Archive | July 2013

The Magic Number

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She was born on July 8 of 2005 and she has been a little bit of a spit fire, each of her approximately 2,923 days of life. She’s fire, she’s ice, she’s sweet, but temperamental, she’s a whole lot like her mama, but she’s a whole lot like her daddy too.

Her name is Piper and she is a life changer.

I often tell people not to pray for patience. “What happens when you do?” Well, when I did, I got Piper… and brand new next door neighbors. At the same time. Oh, did the Lord ever know that these two events colliding would teach me patience. It’s a bit of a necessity.

When Piper was 5 months old, she learned to pull up on things. She also learned that if she laid on top of the 7 month old baby I was watching, he would cry. I would pull her off and redirect her, but she would go right back to it. It was a never ending, exhausting, fun for her, but not for me game. I remember thinking “When she can crawl, this will get better. Just another month or so”. Who was I kidding?

Since then, I have had many “When she is….” moments. When she is 5 and in school, she will learn self control. When she is 7, she will calm down. When she is 8, she will stop saying things that shock us.

They were the numbers  that I had decided were the “magic” numbers. They were the age she would reach when she would magically stop whatever it was that she was doing.

Except those magic numbers came and went, and the behaviors stayed.

There are so many things I admire about her, that frustrate me. I secretly love that she will say anything that is on her mind and not so secretly wish that I could say everything that’s on mine. I like that she will defend herself, she’s not taking crap from anyone! She has all these great traits that will make her a great adult, but she doesn’t have the maturity or the head knowledge to temper those traits, which is where my and other people’s frustration enters the picture.

There is nothing magic about numbers. She is not going to reach a magic age and magically turn into the child of my dreams. She is going to push buttons and test people every. single. day. That’s just who she is. I am going to have bad days and I am going to feel like I have failed somewhere along the line. I am going to lose my patience and possibly my mind, but I think, possibly, that God is using HER to shape ME into the person he wants me to be.

Maybe I will get it when I am 39. Maybe that’s MY magic number.

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Absence and a Fonder Heart

My husband was unemployed for four months last year, Financially, it was the worst thing that could have happened to us. I’ve said it before, but I will say it again for anyone new that may join us, now or in the future. We had just started getting back on our feet after the “recession”. I was breathing a little easier, we were putting money aside and we had, for the first time ever, booked a family trip to the beach. I came home from a long awaited hair cut appointment to an unemployed husband. 

UGH, right?

I mean, instantly I was panicked with all the worries and the what-ifs and holy moses, how would we survive SO much time together? 

Well, we did. Not only did we survive an excess amount of time together, we THRIVED. I can honestly say that I think about that four months with fond memories, and a bit of sorrow. Fond, because we truly enjoyed our time together. We hiked (WITHOUT KIDS!), went to lunch in another town, went camping, went on another beach trip, got pregnant. Oh, yeah. More on that later. 

Chad and I repaired a relationship that had been stressed for, oh,, the 18 months he had been at the job that laid him off. He built a relationship with our kids, who he had never had a chance to spend a lot of time with. It was good. 

And sorrow? Because I miss it. I miss that time. I miss the things we had time, and somehow money, to do together. I miss the carefree life we were able to live during that time. 

It’s not that life isn’t good right now. Still love the guy. There is just not a lot of time or money, at least not like there was last year at this time. 

It reminds me of a blog post I read a couple of years ago. I really wish I could find it again. It was a lady refuting the myth that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Her theory was that the more time you spend together, the closer you are, even if there is an adjustment period to so much togetherness. I have to say, that after living both ways, multiple times, I agree. Absence does not make the heart grow fonder. Being close and together and learning to be close and together makes my heart grow fonder. Being apart is just one more thing to deal with. Besides, I truly like the guy, and love having him around. It seems that our stresses are reduced when we are together. Weekends, holidays and vacations aren’t stressful for us me. (Maybe I should check with him to make sure I am not using US incorrectly.)

Not only was togetherness good for my husband and I, I can truly say that it has been good for my kids and me. After years of indecisiveness, I started homeschooling them last year. A lot of parents are joyful when they send their kids off to school. Sometimes I miss being able to go anywhere and do anything without worrying about how many kids I have to account for, but I have found that I truly ENJOY having them here and we have learned to live together, so much more effectively than we did when they were in public school. Our stresses are lower and our lives are sweeter. 

This doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the guy (or the kids) when I am away for an extended period of time. When the kids and I traveled to California last year for my brother’s funeral, my husband flew down for two nights, so he could attend the funeral. I needed that break in my emotional week. I needed him and the comfort that only HE can give me. 

If I had to choose though, I would choose more time together to make our hearts grow fonder, as opposed to time apart. 

What do you think? Does time apart or time together make the heart grow fonder? Which would you prefer? 

The Fourth of July

Happy Fourth! Remember why we  celebrate.

I’m thankful for my freedom. Thank you for all those that have ensured my freedom. 

“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” ~Galatians 5:13