Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reaping what you sow...

Galatians 6:7-9 ESV
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

I've begun listening to sermons while I work.  It's amazing what catches in your mind, as you work through other items.  Probably a sign of attention deficit or some other inability to be totally focused disorder, but it works for me.  It's how I process things that need to be chewed on rather than just acknowledged.

One item that has been gnawing at me, is people who feel they can act however they want, and have no repercussion. 
  • Never pick up the phone, but hold to consequence those who do not call
  • Judge, but attack those who judge them
  • Hold grudges, but attack those with grudges
I've long since realized I am not perfect.  I hold no moral high road.  In the past year, as I've felt a strong calling to God, I've truly tried to become more moral.  More loving.  More modest in frivolous items.

I've recently found myself praying for God to calm my wanton heart.  I still want for the frivolous things, but I'm highlighting those wants in myself as being shallow and not in sync with my overall goals.  Teach J to love, be loved.  To accept responsibility for his actions.  To act kindly.  To think of others before himself.  To be happy.

To realize he is blessed with enough.

We may not have everything, but we have enough. 

Today, as my brain gnaws on how to respond to a passive aggressive comment I recently received, this idea of reaping what you sow comes to mind.  And with it, I'm seeing I need to work harder and better with J to overcome our resistance to be in contact with people who sow negativity.  People who do not dial our number, but hold me in contempt for not dial her number. 

If I want my phone to ring, I need to do a better job of ringing others.

God, today I ask you to not only calm my worries, but also to give me strength as I reach out in the spirit of love, that I may not encounter the expected negativity and snark, but be blessed with joy.  Let my seeds of happiness plant, where now lies weeds of despair.  Help me to speak in Your Honor and carry myself with Your Grace.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Catching a glimpse into his teenage years

This weekend was a busy one for us.  Monkey had two birthday parties.  First one was an old friend from FRA.  It was so nice to get to see our old friends.  Moms got to catch up, something that there never seems to be enough time for in day to day life.

Due to the first party, we attended Sunday Service, and again - J loved it.  He came out singing "In the beginning, in the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth".  On our walk to the car, he is bubbling over with JOY.  Another couple overhears him as his excitedly tells me how during the Q&A section of his class, he got tell he knew God created Eve from the rib of Adam.  The couple giggled at his excitement & said "He's got that one!"  He is such a sponge, because in all honesty, it was a message I had just told him last week when he was asking me who were the first humans on earth. 

The second was for a new classmate.  I was excited to get to meet new moms, and while J was over the moon having a great time - I have to be honest Mommy didn't really get to meet anyone beyond the new classmate's mom.  She was super sweet, but having been in her shoes - I understand - her priority was hosting the party. 

On the flip side, by mommy having no one to chat with, she got to watch J without distraction.  It was in this time, I caught a glimpse of him as he will hopefully be in his teen years.

Happy, laughing, being the center of it all - and the object of a beautiful little girl's affection.  Chloe was her name.  And she sat behind J on the bleachers, wrapped her arms loosely around his shoulders and pulled him back so his head was resting on her stomach.  Would be such a natural thing to witness, if he were 15, but at six and half it was heart-wrenching.  I'm not ready to give up his innocence.

Chloe's mom & I had a commiserating laugh over this siting later when I caught her & shared what I saw.  Bless my heart was her response.  I assured her - J still believes he has to be 30 to kiss a girl, but that we can discuss when he's 18.  Truly - if I make it till he's 10, I'll be thrilled. 

More importantly, I want to keep the openness to communicate.  Right now, in the dark as we are snuggling before bed after prayers, he will talk to me.  I hope we always keep that.  It's probably the number 1 reason I make a point to snuggle him every night possible. 

One day, he will not want these snuggles. I hope - even then - he will talk to me as he does today.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

and then I'm humbled, yet again.

This morning, as we were wrapping up reading he was simply to tired to complete last night with any chance at retaining information for his comprehension test today, I took a moment to ask J if he knew anything about report cards being published.

Hey Bud... Did Ms. B. mentioned she posted report cards?

No.  How'd I do?

Well, what would  you say if I said something other than great.

I'd be really sad.

Then I'm thrilled to tell you, you did great.  You've worked really hard and you got a B in reading and As in everything else!

Complete with a huge hug & kiss.  He rejoiced in this excitement with a double fisted pull down of YES!!!

Mr. M joined us at that point & reinforced how great J did.  Even lightly treaded over knowing J struggles with reading - so if he gets all As next time - we will figure out a special reward.  Not something to be decided today, but one we can discuss and jointly agree upon. 

Last year's reward for an A average on his spelling tests was his loft bed he got upon graduation. 

But his answer has stuck with me.  He is such a dedicated and hard worker.  I'm in awe of him so often, I realize I need to dial it back and let him motivate himself.  He obviously gets it.  At 1st grade, he gets schoolwork is important.  He realizes, that we want him to be successful at it.  He didn't want to do his reading last night or this morning, but when the alternative to doing it was going into class without me signing off on his reading sheet - he did it - happily. 

So many times I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall, but reality is - he is listening.  He is learning.  He is developing the sense of importance on things that are important to me.  Recently he has started making a big deal about getting and hold the door open for me as we enter or exit a place. 

As with other things in my life, I need to cast my worries to the Lord in regards to parenting.  Why I seem to think I can control anything on my own, is beyond me at this moment.  I've proven time and again, we I am in charge, instead of letting God drive - everything is worse.  Thankfully, He has the power to intervene and generally forces me back into his loving comfort before I can cause permanent damage.

And today, I believe He was opening my eyes in regards to parenting J. 

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It appears, I have an ego...

I learned yesterday, J gets grades (actual A, B, C, D type grades) in 1st grade.  And he did well.  Fantastic.

Adv. Math -     A
Social Stud -   A
Science -        A
English -         A
Reading -        B

Back in the day - this would be all O's with a S+.  Those would be marks that I could do nothing but preen with the excellence of my son.

Yet, I look at the B & I stress.  How can I help him do better?  Ugh, why didn't I know how to help him before?

My parents accepted Bs, my in-laws accepted Bs.  Bs are respectable.  Better than average. 

Why oh why is it stressing me out?  It truly bugs me that I'm thinking anything other than how thankful I am he did so well.

Then my sister-in-law was relating a story regarding my niece and said what I had not realized. 

"I needed to check my ego at the door.  She was happy.  I needed to stop myself."


That was it.  I knew how I was feeling wasn't right.  It's why I hadn't commented anything other than great job to J.  I did not want him to pick up on my stress over his B.  He is doing great.  He is working really hard and still doing marital arts 4 days a week.  He is doing great.

It's my ego & insane desire for his life to be perfect that is the problem.  He's happy.  He's learning.  These are things I need to rejoice in and celebrate.  He's a smart kid, who applies himself.  So if the school is truly doing right by him - he won't have straight As.  Therefore, mommy needs to check her ego at the door.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Crossroads - visit 1

I've been praying, craving, striving to find - a church that fits our family.

I'm being picky.  As called as I feel to God, I'm struggling with *needing* the Church.  However, hearing things that come from Js mouth - things I've taught him or things he should, but doesn't know - I *know* I have to find that fit.

At the recommendation of a neighbor, I checked out a Christian Reform Church in our area.  I love websites.  I was able to get the basics on the children's program, the services AND check out the sermons.

Seriously - listening to sermons online is the best thing ever.  I can be picky without anyone thinking I'm flaky.

This past weekend, I bucked up & took the plunge. 

J & I checked out the Church.

I came out thinking "Okay, I think this might actually work for me."

J came out bubbling over with JOY.  Absolute JOY.  He could not tell me what he learned, the friend he made, and can he come during the week?

He loved it.

He even asked me if I knew "God made light!"?  He was astounded to learn that I not only knew that, but I knew Adam & Eve were the first humans on Earth.

The shock & awe he has is contagious. 

We made it a big event with meeting Daddy out for dinner after the service.

Mr. M is even catching Js joy, so we may be checking out a Sunday service (as opposed to the Saturday night one we attended) soon.  Praying on this. 

Thankful we as a family are seeking the path that fits us.  Thankful God is opening our hearts.  I pray that Mr. M & I will receive the Word and Calling with the innocence of our son's heart.  The openness.  The excitement.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

His first *official* love note.

Do Not Worry
33"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I've jokingly said - J how old do you have to be to kiss a girl?

Like the champ he is - 30.

That's right Rockstar! 

And then, he goes off to school.  1st grade.  Going through his folder like it's any old ordinary night.  Only it's not.  It's a night of firsts.

J got a love note.

"I love you.  Jake M.  Kiss Kiss"

from a girl named Jenna.  He doesn't like her though. 

Relief! - Joy!

I like Samantha (or Summer or whatever her name was).


And do I really have to be 30 before I kiss a girl, or can I just be 10?

I won't lie, I'm working on the Bible verse I opened with today in regards to this one.  It's a struggle for me in wanting to keep him as innocent as possible for as long as possible.  And yet, knowing how I felt when I learned a classmate had died in a horrific accident when I was a child.  I still remember thinking - had she ever been kissed?  I wanted so much to grow up.  I think I spent most of my childhood wishing I was old enough to be on my own.  I was going to be a success.  I don't want that wishing for J.  Because let's face it - children have it easy for the most part.  Life at his age should be worry free.  

I didn't have these words at my finger tips when we were talking... Instead I used his crutch of sucking his thumb at night (I know, I know - we have to break it) as my line of defense. 

How about this - we stick with 30, but we can possibly discuss at 18. 

What about 10?

Hmm...  I can tell you this... Until you stop sucking your thumb, there is nothing to discuss.  And no matter what... I hope we can always snuggle and talk in the dark like this.

Then we possibly laughed at a few ideas to help him with stopping the thumb sucking.  I told him, I honestly believe when he is ready he will kick it on his own.  Right now, he is just unsure of how he will ever sleep again without it.  Maybe this is a worry he will find, he turns over to God. 


Friday, September 19, 2014

Love the child you are given:

I'm reading Anna Whiston-Donaldson's "Rare Bird" book.  It speaks of losing a child, Faith, healing, Redemption, parenting.  It's her memoir.  And she amazes me.  Has since I read the lines:  "I'm your worst nightmare...or at least I know I’m living it right now."

I'm having to read it in chunks.  Remind myself this is not one of my no brainer easy reads.  This book is feeding my calling towards God, finding my way to a church that fits with our family.  One J can grow to love God, if I'm lucky somewhere close to how Anna's Jack did.  I won't lie, there is fear there.  Fear that if my wish comes true, God may have plans for J that I'm not sure I would survive.  Having faith - trusting in God. 

7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Today I was reading during my lunch, and I was struck by words I've heard before, or seen in general context - maybe even from Anna's blog. 

"To loving well the child you are given, not the child you thought you would have."

It never struck me as it did today.  I don't know if it is the soul searching I'm feeling or the trusting in God I feel so compelled to do lately, but wow.

Love the child you are given.

Such powerful words when you really think about it.  Putting into words what I've been learning over the past 6 years.  (That first 1/2 of year was so easy)

I'm not sure what expectations I had for J before he was born.  I so desperately wanted to be pregnant.  Then I wanted to keep the pregnancy, loving that child I didn't even know yet.  Then I just wanted to survive my c-section.  I will never forget praying to God, while on the table waiting for Matt to join me so they could start, "Please just get me and the baby through this procedure and I will never ask for another child."

He did. 

J was such an easy baby.  In fact, I would have touted he was just about perfect.  I mean, how many mom's of boys can count on 1 hand the number of times they were nailed. (Any boy mom knows what I mean)  He played while I worked from home.  He napped like a champ.  He was awesome.

Then somewhere around 18 months - he developed his own personality.  Terrible 2's.  Horrible 3's.  And at times, we had WT-Farfignughen 4s.  5's seemed to be better, but 6s... Wow - there have been some doozies. 

Learning to parent him through these stages has been probably one of the most challenging things for me.  Finding the balance between reassuring him I loved him, even in moments of wanting to give up.  He doesn't like to be told "no".  And if that goodness knows what - summertime music truck doesn't stop soon - I just may shoot out its tires...  I know saying "no" will result in a fight.  Tears.  Frustration.  Yelling.  Possibly daddy (either in person, or my picking up the phone) stepping in to back me up. 

I still say "no".  Love & Logic had a post one day that said "I love you enough to say no".  Every time I say no, which is not every time, but probably more often than I say yes - I remind myself this is okay.  Part of my loving the child I'm given, is loving him through these moments.  Loving him through his need to be destructive, and talking him down off the edge.  There are times I'm great at it.  Other's well... Let's just say I've also patched a hole or two in my wall.  J has had the opportunity to help with said patchwork, so he realizes the real consequence.  I may have possibly left the hole for a while, as well, to serve as a reminder to him the damage his anger can cause. 

In this process, I'm trusting in God that I'm loving this wonderful child I'm given.  The one who feels so sorry, and is learning to stop before he starts - or at least reign it in.  The one who can look on the bright side and change the topic to share a funny story with me - even if he is still smarting and muttering - "I hate you.  You are the meanest mom ever!"  I'm trusting he is learning lessons that will serve him in the world. 

I love him.  I'm not a perfect mom.  Thanks be to God, I have him, and can love him with all my heart.  I hope I always remember to love him for him - not for who I want him to be.  He is my little Bud, but he's not necessarily a mini-me. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

One foot in front of the other...

When I last posted here, I had every good intention of getting back into blogging.  Back into the swing of the things in my life that were not tied with my survival.

I've failed.


I wish, for J, I could explain why, but some things are better left unexplained.  Explanations do not excuse my lack of recording his big moments.  Not blogging on his first graduation or all the moments I've shared on FB, but not here.  And I'm certain there are moments he won't forget, that I'm sure we all wish were forgotten.  He has grown up so much in the past year.  He is so much more knowing and serious.  Watching him spiral out of control in one of my better moments, knowing the only way to fix this is to give into it - and yet - holding strong that these tears will pass & he will be okay, remind me how young he still is.  I love that he still wants Mommy snuggles at night.  I love that he can rock it out at a Garth concert between his dad & me.  I love that he can roll the next day with all the maturity of a teenager.  Yes, I may have sheltered the day with discouraging TV, a known trigger for his meltdowns.  By celebrating a morning of housework with a lunch a Chilli's, his favorite place to eat.  Enjoying the early fall weather with play time in the neighborhood.

But at the end of the day, it's really - he's just a great kid.  A kid that is still learning.  One that is in the daily process of learning the consequences of his choices.  Some he will like, some he will hate, and sometimes he will hate me.  I'm learning to be okay with that.  To realize there are moments I don't necessarily love being a mom, and that it is okay for me to feel that way.  Sometimes I fail at hiding it.  I hope I'm teaching J to be humble when I apologize to him later for losing my mind & yelling at him.  I hope he hears me when I say, "It's okay for me to get frustrated with you - I'm human.  It's not okay for me lose my cool in front of you.  I'm sorry.  I will try harder next time."

Lately I've felt pulled towards God.  Felt pulled to trust in Him.  He will lead the way, and quiet my soul.  Moments of saying good-bye to our our beloved dog at age 13 when she started having seizures, and J looking at us so innocently and telling us it would be okay.  In Heaven, Payton will get to run and play with Hannah again.  Both would be healthy and happy, eating steak for dinner every day.  They'd be waiting for us.

Mr. M & I looked at each other - where did you learn this Bud?

From Mom.

Wow.  Maybe I'm doing a better job than I've thought recently.

And I definitely need to get this boy into a church class because he absorbs the Word like a sponge.  For that I am blessed.

So here I am, stepping back on the saddle.  Or keyboard.  I'm not committing to grabbing every moment or even the big moments.  I will not promise to come back & play catchup on the stuff I missed.

I'm just going to commit to the time I fell pulled.  I'm going to write, like I did today, what is in my heart yearning to be shared.  J this is for you.  I love you & your dad so much.

Today, I realize how blessed & I am.  Today I thank the Lord.