Sunday, December 20, 2009


One day at a time...

When you read that, do you think of a spiritual, a 70s sitcom, or something else?

If I'm answering my own question, I'd say, "It depends on my mood." But the phrase itself is a good one to remember.

One of our Pastors recently spoke to our MOPS group about the Advent season, about being present in the "now" and not focusing only on the past or the future. It gave most, if not all, of us a refreshed sense of calm in this chaotic season. To follow up on it, at our most recent meeting, one of the moms gave each of us a magnet that said, "Today". And you know what? It's really working as a tremendous reminder to people to focus on today. It's helping us to not be overwhelmed by a "to do" list that might feel too big to handle.

I confess to feeling the crunch right now. Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough of me to go around. And who took patient Stacey and left the snappish me in it's place?! I was thinking about all the cookies I needed to bake and the shopping I wanted to do and the gifts I wish I had thought about sooner and I saw that magnet on my fridge and said a silent "Thank you, " to Julie the magnet maker.

You see, in addition to remembering to focus on today...I also thought about the good things I did today, not just all the things I hadn't gotten to yet. It's easy to look at the "To Do" list and focus on the things I haven't yet crossed off. It's better to read between the lines and remember what I did today that wasn't on that list but was infinitely more important. The stories read, the snuggles given, the games played.

Yes, there is a lot of prep to do to get ready for Christmas. Yes, if I make a plan and stick to it (whether it be the budget or when to start baking) it will make the season go more smoothly. Yes, I want my kids to look back and remember the joy of the season.

I just want to be sure to keep my priorities straight, so that as I prepare to celebrate the birth of the most precious gift I don't forget to love on and enjoy the precious gifts God has blessed me with.

-Wishing you peace and blessings today...end every day.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

When the Learning Curve is Flat..Life Can Get Messy.

I consider myself to be a quick study. My learning curve is fairly steep for most things (other than calculus, but let's not go might make me cry.)

So why OH WHY will I not learn that the 2 yo is a wiggling worm and writhes all over when his diaper is being changed..especially when it is particularly...well...messy and change him somewhere other than a place where it could cause a big ol' ugly mess?

Tonight will be the 1,263rd time (OK, I'm exaggerating, but only a little bit) that I have placed him on my nice white duvet on my nice clean bed to change his unmentionable diaper...only to have him wriggle and slither and get away..managing to sully the duvet, the sheets and my beautiful new (washable, thank goodness) merino wool sweater. The sweater was sort of my fault, I was lunging across the bed to try to contain the wild child. (yuck. I know.) The saving grace..the pillows were spared. :-). But now, I will be waiting until the duvet is dry to head to dreamland.

From past experience, I will be wiser the next time or 10 and change him on a blanket on the floor and he will be relatively calm and I will be lulled into a false sense of security and go back to changing diapers on my bed will start again...or he will learn to use the potty and then instead of changing the dipes, I will just add him to the list of children that are responsible for missing the toilet.

I guess that is part of being a mom. It's the messiest job I'll ever love. And, because I cannot seem to learn my lesson about where (and where not) to change a diaper, it might remind me to be patient if my kids repeat mistakes too.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Remember the JOY

I'm having a "Groundhog Day" movie kind of day. Not because I am re-experiencing a day until I get it right, but because I have snippets of vivid memories about this day from 14 years ago. It's a little unsettling and sad and yet this year, the season has been so much better in many ways. (Thanks to friends new and old.)

Fourteen years ago today, we had just had a snowstorm, my baby was 15 months old and I was patching together snow clothes so J could play in the snow for the very first time. I was going to my parents' for dinner to celebrate dad's 62nd birthday and my husband was working. We had pot roast for dinner. I remember sitting at the kitchen island while mom told me about the people who had come to visit for her birthday two days earlier. She was really happy and had been very active lately. My mom had heart disease, high blood pressure, you name it, but she'd been able to do so much more lately. My little boy and I had been taking shopping trips and going out to lunch with grandma quite often.

My mom and I had been really building a new type of relationship- as fellow moms. It was a good club to be in with her. :) While we didn't agree on some things (I was all about breastfeeding and my mom said "If you'd just give that baby a bottle...") she taught me about sacrificial love and kindness and was an incredible role model of charity and generosity. She wasn't a saint (If there was an award for holding a grudge, she would have been a contender) but she was a pretty good model for me and she was seeing me as an adult. Sort of. Finally. Maybe. ;)

After dinner we were gathered in the family room. I was playing on the floor with J and mom and dad were in their "his and her" recliners. My mom said, "Well, I have my granddaughter and my blue-eyed grandson." (My mom and my husband have blue eyes, we now have two blue-eyed boys and three hazels) It was a strange comment, but she sounded content. As the evening wore on, it became obvious to me that she wasn't feeling well. I tried to convince her to go to the ER but she said she was "fine". I said, "Don't you want to see your grandson grow up?" Sensitive? Yep, that's me. She gave me "the look", said she was "just tired" and I shut up.

The last time I spoke to my mom was when I called that evening to let them know I had arrived home safely.

My mom died on December 16, 1995 late in the afternoon. When the ambulance brought her in, she told the doctors that she couldn't stay long because she still had a lot of wrapping to do.

So today as I recall my dad's birthday I remember the last day I spent with my mom and I am thankful for those memories of tender pot roast, a warm family room and the look of joy on her face when she watched J play.

Thank you for your joy, Mom. I think you're getting quite a kick out of the antics of your grandsons as you watch from Heaven.
-wishing you peace and blessing during this glorious season of JOY.