Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Word for Today...

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
--James 1:12 (NASB)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Time Has Come

The dreaded moment has finally arrived.

Not only is he 13, but now, he is not just a hair taller than me but a whole entire inch!

This is going to create an interesting scenario. For many years, I've been looking down at this little boy and been able to scold from my 'motherly' height. How do you shake your finger at someone who you now look up to? Just asking.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pop Goes The Weasel....

...You ever feel like that? Some days I feel like if things get squeezed any tighter, that very thing just might happen. Just when things seem like they are at their absolute worst, something else happens and I fear I'm going to hear that popping sound. Then doubts and pure agony enter into the mix and I'm all around miserable.

But God is there ever so softly whispering in my ear that He loves me. Do you ever have trouble getting your brain to wrap around that idea? I know that God loves me and that He sent His son to die for me but do I really deep down in my heart KNOW and am able to embrace that love that God has freely given me?

In my growing up, I've had some really great strong foundational truths instilled in me which has shaped my relationship with Christ as it is now. However, I do have this feeling that God is waiting there for me to make a mistake so He, in his Godliness, can take me out. In my opinion, that is very prohibitive of a close relationship and is very stifling. This is NOT the kind of relationship that I desire to have with Him.

We've been going through a very tough time this past year and it's amazing to me all that God is teaching me through it. I can honestly say that I've come to the point where I can thank God for allowing us to be where we are at in this struggle. I'm in awe at God's care and concern of my relationship with him to allow some of these things to happen enough to change the way I understand this relationship I have with him.

One of those things is how I view God's love. My focus has been on only accepting the love that He has as long as I view myself as worthy. I know that I will never be worthy enough to deserve God's mercy or His gift. However, my brain finally has had the 'aha' moment where it's wrapped itself around His love. It really is as simple as this....your love for your children is beyond anything anyone can comprehend, even when they are acting up. You are uniquely connected. God views me through that love (the blood) even when I am less than perfect. We are connected. He created me, He knew my steps and my path before I was formed and yet knowing all the decisions, choices, etc that I would make.....God still breathed me into existence. To me, that's a HUGE connection. His love is all encompassing....every part of who I am.

The other thing that is amazing is this. Many of you know that we lost close to everything when our oldest was just brand new. I admit to you that part of me felt like God let me down. I had this idea that God would care for our needs as He promised, only what He promises and what I expected were two different things. Through this experience, God has allowed me to reconcile my hurt and to see with different eyes how He did follow through with what He promised.

We are a living example of literally depending on God for our daily needs. It's been excruciating to learn this lesson. I always want to know and I stress out/worry about what we are going to do about tomorrow and needing the answers to all of my 'what if's'. God says let tomorrow worry for itself. I will give you what you need for today. Trust me and me alone. He continues to give us our 'manna' daily and I continue to trust and believe in spite of the unknown.

Then finally, God has been showing me to be thankful in ALL things. It is so easy to get into a trap of complaining and being all around miserable. It's been a real challenge for me to not allow my circumstances to determine my attitude. I admit it, I have not always accomplished this every day but I am doing better than I would have even dreamed of being capable of. Being angry, yelling, and all around upset doesn't change anything or any circumstance except to make yourself even more miserable and to affect those around you in a negative way. So as my friend at heluvsme2 recently stated, I'm thankful I'm breathing. If that is all I can find to be thankful about today, I will thank God for my breathing over and over and over again.

Even if life is not what I expect or dream it to be, God's ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. I know, I know and I know that His plan for my life is for my ultimate good and I place my trust, my faith and my belief in the one who created me. I am His and He is mine. His love endureth forever.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Helping Hand...

How a child can get into so much and make such an incredible mess while your back is turned for only a moment is still beyond my comprehension. This has happened in our household on numerous occasions and to this day still has me stunned into speechlessness.

On this very night, Aaron (our four year old) requested some kool-aid. He was very thirsty he said and milk just wasn't what he wanted. I whipped up some Berry Cherry goodness just for his royal cuteness, poured his drink and watched him suck it down quicker than you can say slow down. He promptly placed his cup on the table and off he went with a run and a bounce.

I left the kitchen to go check on *ahem* my email. I swear I was only gone a few seconds. I know this because I didn't get any email in my inbox *sniff*. When I went back out there, Aaron was on the couch and all he said was...I'm sorry, Mom. I was just trying to help! I asked him what he was sorry about but all he did was stare at me with those puss 'n boots big eyes and sucked his infamous two middle fingers. I thought, hmmmm....wonder what's going on.

Then I entered the kitchen. What to my wondering eyes should appear, but a tilting kool-aid pitcher along with a gigantic puddle of RED kool-aid.....everywhere. When I say everywhere....that is what I found. It covered the counter top, ran down into all the drawers and down the fronts of the cupboard, down beside the stove and so on. I sat down on a kitchen chair with a sigh. Rats! I thought to myself. A kid struck again.

Now I need to explain something before I go further. I have had this complete disaster of a refrigerator for quite a few years. It has even been replaced with a brand new one from the store we originally bought it from under their 'lemon law'. Only....the new one still has the same issues the old one had. It has now been 8 years that I have been living with this devil of a appliance. I long ago gave up the hope and dream that it would work the way it was meant to. I am clinging to hope that one day, one day soon I'll be the proud owner of a double wide fridge just like Ty gives his Extreme Home Makeover recipients. But alas....I'm still in the hopes and dreams stage. Reality is still sitting there peeing on my kitchen floor.

What the heck am I talking about? Let me explain. In the last year or maybe two (time flies when you are having fun) it has taken up the activity of leaking. I fondly yell out that the fridge is 'peeing' again and the kids just think that is the funniest thing. It helps me get out some of my frustration. Sigh. However, what happens when you have a fridge that leaks periodically throughout the day? You have a puddle or stream that runs under your cupboards, stove and so on.

As I pulled the one movable cabinet that happens to be right next to the fridge to clean up this wonderfully red kool-aid spill, the bottom of the cupboard leaves a trail of disintegrated fiberboard that has left some plastered to the floor. I guess when you mix disintegrated fiberboard and water you get cement. Science lesson. (Why do science lessons happen when the kids aren't around?) Can you feel the tension building as I am writing this? If one was ever thinking of words to describe this mess in a creative form, it probably would have been right about now.

I scrubbed and scrubbed and Oh, how I scrubbed. Did I mention the stupid, stupid mop that I currently own? Let me tell you about that. First of all, let me just mention that I think the store is against me. Everytime I buy a new mop, they discontinue the mop head that goes along with it. So I then purchase another mop and the same scenario happens again. So here I am with this stupid mop that has the stupid mop head hanging on by a stupid thread and I literally mean a spongy stupid thread trying to mop this stupid mess up. This is so NOT what I had planned for my evening.

After I put everything back into it's place and I realized that my cupboard is being held up by the lousy fridge and the stove, I emphatically announced to the walls that my new kitchen was indeed in the near future plans right next to my diamond ring. Do you think they will listen cause I don't think anybody else is hearing me....except maybe the neighbors.

Friday, August 08, 2008

While You Were Sleeping....

Stages. As children grow they enter new stages. They roll over. They crawl. They take their first steps. They talk. We oooo and ahhhh over these stages. We take pictures to remember those moments. Life is beautiful.

Kara has entered the stage of climbing out of her crib. I'm actually surprised that it's taken her this long because she's such climber. She likes to sit in the middle of the kitchen table, she tries to climb the cupboard and I most certainly will not be surprised one day to find her sitting up there, she climbs the back of the couch and loves to sit in our bay window and then there is the fence....I am grateful she hasn't conquered what to do when she gets to the top. Perhaps we should install security camera's so I know at exactly what point she has become AWOL.

Sometime while I was enjoying my sleep during the dark hours of the night, I hear her chirping in her cute little 'I'm playing house' voice, her new word...stupee. (stupee = stupid) She sleeps in the crib that is in my room so there was no escaping it. No! No, tuck me in...stupee and Aaron...stupee, and puppy...stupee were echoing off the walls. I, in my 'For crying out loud, can't you see it's sleepy time' fog somewhere between sleeping and not, pulled the covers over my head in hopes that she will just go back to sleep.

As she continued her chirping, I began to wonder what time it was. It seemed pretty light in my room. Then, I hear ripping sounds and more chirping. With a sigh and a fine!...I muttered to myself that I guess I would just get up and get my day started. I climbed out of bed. What I found when I came to full consciousness was that my little monkey had climbed out of her bed onto the dresser which was next to the crib and was sitting there happy as can be. The light was coming from the ceiling but it most certainly was not daytime. It was 2:38 AM!

Upon more discovery, I found that she had disassembled one of the baby pictures that I had had framed of Ryan which showed me what exactly the ripping sound was coming from. Crud! There goes $24.95 for custom frame and picture from the Kodak Gallery. Guess I'll be replacing that one. Apparently, I had a pen on my dresser which she also discovered and decided to use....on my wall. Crud! I think I'm out of those magic erasers! Crud! She found my glasses. Thank you, God that they were not broken, bent or destroyed! Note to self: Perhaps one should not ignore chirping from two year old during the night.

I swiftly plopped her back in her bed explaining to this beautiful child that she needed to go back to sleep so that she didn't have a cranky momma in the morning. I kissed her cuteness and tucked her in and amazingly enough, she quieted down. Sleep came again....ah, sweet sleep.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ryan's Day

We recently celebrated Ryan's birthday! I can't believe the little man he is turning into. Oops...I mean big man. He informed me that he is not little and I needed to quit calling him that.

He ended up with three days of celebration. The first day was a personal party with Grandma. They had Burger King for dinner and then of course, cake and ice cream to which he had two or three pieces. Call me crazy, but I agreed to it only on this one occasion. As you can imagine, he was bouncing off the walls. Come to think of it, he was that way before we even got to Grandma's apartment. I think she mentioned something to me about giving someone a tranquilizer but I can't remember if I was suppose to give her one or Ryan? They had a grand time together.

Day two was his actual birthday. We celebrated by going to the park with friends. I did let him open one of his presents in the morning because he wore me down with his nagging question of can I, can I, please, please, PLEASE just open one????? We came home from the park thoroughly tired from running around...oh wait...that was me, not the kids. We had cake and ice cream and presents. For some odd reason, he didn't want us to sing or put candles on the cake. Perhaps he didn't want to waste any time or perhaps he doesn't like our singing. I'm not sure which was the case. He went to bed with a skip in his step and a smile on his face. It was another good day.

Day three was celebration time with Grandmom. She ended up having to buy more cake and ice cream to help with the third celebration. Can you have a party without cake and ice cream? Not in Ryan's opinion. This time he even got to blow out candles and he allowed us to sing to him. Now his birthday is complete and was properly celebrated to the max.

He got a Spiderman skateboard, and Ironman costume, nerf guns and a game for his DS. Now if I only can convince him to take that costume off....at some point, you need to change your underwear....at least that is what my motherly advice is telling him. I don't think he sees it my way.