Friday, September 23, 2011

Arguing with God

I've not been here for a while because I've been too busy.

School started for both children and that always takes some adjustment.  My daughter changed schools and I was fearful it would be a difficult transition...but it wasn't.  In fact, I believe she's even happier at this new school than she was at her previous one.  Seriously... Praise God!  Initially we were considering making this a 1 year change, but now I know she'll just stay where she is.

Mostly, I've not been here because I've been too busy arguing with God.  (2x4 Girl!)
He has been telling me for some time now (I shudder to think how long actually) that I need to be healthier.  It will improve my family -- setting an example, willingness (& ability) to go do more things with my kids. It will improve my marriage for the same reasons.  I will be happier -- who can't be happier?  I will feel better.

The way God often works in my life is He starts out subtle.  A nudge, a prodding, maybe I'll get sick and be bombarded with thoughts of how much I don't want to be ill anymore.  I firmly believe that the natural consequences of not working towards a healthier me are reminders from God that I need to take this step.  God is not causing them, but uses these consequences as a reminder to do something good.

Recently, I've had some bad illnesses.  I realize that I am always tired.  I always have something wrong and I think... I am done.

I will be honest, this past week I knew this was coming.  I may have even been eating and behaving worse than normal because I knew it was coming.  It's that silly and dramatic little girl inside of me that is stomping her feet and shouting "no! no! no!"

Kind of silly, but so how I feel.  This experience is showing me that I have some other issues under all this.  My complete and utter resistance to being told what to do.  I mean, seriously.  It makes me so angry!  (And I have a support role as a career!  ha!  Tell me a sense of humor isn't necessary in life)!!  So apparently I have an issue to work out there.

Today... I'll start with eating breakfast each day.

Anybody else need to start a journey?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Day of School

Today was my youngests first day of school.  She is 11 and going into 6th grade.

Normally, this would not be a big deal, but H is starting a new school.  Previously she's been attending a Christian school (a move my checkbook assures me is the right decision); making this her first day at a new school. 

She doesn't know anyone. (yet)

They have no parking at this school.  The only parking available is for staff and honestly, the lot doesn't seem large enough even for those cars.  Driving up I see that there is a no street parking zone all around the school area.  (Great, now what!?)  Additionally, there are two police officers standing by for unknown reasons.  (Perhaps the Jr High next door is just a little crazy?)

Several people broke the rules (I really should meet them because they are so like me) and parked along the street.  There was one spot open still so I squeezed in with my big minivan and we walked to the elementary school (past the police officer walking towards us with what I can only assume was her ticket book).  I let it go.  What could I do?  If I got a ticket taking my daughter to her first day in a new school (ie: one she's never been to, where she knows nobody and is going it at 6th grade)... so be it.  I smiled and tried not to let my angst show. 

I walked her to her classroom and we waited.
and waited.
and I sweated.
and became very cranky, but smiled to my daughter.

"You don't have to stay Mom, I'll be fine."  (my daughter knows me so well)
I did not take the easy out... I said no, I'd stay until they actually went into the classroom.

I kept sweating.  (It was quite warm out.  Over 80 and it was barely 8am. But the warm wet bear hug of humidity was killing me more.)

There was a sweet chatty obviously friendly girl standing in front of us.  My daughter towered over her.  Actually, my daughter towered over everyone!  She's used to this being a tall girl, but it seemed that the people in this school were exceptionally short.  I introduced my daughter to the chatty-Cathy.  She told us about her Alaskan cruise this summer and pointed to her shirt.  I watched the other girls share their summer events and thought that we really did very little this summer.  (I can hear it now...simulation of actual conversation I imagine "You went to Alaska?  I went to Hesperia!  It was so cool, well, actually it was so hot!  We watched tv and washed my Mom's car and tried not to get bitten by black widows!"  I doubt H would be receiving offers for a playdate soon.)

My daughter leaned against the extremely rough and grooved brick and made a sarcastic remark to chatty-Cathy who was oblivious to it.  H looked at me. 
"Apparently she doesn't get sarcasm." 
I replied quietly, "Not everyone is as fluent in sarcasm as our family dear." 
"They are all midgets."
"Actually, you're a giant.  The correct term by the way is vertically challenged."
H rolls eyes.

I sweat.

The teacher opens the door and I am momentarily elated!  She rolls out this cool triangle shaped barge for the kids to put backpacks on hooks and perhaps lunches in the bottom of.  Then she closes the door and disappears again! 

I see parents taking pictures and realize I am the worst Mom in the world, I don't even have my phone to take a photo...but my daughter has her phone and after several "I am not smiling" shots, I finally get something decent. 

Finally, the teacher opens the door and instructs the kids to sit anywhere and they will work through the actual seats each person will have once inside.  I am a bit disappointed that the is no cheery "Good Morning" as she opens the door.  That she doesn't even look out and smile at the parents or anything and I fear (unreasonably) that this will be a less than wonderful day. 

I wave goodbye to my giant daughter and walk back to my car, praying over my daughter's first day and yet knowing she will make friends because that's who she is.  I'm not actually worried...except about that ticket.

Which was not on my van! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

baby bi-polar

Have I told you that I have a mood disorder? I do. I am coping quite well with medication (better living through pharmaceuticals), but there are times when it rears its ugly head. Tonite apparently is one of them.

Currently it is 130 in the morning. I have been happily awake since 430 yesterday morning. This would barely hit my radar if I were, say, in my twenties. I mean who needs sleep in your twenties?! There is so much to do! However, by your forties I expect most of us have learned the importance of naps. I personally love a good nap. Now a bad nap could possibly put someone's life in jeopardy - for instance the party guilty of waking me up! (Hey, that was a good dream).

This evening however my body took over. Or rather my mood disorder did. I just kept humming along at a good clip. I actually got quite a lot done. This is not often the case. More likely I would have started multiple things and finished none. So that part is good.

But coming up on the side of 2am... not sure it was worth it. Not sleeping ultimately feels like self destructive behavior.

In case you didn't know; self destructive = bad.

I will pay for this tomorrow (or wouldn't it be wonderful if my crash came tomorrow night?!) And contemplate how to avoid a repeat performance.

How are you self destructive? What are you doing about it?
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Word & Funny of the Week

I am a huge fan of LOLCats (AKA Icanhasacheeseburger).  I am totally on board with the cats on the internet thing.

One of my responsibilities at work is to keep morale up.  A task I take seriously.
I am now sharing one of the ways I attempt to do this.  I post these in various places around the office and update them weekly.

You lucky people now get to share in the fun!

What do you think?  Did you get the Word Puzzle answers? 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stupid Kids

Have you heard that kids -- especially teenagers -- are stupid?  I have.  I've heard that their brains are still forming and they aren't capable of making good decisions.

And then I remember that the Apostles were teenagers.  A group of teenage boys completely changed the world.  That is compelling.  there is a book I want to purchase for my kids and have them read.  It's called Do Hard Things, A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations.  I want to read this too.  I like the message and I believe the message to be true.

Yes, kids are stupid.  They are growing and changing all the time.  I know both of my children, my daughter especially, become clumsy as they go through some of their growth spurts.  It is part of the process of growing.  Having your feet get larger and kicking everything in your way.  Getting taller and hitting your head on things you never used to have a problem with.  Learning what your "new" body is like. 

Yes, kids can be stupid because their brain is still growing and learning so much about the world.  Yet, we never really stop learning, do we.  To a 40 year old, a 20 year old is a baby.  To a 50 year old, a 30 year old -- even a 40 year old -- still has so much to learn about the world and the way things work.  Experience is the best teacher and you simply cannot borrow as much as we might want to from the history of others.  (though the Bible does tell us "a word to the wise is sufficient").

I believe, that despite these areas where growth is still occuring, teens have an untapped vision and passion that cannot be daunted by conventional wisdom.  We need to hold onto that faith in possibillities.  We need to encourage them that anything is possible!  Doesn't God tell us all things are possible with Him?  That He can do immeasurably more than we could ever think or imagine?!  That is HUGE!

Then I think of God's encouragement that we should come to Him as little children.  Willing to hear what our Father has to say and believe Him to be truthful.  Children generally don't second guess their Father (ok, honestly, my children second guess me all the time... but I like the idea that there are children who believe their parents.  Mine have just learned to question so much.)

How do we live as children?  Believing God sized dreams full of possibility?  Where do we stand?  Where do you stand?

I know that I will be encouraging my children more in the future that anything is possible.  To pray and ask God what His plans are for their future and believe that with Him...ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN! 

I'm kind of excited!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Parenting Difficulties

Sometimes parenting just sucks.  Especially when you realize that you have nobody to blame, but, well, yourself!  I am a recovering Marshmallow Parent who has admittedly spent some years in the role of parent trying to make up for things from my own childhood –or- following in my parent’s footsteps.  My husband came from a strict and only child home in another country.  We rarely meet on issues and have not been good at setting standards and backing one another up. (Yes, we are working on this, I’m just being honest.)
Today I am T I R E D!  Why you ask?  Well, because this is the last week of summer and my children have decided sleep is unnecessary.  They want to suck the marrow of freedom from these final days of uneducated bliss.  My daughter was practicing sign language (because we saw a show about it and now both kids want to learn) and my son was building a gun out of Lego.  OK, I’m happy that they were doing things other than watching TV and the like, but I do still have to rise early each day and not getting enough sleep for 4 days in a row is going to kill me.  I’m not as young as I used to be!
This brings up something I often find myself struggling with and leads to great frustration.  My marriage, as I have said before, needs work.  Our communication and time together is pretty embarrassing.  We have some pretty awesome parenting tools that I have been working with and using and it makes a difference.  (It’s the scaffolding around the de-mallowing of Marshmallow Mom.)  In order for this to be truly effective (in these few remaining years of actual parental influence we have left) these practices must be done together as a united front.  We just don’t do that.  It seems there is never enough time, or energy, or privacy, or motivation, or (fill in your reason or excuse here). 
I cannot be alone in this, but I sometimes feel I am.  Perhaps this is because I have several friends who seem to have this down pat.  They know the rules, the set the boundaries, they follow through consistently and the results are pretty awesome!  Perhaps it is because I compare myself to these people, or those other bloggers I follow, or people on Facebook  and I want more from my life; so I see myself as having come up short.
Where do you stand?  Are you coming up short?  I believe I will begin pondering the ways I am a good parent next.  That will be a good balance for this I believe.