Monthly Archives: April 2011

“Turn Your Worries Into Prayers” -Wilma Clouser

Standard

Sometimes leaning on God is terrifying.  Especially when motherhood is involved.  Lately I’ve been reading a very challenging book Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  In reading this, I’ve been challenged to be in awe of God, to trust God, to want to serve God, and to value God above all else.  Doesn’t sound that different than your garden variety sermon really, but it has asked some difficult questions, one in particular that has rocked my world this week.

As a Mother, I feel a need to control, protect, and manage every aspect of my child’s life.  I think of my child as a product of me, a reflection of my skill as a parent, and my character as an adult.  Reading this book, I’ve realized in the deepest way that my children are not mine, they are God’s.  It is a hard thing to pray at night, and mean it, “LORD, your will be done with my babies.”  The prayer used to be, “God, protect my children tonight, please make sure there are no fires, help everyone to breathe ok, and let them all just be safe.”  Instead of a childlike faith that God knows best, I’d been handing over a demanding laundry list on a nightly basis, one that reflected my deepest fears.
I find this especially difficult, because I have this ever present fear of losing one of my kids.  Having lost my precious nephew at the tender age of 8 weeks, I am constantly living in terror of my children dying, and I not being able to protect or care for them, or control their fate.  Stepping out, and leaving their future entirely in God’s hands is a really hard step for me.   This week has been especially difficult, My neighbor found some spiders in her house  that may be brown recluses, and I am absolutely terrified one of my children will be bitten and die.  Ava has just learned to roll over this week, and I am terrified she will somehow roll over and not roll back, and not be able to breathe.  This whole week has been one challenge after the other of my ability to trust my children’s future to God.  It has been very very hard.
However, it has also been very freeing.  I no longer feel nailed to my children’s every move, my children’s every breath.  I KNOW that no matter what, God has a better handle on them then I ever do, and that he wants the best for them.  I don’t blame myself so much for the little mishaps that happen with children, like the one that happened the other week.  I agonized for days over Sarah’s choice to leave the house without telling me to visit our neighbor.  The doors were unlocked, she asked to go over, I said no, and turned around for a moment, and in that moment, she snuck out the door to our neighbor’s house.  I blamed myself for days, what if she had been lost, what if she had been hit by a car (she had gone nowhere near the street, but it went through my head just the same.) What if someone had taken her? I spent days worrying about things that never happened.
I’ve also been so obsessed, upset, worried about Ava’s new habit of rolling to the corner of the mattress and digging her face in during the night, that I’ve been waking up every half hour to check if she is still breathing.  Every time, it takes me five or more minutes to gather the courage to check her.  I am terrified that she is no longer breathing.
It has been quite a journey to realize that even though I have heir whole lives ahead of me, I never know which day could be their last.  Even harder is leaving it up to God to make that decision, and letting go of my need to control every little breath they take, to prevent any harm coming to them.
Agonizing over every moment, losing sleep to check on Ava every half hour at night, are not healthy things.  Trusting God to keep her through the night, is.   Despite the challenges this week, I guess it all boils down to the freedom and grace in trusting God to care for them, to protect them, and not demanding it be done on my own finite terms.
I know this has probably not been a productive or thought provoking post, but it has been wonderful to get that out!  If you’re still reading, you totally get a cookie!!

Wherein I Offend Many Of My Readers, Making A Stand

Standard

Recently, I read this blog post about Christ.  While I usually let these things pass on in silence, I felt an inner need to make a stand.  To speak up about who Jesus is.

Firstly, although in this article he is compared to many other dieties, and the point (I believe) is to point out that Christ is NOT in fact original, but is most likely mankind’s fabrication based on an inner need, that is not what struck me most.  What really hit me full on was this quote:

Perhaps we don’t need to say that ‘MY WAY is the way to salvation’, or spend our lives trying to ‘convert’ others to what we feel is the ONLY way to paradise/heaven/nirvana, etc.

Perhaps, when it comes down to it, we are merely yet another generation of mankind trying to find the answers based on things written by previous members of mankind, who may have based their stories on what had occurred before them, oral traditions and folk tales.

Jesus, Mohammed, Lord, God, Allah, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Worshipping Oneself or bowing to nothing at all…maybe they are all right, maybe they are all wrong.

I know that relative truth is a popular doctrine these days, and that everybody wants to just get along, and you believe what you want, and I’ll believe what I want, and we’ll all go to heaven.

Here is my rebuttal to this: Conviction is not a bad thing.  Faith is about having a conviction.  If I can say my faith might be wrong, my faith could possibly not be the right faith, your faith could be the right faith, then why on earth would I believe what I do, if it could be wrong?   I have chosen Christ because he is “The way, the truth and the life” and because he said “No man comes unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)  I know that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) and I choose this faith because it is right.  I won’t force anyone else to believe it, that would defeat the very nature of faith.  As for my part,  I KNOW it is truth.  I am not incapable of questioning, I have questioned, I have walked away, I have chosen other things, and I have come right back home to the truth.

If your son told you the grass was purple, NOT green, would you say, “Its ok Bob, your grass is different than my grass.  Just because we don’t believe in the same grass, doesn’t make us wrong!”

Now take it one step further.  If Bob was going to jump off of a bridge, saying he believed it wouldn’t hurt him, would you say the same? “Its ok Bob, your fall is not my fall, it won’t hurt you if you believe it won’t hurt you, go ahead and jump. You aren’t wrong, and I’m not wrong.” Would you say that?

Thats how I feel about God.  It is true.  Not because I believe it, or because it is my faith, but because God is REAL. His word is TRUE.  Like that fall, to walk away from God would be death to me.

” But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

Joshua 24:15

Locusts and Destruction: The Facebook Posts Entry

Standard

This morning was a bit of a mishmash as my life usually is.  I chose to use my traffic on Facebook today to inspire, and pad out this post.  Because to be completely honest… I’m seriously busy, but I still love my blog.

I awoke to my two year old bouncing happily on top of me, her face stuck right to my back “I want to hoooooooooooooooooooold you Mommy!  hooooooooooooooold yoooooooou!” She yanked my hair, and went for a horsey ride.  I was too groggy to fight back against the onslaught of all this youthful energy.

So I did what any sensible Mother would do… I woke up, and I went for a run.

I felt unable to leave Ava to the devices of my two hellions at home, now in full regalia, Emma in her diaper only, and Sarah carrying a purse, wearing a track suit, and asking anyone who would listen: “Do I look like Napoleon Dynamite?”

Ava went along.  I packed her in the jogging stroller, and we ran like our lives depended on it.  my husband stayed home to wrastle the herd.

I will take this moment to say, I love running!  I’ve lost weight, felt better about myself, and overall, I love the built in alone time!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So, in the interests of keeping this weight loss up, despite the lack of energy, and the difficulty of pushing a jogging stroller full of baby pudge up the hill, I did it!  I felt discouraged despite myself, because this should have been an easy run, I had motivation (Emma’s jumping) experience (I’ve run this route before many times) and good reasons (health, marathon, alone time.)  But it was somehow difficult.  The only things that kept me going?

  • I must get healthy, I must stay healthy, I must get healthy, I must stay healthy.
  • If I wanna run a marathon, how can I justify quitting after one mile?
  • Crap, everyone will see on Facebook that I only ran one mile.
So after about a mile of struggling with the stroller (Say that five times fast.) I headed back home, handed Ava over to her Daddy, and went on my merry way.  I got in one more mile and change.  And it was totally worth it. The best part? Facebooking my miles and having my friends cheer me on. 🙂 I have great friends!
I returned home to find a despondent husband bending over a pile of broken crayons and bemoaning our children’s destructive powers.
He likened our children to locusts.
“Look at these crayons! they were WHOLE crayons an hour ago, even a HALF hour ago! Now they’re in pieces! Our kids are like little locusts!”
The definition of Locusts: Insects that swarm throughout an area, leaving only destruction.
Yep. Those are my kids.
He then left for the grocery store with some of the children, leaving me in relative peace. Depending on how you define peace.  If its less screaming; I had peace. My neighbor reminded me of the cat…erm… chinese food I left in her fridge after our *wild party* last night. (read: the kids watched ice age while we talked grown up talk over good food.)  I have great neighbors! Chas and Chris are by far the best neighbors I’ve ever met!
I retrieved the cat.
When I returned home, rabidly excited at the thought of leftover chinese, and unable to control myself, I dug a spoon into the cold rice on its way into the fridge. In my haste, I made a bit of a little known chinese delicacy. Farflung Rice. It landed ALL over my countertops and under the little nooks and crannies. Who knew a spoonful of rice could go so far?
A productive day by many standards.  And yet, barely lunch time.  I look forward to the remaining adventures in today, and will enjoy them with my mischevious hellions.

My three children, ready for the next adventure. Sarah is trying to look as angelic as possible, Emma, eyeballing her next opportunity, and Ava, calm as a cucumber. Watch out. Those Sacks are on the loose!

An Apology

Standard

I apologize for my extended absence from blogging.  I know I have been amazingly remiss in my blogging.  Juggling kids, work, running, takes alot of time, energy, and mental fortitude.  I’m beat.  oh… and we’re all sick.  Again.  Why is it we’re always sick?  Tonight, we are all on the road to recovery, and that is excellent, as it has afforded many fun moments.

My excellent neighbor, Chasity, came over tonight with a goody bag of shoes (2 pairs of heels) jewelry, sunglasses, and a box of cupcakes.  HALLELUJAH! My night was saved!  Many great moments ensued.  My children managed to show their wild sides, and Chasity managed to tame the beasts.  Emma felt Chas up while pretending to be Dr. Emma  checking a heartbeat with a necklace for a stethoscope and Sarah licked her cupcake to shreds.  Emma also inhaled her cupcake in a matter of seconds, just shows she’s back to her Olympic champion self.  Eating like a hound.  They both covered themselves in Jewels, and Sarah opened a jewelry store.  7 cents for a ring!  (I wish she ran a real store…) and 8 cents for shoes!  (This is why she should run DSW…)

All in all, everything is good in Sacks land, now if only I wasn’t too tired for inspiration, and too drained to speak.

Mud and Other Good Things

Standard

What a slap in the face, I thought today was Friday, and I am incensed to find it is not.  It is merely Wednesday.

So, I picked up my children and came home.  Simple enough.  Its the beginning of the evening.  The “quiet” time. (ha!)

Ensuing activities included:

  • Emma tromping through the mud in our newly hoed flower bed.
  • Emma stripping naked to change into her bathing suit (SO appropriate for the weather.  If it was more warm, I’d send her outside to go mudding some more, and then hose her down to top it off!)
  • Sarah got everybody grapes.
  • Emma attempted to feed Ava the grapes…
  • Ava drooled.

This is shaping up to be a fine evening in our cozy little cabin.  Which I need to clean, like mad.  I’d be ashamed to have the my mother’s dog see our living room right now.  It looks like a great big toy monster vomited all over our living room.  My kitchen looks like an army came and went, and the dishes make the leaning tower of Pisa blush.

So now, I shall peel my bathingsuit clad two year old off of my smiling infant and wash wash wash!  Here’s hoping Sarah gets caught in the spray so she’s not so *pink*

Happy Work Evening everyone!

Who Needs Rose Colored Glasses When You Have Dye?

Standard

So, Sarah wanted her hair pink.  I did some research, and found out that kool-aid is a safe and cheap child friendly dye option.  Sounds easy, right?

Right. 25 cents and pink bathroom later we had this:

Yep. Thats my hand, post kool-aid.  Guess the dye works great!!!

Except…

Kinda didn’t dye her hair.  Only her.

ALL of her…

But… She’s happy.

TOTALLY worth it all!  pink bathroom, pink Mom, pink Sarah…

And then, this followed by potty training Emma pooping on the floor… egads.

Thank goodness Emma didn’t want to do it…!  She had chosen blue!

Oh Thank God! Bedtime!

Standard

Bedtime is not for kids.  Its for Moms.  Moms of children whose father works third shift.  Moms who have fuzzy yarn for brains. Moms who are finally, exhausted, and need a little time alone.

Bedtime is for them.

First, I enjoy time with my children, we read a book, snuggle a little, talk about the book, and I sing the same. song. every. night. The girls snuggle in eagerly, pull their covers up at their chin, and I kiss them goodnight, while I inch out the door singing “It Is Well With My Soul.” I’ve often been quite amused to find the girls imitating this routine, with Emma being tucked in, and Sarah singing  the song.  I have been occasionally pleasantly surprised when they join in the singing.   After singing the song, I tiptoe into my room, where I invariably find Emma…waiting.  She doesn’t sleep till hours later, but meanwhile, she gets some precious alone time with Mommy.  Then bedtime.

Blissful bedtime.  And, I’m alone.  Beautifully alone.  With nothing but my laptop, my blog, my thoughts and my bed.

It takes… oh, a half hour till I’m out these days, but then there are the days I’m so wired that I get glorious alone time till 1 am, then I have to put myself to bed!  And then… I curse myself the following day with vehemence known to no man.

Like I said, bedtime is for Moms.

Work It! For Working Moms: Lunches

Standard

In this economy, everyone is trying to save.  I happened to be married to a frugal man, and really want to transition to be a SAHM, so I’ve always been trying to save!  One of the biggest ways to save is school/work lunches. We all need them, and they can be insanely expensive if we order out, and mildly expensive if we go for a school lunch plan.  Not to mention, unhealthy.  Go for prepackaged food and you still get an expense, not to mention upped amounts of sodium and sugar. All downsides.  But, as a working Mom, you’re overworked, and you need a break somewhere, and so home cooked lunches are low on the priority list.  It’s easier than you think.  Here is how my lunch packing goes down:

  • I cook supper.  I might cook two dishes at once, if the supper I am making is a popular dish, and I know leftovers aren’t in my future.  aka, last night I made tacos.  No leftovers EVER happen with tacos, so prior to serving them, I packed the girls lunches, and then I threw together a quick casserole, and popped that in the oven.  There! Lunches for a least two days accomplished! Added benefit: portions are easily controlled this way.  When I know I have to pack lunches out of a meal, I eat less.
  • I keep quick stuff on hand for extras.  Chips are expensive, and so are baggies, not to mention, not the healthiest option.  So we always have apples on hand.  This is an easy extra.  Yogurt is fairly cheap if you catch the sales or go generic.  This is also an excellent extra to the main course.
  • In a pinch, Tuna or PB and J is a crowd pleaser in this house.  I can make it quickly, and its healthy.  I know that realistically not everyone can make a homecooked lunch the night before.  Also, when kids are in school, there is no way to heat lunches, so you have to get creative.  sandwiches are a good option, packed with fresh fruits and veggies, and yogurt.  There are ways to switch it up beyond sandwiches if Junior is getting bored with the same lunch. Check out this article for ideas.
  • Be prepared to get creative with containers.  I have found that dip can be wrapped in saran wrap, and that those little tupperware cups are invaluable. And yes, I am one who asks for ketchup packets at the restaurant whether I want it or not, because its easy to pack in a lunch later.
  • Freeze it! If you make a batch of muffins, freeze ’em, if you make alot of soup or chili, freeze it, this way you can pack your own “to go” frozen lunches, so that when you’ve in a HUGE pinch, no bread, out of peanut butter, no apples, whatever, its there, in the freezer, and you can grab and run.  Who says you need to pay Marie Calender for your lunch, when you can do the same for much cheaper?

There are more ideas and ways to get creative, but like most other things in life, this is only worth it if you commit, and are ok with doing a little extra work.  It is well worth the benefits of healthier, yummier, cheaper  food.

Happy Lunches!

God Works In Mysterious Ways

Standard

I’ve had a great day.  Spent time with my kids, something I’ve not been able to do much this week.  Not because the time was not there, but because I was not all there. Its been one of those weeks.

Meanwhile, some opportunities have come up, all at once, and all for the same kind of deal, and all life changing.  So I’m thinking, and praying, and hoping God puts us right where he wants us. Lets see how that goes.

Meanwhile: here are some pictures of our beautiful day today!

We spent time outside, going for a walk, chasing a Tractor, riding bikes, digging, the girls were making “soup” in our watering containers (my cheap husband puts them out, rain barrel style, for the garden.)  It was a wonderful time, and we were all so pooped we went back in for waffles and oranges. 🙂  Today, I loved my life.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Normal Motherhood

Standard

So far this morning I have enjoyed normal motherhood.  Not experienced, ENJOYED.  I needed this day to take it all in!

I have:

  1. Listened to both of my children read me a book.
  2. Eaten peanuts and cookies for breakfast with my children.
  3. Cleared peanut shells out of my keyboard on my laptop.
  4. Been covered in baby puke.
  5. Enjoyed the dubious results of letting my children dress themselves.  Socks as gloves, and mismatched clothes only scratch the surface!
  6. Had a candid talk with my 4 year old about WHY there are no cookies.
  7. Listened to my children play.
  8. Have not done any housework yet.  I’m too busy playing!