Friday, August 29, 2014

Something's Happening

This has been the worst summer.  No really.  It has.  I went from a good, but difficult and time consuming Whole 30 to two months of trying to figure out how to help Brian out of the worst health crash ever (or at least one of them).  And the summer slipped away.  I had some good times in there with the kids, but it just wasn't great.  And Brian couldn't do anything with us.  And the pool never got warm.  And my back pain went exponential.  And Brian is still crashed.  It's been stressful and discouraging for me.  And I try not to think about me because it's so much worse for him.

So I've been trying to be thankful.  To remember that even though it seems like everyone else is gliding through life without decade long trials, they've all had their own trials.  And there's a bunch of trials that don't have to last a decade to be awful.  But I just wasn't feeling a lot of love, you know?  I was kind of more like, yes, I know that my salvation ought to be enough love to last without anything additional, but I'm just not really feeling very cared for.  And yes, I know that's very selfish.  I'm an American  - that's huge.  And have healthy (mostly) children.  That's huge.  But when your husband is suffering every day.  Loads of pain and misery.  Well, it's hard to feel like you're blessed.  Even when you count your blessings.  Does that even make sense??

Now I don't know what's going on today, but God seems intent on making me feel special.  First it was a happy mail day.  My dress for my sister's wedding arrived, and even though that wasn't a gift, it is a happy thing. (And it's a great dress that my sister got a huge discount on, probably making it the most inexpensive bridesmaid dress in history.  And it came in time to remind me to work out my arms, but I digress...)  Then my sister in law sent me a fabulous "Keep Calm and Let Alicia Handle It" shirt, which I totally love.  THEN, I opened the sweetest note from a friend telling me that she'd been led to take a little side job with the whole intent of giving ME what she earned from it.  And she did just that.  To use for whatever I want she said.  Another quiet weekend away?  A juicer?  The possibilities are endless, and Brian laughs because I always save money for the perfect option and can never make up my mind.  But really, can you believe that??  God wanted her to do this FOR ME.  Why on earth?  And she really did it too.  That's amazing.

Now I'm already trying to process all of this tonight.  Couldn't even really write about it yet.  And don't you know, another friend messages me on Facebook and wants me to come pick up the contents of his freezer.  Including organic blueberries.  And so many other things.  He said he was prompted by God the last couple of days to give it to us.  Now I'm not out of grocery money or anything, in fact, I spent the better part of the day trying to get all the right groceries for Brian, who's going on an organic produce cleanse for this three day weekend, and all the rest of us.  But I'm also not one to turn down free food.  Especially not when God is apparently intent on my having it.  What is up with that?  

I'm thankful for the gifts, but more than any of them, it is the Giver that now has me intrigued.  He's been talking to people about me.  Is that crazy or what?  What is He doing?  I've asked that question a lot, but usually with more than a little frustration.  This time, I'm totally intrigued.  Even hopeful.  He's up to something, and I'm beginning to wonder if I might not see more of this goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I've come to expect nothing or more bad news.  But this is shaking up my expectations.

Then, even as I chatted with my friend, Ann Voskamp posted the C.S. Lewis quote, " There are far better things ahead, than any we leave behind," along with this commentary:
Lord, the changes just about kill us.
Kids growing up & away. We lose our people, lose places & times we have loved. The headlines scream big things & straight up -- things up ahead can look mighty bleak. 
Honest? Sometimes we just want to find the rewind button -- find our way back to where we've been so we can live better, love realer, feel safer.
And You whisper, "Look ahead with joy... everything’s going to work out. I promise it's all working out for good...Look to Me" Isa:65:17, Ps20:6, Ro.8:28, Matt10:38MSG
And You are up ahead!
"There are far better things ahead -- than any we leave behind."
The best is never behind us; You save the *best* for up ahead --
and the end will be the *best*... and it will only be the *beginning*.

So we look with have hope ahead -- to the One who has our heart...
In the name of the only One who ever loved us to death & back to the realest & forever life. Amen.

I don't know what's happening, Lord, but I got your love letters today, and I'm listening.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I still miss you

How can it have been  nearly 28 years since I smelled your tobacco and peppermint skin?  You were supposed to be here. You wanted to dance at my wedding; you told me so yourself.  You would have been the best great grand-pap ever because you were the best Pappy a girl could ever have.  I still miss you.  So much. So very much.  You were my favorite.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Homeschool Your Way

I've been thinking a long time about unschooling and how far I'm willing to venture into that philosophy.  In thinking about this year, and what I'd like to see my kids accomplish, and what they need to know, and what their interests are, I saw that this was really a perfect year to let them loose to a freer course of study options.  It's Ethan's last year before I have to navigate high school.  All of them have studied through a history timeline. We've covered botany, zoology, astronomy, and human anatomy together.  Why not let them choose what they want to study this year.  So a couple of weeks ago, I made a proposition to them.  Do your math curriculum and a little bit of grammar for me (a research paper and finished writing course for Ethan), and I'll let you choose what you want to study for history and science.  And it doesn't have to be a curriculum.  It went over quite positively.  They wanted to start immediately.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Flag Love

Bella's taken to singing "God Bless America" every time she sees a flag.  I like it.  And I like to sing along.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The things you shouldn't say to moms with lots of kids that just don't bother me

I saw that someone posted this to a friend's wall, and I've seen lots of similar posts.

Is it weird that those "things" people always post about strangers saying to moms of many have almost never been said to me, or, the things that were said to me didn't bother me at all? I really can't be sure if they were said to me or not, because I would have considered many of them the same as saying "nice weather." 

"Boy, your hands are full" - Truth. 
"I don't know how you do it" - Me neither.
"Are they all yours?" - Often at least one of them isn't, so I totally find this question legit. 
"Lots of helpers" - Sometimes, but usually not, but thanks for being so positive. 
"Enjoy these days, they grow so fast." - I do find this slightly annoying, but only because I think that all the time without reminders and it makes me so sad, but I get why that person wants me to keep being reminded. 
"Are you having more?" - Whatever. My life is an open book. I don't think so, but who knows?

 I've never had anyone ask me something I considered rude (though I admit I have a short memory of these things unless someone REALLY makes me mad), they are far more likely to comment on my kids beautiful singing (in the middle of Walmart) or how sweet or beautiful my kids are in general (even when they're not being particularly sweet or beautiful) - bring it on. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Daddy and Anna's Date Night

 She was so excited!  She wanted to have her hair curled and wear her princess tiara.  They went to Chick-Fil-A's Daddy-Daughter date night. Rose and Brian had gone a couple of years ago and she really want to do the same thing.  The had a great time, and since Chick-Fil-A didn't have a photo booth this year, they went from the restaurant to the mall so that they could get photo booth pics too. :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"I wish I could jump in to the book"

Bella, it seems, has joined the ranks of book lovers in our family.  We were reading our chapter of Charlotte's Web tonight for the first time since before Christmas, and she was full of questions about the characters.  She tried to visualize the size of the new goslings in her hand.  And as she looked at the picture, she said that she wished she could jump into the book.  And if she could, she wanted to know what Templeton would do to her (run away) and if the goose would bite her (maybe). We read on, and I wish I had a picture of the look of horror on her face when the old sheep told Wilbur that the farmer was going to kill him.  We were relieved to hear Charlotte promise to save him.  She has a theory about how that will happen.  She thinks that Charlotte might wrap Wilbur in her web to keep him safe, and that she might bite the farmer if he tries to still get to him.  I had to reassure her that I believed that Charlotte was very smart and would indeed find a way to save him.