Friday, March 11, 2011


One week of misfortune and extreme fatigue...

Two weeks depression...

One week of influenza....

I think the clouds are parting. As the tulips push their way up through the ground and the buds form on the trees, life is changing in this house. The bad times don't last, thank God.

This last week we have watched our share of movies in an attempt to distract us from our misery. Care Bears and Lucky Charms take me back to when I was young and I'd wake up early to watch my favorite cartoons on Saturday morning.

We have also watched some of the classics, like "A Little Princess", "The Velveteen Rabbit", and "The Secret Garden".

Piled tight together on our love seat, one of my children made the comment, "That Grandmother was mean, but she isn't anymore." I replied, "Her Grandson made her happy. Children are magical."

Aren't they? They make you believe. They make you love. My children have taught me as much, if not more, than I have taught them. How to laugh more. How to dream more. How to imagine and see things from a more innocent perspective. And where my priorities are. What sacrifice really is.

Being sick has given me precious time with each of my children. This time was spent simply to be together- no other agenda. I sat and watched Brookie excitingly introduce me to one of her favorite computer games. She was so vivid and dramatic with her excitement. I squeezed her head against my shoulder and kissed her.

"I love it when you kiss me like that", she said. She compliments me often. Just today she said, "Mama, you are so fat and strong."

OK, that probably wasn't a compliment. My sloppy sick attire wasn't flattering.

I have easily gotten swept up in the moment with these young people ballet dancing, prancing, imagining, giggling, and innocently loving.

And YES, sometimes they bring out the worst in me.

But for this Mama, an imagination can bring me out of what seems to be reality and into something more tolerable. But I'm just wondering....maybe the intolerable is the imaginary and the joyful is reality.

When something goes really wrong and I start to panic- I could dwell in my fears or remember what God says. When I remember what God says, it's like waking up from a nightmare and greeting a fairy tale.

Now, I'm not saying Christianity is a fairy tale, but so many of the characteristics of fairy tales are examples of life in Christ. They all have to deal with evil, and we all know the good guys win in the end. AND love is most often the most powerful force that claims the victory. Don't we all want to loved like that? And aren't we in Christ?

I am not swayed by illusionment that everything is dreamy and certainly am not ready to break out in song at any given moment. Bad things happen. Riots, earthquakes, tsunami, hate, abandoned children, to name of few. These are very real. I believe, however, that many of these things are real because of failure to recognize all truth, that is, what perfect love is.

I thank God that the experience of having children has shown me a glimpse of what His love is truly like.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Random Thoughts From My Sickbed

I had to go to the grocery store. My grocery list for my sick family- snack food, 7-up, Gatorade, popsicles, Kleenex, and Day Quill for my stubborn husband who refuses to go to a Doctor and then complains about how sick he feels.

I felt a little guilty. I had to take Max, who has the flu (we all do- I'm praying we didn't give it to my Doctor.) He was fine but he insisted on riding the car cart, so his little germy hands were on the steering wheel.

I was wondering how obvious it was to the check out guy that we were sick and if he would be paranoid, but then I noticed his sniffling and snot rag and he probably wasn't even paying attention. I wonder about stuff like that- what the check out people are thinking about KY or pregnancy tests.

..and how I felt about my checkout guy touching my food with his sick hands...not that we could get any sicker.

In the parking lot I saw a sports car with a personalized license plate "DRMOM2" and thought that was really weird. A doctor mom would never own a sports car and never ever own 2. So I checked it again and realized I had misread it. It was actually "DRMCOM2". I think.

I was relieved that gas was steady at $3.40. At least it wasn't still increasing by $.10 a day. HOWEVER, with my $.60 discount from all the groceries I buy, it was only $2.80. Yippee!

I've had bad luck with drive thru's lately. My coffee was lukewarm.

I seriously think our sickness is a distraction from worry. I'll take sickness over worry.

We've gotten our money's worth out of Netflix this month. I wish I could say the same for the Y.

Gandolf lives? I've only seen the first movie. Guess I need to upgrade Netflix.

I need to complete my continuing education. Good night!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Growing Faith

"Oh no! I can't find my shoes!"

STOP! We have two options. Frantically tear apart the house, getting grumpier and grumpier by the minute or pray about it.

If we pray, we usually find things much quicker with less worry.

A while back, I heard someone talk about growing faith. You start with the little things and get bigger and bigger by the prayer. I think this practice has made God more real in our lives, and our faith is growing.

However, I know I have so much more to learn. Today on the radio, someone said if we truly trust in God, we don't need to stay up late and live with less sleep in order to get things done. Maybe I can get more sleep after all.

We are sick now. My husband needs new work but not sure which direction to go. I feel like I am constantly helping one child or another. I am overwhelmed. Some days I let it get to me, but I don't have to. I love that promise. I'm excited to see what growing my faith will produce, and I am excited to see it at work in my childrens' lives as well.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Better Than Peeps

I am a hopeless optimist, too stubborn to believe that I am defeated. If I don't have hope, I have nothing. If I don't have God, I don't have hope.

There is a christian saying that God won't give us more than we can handle. I have not found that in the Bible. I don't believe this is always used in a way that reflects what the Bible teaches. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but life is more than I can handle. MY life alone has proven itself tough in the least. Add four kids plus husband plus extended family plus unstable economy plus..... WAY more than I can handle. I know I'm not alone.

Instead, I think God gives us what we can't handle so we learn to depend on Him, and in turn, are blessed to have a living God in our life. For me, life is hard right now. It's been worse, but I keep reminding myself of how the really bad times have made me so much stronger. I love it that I can lean on this hope.

I'm a sucker for Cinderella stories- mostly because I believe they can happen! Maybe it won't happen to me until I'm at home in heaven, but it'll happen. My goal- a worry free life. NOT a trial free life, but worry free. I've got a long way to go, but I've come a long way! That is a big goal amidst this life that is more than I can handle, but I do believe it is possible. This devotion is a step in the right direction.

One of my heroes is George Mueller. Check him out. Google him. He was nothing special, but his faith was amazing. Faith is my greatest asset. Talents? eh. If I don't have faith, I'm a forgetful, frumpy mama that is looking forward to shipping my youngest off to college. However, by then I won't have a clue how to live my life without kids and wish for the next thing- until I'm on my death bed. Then I'll be wishing I had done more but not knowing how in the heck I possibly could have.

With faith- I'm still a little frumpy but I am blessed daily by little things like how Max gets so excited when he knows we are going somewhere or when Summer looks forward to making Divinity.

Divinity, in my opinion, is better than Peeps.

I got this recipe from my Aunt and Uncle- you will need a candy thermometer, and caution if the kids are assisting. Summer helped measure and beat the egg whites.

Jello Divinity

1-1/2 cup sugar
3/8 cup corn syrup
3/8 cup water
1 egg white
1/4 cup flavored gelatin

Mix sugar, water, salt, and syrup and bring to boiling point. Cook to hard ball stage (252 degrees F)

Beat egg white until stiff. Beat in gelatin.

Slowly add syrup to egg whites, beating constantly, until creamy and stands in peaks.

Quickly pour onto greased pan or drop.

Pure sugar, if you are into that sort of thing. I'm not really. I mostly like caramel or chocolate but this was pretty good.

It also gave us an opportunity to talk about boiling point, candy making, hard ball stage, beating egg whites... all sorts of good stuff. It was a huge blessing in the middle of a tough day. Divinity and faith. Somehow it goes together, right?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Giving Grace Wand

I used to work in a kitchen full of women....the DRAMA!

The amount of time spent on feelings hurt and rumors spread could have produced gourmet meals...but instead it was frozen pizzas and sloppy joes, much to my dismay. (Sloppy joes. Slop, slop-py joes...)

Now I have a house full of school aged girls. No different- except that the fights are over what is the best color in the whole wide world and which Poly Pocket girl is the mean one.

AND they have a great imagination. I can work with that.

So, when there is an argument that has no clear cut solution, we give grace.
Or, when someone refuses to work it out, we give grace.

Cause it's no fun to stay mad.

We have worked on using our words when we are sad or mad to let the offender know what they did. First, we try that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

"I feel sad because you pulled my hair"
"That's because you stomped on my foot!"

...and then it gets ugly. That's when we give grace (undeserved favor).

Giving grace makes the other person more beautiful, it fills the giver with joy, and it usually melts the anger. (And it makes my job much easier)

This works for my little girls. I have no clue what would work for little boys!

Gigi - Gods Little Princess - Royal ScepterYou will need:
A magic wand or a pretend bottle of fairy dust
A believable imagination

So, when I have one mad little girl telling me that her imaginary unicorn really has pink hair but so and so says it's purple and there is no way around it, I say, "Oooooh, I guess you need to give grace!"

If they resist, I ask them if they want to stay mad or go back to playing- usually they make the better choice. If not, they can take some time out and cool down.

And I tell them, "Wave this wand over her head and press the button (which makes a magical noise) and you will drop magic grace sparkles on her head and she will be beautiful because you gave her love when she hurt you."

When she tries it, I say, "WOW! She is so beautiful right now! You are so kind to give her grace!" or something like that. They usually get into it. After a while, they don't need reminders, they just get the wand when they need it.

It has sparked many grace questions, and strengthened the love for one another. Everyone can use a little (or a lota) grace from time to time.