Thursday, September 28, 2006

1 year at this and I just learned how to really do the pictures~!

Okay - aren't my kids precious?
(They're asleep right now... I'm more inclined to say such things after a long day....)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Raising the Bar

Tonight over dinner Eli decides to tell us a little about his ETC class at school. Now,just so you know, ETC is the school's name for the gifted and talented program - and it is a great program.Just thought it was funny what Eli takes away ....

"Yeah, I really like it because we get to do a lot of crafts. AND we learned how to use a PAPER CLIP!!"

( Thanks Theresa - for the how to on pics,(WOOHOO!) and to Cindy for the shot of Eli's re-creation of his favorite shirt!)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bedtime affections

Well, tonight was another quoteable night.

Over last minute glasses of milk before bed, Julia wanted to express her affection to us in a unique way, which led us down an interesting path of conversation.

Julia - "Momma, I love you so much, and I'm never gonna kill you."

Me - "Uh, thank you Julia. I appreciate that, but let's not say kill, okay?'

Julia "But I want to say I love you special!"

Me - Well, I understand, but somehow saying the opposite of kill still doesn't sound that good. "

Julia - "I know! I love you so much momma, I'm never gonna make you go to heaven. "

Jason - (Trying not to laugh) "Julia, we all want to go to heaven...."

Eli now chimes in, "Yeah! Who wants to go to hell? Raise your hand."

Julia raises her hand.

Eli, Jason and I quickly explain some of why we don't want to go to hell.

Julia (as if canceling her raised hand.)
"Oh. Nevermind."

Eli goes on to explain, (as it has been on his mind lately anyway... )
"Now Julia, if you don't want to go to hell, you have to be baptized... put under the water... now Dad, if you want to go to hell,.... well, sorry, it's too late."

Sweet, simplistic faith and understanding.
And a new twist on bedtime rituals.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The good, the bad, and the little bit too personal..

Quotable day... that's what today was.

Tonight at bedtime, Julia told me she wanted to wait a little bit before she prayed. I asked why?

"Because I only pray on Tuesdays. That's what God asked me to do." She often speaks as the voice of God in our home.

Prayer time with Eli was significant too. In his prayer he said:
"...and God, would you please change Emmerson's heart. He doesn't want to be my friend, just because of that one thing I did, and I want to be friends...."

Oh so true. A heart cry of many. More and more,for this reason, I grow to love mercy.

And as I followed his prayer with my own, I was unusually short. Eli asked me why I was, and I didn't really have a good answer. (I didn't want to say I was tired.) He said "Mom... I want to know your heart. Not just your heart about me and the things you like about me... your heart about everything in your mind too. " Wow. That just really surprised me.

So I shared with him just a little piece of a struggle that I was having like his with someone I didn't think liked me, and how I felt much like he did. So we prayed together for God to change their heart, and when we were done, he said, "Now mom, you know sometimes God changes their hearts, and sometimes He doesn't. But either way, it's okay. Okay?" Such wisdom. I adore that boy.

And on a funny note, Jason and I were discussing books and reading today. He was sharing how he liked fiction, and I was explaining that I used to read a lot of it, and imagine I will return to it in the future as our kids move into different stages, but for now I didn't have time for that kind of reading. His reply?

"You would if you went to the bathroom more."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pride and Prejudice

Hee hee. Stole this from Theresa.

Westley / The Dread Pirate Roberts

Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

I love that movie.

And I love Pride and Prejudice.
I have watched Pride and Prejudice for the last two nights as I have entered database work on the computer. My head and nose are stopped up and I'm not very fun to talk or listen too right now, so it has been best to park myself here and get some work done. But I love that movie and never tire of it! (Even as I write now an English accent flows through my keyboard.:-)

Jason and I have an ongoing feud about the significance of the movie. Despite attempts, I have yet to adequately explain what is so romantic about it. Rarely does my husband have typical "guy" responses but he has a mental block against this movie. (His remark in jest last night was 'Okay... so if you want me to treat you poorly for two years and then profess my love for you, I will....')

So if you have seen it... what are your thoughts about what make it so classical?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

When "me" gets in the way of what I want.

I have often said that I am a recovering perfectionist. Not that I have ever been good at being a perfectionist - but I sure seem dependent on the pursuit of it at times. The sin of it in me runs deep. Ironically, like most sin, what I try to accomplish in myself by pursuing it only ends up creating more of the very pain I am trying to avoid.

What my perfectionism results in is depression, anxiety and anger. I can look around in 20 different directions and see things I need to do better.

- I need to be a better mom. More patient, more intentional. Less angry or frustrated. I need to play more.
- I need to be a better spiritual guide to my kids. They need to get the first of me, not the last of me. Why don't they have verses memorized yet?
- I need to be a better wife. And cook more. And not be grumpy.
- I need to be a better daughter, sister, daughter-in-law , granddaughter and friend. Besides this blog, I stink at writing and calling those I love.
- And if I would organize our finances better we could get ahead faster. And if I would clip more coupons, and shop at more than one store, and cook all of our meals once a month, then I could do more stuff.
- And I need to be a better secretary. And mentor. And Christian. And, well person, in general. I'm just not really good with people.
- And if I could get up every morning at 5:00 and get in both my prayer time, bible study AND exercise before my kids get out of bad, the whole day would go smoother.
- And if I could get in bed by 10:00pm and fall asleep by 10:30, I could get up at 5:00. Then I wouldn't depend on a nap because I get up at 5:45 and go to bed at 11:30. And THAT would leave more time to get stuff done.... Why do I always seem SHOCKED when dinner time and bed time roll around... because I'm not done with stuff!

You can see how my thoughts go on and on. I can't do it. I'm mad at the world because I can't do it. I get mad at the world because I can't do what I think it wants me to do. I can't do what I want to do.

Now I share all of that not because I need consoling or affirmation, but because I don't think I'm the only one who has those thoughts. They may take different forms, but most of us are pretty skilled at being frustrated with ourselves, and consistently aware of how we don't measure up.

But it's the measuring up that is at the heart of the problem. Why do I want to measure up? If it were some noble reason, and sometimes it is, okay. But really, if I'm honest to the core of my thoughts, .... most of the time my wanting to measure up is rooted in selfishness. I don't want to fail. I want to be a success. I want to accepted. I want to be liked. I want to make a difference. I want to mean something to somebody. I want to be important, good, appreciated, valued, credible, consistent, wise, worthy, nice, kind, personable.... I want to be valued..... I want to be loved. I don't want to be or do anything that could result in the opposite.

"I", "I", "I". There was a time when my grappling with this concept led me down the course of understanding our unconditional my acceptance and love from God was. How life changing that was and is. To know the consistency of His mercy! To trust His affection and acceptance. He covered me in His Son's blood. How more intimate can a relationship be?

And while I feel grounded in the understanding of His acceptance & love, I find that the battle with me is not over. Motivations may change, and become more noble, but "I" still seem to be at the center of them too often. Bible study would start with what He would teach "me" ( so "I" could become wiser), and prayer time consisted of what "I" would need to present to Him for intervention. The list begins again....

This week I have tried to focus on being done with me. I don't need more strategies on how to become better at more, but I need simplicity and decision to just make my life about worshipping God. My time in the morning... is spent with Him, but listening with humility to what He would change in me through His word. I have tried to take captive the first thoughts of the day.... so that they would be on Him, and not on me or what I have to do or what problems I think I face.

Do you know how hard that is? Have you ever thought about how much you think about yourself? All the time. I talk to myself more than anyone else, and I talk about me to myself more than anyone else.

I can choose to not think about me, and begin thinking on God, and without apology, 'me' will interrupt myself!!!!

Today.... I decided to sleep in. And I rationalized reasons why the day was okay for me to just go on and not pray in depth or read or study or meditate. It wasn't a sin. But it was enough room for "me" to take over the leading of my day, and the results were disastrous. Until this evening when my husband sent me off to pray. (Thanks Cindy - for the reminder through Eli that any day can be turned around....)

I want to be a nobody who just needs Him at any cost. Not because "I" will be better, but because He is worthy of my thoughts being on Him day and night. Ironically... it changes how I think... about my children, my husband, my relationships, my finances, my day, my problems, my time... my nothing. He is amazing, and puts all of life in perspective.

It will take practice to be okay with being a nobody. But the peace found in His Perfection is more than enough to compensate. I'm finding it is pure joy.