Saturday, August 01, 2009

Because I Care

My husband is pretty great. I can say that because he doesn't read my writings unless I e-mail him the link. So this is a pretty passive-aggresive way of addressing this issue. (and a warning: put your breakfast down before you read this)

I really, truly appreciated that he dealt with and cleaned up the latest middle of the night mess fest in our house while I slept away. I really didn't want to see all the food that my son had eaten at his sleepover the night before. Although I'm sure it was fabulous going down.

There is something I feel the need to inform him of because I care.

When you put dirty, gross and puked on things in the washing machine, the "dirty" doesn't just disappear or disintegrate. It collects inside the rubber tubing in front of the washer. Someone then has to clean that out with a paper towel, take out the sheets and shake them outside, wash out the washer and then re-wash the sheets with bleach and fabric softener. I just thought you might like to know that.

Because I care.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shower: The Final Frontier

There is one small space of solace left in my life where I can actually be alone: the shower. I love showers even if I don't get to take them as often as I'd like. Showers are kind of like coffee for me. I can't function well without one.

But with my spirited two year old around, showers are risky business. She is a master at getting into things. She can open the fridge, take the cap off the honey, climb up into the pantry, get into the dog food. She even colored all over my Grandparent's new chair with a ball point pen when we were there. Thankfully it all came out.

I was panicked after church on Sunday when Mike discovered she drank a little vial of Albuterol, the medicine that goes in Annie's nebulizer. Mike called poison control and they said it was fine but she might have the side effects of Albuterol, which is hyperactivity. The neb is now in a much more secure place. She moves so fast that I should never turn my back on her.

So today after several accidents and dumping a bottle of shampoo all over herself I thought I'd do damage control and kill two birds with one stone by taking her in the shower with me. I was hoping she would hate it and cry and it would miraculously stop her from making such massive messes. But wouldn't you know, she loved it. She washed herself and scrubbed the wall and wants to take a shower with me everyday!

Tonight when I was putting her to bed and she grabbed my face between her little hands and gave me a kiss right on the lips, I decided that was just fine with me. Personal space is overrated anyway.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Complexities of Faith

I've been spending time wondering about the complexities of faith. Is there absolute truth? What's the point of life on earth? Why would God allow suffering? Those are all very good and important questions and may find their way into another post.

But my perspective changed the other day with one phone call. A dear woman in our church is in her final days. One of the joys of having been at SonLife this long is seeing kids that were in grade school when we arrived get married and have kids. Now one of the challenges is going to be mourning the loss of some people that have become dear to us.

This woman will tell it like it is. She tells how she used to have to go the creek and break the ice to get water in the winter. She is a fighter and is very generous. Our family's new tradition is to go out to their property to cut down a Christmas tree, followed by our kids being filled up with cookies and milk. We received a hand-made quilt from her when we moved into this house. The craftsmanship is amazing. In fact, it's on our bed right now.

She is fond of Mike. One time she asked him what he liked to eat before he came over. He jokingly said prime rib. (Well, he does love it, but didn't actually expect her to make it for him). On her orders, her daughter scoured the restaurants in the area to find a place she could take him to for prime rib. She did that many times and loved every minute of it! She was very happy that both her doctor and pastor were young so they'd outlive her and wouldn't need to train new ones. Even though she can't talk much now, her son noticed she can clearly ask for Pastor Mike.

Mike has been there a lot the last few days. After a series of strokes she is ready to go home. When asked if she meant home to Holyoke, she said no. Home to heaven. She wanted to talk about love so Mike read her 1 Corinthians 13.

And I realized that in the end when you are laying in your hospital bed, faith is not complex. It's simple. God loved us enough to sacrifice His son for us. If we accept His gift, we look forward to a heavenly home going. Now that is simply beautiful.

Hebrews 12:2
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's Not All Fun and Sunshine

Boy the last couple days have been rough. I realize that I have nothing to complain about yet I still manage to find a way. We are coming off two very intense weeks of activity. I was looking forward to a quieter week but now I have my doubts.

We had some work to do in the garden this morning. So while we were weeding away, Maren tried to help out with the fertilizing process. I went in to clean up that mess and while I was at it, the other kids came in crying and yelling at each other; something about a disagreement and a kick in the stomach. I was in no mood. I haven't even showered in longer than I'd like to admit. I've cleaned up more potty training messes than I can count. And the kids seem to find great enjoyment in fighting and bugging each other.

I realized there is a problem with my last post because even if you have something outside of your marriage and family that keeps you challenged, you still have to come back at some point. This week, I'm tired of dealing with it all. I want to have a nice, quiet day at home and they are bored. We try to go out and they bicker. I cannot win.

So I end up a little frustrated and feeling sorry for myself. What's a mom to do?

One thing I know for sure is that when we are coming off a big, exciting week like camp or VBS we are going to crash. There will be crabbiness, readjusting and boredom.

The quiet and down times are my chance to get back on track, slowing down the pace of my life. I am forced into saying no to things. There are a lot of things I'd like to do but they make my time divided and it ends up leaving me feeling frazzled.

On good days, when I'm taking everything in stride I think I've got it covered on my own. The good news is when I know I can't handle it, it always brings me to my knees. In order to shepherd my flock, I need to follow the Good Shepherd.

While I was on my walk last night, I was praying again for help embracing this job. There are times when it isn't that joyful and I feel like I'm doing a lousy job. No matter what my job is there will be ups and downs, messes and tantrums. I just don't have the option of quitting this one.

Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.