Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Year, New Start.

Happy (Christian) New Year everyone and very blessed Advent tide to you!

This has been a long time coming but I finally have moved and started a new blog that better I will no longer be writing here but am excited to be writing on my new blog and hope you will visit. Christ keep you in this new year!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pastor's Conferences part II

The first day of the conference began with Divine Service, which sadly we were unable to make it in time for, and then a session. After the session was a "Happy Hour". Everyone enjoyed free drinks and time to visit and look over the booths from CPH and local mission groups while socializing. The evening ended with a banquet. It was a large overflowing buffet with ribs, chicken, fish, roasted potatoes, several pastas, vegetables, etc.

The conference also included breakfast and lunch the second day and breakfast on the third day.

When we arrived home my husband had just enough time to drop the bags inside the door before rushing back out to work for some things that he had to take care of and then tonight he served in a dear member's funeral.

All evening I couldn't shake a growing feeling of loneliness and sadness. It reminded me of how I would feel as a child when I left one of my parent's houses to go to the other's. As a child your parents are your earthly representation of Christ; so it is understandable for such brokenness to be very unnatural and hard on a child. So why did a couple day conference with a host of pastors I did not know leave me feeling that way? As I thought back over the few days I realized I kept smiling as I remembered the meals together. We all ate in the same very large conference room and every meal was all you can eat. There was so much food and so much conversation and everyone in the room mingled about talking, introducing themselves to new pastors/vicars, and laughing. And that's when it hit me...when I was eating with all of those pastors and their wives (many wives attended but I and one other were the only ones with children) I felt as if I was getting a glimpse of heaven. A room bursting with true believers in loving communion with one another and enjoying beautiful feasts. There was nothing to worry about, and everyone was so nice and helpful.

I had no idea how much meal time could mean when it's done with a whole host of believers in Christ, all together in the same room. Come Soon Lord Jesus!

Pastor's Conferences

At one time it was a love-hate relationship. I loved them because I got out of the house, got to eat out, and most importantly got to hopefully meet lots of other moms and kids and just sit and visit while the kids (hopefully) played well without bothering me. In the end there usually weren't many mothers that attended or if there were it was a struggle to coordinate everyone and find out what to do when. Oh, sure, there were lots of fun conferences with lots of amazing moms and kids, but I remember always feeling more stressed than when I was at home because I was making them all about me and my chance to have a social life again for a few days.

But things have changed. For one thing my life at home is, eh-hem, much more chaotic than it used to be. All hopes of a social life are gone and honestly I don't really miss it. Oh I love the friends I have dearly but I guess I'm quite content these days being a hermit. Plus...4 kids make a lot more mess than 2. 4 kids eat a lot more than 2. So a chance to not clean up my house, do laundry, OR cook for nearly THREE days?! Dude, count me in.

This conference was the best yet. There is only one other mother here with children. Normally this would have been enough to start my complaining about why do I ever come to these things anyways when they're so BORING?!

Now I live for boring. ;-)

When I was telling my husband about our morning yesterday I explained that the other mother here is one of the happiest women I have ever met. She is constantly laughing or smiling and I found it absolutely infectious. But perhaps one of the best things about our time hanging out was that she is so laid back. We both enjoyed conversing and allowing our children to play together but we were both perfectly happy to part ways and head back to the hotel rooms when the kids began to disagree. And in the room, on goes the TV (which thankfully is a big deal since we don't watch it at home) and to the bed with my book and computer go Mama. So for two days Disney has been entertaining my kids when in our room and I have decided hotels are my new favorite place again...especially when the conferences in our new district provide nearly all the meals so we don't have to worry about eating out for every meal!!! Now if you'll excuse me, I have a book to read.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Are you...

Going to have more kids?

At one time this question was funny. At other times it was a chance to show off my quiverfull piety. (ha) Now it is just plain vomit inducing...that or it makes me want to throw things. I seriously want to look at people and ask them to please stop asking me about my husband's and my intimate life.

So here's my new line. I came up with it during the sermon today.

Every day the Lord opens wombs and every day he closes wombs. If you figure out His will for me feel free to share. (Then end with a smile and a wink just to show that you're nice and leave them wondering if you're kidding or not.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Potty Man

This mom thing 4 times over gets way less nostalgic and way more in the trenches. Don't get me wrong, I can coo and make dumb baby faces with the rest of them but I knew I had reached a new level of momhood when this week my third child potty trained and I realized today I never took a photograph to document it. Crud. So tomorrow he'll wonder why I'm making him stand next to his potty chair and grin. :) Thankfully by the time he's 30 with kids of his own who are potty training he won't remember.

Anyways, so as I was working with son 3 this week I began to notice son 4 who is not quite 1 yr was making quite a scene every time he needed to do his business. The solid kind. At first I would laugh and wait for him to finish and change him. But then as I sat watching him grunt while I was trying to get my older son to go on his potty an idea hit me. I put our potty insert on the real potty as my other son used the child potty and took son 4's diaper off and sat him down. The first time I tried he was not crazy about the idea and would have none of it. The next day when I heard him grunt I grabbed him...and the m&m jar :).

I sat him down, handed him an m&m, which he had first tried a few days before when I was rewarding the older boys for reciting their catechisms, and he was one happy little clam. A few seconds later I heard a ker-plunk into the potty and oh the fuss we all made. I am happy to report that since that day, Monday, my son has not pooped in his diaper! He has gone poo 1-2 times every day this week in the potty. And this morning he, from his high chair, looked at me and let out this fake little grunt. I chuckled at him thinking he was just trying to be manly when he said, "mama!" and then grunted harder. I said, "OH!" and grabbed him and ran. He giggled as I ran in excitement, I put him down, gave him his m&m and he happily pooped. :)

Oh happy day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Recently my children and I took a walk through a cemetery. It was a sunny but cool day and the kids were running all about trying to find the oldest tombstone. I love cemeteries. I always feel this burst of excitement like awakening on Christmas morning.

As I walked I studied the stones: the names, whether family members were buried next to them or had not yet passed, how old they were and what might have caused their death based on the time period etc etc. I then came across a stone that had four children's names on it. Their firstborn was a girl and she died when she was two. Their second child was born a year later and died the year their third child was born. That child died a year later the same year their fourth child was born. That child died two years later. What tragedy. What utter, horrible grief. What pain and loss. What faith.

Now of course I don't know whether it was really faith that caused a woman like that to continue to bear children despite so much tragedy but I know many other women for whom it is. They live out their marriage vows with absolute abandon to God and His will...and that with JOY on their faces! And it brings to mind Psalm 116:15 "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." I don't know how long my children will live, how long my husband will live, or how long I will live. But I am thankful for each and every child the Lord creates inside of me no matter how long or short the life because for the Christian, death is the ultimate miracle that ushers us into the hands of Christ and our eternal life in the arms of love. And for the Christian mother this can bring the ultimate peace when the memory of children passed brings tears to our eyes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pursuit of Service

With the upcoming election my husband and I have had many discussions about politics with our eldest son. He is quite curious about the signs and the two men he keeps seeing on the news websites he sees over our shoulders, etc. Of course it's on my mind quite a bit...daughter of a politician...old habits die hard I guess. But who's mind isn't it on? Kind of a big election.

Anyways, along with this I've also been dealing with some scheduling conundrums. Turns out in the city there's WAY more things vying for my time and trying to figure out what home schooling will look like for our family while also trying to manage how much we leave the home and for WHAT has been really stressful lately.

But the other day during a particularly stressful day (something about potty training and an overflowing toilet onto the curious crawling baby who had snuck into the bathroom) I was giving an opportunity to drive to the opposite side of the city to bring a meal to a family in town for a conference who's little ones had fallen ill. It wasn't asked of me but I knew of the situation and also knew she planned to eat canned soup. I took it and spent the morning making soup between trying to clean up messes, bathe the baby, and get everyone loaded up. There was a decent bit of yelling as they all ran circles around me and I felt internal warfare going on.

The temptation is to put family first. They're my vocation right? If it's too hard and makes everyone stressed it shouldn't happen. That's what I was trying to comfort myself with anyways when I was wondering if I should offer.

But that is a handy lie of the devil and the world. Your happiness is what matters. Curse you satan.

What happened instead is I took the meal, got lost twice and stuck in traffic and my children fell asleep in the car for a late nap. And when we got home I had been giving a ton of time to think things over and while doing a late night craft with the kids I spoke to them and apologized for my attitude earlier that day. They acted confused as if they didn't remember a thing and then asked if the soup would help the family get better. "I hope it does Mommy, I hate being sick too." melt. :)

So if there's one thing I hope my children learn being home schooled it's this: The blessing of life through Holy Baptism, liberty in Jesus Christ, and the pursuit of service. Because Family is where each lives for another and Christ lives for all.