Friday, April 25, 2008

Sunshine, Here We Come!

I still have to give the dog a bath, fold 3 loads of laundry, change the linens on our bed, put dinner in the crockpot, compose a list of who has to be where and when for Nana, shower, pack, and try to sneak in a pedicure. But as soon as that is done, I am headed for a room with this view. With my husband. And noone else.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Flying memories

Even though it has been several weeks since our trip, I just have to post these ... since my laptop has been on and off again since our return, I have only been able to open up my pictures occasionally. I love this photo NOT because it is flattering of me, but because it was the last leg of our journey home, and it was such a treat to be sitting with both my girls as we landed back in DC in the middle of the night. This was the final flight of my maiden flying journey and the relief at surviving it all was huge!

I love the fact that Rusty knows me so well, and knows exactly how to give me the dreams of my heart, while also helping me face fears and conquer them. Even though I had a lifelong paralyzing fear of flying, he helped me overcome it by facing it, and as a result I feel SUCH freedom. Most people can't understand, but one of my dear friends has the same fear, and I couldn't wait to call her and let her know I did it (and without meds- woohoo!).

OK, so Cassidy's eyes are closed... this is still one of my favorite shots. We were so proud of the girls carting their own little bags through the airport, and decided this is the perfect age to travel. They are old enough to be low maintenance (no diaper bags, carseats, juice boxes etc...), and yet young enough that they still genuinely enjoy being with us and are enthusiastic about everything we do. They adapted very quickly to air travel, and in fact managed the 4 hour flight to San Antonio sitting several rows up from me, on their own. Mid-flight, after the drinks and pretzels had been distributed, I heard the familiar 'ding" to summon a flight attendant, and glanced up to see the light above the girls illuminated. The flight attendant had been SO sweet to us (she was familiar with us since we were the lucky ones whose seats had been overbooked and she had scrambled to get us situated... knowing this was the girls first flight, as well as mine, she had been just precious in making us feel welcome and cared for.) As she responded to the girls, and I sat helplessly worrying about what in the world had prompted them to push a button asking for help, for pete's sake (!!), I saw her smiling politely and then she came to laughingly fill me in. Apparently Cassidy wanted a drink, and took it upon herself to make it happen. She politely asked for an apple juice for her and a sprite for her sister. Oh my. It was precious because this is the same shy bear who rarely will even order for herself in a restaurant. You can't go to Texas and not come home with a cowgirl hat, right?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mom's inalienable rights!

We seem to be "blessed" with an overabundance of stuff around here. I am constantly purging and trying to sort, but we have the strangest phenomenon going on. The two little munchkins who live here seem to bring twice their body weight in junk home with them every time they leave the house. Whether it is paperwork and projects from school (not even counting the backpacks and shoes), or riding gear, field hockey gear, theater "gear", or treasures from Nana and Papa's house, it is entirely too much for me to manage. Add in the goody bags from parties, the endless tubes of lip gloss and ponytail holders, and the miscellaneous art supplies and you have a mommy ready for the loony bin! (Don't even get me started about the wa*mart bags filled with candy from the Easter egg hunts!)

I seem to be missing the gene that helps you declutter and stay that way, so I manage to get everything in its place, and then find that in a few days it is all back again. I also am apparently not the best mother in the disciplining- your- kids- to- clean- up- after- themselves, so whenever I try to get them involved there is much yelling and gnashing of teeth (mine, not the girls!). Compounding the problem is the fact that I really, really, really, like things to be neat and orderly and tend to get snappy when things aren't that way.

I guess what I am saying is that we need a change around here. If I blog about it, I will be accountable, right? So, I vow that from this day forward I will not clean up for my girls. I will insist that they take their own things in from the car and put them away. I will not pick up damp towels from the floor, and I will not put away the toothpaste for them. They will have to empty their own lunch boxes and fill their own water bottles. In fact, I think I need to come up with a whole new set of rules for this bunch, and post them somewhere. Hm, wonder how this is going to go over with the 10 and under set?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Jesus Loves Me

Tonight at dinner we were talking about the Rapture, and the conversation turned to what it would be like for those unfortunate souls left behind. Cassidy said she would be sad to be flying up to meet Jesus, and seeing all those people left behind on the ground. Her daddy reassured her that she would be so consumed with God's glory that she wouldn't be aware of anything else, and we went on to discuss that we don't know the time Jesus will return, and that it could be any second.

Wow, her eyes were huge! So we explained that those left behind could still turn to Jesus, but it would be a miserable time to live, and there would be lots of suffering for those who had delayed in that decision. When she went up to get ready for bed, she said, "Mommy, when you tuck me in, I want to pray that prayer". Now, we know she loves Jesus, and is a very faith filled little girl. She even asked Jesus into her heart at the innocent age of 4 (under the piano bench with her big sister) and I believe was sincere. However, if there is any doubt that Jesus is welcome in her beautiful heart I am all for inviting Him in again!

So after our bedtime prayers, she prayed with me while her Daddy and big sister looked on, and made sure Jesus knows He is welcome in her heart forever and ever. I have the most precious image in my mind's eye , of Jesus smiling with delight at Cassidy's innocent desire to be absolutely certain that He knows she loves Him, and wants Him to lead her every step of her way. I'm so thankful that He is happy to oblige her.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday Morning Blessings

  • The warmth of a cozy fire on a drizzly, cool April morning.
  • The scent of lavender from my newest melt meandering through the air of my home.
  • The beautiful harmonies of "Calling Levi" playing, and encouraging me to stop and lift my hands in praise to my gracious heavenly Father, in the midst of laundry and tidying the kitchen.
  • Time with the Lord as I devoted a full hour to Bible study and reading "The Mission of Motherhood". I feel ready to face the day now!
  • The ice cold can of diet coke my husband left for me in the fridge this morning.
  • The sheer blessing of knowing I live a life full of God's goodness, and that no matter what the day brings, I won't face it alone.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Book review

Do you ever read a book that just changes your heart from the very first passage? The Mission of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson, has done that for me. I have slowly been reading it since Christmas, and savoring the richness of her words. I pick it up every few days, and allow myself to read short bits before putting it down and pondering what I have read. Typically I skim through books, finishing them in a matter of days, and moving on to the next.

This one, however, has such a powerful message for me that I want to prolong reading, and let it soak into my soul where I won't quickly forget it. She writes so eloquently about the value of mothering, and of God's perspective on this most important position. She offers encouragement and suggestions, tempered gently with examples form her own experiences in this role. As I read, I am encouraged and excited that I have been blessed with this chance to raise two little girls to be women of God.

This book has encouraged me in so many ways, and inspired me to be true to what I am and what I feel God has called me to be. I recommend it to every mother I know; I feel like I have this treasure that they all must need as well. I don't know that it would speak to everyone the way it has spoken to me, but I think it offers something for every woman who is curious about the impact she has on her children, and help her consider that role, if nothing else. So I am curious, has anyone else read Sally Clarkson's writing, and did it change your perception of mothering?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

God Bless Texas!

A picture of the girls and I, ready to see the San Antonio River Walk for the first time. We were so excited to be there, and I was still on cloud nine after braving my first flight ever. (It's a good thing we let the girls wear their Easter dresses to dinner, seeing how we missed Easter services by getting lost and spending 90 minutes looking for the wrong church- ugh!) A view of the River Walk through the trees. I loved the Texas flag hanging everywhere... we played a car game with the girls to see who counted the most TX flags and stars. We started by offering them a quarter a star, as a way to earn vacation money, until we realized Texas is extremely proud of the lone star, and we would quickly go broke!

We spent our fist day of vacation settling into our hotel, taking a swim at the indoor pool, and then heading downtown to the riverwalk. We had 8:30 reservations at Boudros, and were blessed to be seated at water's edge for a wonderful beginning to a fantastic week. The girls were such troopers- especially considering dinner was at 9:00 (which was 10:00 to us) and they had been up since 4:00 a.m. We filled our days with so much fun, though, that late dinners became the norm, as did carrying the girls into the hotel asleep each night, before collapsing ourselves!

Am I?

Sweet little cheeks with hair tossed back over the pillowcase, their gentle profiles in sleep draw me in. I kiss their cheeks, their foreheads, and smooth their silky hair. They slumber on, peacefully unaware of my presence, as my heart stretches, and then cracks at the realization that they are indeed growing up too quickly for this mama.

I have loved them desperately since the moment I knew of their very existence, with a fierce and protective passion. As newborns they enchanted me, toddlers they delighted me, preschoolers they challenged me, and as we are firmly entrenched in the school age years, they captivate me with their independence, tempered with need. Seeing them grow into the people God wants them to be is exciting while it is also somewhat terrifying. Am I equipped to lead them in the paths of righteousness? Am I really prepared to train them up in the way that they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from it? Am I speaking God's Word as we come in and as we go out?

These are my goals, as I look down on their precious sleeping faces, to guide them in the ways of the Lord and be the mother God designed me to be. These are the guiding forces that shape my days and thoughts. Sometimes, I confess, I let worry about my inadequacies plague me, and I doubt my ability to do this job well. Yet when I am still and listening, I hear God saying to me, "I AM. So you don't have to be. I AM sufficient. You don't have to be. Trust and rely on me, and lean not on your own understanding."

Thank You God, that You have my little family firmly under control ~ as long as I relinquish that control to You and allow Your wonderful ways to be done!