Friday, March 26, 2010

That's what you get for going to Walmart....

As if my eldest child needs more encouragement to ponder what happens when we die. He has such an interest already. Seriously kid, you are only 3 1/2 years old. Mommy really does not want to talk about this subject any more.

So, we were taking a quick stop in Walmart to grab some beer for our daddy since he was at home mowing the lawn. Nothing like a cold beer after yard work with a little basketball on TV. There was a sweet old man in the beer aisle trying to decide what flavor beef jerkey to have for dinner. (I am guessing there is a reason why those two items are together?) My children gravitate towards anyone who makes eye contact with them and this guy was an easy target. He started teasing the boys and telling him he had a really "tall forehead", due to his extreme baldness. My boys starting asking him if he had kids. He replied no, but then proceeded to explain to Danny and Josh that he had a son and grandkids but that they had died in a fiery car crash.
say what?
Time for mommy to check in and start picking up the pieces here. Thankfully my children are at peace about their current eternal perspective. Danny just figures that Heaven is so great that death doesn't look too bad. He will tell me often that when people die we are sad, but we are also happy because they go to Heaven.
So, this little horrific detail didn't phase my two little guys.
We continued to engage this sweet(not sure if that qualifies anymore) old man in more conversation. He gave us a few more details about the crash(dude, that's enough!) We found out that he was 89 years old and he admired the pretty blue eyes staring back at him in the form of a questioning little boy. We thanked him for talking with us and headed to the check out line with our goods.

Well, that doesn't happen every day, but it get me thinking about the lives of people under the surface. On the outside this man was smiling and happy to converse with my social kids, but inside he was hurting. It took less than 1 minute for his pain of losing a loved one and the wondering of "what could have been" to begin. I wonder if he lives alone? Does he still shed tears every night or have they long ago dried up? Was that why he was able to share with us? Or maybe, hopefully, we were able to give off a good vibe of people who care about his suffering?
Hopefully he has someone other than Walmart shoppers on a beer run to share with daily.
And by the way, sharing the details of a car crash with babies is probably not a great idea. Thankfully, my children are uniquely able to process difficult information. I hope.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I agree completely

So, I know I have said this before, but Danny is a very unusual little boy. We have so many conversations that I need to record on here. I think this blog could be filled with the things he says, but sometimes I am laughing so hard(or pondering deeply), that I do not think to write it down and therefore lose it forever. Yesterday afternoon we were talking all about heaven and death and sinners and God's sacrifice on the cross for our sins....ok, so this might sound like inappropriate content for a 3 1/2 year old, but he asks the questions. I just give the honest answers. To be a fly on the wall in our house would be proof that this boy finds joy all these topics. I sometimes think his acceptance and appreciation for truth is reflective of how God would like us to react as adults. But we carry all this baggage and experience that leaves us often hopeless and exhausted. Questioning is really good for us, but loneliness and despair is not. My enlightened son seems to trust God, yet he has a healthy questioning spirit. God has big plans for him.
But back to our conversation.
Danny was talking about what he wanted to do in heaven. He often talks about spending time with his Granddaddy and also helping God with the weather. I do not encourage the idea of what will happen after death. I tend to side on the "you have so much to do here first" attitude. I really do not want him focusing too much on his death, since the thought of losing my children is heart wrenching and painful(seriously, kid, stop talking about it). But last night was a first for this conversation.

"Mommy, when I get to heaven I want to snuggle God"

I mean, what do you say when that comes out of the mouth of your child?
I think it hit me that God does love us so much that he is just aching for us to WANT to snuggle him. I believe there is a healthy balance between a God who is Powerful, Mighty, All-knowing, Worthy of our worship AND this figure of our Heavenly Father who is wanting to wrap His Comfort around us in a heavenly embrace. The honest desire of a young child to be wrapped in the arms of Someone who loves him more than we have words to describe is incredible.
And I agree. But can we ask for it now? Why wait until heaven little boy? He is ready now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Please stick around.

The weather in Richmond has been wonderfully pleasant in the afternoons even with today's impending rain clouds and small bursts of sunshine peeking through the clouds. After our latest winter, everyone is relieved to see the snow has melted, except for the occasional giant pile of plowed parking lot snow. Those patches of concrete might not see sunshine for a few more weeks. But overall the attitude of most people I have had the chance to speak with this week has been excitement over the emerging of Spring and the glorious weather that it brings. If you think I am being a little dramatic, then you need to come spend a week with me and experience the cool breezes, pretty sunshine, bright blue sky, and flowers exploding that was my welcome into our new town. My first two months in Richmond were spent sitting(due to the very large child in my belly) on the porch and thanking God that we had moved to a really great location. My first March and April in Richmond two years ago was really nice. I am looking forward to spending more time on my porch in the next few months, but this time about 40 pounds lighter(seriously, he was a BIG baby!)
Here we are enjoying one of the playgrounds in our neighborhood.

He loves his dog...they kiss and hug all day long.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I am not waiting....I am enjoying.

I realized a day ago that I have finally come to peace about something and I know that God has given me a right spirit about a very important part of my life.

I have come to realize that this is my job now.
I could begin to give the job description, but list is ever-changing and incredibly long.
My job description could be wrapped up in one hyphenated, baggage-filled word.

My peace came this week when I realized that I needed to stop looking at this as a waiting place. As a teacher, I would take pride in doing my job well and gladly received the recognition for giving 100% in the classroom. Why can't that be the same here? I get it that we are not in this life for the recognition, but I do believe God calls us to work well and be proud of what we do within His will. I believe that it is ok to find joy in doing a job well, even when that job brings recognition and praise. Especially when we can turn and give God the credit for the gifts and talents we have. Just look at Proverbs 31 which is famous for speaking about a wife of noble character. So much of that scripture talks of the work of the woman and how she is deserving of praise.

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
(do I bring good to my husband? can he put his trust in me?)

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
(I really do need to get out that sewing machine and learn how to use it)

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
(or walmart, kroger, sams, and trader joes)

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
(where can I get some of these servant girls? and my 6:30 wake up call qualifies as still dark)

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
(just wish the dog would stop eating the tomatoes I plant)

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
(it is important to serve my community)

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
(and uses those strong arms to shovel endlessly)

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
(providing power to all of the of Virginia Power territory)

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
(am I teaching my children to laugh?)

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
(idleness equals many loads of laundry backed up in the laundry room)

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
(can I get an amen to that?)

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate
(go ahead, be proud of raising those children and caring for the household)

Proverbs 31:10-31(New International Version)

Ok, so I didn't intend to post that whole section of scripture, but it is a favorite and truly captures my heart right now. My attempts at couponing and saving money with the groceries is just me trying to be the best at my job. My desire for children who are respectful to their elders is just me trying to be the best at my job. The attempt to have good meals on the table, a clean house, and a welcoming home are just me trying to be the best at my job. And I am not going to get it right every time. But why can't I find joy in the moments that I do and celebrate it the same way I did my teaching profession? I can enjoy this stage of life and see that I am appreciated for what I have to offer in my home. And I can lean back on the trust that God will carry me through when it seems like my job is falling apart. But most of all thanking Him who gives me the gifts and qualities that make me successful.

I am a stay-at-home-mom.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Watch me Mommy.

I really like this photo.

Makes me think of a how my boys bounce around all day long.

I also like how I turned the ISO setting up to 1600 and I think that is why it is so much more crisp than other photos taken inside on a cloudy day. Taking baby steps. That is where I am at with my photography. Working on one thing at a time, so that someday hopefully I can put them all together and become the artist that I truly want to be!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

He is a sneaky little fellow.

I love who my children are becoming.

My eldest is honest, thoughtful, organized, outgoing, friendly...generally a joy to be around. He doesn't know a stranger. He doesn't like kisses from his momma, but he seeks my approval constantly. He is a leader and is usually nurturing to those younger than him. He is sensitive and can get his feelings hurt very quickly. But that sensitivity is part of what makes him so kind to others. I love who God has created him to be.

But the title to this post is not about him.

It's the other little guy that is constantly at my feet...wanting me to pick him up....the sneaky one.

I can sing his praises too. He loves my cuddling(translation: momma's boy) and wants my arms wrapped around him 24/7. He is my spunky, creative little man. His faces is less often in a smile and more often in a scrunched eye brows expression as he thinks and plans over how to do something or make something work. He likes to give out hugs to just about everyone(as long as mommy doesn't leave) and he is super smart. And really tough, because you have to be when you are the smaller guy in a pair of boys.

I think I have my hands full with these two guys.

Especially when I get looks like these.

Just hanging out at breakfast and watching his Elmo.


I am powerless against his charms. All he has to do is grab my face and say mommy in his sweet little way and I am hooked.

Seriously, I have my hands full with these two guys.