Minding My Miracles

~ and finding new mercies every morning

Archive for the category “Adventures”

Monumental part ONE

The theater was fairly quiet as we all gathered into our seats.  No one coming really knew what to expect. We were here for many different reasons.  Perhaps because all of us want to be assured simply that “we are not alone.”  As I stood holding baby boy waiting for the usual movie-time treats to arrive I reflected on what had come before.

This day hadn’t gone quite as planned.  First of all things had been so busy that a shower hadn’t happened until much later than I desired.  The boys were a bit whiney and didn’t really care to take their naps.  Which is never exciting for mama, but especially on the days when that nap time is so needed.  Finally nap time had come.  I just need 10 minutes to myself I thought.  But of course then came a phone call I couldn’t turn away followed by baby boy waking up needing mama again and really leaving me no options of time to prepare or relax.  But then Daddy came home and Mama hightailed it into the shower.  (I have never been one of those girls who spends hours getting ready for a date, but even so only having 15-20 minutes makes me a little sad.)

When I returned from my shower I found the oldest boy snuggled up with his daddy watching a show.  And then came the dilemma, do we wake up middle boy since it is the end of nap-time or do we let him sleep longer since he fell asleep so late.  It was decided that he should continue to sleep until Mama was ready.    Middle brother can be the sweetest angel or the scariest monster depending on his mood.  Because he likes things a certain way and it isn’t always a way that makes sense to the rest of us sometimes doing the simple things with him can be so time-consuming.  And today was not destined to be any different.

Since my mom had agreed to watch the boys for this date it was not such an urgency to have the boys just so before we left.  A diaper did need to be changed though.  So, with only 5 minutes before we were to leave we began the process.  This was not enough time and I knew it.

We are going through what I hope is a phase with middle brother that is waging war on my heart.  Before I had kids I had no idea what a strong-willed child was.  And once I had firstborn I still didn’t know. I assumed that strong-willed children were firstborn children.  And then our firstborn was so relatively easy that I believed we’d dodged the bullet.  Oh, how wrong I was.  Firstborn arrived on his due date of all things which I guess is pretty rare.  As a little one he was mostly compliant and his desire to help and please was and is a delight to me.  Now don’t get me wrong, he is far from perfect.  We go through things with him all the time and now that he has two other brothers he doesn’t get everything he wants and there can be issues with that.  Overall though he is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy as he is willing to bend in the long run.

Mr. Number 2 is anything but easy.  His name means Fair Warrior and he certainly is.  It often seems like most things he does comes with a war.  He carries this picture in his mind of how things should be and to deviate from that path would bring about the end of the world as he knows it.  Oh, how I wish I could see that picture.  It would make life so much smoother, because I honestly cannot understand why things must be just so sometimes.  I really don’t even know if strong will is strong enough to describe him.  I so don’t want to look at everything I do with this boy as being a battle and that is a prayer I often pray – that God would help me to see things in another way.  I know God has great things for this boy – the boy who can charm the skin off a snake and then turn around and eat it for dinner.

Back to the story –  So, we began mission diaper change.  It was not what he wanted to do at that moment.  (I bend to things with him when I can, but children also need to learn that they cannot always get their way.)  You would have thought that all hell had broken loose the way he lost it.  He certainly wasn’t holding back.  There was kicking and screaming and hitting and yelling and crying to the point of coughing and the sounds of throwing up that by a miracle he managed to keep inside.  When this happens it really breaks me.  I want to hold my baby and give him everything he wants.  I want to understand where the disconnect is coming from so I can soothe the upset and make everything alright again.  In the same moment sometimes I just want to throw him out the window.  I hate that I feel that way.  I love him so much, but sometimes when he hurts me I am really hurt and the negative side of me has a desire to react.  And in fact this night I did react, not with physical actions, but with words.  I spoke words over my son that I will never get back.  I have though them before, but I have never spoken them.  I called him a  brat.  Oh, I would give anything to take that word back.  My children are not brats.  I hate describing them in any negative way especially to them.  My hearts’ desire is to only speak life over my children and here I said that.  That was the end of it for me.  I was lost for a time.  My mom said to just go, she would handle him.  I didn’t want to leave.  I didn’t want to make anyone have to deal with that and I didn’t want to leave my little boy in the place that we were at.  But, we were running late (according to my time…which is a different clock then my husband runs on, but that’s another story) and we had to go.  I held this weeping boy (who by the way hadn’t even heard the words I’d said he was yelling so loud) and told him I loved him and would see him later.

We got into the car with #3 who was pretty upset from all the noise and was adding his own chorus to our night.  I did not want to go.  I wasn’t in the mood to be happy and try to pretend everything was alright.  We almost turned back, but husband wanted to go so bad and it has been months and months since we saw a movie that I was torn in wanting to go for him.  Plus, we weren’t going to see just any old movie.  This was a live event that we wouldn’t have the opportunity to see again in the theater…at least at this time. (I really hope that changes, but more to come on that.)

As we pulled into the movie theater parking lot there was a lot of wisdom to be seen.  I kept looking for people our age, hoping that maybe there are others like us.  Truth be told it was a movie playing at 5:30 and most of my working friends aren’t even home from work by that time so I am not that surprised there were so few of us. (I did see a few more come into the room right before things started.)  Fortunately the theater opened a second screen or we would have been out of luck as the movie was sold out even before this day.  And here we are back to where I started this story and I haven’t gotten to the good stuff yet, but this post is long.  Hundreds of words longer than I aim for.  So, I will edit the title and this will be part one of a story I am itching to tell you.  I hope you will join me again to hear about one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Miraculously Blessed,

Jessica

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Monumental part 2

Just to let you know that you can read this post without reading part 1 which was all about what happened before the event began.  But, if you missed it and want to read that one, click here.  I have to say that I have read a couple of negative blogs about this movie and Kirk Cameron in general. I felt that the overall experience I had of the night was positive.  Of course I run things through my own personal paradigm filter as I believe everyone does.  We all have to settle in our own minds and heart what we personally believe and where we trust our knowledge to come from.  Now, on to the adventure.

Love of my life arrived back at our seats with some traditional movie treats.   We settled into our seats and I busied myself making baby boy happy so we could relax and enjoy the event.  This “movie” we came to see was part of a live event hosted by the creator Kirk Cameron.  The theater lights went out and there we were at his front door…in real time.  Kirk invited us in and introduced us to folks he had gathered there.  Right by his front door were two guys who were from his church I think, that were all set up with guitar’s and microphones.  And we began this night off with worship.  It was beautiful and amazing.  It was exactly what this weary mom needed to soothe my aching soul.  Can’t say that I have ever had a worship time at the movie theater before.  After the worship Kirk introduced and talked with some others – Glenn Beck, Alveda King and his pastor and grandfather.  Then Warren Barfield (did music for Fireproof) played a great song called “Waiting for the Right Time”  that he wrote about getting married.  (It was about the fact that if you spend your whole life focused on getting to the “right time” then you’re going to miss the right time as it flies right by, not just in regards to marriage, but many big things in life.)  It was fun to see all this and he certainly set as atmosphere for what was to come.

I honestly had no real idea what to expect.  I had only seen one preview and don’t think I was paying that close of attention to it.  My husband really wanted us to go (which was enough for me) and it was being promoted by people whose opinion and advice I trust, so here we were.  The movie is basically a documentary of Kirk’s search to discover some truth about our history.  He documents his travel beginning in England to discover the roots of America.  Here he learns things about the Pilgrims I do not remember learning in school.  From what he learned it shows even more clearly what God and family meant to these people and what they were willing to sacrifice to see truth and freedom in their lives and the lives of those they loved.  After learning about our forefathers he next travels to learn about our founding fathers.  In the past years I have been learning more about our founding fathers and I was a bit more familiar with what he learned here although I do not believe that most Americans would be.  It seems that we have so often taken our history for granted.  It’s like we need to say to ourselves every morning “Wake-up, history repeats itself.  Know your history.”  Why are we so lax about the past?  We need to care.  If we do not know the foundations of our history, it can easily be destroyed, disfigured or lost.  And if we lose the foundations of who we are then we crumble.  How can we appreciate and understand the sacrifice of those who have come before us and are among us now if we don’t care enough to spend the time it takes to know it.  How can we expect true freedom if things are being swept under the rug and all we do is shrug and believe that we can’t do anything about it?  This is an area I want to address in the next few blogs or so.

Kirk too was looking at the “signs of the times” and very concerned about what’s happening.  He said he had talked to other’s in his church who have said that these things are signs of the last days and there is nothing he can do so that’s that.  Kirk wasn’t satisfied with that and frankly neither am I.  He  spoke of his children and the hopes and dreams he has for them.  He had come to the decision that standing by and letting things crumble wasn’t good enough for him.  He wanted a different solution.  He needed to become a different solution.  I totally agreed.  I too want to be a different solution.  It’s time we really dug deep and began to understand our history.  We need to know who we are and how we got here.  It needs to be more than a passing fancy.  It needs to become woven into the fabric of who each of us are individually so it can’t be stolen from us.

I want to tell you so much more about the movie, but I really feel it’s something you need to see for yourself.  I don’t want to leave you full of preconceived ideas.  I want you to go as open as I went.  But, to get it near you, you have to demand the movie. You may not be as impacted as I was, but maybe, just maybe you’ll hear the alarm bell go off in your head and say…this is something I need to know…this is something my children need to know.

As for me and my house, we want the truth.  Not the pretty picture, not the ugly lie, just the truth no matter how it looks.  We want to understand America and why we are who we are today.  If you’re interested in learning more about this please go and see Monumental and tell me if you did.  I would love to hear what you thought.  We don’t have to think alike.  We don’t have to respond the same.  I want us all to have the freedom to choose what we believe and I want to know what you believe and why.  I believe that it’s the freedom to be different that makes us truly America.  Tell me, is this the story you know?

Miraculously Blessed,

Jessica

2012 -My New Year

Good Morning Dear Ones –

It has been quite some time since I’ve taken a moment to share my heart on here.  Since the last time I wrote I have had a baby, got settled into my new home and passed through the holiday season.  (Actually, we haven’t quite finished our holidays around here as not everyone was home to celebrate and we decided to postpone things til later this week.)

My newest little boy arrived bright and early on the morning of December 5th.  He truly is a miracle.  Everyone around here is in love all over again.  I feel so blessed that God would give me three little boys.  It appears I have joined a club and I am happy to be a part of it.  This guy is sweet and cuddly and seems to be a relatively easy baby.  I will do a post shortly with pictures and more on him.

Today is the first day my wonderful, amazing husband returns to work since baby’s arrival.  I am nervous and excited on how it’s all going to go.  I know I am going to miss having him around dreadfully.  It’s not even the help he provides (though I will miss that).  It’s just him.  I am so in love with my husband and being with him is one of my biggest delights.

This year I really want to focus and connecting with God in a new and fresh way.  I simply feel ready for all the adventure I know He has waiting for me.  My heart’s song for this year reads well from Psalm 108:1-5                                        
-I’m ready, God, so ready,
ready from head to toe.
Ready to sing,
ready to raise a God-song:
“Wake, soul! Wake, lute!
Wake up, you sleepyhead sun!”
I’m thanking you, God, out in the streets,
singing your praises in town and country.
The deeper your love, the higher it goes;
every cloud’s a flag to your faithfulness.
Soar high in the skies, O God!
Cover the whole earth with your glory!

I hope you will join me this year in celebrating both the gift of life and the Giver!

Miraculously Blessed –

Jessica

Vacation Blessings pt. 3

Dear Ones –

Getting settled back into our routine although for me fall is like spring and I always want to start something new.  More to come on all the new things in our life soon.  My delightful children seem to be growing by leaps and bounds.  I think the boys grew up while on vacation and I am beginning to wonder what happened to my little boys.

Today’s vacation blessing is to revel in the blend of the excitement of surprise and the comfort of the familiar.  As you know we kept the news of baby #3 a secret from all of our home family and friends.  With delight (and the frustration of keeping a secret) we counted the days to our arrival.  The drive took much longer than planned and it was very late as we neared Hub’s parents house.  We pulled off in a parking lot and changed the boys shirts into the special “Big Brother” shirts we had picked up for this very moment.  And then we were there.  In we came and the grandparents pretty much only had eyes for their beautiful grandsons…  I crashed onto the couch and stretched out.  The boys started to laugh and play delighted to be a Grup & Gyg’s house.  But the shirts did not seem to be conveying their message.  So, after a half hour I signaled my beloved to say something.  “What do you think of the boy’s shirts Mom?” he asked.  And with that the news and laughter and delight poured out.  We excitedly shared all news including sharing with them the other secret we held…that this baby was another precious boy.  Fortunately Grandpa and Grandma reacted as we thought they would and not as others feared they might.  In fact the words “Yay, less time to wait.”  were definitely heard.

And after that we got to have fun sharing the news with all the rest of our family and friends.  It felt so good to tell people.  I told that man of mine that we will never hold a secret like this one so long again.  And at one of the family gatherings we were delighted to discover that not only are two of my other cousins pregnant, but we got the surprise of another cousin who is.  So there will be 4 additional babies joining our happy clan in the next few months.  It’s so delightful.  Babies are such a strong reminder of the life miracle our Heavenly Father gives to us.

Much of our trip was go, go, go, go and that kind of go-ing can really do a body in…especially a pregnant body.  So on our final morning when the littlest man awoke all bright and shiny I spirited him out of the house for a long walk on Mama’s home turf to let Daddy have a good sleep in.  We delighted in the quiet morning air listening to the birds chirp and breathing in the fresh air.  As we walked we noticed how many people in our home town had fire pits in their back yards.  Which in my mind brings up images of being outside hanging out together or sitting quietly by the fire absorbing the peace of being electronics free or just opening yourself up to dream and hear the Voice that speaks loudest in the stillness.  Along the sidewalks I noticed how grass and other small plants grow most comfortably in many of the cracks.  What some might see as a nuisance I saw as beauty.  It added to the peaceful nature of the morning.  Here and there a dog barked and we even ran into another walker who joined us for a block or two and let us in on her story.

I hope these few glimpses into our vacation reveal to you the picture I am trying to paint, but just in case…  Life is too short to be stuck in stagnant.  Take advantage of each moment you have.  Revel in creating a surprise or allow yourself to be delighted when you receive one.  Take time to look at the simple things around you differently.  Allow the beauty of green growing through the cracks of life to reveal to you the miracle that you aren’t alone.  God is moving heaven and earth to speak to you today.  Sometimes He speaks by surprising you with His passionate love and sometimes He speaks in the quiet, comfortable moment that He made just for you.  The blessing I found in this vacation was that I was able to see Him in it ALL.  He was with me for every moment and that made each moment MORE.

I challenge you to be open today and everyday to the MORE of life.  The truth that is hidden in the MORE is the truth that will allow you to be all that you are.  Take your eyes off of the mundane and open them to really see.  There is more waiting to be discovered there than you can ever imagine.  May you be surprised in the comfortableness of the familiar.

Miraculously Blessed –

Jessica

Vacation Blessings pt. 2

Dear Ones –

I think I am finally caught up on sleep and ready to hit the road running.  Grocery shopping, the zoo and the park are all falling on our agenda this week.  Laundry is all done and pretty much all put away.  I’ve even caught up on some  of the blogs I am behind on reading.  Good stuff has been going on in the blog world over the past two weeks.  I miss reading all my “friends” when I get behind.   Does this ever happen to you?

Now on to Vacation Blessing #2…  Real Communication.  Do you ever get so caught up in your life that you forget to discover what’s going on in the world around you?  Has it been so ling since you talk to that aunt that has all the family news that you just don’t know what is going on in the family anymore?  Or have you made plans and forgotten to tell your spouse all the details?  Have you asked your family what  they would like to do with some extra free time?

Or maybe you’ve been trying to accomplish a bunch of stuff in a limited amount of time and although you need help, you don’t share that and just get angry because you have to do everything yourself.  Suddenly, time is running out and instead of peace your body is filled with stress.  So not the way to live.

I LOVE communication and am usually pretty good at it.  I like to plan things and I like to see everything fall into line.  On this vacation I planned a lot.  When things came up with Beth I felt a little out of my element.  My “plan” wasn’t exactly going according to plan.  There were several moments where I lost it with my man and regretted it.  Instead of communicating with him what I needed to find a place of balance, I just blew up at him.  It was ugly and NOT how I want to be.  God offers us a peace beyond what circumstances offer.  We have the opportunity to be filled to overflowing with joy regardless of whether we are in “control” of everything that goes on or not.  All it takes it us communicating with God and asking Him for what we cannot do for ourselves.  He is willing and able to provide for us.

One of the great things about going “home” on vacation is that we get to see all the family and friends that we miss so much.  It’s amazing with phone calls, texts, e-mails, Facebook and other forms of social media how different it is talking to someone in person.  You really understand someone when you actually see them.  There is more laughter, more honesty and things flow easier.  There is nothing like a hug that cradles you when you are hurting or tears dripping down your face when you do something stupid that makes you laugh so hard you almost pee your pants.  These are things a phone call just cannot convey quite all the way.  But then there’s another thing and that’s when you haven’t even used one of the long distance forms of communication to learn about someone.

While we were home we saw so many people we haven’t seen in around 2 years or more.  Pure craziness…pure and wonderful.  Thing is with some of them I didn’t know enough about what goes on in their lives to have a real conversation about anything.  It helped that I had a surprise pregnancy to bring to the table, but then the conversation had opportunity to become all about me.  And that was certainly NOT what I wanted.  Real, true, honest conversation comes when there is sharing.

Being with all these wonderful people made me long to know more about them.  It made me wish I was better at long distance communicating.  And it made me come up with ideas on how to change.  Let’s just say for now that I have a few ideas boiling on the stove.  I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions on how to improve in this area.

And so today’s challenge is getting to a place where you can commune.  A place where you can be open, honest and a place where you can discover.  Forget that time has passed and reach out to someone you haven’t talked with in a long time.  Open yourself up to let others know you.  Take some time to commune with God.  Find true communication in the time that you put into communing.   Discover how wonderful those around you and distant from you are.  It can only be done when you are being real with each other and that can only be done when you put time into the discovery.  It’s work, but oh what wonderful work.

And so, if you know me personally you might just find your phone begin to ring or a knock on your door or a simple text asking how you are.  And when I ask…I really mean it.  I want to get to know YOU all over again.  Let’s commune and in that let’s find the blessing of Real Communication.

Here are some quick shots I took on my phone during our trip.  Enjoy!

      

Miraculously Blessed –

Jessica

Vacation Blessings pt. 1

Dear Ones –

We returned from our trip home 4 days ago.  Since then I have done pretty much nothing.  Okay, I take that back.  I did 3 loads of laundry (but still have mine to do) and eaten and laid around.  I had great plans to be all unpacked and everything cleaned up, but I did not realize how drained I actually was.

This trip was unlike any other I have ever had home.  The biggest thing that happened was that I got to see my cousin Beth one last time before she went to live with Jesus and be totally well.  It was such a wonderful blessing.  I got to experience her humor and love.  I got to hold her hand and feel her squeeze me back.  Before we left for home Jesus came to get her and I was blessed to spend a day with many of my extended family just feeling her lasting love together.

Amazing how losing someone on this earth really makes you think on the blessings of those you love and have still.  It makes you recognize where you may have taken some for granted and reignites the desire for renewed relationship.  I am thinking in new and fresh ways about things that don’t matter anymore and how to really treasure the things/people that do.

So, Vacation Blessing Number One was to recognize value.  I would like to encourage you to make a list (written, mental, whatever works for you) with three things you have put value on that don’t have real value and three things/people that you have not had enough value for.  Then add three things you are going to do to change.  Maybe it is call up a friend and tell them how special they are.  Maybe it is squeeze your kids a little tighter a couple of extra times today.  Maybe it’s send your mom or dad a card and relate one special childhood memory that you hold onto.  Maybe it’s talk to that cousin you haven’t talked to in six months.  I have no idea what you might want to do.  Just try something.  Find value in your life and hold onto it.  We never know how long we have to revel in true treasure.  People and things can be gone in an instant.  My prayer for you today is that you have the opportunity to hold close all that you can and have no regrets when it or they are gone.

Check in later this week for Vacation Blessing Number Two.

Miraculously Blessed –

Jessica

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