Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just a few tips I've learned as a parent

I have four kids, (I say this a lot I know but I figured this time it's relevant to the post) they have provided me with some great learning opportunities. I thought that I would share some of my lessons learned over the last almost 8 1/2 years.
These are in no particular order:

1. Do not be surprised when things come out of your mouth that you never thought would.
           "It is not ok to wipe poop on your shirt"
           "We do not put our fingers up each others noses"
           "If you are not getting changed, bathed, or just got out of the bath you need clothes on"
           "We do not bite the dog"
           "It is not ok to put on your brothers underwear from the bathroom floor" (said to the 3yr old.)
           This is one that is frequently used. Anytime we watch a movie in our house the kids all want to play the characters from the movie. After constant arguing over who is going to be which character this is what comes out of my mouth.
            "IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO YOU ARE!! THEY ARE ALL FAKE CHARACTERS AND IT'S A MADE UP STORY."  (yes that's me, the crusher of little children's dreams)

2. When using your youngest as a little added resistance while working out, you will no longer be able to walk the next day.
     Recently, I thought it would be fun to use my youngest son while I was working out. I did some bench presses and some leg lifts. He loved it. I then, with the help of a friend (Michelle) came up with the idea to try squats and lunges while having him draped over my neck like a dead animal. (He was not harmed and actually enjoyed it so much that while I was wollering in pain he wanted to continue the routine) I am currently still trying to recover from that little episode.

3. While taking video of your child in a moving car make sure he's actually secure in his seat.
    I have such sweet friends and family that they stayed silent about the fact that two of the four kids were not safely secured in their seats. I only realized this after I watched it a few times and now I have given my children evidence against me.

4. Be careful when speaking to a 3 year old, we must be very literal.
    This was a conversation with my oldest when she was 3.
    E: mom, can I have some more cheerios
    Me: No, I think one bowl is plenty
    E: I didn't ask for another bowl, I asked for more cheerios
   Yes you win sweet one, next time I was more careful.
5. Always be prepared for the meltdown of the year to occur when there is a large viewing Audience.
     I'm pretty sure that my kids watch and wait for the perfect time to throw a fit. As we were leaving a restaurant that had too long of a wait, and balloons (important to the story) one child decided he needed a balloon and was not leaving until he got one. So kicking and screaming we left the building out into a dark alley where we had parked. In that moment thoughts were "DANGER DARK ALLEY, GET TO CAR FAST". Of course, we were in the church van, name plastered right on the side announcing who we were and where we were from. As I'm dragging this child and talking with an elevated voice that he needed to hush and just get in the van, we were approached by a young woman. She proceeded to scold me for how I was treating my child, that "as a fellow Nazarene" (thank you church van) she was disturbed by my actions.  Worst moment ever!! I think my advice here is for all of you on lookers unless you've been there please be quiet. I say that in the most loving way, but seriously just be silent it's embarrassing enough.

6. Spaghetti is always messy
    Even at 8 years old they apparently can still get spaghetti sauce on their foreheads. It's a mystery to me but it's always good to have some wet wipes handy after that meal.

7. If they like a food one day it's likely the next time you have it they will not like it
    We have wasted many foods, thinking we had finally found the one thing he'll eat.'s never ending.

8. When children are little be sure to enunciate.
    This one is a biggie or you'll have this happen:
     My second born at the age of 4 sneezed this is the conversation:
     Me: Bless you buddy
     A: Mom, it's ble-shoe (yes you read that right)
     Me: uh, what?
     A: It's ble-shoe when someone sneezes, and bless you when you're talking about God
     Me: Oh....(hand slap to forehead)

9. Prepare yourself for the amount of bodily functions you will have to deal with
    Babies are so sweet and snugly and then you change that first poopy diaper, it's all down hill from there. Your days of clean hands, shirts, pants, all gone!! I have been a mom for 8 1/2 years and I am anxiously awaiting the day when I will no longer have to wipe, change, mop, wash, and pick up all the gross things that can come out of a persons body.

10. Most of all love every stage, moment, second of your time with them.
      The best part of reality shows is that someone is constantly following a person recording every minute. I wish I had that, not for everyone to see but so that I can capture every moment with my kids. The time goes by too quickly and they grow and change too fast. I want to remember every silly word they said wrong, every confusing conversation, even every battle we've had because it's those teaching moments that are so important. I love that I get to be their mom!
      Don't blink because this is what happens:


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

These are my thoughts...

In the past month I have become increasingly aware at how much evil and destruction is happening all around me. I wouldn't say that it was one specific instance that led me to this, and before anyone says "uh...where have you been?" I get that this is not something that just occurred, and I am aware that the destruction has been in the works for years.

I don't know maybe it's because I really have been oblivious to what is going on, listen, I am not shy about admitting that I choose to live in a false reality where life is full of happiness and everyone loves God and each other, but maybe it's that God is shaking me saying "WAKE UP!!" I feel like there is something greater he is calling me to, he has softened my heart towards certain things, he has made me weep over things that would normally not affect my daily behaviors.

As I go through my day with my four little monk blessings, I use FB as an escape. There are moments when I am typing a response or a status and I pretend that there is another adult in front of me to speak actual adult things to. It's terrible I know but it is what it is and believe it or not most of the time it helps. During my FB escapes the last few weeks I have sat back and read opinions, thoughts, and soap boxes. I am careful not to comment because I am not a fan of jumping into an Internet conversation emotionally charged and if I do I am almost immediately regretful for what I write.

But, here are some of my thoughts as I read through one of them:
 I read about discrimination saying that you can't have an opinion on it unless you have been discriminated against. Hmmm..... While yes I can agree that there may be some who have suffered much more than I have I find it hard to believe that there is anyone on this earth that has not been discriminated against.

Eric and I with our four monkeys blessings walked into a restaurant on a Friday evening. We had been in the car traveling and were dying to just get out and sit down to eat. We walked in seeing that it was mostly couples, couples without children. We were barely acknowledged by the sweet young hostess but managed to get her to see if she could sit a table of 6. She was gone for what felt like several minutes, when she returned she explained that it would be at least 45 minutes before they could seat us because we had such a large group. We could clearly see several options to seat our family but it was one of those non-verbal ways of them saying "please leave with your 4 rowdy children) Now I realize that this could have been interpreted wrong and I hope for the next family that walked into that restaurant that was the case.

Eric and I are often asked "what do you do?" When my handsome young looking husband answers them with full confidence and authority "I'm a pastor" The immediate response is "aren't you a little young?"

We again went to another restaurant and sat in a nice big booth with our kiddos. One happened to be full of a little extra energy that day and I admit my patience was growing very thin bless his heart. Three lovely women were seated at the table next to us with their shopping bags. We tried to hush and calm our kids so we would not disturb their dinner and conversation. As we sat and listened to their conversation of what they had bought for their precious grand babies, I thought "Oh thank you Lord, these ladies will surely be understanding of our crazy life" As we finished up and were leaving unfortunately the only route out of the restaurant was to squeeze behind their chairs. As  Erin passed then Aiden I was helping my Gav, I happened to make eye contact with one of the ladies at the table and was given a glare that made a knot immediately form in my throat. She then explained to me that I needed to be careful of her bags that were on the floor and that my kids should not step on them.

I am a pastors wife, I am young, we are serving at a church that is filled with such loving beautiful people, but my generation is in the minority, ( it's my polite way of saying we have a large amount of older people, please forgive me all who are reading, I love you, and you have blessed me greatly) In my first few months there were a few conversations had that left me with the feeling that they may not have great confidence in my abilities because I am young.

My point in these examples is to say that we have all faced some discrimination in our life time that it is not limited to the color of our skin. I don't want to assume that I know a person by their age, race, family status, job, sexual orientation. Even as I sit back and reread my small little examples I realize that I am just as guilty. I want to be better, I want to love as Christ loved.

I realize that this is so minor in comparison to what some have faced and my purpose is not to down grade that. I do believe that there are people who have faced, are facing some pretty terrible circumstances. Even though those were not major issues, it hurt, I was angry, and  my children were witness to it. So For me, I am choosing to love, not based on anything other than you are my brother/sister in Christ.

My prayer is for those who are facing life or death based on their beliefs. I am praying that God will fill them with the strength and words to speak life into their enemies. I am praying that there will be a wall of protection over them as they seek to stand their ground and stay to do what God has called them to. I am praying for the children who just started school a week later because of such unrest in their community. I am praying that they will feel safe and loved by the adults in their lives. I'm praying for my generation that we would stand up and go willingly into what God has called us to.

Those are my thoughts...for now...