Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts

Monday, June 30, 2014

You're Mean, Mom

You're mean...(pause), Mom.

I have been pondering over what to write about these girls. I wanted to share their new pictures, but I figured I had to say at least something. And I've been thinking over what it means to have daughters, to be a daughter and finally to be a daughter of God. Thinking I could in some way end this post with some grand inspirational challenge to myself or to the world wide web.

Instead, Leila comes in my room and out of nowhere says "You're mean...(pause), Mom.
What on earth? 

This happened right after Jada came in and asked me to tickle her edge of her thumb. She didn't so much ask as she just stuck it in front of my face, but I knew what she wanted. (She ripped her thumb nail and it hurts so she has been asking me to tickle it.)

So this is what being a mom is all about? Thumb tickling and being told your mean for no reason.
Good times.

This past weekend a few friends and I were sitting at the park with my mom, feeding off her wisdom. 
I love my mom. She is hilarious. And it's usually on accident. She was raised on an indian reservation and she talks very "up northy." She pronounces things funny sometimes,  says things that come out wrong and sort of blunt,  but it's hilarious and does things like wears two shoes from two separate pairs in a shoe store... on accident.

Ok, that shoe thing happened before I was born, but it's a good example of the kind of things that make us kids laugh all the time. If I gave a recent example,I would probably be the 38 year daughter getting scolded.

I'm convinced parents never stop instructing and redirecting their kids no matter how old they are.
And it should be that way. To some degree. Because they are always making efforts to help them in every other area of life.

Anyways, so my friends, mom and I are at the park just talking and we are kind of in a circle around my mom and she is just simply being "Mom" and giving her input. She cuts to the chase when she is talking and out of her mouth comes a fountain of profound wisdom. I'm so glad I'm not even joking. My mom and I are different in the way we present our thoughts, I guess. But I value her advice and wisdom so much because I know it comes from a place of sound experience and intimate prayer and time spent with God.

And I know that I want my daughters (and sons) to think the same way of me. I'm not just the mean mom who is good for tickling thumbs, but I am the mother they can laugh with (and laugh at), learn from and lean on when they need me, no matter how old they are.

My sister was laughing so hard when she noticed how we were all sitting around her gleaning from her vast river of knowledge and insight. But it's so not taken for granted. I hope she knows that.

I'm watching Jada quickly approach her pre-teen years and it shows in her attitude (not to mention Wesley) and I listen to them and I remember myself at that age. I remember how sassy I was. How disrespectful I was. I was obedient, but had a sassy mouth. Standing on the outside, sitting on the inside I guess you could say. But when I hear my kids talk to me, it makes me nervous some days, because I think back to my relationship with my mom when I was a teenager and I think "Oh brother, they sound just like me..."

I never ever want to hear my kids tell me I'm a mean mom or they hate me.
It's not cute now...and it definitely won't be cute when they are teenagers.

Before I had kids, there was a big part of me that hesitated on even having them simply because I remembered how horrible I was and I see what my parents had to deal with as us kids were all going through our stages of life. It scared me. I didn't want my feelings hurt by my own children, nor did I want the responsibility of making sure they turned out happy and successful once they were grown.

Let's face it, that is a HUGE undertaking. One I am learning now.
And I hope I am doing it right.
What if I'm not?

I am here for my kids. My life is a service to my family. That is who God made me to be. But in return, for the most part, they are adoring me. And I treasure it. They want me, want to be with me, want to sit in my bed with me while I type, want to go to the store with me, want me to snuggle them,  want me to lay with them until they fall asleep. They adore me. And I'm glad they do. Because I adore them.

As much as I love these girls adoring me now and hanging on my every word (even when I'm not talking to them)... my ultimate goal is for them to love and respect me enough to continue to listen to me and adore me when they are grown women. I want to be to them, who my mom is to me. So in turn, they look at my life and the example I set...and want to be that person in their own families.
Does that make sense?

Maybe we will go through some rough spots. Maybe they will sass me now or think they know it all when they are teenagers. But when they become young adult women (and young men) I want them to be able to come to me without being scared. I want them to know I pray for them. I want them to be able ask me things confident I have their best interest at heart. I want them to see me putting God first. I want to set the example of who they want to be like.

That is what I want for my daughters.
They sure are cute now. All my kids are.
And my sister can make them look like little rockstars. And I love it.
But I want them to be happy. Really happy. Temporary happy is fun. And it's fun to surprise my kids with things they want. But as all us grown ups know, what we value now is quite different than what we thought was important as kids.

Photos taken by Joanna Photography.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Introducing Wyatt Cash~ a little earlier than expected...

If you aren't following me on instagram, it's very possible that you haven't heard our happy news...
Two weeks ago, Wyatt Cash was unexpectedly, but lovingly welcomed into our family.
We are now a family of SIX! I can hardly believe it.
Talk about a tired mama!

Wyatt's actual due date was June 8th, but he was scheduled to be delivered on May 27th via csection, the day after Memorial Day. Instead Wyatt, joined our great big wonderful world on May 6th. I was 35 weeks, 2 days pregnant with my little man. He was born 5lb 12 oz and 19 inches long.

I mentioned before that I have a history of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. Two of my other three children were delivered early as my blood pressure started creeping higher and higher, my arms, legs, feet and face started swelling and I started seeing stars...
so I knew the signs and what to watch for.

I have to be honest.
Out of all the things I was struggling with during my pregnancy- bleeding until I was 16 weeks pregnant, the threat of toxoplasmosis, an ulcer...pre-eclampsia was the one thing I didn't set my faith on or against.
I knew that if it set in again during this pregnancy, the baby would come just a few weeks early and that meant an end to what felt like torture of the third trimester. I dislike even saying that, because I am ever so grateful to be pregnant and to carry them to term, or almost to term, but I am not nor have I ever been your glowing pregnant mama, that's for sure.
Total honesty here.
I felt quite miserable and my swollen feet and skin felt like it was busting at the seems. To top it off carrying an extra 58 lbs on my 5'3 frame left me feeling almost impossibly immobile.

So, the thought of delivering a tad early, sounded like a dream when I was in the midst of feeling so yucky. 
I did not however expect it to happen quite so early and I blamed myself when I sat there in tears, listening to the pros and cons of my health and my baby's health as my doctor urged me that she didn't feel comfortable letting me continue this pregnancy with my blood pressure so high and other things showing up during the lab tests done.

That afternoon, she told me if she were to let me continue to try to stick it out, it would maybe give me one more day, but then we would be running the risk of jeopardizing my health. So I had to decide... and I had to pray for wisdom...

Sunday, May 4th I took a hot bath and I started seeing stars. So later that day, after checking my blood pressure at a local grocery store and it being insanely high, I asked a friend who works at an urgent care to take it for me and it still came up high, but not quite as high as the grocery store reading. So I called my doctor and he wasn't quite convinced of the grocery story machine reading, but he told me to come in the next day.

Monday, May 5th, I went in. I saw a nurse practitioner and she took my blood pressure 3 times and it was high each time. She did several lab tests on me and a stress test on the baby...and told me the way things were looking, she didn't think I would make it to our scheduled day.
She told me to come back the next day to have my blood pressure checked again and I did.

Tuesday, May 6th, Jeff & Leila came with me to get a simple blood pressure check. I packed my hospital bags, just in case, but Jeff didn't seem convinced anything would happen other than them letting me know it would be sooner than we thought. I went in, had it checked and they sent me straight down to labor and delivery to be monitored for a while. Each time, even with rest, it stayed high and I was told to find someone to watch Leila because they were preparing the OR for surgery right away. Today would be Wyatt's birthday.

As much as I tried or thought I was prepared for this, it still completely caught me off guard. 
Because I knew I had Wesley at 36w4d, I was hoping to make it at least that far.  I knew he was ok and healthy born at that stage and that was my main concern.
The doctor explained everything to me, that I wouldn't be able to see Wyatt for 24 hours, that Wyatt would be in the NICU for 2-2 1/2 weeks...but that the alternative of not delivering now...would jeopardize both our health. All I could do is cry. We not only had to decide whether or not we would deliver right then and there in the spur of the moment, but whether I would still get my tubes tied, which was in the original plan. The insurance papers were signed and both I and my doctor were prepared to go ahead... until this happened. It all felt so overwhelming.
So, Jeff left in a rush to find someone in my family that could take Leila and that could pick up our other kids from school within the next hour. Luckily, my family all stepped up to the plate and I am so grateful.
I sat there bawling, feeling responsible for this somehow. How could I have wanted this to happen?
I mean I didn't want it, necessarily, but I expected it because it happened before and I admittingly did want to deliver at least a little early afterall, just not THIS early!
My mom came in, prayed with me and encouraged me to see this as God's way of protecting Wyatt and myself, and that he brought us this far and we should trust Him that God would protect us both...

So within just 2 1/2  hours of getting a simple blood pressure check, I was having surgery and Wyatt was born. It was a quick & easy as they all seem to be, but afterward was the hard part. I was so grateful when I heard him crying. Our doctor told us to be prepared, because premature boys are slightly sleepier and lazier than premature girls and we may not hear him cry. So as far as the care he would need, we would just play it all by ear, depending on how he was doing. But he cried, praise God and that gave me some peace of mind for what the next 24 hours held.

Wyatt on Instagram
A NICU nurse brought him over to see me for about a minute and that was the last time I got to see him for 24 hours because I was on blood pressure meds that kept me monitored in my room for 24 hours. I think that was the hardest thing. I couldnt sleep that night. I kept dozing off and would wake up jolted every time.
I had to depend on Jeff to run down and see him and tell me how he was doing every little while.
He got to be the one to introduce Wyatt to the whole family, while I just laid in my bed. I knew he was on oxygen. I knew they had to insert something into his lungs to open them up, but he recovered extremely fast and within a day and a half was completely off the oxygen. And from that point on all we had to watch was how he was eating and whether or not he needed a feeding tube. He ended up doing great, not needing a feeding tube. And he was released from the hospital with me 5 days after he was born. Forget 2 weeks in the NICU, this boy wanted to come home with his mommy...
and we are so thankful for everyone's prayers for Wyatt and myself during this time!

The last 2 weeks with Wyatt have been the most wonderful weeks I can imagine. Despite the recovery from the c-section, and despite being tired running him back and forth to the doctor for weight checks and bilirubin checks, we have been loving on each other so much. SO many snuggles. And his big brother, two big sisters and Daddy are completely crazy in love with him too.

Every time I hold him, I still can't believe he is supposed to be in my tummy for three more weeks, But God knew what we needed and when we needed him and His love and mercy toward our family has been overwhelming. Sometimes it's hard to realize it when you are in pain or having sleepless nights, but all I have to do is look at Wyatt's tiny precious face and I am reminded of how incredible new life is and what a wonderful miracle it is that God has given our family.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Exhausting and Precious Moments of Life...

I've spent a great deal of my latest posts sharing what I'm learning or just thinking about as life happens. My mind never stops spinning, depending on my day or week and I bleed out onto my little online journal here. I write to encourage, but I mainly just write as I myself am encouraged or learning and it's painful almost to not get it out. It's like a kid letting all that energy out. 
Except all the energy is in my mind. Many times in my heart.

Aside from my journal of thoughts and musings, life is still happening. The physical, tangible pieces of life never stop. And it's been busy and exhausting. Only if you follow me on instagram do you really catch a glimpse of what I may be doing from day to day.

The pregnancy is progressing and basically I've become enormous. I've gained I think around 32 pounds and I am 28 weeks pregnant. The simple things in life have become difficult. You know the things like breathing, putting on my socks. And even pretending to think about the fact that I still have 11 weeks to go until my scheduled c-section almost wants to bring me to tears. Knowing I am just going to keep getting bigger and bigger.

This morning I woke up determined I have to do something to encourage and help myself because I want to enjoy the rest of my last pregnancy ever. I don't want to loathe each day as I have to get a head start just to roll my way out of bed. You know what I mean by the headstart? The 3-4 time half roll, just so you can make the full swing roll up and out of bed? Yep, that's me. I have not been exercising at all, nor have I even been close to watching what I eat. It's funny how people give me hi-fives and try to justify that it's ok that I eat like crap because I'm pregnant. It seems like just the opposite to me. Not only am I supposed to be taking care of this baby within, but eating junk along with no excercise isn't helping my energy level whatsoever. 

Plus I've also started swelling the last few days. So something is going to change. I AM going to enjoy these last few weeks and months of pregnancy. Not only that, but I AM going to enjoy my family. I'm not going to be irritable and too tired for them, when I'm just weeks away from welcoming another child into my world....
and theirs.

I don't want my precious babies to suffer from 'lack of mommy' just because I'm too lazy to eat right and move. I'm about to go from a 10 year old, 8 year old, and a 5 year adding one more. I need my energy, yes?

Anyways, I've kept myself busy. We have kept the kids busy. Going from Tae Kwon Do to Cub Scouts to Family trips to church to the movies and then some.

I've encouraged myself in the Lord for the simple reason of keeping my mind off the fears that keep trying wiggle their way into my thoughts about this baby, or my kids or my health or family. I refuse to allow myself to dwell or worry about things that have no substance. Yet, its a constant and daily decision for me to keep my eyes fixed on the very author of my faith. And I am so thankful that God's grace has carried me this far, through some scary and heartbreaking moments these past 7 months.

As I enter the third trimester of my final pregnancy, I intend to not only keep the family busy just for the sake of my sanity, but keep them busy for the sake of their joy and mine. They are the most precious gift to me. I tell my kids all the time, "God must have loved me so much to give me a Leila." ("or Jada or Wesley")

The most precious gift I could ever receive...
The most exhausting and precious gift.

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.  From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
~Psalms 61:1-2

Monday, March 10, 2014

Beyond Newlyweds & Toddler Tantrums

Yesterday as I was talking to a couple of friends at church, a mother and her adult daughter, we began a discussion of our children and some heavy issues that have risen as our children have grown older. I mean serious stuff that you only think of affecting teenagers or adults, yet these issues seemed to have made their way into our children's lives~our children who were just preschoolers a few years ago.  Discussing these, we brought up our fears over whether these things would make their way into their lives as teenagers and adults. Fears that I don't even want to discuss generally, because I don't like to give fear and worry a place to grow and develop into something more than just fear. Yet, we take these issues seriously because these are after all, our children.

Honestly, there was a small part of me that was thankful that I wasn't completely alone. It's far easier to talk to someone with children that are older, when you  have older children. And I remembered back when our church had a panel of women speak that had grown children offering wisdom and helpful advice to those of us that were in the beginning stages of motherhood. At that time, I only had Wesley and he was just a little guy....maybe 2 years old.

Since then, all kinds of things have come up. Things that I never imagined. And alot of times, feeling helpless, I take my questions or concerns to facebook. I have alot of friends on there with teenager or college age children...and sometimes you just need the encouragement from someone who has been in your shoes. And other times we are able to offer advice and encouragement to someone because we have been in their shoes.

We are always able to pray and listen to others. But sound wisdom and advice that can be respected can really only come from someone who has been where you are standing.

When I first started blogging, I had another blogger ask me to write a piece for her blog on marriage. Because I had been married for 16 years at that point (now going on 18 years) and she felt that I may have a thing or two to offer much of the blogging world, seeing that the majority are younger than I and have been married far less years than I. It was true, I did. And I had a lot of people email me after writing that piece. I shared it several times on different blogs, and those people shared it with others...
And though I have made it through 18 years, I still don't believe I know everything. Nor do I always follow my own advice.

While I respect and read many blogs and listen to many speakers and the knowledge and wisdom they have gained about marriage, children, ministry or life's issues in general... it's when someone has walked ahead of me that I feel I can truly seek something out that I may need to hear. I always feel myself smirk when someone who has been married a year or two gives me marital advice. That doesn't mean I don't take their relationship advice to heart...and to the Lord. Because I do. I'm always looking for opportunity to learn. But my initial reaction is generally "I hope your advice works just as well for you in 15 years."

I cherish the prayers of all I have gone to for prayer. But I also cherish the advice and wisdom who have counsel to offer, because they know what I am still trying to figure out.  
That stage of their life has passed.

And that goes for myself too. I never try to offer advice or even relate to something I don't really understand yet. I have another friend that has grown children that has had some struggles & fears recently. And I can't begin to even fathom what she is going through because my children are still fairly young. I offer her prayer and scripture and encouragement and it's genuine, but I can't begin to help or offer 'advice' in areas I have no experience in.
And believe me, I too, want the good healthy wisdom of those who have had teenagers, because I see those years approaching quicker than I realize. I see the attitudes, the more serious issues try to sneak their way in...and I want to know. How do I deal with this? 

 I've been in tears more than once this past month, completely clueless how to approach certain things. Things that feel bigger than toddler tantrums or sippy cups.
When my ten year old comes home telling me how lonely he is or crying that he is depressed, that sounds big to me. It sounds unheard of. It sounds almost ridiculous. Yet it happens. And it's happened to me. 
And I have felt alone trying to figure this out. Trying to be the momma God called me to be. 
To the children that God gave me. I know God knows I can do it. 
So that must mean I can do it.
But sometimes we just need a little guidance from someone who has been there. 

It prompted me to ask this question on twitter a little while ago "How many momma bloggers out there have children over the age of 10?" So far, I haven't gotten one reply. I know a handful of bloggers that do, and that have had similar struggles and I am very thankful I am not alone. But from the blogs I have come across mostly, the women are young mothers of young children.  

Not that I am OLD...and I am obviously pregnant again AND I have a preschooler, so I can easily relate to this 'early childhood' stage of life, because not only am I still living it, but have been through it a few times already.

But there is a world of difference between having a baby, a toddler and a preschooler...
than having a preschooler, an older child and a child approaching teen years.
And I'm sure that goes for having a preteen, a teen and a college kid.
And those seasons creep up quicker than you know.

I just wonder who could benefit from older women, and by older I don't mean OLD old. I just mean women who have been there, who are a few steps of head. Women that can not only relate right here and right now because they are in a similar stage as you, women that are friends... but women that have been through it and can offer truth and encouragement.

Am I totally alone on wanting wisdom from someone wiser? Maybe I do have some advice to offer, because I do have older children and have been married longer.
Yet I still need it from someone else...

I thought about over the weekend during my discussion with my two friends, about throwing a panel together at our church for all the mothers of children not yet in their teen years BY the mothers that have been through the whole 18 years of life with children already.

But I'm wondering about this online world as well. One website I love is Thrive Moms. I go to it often and I get alot from it, and not only that but I have actually went to these wonderful ladies for prayer.
But I'm quite sure all these wonderful gals are younger than I...
and sometimes it makes me sad that I have nowhere to go to seek prayer and advice from ladies who are in my season or who have passed my season. While I see breastfeeding and sippy cups and toddler tantrums in my near future. I also see two teenagers in my future just as quickly.

I don't exactly know what I can do about it right now. But I feel a tug on my heart to do something or be a part of something. Because I know what I need. I cherish the encouragement from the wisdom of others. I imagine other mothers or wives need it too.

If you have any thoughts, or let me know. I'd love to hear it.

Proverbs 15:22
Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kids and Conversation~Leila's thoughts on God

 I've mentioned this before several times, but one of the wonderful things about having kids 
is the brilliant things they say. I wonder how their little minds come up with such creative 
thoughts and I challenge any parent to start keeping record of things your child says, if you 
don't already. You won't regret it and will love looking back and laughing and you read what
 your child thought and said out loud!
Here are a couple of Leila's adorable quotes about her thoughts on God that 
she said to me in the past week!

"Mommy, How come God got a lot of eyes? 
He gots two eyes, but he can see everything."

"Mommy, I think the cats purring. Because I felt her belly and it was krinkly. And I think 
that means she has God in her heart cuz some cats have God in their heart."

"Mom, God does everything. He does morning and 
night night time and rain and flowers.
Satan just fights. That's what I think about it."

I loved the "that's what I think about it" she threw in at the end.
Obviously I am bias, but she is pretty darn cute.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Simplicity of A Child

The simplicity of a childhood is something most of us wish we could get back.
Before life got bigger than going to the park and hiding from monsters,
learning to ride a bike and then falling off.

Life was just life. And we didn't even know it.
We didn't know it would ever get hard.
We didn't know we would ever look for 'meaning' or 'more.'

And when we prayed, we didn't pray for terrorism to stay far away from us.
We didn't pray for a better job so we could take care of our family.
Instead, when we prayed, it was simple. 
Our faith was big wrapped up in simple words.

Last night before bed, my daughters each had a turn to pray.

Jada prayed this,
Dear Jesus. Thank you.for this day. Please help me dream about suns with happy faces 
and flowers with happy faces and all the pets in the world. In Jesus Name. 

Leila prayed this,
Please help me dream about hippos and rainbows and butterflies. I don't want to dream about 
deer or Satan. I just want to dream about dogs and cats and people and houses and God. 

Jada and I got a good laugh about Leila's prayer...deer and Satan...
hippos and rainbows...
I wish I could think more like her.
Life would be so fun. 

But to be honest, I think I might be a little creeped out dreaming about
suns and flowers with happy faces... 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Keep Our Kids Safe, Lord...

This morning I was going through the 50 zillion papers that come home with my kids every week. I don't know about you, but I need a few quiet moments to process everything that is coming at me. I need quiet. Between sports opportunities, music opportunities, hot lunch, cub scouts, volunteers needed, PTA meetings, school policies, homework, field trips and everything else, with three kids, in two different schools...well, its just ALOT. I'm still trying to grasp that the fact that the public school system does stuff online, has resources, student workbooks online and they regularly use ipads in the classroom. Reports are done with technology. It's just so different that the school life we remember.

The one thing that caught my eye and made my heart stop for just a second was a letter that talking about the school's safety procedures. The letter said that this year the school will be practicing "intruder" drills and gave the alternate school location they would be at in case of an emergency evacuation. To be honest, I tried to hold back the tears a bit. I don't know why. When the Sandy Hook shooting happened last year, I think we all hugged our kids more, prayed a little more, snuggled a little more, but then time goes by and we forget just a little bit that we are sending our kids off into a world where things like this happen. At least in this day and age. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. It's very easy to be afraid, especially after we see that it happened again, this week. It's a scary world we live in and in case you haven't noticed, it keeps getting worse.

So what do we do? Do we live in fear? Do we keep our kids home where we can see them all the time? Where they are constantly under our watch and protection? Or do we trust in the hand of the Lord? 
I wanted to offer just a few scriptures for you to pray over your child and claim for your lives and families.

Deuteronomy 7:9 says 
Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.

and Isaiah 55:11 says
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

So we can see, that God does not offer up promises in his word and take it back. He is faithful to his word.  He says it. It just takes faith to believe it, obviously!
When you pray over your family and your children and yourself, remind the Lord what his word says. His character is revealed throughout the entirety of the Bible, so even if you have to google scriptures on protection for them & peace for you, it can help. But here are a few to start with...

You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 37:2

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. Psalm 57:1

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me Psalm 138:7

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25

But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from me. I, the LORD, have spoken! Isaiah 54:17

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3

 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Proverbs 30:5

…For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makes me dwell in safety. Psalms 4:8

and probably one of the absolute best scripture passages on protection is Psalm 91

You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who spend your nights in the shadow of the Almighty, who say to the LORD, “My refuge! My fortress! My God, in whom I trust!” – 
He will rescue you from the trap of the hunter, and from the plague of disease. 
He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; 
His truth is a shield and a protection.
You will not fear the terrors of night, or the arrow that flies by day, 
or the sickness that roams in the dark, or even the destruction that lays waste at noon. 
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it won’t come near you. Only keep your eyes open, and you will see how the wicked are punished. 
For you have made the LORD, the Most High, who is my refuge, your dwelling place.
No disaster will happen to you, no calamity will come near your house;
for He will order His angels to care for you and guard you wherever you go. 
They will carry you in their hands, so that you won’t trip on a stone. 
You will tread down lions and snakes, young lions and serpents you will trample underfoot.
“Because he loves Me, I will rescue him; because he knows My Name, I will protect him. 
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him. I will be with him when he is in trouble. 
I will rescue him and bring him honor. 
I will satisfy him with long life and show him My salvation.”

These are just a FEW of the hundreds of verses that can bring you comfort and you can pray over your family. I hope they help you, like they do me. If you need to, where it says "me" you can say "my family" or where is says "your" you can say "my."

Also, I wanted to mention this. When you have a personal relationship with the Lord, he is wonderful  at letting you know things to come. Sometimes we call it intuition. It's just a quiet small voice inside of you letting you know not to do something or be somewhere or go that way...and you cant really give a rational reason as to why you would be feeling like that. But I've heard dozens of stories of people escaping accidents, even 9/11, because they felt like they weren't supposed to get on that plane, or take that turn, etc...
Sometimes we don't listen to that, because we think we are imagining it, but He is trying to help...
 John 16:13 says this:
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

If you want to have a closer connection to the Lord and to feel his peace, and not just know about him or know what other people say about him, I really want to encourage you to invite him into your life. It's not as weird or religious as you might think. It's simple. It's just doing life...with God.

If you have any questions about this, never hesitate to ask me. I can even tell you what to pray if you want. It's between you and me... and God of course!

Friday, September 13, 2013

An 8 Year Old & The Bible

Last night Jada asked me to read her a book and ended up bringing me a kids Bible Trivia book her Grandma had given us. This by far was one of the best decisions I've made all week, because I can't stop laughing at her answers. If you know anything about the Bible at all, you will love me for this....

Q: When Jesus visited Peters house, a woman was sick w a fever. Who was this woman.
A: I know her name. It was Sally. I mean Sinner.

Q:This baby made a crying face. A princess found the baby in a basket floating on the river Nile. 
Who is the baby?
A: Moseph?

Q: This man & woman are very old, but they are happy and holding a baby. It's not their gran dson or great grandson, its their son Isaac. Who is this man and woman? It starts with an S & A.
A: Sacrifice & Animal

Q: It's a place where a boy is about 12 years old is teaching older men who are like teachers. A man & woman come in concerned and say "Jesus, we've been looking for you."
 What is this place?
A: Um, a cinnamon? Thats what my teacher said.

And this is coming from a preacher's granddaughter & a christian school student.
Looks like we need to brush her up on her Bible Trivia a little bit more at home.
I will say, I'm gonna make good use of this book though, pretty much for my own entertainment.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Aspergers, Emotional Disability...Or Fearfully & Wonderfully Made?

Friday afternoons for me are a good time for reflection. A time to sit in the quiet for just a few hours before the mixed up pile of jumbled noise begins once again. Mostly I can handle it. Mostly I embrace it actually.
I've learned over this summer to see my glass as half full . Instead of calling my life chaotic and full of noisy kids all day long, every day, I call it full of life and energy and fun. Mostly.
Generally during the summers, I have my 3 kids, plus two to four extra kids in my house that I babysit.
It keeps my kids mostly occupied and happy to have friends to play with. But right around lunch time,
it gets extra noisy, extra busy...and well extra full? Suddenly the kids break out in some sort of debate over some silly thing and are tattling on one another. Suddenly I am making lunches for seven, eight or nine people in the house.
But on Friday afternoons, my husband is a peach. I lay my two Friday kids down for their nap, 
and he takes my three kids out of the house down the road to the park or to a local coffee shop...
and I can just sit. I can breath for a good two hours or more.
It's heavenly to say the least. And that is what I am doing right now. 
Breathing and reflecting on the course of events this summer has taken.

Today I'm reflecting a bit on something I wrote last night. I was asked to write a post for a website that will be launching soon called Women With Worth-W3. I wrote it in my usual nature, thoughtful and encouraging in something that I have been learning. I won't really get too much into it right now, but it affected what I'm about to say. We have a big change happening for us this school year. My oldest son, Wesley will be attending a public school for the first time.  He is going into Fourth grade. You might think, no big deal...but he has been at his school for five years now. All his friends are there...So honestly, this did break me, just a little bit inside. Mostly for him.  Partially for me. 
Feeling a bit sorry for myself, the details leading up to the switch. Feeling a little lost.
For years, Wes has had problems with emotional outbursts. He's just very emotional, which causes him to get very upset and in his words "angry" very easily. Anything from a missed word at a spelling bee to an annoying little sister can set him off and up until this past year or so, we always just chalked it up to a 'bad temper.' 
Or people would tell me he is being "naughty."

Which I agree, he definitely needs discipline, but more than anything, he needs to learn to control himself when he gets frustrated. And when he was in second grade, the words Aspergers Syndrome were brought to our attention by his teacher. After several tests were conducted during third grade, the conclusion was that no, he is not autistic, but carries a lot of similar traits and rather has a emotional/behavioral disability.   

Part of me wanted to take those words and go around to any person that has ever given us subliminal grief over our bad parenting or his behavior and shove it in their face. But the bigger part of me refuses to give my child a name that associates him being anything other than who 
God says he is. Which is what I wrote about last night. Not identifying ourselves with the negative....but with the people who we are created and promised to be by our creator.

Wesley is created in the image and likeness of God. 
Wesley is fearfully and wonderfully and intricately made. 

And yes, the recent letter that was on the news made me furious and horrified 
at the heartache this mother must have felt.  

Wesley's school since K3, being a private school and ill equipped to deal with some of his behavior, asked us to perhaps try a public school for at least this year, where there are counselors and special ed teachers trained to give him time to just talk out some things when he gets upset. They seemed genuine in their concern for Wesley's well being and they are hopeful for his return in his future.
Initially, I wanted to aim word fire at anyone who played any part of this decision, out of frustration and stress and offense. But I stopped, I breathed, and I prayed for Wisdom. And I felt ok.

Now I am looking at this as a positive thing. 

He cried when I first told him, but now he is excited for a fresh start. He gets to go to a school where no one has any preconceived ideas about how he will behave. No kids from his new school have ever gone home and told their parents "what Wesley did today" so he doesn't have to feel embarrassed. Wesley is well aware of how the outbursts looks to others. It's sad when he questions to me why he is not normal. And I reaffirm to him that he is. And that everyone has issues they have to work on.
Every single person in this world does. I know I do. 
It's an opportunity to prove you can work through it.
Not to mention that, Wesley is one of the brightest, smartest kids I know.  As a nine year old,  He doesn't necessarily love that "being smart" is one of his outstanding qualities, he'd rather be funny like his sister, but that brain power will come in handy one day. Man that kid can figure out things on the computer that I still cant. 
The ability to get good grades have never been an issue.. emotion and will to do it have been.

Anyways, as I look over this change in his life...and in ours (since the girls will still be going to private)...
I'm choosing to see how much this will help Wesley and help us. It's nothing to be embarrassed about.
But I tell Wes all the time, that I am so thankful that God gave me the chance to be his mother,
because when he loves, he loves BIG. 
It's part of that extremely emotional thing, it comes in handy when he is in snuggle mode.

On a side note: I was laying with him in bed the other day and he was gripping his "Moosey-Moose"
and Wesley kept kissing him as he snuggled him with his eyes closed and all I could do was
stare at his hands.
Those hands that in just 3 1/2 years will be teenage hands...
and I wanted to pause that moment forever...


Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
     you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
     Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
     I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
     you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
     how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
     all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
     before I’d even lived one day.
Psalm 139:13-16

Friday, August 16, 2013

This May Be The CUTEST Photoshoot You've Ever Seen

As always, my sister Joanna stopped by yesterday in her sweats and decided on a whim that she wanted to do a photoshoot of my girls. I just happened to be babysitting a friends girls too, so it turned into a super cute BFF photoshoot. We are completely in love with the way these turned out. Of course, there are zillions more...but I think you get the idea. I had to share them with you all though.
Leila was done long before it was over. This is what she looked like at the end as I kept promising 
her ice cream and money to do "one more picture." Haha.

All photos were taken by and are property of Joanna Photography.
No you may not steal them.

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