Saturday, July 11, 2015

Experiencing God

As usual, it seems impossible to sit down and write today.
Greystoke is toddling around the house eating a bowl of butternut squash pieces. I turned on Baby Genius. He hasn't taken a nap yet today because he slept until 8:30 am.
He slept until 8:30 am because I kept him up last night. Before bed, I read the blog of my sister's friend who lost her baby last month. I didn't keep him up intentionally really, and I didn't keep him up because I was scared. Just because I wanted to hold him. I wanted to feel his warm chubby legs tucked up against me. Wanted to feel his rhythmic breathing and wanted to thank God for another restless night with my baby. I have been blessed with so many.
The Dude was up coughing half the night because he is still getting over a cold, and coughs all night for a month after one. I went into his room multiple times....sometimes to give him a puff of albuterol while he slept, but mostly just to stare at him. He was fine. My middle child. Who has stuttered since the day Greystoke came home from the hospital. Who cries hysterically every time he discovers a minute booboo on his leg. Who loves to help, and who just can't seem to help being incredibly difficult most of the time.
Right now he is laying on a heating pad on the floor. I gave it to him last night before bed because his tummy was hurting, like it does every night. It didn't help, he said, but he lay on it anyway.
Aquaman is mad because he wants it.
And I just had to rescue Greystoke out from under a dresser that he chased a ball under. He put the ball into a little purse and is now carrying it proudly around the living room.
Today we went to a friends' house and chased her chickens around and played on the water slide. We got free slurpees from 7-11 on the way.
Tonight we are spending the night at the Crowne Plaza for a Trinity Fitness conference for JT. Which is why I really shouldn't be writing right now. Because I still haven't packed, and there's laundry to be put away. And I only managed to clean 2 bathrooms this morning.
JT is sitting in a tent in the hot sun at Walmart raising money for lifeguard competition which happens next week.
I don't write because I want to, even though I really do. Sometimes it's just easier not to. I write because I have to. Because, every morning we have been sitting at the table drink peppermint tea together and studying "Experiencing God with kids", and we have been talking about how we can experience God.
And one of the ways that I experience God is writing. He speaks to me then. Sometimes I don't even know until I am done writing, and then I look back and read it and realize that there is the answer. There was the answer I was looking for, when I didn't even realize there was a question.
I write because writing is something God made me to do. Way back when in the 2nd grade when I started that list of my favorite words in a spiral notebook.

Sunburst was one of them. It's still one of them.
I am thankful for the slow. For mornings of not having to rush out the door to school or work. I am so grateful for my husband who doesn't make me feel guilty for these slow mornings as he heads out the door once again. Who sees the value in our peppermint tea moments, even though the house is never really clean anymore,
Aquaman is learning how to look up verses in his Bible, and even though it frustrates them, he's trying so hard.
If I slow down, I can explain things to him during the day. Like when he doesn't want to listen, and instead of losing it, I remember to tell him: "remember what we've been talking about? How we can join God in His work? Sometimes for me, that just means putting away the laundry. Sometimes for you, it just means listening to Mommy and Daddy. It doesn't seem like much, or very exciting, but it matters to God."
"Oh great!" He said, but we didn't have to argue anymore, because He wants so much for his relationship with God to mean something.
In church, he confided, they are "mostly learning about how we need to get out of our comfort zone."
Aquaman likes comfort. We all do, but Aquaman does more than most. He likes the rigid and predictable.
Despite the fun of the fireworks, he fell into bed on the 4th of July, with a cry: "it's just so HARD to stay up past bedtime."

And so, learning about getting out of his comfort zone, while exciting and adventurous, is not easy for Aquaman. I am grateful for the relationship he has already formed with the childrens' pastor at our new church. Biological family is wonderful and important, but as he grows, outside influences will have more and more impact on him. I feel no need to hold him out of the world...I don't think we're supposed to. But I also know how important his establishing Godly relationships outside of the family is. So I am thankful for our new church home.
We are working on more independence this summer too. Little things, like getting your own drink of water instead of just shouting "I'm thirsty!" and cleaning up when you spill a cup of water or your cereal. Washing dishes, putting away their own clothes. We're still working on the getting your own clothes part. That part is hard for me. Because most of the time they emerge with totally clashing outfits, or a polo shirt with workout pants and I just....can't.
Aquaman complains loudly about all of it. It's just how he is. I try not to take it personally. He tries to get away with doing as little as possible. I've stopped getting upset or giving him consequences. Now, all I have to do is look at the clothes spilling out of the wide open drawers and say "is this your very best work?" That's all I have to say.
His cast came off, and within 3 days his little finger could curl just as well as the rest. Thank You God, for healing. That even a little finger on a little boy matters to you. Who knows what that little finger will do someday.
Summer is going by so fast, because we have been so busy. Next week we'll be in Flagler for competition, then 2 weeks of swim lessons, then Aquaman will have rock climbing camp, and then just like that school will be back in session.
I went to Trinity Fitness and worked out for the first time in years a couple days ago. I'm going to start doing it more.
Last week my hands and wrists and ankles and elbows hurt for a few days. It felt like I had carpal tunnel in both wrists all of a sudden...with pins and needles in both my hands.
I decided I need to exercise more. Maybe my body is just breaking down from the abuse of lugging children around. Maybe it is the beginning of something more serious. But either way, I want to approach it by being the strongest and healthiest physically I can be. Only problem is, typical of my children, they hated the childcare room.
Working out has never been at the top of my list since my kids were born. I mean, I love it, and would love to, but there are so many other things it's just had to take a back burner. I am an active mom and still in good physical shape from it, but it's not the same stress relief as a good aerobic workout.
Lots of stay at home moms go to the gym, but they can justify it better...for one thing they have more time, and for another, they need something that is theirs to accomplish outside of their families. I totally get that. But work has been that for me,
This week I got my work eval and...I cried.
I'm only working 2 days a week, and sometimes it feels very unimportant but my boss was so kind to me in that eval. Sometimes we just....need that. Need to know that it matters. My life is so quick. Everything is just a complete discombobulated mess. I am always running and never feeling like I get anywhere. But every now and then, someone will remind you that your efforts matter, and this was a really good time for it.
My sister K has been here this week. Today she is spending the day with mom. Our week has gone too fast. Every time I see her, I hope that the next time I see her, she will have my neice or nephew growing inside of her. I still believe. And I still feel guilty every time I look down at my wild swirling brood and think how much I have been given, and how sometimes maybe I don't appreciate it like I should.
But most of the time, I do. I really do.
Most of the time I take that extra 10 minutes of quiet snuggling Greystoke in the mornings and memorizing him.
He is walking everywhere now, and I could watch him all day. Picking up toys, putting them inside a bag. Carrying his bowl of blueberries around and saying "mmm!" every time he puts one in his mouth.
Baby Genius is over. Clifford is over. Greystoke just spit up on the rug and is now half asleep in my lap, while The Dude regales me with details about the dog treats called "tummy yummies" that Clifford really likes, and Aquaman cries about his toy car that he loses every 5 minutes and can't seem to find with his own eyes.
45 minutes until we're supposed to be out the door. I'm not sure it's going to happen.
"We are God's workmanship. Created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
God has a plan for this day, and it matters, even when the toys and yells and list of things to do threaten to steal my peace.
JT is home. Better go put the baby in the crib. Count his breaths one more time. Stop to stare while he sleeps. Find the missing car. Kiss the stuttering middle child. Head to the hotel for a night of fun.

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