Saturday, August 30, 2008
I know we all must die, but I really wish granny could stay here forever. She is very special to me, because I am special to her. She always called me her "sunshine," and I have never done anything to deserve such a special title. (Of course, I think she calls all of her grandchildren sunshine, but that's beside the point.) My sister and I stayed with my "granny and papa" every friday night for most of our young life. We watched TGIFriday on ABC and ate canned refried beans, and even though there was nothing to do, we had fun. She taught me "The Three Little Pigs" and "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and Piggy toes and how to sing "Jesus loves me" and "Jesus loves the little children." I sing both of those songs regularly to my sweet children out of fond memory of her singing it to me. I can remember going home from college and her begging us to spend the night again even though we could not. And, during the summer I spent in Youngstown, NY, she wrote me every single day that I was away. Every card would have the same verse, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" Prov 3:5-6. The next summer I went to the Oregon coast, and she continued to write me all of the time. She used to call me almost everyday until the last few years, and even then, she talks to my mom daily and always asks about me and my sister and how we are doing. I know she prays for us.
I haven't been nearly as good to her as she has been to me. It was during those college years and my working years that she started getting sick with dementia or Alzheimer's. I hope that one day my children will look up to me the same way my mom always looked up to her and that I will live long enough to see both grandchildren and great grandchildren and also have them respect me the same way. I hope that I can be to my children and grandchildren the same type of encouragement and spiritual guide that she has been to us. My granny is one of the sweetest, best people I have ever known or will ever know. I hope to portray that same sweetness and godliness in my own Jamie way someday, somehow.
"You're My Sunshine" ~ Granny
"You're My Sweet Granny" ~Me
Yesterday, I feel as though He gave me a real treat when I went to get my hair done. First of all, my usual copay for my doctor's appt was already credited to me. I don't know how this happened, but I'll let God take the credit for it. And then, since my doctor's appt was early, I decided to walk into a fancy salon and see if they had any openings. They did, with one of their "top" hair artists. And even though they were closed when I walked up to the door, they let me in and treated me as if I, me, Jamie, was a princess. Now, nobody treats me like a princess. I would love to be somebody, but I am simply average, not well to do, not beautiful, not well dressed, not a good conversationalist, nothing that would get you noticed. But, they honestly treated me as if I was their special guest. Maybe I looked like a vagabond, I don't know, but nonetheless, I felt special. I had prayed to be able to get my haircut, and the receptionist and the stylist both said that this particular stylist rarely has openings and rarely is able to take walk-ins. Too me, it was, God saying, "Jamie, You are Special to Me, and You are My Princess. Of course, I know you are tired and worn out. Here is my Gift to You for the moment." The stylist ended up being a friend of a friend, and she charged me $10 less than the usual price. Amazing, and only because of our AWESOME God! I was in tears as I came home because I was so thankful to see God in all of it. I truly could not THANK Him enough.
And, my mom gave Princess the gift of a haircut too, and she also felt special and was almost perfect all day because she felt so wonderful.
Today, life is back to normal. My husband races go-karts occasionally, and today was a race day. Pea wanted to get in a go-kart too. If I could, I would totally try to redirect him, but since all of Daniel's family are racers, I doubt there is little I can do about it. Thankfully, he is only 1, and he can't do it yet.
Both Princess and Pea decided to come down with diarrhea while we were at the track, and Princess got it all over her clothes, so she sat in the car with only a shirt and a pullup. Actually Pea got it on him too because daddy was trying to help and got poop on the baby instead, so on the way home, he wore only a diaper. To top it off, I got to look as redneck as I possibly could because on the way home, I had to stop at a gas station to go, and had to drag in 2 scantly dressed kiddos. Then when we headed back to the house, Pea pooped again, and it was all over his carseat. Remember, he had nothing but a diaper on! So I changed him, cleaned his seat as best as I could until I got home, and then changed Princess!! Of course, hubby was still at the race track, so it was just me, God, and these 2 kids. I give a total hands up, kuddos, to any single moms out there. If you are doing even a half way decent job, you really are a hero!
But, to me, I simply could not do anything without the Savior. I am so glad I have a relationship with Him.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
- accountant (I keep the books in our home and I clip coupons and maximize our savings around here - this is how I make money)
- personal assistant
- project manager
- business woman
But I do it all for the love of my kids and my hubby. That's the only "payment" I receive, and since my kids, especially my Princess seems to need my every moment's attention until I start my job as chef and begin preparing dinner, I occasionally get burnout, and when I get burnout, I usually react like the end of the world is coming any minute. This is my drama (that I get from my mother) coming out in me. So today waking up still in the funk, I thought I simply cannot go on if I have another day like yesterday and the day before, so I remembered that "Hey, I'm supposed to be giving each day to God to do as He will with it. I'm gonna do that." I learned this in a Beth Moore bible study, and sometimes, I do it, and sometimes I fail to do it. And, hey buddy, when I fail to do it, I certainly KNOW! So today, beginning the day with a simple prayer was much better. Even though I had to discipline Princess several times as usual, it didn't feel like the world was going to end and I had more control, because He was in control, and I had given the control over to Him rightfully.
I did try a few tactics of which I don't usually try to resort to - like 1) we spent time at the playground trying to run off energy, and 2) we spent more time outside after lunch working it. Since Princess has given up her nap, I enforce a quiet time at my home, of which, she usually has to get in her bed. But in her room, she has free access to toys and it is right next to Pea's room as well, so today she got to watch Oliver Twist instead. We read the book - now we got to watch the movie. I limit TV time to 2 hours or less, so Oliver fit the bill, and Pea doesn't watch TV at all anyway.
And, even though, I still trying to figure out what exactly my role is here on planet earth, I know I'm not alone. I've read the other blogs. I especially like what Amanda says here. I'm still fuzzy. I know I am doing what I'm made to do, but I know also that I am made for more. Just waiting on God to get me there.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I'm in a series of "one of those days." It started off good today, but ended somewhat poorly.
Just feeling small and tiny and nonexistent, even though this is the one attempt to make my voice heard. I think Christianity is dying in the US because the "body of Christ" doesn't seem to be a body anymore. I mean does anybody really care about anybody else any more? I care, but I know service is a weakness for me - I feel like I am working so hard to hold it all together for myself that I forget to reach out and do what I know I need to for others. Thankfully, He is my strength when I am weak. I just need to obey.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Today we went to visit our pediatrician, who we love - Dr. Darby at Greenvale Pediatrics. It was E's 12 month appt, even though he is already 13 1/2 months. (We went to the beach instead of his regularly scheduled appt.) He is so tiny for his age at only a whopping 5% on the weight charts!! I certainly don't prefer that he is so small, but the doc assures me that he is fine. I hope so! Actually, it was all part of my plan. Starve my children as infants, so they will never be picky and eat all their veggies the rest of their lives for fear of starving! I am just kidding, but it is interesting to me how much food my kids eat in the the 2nd year of life. Both A & E can eat as much as Daniel or me sometimes!
When I was little, we had a going to the doctor routine where me, my mom, and my granny all went to visit my doctor and then we ate lunch at a special restaurant with giant lollypops. I was thinking that I need a special going to the doctor routine for my kids. Does anyone out there have such a routine? and what do you do?
Today we went to Target after the visit, and I let the kids get the free cookies. It seems moms are either totally for this or totally against this. I mean I think some moms really hate the kids who eat cookies. What do you think - do you have an opinion? I guess I would be of this opinion if I was an outsider watching my A. She dropped the last little bit of her cookie on the ground as we were leaving, and I think she screamed so loud her daddy could have heard her in the office building next door! My A is really quite moody, and even though it used to be a secret, because she used to be publicly well behaved, the truth is starting to come out! So much for the concept of hating all eyes on you - I simply no longer have a choice as a mom!!
I guess though, that is really a good thing. All eyes are watching even though I don't realize it or at times want it, but God made His people to shine the light into a dark world, and as one of His children, I hope I am shining His light, which means I'm going to get noticed, especially when I don't want to be noticed. Oh, how careful I must be to respond in a manner that would be pleasing to the Father, that the world may know Him.
Monday, August 25, 2008
It feels like everything at my home is in utter disarray all of the time, even though I know that it not true. There is absolutely too much junk in every room of my house (to me). I'm the kind of person that cleans when I am upset because I like everything to be in order. But, I can live with a little bit of mess, just NOT disorganized mess. I know a few who only tirelessly comment on what needs to be done in my home, when literally I have been gracious enough to allow them to come in my home even though it is not perfect enough even to me.
To clarify, we do not need to be nominated for Clean House or anything like that, but to me, everything feels like it is in chaos and disarray. I am sure there is something underlying that is bothering me too, but I haven't processed it yet. Anyway, I clean up and then I have these 2 kids who keep undoing all of the work I am doing. And if I did what I need to do for the house, I would have no time for the children, and obviously, they are more important. Then I become a grouch to them, and no fun at all. Especially today, when all I can think of is the chaos and organizing to do, instead of the sweet hugs and kisses and laughter and tugs. I guess I need a break. I rarely get a break - who does, right? (So why am I complaining?) What I really need is an attitude adjustment!! I am just tired of cleaning to no end in sight and getting rid of junk only to be given more. I don't want to be ungrateful either. Anyhow, if you are reading this, I could use a few prayers. I really need them and appreciate them.
What I realized as I was looking around is that I am God's creation, and I long for the eternal. I long for furniture that lasts for a lifetime and applesauce that does not grow mold and chairs that do not mildew in the rain. Romans says this, "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to FRUSTRATION, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." Even though this passage is speaking of the rest of creation and not believers or mankind, I am frustrated because creation is frustrated too. Everything created by God longs for the day when it will be able to truly and completely fulfill its designated purpose without the frustration that sin causes - even me.
So I feel a little relief, but I still have much to do.
Until next time - tootleloo!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
She loved Levi and was so sweet with him - kissing him and gently patting his little arms. She has always been fascinated with little fingers, hands, and arms, but she was very gentle.
It was fun being around another little baby. Lindy said I was going to get the baby fever, and though I would love to be a new mama again, I know I am not quite ready for it yet. If I could have one as easy as Levi, I might do it right away. He is a very good baby. He only cries when he is hungry or sometimes sleepy or wants to be held a little bit. And he is mostly alert throughout the day too.
It was a great time. It was nice to have A all to myself and know what kind of things we would be doing all day if it was still just she and I (reading and dressing up) without brother, but I so missed my little E and daddy too.
While I was gone, E said both "book" and "juice." I think his vocabulary is quite impressive, though probably only mommy and daddy would be able to recognize his words. We knew that A knew a lot at the same age, because she knew all of her animal sounds and all of her body parts. She obeyed commands and could point to pictures we asked her too. E rarely does any of that, but we know that he knows almost as much, but instead, he uses the words a little better.
As, an aside, A was been doing great going poo poo in the potty. We are very excited about this!
Lindy and I used to be roomies before she left, and I miss her all the time, but it was so much fun to visit her and her family. I haven't been to see her since she was married because shortly after I got pregnant with A and traveling has been limited. Thanks, Daniel, for letting me take off with A to visit her and for taking such good care of our little E. I can't wait for E to meet Levi - they share the same birthday!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Today though, it is different. No longer do the people around me believe the same things as I do, nor do all of my neighbors go to church. And as a result, values are hard to come by. Even though I live in Alabama and in the supposed Bible belt, that is a thing of the past. My children live in a different world than I do, and they do not have the same spiritual legacy I had. My husband does not come from a family of faith. I pray daily for God's absolute truths to sink into the kid's hearts and that the rest of the world's value systems will not be taken in, that I and my hubby will be a good teachers to them, that they will value people as much as they should.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
While I was lollygagging around on the finances, God was still providing for us in ways that I personally did not deserve since I was sinning and not being the best steward of the resources He has given us. We regularly tithe, and we often do so using the the "online" method, though God wanted me to stop doing that and actually write a check so I could see how much sinning I had been doing, and give Him his well deserved portion first. I believe that it is our faithfulness to tithe and that alone that has saved us from ourselves during this time. The Bible says in Malachi, "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, "How do we rob you? In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse - the whole nation of you - because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." (verses 8-10)
We are not in debt, but had we not been tithing, I believe we could have gotten there quickly. But our sin was not without consequences. Both Daniel and I have a few wants and needs. Things we have not bought or taken care of for some time now. But as a result of minor careless expenditures, I think we not only suffer, but mainly our kids suffer. A cannot go to MDO, and I do not know if we could instead take a dance class or swim class. These are the things that I want most - happiness for my kids. Though I have not been able to make as much as I would like at my 31 business, it is not because I do not work, that my children do not have luxuries. It is because we are guilty, so I thank God for this lesson I am learning about stewardship, and trust that He will help us in the future as we learn to be more trustworthy obedient servants.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
We have had a busy week this week. And some fun in the midst of it. The family played at the park one night, where we ran into one of A's friends. And then on Thursday, we traveled to Walker County to see granny. That was a long tiring day, with tired kiddos. It is not easy traveling with the kids, but we try. Friday, we went to playgroup at McDonald's and that was unexpectedly fun, though I didn't really have much opportunity to talk with many other moms since I was chasing E the whole time. Friday night, we kept kids for the Parent's Night Out our church is hosting as a fundraiser, and then Saturday, it was back to Walker County to visit with granny again. She has pneumonia now, but at least both times we saw her, she was smiling, which is a great improvement.
Today, we taught A's LC class at church, and our LC class does not meet on the 3rd Sunday, so we were only at church for an hour. How fast it went by! The kids were a lot of fun and so was teaching the story.
On the way home, A was talking, mentioning all of us in the car when she said, "Jesus." Then I asked her if Jesus was with us or something like that, when she said, "Jesus is our God. We just talk about him" The gist of it was that she understood that he was not someone physically with us, but that he was God. I explained to her that he was with us, and I know that is a hard concept to understand for a little one, but I am amazed at how much she already does understand about God and Jesus. She amazes me. God amazes me. How wonderful we are made and created and even formed to understand Him. No wonder it is easier for a young one to understand than for someone older.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The message series at my church is called "Going Viral," and the gist of it is that we ought to be building relationships with the world around us and as we build relationships, genuinely share Christ. I mean, who isn't willing to share Christ with someone they already know and love? especially when the cost is an eternity of torment in hell. Our pastor did not speak of hell today, but a man sharing with our LC class did, and Daniel and I noticed how out of place it seems to speak of hell, even though it is a reality. People are dying, and they are not just going to a place of indifference, but a place of eternal punishment and suffering. So this is great cause to get up and do something. It think it should make all of us wonder whether we love our God if we are not willing to love others as He loved us first and meet people's genuine needs. Do so not just because we need to increase our numbers at church, but because God did something so enormous and life changing through Jesus that we cannot help but to serve others. We need to stop what we are doing to stay "busy" and start doing the things that we are commanded to do.
So church has been good, and LC has been great. God is doing awesome things in my LC class. We got to watch a video during class about Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas. I wish everyone could watch this video. I cannot share all the testimonies here, but I will tell you about what had the greatest impact on me. Hope was started though God calling some people in GA to plant a church in LV. When the leaders got there, the pastor, Vance Pittman, got a phone call from a Philippinian (?) woman. She had moved from the Philippines to Hong Kong to make some money for her poor family. She moved in with an American family to nanny and do housework, etc. They moved from Hong Kong to the US - Woodstock, GA, in fact. She began attending Woodstock Baptist Church and became a Christ follower. Then the family moved again to Las Vegas, NV, and everyday since the day she moved there, she prayed that God would send people from Woodstock Baptist Church to start a church there. She prayed for over 3 years I think, but God answered her prayers and these men were sent to start the church she had prayed for! Amazing! Imagine what great things we could see God do if we only prayed for them. Start with prayer and join the work that results for as Vance Pittman said in the video, "Prayer is the work, God does the rest." This church which is only 7 years old has already planted 8 churches in the LV area and they are in turn planting more churches. God is Awesome!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
She is in ICU now, and on a positive note, the ICU nurse says that her foot is healing. I just don't know if Granny can find her joy again. I think she longs to be with the Lord.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
And probably many others that I am blanking on. Sometimes, he tries to quack or make barking sounds. He loves to do anything A is doing. A calls him her prince sometimes, and I think he would call her princess. Other likes he has: He especially loves to throw balls and is very good it. Every morning he wants to get up and look at his Noah's Ark shelf in his room and talk about the ark and all the animals and at some point get the caterpillar off the shelf. He rans and likes to play chase and take all the books of off any shelf. He still loves shoes and takes all of Daniel's off of his shoe rack if he can make it into our bedroom and next the closet. One of his favorite pastimes is climbing up and down the steps, and seeing how fast he can get to the steps before mommy or daddy catches him. He is very curious and continually wants to know about "that." When he gets hungry, he gets ravenously hungry and is VERY unhappy until his belly is well full. He loves both mommy and daddy enormously!!
Today, we went to volunteer at Jessie's Place. We kept a one year old little girl and had a great time. She was so sweet, and I got to hold her and snuggle up with her. Neither one of my babies really let me do that anymore, so it was precious to me. It definitely made me want to do it again, and one day, I hope to do something with the women there. I thought of several ways to give to the ministry to help them out. I was surprised by how easily I was allowed to enter into the shelter to volunteer - no training, no id, just time. I guess they assume people who inquire of volunteering are genuine because they are few? I still have much to learn about Jessie's Place. I am very excited about it all.
Being a nonworking stay at home mom requires a lot of sacrifice. I know many sahms have all the resources they need, but we are not such a family. We have lots of love instead (cliche, I know). I think we've decided we cannot afford MDO. Maybe we could get a once a month sitter, so I can finally make the many doctor's appts I need to make. Errands are more than twice as hard when you have more than one child to tag along, especially when one is a crazy baby boy. Anyhow, I do take them almost everywhere I go and manage fairly well (now that E is 1! smile), but I was thinking that despite the down sides, there are so many sweet sides to my getting to stay at home, including the volunteering. These sweet sides make the sacrifices oh so worth it!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
But the doors are down, so every morning, his shower wakes me and A up from our slumber, which is a good thing for me. She needs more sleep, since she is usually napless. But she has become such a good helper. Yesterday, she helped me put away clothes in their drawers, and she thought it was fun.
Well, for me, I have had no such said child. At 2 1/2, she tinkles in the potty and is working on telling me when she has to go, but otherwise, she can stay dry if I take her to the potty or remind her. I have come to find out that 2 1/2 is a reasonable age for a little girl to reach this goal. Though I am convinced that she could poo-poo in the potty all the time, she does not, and I have come to find out that a reasonable timeframe of this could be 6 months to a year longer. And she does not regularly stay dry at night. Occasionally, yes, and I have tried taking her to the potty before I go to bed to see what happens. But I have come to find out that a reasonable expectation of this is a year or so after she is going during the day, so we have possibly another year before this is achieved or longer. But no one ever told me any of this, and as a mom, if you have unreasonable expectations, you can get discouraged easily, and place undue stress on yourself and your child. Please encourage young mothers whatever they may be doing. This post is meant to be an encouragment to anyone who may be in similar circumstances. I assume the more moms you know with a lot of different experiences, the better off you are in training or teaching your child in a reasonable manner. With that aside, I've heard boys can be even more difficult, so even though I will recognize that if it occurs in E, I am already praying for an easier time of it.
Things my 2 1/2 year old does:
picks out her own clothes and completely dresses herself
climbs in the car, gets in her seat, and buckles herself in the car seat
can drink from a big girl cup
completely feeding herself (has been for probably a year now)
anything else she thinks a "big gurl" might do, unless she is having one of her moments where she understandably still wants to be a baby or a "little gurl"
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Since I've been so bold, I've found myself in predicaments and sorrows and sadness and the truth of the message has been put to the test. For starters, the kids and I went to visit my mom Friday, and we visited my mom's parents and my dad's parents. For those of you who do not know, my mom's mom (granny) is in the nursing home recovering from a broken hip and her dad (papa) is recovering at home from a stroke he had last year. He is unable to be "home alone" as he has become very dependent on others with the heart of an independent person. In other words, he cannot do what he desperately wants to do because of all the possible accidents he could have. My dad's mom (grandmother) has lymphoma, which has also progressed to skin cancer. And my dad's dad (pa or sometimes grandpa) is moderately healthy with possible prostate cancer developing.
If these things aren't depressing on their own, going and visiting for a sliver of time is. Watching my granny's heart hurt so much when she might lose her foot. Her choices are open heart surgery or losing a foot! or a leg! And she is on the last days of her life and I know she'd rather not have either surgery. Finding the words to comfort and encourage really do not seem there and when they are, they don't seem enough.
And then Saturday, my little girl starts talking while we were swimming, and her words allude to possibly my dad, who she has never known because he died unexpectedly almost 4 years ago.
Sunday both of the children were little terribles as we were getting ready for church, and I struggled to maintain my focus on God through it all. Then I went to church and heard about homeless children in Las Vegas who go home hungry and actually have to hide food and clothes from their parents, so their parents would not steal it from them - the kids! Some of the things I heard about the LV schools and kids were not too different from the world I grew up in Walker County.
And then as I listened to them talk about encounters they had with other women in LV, I began to identify (perhaps my empathy coming out, i'm not sure) with the women they talked about. This part is hard to talk about and I am going to lay it out there for the world to see, but I do not make friends easily. It used to be my horrible shyness, but now, I guess I am just not a good friend and most people don't like being around someone who wants to go deeper and not just stay at the surface. I don't know why I don't attract friends, but I just don't. I do long for a deep friendship, but most of my friendships have been in passing, and when I left one stage of life for another, so the friend went too. I'm currently in the stage of life where if you are best friendless you are very unlikely to find one. So when they talked of women desperate for attention and help preparing their classrooms I thought that could be me if I didn't know Christ.
I am satisfied with God and the gifts he gives me because I know it is for my benefit. If I am not blessed with abundant friendship, I know he uses it for a reason, but the lost world, (those who know nothing of the fullness of God's love) cannot possibly understand this. And I sometimes find myself at odds for this, for if I, a believer, long for connection within my own church family, how do I bring a newcomer into such a place. For this void I have, I totally DO long for another home - and the best friend I could possibly ever have to sit face to face to (maybe occasionally, we will all be given an opportunity to meet with Him so intimately).
So eternal life is now, but the narrow path can be lonely and cumbersome, and sometimes filled with goose poop (if you are walking at Spain Park).