Thursday, January 29, 2009

And then there were 8...

So now we have a huge passenger van and 6 kids to fill it up!

In the flurry of a week, we've now gained another child in the form of our nephew. He will be staying with us for the next year... at least that is what we said we would start with.

Everything happened so fast, I've hardly had time to react. We got the call last Tuesday morning that my sister-in-law was having lots of trouble with her son again, and that something needed to change ASAP! There has been talk in the past about us taking care of him, but I had always felt a bit resistant to the idea. I was willing, but I also felt like I didn't want us to step in and say "Hand him over... We can do a much better job than you!"

I still don't really know what to think. So far things are going well. The kids love having their cousin to play with, and even homeschooling an extra child this morning worked just fine.

I'm a little scared to take care of someone else's child. I worry that he won't feel loved enough by me - I'm working on being more affectionate and affirming to my kids, and now I have another one to love!!! AHHHH!

I worry that he won't like me! Of course he is going to want his mom more than he wants me, but I want to build a relationship with him and that is going to be hard work. I'm not naturally outgoing and affectionate...

I also hope I don't screw up with the homeschooling! It's okay for me to be alternative with my own children, but someone else's kid. It sure is a lot of responsibility.

Okay... why am I getting into this!!??

I guess what I need to focus on is that this is about ministering love to others... giving even when it is uncomfortable for me. And if I can't do it for my own family???

Well this will be a journey, that's for sure. I now have more kids than any of my friends.

Help, God!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Through the Looking Glass

I go through a lot of days where I struggle with me and I really don't like me. This time though, I felt inspired to write the same story with two different perspectives. I know there are many days where it is so easy to look at the negatives, and then become glum and grouchy. Yet, just changing perspective to the good things, the positive side, can make the same situation seem entirely different. This is something I need to work on more...


I wake up, tired... not really motivated enough to do the things I want to do. Then I lay in bed with the pillow over my head, trying to catch a bit more sleep.
Eventually the clock leers at me and I feel the guilt of staying in bed way to long.

I groggily sip my morning coffee, stumbling over small children who wander over and attach themselves to my leg.

"Get your breakfast" and then when there are the usual grumblings and repeated questions about what's for breakfast: "YESSSS..." I hiss, "we are eating cereal again!"

Eventually, I wander over to the dining room table, the centre of activity for our family. I crack the Bible open and read our devotions for that day, not without half a dozen interruptions and the complaint that I should be reading out of a different Bible because it's that kid's turn.

After assigning various duties to my school-aged children, and getting out the playdough, cookie cutters and rolling pin for the younger ones, it's usually time to change the baby and put him down for a nap.

Off to get dressed... I can't spend the whole day in my pj's. I stand in front of my dresser and pull out a favorite shirt to wear with my jeans. The shirt is pulled over my head and I feel like I should hold my breath, suck in... it's a little tighter than I wish, but I am going to lose that babyfat... just give me a couple more months! Then I see that my jeans are nowhere to be found - they must be in the laundry basket, waiting to be washed. So I'm stuck wearing my ugly, ill-fitting jeans that are too high waisted and make me feel even more roly-poly. But my favorite t-shirt just doesn't look right with these jeans, so back in the drawer it gos and I'm stuck wearing a different shirt which I'll just cover up anyway with my black hoodie.

I pass by the mirror and notice the wrinkles that seem to be multiplying every few weeks... Suck in, take a deep breath... time to get on with my day.

Is this for real???

Mornings come early when you have to nurse a baby in the middle of the night, but I usually awaken to the sweet sound of my preschooler singing to herself, and adding in an occasional (yet quite incessant) "Can I get up?!"

At least everyone has learned to stay in their beds and I'm not overrun be little people until I'm good and ready for them.

Many mornings, my husband is gracious enough to wake me with a morning cup of coffee - either a latte with flavoring of my choice or an Americano.

I lazily get out of bed, throw on some comfy track pants and begin my rounds of telling kids to get up, get dressed, and come to eat their breakfast.
Most mornings I have to remind them that they are having cereal AGAIN, but thankfully this is something they can get for themselves and I can get my bearings for the day. I'm not much of a morning person, you see...

The kids clamor for me to use their Bible for the devotions that day, and I take it as a good sign - they have an excitement and respect for the word of God, right?

Once the dishes are cleared and kids are occupied with some of their work for the day, I grab the playdough for my preschooler - thank goodness she is so easily occupied, and I then can take care of my baby and put him down for his first nap of the day. He's a cuddler and likes to snuggle right in to my neck while I rock him and sing. And such a good baby too... I'm so glad he is good about taking his naps during the day.

Then off to my room to get dressed.
I'm not so happy about my choices, and I feel like I could still lose a few more pounds since having my last baby, but hey... when you've had as many kids as I've had, I'm lucky that I don't have to wear elastic-waistband pants all the time! I look at my exercise bike hiding in the corner and promise myself that I'll jump on it this afternoon and get the blood pumping... At least I'm good and healthy.
Now to face the day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year...

Well I'd like to say that I have great plans for this New Year...but I really have no idea what life is going to look like 6 months from now. My husband finished a Master's degree in Finance last Summer, and we've been waiting for the right job offer ever since.

Strangely, although life has been quite a bit more uncertain than usual, we are growing more and more in our contentment. It seems as though this "dry time" has caused us to re-evaluate everything in our lives, and bring it down to the basics of what REALLY matters. Stuff like our marriage, our kids and relationships with those around us. It seems so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and forget to check your heart and see if you are in a healthy state or not.

So this year, I'm working on a healthy heart... soft, open... ready to love others with God's love.