These last few weeks have been full and like many of you there are things that must be done before Christmas and yet I'm amazed at how little I can actually accomplish in a day around here. We had high hopes of tackling closets and toy chests today and instead the morning was spent picking up after Max's...well...gastrointestinal explosive issues that he left us as a good morning gift throughout our entire house during the night. I know you're not gonna believe this but Sean was home for this one.
Thank You, Lord. Amen.
There are some changes ahead for our kids, (no I'm not pregnant, good Lord don't even say that out loud!) and part of this process we're going through has been spiritually challenging for me. I will share more when I feel like it's the right time but basically it comes down to this:
I want my kids to be happy, just like you want your kids to be happy.
I want them to know God and to never doubt who He is in their lives, just like you do.
I want them to be heartache-free, frustration-free, and worry-free, just like you do.
But that last one, that's a tough one.
The way that God purifies and strengthens us is through a painful process sometimes and this is one of those times. However, it is not without extreme blessings and peace that we have come to this point, somewhat on the other side of the challenge. So we feel the encouragement and love that He is giving us. Watching the kids get to the age where they sense emotional pain is one of my toughest challenges. I want to yell at the kids who are mean and go tell their mothers. My friend Jennie and I used to take the boys to the mall playground and I'd often march over to the mean kids and tell them to go find their mother and I'd always watch my back when walking out to the parking lot later. Ha! Have you ever watched kids bully other kids and then search the room for their parent to intervene only to find their parent is shopping and nowhere near the playground? Man o man that makes me mad. Anyway. My point. I want to protect Ty, Charlie, and Joy from embarrassment and the sting of a broken heart. Don't you want to keep your kids, as my mom always used to say, "in my nest," where no one and no thing can harm them?
Yep, I thought so.
But we can't and so we learn how to function in this fallen, sometimes cruel world, and try to give God the place that He deserves: The top. The first place we look for help. I have a rather large confession: I haven't done that part--a rather huge part--well lately. Mother knows best, you know. Except in this case, Father does.
As much as I want to help them learn how to function in this world it is hard to walk through with them. I never considered myself a control freak until recently, and really only in regard to my kiddos. Let me tell you, I've been trying to control things. It's not working, which is no surprise to God. He's been telling me to let Him work for a long time about these very issues. He has been nudging me and giving me little hints that my efforts would soon come to a halt because I was out of ideas. He often has to work this way with me and I'm guessing some, if not all of you, will agree.
We are doing a little better at not trying to figure it all out. Trying a little harder at not trying to fix things. Since my role here is chief over-sharer, I have been a bit more reserved than usual but like I said, I will fill in the blanks soon.
I am so grateful for our community here and our families. As tough as it is to avoid the "Hurry Up!" attitude this time of year I'm grateful that the kids are small enough to warrant staying home and going to bed early every night. Since it's not a secret anymore that I go to bed soon after they do, it's obviously a blessing that we rarely see nighttime except through the windows at home. My night owl of a husband will LOVE it when the kids are older and milling around at night and he will surely be relieved when he has someone to talk to between the hours of 9 and 11, when he goes to sleep. I, on the other hand, will dread the nights when he is on a trip and I am the one waiting up for the kids to get home. I should stock up on sleep now, that's my reasoning.
We've been taking lots of pictures of the kids and as usual when I can talk Sean into editing them I'll show them here. He has been really busy with photo shoots for other people which is a great thing financially. The only downside is I think he's tired of using Photoshop and Lightroom, his new obsession. "Mary, can you see the difference...Mary have you seen how cool this is...Mary, look at this-it was grainy and now it's perfect..." to which I usually reply, "Wow, yes, of course I can see it!"
But I really can't tell at all. I'm on a whole different playing field when it comes to pictures but of course you know that already.
Reminds me of the first year we were married, (wasn't that long ago,) and we had been married about two weeks when we went dove hunting with Sean's lifelong friends. His friend Bradley and his son met us in Abilene and we went hunting that evening. Sean had no idea what my hunting skills really were but I'd talked myself up quite a bit so his expectations were high. After about two hours of waiting for birds I got pretty bored so I started jumping at the chance when I finally saw some birds flying overhead. I took no cues from Sean, who was perched across a field from me, mind you. I just started shooting. I'd hear him from far off saying, "Mary, it's not a dove!" I didn't care. To me it was still hunting, right? Besides those things fly fast. I mean how in the world can you tell until they're past you what the heck kind of bird it is?
Anyway, the funny part of the story is that Bradley's son, (ten at the time,) walked over to Sean that night when we were packing up and with a really concerned look and tone says, "Sean, you know your wife Mary...She's been shooting at tweety birds."
To which Sean replied, "Yeah, I know Caleb. I know. She's new."
And to all a good night.