April 26, 2012

VERY miscellaneous thoughts of a brain literally on the edge

I hope this post isn't a waste of your time. I miss being here and just wanted to tell you where I've been. 

In the first place, I've been sick for almost 3 weeks; it's just a head cold-not a terrible illness, but the location? It settled up there between my ears and made thinking any thoughts at all a huge effort. And now that it's leaving? My head is making up for lost time and it ain't pretty.

Have you ever heard that a woman's thought life is like Windows 95 or Windows 98 or whatever? She has a screen and then she has a couple windows that are always up and running, one in front of another. Well, this virus I've had has caused a huge glitch in my window system and there are 90-eleven windows up and running 24-7. (that's a lot of numbers, isn't it? You know what I mean though, right?) I can't finish a thought or have a single conversation without interrupting myself half a dozen times. I. am. short. circuiting. 

I've also been confused about something extremely deep and personal and asking God a lot of questions about it. He has used it to show me how very, very unconditional His love for me is (among other things) but, the party ain't over and it's taking a lot out of me.

 I've been thinking about being real lately-wondering what that means and what it looks like and how to do it and why we won't allow each other to be it....I think I'll set that one aside for now but I will ask you:
Do you think it's hard to be real and yet live in truth? Do you feel like you can be real with people or are you afraid to be? Do you think being real and yet being a Light is like walking a tight rope? Why do we always, always, always have to have answers for people who are struggling or having a hard day and they just need to vent or emote or talk til they're blue in the face? Why can't we ever just shut-up and listen? Why do we feel like we have to open our mouths to help each other? Is it our pride? It's no wonder we're all a lonely lot....being real isn't safe.

Anyway. You may or may not know we're trying to adopt a little girl from China. That's taking a lot out of me and causing a multitude of windows to be up and running 24-7. I feel like I've been standing in front of a fire hydrant with my mouth wide open and I'm drowning. The Lord has been talking, showing, challenging, deepening, dissecting and teaching through it all and I can barely stand in front of the water pressure, let alone keep up with it all. A friend told me to journal everything as we go through this process but I'm finding that almost impossible. There has been too, too much going on in my heart to keep up with it all, let alone journal it.

And now a moment of real-ness. I've been worried about a couple of my kids-feeling pain for them and praying and wondering and wishing for them...

I've been writing elsewhere and thinking about fund raising and finishing the school year with my son and working on a few projects and preparing for a garage/bake sale. I've been feeling old and ugly and insecure and I've been wondering about next year-when to start school and what subjects to focus on?

I've been dreaming about a daughter and realizing I have no clue what to do with one. Can I momma a daughter? How different is that from momma-ing a son? I've been looking forward to finding out.

So, that's where I am and that's where I've been. How about you? Where are you and what are you thinking about? How many windows do you have up and running and are you enjoying what you see?

April 19, 2012

Psalm 139-a repost of an old post :-)

I originally posted this in 2009, but wanted to share it again:

Lately, more than ever, I've begun to see the importance of memorizing God's word--it is life to my soul!
Shortly after we began school this year we started working on memorizing Psalm 139. It only took my 2 younger sons 30 days to memorize the whole Psalm, whereas I'm still working on it, 40 days later. I'd like to think that's because my brain is full of years of Bountiful Wisdom...but I think in reality it's just getting rusty.

Anyway-it took 2 Dove chocolates and some extra computer time to bribe #4 into letting me share this video with you. I hope you enjoy it.
(BTW-he is disgusted with how young he sounds on the video and wanted to make sure you know he's not 3.He's 8!)

Basically, all we did was read the psalm once a day until he got it.

April 12, 2012

4 boys &....?

Well, my heart is back in my chest and the lump in my throat is gone. I'm still wondering about the phrase buck up though. Where on earth did that come from? Yes, I know. I could always google it, but sometimes it's more fun to just wonder about something, isn't it?

Anyway, I wanted to show you a picture of my sons.

I love this picture. It cracks me up every time I look at it. All you have to do is look at their faces and you'll understand each boy.

Take the guy on the left for example. He's the oldest and it shows. No nonsense, confident, goal oriented, thoughtful...aren't those typical first-born traits? He's compassionate, but only to a point. He's a lot like my dad. A practical, git-her-done kind of guy.

Then the boy on the far right. # 2. That look? I've seen it hundreds of times. He's saying, "Yes, I did it, or said it, and even though it may not be something you approve of, I'm glad I did and too bad for you. Just wait. I have something even better up my sleeve!" He's sarcastic, witty, tenderhearted, and unpredictable.

The guy in the white shirt? He's number 3. He's sweet and shy, confident, hilarious, and humble. He hasn't always been that way. God worked what I think is a miracle in that boy's heart. He was our "strong-willed" child and you can read more about parenting one of those in my " raising a strong-willed child" posts. Like his big brother, you never know what he's going to say or do next. Living with those 2 middle sons has been a wild ride, let me tell you!

(I'd like to interrupt myself to say my sons are not perfect. I know that, and you know that, but I felt compelled to say it. In fact, at one point in my mothering them I spent an entire day researching military boarding schools and seriously contemplating a life of freedom....)

OK. Moving on to # 4. Look at his face. Really??... He may be the youngest, but he's onto his big brother. He's looked at each one of his siblings that way-he's tender and very sweet, but he's learned, at an early age, you just can't believe everything you're told.

Did you know we're in the early stages of adopting a little girl from China? I know some of you know that, but thought I'd mention it just in case you didn't. I wonder sometimes, if it will really happen. Right now she just seems like a dream and in no way a reality.

I'm excited to meet her, and momma her, and introduce her to her big brothers and sisters-in-law. I'm excited to see what her personality will be like and what captions I'll be writing under her photos....I'm excited to wake up and have the dream end and real life with her begin...

April 6, 2012

fish cheeks

Guess what? I remembered what I wanted to say about fish cheeks.

Did you even know fish had cheeks? I'd never even thought about whether fish had cheeks or not (nor did I care) until the spring of 1982. That's when I discovered fish:
had cheeks
those cheeks are cute
and tender
and romantic
and they can talk. Yes, fish cheeks can talk. You didn't know that? They say a whole lot if you'll but look and listen to them.

The guy I married is a quiet guy. His words are few and getting to know him was a challenge. I think that's why he let his fish cheeks do a lot of the talking for him. They told me things about him he would never have told me himself.

The spring of 1982 found us living in the boonies of Wisconsin, at a small private school that sat nestled on a large lake that was, you guessed it, full of fish. And, the guy I married loves fishing. As a matter of fact, if he could make a living at it, and support a family by it, he'd fish day and night to bring home the bacon. (Or cheeks, if you will.)

So anyway. The school was very picky about the meals served and who prepared them, and who was allowed in the kitchen and when. The only time they relaxed about all that was on Saturday mornings. We were allowed to prepare our own breakfasts then.

Every Saturday morning, while the rest of us were sleeping in, my not-yet husband was out there reeling in...blue gill? I can't remember what kind of fish they were....

Anyhoo, every Saturday morning he'd catch a fish, fry it with an egg, and toast a piece of toast. He wouldn't eat that breakfast though. He'd watch for me and when I walked into the dining room he'd be standing there, smiling, that plate of food warm and ready, waiting for me. He'd motion me to a table, put the plate in front of me, and we'd sit together while I ate.

The first time Mike made breakfast for me I discovered fish had cheeks. I sat down, starving, and looked at my plate. There was the egg, the toast, and the fish. But there also, off by themselves, in a little spot all their own on the plate, sat two tiny, round pieces of fish.

"Um Mike? What are those?" I pointed.

"Those are the fish's cheeks. They are the tastiest part of the fish!" he grinned.

I picked up my fork and stabbed a little cheek with one prong. I put it in my mouth and smiled.

"Oh, you're right. That is amazing!" I couldn't taste the difference between the cheek or any other part of the fish but there was something different about that small piece of meat. It talked to me.

It told me: here is a guy who wants to serve. He is thoughtful, caring, and patient. (You have to be patient to cut around a tiny fish cheek and lift it from the fish's face. You have to be gentle with it so you don't demolish it while you're cutting and lifting and frying it.) It told me this guy thinks about others, not just himself. It told me he had a sense of humor but he knew where to draw the line. (He never once served a fish with the head still attached to its body. He knew I couldn't eat anything that sat there watching me while I ingested it.)

Those two little cheeks were the best part of the fish-they said so much even though they (in all honesty) never said a word.

April 3, 2012

a letter from my son

I started a pen pal journal with my youngest son a few days ago. The idea is to write little letters back and forth to each other, but you have to be sneaky about it. We're not supposed to let the other person see us writing in the journal, nor putting it in the other person's room. You just write a letter, then hide the notebook somewhere where you know that person will find it.
I didn't come up with the idea, but I love it. It's fun and precious and eventually I'll have a notebook, (in his little boy handwriting) full of his thoughts and feelings and bits of him. I must admit, the teacher in me thinks this is a great way to get him to practice writing. (something he hates doing at the moment)

(This would be also be fun to do with a nephew or niece or a grandchild. Especially if they lived far enough away that you'd have to mail the notebook back and forth to each other. Everyone loves getting little packages in the mail, don't they?)

Anyway, that's all for today. I just wanted to pass the idea along and show you my first letter.

Dear mommy,
I love you too! I love
you more than Lydia! (Lydia is his new niece)
You are funny, sweet, lovable,
and most of all your mine.