Saturday, October 31, 2009

This Face Says it All

So I am not exactly sure what ALL she wanted to say, but she surely communicated a lot in this photo. Our sweet Samoosa was a ladybug at our fall festival this evening. She had such a great time in the bounce house and really thought she was a big girl. She was not too pleased to find out she could not go on the big blue slide with her siblings. Thus, this photo. So cute, yet so........I can think of many things, but we'll go with cute.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Outweighs the Rest

I had a conversation this week that got me to thinking. A young mom of one precious little boy and I were talking about being mom to one and being mom to more - what it's like, what I'm like, how you do it, how you don't. I was speaking very candidly about my experiences and thinking back to the whole conversation, I am glad I did. It was good for me and hopefully encouraging to her.

Being mom is the most important 'job' I can have. It outweighs my other responsibilities by far. There are other important things I do - both in and out of the home - that require my love, attention and effort, but almost all of them could be done just as well by someone else. The thing about being mom to Toads, Girly Girl, Samoosa and String Bean is there is nobody else that can do it better than I can. I don't say that with attitude. I say that with the confidence and endorsement of the Creator of the universe. The Lord called me, ordained my steps, designed me to be His child, Nathan's husband and mom to these four precious children. He chose me - with my strengths and weaknesses - to love, mold, nurture, train, encourage and guide their little hearts and lives.

I was made for this. I am not a generally laid back person. I have a junk drawer or two. I can go with the flow sometimes. I have yelled at my kids. I like rules, guidelines and routines. I make mistakes. I feel strongly about things being organized. I get frustrated and exhausted. With all of my faults, I will always be mommy. I can't do it on my own, but in the strength of the Lord Jesus, I will strive to be mommy for His glory. I am honored to have such a high calling and count it a privilege to be mommy of our four.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Being Present Means So Much

There is just something about the man, the head of our home, Daddy, husband being home. The whole day can be completely out of whack. The baby could have wet through two sets of clothes. The two year old could have bitten through two layers of skin - attached to someone else's body. The darling diva probably had a meltdown about dancing clothes and the only boy ended up just plain old tired of girls. That doesn't even include the freshly minted pink load of laundry or pot plant that was completely dumped out in the living room floor. This scenario is only compounded when Daddy is actually out of town. Everyone really pushes the limits and 'buttons' during those times.

Our whole existence could have all been completely looney and in walks Daddy from a long day at the office or a short trip. The initial response is glee and it is like a switch has been flipped. Calmness comes over our home. You can feel it in the air. The tension is gone. He doesn't have to do or say anything. He can sit in big blue and just be. It is simply the authority in our home being present that enables stability and peace to flow throughout - from Mommy on down to the littlest of all, String Bean. His being here gives us the confidence that we have someone looking after us. His physical presence in our lives takes away all the cares and worries of our lives.

He is a wonderful picture of what the Lord Jesus is to the Christ-follower. Just Jesus Christ being present in my life takes away the cares of the world, provides protection and peace, stabilizes an otherwise chaotic life, and relieves the tension of my sin. His personal presence in my relationship with Him is what I trust in and rely on for daily living and all eternity. I am ever so thankful that Nathan is willing to just 'be' here but even more awestruck at the unimaginable cost and sacrifice that was undertaken for my Lord to be in my life. Thank you Lord Jesus.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Long 8 Months Could Get Even Longer

Eight months seems like a really long time. At this rate, eight months could easily turn into 12, 14 or even 16 months. We started bedtime routine from the beginning. Everyone knows how it works. Pajamas, medicine, teeth, bed. Daddy always does the tucking. Mommy says the good nights, but it's Daddy time that ends the night. The kids just love it. Up until 8 months ago. That's when it started. Samoosa had been perfectly fine going to bed and sleeping through the night. Now, not so much. She cries, screams, beats on the door, sobs and most often falls asleep on the floor next to the door. It is just awful. I often want to cry with her. It can last up to an hour. In recent days, it has gotten down to a meager 15 minutes with a rare one-hour night thrown in there.

I am torn between sad and mad at the whole thing for one reason. She stops crying as soon as she sees the hall light come on to announce my arrival and begins crying again when I even think about leaving the room. The days of us actually going up to her ended months ago and that is why these months seem so long. There is nothing left to do. Many remedies have been sought and tried and even tried again to no avail. This is one of those parenting moments when you know you are doing the right thing and yet it is so hard.

I know we cannot allow her to control the situation - she is only two, imagine what her controlling methods will look like when she is 12. I know that if she knows she can get her way now, the pattern will continue. It will be all about her. We also cannot allow her to do what we call 'hijacking the family.' We have a routine for a reason. Late evenings are for the parents. We have adult conversations without interruptions. We enjoy each other's company. For just that time, we do not have to read books, throw balls, get drinks, find baby dolls, etc. We focus on us. Going up to Samoosa's room to meet her needs takes away from our time and hijacks the family plan.

We have chosen to protect husband/wife time and help her understand that she is not in control. The pull on my 'motherly, oh just go hold her' emotions is strong and yet we have had to choose to let her cry it out. It is so hard. I pray I do not have to hear her sobbing 'Daddy's baby' from behind that door for even one more night.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Morning Tornado

It's almost four in the afternoon on this beautiful Sunday and I am just now settling down at home. Nathan is already back to work and at this very moment all four kids are napping. I would really like to nap, but I am quite sure a tornado came through our house this morning (so I am blogging instead of tending to the destruction).

There is stuff everywhere from this morning's 'get ready for church' experience. We start early and have plenty to do as we prepare for worship at 10 am. It tends to be a little wild. This Sunday morning was no exception. It was not stressful; there was just so much happening. It was the first cold morning of the season, so some of the warm clothes that I had set out either did not fit them or were too warm. That led to several changes of clothes which is never convenient on a Sunday morning. The breakfast bowls are still on the table. All of the hair 'stuff' needed to get four women ready for church is still on the bathroom counter. The beds were not made. The stuff in diaper bags that we don't need at church is all over the laundry room counter. It just did not go how I had hoped.

I would like to think this a unique experience to me - that I just have some circumstances that cause my Sundays to be a bit wacky. I mean, I do have four small kids and I pretty much do Sundays as a single mom since Nathan leaves long before we wake up and when we do arrive at the church we all say 'hello' to daddy and then he is back off to work. Any little thing could completely throw a wrench in our morning. The truth is, this isn't an experience unique to me. Yes, Satan would like for my morning to be bad and completely ruined, but their are countless other families he wants to disrupt as well. He is out to steal our joy of coming before the King of Kings with fellow believers to worship together. He does not want any of us to experience heart change, sound Biblical teaching, or encouragement from others. This morning, Satan did not win in my house and heart.

It took every bit of concentration and effort on my part, but we did arrive at church on time. The older pair worshipped quietly without disrupting others. I enjoyed an entire worship hour without being called back to the nursery. Everyone enjoyed their Bible study classes. We had a wonderful day with God's people. This all happened despite the physical mess at home. I know there will be Sundays, probably many, when Satan will have more than a field day with the Linos, but I know there will be many more that help to produce heart change and a family that loves God more.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Making the Best of the Flu

Just a few snapshots from this past week....being confined to the house with the flu was not so fun, but we made the best of it. So glad to be getting back to some sort of routine!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Darling Dancing Debut

Girly Girl made her dancing debut tonight with the Atascocita High School Patriettes. She attended the dance clinic last weekend and though quite sick this week, she practiced often with the DVD and worked hard to learn the dance. She had so much fun with the big girls and looked so cute in her big pink bow.

Front row - 45 yard line.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Self Imposed Prohibitions

I am so glad this day (actually yesterday) is finally here! I have released myself from the self imposed prohibitions that I placed on myself two weeks ago. Really, I had to work to get to this point. I evaluated some things in my life and found that I needed to change things up a bit.

At the beginning of 2009 I committed to reading through the Bible with our church family. We have a reading guide that has us reading a portion of Scripture six days a week and at the end of the year we will have read through the whole Bible. I have done this before but it is different this time. Having people within our community of believers doing it together added an excitement to it. Accountability too. I did great until I gave birth to our fourth child in June. I tried doing it while I was feeding the baby and that worked for a while. Then excuse after excuse mounted and I got behind. Several weeks behind. Actually, I got behind on many things, but not the things that I loved - email, facebook, blogging, sleeping. I am sure the list can go on.

So, a few weeks ago I felt very convicted and I put a stop to many things and got caught up on more things. My Bible reading is actually ahead and is so much more enjoyable. The catch up time was not nearly as refreshing. I was reading to catch up - fast. Now I am able to take more in and enjoy what the Word has for me. I like the sense of accomplishment of having caught up, but I like even more that I will finish my commitment and be changed for the better when it is all said and done. Now I can read, study, blog and email freely without restrictions. Yeah!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 15 and Unfortunately Still Counting

Maintenance medications are a year round, normal thing at our house. Asthma times 2, excema times 2, reflux and any number of environmentally triggered allergies equal regular visits to the pharmacy and a drawer full of syringes. Thankfully everyone around here takes their meds well and as of late have been quite well. We made it through six weeks of school without missing a day due to illness! Fifteen days ago, I pulled out the albuterol for Toads and Samoosa. It went downhill from there. Today, I filled four tamiflu prescriptions and the only reason it wasn't six is because Samoosa and Girly Girl are too far gone for it to do them any good at this point. Do the math and you get four kids with the flu and one very busy Daddy sidelined with this yucky virus.

This is one of those times when it is hard to be wife, mommy, writer, cook, chauffeur, and much, much more with a happy heart and smile on my face. Thankfully, I have good sick kids - they don't whine all the time, they don't all need me at the same time, they take meds well - or this would be much harder. Thankfully, I am not sustained my by own strength. Thankfully, I don't live with large amounts of stress and heartache. Thankfully, I have a God who is in control of even this virus. Don't get me wrong. This is not fun. I have kids falling asleep in the playroom, needing lots of diapers changed, sweating in their sheets as they break fevers. They are sick little guys and I have accomplished nothing on my list of things to do that does not pertain to them in the past several days. There are times of frustration, but there are many more moments of rocking and holding those four little people. I choose not to let the frustrating moments be my only memories of these fifteen plus who knows how many more days.
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