Sunday, May 31, 2015

Seasons

Hey Peeps—

This morning as I was greeting all the sweet babies at church, I happened to look up and glance into the parking lot.  Something about my car caught my eye.  I guess you could say it was the glassy reflection of saran wrap.  All around my car.  Fully encircling it.  And all the on-lookers standing next to it taking pictures.  I just love a prankster.  (note: sarcasm)

Yesterday was my 43rd birthday, and while I don't mind being middle aged, I do mind the aging process.  I spent about 20 minutes on my birthday morning trying to peel a callus off my 4th toe.  It's in a tricky spot, and sadly I was unsuccessful.  I guess that's what I have to look forward to now:  sagging, skin tags, discolorations, odd growths, dry eyes, and so on.   The other day I had a migraine so bad, the doctor thought I might be having a retinal detachment.  I drove myself to the eye doctor to get checked out, and while he was examining me, I had to excuse myself to go dry heave in the bathroom.  Lucky for me, my kids humble me all the time, so I barely even cared.  When I stumbled out of the bathroom, white as a sheet, one eye dialated so large that I looked like a freak of nature, the doctor told me to go the ER and get some morphine.  I said, "Okay, thanks.  I'll be fine."  

I drove myself home to get ready for Faith's 6th grade graduation.  Who has time to get an IV dose of morphine with four kids?  Am I right?  People!  Try to keep up.

Faith's graduation was a wonderful night!  She was beautiful and touched by all the kind words spoken over her class.  She has been blessed with sweet friends, and Billy and I could not be more proud of who she is becoming. 

The day after summer break was officially underway, I took a quick trip to California with a few other members from our church to check out a potential pastor.  For the past nine months or so I have been on our church Pastor Search Team.  Wow, I know, what were those guys thinking?!?!  (other than they were desperate!)  What a journey it has been, as I have seen a group of people all unsure of our own ability, come together to a place of unity and confidence.  Plus, now I have something to put on my resume besides "I enjoy scrapbooking". 

The trip to California was exciting! Not only did we find a guy we think will be a great pastor for our church, our hotel had a free continental breakfast, one of my most favorite things.  I also had a HUGE plate of fish and chips "from the harbor" right before flying home.  They were so ridiculous and yummy.  Actually in the 40 hours I was in CA, I ate about 17 meals.  I am not proud. 

The highlight of the trip really wasn't the food.  It wasn't even the two quick trips to walk on the beach, although those were amazing.  The best part of our 40 hours in CA was feeling the confirmation that God has brought our tiny little church in Colorado a man and his wife who are as excited about us as we are them.  Truly, it is a mystery when you look at the whole picture.  But often this is how things work in the economy of God.  I'm okay with that.  In fact, I wouldn't want it any other way. 

As if life wasn't exciting enough, a couple days after my whirlwind trip, my 15 year old son Jack had his wisdom teeth out.  Jack did great, and his mouth is healing up nicely, although I did have to buy him a tin of Altoids.  Also, I was really glad we got past the need for gauze after the first day.  I'm not a fan of oral secretions, and it's hard to mask the dry heaves when you have to look at your kid while putting the gauze in his mouth just so. 


Tonight we say goodbye to May and tomorrow morning we welcome June.  All my kids are home for the summer, all too young to work real jobs and help pay for groceries, but don't worry, they will be contributing to the family in other ways.  I love the summer with my kids, and this season brings new excitement and fresh beginnings.  Faith says goodbye to her elementary days as she prepares for middle school.  Jack is beginning to get serious about what he wants to do with his future.  Will and Little Sass remind me daily that I have young kids, and that it's so important I give them everything I can.  Our church is sensing God's Hand of provision, and Billy and I know God's faithfulness is real as we take life on day to day.  We are learning to ask ourselves what really matters, and let go of the concerns that we won't remember a month from now.   Summer brings a season of rest this year.  Time to embrace a slower pace, laughter under a tree, and the gift of knowing God never forgets His children. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mothering in May is Messy

Whoever thought to put Mother's Day in May was not a Mother.  May is the worst month for busy mother's everywhere and last Sunday came and went so fast I barely remember anything about it.  Except the part where I still did laundry, fed people, had to ask them to wear pants to church…that sort of thing.  I'd like Mother's Day to be in February instead.  I've always got the February blahs by about the 23rd, and I figure that would be a nice time to remind everyone we should take a day to celebrate me.  How do I get the ball rolling on this thing? 

I just got home from Faith's volleyball game.  Tonight was one of those nights where Billy and I had to tag team, divide and conquer, cut and run.  (I'm not sure about the last one, but about 15 minutes from the end, I really wanted to cut AND run)  Every parent near Little Sass and I also wanted to cut and run.  Unfortunately it would have been obvious had they gotten up to move, and thanks to Ms. Manners, they sat out the train wreck.  A few of them even smiled at me on their way out.   And some didn't.  Oh well. 

I should have seen it coming, and hindsight is always 20/20….         

This morning started off at Faith and Will's school for field day.  I swapped work with another nurse so I could go, as it's Faith's final year of elementary school, and I would have been devastated to miss her last big hurrah!  Little Sass and I headed over as the first event was starting, and by 3:15 pm, I witnessed about every field day event ever invented.  We crisscrossed back and forth watching Faith's class and then Will's class.  Both kids loved having Little Sass there and all their friends love seeing her too.  She only stayed for part of the day, thankfully, so I could concentrate on two kids, and not spend my day just chasing one. 

After school Will hit his homework and I ironed a white shirt for his Band concert.   Faith finished up her tasks and got ready for her game.  Right about the time we had to leave for volleyball, Billy and the boys left for the musical extravaganza.  Boys in one car, girls in the other. 

The first two games were great.  Little Sass had sweet Anna to distract her from being bored and past her bedtime.  They giggled, they talked, they texted on a fake phone. I could barely stand the cuteness.  Unfortunately, it all came to an ugly and abrupt end when Anna had to leave early and I was left to parent the 3 year old.  I promised her a second snack, if she could sit for a few more minutes.  I will spare you all the details of the next 15 minutes, but imagine you are in an airplane, sitting in between people who are trying to sleep while there's a Saint Bernard in your lap.   Then the plane crashes into a mountainside.  And blows up into a million pieces, and you feel yourself painfully disintegrate into ash. 

The game was over.  People walked by me, either silently judging me, or smiling…there were a few nice comments like "once she's in bed it will all seem okay again".  I fought the urge to make excuses for her, when the truth is she's a toddler who was tired and hungry and should have been home in bed and not at volleyball. But because it's May, the month we celebrate motherhood by filling our calendar way too full, we had no other options and my baby girl was stretched beyond what she could bear. 

The girls and I walked to the car, Faith glassy-eyed and exhausted from field day, and me humbled by the fact that my 3 year old daughter has the strongest will of any child I have ever known.  I was embarrassed I didn't intervene at the beginning of her meltdown like I should have.  I was angry.  I was disappointed in myself.  As I drove home, trying to stay upbeat, I wondered why God thought it was a good idea to give us a toddler, when we'd been totally out of this phase of life and moving on to a different season with our other 3 kids. 

Before we added our fourth child to the family a year ago, we thought life was hard.  We thought we were busy.  We thought we spent a lot on food. We thought that having a cold was more than just inconvenient.  We quickly learned that having this child was going to test our physical strength, our external relationships, and most of all, challenge us to trust God as we are continually learning to take it one day at a time.   Every day we try to remind each other that we don't need to look to the right or the left.  But only look to God for our validation, for our approval, and for the strength we need to accomplish the great task He has set before us.

By the time we arrived at home, put pj's on, and got a little food in our belly's, everyone started to calm down and realize life was going to be okay again.  By the time I got Little Sass in bed, we had prayed.  We sang Jesus Loves Me.  We hugged.  We both said sorry. I reminded her that no matter what, she is loved by her Mommy.