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Archive for September, 2006

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ADD A Carnival type event  for ADD/ADHD Awareness!  See ya’ there on Wednesday!

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Dreaming

This weekend has been one for dreaming.  For a long time I have longed for a change in lifestyle that would lead us out of the “rat race” and into the “country life”.  A simpler lifestyle.  Kind of a “Little House on the Prairie” only with electricity way of life. 

Unfortunately, I am completely ill-equipped for such a lifestyle.  I am not at all “self-sufficient” or even all that pioneering.  But I’d like to learn.  I’d like to give it a try anyway. 

I’m not the only one that feels this way.  It seems to be a growing trend.  Perhaps God is calling us out of the industrialized wasteland of the “world” so that we can glorify Him through honoring His creation, working with our hands in honest labor, and supporting our families and others off the fruits of the earth.  I don’t know what it is, but there is a movement toward natural living…and I want to be a part of it.

So does my family.  This weekend was full of phone calls back and forth between my mom, brothers, sister, aunts and cousins as they discussed making this dream become a reality.  They are looking at land and developing a plan, and I am so excited for them. 

Meanwhile, DH and I are discussing what we can do to be a part of it.  We want to live close to our family and make a spot for ourselves in the country, but how best can we do that with the skills and knowledge that we have?  Honestly, we don’t know.  DH has one year left before his enlistment is finished in the Army and we know one thing for certain.  He wants out.  He does not plan to re-enlist.  But how can he provide for us in a way that will satisfy his love of music?  Music is his passion and I doubt he will be truly happy doing anything else.  So we don’t want to settle.  But we don’t want to starve, either.  🙂 

So, we are praying.  Our church is doing their annual “Forty Days…” campaign and this year is the Forty Days of Prayer.  I am glad.  I am not a natural prayer warrior, and I know that this decision we face is one of the most important ones we’ll make and needs to be led by God.  So I am eager to bring this to God over the next couple of months and see where He leads us. 

 In the meantime, I’m gonna keep dreaming.

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QuiverSince before we married, DH and I have struggled with the issue of “controlling” our fertility.  Was it our place to try to limit the number of children we have or space the way we think best?  Or should we, in faith, welcome God’s blessings into our lives and trust that He who blesses will also provide?

On the one hand, children are a blessing.  They fill our days with purpose and joy now and they provide a hope for security in our old age.  They are our legacy and a priceless gift from our Father.  And since when do we ask God to stop blessing us?  “We’ve had enough, God, but thanks anyway…” 

And yet, each blessing is also a tremendous responsibility and, yes, a lot of work.  The task of parenting is no walk in the park (though many walks in the park will undoubtedly be taken).  Rather I have found that being a parent is the most challenging task I have ever been given and I cannot imagine a more difficult one in my future.  It requires of me a level of selflessness and patience and wisdom that I do not possess, and I find that the bar is raised with the addition of each “addition.”  It pushes me past my limits and to my knees.  It molds me, with chisle and hammer, and it refines me in fire.  I am broken and remade again and again, and each time I hope I look a little bit more like Christ and a little bit less like a lump of clay.

And each child, with their unique set of gifts to be directed and enjoyed and challenges to be overcome, stretches me and shapes me further.  And while I never get tired of the bouquets of “flowers”, a refrigerator covered in drawings, peek-a-boo, sloppy kisses, and bedtime stories, I do weary of the training.  From potty training to educational training to character training, it is arduous work.  I know it is worth it, but I’m not sure how much more I can do (especially when I don’t feel like I’m doing such a bang up job anyway).  I am in the trenches everyday with the three children I have, and looking forward to adding the fourth is plenty daunting.  As these little ones grow, we face challenges that make me want to send DH for a minor surgery.  And we have more to come.  The “adventure” of adolescence and beyond is still ahead of us by a few years, and I would at least like to be out of the potty training phase by then.  I have a feeling I’m going to need the extra energy.

Of course this issue goes back and forth endlessly for me.  God has promised to supply all my needs.  He is sufficient for me.  Whether we are wondering how to feed and clothe them all, or we are fresh out of wisdom and insight for a problem at hand, He will provide.  If we have more children, I fully believe God will supply my every need.  I just don’t know if I really want to test that.  (I read once that a person only needs 4 hours of sleep a night…)

I am, perhaps, a bit selfish in looking forward to a time before I am quite fifty when the house stays clean when I pick it up and DH and I can go out to dinner without rounding up some babysitting.  But though that seems like such a peaceful, relaxing picture to me now, when it comes, will I be feeling empty, wishing once again for that tiny hand in mine and those sticky kisses on my cheek? 

But God will still provide.  Isn’t that why He gives us grandchildren?

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Why is it that when you miss a couple of hours of sleep one night, it seems to take a couple of days of extra sleep to catch up?  And when you’re pregnant, it may take a whole week to regain the lost sleep.  Well, it seems like I’ve been playing catch up all week, and I could still sleep for a whole day if I didn’t have any responsibilities.

We attended the marriage retreat last Friday night and Saturday, and Dh and I really enjoyed getting away and having all that time for uninterrupted conversation.  We had a beautiful ocean view room with a balcony.  The weather was beautiful, the tradewinds keeping it cool and fresh.  We stood out on the balcony and looked at the city lights all around us and enjoyed the Friday night fireworks on the beach.  Then we decided to go for a walk along the beach and through the shops in Waikiki.  It was beautiful.  It was relaxing.  We were alone.

Unfortunately, I had not packed good walking shoes.  I was thinking more of style than of comfort when I packed my one pair of cute-but-uncomfortable sandals, so we stopped frequently and didn’t walk as far as we had planned.  On our way back to the hotel, we stopped in at Planet Hollywood for a late night snack (the baby’s gotta eat…) and live music.  By the time we arrived back on the 29th floor, I realized that I had perhaps overdone it with all the walking.  I was so exhausted.  I guess I’m not as young as I once was, and being pregnant isn’t as easy the fifth time as it was the first.

Needless to say, I was looking forward to sleeping so I’d be ready for our 8 o’clock session in the morning.  Unfortunately, the bed was not as comfortable as it looked, and I tossed and dreamed and dozed until about four a.m. when I finally pushed Dh to the other side to make room for more pillows. 

The alarm at 7 a.m. was not welcome.  But we got down to the meeting room for breakfast and our morning sessions.  We enjoyed hearing all the stories and insights from the other couples who ranged in marriage length from 1 month 9 days to 38 years.

We got home around 3:30 in the afternoon to our very eager children, and we literally crashed on the couch.  And I’ve been trying to catch up on some sleep since then.  But it was so worth it.  Dh and I hadn’t “gotten away” in longer than we could remember.  Once our new baby boy arrives, it will be a long time before we do it again.  So I’m glad we went.  I just wish I could have had a day to sleep when I got back. 🙂

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