Sunday, September 28, 2008
But, for now I am choosing to be still. In this stage of life, time to be still is often hard to come by. . .
I have been thinking a lot lately (surprise!). Erik and I had the privilege, thanks to some sweet friends, to see the movie Fireproof yesterday. And, I left the movie in deep thought. I was overwhelmed. It was a truly beautiful movie.
Lately I have been thinking about something that I think about a lot.
I am selfish.
There, I said it.
And, I am married to the most selfless man alive, and since our wedding day that is the single area that he has challenged me in the most. He has challenges me by example alone. He never preaches. His actions are enough. And, it is fairly easy to be selfless when the person you are laying down your wants for is doing the same for you. But, it is another story completely when you are sacrificing your desires for little people who don't yet grasp the concept of selflessness.
I do for others, but deep down I want to meet my own needs first. Take for instance the mornings. I want to get up early enough to meet all my needs before I have to start meeting everyone else's needs. I want to get up in time to sit still and enjoy a cup of hot coffee, to take a nice long shower, to get dressed and make-up on before I have to make Joshua's lunch and get everyone ready for school/preschool.
Enter fourth child.
Now I am clinging desperately to every ounce of sleep that I can get. I rarely rise before 6:30. Some mornings I get a shower, often I don't. By the time I get to my cup of coffee it is cold, and I end up warming it up over and over and eventually the mug is forgotten in the microwave until the next morning when I go to put another cup of cold coffee in the microwave for warming.
It is the typical life of a mother, I guess. But, for me it was predestined. God knew that I needed to be broken, to be forced to learn to lay down my desires for the little ones that He placed in my womb. They have stretched me, challenged me, and taught me more than anyone thus far on my life's journey. And, I pray that on the other end of all this, that I will be different, chiseled, sharpened, selfless.
Maybe it is because selfless love is on the brain, but it seemed to me that sacrificial love was the theme of the movie Fireproof. God's sacrificial love that loves unconditionally even when we reject it over and over, it is still there. And, Caleb's learning to love Catherine selflessly.
I walked away from the movie, once again, challenged to give myself away to my God, my husband, my children, and my world. And, it isn't just the challenge to be selfless because I, alone, can do that ~ at least until I run out of steam. But, it is the challenge to love selflessly, because that is supernaturally inspired, and I alone cannot do that. I need the selfless love of Jesus overflowing out of my heart to love like that. Fill me, Lord. Because so many times, I lay down my desires over and over and end up feeling empty, martyred, and that doesn't feel pure, right, or selfless. That is me in my own strength attempting sacrificial love, and it simply does. not. work.
So, I am asking my sweet God, to fill me with His love, fill me to overflowing. Help me to die daily to those around me. Help me to be more concerned about meeting their needs and less concerned about meeting my own. Why do, I doubt? Why do I feel that if I don't meet my needs no one will look out for me, and my needs will go unmet. You are El Shaddai the all sufficient God, and You alone will meet my needs. I know in my head that if I concern myself with loving others and putting their needs first that You will take care of mine. May my heart believe it fully, too. I need not worry. You see me. You know my needs. You know the ones that are selfish and need not be met, and You know the needs that are necessary. I am safe in Your care. I lay my desires before You, and I pray that You will help this selfish little heart give itself away for Your glory, and never my own.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
You will always be my baby.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The scrapbooker in me went a little crazy, but hey, it was fun!
I took this picture of Joshua and Rain for the project, and it turned out so well! I love it!! Nothing like a boy and his dog!
And, now on to the panic attack. . .
My panic attack occured when I heard my son, my sweet and precious son, say a certain 4 letter word. Heavens. I knew that the world and all its evils would slowly make its way into my home, but I had no idea Joshua would be influenced so soon! I mean this is kindergarten, good grief!
And, this is how it happened. Last night after I bathed the big boys, I gave Erik Daniel a bath. I was sitting on the boy's bathroom rug drying my sweet Erik Daniel off after his bath. The 3 bigger boys were playing quietly in their rooms waiting for me to finish and read to them. Joshua came running into the bathroom. I am guessing that he heard this new word and was just waiting for an opportunity to try it out on me ~ to see what I thought about it.
All I have to say is. . . he chose the WRONG parent to try this word out on ~ the WRONG parent.
Anyway, back to the story, he runs into the bathroom and says, "What are you doing? Come in there with us, Mommy."
I said, "Joshua, I am drying your baby brother off, give me a minute please. . ."
Then, he said. . .
"No, you're not. You ain't doing anything!!!!!!"Excuse me. Was that my son? Tell me, "no," Lord, tell me it was not my son!
I grabbed his arm, forced him to make eye contact with me, and said. . .
"What did you just say? Where did you hear that? I don't care what the other kids at school say. I don't know what you hear on the playground, but you will not use that word in this house or anywhere else for that matter! Do you understand me, son?"
He looked a bit scared by my quick reaction and my tone but he managed to muster up a shakey "Yes, ma'am," in response.
I feel certain that this will not be the last time that incorrect grammar will rear its ugly head in my home. But, at least now I know that I need to be on my guard. I am ready. :-)
Now, on to a happier topic. . . Pajama Party!!! They had a pajama party at school today! Joshua has been looking forward to this all week!! At 6:30 this morning he began asking me if it was time to leave for school! All the kids and teachers wore their pjs to school. And, Mrs. W., Joshua's teacher, told the class that she let her 3 year old twin sons pick out her pjs at the store, and they were the craziest pjs the store had!!!!! Joshua was on pins and needles unable to wait to see them!! They watched the movie Peter Pan and ate popcorn popped in a popcorn machine like at a ball game!! How much fun is that!! And, so this is what my son looked like when he left for school. . .
And, that about sums up Joshua's week of P's. It was a fun week for my priceless, precious, and perfectly wonderful oldest son!
Love you all!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
It was hard.
But, with JCT it has been different. I'll never forget the second day I picked him up at school. I walked in his classroom. His teacher was sitting on a little chair in front of the class. And the 4 or 5 children who were still awaiting their parents arrival were sitting in front of her listening to her read a story about Clifford the Big Red Dog. When JCT saw me, he jumped up off the rug, walked between the teacher and the kids, smiled, waved, and said loudly, "BYE GUYS!!!" His class had become his posse after only two days!
Last week he cried on Wednesday when Erik and Joshua left for school/work because he wanted to leave with them ~ cringe ~ instead of stay at home with me and the little boys!
Yesterday when he got home, I asked him if he missed me when he was at school. He looked at me with eyes that said, "I know that I should say 'yes,' but, honestly I didn't think about you at all, Mom. Sorry."
I love it.
I love his confidence, his independence, and his outgoing personality. My boys are so different, and I love their differences! It makes me excited that I get to watch them grow up! Love it!
Oh, and while I am on the subject of JCT and school. Look what he brought home today. . .
He was asked to pick out pictures from magazine clippings that look like Mommy and Daddy. Erik & I did quite well! Wouldn't you agree?
Monday, September 15, 2008
But, I have news for the calendar. . .
Autumn is here!!
Even my favorite Dogwood agrees!Last weekend Erik took the boys and I to a restaurant with a patio. We chose to sit outside and eat our dinner. And, drum roll please. . .
I got chilly, and ended up having to put on my denim jacket!!!!
Then, today Deana B. came over to bring me a sonic drink (so thoughtful :-). And, when I went outside to tell her goodbye, the cool breeze hit me in the face. An amazingly wonderful feeling! So, after I put JCT down for rest time and Elijah down for his nap, I put on a pot of Bifferdoodle and lit cinnamon candle! It is celebration time!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Joshua isn't here.
And, I miss him terribly.
I am going to blame it on all the hormonal shifting that is going on inside my post partal body. I guess with all the company/new baby craziness I had not fully realized his absence. But, today it has been obvious, and I have been watching the clock like crazy since 9:30 this morning. I am ready to throw everyone in the van, drive across town, and pick up my sweet baby!
He is doing great at school. He complains occasionally about having to go, but he never cries or carries on about it. His teacher is precious. He has made new friends. He seems more confident around adults - talks to them, makes eye contact with them in ways he didn't a few months ago. He didn't turn into a teenager the first week of school like I feared. He still loves me. He still wants to sit in my lap. And, he has learned so much already! I am in awe of all the things they teach kindergartners these days!!! He comes home with stories, birthday party invitations, and papers with smiley faces. He loves recess and hates nap time. Gone are the days of him sitting on the sidelines. He is now, according to his teacher, right smack dab in the middle of all the other kids ~ playing and having a good time. All in all, we have had a really good experience so far. But. . .
he came home the other day with a scrape on his knee. And, for the first time in his life, I didn't know where the scrape came from. I wasn't there when he fell. So, I asked, "What happened to your knee?" And, he answered by telling me a story about playing on the playground and falling. "Did you cry?" I needed to know. "No," he answered. And, my heart was sad for a few minutes because my baby had gotten hurt and I had not been there with him.
I know that I still have a house full of boys ~ 3 to be exact. And, my hands are full, literally, most of the day. But, I only have one Joshua, and I miss him even if I am busy with the others.
Last night, I had to cut my "talk time" with Joshua short because Erik Daniel was crying downstairs and needed to be fed. I tucked him in his bed, and he asked me why he had to go to school while everyone else got to stay home. And, this was my answer. . .
"When you were little like Erik Daniel, I nursed you. I fed you just like I feed him. And, we had to be together all the time. I couldn't be away from you for more than 2 hours because I was the only one who could feed you. You were dependent on me. You needed me like Erik Daniel needs me. But, then you grew up a little bit and you didn't need me so much. You learned to feed yourself. And, you learned to crawl, then walk, then run. You no longer needed me to carry you. And, you started learning new things like the alphabet, colors, shapes, and different animals. After that, you started preschool. And, slowly over the years you have become more and more independent. You are growing up and going to school is part of that. You have learned so much in the month that you have been in school! And, I am so proud of you! And, your brothers will one day follow in your footsteps."
It was very dark in his room, so I don't think he saw the tear or two that trickled down my cheek as I told him all this.
I realize that he is going to get lots of cuts and scrapes and wounds (physical and emotional) that I will not be there to kiss and make better. But, these are the first. And, I am learning to trust God to take care of my big boy when I am not there. And, being the hands on, borderline controlling, mama that I am this is not always easy!
Later this afternoon, after I had already written everything above this. Joshua and JCT were upstairs playing, and I sat down to enjoy a piece of PB pie that I cut for myself at 1:00 pm but was finally going to get to eat at 4:00 p.m.!! Elijah watched me carefully. So, I invited him to join me. We sat in the middle of the kitchen floor with a glass of milk and a plate of pie ~ one spoon. One bite for him and one for me. We shared my glass of milk. And, I thought about how many times Joshua, JCT and I had done this very same thing ~ the afternoon community snack! And, I smiled to myself thinking about how thankful I am that I get to do it all over again with my younger boys.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
One day Joshua came home in a horrible mood. At first he wouldn't tell me what was wrong, but it was obvious that he was MAD. He stomped around the house for at least an hour before he let me in on what was bothering him. It seems Princess M. told him that she was not his friend anymore. She was now Jack's friend. And, Jack is one of Joshua's friends. Thus, we have a love triangle. Many pictures were drawn that afternoon ~ pictures of revenge. We had recently watched Alice in Wonderland. So, many of the pictures Joshua drew had to do with Princess M. being shrunk to a tiny size much like Alice. I told Erik about Joshua's little sad story, and his only concern was that Joshua not let a girl come between he and one of his guy friends. This didn't seem to be an issue with Joshua. His anger was at Princess M. alone ~ not at his buddy Jack.
This slowly died down, and we had not heard a whole lot about it until. . .
my mom came to visit when Erik Daniel was born. She ate lunch with Joshua at school and came home with much to say. Apparently, Joshua knocked a few kids down in the lunchroom to stand next to Princess M. in line. And, Jack, well, good old Jack was not the least bit concerned with any of it according to Nana.
Then, a few days later Joshua came home from school with his towel in his backpack. Now, towels go home every Friday to be washed, but this was not Friday. This was Thursday. I was confused. I pulled his towel out of his backpack and asked him why he brought it home a day early. He answered without hesitation. . .
"Because Princess M. told me to."
Of course, why else? What was I thinking?
I rolled my eyes and looked at my mother who was sitting on one of the benches at our kitchen table. Joshua was walking toward the powder bath when my mom said very casually and not too loud, "Well, let's hope Princess M. never tells him to jump off a cliff!"
Joshua, who at this time had one hand on the powder bath door and was about to walk in, said very loudly and confidently. . .
"WELL, IF SHE DID, THEN I WOULD DO IT!!!!!" And, as he finished his sentence, he slammed the door behind him.
Needless to say, my mom and I were in stitches on the kitchen floor!
Heaven help me!
What, I ask, what, oh, what will I do when my precious son turns 16?
Monday, September 08, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
If there were jitters, I was completely unaware of them. The little man was ready! He was excited to go to school where Joshua went, to do what he watched his big brother do. He was all smiles this morning as we loaded everyone up in good old Vannie!
It helps that he adores his backpack!! In fact in the middle of preschool orientation last week, J.C.T. stood up and gasped in a whisper, "Mom! I forgot my backpack!!" In case you can't tell, his backpack is a dinosaur as is everything else in JCT's little world!
And, here are my two little men ready to go to school!
We met Brother, Deana B., and Afton in the parking lot for a few last minute snapshots!
Walking in. . .
My big boy. . .
And, here he is at the end of his first day with his teacher!
When I went in to get him, he saw me walk in and ran over to me, backpack on his cute little back. He grabbed a little boy near him and with a voice full of pride he said, "That's my Mom!" I gave him a hug and took him back to the van. We stopped quickly by Erik's office, so Afton and JCT could tell their Daddy's about their experience at school. I didn't really get to sit down and talk to JCT until we got home. . .
I put Elijah down for a nap and sat JCT down at the bar with his lunch. Then, I gave him the 3rd degree.
M: Did you have fun?
J: Yes!! (all smiles)
M: What did you do?
J: Lots of stuff!
M: What was your favorite part of the day?
J: Going to school!
M: What was your favorite part of school?
J: Going to the gym!
M: Did you see Afton?
J: Yes, she gave me a hug!
M: Who did you play with?
J: All of my friends!! (This made me chuckle because going into school today he didn't know anyone in his class. I have a friend whose son is in his class, a little boy named Matthew, but JCT has never met him until today.)
M: Did you play with Matthew?
J: Yes. He likes me, so I like him, too.
M: You don't lack confidence do you?
J: (Having no idea what it means to lack confidence, he confidently answered. . .) No, I don't!
M: Do you want to go back?
J: Yes, I do!
And, so I am filing today under the successful file! Thank you, Jesus, I made it through another transition!!! The last of the firsts as far as I know, anyway!