Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In My Cell Phone I Trust

Mike has been out of town on an environmental field trip. Yeah, yuck is right. He's not gone very often, but when he is gone I stay up way too late. It's quiet in the house. Then I see news stories and hear noises. The first night I found that the lock on the sliding door was broken. And I wished we still had our dog. The one we had to get rid of because he was mean and aggressive. So I slept with my cell phone under my pillow.

The next night I was looking for my phone. At first I was just annoyed. The kids were talking to Mike and left it somewhere in the house. I wanted to send him a goodnight text. Then annoyance gave way to panic. Not only did we get rid of our dog, but also our land line. I'm not sure that was a good idea with my track record of losing small electronic devices like iPods, cameras and cell phones. What if someone breaks in or the kids get sick or there is a fire? I'll NEED my phone.

I checked to see if anyone was still on Facebook that could call me but no one was. Then I demanded or um prayed: Lord, Show me the cell phone! And could it be now because I'm tired and want to go to bed. Why wouldn't He? I hear of people praying to find things all the time. Why would he withhold security from me?

I could almost hear Him whisper: "I'm your security. I'm sovereign in your life. If something should go wrong in the night is that not under my control? Do you trust yourself and your cell phone or me, the creator of the universe?"

Well, when You put it that way. I'll take God. Of course. Hands down. It's silly actually that I choose to cling to things instead of my loving, powerful Savior. Even when I don't understand.
Sometimes in my life God has to strip away the things I cling to for security. Usually in bigger things than lost cell phones like a job or relationship or money to get me to fully rely on him.

"Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings on the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,'
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you."
Psalm 139:7-12

Jenna brought the phone into me when I was still in bed this morning. But I didn't need it: Message received.

"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake." 1 Peter 1:18-20

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Glimmer of Hope

Yesterday did not go very well. Mike had previous commitments and couldn't be with us so after piano lessons I wanted to take the kids out to dinner for Maren's birthday. Have you ever tried to kill two hours in a van with five kids? I wouldn't recommend it.

I was letting them pretend to drive while I tried to take a nap in the back seat since certain kids don't like to sleep through the night. While I was laying there and Oreos were being crushed into the carpet and my iPod was being lost again, I heard Maren casually say, "I'm peeing". She was sitting in Annie's car seat. Please tell me, car seat people, why do you make it take a doctorate to take apart a seat for cleaning!

I didn't handle it too well. It was not my finest parenting moment. So instead of going to the restaurant we had to go home and get pants. De-assemble the car seat. Then we went to the restaurant, got home late, and struggled with bed time.

The kids have been monkeys. Always competitive, demanding their turn, fighting, and whining. It seems like I am the worst mother in the world. These things should be under control. What is wrong with me? What is wrong with them?

Just when I feel like my life is going to be a cross between a zoo and a circus and an insane asylum for the next 20 years I see a glimmer of hope. Today when we were waiting for Annie during speech, Maren and I hung out on the playground. Grant and Jenna's classes came out for recess. They both went running for her and me. We got big hugs and tackles. Grant chose to play away from his friends to play with her. Jenna and her friends (HT: Ellie and Gracie :) carried her around, pushed her on the swings and the merry go round.

My kids love their sister. They love each other. I can't tell you how good that was for my heart to see because some days I wonder. Some days I lecture them on how they are going to be so thankful for their siblings when they are older. But it seems they already are.

That was just enough to get me through the next twenty minutes worth of errands that took us 2 hours. It was enough to give me patience as I battled Maren and her car seat again. Some days everyone needs just a little glimmer of hope!

Did you notice one today?

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:3-5

Monday, April 26, 2010

Goodbye Two

We've had at least one and up to three kids in diapers for the past 11 years. The potty chair has become a permanent fixture in our bathroom. The back of our van always contains at least one stroller. I've always thought it will be great when we don't have diapers, cribs, high chairs and strollers anymore. It'll be nice to sleep through the night and have more time to myself.

You'd think I'd be glad to see the terrible two's go away forever. Especially because with this last child the two's were especially challenging. Goodbye and good riddance two.

Today our last baby turned three.

And you know what? I was right. Who needs all the baby stuff? As I was laying in bed with Maren waiting for her to fall asleep last night, I thought this is the last time I'll have to lay down with a two year old. What a relief!

Babies are overrated.

They crawl around and put things in their mouths.

They run around in their diapers and make lots of noise.

They have temper tantrums and cut their hair.

When I had three little kids in diapers, people would tell me to treasure these years. I thought they must have gone crazy from lack of sleep or blocked out a lot to think they were so golden. But I was wrong. The whole thing; the good, the bad and the messy is part of the joy. The people they grow into are so amazing.

Even though I have to say goodbye to two, it isn't good riddance. There are lots of things I'll miss about two. Like when I'm kissing her goodnight and she wraps her arms around my neck really tight exclaiming, "now you can't get away ever!"

Or when she comes into my bed at night, every night at 3:00 a.m. and cuddles up.

Or when she comes running to give me a hug when I've been gone.

Goodbye two. It's been an adventure that I wouldn't trade for the whole wide world.

(This is also the end of birthdays and cinnamon rolls and sappy posts for a while!)