Day 28: Filter Please

Seriously, I need a filter. Actually, that's not true. What I should say is that I need a BETTER filter.

You see, I have this problem. I might have mentioned this before, but every member of my family has a genius level IQ. I don't say this pridefully, as I am not the one who created this brain in my head. We can't be prideful over what we are given. We can only be responsible for how we use it. (But it still ALWAYS sounds prideful when you say it, so I try not to say it, but for this blog it was important information . . . anyway)

The danger of having the kind of brain that literally absorbs knowledge, is that very often I have this . . . ummm . . . let's call it an "urging" to spill out my knowledge.

I try to filter this annoying habit, because I know that most people don't really want to be informed about all my superfluous information.

Case in point.

The other day I was at my kid's day care and the teacher was laughing because "Nitro" was skipping into class. I said, "yeah, we've been working on skipping. It's good for the brain."

I should have stopped there. I know I should have.

But then she did it. (The teacher, I mean)

She looked at me. She gave me that inquizzical "huh?" look. (PS - don't do that in my presence).

So I HAD to do it. I HAD to tell her all I know about skipping and how it's as important to long term reading development as crawling is. And how children who do not learn to crawl and do not learn to skip often have significant reading problems.

Seriously. I said all of that. To their teacher. Who didn't care. And was probably thinking, "who are you?"

All that to say, I wish that stupid information (like how many pairs of wings termites have) didn't come spilling out of me. But it does. So if it happens to you, please pardon me. I need a better filter. But I am trying! (and in case you are wondering, it's 2, 2 pair)

Day 27: Borrow Tomorrow

It's funny how often I have to keep relearning the same lessons. If I looked back on my life, I'll bet I would have a few main categories of lessons. They'd probably be

1. Wait Until I Say You Can
2. Get Some Rest
3. Don't Believe Your Own Press
4. Don't Worry About Tomorrow

And let me tell you, I have learned each of these lessons the hard way!

But right now, I am in the season of "Don't Worry About Tomorrow."

This is my conversation with God.

"Carol, this is God. You might recall that in my Word that I said "THIS . . . is the day that the Lord has made (emphasis on the word THIS, Carol.) Not tomorrow, Carol. But this present day is the day I have made. And I followed that up with "Rejoice and be glad in it."

These are not just good ideas, Carol. They are words to live by. I couldn't help but notice you've struggled with that a bit over the last year. It's not that hard really if you think about it. But let me break it into words I think you can handle.

TODAY is the day I want you to live. This day. And I don't want you to borrow trouble from tomorrow, or next week, or ten years from now. You don't need to know how the story ends. You need to live today and rejoice in it.

Carol, I also said in my Word that today has enough trouble for today. That was my way of saying, "Quit worrying about everything!" Just live today and rejoice in it.

I made you my sweet daughter. I put that brain in your head. And I created you to be a planner, a strategic thinker, an organizer of details. Those are strengths. Don't let your tendancy to worry about tomorrow turns those strengths into weaknesses. Be strong and use those strengths to live today and rejoice it in.

And let me end with this thought, Carol. If you think you need to worry about tomorrow, imagine you hear my words in your ear saying, "I've got it Carol. I've got it."

All that to say, I won't borrow tomorrow. (Though I will be tempted to do so.) I will live for today, and I will rejoice.

Day 26: Heavy

There has not been a single day (that I can recall) during the entire last year with our girls that I have wavered in my resolve.

That's probably not true. I'll bet there have been tons of days and I have just forgotten them.

But today my legs feel pretty wobbly underneath me.

Today was "visitation day." Our first one in six weeks. SIX WEEKS.

I have written and deleted so many sentences because I want to share my heart in this, but I want to be careful about the details too.

I'll say this. It's been almost one year ago (April 9th) that the girls came into our home. Of that last year, they were out of our home for 11 weeks. And in that one year, we have seen so much heartache and anguish pour out of them.

But they are toddlers. They only know one way to express those heavy, heavy emotions. They meltdown.

Today was very hard for them. And me. And us.

All that to say . . . (insert heavy sigh here).

Day 25: At Any Time

I read this phrase on a friend's blog.

It made my mind race. And my heart.

At any time . . . I can choose to throw in the towel and say "I'm done."

At any time . . . I can decide that all this is just not worth the heartache.

At any time . . . I can say "forget you" and move on with my life.

At any time.

Any time.

But I can assure you this, that time is never going to come. I'm never going to say I'm done. I'm never going to remove my heart from the equation. I'm never going to move on.

At any time I have the option of choosing a much easier life.

But is that really the life I want to live? (Hell yes it is! I want to live the easier life! Who wouldn't?)

But the easier life is not the life we're called to.

So I choose to live this life

that God has called me to,

for as long as He calls me to it.

All that to say, at any time you'll find me here.

Day 24: Continually

I can't get the scene out of my head. The picture of King Darius from Daniel in the Lion's Den (Daniel, Chapter 6, The Bible).

Darius sentenced Daniel to die in the Lion's Den. It wasn't that he wanted to sentence him to die. He had to. It was the law. And though he worked out a million scenarios in his head, he could not think of a way to rescue Daniel. He had but one hope. To trust the living God of Daniel.

I can picture him up early that morning. Before the dawn. The darkness of the morning reflecting the condition of his heavy, heavy heart. I can feel the weight of his sorrow. Really, dare he hope for any outcome other than what logic and reason would dictate?

And then, as he approached the doors of that den, he asked, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you?"

This story is really rocking my world lately. Here is this King, who had no relationship with God, (the God that Daniel served and the God that I serve), and yet he had hope in him.

How often do I place my hope in logic and reason? Too often. Far too often.

I think about that sentence that Darius asked Daniel. "Has your God whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you?"

All that to say, yes, YES, a million times yes. He has. Continually.

Day 23: In Her Prayer Closet

This morning, as we were winding up our morning routine, I went on a hunt for the girls. The "hunt" is not an actual hunt, because I always know where I will find them.

In my closet.

For some reason they just love to play in that closet. Typically they take all of Mike's shoes off of his shoe shelf and sit on it, with their "dollies" of choice for that day, and have themselves a merry little conversation, solving the problems of their world, I imagine.

On this particular morning, Mike came into the closet to pray for me to get well before he left. We didn't pay too much attention to the girls playing in the closet while we prayed. But when we opened our eyes, the girls were standing up praying with us.

Very sweet. :)

But then Nitro reached across her hand and put it on her sister's nose. She said, "Pray (insert sister's name here) boo boo." (Her sister has the tiniest little remnant of a scab left on her nose from a recent fall.) So I told her to go ahead and pray.

(And like any good mother of toddler, I was ready with my iphone camera! Sorry the pic is small. I'll fix it later!)

So she said, "Dee-a Gah, pease hep (sister's name) boo boo nose. Ayyyymen."

All that to say, you never know what they are going to pick up and repeat. So glad that today it was the lesson that God hears our prayers and cares when we are sick. (Especially considering yesterday it was that I said, "Come on Mike. It's not that hard. And Shortstack said, "Come on Mike. It's not that hard." . . .oops)

Day 22: Tenacious J.

What a sweet baby he was. Well, at least in the first few days. After he lulled us into thinking he was going to be "that baby." You know, the one that sleeps all night from the first night they come home from the hospital? That was him all right. Mr. Sleep-All-Night-Every-Night.

Then, when we least expected any kind of change. BAM! He had colic for 5 months. 5 straight months! That's the thing we learned early on about Jacob. Expect the unexpected.

Here are a few examples:

He looks so sweet and innocent in this picture. He posed so obediently while I was learning how to use my new camera. Then while I was taking his brother's picture, he shredded every single rose off of my rose bush. Every single petal off of every single flower.

One time after I had put the boys in bed for their naps (and over an hour had passed) I decided to go in and check on them and Jacob wasn't in his bed. I searched everywhere in a panic. I was terrified. Finallly, I checked our master bathroom and there was Jacob. Reading. On the throne. When I asked him how long he had been there he said, "A long time. Daddy says when he can't sleep he just gets up and reads a book until he's tired. I'm not tired yet." (PS - I'm probably gonna get killed for posting this picture, so . . . )

Yep. That's our Jacob.

You truly never know what to expect from him. I have laughed so hard at the memories of some of the things he has said to us over the years. I wish I could replay them all for you.

But the thing that is the most striking to me about Jacob is not his zany antics. It's not his spontaneous spirit. Nope. It's his tenacity.

Jacob will just keep working and trying and adapting until he figures something out. And he won't let you think you can get away with quitting either. He expects us all to keep working and trying and adapting until we figure something out.

I love that about about him.

I love many things about him.

All that to say, Happy Birthday Jacob. You're part of my best work.

Day 21: Be Kind to My Husband

The last time I had the flu, was . . . actually, it was last year. I had the swine flu. This year, I have Influenza A.

Prior to that, the last time I had the flu was in 1993. I remember it really well because I was sick for over two weeks. I ran a fever for 11 straight days. Vomitted for 5 straight days. And in the midst of ALL of that, I was taking finals so I could graduate from college. Yep. Fond memories. (Oh, and I got THAT flu because I took a flu shot and it made me actually get the flu).

It's not pleasant to get sick when you're the mama. People have expectations of you when you're the mama. People still want to be fed. They still want to be played with (talking about the little people here . . . well, and maybe the grown-ups too). They still want to have clean clothes. The list could go on.

Now fortunately, I am married to a man who cleans my kitchen almost every night. He does several loads of laundry a week. And when he wants to, he can cook. He's a pretty awesome dad of toddlers, so he does really well at bathtime and bedtime and all the in-between times.

Unfortunately, he is missing the gene that allows him to remember what medicine which child needs (they've had the flu as well), who can/can't drink/eat what, whose toothbrush is whose (whom's?) etc.

He's not really sure what shoes go with which outfit, or even how to put an "outfit" together for that matter.

And he's not so great in the "nurturing" department. He really can't understand why I can't just suck it up and get well. Truthfully, the man believes you can just "will" yourself well. Maybe you can. I don't know.

But, in his defense, he has so much going for him, and I'm pretty sure I am a GROUCH, so, I should appreciate him way more than I have.

Case in point of my grouchiness. This morning, I was in the closet picking out an outfit for the girls. I was belaboring the decision (because in my weakened state EVERY decision must be belabored!) and he was standing over me. I finally snapped at him (confession) and said, "What?!" He looked at me and said, "I'm just waiting for you to finish so I can get my clothes." (He didn't say it with any malice or attitude. Just the sentence.)

I replied, "Use your words, Mike. Use your words." (I did say it with an attitude, and perhaps a bit of malice) I continued into a long tirade about how if he had just asked me to move over, instead of hovering over me, he could have gotten his clothes much quicker. Ugh.

"Use your words" is a phrase we often use with our toddlers when they are having a fit or whining, so the phrase itself, when used on a grown man is laden with attitude.

You see what I mean by GROUCH?

All that to say, I hope to be well soon. Please be kind to my husband when you see him. He probably needs it.