Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Weighty Issue

Well, now that the fall weather is here, it is time to try to fit back into my jeans! I have lots of pairs from the past few years in a wide array of sizes. I did some shopping this week too. I like going to the little trendy teenagery stores and trying things on and then go over to Penney's to find something like it that is cut for someone over the age of 15. One time my sister and I were shopping in a department store and I realized we were looking at clothes that had "Sag" in the brand name. I quickly ran to Old Navy and looked at little tank tops that I would never wear, but it did make me feel better!

I think we talked about how some women are never happy with the way they look or their weight. I was talking about it to Mike and he had an interesting revelation - a lot of people that are perpetually unhappy with their looks and their weight show a lack on contentment in other areas of their lives. I think I need to search my heart out on this one. Is it possible that I'm not happy with the way I look as well as with my house, my car, my husband and anything else in life? Does anyone see a pattern forming here?

So what's a mom to do? We're getting older, don't have a lot of time for ourselves, and the metabolism is slamming up against a brick wall! I know I need to stop eating too many cookies and dust off my pilates DVD. I can go get my hair done and do my best with my clothes and make up - things I can control. But ultimately I have to Jesus Christ in His rightful place at the center of my life and seek out if this whole weight and looks thing is just part of a bigger issue of lack of contentment.

1 Peter 3:4 (NLT)
"You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

Care Less About Your Kids

Care Less About Your Kids - that is going to be the title of my husband's parenting book someday. I am guessing it is not going to be a big seller! It is his sarcastic way of pointing out that we micromanage too much of stuff in our kids' lives. He loves to say it to get people ticked off. As you might imagine, he succeeds!

I just realized the other day that I have a really different approach to parenting now compared to the "early" years of my parenting. I used to be more concerned about things, lots of things. Like when Grant refused to go to preschool and kindergarten, I thought the world was about to come to an end. I got really mad about that one! Or when Jenna would cry and scream for 3 hours about what song we had on the radio in the car. When they made a mess with their food, tracked in dirt from outside, didn't take their naps or got out of bed when they shouldn't, all major problems that needed to be solved. It was a disruption in my idea of a perfect routine.

Now, I don't get too excited about all that stuff anymore. Partly out of necessity - there are just a lot of people and things to attend to and I can't obsess over a mess made out of little tiny beads being thrown around the kitchen because I'm nursing and folding laundry at the same time. They are occupied and having fun - I don't need to freak out. I'll just sweep them up later (along with the remnants of our last few meals!)

Abby has been having trouble with a boy on the bus being mean to her. I think if she were my first child, I would be all torn up about what to do. I would think about pulling her out of school, or driving her to and from school everyday to avoid it or some way to solve it for her. Now? I told her to try to do her best to handle it by ignoring him, telling him to stop or telling the bus driver. I told her brother and sister to stick up for her if need be. I can call the bus driver and ask her to have this boy sit somewhere else, but I am going to wait it out to see if it works out this week. I want to encourage her to pray for him and to realize that she would never want to make anyone else feel this way.

Jenna was having some friend issues. And although I was able to empathize with her, I didn't have an intense desire to fix it. I wanted to encourage and reassure her, but not fix it. Maybe I really am subscribing to Mike's callous parenting beliefs!

The thing is I've learned that I can't fix everything and even if I could, I shouldn't. We need to learn to get through tough people stuff to be successful adults - as hard as it is for us to watch. There will be days when they don't want to cooperate and irritating phases they'll go through. But, Grant now gleefully runs off to school everyday. He didn't drop out at the age of 5 like I feared. And the little things, the messes and bumps will be okay. It doesn't mean the end of the world if things get dirty or naptime is late or missed. Those things can be caught up on later.

I want to be there to support and guide my kids in a Godly way of dealing with things. Sometimes we can find a solution, sometimes we have to live with it. I guess by caring less, I am actually teaching and guiding more, pointing them to the ultimate guide, Jesus Christ. I still feel for my kids in the hurts and challenges they have, but I think I am learning that my job is to walk beside them through it and not necessarily pull them out of it.

Nehemiah 9:19
"You, in Your great compassion, Did not forsake them in the wilderness; The pillar of cloud did not leave them by day, To guide them on their way, Nor the pillar of fire by night, to light forthem the way in which they were to go."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mommy Missionaries Unite!

This will be an unusual post, but I want to ask a favor of our little cyber community! Some of you may remember the post a few months ago from my college roommate Jenn Johnson. She wrote a post called "My Storm Rages On" and you can find it in the archives from January 2007. Sorry I haven't figured out how to do a link to it.

Her son is having surgery on Tuesday to, I'll quote her "Caleb will be undergoing a procedure where they bore into his skull and place grids on the surface of his brain and then Caleb will be in a room with a video camera while they try to gather information on his brain activity during seizures. After looking at the info - they will decide whether they can remove part of his brain or not. Tuesday, Sept. 25th is the procedure date. We appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers and we know that God hears each one."

Wow! It certainly makes my worries for this week minor! So, Jenn and her husband Joel, Caleb is 8 and they have 3 younger children, too, Grace, Nate and Luke. The surgery is not near their home so it will be a strain in that way as well. Would you please join with me in praying for them this week?

Here's the link to their CaringBridge site if you are interested in updates .

You guys are awesome!

Revelation 5:8
"And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."