Monday, June 27, 2011

My Life: A Prayer List being Answered, Part 2

I don't know if it is normal for a child to wonder about and pray for
her own children that will come to be some day, but as a small
person, I'd lie in bed, stare at the ceiling and dream of the life ahead
of me, of the lives for which I'd be responsible. When I was growing 
up, I had an ambitious goal of having six children some day. Once I 
was into my twenties, I thought four or five would be a good round 
number. Now, I find myself talking my husband into having just a third 
and not so secretly hoping that the next pregnancy (some day) might 
be twins so that I can sneak in the fourth. 

But as my mother has told me many times, God is the Lord of my family, 
and He knows who my children are supposed to be, when they are to 
come, and the number of them that there is to be. I now rest in that knowledge, 
God is in control. For now, my two munchkins have me pretty busy. Not only 
are they in busy phases of their lives (at 3&1/2 and 20 months), but they are also
very busy children. 

Avalon Rose is my 3 and a half year old girl. One must forget about the "half"
part of her age. She is extremely intelligent (not that I'm biased or anything)
and has been debating with me since she was two. Never one to blindly obey,
she must understand why you want her to do a certain thing and feels the need
to be in agreement with you before she does it. When she does something 
wrong, it's hard for her to admit what she's done was wrong. Instead, she 
spouts out a logical explanation of why she had to do what she had to do and 
why I, the parent, am wrong. Her capability of deduction and reason has been 
astounding since she was a toddler. If all this wasn't enough of a challenge, 
she has started the sassy talkback. I didn't think I'd have to deal with that until 
she was at least eight. I know that these personality traits in her will be a huge 
advantage when she is older. She'll stand up for herself, be a strong woman 
of God, uncompromising in her beliefs and morals. This is what I'm praying for. 

Beyond her strong will, she has a charismatic personality and a creative 
imagination. I wrote in a past post that she is the one who blamed a void
of earwax on a q-tip on a mysterious monster who had "licked it out" of her
ear already. She has "pretend friends" who occasionally grace our house 
as Backyardigan characters. Once she told me at the dinner table that her
pretend friend Pablo needed some food too. I told her that since he was
a pretend friend, he could eat pretend food. This seemed perfectly logical
to her and didn't initiate her effective debating skills. Avalon also has
super human hearing. You can be having a hushed conversation in the 
car while she is otherwise occupied in the back seat, only to have her
ask you later about an aspect of your conversation that had been hushed
for a reason. My husband and I have been burned this way more than
a few times. 

James David is my bulldozer toddler, completely unstoppable. When 
he sets his mind on doing something, watch out, because nothing will 
stand in his way. I remember looking into his eyes when he was six 
months old and just learning to crawl. There was a drive and determ-
ination visibly present in his gaze that startled me. How could such a 
young baby be so intense about accomplishing a goal? Since that day,
I have seen that determination help him do pull-ups and climb 
bookshelves at only eight months, kick a soccer ball within only
two days of learning to walk (the week before his first birthday),
and squirm out of his highchair straps and stand up on the seat 
at about 15 months. He is still in the phase of not knowing fear
or having a sense of danger. To say that he keeps me on my
toes, is an understatement. 

Along with all his advanced gross motor skills, he also has a strong
vivacious personality with a strong will that rivals Avalon's. For months,
we battled for control at dinner time, just for control's sake. Thankfully,
he is finally cooperating more at our evening meal, but it was touch 
and go there for a while. He started having tantrums a few months 
ago as well and over the littlest things, like not being able to play 
with a ball in the play yard when picking his big sister up from 
preschool. So there I'd go holding to my side the child who was 
kicking his legs, whipping his arms around furiously, and shrieking
as though having a knife stuck in him somewhere, through the halls
with other mother's eyeing me as I passed. I hoped they were thinking
I'm so glad that my child isn't doing that today verses What has that 
woman done to her poor child. He still has an occasional tantrum,
but they have lessened in severity, duration, and frequency. Thank
you, God. My prayer for James is that God directs his energy and 
drive into what God has prepared for him. 

Both my children are affectionate, sympathetic, loving, kind hearted,
adventurous, curious, spirited, beautiful and full of endless energy.
I am so blessed to have them in my life and so thankful to God 
for entrusting me with their upbringing and care. God certainly 
answered my prayer in bringing these wondrous children to me, and 
and am certain He will answer my prayers in regards to their futures.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for 
welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." 
Jeremiah 29:11, ESV (English Standard Version)

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old 
he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6, ESV

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Life: A Prayer List being Answered, Part 1

Throughout all my years of growing up, I wondered what my life would 
be like when I finally reached adulthood, marriage, and children. What 
would I look like? Who would I marry? Would our meeting be romantic? 
What kind of occupation would I pursue? How many children would I 
have? So many questions swirled around my curious, imaginative brain. 

I laid awake at night and prayed for my future, for God's will to come to
pass in all the different areas of my life. Now, as I look back, I am so
thankful for those hours I spent praying. I met my husband, Jason,
at a Friday night church service. We were seated next to each other
and a mutual friend introduced us. The first thing I thought was, "He's 
pretty cute, but his wardrobe could use some help." During the service,
our pastor asked us all to hold hands during a prayer. As we clasped
our hands together something felt different, energizing. A thought 
occurred to me, "What if this is the guy I'm going to marry?" 

Now just to clarify, I'm not the kind of girl who thought this of every 
guy she met. This was a feeling, an inkling that I will never forget. We 
started seeing each other the next month, started dating the month after 
that, were engaged four months after that, and married about a year 
after we first met. We've been married over six years now, and of course
we've had our share of ups and downs, but I've never been more sure
that I married the absolute perfect person for me. I love him more that
words can express and am so happy that he is the father of my 
beautiful children. 


If you are wondering if I was able to revamp his closet, I can assure
you he dresses much more age appropriate now than when I met
him. Jason offered for me to get rid of all the clothes I disliked
before we got married, the majority of which you might have found
being sported at the local homestyle cafeteria at five. To give him
credit, his sense of style has dramatically improved in the years
we've been together. I can't imagine how good he'll look by the time
we celebrate our golden anniversary. God certainly answered my
prayers concerning the love of my life. Next time, I write about another
area of my life where God has been faithful. 

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your
heart."  Psalm 37:4, ESV

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

Last week, I wrote about how my dear mom had undergone a serious
emergency surgery, which completely consumed my consciousness,
time, energy, and prayers. She is recovering beautifully, so thank you
to everyone who has been praying. Now, as I survey my surroundings,
I see a lot that needs to be done. It's back to business as usual, mostly.
My house is a complete mess, a disaster really. I almost don't know
where to start. Errands, laundry, chores, everything needs to be done.

Yesterday I managed to vacuum the first floor while my husband made 
a frozen pizza for dinner. Hobbes our ninety-five pound boxer mix sheds 
horribly. Today, my goal was grocery shopping. During the school year, 
I accomplished this errand while my three year old was in mom's day out. 
It's so much easier to just take one munchkin to the grocery store. Our outing 
was a bit comedic. James, my nineteen month old, would reach to the side 
as far as he could, pulling off bags of chips from the shelves with the greatest 
sense of satisfaction plastered across his mischievous face. 

Even though I had strategically utilized a cart which one can strap in two
children, there were still screams as one pulled another's hair or tried to
take the other's sunglasses. I passed another mom with one toddler in
her cart, followed by two pre-school aged boys, trailing her like little obedient 
ducklings. She gave me a knowing sympathetic smile as my toddler let out yet 
another high pitched scream. Let me just emphasize, the boy has a good set 
of lungs. Trips to the grocery store can be so frustrating for him. "Why can't we 
just tear into all the boxes of food right now?!" his eyes pleaded. I shudder to 
think what my food bill will be in about ten years. 

Currently, my munchkins are down for their afternoon nap, hence the post. It
is near impossible for me to write any other time of the day. The plan: throw 
a much needed load of laundry into the washer, and then spend some time
reading my Bible and prayer. I hate to admit it, but I've only opened my Bible 
a couple times these last two weeks. Being that God's Word is our sustenance 
as Christians, it's a wonder that I've done as well as I have. God's wonderful
mercy, I'm sure, has helped. I'm excited to get back to writing this week as well,
probably some time when I feel like more neurons are firing. I feel like my brain
is clouded and fuzzy, needing a good wash from God's Word and a nap. I am
so thankful for God's grace these last few weeks and for my wonderful husband,
who has been so available and supportive. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

God's Goodness through the Storm

Have you ever been forced to endure a situation so difficult you 
felt as though you could barely breathe? Have you had to witness
a loved one suffer agonizing pain? This week has been extremely
difficult for my family and me. A week ago yesterday, my mother
was diagnosed in our local ER with diverticulitis. She was sent home 
with pain meds, antibiotics, and instructions to have clear liquids only 
for 36 hours. 

That was on Thursday of last week, but on Sunday morning, my father
woke me with an urgent phone call. Her pain was severe, and could I 
come? I instructed him not to let her have anything by mouth. Being a RN, 
I suspected her bowel had perforated (hole in the intestine), which would 
definitely need surgery. At the ER, my fears were confirmed and she had 
emergency surgery that evening. We were blessed to have wonderful 
surgeons performing the surgery, and though her recovery has been slow 
and painful, she is doing remarkably well. She will probably be able to 
discharged some time this weekend. 

To say that this week has been an emotional roller coaster would be an
understatement. From moment of relief and joy to those of fear and despair,
my heart feels like it's been through an obstacle course. Through all of this,
there is one thing I cling to - God is good. He loves us and works all things 
for the good for those who love him (Romans 8:28). I know this experience
is making our family stronger, causing us to rely on each other and God 
more than ever before. 

Needless to say, I have barely touched my laptop this week. Between long
hours working at the hospital and visiting my mom, I have not been able 
to develop my fourth story I started last week. But all in good time. Right 
now, I'm focusing on my family, making sure my mom is getting everything
she needs at the hospital and answering my family's medical questions.
My mother is the sweetest, most selfless, caring person I know. I love her
more than words can express. Through all this, one of her biggest concerns
is becoming a burden to her family. I pray that I would continue to lean on 
God, casting my cares on Him, because I know He cares for us.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the 
proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because 
he cares for you.  1 Peter 5: 6-7, ESV

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fighting Off the Cicada Lullaby

Summertime is here and with it comes the fun of picnic lunches, mornings
at the pool, children chasing fireflies at dusk, eating watermelon slices on 
the back patio, delicious and ripe tomatoes, backyard cookouts with friends,
and the not so gentle hum of cicadas, a.k.a. - locustsTheir rhythmic humming
was a bit irritating at first, but now it's almost a like a comforting lullaby of nature,
encouraging the thought of an afternoon nap. And as much as I would love to
sneak in a few zzz's, I have far too much to do and doubt my brain would 
actually turn off long enough to allow an adequate rest. 

Yesterday, I started the 4th book in my children's book series. I only have about
a hundred words or so right now, but I'm anxious to get back to work exploring
imaginary worlds with my main character. Although I have a rough idea on how
the plot is going to take shape, the details are still fuzzy. I love how upon writing,
those details become clearer and clearer. Then suddenly you have it, a vibrant
and whimsical adventure with a fun-filled plot and a valuable moral lesson. I hope
you enjoy this beautiful summer afternoon, while I type away, fighting off the sleepy
sound of the cicadas.