Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Lord’s Plans for This Old Mommy

Rebekah has always been very observant of  people around her.  Since toddlerhood,  she would stare with childish frankness until caught. We quietly reminded her not to stare, or would turn her gaze away by gently turning her face.

One day, when she was three, she was enthralled with a beautiful toddler girl and an equally beautiful young mommy strolling by us in the grocery store.

 “Look Mommy, she’s with her big sister,” she said, staring and pointing to the little girl.

 “No, honey, that’s her mommy,” I replied.

 Rebekah looked quite confused and looked from the other mom’s face to my own several times before protesting again.

 “No, it’s her sister,” she insisted.

 I realized she was recognizing the fact that her older sister, Jana, 18, was closer to the age of  the young mom than I was. Rebekah had been taken on many exciting excursions with her older sister, but always came home to an older mommy. She couldn’t imagine that some children have young mommies.

(A week old Mommy with a week old baby Jana.)
I attempted to explain that I used to be a young mommy, and I looked young like that other mommy when Jana, Daniel and Bethany were little kids.
(A 15 year old Mommy with a newborn Rebekah.)
(Off the subject, but my labor secret is to put on waterproof mascara
 and put my hair in a bun when I go into labor.
When I’m done,
 I pull out the pins,
toss my hair like a movie-star
and am as ready as I’ll ever be for pictures.)

I explained how 7 years went by between Jon’s birth (baby #5) and her birth, so I was now an older Mommy. I thought I had done a great job of explaining this great mystery to Rebekah and turned to finish loading the rest of my groceries onto the conveyor belt.

 I hadn’t realized we had an audience until slight chuckles from the man ahead of me punctuated Rebekah’s final I’m-gunna-win-this-conversation statement.

“Mommy, I know it’s her big sister.”

*****(click on links to read the verses)*****

We all marry and begin our new lives with great plans and expectations.  They may be good plans, they may be spiritual plans, they may even be plans to serve the Lord.

But, Proverbs 16 teaches us to commit our plans to the Lord, and our plans will succeed.  In the spiritual realm, success is being in the Lord’s will, physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.  We can trudge through life as a  falsely humble suffering martyr, or we can accept the Lord’s plans with a sincerely thankful and worshipful heart.

I never planned to be carrying a diaper bag at 38.  We began our family young with great plans to be young when they moved out.  The Lord had different plans.  We learned that His plans are best.  We would never change our life now,  and the blessings of being older parents have been tremendous.  Tiring, yes, but amazing.

We don’t plan miscarriages.  We don’t plan children with health issues.  We don’t plan to lose our children to any disease or accident.

We do plan how many we think we should have.  We do plan what we think they should look like and how they should act.  We do plan the spacing we want.  We plan the gender we want. 

Sometimes, our plans are the Lord’s plans.  He was gracious enough to grant me the desire of my heart with the number of children I wanted.  Since I was about 11 or 12, six was emblazoned in my heart.

But when His thoughts are not our thoughts and His plans are not our plans, we need to trust in His love, His mercy, His grace and His compassion.  Even in our sorrow and grief, He is there, and His plans are still FOR US and not AGAINST US.

Jeremiah 29:11
 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,
says the LORD,
thoughts of peace and not of evil,
 to give you a future and a hope.

As far as the Lord’s plan to allow me to go through cancer from the time Rebekah was 2, and never allow her to know a well Mommy?  This is for MY peace, MY future and MY hope.

What joy Rebekah Joy brought us all through times of darkness and sorrow.  She gave us all reason to continue on in laughter and peace, when we purposed to not taint her childhood with fear and lack of faith.

His plan to make me one of the oldest moms at my daughter Rebekah’s graduation in 11 years?  It is for MY peace, MY future and MY hope.

What better future than to grow old with one child still at home?  I cherish the thought of her as my company in my old age.

Have you ever had parenting plans that didn’t match up with the Lord’s?  Have you surrendered your will and your heart?  Can you accept these plans for peace and hope in your life?

The prophet continues with precious words:

Jeremiah 29:12-13
Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me,
and I will listen to you.
And you will seek Me and find Me,
when you search for Me with all your heart.

Sounds like a great plan,
and a great promise,
for this old Momma!

₡lothing Ex₡hange $ave$ $$$ on Teen$’ ₡lothe$

Having daughter$ is an expen$ive habit.
We know.
We have four.
They n-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-d
(said with an exaggerated whine)
₡lothe$, $hoe$, make-up, ₡lothe$, per$onal ₡are item$,
jean$, hair ₡are product$ and gadget$, $hirts,
finger-nail poli$he$ and gadget$, ₡lothe$ and $hoe$.
Once you buy one item on the li$t,
it require$ $everal other item$ on the li$t
to ₡reate a properly a₡₡e$orized outfit.

To help fill teens’ closets without
emptying the wallet,
I hosted my second clothing exchange
for teenage girls and their mothers.
Read about the first one here.
The rules are simple.
You bring clothes and stuff,
you take home clothes and stuff.
There are no rules on how much you bring
or how much you take home.
The “stuff” would be purses, belst, shoes,
makeup, personal care items,
that would be useful to someone else.
We all have items in our closet
that didn’t really match,
didn’t really fit,
we outgrew,
or grew tired of wearing.
It didn’t take long to fill the garage with clothing
 when people began arriving for set-up at 1:30pm.

I forgot to take pictures during this time,
as I was busy enjoying
grown-up conversation
with grown-up Moms.

I had three empty bookshelves in my garage
that I labeled with the items
and the sizes.
The girls were able to walk in and just put
their clothing on the shelves and the tables.

It’s always thrilling when each of the girls
end up going home with a bag,
or two,
or three
of “new-to-them” clothing.
Irena modeled an outfit she put together.
India is ready for a festive occasion
in her beautiful new dress.
Free fashion for Mikaela and Rachel,
who really had a great sense of putting things together.
 
A new dressy, sparkly t-shirt
with the perfect colors for Abigail.
Little Norah was the star of the day,
clomping around in these high-heeled shoes.
Little girls want to grow up and be big girls.
Moms want to know how their little girls
became big girls
so quickly.
And, in the midst of all the growing the daughters are doing,
and the marveling and reminiscing the moms are doing,
a clothing exchange is a great way
to keep the growing girls
in well-a₡₡e$$orized outfit$.

Making a List, But Not Checking it Twice

Sunday night, we prepared for Monday.
We picked up the house, vaccuumed and did all the dishes. 
Lotsa’ “stuff” was put away. 
Garbages were all emptied for garbage day.
But, now that school is over,
I find myself wondering what exactly to do with a new week.
It’s not that I don’t have anything to do. 
 It is that I have too much to do
and I don’t know how to begin to use these few weeks of free time I have. 
I need to be wise and diligent,
but really,
all I feel like doing is sitting and reading
and being waited on hand and foot.
Since that’s not gunna’ happen, I need to be productive.
I need to make my own Summer List and put it in the Summer Binder

Early on, my lists were like the kids’ lists. 
Just fun things I wanted to do.
The summer of 2002 I was very pregnant, due in September.
Didn’t get a lot done.
The next summer, I started adding a few house projects.
Didn’t matter what I put down, it didn’t get done.
We spent the summer moving six blocks away,
to my dream house.
Oh, and I had a crawling, ladder-climbing baby.
(A 9month old baby climbed an 8 foot ladder.
If I could find the video footage,
I would prove it.)
Last July, in visiting with a dear friend,
she gave me her summer plan of attack.
Five Things.
It was enough to challenge her,
but not enough to overwhelm.
I have to look at this and say,
I kinda’ finished all the projects.
I finished the  meal binder.
I cut the napkins, sewed around the edges,
and began carrying them everywhere to unravel the edges.
Now, after working on them for months,
I can’t find them.
It makes me sick.
I hung a small  ladder
in the hallway,
and carefully placed a folded vintage
handkerchief on each rung.
I hung a larger ladder  in the hallway,
and began displaying my vintage baby items,
and the little outfits each of my children
wore home from the hospital.
Then, I got tired of the kids knocking
everything off the wall,
so I repacked all the vintage items,
and put them in the attic.
When they learn to WALK down the hallway,
with their hands to their sides,
I might put it back on my Summer List.
I got this done!  New photo frames and a tin thing.
Yea, it is happily every after.
Now, I contemplate my Summer List.
I KNOW I won’t get it all done.
I KNOW that will frustrate me.
I KNOW if I don’t write it down,
and I don’t do it,
it won’t bother me as much.
I KNOW if I don’t write it down,
and I do it,
the victory won’t be as sweet.
I won’t be able to
cross it off my list.
My Monday goal?
Gotta’ make my weekly list,
those little nagging errands that need to be done.
Gotta’ make my grocery list,
because I am Ol’ Mother Hubbard.
Then, I’m gunna’ make my
Summer List.
Then, I’m going to forget to post my Monday blog,
until Tuesday.
*sigh*
Maybe I should just sit and read…

MM Meditation – Inheriting Treasure

Proverbs 8:21
 That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,

That I may fill their treasuries.

Everyone has seen this typical scenario in a movie:  the eager family of a rich, despised  and deceased relative is gathered greedily around the oak conference table. They are waiting for the Last Will and Testament to be read. They are either elated or aghast when they each, in turn, hear the sum of their inheritance.

The Lord isn’t talking about financial wealth in this verse.  The original word was translated “substance” in the King James and “wealth” in the New King James. I think to be more accurate, they should have chosen the other definition of the Hebrew word, which is “existence.”  This Hebrew word was also translated as “is”, “be” and “have” in other verses.

Those that love Him inherit, or receive as a possession, their very existence.

He knits us together in our mother’s womb, He is the author of physical birth.

He gives us each breath, He is the author of life.

He gives us salvation, He is the author of eternal life.

He blesses our days as we serve Him, He is the author of the abundant life.

Then, above all we can ask or imagine, He fills our treasuries, which means our storehouses, our cellars. It can mean treasure, such as gold and silver,  supplies of food or drink and even figuratively, spiritual weapons. He gives us all spiritual blessings as listed in Ephesians 1.  He provides our needs, Matthew 6, and  gives us armor for spiritual battles, Ephesians 6.

The Lord Jesus died, and we can be elated to  discover, by  reading His final Will and Testament, the Bible, we can receive the entirety of His treasury through faith in Him.

Because we love Him, we are blessed.
Because we are blessed, we love Him.
Because we bless Him, we are loved.
Because we are loved, we bless Him.

Mom, I’m B-O-R-E-D!!

I don’t know how kids can be bored.
With the lack of adult responsibility,
they should be brimming with fabulous ideas
to fill up  their free time.
Moms have great snappy little answers when they hear,
“M-aw-aw-aw-awm!  I’m boooooooooooooooored.”
My favorite answer is, “Only boring people get bored.” 
I try to encourage them
to create,
to learn,
to read,
to conquer,
to discover.
If they don’t want to be amazing,
 I would settle for them
just not bothering me while I am working. 
‘Cuz that’s what Moms do.  We work.
My copying-my-mother retort is,
“If you’re bored, then find something to do.
 The toilets always need cleaning.” 
Cuz, ya’ know, if they are so bored,
why shouldn’t they take something off my list for the day?
Wouldn’t you love having time to be bored? 
Wouldn’t you love taking a nap each day?

But, kids are kids and adults are adults,
so they will be nap-hating, bored little rascals,
and we will be nap-longing, too-busy worn-out rascals.
Moms just need to stay one step ahead of their kids.
Years ago,  I started a tradition I call the
Summer List.
In the spring, the each start writing down everything
they would possibly want to do in a summer.
  It can have to do with food, skill learning, traveling, etc. 
 They can be big or little items. 
 I encourage a lot of both. 
If they want to go to Egypt, they still put it down. 
We can always go through the Internet. 
 It goes in our Summer Binder,
along with summer reading program information,
  brochures of places we want to go,
and crafts and activities we want to try. 
Good thing I wrote this blog. 
I found the missing Summer Binder. 
Can you tell it has been awhile? 
It has been  missing for one baby, three major moves,
three graduations and three bouts of cancer.
We have been doing lists sporadically,
and after giving up hope of finding my original,
I had made a new binder.

When they think they are bored,
they choose something off their list
and make it happen.

One of their favorite summer feats is to chew
 a whole pack of gum at a time. 
 Supervised, of course,
with Mom sure they are going to choke
 or poke their eye out.
They also love to sleep on the tramp.
We camp in the backyard.
Parks are explored, new candies are purchased,
recipes tried, forts made.
We may finish an item, and forget to cross it off.
We may do something that wasn’t on the list.
The lists are never finished, but that isn’t the goal. 
but it is a training tool.
 
I am teaching them to train themselves
 to not be bored.
Learning to set and accomplish goals
isn’t a bad character trait
to learn over boring summer months, either.

I also learn about hidden desires and aspirations
they might not have shared with me.
The list becomes shows their heart in writing.
Then I have the wonderful opportunity to help
 make some of those little dreams come true.

But, to them, the Summer List
 is about pure fun and adventure.

To me,
the Summer List
 keeps me from hearing,
“M-aw-aw-aw-aw-awm! 
I’m boooooooooooooooooored!”

Today Jon made a pan of Special K Bars.
‘Cuz it was on his Summer List,
ya’ know.

***********
Looking for another cute idea for the rascals? 

Make the “Mom I’m Bored Jar
created by Steph from Somewhat Simple.
She is participating in Skip To My Lou’s
summer Craft Camp series for kids.
30 days,  30 bloggers, 30 crafts.

***********
An old favorite, Family Fun,
has a wonderful website
and newsletters delivered to your inbox.
They have a great feature,
How-To Videos
so the kids don’t always need Mom’s help.

**********
If you have any ideas,
or have blogged about somehting that would keep kids from yelling
“I’m Bored!” please leave a comment.

We all need ammunition for the wonderful months ahead.

Lying to the Lord

This happened quite awhile ago,
but I wanted to tell the story
without the name.
*****

This morning my daughter told her first lie to me. Her first blatant lie. Little kids lie when they really don’t understand the impact of their words. But, when they understand, and they still choose to lie, it can be heartbreaking.

I walked into the kitchen mid-morning and my daughter looked at me with that wide-eyed look. I registered surprise. I should have known better. She walked down the hallway and I noticed she was holding her arms around her waist as if she were holding up her pants. But, she had a belt on.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing”

I was wisening up. “What is under your shirt?”

“Nothing.”

I reached in to find a gluten-free rice cake. She was sneaking into the food purchased specifically for her gluten intolerant brother.

She lied? Over a rice cake?

I was so sad. The guilt was burdening her heart and her little face.

I quietly and gently rebuked her, reminding her that lying is not pleasing to the Lord or to Mommy. She apologized and went to her room to play.

I went to my room to cry.

As a young mom, I would be angry they lied to me. As an older and more experienced mother, I am finally wise enough to understand that she lied to the Lord. I see completely the broken fellowship and the spiritual jeopardy her sin has created. That is why we teach our children to confess their sin to the Lord and to the person they affected.

We teach them to ask for forgiveness and that once granted, the matter is closed, forgiven and forgotten. It brings release and peace to all involved. It helps relieve the burden of a guillty conscience kids carry with them.

They express their guilty conscience by trying to cover their sins. They try to cover their sin with lying or with blame. But deep inside, they feel that same burden we adults feel when we do something wrong. We just need to teach them how to resolve that burden of guilt.

I have also learned to have the kids confess to their father, instead of me telling him. It will help them learn that he is approachable, understanding, gentle, kind, and can be trusted with all their problems. Usually I begin with a positive note, commending that child for the way they resolved the situation or the lesson they learned.  I want them to learn to approach their Heavenly Father with the same kind of confidence in His forgiving love.

On the way home from the grocery store, I had our daughter admit her situation to her father. He listened carefully, and praised her for admitting she was wrong. He then asked what she learned.

“I learned it feels better to tell the truth.” She talked a little more and finished up, “But the best part is, there is always a new day with nothing wrong in it.”

I think we’re both older and wiser.

Puke Saves the Day!

Usually, if you just say the word “puke” to another mom, you get instant sympathy, empathy, consolation and prayer.  It’s one of those duties of motherhood none of us realized we were signing up for. 

Most kids have that uncanny knack for losing their cookies in the worst possible scenario.

Saturday, like too many other people, we decided to use part of the sunshiny afternoon to drop off unwanted items at the Goodwill.

The line wrapped around the side across the entire front of the store.

I used my time wisely. I read a book. Jon was staring out the window. Rebekah was sitting in her booster seat in the middle row of the mini van.

Then, I heard a noise. A funny noise. That kind that sets a Mom’s senses at Fight or Flight status.

It was a bit of a gurgle. Like when a kid is going to throw up. Only, I knew a 7 year old would have been able to voice complaints about a tummy ache, or even identify that they were going to throw up. I turned around and she was spitting a little, and still gurgling.

She said, “Mom, I swallowed a quarter.”

The van was in park, so I opened my door and opened the sliding van door.

There was still drool coming out of her mouth, and in her hand she held a slimy quarter. I started grabbing wet wipes and tissues, cleaning her up.

Again she said, “Mom, I swallowed a quarter.”

I looked at the quarter in her hand and wondered why she was so panicked still. Meanwhile, I glanced through the parking lot, wondering if I needed to yell for a doctor or a nurse. I was trying to remember if the Heimlich was the best way to dislodge something from the throat.

She started retching and I grabbed a blanket that was in the seat next to hers. Thank the Lord for a cold, wet baseball season, the van was filled with blankets. Meanwhile, the automatic door was shutting on me, over and over, as I tried to help Beka and fight back the beast of the door.

As she threw up into the blanket, I noticed something shiny in the vomit.

Another quarter.

Immediately I began saying, “Thank you, Jesus. Praise you, Jesus.” Although my heart was pounding and I wanted to sob over what could have been, I had to rejoice and let the kids know what a miracle they had just witnessed.

Knowing we had a long drive home and nobody could stand the smell, I brought the stinky blanket to the back of the van, opened it up to pull out more blankets. I knelt on the ground, tying the offending blanket inside other blankets. As I worked on my knees on the ground, I was overcome with worship. I kept thanking the Lord for sparing my daughter.

Rebekah kept apologizing for throwing up, but I kept telling her that is what saved her life. She felt horrible for throwing up, the puke made me rejoice. (For the first time in parenthood, I’m pretty sure!)

I marveled that our bodies are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” ( Psalm 139:14) and her created body knew just how to react with a foreign object.

Later, I read on the Internet a child’s esophagus is only the size of a nickel. This was a quarter.

For the next few days I was sore from the huge bruise on my legs, and smaller bruises on my arm and elbow.

But, every time I see that quarter sitting on my desk, I feel no pain.

Just praise and worship, because puke saved the day.

A Banner Celebration!

Yesterday,
I revealed a portion of a project.
Today, a tutorial.
(Click on any pic to enlarge.)
Buy black, glittery chipboard letters at Michaels.
 
Buy coordinating fabrics at Hancock Fabrics.
I bought 1/2 yard of white cotton,
1/4 yard  each of the patterned prints,
1/8 yard each of the solid colors.
I bought way too much fabric.
Note to self:
“Plan project BEFORE you go shopping.”
 
 Make a 60degree angle using a
 half-circle tool and a straight-edge.
Yea, in Geometry a ruler is a straight-edge.
But, I can never remember which one is a compass,
and which one is a protractor,
so I call this one a half-circle,
and the other one a circle-drawer.
 
 I wanted my triangles to be smaller,
because CONGRATULATIONS
has 17 letters, if I spelled it right.
My dining room table doesn’t have SPELL CHECK.
I made the 1 inch tab on top, because I wasn’t sure
if I was going to sew them together,
or make a casing and use a string to loop them together.
Remember the note to self about planning ahead?
While cutting and laying out my project,
I made a HUGE mess.
It felt really, really good
to be the one making the mess.

 
 Using a cookbook saver, I read while I sewed.
OK, I tried to read. 
I got in a few pages.
I cut out the flower shapes,
two of light pink, four smaller of the hot pink,
handsewing them together in the middle with quilting thread.
I printed out the pattern from a blog MONTHS ago,
always wanting to make them.
Blair from Wise Craft supplied the tutorial,
but I couldn’t find the blog again in time
to follow her exact directions.
I also used shrunk her pattern to make my flowers smaller.
 
I cut rectangles, then just tapered the edges.
 When you use a Gingher scissors,
you can cut at least 5 at a time.
 
 Hand quilting thread was used to tie them in the middle.
 
The leaf was hot glued on the back.
Because I couldn’t find enough pink beads,
I put a  tinydab of hot glue in the middle
and scrunched.
The scrunchier, the better.
It makes it unravely and more 3-D.
I didn’t like the way the triangles met.
It was too trianguly
and made the banner too long.
I liked this better.
At first I was measuring the amount I cut off,
then realized it didn’t really matter.
I just eye-balled it and whacked off each end.
At this point, I also decided to pink
the edges of the white triangles, also.
 
They were connected side by side
by sewing wide Ric-Rac along the top.
Double-stitching at each joint made it extra durable.
The letters and the flowers were attached with hot glue.
The banner was so long,
it was hard to get a great final picture.
Then, you give it to 
a beautiful young friend of the family,
in honor of her Graduation.
CONGRATULATIONS,
MELISSA!
It felt so good to be creating again,
the little craft gerbils in my brain are racing.
Inspired by Kristin at
See Mommy Sew,
I want  to make  two banners –
HAPPY and BIRTHDAY.
Check out her tutorial.
Taking it one step further,
I’d like to also make a
 matching table runner
and cloth napkins?
How about
MERRY CHRISTMAS
using vintage linens?
How about
I LOVE YOU
for Valentine’s Day?
How about…..
How about….
How about…..
Please share your ideas.
The craft gerbils will be tired soon.
Fresh inspiration is always loved.

Guess What I Made?

This weekend,
in-between baseball
 and softball games,
a clothing exchange at my home,
company,
meals and laundry,

I worked on a special gift.
Crafting hasn’t been in my schedule for eons.
I created something special, compiling ideas
that have been swirling around in my head for a long time.
It felt so GOOD
to be creating and crafting again.
What did I make?
Can you guess?
You’ll have to wait to find out!

MM Meditation – Letting God Choose

Blogger has not been faithful in publishing
 my scheduled blogs.
This was supposed to be released 6-6-10 5am.

Better late than never!
******************************

This is the May 5th devotional from Our Daily Bread

It was so inspiring and convicting
about personal desires and choices,
I needed to share.
*******************************
We may have secret longings too deep to utter to others – perhaps a desire for marriage, or a work or ministry we’d like to perform, or a special place to serve.  We must put each desire in God’s hands and pray, “Lord, You must choose for me.  
I will not choose for myself.”
Genesis 13:10-11 tells us that Lot made his own choice about a desire he had.  He “lifted his eyes and saw all the plan of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere…like the garden of the LORD…Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan.”
The plain of Jordan, with its rich soil and copious water supply, looked best to Lot.  But the land was polluted with wickedness (v. 13).  Pastor Ray Stedman wrote that “Lot, presuming to run his own life, ‘chose for himself,’ and, deceived by what he saw, stumbled blindly into heartache and judgment.  Abram, on the other hand, was content to let God choose for him…Abram saw it in its true light.”  Lot chose for himself and lost everything – his family, his fortune, his favor with man.
It is always the best course for us to let God choose and to follow His direction, knowing as we do that all our heavenly Father’s choices are prompted by infinite wisdom and love.  –David Roper
Contentment comes when we want God’s will more than our own way.