Monday, September 29, 2008

You've Got Mail

This movie was on TV last night. Everytime it's on, I just have to watch it. It is one of my all-time favorite movies, for many reasons. One of them is that I really want to live in New York. Ever since I saw this movie for the first time, I have said that I want to live in NY but only if I can live in Kathleen Kelley's apartment and money was no object. Ha ha! I know I will probably never live there, but it's fun to dream!

Anyway, the point of this post is this: there is a quote in the movie that I forget about till I hear it, but everytime I do, it hits me like a ton of bricks. When Kathleen realizes that her store may be in trouble, she is writing an e-mail and she says, "Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, valuable but small. And I wonder if I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave." This is exactly how I feel. Especially in the situation we are in right now. I just feel like there is so much out there that I didn't get to experience because I was married with kids so young. And I wouldn't change that for anything, but I have just been thinking about it. What would I do if I could do anything I wanted? Would I be doing what I am doing right now, or would it be something different? Most days, I say that there is nowhere else I'd rather be. And I believe that. But I am not sure I remember what my dreams were as a kid. Actually, I did dream of being a wife and mother, so maybe this is exactly where I am supposed to be. Well, I am rambling. Just wanted to get these thoughts down to remind myself to be brave. Not to be afraid to try new things. Not to think, "I'm a mom now, I can't do that." Anyway...

Friday, September 26, 2008

My friends need your prayers!!!

My sweet friends, Keith and Lydia, desperately need your prayers. They are trying to finalize their adoption of twin baby girls, and it isn't going well. They have had the babies since they were born. They are 8 months old now. The girls were born in Mississippi, and the adoption office there has royally screwed things up and dropped the ball. To make a long story short, the biological father, who is around 19 I think, has come forward to say he wants custody. It has been like a nightmare and we all just want it to be over and for Keith and Lydia to get to keep their babies. Please join me in praying for them. I know I don't have a lot of details and this post probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but you can still pray. Please pray. I am believing God to work this out for good. Please, please pray.


There is a new movie coming out today called Fireproof. I had only heard of the title until today. I went to the site for the movie and watched the trailer. I couldn't help but pass it on here.

I can't go see it today, or probably before it leaves theaters, but I will definitely be seeing it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

62 years

This is how long my grandparents have now been married. They just celebrated their anniversary this weekend. My dad went with them to Branson, MO and from what I hear, they had a fabulous time. I can't wait to see their pictures.

(The rest of this post will be mainly for my husband, but read on if you wish.)

Stephen, I have spent the last few months being really mad at you. I am sure you have noticed ;) I have wanted to yell and scream, ignore you, and just be plain mad. But I can't. No matter what has happened, what circumstances we find ourselves in, I love you more than words can describe. I always say, "If I didn't love you so much, it wouldn't hurt so much." I say this about my kids to. The Martina McBride song, Blessed, says it best. "I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve, to be here with the ones that love me, to love them so much it hurts." I now know what that is like. To actually hurt you love someone so much.

I am saying all this to say, no matter what happens over the next 50 years, I love you. There is no where else in the world I would rather be than here with you. There is nothing else in the world I would rather be doing than taking care of you and loving you. And no matter what you decide to do, where you decide to take us, I will be there with you. And if you decide to take us nowhere and stay here, I will be behind you all the way. You can do anything you set your mind to and you will be amazing at whatever you end up doing. No matter what anyone else says, you already are successful. Just look at your kids. Look at how much they love you and want to spend time with you. Look at how they listen to you and want to hear everything you have to say. Just watch Cammie when you walk into a room. You love God. You want to do what He wants, eventhough we aren't really sure what that is right now. You love life, learning, family (even the crazy ones ;)), you want to make sure our kids have awesome relationships with their grandparents like we have. I just love that about you.

Anyway, I am rambling. Surprise, surprise ;) I say all this to say, no matter what happens, I look forward to the next 50+ years with you. They will be an adventure for sure and I can't wait to see what God has in store. Times will be hard, but they will be blessed. And I love you always.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Has anyone seen my confidence?

Somewhere along the way, I have lost my confidence. I have come to realize over the last couple of days that this is the reason for most of my problems. And I can't put my finger on what exactly took it away. It isn't that I feel I have lost myself, because I don't feel that way at all. All I ever wanted to do was be a wife and mom. I wanted to stay at home with my babies and take care of my husband. That is exactly who I am and what I want to be doing. But it is more that I feel like I am failing at those things that I am supposed to be doing.

When Jordan and Claire were little, and it was just them, I felt really good about the job I was doing. Things were so simple then. We would get up, eat breakfast, play a little, get dressed, meet friends at the park or whatever, and life just seemed right. Time went by, we lost a couple of jobs, and we settled in Murfreesboro. Stephen started working at State Farm and he loved it. Things were getting back to normal, and Lukey was born. Oh, sweet Luke. I still felt really good about my abilities as a mother. Jordan and Claire hadn't reached the fighting stage yet, I had a perfect little one again and things were right.

But I remember telling Stephen at one point that I was scared for everyone to grow up. Not that I was sad for the baby stage to be over (though, now, I am), but I was terrified. I know how to take care of babies and toddlers. I am quite good at it, if I may say so myself. I love to hold them, take care of them, teach them things, just be with them. But I am terrified of the older stage, where Jordan and Claire are now. How do I parent them? Do I have what it takes to teach them about God and life and everything they need to know? It was almost as if, when I said it out loud that I was terrified of it, Satan said, "Now I've got her! I know just where to bring her down!!" And he took all the confidence I had.

We have been having some trouble with my precious Jordan. He is incredibly smart, funny, a great big brother, just an all around great kid. But for the last few months, probably 6 or so, there has been something going on with him and me. It was like he turned into a different kid around me. A lot of arguing, back-talk, just plain disrespect. I was so frustrated. What was I doing wrong. He was doing it to Stephen, too, but not to the extreme he was doing it with me. I had a really bad day with him this past Saturday, probably the worst it's been, and I called my friend. I went and talked to her for a long time and we just talked through everything. When it started, circumstances, etc. She asked me if I could change one thing to make me feel like I was making some progress, what would it be. I told her that I didn't like myself. At all. I didn't like my body, I didn't like myself as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, etc. There wasn't anything about me that I like. If I could change one thing, it would be to have confidence in myself again.

So, I prayed on the way home that God would show me who I am in Him. No, I can't parent on my own. I can only parent with the Spirit guiding me. He knows Jordan better than I do, and the only way I can parent him is with the Spirit's help. Yesterday was incredible. I told myself that God was with me and that He would help me. He gave me my kids because, with Him, I do have what it takes to be their mom. I have what they need and they can respect me. They can obey me. They just have to know that I love and respect them and that whatever I do, I do because I love God and want the best for them. Not because I want to be a mean mom and not let them do all the things they want.

All this to say, my problem wasn't with Jordan. It was with me. I had believed the lies that Satan was telling me. Lies like I can't be a good mom; I am a terrible homeschooler, I can never make it work; I will never have what it takes to have that phenomenal family I dreamed of. Those were all lies and I know that now. I feel liberated. Not that I feel like everything will be perfect from here on out. But I know the answer to my problems. My strength comes from God alone. As long as I remember that, I will be fine.

I want to share two things that have touched me over the last few days. I am re-reading a book that my friend reminded me of. She calls it her other parenting Bible ;) It is called A Positive Plan for More Calm, Less Stress by Karol Ladd. She also wrote The Power of a Positive Mom, if you are familiar with that. Anyway, it is an excellent book and there is a poem that touched me.

"Let nothing disturb thee,
Let nothing affright thee,
All things are passing,
God changeth never." Teresa of Avila

Also, a scripture keeps coming up and I know why now. It is Isaiah 41:10. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

God is good. God is faithful. And God hears your cries for help.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


When Luke had just turned 2, we moved him to a "big boy bed." Campbell was in our room in a crib, and I wanted my room back. So, I moved the boys in together and the girls in together. I now know that it was too soon to move him. Before, I could put him in his crib and close the door; he would sometimes cry for 5 minutes or so, but then he would go to sleep. When we moved him, he wouldn't stay in the bed and I got in the bad habit of laying down with him to go to sleep. HOnestly, it only takes about 5-10 minutes for him to fall asleep, so I still don't mind laying down with him. What I do mind is when he comes into our room between 1 and 3 a.m. because he can't go back to sleep on his own. It is killing me. I am wondering if maybe I got one of those toddler beds and put it in my room, if I could get him to go to sleep on his own in there. I can't do it in his room because Jordan is in there and it would keep him awake. I can't put a twin in my room because of space. Does anyone have thoughts on this? I am really at a loss.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Funny Luke story...

This was our conversation as we were coming home from errands this morning.

Luke: Mommy, my eye hurts.

Me: I'm sorry. I'll look at it when we get home.

Luke: I think I need some eye drips.

Me: Some what?

Luke: Some eye drips.

Me: Do you mean eye drops?

Luke: Yes, eye drops.

Me: Where did you learn about eye drops? Did you see someone using eye drops?

Luke: Yes, on Diego, there was a crocodile and he had a booboo on his eye and they had to use eye drops to make him feel better. So I think I need some.

Me: Okay, we'll see what we can do when we get home.

Luke: But Mommy?

Me: Yes, Luke?

Luke: I want to call them eye drips.

Me: Okay Luke. You can call them eye drips.

Seriously people, I laugh all day around here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Body Clutter

I am reading this book called Body Clutter. If you are familiar with Fly Lady, it's the same woman. The book is on weight loss. It is really good. Last night when I was reading, something struck me that I hadn't thought of before. She was saying that one of the first things you need to do when trying to lose weight is learn to love yourself. We can't love others until we love ourselves. We won't take care of something that we don't love. Just like clutter in our homes. If it's something we don't really care about, we just shove it in a corner and let it collect dust. If we don't love ourselves, we will not do the things we need to do for ourselves to live the best life we can.

I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before, but it really hit me between the eyes. I started thinking about all the things that I feel like I don't do well. Things I fail at. I failed at homeschool. I fail at talking nicely to my children. I fail at keeping my home like I should. I fail my friends. And all these things have made me love myself less and less, until I just quit taking care of myself. For those of you that know me, you know that weight gain scares me because of my family's history. Most, actually all, of the women on my mom's side of the family are overweight. It isn't only that I want to be a certain size, or that I want to look a certain way. Though that is certainly part of it. I just don't want to end up having all the health problems that I know come with it. I don't want Claire and Campbell to end up having to deal with these same issues when they get older. I don't worry about the boys as much because I already see how much they want to be like their daddy. They have a very good role model in him. But I do worry about the girls. And I worry about me.

How do we get to a point that we start turning things around? How do we learn to love ourselves again? Have any of you been there? If you have, how did you get out of it? Right now I am in one of those neverending vicious cycles and I can't seem to bring myself to the place where I know I need to be. I want to change, but I want it to be permanent. Any suggestions? Advice?