Sunday, January 22, 2006

Out of the mouths of babes...

As a spiritual life coach, I practice what I preach most often on my children. After all, if I don't teach it at home, how can I teach it somewhere else?

Most of the time it is a good thing. The two rules we try to follow are loving God with all that we are, and treating others as we want to be treated. These are good rules. Following them will leave little room for others to find fault with; when you follow them.

Our soon to be 9 y.o. daughter is a precious girl. She has the tender heart of a lamb and the ferocious personality of a lion. It is easy for her to get riled up and treat others in a way she DEFINITELY wouldn't like to be treated. So, to help her honor God and accomplish her goal of treating others the way she wants to be treated, we've spoken often to her of the power of prayer and asking Jesus for help. Though not yet 9, this precious girl is beginning to understand how to let Jesus help her do what He calls her to do. Actually, it is kind of fun to see, most of the time.

Recently, though, it was not very fun. It was rather uncomfortable, actually. I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, and it was my own fault. When one of the girls threw a fit, I threw one too. Every one of my girls knew they were in trouble. I was slamming doors, speaking harsh, and I even yelled. It was a mommy-melt-down, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. In the middle of it, when I was cleaning the sink with enough intensity to run the finish off, my precious daughter approached me.

"Mommy," she asked, "how is your heart with Jesus?" Knowing she was doing exactly what I'd done so many times, I just had to laugh! Then I faced reality. My heart wasn't very good. I'd been living my life exactly opposite of the way I know is right. I had not been loving God with everything that was in me. I wasn't even trying to love Him at all. And, I was doing anything but treating others the way I wanted to be treated.

With a gently rebuked and humbled heart, I asked my daughter to pray for me, and she did. Shortly after, I recognized some choices I was making that were not good. I asked Jesus to help me, and He did.

My precious daughters are so gracious. They all still love me. They even prayed for me while I was in the midst of the meltdown. For these children to extend me so much grace, after I'd been rotten, is a reminder of the grace I've been given by God. He knows my weaknesses; He knows my absolute inability to love Him the way I'm called to, or even to truly love others as I love myself. And, God loves me anyway.

I'm sure you can identify with some of what I've shared. You, too, may be struggling to get through the day, and need some help. Or, you may just be curious. If you want more information about what it means to know God personally, you can go to I, on the other hand, plan to finish up my serving of humble pie.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Technology and the passing of time

On New Year's Eve, I was buckling my 2 y.o. into her carseat, in the rain, on a busy street, in the dark. According to the principles of Murphy's Law, my purse fell out of the car. Of course, the contents dumped all over the busy street, and I mean ALL over. As I scrambled to gather all the parts and pieces, I missed a significant item. The back of my cell phone. My cell phone is black. The road was black. The night was black. It was a dark and stormy night. You get the picture.

Anyway, the back of my cell phone is lost. The battery falls out; the face plate comes off; the phone just quits. Recognizing that this was a problem, I decided to stop in where we purchased our phones a year ago last August, to get a new back. Silly me. Why should I expect the people who sold me this cell phone months ago to still have parts. It is, I was told, a pretty old phone.

Old is just a matter of perspective. My toddler is very young, and she is older than my cell phone. I've been around for way more than 18 months, and I am definitely not old! Though I don't drink, it is my understanding that the older the wine, the better. Aged meat is more tender. Vintage cars are prized. My phone isn't old, it is vintage!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Toilet training is not for cowards

Toilet training of people or pets is not to be undertaken lightly. Having 5 children in 8 years (all girls) has been an adventure all its own. Now that the youngest of those 5 is ready to make the leap from diapers to panties, a totally new adventure awaits. Though successful in my past attempts, I seem to have forgotten how to make the leap from diaper changer to potty trainer.

For Christmas, my sister gave our girls a puppy. The puppy already has several things in common with our family. She is a girl, she is young, and she isn't completely house-broken. Though her name is Lady, this little mut has been engaging in some very unladylike behavior. So, between toilet training a toddler and housebreaking a puppy, I've decided I'm a coward!

Maybe it has just been a bad day. So far, Lady has left two "aromatic" deposits in the house, on the carpet. Then, Kayla demonstrated she has absolutely NO clue what to do without a diaper, all over the kitchen floor, while I was making lunch! And our four year old has symptoms of a bladder infection. Where do I turn in my resignation?!

Ok. I guess I don't really want to resign. Even with the chaos and craziness, I love my family!! Having a housefull of girls is a little overwhelming at times, but I can't imagine life without every single one of them! Parenting isn't for cowards. Toilet training (or housebreaking) is no easy task. But, few things in life are easy, and even fewer can be undertaken by cowards. Though I am a coward, I know that God will give me the strength to navigate this road, and to live until tomorrow.