Aug. 17, 2017
That’s my future dentist!
This video is from Aug. 15th. There was some really ugly stuff happening nationally. Watching my kids play with bubbles was cleansing.
Is there a reason one of my wedding rings is in a sandwich bag? Yes, there is! I lost it, and my cell phone, Monday morning!
First, I lost the ring, but didn’t realize it until I had been a couple of places. (My day started with a 7a.m. dental appointment.) Unfortunately, I couldn’t look for it right away because I had to get the kids to the Y for home school PE and swimming.
After, we’re in the car about to leave the Y when I realize…I don’t have my cell phone. (I am not kidding!) So, I go back inside and retrace my steps. No phone!
We go home, start looking for both the ring and phone. Thank God, we find the phone, but still no ring!
I put the kids back into the car, and we go back to the two places I’d been in the morning. I search inside, and in the parking lot. (At this point I’m concerned that it slipped off my finger, because I had noticed that my other ring is super loose because of the cold weather.) Still no ring!
So, I’m trying not to panic and cry in front of the kids. Of course, we pray, and Will says: You know, when you pray God works miracles! And, Jenni-Ri says: Don’t worry, if we don’t find it, we’ll just get you a new one!
They made me smile, and I realized that worrying was not going to do me any good. Either God was bringing it back, or he wasn’t. We get home, and I’m so exhausted, and sick from a cold, that all I can do is get the kids a snack, put them in front of screens, take a nap.
About 3 p.m. I get a text message from my dental office that a customer found a ring in the parking lot, and gave it to them! We go get it, and the receptionist hands me my ring in a sandwich bag. Praise the Lord!
So, that is why my ring was in a sandwich bag. Now, both rings are safe in their jewelry box, and that is where they will stay until I get a ring reducer!
You ever have one of those days where you wake up feeling defeated? Of course you don’t, you’re way too spiritually mature for that. Well…I’m not. So I have those days from time to time. And, yesterday was one of those days.
I had had a really long night with the kids (they didn’t go to sleep until about 11:30 p.m.) and let’s just say I wasn’t exactly showing the love of Jesus the whole time. On top of that, we were meeting a friend at the zoo the next morning early for a play date. Historically, I have struggled with getting us out on time in the morning. I can get overwhelmed just trying to pack enough snacks for the several hour visit. Plus, we had another activity scheduled for later in the day. And, I’ve been really struggling to keep my energy up on long days. What’s more, I felt like the day before had not been very productive.
So, I woke up with a head full of negative thoughts. And, honestly, I just wanting to cancel everything, get back into bed, and stay there.
But then I thought, I need to take this to God, because cognitively I know that I am not defeated. Yet, here I am. So, I started journaling, (my way of taking it to God.), and I just said: God this is what happened last night, this is how I’m feeling, and I don’t want to feel this way.
As I was writing, I remembered that a few weeks back I had written about the lies I believe about myself, and the truth God says about me. So, I flipped back, and re-read it.
Something amazing happened! My feeling of defeat turned into a feeling of victory! The picture in my mind of how my day was going to go changed. I saw myself doing my best, and God making it enough.
I started praising the Lord, as I got up, and started getting everything ready to go.
Interestingly, I was actually late getting started because I took the time to journal, read my bible and pray. Often that just adds to my stress level. Yet, this time I hold myself, my Heavenly Father created time. Since I’m His daughter that means time is on my side. So, I decided I would work as efficiently as I could (i.e. no checking Facebook.) and I would trust God to work everything out. You would not believe how quickly I got everything done!
When I went to wake the kids up and get them ready, I was actually calm enough to sit and snuggle them before moving them into their day. Even though they had had a late (and rough) night, they did great!
I was so amazed that our whole day actually went well after waking up feeling defeated. All I can say is to God be the glory!
One other thing I noticed was that the parts of the day where I would struggle were when I let my mind focus on time, or whatever thing I had to do. That’s when my peace faltered, that’s when my parenting faltered. It seems spending my time thinking about my to-do list and how much time I have to do it in does not produce productivity.
It was a productive and victorious day!
This Memorial Day marked the first year the kids really understood why we were visiting the cemetery and leaving flowers. We were able to share a little about their great grandparents. And talk about how it’s not the end, but because we have Jesus we will see each other again in heaven. It was really nice!
It was also ended up being a really good reminder about the importance of staying connected with each child, and pacing their day when you have more than one activity.
Along with going to the cemetery, we invited a few family members to come to over in the afternoon. The kids were especially looking forward to seeing Rob’s parents Grandma and Papa. They don’t get to see them as often as they get to see my mom, Nana. But, Grandma and Papa wouldn’t get to our house until later in the afternoon.
In between getting home from the cemetery, and the get together, I took a nap, and at some point Jenni climbed into bed with me. Rob and Will played video games. Something they enjoy doing together.
Well, our first sign a meltdown was coming was that Will got upset when it was time to turn off the video games. At six years old, he doesn’t do much of that anymore. But, Rob just thought he probably got a little over stimulated with playing video games for two hours.
Shortly after that, the doorbell rang, and the kids were certain it was going to be Grandma and Papa. It wasn’t, it was Nana, and Auntie Ri-Ri. Both kids were visibly disappointed. (Nothing personal against Nana and Auntie). Will got a little upset, but we reminded him that Grandma and Papa were coming. Our second sign a meltdown is coming.
Fast forward about an hour, and we’re sitting at the kitchen table, Will has out two Pokemon cards he got from a birthday party, and he wants to play with Jenni, who also has cards. She doesn’t want to play. He gets upset and starts crying. Meltdown beginning.
Truth be told, Rob and I weren’t really paying attention. We’ve got family over, we’re just trying to relax and talk. So, all we do when this happens is try to mitigate the problem. So, we tell Will if Jenni doesn’t want to play, do something else. So he gets out his new travel board game. But, again, he want Jenni to play with him. She doesn’t want to. Again, he gets upset.
We’re now in a meltdown, but Rob and I are still just trying to mitigate the problem so we can keep talking. So, we say, okay, Jenni doesn’t have to play, we adults will play with you. But now, Will is in, “Nothing Will Satisfy Me” mode. You may know this one: Whatever solution you offer they say no to, but then they want to do the last thing they said no to, so you say okay we’ll do that, and then they say no again. That’s where we’re at.
I decide to make a command decision and say we aren’t playing either game, we’re going to play Monopoly. Well, screaming and wailing begins. So, my mom and sister offer to leave thinking maybe Will needs some rest, and my mom recognized that he might be upset because Grandma and Papa weren’t there yet. (She was right) I thought maybe that was a good idea because, honestly, it’s not fun for anyone when a child is having a meltdown. It’s an ugly sight.
Fortunately, Rob reminds us that it’s not that big of a deal. Will will get past this. Yet, we’re still trying to help Will feel better at the table, which is getting us no where. I finally remember something I’ve read in the book “Peaceful Parent Happy Kids.” They only thing you can do when a child is in a full meltdown is help him feel safe while he get whatever is bothering him out through tears.
So, I tell Will daddy is going to have to carry him up to his room upside down so he can have some quiet to finish being upset. Of course, it’s hard not to laugh when you’re being carried upside down. But, since Will is in a full-blown melt down, laughter isn’t really going to work just yet.
Rob carries Will to his room upside down, plops him on the bed, and rough houses him a bit. But, again, we’re too far into a meltdown for Will to discharge his upset with laughter anymore. So, we lay next to Will on his bed while he is literally kicking and waving his arms in the air while still wailing. We just said, we’re here for you Will, we love you, it’s okay to let it out.
After a few minutes, Rob says, are you upset with us? Will says: “Yes, you told me that Grandma and Papa were going to be here soon, it’s been a long time, and they aren’t here yet. You didn’t tell me the truth.” (We didn’t actually say that. We told him G&P would be late getting to the house, but this isn’t the time to be right.) So, we just said, we’re sorry. And then Rob checked with G&P to see when they were actually arriving.
Moments later, I have to leave the room to help Jenni because she’s screaming and crying downstairs. (When it rains it pours!) When I get back to Will’s room, he and Rob are under the covers, so I pretend I’m a ghost, and tickle them, and get a little laughter. That’s a good sign we’re almost to the other side of the meltdown. About 15 minutes later Will is back to his usual pleasant self.
He was able to play, and dance, and laugh again with all of us — even Jenni. We even played that travel boardgame. And, Grandma and Papa did eventually arrive, and more fun was had.
Bravo to my mom and sister for toughing it out and staying. (I think they started playing Monopoly while they waited.) I know it was terribly uncomfortable. The next day they both said it had been such a long time since they’d seen Will meltdown like that, that it was quite upsetting. He is our easy-going kiddo. They also said it was good to see him come through it and be fine again. (I’m glad they stayed and saw that part too!)
Rob and I were reminded of how critical it is to pace a child’s day when there is more than one scheduled activity, and make it a point to reconnect, and decompress in between activities. Likewise, it’s important to pay attention to clues that a meltdown is coming, so we can head it off while the child is still able to laugh out his upset. When we have two or more activities outside the house, we usually do that. But, since one was at home, and didn’t seem like a big deal, we just overlooked it.
I’ve heard it said that lessons learned in adversity are the best remembered. I won’t be forgetting this one anytime soon.
Here’s to a difficult and productive Memorial Day!
So, it’s been a little over three months since I last posted, and a lot has happened.
Just to name a couple of them: I’m still dealing with health issues from the December car accident, and this past Tuesday I had gallbladder removal surgery.
I think it’s safe to say that I’ve been busy. What I haven’t been busy doing is blogging. (Although I’ve had lots of topic ideas.)
One might say, that’s not a big deal, it’s not like it’s paying the mortgage. Yet, it is a big deal because I feel the Lord has called me to share about my Christian parenting walk. And, not doing what God says is kind of a big deal.
So, I’ve found myself in that familiar predicament of not doing something I know I should do, and enjoy doing. Yet, the more time goes by, the more I feel condemned, embarrassed, and like I can’t do it. (Tell me I’m not the only one who knows what that feels like!)
Interestingly, I have found renewed motivation from an unlikely place — my gallbladder surgery recovery this week.
The experienced triggered really strong anxiety symptoms. My mom loaned me the book Battlefield of the Mind to help. There’s a section that talks about never giving up no matter situation, because God never gives up on us.
Then today at church, the sermon was titled: Never Give Up! Pastor Tim preached about Paul and Barnabas in the book of Acts as they started their ministry, and the terrible trouble and failures the experienced. Yet, because they were called by God to share this incredible good news, they never gave up. Pastor asked what is it that God has called you to do that looks too hard?
In both reading and hearing messages about keeping going, my blogged popped into my mind. Plus, Rob and I went to a bookstore recently, and I met a Christan woman who was really struggling with her two young children. I thought, I wish I could share with her what the Lord has given me. Again, my blog came to mind!
So, I have decided that I am not giving up on my blog! God has put on my heart to share my Christian parenting story, and I am going to do it! I don’t know how I’m going to do it, and that’s okay. I have no idea where it will lead, or who it will effect, and that’s okay. I have faith that God knows what he is doing, and that He works out everything for good for those who love him.
It’s been a productive week!
Let’s Connect: Share in the comments below, or on my Facebook page what God is calling you to do that you’ve almost given up on? What can you do to start again?