Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Night time mercies

We've had many long hard days here.  The girls are still battling ear infections, and Kevin has caught something just icky.  Until yesterday, the only nice days for playing outside for weeks were the days of coughing and wheezing, so we've all got cabin fever.  I've been sleeping day or night - whenever I  can, and the schedules are, well, the schedules are fairly non-existent.

Yesterday we got to go outside.  We had a big snack and it took an hour to get outside clothes on (don't ask) but we made it and stayed long (delaying lunch, but, like I said, we'd had a big snack).  The sunshine and fresh air did us all good. Then Savannah went down for a nap, I sat down to eat my lunch (finally) and just about the time Kevin went off to the doctor, my body required a nap. Sydney got some electronic game time - bonus for her.  :)

Why does this matter?  Well, my nap was interrupted a few times to help with the "gaming" and it only served to make me more tired,  so when Kevin came home (with Subway) he sent me up to bed saying, "I'm not gonna have the strength to tuck them in, but I can do dinner now.  Go be functional."  

I love that man.  

When I woke up at 7:15pm (I was planning to put Syd to bed at 7...) I thought for sure it would be chaos.  The girls' rooms were a mess, I was still groggy, and I had no idea if they were full, playing well together, asleep on the couch, etc. Of course, Kevin was taking care of them so they were fine, but I still thought we had the makings of a really hard night.

When I put them to bed, Savannah got some play time in her room (she'd had such a long nap) and I had to have a stern talk with Sydney about her lack of obedience in the past few days (read: many).  We discussed why she is to obey and why I know she can hear me now (she's on day 7 of the meds for her ears and I no longer think they are too plugged).  Then she got upset that I wouldn't read the Bible story she picked.  But her heart was at stake.  We read the story of Jonah.  I wanted her to understand disobedience as a big deal - the kind that demands a storm and a fish.  And why is it a big deal?  Because it shows the true nature of our hearts.  So we read the story and then talked about Jonah and what he (should have) learned.  After a brief discussion about Savannah's disobedience, we talked about what I might have wanted her to learn by reading that story.  I think it was productive, and here is why:  

This is her prayer from last night:  "Dear Jesus, thank you for playing outside today.  And please give me a new heart to listen and obey.  I need that.  And please, please, come into Savannah's heart and live there.  And give me more freckles.  I just love those freckles.  Amen."

Praise God for His Word, living and active, able to transform even the heart of a 5-year-old!

And yes, Savannah's tuck-in was just as sweet.  The highlight?  A kiss on the check, a curled up squeeze into my chest and the words, "I ready mom."  

Night time mercies.  Thank you Jesus.  Amen.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Helpful resource

As 2008 draws to a close, and my 5-year-old is counting down the days until 2009, it dawns on me that we've had quite a year for exploring different illnesses.  Not counting ear infections, colds, various forms of the flu (stomach and otherwise) and croupy stuff, we've had (in chronological order):  pinworms (at least it wasn't lice, but after the cleaning and laundry it was worse than I thought); a "fluidless" pneumonia (for two!); Hand, Foot and Mouth; and Scarlet Fever.  After all that, I found a pictorial site for determining rashes.  Not for the faint of heart, but helpful!  And much tamer than many others out there.  Wish I had seen this before we got our rashes...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's wasn't working, but I finally got there.

I've been trying to write this post for some time now and it's not working, so I'm just jumping in.  I've been thinking (among other things) about what it means for Kevin to be the head of our home but for me to really "run" the daily operation of our home.  

There was a poignant moment this summer when I felt like I had a whole new picture of what that looks like in a practical way for our family.  The story is, in short, the long-time-coming swing set going up in our backyard.  The long story involves a number of months where God used this playset to expose my thinking, my communication with/to my husband, my desires and my expectations on our family and our time together.  

My husband's job is the church.  My job is our home.  And then, of course, there's family time. Sometimes at the church.  Sometimes at home.  But never enough.  So what is the point of this post?  It is connected with other posts still in process, but I just wanted to say to others who may be wrestling with this same question - you're not alone.  
For us, it turns out I was asking (at times) for the wrong things.  I discovered some areas where I was trying to "include" Kevin when he had no need to be included and would even be drained by my attempts to bring him closer.  Finding out what he most enjoyed doing to serve me or the girls, or the things he most enjoyed in our family time each week, or even what he really didn't care about and was glad to just let me "do"... this was immensely helpful!  Once that was sorted out, we found more time and energy for real family time activities.  Or grown up time.  Or house projects.  Or whatever.  And there were less conversations lost or unresolved or waited for.  Most of this only really affects my head and my heart, and looks nothing different on the "outside."  I am a smart, capable woman.  And my husband constantly tells me so.  In the last eight months or so,  I've seen with new eyes both where and why God has intended for me to use my talents for the benefit of the home.  And I'm enjoying that.

I'm still sorting it all out, and I often feel like there is no step-by-step roadmap (or at least one that I can follow without searching my heart and submitting it to the will of my good Father in heaven), but I think a lot of the "carried along" feeling from this summer is washing away.  Certainly taking a weekly Sabbath has something to do with that... but that's another post.  

 Even in the frenetic pace of life at home with young girls and in the midst of planting a church, I am finding that God, who has spoken by His Son Jesus, in His Word, the Bible, is speaking peace and surety to me.  Christmas is often a time where the word peace is casually thrown around as a platitude, but my peace has been more than just the season of Advent in the making.  I pray for all of us that we would let the true peace, the peace of the risen Christ (not just the absence of conflict) reign in our hearts far beyond this "holiday" time, and experience the fullness of life only He can bring.

Happy Birthday

Yes, Happy Birthday Jesus.  And Happy Birthday Mom!  I love you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

No, I three!

Dear Savannah, Saturday you were very grown up.  You wore 3T pants and they were not long at all!  You pooped in the potty, "read" at least 10 books you had memorized, and insisted you were not two, but in fact three years old.  You were a picture of your next summer self, and I must admit, I was surprised to see how reluctant I felt to see you that way.

When you woke up Sunday, you were sullen, loud, and refused to poop (or pee) in the potty.  You wore a 3T dress that looked like the "before" outfit on an "after" body.  Your vocabulary consisted of "no," "mine," and the ever-used "Sydney no touch my..." followed by your held out hand in your sister's face.  In short, you were two again.  And I wasn't happy with that either.

Sorry I want your age to be whatever is most convenient (and least emotionally taxing) for me.  It's a good thing I'm not in charge of your mood or my sanctification would be much slower.  I just want you to know that I love you very much - sick or healthy,  two or "three"- and you feel free to grow and develop at the rate God has set out for you.  That's what you're going to do anyway.  :)

Oh, and that unsolicited kiss you blew to me and your daddy when we left your room just about knocked us both over.  I really thought I was going to hit the floor when my knees buckled.  I think Daddy said it best,  "The answer to your question is no.  She could not possibly be cuter."

Antibiotics to all, and to all a goodnight!

Another doctor visit.  Each girl has an ear infection - one right,  one left.  Sydney's is yucky and gross; Savannah's is just beginning.  Savannah just finished an ear infection.  She had to get a shot.  And she'll get one tomorrow and Friday.  Merry Christmas - you're getting rocephin.  Sydney will be the recipient of a large bottle of liquid augmentin.  Just what every 5-year-old girl dreams of... but I will receive a good gift - the gift of no more coughing and some much needed sleep - for all of us.  :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Or not...

Illness strikes again!  Ah, the joys of preschool for two and young immune systems!  We're in the middle of two seriously yucky colds (though the Thanksgiving ear infections have cleared!), but managed to make it through the end of the school days and the holiday madness.  Now we can enjoy being home and sleeping (when the coughing allows).  It's a bit surprising how the familiar bark of the croup can both wake me and put me to sleep - all in the same 24 hours period.  I have many entries to finish, so I'll do that now and set them to post over the next week or so.  No matter your circumstances, may you know the peace of Christmas this week - His name is Jesus!