Friday, July 6, 2012

Oh, was I supposed to educate my kids today???

As moms, parents, people involved in children's lives, there comes those moments when we question whether or not we're doing  the "right" thing for them.  That right thing might be sports, bible study, or in my case education.  When we decided to bring the kids home for school, I walked confidently for, um, about 2 weeks.  Then it all came crashing down.  Self-doubt, worry, fear began to take over where previously our firm conviction that we were following the Lord's will had once resided.  I know that these moments occur when I take my eyes/ears off the Lord's plan for our family and start peeking in on what everyone else is doing.  Oh, look at that family, the first grader knows their multiplication tables, we must really be messing up if our first grader doesn't know them!  Or, geez, Jack is still struggling with math, I really am the world's worst teacher or else this would come easily for him and he would be doing 10th grade math by now!  When you take a countercultural stance you need to expect to have those feelings of fear and insecurity try to steal your God confidence.  My head nods along with that statement and it makes complete sense, but of course my heart says, no you really are NOT RIGHT.  YOU ARE ALL WRONG!
The past few weeks have been a mess in the school department.  Traditionally we do school year round.  It's good for them to be busy and keep their brains going, and it's better for me if they can be constructively occupied for a couple of hours each day.  But, 3 weeks ago we were caring for a friends child.  Then Jeff hurt his back.  I tried to have to the kids get a math page or a handwriting sheet, and even do our read-aloud, but it was truly a half-hearted effort, made all the more frustrating by my own exhaustion and distraction.  I am known for this by the way, this wishy washy attitude, inability to focus and stay on task:)  Sad but true.  So, I said enough.  For now at least.  Decision made.  No school for the rest of the week.  I will sit down on Sat. and regroup.  Look at our school plans for the following week and we'll pick up again on Monday.  It's hard for me to look up and see the kids "doing nothing" all day.  But I have to remind myself that over the course of the year they are doing just fine.  But, I also have to remain committed for those time when we are "in session." My flesh is lazy, and my spirit is depressed, but thankfully, my God is stronger than both of these:)  Seriously, my point is that I can certainly be hard on myself and I can most definitely compare myself and my kids to anyone and everyone else, but it gets me nowhere and leaves me feeling more distraught than before!  Any one of us can fall into this trap and see that if we lose our God focus, we wander of the path he made straight for us.
Our beach trip is officially cancelled.  The kids are sad, of course, but they understand.  Their daddy can't walk, so we can't leave him here:)  They've enjoyed the extra time with daddy and while it hasn't exactly been a a vacation for him, the time off has given Jeff a chance to think through our future.  He has also been rather content with where God has him right now, injured and mostly bed-ridden!  He's starting to get a bit stir crazy, but overall he's in good spirits and for that I'm grateful.
Random picture dump:

Annual Bella Vista 4th of July parade.  Jack is in behind Ryan:)
 Pool days...
 Such a happy camper:)

 Will getting some cavities taken care of.  He did great until they put the metal bracket around his back teeth to hold the rubber teeth covering in place.  Then tears and this momma's heart breaking.  It was all I could do to NOT scoop him up and run!  Being a parent means doing the hard things.
 Big Wheels car wash.
4th of July!  We even managed to get poor daddy in on the action.  He crawled out to the car and then we were able to get a spot on the golf course such that all Jeff had to do was open the door and using his camp chair as a cane, limp out a couple of feet and park himself for the show.  The kids were SO excited that he came!  The weather was great too and the show was fun, despite the dam catching fire a couple of times!  It's been so dry and hot this summer, we were just thrilled that they went ahead with the display.

 Can any one in my family look at me with a happy face please??? Ok, thanks EK!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Ok, so here comes the ugly.  I don't really like most of my kids most of the time, right now.  That is not to say that I don't LOVE them and want them right here with me right now.  What is does mean is that they are really trying my Very. Last. Nerve.  I am trying to follow my own advice doled out to girlfriends in the midst of their own funks, to just focus on who God has made them and how wonderfully clever He was to put them all in this family.  At the same time.  Ok, so that last sentence was a smidge of my ugly seeping into the very pleasant notion that I know that God designed this family this exact way for a reason.  I am just scratchin' my head right now trying to puzzle that one out.  I pray.  I think, hard, I mean really, really hard, about the fabulous attributes of each dear child.  Then they open their mouths and I want to scream in their faces that I really just do not want to hear their voices right this very second.  Seriously.  Not one syllable.   Please and thank you very much:)  Hey, I'm nothing if not polite.  So, I am deeply convicted that most of the problems come back to my own short-comings.  In the sense that I have to follow through.  Every time.  No halvesies:(  And, I have to be their mom, because I get to be their mom, because I am blessed to be their mom.  And I have to acknowledge that most of this feeling stems from the lone ranger style of parenting that's been happening around here.  Prior to the back injury, Jeff was not present for most of our days.  It's been hard - not gonna lie.  But I think that now that we aren't in that season we need to regroup and figure out another way to do this parenting thing.  The two of us.  God did not intend for us to do this alone.  Even those who are solo parents, by choice or otherwise, also need others to pitch in.  And it comes back to doing the hard things, disciplining from a place of love and not the emotional hot mess that you've become; it means grabbing them and hugging them hard, when what you really want to do is take their favorite toy and smash it right in front of them (oh is that just me and my black heart?); it means knowing that God's word is dead on when He tells us that we cannot trust our emotions because they are fickle and ever changing, but what we can always count on is that HE is always enough and when I have quite literally reached the uttermost tippy tippy end of myself, He is there and will stand  in the gap for me, in place of me, in spite of me.  And only because of that, can I do it all over again tomorrow:)  That and the fact that Ryan told  me that he would guard my head for me.  Sounds like a good deal, no?