When You Need to Log Off and When to Log On

Dear You,

you who could be my friend, you who could be a reader who subscribed in hopes of reading something interesting and enlightening, you who are just passing by and happened to click on the button that brought you here.

You might feel a bit neglected; you might feel like I’ve abandoned you and gave up on my blog.

Take a look at when I last wrote, so long ago.

A lot has happened.

Kid drama, family drama, marriage drama, lice invasion (yuck), medication problems, health problems, busy busy busyness.

Been carrying around burdens on my back that I have no business carrying.

And you might feel that way sometimes, too.

I haven’t written in this blog for so long for two reasons:

1. I legitimately did not have time

2. My family needed me more than you did.

That’s a hard truth for me. 

To leave my readers, leave my writing, leave my pondering.

But God has been molding me, fiercely and with love, into a mother who loves her kids, a mother who looks into them instead of looks at them. A mother who listens instead of logs on. 

I’ve been trying to log off from distractions and log onto my kids more.

I honestly don’t know when another blog entry will appear.

My kids still need my presence, my husband needs me desperately.

God continues to stretch me and oh, the growing pains!

This is hard.

I don’t like it.

Except in moments when my almost 7-yr-old boy, whose legs are sprawling out way too fast into boy-men-legs, curls up in my lap during a TV show. Except in moments when I watch my almost 10-yr-old girl listen to our Pastor and I know she’s getting it; I know God’s Truth is seeping in. And her hand reaches for mine.

In those moments, it’s not so hard.

I love it.

Image

But do pray for me in the other moments, won’t you?

Pray for good priorities, good boundaries. For patience and strength.

For humility and love to shower upon me and my family.

Dear you,

thank you for hanging in there. We are all in this boat together. How have you been lately?

On knees, head low, arms high…

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Good Dog: Date Night

GlitterToes with hot dog

One of the best antidotes to a crabby day is to ask your kid out on a date.

GlitterToes and I try to have a date once every month or every couple of months. This past Friday night, we went to a hot dog place (with ice cream, of course) and then to WalMart to look for “the perfect” swimsuit for her.

Where I said no to the bikini and had to explain what “modesty” means.  As well as age-appropriate clothing.

We had the most fun not when spending money on dinner or figuring out which swim suit would look best. The best times came in the car, when she started doing this weird helium-like voice I’ve never heard her do. And we played the spontaneously-made-up Opposite Game where we said the opposite of what we meant. That was a fun, mind-bending game which left us with aches in our sides from so much laughing. And racing down the escalators – that was fun you could not plan or write on a to-do list.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your kids is to spend time with them.

Though toys and clothes and fun food are all great to a child, whether they know it or not, they just yearn for YOU. 

Their tummy may tell them they are hungry for ice cream, but their hunger pangs are for you.

Their eyes might light up at seeing the newest Transformer, but their eyes will beam when you look at them and smile.

As my date and I talked about my buying her new running shoes, I realized that we had spent a lot of money that night. I pulled her aside and began to explain to her how I wanted her to know that date night didn’t have to be spent going to fun places and to restaurants…

and this was the one time I didn’t mind her interrupting me. She said:

“yeah, date night could be us sitting on my bed in my room and hanging out and stuff.”

Sometimes it’s best to be quiet and let your child teach you.

fry and crush

We had a great time that night. It stormed heavy and I drove with hands clenched around the steering wheel while she chattered on in the back. We got home and went to bed happy and tired.

The next day the whole family was crabby and the two siblings bickered like crazy. It was not a good day and not a Good Dog day.

But date night was a Good Dog kind of day.

So I learn, once again, that when we fall we must get right back up and open our hearts and ears to what God has to teach us.

As well as the children.

On knees, head low, arms high…

Good Dog: When Fun Scares the Pants Off You

This mama ain't scared of no fun!

Last weekend I tried something that was scary, dangerous, and risky.

I let my stepson…

make a mess

This might not be a big deal to you, but to this clenching, controlling, scared-of-anything-spontaneous mama stepping into the Orange Rhino’s example and attempting to yell less and…well, have a happier home…

this was a big deal.

While 3D Man had GlitterToes out hiking for some daddy-daughter time, I had Superboy home with me and I wondered how I was going to entertain the both of us while simultaneously not driving either of us crazy.

So I decided to plan fun. Yes, I’m so intimidated by fun that I need to plan. I have to start somewhere, right?

So I utilized an idea I found on Pinterest – putting duct tape up in a doorway criss-cross and then shooting dart gun bullets at it. Superboy loves dart guns and it’s a sport he and his dad play a lot.

Just the foam Nerf dart guns. No worries.

So I stood up on a chair and tried my best to make the duct tape sticky side face out which was a feat, in itself. My magic tape target area wasn’t as grand and magical as the Pinterest link, but fortunately, Suerpboy isn’t up on Pinterest enough to know the difference.

He was very excited, much to my delight.

Both of us aimed our Nerf dart guns and fired. We missed entirely, but it was a blast trying.

I was not afraid to have fun.

Then we moved on to my baking idea. Again, Pinterest saved me. A recipe for Oreo Goodness and we were off being dangerous again.

Crumbling cookies

I told Superboy to crunch up those Oreos into tiny pieces. I noticed that, in doing that, his fingers were getting caked with crumbs by the glue-like creme.

I chose not to panic.

lick it offI

Instead, I said the unthinkable:

Lick your fingers.”

He looked up at me as if I had said the whole newly-discovered cavern of gold and treasure could be his.

“Yes,” I said, “lick everything off your fingers off when you’re done crunching all the cookies.”

Meanwhile, I mixed together the creamy goodness part of the Oreo Goodness – a messy combination of cream cheese, butter, whip cream, and vanilla.

After I layered the two, I gave him the bowl of leftover gooey goodness. Again, he looked at me with that odd look.

Wow, I thought. Does he really not know what to do? Or is he in such shock that I want him to do it?

that bowl didn't just empty itself!

Well, Superboy went to town on that spoon. He scooped up every bit of that goodness and I believe I had to pry the spoon out of his hands when it was clear all he was swallowing was air.

The result of all that scary messiness?

A big hug before he went over to a friend’s house (and after he had washed up) and saying, his head buried in my waist,

“Thank you, that was so much fun!”

I nearly melted from the gooey goodness of that hug and comment.

So I can now say I did something that scares me.

I’m very good at being responsible and taking care of my kids’ needs – be it emotional, physical, or spiritual.

But I know fun is also a need and I was lacking in that department.

I think I did a pretty good job.

However…before you applaud endlessly, take a closer look at those pictures.

In the midst of all the messiness…I did have paper towels spread out on the table in case any crumb happened to jump out of the bowl and create a mountain of Oreo crumbs on our table or, even more devastating, trickle onto the floor to create a carpet of Oreos that would swallow us whole.

Though…that does sound kinda fun…

On knees, head low, arms high…