Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Breaking up is hard to do
This Friday will be our last lesson with our piano teacher, and I'm feeling the most ridiculous sense of guilt about our "breakup"! But after three years of Tuesday afternoons we've become friends .

The "other woman" is new to our church, previously taught at the arts academy we're considering for our oldest daughter next year, and is fully qualified to start dd #1 and ds#1 on an adjudicated course of study (something our other teacher has recommended to us on several occasions). Did I also mention that for a mere $10 more a month, she'll come to OUR HOUSE and teach the kids??

I've noodled the idea of allowing dd#2 to continue with our "old" teacher, as she's still a beginner, but with gas prices being what they are, I don't relish the thought of the 20minute drive to our house (I drive a Suburban).

Still the feeling of betraying her remains. I KNOW it's false guilt--I must have an overactive prohibitive conscience!

I'm hoping that a really , really nice thank you gift will soften the blow for all of us.

  posted at 5:25 PM  

Sunday, August 21, 2005
This speaks to my heart...

  posted at 10:50 AM  

Saturday, August 20, 2005
The baby and I spent the last week up in Virginia visiting with my sister and her family. She’s just entered the last month of her pregnancy, so we skipped the usual D.C. tourist grind in favor of playing with my baby and her preschooler, shopping, hanging out and talking…and talking…and talking.

One of our more memorable conversations revolved around what our Mom would call a “sigh”. Sighs are those incredible, bittersweet, and amazing defining moments (good and bad) when you realize that your life will change forever. She was “sighing” a bit as she enjoyed these last precious weeks of her little guy being an only child—even as she joyfully anticipated the birth of this new baby.

I thought about some of the moments that are my “sighs” in life.

…Meeting the man who would not only become my husband, but would be instrumental in leading me to Christ

…Getting the late evening phone call informing me of my dad’s death

…Sitting having ice cream with my two oldest children, knowing that I was in labor with my third, but savoring just “one last time” being out with only them

…Stepping out of a plane and breathing in African air

…Rocking in my living room, watching a rare Arizona rainstorm in the middle of the night and trying to remember every moment of that last night I would feel a baby kick and roll inside of me.

…Watching my children kiss me goodbye and cheerfully enter their classrooms, my kindergardener telling me, “Mom, you can go now”.

…Feeding Mr. Milk Monkey bananas and rice cereal tonight, knowing that it’s the first step in not needing mamma to meet every need.

I wonder if King Solomon was “sighing” a bit when he wrote, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

I entered a new season with this sister during the past week.

After years of rivalry and conflict, we’ve found common ground in our mutual bonds as sisters in Christ, as wives, and as mothers. We don’t always see eye to eye, but we do know that we have a relationship worth fighting for and pursuing.

As I kissed her goodbye at the airport, I touched the life swelling under her shirt and felt my heart sigh with joy and hope for the future. Things would never be the same again.
I wasn’t just saying goodbye to my sister, I was saying goodbye to my friend.

  posted at 10:29 PM  

Thursday, August 11, 2005
My romance, doesn't have to have a movie....
A recent romantic moment sighting at my house:

I was able to take an entire shower the other morning (leg shaving and everything) with no interruptions! I stepped out, cocked an ear....nope, no trouble brewing. I finished getting ready at a leisurely pace and stepped out to "face the music" of not supervising the kids as they got ready.

What I saw was my knight, not in shining armor, but in what his daughter calls his "Princess" or "piggy" shirt (pink with green stripes), holding the baby with one arm and flipping homemade pancakes with the other, all the while calmly directing the morning rush hour. The table was set, the kids were ready and we got to sit down to a nice weekday breakfast together. As he led us in prayer, my heart overflowed with love and gratitude.

What a man.

I'll take that over two dozen roses any day.

  posted at 9:33 AM  

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Momma said there'd be days like this....
We have not had the most stellar day at our house.

As I was driving to school, I got a call from my friend (and oldest son's teacher). Her son had forgotten his lunch and backpack...and our school doesn't have a cafeteria. So, I dropped off the older kids and headed to her house to retrieve his backpack.

I looped around and dropped the baby off at a friend's house, signed in at the school, dropped off the forgotten backpack and lunch and started my usual Wednesday volunteer gig (paper grading and data entry for the teacher).

About an hour into my work, the phone rings. The baby is NOT happy...could I come and get him. Sigh.

I pack up, and on the way out find my kindergartener in tears...she's forgotten HER lunchbox and it's snack time. Double sigh. I run to my friend's classroom, grab her a snack out of the stash in the filing cabinet (it's great to have friends at the school), and run to the baby's rescue while phoning my husband for backup in the lunchbox retrieval department.

With that crisis averted, I take the baby home. He's off his schedule and rather hacked at me for leaving him with a strange sitter. I just think I've got him settled down when the school calls...

The five year old has decided that she didn't like the way her bangs felt today (she's growing them out--HER choice, I might add here) and gave herself a new 'do when she was supposed to be cutting out Humpty Dumpty.

[A funny aside here...it seems that most of our school's staff share my love of scrapbooking. The teacher and her assistant saved the shorn locks in a ziploc bag (ahh..NOW I know why they were on the supply list), as they were sure that this story would make a "great page". Scarily enough, the thought had already occurred tome!]

Did I mention that the baby wasn't really down? No, he wanted all mama, all the time.

You know, two children ago, this day probably would have made me cry. These days, all I can do is laugh and revisit the wisdom that my third child offered up one grumpy afternoon at the tender age of three:

"I need a bath...and some CHOCOLATE".

Enter my knight in shining armor, home early to help me fight the battles of the day. I am married to the most lovely man :-). It's amazing what effect twenty minutes without the baby, two adults on homework duty, and a well-deserved dinner out can have on everyone's temperament (not just Mom's!). Once again, love and grace triumph over chaos.

At least until tomorrow.

Thank you, Lord, for a strong partner in my parenting. Thank you for the gift of laughter that can triumph over tears, and for your Lordship over even the most chaotic days. Oh, and thank you that hair grows back!

  posted at 11:58 PM  

Sunday, August 07, 2005
Redeeming the Time
I could sit and sing praise music for hours. It's like a little preview of heaven.

My friend Kim and I met last week to work up songs for our Community Bible Study class. We sang through beautiful old standards, and taught each other some new songs as well. The verse that has stuck with me all week has been this one:

We are a moment, You are forever
Lord of creation, God before time
We are a vapor, You are eternal
Lord everlasting reigning on high
taken from Be Unto Your Name by Gary Sandler and Lynn DeShazzo

Our lives here on earth are so short and they flash by so quickly. Just this week, I've seen the baby sprout his first teeth, my younger daughter make the leap into "really" reading (verses being coerced/bribed by Mom and Dad), my son step out of his sister's shadow and show leadership in his classroom, and my daughter begin to "blossom" into womanhood, necessitating a trip to the lingerie department (insert Mommy's freak-out here). They're growing and changing so fast that I want seasons where I can freeze them in time, just so I don't miss anything.

Obviously, that's not going to happen. Instead, I want to make my time count, to live in and experience the moments I'm blessed with here until I experience the blessing of eternity with the Lord. It's too easy for me to let them slip away under the ever-present tyranny of the urgent. But every day, God is gracious to grow me, and give me more chances to make my time here count.

This week I'm grateful that I...

--Stopped daily and played on the floor with the baby.

--Decided at the last minute to take my nine year old scrapbook with me. She was a great "date"!

--Got to bake communion bread for the church, and cookies for my friends and family.

--Worked, played, laughed and dreamed with my husband.

--Spent time with my son watching his turtle eat and play.

--Started drafting and stopped about a dozen blog entries because someone needed a hug, wanted homework help, was up for a feeding...

I've got a chance right now to color with Princess Piggy. I think I'll wrap this up and grab the moment. I know in a blink, she'll be the one I'm headed to the lingerie department with (sigh...).

  posted at 7:38 PM  

Monday, August 01, 2005
Happy Girlfriend's Day
According to today's paper, it's National Girlfriend Day.

Personally, I think every day is Girlfriend Day. But I'm willing to celebrate it today too.

So girlfriends, here's to all of you. I'm couldn't be more thankful for you.

  posted at 8:28 PM  

Today's Agenda: Review lessons previously taught!
I sometimes suspect that I suffer from Spiritual Discipline deficit Disorder (SDDD for short, or just call it persistent sin nature, if you will), in that I seem to be taught the same lessons of submission and obedience over and over.

Today was a good case in point.

Ever since I became a stay-at-home mom, I've struggled with the need to measure my day by the things I get checked off my list. Just a few things on my agenda today were:

Drop the kids off at school.
Go by the credit union and get cash.
Grocery shop.
Shop for birthday parties this weekend.
Straighten up the house.
Send my grandfather a birthday card.
Get the kids from school.
Help with homework and piano practice.
Make dinner.
And so on :-).

This is what the Lord had on my agenda today:

Get the kids ready for school.

Deal with a cranky five year old.

Clean up from the cranky five year old vomiting in the laundry area as we're getting ready to leave for school.

Drag kids to school, make arrangements to collect homework for sick five year old, stop and get gatorade for sick five year old.

Nurse and rock the teething baby who is sleeping in 20-30 minute spurts. (This could go on the agenda at least eight or ten times :-)!).

Counsel a lonely and hurting friend on the phone for over an hour while tending to above cranky offspring.

Get the picture? The flesh was NOT happy with the day's agenda. After all, MY agenda was more "productive", right? It was a battle raged today to take my thoughts captive unto Christ and to give thanks in all things.

I am delighted to report that the Holy Spirit prevailed...AND even allowed me to get dinner made and the house straightened up.

It's humbling to admit that after fifteen years of walking with the Lord, I'm still learning patience, selflessness, etc. But it's glorious to recognize that today didn't take my Heavenly Father by surprise. He knew from the foundations of the earth the lessons that needed review today. It's also a praise that the battles in these areas become shorter in duration each time they rear up. I'm so thankful that He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me.

  posted at 8:12 PM  

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I'm a work in progress, a stay at home mom of four, a beloved daughter of the King.

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