​Just a Mom

First, I’d like to welcome my new readers! So nice to have you here.

A few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast called “Why I Write”. While introducing the guest author, the host listed a very long list of awards and credentials that accompanied this guest author. He then followed it up by saying let me read what she wrote in her bio herself.

It made me pause and think, what are my credentials, my titles? What would my bio be if I took away the wife and mom title? Who am I when I am not fulfilling those roles?

IMG_2589

I know I am a born again Christain, who has been saved and forgiven by grace. I am a sister to two, a half sister to three, a stepsister to two, a sister-in-law to many. I am a daughter, a friend, a lover. I have been a teacher, a nurse, a manager, a pet owner, an honor roll student, a dancer, a child from a broken home. I have loved and lost. I have tried and failed. I am not good at sports and am completely happy watching others play while cheering from the crowd. I have been in a band, worked fast food, even acted in church skits. I have been a makeup artist, a short-lived runner, and have traveled to about ten different states, and a few countries. I have been a domestic diva, a hobbyist writer, DIYer, an experimental gardener, a digital scrapbooker, and designer. I have planned and hosted many parties, showers, and even a wedding reception. I once was a military wife, a latch-key-kid, and a school bus rider. I have worn more used clothes than new, drank more tea than coffee, probably more sweets than veggies. I have wanted to be a fashion designer, architect, criminal investigator, judge, social worker, a speech pathologist, a writer when I grow up. I like to cook and bake. Being alone refreshes me. I am somewhere in between an introvert and well, a social introvert. I love to read and learn new things. Meeting new people both excites me and makes me feel very vulnerable. I can love for a very long time, yet put up walls when there is too much pain. I love working with people/kids with special needs and am raising two or three now. My heart can be much bigger than my reality. I like to be outside, just not in the sun or the wind or the heat or the freezing cold, or pouring rain. I am steady, faithful and honest. I try to hide my feelings but usually fail. I find it hard to be patient with people who have a lot of drama. I have been sick and healthy. I have gotten lost more than I care to admit. I sometimes wish I could sing and draw, paint much better than I can. I have cleaned more poopy underwear than I ever thought I was capable of. I have mothered children with health and behavioral issues I thought I was too weak to handle. I have also mothered children who have shown me just how weak I am.

IMG_2535

I am all of these things, have done all of these things and more. Yet, when it comes down to it who I am IS really a Christain, a wife, and a mom. All of the rest is just extra. I am completely fine with being “just” a mom!

 

Advertisements

Reminders

As I am finally coming out of a bad cold, (It more or less knocked all energy out from under me for a few days.) my mind is able to piece together some recent reminders of where were still are.

Tomorrow is our adoption day…two years tomorrow! Sometimes it feels like yesterday others it feels like a lifetime ago.

Making our youngest’s freshly laundered bed tonight, I see the remnants of the use and abuse 12-14 weeks of leg casts did on his poor fitted sheet. I really need to buy him a new one. I am reminded of a hard mountain we climbed and conquered. The tests that were taken, the fears that were calmed, the friends we made.

In moments like the extremely ROUGH 30 minutes of yesterday morning, (Tears, tantrums, yelling, more tears, kicking, desperation, utter helplessness, complete silence, some of which was done on the way to the therapist’s office.) I am reminded of the damage done to our kiddos way before “us”. That we are not yet done with the healing process. That this may take longer than we’d like and we are in it for the long haul. Trying not to sit and stew a bitter stew with what the bio parents left for us to handle, to make do with, the chaos that is sometimes our life, the brokenness that comes screaming through an otherwise normal day.

Take our pee stained toilet that no one wants to clean. You have lots of boys you say. To us, it’s a reminder of the filth our kids grew up in that we are struggling to remove from their DNA.

These are powerful, sometimes little, sometimes halting and consuming reminders of not only where we are but how far we’ve come in just shy of three years together. Thankfully, these reminders are getting fewer and fewer. God has helped us tremendously. Honestly, while I can live without most of the reminders, I hope to never forget how far we’ve come. Never to lose sight of the deep valleys we have scratched our way out of. Never to lose the revelation of God’s ever giving grace to our lives.

Random Musings

  • When you’re way too busy to even sit down at your computer, or each time you actually attempt to write a blog post you are needed elsewhere. When life moves at such a pace that you can only make mental recordings. Such has been the times.
  • You know when things land heavy in your heart from time to time but you just have to wait for the right door to open at the right time? Those very doors may be opening here soon. Things are starting to line up just right.
  • The song, “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana sung by a five-year-old boy goes “No One Cares…” song from the middle of your vehicle at just the right time.
  • Your bible, one of the best places for your tears to land.
  • You’ve been telling your kids to “Look at me” for years but strangely after seeing Studio C’s “I Am the Captain Now” on YouTube you cannot say this to your kids ever again with a straight face and without almost breaking into an accent.
  • Mommies judging other mommies, not good. Imagine if we were to strengthen each other instead.
  • The value of your five-year-old saying, “I think I should try and go to the bathroom before we go.” And then using the restroom! Anyone with a child or two who have had bathroom issues knows the exact weight of this.
  • How rare being quiet and polite are.
  • What sorting through a huge pile of Legos that your oldest son brought home from his work can do for a child and an adult.
  • The hope one has in Jesus for that person who is lost and doesn’t know it.
  • The relief in finding the bullet point icon/button just in time to write a post like this.
  • God opening doors you thought were closed.
  • Good shoes…no need to say more.

When Your Kids Don’t Like Church

For me, God comes first. When I start my day, I start it right off in prayer and Bible reading. The choices and decisions I make I really try to base them off of the Word of God. The way I dress, the words I speak, the friends I keep, the things that I allow into my life are filtered through what God would think. Now I am far from a saint by any means, but I try to live a life worthy of the forgiveness given to me by my savior. This post is written in the mindset that you as a parent feel the same. If you have problems with your church, the church in general, and/or your own commitment to the house of God then there is another post, not yet written at least by me, for that.

This includes my church life. If the doors of our church are open for service I am there. There are very few things that keep me from church. Hebrews 10:25 admonishes us “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (NKJV) To take me to every service (and we have A LOT) is one thing. That is the easy part. To take your kids is another. For the most part, our oldest two came along without much complaint. Honestly, that is all they know. We have been taking them since their births. Sometimes, however, they just played the part of a church kid and other times they rebelled and fought us.

We made them go. We made them sit quiet and still in service when there was no children’s church. While our kids were “drug” to church they knew that God came first. Sports, special school events, birthday parties, and the like took a back seat. We also explained to them why Mom and Dad went to church, why we raise our hands in worship, why we pray, etc. Both are now adults and are living for God. They have a relationship with God that stands even without Mom and Dad pushing them.

Our younger kids had no real knowledge of God other than the very basic of basics which most Americans know. I have to tell you when we brought them home it was a REAL struggle to even get to church. A bigger struggle to get them to sit through a service. The youngest in nursery at the time, the oldest seriously would sit next to me and repeat over and over in my ear, yet loud enough for those around us to hear, “When is it over?”, “I hate this.”, etc., all in one of those deep whiney type voices. This went on for weeks…felt like months. The other two were pretty much the same as the oldest. One so wiggly it was such a distraction. If one still had his way he’d turn and stare at anyone and everyone the entire time.

We’d sit in the back as to try to be a distraction to as few fellow church members as possible. We came service after service knowing that we wouldn’t hear much if any of the sermons due to the kids’ distractive and disruptive behaviors. Talking before or after service with our friends were out of the question as keeping the kids wrangled up and from running out the door took up all of our time. Even a year after getting the kids I remember when one of my closest friends sat down in the seat in front of me to chat, one of the kids deliberately stood in between her and me. This happened more than you’d think.

We still dragged them to church. Made them wear church-appropriate attire. (Still a struggle sometimes.) We pushed it through. The first time I tried to bring the kids into the prayer room so I could pray before service, none of them were having it. Our youngest literally threw such a fit I had to leave the room within a couple of minutes. I kept pushing through.

Church, God was what these kids needed most. I had to push it through. Today, 2 1/2 years down the road all can sit in the prayer room with few problems. Our daughter has recently taken to reading her Bible during prayer time. (This is HUGE!) The younger two still have trouble sitting still through the service. We divide and conquer. One wiggly child sits on one side of mom and the other wiggly child on the other. Much of this past year the youngest has spent more time on my lap than in his chair. When Dad comes we sit in between the wigglers. We continue to push it through. They will come around to sitting quietly through service. The oldest of the four looks like he doesn’t want to be there yet he takes it all in. He has such a strong moral compass. He is also getting close to surrendering his life to Jesus!!

When your kids don’t want to go to church, push it through. Keep going to the church you know God planted you. Keep dragging them to each service. Don’t compromise. The world is full of compromisers and our kids need to see Jesus is worth sacrificing for. They need to know why you go to church, why you believe what you believe. Don’t let them dictate where or when you go to church. Let God come first. He will get ahold of your kid’s heart and spirits.

Fair and Rodeo

IMG_2451Every year we try to make it to our local fair and rodeo. We don’t really ride the rides or eat too much fair food. Besides being too much money, sometimes meeting Smokey the Bear is just way cooler!IMG_2452

IMG_2454So is winning prizes from the free games.

IMG_2461Of course our favorite cowgirl and her hubby joined us.

I was also able to catch up to an former coworker, which was very nice.

Solar Eclipse

I apologize for the lateness of this post. I am playing catch up here.

So the 2017 solar eclipse, have you heard of it? Did you see it?

Me? I am one of those people who get excited about these type of once in a (fill in the blank) events. Especially, natural. As a family, we talked about it, but no one seemed to really care. So, when I heard our local space museum (our area is big on astronomy…I know the Mr. Hale of the famous Halebop.) was hosting an event I wanted to go. Going by myself was something new for me. I invited our older kids. One had college and the other couldn’t make it. Our younger kids all had school events planned around the solar eclipse.

Let me tell you, I learned something new about myself that day (that week before). I am so used to having someone with me for this kind of things that I almost didn’t go. I wasn’t afraid or anything just felt like a fish out of water. I pushed down whatever uncomfortable feelings I had and went. Boy, am I glad I did!

IMG_2471Besides being the type who gets excited by big natural occurrences, I can procrastinate as well. Especially when I hear that they will teach us to make viewing devices at the space museum.

The event started on the first floor. It was packed. Warm, sweaty bodies kept filling in. Confused and looking for the direction they came. Some who planned and came early sat in the front able to hear the solar eclipse talk.  I scoped the place out an ended up leaning on a wall looking out over the city.

There was mention of eclipse glasses being handed out the first-come-first-serve style on the ground floor at the such and such time and feeling the need for freash air I went down. Glad I did because I was able to make this cool eclipse mirror.

IMG_2472Here you can see a collection of reflections from the mirrors. It was fun to people watch, yet weird not to have anyone to talk to, to share it with.

However, maybe being alone helped me take more in, be able to pay attention to the details surrounding me. What cooler place to be than the space museum where much our states, countries space endeavors happened, had a part in, here. While taking it all in I spotted museum staff with a box. A box just the right size to hold eclipse glasses. I felt like a secret agent making my way to the truck where they handed them out. Again, so glad I went and so glad I spotted the staff. To be able to view a work of God, His wonderous powers and the moon and the sun at the same time was awesome.

IMG_2473

I know I saw a solar eclipse way back in elementary through a pinhole, but this had a stabilizing effect on me. Knowing that God is in control of everything.

Even at 67%, I really had to share it with my kids. I wanted to take my glasses to the schools…but didn’t want to disrupt their events. I text my daughter. She still couldn’t make it. So, I took the glasses to her. Again, glad I did. It is always nice to share life with someone else. Her husband came by with a different DIY viewer and we saw the eclipse three different ways. Very neat. Our eldest son got home from college in time to see the end of the eclipse, but still cool.

Lesson Learned

Okay, I am going to admit to something most, if not all, of you are going to face-palm yourselves over.

I download a malware onto our Mac three days ago and it has taken up most of my days. Literally. I have talked to three senior advisors. The first two, no fault of their own, felt satisfied that they had helped me remove the nasty beast. The third, bless his heart, spent a good part the day on the phone with me, trying everything he knew to help, all the while remaining as calm as if he was sitting in the shade sipping his favorite cool beverage enjoying everything about his view. Only at the end did he “lose his cool” with a  discouraged, “Man.” Needless to say, our Mac is still not fixed. I am running in “test” mode for now which is VERY limited at best. Our data, etc. has been sent to even higher Apple support. So, we wait.

While this whole thing has been going on I have learned a thing or two about computers and life:

*Apple products already have all that you need running in the background. No need to download web protection.

*BUT you HAVE to keep those updates up-to-date for all of the background goodies to function properly. I thought I had updated and was all good to go, but no. Now I know where I went wrong and will be much more on top of it from here on out.

*Apple has a parental setting and guest mode. No need for added filters.

*If you do want/need to download something onto your Apple, download it from the App Store and NOT the internet. The same web protection (K9 Web Protection) is available in the App Store. However, the ones outside the store well, you see where that got me.

*Apple’s staff (via phone) were all very nice and helpful with the exception of one gal. Maybe it was me too just getting frustrated at the whole situation.

*One’s back, elbow and ear can get mighty sore from sitting at a desk and talking on the phone all day. Again, those dear Apple workers. Their backs and ears must hurt after working all day.

*I also learned a thing or two about where to find this and that on our Mac. Very helpful. We have no Apple Store nearby and don’t have anyone we know of by us who can come over and show us what the heck we are doing. We usually make a long distance call to one friend and one family member for Apple help.

Overall, even though the malware really stinks, I had to buy a new external hard drive, I have spent MANY hours on the phone and thus a bit behind on my house work, I feel like a more confident Mac user.

(If my grammar is off on this post, which is highly likely, please excuse it for the next few days. I don’t have Grammarly to help correct my writing until I get this whole thing worked out. Thanks.)