Friday, May 24, 2013

7 Quick Takes

1.  I finally took the plunge and started running again!  (Or, more like, slow jogging / walking in my case).  It's only been a couple weeks but I'm making much more progress this time than when I ran a couple years ago.  I'm attributing that to my change in running form.  I switched over to the "barefoot running" style.  The first day I used it I found I could run a longer distance than I did two years ago after running two months!  Impressive.  I'm hoping to enter my church's 5K in August.  Of course, by posting that it makes me more accountable to actually, you know, enter.  The deadline for early registration is August 1st, so that gives me plenty of procrastination time.  I'm sure I won't actually sign up until that date.

2.  All of this exercise has actually given me quite a bit of extra energy.  I am sad to say that I have not taken full advantage of it and totally cleaned my house.  The house is still hovering in this somewhat wrecked state and it is hard to know where to begin.  When I was working full time and considering becoming a stay at home mom, I had all these pictures in my head of how my house would look when I would be home all day to clean and/or organize it.  Somehow I forgot to factor in that when you're home all day with the kids you are actually living there all day, which means you are there all day to mess it up too!  I also forgot to factor in more children, which has the effect of multiplying the mess.  Case in point:  right before typing that line I had to get up to clean up a jar of glitter that Toddler Boy had just dumped on Princess' desk.  How did he get the glitter down from the school supply cabinet?  Princess did it for him.  Moms really do need eyes in the back of their heads when dealing with a 2 and 5 year old.  They conspire against me!

3.  I'm skipped one of my morning runs this week because I seem to be fighting off the beginnings of a sinus infection.  I opted to take the day off and used the extra morning time to drink a cup of green tea with lemon oil extract to try and fight it off.  Toddler Boy has had a bit of a clear runny nose since the weekend and I've been diligently avoiding drinking after him to try to avoid it but obviously it didn't work.  On the plus side, this should add antibodies to my breastmilk so it should help him feel better, faster.  While I was taking the day off I got to read a great encouraging post over at Soul Searching titled practical and spiritual motivators for life long fitness.

4.  It probably didn't help matters that Doug and I stayed up way too late to watch the latest elimination rounds on The Voice (which we had recorded on the DVR).  I guess we could have watched it tonight but we didn't want to risk any spoilers.  We are totally addicted to that show, at least it's one the kids can watch with us.  Our pick for the overall winner is Danielle but we're also huge fans of Amber (who I call Lesley because she looks like my lovely SIL), Sarah, and Holly.  I loved, loved, loved Holly's performance of "How Great Thou Art".  I think it might be one of the best performances of that song I have ever heard.  I also enjoy watching Michelle and Josiah, I was sad to see him go this week.  It appears the country singers are making a sweep this season!

5.  Toddler Boy had an appointment with the pediatric cardiologist this week.  At his last well baby check-up the doctor heard a heart murmur and referred him.  Come to find out he actually has two heart murmurs but thankfully both of them are not serious and he should outgrow them in a few years.  Another crisis averted!

6.  I took all the kids out in public solo a few times this week.  On one of our adventures we received a negative comment from someone.  We normally do not receive these types of comments from strangers and I wasn't present when it was made but my older kids overheard it and told me about it later.  It made me stop to think and re-evaluate the type of presentation we are giving to the general public.  We want to be ambassadors for Christ, we do not want to purposely offend someone with our presence.  I wondered if I or the kids did something rude or offensive to warrant the comment.  I admit the kids were not at their "best" behavior that day, but they were not at their worse either.  I would say, it was more like an average day.  There is something to be said for people just not understand large families also.  It's times like this where I can get weary of all the misunderstandings and always feeling like I and the kids are "on display".  Because it is becoming less common to see a family with more than two or three kids it seems we draw attention everywhere we go.  The adult hostility towards children and what I would deem "normal" kid behavior seems to be getting worse.  Many of the comments we receive are good ones, but occasionally we get the negative ones too.  Why are the negative ones so much easier to remember?  I'm glad summer is here because at least we won't have to answer the age old, "why aren't you in school" question anytime I am out with the kids during school hours (which I honestly try to avoid for this very reason).

7.  We finally got to spend the afternoon at my folk's house (reference Count your Blessings post)!  It was gorgeous weather, nice and cool for this time of year.  It started to rain right before we left.  The kids played with their cousins, jumped on trampolines, climbed treehouses with slides, fished, and basically ran around outside.  I spent most of my time outside with them, thankful for the extra energy to do all of this.  Everyone went to bed early last night!

That's all for this week...head over for more Quick Takes with Jen at Conversion Diary!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Count Your Blessings

The past few days have been some of those days.  The kind that, from the world's view, look pretty dismal. The pastor at our Protestant church gave a sermon last week focusing on the bible verse Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.  He pointed out that when you can't see God in the circumstances of your life, He hasn't gone anywhere.  If your focus is divided between something else and God then He starts to become a bit fuzzy.  People who have pure hearts, whose hearts are focused first and foremost on God, tend to be able to see God in everything.  He wasn't stating that this is always the case (look at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and her dark night of the soul).  I do think God sometimes hides His plans and purposes from us.  But I thought the sermon was good food for thought because we can do this to ourselves too.

Jesus and I had a little conversation yesterday about how the week was going thus far and it went something like this...

So Jesus, the kids and I were really looking forward to spending the afternoon at Mom's house Friday, so what's up with our van breaking down on us?  I mean, it couldn't have waited one more day?  It's been busy around here and the break would have been nice...
Yeah, I know you guys were looking forward to it, but the van door really needed to be fixed, it was either that morning at your house or Sunday morning at church and I figured you'd rather have it break on your terms.  It was done a day ahead of schedule so you could have the van back before the end of season soccer awards program.  They even fixed the recall notice issue with the spare tire while they were at it.  I'm sure you wouldn't have wanted that tire falling off as you're driving down the highway.  Besides, I made sure everything was covered under the extended warranty so you didn't have to pay for anything.  Speaking of money, I did send you that $100 medical refund check this week...

Oh yeah, right, thank you for that.  The extra money helped cover our grocery bill this month.  But back to what was up with Grandma and Grandpa's sewer line breaking?  I mean, Dad works pretty hard as it is and that was a pretty rough job.
I know your Dad is a hard worker, and he and your uncle did an excellent job digging up and fixing that line in record time.  They thought it might take a few days and it only took one.  Again, the line needed fixing and I chose spring over summer or winter.

So I suppose it would be easier to dig up a line when it wasn't crazy hot or the ground was frozen, but still!
Amy, you know I don't tell you any story but your own, and your Dad has his own story too.

Speaking of my Dad, it was really nice of him to come over and take the dementia raccoon out of my backyard Tuesday morning.  I'm not sure what I would have done without his help.  Lord, considering everything else I was dealing with, well, couldn't you have sent it to the neighbors' house?  Or better yet, to not have it sick in the first place?  The person who raised Lazarus from the dead could have easily healed one little raccoon!
I hold everything in my hand, and it was that raccoon's time to go.  I sent it to your house because your dogs are up to date on their vaccines and the neighbors' dogs are not.  Plus, I knew you and your Dad could handle it and they would have had to pay the $180 to pest control to take it off their hands.  I made sure to keep it away from your dogs and kids.  The raccoon was so sick it was unconscious, which kept it from more pain and made removing it safer and easier.

Moving on...I'm sure You're aware that same afternoon was the day of the Moore, OK tornado.  An elementary school?!  To the one who said "let the little children come unto me"?  You couldn't have delayed that storm a week or two so those kids would have been on summer vacation?  Jesus, you know I trust you, but I've got to admit You're not winning any popularity contests with this, where were you Tuesday afternoon???
Again, I hold ALL things in my hand and you well know where I was that afternoon, I was right there with them.  You know I never promised you that there would not be trouble in your life, but that I would never leave you to walk through it alone.  I didn't leave them to walk through it alone either, all of them are precious to Me.  As for the children who died, rest assure they are all with Me now, more alive than they ever were on earth.  Continue to pray for their families through this time and I will be there to comfort them too.  Take heart, I make all thing new and I will renew them also, in My time.

Lord, please continue to be with all the people in Oklahoma who have lost so much.  Give them wisdom, strength and courage in the days, weeks and months ahead of them as they recover from this storm.  Please help me to remain focused on You and remember to count my blessings ~~ Amen.