Glimpses of God’s work and cute little quips

I’ve decided to try and revive my blog…again. I want to write things my kids say and lessons that I have learned or are learning so that I can recall them later for my benefit or the benefits of others. So these are some of the things that have happened this past week:

I have been reading a book by Rachel Jankovitch that I highly recommend to any mom of littles. It’s called “Loving the Little Years.” I have been so challenged by this book as I am reading it a second time, this time with three kids instead of just one. She wrote about fruit and how fruit trees bear fruit abundantly to the best of their ability and they don’t worry about what happens to the fruit. Some will fall to the ground and rot and be used to fertilize the tree, some will be eaten right way, some will be used to bake, etc. But the tree doesn’t concern itself with that. What happens to the fruit is God’s job; the tree just bears it. She then asked how do we as moms bear fruit? Do we calculate where it goes? Are we resentful if it is not used? Are we stingy? Or do we do things for our children and not worry about the results? After all, what happens to our “fruit bearing” or our works is God’s job, right? Wow. I am soo stingy with what I do and I consider, will the kids appreciate it? Is it worth it? And so on. Imagine how much more generous I would be if I didn’t worry about it but did fun things no matter the of outcome! Make those cookies with the kids even though it will be crazy and messy. Color and do play dough even though they may not get it or do it longer than a few minutes. Take them out even if they may not appreciate it. This has me thinking about how this truth all play out in my life. Of course Rachel wrote much more beautifully but this I’d my summery and thoughts on the subject 🙂

So that’s my thinking for this week. Now here are some cute and encouraging things this week:

Owen has been developing a softer heart. I didn’t think that possible because he is so stubborn and willfull! But he unprompted seeks me out to hug me and say he wants to apologize for being nasty or angry. Oh how this fills me with hope and shows how God is working! I pray often for his and my other two little souls. God is at work! It also encourages me to continue to be an example and apologize for my sins against my children.
Owen also picked up his toys beautifully this week. I was so pleased and happy that there was not one complaint and I commended him for it. He turned and looked at me and said, “Jesus helped me do it.” Oh parents, take heart. What you say is heard and will one day make sense. We continually tell the kids that they need Jesus to help them obey and this time Owen recognized that. To what extent he completely understands I am unsure but I was praising God for showing me a glimpse of my son’s heart.

Yesterday we took the kids swimming. Owen and Joel were not too thrilled and stayed outside the pool most of the time. At one point though, after all the safety paraphernalia was off of course, Owen fell in. I rushed in and grabbed him while a friend grabbed the other arm and yanked him up. Poor boy was terrified but he calmed down quickly and I took him in the house to get him dry clothes on. He looked at me and through chattering teeth said, ” I’m sorry you had to come in the pool.” Dear boy!! I was glad to! He was so sweet and concerned though. Another example of his tender heart! Later one, he was talking about it again and he said something about him falling in the water and he compared that to his Uncle Jonathan’s baptism. I had to explain that Owen fell in the pool and Uncle Jon Jon was baptized. HUGE difference, haha!

Today, we were going to make pancakes for breakfast but Joel declared “We have pancakes all the time!!” Apparently making pancakes earlier in the week and then eating leftovers two days later constitutes eating them “all the time.” So we had cereal instead! Reminds me of his daddy 🙂
Those are the highlights. It has been a nutty week but God has answered so many prayers. I am so very blessed!

Jumbled Thougths Springing from Vacation

Got back from a nice vacation with family yesterday afternoon.  It was one of those vacations where I did absolutely nothing and enjoyed spending time with family, laying in a hammock, and sitting around the fire outside at night talking.  In fact, when I did do something, like get a load of clothes washed and hung, I felt like the Proverbs 31 woman!  Yeah, that’s how much I did all week! 

The boys enjoyed it too.  Owen really enjoyed having four days where he was taken around everywhere outside he wanted and whenever he wanted too.  He would wander around Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Thompson’s house bored, waiting until all his aunts and uncles came to be his willing servants!  Poor boy.  Makes me wonder if I’m depriving him of all things good when he is home and doesn’t get half of his wishes fulfilled.  Don’t get me wrong, he is well taken care of….he just doesn’t have me at his beck and call.  I’m one person to their nine so some requests just cannot get fulfilled!

We are home now, and I am trying to get a few things accomplished and get ready for a much needed shopping trip tonight.  Should have planned that one better.  Opened the cabinet and realized the main breakfast staple, applesauce, was gone and there was no fruit to replace it.  So Owen got his usual oatmeal and raisens with more syrup than usual and Joel got his usual cereal with just syrup.  I felt like an awful mother especially when I remembered that I did have frozen peaches I could have used for Joel.  Oh well, that was used for the second bowl of cereal and Joel’s belly was full so I guess all is good. 

Okay, enough random writing.  Time to get off and use the time when Owen is watching his Elmo to go and get some more things accomplished.  Trying today to be that eager, willing Proverbs 31 wife.  More on that later.

Thoughts on Guns and Crayons

This past Saturday Paul took some of his siblings target shooting. Not exactly what I call fun but hey, its good bonding time for his brother and a few of his sisters. All good. Then I realized he really wanted me to come along. Right…couldn’t I just stay behind and help watch the kids? Well, all my reasoning for staying behind vanished when I realized how much he really wanted me to come along with him. It was an opportunity for me to step into his world, just like I enjoy when he steps into mine for a while. So I went, and yes, I had fun. I didn’t care to shoot any loud gun and have a sore shoulder but I did enjoy watching my husband enjoy himself.

Tried to color with my son today. I thought that maybe if I sat down with him and did it he would have fun. Wrong. All he wanted to do was take the crayons out and put them back in again. Oh well. Then I made the mistake of leaving them out for Owen to get to. He is still drooling yellow. Hopefully he’ll be able to use crayons before he starts Kindergarten.

And what does a story on guns and a story on crayons have to do with each other? Absolutely nothing.

It happens

You are in Dreamland. You never thought you’d get there the way the afternoon was going. But here you are, and its blissful! Then it happens. Wait, did I just hear a cry? Yes, I did. Do I investigate? I’d better. You drag yourself out of that wonderful land into the real world again and stumble across the house into the boy’s bedroom and realize that real is being very harsh right now. Not only is the baby awake but you find that your toddler that you thought was sleeping so nicely is still awake. Yup, never even went to sleep. He was just humoring you and being quiet. Very thoughtful of him!

So, you take the baby into your bed and leave the toddler screaming in protest, quite loudly. Oh well, naps are overrated anyhow…or at least that’s what your youngest son’s onsie tries to convince you of!

Joel is now resettled and Owen is awake, albeit quietly amusing himself in the crib where he will stay till he falls asleep or 4pm rolls around, whichever happens first. I’m learning to roll with the punches. I’ve seen many worse days end with all of us still alive, just me a little grayer I’m sure. I’ve learned to pray, “Lord, please help this be a good day where all the naps happen and everyone is happy but if not Lord, please give me the strength I need to be a patient and loving mother.” Seems like a reasonable prayer to me. Perhaps later on in my walk with God, I will find out its not as reasonable as I would have originally thought but that’s the beauty of this journey. God leads me through life, showing me other areas that need working on and then eventually goes back and shows me some other areas that he passed over for the sake of growing me and not leaving me to spin my wheels in a muck of sin, overwhelmed and alone.

So, even now as I’m still rubbing sleep out of my eyes and counting down the time till I am rescued (hubby coming home) I am thankful for the strength that God gives. And as my toddler ramps up the volume in his crib, I pray that I will draw upon that strength and not cave to the temptation to be snappy. God has so much to work on in me but in that truth is a praise-He will keep working in me and not leave me alone. How awesome is that!

One Fish, Two Fish

Oh the joys of having a young kid! Having toys and books scattered throughout all rooms of the house, crunching on food dropped from the highchair, reminding yourself to remove that onion from the diaper bag before you leave next, picking up tupperware from the living room floor and measuring cups in the bedroom (how in the world?), etc. Its loads of fun but as my pregnancy wears on, so do these joys! I mean, when I have to scoot all over the floor and pick up toys while sitting down because its too much pain to BEND and pick them up, it gets tiring! I still have a little over 8 weeks to go and I shudder at how much more difficult things will become!

Entertaining Owen while trying to relax as much as possible is also very interesting! I’m thankful that he’s gaining more of an interest in books but even that can get tiring as well. He has two favorite books, both Dr. Seuss: “One Fish, Two Fish” (which I have memorized!) and “Mr. Brown can Moo, Can You?” I thought about reciting the first one but I’ll spare everyone! Most days its fun reading these books to him but there are some days when he brings them over and begs me to read them that I just want to cry. How many times can you read these books and stay sane! But hey, at least I’m not telling him “no” half a dozen times in a minute. I can live with that! And reading “Mr. Brown” gets me a whole bunch of kisses. Don’t ask me why cause I don’t know why but I’ll take all the kisses he gives me!

It may sound like I’m complaining here but I’m not. I’m writing these things with a smile on my face even though the monotony really can get to me. Its hard to not love Owen and smile at some of his antics. I love to watch him play and learn and his face is so full of expression that I sometimes will sit and hold back hysterical laughter at watching him do things! He is so much fun and becoming more and more fun! I’m curious at what his little brother will be like and I look forward to seeing the two of them interact with each other!

I’m so thankful that I still have him and that he doesn’t seem to be much behind even though he had all the trauma on his brain. I watch him learn and process things and try to learn to stand and walk and I think “I am so blessed.” He has been a medical miracle and the doctors have wondered at how good he is doing in spite of everything. God has been so gracious to him and I look forward to telling Owen about how good God is and how He protected him. Its something I try and remind myself in the midst of frustration with Owen and on days where I can’t wait for Paul to get home!

Well, Owen is down for a nap so I think I will try to grab some shut eye as well before its too late. I need all the strength I can find to take care of my little energizer bunny!

Thoughts on Ecclesiastes

These are some thoughts that I had as I was reading this passage this morning. I may be off theologically and I know I skipped over some verses but I hope that I got at least the idea of what God is saying here.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-15

“What gain has a worker from all his toil?”
What is the point of working? What is the point of striving in this life? Is there any good in it?
“I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Everything? A sick child, hospital stays and surgeries for the child, an unexpected and harder pregnancy, uncertainty about the future–beautiful? How can there be beauty in these? Its painful, its uncomfortable. I don’t see the beauty in the midst off all these thorns.
“Also he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
I long for a good ending, for things to be right and to forget what has happened in the near past. Perhaps this is the eternity that God has placed in my heart. I do not know why God has done all these things but perhaps it is His plan for me to not know. Everything fits into the big picture of life and I need to have faith that if I knew everything God knew, I would do everything the exact same way.
“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they should live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil–this is God’s gift to man.”
How do I respond to all my toil and the weariness of it? With joy, and doing good to others. Taking pleasure in my work and toil. God has created man to work. Oh how contraty to the American dream that I get so caught up in. Little work, lots of wealth, no worries, plenty of comfort. But that is wrong. I am to take pleasure in work. Pleasure? work? Do they even belong in the same sentence? Aren’t they like, total opposites? I guess I can think of it this way. After a long day in which I worked and played with Owen, did my responsibilies of work around the house, and made dinner, I feel exhausted but joyful, even happy. I feel like I ran myself into the ground but I did what God made me to do. There is pleasure in that. It is how God intended work to be without sin. The joy is God’s gift to man.
“I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.”
I can’t change what has happened. I can’t forget about the trials of November and the following months after that up until even this very day. I can’t control or change what will happen. But what I can change are my responses to the past and to events in the future that have yet to take place. This is so hard to do but I must trust in God.

I carry a lot of pain in my heart with regards to what happened to Owen but there was also joy in the midst of all that toil. I am not enjoying the toil of this pregnancy but there will be so much joy coming from it, another son! I do not enjoy the toil of a budget or of a house that is very quickly going to be too small for us, but there is joy in learning to manage money in a better, God honoring way, and there is joy in being so close to each other that we can call to each other in any room of the house! I do not enjoy the toil that comes from seeking God’s face and learning his lessons, but there is the joy of finding God and the joy of Heaven when all our toil will be over and we will be face to face with God and the thorns of life will be done away with. Life on this earth is not to be easy or comfortable. The pricks and stings of sin point us to that great day when we shall be united with Christ. Oh that I can keep my heart trusting until that day. It will be so worth it!
“Lord, help me to see the good among the evil, the joy amidst the toil, the light in the middle of the darkness. Thank you so much for all your goodness to us! For you are so good and your mercies are new every morning!”

More Randomness

I’m taking a few minutes out of my day to write a new post, not because I’m bored or anything but just to give myself a bit of a break and rest while Owen is napping. After this, its back to work so that it looks like I actually did something today! I haven’t been lazy its just that all that I did today didn’t really make my house look any better. I made Owen food for the rest of the week. The boy will be feasting on rice, peas and carrots, and chicken as well as the normal applesauce and oatmeal and other delightful fruits and snacks. He’s set for a while, thankfully! I’m trying my hand at making teething biscuits (they are wonderful because they last FOREVER!) but I’m kinda doubting they will turn out. They’re supposed to be virtually crumb free but the mixture was so crumby that I don’t see how the end result won’t be as well. We’ll see tomorrow! My poor husband though. I spent so much time in the kitchen today cooking for Owen that I don’t even want to think of supper tonight. Don’t worry though honey, tomorrow is your turn as I make granola and, depending on how I’m feeling, maybe even ham and bean soup!

Today is going so much better than yesterday. Owen has been at me continually, throwing temper tantrums and whining and screaming at my feet. Its been very wearing on me and I’ve been learning lessons in loving the unlovable! He actually slept for over 1 1/2 hours today and was very content. We still had some issues but it was much nicer! I wish he’d take his full naps all the time-we’d both be a whole lot happier. I’m feeling better too after having a night out with Paul last night. I really needed that. The dear man spoiled me at the mall and took me out for Chinese. I hate to see how our budget is going to look but I hope that the time we spent together was worth it. I know I feel less stressed and better able to deal with Owen and life than I did yesterday or the past 2 weeks for that matter. It was nice being a wife again and not just a mommy! Although, this little one inside of me kept reminding me with little pokes and prods that I wasn’t childless on our date. Oh well, at least he wasn’t crying!

Well, I should go. Laundry needs switching and I hope to at least have our bedroom cleaned before Paul gets home. Its a bit of a disaster zone and I’m sure it would do us both some good to go to bed in a clean room!

Ramblings

Well, today was the first full day of trying to work towards being a better wife and mother. It didn’t start too well this morning and I still have half a day left but the day is going fairly well. I made cookies today while Owen sat in the highchair and watched. It was nice. I look forward to the days of making cookies with him and then eating them together while discussing matters of importance that pertain to a toddler! I do need to work with Owen though on learning to play by himself. When the next little one comes, I’m not going to be able to give Owen my full attention and the thought of trying to nurse an infant while my toddler hangs on me sounds exhausting! We’ll work on that. Paul and I are trying to work on how we can train Owen towards that end. Hopefully some ideas will surface although I weary at being the main one to train him. I would love for Paul to have a week off so that we can work on this but alas, that is a dream that ranks right up there with getting a maid. So for now, we brainstorm and I gird up my loins for the challenge!

I must say though being pregnant and having a baby under a year is very tiring. We’ll have to try and plan better next time! Although, we didn’t really plan for this one so I guess that God believes that I can do this with His help so I will rest in that! I do look forward to meeting this little one but I do hope that he is more laid back than his brother!

So far though, this pregnancy is different than it was with Owen. I mean I’m more sick than usual; I mean, I’m 20 weeks and still battle nausea! But this baby is quieter and moves differently than Owen did. Owen gave me jabs with sharp, bony, little body parts while this one just “bumps” me. Its nice to feel that. Perhaps my poor ribs will be saved the abuse that they suffered previously! Its also different though because I don’t really “feel” pregnant. I mean, I do feel that I am pregnant physically (I was reminded yesterday as I realized it was getting harder to tie my shoes!) and emotionally (Seriously, do I have to tear up about everything!) but I don’t feel pregnant mentally and I’m surprised that I am halfway there already! I guess I’m just too busy chasing after Owen and trying to figure him out. I do prefer the pregnancy to fly by and not drag on forever but I feel this little one is getting gypped of the excitement that I felt with Owen. Ah well, I’m sure I will have the same exuberant joy and excitement as I hold him for the first time. Those first few moments make the pain of childbirth so worth it!

Well, I should stop my rambling. Owen woke up early from his nap (again) and I have to assess whether to let him cry and see if he will go back to sleep or to get him up. Either way, I think my chances for a nap are non-existent. Ah well, no biggy, just part of being a mom!

I hereby resolve….

Well, I decided to pick up this blog again. For how long this will last, I don’t know. I’m not much of a writer. I’m writing this as I embark on a new journey, an journey that takes me from pretending that I am still single to the realization that I am married. A journey that I hope and sincerely pray will bring me closer to my Savior and will make me a better wife, mother, and homemaker. I’ve realized that I have been trying to be a wife and mother and homemaker while still trying to seek my after my own way and do what I want to do. Needless to say, that doesn’t work! I can’t do what I want to do and be a “good” wife and mother. The two do not mesh! I am ashamed to say that I have been living like this for the past two years now and wondering where I am going wrong!

So, I have resolved a couple of things-first, to realize that when I became a wife, I knowingly or unknowingly took on the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning (both I hate!). This means that even when I don’t “feel” like doing the laundry or dishes, that doesn’t matter. This is my calling, to keep house for my husband. So my resolve is to strive harder to be a better cook and make better meals for both my husband and son and to work harder at this house to make it look as nice as it possibly can (with a near toddler and another infant in a few months!).

Secondly, I have resolved to to put my son’s and husband’s desires before my own. Now this will not be accomplished in a day or two, sadly, but I trust that my Lord,who convicted me in the first place, will work on me with this!! One step toward this was to delete my Farmville off of Facebook (yes, you all may laugh at me for this!!). I have enjoyed playing it but it is getting in the way of things that need to get done and also getting in the way of caring for and playing with my son, so it went. That was kinda hard but I’m sure that any free time I have will be better spent reading or doing something extra special with or for my son and husband! My son would better benefit from me playing with him or reading to him.

Thirdly, but certainly not the last resolve I’m sure, is that I have resolved to enjoy working in the kitchen and making tasty creations that everyone will enjoy. As part of this resolve, I am making chicken and potatoes with cheese for Owen. Poor kid has only been eating single veggies and fruit and its time for some more interesting combos. He is almost a year! I know that this third resolve kinda goes along with the first but for me, this is a really big thing. I think I dislike cooking more than cleaning! I’m curious where this resolve will lead me. Already I’m thinking of freezing and maybe even canning at some point (my mom would pass out if she read this part!). Oh, and Paul, honey, sweety, darling…this may mean we will need a freezer at some point…but this is for your benefit as well!

These resolves sound like an exciting adventure right now but I know that there will be failures and struggles along the way but I hope that in the end, my resolves, by God’s help, will pay out.

Well, its time for me to get off. Owen has gotten up from his nap a little early and is calling for me. I think this falls under resolve number 2 so for now I will get off and pay attention to him. I look forward to seeing where this takes me and would appreciate any prayers or tips that you can give me!

Thought Provoking Truth

I just did a lesson with Setting Captives Free on the Cross. It was very good. Previously, I have been studying on what the cross does for us such as set us free from sin, provide forgiveness, gives abundant life, etc. It has been very good and thought provoking as well as challenging. Today, I did a lesson on the third of the Seven Sayings from the Cross. The saying was taken from John 19:26&27 where Jesus tells John to take care of Jesus’ mother. It was shown to me again the love and mercy of Christ, even in his death.

Previously, I had learned about Jesus asking God to pardon his persecutors because they did not know what they were doing and the thief receiving forgiveness in the final hours of his life. And now, Jesus was making sure that his mother would be taken care of after he died. Such love and selflessness! I have experienced nothing like Jesus ever felt and I get so caught up in my own problems that I neglect to pray for others or seek others out to help them. I have a picture in my mind of me huddling in a corner, crying over a scraped knee while Jesus is covered in blood and suffering unimaginable things on the cross and yet reaching out, forgiving, saving, and providing for others. This would be laughable if it weren’t so sad, and pathetic on my part! Praise God that he is not like me because if he were, we would all be destined for Hell! This is amazing to me.

Well, I just wanted to share this. Maybe it won’t strike some as it did me but it is still an amazing truth and also a challenge to reach out to others and pray for them, not matter what we are going through.
Okay, I’m done. Till next time!!