Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekend Catch-Up

So I've gotten be honest I've been grappling to try to hold onto peace and contentment in my heart the last few days for various reasons in spite of wonderful things continuing around me. Maybe the "I" in that sentence is the problem. Anyway. I'm not up to my usual essay-style, so I'll make a list to catch up on my blessings.

Friday: Day Out With Thomas!

This is us on the train. For those of you non-parents of toddlers, Thomas the Tank Engine is a he, not an it. Erick ran into a dispute over that, lol. He's a real steam engine converted in 1997 to look like Thomas. We were too cheap/too hot/didn't want to wait in line to get a picture of Brynn with the front of Thomas, but we did ride him. It was so much fun watching Brynn's face when she saw him. We were looking for where to park and saw him. When we went past (still trying to park) meltdown ensued. We assured her we were going back. It was a lot of fun, in spite of the heat. (I thought surely it being in the mountains it wouldn't be 100+ degrees, but I was wrong.

Saturday: Fun Meandering

Erick had to work yesterday morning, but fortunately he works at a pretty cool place that is kid friendly: the library. Brynn and I went to visit him and turn in her summer reading paper. She got to choose a book to keep, and what was there--none other than her new favorite Mo Willems book the we had just had to turn in! We were both very excited and have read it several times. In addition to library fun, Brynn got to go play with Mimi and Papa while Mommy and Daddy went to Costco and just wandered around looking at stuff, wanting to buy it. Always a treat.

Today: Happy birthday, Dillon!

I was 8 years old when I figured out/Mama and Daddy told me I was going to have a sibling soon. Once he was born on July 31 19 years ago, I didn't know what I had ever done to entertain myself without him. He annoyed me quite a bit when I got a little older, and I him. Once I went to college and he was a little older, we kind of came to an unspoken truce. Now I know I can depend on him for anything, and even though I don't see him every day anyway, I miss him something awful when he's off at college. Dillon, you are the best brother anyone could have. I love you so much, and I am so proud of you!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (English Standard Version)

This has always been my favorite verse. It's the one that whenever I have some Earth-shaking change that has to happen it comes to mind.

I like looking at the different translations of the same verses to compare them and see what makes the most sense.

For example, in this one, I prefer DECLARES over SAYS. It sounds more like He meant business. I can believe Him.

Next, he has plans to for me to prosper. For my own good. For my own welfare. I need to hear it all those ways sometimes when I'm thinking, "Really? You sure about that one, God???"

Last, His plans will not lead me to DISASTER, or EVIL, or to HARM. I can be sure (since He declared it) that if I stick to the path I believe is right, it will have a good ending.

James said "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." (James 1:2-3)
Translation: what doesn't kill us will make us stronger.

Notice that all 3 translations promise the same outcome: a hope and a future.
When I am hopeless about a situation, it makes me physically sick. (As you may have read in earlier posts, that tends to be my reaction to many things.) Without hope, there is no reason to continue.

“Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope." --Hal Lindsey

So what do we do in the meantime?

Jeremiah 29:12
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

And just hold onto whatever hope you can muster. Addison Road put it into a wonderful song. Thank you, God, for the blessing of promising us hope.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Nate Berkus said that the way your home looks is a reflection on how your mind works. Or something like that. And I'm guessing he wasn't the only one who said it. Whatever.
I heard that and thought, "Yeah. That sounds about right." (After my first very 90's thought of "Bite me.") I look around my living room, which is where all three of us (5 if you count the cats) spend 90% of our waking hours. Let's start with the walls. They are a fabulous design and color scheme that a professional handled. Hanging on those walls are snapshots of my family (mostly Brynn) that capture various happy memories....Halloween costumes, bathtime, picking out a pumpkin, the beach. Totally digging the brain/room metaphor so far.
Then I get to the floor area. We have two couches nabbed at a great consignment store price. They will be our couches until we no longer have toddlers and cats with claws. I'll just put it that way. There is a beautiful toy chest that the magnificent cousin Heather made for Brynn crammed as full as possible. Then strewn about in no particular order are Brynn's current favorite things...a jar of marbles, a box of play-doh, paper dolls, Barbies, and blocks. We do our best to pick up these things at the end of the day, but if they don't make it back into their "homes" that this organizationally-impaired lady came up with, I really don't stress about it. It stresses me way more to try to keep it neat and tidy and watch Brynn "destroy" it.
Could this really be what my brain looks like? I didn't even mention the basket of stuff waiting to be labeled for an upcoming consignment sale and a bag of beads I'm determined to do something with. Yes, my brain is a bit scattered, but it is filled and covered with what is important. I was created by a Professional, and all the wonderful things that fill my mind are from others. I have my memories displayed neatly, while the present may still need a little sorting out. I have a few things wandering around on my to-do list, but they're not as important as the time spent with my little one.
Much like this less-than-organized blog post, I'm not the most streamlined thinker-housekeeper-mom-teacher. Thankfully, I'm blessed with those around me that fill in my gaps and love me anyway.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I do it MYSELF

When does doing things all by yourself stop being so much fun?
Yesterday, Brynn, Erick, and I went to work on my new room at school. Aunt Iris is right next door and was there working too. I gave Brynn something to take to her, and she said, "No, Mommy, you stay here," when I went to follow her. Same thing when we were getting ready to leave, and I said we needed to tell her bye. "No, Mommy, I go aaaaall by myself."
She doesn't want me to hold her hand going down steps, she is trying her darnedest to figure out how to get her clothes on without me, and doesn't like when I put her toys in the wrong place. "I do it, Mommy!"
I like having help, though I don't always know what kind of help I need. When faced with tough decisions, I go through everyone I think I might can talk to. Someone else to make the decision for me. I ask God, but He usually doesn't answer quickly enough for me, so essentially I say, "No, God. I do it aaaalll by myself." But that's no good either.
What ultimately happens when I have to make some sort of decision like this is that I can't do it myself, so I just waste time crying and throwing up until I'm ready to listen. When I look back, I realize it's wasn't too bad and promise next time I'll be more trusting. (Yeah, right; I can almost hear God smirking. It's not in scripture, but I assure you he smirks.)
The other day I turned around to see that Brynn had rolled down (2) steps and was crying not because she was hurt, but saying, "My baby fell down!" referring to her baby doll she was holding. I told her, "Mine did too! Are you okay? Let me help you up this time." I guess this is like what God does with me. I demand to walk up hard steps on my own, which means sometimes I'm going to fall. Thankfully, He'll always come back to pick me up and dust me off and get me where I need to go. That's enough blessing to count for my last couple of days.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Just Brynn

My child is a lot like me. She's also a lot like her daddy. But mostly, she is JUST like herself.

Ways she is like me:
1. She ALWAYS fights sleep and says she isn't tired even if she obviously is. For example, she just fell asleep (I think) after being in her room for 2 hours. Am I mean? She was happy, why bother her?
2. She likes jewelry, but it pretty quickly gets on her nerves. "My nekwace is bodderin me, Mommy. Geddit off."
3. She gets delirious when she gets tired.
4. She loves carbs and would prefer that be all she eats.

Ways she is like Erick:
1. Oh my gosh those two are fussy about getting situated in bed. B: Not that bwankie, Mommy! Cubber my feets! No! Socks OOOFFFFFF! E: Put something over your clock, it's too bright. Something is ticking. The sheets are bunchy. Did you put on lotion?
2. The way she looks at you like she's thinking about how she is totally right and you are totally wrong. (Yet in a somewhat humble way?)
3. Routine routine routine. Don't leave anything out or add anything without 24 hours notice.
4. Nothing is more fun than aggravating Mommy. (It's always in a fun way until I let them know they've crossed that line.)

But like I said, mostly she is herself. Erick and I left the McDonald's playground when other kids came. She wants to leave if no one is there. She introduces herself to everyone. It's like we're in a parade all the time with Miss Congeniality.
It's easier now, but at first it took very active work on my part not to stifle her outgoing-ness (as if she would let me). But I am so thankful that for whatever reason God gave us this little girl who does not fit the mold I imagined she would be. She won't leave bows in her hair, hates to wear shoes outside, and her favorite toy right now is a foam axe (in the style of Fiona from Shrek). I wouldn't trade her for any Fancy Nancy anywhere.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Blessing a day...or at least more often than not

A while back I was at a cutesy little store with this tiny journal called "mom's memories" or something, with a place to write one memory of something your kid does every day for 5 years. Awesome! I had to have it. $20??! Seriously???

So instead of buying it, I decided to instead go home and use an empty journal I already had to do the same thing for cheap. So I went home and that night...did nothing. Here I am like a year later with "I've got to write that down"s floating in my head.

It has been two months ago today that my second baby has gone to Heaven. In that time I have come a long way, though my grieving is seemingly far from over. I sang Laura Story's "Blessings" Sunday at church, and that combined with a God-inspired worship focus from a friend reminded me that God has continued to bless me, even though I haven't appreciated them.

I don't think He expected me to.

I'll be honest. Church has been really really hard since losing my baby. I do okay through the week and then leave church feeling depressed to the point that I'm paralyzed the rest of the day. I thought God and I were on speaking terms again, but I think I was just able to be in the same room, but not ready to listen yet to anything He had to say. My feelings a couple of weeks ago at church reminded me of having a boyfriend who did something really dumb trying desperately to win me back. Realizing that actually made me stop and think.

God wanted me back.

I couldn't sing the words myself, but the song "Oh How He Loves You and Me" flooded me with emotions. He gave His life. What more could He give? I realized then that God knew what it felt like to lose a child. He did know what I was going through, and He had already done everything He could do to earn my trust back. He was just waiting patiently for me to come around. He was not mad at me, just sad with me.

Not that I left church feeling all better, but I was getting there. I did feel like I was understanding more how it could be true that God didn't allow or cause my child to die. I believe it was just the corruption of the world and free-will and all that...whatever. But God is there. Heart breaking with me.

So back to my main new goal is to post a blessing a day. Or at least more often than not.

Thankfully I have more than one today, since I need to catch up.
1. I am able to share this with you and really believe I am getting better.
2. I had an awesome morning out with my sweet girl. We went to the library, McDonald's, and painting at Hearts of Clay. She is learning so much so fast, which means she is also well behaved more often than not!
3. Brynn is down to 1 or fewer accidents a day after a week and a half of potty training. SUCH a blessing!
4. I am actually kind of excited about school starting, I'm planning on a great year with my new position. It feels like a fresh start.

Thanks for reading. :)