Sunday, March 28, 2010

Confessions of a Fence~Dweller. . .

I admit it. I like the fence. I am comfortable there. I mean, really, it works for me. I don't have to be too far one way or the other. I can be right in the middle.

I can be this. . .

But, I can also be that. . .

And, all of this because I am in sitting comfortably smack dab in the middle of the fence. A pleaser to the core ~ that is me!!! I like approval. I like it a lot ~ makes me feel good, valued. And, the fence is good for that. The fence is safe. Since I'm not really too much this or too much that, I am just enough of everything to not really stand out or give reason for disapproval. It is a safe place, and I like it.

So, today I confess publicly that. . .

I. like. the. fence.

But, over the years I have discovered that there is a problem with my love affair with the fence.

And, the problem is that. . .

Jesus isn't quite as fond of the fence as I am.

In fact, I don't think He likes it much at all. :-(

A month or so ago, Jesus and I had this conversation as I drove my van full of little boys down the road. . .

Me: God, just tell me what to do, and I'll do it!!! You know that I will do anything that You tell me to do ~ whether or not it is what I want. If I know for certain, it is what You want, then I will do it!! So, please do not be silent! Speak Your thoughts to my heart! I want what You want!!

His answer: I know you well. I know your pleaser heart. I know that if I write the answer in the sky you will do what I say.

But, I'm not going to do that, and this is why. . .

I want you to take a risk.

I want you to get off the fence.

One way or the other, it doesn't really matter, I will be beside you. What you decide is not my main concern. I just want you to jump ~ no looking back. Put your fears behind you and take a risk.

Make a decision, either way, and walk boldly in it.

Stop wavering and swaying and being tossed about like the double-minded man in James.

Get off the fence.

And, stand firm in the confidence that only I can give you.

That is what I am asking of you.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring in My Heart!

I just made my last cup of afternoon coffee for a while. As much as I love a hot cup of coffee, something just isn't right about sipping a steaming beverage when the sun is happily shining and the air is warm. I'll have to exchange Bifferdoodle for Lemonade and ice cold sweet tea!

But, more than the weather is changing. There has been a change welling up within me for some time now. And, throughout the fall and winter I have wrestled with God and with myself. I have some days been at peace, and some days felt the condemning cold of failure ~ or worse, maybe, the fear of failure. There have been a variety of difficult decisions to make. There have been hard conversations to have and the threat of rejection and being misunderstood. I have been confronted by one friend and encouraged by another. And, many a night I have lay in my bed wide awake with a heart drowning in what ifs. I have struggled and smiled ~ depending on the day. The joys of being a woman in turmoil.

I feel the winds of change blowing through me. Walking with God is an awesome adventure ~ never boring, and always unsuspecting. Yesterday, I was a bit hopeless. But, today spring is calling me, and I feel the confidence and freedom that only the Spirit brings. Today feels like the dawn of spring in my heart, and I am thanking God for never failing to bring His peace in so many sweet and unique ways!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Seemingly Unreachable

He really believes that he can make it.

Every time he aims and shoots, he believes it is going to be nothing but net.

Even though the ball barely makes it 6 inches over his head.

Still he believes.
And, I admire him for it.
It is my nature to believe that difficult things are impossible. . .
Watching him try again and again inspires me deep within.

And, you know what I am pretty certain of?

One day the ball will go in.

We have a shorter goal. . .

one made for boys his age. . .
just a few feet away. . .

But, he has set his gaze higher.

He isn't interested in just making a basket.

He wants to make that basket, the tall one, the seemingly unreachable one.

That is what he wants.

And, he isn't going to give up anytime soon.

And, neither is his mama.

Only her goal doesn't have a basket on it.

Her goal is to glorify God with each day, each word, each moment, each breath.
But, over and over again she falls short, misses the mark, and just plain makes a mess of things.

But, she is not going to give up.

No, she is not going to give up because her God is a sweet Father Who has great love and great patience.

Even in her imperfection, He loves her deeply.

So, sweet son, let's aim, stare intently, and believe.

Because as we live, as we grow, we will edge ever closer, each day closer, to that which holds our focus so intently.
Let it be so, sweet Lord!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day to You!

Yesterday afternoon I was watching the big boys shoot baskets, and I asked Joshua if he knew what day tomorrow (today) is?? He quickly answered "Celtic's Day!" So, to all you NBA fans, Happy Celtics Day from our family to yours!!!

The boys were excited about this holiday! And, they even dragged poor Rain into their excitement!! Oh, to be the old dog of a family overflowing with little boys! Rain has been through and seen it all!!! At Christmas he is their Reindeer complete with antler headband. When they play cowboys, he gets 50 or so lasso attempts made at his neck. They try to force him into their forts and then once he is comfortable back out again. The babies pull his ears. The big boys like to dress him up. Dear, dear Rain! But, today they were simply looking out for you!! They didn't want to see you get pinched. . .

Yesterday, the boys and I made these t-shirts. . .

using this. . .

. . . so that they would have something festive to wear today!!! I absolutely love holidays!! I had planned to make a completely green dinner. . . But, I realized midway through the day that Erik wouldn't be home for dinner, so I decided to take the easy route and get take-out!! However, we did drink green kool-aid and eat a big green cupcake cake for dessert!! Fun, fun!! Thanks to Mom for the cupcake cake tin!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Sweet Surgery Day. . .

What a cutie he is, and he did so well! Thanks to all out there who said a prayer for the little guy.

Sweet Deana B. came with me to keep me company during the procedure. Bright and early, except it wasn't bright ~ it was quite dark, actually), we headed to the good old hospital and checked Mr. Man in for surgery!

Here we are hanging out in his short stay room. . .Then, they asked us to put him in a gown ~ a UNC blue gown, Deana noted. . .I look a little apprehensive in this next picture, but I don't think I was ~ not too much, anyway??? I love our surgeon, and we did this not too terribly long ago with Joshua. But, I think anytime your baby has to go under anesthesia you do tend to get wee bit nervous. . .I got a little concerned that he might cry when they took him away from me. But, they already had that one figured out! Take him on a wagon ride ~ that will make him forget about Mama!!! They wrapped him in warm blankets and pulled him away without a tear! Huge sigh of relief!!The surgery took less than a half hour and recovery took about an hour?? Deana B. kept my mind occupied with lots of fun conversation!!! Dr. O. came by after he finished and said that it was about as big a hernia as a boy his size could have!!! Poor guy!!

When they brought the little man back, he was in and out of peaceful sleep and so precious!!!
So, so, so, so, so precious. . . .

Here he is with my favorite nurse of the day!! She was a sweetheart!

A little side note: It never really occurred to me that the hospital staff would not know that I was Erik Daniel's Mama. I mean, I was the one holding him. But, it became a recurring theme that the staff would either look back and forth at Deana and I as they talked, or they would look at Deana!! Why, you ask?? Because his hair matches hers a little better than mine!! Finally, one of them looked at Deana and asked, "Is he yours?" I quickly answered, "No, he is mine!" And, Deana very sweetly answered, "But, I'd take him!!!" So, funny!!! :-)
It didn't take long for his sweet smile to resurface. . .

And, by about 10:30 Deana B and I were on our way to Starbucks ~ a cup of peace (Chai latte) for me and a cup of happy (hot chocolate) for her!!
Here's the little man sipping juice and watching Baby Einstein as we drove home!

Deana was such a good friend to me today ~ as she always is! She brought muffins when she came at 5 this morning for the boys to eat for breakfast, and she brought a yummy dinner tonight so that I didn't have to think about cooking this evening. I could just hold my sweet baby! She, also, drove my van home just in case I needed to help Erik Daniel in any way during our 30 min drive home! Sweet girl!! Here she is. . The picture is dark, but I love her expression! Can you tell that she didn't want me to take her picture???

Eriky D. slept from noon until I finally woke him up by staring him down around 4:30. And, I am proud to report that by 5 o'clock he was once again shooting baskets!! It was a good day, but, man, am I tired! And, I am so glad that it is over!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our Little Shooter is Scheduled for Surgery!

Erik Daniel, like most all little boys, loves balls! This coupled with the fact that he lives in a home where the balls start flying each morning around 7:00 a.m. means that this little man has grown to love throwing balls ~ especially at baskets! There is nothing he would rather do than stand in front of one of our silly little nerf hoops and shoot. So much so that we took a little portable basketball goal (about 4 inches wide) with us to the surgeons office this morning. Dr. O. even held the goal and let him shoot a few times for him! It was a great way to keep him busy while we waited at the surgeon's office and at the hospital for all the pre-admission hoop jumping!

So, yes, little Eriky d is having surgery tomorrow morning! He is having his right inguinal hernia repaired just as his big brother Joshua did (when he was 9 mos. old) and his mama did (when I was 6 years old). So, if you read this and you'd like to say a prayer for an uneventful surgery, I would appreciate it so much!!! It should be quick and easy. When Joshua had this surgery, we were home by lunch. So, we will see!

Hopefully he will be back to shooting baskets by tomorrow evening!!! Here is a little video clip of him in action. . .

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Journal

Silliness. . . :-)

But, I am tickled to death over my new journal!! I can't take my eyes off of her!! I think she is so pretty!
There is nothing like a fresh, clean journal ~ just waiting to be filled with heart whispers! I lack only a few pages in my old journal ~ which, by the way, was a marked down to $1.00 Wal-Mart purchase!! My new one is a step up! This time I went to Barnes and Noble in search of the perfect one, and I found her!

I can't wait to fill her up with thoughts, lists, quotes, verses, and prayers!! :-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Long Day and a Little Lie

Erik and Sean went away on another one of their sports related vacations, so I had the kiddos all to myself for a few days!! I missed my husband like crazy, but the boys and I had a pretty good time if I do say so myself!! Saturday was especially busy and fun thanks to the wonderful spring weather!!! The day went something like this. . .

5:00 my alarm goes off, and I hit snooze. . . This continues until. . .
5:39 when I finally decided to get up so that I can get a shower before my early risers rise!
6:20 I am greeted by 3 red-headed boys as I exit my bedroom! Thankfully, I am dressed with make up and the whole deal!
6:30 Take Rain out.
6:40-9:00 Sip coffee and watch cartoons with the boys/watch them play/make breakfast/try to hold them off on going outside. . .
9:00 Give in and take the anxious little munchkins outside to play. . .
From 9-11 I. . .
*Kept score for the Duke/UNC rivalry game ~

*Took boys to the swing set to play. Erik Daniel has learned to climb the bars and get into the clubhouse, and this is very, very scary!!! He may have fallen once between the bars, and it may have been a really ugly fall, and it may have scared me to death. But, thankfully the soft ground cushioned his fall. Yikes! Little boys! There is no stopping them! There is no talking sense into them! Dr. Dobson is right ~ they do think that they are indestructible no matter how many times they get hurt! Here are my four loves all sliding down the slide together!!
Eriky D. loves being big enough to climb the bars and slide down by himself! He absolutely refuses to let me catch him. He will not slide down unless I move out of his way!!! He's an independent little sucker!!!

Sweet silly big brothers. . .

*Then, we jumped on the good old trampoline! Can you tell it was getting close to someone's naptime???

11:00 to 11:30 We had a little picnic lunch. . .

The only really problem here was that Erik Daniel wanted to eat off of everyone else's plates! Silly boy! He was all over that blanket! So, when everyone had pretty much finished up but were still sitting on the blanket, I looked at Eriky D. and said, "Run, run, as fast as you can! We can't catch you, you're the gingerbread man. . ." He jumped up to run, and we all burst into laughter because in all his wiggling around on the blanket, he must have plopped himself down on someone's yogurt. This is what we saw when the gingerbread man took off running. . .

We laughed hard, and I laughed harder as I tried to chase him down to get a picture of him!!
11:30-12:00 Put little boys down
12:00-2:30 Littles napped, and I took baby monitor outside and played with the big boys. I played basketball ~ Joshua and JCT against me. They beat me! Man, was it fun!!! I am usually watching the little boys in the afternoons after school when Joshua and JCT play. But, since it was nap time, I got to be a part! It was such a blast! I may not have taught them about basketball, since I know virtually nothing about how to play, but, I did teach them a lesson in talking trash!! I had Joshua in stitches!!! At one point I was playing awesome defense (ha! :-), and Joshua could not get around me to get close to the goal, so he stopped dribbling for a second, looked me right in the eyes, and said, "We're beating you!" As if he could intimidate his mama!!! Oh, it was a fun, fun, time! Joshua tried to bounce pass the ball to JCT through my legs, but JCT wasn't looking! Oh, how funny it all was!!
I think my favorite part of the day was watching Joshua who is usually only interested in playing sports find joy in little boy things once again!!! He is usually too busy orchestrating football, soccer, and basketball games that he doesn't have time to stop and do fun little boy things like. . .
* make believe ~ they pretended to be Paul and Silas in jail. JCT was the guard. . .

* And, he played dinosaurs in the mud. . .

* I also caught him in the sandbox playing with his little brothers!
After being outside ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY, I brought the boys inside with the promise of a bubble bath!!!

Then, we made homemade pizzas and chocolate chip cookies!! Yum! When it was time for bed, they settled into their sleeping bags in the living room! I promised them that they could watch the Duke/UNC game until they fell asleep. . .
They were asleep before tip-off!!!!!
It was a fun-filled day, and I went to sleep exhausted and completely fulfilled. I had given myself away all day, and it felt great!! I love to cuddle deep into my blankets and covers with a tired brain and a worn out body and know deep down in my heart that I have been a good Mommy. I have put their needs and wants before my own.
There is lie that often creeps into my head, and it says that doing what I want will make me happy. Playing on the computer will make me happy. Organizing and cleaning will make me feel fulfilled. Sitting on the couch and reading a book will make me peaceful. But, when little boys with long faces are sitting all around me ~ creativity and joy stifled in them, their is no true gain ~ for me or for them. I may get what I want, but it comes at a cost. And, it is not worth the cost! It is simply a lie that I choose not to believe. Fulfillment, peace, and joy come from giving myself away in whatever way God calls. And, on this particular Saturday giving myself away meant getting my hands dirty, my body sweaty, and my mind filled with little boy ideas!!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

He's a Little Square. . .

But, we love him just the same!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Snow Much Fun without Snow!!

We actually had some snow flurries this morning. Kind of made me sad that winter is on its way out!! But, all it will take is another 60 degree day to make me excited for spring to come!!!

We have a wonderful Children's Minister at our church. Once a month she does a very creative evening for the kids ~ Parents Night Out! Last month the theme for the PNO was "snow." And, part of the evening she let the kids have a snowball fight with wads of newspaper taped up to be used as snowballs. The boys loved it! And, the way she cleaned up at 9 o' clock, when the parents came in, was to give each of the kids a Wal-Mart bag and let them pick up as many "snowballs" as they could to take home with them!

Well, yesterday afternoon the boys asked for the "snowballs" which had been sitting in the garage taking up space for over a month now. I almost threw them away several times, but I am so glad that I didn't! They had so much fun having a snowball fight yesterday!!! I think the fight lasted a good 30 minutes, and it would have lasted longer if Joshua hadn't had homework to do!!

I thought I'd bring it up for moms who live in areas where it doesn't snow! I thought it might be a fun activity one day next winter for a warm climate family to have a snowball fight!!! The snowballs are easy to make, and the kids could totally make them themselves! Here are a few. . .

And, in case you are worried, they do not hurt no matter how hard you throw them! I got pelted pretty hard, and it really didn't hurt ~ feels a lot better than real snowballs ~ that's for sure!!! The boys really got into it!!!

Even baby boy had fun throwing "snowballs"!!! Just thought I'd throw the idea out there!!!
Have fun!!!

My photo
Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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