Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Every year I brace myself for this season.  This "basketball has started and football hasn't ended" season.  I love it.  I hate it.  I'm tired.

One of the football dads told me last week (he coaches Daughter #6's basketball team) that he expected nothing less than 24/7 from the Coach preparing for this week's game.  He was kidding.  Sort of.  I just laughed.  The Coach was already 24/7 in anticipation of this week's game.  For several weeks now.

I'm realizing that I don't just love football because I love the Friday nights in the stands.  Or because I love watching my boys play.  Or because I love watching my Coach on the sidelines.  I enjoy ALL of that and look forward to it every Fall.

But football has taught me a lot, too.  About supporting the Coach even when I'm tired and I miss him and I've had enough of the constantly streaming film of next week's opponent in the kitchen every night.  About patiently gathering up page after page of sketched out and printed out play diagrams and sheets of plays for practice off the table so we can eat.  About realizing he WILL fall asleep if it sits down in a comfy chair after 8 - which is why he will chose the wooden desk chair instead.  About not getting frustrated when his alarm goes off at 5:30 on a Saturday so he can get up and break down film before he goes to meet the team - after being up until midnight on Friday.  About often eating dinner without him at night and spending most of Saturday without him around.

Sometimes I've just had enough and I let my ugly selfishness take over.  I forget all of this.  The need for support and patience and understanding.

Last night was one of those times.

I'm just being honest, here.  It's not all band music and clapping and cheering and "I'm so happy we won!".

This is real life and it's not always pretty.

I'm not sure how the next few days will even work, truthfully.  With two practices and two games, tonight.  Two games tomorrow and the BIG game (an hour and a half away, of course).  Two games Saturday and the Coach and I trying to get out of here and to the Expo for our half marathon before it closes on Saturday.  And then the running of the 13.1 on Sunday.

We're not exactly fresh as daisies around here.

I am thankful.  I'm CHOOSING thankful.  It doesn't come naturally.  I'm tired, cranky, overwhelmed, and wishing for quieter, less busy days.

Have you heard Trace Adkins song, "You're gonna miss this"?  Our Internet filter won't let me find a YouTube video for you, so go look it up. I'll wait. . .

See?  Besides the fact that Son (#1) has ruined me completely and I actually like some country music, now?

It's all going so quickly and I want to soak it in and enjoy every second and if it takes a third cup of coffee this morning?  I'm going to chose to be thankful.

1.  My precious, loving, faithful husband.  Who took time to read another chapter of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" to the littles last night.    He's ever the optimist around here.  Always telling me it'll work out and we'll be OK.  Even when I'm all doom and despair.  Love him.

2.  A great football season, which I've enjoyed so much, even without a player out there on the high school team.  Week 2 of the playoffs!  GO BIG BLUE!

3.  The beginning of basketball season.  And the hope of having the Coach's help this year with the five players we're keeping up with.

4.  Colder weather.  A snow day on Monday.  And sunshine, today.

5.  Every need so graciously met by our loving Heavenly Father.  That Christ intercedes on our behalf and continues to pour out His grace.

6.  The tail end of this cold I've been fighting all week.  And Essential oils.

7.  Christmas lists from my kids.  Little Man's was priceless.

8.  The hope of things to come.  Making memories.  Enjoying this season.

And now?  My morning run is calling.

Happy Thursday.

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:"  2 Peter 1:3

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Winter is not my favorite.  Well.  I guess it's not that simple.  I don't like getting out in the cold (although running in it isn't as bad as you might think), errands in the cold, loading and unloading groceries in the cold, sitting at football games in the cold, or wearing coats.  Ugh.  Coats.

Sweaters, YES, coats, NO.

But I do love being HOME in the Winter.  I love having the fireplace on and candles lit and cooking soups and muffins.

Last night was a lovely at home evening.  Fire on.  Potato soup for dinner.  Kids (mostly) home.  Homework, hot chocolate, everyone piled on the couches and talking.  The littles went to bed and the bigs settled into stories and jokes and just being amazing.  As usual.

And then it happened.

The Coach and I sitting there across from each other.  He on one end of the couch and Daughter (#2) wrapped in a blanket on the other end.  Son (#3) sitting next to me, after coming in from church.  Son (#4) sitting in the big leather chair - inside his sleeping bag.  No one will ever accuse the Coach of keeping this house too warm.

Someone was missing.

It's not that we weren't talking and laughing and enjoying each other.  It just that we weren't ALL there and it was obvious.

It won't ever be the same, again.  I know that.  Son (#1) will come home at Christmastime.  He'll slide right back into the troops and it will feel like he never left.  But then he will.  And even if he's back for a longer time in a few months, Daughter (#2) will be heading off next year.  It's going to change a lot really fast at our house.

These kids make me laugh and frustrate me and fill me with so much joy and keep me on my knees.  But the whole POINT here is to raise them up and send them off.  It's going so quickly.

For now, we'll still gather around (under blankets and sleeping bags - ha!) on evenings home and spend time together.  Someday it WILL just be the Coach and I (Lord willing) and that will be precious, too.

Until then, I'm going to count the days until we are once again "ten" and thank the Lord for each moment.  They are all so precious.

And as the Coach and I were heading to bed last night, the big kids got on the phone and called Son (#1) - even though it's later there - and told him they missed him and loved him and, generally speaking, gave him a hard time.  So all IS right in our little world.

Today I'm thankful.

For a *sort of* warm house.  Ha!
For warm layers and coats and hats and boots and gloves - that early morning crosswalk duty for Daughter (#6) and afternoon football practice for the Coach are brutal!
For soup and muffins and hot chocolate.  And stretchy yoga pants.  Yikes.
For treadmills when the windchill is in the teens.
For hot showers.
For clean, warm laundry, fresh out of the dryer.
For coffee and second cups of coffee.
For things to look forward to:  A 1/2 marathon with my Coach, Thanksgiving, time off school, a 13th birthday for Daughter (#5), for Christmas preparations, and my boy coming home!

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sometimes I forget.

I woke up, this morning, feeling discouraged.  Sometimes?  I forget who I am.  I let the voices in my head convince me that I'm failing as a mom.  Failing as a wife.  Failing as a daughter, friend, sister.

I let myself believe that my house is a mess, that things need updated, that it will never be clean for more than 10 minutes at a time.

I let myself believe that I'm worthless, fat, slow, ugly, and stupid.

I tell myself that my kids need a better mom.  That my husband deserves a prettier, fitter, sweeter, smarter wife.

I tell myself that all of my efforts are in vain.  That my kids won't ever learn to obey.  To be responsible.  To love each other.

I tell myself that all of the time I spend working on the house, cooking, cleaning, caring for my family... is a waste.

I let those voices be the boss.  Take authority.

And you know what?

They are wrong.

So very wrong.

I may never be the perfect woman.  But I am NOT worthless.  NOT a failure.  And the things I do matter.  Tremendously.

If you need to hear it from someone today?  Can I be the one?  The one to remind you that you are beautiful, creative, special, talented, gifted, unique, treasured, and above all else?  LOVED.  That what you do matters because of LOVE.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You are a beautiful, precious creation of a loving God who gave His Son for you.  So you could be full of HIS love and HIS purpose and HIS salvation.

Don't let those voices be the boss.  Tell them the truth.  The truth about who you are in Christ and how very much you are loved.

I will if you will.

Happy Sunday.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 8:32-39