Monday, March 21, 2016

Life is good!

This morning I woke up at 4:10.  I checked on my son, who had been sick during the night, then I ran through my list of chores for the day, and my plans for my class that day as well.  Suddenly I was overwhelmed with the feeling that life is so very, very good.  I have these amazing children of awesomeness (who are far, far from perfect, but who are precisely perfect for our family), and I have an incredible husband who provides for us and loves me despite my numerous flaws.  We are blessed with an extended family who is so involved in our lives and cares so deeply for us.  We have a church family who loves us like a blood family and rejoices with us in our joys, and prays with us in our sorrows.  And God has graced us with this sacred week and weekend ahead, full of opportunities to deepen our faith. Then our son's confirmation and first communion on Saturday, when he will kneel and confirm his faith, surrounded by 23 family members.

Yes - life is good.  Certainly not perfect, and not always easy, but good.  God made our family - immediate, extended and our church family, and he doesn't make mistakes.  He gave us this life, and flawed as it is with our sin, it is good. His grace and his love for us, poured out so generously on the cross we celebrate this very week, covers all our human shortcomings.

Life is good.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bits and Pieces #11

Hello my dear blogosphere friends.  I have been muy delinquent of late in my blogging pursuits.  Partly because I just finished watching Friday Night Lights (which ate up a wee bit of my free time),  and also because we are welcoming 16 family members (plus our seven) into our house next weekend for my son's confirmation at the Easter Vigil.  I am planning and prepping food, dress clothes, Easter eggs, Easter baskets, Egg Roll brackets, gifts for the confirmand, and all in all, thoroughly looking forward to this awesome weekend with our son and our extended family.  His older brother and sister's weekends were nothing short of amazing, and I expect nothing less of this son.  He is eagerly awaiting making his confirmation and receiving his first communion.  It's good stuff coming, good stuff!

So - I've been a bit swamped with details (and Netflix, not gonna lie).  But in the quiet of post-dinner-kids-outside-playing, I thought I'd dash off a few little soundbites I've heard around recently:

"Mom!  This sweater is the BEST!!  It has great pockets, Grandma made it, it's super soft, it has cool colors, and it keeps me warm!  Aaaaand - WHAT if it had a magical sweater arm that gave you a donut?  In the middle of the night, you could ask your sweater "donut please?" and it would give you a donut with sprinkles and frosting!!"    What if, indeed!  I would like one of these sweaters, but preferably one which served nachos.  Grandma?

"I'm not ready for the life ahead of me.  I'm too lazy to do what I've gotta do.  Maybe I'll just live with you guys!"  This was said by a very put-upon child who had just finished his chores and proclaimed that he was waaaaaaaay to young to clean a bathroom (he has also informed me that he is too young to empty the dishwasher, vacuum a whole room and clean the basement).  So - I guess we have failure-to-launch situation in our future.  I suppose he will live in the basement - but he probably won't be able to clean it.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

On Worshiping With Children

So. . .last night's midweek Lenten worship. Full of pondering and solemnity and introspection and a deepening understanding of what our Savior did for us on the cross.  Yes?  Yes it was. There were many times during the service when I closed my eyes and soaked up the words I was hearing and singing.  More than once my heart was stirred.

But did I mention I also (always) attend church with my children?  Yessiree!  I wouldn't have it any other way, of course, because worshiping with my children is hands-down one of the best things I can do with them.  Raising them in the faith is the single-most important job my husband and I have.

But is it easy?  Not exactly.  Last night, when I wasn't moved by God's word, I was handling situations such as these:

  • A concern about the electronic picnic basket my 6-year-old daughter brought to hold her important things.  This basket, if turned on, would play a lovely bit of music and then proclaim "Let's go on a picnic!".  Out of respect for everyone around me, I obsessively checked its power button and shoved it under my seat.
  • Ink explosions on my son's hands.  Though it has never happened to me, apparently the new pens I bought have a penchant for getting ink everywhere.   By the time worship was over, my son looked like he had paid a visit to a (struggling) tattoo artist.  
  • Gastrointestinal problems.  More than one of my children wasn't feeling well last night, resulting in several trips in and out of church.  And one of those children doesn't know how to exit the church quietly (though my last words to him before he left were "Walk quietly!  Quiet feet!" - to no avail).
  • A moon alarm.  What's a moon alarm, you say?  Well, one of my boys has to look at the moon every night for school and chart its phase.  After several days of forgetting this assignment, I decided to set an alarm at 7:51 to remind me to remind him to go outside and look.  Super smart, right?  Go mom!  Yay!  Weeeellll, though I set my alarm on my phone every night for the next morning and know that the alarm isn't silenced by the mute button, I didn't give the moon alarm one thought.  (Let me remind you that I NEVER give the moon alarm a thought - that was why I set it in the first place, because I NEVER thought about the moon check!).  Sooo- at 7:51, just as communion was about to start, and there was silence in all of the land, my phone starts playing a classical vespers piece.  Panicked, I dove down into my purse, all the while cursing the moon and its phases.  Thankfully the piece starts out very quietly, and though I didn't know it at the time, apparently no one around me heard it.  
  • Laugh-coughing.  Newly invented by my son, who was sitting next to a friend who said something funny just as my son started to cough.  Again, in a silent moment of worship.  And this child rarely does anything quietly.  He was righteously indignant when I reprimanded him about it - "I was just coughing, mom!  I couldn't help it!"
Yet - amongst all these distractions, anxieties and issues, I worshiped with my family (well most of it - one was preaching and another was singing in the choir).  One son leaned over and told me the choral piece was amazing, and another child held my hand as we prayed the Lord's prayer together.  Worshiping with children is not for the feint of heart, no doubt, but oh how we are fed as we worship together.  Praise God that he strengthens us for our journeys - including parenting our children.