Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Birthday and Mother's Day Combined

My birthday fell on Mothers Day this year. We don't have church until later in the day and so it was wonderful to sleep in and enjoy a slow morning with my family. I felt special and loved. The kids set my place at the table on my Grandma's china, the same way I do it for them on their birthday's. This was the first year it dawned on them to do that and I was so happy to see that, really truly, the good things I have tried to teach them are starting to sink in here and there.

After serving me breakfast they each gave me a hand written note and Scott filled in with new exercise clothes. Scott put in the slide show of family photos that he made for me years ago. We hadn't seen it in a long time and he and I sat and dripped tears into our laps while we watched years gone-by float across the TV screen.

Motherhood is noble and divine and I am so thankful that from my earliest days I have known that one simple truth. It is mundane and repetitive and to be honest pretty ordinary but I can think of nothing else that is mundane, repetitive and ordinary that is also completely refining and totally purposeful.

I was grateful for a day of being spoiled because getting through the last week of school is like running a marathon. Only at the end of a marathon you get a medal.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Down With Extra Credit

I am telling you parenting these people is hard. This morning I laid in my bed begging the universe to leave me alone so I could just pretend that life wasn't waiting for me and go back to sleep. Oh there are days that feel like just a bit too much. I want to say, "go away day--your sister night, was doing just fine without you."

Yesterday the twins bounced into the kitchen after school to tell me that they were going to do the extra credit project. You know the one. Build a model of an animal cell made from entirely edible items, label each part, trash the entire kitchen and then parade that sucker back into school tomorrow--yep tomorrow.

It took all the forced goodness in me not to blurt out,

"No way, you see kids, in our family we don't do extra credit, we are barely making it on the regular credit and I don't need a bunch of over-achievers emptying out my cupboards and using a $2.99 bag of powdered sugar to make edible cytoplasm."

Forced goodness won and I acted like a big girl and bit my tongue, the extra credit was completed and the twins marched out of here this morning with gooey, sugary, edible animal cells, perched on the old cardboard of a used up cereal box. They look like this example from the internet only a lot more sloppy, messy, disorganized and whole lot more my-mom-didn't-help-me-at-all-with-this-ish.

School could not come to an end soon enough to save my ever-lovin sanity. Book reports due Friday!

I could not get up this morning. I could not. But I did. Cytoplasm and book reports and any homework for that matter is not my joy in life. But the kids that bring that stuff into my life are. More than anything I try to put my energy into teaching my kids about the gospel of Jesus Christ, you know--goodness, kindness, honesty and all of that. And I dare say I don't let a day go by that they don't hear some kind of preachin from a Mom who loves them and lets them destroy the kitchen in a noble quest for extra credit.

Nephi, being the amazing, tough, superhero that he was said that when he was teaching his horrible brothers he did exhort them with all the energies of his soul, and with all the faculty which he possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things. Gosh I love that! I read it the other day in a complete stupor of exhaustion over tests, homework, reports, teacher gifts, concerts, end of year parties, last minute field trips, the blasted extra credit and a whole lot of guilt over the fact that I kind of hate all of it.  I realized and felt reassured that because I am using all the energies of my soul and all the faculty I posses to teach the really important stuff always in all things it leaves me only bits left over to give to even one more spelling list.

Now only if it were true that I was giving ALL the energy of my soul and ALL the faculty that I posses. But man am I ever trying! I am certain that is what it will take in this crazy mixed up world and I am willing to give it. So now you can forgive me for biting my tongue and wishing that extra credit was never invented.

And Nephi,  Brother, what would I ever do without you?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My Best Thing

I am struggling to adjust to having my blog private. In one way it is very comforting but in another I really hate it. I know that my blog never became a big success, I know that I never had a huge loyal following but there is something about knowing that other people might read a post-- that they might be blessed or helped by it, that is very motivating. I do my best writing when there is the possibility of sharing it. I guess its that human connection that we are all born needing.

Writing the stories of my family and faith and failures and fulfillments is what I enjoy and if I dare say it, its what I am good at. I mean I can switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer like a Boss. I am really good at that too. However, in the face of endless washer dryer switching, I am pretty sure my brain is in shut off mode. And sometimes, lets face it, the brain needs to be alive.

When I feel like being over dramatic and when I am feeling especially sorry for myself I say things to Scott like, "writing is all I have and now even that feels like it has been taken by some punk teenager who likes to steal other peoples photos." Pretty dramatic and a bit exaggerated but here's the thing, I don't play an instrument, I don't have a job, I don't sing in the church choir, its been a long time since I have been given a calling or project that I can really sink my talents into and so I am floundering. I am a believer that God gave us gifts so that we can USE them. I can shout from the roof tops that using and living and investing in the gifts that God gave us makes us BETTER mothers, better wives and better humans! On the very day that I decided to actually physically become a mother I promised and swore that at all cost, that one job would come first in my life. It's another human being that I CHOSE To bring here it MUST come first. And as long as I live-- it will but lets make the most of ourselves while were at it right? Right!

I love this from Jen Hatmaker...

Maybe your best thing won’t draw a paycheck, but it is still where you shine and glow and come to life and bless the world. May I legitimize your gifts please? Just because you don’t get a paystub doesn’t mean you should shrink back or play small or give it all up. Do your thing. Play your note. What are you good at? Not sure? What do people constantly say you are good at? Others can usually identify our gifts long before we are willing to concede.  Don't let your gifts languishing on the sidelines, awaiting your courage to put them in the game. I don’t like when people minimize their gifts. Oh, I’m just or it’s only or it’s nothing… This aggravates me. There is a difference between humility and insecurity, and wrapping ourselves in self-effacement does no one any favors. We teach our watching children to doubt and excuse and diminish. Do we want our kids to reflect on the mothers who raised them and have absolutely no idea what we loved? What we were good at? What got our pulses racing and minds spinning? Don’t we want them to see us doing what we do best?

Well I do.

( I am opening my blog but hiding all old posts until I can get ALL my photos watermarked--that may never happen)