Friday, June 29, 2012

What Me Worry??

Wow!  It has been awhile since I've been on here!  Isn't it amazing how time flies?  Life in my house the past month has me feeling like I'm the Old Woman who lived in a shoe {Smile}  Okay, yes, I have "lots" of kids, but not that many!  And I do wonder what she felt like every day.  Trying to keep up with everyone's schedules, laundry, discipline, teaching, cleaning, feeding, all while living in a giant shoe!  {That image just makes me giggle!}

Anyways, what I wanted to say was that over the last month, in the midst of my crazy, busy life, I have become a worrier.  And I am NOT a worrier.  I have been worrying over the future, over the past, over the now.  Where are we going, what are we doing?  What about this, what about that?  Argh, it's so frustrating!  Normally, I am the quintessential glass half-full, God's-got-this, no-big-deal kinda girl.  I am not sure what has gotten into me! 

Well, like the Big Man Upstairs likes to do, He has been providing me with some great reminders and some really good words on this whole topic of Worry.  There's been random drops of wisdom from strangers who don't even know who I am or where my head is at!  Just a little nudge - God is in control,  He's got this.  A wise reminder - why would God take care of the big details and then leave the little ones?  Then Pastor Tom got up and spoke this past Sunday.  Of course it was one of those messages where I felt like he was talking right at me.  I just want to share a couple of the verses from that morning.  Maybe someone else out there is feeling a bit like me, worrying, fretting or even just questioning where you are at.  Be reminded that you aren't alone! 

Matthew 6:34:
          So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today's trouble is enough for today.

Phillipians 4:6-7:
          Don't fret or worry.  Instead of worrying, pray.  Let petition and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. 

Phillipians 4:11-13
          I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Old Blue Eyes

My family and I are traveling this weekend, spending time in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The majority of our extended families live out East and it is so much fun to be able to come and spend time with them!

We spent yesterday afternoon with my husband's grandfather, who just the day before had turned 93! It's amazing to think of what he has witnessed in those 93 years, from 1919 to 2012. We always love to hear his stories of World War II, traveling through France, England, Germany, Poland and Russia and to hear his perspective of growing up as a farm boy in the Pennsylvania countryside. But this visit was different. He had his tales to tell and he is still so independent! However, he would forget who we were, why we were here and he couldn't quite understand why we would be here to visit him. It is so hard to watch our loved ones age! I'm not sure why God made it so that we go back out much the same way we came in. It became harder this time to have our usual conversations, so we found ourselves just sitting in his company, knowing he was just happy not to be alone. The hardest part was saying goodbye. He thanked us for the ride home from dinner, as though we were strangers who brought him home out of the goodness of our hearts. I wanted to hug him, but he wasn't too sure about me, so we shook hands instead. It's heart-wrenching, but it's okay. He may not remember me, but I know him. I know the man who was a husband of almost 70 years, a father of 5, a United States Army veteran, farmer, fisherman, hunter, grandfather of 4, great-grandfather of 7, with gentle, bright blue eyes that he gave to my daughter. We hold his memories, since they are now a part of our own. It is up to us to share his memories and his stories and be extra careful to listen for those that are yet to come.

Just visiting with Great Grandpa Joe

Those big, blue eyes!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Me, Myself and I

I am one of those Moms who loves to have my kids home for the summer.  I don't want them to be anywhere but at home with me!  However, I have to confess that the first 4 days of summer break have been hell on wheels {Smile}  Lets just say that my four lovely children have NOT been on their best behaviour!  Not to say that I didn't expect some trouble.  Squirt has had 9 months of Mama time all day, every day only to be thrust into constant contact with her 3 older siblings and the 3 big kids now have to hang with eachother all day too.  Some adjustments and a {mostly} family meeting were in order! 

My very smart Husband has been trying to get me to do allowances and chore charts for quite some time.  I, however, being the perfectionist that I am, would just prefer to do all of the laundry, dusting, cleaning, mopping, vaccuming, cooking, dishes, shopping, weeding, appointment-making, bed-making, communications, transportation, etc. because it is just so much easier and faster if me, myself and I take care of everything {Sigh}  Naturally, that isn't working out very well for me.  One person trying to take care of 6 people doesn't really work!  Not to mention the fact that I am robbing my children of the opportunity to learn responsibility, how to work hard and do a good job, plus financial and time management.  I really do want my kids to grow into healthy, hard-working adults!

So, we gathered in our living room this morning to have a little pow-wow.  The kids were all eager to make a plan of action and get organized.  I was more than a little surprised!  They came up with most of their own chores and how we should rotate and take turns.  Here's what we came up with....

Each child has their morning routine list and evening routine list.  Then comes the Responsibility Wheel.  Every Sunday night, we are going to rotate the wheel so that we mix it up and keep it interesting.  {Bonus:  the kids get to learn multiple skills!}

Now, the trick will be making it stick!  Just as much for me as for my kiddos!  {Wink, wink!}

Monday, June 4, 2012

Brick Walls and Batman

I haven't {and I'm still not} the greatest friend.  Perfection in this area?  Not even close!   I still think that I have more testosterone than the average woman {Smile}  I'm really bad about picking up a phone and calling.  I've become more huggable, but it still is not my first, natural instinct!  I tend to be a "fixer" rather than a listener.  None of these things make me a very good friend!

When I was a young teen, I learned some pretty hard lessons about girls and friendship.  {Didn't we all, Ladies?}  So many girls were horribly catty and cruel!  As a pastor's daughter, it was also terribly difficult to know who your true friends were.  Some girls just wanted to be friends because it made them appear more "Christian" or maybe it made it easier to keep their "sins" hidden - hanging out with the Pastor's Kid {Because everyone knows that we are more holy and have more favor with the Big Guy.  Wink, wink!}  As time went on, my walls began to climb higher and higher.  Before I graduated high school, the bricks had me surrounded on all four sides and were higher than I could possibly reach to climb out.  I stayed trapped within those walls for a very long time. 

Thankfully, I married a super-hero {That's right, my own personal Batman!}  He pushed me to step back out into the light, to reach out, to trust.  Very slowly, the walls came crumbling down and my soul was allowed to heal.  My hubby is my best friend, but he has consistently nudged me out into the big, scary world to make new friends and rekindle old.  I still have a long ways to go {that phone call thing might haunt me forever!}, but I am so thankful for the friends that I have been blessed with!  Old friends, new friends, unique friends, quirky friends, deep-thought friends, light-hearted friends, ones to cry with, ones to laugh with, ones to pray with, those friends who know who you are inside and out, up and down, good times and bad....I can't imagine my life without them!