Monday, April 30, 2007

Lots To Do

I've been playing catch up this morning after what seems like a whirlwind during the past few weeks. Part of that catch up was going to be posting on my blog--I haven't done that since this whirlwind began several days ago while preparing for Hannah's birthday party. So I've been mulling around in my head this morning what I wanted to post about and how I could squeeze all the events of the past few weeks into one post.

My thoughts started out centered around the whirlwind itself:

  • we celebrated my daughter's birthday last weekend, so you know the plans and preparations that went into the party and having family here;
  • then I spent the following days preparing to be gone from Thursday until Sunday night for a women's retreat that I was helping with. Those preparations included wrapping up some business; packing everything I would need while I was gone; cooking and freezing and making menus so my family could eat during that time; making schedules and leaving instructions for Mark and my in-laws, who would be caring for the kids while I was gone; and getting all the laundry done
  • then came the weekend itself--me, totally immersed in over 72 hours of the retreat, all the while not getting much sleep (and missing my family--I've never left my kids for that long!!); and my family, just going through those hours and days without Mommy
  • and now, after me being home for not even a day, Mark has left for a meeting of a board that he serves on and won't be home until tomorrow night; and
  • I have lots of laundry, unpacking, and other various things that need to be done to make up for being gone for a few days.

Oh yes, and yesterday was our 7th anniversary, which we managed to celebrate by exchanging cards and promising to make plans soon for a night away to really celebrate.

Whew. What a whirlwind. So that was where my thought were centered.

Then Mark called to let me know that he had come up with the devotional that he would be bringing at the beginning of his meeting today. His scripture? "Be still, and know that I am God." I usually just think about the "be still" part of this scripture, which is important, but it also has a second part that doesn't need to be overlooked: "know that I am God." So, I'm not only supposed to slow down, I'm supposed to trust in who God is.


So for today, as I try to end this whirlwind that seems to have been non-stop for a few weeks, I will apply this scripture in this way. I will resist my urge to be overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. I'll start some laundry, but if it doesn't all get done today, I'll remember that there is always tomorrow. I'll begin unpacking, but if everything doesn't find its way back to its appropriate drawer, closet, etc. today, the world won't come to an end because of it. I'll slowly reintroduce myself to the work that is waiting for me, but not try to accomplish it all in the next 24 hours. I'll do what I can to catch up on some much-needed rest and not feel guilty about it. In short, I'll trust in God and let Him make my to-do list for the day.

If I could actually see the list He has for me, I have a feeling it would start something like this:

"1. Love on Benjamin and Hannah. They've missed their mommy the past few days."
Their mommy has missed them, too.

So, I better get busy. I've got lots of loving to do today.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thoughts From a Mommy

My baby turns two tomorrow. Oh my word. I cannot believe it's been two years since we brought that little bundle of joy home from the hospital! I was so excited to have a little girl to be girlie with--and still am! Having Hannah just seemed to complete our little family--one boy, one girl, perfect. At least for now. We'll see if God agrees.

I've had a couple of moments with Hannah lately that have given me glimpses of what might be around the corner in the years to come. A few days ago, I was sitting in the middle of the living room floor, sorting through some boxes that had just come from the UPS man. Hannah "found" me and then promptly went back to her room to get her big, fluffy, pink pillow. She plopped it down beside me, plopped herself down on her tummy, rested her arms on the pillow, and then just looked up at me, as if she were primed for conversation. And she's getting to be enough of a talker that you can actually have a conversation of sorts with her. So there we sat, us girls, talking about what she had done at Children's Day Out that day, which of her friends were there, and any other exciting thing either of us could think of. It brings tears to my eyes just telling you about it (I know, I get awfully sappy when my children's birthdays roll around!) because it was just so sweet. It was as if God gave me a little preview of moments I have to look forward to as Hannah grows up into a little lady. It is one of my hearts strongest desires to keep that line of communication between me and my kids open as they grow up. I always want them to know they can share things with me about their lives, ask me questions, and tell me their secrets.

Hannah also is very curious about my makeup these days. As I'm getting ready in the mornings, she looks in my drawer full of makeup and says, "What's this, Mommy? What's this, Mommy? What's this, Mommy?" And I think, oh how much fun we will have together, playing makeup, painting our nails, and doing all those fun, girlie things! (But for now, I have a safety lock handy because I want to play makeup on my terms, not hers.)

Sometime tonight, if I get the house cleaned, the laundry done, the presents wrapped, and the decorations put up, I'll sit down at the computer and write Hannah her 2nd Birthday Letter. I started this with Benjamin and am continuing it with Hannah. I write letters to them on their birthdays and any other big occasion that comes up, telling them about their life as it is now, telling them how much I love them, telling them whatever it is I want them to know. Then someday, when they turn 18, or 21, or 47, or whenever, I'll give them all to them as a book of memories about their lives and about my privilege of being their Mommy. I'm pondering sharing the letter with you guys. I'll have to think about it--sharing it may be too personal, but it would also be a fun way for you to know more about my little princess and her second year of life.

But I will share this with you, since we are on the subject of my little princess. I took this a few weeks ago. Aren't they sweet when they are sleeping? My mommy's heart just melts every time I look at it. And I get teary. Because that's what I do when my kids' birthday's come around.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Friday, April 6, 2007

"This is Going to be Good"

I read the blogs of several wonderful Christian women who provide me with such wisdom, insight, laughter, and comfort on a daily basis. I've spent the last several minutes visiting several of them to read their thoughts on this Good Friday. It's been a blessing to see so many different thoughts on this day that means so much to us as Christians.

Last night, our church had a Maundy Thursday service that God used to really touch my heart. I went to bed Wednesday night with a heavy heart because it suddenly hit me that I had been too busy this week to stop and prepare my heart for Easter in the way that I would have wanted to. I allowed the worries of my everyday life to overshadow what is the most important time in the Christian year. So I went to the Maundy Thursday service last night with a strong desire for God to touch me and prepare me in the way He wanted for these days leading up to Easter. And, as you know, God never disappoints!

We had some beautiful music interwoven with touching scripture passages, and then we all filed down to our Fellowship Hall to partake of communion in a special setting. We were seated at tables of 12--representative of Jesus' last supper with His 12 disciples. We were served by a man dressed in attire appropriate for that day, and our meal was lit only by candlelight at our tables. It was a blessed time.

As Benjamin and I were filing down to the Fellowship Hall with the rest of the congregation, he was very curious about what we were doing. He kept asking me 20 questions in his little boy whisper voice, and I struggled to balance the reverance of the moment and the innocent questions of a very curious 3 year old. As he realized we were going to have "bread and juice", he became very excited, almost jumping up and down. Then he looked at me and said, "Oh, Mommy! This is going to be good!" My heart thought, oh baby, if you only could understand how good it really is.

Benjamin sat beside me at our table of 12, and as we waited to be served, he was still very curious and excited. We were directed to break off our piece of bread and take our cup, but to hold them and not partake of them yet. For a little boy who loves having "bread and juice," that was almost torturous. So when we finally ate our bread and drank from our cup, he took his almost ravenously, as if he couldn't eat it or drink it fast enough. As Benjamin drank his juice from that tiny cup, he was practically gulping it. It took him several drinks to take it all in, where I usually just swallow it in one swallow. As I observed him doing that, I thought, that is how I want to take in God's grace--not casually drinking it down with one swallow and then moving on. But gulping it down, ravenously, excitedly, not able to take it in fast enough. The good thing is this--God's grace is indeed abundant enough for us to gulp it down, and the cup never runs dry.

Good Friday is always a sad day as I remember all that Christ endured for you and for me. But what always gets me through is knowing that Sunday is coming! There's such hope and joy in knowing that the story doesn't end today. Walking into worship on Easter Sunday almost overwhelms me with the joy and excitement, gratitude and thanksgiving that is in my heart for our Savior.

Yes, Benjamin, this is, indeed, going to be good!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Oh, My!

This is my son, Benjamin's, room. Note the books on the shelf, toys against the wall, pillows and things on the window seat. The lighting is not great, but I'm sure you get the picture.

This is also Benjamin's room. Note: there are NO books on the bookshelves, NO toys against the wall, NOTHING on the window seat. Again, not great lighting, but did your eyebrows raise up into your hairline like mine did when I saw this room? And, no, I'm not going overboard in my participation in any of the Spring Cleaning Challenges that are floating around in blogland right now. This is what I found this morning after the kids had their playtime in their rooms, as they do every morning. When their time was up, Benjamin came to me and very excitedly said, "Mommy! Come look at my room! I cleaned it!" And just where did all his stuff go, you ask? That was my first question as well. Here's the answer: the closet.

Those of you who know me know that this is the sort of thing that has the potential to send me into orbit!! Yes, every book he owns, along with all extra pillows and stuffed animals, his piano, his guitar, his piano stool, his step stool, and many, many, many other various toys and things were all on the floor of his closet in ONE BIG MESS! Thankfully, all I did was laugh (and go get my camera--no way was I going to miss this one!) and shake my head at him. Oh, dear Lord, help me keep laughing because the alternative wouldn't be pretty! So after snapping these shots to share with all of you, we began unpiling his closet and putting everything back in its rightful place.

Goodness knows what I would have found to do with my time this morning had Benjamin not "cleaned" his room!

(I feel the need to defend myself a bit: Benjamin did NOT learn this method of cleaning from me! My Type A/OCD/whatever-you-want-to-call-it personality does not allow me to clean a room by stuffing everything in a closet. For this I am thankful. Otherwise my mental state would be much worse than it currently is. And that would not be pretty!)