Thursday, August 27, 2009

To reap what you sow

I saw all my past sins come to life in my first-born’s eyes as she defiantly dunked her father’s shoes in the pool.
Anger lasted only a moment before the guilt set in. Now I’m sure Matt has had his fair share of past transgressions, but I will bet you dollars to donuts that mine outnumber his. (And I’m not bragging!)
So while Kadence was disciplined for her obsurd actions, I internally felt some of the heat.
People have always said that hot-tempered or naughty children/teenagers will get a taste of their own medicine when they have children with the same or worse tendencies.
I have mentioned before that I have FOUR kids, right? AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
So besides the diapers, clothes, food, shelter and all that money can buy, I have to deal with crap I’ve done in my past coming up to bite me in my present? Discipline for parents, I guess.
But I wasn’t really that bad. At least as far as I can remember ...
As I recall, I thought it was real funny to ask adults (actually, I think I only tried this on Mary) to lean over for a loving kiss on the cheek ... only to bite them (small nibble) instead.
And I was sent to the principal’s office in kindergarten for dumping a bottle of liquid glue in a kid’s school box. But, he totally deserved it!
I’ve done the typical high-school nonsense that really was stupid and I pray my kids never do.
But, other than that, I was pretty good.
So why do I have a feeling my “pretty good” multiplied by four is going to mean headaches now and in the future?
Because instances like the shoes in the pool. Or when my middle children dumped buckets of calf replacement on top of each other and then rode their bikes through it on the back porch. Smelly and sticky!
Or when they scheme. Mom said I had a lot of “ideas,” I just lacked soldiers. My kids don’t, though. Matt and I are definitely outnumbered and I am sure the kids know it. Seems like daily there is an “incident.”
A week or two ago I found poor, little Masen stuffed inside a microwave-sized box on top of a table!
Or after Bella learned to open doors and let Masen go outside to play ... alone!
Oh, the list could go on and on.
And as my childen grow, the list of transgressions will grow with them, I’m sure. And because half their DNA has a bit too much “spunk,” shall we call it, then I have a feeling I might be dealing with more than the average number of “incidents.”
My only hope is that God makes their tongues a bit lazier and their wills a little less stubborn.
But then what would life be?
Probably a little less fun and a little too quiet.

As seen in the Lawrence County Record

Friday, August 14, 2009


Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Like no matter how much you get checked off your to-do list each day, you’re swimming in tasks to do tomorrow? There’s never enough money in your pocket to take away the need to think about it (or lack of it). Not enough time in each day. Not enough energy, for that matter, to make the most-effective use of each God-given hour.

Some times life is just blah. Not really bad and not really good. Just a cycle of days, tasks, bills …

I have a tendency to see the “glass half empty.” I work daily (sometimes hourly) to pull myself out of these pits life seems to throw me in. There are days when I have to just claw myself out of the pit, and with fingers still bleeding slap myself and say, “WAKE UP!!!!!”

See I don’t have time to wallow in self-pity, let alone drown myself in my overwhelmed tears. My four children get up older every day, no matter if mommy feels like being mommy today or not. And despite the fact that I do struggle, like most people do I’m sure, with wanting to crawl in a hole and never come out, I want something else more.

When I look back on my children’s childhood — and let’s face it, my own youth — I want to see days filled with the excitement of Kadence’s first loose tooth, Rylan lost in the blackberry bushes, Bella’s love of her “piggy” and Masen growling like a lion.

Most importantly though, I want my kids to think back on their childhood and see my face smiling. Instead of me pouring over to-do lists, I want them to envision me filling their plates with their favorite foods. Rather than worrying about money, reading book after book after book. Bible times with mommy. Picking out treats at the store. I want the good to overshadow the bad.

Life is short. Life is temporary. It is busy, hard, hectic and it stinks a lot of the time. But I only get one. Thankfully, one life blessed with four little souls. And one day when I wake up, they will be graduating, getting married, having babies and I’ll be left to sift through the memories I’ve stored right now.

In light of that day, which will come sooner than I can imagine, I purpose to live each day the best I can. Sometimes that means leaving a load of dishes in the sink and a load of towels unfolded in the dryer. It might mean that the next morning I am left to transfer my leftover “to dos” onto my new to-do list. So be it. My chores will wait. It’s the kids who won’t. I will never be able to pause or rewind this time in our lives.

Because this too shall pass. With or without me.

As seen in the Lawrence County Record

Monday, August 10, 2009

Heart of gold, priceless memories

I’ve been hearing my dead Grandma’s voice a lot lately.
And no, I don’t hear/speak to ghosts or have psychic capabilities, but I hear her voice loud and clear every, single night.
As I lay in my bed and listen to the monitor from the kids’ room, I hear her telling them stories I listened to when I was young. Her tender voice reading the tales of my past to my part in the future.
Her partially full glass of water used as the “ding” that signaled time to turn the page. Cars in the background. Life going on as my Grandma took time out of her’s to read a stack of books recorded onto a cassette for my birthday. And all my cousins’ birthdays, too, until we entered the second grade. Grandma tapes. Genius!
See my Grandma Rosie is one of those people you just can’t let go. She was/is part of the fiber of my being. She wasn’t just a Grandma to me. She actively loved me — and the rest of the family — in such a deep, unrockable way that I just can’t seem to get over it, you know.
And today marks the three-year anniversary of her death. I still long to tell her what's going on and I ache for her advice. Since her death I feel like the armor of my youth has a chunk missing. But I keep going on. Life keeps going on. You just pack the hurt in a suitcase and board the plane of life with it. And when the sad creeps up and threatens to take away from my current blessings, I listen in my memories for her voice. I don't want to let my tears drown all of my precious, happy and priceless memories she worked an entire lifetime to build.
So today I'm not all sad. But I am thankful for her. Thankful she is my Grandma. Thankful she lived such a great example of how the important things in life should be ordered. How to put the struggles/worries of the days in perspective.
I recently came across something special in the Bible — coincidently, it was the one she gave Matt and me for our wedding. As I read the verses describing a Godly woman, I got chills. Grandma Rosie.
"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value...
She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls...
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night...
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet...
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

— Proverbs 31: 10-29