Sunday, October 30, 2016

Beginning Again

Today was not a fall-asleep-on-the-couch-while-watching-a-hallmark-movie-nap kind of day.


It was a put-my-jammies-back-on-and-crawl-into-the-unmade-bed-nap kind of day.

The Coach and I finished week ONE of marathon training this morning.

Yes, you can laugh.

I realize week one isn't anything to write about.  It just struck me as extremely funny.  I asked the Coach to find the longest beginning training plan and add a month.  So now we've worked our way up to actually being ON the planned runs.

So coming in from our eight miles this morning as the sun was rising, he turned to me and said... I'm SO tired.

Week one.

Already done.

Except we're not.  Tired is the normal around here.  We'll keep on keeping on and pray and hope that my shins hold out (and don't turn to stress fractures - I've had three) and his knee doesn't give up (like it did in our last half-marathon - my 5th).

Old.  We're old.  And did I mention tired?

Maybe we did pick one of the busiest seasons of life to attempt this feat.  But there's always a 6th grade DC trip or an injury or LIFE and here we are with 2 college kids and 3 high-school kids and 1 Jr high kid and 2 elementary kids...

Beginning again.

I will run and stretch and ice and ibuprofen.  And maybe we'll make it to that marathon in February.

Maybe we won't.

But I'll keep trying.

One of these days we're going to do it.  Maybe this time will be it.

Happy RESTful Sunday.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

For my tired mama friends...

I hear you.  I hear you yawn, pour another cup of coffee, give yourself a pep talk.

I see you falling asleep while listening to your little one tell you one more time that he can't sleep.  Or that he's scared.  Or that the big kids keep turning lights off or music on or slamming doors.

I know you're discouraged.  Wondering why it's so hard and what would make it less exhausting and why can't it all just be easier?  For one day?

I watch you sigh when someone needs one. more. thing. for that project or the shoes are too small or the pants are too short and you can't imagine buying, spending, shopping.  Not to mention the budget that is always and forever stretched too thin.

This is tough stuff.  It's a lot of work... and when you mix in the pressures from every other area of life it can be more than daunting... seem impossible, even.

You mommas with little ones think if they'll just grow up a bit, be more independent, be able to go potty or tie their shoes or clean up without help... maybe you can catch your breath.

But then they are teens who are driving (so much for breathing), playing sports (and getting hurt), out with friends (good friends? good places? doing good things??) and not coming home before you fall asleep.  And do you let them?  Or say no?  Do they need to learn the hard way OR be protected?  Or both?

Then college students who you don't see for weeks.  My kids haven't even given me anything to worry about and I still do.  I can't help it.  Even if they are doing exactly what I'd want them to, there are OTHER people out there who aren't.  See what I mean?

I hear you.  I see you.  I know.

Can I just tell you something?

You're doing a great job.

Not a perfect job, of course.  You aren't Jesus.  And can I be honest?  I wonder how Jesus would have handled a houseful of kids.  Then I remember he parents ME and that makes it easier to imagine.

But if you're worn out and working hard and praying hard and loving your family?  You're doing a great job.

You can be a perfect momma and lose your kids.  We've all seen it.  You can fail every day and have kids who grow up to love God and love you and love others.  I've see that, too.

Parenting doesn't have guarantees.  But today?  I'm telling you, tired exhausted overwhelmed unsure momma...

You're gonna make it.  And so am I.

Now for another pot of coffee.

Psalm 27:14  Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Life as mom...

Last night we had a home football game (and homecoming) with our two varsity football guys and their handsome dad and coach.

There was also a Ben Rector concert - 3 miles from our house.  And you know I LOVE some Ben Rector.

When the concert schedule came out months ago, I saw that the date here was a Friday night and I moved on.  Fall Friday nights are for football at the troops.  It's been that way for 22 years and I don't see it changing anytime soon.

Daughter (#2) went with a nephew and good friend.  They said it was amazing.  I'm sure it was.

But we have choices, don't we?  When we marry we choose that one person forever.  When we have kids, they come before concerts and free time and sleep.

Someone asked me this week what parenting book I'd recommend for parenting a two year old.  I said just take a deep breath, drink another cup of coffee... and they'll be four and your won't need the book anymore.

I'm only half kidding.

Not that I haven't read some helpful books over the last 21 years.  I have.  But when I think about recommending them I hesitate.

No book will know your strengths and weaknesses as a parent.  No book will know the personality of your child.  Or the strengths and weaknesses of your spouse's parenting.  Or what will motivate, encourage or challenge your child.

Because all of us as parents, spouses, children... we're all completely different.  We may have similarities that give us something to talk about with other moms in Starbucks, which is great!  But the truth?  I'm a different mom than you are.  I just will be.

And maybe after all of these years?  I'm ok with that.  Or closer to OK with that.

What I CAN count on?  God's Word.  To direct, to guide, to give us wisdom.  Prayer.  To focus my heart on the Lord and His truth.  The Coach.  To balance, listen, and give another perspective.

And the older I get?  The more I believe that I'm not a mistake.  I MAKE mistakes, but I'm the mom my kids need.  God gave them to me and He didn't do it by accident.  He made me their mom.  I won't do everything right (anything right?) but God, in his beautiful sovereignty put these troops in this family with the Coach and I as their momma and daddy.  For His glory.

Not mine.

Not so I can train perfectly behaved kids, or have other people think we've got it figured out, or take credit for what they do well.  I give my Coach the credit for that  - ha!

But so God can receive glory from this imperfect mom and imperfect dad raising a whole crew of kids and trusting Him in the process regardless of where it takes us.

And giving up a Ben Rector concert to watch my boys play some ball?  Not a bad trade off.  Especially that 61 yard touchdown pass that Son (#4) caught with one hand.  No concert will ever top that.

Think Ben Rector will still be touring when Little Man's in college?

Happy Saturday.

*My filter won't let me attach the "Forever Like That" Ben Rector video.  So go look it up.  Good stuff.