Thursday, December 20, 2012

A little Bit of Heaven

I just finished watching the movie A Little Bit of Heaven, with Kate Hudson. I highly DO NOT recommend it. I sobbed the whole last half of the movie. I don't know why I pick a movie about a lady who is dying of cancer and falls in love and I expect somehow for it to have a fairytale ending. Well here is a movie ruiner, she dies. No she does not suddenly get healed in the end. No the tears from her loved ones do not bring her back. Over all I wish I had not watched it. Yet there is a part of me that is glad I did.
During the last bit of movie she goes around to her different friends and family members in order to "make her peace," or say her last bit. This coupled with the line "everyone is going to die" really got me thinking. I ask myself, "what in the world am I doing?" if death is inevitable then what truly matters. Where is the hope? or What is the hope? Flyboy and I recently heard an audio clip by an accomplished individual. He was stating that if we focus on the meaning of life to be money, and we work hard for it but are miserable then hasn't life truly lost meaning? But if we do what we love and enjoy life then aren't we really living?
This all just sounds like rambling but it gets one thinking. If I knew I was going to die in a few weeks What would I do differently? How would my relationships be? What would my words be like? What would really matter? What "peace" would I need to make? I think about all the times I don't have a loving conversation with flyboy, the times I take his presence for granted. I think about all the games I would/could play with my children. How many times I would tell people I love them. The grievances I would no longer hold on to because they just don't matter.
What if I did not even have a few weeks. What if there was no time to mend the brokenness, to tell and show my babies how much I love them. This is not meant to be a morbid post, actually it is meant to be the opposite. How much better to have Christ and to live! To have hope. To know that I can't invest in all relationships as if each moment were my last. I am a fallen individual. Anger, frustration, bitterness, seem to fall on me throughout my day. But by the Holy Spirit, All of that has been taken away. I don't have to hold on to those grievances  as if they matter. I can let them go and now they have been payed for. I can freely love and cherish those around me.
Oh my totally rambling. If you take nothing else: Treat each moment as if it were your last, Love and forgive, cherish your babies. Bask in the rich hope that this life is not as good as it gets!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why does there always have to be an agenda?

I feel like this title is so appropriate right now. Not just because of the busy holidays, but also because this was an election year. It seems that everyone wants a reason for everything. This is becoming particularly clear in the wake of the awful shooting at the school in Connecticut. Although this was not the first shooting to ever take place amidst innocent, bystanders, this was the first time it happened to such small innocent little people. Actually it was an entire Kindergarten class.
We don't have cable or even local channels (not because we don't want them but we don't get them free so we live under a rock.) I actually had no idea this horrible tragedy happened. Flyboy was in between flights and was able to catch the news at an FBO. When he called it was early enough in the tragedy that all he knew was that a gunman went into an elementary school and shot some children. I gasped. I had so many thoughts...again? This is happening again? Wait did he say elementary? Why? Why the elementary school? Were any kids hurt? Wait why the elementary school? He did say elementary? Why ? WHY THE YOUNG ONES?  The first question I got out was Flyboy...Did the gunman die? Did he kill himself? (normally in a situation like this I secretly hope yes. Yes he should have died. (feel free to judge)). This situation I held my breath praying he would say no. Praying that he would say they have him in custody and are interrogating him. They are getting the reason why. He has to have had a reason. There has to be an explanation why someone could do such a horrible evil thing to such innocent unsuspecting little people. Unfortunately he told me the gunman had also died. I gasped. What would we do...? How would we find out why? There has to be a reason. We have to have a reason. Whether justified (never never do I think this is justifiable) or not he had to have had an agenda. All I could get out after that was why? Why flyboy why did it happen? What are they saying was the reason? Why? He kept saying he didn't know and for some reason I just couldn't comprehend that. Our conversation ended quickly as his flight was needing to leave. I hung up the phone. I sat there staring at Emmalee as she played happily on the floor. My first thought was to go get on the computer and google as much info as I could. Then I stopped. I realized I couldn't do it. I was afraid to do it. Afraid to see something, read something, learn something I couldn't get over. Ignorance is bliss I guess. Not that my day was blissful, but not being able to hear, or see the news protected me for a short time from the awfulness of the day. Over the weekend we were advised to talk with Wesley(our oldest) about the events on friday. I haven't done it. Yesterday when he came home from school I tried to start and this is what our conversation looked like: "Hey guys been hearing about any news lately?"  Wesley: "uh like what kind of news?"  Me: "I don't know, you know newsy kind of news?" Wesley: "Nope, why what is going on in the news." Me (and flyboy joined in): "Oh all kinds of things are in the news. I just didn't know if anyone at school was talking about anything in the news and you wanted to talk about it."
I can hear the groans now, good job counselor! But before you judge please hear me out. Wesley is 7. He is in second grade. He is a very fearful little boy. For example he had one bad experience with strong wind and this whole last summer he was TERRIFIED to play coach pitch because of the wind. When he becomes convinced of something it can turn very irrational very quickly. Two years ago he discovered the concept of bullying. Not because he was bullied but because someone he knew, encountered someone, who came to after school care. Did this child go to Wes's school? NO. Did Wesley meet this kid? NO. Wesley was terrified of him and anyone else that he thought was remotely being bossy? YES. We have dealt with this for the last two years. Other than the concept of the random boy who might be a bully, school to him is a very safe place. It is the second closest thing to home. His teachers love him, he has been there for many many years. I don't want to give Wesley an idea that school could be anything but safe. I understand that he will hear about it eventually and in that event I will talk with him about his fears, questions, concerns etc. I just don't want to give him more information about how sick this world is until it has to be done.
Sorry this post was not supposed to be about how poorly or inadequately I am handling this horror with my own kids. It was supposed to be about the fact that I HATE, how Facebook, Twitter, the news etc has blown up with agendas. Let's use this sick horrible tragedy to push and pursue an agenda. We need stricter gun laws, teachers should be armed, See there is no God. See there is a God etc.  No matter what, NO MATTER WHAT those babies should not have been victims. There is no agenda, there is no logic there is nothing that can take the sting of this horror away. There is not an answer that would leave us nodding our head and saying "Oh so that is why." Or "Oh that explains it." Weep with those who weep, Mourn with those who mourn.
Doesn't it make me angry? Hell yes it makes me angry. I am furious. I am furious anytime that innocents is lost due to sin and darkness. Recently flyboy and I read a book called The Long Road Home. It is about a boy soldier. His life before after and during war in Sierra Lion. The craziest thing for me was that as I read this book assuming it was in a far away time in a far away place, some of the events took place just 5 short years ago. Flyboy and I realized he was the same age as the author. So for example while flyboy was in jr. high dealing with friends, acne,  changing schools etc. on the other side of the world this boy was running from village to village trying to survive. The things this boy witnessed by the time he was 12. This gets graphic so if you want to stop reading now I totally understand! In one chapter he described in great detail what it was like when rebells chased them out of one village and into another. He said him and his brother and two of their friends had just ran into a village. They turned to see people running into the village behind them. As they watched looking for members of their own family, they saw a lady running into the town. She had blankets tied to her back and as she ran she was screaming. The boys could see a trail of blood running down her back. They figured she had been shot while running away. When she had gotten far enough into the village she stopped running. She collapsed to the ground and untied the blankets on her back. Inside the swaddle of blankets lay a dead one year old child. The bullet the boys thought had hit the woman had actually hit the baby. The blood they thought belonged to the lady belonged to this innocent little person. So tiny and vulnerable. He describes how the woman screams out in sheer terror. Thinking she had made it to safety. Thinking THEY had made it to safety.
I struggled so hard after reading this book. I would ask myself how come I live like I do when there are others facing horrors (even at this vary moment) that I will not have to experience. That I may never even know about.
I recently Read a book called "Ask Me Why I Hurt." It is a book written by a physician in the Phoenix area who started a medical mobility unit. He drives the unit from location to location to serve the homeless children of the Phoenix area. Yes Phoenix, as in Arizona, in the USA. The things he described that he encountered. The painful situations these children had been through. The youth who where homeless to escape sex trafficking. The Youth who stayed alive by participating in sex trafficking. The horrors in this book are taking place all over our nation. All over our world.
So if this is happening everyday, do we become desensitized to it? Do we turn our back on it to not have to deal with it? If we don't use these tragedies to fuel our agendas what do we do?
In my opinion? We weep. We Mourn. We fall on our face before God.We lift up our hands and we pray for his wrath to be poured out. We pray for his mercy to be poured out. We pray for his peace and protection. We find comfort in the thought that this is is not as good as it gets. This life is not our home. We praise Jesus that he held the hand of each one of those sweet little babies. That his guardian angels stood in that room. That He never left them. That He could stand with them when no one else could.
Jesus move your hand across this nation. Break through our human agendas. Give us the Grace to weep and mourn with those who grieve.  Amen

Monday, October 22, 2012

Finding Joy in not Just the Good but the Bad and the Ugly Too!

It is easy to find joy in the simplicity and beauty of life. Although finding joy during these times is easy it is also dangerous. Dangerous because it is less of a conscious choice and more of a simple response to circumstances. Don't get me wrong. There are definitely times when we can pause and revel in the beauty of creation. Or have joy in the ease of pleasant circumstances. Who doesn't love a break? But can we consider ourselves practiced in joy if we face ease of life? Another question would be why do we need to practice joy? Isn't joy a happy state? A feeling of Happiness? Well I asked myself these questions when faced with some not so joyful circumstances. How can I find joy when facing trials of many kinds. Well I am not a Bible scholar and I am definitely not as knowledgeable and researched as I wish I was. But I do know the fruit of the Spirit. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-control. Okay so what in the world does one have to do with the other? Well the more that I thought about the fruit of the spirit the more I realized the fruit is not born in feeling form. It is not an emotion that suddenly comes over us. It is a choice at a state of mind. Through learning God's word and keeping His word in our heart we are opening up for growth from the Spirit. The Spirit produces Fruit. The fruit is choosing our mindset, setting it on things above or on life's circumstance. So back to the joy. Is Joy a feeling? Initially no. When going through life's everyday struggles and the circumstances of life I can choose joy, while not feeling "happy".  I can choose in the midst of being unhappy to rest in the fact that God is ultimately in control and does in fact love me. He also Chose me as his child. As I rest in this daily choosing I begin to have a contentment that surpasses what happiness could ever bring. I have Joy that these circumstances, the crap life brings, the bad and the ugly, they too shall pass. I have Joy that this life is not as good as it gets.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Going Out in Public Shouldn't Suck....Right?

I love my kids! I do and yes I am reminding myself. Not so much that I love them (really not in question) but that I do in fact like them. I really do. I just don't understand what it is about being in public that causes my children to turn on me. Sometimes I view going out, to well anywhere, as a top secret mission that I don't pick to be on. I am in fact recruited and then forced to participate. About 95% of my mission is spent playing defense. I rarely have an offensive strategy because 9 times out of 10 I am blind sided by the opposition. It's not like I am stupid. Really! It's not like I picture us leaving the house and heading to whatever public arena and my kids behave in a way that gets my family named #1 most socially appropriate family on the planet. No no no I stopped coveting that award years ago. No I plan on meeting tons of opposition and not getting any help from headquarters. I know that at the end of the mission it will either be considered a failed or completed mission. Failed means I knot only did not get the items I went to the store for (if it be a shopping trip) but I also succumbed to the opposing side and they in fact  took me hostage and I was probably tortured. 

Today was just such a day. Today's weapons; needing to go to the bathroom, and riding in the shopping cart. I know I know I heard you gasp these are to very terrible very frightening issues. Please know I will handle this story with care as the details may give you nightmares. It all begin when one of my precious angels, needed to go to the restroom. We were at the library and I knew it was a better place to go then Walmart where we were headed next. So I asked him to go to the bathroom while I checked out our books. He begins to insist that I go with him. I say no and he needs to hold on. While my dialogue with him is taking place, his cohort comes kamikaze-ing in from no where. He begins to scream I need to go too. I need to go too. I NEED TO GO TOOOOOOOOOO. Well I am not about to let sergeant McHandsy into the bathroom without adult supervision. So I tell them they both need to wait. Sergeant Handsy begins to yell about going to bathroom and how I never let him go to the bathroom. Wow. Never...huh...Anyways we get done checking out and head to the bathrooms. I take the boys into the women's bathroom only to find that the tall toilet is the only one free. Well this is acceptable for private instigator who started this whole mess but not for sergeant handsy. I need to break and let you in on a little secret, the sergeant does not in fact need to use the bathroom. I know this because his pre-school does such a good job of having him use the restroom after nap and after snack. I picked him up right after he used the bathroom. I was all for humoring him until I saw the only available toilet. You have to take into account that I had a baby on my hip and a library bag on the other arm. Not happening. Sorry bud time to call your bluff. This is when one of my engines goes out. He proceeded to scream and cry all the way through the parking lot and to the car. Not just cry but scream and yell. So all in all we got books the mission succeeded but he got a good shot in. As he crawls into the car I throw out a warning. I need cooperation at Walmart because he is riding on his last chance. I feel like this is more then fair because in most war type scenarios there is rarely Grace given and a warning. 
Well we get into Walmart and Private instigator brought a dollar with him purely because he wanted to buy his daddy a treat (he's been on a trip). After Sergeant Handsy exploded on the aisle because he had to be removed from the cart. So as we check out Sergeant Handsy throws an atomic bomb. I WANT TO BUY SOMETHING TOO. YOU NEVER LET ME BUY ANYTHING, YOU ALWAYS LET Private instigator HAVE MONEY TO BUY STUFF.... As this is going on, Private instigator is trying to make a purchase for his daddy, turns out he can't find a single piece of candy that is just a dollar. Everything has some sort of change added for tax. As I am trying to put out the fire with Sergeant Handsy I am frantically digging through my purse (diaper bag) so that I can find a nickel, or two penny's or something so that I can get the heck out of the line of fire. Of course I find nothing so I have to tell Private instigator to put the candy away so that we can make a run for it. The look on the check out guys face was priceless. Worst Mom ever Award...
Well I got two of the three items I went to purchase. I came home with all 3 soldiers I brought in. So although I came home with both engines completely shot to pieces I made it home with a safe landing. 
Okay never mind that is so cheesy. I made it home and am counting down the seconds until I tuck the soldiers in bed and I can take a hot bath and cry:) 

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Dead Squirrel is my idol?

So this is not the actual dead squirrel that I saw.  And actually I tell myself that this picture is in fact a sweet little squirrel taking a wonderful nap. This morning as I was driving Wes to school I found myself staring at the side of the road where I could see a little squirrel laying. I suddenly found myself feeling very sleepy, and sort of wanting to curl up next to the squirrel for a warm snuggle. What about staring at this squirrel was prompting this sleepy (or um creepy) response? I really wondered why I was staring at it and giving it so much of my attention. Normally I see there is roadkill and I quickly look away.  I don't want to have the graphic image of the dead animal seared into my brain for the rest of the day, making an appearance every time I try to take a bite of food.
 ANYWAY... I found myself staring at the dead squirrel, and oddly wanting to snuggle it and then I realized why. That squirrel was laying in the very position I woke up in this morning. Flat on my back, head back, hand resting on my belly. I definitely awoke at a time that was not my ideal time (5:45). I laid in bed actually praying God would give me 15 more minutes. I kept insisting in my pleading that 15 more minutes really was all I needed. I didn't get the fifteen minutes and I haven't stopped thinking about how sleepy and comfortable I was when I woke up this morning.
Is it possible I have made sleep my idol? I always think of an idol being something worshiped. Something I covet, I yearn for. Money is a prime example. For some reason it is easy for me to see it being money. I like money, I like using money, I like having money, I wish I had more money...Money seems like an obvious choice. But this morning ever sense I have let the jealousy of a dead squirrel consume me, I have realized it is not "money." Nor is it possessions, our house, etc. It is sleep!
I lay down at night completely thrilled that it is bed time. I described the feeling to my mom like this: The feeling you get in your stomach as you crawl into bed as kid, knowing that in just 12 short hours you will be sitting under the Christmas tree ripping open presents, laughing and playing and sharing the magic christmas possesses. That is the feeling I get every night as I stand by my bed and know it is my turn for rest. That 9 o'clock (lame I know), leaves me with the freedom, the license to crawl into my bed, let my guard down and rest. When I lay down for a nap I spend the first 5 or 10 minutes of it thanking God that I get the opportunity to rest. I love that God created sleep! I often pass by my room with my bed in it and I long to lay with it (I mean on it :). I often don't sleep well at night (strange I know) and maybe this is why I long for sleep so much. Our relationship is so broken that I leave it not satisfied. I crave a deep rest that I wake from completely rested, excited to leave my bed.
So I realized by seeing this dead squirrel that I have made sleep my idol. I need to trust that God will sustain me when my sleep is imperfect. That God needs to be my sole focus and not how I may or may not get in 15 more minutes. Sometimes I need to get up and accept that right now at this stage in my life sleep is definitely precious but it is not the ultimate answer. That the more I obsess about how much I want more sleep the more discontent I become. Instead of seeing each moment of sleep as a blessing, I focus on the sleep I am not getting.
I have more to write but feel I better stop since I am talking about sleep (which I love) and i have officially yawned 13 times during this post.
I find myself asking this question, what else am I making an idol in my life? What is consuming my thoughts, focus, and desire?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Worst most horrible mom ever!

I came home yesterday after being gone for less than 24 hours. Flyboy worked it out that I could go to the land of STL. and get a little shopping and R&R. So this morning upon being thrust back into the world of staying at home, I got up and started the morning routine at 6:20 a.m. I know this is not the earliest it could have been and really when you take into account the time I went to bed I was pretty blessed with a good amount of sleep. Unfortunately I am not a morning person. Not because I am grumpy, but because I don't actually want to get out of my bed. My bed and I have a fabulous relationship and I hate that every morning I must abandon that relationship. That is a whole other blog post for a whole other time. 
So this morning as I was getting the kids ready The oldest who shall remain nameless was out to give me the challenge of a life time. The scenario goes a little something like this:

Every stinkin Wednesday Wesley has to turn in his spelling written two times each. This is required homework and it is required every stinkin Wednesday. EVERY WEDNESDAY. Sorry this story is already off to a rough start:) So this morning I inform him that because he did not do his spelling homework last night he needs to do them this morning before breakfast. I said before breakfast for 2 reasons: 1. He takes forever to eat breakfast. 2. I was hoping it would motivate him to just get it done. Well apparently making him write his spelling words and making him do it before breakfast was grounds for putting me on the worlds most horrible mom ever list! That is not me being sarcastic but letting you know a fact. Apparently there is a worlds most horrible mom list and I am top of it. He then informs me that he would much rather live at his Nana and Papa's house where they are much kinder and would never make him write spelling words let alone write them before breakfast. 

I let him go on for a while then when he informed me that he wished he was dead because then this moment would never be happening, I said Wesley you now need to write each word three times. If you keep putting it off it will be four. I had so many other things to say but my mom  (you know the kind and full of heart Nana that Wesley would rather be living with) she taught me if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. Every response I could think of was laced with sarcasm and a challenge as to the legitimacy of this rating as the "worst moment ever." So I just waited it out and let him rant on. All the while quietly plotting to truly show him what the worst Mom would really do.

After a while I asked him to also feed the cats before he ate breakfast. Well this prompted him to write the words because he felt like it was getting him out of feeding the cats. So my goal was now to help him through reality consequences to help him realize how he cannot speak to me  the way he did. My first attempt was to take away the gum packets that I had purchased on my trip to STL. I know he loves gum and loves to try new flavors and I had picked him up some while at Target (we don't have one here). So I took the packets away. The worst mom in the world does not in fact buy her child gum. Well taking away the gum did not impact him. He actually didn't even care. So as he was down feeding the cats, I made his breakfast. Instead of him getting a choice, he was getting toast. Plain toast with a small amount of butter. My plan was that when he threw a fit because that was not what he wanted for breakfast. I was going to "lovingly" remind him that I was the worst mom and needed to do my best to fulfill that role. He came upstairs bounded over to the table and proceeded to thank me for making him toast. The only person who did cry was Liam and that is because Wes went on so much about how great the toast was that then Liam wanted some. Upon being told he could not have any he proceeded to throw a fit. So as of 7:45 this morning Wesley 2 pts. Mommy 0!
If only I could google "Most horrible mom ever," and have him read a couple of the articles that come up... But being that I am the Mom that I am, I still feel it my job to protect him from some of the nightmarish things this world really has to offer. Even though it might make me look pretty good:)

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Dear Friend

It is interesting to think about the seasons of life that we go through. The things each season holds, the people it brings into our live, and the circumstances we navigate through. Thinking back there have been many seasons that I thought I couldn't make it through. I would tell myself that God wouldn't give me anything I couldn't bear. Wow did I understand that verse wrong. God will in fact give me trials that are greater than I can bear...ALONE. He wants to bring me to a state of complete dependence on him. Although those times are difficult they are so beautiful. The blessing in the end is that there is so much fruit to be gathered, if I endure to completion.
The last 5 1/2 years spent in our town has been a time of learning and growth for me. The friends that I have made here have been an invaluable part of this journey. There have been many times that God used these friends to help cary me through very difficult times. There is one friend in particular that has made one of the greatest impacts on my life. Her and I met at one of the most difficult times in any Mom's life. I don't know what my support looked like during that time. But watching her and her sweet family navigate that time in their lives had one of the greatest impacts on me. The wisdom and insight she has been able to share through this continues to make a huge difference in my life.

We attended bible study together. She was a great support to me because for some reason bible study seemed to be one of the most prominent places for me to stick my foot in my mouth. I remember one occasion in particular when I was trying to explain how as an adult it is much more difficult to make friends. Not just friends but good friends. Friends that you share a deep relationship with. Doesn't sound all that bad until I added, "You know because in college you would sleep with your friends building that sense of intimacy." Wow really? Insert laughter from my fabulous friend to break the very awkward silence. What I was trying to allude to is the fact that In high school and college we have very  close friendships and part of what builds that intimacy is the sleep overs, late night movies and conversations.  Once we become adults and are married we don't have, the sleepovers, girls late nights. We have husbands and children etc. The sleeping comment had nothing to do with what it sounded like.

Girls night out was another fabulous time for her and I. We would share stories of children that week with tones laced with sarcasm. We have never been afraid what the other one would think of us. We knew there was no judgement just empathy.

Her and I have also called each other for last minute play dates, to help maintain our sanity. We have shared personal details about the affects of childbirth or nursing have had on various body parts. We can go weeks without having a conversation and then pick up the phone and dive right in as if we had just talked a few minutes before.

We are notorious for running into each other at Walmart. Her with her 3 and me with mine. We stop and smile at each other as if delighted that the other is being subjected to the same awful experience. Hey misery loves company! While we try and quickly spew the horrors we are currently experiencing while trying to grab even just a gallon of milk. Our children become entangled in some game of hide on the shelves, or chase each other down the aisle. We laugh and although we may have just created more work for the other mom to take care of we walk away with a renewed sense of energy. That sense of realizing we are not alone.

I am happy to say that this season of friendship is not over but it is changing. I am not writing this post as a fair well to a dear friend. But rather a thank you. Thanks for being one of the dearest closest friends I have ever had. I know that even if lots of miles and states separate us we will still be able to pick up the phone and talk like we just ran into each other at Walmart.