1) They've been running an incentive program at our local YMCA for the past few months called "100 Days of Summer." You're given a punch card and receive one punch each time you enter the doors and an extra punch if you attend a class. Once you fill your first card, you're given a key chain and a second card. The reward for filling a second card is a YMCA water bottle. The first twenty-five people to fill the third and final card receive a free t-shirt. I've been faithfully visiting the wellness center and attend a class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I was making good progress, but missed a few weeks being out of town. I thought I had no chance for a t-shirt, but kept having them punch my card to give myself the satisfaction of completing.
On Tuesday I filled my last card and when I handed it to the lady at the front desk she said, "Oh, sorry, you're number 26." Number 26?! NUMBER 26!! I was so psyched I actually laughed about just missing the t-shirt cut-off.
There must me something wrong with me. How many people are excited about finishing 26th? I guess no one's going to accuse me of being type-A, huh?
2) Drama Queen and Ladies Man have been gone all week on a church youth group missions trip. It's been so quiet around the house!
They joined around 60 kids traveling to Cary, Mississippi to facilitate four Vacation Bible Schools.
I've heard it's HOT where they are. I know they'll have a fabulous time any way. I'll be glad to have them back. It's just not the same without them here.
3) Drama Queen called a few days after arriving in Mississippi. She gave some greetings then asked to speak to Drummer Boy. She wanted to know what happened on the last day of drum line camp she missed when she left on missions trip. He'd sent her an e-mail about it and didn't want to ruin the surprise, plus he loves tormenting her.
Drama Queen: What did you do the last day of camp?
Drummer Boy: I'm not telling you.
Drama Queen: What do you mean you're not telling me? What happened?
Drummer Boy: You'll find out soon. I can't tell you how.
Drama Queen: Why can't you tell me?
Drummer Boy: I just can't. You'll have to wait.
Drama Queen: Why? C'mon. Just tell me.
Drummer Boy: I can't. TRUST ME!
Drama Queen: I'll talk to you tomorrow when you stop PMS-ing. Let me talk to Dad.
Drama Queen: Why didn't you raise your son better?
Kevin: That's all I get? No "how are you?", no "I love you?"
Drama Queen: I love you. Do you know what he's talking about?
He could honestly say no and further torture the poor girl. She just can't stand it when someone knows something she doesn't. And seriously, when is she going to learn she perpetuates these things by her reactions which make it so fun to tease her?
4) Being worried that Miss Innocent One would be a little lost with Drama Queen and Ladies Man gone this week, I've worked hard to keep her busy. In the last week she had her cousin spend the night, had two different friends over to play, attended a slumber party, went swimming five times, had an eye appointment, got her hair cut and spent the night at her grandparent's house.
Who knew an 11-year-old's calendar could be so full? And yet she still said to me, "I'll be glad when Drama Queen and Ladies Man are home. I miss them." Yep. Me too, babe.
5) It's been two weeks now since Kevin and Drummer Boy embarked on the Summer Hair Experiment 2010. Both have decided to grow their respective manes back and I thought you might like to see their progress.
Believe it or not, Drummer Boy's look is starting to grow on me. He looks more adultish (humor me and call it word, 'kay?). I've always thought he was cute, but now he's bordering on handsome. (Funny, for our entire married life I've thought it a little creepy when my mother-in-law expresses her admiration for Kevin's looks. Now I'm falling into the same trap!! YIKES!)
I had a MUCH HARDER TIME getting used to Kevin's look sans moustache. He just wasn't himself and I'd find myself staring at him, longing for my husband back. It only took him two days to decide grow it back. Do you think it had anything to do with the fact that his wife had a tough time kissing a stranger? Am I shallow or what?!
6) A sign Miss Innocent One is due for a name change:
Drummer Boy tells us he's going to spend the night in Lincoln and suddenly I make an exciting revelation.
Me: Hey, that means we have no kids home tonight.
A low mumble comes from my youngest.
Miss Innocent One: Bow chicka wow wow.
Me (to her father): Did you hear what she said?
Kevin: I'm thinking Playa Azul tonight
Me (the woman easily distracted with food): I was thinking the same thing!
Miss Innocent One: Yep. Playa Azul, come home, go to bed, bow chicka wow wow.
Me: Did you hear what she said?
Miss Innocent One: What? You probably will.
Wasn't it just last summer I was stressing about having "the talk" with this girl? Wow. Either she catches on really quick or we've been a little too open with her. Wait. Maybe I can blame it on her siblings' influence. Yowsa.
7) We had a great night catching up with old friends last night (Yes, Nicki and Mark, I'm calling you old. I think this is one fact we fully established last night.). Nicki used to babysit our kids and was part of our first youth group. Now she's married with two kids and making me feel ancient. They've been bugging us for years to venture up to Omaha to visit. She told me this summer she needed to "see if we were still fun." I'm afraid we didn't register too high on the fun-o-meter since we had no opportunities to do floppies and play "what part of Kevin am I slapping," but we thoroughly enjoyed our time with them discussing jobs, churches, kids, vacation spots and good movies. Thanks guys. It was well worth the drive to Omaha!
And now let the weekend begin. Kick back and have some fun reading other Quick Takes at Conversion Diary. Catch you in August!
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I am overwhelmed by God's goodness.
Why do His blessings overflow to this very ordinary human, this imperfect, struggling woman? Who am I to deserve His benevolence? Moving beyond my astonishment, I wonder one thing.
What do His blessings require of me?
Jesus clearly states, "When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required." So what is my responsibility? What does He expect from me in return? How do I respond appropriately to His goodness?
What can we bring to the Lord? What kind of offerings should we give him? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Lord, I recognize Your great goodness to me and I overflow with gratitude. There is no way to repay Your mercy. Enable me to do what is right, to take Your truth and abide by it. Help me see others and love them as You do. May I always recognize my need and dependence on You. If much is required of me, give me the energy, the motivation, the courage to complete Your will. To You alone be the glory.
Photo Credit: prayerfriends
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A familiar sight in my house this summer, this stack of stuff fills my heart with hope. It belongs to my son, the music composition major/percussion minor student. What you see are the tools of his trade--his laptop, a cord for his iPod, his bag of drumsticks and a practice pad for drumming.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Without guilt. Ready to tackle a new day. Excited about his next project. Fielding requests for his time. Building a name and reputation for himself. With a kiss and a skip in his step, he shut the door behind him to face a world of possibilities and opportunities.
Meanwhile, I changed another diaper, read one more picture book, picked up Legos, refereed arguments, loaded the dishwasher, folded towels, wiped up the juice and prayed I'd have a chance to take a shower.
I stared out the window feeling insignificant, wondering what it would be like to have a real life where people appreciated what you did and told you so, where baby fat didn't live around my hips and spit up never rested on my shoulder. I wished for an answer to the question, "What do you do?"
Every morning my husband left, to the world of grown-ups and ideas and respect, while I wondered if I'd ever have the chance.
Just when I thought I didn't have it in me to do it any more, God showed me this.
It requires much more courage to stand and wait and still not lose heart or lose hope, to submit to the will of God, to give up opportunities for work and leave honors to others, and to be quiet, confident, and rejoicing while the busy multitude goes happily along their way.”
from Streams in the Desert
He told me I had courage. He said to take heart, to trust Him above all odds, knowing He has the best plan. He strengthened me for the task at hand.
Are you feeling trapped in your circumstances, forgotten by God, questioning if you are hearing Him right? Take heart, my friend. Nothing is overlooked by our Lord. No work done in His name is in vain. You show great courage by going in every day, trusting His plan. Your obedience to His call shines brightly.
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
What thoughts did this quote spark in you? Share with us by linking up here.
Monday, July 26, 2010
My brother is getting married in a few weeks. On Saturday I attended a shower for his bride and we were supposed to give the happy couple some marital advice. My dear sister-in-law, Jaime (some of you may know her as the Ditchin' the Kitchen girl), and I put the classic love verses in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 in our own words. Here's what we came up with.
LOVE IS PATIENT
Love swallows the snark when finding his garbage all over the house even though you’ve asked him a million times to take care of it himself. It quietly rinses the whiskers out of the sink every morning without ripping his head off. It remembers everyone has a bad day when he seems grouchy.
LOVE IS KIND
He may have the goofiest bed head you’ve ever seen, but it’s probably best not to point and laugh or call the neighbors over to see it. Mowing the lawn so he can catch the Royals game will show love more than a kiss on the cheek.
LOVE DOES NOT ENVY
Love does not wish to slap him when he eats whatever he wants without gaining an ounce. It resists the urge to kick him in bed as he sleeps soundly and you lay awake worrying about the money he spent on his new gun.
LOVE DOES NOT BOAST
There’s no need to announce in your Facebook status how you humiliated him in bowling or remind him every day of your superior golf score. You may think you’re doing well by not saying anything, but be careful not to give off the I know better vibe in your attitude. Men catch it every time.
LOVE IS NOT PROUD
Be willing to say I’m sorry. Admit your mistakes. When we are humble enough to do so, we encourage our husbands to behave likewise. Don’t allow dissension to invade your home just to say you were right. It’s not worth it.
LOVE IS NOT RUDE
Though he’s pushing you to get out the door, love doesn’t take its sweet time to aggravate him as much as he’s aggravating you. Love avoids the “Dutch oven” (farting under the covers and holding his head under) even when he deserves it.
LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING
When filling your days with activities, love stops to consider what he may like or need. It doesn’t worry about being slighted, but takes into account the feelings of the other.
LOVE IS NOT EASILY ANGERED
You may have made it clear what you expect from him, but humans are pros at disappointing each other. He will forget. He will make you wonder if he heard anything you said. Don’t take his actions personally. Don’t believe the lie that he doesn’t care. Remember he is human and makes mistakes just like you.
LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS
Without a doubt, you will hurt each other, but don’t allow that hurt to linger, festering into a sore that is hard to heal. Forgive and forget. Believe he has your best interests at heart. Let each other off the hook and move past it.
LOVE DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL
Though he may not daily praise your cooking, cleaning and laundry skills, taking on the attitude, “I’ll show him, I”ll just quit doing his laundry, cooking and cleaning!” is not an attitude of love. Love does the laundry (even when there’s skid marks in the underwear…) without complaining and without recognition.
LOVE REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH
Admitting you got a speeding ticket, that it is YOUR fault all the fish are dead, or that the baby has a huge bump on his head because you weren’t paying attention (even if the kid is showing the early signs he’s the next Evel Knievel…) build trust because you told the truth. Admitting guilt especially when it is hard, will help both of you grow to trust each other more and more.
LOVE ALWAYS TRUSTS
Assume the best about each other and over time that simple way of thinking helps you look at each other in a positive light all the time.
LOVE ALWAYS HOPES
What is life without hope? Pretty sucky. Life will have moments when it seems hopeless, but turn to God and he will see you through.
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him”
“…we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES
NEVER give up – the two of you will always come out better and stronger when you do not let life’s difficulties break you. This is a fact – it’s going to get worse. But stick with it and it will be better than you could ever imagine!!!
Congratulations, Jeff and Trisha! We're happy for you!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Hey all you blogging babes!
I'm the host of this Tuesday's In "Other" Words meme and would love to see your name linked up. Here's the quote I've selected.
It requires much more courage to stand and wait and still not lose heart or lose hope, to submit to the will of God, to give up opportunities for work and leave honors to others, and to be quiet, confident, and rejoicing while the busy multitude goes happily along their way.”
from Streams in the Desert
Participating is easy. Write your post, come back here on Tuesday and add your name and link to the Linky Tools list. Then visit other participants and see the variety of ideas surrounding this quote.
C'mon. You can do it. It's fun. See you Tuesday!
Friday, July 23, 2010
1) There must be some kind of telemarketing phone fairy teaching operators the proper way to attack customer complaints. I encountered a freaky phenomenon the other day in my adventures of trying to get help from companies with no local phone number. After punching through countless options and hitting a dead end with no desirable option left, I took a chance and pushed zero hoping to get a customer service representative. Glory be, it actually worked.
The woman asked, "How may I help you?" I explained my issue and she came back with, "I would be happy to help you with that."
Great. I'd already spent more minutes on the phone than I wanted communicating with a lifeless voice and my touch pad. I was ready to get this job done, but either I talked too fast or my issue did not appear on her script because at some point she asked, "Now what is the nature of your problem?"
Sigh. I gave her the brief version and she answered AGAIN with, "I would be happy to help you with that." I wanted to scream, "SO DO IT!" but I refrained. I'm good like that.
After MUCH frustration and a little venting on my part (don't worry, I apologized for my impatience), my problem was addressed and I hung up. I picked up the phone to dial a completely different company and navigated through another litany of options. When I finally got the customer service representative I heard, "How may I help you?"
I spelled out my new trouble and got, "I would be happy to help you with that." I'm not kidding. It sounded like the VERY SAME SPIEL, from two unrelated companies.
There must be some phone etiquette fairy or maybe Dr. Phil's making the rounds convincing answering centers of the psychological benefit to pretending like you can solve a problem.
How many of you have heard the exact same words--"I would be happy to help you with that?"
We were excited to hear Drama Queen's name announced along with another kid as the outstanding campers for the percussion clinic. Way to go, Drama Queen! Not bad for a saxophonist turned oboist turned drummer. We're proud of you!
3) Ladies Man has taken to calling he and his siblings "the cubs" and his father and me Papa Bear and Mama Bear. I'd like to blame it on our bear sighting (see #6), but alas, he's been doing it all summer. He says things like, "The Papa Bear is supposed to provide for his cubs" and "It's the Mama Bear's job to support the cubs." Yeah. Oh brother.
We were riding in the van the other day when he said something goofy and I dismissed it, flinging my hand in the air, accidentally hitting him in the head.
Ladies Man: The Mama Bear's not supposed to smack her cubs.
Mama Bear: Every good Mama Bear knows how to backhand her cubs into shape. Watch your step, cubby!
Drummer Boy: Hey Dad, if I buzz my hair, will you shave off your moustache?
You must know that Kevin's been sporting his moustache our entire married life with the exception of a time around his fortieth birthday when a midlife whim caused him to lose it for about a week. Drummer Boy has NEVER had a buzz cut, not even as a small child. His trademark bushy hair is his identifying characteristic.
Kevin: You'd really buzz your hair?
Drummer Boy: If you shaved your moustache.
Kevin: You're on.
Summer weeks drug on with no hair being shed anywhere. Until last weekend. Drummer Boy decided he needed to do the dirty deed BEFORE a Sunday, so his dad had to appear in church moustache-less. Here's the result.
Frankly, I'm not sure it's a great look for either one of them, but I'm not one who handles change well. Kevin's already growing his moustache back and will probably be looking "normal" by the weekend. Drummer Boy's may take a little longer, but he'll certainly stay cooler throughout his three weeks of band camps. He did sunburn his scalp this week, though, a totally new experience. The upside is he finally looks good in a hat which reminds me of a funny comment someone left for him on Facebook--"Do you think your band hat will still fit?"
5) After hearing of my plans to go out with a friend, my sweet husband looked at Miss Innocent One and said, "Since Mom will be gone, would you go out on a date with me Friday night?"
Miss Innocent One giggled and accepted without saying too much (who knew it was possible?), but later she smiled wide telling me, "I'm excited for Friday. I get to go on a date with Dad."
Nice work, honey. Now, when is it MY turn?
6) We ate dinner early last night and had to rush off for another event without cleaning up. I patted Drummer Boy on the way out.
7) Just when he's getting helpful around the house, Drummer Boy will be moving out soon, darn it. We've sure enjoyed having him around this summer and I know I'll mourn his absence again. He's moving into his first apartment, crossing yet another milestone and leaving a weepy mama in his wake. I sure am proud of him though. He's becoming a terrific man (with an aptitude for cleaning hiding under the radar!).
Now before I start a cry fest, we better wrap this up. Read some other Quick Takes at Conversion Diary. Have a great weekend, friends!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Stillness refreshes my soul, prepares me for the deluge that will be today.
In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength. . .
and I understand exactly what He means.
Soon the day will begin
with questions and needs,
laundry and decisions,
a house to tend to,
relationships requiring attention,
e-mails and phone calls,
tasks overwhelming my to do list.
Thinking about it brings anxiety,
but right now, in this quiet moment between God and me,
I hear His gentle voice saying,
Do not fear; I will help you.
If quietness and trust is my strength, I must believe Him
and know that whatever needs to be done today
will be completed with His help.
The Quiet calms,
clears my head,
reminds me I do not press on alone,
provides motivation and courage and a will to muddle on.
Truly my God meets all my needs.
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.
Photo Credit: Claudio.Ar
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I had another bizarre dream early this morning. For some reason I was taken into an interrogation room, except it looked more like a motel room from the sixties or the nurse's room in a school building. I wasn't nervous or scared, especially when my interrogator entered and it was one of the guidance counselors at our local high school (I don't know this woman personally, but she seems very approachable and helpful, so her appearance in my dream wasn't alarming). She asked whether we had a secret room in our house and I remembered a tiny door in our previous home under the basement steps where I used to joke about dead bodies being stored. Thinking that was what she was getting at, I explained. She asked a few other benign questions and then left.
A few minutes later, a different woman entered (what does it mean that she was the woman who took my check at the Board of Public Works yesterday?), and asked about my husband's temper, wanting to know if he ever flew off the handle in the bathroom (you can't make this stuff up, folks). I couldn't think of what she may be referring to and told her so. Then she said that a high school kid named George Jensen had relayed some incident to her. I never heard of George Jensen and had no idea how he'd possibly know anything about my husband and his bathroom habits.
Now I was getting scared. It didn't really matter what I said, these people had already formed their conclusions and backed them up with fictional people named George Jensen. How could I justify myself for some crime I had no idea I'd committed?
The second woman left and the other came back in. Without saying a word she started hooking electrodes onto my upper lip and turned the juice on.
"That. . .hurts," I uttered in shock.
"It hurts?" she said, not looking in my direction.
As the electricity intensified, I got agitated and demanded to know why this was happening. Evil guidance counselor said nothing and worked about in the room, unscathed by my cries, while I writhed in pain on the bed, moaning.
Then my youngest child was brought in, my sweet, loving Miss Innocent One. Seeing her mother sobbing brought her own tears, intensifying my pain. She ran from the room terribly upset.
(Are you breathing heavy yet like me? Isn't this horrible?)
Finally I was unhooked from the machine, again with no explanation, and ran to find my daughter to assure her I was okay. I didn't find her, but ran into a friend who apparently brought her there. My friend could care less about what I'd gone through, but only wanted to get rid of my daughter so she could go about her business.
About this time my alarm rang. Hallelujah. This is one day I was glad for morning to arrive!
I have no idea what all this is about, but in my attempt to find a way tweak a blog post from it, I thought about Jesus before the high priest and Pilate. Surely the Son of God didn't feel as helpless as I did, did He? Yet, just like in my dream, it didn't matter what he said, his accusers, the Pharisees who should have recognized who He was, were going to make sure He looked bad. So Jesus said very little, offered no explanation, knowing it was pointless. He didn't try to justify Himself.
He trusted His Father.
Therein is the lesson.
I've confessed here before my problem with wanting to please people. I can't possibly explain my every action to others. There will be times my behavior will be misinterpreted, giving some an impression of me I don't want to give. While the little girl people pleaser inside of me wants to scream for justification, Jesus says one thing.
Trust the Father.
He will handle the accusations, the wrong impressions, the disdain from others.
Trust the Father and live.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I loved snow days as a kid. Mom got out varieties of beans and noodles and rice and showed us how to make collages by gluing the mixed shapes to construction paper. We'd make play dough and mold to our heart's content. We'd fold paper into layers then cut out paper dolls. And of course, we'd go outside to sled down terraced fields and make snow men, coming back in for real hot chocolate with whipped cream on top.
My mom knew how to transform what could have been a dreary, boring day into wonderful memories, overlooking the gluey mess on the kitchen table or play dough smashed into the carpet or dirty floors from melted snow. In the process she instilled a sense of value in us.
“I would define ‘hidden art’ as the art found in the ordinary areas of everyday life. Each person has, I believe, some talent which is unfulfilled in some hidden area of his being – a talent which could be expressed and developed.”
By Edith Schaeffer
The Hidden Art of Homemaking
My mom would not consider herself talented, yet her expertise in knowing how to make young people feel esteemed hides in the satisfied faces of her children and now her grandchildren.
Every week she was physically able, my grandmother baked cinnamon rolls, kolaches and rollicks. For the last nine years of her life, she did it while leaning against a counter on one leg because of an amputation. She would think it no big deal, just something she did to pass the time, but her special treats are pretty hard to duplicate. Even a short visit to Grandma's included her delicacies, giving her visitors a reason to linger, to sit a while and catch their breath from a busy day.
Grandma never thought herself anything special, but the warmth of her steady presence in the form of baked goods gave her family an anchor, no small feat in our transient society.
My father-in-law can fix about anything and does so without making any fuss over it, sometimes without even telling you he did it. Providing the knowledge and labor on countless projects saved his family thousands and thousands of dollars.
He'd be quick to point out how it isn't perfect, how he's not a professional, but his aptitude and willingness to give of himself teaches his family the value of a servant's heart. His knack for modeling quiet strength and perseverance brings respect.
My mother, my grandmother, my father-in-law--each offer themselves sacrificially, without recognition, for the benefit of someone else. Their names may not appear in history books, but their legacy of love trickles through generations. They may not be known by millions, but their hidden talents are certainly not overlooked by God.
They remind me the importance of blooming where I am planted, of making my unique mark in my own little world. God has equipped each of us. No talent is too small to be used by Him.
Visit Nina at Mama's Little Treasures for more thoughts on this quote.
Friday, July 16, 2010
1) Oh. My. Goodness. The summer fun continues. This week we took a quick trip to the Rocky Mountains. We've had a TOTAL BLAST, soaking in nature around our cabin and in Rocky Mountain National Park. The kids found walking sticks our first night there.
So much to explore.
And snow too!
2) While our fellow Nebraskans were experiencing high temps and humidity, we inhaled clean, cool mountain air, experiencing perfect temperatures in the seventies.
3) We were delighted my Mom came along for the trip.
People say I look like her. What do you think?
4) One of the most enjoyable things for me this summer has been watching Drummer Boy and Ladies Man having fun together. Being five years apart, they haven't always been best buddies, but this summer they're really yucking it up together. These pictures say it all.
5) We had a GREAT time horseback riding on rocky mountain trails.
Those of you who know my fondness of seeing my husband in cowboy boots (which NEVER happens, darn it!), will love this next photo. We were required to wear them on the ride, so we had to take a Boesiger Boot picture.
6) An exciting event rounded out our time when Drama Queen, Ladies Man and I headed out to trek up the mountain near our cabin. The two of them had gone up the same place the night before, leaving their initials in a tree near the top. Wanting to show me and add my initials we started across the creek when Drama Queen spotted not one, but TWO BEARS! Luckily we had the camera with us. The second bear is the shadow in the trees to the left of the visible one.
Talk about AWESOME! It was slightly disturbing to think Drama Queen and Ladies Man had been in the very spot the night before. We tried some rock climbing in another place, but were somewhat spooked about what we might encounter after that. Still, we found the sighting completely thrilling.
7) Sadly, we're coming home today and life will have to get in serious gear again because of all our playing of the last few weeks, but I'm so thankful for the time we've had. I suppose I get more wistful than I should, thinking about the future and how as our kids grow these opportunities will become more and more scarce. You better believe I don't want to miss any chance to hang like this as a family.
I hope you're all finding some fun in your summer too. Get a start by taking in some other Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
More play days necessitate more reruns. This post originally appeared July 31, 2006.
My husband and I spent the last weekend by ourselves. With our older kids on a missions trip and our younger kids at my mom's, we enjoyed a few days of uninterrupted conversations, thinking only of our own agenda. No bickering, no noise, no spontaneous hoots or smacks on table (you've really got to stop that, Drummer Boy!), no cooking, no laundry, no concern about time. We slept VERY late, ate WAY too much and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
But here's the funny thing. I missed my kids. I missed the way Miss Innocent One pats my back when she walks by me on the computer. I missed Drama Queen's knowing glances, catching the drift of what's REALLY going on. I missed Drummer Boy's goofy, "Hey, Mom!" and Ladies Man's shy way of sneaking up for a hug. It seems not a week goes by where I don't long for more time to myself and more quiet, yet when I get it, I see it is overrated. Life is not greener on the other side. My kids aren't hampering my style, they are enriching it.
Does wishing for something different make us miss the blessings of TODAY? Getting the quiet I so longed for this weekend was bittersweet. I slept better, but I missed a lot of hugs and Miss Innocent One's gentle kisses. It was nice having to get only myself ready and out the door for church, but I felt old sitting there without any kids. My house may have been quiet, but it didn't have the life it normally has. So today, when things get tense at my house I'm going to look for the blessings, look for what I would miss wishing for something different.
What would you miss out on if you wished for something different?
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
More play days necessitate more reruns. This post originally appeared October 21, 2008.
Woman A notices Woman B's workout routine is starting to pay off, catches sight of her own hips in the window and grimaces. Woman B wishes she had hair like Woman C, who wonders how Woman A got her teeth so white.
Woman X offers Woman Y a breath mint. Woman Y immediately starts analyzing whether she needs it or not while Woman X hopes being polite does not expose her own halitosis.
Woman D becomes paranoid as Woman E keeps staring at her waist, certain she notices her PMS bloating. Woman E envies Woman D's belt.
Woman R sighs as she steps away from the sink, thinking her hair looks bad. Woman S frowns at her reflection, silently bemoaning the new wrinkles she sees. Woman T enters the bathroom, smiles at them both, secretly wishing she was as together as they are.
Woman L is self-conscious of the zit on her chin as she talks with Woman M who is embarrassed her earrings don't match her shirt.
Woman F wishes she were as thin as Woman G. Woman G longs for a chest like Woman H. Woman H wants to be as young as Woman I. Woman I yearns for pretty eyes like Woman F.
Eyes roam. Comparisons abound. Satan laughs.
What is a woman to do?
Photo Credit: I wish i was the Royal Trux
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
More play days necessitate more reruns. This post originally appeared November 5, 2007.
Even though I think it an important, Biblical concept, the word makes my eyes roll back in my head. It causes me to picture a giant with his thumb on my head, smashing me to the ground, all the while chuckling, "Heh, heh, heh." That's not MY husband and honestly, I'm not sure I know any husbands like that. Isn't there a less volatile word we could use?
I submit for your consideration (pun completely intended) one word: TRUST.
My computer's dictionary defines trust as "firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something".
I can already see my husband standing taller.
Now I know it can be hard to submit to a guy you see in his underwear every day, but can you TRUST him? Can you trust that the man who comes home to you each day, the man who has CHOSEN to share his life with you, the man whose own body warms you to sleep every night, has your best interests at heart? Can you love him enough to believe in him? He may not even think he has it in him, but if you do, he'll want to try harder. And when life tears him down and he needs a boost, he'll come running home to refill.
I must admit this hasn't (and doesn't) always come easy for me. In the early years of our marriage I "submitted" to my husband by thinking I knew more than he did without telling him. I was very quiet and gentle in my "suggestions", yet he saw right through it. He sensed my distrustful attitude. And it made him feel he didn't quite measure up. There's something very sad about that. The world is tough enough without feeling like a failure at home too. I love him too much to do that to him any more. I mess up quite a bit and when I can't let go of doing things my way I have to remind myself this attitude says to him, "I know better. You can't handle this. I don't trust you." That isn't fair. He works very hard to make me happy. I want to do the same for him. I want him to find his home truly HIS, a place where he can be loved and accepted and respected and TRUSTED. Providing such a place may mean sacrificing what I want, but doing that over and over makes him work just as hard to please me.
My husband says submission would not be an issue for women if men truly loved their wives and served them like the Bible teaches and I think he's right (See, men DO have good ideas!). My husband loves me by helping me and listening to me, valuing my opinion and making me a priority. He makes me want to love him more and I do so by trusting him. It's no easy task on anyone's part, but it produces a cyclical effect that strengthens a marriage and provides great security.
It doesn't have to be a dirty word. It is not holding women down. It is building men up. And when men are strengthened, they carry us up with them.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Yes, it's Marriage Monday, a little late this month due to the holiday (and I must thank e-Mom for the call on that--I NEVER would have gotten a post done on July 5th--thank you!). I have to admit I had a tough time choosing a title from the options given to us:
• Long-Distance Grand-parenting: What Works for Us
• The Wisdom of Our Elders is Welcome (in Small Doses)
• Tips for Caring for Aging Parents
• In-Laws & Outlaws: My Story of Forgiveness
We live close to our parents and our kids have grown up with their grandparents. Our parents have never been ones to dish out advice, but graciously give us space to figure things out on our own, while being available if we have questions. I wouldn't consider them "aging" or in need of our care. In fact, yesterday at church someone guessed my mom was ten years younger than she is. And I can't say we've had any huge conflicts or hard feelings with them to warrant a story on forgiveness.
As I considered how to incorporate one of these topics into my experience, I realized I have learned the most, benefited from our parents' wisdom purely by their example.
My mother is simply wonderful. She models giving of herself to others more than anyone I know. Last week, for instance, Drama Queen and three of her friends attended a camp in the town where she lives. In order to save money on dorm fees, Drama Queen asked Mom if they could stay with her for the week. Mom didn't bat an eye and even fed them each evening though she worked all day. She gave four teenagers free reign of her house and remarked about how she enjoyed them. She houses people often, even some she hardly knows and makes them feel at home. She makes my kids feel "spoiled" (their word not mine) and shows me regularly how being available honors others. She never ceases to teach me how to be a mother by her quiet example. When I question how to handle ever-changing parenting dilemmas, I ask myself, "What would Mom do?" (or I just ask her!) Thank you, Mom. You are da bomb!
My dad (now deceased) taught me not to worry about money where people are concerned. He loved spending time with friends and family and unlike me, never worried about paying for someone's meal or picking up the tab for many. He loved going out to eat and even when we were children told us to order whatever we wanted. Can you believe he'd let four kids order crab legs? If my kids did that, I'd be tallying up the bill in my head having a panic attack! But I remember feeling he thought I was worth crab legs. Man, I need to keep that in mind! He was close to his extended family and taught me the blessing of spending time with relatives. And I learned from him how a sense of humor lightens any load.
My mother-in-law has shown me how to honor my husband. My father-in-law is quite the handyman and has done TONS of work both in their house and ours. I get a kick at the way my dear mother-in-law points out to others what he's done. "Didn't he do a good job? Doesn't that look nice?" She's so proud. Nearly two years ago my father-in-law suffered a terrible fall which left him in the hospital for seven weeks and required MONTHS of rehabilitation. She was the rock that kept him going, at his side every day, getting involved in the lives of his nurses and therapists. She loves her man and does a fantastic job showing it. She rarely utters any complaint or negativity about him, but talks him up wherever she goes.
My father-in-law is an absolute gem. A hug and his cock-eyed smile make me all googly inside. He knows how to make women feel valued. He is a picture of quiet strength, a guy who serves others and works hard without ever tooting his own horn. Whenever my in-laws stay with our kids for a few days, he tells me to leave a list of fix-it projects and tackles them while we're gone. Sometimes he even finds things that aren't on the list! When Kevin and I were gone in May, he laid a sub-floor in a room we're working on in the attic, even though since his accident he needs to use a cane! I have no idea how he moved around big sheets of plywood on his own, but he's not one to complain and just figures it out. He didn't even tell us he did it--guess who spilled the beans?!
We are enormously blessed by our parents. They dispense their wisdom in their actions. They make themselves freely available to us and are an active, steady, welcome presence in our lives and those of our children. Our little world is better having them in it. They have laid a great foundation for us and generations to come. I pray I continue building on the fantastic legacy they've left us.
Be sure to hop over to Chrysalis to read more Marriage Monday posts.
Friday, July 09, 2010
1) Look out folks! This chicky's finally found her summer groove. I've had SO MUCH FUN in the last week and half (when I'm not stressing at night over everything I'm NOT getting done!). Ah, this is what summer is supposed to be. Next week we'll have a little more fun and then back to the daily grind.
2) A trip to the Ozarks last week with GREAT friends started my slide into summer. Six adults and ten kids made for lots of commotion, but good times.
Now there's a boatload of kids--literally (Good one, Anessa!) and we were missing our college-aged ones. It's tough to grow up and have to work.
The guys--don't they look studly?
And of course, the girls. Bow chicka wow wow.
Thank you Mark and Rachelle! It was an awesome time!
3) Don't think time spent at the lake is all for the kids. The adults know how to have fun too. Catch this tubing adventure.
I wish I had video of this so you could see how the guys feet bob up and down while they're riding. It's so funny. But anyway, do you see how the guys are trying to pester the girls, grabbing at their tube? They managed to get them dunked.
The girls get back on and recover while the guys try to play it cool.
What? What did we do? I'm not buying it boys. I witnessed the whole thing.
4) After getting back from the Ozarks late Saturday night, we jumped back in the van on Sunday and drove three hours to spend the Fourth at my sister's house. We ended up leaving Ladies Man there to chill with his cousins and brought home my niece to hang with Miss Innocent One. I told my sister she got the bad end of this deal. Her boys are 19, 15 and 14 and she added Ladies Man to her mix. Meanwhile, I got a sweet 9 year-old, Drama Queen is gone to band camp and Drummer Boy is working all week. You know how easy it is to hang out with two cutie patooties? We're having a great time.
5) More sparring adventures between Drama Queen and her daddy.
6) We had great fun yesterday afternoon when my sister-in-law joined us at the waterpark. It was tough to get the kids to stop long enough for a picture.
Let me interpret this for you. My niece Sweet Cheeks and Spiderman's little brother are thinking, "HELLO, WHY ARE WE TAKING A PICTURE WHEN THE SAFETY CHECK IS OVER?!" My little nephews couldn't get enough of the purple slide. We'd barely get out of the water before they were saying, "Let's do it again!" Look at their smiling faces. (Nice job catching us in the act, Miss Innocent One!)
When I asked their mom how many times we'd have to take them down before they'd quit asking, she said, "Try a hundred!" It was a hoot to see them get so excited.
Ha! You see how unfazed I am with his antics? You gotta love the guy. I know I do.
And that's a wrap this fine summer-is-oh-so-good Friday. Find some more laughs by checking out other Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.