Thursday, February 27, 2014

Senior Moments

 I've been walking around with a lump in my throat for a couple of weeks now.  While I've not really had a "good cry" in a while....I have that feeling that it really won't take much to set me off and I'll be a mess.

I was standing in line at the pharmacy a few days ago and I heard a little old man joking with the cashier about being forgetful and called them "Senior Moments."  I've heard that reference throughout my life....and have actually been a victim of them from time to time....aka "chemo brain"....but I can relate.

HOWEVER....I'm now experiencing a different type of "Senior Moment" from time to time.  These occur with the milestones of my oldest child nearing the end of his Junior year.  Already, we are in the throws of "Senior" things. 

The booking of Senior pictures, Ordering of Senior rings, ACT testing (and how many more times we can take it to get the scores higher....God help us!), CAPS conferences....where we as parents go with our child to register for classes next year....for this is the LAST time I will do this with  my Sam. 

Even little a text from the football coach asking the "Seniors" to vote on certain things for next year.  HOLD the phone, Coach.  He isn't a Senior just yet.  Give Momma a little more time, will ya?  :)  And we get college solicitations in the mail no less than 3 days per week.  I'm about to lose it.  I'm not ready.

IF all of this isn't enough....My Sydney BABY....will be a sophomore.  A Sophomore, y'all.  In HIGH SCHOOL.  I will also be registering HER next week...I may need drugs.  Or wine.  Or a group.  Something.  Attended the Dance Tryout Parent meeting Monday evening.  She is working her hiney off for the Pepstepper tryouts coming up.  The HIGH SCHOOL dance team at Benton.  Wasn't I just helping her with her tights yesterday?  5-6-7-8.....Shuffffleee....Ball Change....Step!  Where did all the time go?

I was at the Baseball field on Saturday, and Sydney's classmates were taking the field as freshman.  Reality check.

Prayer.  That is what I need.  Prayer.  LOTS of prayer. 

All of these "Senior Moments" are hitting me too much.  Too fast.  I need more time.  I want more time.  I have several friends with grown kiddos, kiddos graduating this year, etc....sitting here thinking "Suck it up!"....and I know I should just put on my big girl face and let them grow up like everyone else.  But today...I'm choosing to whine about it.  Do these creatures know just how much I love them?  My whole life revolves around them. 

Precious kiddos....these two.  Let me say it again...I'm just not ready.

I look at what all we have been through as a a team.  God has blessed us so much.  We have an ENORMOUS village around us and I know that we are right where we need to be.  Our friends, church family, coaches, and teachers have molded these children into wonderful beings and I am so grateful.

Here is a glimpse of where we live, worship, and serve....

Teaching us NOT to strive to be like other Christians.  But to strive to be like CHRIST.  Grow.  Give.  Go. 

I can see moments of innocence in the both of them......times when they clearly "still need their momma"....and then times when I think they are so independent.  Times when its a little more "momma needs them."  Their spirit.  Their sense of humor.  Their hearts.  Their love.  Their everything.  How in the world did I get so lucky????

I love my Sam and Sydney Clare.  Senior Moments....slow down!  <3

In Him,

Monday, February 24, 2014

"Mean Momma"

If you're a perfect parent, who is convinced that "My child will never...." (fill in the appropriate blank)....then stop reading now.  Please.  Because if you offer me YOUR advice....we most likely will no longer be friends. :)

Parenting is hard.  Single-parenting is harder.  And parenting "these days" are next to impossible.  Tonight?  I'm mad.  I'm mad at the little boy that made me a mom.  At one of the two humans that I love more than anyone or anything in this entire world.  At my "momma's boy." I'm so aggravated and disappointed in my son....who in the whole grand scheme of things is a terrific kid. 

I really want to kill him.  (Not really....but I DO want to put my foot to his.....ummmmm hind-end.)  I'm not going into detail as to why.  I will not divulge.  As it IS a private matter.  What he has done isn't important.  His actions are NOT the purpose of my post please don't email or text me and ask.  My purpose is to vent.  To work through my emotions as a parent.  To beggggg for prayers so that I can guide my children.

When I list his qualities.....
Good grades.
Gives 150% in all he participates.....Sports, Church, etc.
He is my brother in Christ....a child of God.....and has a love for the Lord that is evident most of the time.
Hard worker.  (Example...just yesterday:  Up at 6 am on a Saturday....ACT test, two baseball games (literally ate lunch in the dugout in between innings), and then off to his part time job until late that evening. 
He is oftentimes up before I am on any given Sunday for Sunday School and church.
He loves me.  And shows it.  He is good to his momma.  Always.
He loves his sister......and shows it....sometimes.  :)
Doesn't drink or do drugs.  And yes....I'm 100% sure.
Obeys curfews and my rules.
He is respectful to others.
A good kid.

Is he perfect?  Nope.  His room is a pigsty.  He would forget his head if not attached.  I have made my fair share of trips to the school because he has forgotten this or that.....and I've saved his hiney on more than one occasion. 
He smells like a foot most of the time.  Boys (and their stuff) just stink.  He forgets to shave sometimes for days and is hairy.  His bathroom is gross.....
Ok.  Ya get the picture. 

My point is.....He IS a kid.  He needs guidance and direction.  And boundaries. 

What is an appropriate curfew?  We just play it by ear on a case-by-case basis.  i.e., 30 mins after the end of the movie.  Or come straight home after the game....etc.etc.  I make him check in a time or two throughout an outing.  Am I too lenient?

Do your kids have chores?  We take turns cleaning the kitchen after supper.  My children do the majority of their own laundry.  My son mows the yard. 

Do you make your kids pay for anything?  Case in point.  My son has a job.  Pays for most of his gas for truck  (that was given to him!).  New baseball bat?  I paid half....he paid half.  Am I being mean?

As a parent...are we too free with technology?  Are we "creeping" enough? 
My rule in this house is..."If I'm buying....I'm spying."  I've heard that before....and it pretty much sums it up.  IF you are texting my son or my daughter.....chances are texting their mom too. 

Kids are shying away from's now a playground for adults.  Some use it as it is share, network, to give/receive support and prayers and enjoy.  Others....its an avenue for the lonely and the passive aggressive. wonder our kids are skewed.  This week, I was having a discussion with a friend over whether or not his business should develop a FB page.  And it was decided....heck no!  The first time you tick someone're in "damage control" mode then.  Nobody is perfect....and people use social media to expose every flaw.  Sometimes I think it is Satan's playground.  Be careful friends.....Words....while they can heal?  They can kill.  Some stones just can't be unthrown. current interest and focus....which is now the interest of my Twitter.  I'm so impressed with some of the kids that my children rub shoulders with.  WOW!  God has placed such amazing people in their lives.  While a few?  Can I say wow! again???  The language....the words that are said, pictures, and activities these kids tweet about make we wonder....WHERE in the heck are these parents???  Wake up people!  If I am a college recruiter.....or a manager that is in charge of hiring young people? You can BET,  I'm lookin' on Twitter.  Does this make me weird?

Our kids are watching. And what are they learning?  That the a larger weapon than ANY gun.  There lies more "courage" than I've ever seen.  I'm just saddened. 

Motherhood can NOT just be a spectator sport.  Check their accounts.  Read what they are writing.  Both in public and in private.  There IS such a thing as too much privacy....right?  Know who is talking to your children.  UNTIL they aren't children anymore. 

For those trying to guess what my sweet son has done?  Well....he is not guilty of any of what I've vented most about.  He is guilty for not coming to me.  For keeping me in the dark about some things.  I've failed at providing some trust for him to come to me.  Then...when I think about it.  He is being normal.  Some things...."ya just don't talk to your mom about."  My purpose of venting about all the info ya can get from a little box (aka iphone) to let others know that you need to be spying, too.  We need to be in this together.... I'll watch out for yours....and please, please watch out for mine!

We need to pray for God's provision on our kids!!! 
Proverbs 22:6 -- "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

I'm hoping he will thank me one day, for being a mean momma.   I love that boy....I'm just scared to death.  Of this world that he is in. 
What are we teaching our kids????  Is my attitude totally over the line?  Should I really have THIS opinion on things?

Where is the "Mommy Manual" when ya need one.  Help!

In Him,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Keep Making Me"

The crummy weather lately has slowed our lives down significantly.  Funny how the Lord knows when we need some down time....and forces it upon us.  Frankly...I love it!  :) 

That said, I've been alone in my thoughts quite a bit, and digging into the Word via a couple of devotionals and of course, the commitments we have made as a family to do.   As I've shared many times, I'm touched by music.  K-Love has single-handedly got to be the ministry that has touched me like no other.  Most likely because it is piped throughout my office daily, and is a staple in my car. After all, we are creatures of habit.   And those are two of the places I spend the majority of my time.

But that said, Christian music can SO turn your day around.  Can't tell ya how many times it has pulled me out of road rage.....or a morning grumpy mood....or settled me down after a trying day.  It just reaches me.  I've blogged several times around a song that enters my thoughts and will not go away.  Tonight....I have another....

I'm having trouble sharing the video instead there is the link.  This song touches me almost above no other right now.  Bear with me....these words are so necessary and RELEVANT in order to bring my thoughts into words.

Make me broken
So I can be healed
'Cause I'm so calloused
And now I can't feel
I want to run to You
With heart wide open
Make me broken

I think of the times in my life when I've been so incredibly broken.  There have been plenty.  Oftentimes due to my own choices.  Others due to the choices of others.  I look back, yes with some pain.....but I see how God used those times.  How He taught me to completely focus on Him.  How he never left me.  How He guided specific events in my favor....when I did not understand it at the time.  How He taught me lessons that I'll never forget.  That HIS plan is perfect.....and MY plan was far from it.  His understanding that I am not perfect and His steadfast being beside me.  Broken before Him.....taught me grace.

Make me empty
So I can be filled
'Cause I'm still holding
Onto my will
And I'm completed
When you are with me
Make me empty

Emptiness.  There is no greater pain.  I guess I'm not the alone in the fact that I've suffered broken relationships.  There are times when I've had to walk away.  Feeling just exhausted and empty.  Friendships, divorce, etc.  When I love...I love completely and deeply.  Not the "romantic" kind of love.  But a love that honors and respects.  A love that causes fear.  Fear of abandonment and betrayal.  When I've felt that "emptiness"....I am now beginning to understand that God fills nothing else.  He has given me earthly relationships that will stand the test of time, disappointments, and just life.  He has taught me that forgiveness, whether accepted or not, should be given....and that is love.  Daily...I'm reminded that He places us where we need to be.  And guides us away from where we don't need to be.  I'm thankful for my "emptiness".....or else I wouldn't know the feeling of being "filled." 

 Make me lonely
So I can be Yours
'Til I want no one
More than You, Lord
'Cause in the darkness
I know You will hold me
Make me lonely

I've experienced various degrees of loneliness.  And it has been in those darkest of times, that my faith has grown the most.  Two failed marriages, a move to a new city, job changes, loss of my mother, my illness....and life AFTER my illness.  I've had some really deep feelings of being alone.  I almost chuckle I see the things He has done when I look to him. Friends, I wouldn't change a line in the book of my life.....and I've had some pretty big "lines" (read...CHAPTERS) that I need to erase.  But I'll say it again....not a line.  God has taken this ordinary sinner......this earthly person.....this broken and hardened heart.....this sick body.....and this little old life.....and made me have an extraordinary love for Him.  I see people that I've hurt forgive me.  I've seen people that have hurt me, see the open door and walk through it.  All the pain is coming full circle because of HIM.  He is THE light in our dark world. 

'Til You are my one desire
'Til You are my one true love
'Til You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me

I just cannot get enough.  I cannot tell you the ways that my God has delivered me.  How He continues to "make me."  How blessed I am with those He has placed around me throughout every phase of my life.  Through my mistakes and my failures.....and my victories and celebrations.  Life is not nearly as hard as is used to be. Since I've learned to trust Him with my heart, my love, my children, my money, my job, my friends...... It really is a peace that surpasses my understanding.  Test Him.....I dare ya.  :)
I know I've rambled....and my mind is still swirling with the words of this song and the many ways it applies to events in my life.  Earthly miracles that I simply cannot explain but simply have to give the glory to Him.  One day, I want to be remembered NOT by the mistakes I made....but how my mistakes made me BETTER.  Here's a start....

God is so cool.
In Him,

PS.  A few weeks ago, while in search of this song, I stumbled upon this link, where Dave, from Sidewalk Prophets digs into this song and its meaning to him.  It is definitely worth a listen.  I've made it my devotional more than once, and plan to share with my children.  "Pray scary prayers"  Let that sink in.