Friday, July 29, 2011

Five Minute Friday- Still

I'm linking up to Lisa Jo,  thegypsymama for five-minute-friday
Simple rules- write for 5 minutes, no editing, no second-guessing. It's not right, or wrong, it's just write. Letting the thoughts and words flow.

On many occasions in my home, my children in the midst of a total emotional melt-down, between the screaming and the tears will ask, do you still love me?

And, because I do, the response is always, Yes, I still love you. However in honesty, I'm usually a bit irritated even with the question.  It disrupts my thinking which usually has nothing to do with my loving them in that moment, but more on my parenting skills.  I'm thinking why won't you stop screaming?  Why won't you just do what I ask you to do?  Why can't you just listen and believe what I say is true?  Why can't you just look at me and see what I'm trying to show you?

But, noooo, I have to stop and reassure them that my love did not change.  My love continues, no matter what. I still love.
This is new for me, since my oldest son never asked me this question.  It was understood that I loved him.   He seemed to just know, that no matter what he did that I still loved him.  He believed & trusted me.
So, what is the difference? 
My youngest children come from a place of hurt.  A place where unconditional and continued "still" love was missing.  So, they don't trust that my love will continue.  They question it, especially n the midst of tantrums and tears and torment to their brother.  They just need a check-in.

Do you love me still
when I'm throwing a fit and screaming I don't want you, I want what I knew before
when I question why 
when I forget everything I'm supposed to know
when I go for days without a thank you
when I think I know more than you, and tell you so
when I criticize and complain

These are questions that could be from my boys, but they aren't.  They are the questions I send up to God, because I came from a place of hurt-  SIN.  I have a hard time trusting that God can love me in the midst of my tantrums and tears and torment on my brothers and sisters in Christ. 
I wonder if He gets irritated with me when I don't do what He asks of me, frustrated with me because of having to constantly remind me YES, He still loves me!

Shayne was born into our family.  Love is understood.  My youngest were adopted into our family.  Love has to be proven.

Once I was born into God's family, it became understood that He loves me, no matter what.  But, like an adopted child I sometimes need the constant check-in  "do you still love me?' 

No matter who is asking, I'm thankful for the continued reply- YES!  I STILL LOVE YOU!
I can still love, because He still loves. 
Happy Friday Ya'll!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

First Kiss

Overheard in my home recently....

I have a girlfriend. 
Hers is white. 
Her name is Bellaaaaaaa.
When we grow up we're going to have a smashing good kiss. 
When we grow up,
like Shayne.

Happy Wednesday ya'll!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Glimpse of Normal

I am blessed to live in a family where the moments are rarely dull, quiet or still.  Most days Rex & I put on our armor and fight to survive.  It is usually too overwhelming to think about next week, month or when my youngest will become teens. We usually take each minute as it a comes while resting in the hope that God indeed gives new mercies and grace for another full speed ahead new day.
But every so often, the stress level of my children seems to normalize and we get a glimpse of what most would consider a normal day.  It is in these glimpses that I am reminded God has not forsaken me in my mothering, and the hope of healing for my boys and better days for our family lives.  In these rare but precious moments life seems to slow down.  We enjoy late morning breakfast, coffee on the front porch, movies in PJ's while the sun is shining and Lego's scattered and not rushing to finish either.  We catch our breath, and enjoy.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and breakfast in bed- sorta

Playing around in Kmart

We weren't finished playing just yet

And lest I get too comfortable in the normal, I only need walk into Daycare, be summoned into the office and told of my middle child having not only called a little girl an inappropriate name, but proceeding to share with his entire classroom an adjective filled description of his mommy's rather personal body part of same name.   I was not convinced that this little conference was  "not so bad" as Miss K. described while giggling and shutting the office door. 

Humor indeed keeps me sane, and counting big and small gifts

1000 Gifts #456 - 475

surprise unhurried call home from Shayne
baby deer unafraid, letting me talk to him as if we were old friends
unexpected out loud laughter
Miss Beth telling me how much she just loves my middle son- and the cold chills knowing there has been progress even if unseen to me
baby birds outside my office window
adult conversations with my oldest child
Shayne hugs
Boxing matches in Kmart
Dinner with Rex and Shayne, and the memories of simpler life
Coffee's shared at a bookstore, late
more unprompted laughter
pool invitation and chillin' at Grandma Bev's
Breanna, and her ability to care for and handle my little boys while I play with my big boys
bargain finds for big boy rooms
backyard pool and exhaustion it brings people age 6 and under
catching a glimpse of a father-son hug
surprising invitations
long walk with Shayne exploring God's creation
feeling safe with my son in the presence of serpents-  ewwwww!
dishes done by husband sweet

What 'ya thankful for?

An Unexpected Adventure

Shayne works at Camp Eagle.  Every Sunday night, I drive him back to Fincastle and drop him off in the woods.  Nearing the end of our second summer, I usually leave him there and then drive home with just  my imagination about what his world Sunday - Friday looks like.  I've seen brochures, and a few pictures, but mostly it was his private place. 

I love to hear him talk about his experiences at camp, especially how God is revealing Himself to him.  So when he wanted to go back early tonight, to put out his special night vision deer wildlife something camera, I was happy to oblige.

He works really, really hard at camp and the pay, well, it's ministry pay.  But the perks like learning skills and discovering and loving the great outdoors is priceless.  When we left home tonight, I grabbed my camera to take a promised picture for my Daddy of the deck Shayne's been building. I planned to grab a few shots, and blog about how proud I am of him and his carpentry skills. 

Everything changed when we parked the car, I  hopped out for our weekly goodbye hug and he started up the hill.  But he stopped and asked ..

You wanna walk with me?

Duh!  What mom of a teenage son says no to a question like that.  I quickly (well, as quick as a mom in dressy sandals makes it up a dirt trail) caught up to him, and started snapping pictures as we walked together up the dirt trail to his cabin.  He showed me a couple of his drawings and as he grabbed that special night vision deer wildlife something camera asked again

You wanna walk with me?

I thought for a second, because I knew this walk involved unknown territory.  I asked how "dangerous" the trails were, he kind of laughed and said "you'll be fine" even in my pretty black sandals.  So, again I seized this opportunity and followed my son, as he led me on an adventure I'll never forget.  I kept snapping pictures along the way as my intended story about Camp Eagle took on a brand new life. 

The pictures below only tell part of the story.  I wish you could hear his words-----what a gift to listen as he came to life in these woods.  I was amazed at his knowledge, and love for God's creation.  I laughed as he assured me if we saw a snake he'd kill it with his bear hands to protect me; this tough young man who was then a little freaked out by the spider webs.   He showed me Big Cedar, WidowMaker and walked me up Suicide hill.  And how could I not love this son as he piggy-backed me through the mud, assuring me I wasn't any heavier than the campers.   SCORE! 

We eventually did find a snake while touring the much heard about  "sewage plant" The picture is his, not mine.  He was not afraid to get close up and way too personal with his "friend" and then bravely blocked the path just in case his "friend" decided to attack me.  

All along our hike, he revealed little pieces of himself to me.  Things he had a hand in making, places he liked to have devo's, the best place to hear the creek and his who his favorite speakers are.  The bonfire pit where he and Andy build massive bonfires each week,  and the impact of the testimonies shared there.   

Inside Covered Deck- he put down everything to the right

Outside view of deck he's been building... Nice, huh!

His home away from home

Where my son sleeps week after week

Weedeating to be done this week

I think I'll follow him
Marshmallow Sticks and Corral- made by Shayne and Andy last year

Bonfire Pit

Big Cedar

Tracking a deer

Our spider web destroyer

The Blob

Lake and Paddle Boats

His "friend"---- NOT MINE!

WidowMaker Trail

Nearly two hours later, I hugged my baby and said goodbye.  He headed back up the hill, and I headed home,  with my heart beaming full of pride and joy.  

And now, I think I'll take his advice, and check for ticks before calling it a night. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Five Minute Friday: FULL

I'm linking up to Lisa Jo, thegypsymama for five-minute-friday
Simple rules- write for 5 minutes, no editing, no second-guessing. It's not right, or wrong, it's just write.  Letting the thoughts and words flow.

I'm full mommy!  That's what my kids say when they have had enough of my dinner and are ready to move on something better.  Better like Lego's or coloring, or four-wheeling with their buddies.  Or, just because they know that will get them closer their bed-time snack of choice, and further away from broccoli and casserole.  Either way, its their way of saying enough.

Sometimes I shout out to God, I'm full.  That's my way of saying I've had enough.  Enough of not broccoli and casseroles, but of all the things I can't control, the intrusion of social services or other therapists, school officials, judges and critics into our lives.  Enough of the tantrums, the tears, the insecurity and fears that I cannot fix.  Enough of the emotional roller coaster that mothering itself brings, and then the super-duper fastest ride ever -- the highs and lows of foster and adoption mothering.  Sometimes I feel like I'm filled to the brim and will bust wide open.  Sure, that the pieces of my heart will splatter to the floor and get trampled before I can gather them back up.  I"m full, ready to move on to something better easier. 

But just like my kids quickly return from the departure from dinner for a snack, I find myself returning to this chosen chaotic life.  Yes,  I remember, I chose it.   And, I return for more because in this craziness is the fullness that comes from knowing I'm right where God told me be.  The fullness of the "I loves you Mommy" even if they are spoken in the midst of a melt-down.  The fullness of my teenager, picking me up and hugging me so hard my back cracks, looking down from the high place he's lifted me to and seeing those beautiful eyes that have not changed since the first time I soaked them in.  The fullness of my husband, who fills my empty places with the same silly jokes and stories, and love that's been part of me for 25+ years.  The fullness of watching my children play together, and fight together.  The fullness of hearing their snores- ALL of their snores that fill the house and gives me the security that all are well.  The family, that reaches the hidden places in this aging body and fills every inch of my being with love and satisfaction and joy. 

I'm full God! 
So full of your blessings, that sometimes I can't see it. So full, that sometimes I think I need a break only to find myself back at the your table of good and perfect gifts asking for more. 

And, just like my boys, sometimes the "yummier" things is what I come back for, when I think I have already had enough!

I hope today finds you full of all God has spread before your table.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A little Tuesday Humor

As we're eating together, Isaiah declares...

"people say I look like Justin Bever (Bieber)"

Elijah retorts...

"but he's white"

Isaiah promptly replies "I'm the brown beaver"

I think he may be right....

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Water, Water, Water!

Sometimes, it's the strangest things we find ourselves thankful for. 

Since moving into our house a little more than 18 months ago, we've had some issues with water in our yard.  Lots of water.

Water where it did not belong. 

So much water, the wildlife rescue referred to our yard as the "safe and friendly pond" for the injured duck who found its way here.

The water authority was supposed to have fixed it last summer. Not so much.

It worsened! Oh, the smell.  And bugs.  YUCK!!!!
This is definitely not the way to impress your neighbors people.

I was thrilled when the landscaper finally showed up to solve the problem, even when he was about 1 month later than promised.  We were in Florida celebrating our Silver, when he started with digging a huge ditch. One minor problem stalled the work, the backhoe got stuck in the mud.  Sigh.  We came home to this, and a wait for things to dry out.

The wait was longer than expected. I was growing a little lot grumpy. 

And then Friday morning there they were. 

they put in the  pipe....

and with each load of gravel that went past from my window

the promise that water would start flowing through the pipe and find its new path to the drain on the street by the end of the day grew.

Just about the time they I started believing....

They packed up and went home.  The nerve.

So, we the kids made the best of it.

And as promised, when I got home today the yard was shaved, leveled, seeded and finished. 

We could actually walk around the side of our house...

It's beautiful, flat, doesn't smell and is BUG FREE!

So, we celebrated by shopping following instructions and purchasing nearly $83 worth of hoses and sprinklers. 

Yep, after months of trying to rid our yard of water, we've now been instructed to keep it wet.
Typical, isn't it.

I'm still counting thankful- holy experience
1000 Gifts #442-455

smell of fresh cut grass
the energy and physical capability to cut the grass
my friend Calvin going home
Shayne being home all week
Christian Radio
Lillie's in bloom
meeting my unborn niece or nephew for the first time
playing Phase 10 with teenagers on a Saturday night
landscaping completed
long, overdue dinner with momma, mommy, sister momma and niece mommy to be- and the men they love
cheap napkins for tears shed during lunch conversation
Sunday afternoon naps
unexpected humor in the storms
Nae's shoulder to cry on, and her great hugs
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