"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kevin's True Colors

Well, we made a decision about Kevin. He has been off his ADHD meds for about six weeks now and has leveled out to his "normal" activity level. (I will admit that the first two or three weeks that he was off of them I didn't know if I would be able to handle it, but we seem to have all come through ok!) We talked to his teacher at school and she said that he has not been disruptive or more challenging than any of the other kids so....

We went to the Dr. on Thursday and he said that he thought it was a good idea to see what he does without the medication for a while longer. We are excited. It isn't a big deal if he does end up going back on them, but for now, it just seems to be a little hurdle that we have jumped.

We are anxious to get his first spelling test back. This is the very first one of the year and we didn't do anything about getting him put on a special list. Last year he was on a easier and shorter spelling list than the other kids. We tried to have him do the regular list half-way through the year but he told us that it wasn't the one he does and wouldn't even tried another one. This year he hasn't even been given the option. He thinks he did really well so we are all waiting to get it back Tuesday to see how he did! I admit to bribing. For every word over 10 he gets right he gets a dollar. That could be five bucks a week, but if it inspires him to try even a little harder we will take it.

We are also waiting to see how the aditory input disorder works without the meds. For all we know it may get better. Why oh why can't there really be a "every question answered" parenting book?!

It has been nice to have Kevin at his orginal best. His true colors if you will. The medicine doesn't change his personality all that much, just makes him a little quieter 'til it wears off and he doesn't eat as much until around 8 at night but it is just nice to know it is all him.

Pray that we can get a handle on everything and we can keep this even keel at school without having to go back on them!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Quiet is Hard

I guess you can tell that I have been trying to work through some stuff lately. I worry things over and over in my head and give them to God only to take them back and worry them some more.

It is so hard to sit in the quiet and wait. "Be still and know that I am God." It's easy for me to know he is God, much harder to be still.

The bad thing is that it is just a lack of trust. I still feel that I know what timetable things should be done on. I know the best way to proceed. I know what's best.

I had a friend tell me to quit being arrogant. The truth hurts but that doesn't make it any less true.

Arrogance, pride, controlling, doubting. All things that shouldn't be in the description of my relationship with God, yet there they are.

I have taken some steps. I still trust in God's unending mercy and unfailing grace. I have "Jesus with skin on" all around me to support me and kick my butt. I know I will never have it better than I do with Jesus. I just wish that you did get that magic wand Jesus that takes away all the struggle and "just fixes it all." Of course, that isn't the real Jesus. That's not what the real Jesus offers. So I will take what he does offer. I will take all that undeserved love and compassion and guidence and wrap myself up in it and press on.

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's 3:05 AM

So, what do you do when you can't sleep? Here's some things I did tonight...

  • laundry

  • downloaded some free trial games to play

  • looked at the flowers my hubby brought me

  • more laundry

  • watched my favorite dance from this season's So You Think You Can Dance on Youtube

Mark and Chelsea's lyrical hiphop routine to Leona Lewis' Bleeding Love (The link is to the main page of videos for this dance. I didn't want to embed the video and then have it become unavailable)

  • get my clothes ready for work in the morning

  • send a couple of emails that were long overdue

  • have some dark chocolate peanut M&M's and diet root beer

  • decide to blog all the other things I did because I am running out of things to do.

  • Oh! Lucky me! Abby just woke up! It is now 3:16 am and I can go play with my princess! hummm...a good mommy would put her back to sleep. This mommy is gonna go play with her and get some cuddles.

Bye ya'll!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Getting Up Early

Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:5

So often in life we (by "we" I once again mostly mean "me") complain about the little things in our lives that seem to go so wrong. For example:

We get up late. (feel rushed) forget the baby's formula (inconvienenced); get frustrated with the hard-to-start-the-day grade schooler so we end up yelling(frustration, anger and first guilt of the day); get angry in traffic because we try to get to work on time by speeding and get cut off by someone who dares to go the speed limit (anger, frustration, more guilt); gripe and complain about all the little things that happen in the day to day work world (more frustration, more guilt); get home from work and realize there isn't much time to spend with the family because of homework, chores, cooking, cleaning, bathing and bed-time (more guilt, more frustration, more anger, sadness); realize we haven't spent time with God or the hubby today (guilt, sadness and fatigue). Go to bed angry and get up to start it all over again.

Now, what if we (and by "we" I still mostly mean "me") were to really give our schedule over to God? Nothing is insignificant to Him, right? So, what if tonight before we go to bed, we pray that God would wake us up on HIS time table? What if we pray before our feet hit the floor in the morning that we would be able to accomplish all the things that HE has planned for us today?

By giving our time to God we open up so many more opportunites to simply be His child, living the life He plans for us. If God calls us to re-set the alarm for an extra 15, 20 or even 30 minutes early, how much more would we be able to get done for Him? No rushing, no frustration or anger. Just the ability to focus on the things that God has placed in our schedule for the day.

By simply allowing God to guide us we can experience His hope - all day long. Now isn't that something worth getting up early for?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hiding In The Bathroom

Is it soooo terrible to want to have a little alone time?

I love my friends, my kids, my hubby, my job and the teens in my youth group. I really really do. But I haven't had a chance to just hang out with myself in so long!

I love to be with other people. I like to hang out and have fun and be silly and crazy and loud. But I also have to have time all by my lonely. I haven't had that since Abby was born I don't think. I mean, serious alone time. All day alone. Glorious alone.

I have taken to hiding in the bathroom. It isn't for very long but I will take what I can get. I have a book in there. I read it and pretend that I am stretched out on our comfy sofa. I wander around our house and would dearly love to see it all clean and shiny, but with Abby either hanging on my leg or following me around 1) crying to be picked up 2) making a mess where I have just cleaned or 3) needing feed/changed/rocked/entertained... well, it just doen't leave time to get much done. A messy home stresses me out. Ask my family. Or friends. Or anyone really.

I love all the job titles I carry, and most of the time, I don' t think of them as jobs. But lately, they have felt that way. I think I need to declare a mental health day and go on a mommy strike that will last approximately one day.

And I want to spend it NOT hiding in the bathroom!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Long and Rambly Self-Reflection

Be warned: This a long and rambly post where I am working some stuff out. sometimes it's easier for me to see the way to fix a problem if I ramble it down on paper (or a screen) until it's clear and makes sense. Since I have committed to being honest and transparent on this blog, I feel I should post this. It may help someone else, or someone else may help me. (God works like that, ya know!)

I have never weighed this much unless I was pregnant, and in 10 more pounds I will pass even that.

I am absolutely miserable. I'm uncomfortable physically and it reflects in the way I see myself and how I think the world sees me. By that I mean, I project the way I see myself so that I think everyone sees me the same way. It's a vicious emotional weapon that I turn on myself constantly.

I hate being overweight. I had planned to lose at least 15 lbs by the end of the summer and so far I have gained 10. This is really hard for me to accept because I have been working on eating right and increasing my activity. I changed my diet and dropped 200 points off my LDL. If I can change my diet enough to do that in three months you would think I would have lost some weight but no. It didn't happen.

So, I have been in what I guess you would call a self destructive phase the last month. I have been eating what I want and as much of it as I want, to the point of feeling really uncomfortable. I guess my thinking has been "what's the point. If I couldn't lose it with everything I did there's no point in trying. I give up. "

I know that is bad thinking and not trusting in God and so on. I am just being honest as to where I have been. I'm not some super christian that quietly goes along obeying God and living a blessed life. I constantly screw up and try to fix things myself and make a bigger mess of it. I also don't trust God like I should and hardly ever think to go to Him first with my problems. It's usually when I feel like I don't have anywhere else to go that I think I might give it over to Him. Like I said, It's not good or right, I am just being honest as to who and where I am.

So, I have been on this, I guess you would call it a downward spiral, about my weight. I have gotten into a horrible thought cycle that I need to break out of. I have all these scriptures that I need to be focusing on, such as knowing that God provides for every NEED. Nowhere in the bible does it say that God will provide for every WANT. He doesn't have to. We, as humans, tend to take care of that pretty well all by our lonelys. I know I do. That's what the over-eating is all about. Sure, I could stop with what God has provided, but I haven't been. Does this sound familiar to you, because I say it all the time...

"Man, THAT is a portion size? Not even worth it!"

So then I eat probably triple the portion size. The portion size is what God has provided...the triple portion is what I feel I deserve. Hummmm.... wonder why I am the way I am and look the way I look?

So, by taking what I want instead of accepting what God has provided, I am harming myself. What a concept! God knows better than I what is healthy for me? HUH! I guess that whole thing about God knowing my innermost parts is true. Sure, it's my body, but I didn't create it, and I sure don't know how it works, not like God does.

I want to say that I am committed to changing. I really do. But even now I hear those little voices in my head saying that I haven't committed to any of the previous decisions to change my eating habits, so what makes me think this time will be any different? They say that Bob won't want to change his habits and that will make it too hard for me to keep it up for myself. They say that eating healthy isn't nearly as convienent and will cost a lot more than how I have been eating. They say that I am too lazy to keep a commitment to start walking like I mean to lose weight.

Back to Philippians 4:8-9 I go! (for more on my trust in this scripture check out my Words of Light post.)

I think I could even apply this scripture to the ACTIONS in my life.

Are my actions true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy—DO such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

As you can tell, I took out all the whatevers and changed "think about" to "do". Yep. That sure does fit with what God desires for me. Also interesting to note...it's an action God is calling me to. He says to "put it into practice." Not think it into practice. Not Consider it into practice. PUT IT into practice.

Philippians 4:6 seems to be the way to start.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

I think in my case "anxious" means disbelieving. I don't believe that I can do this (and by the way, I would be right in that assessment).

So, what is the first step? Prayer! What a concept. Me, actually TELLING God about my fears and doubts. Lay it all out there. Be vulnerable and transparent with God since he knows it all anyway. And then, (and this is the really hard part for me) wait to hear what God has to say on the subject. Listen to hear His guidance and encouragement and love. And then be GRATEFUL for what He is going to do!

This is not fun. I am getting my booty kicked today. I HATE when that happens.

UGH! Why is it that everything God asks me to do are the things that are really hard for me? He has given me so many things that are EASY for me to do. Why can't He ever ask me to do those things.

Ok. So, I have rambled my way to a decision and a starting point. If you made it all the way to the end of this, Wow! Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ambulance and ER Fun

Kevin just won't listen.

We have told him over and over...

"No more ER visits until we have paid for the other ones first."

Why couldn't he wait?

Bob called me yesterday afternoon as I was on my way into town to pick up one of my high school girls and asked me if I had talked to anyone at the park. I said "No, Why?" He said "Because Kevin got hurt. They've called an ambulance. That's all I know." Then he said, "Hold on, I'll call them and call you right back."

Hold On? HOLD ON? My baby is hurt and an ambulance is involved and I am to HOLD ON?

I discovered I do have a talent for praying and texting at the same time. I texted two of my friends to start praying for Kevin. Then the phone rings again.

"Go to the hospital." Is what Bob says. Oh sure, I am SO not panicking now.

The high school is on the way to the hospital so I pull into the drive and there is Dani right there waiting (Thank You God for perfect timing!). She gets in the car and keeps me distracted with chit chat on the way to the ER. I get there before Kevin does and there is one of the daycamp workers. Thank you Jesus that she started talking with the phrase "Kevin is going to be fine." I am pretty sure when I heard that I finally started breathing again. Kevin was getting a ride in the ambulance because they couldn't get ahold of us. Otherwise we could have driven him.

He was trying to push up out of the side of the pool instead of using the ladder and both hands slid out from under him. He gashed the bridge of his nose and hit hard enough to have a pretty intense nose bleed. They immediately called for the EMTs and started trying to figure out just what was injured. From all accounts the pool staff, lifeguards and daycamp workers were very quick and very calm while helping Kevin out. I have it on good authority that Kevin was the calmest blood-covered kid they had ever seen.

Here is a picture right after he got out of the ambulance.

He is still taped to the back board and wearing a C collar. He is familiar with the collar since he had the concussion last year.

I actually really dislike this picture. He looks scared and I hated that he was. He stayed super calm and tried to be really brave but I was a mess. I hate seeing him hurt and upset.

This is right after he got the stitches. Three if your counting. I think the adrenaline was starting to wear off because he got a little upset and fussy. I would too if someone had just stuck a needle repeatedly into an open gash on the bridge of my nose. You can see his nose is swollen and discolored but it wasn't broken.

This is the morning after. His eyes are lookin' pretty rough this morning. Double black eye! He hasn't complained of any pain (Lord knows I probably would have been a blubbering baby) but it sure looks like it hurts!

I am just thankful that it wasn't any worse than it was and greatful that God put the people in Kevin's path that he did. On of the college-aged guys from our church is a life guard out there and he called his mom to have her pray for Kevin. Pretty great friends we have, huh?

So ya, I am tired of him not listening. When I say wait until we pay this one off, I really, REALLY mean it this time, buster!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fun and scary right at the same time

Do you want to know some scary but right insights about yourself? Go to this fun quiz and answer just a few questions.

Thanks to The Preacher's Wife for posting this fun idea!

My results are below. I wonder how many of my friends agree with the "slightly off balance" comment.

Shannon, you are moderately right-hemisphere dominant and have even preferences between auditory and visual processing, traits that might make people perceive you as "slightly off balance."

You are most likely to be slightly disorganized, a "dreamer" and a person who focuses more on the end result than the immediate task at hand. You are creative and spontaneous if somewhat lacking in direction and focus. You are a learner who is generally patient and a person for whom time is an ally, not an enemy.

You are more passionate than most people with regard to life and learning and recognize your own intuitive abilities. You have sufficient goal-direction to satisfy yourself and guarantee success without being or feeling driven. You are willing to be reflective about yourself and others without getting lost in rumination.

The balance of your sensory modes allows for both learning and expressive capabilities achieved by few. You are active and "seeing" while retaining an equally strong propensity for being reflective which slows you down a little but allows for a more comprehensive perception and analysis of situations and problems. You do not spend excessive time analyzing since you mostly trust your perceptions.

In all likelihood, you have a tendency to overcommit and cannot under- stand why others get upset since you operate on a different "time table" than they do. Your organizational abilities are frequently overwhelmed by the stimulation seeking and active nature of your mind as well as by the tendency to create new categories and gloss over details, making categorization and classification almost impossible at times.

To the extent that your career path allows for creativity and abstraction as well as a bit of disorganization, you should find yourself equipped to handle any learning that is required. Your own personal adjustment to your style should come naturally although you are likely to feel frus- trated by your own limited discipline and often wonder "Why?"

Saturday, August 2, 2008

And who is it that is still not done?

We have a "Service Sunday" every year at our church. I usually duck being in charge of one of the teams because, well, frankly I hate being in charge. I am really irresponsible if you get right down to it.

My husband was in charge of the team that was gutting the basement of one of the homes the church has for visitors, temporary staff and so on.

That's him in the doorway carrying out the leaky toilet. Yep, it leaked everywhere during the project. He is such a great man, a regular Mr. Fix-it. He loves tearing stuff up and knocking things down so this was right up his alley.

This is Kevin and his friend Jessica. They were with the Powerlight team (grades 3-5) that went and visited the shut-ins in our church family and took them cookies they had made. I am really proud of him. He is such a great kid and always has a hug for anyone who needs it. I know this service was right up his alley. I just wish I had been able to go along.

Yep...Here I am. Team leader. That's my friend Jennifer in the KFC shirt. She is amazing with the greatest nick-name ever. It's a great story how she got it. It is J-Mac. That is a story for another day though.

So, my job was to lead the team that was to scrape and paint the wood trim on this house. Yes, scraping and painting. Two things that I absolutely hate. But when I was asked if I would be willing to help the church out, I couldn't really say, "Yes, but only in these certain ways." Now, that just wouldn't be the Christian response. I should respond with a hearty, "Yes! I shall serve my God in any way He calls me!!". Glory Be!

Ok, so I didn't respond that way, but I did say yes before finding out what my assignment would be. I have learned a valuable lesson. Ask first!

So, I had fun and the people on my team were great. Sure, the Jr. High kids didn't exactly scrape as much as I had hoped, and painted each other a little more than the wood trim, but they had fun and that's what matters, right? Well, My dear hubby and my son completed their projects and are happily living in the project free zone. Three weeks later and I am still looking at unpainted trim and triple digit heat indexes and thinking, "Isn't this a great FALL project?"

Yes, I am the lone holdout on finished projects in the family. I really plan to get it done this week. Really. Truly. Uh huh.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dave Ramsey is going to be my new best friend!

~Proverbs 19:20~
Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.
From my previous post you will have probably gathered that I am not too wise in the ways of finance. This would be a horrible understatment. I am absolutely pathetic in the ways of finance.
I have blindly skipped along spending money without understanding concepts and conditions that are apparently very clear and obvious to most adults. Bob says that he thinks a lot of this is because I never really understood the concepts of money as a kid. If there were money problems (and there were) I never really knew about them because back then, you didn't concern your kids with that kind of stuff. My parents provided me with a good childhood. I wasn't given everything I wanted, but it was only in later years that I learned how much my parents worked and sacrificed for the things I did have. I had no idea how much things cost or how much my parents would have to work to provide those things for me. I didn't grow up expecting everything and would have never thought to ask for or demand more, but I also didn't know the value of what I had.
So, I am trying to turn a new page in our financial book. Bob and I have been talking (calmly and considerately) about the best way to handle our finances and what I will need to do to become more responsible. (He is also working at being more understanding and considerate in the way he addresses the problem)
A couple years ago we went through Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. We loved it and it really worked! We got rid of six credit cards in the space of about a year and a half. We have quit using the techniques that he gives to manage your finances and to pay off debt so we are going to go back through the class this fall to re-stoke the financial fire. We are also going to start a video series in our marriage small group called imarriage. I guess you could call it a two pronged attack to our problem.
I detest the word budget and really hate the idea of not getting to "spoil" our kids with little things along the way, but I would much rather get it all under control now and have the money to do more later. I would also like to see my dear hubby not so strained and stressed.
Once again, I am asking for your prayer support as we begin this new journey. Ok, as I begin this new journey. As my scripture today suggests, I am willing to listen to wise councel. I will be praying for God to really fortify us and also that He will be kind and maybe give a few little blessings along the way. I know that we have to honor God with our finances. He is the one who is providing them after all. I just ask that I can learn to do that with as few tears and tantrums as possible.