Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beautiful Mess

I mess up. As a mom, I punish when grace is required and cave when accountability is needed. As a friend, I give advice when listening is the answer and frequently act without thought. As a wife I nag instead of letting God refine my husband and am flippant when respect is needed. As a follower of Jesus, I serve withoutasking who God wants me to serve and head down paths without asking where He wants me to go. As a women in this world, I lose sight of priorities. I am a mess.
As mom's, friend's, wives and women, we all know our faults. Most of us could give you a good long list in under two minutes...a very extensive and detailed list. Some of the list would be reasonable and some of it would be from expectations placed on us by society, but either way, we live with the list running through our heads daily.
The last few days, God has been reminding me of how He sees me...as a kid. His kid. A kid that He loves. When milk is spilled and fits are thrown in public. When He asks me to obey and I yell, "I don't want to!". When I hit a brother or a friend. He loves me. When I run into the street, focused only on the ball and not the oncoming car...His heart jumps into his chest. It doesn't matter what I've done or what I am doing. He loves me. Sure, I am gonna get my time outs now and then and some serious lectures, but still...he sees me and calls me to be His little princess.
He knows the mess I make of things. He is working to help me clean it up. But that doesn't stop Him from loving me and seeing me as His beautiful child that He loved from day one. It wasn't audible, but I am pretty sure this weekend, I heard God whisper..."You are a mess, I know that...but you are loved and you are beautiful child." I took great comfort in this. Because if I am going to be a mess at least I am His beautiful mess.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mom guilt

So, I am going to Tennessee for 5 days...leaving tomorrow morning at 6am and returning Sunday night at 9:20pm. I am headed to a MOPS convention, with four friends from church and I believe it is going to be a fun time! (I am not huge on lots of estrogen in one room, but fortunately these ladies are not super flowery, high maintenance and I really believe we will have a good time.)
Anyway...in order to get away, it seems the work load has doubled. Making sure the laundry is done, the boys have been bathed, the baby-sitting is lined up, the thank yous for the sitters written, the lunches packed, the bags packed for each day, the directions written out for sitters, the house cleaned up, the dishes cleaned ...and on it goes. Of course, each time I accomplish a task, it seems to be undermined by someone or something under the height of three feet. The bathroom gets cleaned then promptly trashed by toothpaste. The laundry gets done, then someone spills and another one wets his pants. Generally making sure the house is ready so re-entry won't be so hard and also trying to pack myself. (How one packs for 86 degrees with thundershowers outside and 72 degrees air conditioning inside, I am not sure, because those are completely different outfits in my mind....argh and I hate to overpack...more to unpack upon returning). I am also wanting to spend some time with the boys before I go...that is fun and not task oriented!
Now, my husband is completely capable and has said he will take care of it...and I know he will, but I also know, there is this thing called "mom guilt" that husbands just don't have. The feeling, that for some reason, they may not know how to live life without us and if we leave the family to do something for ourselves, we must in fact have to pay someway or somehow for going. And so we go about trying to do everything we do in a week in a day instead, trying to make it seem as though we won't even be gone. (Never crossing our minds, that maybe they need a break from us too.)
Anyway...that's where I am at today. Trying to fight off the mom guilt and just make it to 4am until I get picked up to catch my plane. And then, I will take in five whole days going to the bathroom when I want to, concerning myself with only my nutrition, turning over the sign that says "cleaning service" on the door handle, and sleeping in past 6am! I know I will be ready to see my kids, probably before the 5 days are up, but at the same time...boy oh boy am I looking forward to holding that "cleaning service" sign in my hands.

Friday, September 18, 2009

First Day of Cubbies

Okay, I look like a dork in this pick, but Ashton's hair was to good not to post. I love having neices...I get to do all the ponytails I want. (at least until they cry and my sister makes me stop)

A tootsie pop

So I was at a wedding a few weeks back and I was sitting next to my friend Sharon. In college we were in the same group of friends, but never hung out just us two. And now, Sharon is one of those friends from college who I see every now and then at gatherings. To be honest, I always wonder why we don't see each other outside of gatherings because she is so stinkin' fun. All that to say, we see each other about three times a year and aren't super close, but I would definitely say she is friend. We always have a great time catching up and laughing and I adore her.
On this particular occasion, she turns to me and says, "This is going to sound cheesy, but...when we were in college, you gave me a Tootsie Pop bouquet for my birthday and it meant so much to me, because I thought I had no friends right then and was feeling very down. I just wanted you to know I remember that and it was a big deal."
My first thought was, "A Tootsie Pop bouquet? Couldn't I have done better than that?" But...today I was driving along in the car and listening to a song about having "my moments" the seemingly insignificant moments in which we do something that can change a life.
I have been struggling with trying to prioritize and wanting always to make things "just so". Sometimes I get so caught up in wanting something to be a certain way that I don't do it at all. I want to send someone a card, but I don't have time to write a whole lot, so I don't bother to even send the small note to let them know I am thinking of them. I want to go and buy that personal gift, but I settle with something smaller and practical in lieu of time and money. I want to call and tell a friend I have been praying for them and their on my mind, but I know that the kids may wake up, so I don't.
I am grateful for the tootsie pop reminder today, because it has caused me to write a small note to a friend and call someone I have been meaning to call for awhile. It has reminded me, that maybe just a shout out or cutting some flowers from my yard to give to Gavin's Sunday School teacher may be just what was needed. And maybe, as a mom, with two little ones, "my moments" may be simple or covered in peanut butter, but no less significant.

Monday, September 14, 2009


There are people who cannot wait to get the newest iphone or computer. They are dying to have a machine the size of their pinky which can not only hold songs, photos, documents, and give them directions if they are stuck out in siberia, but it can also make calls, send faxes and schedule whole families doctors appointments. All in under three seconds.
I am not this person.
I want my camera, to be a camera, phone to be a phone, ipod to be an ipod and computer to be a computer. Each of these things already has about one thousand features to learn (and about another thousand I have found to be useless) and you want me to add them all together and find a way to make my brain navigate that mess?
I think part of my desire to back away from all this may insatiable curiosity and need to try and know everything and how it works. If I tried to know everything about all this, it would take me years. I am not willing to go to school to learn to use my phone. I'm just not. And so I get overwhelmed and frustrated that I am not using all of what I paid for and feeling that somehow I am missing out.
Every time I get a new cell phone (which seems like every two years...I think they are built to break right before you get that new "free" phone) sit down with the thing and obsessively try to figure out my new "toy". What? It's lunch time...hold on, I am getting my ring-tones. Oh, dinner, just let me figure out the texting configurations.
It's ridiculous. I have people wanting updates of my kids via e-mail, kodak gallery, facebook and blog. I try to leave a message at someone's house and they don't get it.
"You should have tried my cell."
"Why didn't you text me?"
"I am so much better at e-mail."
Frankly,I don't have the time to figure out what form of technology each of my friends and family prefers. Not to mention, I don't want people to be able to get ahold of me 24/7 and have the expectation that I am going to get back to them a.s.a.p.. I want a life outside of tweeting, fb and e-mail and I want to actually catch up on printing pics of my kids before I update the facebook page!
I am only 31 and I feel like I have a 70 year old's perspective on technology. (Actually, I know some 70 year olds who are way more savvy than I). Oh...this only scares me for the future, because I am going to have to figure out my kids world and how to navigate in it!
Who knows, maybe they will just develop a way to upload the manuals into my little brain and I won't have to worry about it!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Be Humble, be grumbly

For awhile we were having a very hard time with Gavin and the treatment of his brother. I decided to try get some scripture hidden in his little heart (it's never too early) and use it to try and teach him. When he hits kicks or pushes his brother he takes a time out and then I go and talk with him about his actions. Afterward, we have worked on a scripture in Ephesians (a modified version, mind you, he's only 3).
"Be humble, be gentle, be patient, love one another."
He has now mastered this and I can use it to teach him how he is supposed to treat others...including his brother. We then go ask Brady for forgiveness. So far so good.

Well, his newest thing is whining.
"No mama, I don't waaaant to."
"No I don't liiike that"
"No, No, No."
This does not bode well with me, especially when emphasized with a nice fall to the floor or thrown toy. We have tried the "use your big boy voice" line...with no luck. We have sent him to his room. We have deprived him of what he wants (or given him what he doesn't want for that matter, ex. broccoli). It seems we are in a constant state of complaining and whining over here. And so, I decided to find a new scripture.
Philippians 2:14 (I think) "Do everything without grumbling or complaining." PERFECT

For the last week I have been trying to teach Gavin this scripture and everytime I ask, "What has Mommy told you?"
This is his reply, "Be humble be grumble..."
At which point I have to cut him off..."Noooo....we are to be humble, but no grumbling!"
Lord, help me to do this without grumbling or complaining! Help him to get it!!! The worst is, sometimes it sounds so wrong, it's funny and I have to bite my cheek to keep from laughing and then Gavin gets that smirk and starts over, "Be humbly be grumbly..."

I'll tell you whose humbly and grumbly...me. I am humbled at how imperfect I am as a parent and grumbly my brilliant ideas don't work. This week I caught myself and realized that until I can truly take these scriptures to heart in my parenting, there is no way my kid is gonna get it! So here is to a new week. Humble with no grumble maybe Gavin and I can both get it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Update on Cranky (see below post)

So...my husband saw the broken crane and decided to be super dad and go buy "Cranky." It was to be a fun special outing for Gavin. Of course, upon entering the train aisle, Gavin had a complete fit over wanting some other little gadget. (We of course know him well enough to know, the minute we got home he'd want "Cranky" and wonder why he didn't have it, since we had talked about it all day.)
Finally, we took him out of the aisle, gave him the "If you don't stop crying we're leaving right now speech" and set him and Brayden up at the train table they have to play with. I sat with the kids while dad bought Cranky.
This is when I get the phone call that Shawn is out front and I should bring the kids. Oh yeah...let me just tell them we need to go! Brayden went ballistic, grabbing at trains and throwing them and Gavin started crying that he had gone "Stinky poo poo" and wanted his pants changed (thank you LORD we had a pull up on). Of course, I didn't have a diaper, nor did I have a cart to throw them in, so I was carrying (barely) one screaming child and dragging another out of Toys R US. I was that mom!!!
As I step out of the store, Shawn says, "Well that didn't go as planned."
No Joke! But then, with two toddlers, what really does?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

You Pay For It

My son loves Thomas the Train. We know the songs, we sing the songs. He has a few of the trains given as gifts and some hand me down tracks that we play with constantly. I do not understand the fascination and do not believe I ever will, but oh well, if it keeps him occupied...chug away little boy.
Anyway...Gavin's buddy Arthur has tons of Thomas Trains and Gavin loves to go over and play, specifically because Arthur owns "Cranky". Cranky is a crane that stands about 8 inches high, has a little gray face and an arm that lowers a string to pick up cargo from the trains. Doesn't seem super exciting to me, but Gavin LOVES this crane. Shawn and I decided that, being the loving parents we are, we'd look into getting if for him for his birthday. They want $50 for this crane at toys R us. That's approximately $6.25 an inch. It's ridiculous!!! The "Talking Cranky" was $80! What!?! Thirty bucks more to be annoyed constantly with an automated voice? I do not understand. And, being the frugal parents we are, we didn't get Cranky.
Gavin's aunt and uncle gave Gavin $20 for his birthday and we decided we would go look at the Thomas Trains and maybe subsidize buying a Cranky for Gavin. Down the isle we went, when mommy spotted the Toys R Us brand of trains and accessories, which much to my joy, fit in with the Thomas tracks. We had been told about these trains and what do you know...they have TWO cranes here...one for $12 and one for $14. I held them up happily to Gavin and asked him if he wanted two cranes or one Cranky. Quick math...he took the two.
The kids get loaded back in the car, we come in, open the first box and what do you know...the top half of the crane is completely broken off the bottom. ARGH! To stop the tears, I quickly open the other crane and fortunately it is is fine working form (but you can tell is not exactly quality craftsmanship either). I was praising God that we had bought two, so at least I could convince Gavin to wait until tomorrow to enter the realm of Toys R Us, yet again!
Apparently, you do get what you pay for, even when it comes to little wooden kids toys. But if this be the case and I do end up going back and buying Cranky, for $50 that eight inch crane better be able to lift a whole lot more than a one inch wooden block!

Friday, September 4, 2009


In the last week, we went to one of my best friend from college's wedding, a funeral for an 82 year old who went to our church, and celebrated the fact that my son is now 3. And as we deal with some major ups and some major downs that have occurred, as well, in the last week, I can't help but shake my head at this crazy thing we call Life.
The wedding: Hearing again about the vows taken to honor and cherish...in good and bad. Being reminded of how far Shawn and I have come since the day we said I do....and how far we have to go. Knowing that we are still at the beginning of something great!
The Funeral: Probably the best celebration of life I have been to, George's funeral was awesome! At the end of his days, the legacy he left to his friends and family was apparent in all who spoke and all who came. He lived a life for God...there was no question, no doubt and because of that, it was a true celebration of life. It was an honor to be there.
The Birthday: New life. Gavin is getting so old to me, but really, he's just 3. So much ahead of him. So much more molding and shaping to do. So many experiences to be had. He's a beautiful, wonderful, silly, and serious little boy and there is sooo much before him.
In a week of some new heartaches and struggles, as well as some good times with friends and family, I can't help but be a little overwhelmed by "Life". It is so full and so crazy, so hurtful and so exhilarating. My mind struggles to wrap itself around these moments of time where good and bad take place simultaneously.
These events provided the perspective I have needed for the emotional roller coaster of the week and for the season of life ahead. I am even more grateful to live a life knowing and loving our God. I can't imagine trying to ride this ride without Him, without comfort to ease our sorrow, hope to squelch the fear and without anyone to praise for the triumphs or rejoice with us. I am so grateful life is not that way and I am so grateful He is so good.

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you'll have it all—life healed and whole.I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. 1 Peter 3-7 (The Message)