Thursday, May 26, 2011

Backwards Pants and Fancy Toes

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So it's been another busy week around here. So I am posting EARLY - so I can do at least 1 thing ahead of schedule!!

- My youngest son put his pants on backwards first thing Monday morning. I suggested he take them off and turn them around... he declined. He told me he wanted them that way. I chose to find it amusing instead of embarrassing... even though we had to go several places including church that night.
- My two sons who are 14 months apart have had almost all their toys removed as a result of their unwillingness to pick them up. And yet, somehow their room continues to look like this:
The Star Wars saga continues as we have discovered the new cartoon "Clone Wars". I rented the movie. They love it. This is John's version of "Asoka Tana" the Jedi patawan (apprentice) to Annakin Skywalker...  Yes, I know the lingo... unbelievable! (that's the "Fess-Up" part!)  But he sure is cute! :)



- I realized the other day that there is no way for me to stop giving perpetual instructions about washing hands... this was a hand discovered AFTER the park and AFTER he at his lunch... but it builds his immune system right?


- After years of being too tomboy and too judgemental of women who choose to spend their money on such extravagant things as fake nails and "twinkle toes"... I caved. I love them. I understand the girls who have them and they are worth every penny. I feel like a woman and in a house full of men, that is becoming VERY important to me!


And there ya have it. My confessions for the week. Now off to pack, clean and pick up kids in 30 min? Nothing like waiting til the last minute! :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Joy

Four years ago this past January I had a miscarriage.

I cried from deep places I didn't know I had. I have pages of journal entries of processing enormous grief that welled up within me.

The day I found out the baby died, I had to retrieve my kids from a dear friend's home. She and I were new friends at the time, but her heart broke with mine at the news. Little did we both know that by the end of the year, I would be comforting her as well. That night, that first night, I told God that if He was going to make me walk through such horrible pain, I wanted to know who I lost. I wanted a face. I wanted a gender. I wanted a name.

The next morning, before I even woke up I had a vision. A small newborn, swaddled in a pure pink fuzzy blanket with large white robed arms wrapped around her. I could see her little eyes, tiny nose and rounded pink lips as if I was holding her myself. I knew she was in Good hands. I cried some more and woke up to go about my day, tending to my two little boys.

The weeks, months, and years since then I think of her, thank God for her and ask Him to kiss her goodnight for me from time to time. He has done much healing in me and in His amazing grace, He planted sweet Peter in my arms before the one year anniversary of her death. What an amazing gift he is!

But here's the thing... the last few weeks my sons have been talking about her - a lot. My middle son, James who was only 18 months at the time made up a song after asking me why he couldn't see her for the umpteenth time in a few days.

Joy, Joy, please come down. Please come down to me...
Joy, Joy, please come down, please come down to me.

He sings it almost every day at least once. He has taught the other kids to sing it too. Even the kids that came and stayed with us for a few days.

It doesn't creep me out, it doesn't really bother me, but I do wonder what this longing is in him for her. Is it that the other kids he knows have sisters? Is it the place in him, like all of us, that is designed to have a longing for Heaven? Is it a sense of emptiness that she should be at our table? I really don't know.

Tonight, tired from being up late, he broke down crying, "Mom, I want to see Joy." John agreed that he did too. So, I prayed. I asked our God, the author of all life to give them a dream about their sister. That He would show her to them. She is beautiful, happy, loves her life and she is looking forward to us all being together one day - forever.

The only ache in me over this, is my dear friend will give birth to a beautiful baby girl tomorrow. And I long for mine. Maybe God is using this time to allow me to grieve on a level I didn't know I needed to. I am not sure. I will celebrate little Abigail with all my heart, because I will love her too, as if she was mine. And my dear friend will understand.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Special Bottle and BFF

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So, I missed the official "Fess - Up" because I missed Friday on my computer almost entirely! I am starting to think I need to keep this post every week in draft form, keep adding to it every day and THEN post it on Friday. I am not sure I am entirely organized enough to do it... but I might try it at least once.

So, here it is...

- I have cut out white flour and sugar and kept with it. When I weighed on Friday morning I lost 4lbs. I celebrated with actually eating pizza with my family that night... at least it was the thin crust veggie pizza.

- I spent half of this week wishing I could run away from home.

- I spent the other half wishing I didn't have to go somewhere.

- I discovered the little boy definition of BFF this week "Big Fat Fart". I am a little embarrassed to say that I laughed pretty hard the first time they told me and I laugh a little inside every time I think about it... which seems a little more often than what "normal" should be. Maybe.

- My version of "Going Green" - 2 green water bottles.


- I finally threw away my beloved orange water bottle I had for 2 years. It was my constant companion at the gym EVERY day while I trained for my triathlon. When the kids were good at the play care, they wanted to give me their sticker reward... note that I have 3 kids in the play care and I trained 4 days a week for 2 months and 3 days a week for 2 months... if you count the stickers you will see that my kids are so comfortable there... it's like home to them if you know what I mean...
(To be fair, some stickers fell off and some are on the lid, and all the kids weren't with me ALL the time) 










































- I actually organized my kitchen counters this week - and - other than a few dirty dishes, it has STAYED that way!!! Yeah, I am usually good at the 'one hit wonder' then tank after all the applause... just sayin'
- It used to look like this: 
Now it looks like this:






-- the files are there, there is stuff in them, not all of them are labeled, the stuff is probably not all critical... and I LOVE my bug even though he takes up space on my counter and his battery is dead.

- I love when my kids are themselves and remind me to be myself - even at the expense or comfort of others who expect them to be tiny automatons who follow the rules perfectly and never make a mess... God spoke to me of messes this week and Endurance... I will blog on that soon.


I think that's good enough for this week, especially since Friday has come and gone. Next week there will be more but I won't be around to post so I'll catch ya in a couple of weeks! I am sure there will be lots to share!

Monday, May 16, 2011

God in the Yard Week 7 Sections 1 & 2

I have missed my lovely visits with my God in the Yard book. I finally pulled it out last night, the ache for climbing back in to this journey outweighing my need for sleep. L.L.Barkat has some intriguing and interesting insights on Levitical law regarding menstruation. Yep, read no further if you are already squeamish!

The prompts I chose to write/contemplate are:

Section 1 - "When I think of blood I think of... "
- Cleansing... outpouring of Christ on the Cross, His love for us dripping to the base pouring out for us, atoning for us, healing us, releasing us from certain death-separation from God. Also, when we bleed the blood pushes bacteria out from our wounds. Cleansing them. Infection is likely when something gets "stuck" in the wound (not scientific I know, but my life does not accommodate research at this time so if you want to know more, you look into it;) ).

"Separation might be a form of grace in situations such as..."
- Protection - Dear ones sheltered so others do not unintentionally speak words of death inadvertently.
- Refreshment - Jesus separated Himself to pray. Once can only imagine the balance required to be fully God and fully human at the same time.
- Healing - When my kids are ill, we separate them from the rest of the world to give their bodies a break from exposure to germs and emotional/mental/physical exertion. Yes, we want to protect our friends and family from becoming ill, but mostly, we want to give them a chance to get better.
- Restoration - When I grow weary from "doing good " I need to retreat into the Word, separating myself from the cares of this life to be completely enveloped in Him so I can keep walking the road He has placed me on.

In section two there is this sentence that caught my eye: "Whatever is more fragile will begin to show the first signs of stress and failure, but these are the early warning signs."
 
Section 2 "The margins of my life - the areas that come less easily for me - are..."
Organization and structure.
My personality, gifts and tendencies are much more fluid in nature so while I value the need for organization and structure, I find myself bottoming out in that area first before anything else breaks down.

When I am at my very best which is becoming more frequent due to some lifestyle changes I have made, I can be organized, work towards bringing order to chaotic areas in my home and balance relationships, ministry, and practical needs effectively.

However, if I am having an "off" day like today, I don't guard my thoughts as well, and once my mind is surfing the gutter of my situational self-worth, all is pretty much lost. UNTIL - I am gifted with loving reminders from my Jesus and dear ones who pray for me and while it takes the emotions a while to get back on track, my heart and mind shift back into their Divinely-focused course.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Driving the Point Home, Jousting, and Life as a Flower

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Wow, this week again gave me more "opportunities" to "Fess Up" than one can even describe... but I will share a few...

1) I learned how to "teeth fart", apparently my oldest son is a real pro according to his friends. You are supposed to put your teeth together and blow out one side of your mouth, try it... maybe you can be a pro too!

2) I still haven't purged the Food and Wine magazines. I need to, I know.

3) My mother-in-law gave me this lovely gift tulip and I loved it, it made me feel like spring. I kept looking at it reminding myself I, too, am beautiful like this flower... I kept looking at it, every day. Asking God to remind me of my beauty and His beauty within me...










4) By the end of the week, this is how I looked. Really.



5) I yelled over spilled milk. Again. Seriously, when will I just not care if the boys dump an 8oz glass of milk all over themselves, the floor and their shoes? By the way, I did clarify that I was not angry with him, I was just tired of cleaning up messes... he seemed to understand.

6) I found it VERY amusing that one of the little boys I was watching decided to use the plastic basketball hoop as a jousting stick in the basement to combat my sons who were using light sabers. I suggested he might maim someone by accident, but secretly I was impressed!

7) I am deliberately choosing to stay off of white flour and white sugar. It consistently has blocked my ability to lose weight. Honestly, I would prefer to dive head first into a pint of Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk and not come out until it was gone... sigh.

8) I have listened to a lot of really great people this week talking about their trials, challenges, dreams lost, struggles with hopelessness, and lack of motivation to make necessary changes. God gave me some very encouraging words and prayers for them. I talked to them all about living with a sense of expectation - looking forward with enthusiasm to what God is going to do next - I don't do that enough. Maybe God had me say it at least 5 times this week to drive His point home to me. I bet He did.

9) I stood outside in two parking lots in one night talking with the same friend for 2.5 hours. I really need some girl time if I have to resort to that... what do you think? ;)

10) I got my new Hagadone directory this week. Guess what I did with it? My sincere apologies for all those people who paid money to put their ads in it.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Intercession Poem - God in the Yard Week 6 Completed

Wrestling thoughts
Breaking down
Tension built
Holy struggle


Intercession
Deep calling
Deeper still
Healing

Action or inaction
Balanced web
Fully covered
But exposed

Your Light glows
Contrasting shadows
Holiness held
In Hands Divine

Released from
Enveloped in
Pressed hard
Crushed not

Kingly gaze
Servant heart
Submitted

Unity brought
Rich joy unfurled
Quaking
Stirring
Shattering darkness
Glory Revealed
    --- In Jesus Name

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What If Being A Mom Was An Olympic Event?


I watched Shawn White win the gold medal on his score from his first run of two trips down the half pipe in Olympic Snow Boarding. His second run was purely for fun since he had already clinched the gold.

Shawn White is not just an athlete. He is an athlete who LOVES what he does. His focus, determination and willingness to stretch beyond the regular stunts to be on the cutting edge developing new tricks indicates he is always working hard for excellence and beyond.

I thought to myself, “If all I had to do was focus on one thing for two decades, I could be pretty amazing at it too!”

Then the still small voice in my spirit speaks, “That is exactly what you are doing as a mom.”

There are no medal ceremonies every four years, but it would be wise to check my growth as a mom, my weaknesses, my strengths, and what fruit is being produced by the little ones I have been given at least once every four years.

You see, the gold medal is already around my neck. God knows He made me for them and them for me. I have a choice - whether I just slide up and down the half pipe of life, parenting one day at a time, moving through the usual maneuvers with steady skill, or whether I  throw my whole heart, personal flair, enthusiasm, energy and divine drive into each jump, twist, turn, and spin, the Gold Medal remains.

My children will become who they become. I trust the Lord with the outcome of their lives knowing He loves them much more than I do (and yes, this is much easier for me to say while they are all under 7 years old).

I have my Coach, I have my team mates (my husband and the family and friends God has lovingly placed in my life), and I have competitors (distractions that would cause me to lose focus, challenge my stamina, and attempt to undermine my God given creativity and drive). Someday I will stand atop the podium, with my Gold Medal hanging from my neck, arms lifted high in worship and praise as my Coach says to me, "This is my daughter, whom I love; with her I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Food & Wine and What to do with the word WHY?!

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How I love the, Fess Up Friday... it is like an excuse to be wacky - so I have something to write about!


  • I agreed with only a quick rocket prayer to take on Teacher Appreciation Week. The week I have 3 extra kids, the week I am finishing up MOPS for the season, the week I begin my triathlon training, the week I plan to work diligently on cleaning out closets, papers, misc. stuff... Yeah. GREAT idea!
  • Actually it was! I ROCKED Teacher Appreciation Week - except for the fact that I - the parent in charge of appreciating the teachers - that assigned someone to send notes home reminding kids to write thank you notes to their teachers - FORGOT to have my kids write thank you notes! MOPS went great, the extra kids are fun (I even took them to the grocery store - ALL 6 - just for the fun of it! The only thing I didn't ROCK was my workouts and cleaning a bunch of stuff out. I confess, doing the other stuff was much more fun!
  • As far as the "other stuff" I was supposed to clean out... I have THREE years of "Food and Wine" magazine piled around my house in various places. I did not pay for it. I earned it by taking surveys and getting credits. I was SURE that a subscription to "Food and Wine" would remind me that I am a grown adult woman and I can do grown-woman stuff. Like make yummy food with fancy names and drink nice wine made in Cali or Wash... EXCEPT I have NEVER cooked one of the recipes or bought one recommended bottle of wine. I have perused at least 3 of the 36 copies. I really don't want to get rid of them, but WHEN will I get a chance to do that stuff... really!?
  • More "other stuff" - this is my current filing system for papers and stuff I am currently working with. It doesn't always look like this. Sometimes I put the crayons away, sometimes there isn't curling ribbon... but sometimes there is. I need a budget line item for organizing this, I have a plan... but unfortunately, a plan does not organize anything. 
  • I have committed to participate in Ironman 2016. I am sure it seems like a crazy thing... that is why it certainly seems appropriate for this post. I know the right thing to say is "You can do it". But you REALLY want to say - Are you INSANE? Yes. 
  • No spilled milk to cry about this week, but it did take 3, yes 3 dustpan loads to clear the debris from under the table this afternoon.
  • I want to be inspirational but I hate it too. It is hard to be my size for almost two decades and know that most of what is so "inspirational" is my ability to ignore my weight and do something active. When it was ignoring my weight in the first place is what landed me this size. 
  • I LOVE "Say Yes to the Dress". Yes, at times I am appalled, but mostly, I want to buy a new dress too... I will keep my guy though... no need for a new one of those! :)
  • I try hard to keep a good attitude about a word I hear about a thousand times a day, but I commented to a friend that someday I want to have "WHY" with a red circle and a slash across it tattooed on my behind! Or maybe on the end of my nose where more people would see it...
  • I promise to make notes for next weeks "fess up Friday" so it will be more brilliant, maybe ;)
  • By the way, it is 3:29 and I have to go pick up my kids... they get out at 3:30, it is pouring rain and I didn't put them in coats today...

Who am I?

My photo
I am a wife and mother of 3. I have been married to my best friend for over 25 years and our children are 12, 11 and 9 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost a dear friend to a tragic death. I have had a personal relationship with Jesus for most of my life. The Bible and my relationship with Christ has been essential to my surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by joining me in this process of life. I thank you for showing up to read what I have written.