Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Raging Seas

There have been many occasions during the past couple of weeks where I have reflected upon my current emotions, but I haven't had a chance to record them until now. We have had sickness in the house for a couple of weeks. For now, wellness is back. The boys are at school (it STILL feels weird to say/type that) and the little one I watch is taking her nap. The house is quiet on this cool, fall-like Tuesday afternoon.

I think I mentioned here before how I have felt recently that God is stirring things up in the depths of my soul. He is speaking, but my ears are not able to decipher the words yet. Well... maybe I should say I'm not ready to hear what He's saying. I honestly feel like most of the time this is the case. I often say that I need Him to put things in writing for me. You know... like a bill board or something like that. What I often mean by this is that I need (want) to hear Him clearly... making no mistakes about what He's saying.

In truth though, most of the time I already know what He's saying... I'm just not ready for it.

I was talking with a friend yesterday and she shared something that made perfect sense to me. She told me how it's a known fact that often times a mother eagle has to literally make her nest messy in order to get "the kids" to leave when it's time. They would stay FOREVER if the mama bird continued to clean up after them and do everything she could to keep it comfortable. As soon as she begins to make it UNcomfortable though... they take that as their signal to move on. Interesting, huh?

Well, God is starting to make my nest here a little uncomfortable. No, do not take that in a literal way. We are not moving. However, I do believe that God is moving me in different directions. He is making plans for me. New ones.

So, you know how I am about change. I'll fight it every time. UGH... you would think I would have learned by now! Therefore... I am asking a few friends to pray. Please pray that I'll fight the urge to fight. Pray that my heart will be open, my ears will be listening and that every part of me will be willing to follow a God that I trust and adore. Pray that whatever it is He has in store for me next won't present itself as being "too big" for me. Pray that I have confidence in knowing that He won't give me more than I can handle.

I'm so thankful that I have a God who is everything to me. I'm thankful that I can surrender myself to Him and be directed by His desires for my life. I'm thankful for quiet moments to pray and reflect.

I'm thankful for those in my life that I can go to and ask for prayer... knowing that you will do just that.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy birthday Colby!

Today my second born is 10... double digits again. UGH! He has to be the proudest 10 year old I've ever seen though. He has waited for this day to come for a long time. You see... for the boys' 10 year birthday, they receive pocket knives... their first. When Luke got his two years ago, Colby cried and said that this day would "NEVER" come.

And yet again... it has.

Colby is the oldest 10 year old I know. This boy holds so much knowledge in his head... it's AMAZING! He can give you stats on pretty much anything at the drop of a hat. He reads a lot and "inputs" a lot. It's fun to watch him talk with his peers, as well as other adults. Colby is not afraid of anything. One of his favorite things to do is go to car shows. He LOVES cars... exotics and classics. The men who own these cars usually see him coming and try to avoid him. It's sad because kids these days have earned bad reputations for every kid. Adults automatically assume that he's just another bratty kid who wants to touch their stuff.

Not Colby.

He will politely walk up to these men and ask them all the questions these guys want to hear. They get into long conversations about the cars and sometimes even a story about their past lives. When Colby is done, he's earned himself a friend and a few compliments always come our way about what a great kid he is. He's good at making us proud parents.

I think if I had to pick one favorite moment with Colby this year it would be his first day of school a couple of weeks ago.


The precious smile on his face that went ear to ear was priceless and something that I will never forget. He is my social bug, and this decision to send him to school was most definitely the right thing.

As we start another year in the life of Colby, I am praying these things:

1. That Colby will understand the value in being a kid, and let himself be just that. He's my boy who always wants to grow up too fast. I have tried to make him see that you only get to be a kid once... enjoy it while you can!

2. That he will continue to be the light that Jesus has made him to be. Colby is a natural people person. I pray that this gift can be used for God's glory.

3. For his health and well being during this school year. We were recently told that his asthma has developed more into a classic form instead of the mild-ish form that he has previous had problems with. We pray that with medicines and other preventative measures, it doesn't become more of a problem for him.

Happy birthday my sweet 10 year old! You said this day would never come, and guess what?

It did.

I love you...


Monday, September 7, 2009

Tear Stained T-Shirts

It's finally here...

The much anticipated, a little dreaded (only selfishly on my part) first day of school.

It looks different for us this year. The boys are enrolled in a co-op where they will be attending classes three days a week. They will each have their own teachers. They will take everything from core classes to electives such as art and music. Their days at school will begin in the am and end in the pm. They will load themselves into the car in the morning with their packed lunches and VERY full back packs. This day will be a happy one, but it will bring it's challenges too.

As we said our prayers and "good-nights" tonight there were a little tears shed. I could tell that they were tears of anxiousness over the unknowns, but they were accompanied by the words...

"I'm going to miss you, Mom."

After all, they have started each school day in their home since they each started kindergarten. They have learned to read, spell and the basics of mathematics at our own dining room table. Recess has meant play time on the play structure in our back yard or throwing a baseball back and forth in the front yard. Lunch time has been sandwiches on a plate, not out of a lunch box.

They are ready though. They are eager to start this new journey and learn new things. I am ready and excited for them too. I can see and feel that they have been armored and that they will go out and shine as lights in the darkness. I am a very proud Mama.

Seeing the reflection of tear stains on my shirt in the mirror tonight is something that will always stay with me. It was very symbolic to me. It was confirmation that these years that I've spent following God's leading to do what we knew He wanted us to do at home was the right thing. This new chapter is also God's leading... and what we believe is the right thing now. I'm grateful for a God who makes His presence known in my life and for a family who is always ready and eager to follow.

Good luck tomorrow, boys. Mom will be praying for you All. Day. Long.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Don't Forget The Now

Today I received a reminder... and I was actually the one to remind myself!

A friend of mine is taking some classes. She is also the mom of a "tween" and a toddler too. Oh, and she works outside the home three days a week. She was telling me how intense the classes are and how she doesn't know if she really has time for the stress involved.

I listened to her carefully, then I said something like this:

"My only advice would be to make sure that you're not so involved with all things stressful that you cause yourself to forget about all that is good. It's easy to get yourself into a pattern in life where you're fighting life. You are so wrapped up in everything about life that you DIS-like that you actually forget about everything that you DO like. Then, years down the road... you can't remember many good things about that period in your history."

Sounds like I'm speaking from experience, doesn't it? I went on to share with this friend that there were a couple of years after Caleb was born when I was stressed TO. MY. MAX. I was completely overwhelmed with a very clingy baby, a new house, a toddler and a pre-schooler. I was so entangled in the day to day "yuck" that looking back now, I cry because I don't remember too many happy times.

Don't get me wrong... I know there were happy times. I have photo albums that prove it. I have happy children that are evidence of it. BUT... my memory doesn't serve me right in this area... and that hurts. I was trying too hard to prove myself a good mom, a good wife and a good person. I didn't allow myself the freedom of just having a house that looked like a tornado went through it. I didn't (except on RARE occasion) serve chicken nuggets or mac-n-cheese for dinner instead of meals made from all of the food groups. I took on ALL the stresses as what life was meant to be as a young mom and I just "lived".

After I said these things to my friend, I continued thinking about them as I traveled to Target. I thought about the fact that in some ways, we are continuing this pattern in our living. We are always talking about the "somedays" instead of just living in the now. There's a fine line there. It's perfectly normal to talk about the future, I know. It's when you start planning EVERYTHING around 6-12 years from now that you should start to worry.

It's when you hit the snooze button every morning and recite how many days left 'til retirement.

It's when you start to have crazy conversations about quitting your job so that you can open a business offering custom designed scooters, donuts and coffee, babysitting and shoveling snow (yes... that's just ONE business offering ALL these things, and it's what my crew came up with at the dinner table the other night).

That's a little worrisome, don't you think?

The economy stinks! Every week my hubby comes home with some new "brilliant" idea that the county has come up with to save themselves a buck. He's not alone either. There are so many out there being hit with the same depressing story. Do I want to feel depressed though? Do I WANT to miss out on this part of our lives because of selfish, ridiculous choices that OTHER people have made FOR us?

My answer is NO!

Living this out isn't easy, I know. It has to be an everyday decision to get up and be joyful over the GOOD things we are so blessed by. Shoving the negatives to the side and choosing not to dwell on them, but rather live for today... is something that requires effort. However, because I have experienced a time in my life when I DIDN'T live this way, I am choosing to give it my best.

I have a second chance at this, and I'm going to make it right this time! Years from now I don't want to have crocodile tears pouring down my cheeks....

I want to have smiles, chuckles and stories... many stories.

God put this on my heart today. I know He put it there to share with my friend, but He also put it there as a reminder to me.

Oh, and for the record... if any of you feel as passionate about this as I do, I wouldn't necessarily recommend telling your husband that you want to donate all your personal belongings and become hippies. It didn't work for me... probably wouldn't work for you either. :0)