Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Right Here, Right Now

Well hello out there in blog world! What have you been up to? It's been awhile, eh?

I just sucked down an iced caramel macchiato so bear with me, I'm a little chatty.

Since last on here we've had Gabe's preschool graduation...let's talk about that for a moment...

He was ever so proud standing up there at graduation. Sang along with all the songs, hand movements and all. Too cute. Isaac was at school so it was just Daddy, Selah and me. We took pictures and videos on our phones. We (I) cried when the teacher read her end of the year poem (it's the same poem every year...I cry every time!) I watched my little man enjoy an M&M cookie and lemonade as I marveled yet again at how time surely does fly. Five years old. Jeepers, where in the world is time going?? He makes me proud, that one. We let him pick where he wanted to go for lunch. He picked the Pancake House, a favorite. He enjoyed two eggs over easy and a blueberry pancake along with freshly squeezed orange juice. I love the crooked, shy smile that slowly comes across his face when he gets to make grown up decisions like that. Love it!


We took our first trip of the summer to Kings Island. I have more to say about this whole Kings Island thing. We went back and forth on getting season passes. We ended up getting them. Which is huge for us because it's a pricey decision. Growing up it was definitely a once a year thing. We would get there when the park opened and stay until fireworks lit up the night sky, signaling closing time. The last few years were no different, only this time we were the grown ups hauling kiddos. Everything we've gone through financially over the past few years made us appreciate going at all. We packed lunches and took our own photos so we didn't feel pressured to buy the $12 image they sell at the end of every ride. And now we have season passes?! It might sound silly to be thankful for such a thing but I really, really am. It's something the kids love to do and I look forward to making sweet memories with them. Memories that someday they will surely use as a guideline when they have kids of their own. Humbling to think I will play any part in that. But also very much an incentive to make their memories special. Those kinds of things certainly aren't lost on me... I appreciate them very much.


I took a field trip with Isaac's class to the Boonshoft Museum. They have all kinds of cool things for kids to get their hands on. Lots of fun things for little minds to explore...planet discovery, zoo, huge indoor play area. But what I remember best were things like the way his eyes searched for mine when he correctly answered the guide's questions. The way he asked if he could sit next to me as we shared a sack lunch on the steps of the amphitheater. How his teacher told me some of the sweet things my dad told her on Grandparent's Day. I'm glad I got the chance to share the day with my boy, it makes me that much more excited for summer days when he's all mine all day!


We celebrated Mother's Day. The kids definitely DID NOT get the memo about allowing mom to sleep in. They were too excited to give me the gifts they so carefully created at school and at home with daddy. Pictures in frames, hand print bouquets and a potted flower along with yummy breakfast from daddy. It was a good day.


There was the YMCA daycare incident of 2012. Let me just say this never, I mean never happened with my boys. I came to pick Selah up after taking a spinning class where they informed me she had to be put in time out twice for pushing the babies!! What?! Oh, and she owned up to it too. She came running up to me saying "me go to time out, me push da babies!" What in the world is that about?? I'm afraid kids will start running when they see her coming now. In an attempt to nip this in the bud quickly I went the bribing route. Dangled the carrot in front of her so to speak. Only the carrot was a Dum Dum lollipop sticking out of her cubby. She knew she was allowed to have it when I came to pick her up as long as she DID NOT push the babies. It worked!! Yay! She might not have any teeth by the time she hits puberty but hey, I like to think I'm doing my part to help preserve the children of Springboro. I'm all about community.


So those were some of the big things that happened but I tend to like the little things even more. These are the things I'm loving right here, right now:

Watching Selah learn to blow bubbles all on her own. Pretty funny. She's a bit too impatient for the whole thing. Instead, she blows as hard as she can and then asks for my help. Cute.

My girl, the one with the pigtails that melt my heart. Oh, and the sweet way she says 'thank you, mama' whenever I do something to her liking. And the way she dances in her car seat, it just kills me. So cute! We took a bath together the other day...we've done this before but this time her excitement was almost too much for her to contain. She gathered her bath toys and shed her clothes before I even had the chance add the bubbles. I loved every minute, and I loved that she wanted to spend that time with me.

The way she fits in my lap just so as we read every book in the doctor's waiting room during Gabe's speech appointments.

Seeing Isaac's sleepy wake up face this morning. He's usually the first to rise, I usually miss out on that half awake, still-warm-and-rosy-from-a-good-night's-slumber face.

I loooove watching my boys play baseball. It's more exciting than I ever thought it would be at this age. Watching them swing the bat, run hard and make a good play in the outfield makes my heart so full.

Dreaming up what fun summer activities will take place over the next however many days. I don't want to start counting, it will go by waaay too fast as it is!

Clean sheets with clean babies sleeping tight. Love that.

What are you loving right now?


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Voice Of Truth

Today, as I drove along in the car, I heard this song by Casting Crowns. I've heard it a million times, maybe more. But today it was a little different. We'll get to that in a minute....

See, I've been struggling with something. Like majorly struggling. It's all I can think about. The first thought every morning, the last thought every night and about a bazillion times in between. And it's so ridiculous. I wish I could say it was something meaningful, like maybe world hunger or going to the far places of the earth and preaching the Good News to all mankind...something like that. I have those thoughts, I mean, I do have a heart beating in my chest and I really do want to show people who Jesus is. But this thought? It's waaaay more shallow. It's that dang number on the scale. Last week I wanted to chuck it out the window. Seriously. I'm not kidding. I've been trying to get back to what I weighed when I got pregnant with Selah. For over two years now! Ha. That's what the scale was saying to me, "HA!" It's not like I don't try. I try very, very hard. I'm at the gym six days a week working out for no less than an hour and a half, a couple of those days being two hours at a time. No, I don't eat chocolate cake for breakfast. In fact, it's a half cup of flax meal along with four egg whites and a cup of coffee. Jealous?? Lunch varies depending on what that day holds but often it's plain chicken with a cup of veggies. Dinner also changes from day to day but I promise, I'm not parking myself at the Old Country Buffet. Promise. Snacks in between are usually protein shakes. The weekends are not so structured, thank goodness! So you can probably understand how frustrating it would be to hop on the 'ol scale and see you've gained three more pounds. Lovely. To say I was annoyed would be an understatement. I even considered not showing up at our girls night because I didn't like the way I looked in anything. I wanted to spare them from the hideous cellulite. I'm nice like that. I like my friends, I want to save them from' also why I don't cook for them. This was Thursday night. Friday was no better.

All the while I have these crazy thoughts. The guilt of putting so much of my time, energy and thinking into something so superficial. Something that the bible warns will fade away. How it says to store up our treasures in heaven. I didn't see anything in the good book about how you can become more like Jesus if you are a size 4. It's not in there.

Jumbled in with those thoughts would be stuff like "should you really be eating that" or "no wonder you can't lose've just eaten two cookies for crying out loud!" Things my cruel step dad would tell me came flooding back. "You're stupid, there's no way you could make it in college.  You're not pretty." I have a vivid memory of  being about twelve years old, lying on the living room floor watching the Miss USA pageant. I loved those. The sparkly dresses, the way they walked confidently on stage and performed their talent, be it yodeling or throwing their baton in the air and successfully catching it. I know there was a teeny, tiny part of me that thought that would be the coolest thing ever. To be Miss USA. But I couldn't yodel or twirl a baton or sing or any of the other things those girls did. I'm not even sure why I thought it would be so wonderful, I sure hope Selah has higher aspirations! Anyway, he looked over at me and said I shouldn't get my hopes up to be on any sort of beauty list. He said I liked macaroni and cheese and that girls who like macaroni and cheese don't need to worry about those things! Good gracious, this man has been out of my life for over sixteen years, when will those voices go away?

I really don't dwell on those things much at all anymore. I was feeling yucky and weak and vulnerable. I know Satan likes to use those things to drag us that much further down. Which reminds me of something I heard in a Beth Moore study a couple of weeks ago. That Satan is counting on us staying in those dark places. When we get to the other side of it is when we are our most powerful. When we use what we went through for God's glory. But the enemy wants us to stay there. Because when we are there, in that bad, awful place, we aren't allowing God to use us like He could. There is so much more on the other side...

Then, Saturday, Sunday and Monday I did the unthinkable. I didn't workout! It wasn't on purpose at all. Just sort of happened that way. I slept in! I woke up feeling, that never happens! Joe was worried. He knows I get a little crazy if my body hasn't produced sweat in over a day. My fuse gets short, I'm antsy. It's not good. But it wasn't like that this time. I wanted to get a good workout in but it just didn't happen. I threw the ball to Gabe and Isaac so they could practice before their baseball games, we took a few walks around our neighborhood. I guess I just sort of let it go for a bit. I kind of can't believe we all survived.

Back to that song. Do you know it? If I was at all technically inclined I would put up the little linky thing for you, maybe show the video on here...but I'm not that girl. I'm the girl that googles the song lyrics, writes it on a piece of paper and types it here for you to see. I'm pretty sure there's a faster way...

Voice Of Truth:

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a Sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again, "boy, you'll never win."
"You'll never win"

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From the top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

So, there I was, cruising down I-675 to meet Joe at the Greene. Two kids in the back, nearly asleep, and this song comes on. Like I said, I've heard it a million times, but today was so different. It's felt like this issue (which I think is more mental than anything. I know I'm at a healthy weight, after all...) was my giant. I felt less of a person because of a silly number on a scale. I'm not less of a person. I'm a person that God created on purpose. I wasn't an accident, although Satan likes to remind me that I was absolutely not planned by my young parents who were not married. There are so many negative thoughts racing through my head at any given time. The voice that's hardest to hear and believe is the voice of truth. The one that says "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I'm fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful." Psalm 139:13-14.

Next time, because there's always a next time, I will choose to listen to the voice of truth. Today I stepped on the scale after a great seven mile run. Guess what? I actually lost a few pounds. It didn't take long though until that voice, the one telling me I'm still not at the number I was when I got pregnant, came knocking at my mind's door. But this time I told it to go away. That I was proud of myself for finishing a long run. That I'm no longer listening.

I choose to listen to the voice of truth.  Who are you listening to? I would love to hear what you think.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Happy Is...

Happy is...

A certain seven year old losing his first tooth....

Roughly a month left of school,. No more rushing in the morning, no more packing lunches at ten o'clock at night. We are looking forward to more of this...

It's the soft voice of my two year old saying 'das so tweet (sweet) and cocking her head to the side whenever she sees something cute.

It's the same little girly watching me get ready. She tells me my dress is so pretty and quickly empties her drawers to find something just as pretty  to wear. She likes to match her mama, whether it's matching boots,  a dress or spraying my perfume, she wants to be like me. It's humbling. It's food for thought, a reminder to keep my priorities in check.

It's growing closer to new friends. Being able to cheer them on and allowing them to do the same.

It's anticipating Spring Sing at preschool. We will watch as Gabe steps on stage with his fellow classmates and sings songs they've been practicing for months. Can't wait :)

It's a family walk under a bright blue sky, boys on bikes leading the way, talking with Joe about anything that comes to mind. Watching little feet dangle out of the stroller as the bump bump of the sidewalk coaxes an active baby girl to relax.

These are the things that made my day. It's also knowing I get to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow.

Sorry about the old's agony being without one! Hopefully soon...