow our calling, that is when we truly start living. Do you hear Him? He is calling.....
Sunday, March 23, 2008
This is an amazing day. I love Easter. I love the joy of the songs, the readings, the message, all of it. It is a day of hope and redemption and a fresh start. Normally it is a bright spring day with the flowers beginning to bloom, and we are surrounded with new life all around. Even the 8 inches of snow we received friday can't hamper the joy and feeling of new life. Jesus has given it all to us. We need for nothing. Our lives here on earth may be frustrating, agonizing, even downright dreary, but we can still be filled with hope. We have the greatest gift- we have life beyond this earth. I love that my kids aren't afraid to yell out HE IS RISEN INDEED ALLEUIA!! all day long. Now we just need to take this joy and excitement and hope and realize that we have it every day. yes, today is the day that we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, but the gift is given each and every day. There is not one day that goes by where we do not have the hope of Christ. The price he willingly paid on the cross covers it all- every bad thing, every foul mood, every injustice. It has all been paid for by the blood of Jesus. Every day is filled with hope. Every day is amazing. Every day here is a day closer to Heaven. ALLEUIA!!!
Monday, March 3, 2008
I am exhausted. Just simply tired and not sure if it will ever get better. I wonder why life gets so overwhelming and busy. I firmly believe that God wants us to enjoy life and showers us with blessing upon blessing. I think that life gets so busy that we don't see the blessing. I know that I bring it on myself, but it is a frustrating circle nonetheless. I have so much to be thankful for, and so much support and encouragement in my life. I still feel like I am floundering and there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. I know I am not alone in those feelings, but I wonder why so many people feel this way and yet we do nothing to change it. Life is all about relationships, yet the focus is often on things and activities. I was trying to think of ways to simplify and make life less stressful and I realized that with 4 children, it is just going to be a full life. There are 6 schedules in our house. 6 different sets of likes, dislikes, interests, hobbies, etc.. Even with one activity per person we would be doing something 6 times a week. God does have a sense of humor. I know that one of these decades when I finally give up control I will get the answer to my question. I will know how to live a life that is full of important relationships and not so many things on a "to do" list. I am waiting for that day and excited to see how God is going to bring me there. I know I can't do it myself- I have been trying that for far too long and not doing so well at it. I am just wondering how long I will continue to fight God and go to bed exhausted every night. I am waiting for the energy that submitting to Him brings. I know what I want to do- I just can't seem to let go of the reins and let the one who created me take over. One of these days.....