Saturday, April 11, 2009

Proper Emphasis

I won't lie. I haven't had the greatest of days lately. I have indulged in self-pity and sent out a mass of invites to the party. I have cried and complained and vented. However, in the midst of all of this it has not escaped me that it is almost Easter. I don't know if it is the cynicism of age that is coloring my views or if it is fact; but it seems to me that, along with Christmas, this holiday does not receive the fanfare that it did in my childhood. My church did not have the traditional Easter lilies (although they did put out a purple cloth and a thorn crown on the altar) and we attempted to sing a few worship songs that alluded to the cross but there was no rousing rendition of "Up From the Grave He Arose". We did have a Passover Seder on Palm Sunday that was very informational, but there was no dramatic cantata.

I willingly admit that I have been distracted by other things (my car, my sick son, my husband's delayed return) so it could just be that I have missed some of the excitement. Part of it is that I didn't try to do anything extra special. However, even without all of the "trappings" it doesn't diminish the reason for the season. Jesus died for me. I can't think of it at length without crying. The Son of God came to seek and save that which was lost- me! He endured a brutal, shameful death so that I could live.I can never be grateful enough...

"Surely He took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered Him stricken by God,
smitten by Him, and afflicted.

But He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
and by His wounds we are healed."

Isaiah 53:4-5 (NIV)

I just didn't want the only really important part of Easter to be forgotten. Have a Happy Easter, or should I say Thanksgiving?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More Lessons from the School of Josie

We had made special plans to go to the "Adventure Gym" (a open-play time on all the fun gymnastic equipment)with friends this morning. Jocelyn gets so excited about this-it is probably her most favorite activity. Well, as we were headed out the door Jocelyn said, "Mom, are we going? Will the truck start?" To which I honestly replied, "I don't know; you will have to pray about it!" Please do not think that I said this tritely, this is a big deal in our house lately. Josie said, "Yep, I did, Mom." Well, we get out there, everyone gets buckled in and... the truck doesn't start. Well, I wrestle with the hood, fiddle with things that Joel told me to (things that I wouldn't be able to name if my life depended on it) and...nothing. I call our friends, tell them we won't be able to make it. We tried to make alternate plans but we live in the back forty of Egypt and there are too many of us. So, I haul Josie and Carson back inside. Poor Josie, she is crying and telling me how sad she is. She wasn't throwing a fit, she is getting more used to the truck being "broke". I am crying, too. It is so hard to have to disappoint your child. It made me feel like such a failure, but it isn't anything I have any control over. I called my mom (she is my go-to when life is frustrating me). She helps to calm me down, and suggests some things to do at home. Well, Jocelyn is fairly easily distracted. I think she somehow understands that there is no use crying over spilt milk. She goes on her way, being as sweet and loving as she can be. The Schwan's man comes (always an exciting event in our house, Josie is amazed that he brings the "groceries" without us having to leave the house) and we fix lunch- see we didn't even have to go out! Jocelyn has started praying by herself, so when lunch was ready she asked the blessing. This is her prayer:

Dear God, Thank you for our food. Thank you for our fun day. Thank you that the truck wouldn't start. Thank you that Daddy is coming home to fix it. Amen and Jesus (that is how she ends all her prayers)

I am crying while I am writing this. Oh, how I want that to be my heart. Thank you God, for EVERYTHING. Thank you for my child who is not distraught over circumstances she can't control. Thank you for using her to teach me true gratitude. Thank you for not explaining everything to me, and thank you that she does not ask me to explain everything to her. Most of all, thank you that Daddy is coming home to fix it.:)

What do you say? Maybe this won't be as meaningful to anybody but me. But that doesn't matter. Josie teaches me all kind of things and her sweet heart in the face of trouble made me realize that I can't be anymore concerned about this than she is. She really only saw good. She cried and when she was done she just moved on. The next time we get in the truck she will have just as much faith that it will start. She won't let her faith be swayed by a "no" answer. She knows God has His own plans. I know part of His plan is for me to learn more about Him from my precious three year-old.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Off the Roll

Carson has, what I consider to be, an unnatural fascination with bathrooms. I will not delve into Freudian meanings behind this. He loves the toilet, particularly the water. If the lid is not closed he thinks of it as his own private water table! He loves the tub and figured out about a month and a half ago how to climb in it. That wouldn't be a big deal except he seems to pop up when I am in the shower-and he is still fully clothed! He doesn't do those things every day, so that is not that big of a deal. But his most favorite pastime is something his beloved Aunt Robyn taught him. And he does it pretty much on a daily basis. That would be unrolling the toilet paper! Just tonight, I found a whole roll (I know, because I had just put it on) in a lovely heap on the floor. So, while I am searching for the end of it, I had a realization. You cannot put toilet paper back on the roll. Once taken off, you will forever (or at least until it is all used up) be able to tell that it was unrolled. You can try to put it back, but it will be rumpled and uneven, and in general look really awful. It is more than a little vexing, and usually I don't even try because the results (as mentioned above) are less than stellar.

So, because often ordinary events lead me to think of other things, I got to thinking about words. I may or may not have said some unkind things to my poor daughter this evening. Yes, it might have happened while we were trying to find order in the chaos of her room, but really that is no excuse. She wasn't really trying to help me, but she is only three. She had been chattering incessantly all day (truly, since about 2:00 pm she had not ceased talking and/or singing) and I was really losing my patience (which is threadbare at the best of times!). There were threats, yelling and not-so-kind words. You can guess who those came from. Well, things progressed and Josie apologized. I apologized,too. But, there was no more singing or happy chatter. She was just very quiet and reserved. Very unusual Josie behavior. We finished her room and I went on to discover the toilet paper and do other things. She was being very quiet so I went to check on her. She had put herself to bed and was asleep.

So, what does this have to do with toilet paper? Just that, when you are a mom, and you hurt your little one's feelings so bad that she goes to sleep without, books, without songs and without kisses, you feel pretty low. You wish that you could pull back all those words, roll them back up and make it all nice again. But, just like my bathroom tissue, it will never be the same. It will never fit quite as nicely, the edges will still be uneven. Carson unrolls the T.P. because it is fun, because he is too little to really know better. I am without those excuses. Saying unkind things to my child is not fun, and I definitely know better. So, why do I do it? I think really because I am frustrated with myself, angry that I don't do everything right. But, no excuses, I am praying that the next time I will remember that ugly pile of toilet paper and think harder about letting a pile of ugly words come out of my mouth. It is a God-thing that three year-olds are so forgiving, but I don't want to test the limits of her clemency!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dangers of the Internet

I feel the need to explain myself. I, once again, have gotten sucked into the vortex of Facebook! Aggghhh! So, I had actually closed my page (since I think even in the Internet world it was rusting from disuse) and, truly, had no plans to re-open it. Until, my MOM, started talking about her Facebook page. What?! Now, my mom is not old, and neither is she stupid. She is just not a big fan of technology. She was one of the last to start a blog, among other things. So, it was a little hard for me to take. Then there is the matter that everyone else knew what parties were being planned, activities attended and what their second cousin twice-removed in the backwood of Georgia was doing! Good grief!

Now, anyone that knows me knows I hate to be left out. This was too much. So, just as enticing as sin, I have been tempted into the never-ending labyrinth of social inter-"networking". I am hoping I won't let it get away with me. The chances don't look good. Yesterday alone I think I was on there 4 or 5 times. Not doing anything but wasting time. At least with my blog I feel it is cathartic and I am recording my thoughts for posterity (not that they will want to read them!). I guess with Facebook I am developing relationships. I have "spoken" several times with my brother's girlfriend, who is an absolute doll. I just hope I can guard against Facebook stalking and random gossip. And most certainly against the diseases of foot-in-mouth (yes, you can catch this online!) and TMI (there is definitely an overabundance of information!) Only time will tell...


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