Thursday, March 31, 2011

Celebrations & Busy-ness

It seems that, when I finally sit down to blog...all of the ideas just start to flow. I get to thinking about all that has been going on in my head (I leave out the scary stuff), and, amazingly, find the time to post. This has been an eventful past 2 weeks. We have celebrated birthdays like crazy! Believe it or not, March is the onliest month that we have had 2 kids in, & they are the first & the last ones ;). On the 19th, our sweet Anna turned two years old. When I think back over the turmoil & distress finding out she was on the way caused, I kinda wonder what the big deal was. hee hee. Well, not too much. I had just come through 2 difficult pregnancies, and I wasn't thrilled with having 2 babies only 10 1/2 months apart. But, as is the norm with God, He knew what I needed. And I needed Anna! Ooooh, she is just so.........*insert light & sweet adjective of your choice here*...........yeah, she is. And then there's the hair. Umm-hmmm...I love it. I do. I might even have hair envy. Maybe. She is a stinker *a small one*. And we could very easily fall into the trap of spoiling the "baby" of the family, but we won't.
I want to LIKE her forever! :)

Here are a few photos of her in the back yard of a wonderfully sweet customer of Lloyd's who was gracious enough to allow us to use it. I think they are, well, amazing, but I may be partial...I don't know.

A mere 5 days after Anna's birthday, comes Morgan's. We really wanted to have them on the same day, but my body wouldn't hold out. Oh, well.

I still find it hard to believe that my first baby is now a woman. It just doesn't seem like it's been that long. I have enjoyed every minute of being a mom for the last 17 years *ok, well at least 90% of the minutes!*

I'm not sure, but I may look at my children differently than most people. I don't grieve at them growing older, I celebrate with them truly. I am excited for them as I watch them reach new milestones in their lives. I remember the excitement that came with each one, and I am thrilled to share it with them. Maybe this is because I still have so many little ones at home...

At any rate, I am P*R*O*U*D of Morgan Claire! She is just so...*insert amazing & stupendous adjectives of your choice here*... I couldn't be more pleased with the firstborn God chose to bless us with.

Here is a recent photo of her...I mean, really...yeah, I know!

The final birthday I helped to celebrate was my wonderful friend Annette's. Now, she lives about 4 hours from me -- waaaaaay down south of Houston. *sigh* It was SUCH a trial to find a sitter for the kids, rent a snazzy little red car (with room for only 4!), drive allll the way down there listening to *grown-up* audio books to help pass the time, stay in a hotel allll by myself, eat wherever I wanted to....just for Annette. But, I'm a charitable sort. I just drug myself down there & did my friendly duty ;o)

Seriously, her hubby, whom I am nominating for 1st runner-up for best hubby of the year -- right after Lloyd, of course, called & asked if I could come down & treat her to a day out with NO kids for her birthday...his treat.

I said, "DUH! I'm there!"

We really had such a great, relaxing time. Maybe too much, though, we probably embarrassed ourselves before it was all over. hee hee. I felt so privileged to be able to spend her birthday with her & to be given as a gift. It was pretty cool.

Here are a few photos from our day.

Don't judge, we don't get out much! :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's a Crazy Life!!

I really don't know what I'm going to ramble on about tonight, but I just felt the urge to blog. I have been sitting here in my quiet house, listening to the hum of the refrigerator running (better go catch it!! LOL), hearing a random beep (and wondering what it is, but not enough to go find out), and catching up on my blog reading. I find myself wondering what we did before the invention of the internet (should I ask Al Gore???). I feel like I am so much more in contact with friends who are miles away. Texting, emails, blogs...all make the world a much smaller place. I, for one, just love it :) However, (isn't there always one of those?) I find that I do lack discipline in utilizing these wonderful inventions...if I'm not careful. There are legitimate things that can be done on a computer, and I do plenty of them, but the temptation to just "check" on everyone else is sometimes more than I can handle.
"What's the big deal?", you may ask.
Well, as you may or may not know, I have 2 toddlers here & even just a few minutes of my attentions being distracted from them can lead to hours of frustrating clean-up, including, but CERTAINLY not limited to: salt all over the dining room table & floor, completely unrolled toilet paper tubes, a brand-new 15 piece pack of gum...completely gone, with wrappers on the floor, all of the clean laundry unfolded & all over the house...I could go on & on & on & on..... So, when all eyes are not on them, the girls get into say the least. And, when they do, I am forced to put away what was so enthralling to me to deal with the very real evidence of my distraction. UGH~ I have been feeling somewhat convicted about spending time on my computer, or anything, really, that pulls me away from my # 1 priorities. Don't get me wrong-I don't think there is anything wrong with reading a good book or magazine, or surfing the web in search of the best deal on shoes, books, fabric or whatever (after all, I AM trying to SAVE money!). What is wrong (at least for me), is the lack of discretion in the amount of time I spend doing it. I start out with good intentions, "Just 10 minutes...I need to check on banking, send an email, check the weather..." Then, 30 minutes later--there's a crash (or total silence, which, to me, is WAY scarier) & I'm brought back to real life with a thud! I decided the best way, for me, to handle this & to still feel connected with the outside world, was to make myself a daily schedule. Something like: 6:00 Wake & Shower 6:15 Read Bible 6:33 Pray 6:48 Have a moment of silence 7:00 Kiss all the little cherubs good morning on their perfectly clean faces & admire their tidy attire & hair. 7:30 Join the happy crowd at the table for a hearty breakfast . . . . . . . . 10:00 p.m. Fall happily into bed with a contented *sigh* at the end of an overly productive day. Ummmmmm....
Yeah, right!
So...well, what happened was....
A carefully regimented day like the one mentioned above (possibly without the sarcasm) is truly what would make me happy. However (there it is again), I have learned the hard way that life happens. It's messy. It's unpredictable. It's exciting. It's boring. It's just next to impossible to schedule out all of the things that happen during a day when you have kids in residence. So, I gave up. Um-hmm. You heard (read?) me right. I quit trying to be the organized on-schedule micro-managing momma & just chillaxed. Please, don't get an image in your head of me languishing on the sofa, romance novel in hand, bon-bons & iced tea on a table nearby as my little ones swing from the chandelier (read ceiling fan) & I blissfully cheer them on ... Uh. No. I just have relaxed. I have a loosely scheduled existance now that looks something like this: Monday: Wash towels & linens. Clean kitchen. Make grocery list... Tuesday: Wash our clothing. Iron. Put Away. Clean bathroom. Wednesday: Wash kids clothes. Put dinner in the crock pot. Thursday: Sit & wait anxiously for 5:00 to arrive because it's DATE NIGHT! Friday: Get out of the house & go somewhere. Wash school clothes. Saturday: Um....I dunno...whatever comes our way. Sunday: Wrangle everyone out of the bed by 9 & have a 2 hour cleaning session. Cook lunch, go to church & be grateful we get to go out for dinner tonight.
Somehow...this works.
If you stop by unexpectedly (& maybe even expectedly), you will not find a pristine show home. You will find a reasonably clean, aside from the occasional toy on the floor (just step around it) home. The kitchen is *usually* clean, it's one area I'm pretty strict about. The only bathroom I can totally vouch for is ask to use it LOL *seriously*. You may find laundry in the works on pretty much any given day. You will also find sometimes strangely dressed children with big ol smiles on their *sometimes dirty* faces who will probably overrun you with questions & stories of their latest adventures, whether real or imagined. You need not take your shoes off...I've never been able to train anyone else but me to do it, why should you...but please wipe them off first. I hate to mop! I may get distracted & forget to ask if you'd like a drink--just ask for one. Then, relax & enjoy our crazy life.
That's what I do.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

This Day....

I recently heard something that made me stop & think.

REALLY think.


Here it is.

There are ONLY two days you have to be concerned about.
THIS day.
THAT day.
I know....WOW!

As followers of Christ, we are told that fear, worry, concern...or whatever euphamism you NOT of the Lord. Yet, we habitually put the fears & troubles of the days we live in firmly into our own little grubby hands & hold on to it like it is something precious.


The One who loves us more than any other has told us that we would never be forsaken...that He knows the number of hairs on our heads, so SURELY he knows about the trials of our days. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, so SURELY he can fix the problems we face. If He could make the rocks cry out to worship Him, then he can do ANY thing.

I know in my case that the scripture, "I believe, help thou my unbelief" is my problem. I KNOW He can do all things....for other people. I believe that He has done mighty & wonderful works...for others.

Yes, He has done some things for us. You know, little comparison to this biggie I'm facing now. Yes, those little things were good, but! I don't think He'll follow through now.

Oh, I know He let Gideon beat all kinds of trained soldiers with just a few farmer-type men with their pots & pans or whatever. I know that He made the water part, the walls fall, the dead to rise, the blind to see, the leper to be clean...I KNOW all of that. And I believe it, too. But....well...that was in BIBLE times.

This is the 21st century.

There are just so many things that He could have changed, but didn't.

I have seen friends suffer with cancer...and DIE! That wasn't right!

I have seen young lives snuffed out senselessly. WHAT?!?

I have seen suffering in marriages-spouses just walking away. WHY?

I have seen people who were a blessing & a tool that He was using, turn their sights to the world in some of the worst ways imaginable. REALLY???

I KNOW God did amazing things in BIBLE times, but He just doesn't seem to fix whats wrong now. I must consider this small fact: every instance of pain & suffering during Bible times was not recorded. There were things that were NOT reversed.

And yet...they believed.

That woman with the issue had so much faith that her Lord would heal her, she didn't even talk to Him...just touched his clothing...His muddy, grimy, filthy hem! Did that faith come because she had only known miraculous things from her birth? I doubt it.

How do I get this kind of faith?

This sort of trust in the One who loves me more than I can fathom?

It is possible that it has something to do with only being concerned with the two days I mentioned above.

Living THIS day-only.
Not YESTERday.
Not TOmorrow.
Not last year.
Not next year.
THIS day.
No matter how we want to, we cannot change what happens on any other day by worrying about it today. We only have control over one day at a time. In minute at a time! I can say that I plan to go to church this afternoon...but it may not happen. Something out of my control may occur to make it impossible to attend. Would worrying about it now change anything? Of course not.
So, if we live only THIS day in preparation for THAT day, we cannot go wrong. THAT day is the day that our Lord returns for His people. THAT day should be the focus of all of our THIS days!
It is so easy to let the stresses of life drag us down. Have you ever said,
"Gah! Could this day get ANY WORSE???"
My guess is, yes, you have!
Have you ever said,
"Wow! Could this day get ANY BETTER???"
It is possible to say this even if you are having a low-down rotten, stinky kinda day.
Yesterday was like that for me. Up & down like a roller coaster I had been forced to ride. I'm not fond of roller coasters, so it didn't thrill me. I fought the downhill thrusts mightily, but without much success. I cannot even put my finger on my feelings of doom & gloom. It was Saturday...a church day, and I just kept going the point of not wanting to go to church. Now, church is a priority for, not going is not normal. I had to take control of my THIS day so that it would be a preparation for THAT day. Now, I would love to be able to say at this point that some miraculous event occurred & I ended the day on a peak, but that's not true. Instead, I trudged through the motions of getting ready for church, drug my stinkin' carcass to the church house & thought, "well, I'm here." God was faithful to help me out, though. The songs were very uplifting, I visited with friends, listened to some encouraging words. I felt in communion with my Lord. Ah! Then church was over & real-life resumed. Gah! Well, I am not perfect, Never said I was. :)
The point of my droning is to say that my priority was to THAT day, so I made the most of THIS day in preparation for THAT day. It wasn't huge leaps, but it was progress. I think that, with God, even baby steps count as progress. Don't you?
So, now, my responsibility is to go & make THIS day count for THAT day.