Monday, September 29, 2008

Stepped On Toes

I assume I'm not the only Mama bear carrying that fierce protective gene, the one that flares up whenever one of my cubs has been wronged.

Let someone hurt both girls, and the mama bear gene causes me to quickly morph from my nice girl demeanor into a raging inferno. I usually contain my anger to the confines of home, where I vent and purge the injustice inflicted on them to Rusty, and noone else ever knows I was upset. I'm good at hiding that anger, and putting on my happy face for the world to see. Typically, sharing my fit with my husband is sufficient to bing me down to a smolder, which drifts away like smoke, soon forgotten, as it should be.

Other times, as is recently the case, the anger continues to simmer just below the surface. Without getting into a long, boring story about a current neighborhood issue, suffice it to say my girls were wronged, in a big way, and the parents of the involved children have poorly mis-handled the situation. We have chosen to sever ties with this family, recognizing the negative influence they are and choosing to shield the girls from it. End of story, right?

Well..... no.

I now have this burning desire to let everyone on the street know just what scoundrels these kids are, and that they can't be trusted, and their Eddie Haskell actions are just an act to impress adults, not a true reflection of their hearts. I want their parents to recognize the truth in their children and come begging for forgiveness, even though I know this will never happen.

I know that I need to forgive them instead of harboring anger and resentment, yet I comfort myself by reciting their infractions and why they are not to be forgiven- they are wrong. So today God led me to some verses, and while they stepped on my toes, they also reminded me of my responsibility as His child. I am so thankful that He loves me enough to worry about my heart, and know that even though the people of this world may not change, they really aren't the issue to Him. The issue He is concerned with is me, His child, and how my heart fares in life's circumstances.

So today I am thanking Him for these words, and trusting that with His grace, I will let this anger go, and choose to forget it, filling my mind instead with His Word and the encouragement it brings. He is so good!

II Timothy 2: 23-24 Amplified
But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with) trifling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels. 24:And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and contending). Instead he must be kindly to everyone and mild tempered (preserving the bond of peace)...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

She loves me!

My little Cassidy is reserved in her lovin', which is unique in our exuberant family. Constantly hugging and kissing one another, we are kept in check from violating her personal space. Her heart is as full of love as a bottomless well, she just isn't as comfortable expressing it, so when we do find ourselves on the receiving end of a spontaneous hug or kiss, we are pretty proud.

Friday evening, after being away on business for two, long days, I pulled into my parents driveway around 10:00. Cassidy was waiting up for me in the guest bed with Nana, and when my Mom heard the car, she asked Cassidy, "Is that Mommy?"

Mom said she tucked her legs up tight to her chest, grinned ear to ear, and said, "Oh, I have tickles in my tummy, and I don't know why!" She may not gush "I love you's" to me all day long, but getting butterflies in her tummy when she knows we are to be reunited is good enough for me.

Oh, how I love that girl!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Faith Like A Child

Cassidy and her little friend are downstairs playing while I pack for tomorrow's business trip. Focused on my task, I still have one ear to their chatter as they tumble and compare who does the best splits.

Then, out of the blue, Ashlynn says to Cassidy, "Do you know Mark 12:30-32?"
She then begins to recite the virtues of those "who love the Lord with all their heart, all their strength, and all their might", and as Cassidy joins, in they pretty much get it all right. I am amazed that they even know these verses, let alone desire to share them with one another.

Wow! I sit here speechless...these are 9 year old girls! Sharing God's Word, without prompting from anything other than the Holy Spirit. I pray daily for God to send my girls godly friends, and I think He has definitely answered that prayer.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Good Day

Nothing special, but it feels like a good day.

The windows are open, and I am enjoying the slight breeze while I fold the mountain of laundry that has accumulated in our bedroom. A Celtic CD is playing, and the combination of a cool, sunny day and beautiful music just lifts my spirits.

As I sort, I am compiling a stack of hand me downs to go to Haitians who lost everything in the recent storms, and it fills me with gratitude for the life we lead. Though I am not a fan of doing laundry, as I fold the girls seemingly endless baskets of clothes, I realize how blessed we are, to have this abundance of clothing and a safe place to live. It is hard to grumble about this task when there is so much to be thankful for around me.

So as I fold I am thanking God for this family and the gift of being able to take care of them. For laundry to fold and put away, for beds to be made, and meals to be prepared. This day is filled with household chores and errands to be run, in addition to my "job". My to do list is never completely crossed off, and exhaustion is my best friend. Keeping a household running is not always respected in society, and the tasks are never ending. The job is...

Tedious. Often.

Under appreciated. Occasionally.

A gift from God. Always.

Thank You God, for giving me a life filled to the rim with more than I could have dared hope for.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Another Book Recommendation

Just finished this fun little book and had to share... I do love to share, don't I?

A friend and I were talking about how we love the nip of fall in the air~ this was before our temps soared to 101 again~ and how it makes us want to curl up with a good book for the weekend. I told her I was looking for a good series to carry me through the fall, and she suggested I try Big Stone Gap, the first in a series about a small town here in Virginia.

I am all about stories from charming little towns, and she, an English major, told me it was more "character than plot driven". Well, I love quirky little characters, and I guessed that was what she meant, so I happily borrowed her copy and dove right in. Oh, I am so glad I did, because I am hooked, and headed to the library to see if I can find the next in the series.

If you are a fan of Fannie Flagg, and I am, then you will be sure to enjoy this book. It is one of those stories that I was sad to see end, as I had grown attached to the characters, and feel a little lost now without knowing what they are up to.

What are you reading?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Developing a Parenting Plan

Do you ever stop and suddenly look at your children through new eyes? Personally, I find that I spend so much time with my girls encouraging, disciplining, and guiding, that I sometimes forget to step back and evaluate them objectively.

It seems that I tend to view them one of two ways: through adoring, rose-colored lenses, or through overly critical, tired eyes, that are intolerant of anything less than perfection. I have to remind myself to fairly assess who they are becoming, and compare that with where we want them to be. So when I saw the book, "Raising Unselfish Children in a Self-Absorbed World" last week at Lifeway, I couldn't pass it up, but snatched it up before the girls saw the title and began questioning me.

When I saw the endorsement of John Rosemond, I felt confident I would like it, and after opening it up and highlighting one or thirty passages, I knew this was a resource I would definitely be sharing with friends. I am barely into chapter 3, and just had to stop and process what I have read. The author points out that we need to know where we want our children to be headed, and then to have a long term plan for getting there. If we don't , she points out, we are like Alice in "Alice in Wonderland":

In a conversation with the Cheshire Cat, Alice asked, "Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the cat.

"I don't much care where," said Alice.

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the cat.

So over the next few days, I'm going to really think about what it is that I want my girls to take with them into their tween years, and what traits we may need to nip in the bud. I want this journey of parenting to be well mapped out, not a random exploration of the wilderness.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Why Can't Every Weekend Be a Holiday?

Since my brain is still sluggish form the weekend of leisure, I think bullet points are the perfect way to express myself today, as I mull over the fun 3 days we enjoyed...

  • UGH! Cailin woke up with a fever of 102, so she stayed home, and her sleepover with her best friend was cancelled. The doctor wanted to rule out strep, so we spent some quality time together doodling on the exam table paper covering, and waiting for the "good" news that we only suffered with a virus, and were strep free. Woohoo! After a stop at walmart for Popsicles, tissues, motrin, soup and movies, we were able to snuggle the day away.
  • No riding, so Cassidy came home and got ready for a fun night at the Chris Sligh concert that her school hosted (He was an American Idol contestant and now a Christian artist- I didn't know that... but I also live under a rock). Her friend Kait was sleeping over, and I made sure to give her Mom the lowdown on the germ situation in our house. I am germophobic and always feel I need to give others the option to steer clear whenever we are sick. Her Mom is a nurse and much more even keeled than I, and said no problem, thankfully! We had a great time at the concert, and I was so blessed to see the gymnasium filled with kids and teenagers worshiping and praising God together. Truly awesome!


  • Nothing. That's right, I said it. Blessedly nothing.


  • Church and then a crab feast / cookout with our dear friends Troy and Erika. They are the kind of friends you can always relax and just be yourself with, and your kids can do the same. They have several acres of land, and it is so peaceful, that at the end of the day we drove around their neighborhood looking at houses for sale. They have dirt bikes for their 3 boys, and after riding with daddy, Cailin decided to try it herself on one of the smaller bikes. Oh mercy. I think my sweet little girl has a wild side.


  • Our hero, Daddy, spent the day with all of his girls at the outlet mall. What a guy. He even volunteered to take the girls to Claire's, when he heard me tell them I just this time. Just one more example of why I love him so. I could have spent the entire time at Books-a-million. Oh my. Have you been? It is wonderful. Lots of books, cheap. Need I say more?
  • Home to grill salmon and corn on the cob with Nana and Papa. Have I mentioned how much we all love having my parents stay with us while Dad recuperates? In case I haven't, let me state for the record, we LOVE having them here. It will be a sad day around here when they go to their own home. They have been here 4 weeks today, and we have been so blessed to be together and see Dad grow stronger every day. The girls pop downstairs first thing every morning before school, and first thing when they get home. Such a precious time together.

So that was our holiday weekend. Simple, relaxing, and just what we all needed to recover from the first week of school.