Saturday, August 28, 2010

our little family

Oh if only i had the energy and heart to tell you all that has been running through my mind!~ and OH aren't you glad i don't! 
As far back as i can remember i wanted to be a wife and mommy. I played this role from birth, first with baby dolls, then with barbies, then over and over in my head as i thought of any potential guy who might be the one-starting that in junior high. In high school i dated not. Most people thought it was because of my "very strict" parents...and to a degree..maybe it was...but God had set my heart apart even then-not to settle. My mom and i spent nights in my teenage years praying on our knees for my husband to be..i waited-i dated not. In college God began to turn my heart towards Him for that satisfaction, that longing fulfilled-showing me HE can be husband to that heart of mine. 
He gave me countless amazing women to be a part of their every day days. Watching them fold laundry, cook and counsel their little ones. Whether it was babysitting, vacationing with a family, or a short term nanny position, God was grooming me for THIS.
Even my degree...elementary childhood-i took human growth and development, childhood psychology, storytelling & puppetry...Really?! I spent 5 years in the classroom. I learned about public education at its worst and best. 
My mom was classic stay at home mom. Consistently investing, instilling wisdom, work ethic, respect. How many nights was she sure i would flee the flock?! Oh how i rebelled. How my heart spurned the things of God my family was all about at times. But truth be said, at the end of everyday i have always been thankful for the weirdos we were. I knew that my family was special.awesome.different. and somehow i knew that it made me that way too. 
This decision about taking a part time job has been hard. The latest with it is i told her i could not do this everyday. She is looking into me doing 2 days a week for 4 hours each day. The boys would be going to mothers day out those days if that is how it works out. That means me beign at home with them ALL DAY EVERY DAY 5 days week...allowing them (and me) a small break and time to remember there is a world out there beyond our own.  They both enjoy it at Trinity Tots. Its such a sweet environment. I pretty much know all the kids mamas in both their classes-either directly or indirectly. Their teachers are sweet as pie. Their cousins go there-so there is always that familiar face. They have a set schedule and curriculem. They have art, music, outside play snack and nap. They both sleep well there. It really seems to be a ministry to mothers and their children. It seems to be done right. I feel okay about them being there. It allows Ben to have 2 days where he can work free from a noisy background and where he can set up appointments with clients and i don't have to guard the doorbell at naptime...
So, you only though this was going to be short...Hmm. THIS life i am living is exactly what i have always dreamed of. I get to wake up and care for my husband and precious ones everyday. I may not "feel" this all the time, but i know that God's will is for my sanctification and it is happening and will continue as i trust God through each day. No matter what those days look like.
He is worthy of trust and is giving me the faith and contentment i need daily. I feel that this part time opportunity may be a way of teaching me to let go of control of my babies, a way to remind me of the lost world, a way to encourage and minister to other women in my community, a way to not build my children up as idols in my heart, to give me focus for the season i am in...and much more..but no matter..He is in control and He is guiding me..

Monday, August 23, 2010

A good read...

Ladies, if you have $10 BUY THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And if you have $20 Buy this one
Manly Dominion: In a Passive-Purple-Four-Ball World

Here is a quote from Womanly that i read today, beginning by quoting JOB 39:

"The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, but they cannot compare with the pinions and feathers of the stork.

She lays her eggs on the ground and lets them warm in the sand,unmindful that a foot may crush them, that some wild animal may trample them.

She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;
she cares not that her labor was in vain,

for God did not endow her with wisdom, or give her a share of good sense. (v. 12-17)

"An ostrich says why should i be bothered with my young, i have more important things to do with my life". But notice a robin-watch her-she sits patiently on her nest until her young hatch and then after they hatch-if you dare get close to her nest, she will fly overhead, shrieking and flapping-her job is to protect and nurture her young. Tragically many modern mothers resemble not the robin, but the ostrich. They birth their children and instead of personally and tenderly nurturing their young treasures, they dump them off in places where they are vunerable to being trampled on by strangers...because they have more important things to do" 104

Just for fun i looked up "stork" on wikipedia being that it was refered to in this passage in job as a contrast to the ostrich and found this interesting note:
"Their nests are often very large and may be used for many years.Storks were once thought to be monogamous;they tend to be attached to nests as much as partners."...HA!!!!Seems the writer of JOB knew a good bit about the contrast of these 2 birdies!!!!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

the latest...

So after entereing the wonderful little elementary school on MOnday to get a tour of the teachers i would be working iwth i was exposed to and caught the stomach virus...i was up sick the entire night before my suposed first day of work. I went in on Thursday and poured out my heart to the principal, here is the jist of what i said:

As I laid in the bed today for hours, sick as could be; I walked through many stories in the Bible. I started with Noah. Everyone thought he was crazy, there had never even been rain come from the sky before and he is building a boat because God told him it was going to rain. In faith, he acted on what he believed and the rain certainly did come, his faith had saved him. Then there is Abraham-100 years old and he was going to have a son? But “...he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness..” (Galatians 3:6) He acted on what he believed and his faith proved worthy as Sarah did in fact bear a son at 90. God did what He promised. Then there is Moses-the Egyptians behind him the Red Sea in front. God said step into the sea-he acted on what he believed God wanted him to do, even though he didn’t know how God was going to do it. Mary, mother of Jesus, though what God said was to happen had never been done before she believed God. Even though it made no sense.

So it makes no sense for me not to take this opportunity offered to me. It is ‘right down my alley’. I love teaching reading, I have been admonished in that skill, it is a passion of mine. It’s great hours, right down the street. It seems perfect.

But there are other people who have been gifted in that same way, able to carefully instruct students reading, to increase phonemic awareness and other vital skills. But there is no one else that can be there for Brennan an Knox everyday, instructing not only early reading skills, but also their character. That is something lacking in the world. I have an irreplaceable role as their mother. No one else will know their hearts and be able to prepare them to face the world and change it like I can. I am not trying to boast, because it is hard to be here day in and out-sweat pants and Sesame Street as you said..but it is a huge part of their future.

It is just 15 hours a week. I have told myself over and over, it sounds crazy, even to me. What is the big deal? I keep asking myself. But I am sure so did every person mentioned above. I have been excited about this job, as has everyone in our family, but ultimately as this day closes everyone has supported a choice to decline. I have no idea how God is going to provide for our family in the way this job would, but I believe that It is the right thing to stay home those 15 hours a week..even though it makes no sense.

I was so encouraged by her response. She totally understood and even said that she was somewhat surprised that i took the position. Having goen back to work when hers were 2 & 3 she understood how i was feeling. She said to try it for 2 weeks and then make my decision.

Last night (Sunday) Brennan was up all night throwing up..we are just waiting for Knox tonight... i will not be going in tomorrow and if all goes well (no one else gets sick) i will go back on Tuesday and serve the 2 weeks "notice". Finishing my last day on September 1st. I may continue to go down & assist some of the teachers when i am available. They have all been so thankful and appreciative of help from someone who understands.
This quote seems so fitting for my life right now:
“God never place us in any position in which we can not grow. We may fancy that He does. We may fear we are so impeded by fretting, petty cares that we are gaining nothing; but when we are not sending any branches upward, we may be sending roots downward. Perhaps in the time of our humiliation, when everything seems a failure, we are making the best kind of progress.”
~Elizabeth Prentiss

Monday, August 16, 2010

the verdict

I don't have the emotional energy to re-hash all that has gone through my heart in the last 3 days. But i will say this-Ben has been great. He has prayed for me, encouraged me, and ultimaltely asked for God's guidance. As we read together last night he reminded me of the verse in 1 Thes 

4:3 "For this is the will of God-your sanctification"

When asking what God desires it is that simple and that i will no doubt be tried through and through with this and most likely so will he. We concluded that this will be a good time of bonding and time for him to invest in our boys. Time they need in their lives. He will be working the same hours just at different times. From 7-10am and 1-5 or 6pm. Still 7-8 hours. Plus many times after the boys are in bed at night while i am doing dishes he will piddle a little til i am done, so he is okay with work stuff.
I went today and met all the teachers. I knew all but 2 of them from different stuff like curriculum adoption teams etc.. They all (but 1) seemed thrilled that i would be working with their students. It took me 1 minute driving...ha! I will most likely be walking from now on..I start on Wednesday and will be there 10am til 1pm. I will be home to put both boys down for naps (if Brennan can hang on that long). I have set up a scheldule of activities for Ben to do with the boys if needed (like library, art, park,  etc..)
And THANK YOU dear friends for all your advice and prayers!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

we're back...AND

We are back home! 8 whole days away from home and our dear babies!!! It was great! Our boys had a blast! Knox IS walking everywhere least i didn't miss his first steps! He did not know what to do when he saw me last night..We got in at 7:30ish. Brennan ran to the door saying mommy with a grin the size of Texas on his face. Knox had a flood of emotions cross his face, smile, laugh, cry hold out his arms, refuse, reach for his was a little much for him, and right at bedtime. But he has called me Mama and Ben Daddy all day and had a wonderful time. Brennan got a bit confused last night with both of us and called us Nana and Papa, but what do you expect?
On Friday before we left Athens, i got a call from my former partner teacher Teresa who is now principal at Ingleside Elementary. She called right as my parents drove off with the boys, right as i was about to fall apart. She claimed to have a dream job offer for me. 3 hours a week, reading interventionist. Ingleside is 3-4 minutes WALKING distance from my house, I know a lot of the teachers there, i am not responsible for lesson plans, or a classroom. I will be working with low students in grades 2-3 in a small group, reteaching setting. It is doing what i LOVE doing in the schools.
Now for how my heart is handling all this: at first i was excited, seemed to good to be true. I had to tell her by Monday if i wanted to accept the job or not.  Ben was very encouraging towards me taking it. I called my parents and told them & asked them to pray about it. My dad said it seemed to be the 'best of both worlds'. Our dear friends Lillian and Ryan (whom you will hear much more of as the stories from this past week unfold), said that it seemed a way of God providing. I never got excited about it. I thought it good, don't get me wrong, but you know me and you know what me 'excited' looks like. Last night i fell apart on Ben asking for his guidance and assurance about this offer. I'm reading 'Womanly Dominion' right now and i am Tennessee's biggest advocate for stay at home motherhood. (My mom has Bama covered). I have no  desire to leave the full time home front. I love what i do. Is it hard? HECK YES!!!! But i wouldn't trade it for the world. I will wipe noses, bottoms, do laundry and cook till the day i die with joy and love and peace, mind the Lord doesn't stop giving me those things. I have only ever wanted to be here, doing this.
So...why leave? How many women in America have a total love for the home, undesirous of another occupation? Isn't that a gift from God? What would i be saying to Him or anyone else by taking this position? But does God not know our position right now-Ben's job allowing him to be with the boys the 3 hours i would be gone? Is this not an opportunity for their father to bond and invest in them? Isn't it just like a LONG lunch break for him?
All council has been for it. I have wrestled a bit with my 'duty'. I would still be primarily home. It is just 1/4 of my day...Still for some reason this is not an easy call..your thoughts?

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Little Messy

Having our sweet boys so close has been a challenge, it has been fun, it has been an adventure! Someone asked me the other day how i get anything done and the following pictures are an answer to that question (and don't worry this was a rare day when Knox took a late late nap).

Here is the result of Brennan's "cooking" the other day. He wanted to make soup like i was...
I read in a cookbook that your spices are to be thrown out and updated once a year..Well folks, i got a spice rack as a wedding gift and we are going on 7 years..Besides what recipe do you use regularly that calls for fennel and corriander? So here it is folks. Fennel and corriander soup de jour, compliments of Chef Brennan..

Its about right here that i realized he had gone to the potty and never asked for help getting his underwear back on..hmm...the half-naked chef.Sounds like a debut of a new show for TLC or the cooking network!

This was on a Saturday..Ben took the boys for a ride around our circle while i was cooking..check out the cheese on Knox face!!!!
Here is what they were doing while i was cleangin the breakfast dishes yesterday.
And the latest...tonight while i was cooking super and Brennan was 'helping' me, Knox was in the playroom playing with blocks, i went to stir the corn and came back to find this: