Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Disappointment Revealed

I am humbled that anyone actually takes the time to read my blog!  Thank you for stopping by and I pray that you glean something worthwhile!  I hope that you can make your own silk purse today!

I don't usually write about things that God is showing me immediately.  It takes me awhile to process it and figure out how to express it so that (hopefully) it makes sense.  A couple of weeks ago (DURING my I'm not going to yell experiment) I had something really disappointing happen.  I can't go into the details but I'll try to make you understand what I was feeling.  I had made a decision.  I was in the position to make the decision.  I did not overstep my bounds.  Several people had a problem with my decision. Not just a problem-they were offended! ACK!  That was definitely not my intent.  I was crushed.  I went to my room and just bawled.  I felt like I failed. This is were Satan attacks us: at our low points.  I then started spiraling to the point of thinking that everything I did in life was a failure.  I WAS a failure.  My sweet husband gave me room.  He left me alone.  He knew I was upset.  I NEEDED to cry.  I still felt bad but I did feel like I had let it out.  I still questioned why God let this happen.  I had stepped out in a leadership position and was squashed.  Why would He allow that to happen?  Oh, he answered alright.

I went down stairs and the kiddos were eating ice cream.  All of a sudden my son got up, laid on the floor, and wouldn't move.  He wouldn't tell us what was wrong.  He started crying.  Not just crying, but bawling.  Just like his momma had done upstairs.  After about 15 minutes I got him to sit in my lap and I just held him.  After about another 15 minutes he was calm enough for us to talk.  Now the turtle boy does not tell me much of what is going on.  I have to dig like I'm searching for buried treasure.  Some paths lead nowhere.  I asked if it was about his friend at school (who was having surgery)?  Nope.  I asked if he was mad at someone?  Nope.  Was he sick?  Nope.  ARGH!  What is wrong!  Now remember, I am in my no yelling phase.  Finally, I asked if he thought I was going to get mad.  He said yes!  Ahhhh!  Ok, so with some promises of not getting mad, he finally told me.  He was disappointed that he had his ice cream in a bowl.  He remembered when he finished it that we had cones and he REALLY wanted ice cream in a cone.  Seriously?  Is that what this last half hour has been about?

So it wasn't until the next day that I put the two together (I hope by reading this, you already have!)  I was at my Bible study discussing it with one of the moms.  She suggested during our 10 minute journaling time, that I write about it.  So that's what I did.  And then THAT'S when God answered.  He very succinctly told me, that my son felt the disappointment of the ice cream as much as I had felt the disappointment of  being chastised for a decision.  Neither episode was earth shattering.  I wasn't going to die because of the decision I made.  My son was going to live if he didn't have his ice cream in a cone.  It really didn't matter in the scheme of what God wants for either of us.  It really opened my eyes to how my son feels.  When he feels something, he feels it BIG!  BIG happy, BIG sad, BIG disappointment.  There isn't little anything in my family (except for my feet!)  But the best part of this was that I realized, for both my son and myself, that God was WITH us in the disappointment.  He didn't leave and go on a vacation.  He didn't say that our disappointment didn't matter.  He was with us, holding us, just as I had my little boy.  Know that he his holding you today.  No matter the struggle or the trial.  He is.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My family circus

People questioned me about how kids almost 5 years apart could ever be friends or bond.  I could blog about it.  But I thought I would show you instead.  This IS my family! (I know it's hard to read, but click on the picture to make it larger!)


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a tendency to be a 'little' hot tempered.  Ok, a lot.  I'm constantly working on it.  Some days are good.  Some days are bad.  I'm human.  And since I'm a mom, that means that my kids get the wrath.  On Monday we had an especially hard day with my son at occupational therapy.  I just felt defeated.  I didn't lose my temper.  But I also didn't know what else to do.  I went to my Bible study that night.  Our 'leader' spoke about our words.  Specifically about gossip, but also about the power of our words.  On the way home that night, through my tears I decided I needed to stop yelling at my son.  So I made the commitment that I would do this for one week.  I prayed to God for help.  Because, if you're a mom, you know you are gonna need help on this one!

Well, it's day 6.  It's been an interesting week.  Of course the weekend is not yet over.  The weekend is always the hardest part because there is so much less structure.  I've done really well and haven't yelled.  Now, I could sit here and tell you that I did this all on my own.  And that would be a lie.  First of all I prayed.  I prayed for help when I made the commitment.  I prayed for help when I started hearing my blood boil.  I asked friends to pray.  I asked God for wisdom in the middle of my kids meltdowns.  I know the only reason I was successful with this is that it was not about me.  It was about what I felt God wanted me to do.  And about my kids.  I'm sure I will slip up (feel free to hold me accountable) but this has been a worthwhile endeavor.  There are a few tricks that I learned though.  He is what I observed:

1. When you yell, your kids don't hear you.  When you whisper, they do.  Picture this:  I'm in the car with 2 year old monkey and 6.9 year old turtle.  They are yelling.  Not at each other.  And not mad.  They are just playing around.  But of course I CANNOT concentrate on driving!  I start to yell.  Then I remember that I'm not supposed to.  So I start saying, in a calm manner, "Please use your inside voice."  Of course NO ONE can hear me over the screaming.  So I just repeat it.  Again.  And again.  And then it worked!  Yes, I could have yelled once.  But speaking calmly four times did not raise my blood pressure.

2.  If I let my children go at their pace some of the time, I don't have a need to yell.  It's tempting to tell, and then yell, at my son to set the table 12 times because he's not doing it fast enough.  But if I tell him once and I see him moving in that direction, then I don't need to tell him again.  It was amazing how much my kids DO obey me.  I just needed to be patient for the follow-through.

3.  One way I could yell less, was to say yes more.  Can we play outside?   Yes.  Can we squirt shaving cream all over your legs while you are sitting in the driveway?  Yes.  Can we have waffles for dinner?  Yes.  I found that when I said yes more often, the no's were respected more.  I realized I needed to lower my expectations a little as well as be softer to my kids.

4.  I listened.  I realized that I do not listen to my kids.  This is especially true when I think I know what they want.  I cut them off (to tell them no).  So when I started listening to the whole sentence and let them complete their thoughts, they were less frustrated.  The less frustrated they were, the calmer I was.

We were not without meltdowns.  I'll probably write about an especially interesting one later.  But I didn't have a meltdown.  I did find myself having to stop and breathe, a lot.  I believe that I did a good bit of repair on my relationships with my kids this week.  My son even asked me to play with him today!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Weekly Purse-Remembering

I haven't done a weekly purse in awhile!  It's not that I haven't had sow's ears to turn into silk purses.  I just forgot.  Plain and simple.  I tend to forget a lot of things lately.  I'm generally an organized person.  But as the family has grown, so has the list of things to do.  I'm going to try today to remember.  I'm going to remember 9/11/2001.  Remember how horrible that day was.  But also remember how it could have been so much worse.  There are so many stories of people who were late that day, who missed their plane, or who were sick.  So many stories of how God spared so many people.  I'm going to remember those heroes that took down a plane from hitting the White House.  Those heroes that went INTO the fire!  God bless them all!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

From the inside out...

I hope everyone had a good Labor Day.  Ours was relaxing, tiring, and productive all rolled into one!  I've been remiss at posting because I have been doing so many projects around the house at once.  If you have every tackled any larger home improvement project (which, really, is anything more than changing a light bulb) then you know that one project evolves into MANY more. 

As you may remember from my 15 windows post, we are in the process of painting all of our windows.  When I say we, I really mean me.  But it takes both of us because someone has to watch the children!  We painted #1-#10 without a problem.  Then came #11.  I knew we would need to do a little work on it.  I knew there was some water damage but I really thought I could fix it.  I mean, I've installed a dishwasher for goodness sakes!  How difficult can a little rot be?  Famous last words...  I started digging around and quickly realized that this was more than I could tackle.  The roof outside this window is about 8 inches wide.  Not a lot of room to work with, but I managed to pry one piece of trim off.  See, it really looked like there was only a small area that had been damaged.  But as I looked further I found that the problem was at the very top of the window and was dripping down.  One problem was causing many. 

Isn't that like our lives?  If we let something bad sneak into our lives, it will eat at us from the inside out.  It may look like a small problem, or even just a cosmetic problem.  We think, it's just a 'small sin'.  Nobody's perfect.  Romans 12:1 says "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." 

Are we living to please God?  Are we living to please ourselves?  Are we offering ourselves as a pleasing sacrifice to Him?  If we ignore the problems that we have, just like our window, we will have major rot ahead.  Rip out the old.  Expose it to the Light of the World. He is the Great Restorer!

Friday, September 3, 2010

From Laughter to Tears

In my previous life I worked in fund-raising for a small southern liberal arts women's college.  It was hard work but the thing that I absolutely loved the MOST was getting to know the students.  They were about 10 years younger than I was and had such interesting lives.  Most of my interaction with them was in the dining hall (the food was actually pretty decent).  There was a set of twins that would sit with me and my coworkers.  They were hilarious.  I'm talking fall down laughter that makes you pee in your pants funny.  They were from this small town in the south and had a hard life that they learned to laugh at.  Fast forward 8 years...

I reconnected with one of the twins, Erin, because she worked for a non-profit agency that I needed information from.  Through the modern marvel of facebook and email we became 'electronic' friends.  She has a love for God and family that is infectious!  And she's still funny!  But here come the tears.  About 15 months ago, her husband was diagnosed with a very rare form of sinus cancer.  You may have seen her blog on my side bar called Cancer 2.0.  It is a heartbreaking read.  Her husband has been through a lot and the latest 'news' is NOT very good.  They are choosing to fight this, not only for themselves but for their 2 1/2 year old daughter.  Cancer is such a dreaded disease that just makes me so angry.  I've lost a sister, two uncles, and an aunt-in-law to this stupid disease.

This has been so heavy on my heart.  I've cried.  I've asked God to give me Erin's tears so she can find strength.  I have a favor to ask you, my readers.  Will you add this sweet family to your prayers?  I believe in the power of prayer.  I know God can heal him.  I don't know if he will choose to.  That's His will.  Pass this family on to anyone that you know that is a prayer warrior.  I want God to know that they are loved as a family in Christ!