I Can’t Protect My Daughter From This

10 07 2016

When you become a parent your whole world shifts, and suddenly instead of simply caring for your own well-being you realize you are responsible for that of another. As if the whole newborn requiring your full attention didn’t lead you to this conclusion you’d eventually figure it out when a three year old pried your sleeping eyes open to request much-needed, early morning chocolate milk. As it is you just think you know what love is prior to holding your child, yet from the moment you lock eyes with that wrinkly, tiny face you are shaken to the core. Suddenly it hits you, I made this. It’s my responsibility now. Then your protective nature takes over and you whisper, no one will ever hurt you. Ok?

I mean, that’s what you want. That’s your goal. You become a parent, and your number one job suddenly becomes body guard/cheerleader rolled into the billion other roles parenthood encompasses. You don’t know if you’re cut out for everything parenting entails, but you do know this one thing. You will gladly step in front of a rushing train or speeding bullet to protect your child. No one or no thing will ever hurt them!!

Except it will. They will get hurt, and nine times out of ten there is nothing you can do. 

I was thinking about it this morning, and I realized that as much as I desire to prevent my child from experiencing hurt and pain that in so many ways I am powerless to stop it. Heck, I can’t even control emotional upset and broken relationships in my own adult world. How can I keep them from my baby?!

There will be mean girls who hurt her feelings, and there will be cruel boys who break her little heart. There will be friends who disappoint her, and there will be people she respects who completely let her down. Because I love her so very much I wish to keep her from heartache, but I will likely fail. 

There will be a part of me that wants to maintain her childlike innocence, to prevent her from seeing how careless people can be with one another’s feelings, but in the end I can no more prevent her hurt feelings, bruised ego, and broken heart than I can keep the rain from falling out of the sky. And much the same way as raindrops cascade heavily upon the ground, so too will storms pour onto her own life. 

All my babies will hurt at the hands of others, and I won’t always be able to prevent it. I won’t be there at all times, but even if I was it might not help. Yet I can take solace that the same truths that govern my own life also reign in that of my children. 

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

In this life we encounter unfair circumstances, and we face situations that don’t pan out as we plan. Many times, even as we cry out to God, these instances do not improve. They don’t magically disappear or miraculously get better all of the sudden, but that doesn’t mean that God has forsaken us. In fact, it means that He cares very, very deeply. He cares so much that instead of taking away our distress He walks through it with us giving us strength and allowing our character to build. 

So when I believe the Bible to be true (which I do) I can take peace in the fact that the Lord loves my children even more than I do, that He will never forsake them, and that He will use circumstances of this world to refine and hone the lives of my loves. I will not be able to prevent worldly pain in my daughters’ lives, but I can rest assured that the Lord will draw them ever closer to Him as they persevere through the hard times. And when it comes down to it, their relationship with Jesus is what I want most for them. Not a pain-free life; just a life full of Christ. 

3 Facts (Attention out there)

9 08 2013

Extra, extra. Read all about it…
Over at my new website. I have changed my website from a “.wordpress” to a “.com”. I have a site redirect in place, but was unsure how to grab my WordPress.com and email followers. Hopefully this will do the trick. Please continue to follow via my new site. Thank you faithful reader.
That is all:)

3 Facts for the Day

31 07 2013

1. My goal this evening was to post from my new domain. It’s just not going to work out that way, I suppose. For one, it seems that WordPress.org is a little bit different from WordPress.com. Some reading this may know exactly what I’m talking about, and even know more. If so, maybe you can come over and show me how to share from my new site. I certainly can’t figure it out. I’ve been working on this for hours! Well, I say that, don’t I. I’ve been back and forth with it. It’s hard to focus when you are entertaining kiddos at your keyboard. I’m actually away from the desktop and back on my smart phone. Why? The baby woke up. I’m not really surprised. She has a runny nose, and doesn’t seem to be feeling well at all. If it keeps up like this, I’ll likely be holding her all night, and there’s no telling when I’ll work on the new site. That’s ok, though. My site name says it all. This right now, rocking my girl, that’s the important stuff. Widgets, headers, and plugins can wait. I know. Blog talk is giving me a headache too.
2. Today seemed like a tough day for me before I even started with the blog business. The house was a wreck. It gets that way over the weekend, and on Monday I’m too busy enjoying my family to worry about it. Usually on Tuesday, though, I try to regain some semblance of order so I don’t loose my marbles. I don’t expect an immaculate home. I realize those days are on hold in this season. I do try to keep a clear path so no one breaks a leg. I try to keep dishes washed. No, wait. I finally wash them when we’re out of clean ones and I’m forced to. That’s pretty frequent though. Bowls, spoons, and little cups are ever abounding. I’m pretty used to the fact that I’ll always be in some mode of picking up. If I weren’t, the very fabric of my little society would unravel. Or so I think. I tell myself that if I didn’t pick up those discarded dirty clothes off the couch, they would probably stay there forever. If I didn’t wash the dishes, everyone else would just eat off the floor. If I didn’t wash clothes, they would probably just run around either naked, or God forbid, in dirty clothes. (Insert dramatic music here). Most days I’m okay with that. It seems to almost make me feel needed in a way. I think to myself that my attention to order must prevent our little home from spinning off its axis. I usually just do, with no thought about it. But every once in a while, I have a day where it gets under my skin. Today was that day. Today I just felt so frustrated over all the picking up. I felt like my entire existence was comprised of cleaning up the mess of others. Why? So they could make more messes of course! I felt like they would make them knowing I would clean them up. I suppose every Mom feels that way. Some days it bothers you. Other days it doesn’t. It bothered me today.
3. I was scheduled to have a babysitter tonight so I could go help clean up the church. I spent most of my day cleaning my house. After cleaning the dishes, the girls were ready to eat again. Marlie was here too, and it seemed like just one more to feed and clean up after. It would be fine if I was used to three children all the time. It being only part-time actually makes it harder. After I cleaned the floor, they naturally tracked sandbox inside. This happens all the time, and I usually just shrug it off. But like I said, today just seemed harder than usual. I really felt like I should go clean the church, but in the end, I wimped out of more cleaning. I actually had my sitter come anyway, though. She watched the girls while I worked on the computer. I did something just for me, and it felt nice. I don’t do that often. It was a much needed and appreciated time of solace. Of course, now I’m a little frustrated about the work I got done with my blog site. I can’t seem to figure out what to do next. I laugh at myself! A lot of the verses I read today spoke of not being weary, and holding on for God’s blessing. I can do that. Well, I don’t know. I feel pretty weary right now. The baby is back asleep, so maybe we’ll both rest. Joy comes in the morning. We’ll see if this still posts from my old site.
That is all 🙂


3 Facts for the Day

30 07 2013

1. As I strolled through my neighborhood, with all three girls in tow, I prayed silently. I’ve had some decisions on my mind concerning the path to take for some projects I’m currently working on. I’ve been trying to decide whether to wait, or pursue the next step options. I was hesitant to act if my decisions could be wrongly influenced by impatience, rather than ordained by God’s will. Sounds pretty major, right? I know, I’m crazy. Even as I walked and prayed, silently asking God to reveal His direction to me, I think He shook His head as well. I can have a tendency to become anxious about such things. Earlier in the car, I had said to my husband, in regards to a comment he made about people beating down doors God has shut, “But sometimes it’s hard to know which doors are open and which ones are closed.” He replied quickly, “What do you mean. No it’s not.” So glad it comes so easy for him. (You may insert mildly jealous sarcasm here). Maybe it’s because he doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Maybe he’s too busy enjoying it.
2. Today we went swimming as a family. Ben and I had the three girls, and it was really a good time. The thing was, it wasn’t just the swell time swimming in the pool. It was the presence of all the people I love. It wasn’t the big things that made me smile. It was the small things. It was the tiny moments that caught my breath in my throat, and made me feel so full. It was catching a glimpse of my daughter and thinking I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. Her hair was matted wet to her head and falling out of the ponytail after so much play, but something about the way the light fell on her face, and the polka-dot swim suit rode up her hip, it made me smile. It was watching my baby as she sat in my lap. I had put her in between my legs, facing away from me. She had managed to turn herself around, and start climbing my lap to reach my chest. Her simple feats of coordination and strength gave me pleasure. It was watching my husband stand by the side of the water, when he didn’t know I was looking. I noticed how his hair was growing longer, and peppered with more gray, but I realized I think he is the most handsome he has ever been. I even enjoyed all the “Hey! Watch me’s!” There were so many, both older children competing not only in who could do the best water stunt, but apparently who could be the loudest.
3. I spoke with a woman I admire very much today. She is older than I am, having raised her children already. When I walked into her home, I immediately took note of my surroundings. Everything looked so neat and in place. There were no toys on the floor. There were no piles of laundry on the couch. One glance in the kitchen revealed clutter free counters without a dirty dish in sight. While there was soft music in the background, I was immediately struck by the utter silence. It seemed so very quiet compared to my home. It was almost like a library. I commented on the quiet atmosphere. The funny think is, I didn’t comment on how nice it was as you may think. I actually asked how she could stand it so quiet. She commented that she didn’t like it. “I would trade it for your noise any day” she said. I remember when I had a quiet home. I remember hot baths with a good novel. I rather enjoyed my solitude. But things have changed now. Now I know how beautiful noise can be. I know the music of a child’s laugh. I know the warmth of a baby in your lap. I feel content with family movie night and grilled hamburgers, even when I have to share my plate and my chair. The thing is, if I get too lost trying to figure out what door God is opening, I may miss the opportunity for joy in the room He has placed me in right now. I’m not saying not to seek God’s will for your life. I’m just saying don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t worry over every detail, and if it’s fitting into His plan. Today on my walk, as I prayed for God to show me His plan, I felt like He said, “Relax. Don’t fret over this. It’s not what you can do. It’s what I am doing.” Read that again. I did. It’s not what we’re doing. It’s what He’s doing. Kinda takes that pressure off, doesn’t it? Some days I just need to calm down, and remember He has it all under control. If I make a misstep, He will straighten my path. In the meantime, I can enjoy every second of the life in front of me. Too much focus on the future plans make the present gifts look blurry. I’m not ready for my empty nest yet, but I know it will come quickly enough. I won’t take a moment for granted or waste a second of it. I’ll enjoy the room I’m in.
That is all 🙂


3 Facts for the Day

29 07 2013

1. Today at work, as I somehow managed to find the time to pump (I’m still breast feeding gang), I sat down in the room I use and suddenly heard a baby crying out in the waiting room. Naturally, my milk let down as I thought of my own baby at home. Last night when I got off work, my Aunt was just finishing Bailey’s bath. I walked into the bathroom right as she was getting wrapped into her little pink towel. I simply adore hooded, baby towels. Something about that fat, wet face sticking out of a terry cloth hood is heart-warming. I could never pull off that look. When she saw me, her eyes got big. She began to make excited little squeals and flap her arms up and down as if she could fly into my lap. Since she realized she couldn’t fly, she leaned precariously forward trying to jump from my Aunt’s arms to my own. My Aunt, ready to complete the task at hand, wrapped her tighter and took off to the nursery. I followed closely behind. Bailey resembled a hoot owl as she struggled and strained to turn her head around to insure I was indeed bringing up the rear. Once on the changing table, she was momentary pacified to be able to see my face in such close proximity. This only lasted a moment, though. It seemed to suddenly hit her that she should be in Mommy’s lap. As she lay flat, and my Aunt attempted to snap her sleeper closed, she struggled with all her might to sit up straight. Then she started to cry. I scooped her up, half dressed, and she quieted immediately, breaking into a huge grin. She stuck her thumb in her mouth and stared intently at my Aunt, as if to say, “So there! Mommy’s got me now.”
2. It’s especially appreciated to come home to such fanfare after a day like today. Most days as a nurse are busy. That’s a given. When you have a slow day, it should be savored. Write it down in your diary or something. It doesn’t happen often. Yesterday was my quiet day. Today was its polar opposite. It wasn’t just the fact that it was busy. You can get used to that. It’s the unexpected that gets you. It’s when your patient is sitting up in the chair, eating some eggs, joking with his wife, talking on his cell phone, asking you if he can take a spin around the unit in a wheel chair to see the sights, and then he’s not. The next thing you realize, you have your arm around his sweet wife, trying to comfort her, even when you feel your words are completely inadequate. You pray for a room full of family, hoping you can somehow let God speak through you and give you some word that may lend just a bit of comfort. Then you see the big, tough guy son break into tears, and you barely hold it together. It’s that optimistic part of you that wants to offer hope to the wide-eyed daughter, stating only God knows the outcome. It battles the medically analytical side that knows all the signs point to the end. These days are hard when you see others’ pain so acutely that it is almost blinding. You feel their pain so intensely, and it hurts. It is moments of loss like this that I lean upon The Lord. There is absolutely no way I can understand the big “why?” There is so much knowledge you hold as a medical professional, that you feel like it might possibly overflow and spill out as you strive to learn more to keep up with change. That makes these moments, where no answer can be found, especially difficult.
Proverbs 3:5
Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
3. So, when I got home, it was like putting on a favorite, fuzzy robe. It was like letting go, and just being Mom. I didn’t feel the anxiety and stress, just love. I still got to work. Don’t get me wrong there. Chloe seems to feel that my love is best revealed through a servant heart. She could have just eaten an entire Thanksgiving turkey by herself, complete with stuffing, and would still request food when I walked in the door. She asked me to make her some chicken. “I’m so hungry!!!” she said. Marlie offered to make her something after she accosted me. “No! I want Mommy to do it!” She feels like no one can take care of her like I do. She climbed into my lap, and kept vying for my attention as I spoke to the husband. She kept saying, “I just love you so much!” She requested I rock her to sleep, because “I’m so very tired!” One cup of water later, a story, song, and rocking, and it’s sweet dreams, hasta la vista baby. To the physician who told me, “Thanks. You did a great job today.”; I really appreciate your comment. It meant a lot. But to be completely honest, nothing seems to make sense to me right now, fit me so well, or give me that rewarding feeling like walking into my own front door. It’s really good to be home today.
That is all 🙂


3 Facts for the Day

28 07 2013

1. It’s amazing to me how I can be such a level-headed, analytical woman at times, but still have moments where I absolutely loose my mind. That has to be the only explanation for why I would knowingly submit myself to torture. I’m sure I was hit by a moment of weakness. It was, after all, almost four in the afternoon, and my subsistence for the day had consisted of the leftover egg white from the baby’s yolk breakfast, and later a handful of pretzels. It was a moment of caloric weakness. I was sitting at the red light waiting to make a left hand turn. I glanced over to my left and was confronted with the most beautiful of edible sights. Mexican food. Oh Lord help me! Thoughts of salsa, cheese dip, and fajita goodness danced in my head, similarly to the way the little children dreamt of sugarplums on Christmas Eve. Our destination was currently pointed towards the sno-cone place. While I enjoy a sugary, frozen treat as much as the next gal, at the time, I could not imagine how flavored ice could compete with sizzling meat. I called back to my partner in pre-dinner consumption crime, the two year old. (I knew she was excited for some icee yumyums, so I had to be stealth). “Hey Chloe.” I called sweetly. “How’s about we go sit down in a restaurant instead of getting a sno-cone?” My goal was to make it sound adventurously exciting, and therefore easily defeat the aforementioned flavored ice in favor of a taco in my belly. Being the optimistic, overachieving child I adore, Chloe responded, “I got an idea Mom. Let’s go to the restaurant and then go get a sno-cone.” I love that brilliant darling!
2. By the time we decided we would sidetrack for a food fiesta, I had already been forced into my left turn taking me to a cold, frozen, minimally nutrient rich, cousin of a popsicle. I would not be denied my quest for spicy splendor that easily! In true stunt driver fashion (no, not really), I performed a possibly illegal u-turn (pretty sure it was illegal). While keeping my wits enough to insure the safety of my tiny charges, I whipped through the traffic with Mexican manic thoughts abounding. I can only blame my desire for a bountiful burrito to drive me to make such an erroneous decision. You see, I don’t usually eat out with just the girls. I usually have the husband along if we go out to eat in a restaurant. As a side note, McDonald’s does not count as eating out at a restaurant. The staff there undergoes special training in dealing with people under the age of seven. I even suspect that they add mild sedatives to the chicken nuggets to keep the children from running amuck and strewing napkins and Happy Meal toys in their wake. Anyway, when I do occasionally visit an adult establishment for food consumption beyond that of a burger, I typically go with another adult. I’ve naively thought all this time that I went with another responsible adult for the sheer joy of conversation beyond the topics of “peepee and poop”. I now realize I’ve been using my company as an unpaid nanny service. It somehow seems to go so much smoother when another set of hands is available to carry bags, be it diaper or doggie, corral spastic runners before they bolt into traffic, or back into the kitchen if you don’t pay attention, catch toppling drinks, and so much more!
3. Upon entering the restaurant, Chloe immediately became excited over the plethora of candy machine choices featured in the lobby. Her tone rose and her speed of speech intensified. It was like by some strange form of osmosis, the sugar from each candy she viewed was assaulting her bloodstream all at once. Only my regrettable promise of candy after dinner was able to separate her from the line-up of quarter treats. I ushered us to a booth, and scanned the wall for a high chair. Finding one complete with a functioning strap is the key. Sometimes you luck upon one complete with a seatbelt, but once at your table, discover the buckle has been effectively chewed off by the wild animal it held before yours, or the connection is so caked with masticated food that it no longer can be secured. God was trying to throw me a bone, and I was able to indeed find a seat that I didn’t fear would be a physical danger or communicable disease threat to my baby. The two year old started right away playing her favorite game of musical seating. I’m gonna sit by myself. No, wait. I’m gonna sit by you. No, wait. I’m gonna sit here. This particular food spot offered a strangely wide window ledge by our table. To Chloe, this simply meant another place to try and sit. She ended up, to my absolute joy (insert sarcasm here), finding the leftover meal pieces of the little person that came before her. She handed them to me for inspection, because I never grow tired of handling other people’s chewed food. (Do I have to tell you to insert sarcasm here?) The meal consisted of many joyful experiences to include: trying to stop Chloe from killing the rainforest with all the destroyed paper product she amassed pulling napkin after napkin out of the dispenser, attempting to keep up with the supply and demand of fruit puffs I fed into the baby’s open, bird mouth while still trying to fit in my own bites of entree, managing to restrain curious baby fingers from grabbing steaming plates or exploring in my refried beans, and explaining repeatedly to Chloe that she had to eat more than two bites of her $5 kid’s meal if she wanted any of the much anticipated candy. The waiter politely smiled sweetly at my motley crew and would pat the baby’s head each time he came by to ask if I needed anything (His eyes seemed to betray him. They silently screamed, “Please go woman, and take your offspring before any more food falls upon my floor!”) In between instructing Chloe to stop playing with her cup of water (I mean, really, why do they serve kids a styrofoam cup? They gotta know that straw is like a sword just waiting to slice through its environmentally unfriendly enemy), I made the server’s day by requesting the check and a to-go box (for the 80% of Chloe’s remaining meal). When I turned back to Chloe, she was pulling out more napkins. This time, though, it was to mop up the river of ice water that had fallen victim to the straw of doom, and poured out of its wounded styrofoam side directly into our awaiting seat that was conveniently able to hold water with its concave structure, and effectively soak our pants. After I slaughtered another forest to catch the spill, I turned up to catch my darling baby in action. She had puked up all those puffs, mixed with water, onto the table. She was painting the mixture across the surface with her hands and forearms, and seemed very proud of the masterpiece she had achieved thus far. I gathered my brood, heading for the cashier. As Chloe asked about the candy, I broke the news to her that I did not have any quarters. I’m certain the waiter’s family back in Mexico could hear Chloe’s anguished cries over a sweet treat envisioned, but never brought to reality. It seems those brilliant Hispanics foresaw such a dilemma. They packed their register with multiple canisters full of enticing candies, all available for purchase with your debit card! This last chance of sugar was an effective salve for Chloe’s pain. (Yes, I am a sucker, but I also promised, and try to keep my word). As we packed up in the van, and I realized it was baby nap time with a Walmart trip still to be completed, I wondered if my little tryst had been worth it. It almost seemed like more of a hassle than an enjoyment. I vowed to rethink such an endeavor in the future. I know, though, that when the hunger pains and temptation of enchanting enchiladas again strike, I will once again charge blindly into the land of eating out with kids.
That is all 🙂


3 Facts for the Day

27 07 2013

1. We had a late, leisurely breakfast today. As usual, Chloe pulled out her favorite step stool, and assisted me. Everything I do, she cries out, “I wanna do it!” I enjoy her eagerness to learn, so within reason, I allow her to do it. After she had obliterated eggs, cracking them into the bowl with her fingers, I removed the shells. After she had her go at mixing around the egg and milk mixture, I attacked it aggressively with the whisk. As the liquid scramble began to heat up in the skillet, she grabbed the salt shaker and asked, “Can I do it Mommy?” I told her, “Not yet baby.” Then she growled. “What’s wrong?” I asked in surprise. She simply replied, “I hate waiting!” I then launched into an explanation of how if we added salt too quickly, the eggs wouldn’t be as fluffy. I explained to her that we must wait until they were almost completely cooked before we could season them for taste. “You like your eggs fluffy, don’t you?” I questioned. She let out a long syllabled, “Yesss.”
2. Later we decided to get out and run a few errands. We were going to see Daddy, get gas, and pick up some essentials. There always seems to be something you gotta have when you have little ones. Today’s essentials, in order of importance, were as follows: diapers for the baby, D batteries for the swing, and caffeinated diet soda for the Mommy. (Now that I think of it, caffeinated drinks should have been first). As we walked out the door, Chloe requested to watch the Wow Wow Wubbzy (a favored cartoon) DVD when we got in the van. Currently playing was Robots, (a kid’s movie) and Chloe was explaining that she didn’t like it anymore. I assured her that she actually did still like it, she just wanted to watch something else. She agreed with my assessment, and I promised I would put in the disc she requested. She climbed into her seat as I secured the baby on the opposite side. I went around and cranked the van to get the air going and switch movies. As I reached under her seat for the DVD case, she asked in a whine, “Mom, can you put in Wow Wow Wubbzy for me?” Kids always do that, don’t they? In sheer aggravation I questioned, “Chloe! What do you think I’m doing?” “Oh. Ok.” she laughed.
3. Today I was struck with a question. What is my attitude on life? How exactly do I wait? Most people are waiting for something. Even if your life is exactly how you want it, and you wouldn’t change a thing, there’s still something you’re waiting on. I looked around me today and remembered that even as I wait on my own request, my own yet to be fulfilled dream, I am in a pretty darn good waiting room! I am surrounded by blessings. I thought of Paul in prison. Even there he remained in joy. Afterwards, he wrote:

1 Thessalonians 5:16
Be joyful always.

I’m not even in prison. I’m making eggs! I don’t want to be the kind of person who growls as I wait, who grumbles over the inconvenience. I want to be in joy, thankful for my circumstances, no matter how long the wait. When you remember that God knows how best to cook the eggs, that He indeed developed the original recipe, you can understand why you must wait to add the salt. He knows how long you gotta cook before He can add the flavor. Then I thought of my prayers and requests. How do I pray? I believe, according to His word, that He approves of prayer without ceasing. He wants me to continue to come to Him faithfully with my request, but I wanted to look deeper at what my prayer attitude may be. If He’s promised to answer my prayer, am I continuing to pray in belief and in a spirit of faith, or am I whining an anxious request. Do I sound like Chloe repeating her DVD request. After He’s told me it shall be fulfilled, do I pray in an attitude of disbelief asking, “Why haven’t you answered me Lord?! Will you answer me Lord?! When will you answer me Lord?! I know you said you would, so I’m waiting!!” I want to pray to my God like I want my kid to ask me stuff! I don’t mind her asking me something twice. It’s the attitude of disbelief that astounds me.

John 14:14
You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

I realize that’s a loaded verse. We could launch into a lengthy discussion on God’s will, etc., but for brevity sake, let’s keep it simple. Let’s have the attitude that if we ask, we shall receive. Right now, God is wanting us to believe He can. Even the most faithful can falter when the waiting is longer than anticipated. While we wait, let’s be in a spirit of joy and thanksgiving. So easily can we have our gaze focus on the finish line and forget to smell the roses along the way. I’m embracing joy. I’m asking with anticipation to receive, even if the answer isn’t exactly as I envisioned. You wanna join me?
That is all 🙂


3 Facts for the Day

26 07 2013

1. Last night I didn’t cook dinner. The hubby instructed me that he would bring pizza home for us. If you don’t know, that’s what the Mr. does for a living. His pizza pie is a local favorite, and he tosses dough like no one else can. I am always touched when he brings us home pizza. It may not seem like much to you, but to me it is. I realize that by the time he puts together our pizza, at the end of the night, he has already made more of the pies all day than I could imagine. It also is a sweet gesture considering he won’t likely partake in the meal himself. Since making the decision to limit sodium in his diet, pizza is mostly off limits. The thing that struck me most, though, was this action came at the end of a day in which my husband had been serving, assisting, or providing for us continuously.
2. As is so often the case, babies feel it is necessary to keep you alert. They never want you to take anything for granted. Once you become comfortable with their sleep schedule, and begin to rest more comfortably as they sleep through the night, they will switch things up. Teething starts around the time you get sleep training in place. This means midnight awakenings. This has been the case this week. Early yesterday morning, around 2:30 am, Bailey woke up. Ben offered to take her. In my sleep fog, I didn’t argue. I actually turned over contentedly and fell back asleep almost instantly. He took the baby knowing that his alarm was set for 6 am. My alarm was set for. Oh, wait. That’s right. My alarm wasn’t set at all. I could get up whenever I chose. He went to an appointment out of town with three hours sleep. He also opted to take Chloe with him so I could sleep in with the baby. I knew he would have to go to work when he returned. I secretly hoped, for his sake, that he wouldn’t have to go into work until later in the evening so he could get a nap. After arriving home, he let me know that he indeed could stay home until that afternoon. He decided to spend that free time mowing the yard. The little time that was left after yard work, he spent playing with the children and talking to me.
3. Sometimes I wonder how I got so blessed with my spouse. One thing I try not to do is take him for granted. I always want him to know that what he does for us is appreciated. Even if I think he already knows, I’ll tell him how proud we are to call him our own. I make sure I say thank you. I always say I love you. I send texts and pictures, not so many as to bother him at work, but enough for him to know we’re thinking of him in his absence. Today Chloe brought in a watering can she wanted me to fill in the kitchen sink. It was covered with dirt from sitting outside. Just her bringing it through from the back door, had left a trail of dirt everywhere. It made me think of what you bring into your home, or your marriage for that matter. You can’t bring dirt into your house and expect your marriage to stay pristine. Sadly, this is something I learned after my first marriage fell apart. I won’t expound on that. If something comes to mind that you question if it could be “dirt”, then it probably is. Also, never put yourself in a compromising situation. If you think your spouse wouldn’t approve, stop there, no matter how innocent it may seem. (For the record, I’ve never cheated, but have been cheated on). Another thing I never did in my previous marriage was pray for my husband. I can’t look back now at the mistakes I made. I’m not sure that any amount of prayer could change the mess we made. I can only look at what God has given me now. I pray for Ben without ceasing. Mostly I just lift him up and ask God to bless my spouse and help him feel God’s love for him. Most important, I thank God everyday for the gift of my husband. If you don’t see your husband as a gift, I would encourage you to look again. Don’t look at him with critical, judgmental eyes. Don’t look with your friend’s or your family’s eyes. Look at him with God’s eyes and you will be blessed at the gift you hold each day.
That is all 🙂


3 Facts for the Day

25 07 2013

1. I realize that I’ve come to a place in my relationship with my earthly Father that is unlike anywhere we’ve yet been together. My Daddy means the world to me. If you never had the opportunity to read my blog series for Father’s Day, then I would encourage you to read it first and get a good picture of my Dad’s character before going any further. You can find the first part here. When my Mother passed away, it was a hard time for us all. It was especially difficult on my Dad. I think I’ve mentioned this in a blog before, but I’ve never went into much detail. Even in a four part Father’s Day blog, I never came completely clean. There’s secrets we all hold inside, and even if you decide to open your life via a blog, there’s still many things you keep close to your chest, and like a hand of cards, you never reveal. After Mom died I worried about Daddy. He was very upset, naturally, and also very dependent on having his children close. This I also understood. If I left his house, I knew I better call once I was safely inside my own home, to prevent undue concern. Fast forward a year, and I suppose we all had changed. Grief has a way of doing that. Like the way decades of a flowing stream can carve its journey through the rock, so can grief cut its hollows in your character. Dad remarried and moved on. I can’t say much. I did the same, in a way. It’s strange living in the aftermath of a family changed. Our family home stood empty. There were no more birthday parties there. My firstborn never even sat on the floor on their living room like I had envisioned. As time has elapsed, I can see where God fashioned things to work out like they did, and I’m at peace with that. I suppose what has been difficult is feeling like I’ve lost a relationship with my Dad. No, that’s not right. Not lost, but just that it feels changed.
2. I will go weeks, sometimes months without seeing my Dad. This is something we experienced in my twenties, but I lived 1000 or so miles away. Currently we’re only 20 minutes apart. I realize I could put forth more of an effort to go see him, but it’s not always easy. It seems with the two small ones, I just get bogged down with other responsibilities. There’s times where I’m angry. I wonder why he doesn’t come see us. I prayed and prayed about it. I started to feel some understanding and less anger as God spoke to me about it. I think my Dad had an extremely difficult time after Mom’s death. I really don’t think he could have gone on like he was. The only way he knew to move forward was to leave some things behind. I’m not saying he’s forgotten about me. I just feel like he has built a new life for himself, and it’s hard to incorporate his children inside this new world. I also realize that while I’ll always be Daddy’s girl, I am no longer his little girl. I’m keenly aware that he has full confidence in my spouse to care for me. We both understand that I have left my Dad’s umbrella of protection and now stand under Ben’s spiritual umbrella. At first I think the devil wanted to break down my relationship with Dad. He found this kink and tried to break me down. I remember thinking, “Now that your Mom is gone, there’s nothing tying you two together. He has his biological children. You don’t fit anymore.” Thankfully, that self-defeating lie was short lived. I do sometimes think I remind him of Mom, with my actions, humor, and intellect. I think that’s hard for him. Different people deal with loss in different ways.
3. Have you ever noticed how some days are harder than others? Some days you just feel blah. Some days you deal okay with what life has been throwing your way. On those days you’re at peace with the low balance in your bank account. Your patience levels are high, and you feel confident in God’s plan for your life, and however long it may be in fruition. Thankfully those days are frequent, but then there’s the other days. It’s the days that are opposite of the above described. Those are the days you feel down and out. It usually seems that those days accompany a feeling of God’s absence. You know in your heart He’s there, but you just can’t seem to feel His presence. I’m not sure why, but some seasons in life just feel that way. It’s those times, I guess, that you have to really lean on what you know that you know.

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we live by faith, not by sight.

I know without a doubt that my Daddy (here on earth) loves me deeply. I could call him right now and tell him I needed his help, and he’d be here before I could whistle Dixie. No distance, no circumstance, and no amount of time can take away the relationship we share. It’s the same with my other Daddy (my Heavenly one).

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for The Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Even on the days when His presence seems far, I know in my heart He is there. Funny thing happens. When I cling to that belief and hold it tight like a child’s favorite blankie, I begin to feel His presence.
I had my Dad on my mind today, and I suppose I was on his as well. That led me to write about him today. As I was nearing the end of the post, I heard a knock on my door. It was my Daddy! We fell into our comfortable relationship as usual. Even Chloe climbed into his lap eagerly, never showing any hint of frustration over his absence. It was really nice, and felt like old times.

Whether your Dad is gone, you never had one, or there’s a wedge between you, it’s comforting to know our Papa in Heaven adores us so. Don’t worry about my Daddy and me. God showed me the character of His Father Heart by first showing me the love my earthly Dad could bestow upon me. Even on the bad days, I still know my Daddy loves me. I guess you could say I’m one blessed girl with my two Dads.
That is all 🙂


3 Facts for the Day

24 07 2013

1. It’s a strange kind of excitement as you watch your child learn to do things for the first time on their own. Bailey, the 7 month old, is beginning to pull up on objects, and stand holding to them. She has looked like she’s going to crawl for weeks now, but is still content in simply pushing her body around in a scooting motion, mostly backyards, to get around the living room. She is extremely curious, and it makes me a little worried. I never had to childproof with her older sister. Chloe seemed content in staying on the carpet as a baby, and didn’t venture around much. I never used a play-yard, gate, or other means of confinement. By the time she walked, she somehow seemed to understand not to touch adult things. I don’t see it going that way with little Sis. Her hands are always searching, grabbing at anything, and especially if it’s off limits. This morning she surprised me by trying to leap out of my arms multiple times. I had her on my hip, but she saw a toy on the floor that she wanted. With no regard for safety or consequences, she sprang with all her might to free herself from my grasp. I held tightly, and gently lowered her to solid ground.
2. I remain in a holding pattern in a few areas of life. I’ve spoke of it before to you all. I’ve mentioned that God has me in a “time-out.” I’ve blogged of waiting patiently and “being still.” I suppose I blog on this subject often because for all intensive purposes, I am myself a child. When you attempt to fathom God’s character, you realize how utterly human you are. You recognize in yourself characteristics very much like a child. God must remind you of things repeatedly. Faith can always use strengthening it seems. I watch my baby trying to leap from my arms, and I see myself. I realize I am not alone in the terminal. While I wait for my connecting flight, He is with me. When I feel especially worried, down-trodden, or hopeless, I am reminded that He is actually holding me in His arms. As we wait together, I get impatient as usual. It’s so hard for a child to be still. I get excited for what’s coming next, and the next thing you know, I’m trying to jump out of His arms (will).
3. Today, after a late lunch, or perhaps early dinner you might say, we went to the store for a few essentials. (Yes Maw, I was indeed buying coffee creamer). Bailey loves that she’s big enough to ride in the basket instead of that confining ole baby carrier. She grins ear to ear, and beats her hands excitedly against the hand rail, and kicks her feet freely. After a few aisles, though, I noticed her listing to the side. Her thumb was in her mouth, and her eyelids were heavy. We pressed on hurriedly, but it became more than she felt she could bear. She started to whine to alert me to this fact. Before she started to cry, I scooped her up and held her, cradled in my arms. As a side note; it’s very difficult to push a full cart with a 2 year old hanging off of it, while cradling a chunky baby in your arms. Anyway, though, she was content at that moment, being in my arms. After we checked out, loaded up the van, and headed home, both girls fell asleep. As I drove in silence, I thought, “How nice this is, when they both finally rest.” On the radio, I caught the lyrics, “When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms.” Ahh. So true. Even as Bailey started to fall apart, she found comfort in my arms. I have to remind myself of that. He is the author and perfecter of my life. I can always find rest in his arms. I am always safe there. He not only comforts me, but shields me there as I wait. Even when I try to jump, He is faithful to hold me tight, and ease me down to solid ground. I am in a place right now where I need that refuge, and I’m actually pleased to discover that I always will. I will be safe in His arms.
That is all 🙂