Wednesday, March 26, 2014
It is written in a little book called, "Fairies and Chimneys" by Rose Fyleman. It was copyrighted in 1920.
So this is for my mom.
There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
It's not so very, very far away;
You pass the gardener's shed and you just keep straight ahead-
I do so hope they've really come to stay.
there's a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,
And a little stream that quietly runs through;
You wouldn't think they'd dare to come merrymaking there-
Well, they do.
There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
They often have a dance on summer nights;
The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,
And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.
Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams
And pick a little star to make a fan,
And dance away up there in the middle of the air?
Well, they can.
There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
You cannot think how beautiful they are;
They all stand up and sing when the Fairy Queen
Come gently floating down upon their car.
The King is very proud and very handsome;
The Queen-now can you guess who that could be
(She's a little girl all day, but at night she steals away)?
I wonder who Ms. Fyleman was. I wonder if she had children. Well, Maybe I'll look someday. Until then, Mom, I hope you enjoy your poem.
Monday, February 17, 2014
|Don't mess with Mama bear!|
I am totally a Mama bear. You have heard of Tiger moms, I am a Mama Bear. Anyone that knows me would agree. Some don't like it. I've been told by some family they think it's a little too much even. Well, whether others like it or not, I am. No one can mess with my children without having to go through me. I'm not psycho about it, just very involved and protective.
So, as a Mama bear, I know that my job is to stand up for my kids. Any threat to them will be dealt with. I will obliterate the threat and protect my cubs. It's a simple idea, right?
Here is the problem that I have just recently encountered, and have been spending several days thinking, about in depth. When there is a threat to my children it is easy; I target the threat and protect the child.... What if the threat is the child itself? Meaning, what if my child chooses to do something that is harmful to him or herself? Making choices that are not good choices. What if my child choose to smoke cigarettes, do drugs, become enamored with someone that is not a good influence or worse. What if they choose to get involved in activities that can truly harm their character or influence their character in a negative way?
(Disclaimer: My kids are fine and not doing anything in this manner. I am listening to others talk about activities or choices their kids have made and I am reevaluating the Mama Bear instinct in me).
I had always thought, it would be easy. I'd do whatever I had to do to keep my child from that activity. I would be happy going to extremes.
But, that goes along with the idea that I was an amazing parent-BEFORE I had kids. Then reality sets in. Then you realize, you have a small window that you get to direct all of your kids activities. I am at some point demoted to coach rather then complete life director. When they hit the teen years I think we are just as important, in many ways more, but we need to take the passenger seat and let the teen drive. It's just like when they get their driving permit, we as parents, have to sit in the passenger seat and try to encourage and point out the best directions. Reminding them of the turn signals and when to brake so as to not jar everyone in the cars necks. I am not in the drivers seat anymore. This is a terrifying place to be; both literally and metaphorically.
Some parents are really good at sitting in the passenger seat with their child driving. Some parents are more then ready to hand over their child's decision making to them. Mama Bear
So, back to the thought of them making choices for their own lives, I'm not sure what to do. If my child is going to make a poor choice for his or her life- who do I obliterate to keep them safe?! How do I protect my child from the danger if the danger is my own child's mind or intentions?
I grew up with many girls that had eating disorders. Many had anorexia or bulimia. Those eating disorders started somewhere. Were there waring signs before they became bulimic? How do you as a parent deal with that? Or a girl or boy that has a desire to be with another that is so unhealthy for them to be with? How do you get rid of the threat if the threat comes from within your own child? (yes, you get counseling when it is necessary but, as a family how do you deal with it? And as you suspect the beginnings of it?) The issue becomes if I do too much I may drive my child right into the activity that is harmful. If I do too little, .... well, I should have done more.
I don't know that there is one answer, but I will say that my parenting style of Mama Bear is having a very difficult time figuring out how to respond. I love my children fiercely. I would do almost anything for them. My children fully believe that if they were ever in trouble that their dad and I would be there to help them. But, how does Mama and Papa bear help a child from themselves?
Boy, parenting was so much easier when they were little and the threat was a loose dog in the neighborhood or a mean child at the park.
Well, here comes parenting teenagers!
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
I'm sure you've heard someone say, "Live each day as if it were your last."
Have you ever thought of what that would mean? Everyone's last day would look different I'm sure. Some would spend that day at Disneyland, some would have a huge family get together, others would probably go sit outside and be with nature. I remember seeing a T.V. show where this couple, thinking the husband had a very short time to live, ran up an enormous debt vacationing and enjoying every second they had together.
I'm not sure how living that way is going to be productive unless you tend to be a workaholic and never spend time on yourself. I even did a bible study using that thought as the premiss. I mean truthfully, if you have children and a spouse, you'd hope you would have things you wanted to tell them or share with them. That was the idea around the study. However, my mind went to other places. Like, where I would like to go and things I want to eat!! Yea, I know, real deep. I suppose the truth has come out, I'm selfish. But, I wonder, aren't most of us? Maybe I'm going out on a limb here, hoping I'm not the only one that would think that way. I would tell my children how much I love them and all the important things I thought they would need to hear from me. Not so helpful would be that, I would spend much of the time being distraught over all I'd miss of their childhood and how they were going to get along without a mother. Then that would send me to the thought of- would my husband re-marry? NO! NEVER! He loves me too much. Then I would start thinking he should re-marry for his happiness and the kids. So, as you can see, that thought doesn't do me much good. Much mind wondering and distress over something that, hopefully, isn't going to happen any time soon.
Then something very sad happened. One of the Pastors at our church had a daughter that was quite young come down with brain cancer.
Jessie Rees was an amazing little girl that actually took the idea of, "what if this was my last day on earth" and left a huge imprint on so many. And since her journey to be with God, she is still making an impact. Wow. That is how we are all supposed to think when that question is posed to us. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I would.
It did make me think from another stand point though that did make an impact on me. The thought of that little girls parents and siblings living with the thought that any day she would likely be gone. This thought horrified me. Oh my goodness, what if it were the last day of my husbands life, or my childs', or moms, etc. You get the idea. It is one of the many things that encouraged me to move back to TN to be with and help my Grandmother for those few short months. It has also been creeping into my head lately when I reprimand my children or get irritated with someone I know. Actually, I've been thinking this morning, it really should impact how I treat everyone. Even strangers.
If you knew this was the last time you were going to see someone you love, wouldn't you love them more and fuss less? Wouldn't you linger a little longer then be in such a rush to get on with the busyness of life? I mean people are why we are here, right? Relationships? God wants a relationship with all of us. So, we are to love too. "Love one another"
Would you be a little more urgent with spreading the Gospel to those you thought didn't have much time? Would you go out of your way to send notes of encouragement and love? Just pick up the phone and talk for a bit?
Well, I'm going to think on this a little more. I want to stop and think more before I speak. Before I tell my husband I'm tired and don't want to go for a walk with him right now. Or that I'm too busy to go for the little drive to the gas station with him to keep him company. Before, I fuss at my kids for laughing to loud or being silly, I need to stop and enjoy that moment and let them enjoy it too.
As for the stranger on the street that cuts me off or yells at me (maybe tells me "I'm #1"), I need to give a minute and some grace. I don't know what that person is going through. I don't know if he/she is experiencing a major loss in their life or they themselves will be gone tomorrow.
Many won't like this post. They'll probably tell me it's kinda morbid. It is. But, to all of those people who don't believe in our Christ, I bet we sound pretty morbid. I mean think about it. We worship this man that was beaten to a bloody mess and left to die. His family and friends spent much time thinking about what life was going to be like without him. To them (Jesus' family and friends) life was going to be awful and gut wrenching. But, He was prepared because He knew what was going to be waiting for him when it was all over. Heaven. But, for us people left behind, what of us? Did his mom feel like she told him she loved him enough? Did his brothers belittle his ministry? Remember when his family came to get him and told him to come home? Said he was out of his mind?
Mark 3:21 says,"When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."
I need to work on Philippians 2:2- "being of full accord and one mind."
And also Ephesians 4- to have "humility and gentleness, with patience...." Wow that is a doozy.
So, with that; I will be looking at you all differently. Pardon me if I hold on a little longer when we hug Hello or Good bye. Excuse me for looking at you with an expression as if I am trying to memorize your face. And be understanding if I call you just to talk.
And in case you live too far away for me to hug you, know that I love you and am thinking of you often.
Friday, January 17, 2014
As I have posted before, my family moved to TN to move in and help out my grandmother. She lives on a big farm with a large house, by herself. She was showing some real signs of Dementia and needed someone there with her full time. So, after much prayer (that was actually several years of prayer) and several things lined up to show us that we needed to go, we went. We packed up what we could fit in a trailer and the rest we gave away. We truly felt God calling us for so many reasons. Not only to help my Grandmother but, to live a different life, to try some dreams we had held (my husband and I ) since we had been married, to let the children see and experience a different way of living, to have my children get to know my grandmother before it was too late, as well as many other family members and to appreciate and understand that we love and care for all family.
The total time we were there was about 7 months. In that time so many things occurred. My children grew and flourished like I could never have imagined physically. They matured and learned so many things we could never have taught them here in Orange County, CA. Between raising goats, and attempting a garden, learning to do real yard work (seriously hard labor), how to drive an old beat up farm truck with the gears on the tree (the same one my brothers and boy cousins all learned to drive on), wildlife and how to deal with them without calling animal control. Death of an animal. Loving and training animals. They met new family they had never known was there. They learned to navigate an elderly woman with a nasty temper but, who is also quite childlike many times, that thought ice cream makes all things better. They learned that all churches and peoples ideas of God and how to worship and serve Him was different. They learned that healthy food really is better. And you really can get sick of fast food to the point of craving healthy veggies and fish. They learned to climb trees and swing from the branches. They learned that mud squished between toes is an amazing feeling. They learned that if they were really patient the donkey and even the goats would give them a little ride. They learned that running everywhere was exhilarating and that playing outside without an adult having to keep constant vigilant watch over them was amazing freedom. They learned to entertain themselves without T.V. or video games. They learned to catch crawdads and even what one was. They learned there are an amazing amount of bugs in TN and that there are hardly any bugs in CA worth worrying about. One of my children learned he is severally allergic to many of those bugs. We all learned that a small hole in the ground was to be avoided at all cost (poor Greg and the swarm of hornets!) We learned how to kill a snake and then why some were actually good, even if they creep Dad out. They learned how to fire a gun and how scary and powerful guns really are. They learned that people (kids) from small towns can be as snobby as kids from Orange County. That teenagers are cliche-ish everywhere. One of my children got his first job and learned how rewarding that can be.
Sadly, all of us learned that Dementia is a cruel disease. That it hurts the person it is in but, that it really hurts so many of the ones that person loves, as well. We learned treating all people with humility and respect are so important. Even when the other person or people aren't nice or respectful to us. That Jesus was kind and He loved those people, even those that hated Him and a glimpse of just how hard that must have been. We learned that you must love someone and tell them that everyday. Whenever you leave from each other you tell them you love them and hug them. You never know when it will be the last time you see them or the last time they know who you are. We learned that just because someone was related to you by blood doesn't mean they love you, or care what you think, or even think about you. (This was an even harder lesson for me then anyone.) We learned that some people that aren't even related to you may love you much more then some you share blood with. We learned that one persons actions in one short period of time can affect not just that person, but a whole group of family and people for several generations-whether for good or bad. (Also, a terrible and hard lesson for me, but also a shockingly positive one too). We learned that what a person can spend a life time building can by broken down much quicker then it took to build and the opposite too. You don't have to repeat the same life your family did. You don't have to behave the way that others tell you you should. We don't have to live the words that others have put on us. Lost things can be found and have great meaning. That lost people can too.
So we learned all of that and so much more. Then we came home......
God had called us to TN to teach us so many things that He wanted and needed us to learn. Then He allowed us to come home. And know that this was home. (This was also a terribly hard lesson). We know that God has a plan that is so much bigger then we are. We know that sometimes we could never grasp that whole plan and that is why He gives us snippets instead of showing us the whole story.
I left TN so very angry with God. I know this is a shocking statement to many. It is a shocking statement to me as well. I have lived my life trying to just accept whatever happens, because I know HE knows best. My family has had MANY trials over the life of this marriage, and as hard as they all were to accept I always just would give in knowing He loved me and wanted the best. Don't get me wrong, there have been many times I have cried out in the night screaming WHY!? but, I always was able to give in. This time, ..... I was furious. I was livid and sick. Literally, I had become sick with sadness, disappointment, confusion, and just plan heartache. Hopes, dreams, ideas, and beliefs-all thrown away. I still totally believed in God and knew He was in control but, I was angry at why and how and what He was doing.
I am slowly getting over some of it. I still am working through other parts, but, the anger is slowly subsiding and now I believe I am going to go through the phases of mourning. Mourning so much. So many things. But, He is in control and wants the best for my family and me. I am trying to give in to this and take time to heal. Take time to regroup and love my family. Let them feel how much I appreciate each one of them.
A few things I have learned is that my husband is an amazing man with a huge capacity for love, patience and strength. I also learned that he loves me and our children so much more then I could have ever imagined. I also learned that my children are seriously adaptable and they are able to love some very unlovable people. Also, the strength they all have was so neat to see but, my favorite was how they would all stand up for and care for each other.
As much as this post leaves others that haven't spent the time with us in our journey with more questions it did serve to give me a place to let some of this out. I am sure as healing comes, so will posts.
So if you are getting tired of my posts on FaceBook about the beauty and my gratitude for living here in CA, know that I truly am just that-Grateful. And more then that, I am truly blessed by a God that does love me, even when I am so angry at Him.
As I close this I will end with the verse that seems to have overshadowed our return to CA.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the POWER of the Holy Spirit."
(emphasis is mine).
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Matthew 5:43-48 says that just living and caring for my family and friends is nothing more then anyone else.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
John 15:13 says:
13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.