Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pajama Day

Sometimes you just need a day to lounge around in your PJ's.  Apparently this is going to be one of those days. Of course, I didn't plan it that way.  Who does?  Right now, I should be leaving to take Owen to school and then it would be all about running errands, some real and some contrived, until it was time to pick him up.  Once again, it would have been a jam packed day ending with a rushed sweep of the house to prepare for yet another evening of guests.  Apparently, God had a different plan.  Yesterday, as I was returning from a busy morning, I cut the corner too close, hit the wall in my driveway, and popped the tire.  Consequently, Neil had to take the van to work this morning so he could get new tires put on the car.  I made a small effort to get Owen to school, but then just decided to declare this Pajama Day.

As I type this, Owen, Blake and Madison are sliding down a make shift slide made out of an old sturdy shelf and the ottoman, each of them donning their PJ's.  Funny, but they don't seem a bit concerned about my daily agenda put on hold.  At this moment, neither do I.  In fact, I'm seeing it as a blessing, an expensive one, but a blessing none the less.  Sometimes I need to stop, take pause, and just enjoy the freedom I've been given.

This has been an insane week.  Sometimes I don't even know how I do it.  With three kids, a husband and a dog, More than Moms, the Whisler campaign, the Neighborhood association, and Fusion, I'm never sure how I manage it all.  But somehow God gets me through, and I know that hidden beneath the surface is a purpose, to glorify my Maker.  Somehow, all of these things are intertwined.  Sometimes it feel like a game of Connect the Dots, and I've so enjoyed the process.  I would have never put myself here, not in a million years, but I love every minute of it, and it's never, ever boring.  But I do need to take a break sometimes, even if it's forced, to be still and know that He is God (NOT ME).

I'm thankful that I've had the opportunity this week, more like made the opportunity, to spend time with God each morning. It's been a while since I've had more than one quiet time in a week, much less in a row.  I've been going through this book that my friend, Clare, gave me last week called Praying for Purpose.  Each day covers a new topic and surprisingly (why I'm surprised by God, I don't know) it's been just what I needed to hear.  I've noticed my patience level go up, my awareness of what God's doing around me increase, and the chaos within me calm.  Why don't I do this more often? Seriously!

On a lighter note, I just found out that our friends, Noe and Amanda, are moving back to the States from Africa.  They were the ones that we bought our house from and became good friends of ours over the next year.  They've decided that it would be best for them to come home.  They can continue to run the ministry from the States and this way, they can adopt a 4th child.  I hope you guys with join me in praying for their transition back to the States.  For more information, read their Newsletter.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Writer's Block

For a while now, I've literally come to complete stop when I think about updating my blog.  I vividly remember the days when I'd write 5-7 blogs in a week.  Of course I do, it was like 6 months ago.  Ever since my life turned upside down and split off into 14 different directions, it's been more and more difficult for me to find the words to put here.  On a day to day basis, I am a wife and a mom, a community activist and a connection point for other moms, a friend and a church planter.  Obviously, a completely inactive, boring life, right?  To be honest, I'm still trying to find that balance.  Most of the time I'm flying from one thing to the next without a second to slow down and get a quick whiff of the coffee. 

This week alone, we have meetings in our house every single night (except Friday & then it's prayer meeting at Sarah's).  Last night was the Whisler cabinet meeting, today is playgroup, and then tonight is our street rep social for our neighborhood.  Tomorrow is the Whisler communications meeting and Thursday is Bible study.  Don't get me wrong, I love every second of it, and happen to have the most supportive husband who allows it all to occur.  What would I do without him?

Even with all this commotion, I still can't find a single thing to write about.  Right now, I want to backspace to the beginning and start over.  Where is my mojo?  Normally I sit down and start typing and it just all comes together.  But maybe with the lack of direction comes a lack of motivation.  The reason I haven't been updating often is that I'm not really inspired to write anything.  And when I am, I suddenly get really busy, time passes, and then it just doesn't seem so inspiring after all.  Have you guys ever been there?

I thought maybe this would get me over the hump.  You know, like when you work out.  You dread it, make excuses, eat cake instead.  Then finally, you force yourself into your gym shorts and onto the Elliptical (or the Expresso Recumbent Bike Experience in my case) and you just do it.  At the end, you feel invigorated, energized, and ready  to go again.  That's what this entry is about for me; I'm pushing through hoping that at the end, I will feel invigorated, energized and ready to go again.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Difficult Day

It never ceases to amaze me that I can be online several hours a day, checking my email, updating political blogs and websites, working on More than Moms stuff, and still neglect my own personal blog.  I wonder if it's because I try to keep my personal stuff here, segregated from the politics and such.  However, after I've written a sarcastic and opinionated piece for the PVRC and a couple deals and steals for More than Moms, there really isn't much more to talk about...or I'm too pooped from the rest of my life (you know, the three kids, husband, and a dog). 

But today, I've hit a wall and need to vent.  It's been one of those days.  You know of what I speak, right?  One of those days you wish you could replay over and over again until you got it right.  That's the day I've had.  It would have worked better for the blog's sake if this day had actually happened yesterday since it was Groundhog Day, then I could pun off the movie.(If you don't know what movie I speak of then you're most likely under 25 and are not up on your 80's classics...sorry) 

It's not like the week started great though either.  I spent most of Sunday and all day Monday feeling completely awful.  I'd prepared myself for a full out onslaught of goop and gunk, but yesterday morning, I woke up feeling...well, better.  Aunt Flo had come to town (if you don't know what I'm talking about, then you're a guy), and the first day she's here is just bleh.  So I decided we'd stay home and chill out.  Next time I have that bright idea, someone please throw a pie at me.  Three kids cooped up in a house all day plus "bleh" mom equals breakdown.  Thankfully it was Chick-fil-a night which brightened my spirits.  The kids went down easy for bed, and then Neil and I enjoyed 2 full hours of Lost bliss. 

So I wake up this morning to 5 inches of snow and Owen's school canceled, which I was mostly prepared for since it was snowing all night.   I decided to have a different attitude than normal, a good one.  I pulled out my journal and Bible and spent some good time with God, for the first time in at least a week.  So far, so good.  Then I encountered a certain email that just set the tone for my day, an email from a difficult person who operates like a thorn in my side.  From that point on, I chose to allow this person's remarks to shape my day.  Of course the events themselves could not have been avoided, but my reaction to them could have. 

Let's start with my plan.  With it being a snow day, I thought it best to get the kids out of the house.  Why not the gym?  They can play and I get a break. So we get there, I drop off the kids, and go to change.  Not even 2 minutes after I walked out of the locker room, one of the child watcher's came to me and said Blake had a runny nose and I had to come get him.  A couple of deep breaths later, I walked back into the locker room, changed clothes, and went back to pick up my kids.  Okay, plan B.  Owen needed a new coat since he'd lost 2 this season.  Why not head to BJ's?  I'm sure they have a jacket at a reasonable price.  I'll pop in, get the kids a hot dog, pick up a couple minor things, get the jacket and be home by 1.  Yeah, not so much.  I should have known better though.  Who can really pop in and pop out of BJ's, especially not with so many great coupons available?  Needless to say, I was there for nearly 2 hours, and the kids started breaking down around the 1.5 hour mark, and I still needed to get the jacket.  Really, I do this crap to myself.  Then after I checked out, I realized that the jacket I picked was in the wrong place and was $10 more than I thought it was.  By this point. I'm ready to pull out my hair.  Blake is literally climbing on top of the car cart.  Owen is hanging out the side.  Madison is simply fed up, and I can't see straight.  But still I trudge to the clothing section to save a few bucks, and get the heck out of there.  In the process, I learn that my business cards for Team Whisler actually won't be ready until Monday...even though I was told 3-4 business days which would have been today or tomorrow.  I get a response from my difficult person of the day and it was even more petty and trite than before.  By this point, I'd forgotten all that had come from my deep and focused time with God.  I was done, at the end of my rope.  After I loaded the kids in the car, I just prayed for quietness for the ride home.  Thankfully, I got it.  Deep breath. Deep breath.  You would think that in those moments of silence, I'd regroup, spend time praying for my day and the people I'd encountered, but no, I chose to wallow in it.  Am I any better off now?  Not so much. 

I'm thankful that God doesn't just toss me to the way side when I neglect Him, that His mercy and grace have no expiration date.  I can always come back to the right path, make the right choice, the one that will glorify Him,  Granted, there are still earthly consequences to my actions, like I might have to apologize to my kids for losing my mind, or I've wasted precious time on ridiculous junk that I can't get back.  It's so easy to point fingers, to play the blame game, to throw a pity party, but what good are these things?  What do I stand to gain from them? 

At this moment, I chose to filter the rest of my day through God's eyes. 

On a side note: Could you all pray that the snow holds off this weekend? (maybe not entirely, but just long enough to not mess with the Women's Breakfast planned for Saturday morning) Thanks!