Thursday, August 30, 2012

Peace Over Impatience

My dear friend Jenny sent me this book awhile back ...

... and it's helping me become the mom I've always wanted my children to have.
The other morning I read the following passages:
"Choosing to be a servant-mother means ... that, by faith, I have already made a decision to make myself available in the routine tasks and myriad interruptions of daily life because I believe it is God's will for me to serve my family through them. Making this choice ahead of time means I will expect problems and needs to arise and be ready to deal with them in peace instead of impatience and resentment."

"And yet somewhere, over the years, the Lord convicted me that the future was not where real life began. Each day was God's perfect will for me. There would be no wasted years of "just taking care of the needs of my young children." On the contrary, these years would be among the most important of my life."

And the remainder of the day, after I was encouraged and inspired by these words, went something like this ...
I did about 20 push ups and one set of crunches before Henry woke up. Workout over.
I folded laundry as Claire unfolded it.
My neighbor stopped to chat as I was running late loading the kids in the car.
I cooked. Adam "helped."
As we were sitting down to lunch Tyson came to the door covered in mud and had to be rinsed off, dried off and tied up.
Adam was "helping" me vacuum up a (different) mess Tyson made and the hand vac (which was filled with thousands of tiny chia seeds) exploded when he dropped it on the hard wood floor.
I sat down to rest my brain and feet and soul ... and Claire woke up.
I got stuck at a railroad crossing while already running late to Kindergarten pick up.
And when the kids were all in bed, the remainder of my night was spent folding their laundry, packing Henry's lunch, unloading the dishwasher and sweeping ... still finding chia seeds.
I could go on ... and on ... and on. And I'm pretty sure I'm not alone.
Now the thing is, all of these interruptions are annoying. And challenging. And I can't say I didn't feel frustrated numerous times throughout the day. But I can say that I did not take that frustration out on my kids. I didn't say something I regretted later. I didn't even sigh heavily just so they would know "mommy is working hard here!" And believe me when I tell you that is not me. Not. At. All. 
I am reminded daily that God doesn't want perfection. I'm glad. Because I will never be a perfect mom. He does however desire to see faith and obedience. So when my kids are pulling from all directions, and the dog is rolling in mud, and the neighbor stops to tell me about his literary dreams, I am choosing to handle it all with "peace instead of impatience and resentment."

Little things help along the way. This poem - which has become my daily prayer - is one of them.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Little Snipits

(Forgot to post this conversation I had with the boys a few week ago)
A Bud Light truck passed us as we were leaving the neighborhood.
HENRY: "Hey! There goes dada's favorite beer truck! It said Butter Butt Beer right?"
ME: "No. It said, Bud Light."
HENRY: "Oh. Well he likes that kind too."
ADAM: (after a slight pause) "Wait a minute. How did dat truck know how to get to our house?!?!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Everything I Need to Know ...

Well the big day came and went. Henry started Kindergarten today. He is going to Chico Christian School and I'm pretty sure his teacher, Mrs. D, will be amazing. He is more than ready for this transition. He was bright eyed, bushy tailed and ready to get going this morning but I made him cuddle with me on the couch for a few minutes before the rush of the morning took over.

He enjoyed posing for his first day of Kindergarten pictures.

I can't say the same for Adam and Claire.

We enjoyed our ride to school.
Henry LOVED being able to play on the big kid playground.

I nearly lost it seeing his itty-bitty body and big ol' backpack walk down the hall to his classroom.

And of course there was a place waiting for him when he got inside.

And since Henry is in school Adam officially started "Momma School" today. We kicked it off by going to the library and getting Adam his own library card. We enjoyed a snack at the library. I do believe I held Adam and Claire a bit tighter than usual today.

And at 11:45 sharp we were finally reunited. And it felt so good!
Oh. And Tyson had fun today too.

I will always remember this day. I will remember it for a few reasons.  Of course I will remember Henry starting school. And I will remember driving to pick him up and wanting to kill Tyson because I smelled like wet dog and was covered in mud. And I will remember today because Claire had an epic blowout during her afternoon nap and decided to smear poop all over her crib and hair and hands and feet and face and mouth. But what I will remember most about today is the moment when I clearly heard God speaking to me.  
If I'm being honest there have been many little things about Henry's room placement that have been causing me to feel heavy hearted. He got the kindergarten classroom that is furthest from the parking lot which means I will have to unload (just to load again) the kids and trek to the far end of the campus when I pick Henry up everyday. He didn't get placed with any of his preschool buddies which means I will rarely see the mom friends I was getting to know last year. He got placed in the class with peanut and almond allergy kids which means I will have to think really hard about what to feed my son who only eats PB&J. I've been wallowing in all these (petty) thoughts for awhile. And it's been ugly. And today I clearly heard God tell me, "Stop. This is not about you. It's about Henry. And I have him in the palm of my hand and have placed him with the perfect teacher to help him know and love me more."
So at the end of a very hard day, I am thankful that God knows the plans he has for my child. I am thankful that He plans to grow and prosper Henry. I am thankful that 6 years ago God, the creator of the world, carefully knit Henry together in my womb. I am thankful that this very day He knows even the number of hairs on his precious little head. And I am thankful that God will never leave Henry and in fact goodness and mercy will follow Henry all the days of his life. And that is all I need to know. Yesterday. Today. And forever.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Goals Revised

Henry starts Kindergarten in a couple weeks and according to almost everyone this makes me one step closer to freedom. My first child is starting school, all day kindergarten none the less. A couple years ago I thought having the first of my three in school would put me closer to the goal tired moms everywhere work toward: get all your kids in school. I am discovering that for me and my family I couldn't have been more wrong.

Now don't misundertand. I need time away from my kids. Quite honestly I am exhausted by  them. It's mind numbing work to wipe bottoms, break up fights, listen to whining, buckle and unbuckle car seats, make PB&J's just to turn around and serve another snack an hour later, whip out crafts, break up more fights, wipe noses, and be touched CONSTANTLY by nasty little hands that gross even me - their mother - out! But as I approach the sought after milestone of "finally" having a school age child I am discovering something I missed until recently. The goal of early childhood is NOT to work toward the day you can drop your child off at school. The goal of early childhood is to take full advantage of the time you have them under your wing, making sure to invest diligently, lovingly and wholeheartedly into the lives that have been entrusted into your care. These early years are formative and as Mom I have been given the privilege and responsibility to train my children in the way they should go.

My hearts desire is to see my children equipped with the spiritual foundation, confidence and character to handle all that life throws at them. I believe that these life long skills take shape in the first 5 years of life. And I hope that after they slay the dragons that await them in kindergarten and beyond my children will never be too old to come home for cookies and milk. I will however, gladly leave them to handle their own bottom wiping.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Little Bit of Claire

Busting a move ...

Becoming chatty patty ...

Pestering Tyson ...

Loving her Aunties.

Being a little doll.

With her BFF.

Nearing the terrible two's.

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