Monday, October 21, 2013

This weekend was full of the goodness of fall and fun!!!  We had a lot of time together as a family, including our annual fall family picture taking adventure.  My kiddos and Patrick have given in to the fact that documenting our family year after year is one of my favorite things.  This year I think there might have even been enthusiasm!!! about our picture taking.  

I put the yard to sleep, which always makes me a little bit sad.  Chair cushions go back in their storage bins.  Cushions that have stories to tell of all of our spring and summer.  Naps taken, conversations had, feet rested, books read with glasses of iced tea.  Now, the chairs are empty, awaiting the snow that will soon take the cushions place.  

I tore up an entire flower garden, replacing worn out rose bushes with underground bulbs.  Planting bulbs is such an interesting activity.  I have to work super hard to dig the holes, prepare the holes, pop the little bulbs in and then... cover all of the work up with dirt and mulch, waiting for the cold months to pass to show any sort of proof of my labor!  I am more of an instant gratification girl than I am a wait for months to show productivity... so I think thats why this gardening activity causes me to muse.  I am excited for that particular garden to look better than it did this past summer though, so all of the work will be worth it.     

 Over the past few weeks we have had many great events in our family, the least of which was Marky's first homecoming!  She and her friends looked so amazing and it was so much fun for everyone.  I got to make dinner for the group of them and I also got to help the girls with their hair.

Marky looked like the beautiful, amazing young lady that she is.  We feel so blessed for the young adult that she is growing into.

We've also played lots of soccer, attended lots of football games, danced many steps, and finished Maddie's season of tennis.  Since school began in late August, our weeks have just been marching along at a very quick tempo.  Some days I find myself wondering about when life will slow its tempo down, yet I am growing more and more certain that slowing down just doesn't look like it is in the plans. Thats okay.  As long as we are organized and I spend a lot of time praying, we can keep up with the speed and volume of things.
 As the weather turns colder and colder, the inside of our house is just getting more and more delightful to us.  Having the extra space downstairs now is such a blessing.  I am so grateful that we were able to finish the basement this summer. It has made such a difference to us.
Yesterday I talked to my mom about Thanksgiving plans.  WOW - its just around the corner!!  It seems like just a minute ago I was taking the kids to the pool on a hot summer day. Lots to enjoy between now and then!!! I better go to it! :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

The delicious pumpkin spice latte that I drank at 6:00 PM is betraying me at a late hour tonight.  I knew that it was going to be trouble, when I needed to close my eyes and fall to sleep, but its tastiness over-ruled common sense and now, here I am.

The weather turned COLD tonight!!  Not only did the rain fall, but so did the temperatures. BRRRR!!!

 We attended a high school football game, where Marky got to perform on her dance team.   When I watch her perform and see the huge smile on her face, my heart is absolutely delighted.  I am in love with that child.. (With all 4 of them, actually).  I love that I can tell that she's nervous because she mushes her lips together over and over.  I love that I can start praying for her when I see said lip-mushing.   I love that she is a part of a team.  I love every. single. bit . of. it... For her, for me, for her sisters and brother who love watching her, for the memories that she is making, for the privilege of watching her blossom into who God has made her to be.  This week, I also got to  sit on the sidelines while my Maddie-girl played tennis.  What a tennis player that girl is!!!  She is the most kind team mate ANDopponent.  I am so proud of her sweet, generous attitude.  It was such a risk for her to play tennis this fall, and she ended the season by saying "I can't wait to play again next year".  And THAT makes all of the driving and scheduling and juggling all worth it.  When they love it. When it stretches them and grows them.

Since my kids were teeny tiny, I have been in the protection business.  The safest car seat, putting them to sleep on their backs, holding their tiny hands when they crossed a street,  making sure the outlets were covered and the stairs were blocked.  The safety of my children has always been a high priority to me (as it is with most parents, but I as in most areas of my life I am an over-achiever so I have of course tried to over-achieve in THIS area as well...) .  I have fought battles over movie ratings, I have pushed bike helmets and scooter pads; I have talked to them about stranger-danger and  reminded them about what DOESN'T go in their mouths. Protection - its the degree that I have pursued for the last 15 years.  Most of the time, my attentiveness has been motivated by love, but there have also been times where I have been motivated by fear.  Neither emotion is better because they cause me to do different things.  Being motivated by love helps me teach my kids to make good choices about their OWN safety, for themselves.  Being motivated by fear helps me instruct them on how to stay away from what could hurt them.  Over the last few weeks however, I have found that I have been motivated by a third emotion -  A.N.G.E.R.  Mad, mother-bear, you-have-messed-with-the- wrong-kid type of anger.  Anger that has made me stompin' mad and anger that has made me cry.   Anger that has made me pray, pray and pray some more..  Because gone are the days where I can band-aid up the owies that come from my kids getting hurt from a fall on the sidewalk.  The pain that they experience these days is much deeper, requiring bandages that are so much bigger than what this mama can apply.   Pain from people who are supposed to be their friends, pain that comes from being made to feel inadequate, pain from being shamed by people who are suppose to love them.  These are the days where buckling their carseat correctly does nothing to  shield their hearts from disappointment and discouragement.  These are the days where we look to prayer to heal our hurts, to the Bible for encouragement for our pain.  Many days I want to scream back at the hurters "My kids are too young to experience real hurt and real pain!! Leave them alone!!!"  And yet, just as I have seen my kiddos practice and get better at the sports they are enjoying, I know that they will each get stronger because of the "practice" they are getting dealing with the hurts that they have had to endure over the past few weeks.  BUT...

Tonight, I'm tired of it all. I want the bullies (of all ages!) to "get theirs";  I don't want to hear my 7 year old tell me that his friend has made fun of him because his mommy sends him notes in his lunch box; I don't want to hear how my daughter feels left out at recess; I don't want my kids to feel the pain of being publicly embarrassed by someone who has a need to belittle them. I want to cover them with my arms and I know that my arms are too short and that there isnt enough of me to bear it all for them.  And that's why we have Jesus.  He is enough for all of these burdens.  He can take on their enemies, and I must bring my kids and their need for protection to Him.  I know that He is faithful.  He loves my kids more than I do and His power is everything that they need.