Love God. Love people.

Love God. Love people.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The “What-If’s” of 3 a.m.

It is going to be a long day ahead... as it was quite a long night last night. 

Ugh. The human mind at 3 am is something, isn’t it? 

How is it that lying in bed skews all your good judgement? It moves my mind in leaps and bounds to the worst possible story ending before hopping over to another equally awful scenario.

It is like the dark, quiet bedroom in which I typically find solace and 8 hours peaceful sleep becomes the dank dungeon of heavy thinking that cannot be escaped.  Thankfully, this happens only occasionally- but last night was one of those occasions. (And, honestly, why doesn’t this ever seem to happen to my husband?)

There I was last night, though, eyes open, thoughts racing and coming up with the scariest possible conclusions for all my darkest fears.... the same thoughts that could float right on by me at 3 pm came rushing in at 3 am bombarding me like a freight train to the point that I get up and come down to the living room for a change of scenery. Thankfully—— the change always helps, but doesn’t always guarantee a quick return to slumber. 

But there is Someone— my Sovereign God—-who always returns me to peace, and usually some sleep... not sure why I don’t resort to Him in the first place when I can’t find the rest I need.

It seems after I have myself a decent wrestling match with my tumultuous thoughts, my mind begins searching the card catalogue of my memory for verses to comfort my weary, sleepy head.  I hope you can find some comfort in the ones that brought me right back to the land of reasonable thinking last night.

  • This one is a biggie for me lately—- it seems to immediately restore a sense of control over my being because I know fear is not from the Lord.

       For God does not gives us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and 
                                self control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

  • Also, Romans 8:28 was a memory verse for me long time ago, and the word “ALL” makes the difference for me... 

      “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him,        those whom he has called according to his purpose.” Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭

This helps me understand that life, in all its twists and turns, is not perfect, but God is in the details, and as long as I walk with Him, he is working it all out for good.

  • And lastly, in Matthew, Jesus talks to his disciples about God providing for their needs- and here in 2020, I have to say the words are like honey to is just solid advice for the person whose mind is forever fixed on tomorrow.

      “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34

And so, I ask of you, what verses do you bring to mind during a late-night, eyes-wide-open session?  What promises of God feather your pillow and and anchor your soul? I would love to write them down for memorization and future reference.  Feel free to share yours on my Facebook post or right here below.

Also hoping that today brings a little revitalization and possibly, a nap🥱 May God bless you today, friends!

Friday, May 15, 2020

Ridiculousness of Quarantine

This blog entry is a look into the lighter side of this 2020 Corona virus Quarantine. There is nothing spiritual or sentimental in what I am sharing.... I must document the lighter and more laughable sides of day-to-day life. 

I am remembering that while others are in the medical trenches— for which I am so grateful, my life is on “pause”, —-like most other Americans.... please know I don’t want to make light of what others are despairing or enduring right now.

And with that—— here comes my is necessary for me to write often, like singing or running comes naturally to others....this is my chosen outlet and in 20 years’ time, this time capsule of words will shed a light on my feelings and thoughts of now. Most of which are relayed with tongue-in-cheek 😜.

  • You know how music has a way of reminding of us or a certain place and time in life? The kids and I jollied our way through the drive-thru at Wendy’s for a rare lunch “outing” recently.  While snow fell around us on this MAY day...we counted the playing of Michael Buble’s rendition of “Jingle Bells” thirteen times over. This has become our theme song of quarantine.

  • Not that the trip to Wendy’s was necessary—- for me or the dozens of cars in line...mind you, I am struggling with the rolls that have rapidly grown in my middle section over the last eight weeks.  Really and truly, this teaching-from-home thing has been a catalyst in a whopping 15 pound gain!!  😬I am so used to being on my feet all day that I took for granted the favor that habit was doing for me. Rotten scale. Do not step on yours.

  • Being at home has fried my memory, it seems. Daily I have asked for a location on a number of items——- where is my nice silver ring? What happened to the hardware for the bike carrier? Where is your sippy cup?  Why can’t I find nail clippers— ever?! Most often, where are all the chargers??

  • It has been nice to see the outpouring of porch drop offs in the form of cookies, donuts, apple dumplings, but alas- the rolls of my middle.

  • We have seen enough “Beauty and the Beast” to last us the rest of my daughter’s childhood. She has been capped. We are done with that one.

  • The thought of my day, most days, is  “do something productive.”  The definition of that word has skewed since used to be cleaning windows, Swiffering floors, a few loads of laundry. Nowadays...I give a sniff to a basket of unfolded laundry to determine whether or not it has been washed....then I set it somewhere else to fold at a later date.

  • My daughter yells loudly.  My son yells loudly. My husband yells loudly. I do not yell (loudly).

  • Naps! Ooooh— these were somewhat hard to come by in recent years, but with enough cloudy and cool days in a row, I have relearned this art.

  • Can we talk about dishes? Dirty...clean... doesn’t matter— there is an abundance of dishes. And in that same vein, I have decided that granite countertops are overrated, and I set my mugs down with a bit too much gusto. I have broken 3 mugs and a bowl in the past 2 months.... having only been in this house for six months, granite is still new and way too hard to me.

  • My son loathes clothing. This, I knew before, but depending how long we are inside the house, we may not even have to buy any of his newly grown-in size.

  • In all fairness, he gets this trait honestly. I dislike wearing pants and so my latest fashion trick has been to wear my robe as far into the day as I can. Then, after I am too hot, I wrap it around my waist like a maxi skirt. Great look. 

  • I have also noted how much better I feel when my hair is done, and I have a base layer of makeup on. On the other hand, there is so. much. freedom. in not doing my makeup daily. I also enjoy seeing “real-faced” people on Facebook.

  • Everything goes better with vanilla ice cream.... our first few weeks on hunkering down consisted of several desserts a la mode- hence, again, the rolls of my middle.  We are honestly far better off spending $12 at a local ice cream joint in an evening out once weekly than getting the $4 gallon with our grocery pick- up. We simply lack self control come 7 or 8 pm....

  • Also, at 8 pm, I turn into Maleficent.

  • Teaching online school to 3rd grade has stretched me in good ways. I am proud of what our district has done and accomplished for the last quarter. It has some challenges, though....let me stop at that.

  • These two thoughts happened in succession: 

My children love each other so much, and have an extraordinary friendship.”  ❤️❤️

3 minutes later... 

Why do they have to always scream and pick at each other as soon as I walk away!!!!”😡😡

  • Some of the saviors of my pandemic have been: Jim Gaffigan (look him up!), Caribou Coffee (a lot of it), nightly walks, Lester Holt, and Disney+.

That’s all I have for now.... this has been my Ridiculousness of Quarantine.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The Lull

We are in our very own time-out, America. Not the punitive kind, mind you, but the kind from the sports field sideline, where we pause to be sure our team is okay. We are being benched in a way that we have never been asked, for an unknown amount of time. 

In this lull, I know I feel all kinds of pressure to:

  1. make my kids stay on their academic game,
  2. all the while being sure they become super efficient at their chores, 
  3. as well as teaching them to love God and others....without really leaving home. 
  4. and....possibly potty train our 2 year-old.

From the looks of the self-made schedules from parents attempting homeschooling for the first time, I fall a tad below the rigor of other families.  We land somewhere between the Frozen 2 frenzy and workbooks & microscopes.   I need to mention, I am working with a six and two year-old.  

Moms, dads, caretakers, you have every right to make your child’s days enriching, fun, and entertaining, but you also have permission to have some idle time, without the apps, writing practice, and fact drilling.  Although we may not want to look at this as one LONG Saturday, it kind of is....with no end in sight.

It is a mighty difficult task to take the place of a reading teacher, math teacher, art teacher, science teacher, gym teacher, music teacher, cafeteria monitor, janitor, and principal. I have learned something new this week: I don’t have to do it all every single day....and it may only last until 11 a.m. on some days.  A few mornings ago, I was a rockstar educator with a math activity and kinetic sand.... in the next moment, I was tempering a screaming match between kids as pancake batter dripped on the floor from my spatula. 

So what if my toddler eats pickles at 10 am? So what if the two of them broke out the Halloween costumes to play “trick or treat” rather than sit on my lap to read?  We simply aren’t used to being home this much. It will take most of us time to figure out our norm. One look at social media can make you doubt your practices in this adjustment time, so just do what is right for your kiddos.

When will there be another time where we are FORCED to slow down? Isn’t it interesting that an epidemic of colossal proportions makes us reach for a board game?  Causes us to get really creative within the walls of our home? Is there any chance this home time will positively affect our futures?

Also, I realize there may never be a time again in our family where we are not pulled in a dozen directions for school, sports, and extracurricular stuff.  I *almost* relish it.  If our country wasn’t poised at the edge of panic mode, I could find something blissful in these times. Until then, I will do my best to educate from home, play at home, sing and dance and create at home, and most importantly, pray with our family about what is happening all around us. 

Just breathe.

Just be.

Once every month or two, I change the memory verse for our son, and this month’s happens to be 2 Timothy 1:7.  The verse reads, “For God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.”  What an anchor of a verse for these rough waters! I have toyed with the idea of writing this several times and placing it in every room in our house.... and now that I have mentioned it to you, I will.

For now, we all may be doing some things differently.  This too shall pass. But, in the lull, I hope you find your family rhythm, your faith tethered to our Maker and not the news anchor. Be safe, and stay well, friends!

(Puzzle photo courtesy of Colby ☺️)