Monday, May 26, 2008

Praise His Name

Our family had a traumatic event take place on Saturday, May 24th. My youngest sister was in a fairly serious car accident. She works for the local Christian radio station in Lancaster, and was traveling to a parade to cover it live. The trailer she was pulling started weaving back and forth, and to make a long story short, the vehicle and trailer rolled. Everyone was okay. For the whole story, you can read about it on We heard about it about twenty minutes after it happened. We have a friend who works at the local country radio station back there and he was getting reports about 283 being shut down. When he heard a description of the vehicle, he called my husband right away because he knew my sister worked there. Nate came in for lunch and told me and I immediately called my mom. Words cannot express the panic and fear I felt as I waited for my mom to pick up. I was just begging the Lord that Ashlea would be all right. I wasn't prepared to say goodbye to my sister. My mom told me it was her and that she was okay. Praise the Lord!
Yesterday, my dad called me and we were talking about the whole thing. And he said yesterday when he was in church, singing during the worship service, he asked himself, now, if yesterday had turned out differently, and the Lord saw fit to take Ashlea home, would I still be praising Him? Wow, that got my wheels turning in my head. Would I still be able to praise my Lord? Honestly, I don't know. I would like to think, Yes I would. I have lost dear friends before in car accidents, but never a close family member. Never a sibling. Would I be able to see the higher motive in it all? Eventually, I think I would. But would I be able to go to church the next day and raise my hands up to the Lord and praise Him?
I remember years ago, a beloved member of my old church was struck randomly by lightning while he was golfing, leaving behind his wife and three young, young children. I sang on the worship team for his funeral. An image that has never left my mind. I can picture it just as clearly today as all those years ago, is of Steve's wife, now widow, Jenny, singing those songs with her hands uplifted, tears streaming down her face. She was utterly broken before her Lord, yet she could praise Him through the pain and the loss. That spoke to me like nothing else. There is something beautiful in the complete brokeness of God's people who are yet praising His Name. His ways are higher then ours. I have never forgotten that. Not to say she didn't have hard times in dealing with the effects of his death, but she never let go of her faith, and her trust in the Lord.
I want to be like that. Holding so tight, refusing the doubts and the fears to take root in me. We don't know what tomorrow may bring, and in today's crazy world, that could be something pretty devastating, but we serve a sovereign Lord, who's ultimate goal, is to bring us Home to Him. Praise the Lord!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Confessions of a stay at home mom

I must confess that when I play Candyland with my four year old, I stack the deck. I didn't used to, but there were times when the game would just go on forever, and just when we were almost at the end, Larissa would pull the gingerbread man, and then have to go back almost to the very beginning. My mom had suggested stacking the deck, and I never did until recently. Now I put all the picture cards in the right order so no one ever has to go backwards! I know, I am a cheater. But who wants to play Candyland for hours on end?
I also put videos in for the girls to watch so I can get paperwork and office stuff done. They say children should not watch any TV at all until age two, and then very sparingly. Well, what do you think my girls are doing right now? Yes, they are watching Hermie. How else would I ever get to blog, or pay bills or write a letter? When they come into the office, it is pretty much guarranteed they will get into trouble. So I put in a video, and sometimes it plays twice. Those automatic replay videos sometimes come in handy!!!
I lock the door to the bathroom when I take a shower. For some reason, it really annoys me when I have an audience. They sneak into the bathroom and open the shower curtain, look at me and ask what I am doing. I have to strongly refrain from being sarcastic. And then they usually proceed to play in the toilet or get into my makeup, and my relaxing shower is over. So I learned to lock the door. This doesn't make my second child particularly happy. She has been known to stand outside the door and cry and knock on it. But I must confess, I don't rush to open the door.
I have found that I am a person who doesn't always thrive on being around other people. Especially little people. Sometimes I need to be by myself to be able to re-energize and feel prepared to take care my kids. There are days where I feel guilty, like maybe I don't love my kids enough because I don't always want to be with them. But I am learning to recognize that there isn't anything wrong with needing to be by oneself, as long as it isn't all the time, or all day. Everyone needs their own time of refreshing, even Jesus needed time alone. I am learning the key is to fill myself with something worthwhile.
Well, I think my video distraction has wore off..... back to playing referee!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Stomach Flu

I have come to realize that there are two words that I just hate. Want to know what they are? Stomach flu. I think that is one of my least favorite things about being a mom of young children. They just don't understand yet about running to the bathroom. My middle child will not even puke in a bucket. She just pushes it away and instead just lets it fly wherever it wills. I have been dealing with this all week, washing floors, washing clothes. And a side effect of the stomach flu is then diarrhea, which of course, never stays in the diaper. Yes, this week would definitely not go down as one of my best weeks ever! Last night my husband and I were going to bed and I was telling him I just feel so exhausted all the time, (no, I am not pregnant!) and I think I need a vacation. About right now I think a remote cabin up in the mountains where there is no one around would suit me well. Just me, nature and God. That always seems to be a place where I can feel God's presence the most. Maybe because it's quiet, there are no distractions, no endless lists of to dos that I feel I must accomplish in a day, no children needing or wanting anything from me. That would be wonderful, but the possibility of it happening is slim to none. This morning as I was getting the girls' breakfast together, the Lord pressed on my heart, that I need to see Him in the mundane, everyday things. Because He is everywhere, if I will just take the time to see it. Especially in children. They have a supernatural joy, an ability to go with the flow and bounce back, and limitless grace and forgiveness. But often times I am too busy doing what I think needs to be done or what I want to notice this. I think back to years ago when I could feel the Lord's presence so heavy upon my life, and now there are some days where I wonder if we've connected at all. But the thing is, He didn't go anywhere. I did. Trying to find balance and prioritizing my days are really hard for me. It's hard to let the laundry go, or the outside work or the cleaning and even my own quiet time in the afternoon where I can read or look at magazines or take a nap, and just get down on my face before the Lord. Because parenting is the hardest job I have ever done, I desperately need those times before the Lord. I look at our three little girls and realize these are eternal souls. Now God alone is responsible for salvation, but I do play a part in teaching them about the Lord and showing them what a relationship with God can look like. That is huge. And most days, I feel like I do a pretty crummy job. But as the saying goes, "little is much when God is in it." Thank you Lord! I need to take advantage of those "teachable moments", whether I feel like it or not, because one day they will be gone from under my roof and on their own. But thinking about it and doing it are totally separate things. I need to be a doer and not just a talker.....or writer. I pray a special blessing over all the mothers this weekend, whether you are a mother by birth, adoption, or a spiritual mother (which is so important!), may the Lord bless you as you serve Him, guiding, instructing and loving those He placed under your covering! Happy Mother's Day!