Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Paths of Life

I've been spending my time in the mornings mostly praying and writing lately. Trying to read a little bit less and meditate a little bit more. So that later, during the crazy times when I might not have the chance to actually sit down, or maybe when I'm drifting off to sleep, I can bring it back to mind.
 Hoping to bridge the distance from my head to my heart, despite the busyness, the constant urgency. It has really helped.

"You have made known to me the paths of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures evermore."
Psalm 16:11

For some reason this has been the verse that has stuck in my head this week.
I pray it when I am uncertain...which is a lot.
I pray it when I can feel His presence as thickly as I can touch my children.
And when I start to wonder if He's even there.
 This has been a really busy month. Birthdays, anniversary, mother's day, and the end of the school. A preschool performance, and water day. The Dude had his last day of school this week.

And Elementary school field day, and the class picnic.

Despite the occasional frustrating overly emotional moment and the slightly more frequent over-the-top silliness of being a 6 year old boy, Aquaman is going through a really great stage right now. I can see the Holy Spirit working in his life on pretty much a daily basis, and it is incredible to behold.
 This week when JT brought Aquaman to the book fair after school, the librarian stopped him and said that there had been an incident in the library that day in which one of the children who mainstreams into their activities broke down sobbing during a memorial day movie. She said that Aquaman was the first one to his side, "showing an extraordinary amount of compassion, and using words so wise they sounded like we would be coming out of an adult's mouth".
She stopped me again the next day to tell me the same story, telling me that she hasn't stopped thinking about that moment, and how she wishes she could give Aquaman a hug.
When I talked to Aquaman about it later, he shrugged, saying he didn't think he really helped the boy anyway. But when I told him that this was just a small example of how the Holy Spirit is working through him to help other people, he perked right up.
It is awesome to see how God has used his sensitive spirit and his own struggles with fear to help others.
"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." -2 Corinthians 1:4

 A couple nights later, he sat right up in bed just before he fell asleep (he has a knack for wanting to have these deep conversations when I am way too tired), and said "Mom- sometimes it's very hard for me to concentrate on God and heaven because this world has so many distractions."
I told him that I have the same problem, and how I have been trying to meditate more on God's word throughout the day to bring myself back into focus. He said he wants to read the Bible more, the real Bible, not just the bible stories....because "there's things in there, wise things, that most people don't even know about." But that the words are too small, and there's too many of them, and they all swim around together on the page.
We've been spending more time reading together since then.

 He's changed so much this school year. He asks me in the mornings to "make his hair all crazy" whereas last year, he was very concerned about it being flat. He walks right into his class without even looking back.
"the boy with the red eyes who just wanted his mom" on the first day of school wrote him a note last week: "you're a good friend. I like to play games with you."
His best friend is a girl in his class who is a total tomboy and loves spiderman, and is even better at math than he is. They like to count and multiply things together. At recess they pretend to be Jedi knights, even though last year the very name would have terrified him.

 He's ready for summer. He even seems ready for 1st grade. He's still different. The other children eagerly participated in their math game performance at school. Aquaman barely paid attention, almost missed his cue, made faces, and complained that his game was boring.
Reading and writing come easily to him in some ways, and very hard in others. But I think he will be just fine.
 The Dude just finished up 3 year old preschool. He is excited about summer, though he liked school quite a bit. Yesterday on his first day off, he helped me clean all of the bathrooms. He's still at the age where he wants to help all the time. Where he drives me crazy most of the time. He makes ridiculous and almost impossible demands. He's easier to deal with one on one when occasionally he can just have his way. He wants so much to have a say in things, and that can be so hard when he's surrounded by a bossy big brother, and a baby brother who still needs a lot of attention.
 Greystoke is getting on his nerves. He gets into his stuff. When I'm not looking, The Dude will throw balls just a little too hard at him. The first time, Greystoke will blink a little and assume that The Dude meant the best. If I don't stop it in time, The Dude will throw just a little bit harder, and Greystoke will burst into baby of the family tears.
 But The Dude is a giver too. He is kind to Aquaman much of the time when he doesn't deserve it. He likes to make everyone laugh, and he's really quite good at it.
This week he has started boogie boarding all on his own, and the last day of school, I made all of his dreams come true by taking him for a walk on the overpass heading to the Crown Plaza on A1A.  You would have thought we went to Disney World.
 Greystoke is pushing toys around everywhere, and walking while holding hands. Yesterday he took 2 steps to me. Noni and Papa got him new shoes, but he's not a big fan.
 It will probably be another couple of weeks before he sets out on his own. He still often prefers his butt scoot as a mode of transportation. And he is just soo...happy and content being who he is. There's no need to jump to the next thing.
 I love the excuse to drop everything occasionally and take him for a walk outside. I love to stare at him. I forgot how much fun 1 year olds are...I only remembered them being exhausting, but the rapid pace at which they are learning and developing is fascinating to watch. It's almost hard to accomplish anything else. He is learning to communicate so much better, if not in words. He's like this little....person.
 Work is crazy. It's Saturday, so I've almost forgotten it by now, but it's been wild. Everyone is quitting...or getting fired. Everything is changing. Management is brand new and completely clueless. But....despite the craziness...I still feel at peace being there. I feel like I'm supposed to be there.
 Sometimes I feel the anxiety pressing...shouldn't I be working more. I have the potential to make so much more money...and the medical bills seem like they are always rolling in...and these boys already eat so much....and the house needs repairing. But then, that "peace that passes understanding" comes over me. That "fullness of joy". And then I remember that I am right where I am supposed to be.
 Tomorrow is my birthday. In a kind gesture that could only come from a child...Greystoke gave me the stomach flu for my birthday.
 I'm not entirely positive that I have it yet, but it feels pretty likely that it's coming. And not just because Greystoke threw up on me, first in my bed, then on the rocking chair...a total of 9 times yesterday. And not just because we had to leave the beach in a rush this morning because The Dude started getting queasy, and, since I started writing this post, threw up so violently on the tile that Greystoke burst into tears.
I'm waiting now for JT to come bursting through the door from work, sick himself, considering that he was also in the bed that got puked on the first night.

Ahhhh the joys of motherhood.
Funny how the 3rd child changes you though. I can remember laying on the floor 2 years ago when this happened and thinking...I just can't have anymore kids. I can't keep doing this. But this time, it's just kinda will all be over in 24 hours and life will get back to normal, and everything is just fine.
Happy birthday to me :)

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