Monday, January 31, 2011

A Thumb Sucker for Life

Grant and Grace were sitting on my lap tonight while Grace was reading to me. Grant turned to me and said, "something, something, and go to bed". I kept asking him what he was saying and he kept saying the same thing. After about 6 or 7 times, he said it again but this time held up his thumb. Then I got it. He was saying, "I want to suck my thumb and go to bed."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Blessing That Really Blessed Me!

Yesterday I was blessed to be able to go and visit a great friend, who needed some help. So, I want to start by saying a huge THANK YOU to my hubby and kiddos for graciously sharing me with my friend. Also, a huge THANK YOU to my mom who stepped into my shoes for the day, caring for my kiddos! So I (and my dad - who I dropped off at "work") took off early in the morning and I arrived at her house at 8am. It was SUPPOSED to be a surprise, but the boob dragged it out of her oldest daughter. Oh well. I went to help because over the course of the last few months her youngest (6 or 7 months - I should know) has developed an extreme case of eczema. It is so very bad. So please pray for him! His sweet baby face was covered with scabby, dried skin, while the rest of his sweet baby body was covered with patches of red raised bumps - that itch like crazy. The sweet, sweet boy only wants to scratch his itch, and imagine the pain of the mother who just wants to be able to do the simple thing to make her baby feel better, but cannot because by doing that simple thing would make his condition worse. This breaks my heart every time I think of it. So, the poor baby has not really slept for more than 1.5 hours at a time for the last 3.5 months. Neither has mom - who had been exclusively breastfeeding. the was sledding with the other kids and fractured his back. This only worsened the strain on mom. So, after lecturing my friend on her need to call on her church family to help her with basic needs and knowing she would not do it, I decided to go for a visit. Actually, during my quiet time Monday morning, I felt as if God was telling me to go and do what I told her she needed to do. "Don't just tell her what she needs to do, go and do it." The verse just came to me too (with a ton of searching)

James 4:17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

So I put the plans into action to "surprise" her. It didn't totally work as I had planned, but it worked nonetheless. I was able to do like 20 loads of laundry, make homemade mac-n-cheese, meatloaf and brownies, give a sweet little girl a bath, changes some sheets, do some light kitchen cleaning, hold, feed and changes that angel boy, spend some face-time with 2 sweet girls who have really stepped up to help their momma in a time of crisis, and most importantly, I was able to tightly hold that sweet baby in my arms, kneel before God in Heaven and pray over him - pleading with God to take this from him - to heal him. I love this family more than anything. My friend means the world to me and there is nothing I would not do for her. Her kids are like my kids. In fact, on more than one occasion yesterday I kept referring to her #2 as my Jadyn. They are like 2 peas in a pod. Weird. I was so fortunate to be able to help out, to have a family that would share me. But, even that came at a price. Let me tell you. While I was planning this in my head, I knew Greg wouldn't like it. Not that he wouldn't like me helping my friend, but that he would not like me going away. And certainly not overnight (which was only an option in my plan - not a real part of it). It's not like I have not been away overnight before, but well, you know husbands. Anyway, Monday night Greg was not real nice about me going, which led to, you guessed it, a fight - at the dinner table. I was explaining to my kids (like that sound rational adult that I am - yeah right) that dad had apparently forgot about when my friend packed up her family and came and stayed with us - FOR A WEEK - while my leg was broken and dad HAD to go to China. Greg even asked me if I had practiced that all day. How rude! The fight ended when, after all my many attacks, Greg kinda broke down and told me the REAL reason he did not want me to go. It was not because he didn't want me to help - because he did. He just did not want me to leave. He hates it when I am gone and even the thought of having to take care of the kids alone scares the heck out of him (I think he was really thinking about if I was no longer here, not just watching them for one night). Wow. That stopped me in my tracks. THAT really made me feel loved. And after I was a horrible, yelling jerk to him. It took everything for me not to break down right then and there, and I guess if I had, it would have been OK too. But I said to him, "Why didn't you just say that in the first place, instead of making me think you were totally insensitive?" Reason number 759 to have constant conversation in marriage. A note about Greg caring for the kids: I asked him about what time he really started to miss me. Was it when he had to make dinner, or give baths? He said it was when he had to kneel down, tell stories and say prayers. I think it was good for me to be gone. I think he needs to do that more often. Don't you?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Someone Hi-Jacked my Computer!

I was working on putting this blog to book. I was sitting on the couch, which meant I had to use the mouse on the computer. All of a sudden, I could not control what was happening on the screen. I started freaking out. I thought someone had hi-jacked my computer. I quickly shut everything down and then re-started the computer. At the exact same moment, Grace came in, telling me that Grant had thrown the mouse in the garbage. After I got over the anger of him throwing it in the garbage, I realized that it was he who had taken control of my computer. The mouse he had was wireless, was turned on and was able to work my computer. Unbeknown to him, he was controlling my computer as he was trying to throw my mouse in the garbage, Stinkin' kid. Causing trouble even without knowing it. Love him anyway.

Lessons from Grace

I just spent a few minutes de-briefing with Grace about her playdate. On the way to drop the girl off, she told us she missed school for the last 2 days because her "privates were bleeding". You should have seen Grace's face when I looked in the rear-view mirror at her. She was in shock. When we got home, she said "I don't think she needed to tell us that". I think she is right. But our conversation moved on to how proud I was of her and how I want to be like her someday. Then, in her Grace fashion, she proceeded to tell me HOW I could be like her. She said all I have to do is talk nice, but that I "still have to give disciplines". Oh my word, she was cracking me up, but she was majorly serious. She gave me examples of how I should respond when they disobey or do not listen. As we were ending the conversation she said, "You do those things, and if it doesn't work, then talk to me tomorrow."

The Outcast

Today's "Daily Bread" reading for me was entitled "The Outcast", with Scripture taken from James 2:1-9. It was talking about showing partiality to those who are poor, "less-than" or not like us. What is interesting to me is that we got a call today from the mother of a girl in Grace's class. This girl is somewhat of an outcast. She is different, really different from most of the other girls. And to be totally honest, I never even really thought about Grace reaching out to her as a friend. I always thought she was a little weird. Well, I asked Grace if she wanted this girl to come over and she answered, "She is nice. Yes - I want her to come over." So, I called and talked to the dad and he said he would bring his little girl over. When I answered the door, I was surprised to see a guy I went to high school with (who was also very different and unpopular). Then, I sat down and read this devotion from OBD. I think the Lord was really talking to me about judging others. The neat thing? Well, there are a couple of them. First, Grace is having a super fun time with this girl. And second, the example she continues to set for me is amazing. I love this girl and I love the heart God has given her. What a blessing!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Party Girl

Tonight I went to a "bag" party - you know, a party where you can buy all kinds of neat bags. As soon as I walked in the door, I noticed that there was a child on the floor (not in bed). When I looked closer, I saw Jadyn smiling back at me with a cute little smirk on her face. Greg told me she said she did not feel well. I snuggled in with her and she asked, "How was the party?" I said it was good. She asked, "Did you have cake?" I shook my head no. "Brownies? Cookies?", she asked me. Again I told her no. Well, there were brownies, but I did not eat any. Then she said, "If you didn't have any snacks, then it must not have been a good party." That girl has a one track mind. She was not sick. She wanted to stay up and find out what I had to "snack on" at the party.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Clear Conscience

Read today about having a clear conscience, before God and men. So grateful that God allows me to repent and seek forgiveness for the times I am wrong. Sadly, I am wrong way more than I want to be. Admitting you are wrong and asking for forgiveness is never really easy. But there is amazing freedom in getting it out and off your chest. I am glad God keeps working on me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My "First" Day of 2011

Since the first 2 days of the year were the weekend, I decided my new year needed to start today. Nothing drastic, just:

-more intentional time with God (waking up at 5am)
-exercising at 6am
-being ready to start the day BEFORE my kids get up (by 730am)
-being a submissive wife (oh this is going to be hard)
-being a kinder, more compassionate, intentional mom
-doing all of this not on my own strength (because I cannot do it), but allowing God to work in me in such a way that this is easily accomplished

So, nothing, right? Actually, with God, this is going to be awesome. In fact, it already has. My Heavenly Father woke me this morning at 430am, and I lingered in bed (warm and comfy) until the "scheduled" 5am. I spent an amazing hour with my Lord (not even watching the clock), praying and seeking His help, strength and wisdom. Lifting up my family and friends. Loving on Him, as he so rightly deserves. Then at 6am, I made coffee for Greg (and me) then hopped on the elliptical. Did 30 minutes there and was anticipating a Zumba class at 630am, which was overridden by a Cindy Crawford infomercial. I was sad, but I know God knew better. I need to start slow and work up. I want to keep it up, not peter out. I love that He knows what is better for me, even when it is not what I want. Showered, dressed, ate and read more Scripture before the kids got up. And when they did get up, it was peace. I mean really peace. No screaming, no crying, no fighting. In fact, Jacob even made breakfast for everyone while I did the girls' hair. And when Grace came into the kitchen he walked up to her, put his hand gently on her back and led her to the meal he prepared for her. It was the coolest thing. Praise You, Lord. (Sounding like a broken record again, but I just love it more than anything when I see my kids getting along and thinking of each other before themselves - this is my mother's joy) We all sat down together and while they ate, I read from the Keys for Kids, then each of them took turns praying for their days (and each other - woo hoo!!!!) Everyone was ready for school BEFORE the appropriate time and we left without incident. After I dropped everyone off, Grant and I went to Meijer for a return and to grab a couple of things. I got home, started prepping for dinner and now as I sit here I have dinner almost ready for tonight and a meal for later in the week almost ready. And, if you know me, you know that this is huge. I so do not like to cook, but when I have a plan (I meal planned for the next 2 weeks) it makes it so much easier. My kids are napping, the laundry is almost finished and I love how God has laid this out for me. I have had such a great morning. Praise Him, for all of it.

I know I have set some pretty lofty goals for myself. But I also have a God/Father/cheerleader/trainer/friend who is going to bring me through this. Some days I may be dragged, other days I may skip right along, but one thing is for sure......I will not go at this alone. My God will be with me the whole time. If God is for me, who can be against me? I m excited for the turnout of this. Not sure how it will look, but I am excited nonetheless.

I am also excited to see that I have a purpose. OK, it's not like I didn't really think I had one, but you know, we often wonder what we are supposed to be doing. I still am not exactly sure, but I can sense that God is using my past experiences to reach out to other hurting people. Things like that make you glad that you went through something (and that it is behind you). I believe that God has more in store for us.... not even sure what I mean by that, but I know He does.

I better go. I think I am rambling.