April 27, 2012

April 22, 2012

Stick With It....

I can't remember if I posted anything about my New Year's Resolutions this year. It's ok if you don't remember either.

Point is, I made some.
January 1, 2012 was super-dee-duper needed in my life and the Lord knew it.

So, I made some resolutions which I haven't done since nineteen-ninety-nevah.  I've mostly been one of those gals who can keep her ducks in a row and push through. Resolutions, I've always thought, were more or less for failures.
But y'all remember back in October when the Lord dropped an adorable baby girl Bird into my world? Right? Go here...she's quite the stunner.  She was however, I reiterate, my THIRD child. How does that Duggar lady do it?
Kaylee's daily dose of awesomeness and my sheer will to make my sons take a nap helped me limp to the end of 2011. Kaylee left as planned,  Christmas came, and sprinkled throughout all of that was a lot of frustration and anger. It came outta nowhere and man o' man did I need some freshness like the Prince of Bel-air.
After some thought, I came up with a pretty extensive list, seeing as how I generally regard New Year's Resolutions as lame.

In no particular order, with the ones I've done/am-doing crossed out:
* Exercise
* Read "Shepherding Your Child's Heart"
* Read "Grace Based Parenting"
* Read "The Hobbit"
* Organize home movies and video clips into edited, watchable videos. Particularly the birthday videos.
* Memorize Ephesians

* Be Kind(er) to my children everyday
* Start saving more diligently for Rivers #4 (whom in theory will be adopted)
* Make Immanuelle's quilt/blanket for her "big girl bed"
* Set aside 2 days a week to get alone and pray. 

Impressed are we?

And as a virgin-resolutioner I am pleased to be knockin' these bad boys out like the Godfather did his haters. Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Exercising is continuing and that's like something every resolution-maker has to make, exercising.

But the Hobbit? That is simply because I made it all the way through approximately 17 years of schooling without ever reading it...and Petey Jackson is making it into a movie and who wants to show up to the opening in December as the non-well-read person?  Not I, said the cat.
Anthony is taking up all the slack on the organizing home videos and is also doing his part to pull me along and keep me accountable to memorize Ephesians.

Y'all wanna hear how hawt my hubs is? Joker memorized Philippians last year. The. Book. of. Philippians. Dang.
So, we're now to the middle of Chapter 4 of the letter to the Ephesians. If you're interested I'll tell you how we go about it in the comments.
You may have noticed that "getting up earlier to read my bible every morning before the children wake up at the booty crack of dawn" isn't on my list.
Yeah, right.
The early to rise thing will make it on the next list, maybe. 2025-ish. Until then, I thought hiding a little of God's word in my heart would be good. I want to be able to quote it and meditate on it anytime time of day.  It's already helping on those days when I act like a Christian who Paul needs to write a strongly worded letter to, Corinthians!! (Really? Bible joke? And you're still reading this?)
I'm doing better at being kind, "with all gentleness" to my kids. I still get fightin' mad and lose it WAY too often. Pray for my kids. But in between the red moments, I'm trying to let the Lord love through me and remind me that his kindness leads us to repentance. Hoping the 2 books I haven't read will help a bit on this. 
And yes, we've begun saving for another adoption but not near like we'd hoped. Y'all excited? I am.  I hate money, but it's so necessary for just about everything, including adoption. Still a couple years off, so I'm having to tell myself at IKEA that my brown baby girl (the Lord hears our prayers!) is way more valuable and worthy of my investment than the curtains I want.

The prayer thing has been a failure because of lack of planning and then lack of schedules coinciding and then lack of the triple nap. Getting there, getting there. 

Ellie Bird's blanket has a few pieces cut out, but not much else. I have til the end of the year and even then, she won't be in a big girl bed yet. But here's for batting a thousand my first time out.

Did you make any resolutions this year?
You sticking with it?

April 02, 2012

Runnin' like a Fool

I've just gotten back from "The Arena." I was there for about 3.5 days.
Then on April Fool's Day I ran a 10k in Singapore with my husband and our 15 year old friend, Caleb. Caleb's parents and siblings and our kids all had to be woken up at the booty crack of dawn to be a part of what the three of us have spent 3 months training to do. It wouldn't have worked without them.
But wait, "The Arena" you say? What's that?
I'll tell you. It's a nickname for the place my head went. It was an accomplishment but I kept my family fed and even did the laundry while I read the Hunger Games series and was processing all that happens in Panem and all the districts.
I won't be a spoiler or give a long summary. What I will say is that the characters in the book, no matter how "new" and creative a story Suzanne Collins has written, are people who fall into the category that wise ol' King Solomon wrote about thousands of years ago when he looked at his life and the world around him and gave a pretty grim picture of humanity. Ecclesiastes? Heard of it? It's about people in need of more hope than any of us can ever muster on earth, vying for power that should be handed over to the One who IS Power, and ultimately, people suffering and working their way through a world damaged and saturated by sin.  It was a crazy dark mess of thoughts up in here for a few days.
I know whatch'all thinkin, "Girl. Adolescent fiction gettin' you down in the dumps? You gots issues."

Guilty on all charges. But stay with me anyway.

Wait, before you continue, I have to stop and say that the picture of me running is for my sister Heather. Heathas, you see my calf-muscle? It's like a tiny little triumphant bump in the face of genetics and decades of generational chicken legs. BOOYA!

Ok, now, keep going...

Collins wrote so that people would be affected. I'm not sure what her ultimate agenda was, but surely part of it is meant to throw our ugly in our face.  If we don't ignore the ugly, then there's real potential for awesomeness to happen in our hearts. EVEN over something trendy like another story about 2 teenage boys and one teenage girl battling an enemy.

 As I ran, I found myself working through the tension I felt when I got done with the books. Sorted through the some of the ugly in me and around me. Not because of the talent of a gifted writer, but because the Lord can speak truth into anything through His Word.

And I ain't joking when I say God even spoke to me over Beastie Boys playing in my ear buds.
The Arena is, in my opinion, a very intense, loaded picture of life in general, but written in book form. I think Solomon said it best, "There's nothing new under the sun." Then Jesus gave the alternative to a life of self-fulfillment through selfish gain when He described life in HIS kingdom, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself."

Katniss, Peeta, Gale, President Snow, Haymitch (who I love, by the way), Effie, Prim...the whole lot of them need a big fat dose of God's love.
 And I know because I got a taste of it as I came up on the 8km mark and Mr. & Mrs. Sivad, B, H, and my kiddos were all there cheering me on. They were proud of me as I crossed the finish line.  Since Anthony is Mr. Sexy Legs and has calf-muscles that can propel him forward faster than my boo-boo-chicken sized ones, he finished first. But I got across the line in time to become a cheerleader myself and root Caleb on to a great finish. 

To know I didn't do it all alone. Hearing Love speak to my heart straight outta the tap while I ran, and then gettin' and givin' some practical love right there at the finish line. It was just enough of the good stuff to get me the heck out of the Arena and back to reality...understanding again and better how life in the Kingdom is supposed to work.

I'd call that a good race, Sweetheart!