God in Me!

So this is how it went down.  Boys were up at 6:30 this morning (I’d been awake since 4:30; made them stay in there room until 7am and I’d had my coffee.  This morning was BSF (Bible Study Fellowship), which is usually on Wednesday, but holiday week pushed it up a day.  These are generally easy mornings for us as the boys LOVE going to BSF as well as I.  They are tired when we depart from BSF, we pick up lunch, come home and they have to finish cleaning their room and doing their kitchen chore.   They generally eat and play outside while I veg inside for a bit before it’s time to come in.  Rest time is a MUST on BSF days.  At present, school is not a priority on this day, unless we squeeze some in after rest time. 

SO, it’s rest time in our house.  I can tell I’ve got some tired boys on my hands.  I’m tired but I’m not melting yet, although ready for MY nap!  Oldest starts getting grumpy and mouthy while we’re trying to put his bed back together (linen washing day) and by the time he’s snuggled under the covers he’s said “I’m tired of you” and something else I can’t remember…..but hurtful and unnecessary, nonetheless. 

I’ve been meditating on the Love Chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 – back to the basics is what I like to call it.  I’ve been reading it each morning and usually stick around “Love is patient.  Love is kind.  It is not easily angered. ”  Today I added on “Love is not self-seeking.”  So, basically, love is self-less.  Anyhow.  I continue to thank God for His Spirit in ME that I can be patient, kind and not easily angered – and thank you for the opportunties you (God) continue to present that allow HE and I to walk that out – mainly in my home! 

So today, as my ears heard these unkind words from my child, instead of being “easily angered” as I had been in the past, and could have responded differently (’cause I’m human and sensed those things rising and about to bubble forth), I walked away and recalled God’s word that I’d been meditating on – walked back in his room and gently touched him, told him I loved him and to have a good rest with a smile, and asked if I could give him a hug, which he declined…until youngest wanted a hug – and then he was ready for one 🙂 

As I came into the kitchen, I realized I’d just experienced God’s transforming grace in ME.  And rejoiced.  And wrote it down in my journal, thanking Him for His goodness to make me into His instrument of love to my children.  It wasn’t difficult.  It was HIM.  And my boy experienced HIM.  And for that, I exhault HIM and bless HIS Name.

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Surviving “no naps”

It was 8:41 pm when I walked out of the boys room – both asleep. Last night it was 8:32 pm. When they do nap (like on a Sunday) they don’t go to sleep until 10:30pm and that makes for a l.o.n.g. day. I can’t remember what happened on Monday night, but I had them up around 7am and they were getting cranky at Noon, at which point I fed them, read to them and we snuggled down in my bed for an hour and half nap!

I’ve been toying with “no naps” even before the holidays. It’s SO easy to go back to napping! Sometimes I don’t sleep well and I need a nap! My youngest (3 in three weeks!) could probably still use a nap, but he doesn’t want to miss anything! One thing I did try was having oldest rest on his bed with a book while I put youngest down for a nap (who likes for me to “lay down me” for him to go to sleep). This worked sometimes and Sammy and I would go do some school work and then take 30 minutes to rest (which Sammy usually fell asleep). And sometimes (when I wanted it to and even when I didn’t), Sammy would fall asleep reading his book! And Monday, I tried waking up Sammy after an hour nap – he woke up, changed positions, and went back to sleep for another 30 minutes!

So these past few days have been fairly easy to work through our afternoon “lull.” Tuesday we had organic produce co-op pick-up at 2:30, and errand, and then I took us to the park for park and bike riding time. Today we had to run a lunch into town for Dad. We’d made ourselves a picnic for the park but it was SO COLD (due to wind and no sun) that I couldn’t finish my lunch! The kids had already ran off without finishing their lunch, knowing their time was short! We’ll return on a day that the sun is out. So we picked up some Wendy’s chili on the way home, ate, I did some clothes folding while the kids played, and then I joined in for some block playing. We snuggled in a big chair for 30 minutes of Sense and Sensibility, then it was time for me to do some kitchen work. And surprisingly, the meltdowns we had encountered previously trying no naps haven’t popped up. I was on the verge of one today, but reigned myself in! LOL!

So here we are. Trying. Highly grateful for more peaceful bedtimes (for they have not always been this way even BEFORE trying no naps). To continue to survive, I hope to plan a walk to see our neighborhood horse we feed carrots to, do some art (I’m still working up the courage to do finger paints…), go see relatives, read, read, read our library books, play a game.

I think we’re going to make it.

Stone Sunday Chronicles – Last week!

Today began early as we were scheduled to serve as MVP (most valuable parent) in Saw’s class today. It began with Tony and I working together to throw a pork loin roast into the oven. Fortunately (albeit grudgingly) I am learning to bathe the night before so there’s only makeup and hair to contend with. Easy breakfast with farmers cheese (tvorog), honey, granola and banana. Sammy would love a return of my “famous Sunday muffins” but he and I are going to have to make it a routine to mix the dry ingredients the night before.

Way before we had kids, Tony and I were involved in a large Sunday school class where everyone was having kids before us. I loved that class and the people in it and was very passionate about encouraging others in their relationship with Christ. One of the members had twins at one point – and then “fell of the face of the earth.” And I remember it making me sad that she no longer attended our class, or church, that I knew of. Perhaps to make it more challenging, I think her husband worked on Sundays. And although our class visited and encouraged her, nothing changed. However, believing that a parent, as a Believer, had the greatest responsibility of leading their child to faith in Christ, and in my opinion, worshipping with other believers is a part of the process of teaching them to live out God’s Word, could not understand her absence and rememember thinking “God didn’t give you those babies for you to drop out of church!” Well, this was my simple prayer when I got home and was changing clothes “Thank you Father, for helping us to work through the challenges of GETTING to church! Thank for for the tenacity and perseverance it often takes on a Sunday morning to not give up and to keep moving us (especially 2 small people!) forward so that we can live out our faith by worshipping with other Believers.” Because believe me, I encountered some small, yet viable opportunities this morning to throw my hands up in the air and say “FORGET IT! IT’s TOO HARD!”

Our time was well spent in worship (didn’t get there for song, only message). Pastor is still preaching on 2 Corinthians and giving/money. It’s been a great series. Tony is PUMPED about starting Dave Ramsey’s course in a few weeks.

Our next tour of duty was changed – we were to be MVP’s in Sawyer’s class (a breeze) but were asked before worship if we could switch to Sammy’s class. My response: I’m not prayed up for that! That class is 30+ strong. But we were willing – and always will be, to step in where we’re needed. Sammy was NOT happy about Momma being in his class, but Dad is the fun man of the two of us and was able to win him over by playing a game of “ball” in the fish tank (no fish or water) and this won him over easily. They divide the boys and girls up after getting started and we were in charge of sharing about Jesus being in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights, how hard it must have been for him and how He made the right decisions to lean on/into Father during this testing. We made a 80 link chain yellow/black, representing day and night. My Sammy was a great help. I don’t know who was the rowdiest, the girls or boys. But both groups LOVED my husband. This is how it always is. Our previous next door neighbors had a daugther – she saw me more than Tony (he was working nights at the time), but she ALWAYS remembered his name and would ask about him – and then say “What’s your name again?” Anyhow, we survived 30+ kindergartener’s and were glad to get home!

Since I’m finishing this post a week late, I can’t remember much past that! But there were a few things I thought worth reading. Maybe a sentence or two.

Teaching my kids to pray

My greatest responsibility as a parent is teaching our children how to have a living faith in the One True God through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a joy and privilege to share Him with them. Daily we have this opportunity to seek Him together wherever we find ourselves. And usually, by the time the kids and I find ourselves in the schoolroom, that’s the first thing we do! Sammy has begun to lead us in prayer before our school time and it is so sweet to hear.

Wednesday night we found ourselves at church. Tony and I will be taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace study and Sammy is in Mission Friends, while Sawyer has his own pre-school activities. Sammy is learning a verse a week for his class. He earns coins when he says his verse and every two weeks they go “shopping” at the “store.” He loves it!

But this Wednesday night was a stormy night for East Texas. We listened to the weather reports on the way there and felt it was safe to continue. Although, honestly, the North area gets more activity than we do where we live, so I would have turned around if it had just been me and the kids. But my Love was with us and I trust him, so we headed on to church and got everyone in their places.

Fifteen minutes into our intro video the sirens go off, so we hustle to the main building (we were in a portable) and make sure our kids are good; they are hustling Saw’s class (with windows) to an inner classroom. Tony’s making pc’s to the PD to get the status on the possible tornado. I’m making pc’s to check on and alert neighbors. Finally, we’re given the all-clear, only to watch another 15 minutes of the video and have the kids dismissed. So we had to leave and pick up sweet kiddos.

Before leaving T wants to know the status of storms so we don’t head off into one. Sure enough, there’s a strong cell moving from South Tyler that has spawned a tornado. So we make our way to a local car wash and pull in for safe keeping. This safe keeping lasts at least an hour before the storm has passed over our area and it’s safe to return home.

When we get to the car wash, my oldest is a bit scared and crying and his baby brother says “God is with us, Bubba.” Wow. Divine music to my heart! This reminder (along with a homeopathic Hypericum) and holding Mom’s hand, is helpful to calming my dear Sammy. The kids did GREAT waiting patiently in the car. We’re studying the letter “R” this week, so Sammy and I did some “I spy and “R”” with some junkmail left in the car. We talked about their crafts they made in their class. Sang “I’ve been working on the Railroad” (part of our studying the letter “r”). Made a phone call to check on our parents. And they ate my church mints by two’s – I guess I should have used that as a math lesson!

But to keep this Momma calm, I began to pray. And as I began to pray, my right hand began to move as if sweeping over the area the storm was passing and I asked Father to weaken the storm. So I had my kids join in and practice praying with me, asking Father to weaken the storm. Sammy also prayed for those who were in the storm and had damage, as we had heard reports earlier of folks trapped in their homes from a tornado farther East. Finally, probaby by bribing Saw with some mints, he said a prayer for our home repeating after me. Even Daddy had joined in. This brought peace to my heart, regardless of how Father would choose to answer that prayer. But more importantly, it continues to further my children’s education in praying to Father, about the big and the little things in life, because He cares for us.

We were able to rejoice as a family when we returned home that everything was in tact and our home, neighbors, and family were safe! Thank you Father! Now our hearts prayer is for those who did receive damage and have been displaced from their homes. May they know Father’s love for them in the midst of their loss and my He provide their needs abundantly.

Still worshipping….and waiting

The last 2 Sundays have found us late to church. Last week: Tony got called out on the way to church; had to turn around so he could get his work vehicle and we went on to church, so no singing, just Pastor’s message. At 8:30am. We had MVP (most valuable parent) responsibilites in Sawyer’s class. This week, Tony received several calls during the night (I was already awake, anyway) and was awake well until 6am. I awoke at 7:54am. Fortunately, I didn’t turn into a crazy momma. But we were late and missed the music – again. Yet still, I found myself wishing Pastor would hurry through his points ’cause of my dear Sammy who seemed to have ants in his pants! I can see he and I need to do a bit of role play – I think this would help him. And yet, I think he is quite “normal.” I was getting a bit nervous when Pastor was still on his first point – so I looked down and saw he only had 2 points! This was good news. Ugh. I need to learn how to function better. However, rejoicing that my Sammy enjoyed “children’s church” which has a bit many kids in it and is loud – 2 things that doesn’t always go well for him. We had extended session today (voluteer help in pre-school) so this was were he had to be.

So I’m still worshipping. And waiting. Waiting for my Sammy to learn to sit still-er and for me to turn into that warm and fuzzy curled up cat (see previous post on Worshipping with One Eye Open). And perhaps by that time (grinning), Sawyer Wayne will have joined us! And although he is still boy, I rejoice that he is not so busy 🙂

I hope to post my Christmas blog soon with photos and how Father has been at work in my heart this Christmas season through several songs. He is so worth our adoration and praise. Oh, how I love Him and am utterly entralled by His wonderful love for me!

Back to the basics

Last night I was blessed to have a Mom’s Time Out with my ML friends.  I had about an hour spare time, so I headed to Starbucks and took out my Bible, asking Father for HELP!  My responses to my Sammy had not been God-honoring the past several days.  I apologized to him before we left, but knew I needed Father’s direction.  So He and I went to 1 Corinthians 13 – the LOVE chapter! 

So I’m back to the basics.  Love is patient.  Love is kind.

Although I had apologized to Sammy, that wasn’t enough.  I was delighted to sit down with him and let him know I’d met with Father and showed him the scripture He had directed me to, confessing that Momma had not been patient nor kind, but that she wanted to be because she loves God and she loved him.  He seemed to be quite receptive to the process Mom went through to make things right with God and right with him.

I don’t like messing up, but since I do it fairly often, I guess I better get used to it!  My hope and prayer is that my children see me running to Father, unashamedly approaching His throne of grace.  He is faithful to forgive when we confess. 

Thanking Father for all that transpires to allow me the opportunity to practice patience and kindness, demonstrating His love to my children through these attributes.  I have already had opportunity this morning as I’ve battled a neighbor’s runaway dog, shaving cream, toothpaste, a fish hook in a batman cape, and a 2 year old that continues to have to poo-poo whenever I decide it’s time to start school!

Patience ran off with my sense of humor..

It doesn’t take much to make me laugh and I like that about myself.  Although I laughed rather easily while in the workforce, it has been a bit more challenging at home.  Which, while in the kitchen getting lunch ready, I realized that I just needed to RELAX and LAUGH!  Laugh at the interruptions, the messes, oh the messes made by these sweet, cute, adorable and FUNNY boys! 

Enjoy.  Embrace.  Laugh.  Love. 

So here I am for a quick note to remind myself of my humanity and reflect on Christ’s sustaining power and strength.  When the boys wake up, WE are going to have us some FUN!

I’m off for a quick and necessary nap!

Oh, I was just on the Living Proof website looking up info about the Beth Moore simulcast I’ll be attending this weekend.  This sentence was part of a description of Beth (which I totally agree with) – “She is a woman of purpose, preparation, prayer and passion.”  Those are admirable qualities I need posted – and I think I’ll add “patient” to mine!