Monthly Archives: August 2012

Join

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Today I’m joining Lisa Jo and her 5 Minute Friday crew.  It’s a beautiful community of honest, real people.  They pour their hearts out for 5 minutes straight and then hit “publish.”  No changing words!  I rarely join them (it’s SCARY!), but I’ve been inspired by my sister Anna’s storiesGo check her out!  You won’t regret it.

Join…

Join.  It requires a giving and a taking, this joining.  Always, when things are meshed together, there is NEW created!

I joined this family when I married my husband.  I choose to join myself permanently.  I joined the throngs of motherhood the day I got pregnant for the very first time, and now I’ve re-joined that group 4 times since.  We’re joined at the hip, the boob, the ankle, and at present babe — the hair.

I didn’t mean to join these groups so early!  My mother became a wife when she was 27, and gave birth to me when she was 28.  I just assumed I’d follow in her footsteps.  I’d see the world first, work longer at an orphanage, get involved with more children’s ministries.  And now?  I AM doing this.  (Well, minus the orphanage…)

My joining, it happened 4 years before my planned time, but God always has better planning.  Every single time.  He has me join friendships and places and situations to my life that are sometimes scary, sometimes uncomfortable, but I join anyway.  Because I choose to be joined, by Him.  It’s my surrender.

Beauty flows from surrender, and I have 5 breathtakingly gorgeous children that are joined to my life permanently.  That were created through a joining.  Through them I see the world, and I see God’s heart, and I work His kingdom work.

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Plug your nose — it’s Friday!

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Tuesday and Thursday are my newest nemeses.  (Joining Laundry Pile, Dust, and Moldy Fridge Food.)  Mondays now — we’re tight!

This is not breaking news to some of you.  I’ve mentioned before how I much I enjoy a good Monday!  This week saw the return of SCHOOL, and I always find Monday to be productive.  Being productive makes me feel good about myself, and we all know that feelings do, in fact, matter.  If Mama ain’t happy… and also happens to be the school teacher…

It ‘aint pretty.

Monday and Wednesday were great school days for my little brood!   We breezed through reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic with happy faces, and minimal interruptions from the peanut gallery.  Warm fuzzies swirled through my brain, and I thought, “Homeschooling is great!  I can do this!”

On Tuesday and Thursday, I thought to myself, “Homeschooling is horrible!  What am I DOING!”

I don’t remember particulars.  Please forgive me for blocking the trauma from my permanent memory bank.  I’m sure it was all stupid stuff, like babies falling down the stairs, sisters being tripped, lamps tipping, books ripping, fires in the oven, poop getting dropped off in inconvenient places, and lollipops getting dropped in places where poop should go.  OH — and mama running on coffee fumes alone.

On Wednesday night — I counted — we had SEVEN wake-up calls!  It’s just too much, folks, for my sanity.

I will never forget almost eight years ago, when our first baby was just a few days old, and Dee and I took her to a Labor Day party. (I know — what were we thinking, us newbie parents!  Now we just hole up indoors for weeks on end with a new baby.  Mostly so we can take turns sleeping.)  An older couple was there, with five children — in six years — all grown up.  They gave the expected congratulatory remarks, and then chuckled in unison as they told us, “Now you’ll never sleep again!”  It seemed gleeful, like they were happy somebody else would understand how HARD it is.  We laughed too, waaaaay back then!  Now, we’re too busy playing tag-team in the middle of the night.  *sigh*

Would I trade it?

Nope.

Just last night, I was breathing in my baby boy at 1:00am.  Consciously memorizing the way his body curves into mine, his eyelids fluttering back shut, his still-baby hair, and sounds, his soft hand on my cheek.  I wonder how many more nights I’ll have, and how many more babies.

I have always treasured my middle-of-the-night snuggle times with my babes.  It’s selfish, really, my refusal to sleep train my babies.

I don’t WANT them to not need me!

It’s morning that doesn’t always agree with me.  My kids know that I will always greet them with a smile and hug, but breakfast just isn’t happening right away!  Not until Mommy has coffee.

So.  Back to the beginning.  Mondays and Wednesdays, good.  Tuesdays and Thursdays, bad.  Why?  The only link I can find is the shower.  I don’t shower every day.  (Sorry!  Just clothespin your nose if you’re visiting on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday.)  On the mornings I definitely, really do need a shower, I stay in my jammies until it happens.  I get the kids started on math before I hop in the shower, but I just don’t feel professional or attractive adorned with greasy hair and sweats.  The solution seems obvious, yes — shower at night!  However, I’m usually making out with my husband, reading a book, or watching Beverly Hills Nannies.  Which to sacrifice?  Probably none.

Besides, that no-shower theory?  It’s just a theory.  My bad morning might also be directly related to low levels of caffeine in my system, potty accidents that occur before any caffeine, or the fact that I forgot to put the plastic holder-thingy back on the coffee grinder, and so my caffeine spewed all over the kitchen counter and floor.

Always, I know, it’s related to forgetting about Grace.  And forgetting to focus on eternal things, to laugh, and to be kind to all who live here.

(P.S.  There is no such thing as a horrible Friday.  On Fridays, we focus on art, parks, games, and THE WEEKEND!  And yes, chewing on crayons and creating interesting drool all across the kitchen floor totally counts as art.)

Summer in a nutshell

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Here’s the skinny:  …I have absolutely no idea why I haven’t written anything for three months!

I’ll be sad not to have our summer stories written down anywhere.  Except on my heart — my kids are always scribbling memories down on my heart.  And while I don’t have our recent lives typed up all neat and orderly, we have definitely been living out stories together, in real life.  Neat and orderly though?  *Phfft* — Hardly!

Humor me?  I’m going totally random for just a few minutes.  For memories sake.

Since I last set foot in bloggy land, I broke my real foot.  Yeah, not kidding.  It was ouch!  I broke it falling off the toilet.  Mm-hmm!  All the nurses laughed too.  My foot is just now, six weeks later, feeling strong enough to walk on.  I have to do some mental rehab!  I keep limping, flat-footed, until I remember that my foot is healed — ish.

My husband and I got a few dates out of the deal!  I wasn’t allowed to drive, obviously, so Dee took me to all my medical appointments.  (“Date night” is all about your view of it, right?)  Dee, master prankster that he is, set the atomic fart phone app off every time a nurse walked by our curtain at the ER.

My garden went to pot.  The green beans and tomatoes were just coming when I broke my foot, but I was barely hobbling at that point.  No way could I harvest a garden!  The kids had fun picking what they wanted to eat, and everything else just rotted.  I had to trash whole packs of flowers too.  So sad!

My baby boy learned to crawl, stand, and take steps since I last recorded anything.  He is too BIG!  He’s also bad.  So, so bad!  I don’t remember any of my other kids laughing in my face when I flicked their fingers.  Zach seems to think that “No-No” is just a game Mommy loves to play!

When I first broke my foot, I felt like I’d ruined summer for the kids since I couldn’t drive them anywhere.  Looking back though, it seems like a magical summer of kids and sunshine and long, lazy days.  My boys discovered bow and arrow making, with branches, sticks, and rubber bands.  They spent hours and hours in the fields and woods.  “We’re going hunting,” they’d tell me, and made me promise a trip to the butcher shop with any kills they made.  The poor groundhogs, rabbits, and turkeys hid well this summer!  I have cemented in my head a picture, of Cory in full archer’s pose, aiming down a groundhog hole.  The boys baited the animal with elderberries stolen from Grammy’s berry patch, but that groundhog never showed his face.

My brave, strong boys made weed whackers and machetes too, and wandered all over tarnation chopping stuff up this summer.  I have to admit that I lost my cool and yelled at them the day they decided that pulling poison oak off of a tree and swinging on the vines would be fun!  Not fun for mama, who had to scrub them down from had to toe instead of napping.  But they didn’t know.

Cookouts, fireflies, swimming, reading, painting, jammie parties, zoo animals at the library, “Lord of the Rings” movie-watching marathons… lots of warm fuzzies!  There have also been crazy, insane messes.  (Maybe more messes than fuzzies?  It’s a toss-up.)  Days when I want to throw in the towel after a long night of wet beds, potty trips, and nursing sessions.  Days when I sit down and cry because it appears that the kids have forgotten once again to love each other and their poor, frazzled mother.  Days when words hurt, from my girl, “Me and Cory were talking about how it seems like we do all the work and you and Daddy do nothing!”  Right after I stay up until 12:00am washing dishes and starting laundry.  Just to do it all over again the next day.

Days like that can make me forget the beauty and delight of motherhood.

It comes rushing back in single moments.

Like when my scared-of-the-water child is the last one out of the pool.  It’s twilight, and the other kids have been obedient and started walking to the car with wet towels.  My one child though, has finally figured out the thrill of letting go!  He refuses to leave the water.  He’s all alone in the shallow end, and an enourmous grin lights up his face as he demands, “Watch me, Mom!”  His nose and chin and eyes dip into the water, and his feet kick up just a wee tiny bit.

It is so. totally. swimming!

My heart squeezes tight with fierce pride and love for that boy.

And later, my heart warms from words spoken by my mother-in-law.  “You know, I was thinking about how perfect it is that YOU are Cameron’s mother.  Anybody else would have killed him by now!  God knew you’re the only mother that could handle him.”

Thank you, God, for grace.  For endless wisdom.  For Your beauty and majesty that automatically transfers to us because of Jesus.