Monday, January 23, 2012

Didn't Solomon say something about that?


Paul and I escaped reality for a week.

Well, not quite, we were doing four days of training for Gateway.  But being 11 hours away from all our other responsibilities?  It sure felt like we had escaped.

I feel like it was good in more ways than one.  I really enjoyed the training that we went through.  I really enjoyed eating out and having someone else make my bed for me.  I enjoyed the quietness of the evenings, being spent however you want.  Those of you who are houseparents as well...you know how big of a deal THAT one is!  And, although I dearly missed our kids....it was nice to have a break from that as well.

The first few days were the feeling of 'Ahhh...freedom!'  I didn't have to say phrases like:  "what did i just tell you?" or "stop pulling your sister's hair." or  "crayons are not for eating." or  "stop dumping milk on your head." 

and countless other phrases that we utter as parents that we never imagined we would ever say.

it was nice to not have to say those for a few days.

By about halfway through the week I was starting to feel re-energized.  Did you ever get that feeling after being away from your kids for a day or two?  That feeling that says "When I get back I am going to do such a better job as a mom!  I will do this and I won't do that and yada, yada, yada!" 

Help me out, surely someone else has felt this way?

Anyway, in one of those moments of grand expectations, I thought about how I so often REact, instead of act.

This was actually something that came up in our training, and something that I had been thinking about for the last month or so.  I love how God had me thinking about his before I even was presented with it in training.

Our training challenged us to be PROactive versus REactive.  When a crisis happens, or even, when one of my kids does something that I don't like, do I think before acting, or do I work on impulse?

So many of my regrets come from my REactions.  Many of my victories stem from thoughtful actions.  I am challenging myself to put this into practice with my own 3 little ones.  I often react in impatience, frustration, anger.  I would like to instead act with patience, long-suffering, and love.

I want my kids to remember me as their mom who, instead of griping in anger about what they did wrong, speaks to them with gentleness, helping them to see what they did wrong, and what they can do better.

That probably sounds all idealistic and a little bit like kum-by-ya, but I think putting it into practice will reap rewards.

At any rate, we are back to reality, and guaranteed, my kids will give me plenty of chances to practice.

Thank you, Jesus.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Melancholy

Kinda feeling it this evening.

Not sure what has brought it on.  Whether it's because I'm fighting a cold.  Or because I didn't sleep all that well last night. 

Not sure.

But sometimes I think God is trying to speak to me in those melancholy times.  I think sometimes I am discontent and not even aware of it.

Does that make any sense?

I hope it does to someone, because then I wouldn't be alone in this.

At any rate, what better way to pull out of melancholy (or discontent) than to count blessings, right?

A short picture list (in no particular order...because this is the order I found them in and downloaded them from their folders...and can't switch them around because I am computer illiterate...)

 My beautiful children
 My wonderful, loving, forgiving, perfect-for-me husband


Peace in Jesus Christ
Co-laborers in this work that make this life just a bit more sun-shiny
Family that loves us and accepts us just the way we are

Sisters! 'nuf said

Food, shelter, clothing...all those things I take for granted that some can only hope for...

My church family.  And the freedom to worship with them.

Sigh.  OK. That did help just a little bit...

Here's to tomorrow...start of a new week!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What I like about a sunrise...

I like New Year's day.

And Mondays.

And mornings.

They all have one thing in common for me.

Clean slate.  The start of a new year.  The start of a new week.  The start of a new day.

I used to do new year resolutions, but, you see, I am not very disciplined (something I have *ahem* resolved to change...) and trying to do something different in a new year, well, doesn't last very long.  I would try really hard for oh, say the first week or so, and then the wheels would fall of the wagon.  Well, the next year wouldn't come around for another 340 days so I would shelve those resolutions for another year. 

But weeks, and days, come around a bit more often.  So I have found myself making resolutions for myself for a week, or day, at a time.

This week I am going to get my closet organized.

This week I will get that card written and mailed.

Today I will try a new recipe.

Today I will spend more quality time with my kids.

Today I will not get impatient with my kids over the simplest little things.

Oy.  You get the point.

It's so nice that if a week has gone badly, I can hope for the following to go better.  Or, if today was pretty rough, for whatever reasons those may be, but tomorrow...well tomorrow holds promise.

I love to fall back on a promise that God gives us in Lamentations: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

There is that clean slate again.  His compassions (another version says 'mercies') are NEW EVERY MORNING.  I have some of those days where I know I have failed God over and over again.  I can go to bed with a heavy heart of failure, turn it over to Him, and awake with the promise that His compassion is there to meet me again with the sunrise.


So, this year I did not make any year-long resolutions, just one's that will be renewed with the day.

Today I will rejoice in the day that the Lord has made.

Today I will seek to enjoy my children and be the mother that they need me to me, and what God wants me to be.

Today I will spend quiet time with God, because without it, everything else falls apart.

Today I will hug my husband and tell him how much I appreciate him.


Hmmm...I think that is a good start for today.