Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Miscellany of Journals

Wednesday, March 4

The night air smells amazing with the scent of orange blossoms wafting in on the ocean breeze. Sometimes I just stand there a little stunned by the wonderment of the simplest of things. A lady from our church stopped by yesterday with a container of chili for the children and I while Jon is away this week, and along with dinner she brought a few fresh vegetables from her garden. A small bunch of fresh, vibrant mint now sits on my kitchen windowsill, and I think it's so pretty.

When I pray with the kids each day, I've been asking God to help us recognize the many ways in which He is good to us. His people, His creation, and His provisions have all been brought to our attention.

Another thing for which I am thankful today: The help of a housekeeper.

(Daffodils. They are the flower for March, and a little tradition in our home during Olivia's birthday month.)

Thursday, March 5

Today was Jacob's half birthday. We still celebrate those half birthdays around here, and I don't think the kids will outgrow that little tradition anytime soon. It wasn't an easy thing to explain to the new kids what exactly is a half birthday. One of my older kids tried to bring clarity and said, "It's just a fun way to make everyone feel special." To that statement, our new little boy laughed out in his cartoon-like giggle and said, "Well I ain't special!" He is the cutest thing, and we are making it our business to make him believe that, yes, he is special.

Friday, March 6

I've found a good formula: Separate everyone into groups of twos for a couple hours each day. Give 'em all a break from the crowd, and everyone is refreshed.

Michael and Olivia rode their bikes to the beach and walked down the coast together.

Andrew and Jack swivel boarded/scootered around the cul-de-sac. I sent them out with a little snack which they were not expecting, and I scored major points.

The littler ones played together, alone, which they totally need. They kicked the soccer ball around the yard, then played a little hide-and-seek. They don't know how to play with rules, but they are learning. One thinks they should have equal turns kicking the soccer ball, the other thinks it's "not fair" if he loses. Overall, though, they seem happy out there in the sunshine.

Me? Well, it's a little break and I like it very much! I rolled out the yoga mat on the deck and did some stretches and girly push-ups. It about time for that.

(Michael's latest creation: He whittled a piece of wood, sanded and stained it, then fashioned the sail and flag. I think it's so cute.)

Saturday, March 7

I found this little quote which I had copied out some time ago.

"Parents, if you love your children, do all that lies in your power to train them up to a habit of prayer. Show them what to say. Encourage them to persevere. Remind them if they become careless and slack about it. Let it not be your fault, at any rate, if they never call on the name of the Lord."  JC Ryle

(A rare moment...)

Sunday, March 8

Sundays are just so special. They just are. Even with the time change and the sleepiness I felt today, I was so thankful to be at church. It has been such a wonderful thing for me as a mom to know that all my kids love to go to church, too. The younger ones count down the days. Sadly I wasn't like that as a kid, and for many years as an adult it felt like more of a duty. Just saying...

Like many Sundays, we did some kid swapping. Jacob and his friend are in the jacuzzi this afternoon, and they keep daring each other to jump into the "big pool" because it is still uncomfortably cold. Every now and then someone does, and it is my guess that the pool will be in full time use in just a few short weeks.

Every springtime when the weather starts turning, I start getting motivated to run. I've been at about 75% motivation for a while now, which is not enough to commit, and last night I finally laced up and went out. It was an amazing run and I do believe I am hooked! I had tried to get back into it late last summer, but it was so miserable I eventually gave up after a few short weeks. Of course I didn't know how anemic I was at the time. It's amazing what an iron infusion did for me!

As I sit here and type, I am watching our new kiddos interact with each other as they play Legos in the living room nearby. There was yet another disagreement, and I reminded them of a few principles I have been trying to instill and practice. Silence followed as no one wanted to give in, but they continued to work on their little creations. Several minutes later, one looked up and asked the other for forgiveness. They didn't know I was paying attention. This is a first: Humility and repentance without my intervention. They are learning that by following God's ways there is happiness and unity; but to follow after selfishness, there is always misery. 

Monday, March 9

I had lots I thought I'd want to write here today, but now, at 10:02 pm, it is all gone.

I just got back from an hour long run, and whoo-wee, I feel good! What a gift! I've got some songs in my head as I near the end of my day, and tomorrow I will probably have some sore legs. I've always loved sore muscles... it' a promising feeling!

Another quote scribbled out here at my desk:

"Where you invest your love,
You invest your life..."

Mumford &Sons

Tuesday, March 10

Today Andrew flung open his bedroom window for Olivia and said, "Here! Sit here on my bed!" He did this because the scent of jasmine from the garden below is just unreal, and he wanted her to enjoy it as she did her school work. Our little jasmine plant below the window is about the only pretty thing in that area of our yard, but the aroma right now makes up for it. Olivia went out tonight and collected some blossoms for her bedside, and for me in the kitchen.

Later, Andrew decided it might be a better idea to charge Olivia a dime if she wants to sit in his room! Brothers...

Tonight I lay in bed with a little boy that still doesn't feel like my own, but I try every day to make him feel like my son. The things I've learned this month about myself have been surprising, and not always pretty. I was prepared to give time and grace for others to adjust, but I assumed my own transition from a mother of four to a mother of six would be a little smoother. After all, I'd been preparing and waiting for so long. I've discovered, however, that theoretical preparedness and emotional imaginings do not quite equate to reality. The fact that I don't feel the way I'd like to feel has been a disappointing surprise to me.

So, we will need time and we will need grace, and we will need much of it. 

My little boy had been crying hard, uncontrollably, and unreasonably. It's impossible to know what was going on in his head, but something was devastating to him. He couldn't speak, nor could he hear or receive much from me. When eventually his need and will to cry loudly yielded to fatigue, I talked and soothed as best I could. He leaned his head hard in the crook of my neck and shoulder, and his big sobbing tears rolled down my arm and chest. He just needed to be held. He needed to be wanted and loved.

We lay on his bed all curled up, his body against mine as though he were a toddler. It dawned on me  that perhaps, and very likely, he has never been held that way before. So it was special, and more than any other time so far, I felt like his mother. This was what he needed, to be wanted and loved, and I was there to give it...


1 comment:

  1. I think you needed it too. God is near, so tender. God knows your fears and his tears and together you will grow in His grace. :-)


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