Monday, October 14, 2013

I will follow

I always want to be good. For what I do to be right.

I want for the kind of mom I am to be the right kind. I want my efforts as a wife to be good, to be the kind I should be aiming for. I want our family to be right - not perfect, but right. Just as it should be. I want the friendships and relationships in my life to be right, too. I always want to do what's right, and often I am aware of my weak areas and willing, even striving, to change to move from wrongness into rightness. But there are times when what I really want, if I'm honest with myself, is to hear that what I am doing, what I want to do, what I am comfortable doing, is right - which in turn means I do not want to hear that what I am doing is wrong.

I want my faith to be right, too. I want to believe that the kind of Christian, or Christ follower, or believer, or whatever you want to call it, is the right kind. Because, you know, there really are all kinds.

But I guess sometimes, God has to bring it all crashing down to remind me that there is no right parent. There is no right friend. There is no right wife. And there is no right faith.

None of it. I can't be right, not really. Not the way I want to be. The way I strive to be.

But then He ever so tenderly reminds me that it's ok. I don't have to be right. I don't have to be good enough.

Because He is.

He is right, always. He is enough, always. He is perfect, always.

It's hard though, being reminded that I'm really and truly not all that.
It's humbling to have to ask for forgiveness, to admit I was wrong. Again.
But it's good, too. It takes the pressure off.

I don't have to be the perfect parent, because He is, and He loves my children more than I do - and He can walk them down their paths so much better than I could ever dream of.

I don't have to be the perfect wife, because He will guide and bless our marriage as He sees fit. And He knows oh so much better than I do what kind of marriage we should have.

I don't have to be the perfect friend, because through my mistakes and my weaknesses He will sharpen my friends, and through theirs He will sharpen me.

And I don't have to have a perfect faith. Because as small, as weak, as broken, as misguided as my faith often is, it is all I can give. And that is all He asks, that I give my all. And no matter how small or weak or wrong I am, He is big, and He is strong, and He is right.

And though I have no idea how to love perfectly, He does. And in His perfect love, He sees me and He loves me, and he patiently waits for me to get back up, dust myself off, and scoot out of the driver's seat I am constantly trying to steal from Him. He waits for me to look to Him again, to see the love in His eyes. He reminds me that He has me, all of us, in His hands. And then He leads me, gently yet firmly, right where He needs me to go.

And so I will follow. And I will trust in His goodness, and in His perfection, and in His will - and try yet again to let go of attaining those things myself.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A little catching up to do...

Wow.  I haven't written a post in near six months!  Guess I got a little side tracked...

Things have been busy.  Life has been full.  Most of the fullness has been good, joy-filled fullness.  But there have definitely been some plain old "You've got your hands full" kind of moments as well. With my Lellybug and Sweet Pea just 13 months (and ten days, but who's counting?) apart, we seem to be hitting the twin toddler stage... and I think they are both hitting the terrible twos at the same time.  Lellybug seems a little late, and Sweet Pea is just a little precocious and advanced, so they are both starting the fit throwing, defiant two year old stuff at the exact same time.

And they've been piggyback napping for what seems like an eternity, so I never seem able to sneak in a few minutes without one toddler or another (or both at the same time...) needing me.

And she's getting her eye teeth, and he's getting his two year molars.

And neither one is really able to listen and obey well just yet.

And both can talk to some extent, but both seem as though they'd rather resort straight to screaming.

And they feed off each other.  A lot.

Much of the time it's just plain old funny.  Some of the time it's just plain old loud.  And occasionally it's just plain old hard to smile through. ;o)

So that is a big part of why I've been absent from here.  And part of it is just that my life is full, in a good way.  I really am spending most of my time with my family, and not on the computer - and enjoying my time so much more that way! And that is a really good thing, so I don't feel bad about it.

But I do enjoy posting things, and I'd love to get back to it on a regular basis at some point.

But as we just started our school year yesterday, with two toddlers, a preschooler, a kindergartner, a third grader and a fifth grader, I'm not so sure this is the season in which I'll be finding lots of free time to keep up here!

But life is good, God is good, and I'm already so much happier on the school schedule than I was on the "freedom" of our summer days.  And the kids are too.  I always know we will be, but it's still so hard to give up that free summer feeling.  Maybe one of these years I'll be able to move into a more consistent year round routine, but for now this is the way we do it.

The kids are great.  Punky is 10 now, and decided he wanted to be baptized this summer!  It was amazing to watch as he took that step in his life.  I am so proud of him, and so happy.  He is his own person, and I am reminded of that more and more each day.  When did I become the mother of a Young Man?  Wasn't he just a baby?  Isn't he still a little boy?  And yet each day seems to bring new changes, physically and emotionally, to my sweet boy.  He's on the cusp of so many things.  He is still so much a boy, but the things of his younger days aren't quite as satisfying as they once were.  He feels a pull to the adult world, but he's not really ready for that yet either.  So we walk, and we talk, and we pray, and I teach him and encourage him to pray on his own and seek God's wisdom, guidance and strength.  But it's hard.  It's hard to let go when I want to hold on.  And it's hard to hold him back when he wants to go forward.  I am just so thankful God gave me that boy as my trial run.  He's so loving, and so forgiving.  I do love that crazy boy.  And I am enjoying the ride, no matter how new and uncharted the territory may be.

Finny is 8 and thriving.  I still see glimpses now and then of his Sensory Processing issues, but they are getting fewer and further between, and milder when they do pop up.  For the most part he is a delightful, confident, healthy boy who adores his baby brother and sister and always brings a smile into the room with him. I truly enjoy time with him and I praise God that Finny seems to be feeling good in his own skin.  He really seems to have come to a great place, and seems to be finding a strength and a quiet resolve that I often wondered if he'd ever find.

Goose is 6, and as happy and sweet as ever.  He has some struggles, mostly with processing and some motor skills, but he is so bright, so imaginative, so engaging.  We are starting down the path of evaluating and testing him, looking for answers, or a diagnosis, or whatever we can find, but I'm not as worried this time as I was when we first starting asking questions with Finny.  Part of it is that my faith is stronger and I am more able to see God's hand in everything and to trust that He made Goose the way he is for a purpose and with a plan.  And part of it is because of seeing Finny come through the other side so well.  And part of it too is that he is happy, and it's not as hard on him as Finny's struggles were for him.  There is something in common there, but it's all definitely different.  So I'll see if I can keep up on that here as we walk down that road.

Girly Pie is 4, and sweet, happy, sunshiny and delightful.  I've never done this whole girl thing before - so each day is so new and surprising with her.  She really is such a sweet young lady, always concerned with those around her, loving on her younger siblings, mimicking my every motherly move with her baby dolls, and killing trees daily through her use of art paper for her constant coloring and drawing! She adores her big brother Goose and I love watching their relationship grow and blossom.  She has such a sweet, tender heart.  I just love that girl.  She is a blessing to us all, and I enjoy being her mother more with each day that passes.

Lellybug is two and a half - and though two year old boys are normally my weak spot, this guy is all kinds of trouble.  Really, I have always adored two year olds, and always kind of wondered what was the big deal with the whole "terrible twos" stereotype.  But then Lellybug hit his current stage, and suddenly it all became clear.  NOW I get it. ;o)  I adore him to pieces, and I know his independent nature, his strong will, his intelligence and his self sufficiency will all be blessings to him, and us, when he is grown.  But they are definitely challenging characteristics to work with in a toddler.  But when he's not throwing all his heart and energy into asserting himself and defying us, he really is a delightful little boy.  He's so imaginative and clever.  He says the cutest things has a crazy sense of humor for such a little guy.  He ADORES his sister Sweet Pea.  He is never far from her and always thinks of her.  If he sets a play table in the back yard, he always sets it for two, so she can join him.  If he gets a snack, he makes sure she gets some too.  When we eat dinner, he absolutely must sit right next to her so he can interact with her the entire time.  Those two are completely inseparable.  And he is quite the ringleader.

As for my darling baby Sweet Pea, she is still as darling as ever.  When she wants to be.  But with a nasty habit of starting her day at 4:45am, and grumpily at that, and not napping enough in the day, and working on her last four baby teeth (the eye teeth, and I don't know about you but for all of mine those have been the worst of all the teeth!) she is definitely becoming a bit of a challenge at times.  She's got so much sweetness and charm under it all, I just know it.  But since she can't speak as well as she would clearly like to, I think a lot of it just comes down to frustration.  Couple that with the teething and the sleep issues, and she definitely has a lot of rough days where the smiles and happy moments are few and far between.  Oh, but when she's happy, what a delight she is!  So many sweet things to say.  Such sweet hugs and caresses.  Such a passionate love for her Lellybug and her Momma and Daddy. Curious, expressive, interested... it's all there.  Poor girl just needs some real sleep, some relief from teething and a full conversational vocabulary.  Then, she'll be golden! ;o)

So that is my crew in a nutshell.

The school days are good, with lots of time spent pouring into my little guys as well as time spent enjoying and learning fun new stuff with my bigger crew.  I love when a day leaves you wanting for more.  Yes, I do a lot in a day.  But sometimes I just wish I had more time so I could do more of all of it and not miss a thing!

And SO much life has happened since I last wrote.  Birthdays were had, spring was sprung, summer brought lots of sun and adventure and popsicles.  We went on a family camping trip (and don't plan to again until the toddlers are not toddlers anymore... Daddy can just take the big kids again for the foreseeable future! LOL!) and a family vacation (that one was way more fun - running water, separate bedrooms, that's what happy vacations with toddlers are made of!)  and so many other great moments in life were lived.  But somehow I doubt I'll ever get around to recording them here.

And when I think about the reason for that being the fact that I'm too busy living those moments to the fullest, I guess it's really OK that I didn't get to write them all down. ;o)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lest We Forget

I got an email yesterday from Rod & Staff - a curriculum I use here and there, mostly for my pre-Kers. It was in part a reminder of a sale they have going on, but with it came a little poem that I wanted to post here to remember. I was not a little girl who had big dreams of career rand riches. I really and truly did always dream of a home and a family to call my own. But this poem still touched my heart. ;o)

“Lest We Forget”

She came tonight as I sat alone,
The girl I used to be...
And she gazed at me with her earnest eye
And questioned reproachfully:
Have you forgotten the many plans
And hopes that I had for you?
The great career, the splendid fame,
All the wonderful things to do?
Where is the mansion of stately height
With all of its gardens rare?
The silken robes that I dreamed for you
And the jewels in your hair?

And as she spoke, I was very sad
For I wanted her pleased with me...
This slender girl from the shadowy past,
The girl that I used to be.

So gently rising, I took her hand,
And guided her up the stair,
Where peacefully sleeping, my babies lay
Innocent, sweet, and fair.
And I told her that these are my only gems,
And precious they are to me;
That silken robe is my motherhood
Of costly simplicity.
And my mansion of stately height is love,
And the only career I know
Is serving each day in these sheltered walls
For the dear ones who come and go.

And as I spoke to my shadowy guest,
She smiled through her tears at me.
And I saw that the woman that I am now
Pleased the girl that I used to be.
—Author Unknown

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Catching up...

So since I last posted about Finny's 8th birthday in January, we have had three birthdays around here.

On February 6th, Mr. Lellybug turned two. He wanted frogs so he got frogs. He loved them! We had a small family birthday and thoroughly enjoyed our sweet two year old boy. Punky, Finny and Goose all had a fine time helping me to set up his birthday gift display - a blue blanket "pond" complete with stuffed frogs and paper lily pads for his gifts. We went to the mall and he picked out his very own Build a Bear - a two year old tradition around here. Then we went out to dinner and the nice folks at Red Robin brought him an ice cream and sang to him. I love that after the song he tried to start up a conversation with one of the wait staff - a very friendly man who tried hard but still had NO idea what my sweet boy was trying to say to him. ;o)

On February 18th, our big boy Punky turned ten. 10. Yes - a whole decade of life! I could write a number of posts on how that feels as a Momma - but I'll spare you all that philosophical navel gazing. But to celebrate his big day - he had his first sleepover birthday party. He invited his two best friends and his other two best friends (meaning his brothers Finny (8) and Goose(5) as well as his two favorite age mates - Logan whom he's known since Logan was crawling and Punky was a sturdy 13 month old toddler, and L.C. who is a newer friend but dear to Punky's heart) and we went with a camping theme. I had so much fun setting up the party! S'mores, some survival skills training with their Daddy, a tent in the living room, a scavenger hunt in the rainy NW woods with their Daddy and one of the friend's Dads... it was all a ten year old boy could ever dream of and more. It was a great birthday, and he deserves it. We are blessed with one wonderful firstborn son! Of course we need to celebrate him big!

And just the other day, on March 16th, our sweet little Sweet Pea turned one year old. My baby is now a whole year old. I'm still in shock. But we had a wonderful birthday weekend. On Friday we just had a simple family day - she opened her two gifts, played with them and her siblings all day, and enjoyed her first whole cupcake that evening after our family pizza and movie night. It was a lovely day to reminisce and enjoy our sweet girl. All the children loved celebrating her and she clearly knew it was HER day.

In our family, we don't do too many big birthday parties, but we always do a big first birthday party. It was no different for this Sweet Pea of ours. We invited three families dear to our hearts whom we know and love and who have been with us and supporting us and loving Sweet Pea right along with us for her whole little life. I decided on a daisy and ladybug theme and had SO much fun planning for it and decorating for it! I got pretty paper for banners, cute stickers, lots of flowers, some cute daisy soaps for the sinks and party favors, and I even bought a hand made ladybug and daisy dress form Etsy. Very fun stuff! We really enjoyed having our friends over, and Sweet Pea was so happy to watch the action, having no idea all the fuss was over her own sweet self. ;o) I must say it touched my heart to have her hanging around me all afternoon - she wanted to be right near me, checking in and touching base the whole time our guests were here.

My sweet girl. I love that little blessing. And I love that she loves me as much as she does. What a gift!

So that is the end of our winter birthday blast. My hubby has the first spring birthday of the family, in 10 days. Then comes Girly Pie - but not until early May. Then Goose and I have the summer birthdays. So that gives me some time to rev up for more bday fun. We don't do big birthdays every year for everyone - but for some reason this year is lining up for a lot of big ones. A ten year old sleep over, an eight year old Big Day Out with Daddy, a big 1st birthday, and Girly Pie will be four - and in our house that is the first (and only, so far) "real" party, with friends over and games and real party-ish stuff like that. So I will have more fun stuff to plan pretty soon! At least Goose and Lellybug have less intense birthdays this year - so their days are smaller and simpler - more family focused. It is good to have both kinds, though. And I am just so blessed to have so much to celebrate every year!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy (belated) 8th Birthday Finny!

My sweet Finny is 8 now.

Not quite sure how it can possibly have been that long since I held him in my arms for the first time. How can you remember such a moment so clearly no matter how long ago it happened?

Each birthday that I celebrate with each of my children I find myself resolving to cherish each moment even more. I want to really be present for every.single.second.

Otherwise, I really will blink, and one day, it will all be over...

Delightful, curious, creative, artistic, loving, brave, determined, handsome, capable, confident, humble... Finny is all these things and more.

Happy birthday a day late, Sweet One. I was just a little too busy making your big day wonderful yesterday to post your birthday note on your actual birthday - a trade off I think was wise to make. I love you. Thank you for more memories in 8 years than I ever dreamed possible when I first held you. And I can only imagine what will come in the years ahead.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

True Love

Here is Punky, looking lovingly at his beloved new pets. I do so love the caretaking nature that having pets brings out in a child. Can you tell he's smitten?

Welcome home, Lewis and Clark.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Nine months...

Sweet Pea is nine months old today.

Every month marker is shocking to me, so I'm not sure nine months feels any more shocking than eight or seven or four or two months felt... each month comes with such dizzying speed I just can't quite catch my breath.

But nine months does sound big for my newborn baby girl. ;o) Sure she has a couple of teeth, can crawl and pull up to stand, and is starting to say "Mama." But she's just a very advanced newborn.

How can time go by so crazy fast? How can my baby be nine months, three-quarters of a year old?

How can I be the mother of six children - my oldest rounding towards the decade mark?

But there it is. She is nine months old. He is turning ten. The days do keep whizzing by.

And I just want to savor every second of it and treasure it up in my heart. Because I know that in the blink of an eye it will all be behind me, and nine months will be a lifetime ago and my babies will have their own babies, and I won't be the Mommy any more.

So I am cherishing. I am basking. I am enjoying each day. And it's a good thing... because there is so very much to enjoy each day.