Today, a miracle happened. I had the perfect nap. The perfect nap is hard to achieve even in a house all to yourself. Even more so when the house is full of small children. Even if your spouse is around and can help with the kids, small children are inevitably noisy and can disrupt your nap at the most inconvenient moments. But today, with the help of Sir Smiley, I had one. It wasn’t too short. I didn’t reach the blissful throes of sleep only to be woken up by a crying baby or the two girls arguing. It also wasn’t too long. Where you accidentally sleep for several hours and wake up groggy and disoriented; wondering where you are, what time it is, and what you’re supposed to be doing. This was that perfect balance where you wake up after about a half an hour refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day. A perfect nap is truly a beautiful thing….one of God’s true miracles, I am certain.
As a mom of several young kids, I find myself saying things I hadn’t really thought I would ever need to say. So today I’ve included some gems for your enjoyment.
Don’t walk around with your eyes closed.
Don’t play in the dog bowl.
We don’t smear our food all over our arms.
I am not Bollito the pony. You may not ride me.
No, we don’t wash our hands in juice.
That chair is not a hat.
We don’t put our food on our feet.
Please don’t eat tin foil.
No, don’t eat the bubbles.
That glue stick is not chapstick.
I’m sure there will be many more fun little things I say in the future. This is definitely not the end.
Some more thoughts to piggy back on yesterday’s post. I’ve heard many analogies regarding who is really in control of your life. Putting God in the driver’s seat, open the door and let God in, let go and let God. While pondering how best to live life to the fullest, and not just be a survivor, I keep coming back to the same foundation. I cannot live life to the fullest without Him. When I take the reigns (another analogy for you) I have to be obsessive. If I am the only one doing everything, I have to plan, to schedule, to make sure I get all the important things done. When things go wrong, I feel personally responsible. (granted, often I am…but some things are just out of my control) When things go well, I want to strut around because I am obviously one amazing mom. (sometimes I am, but most of the time, I honestly have no idea how my kids are turning out so well)
Now I know taking time with God is important, but too often I view it by how much time it takes to do so…not by how much time I gain. If I’m honest with myself, when I take the time every day to seek God and place things in his hands, it frees me. No more worry or stress. I no longer am solely responsible for making the world turn. There will be days that will still be tough but taking the time to seek God and his will each and every day, to learn more about him, provides me with peace even in the most difficult of circumstances. I learn to accept help from others. God always provides me with new ideas and new resources if I would only take the time each day to open my eyes and ears to those possibilities. I need to stop taking complete responsibility for everything in my life both good and bad. I need to acknowledge that some things are beyond my control. My kids will be hurt, people will be mean, cars will break down, bad things will happen. I cannot create a perfect utopia for my family. But I can rest in the knowledge that someone Who is all knowing, all powerful, all loving is in control.
So if I want to live life to the fullest, I need to acknowledge who is really in control. Stop beating myself up when things go wrong, and patting myself on the back when things go well. God can handle it all.
Warning: I have been mulling over some deeper thoughts…so this post may have a tendency to be more serious than usual. You have been warned! As a mom of young children, I find day to day life can often become overwhelming. So I usually go into survival mode. Basically, I tell myself, “I just need to make it to naptime” or “I just need to hold it together until bedtime, then I can have a break.”. The problem is, I tend to start putting them to bed earlier than I should, or giving them a naptime at times they don’t need them. Now we have all had rough days. Kid up puking all night, dog ate a bunch of toys and had to go the vet, migraines, etc. There will always be days where I will think, “Is 5 too early to put them to bed?”. The problem I have noticed is I am going into survival mode almost every day. Instead of enjoying the moments, the mishaps, the chaos that is my life; I now tend to view my life as a to-do list that never seems to be finished. There is always clothes to be sorted, pictures to download, people to call, appointments to schedule (these all come from my present to-do list). But instead of just trusting God will help me get things done, I obsess over everything. The world will surely stop turning, my children will starve, and my husband will lose his sanity and have to be committed if I don’t have perfect control at all moments. This is of course a lie (although maybe not the part about my husband). When I think this way, it all becomes overwhelming and I just throw in the towel. I put them to bed, down for a nap, in front of a movie where I don’t have to deal with the fighting, stress or constant running around. But then I miss out on all the sweet moments too.
Basically, I’ve been pondering the parable in Matthew 25: 14-30. A man leaves the country and entrusts various sums of his money with three servants. 2 servants take his money and use it to make him more money. They take an active role in the treasures their master entrusted them with. The third servant went and buried the money in the dirt. He didn’t lose anything, but he never gained anything either. He went into survivor mode. God has entrusted me with many treasures…my three beautiful children, a loving and supportive husband, a comfortable home, a good church to be a part of. But too often I am like the third servant with these treasures. I bury them in the dirt, knowing they exist, but doing nothing with them. When I finish this life, I want to approach God at his throne with all the blessings He has given me, plus all the things I have done for Him with those blessings, To hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. I do not want to approach Him and hand back what he gave me, having done nothing with them. Toss back what He gave me and have my only reward be a sarcastic slow clap from God. So my question is, which servant are you?
My two girls are both wonderful, dear things. Yet they are very different. Sasquatch is a force of nature. Urpling is much more sedate. (not to give the implication that she sits quietly all day long…but she usually plays in one spot and doesn’t completely destroy the house in three minutes.) One would think this would make Sasquatch more difficult, but not so. She is active, but redirectable. Urpling, however, is mischievous. She is quieter, but more deadly.
An excellent example of the differences in my kids’ personalities would be how they react to Dora. More specifically, Swiper the Fox. (this is where I insert a description of Swiper for those who have escaped…I mean haven’t had the pleasure of watching Dora) He’s a little fox that shows up and tries to take things. If he succeeds, he throws it far away and says, “You’ll never find it now! Heh, heh, heh!”. His little cackle at the end is very distinctive. Then Dora has you do some educational related activity to find the object, like colors or shapes or whatever. If you want to stop him you say, “Swiper no swiping!” over and over and over again until you want to do violence to the TV to make it stop.
Sasquatch and Urpling love to pretend they’re on Dora. Sasquatch loves to run up to me, yell at me to watch out for Swiper, have us run around the house to get away from him, and end with yelling “Swiper no swiping!” a bazillion times. Good clean fun. Never has it crossed her mind to be any character but Dora. But then there’s Urpling. She doesn’t play Dora, not her. She chooses a different character. She waits until Sasquatch is playing quietly, grabs the toy, says, “blah blah blah blah now!” followed by the all too recognizable cackle, and then runs off and throws the toy as far as she can. Of course, she would decide it’s much more fun to play Swiper than Dora. And that, my friends is the difference between my two daughters, (both of whom I love dearly)
I should note here, I am not in anyway saying people who shop at Walmart are all idiots. I shop at Walmart. But there are some colorful people that you can find there. This is one such example. Sir Smiley responded to a call at Walmart the other day. Apparently, some people were walking into the store and noticed two small children locked in a car, around the ages of 4 and 1. Now, it was parked in the sun, in 94 degree heat. One window was cracked…but barely enough for Sir Smiley to squeeze his fingers through. The onlookers knocked on the window and the four year old readily opened the door for these complete strangers. The police paged the mother inside the Walmart. But it still took her over 15 minutes to emerge from the store. She was at a loss as to why everyone was in such a tizzy. I mean, she left the window cracked. (insert my groan for the inevitable fall of humanity here). When Sir Smiley pointed out that the police had responded to four other crime calls in this same exact parking lot, it didn’t seem to concern her. Needless to say, this has not helped my outlook on people’s ability to use common sense. And there you have the people of Walmart.
Yesterday my parents were kind enough to watch the kids for the day, and Sir Smiley and I were able to go out for the day. So off we went with 4 tanks, wet suits, BCDs, and snorkel gear for a day of fun at the lake. Yep, we went scuba diving. The last time we went scuba diving was in the Sea of Cortez, so I’ll admit that the prospect of the local lake didn’t thrill me quite as much. But scuba diving does take skill and seeing as it has been 5 years since last we went, we wanted to start brushing up before we went someplace truly awesome. We drove right up to the “beach” (more like the rocky shoreline), dragged our gear to the edge, suited up, and off we went. Here are the highlights from that day:
Having the little boy next to us point and tell his parents, “Look! They’re going to swim all the way to the ocean!”
Naming our little buoy we tote around “Bob”.
After the first 45 minute dive, finally figuring out how to stay at relatively the same depth when distracted. The entire first dive, if we tried to look at stuff, each other, or fiddle with our gear, we’d gain or drop 20 feet without noticing.
The slightly panicked rush I felt the first time we got to 35 feet. I looked up and realized that not only could I not see the surface, but I couldn’t even see the 15 foot marker we hung under Bob.
Eating lunch in the van while cranking Switchfoot to drown out the less than savory music the kids were blaring next to us, while planning our next dive.
Sir Smiley having to chase down his hood that was floating “out to sea” while wearing 12 pounds of weights in his weight belt. (my stud!)
All the fish we saw! They may not have been tropical, but it’s fun floating there while little fish swim around and stare you down. Oh, and the foot long fish we saw was pretty cool too.
Plotting what we’ll do to the punk kids who were throwing large rocks at us if we ever see them again. (suggestions are welcome)
Taking crazy pictures with the underwater camera of us floating in bizarre positions.
An entire day spent kid-free with my hubby. As much as we love our kids, it’s nice to get some time together that’s not interrupted by kids yelling at each other, wiping small butts, or some sort of meltdown.
We had a blast and cannot wait to do it again!