Monday, August 30, 2010

1000 Gifts: Really thankful?

A while back the "leader" of the gratitude community posted about things that she praised God for- even things you wouldn't necessarily consider.  Things that may weigh a mom and wife down.  Things that seem at the time to be more of a burden than a blessing.  Today I concentrate on these... realizing that they are a true blessing... because of the meaning behind them.  For these I thank God... remembering His multitude of blessings.

495.  fingerprints on a mirror just cleaned - the little hands that left them there

496.  an abundance of laundry needing to be folded and put away - the clothes that we have been provided

497.  a refrigerator that breaks during the middle of the week - the reality that we have food to nourish our bodies

498.  sometimes cranky children who sometime show disrespect - an opportunity to mold hearts closer to His image - and the gentle reminder from our Lord who reminds me of my heart needing constant molding.

499.  a house in need of constant tidying... a place to rest our heads at the end of a busy day

500.  bills in need of payment - God's constant never-ending provisions

501.  morning routine - rousing the boys to do their chores - molding young men to be helpers and hard workers

502.  the pains and aches of a momma heavy with child - new life soon to come

503.  back to the routine of school - the opportunity to train my children at home

504.  the soon coming heat and humidity - a few last days to play in the ocean waters and enjoy the fleeting days of summer

Friday, August 27, 2010

Love this!

There are just some things that have to be experienced.  Parenthood is one of them.  You can't just see someone else parent or take a few classes to make you a parent.  Even this teacher thought that I knew a lot about raising kids from all of the college classes I had on education.  LITTLE DID I EVEN KNOW!!!!!!!  

We are caught in this funny area of our lives where my husband and I are on survival mode most of the time.  My goal sometimes is just to be able to get through the day without the kids hurting themselves or each other.  If I can just make it until bedtime... that is success to me.  I wonder when times will slow down.  If I could just get some rest.   Whew! 

This morning - while taking a break and catching up with friends on Facebook I ran across this wonderful video by one of my favorites.  You know her from her fame singing the Momsense Song to the Tune of William Tell Overture.  She's back with another awesome song... a love story.  Take a listen and laugh or cry - because you know you have either been there... or you are there right now.

Enjoy- and happy Friday... it won't be like this forever. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Doctors - Ugh!

I had a regular OB appointment today.  I am at the stage where I'm going every 2 weeks.  After having two babies with the same doctor I am pretty familiar with the routine and also his personality, which - if you know my doctor - you definitely need to understand. :)  Right, Heather?

So I go in for a regular check up. He draws blood - normal for appt. at 34 weeks - does the normal weigh in and blood pressure check.  He has one more exam to do - and this one is a bit more than to check the heart beat -  but as he is checking the heart beat he has a hard time finding one.  Now while laying on a less than comfortable table - on my back - definitely the last position I want to be in - besides laying on my stomach at 34 weeks pregnant - he shows a bit of concern... then moves the doppler thingy to a different side of my swollen stomach.  I guess he hears it... but I didn't hear it - as clear as I would have liked anyway.  Then - my dear doctor starts to poke on opposing ends of my stomach... and I jokingly reply, "Hopefully, this isn't an indicator of his lack of compliance later in life."  trying to bring a bit of levity to the situation.   If you know my doctor - levity doesn't go a long way.  He says, "No, it may be an indicator of something else. We're going to do an ultrasound."  Of course, he doesn't tell me what the "something else" may be.  So this momma tries not to think of the things that could be wrong.  He finishes the routine part of the exam and then turns on the ultrasound machine - and of course, we have to wait for it to warm up.  He finally clues me in to what he is suspecting... the baby is not head down - meaning I may be looking at a C-section.

This alone made me a little teary-eyed - having had two babies delivered the "normal way."  Immediately, the "what - ifs" started penetrating my head.  Remembering that Jesus was in the room with me right at that very moment... knowing my anxious thoughts... I began to pray.   The doctor came back in and did the ultrasound... while STANDING RIGHT BETWEEN ME AND THE SCREEN - UGH! I was unable to see anything.  Apparently, I guess everything is normal.  I guess the baby is in the right position for a normal birth... he (the doctor) didn't say anything remarkable - or otherwise.  What this momma needed to hear was a reassuring - "Oh, everything's fine... your baby looks healthy and wonderful." Because let me tell you... the anxiety had planted itself and was taking root... right there. All the way home I was thinking.. if there was something wrong - surely, he would've sent me to the hospital, right?  He wouldn't have released me to go, right? 

Here I sit - with two weeks until my next appointment.  Two weeks until I get to hear that sweet little beat again.  It's almost too long.  Being in anxious mode... after picking up the kids I trekked to Target to get a prescription filled.  I stopped by my favorite watering hole and got a Dr. Pepper - just to make the baby good and jumpy - to ease my worries somewhat... I figure if he's moving around in there - I know he must be okay. :)

For You formed my inward parts;
         You wove me in my mother's womb.
    I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
         Wonderful are Your works,
         And my soul knows it very well.
    My frame was not hidden from You,
         When I was made in secret,
         And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
    Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
         And in Your book were all written
         The days that were ordained for me,
         When as yet there was not one of them.
    How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
         How vast is the sum of them!
Psalm 139:13-17

Monday, August 23, 2010

1000 Gifts: Beginnings and ends

 Many things happened this week... I lost an aunt to cancer, we started school again, we completed a project, our refrigerator went out, friends visited who now live in PA, I chatted with my best friend regarding a crisis in her home, plus a variety of other activities.  The ONE constant throughout the entire week has been Jesus.  He is always there - helping, encouraging, praying, providing, loving, protecting, and more.   For Him I am eternally grateful... and for all that He provides - I give thanks.

481.  The homegoing of a sweet aunt - a sister in the Lord.

482.  new books lining the table for planning

483.  the excitement of my boys - "Can we start school now mommy?"

484.  the first week completed

485.  seeing old friends and falling right back into relationship - like time and distance hadn't even happened.

486.  thunderstorms in the early morning hours

487.  six weeks until a new baby boy

488. the sweet realization that God knows my baby boy's name, even now, before we have it figured out. 

489.  sweet fellowship of Bible Study

490.  a visit to Gramma and Grampa's on a Sunday evening for pizza and laughter

491.  rest

492.  Fridays - designated as project days, field trip days, and fun days for school learning.

493.  seeing friends - gone all summer - back to fellowship with us again.  :)

494.  My mother's reminder from my childhood - "The crickets are chirping... it's time for school!" 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Homeschooling: Our first project for 2010

This year we are starting to use a new curriculum. At the advice of a few friends who also really have enjoyed these treasures - we are using Story of the World - the Ancients - for History and much of our literature this year.  School is still only Monday through Thursday which leaves Friday open for field trips, adventures, and extra fun stuff not normally done throughout the week.

Today included our first fun extra thing that was an idea in the planning guide.  Since we are studying the Ancients, along with the Bible (being our most important resource), we had a "dirty dig" today.  Earlier in the week we learned about nomads and how they became farmers.  We also learned about archaeologists and what they study.  So my boys went treasure hunting in the sandbox out back, just like archaeologists,  to find various things that would be considered important in our culture that were buried there by years upon years of time - sands covering these items due fierce weather and harsh conditions... maybe even a volcano or two... okay - I just covered them up in the sandbox... but the kids had a ball.  They found coins, play tools, a play cell phone -( in a plastic baggie - so it would still work later),  pictures of an ipod, a tv, a computer, a few pencils, a few cars, a radio, and a few other things.  

They had a blast!  They loved finding hidden things.  They had so much fun that they stayed out for about an hour in the middle of the noonday heat just to bury and dig again!  Thankfully, our sandbox came equipped with an umbrella! 

So school is off to a tremendous start.  I can't wait to see what else we'll learn this year!

Monday, August 16, 2010

1000 gifts: the last days of summer

Getting back from visiting family - we have a whole bunch of new memories.  The Lord blessed us beyond measure, once again.  I thank Him for His goodness to us.

465.  splashing around with cousins at the park

466.  time with my mom 

467.  afternoon naps for even big kids

468.  daddy having the opportunity to spend a ton of time with his boys

469.  an anticipated fishing trip for new fishermen - and the first catch

470.  the determination of a 6 year old

471.  seeing my sister train and succeed beyond her imagination

472.  rain storms

473. bowling with little ones, trips to the zoo, time with the ones you love

474. playing in the front yard...lazy days of summer

475.  glasses created at a local fav where kids eat free

476.  grace - provided my Heavenly Father

477. a beautiful drive

478. seeing extended family... some for maybe the last time this side of heaven

479.  getting back home and sleeping hard in my own bed

480.  the hard adjustment of getting back to reality of life - the building of character

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Obedience and Results

 He has made everything beautiful in His time.  Ecc 3:11

Today I am adjusting.  I am adjusting to reality after a 10 day "break" visiting family in Ohio.  As much as this wasn't the idealistic vacation sipping drinks on the beach under an umbrella while the waves gently broke on the sand - it was time with family, laughter, watching kids play, naps, more laughter, and just being together.  

I always seem to have a hard time getting back into the swing.  There is always so much energy in getting ready for the trip.  Then during the trip - the ability to relax and enjoy each other.  My boys were almost always occupied in play with my sister's kids - or we were on an adventure of some sort.  Just the change of scenery and temperatures were a real treat.  

But now it's back to reality. Back to planning for school that starts next week for us.  Back to getting ready for a baby boy due in just a few weeks. Back to Jeremy being at work until 6 in the evening. Back to planning dinner, making dinner, and cleaning up after dinner.  All the mundane things that can get a mom down - it can lead to trudgery.  


Those two words change a life.  They change the story. They changed the world.  They have changed me.  Those small two words are so powerful. 

Today, while reading my Proverbs 31 devotion the writer discussed how God used her to create something huge. She said something very powerful - the words jumped off of the screen and stuck in my heart - "My job was obedience. God's job is results." 

 Last week on our vacation I had a hard time.  (Mom - if you're reading this don't freak out. :) ) I felt bummed because a certain person in our family was doing a huge thing.  A thing that was brand new to her and she succeeded TREMENDOUSLY!!! She made her mark. She did so much more than she set out to accomplish.  I was and am so proud of her.  However, I got lost in the pity party of self... not seeing my life as having much importance.  I was bummed about not having time to exercise like I want to.  I was bummed about not having the funds to go to a gym. I was bummed about not having a significant accomplishment in my 30s (which I might add, are quickly slipping away).  I was bummed about not getting words of affirmation.  

Then I was so gently reminded by my Heavenly Father - with a whisper in my heart - that I was doing what He wanted me to do.  I was right where He wanted me. He has blessed me with so much.  My striving and my selfish pity party were clouding my focus and my purpose.  All I am supposed to be concerned with is that I am being obedient to what God has for me.  God's job is the results.  And His results will bring Him glory.  If I receive blessings along the way - that is the cream.  But I have to step back and reassess my goals.  Are my goals to be in the best shape of my life (not that that is a bad thing to strive after) - or is my goal to make sure that my kids are trained in the fear and admonition of the Lord?  Is my goal to keep up with the Jones' in having the newest stuff or do the most popular thing, or is my goal to model contentedness in every situation I am because I have been blessed by God.   Is my goal earthly accomplishments and accolades, or is my goal heavenly focused?  Is my goal human words of affirmation, or is my goal "well done, my good and faithful servant?"  

My ego is so much less important that God's glory.  My purpose for living is to bring Him glory.  And right now He receives glory when I am a mother cleaning up after a mess, or washing, drying and putting away laundry with the right attitude.  He receives glory when I seek His face in the big things and little things.  He receives glory when I obey Him.  My job is obedience.  His job is the results.