Sunday, August 24, 2008

I love how God ties things together!!

I've been doing this pretty intense Bible study for almost 2 months now and it is completely life changing. This last week, I realized that I needed more study time on my own to just "discover" what God wants to teach me. So I happened to open Romans and started reading. I read some pretty cool stuff and gained some new truths each day.

Friday morning, I read this in the Message... "God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. We've finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade." This reminded me of the main tenet of "Experiencing God" - find where God is and join Him there. About two hours later, my principal and I had a huge heart to heart in my office. She is a wonderful, caring, Christian woman and asked me as a friend what was up with me. She noticed that I hadn't connected at school yet. Through a long, winding conversation, it dawned on me that the "more" I blogged about earlier in the summer is right here under my nose.

I want some huge adventure and take the family all over the world doing God's work. But God is right here in Venice - at Venice Middle School/Oak Park South. He has put me here and this is where He wants me. I don't need to conduct my own parade and try to get Him to join me. So I was feeling better about all of this, but I still wasn't jazzed about another year of the same-old and my heart was definitely not involved.

I continued to pray over the weekend and I continued to see further conviction that God is working in my world and tying these strings into a beautiful gift. This morning at church the sermon was about SEEING God and having hope. This further impressed me with what God has been showing me. Then, Sarah, one of my high school girls asked how she could pray for me. She has never done this before and it was the sweetest thing EVER! So I asked her to pray that my heart would get into my job. I also shared my struggles with my class and used it to illustrate how God teaches us and gets our attention.

Then around 1:30 I was doing my Lord's Table Bible Study and it was about focusing on Jesus and seeing Him. All of a sudden, I felt IT, I felt the excitement for the school year! It was palpable! I realized that God is alive and working in VMS/OPS and I have two choices: wish I was somewhere else or GET ON BOARD and join Him! I choose to join Him and I want to be involved in all the amazing things He has in store for me and those around me. I'm jazzed and I'm excited. I'm also blown away by God being so loving and faithful. He cares enough about me that He would organize all of these events to get me excited about a middle school. He knit it together so perfectly! "Better is one day in His courts... than thousands elsewhere!" By not starting my own parade, I get to be in His courts! How awesome!!

My challenge to you is to see where God is and join Him! Don't try to get Him to do things your way - seize where God has placed you and make that your mission field!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hurricanes and other ramblings!

The first week of school has gone beautifully. Zach is with Miss Dana again and he LOVES her. All he talks about is seeing Miss Dana and riding the bus. Ryan is with Mrs. Mirville again and she is phenomenal. She has the patience of a saint and is calm - incredible because she is in a room full of preschoolers!! I would post a picture of them in their uniforms and backpacks waiting for the school bus, but Mark keeps forgetting to take the picture...

On our second day of school we had a hurricane day! Tropical Storm Fay was coming up the gulf coast of Florida and should have brought tons of rain, wind, and storm surge. The day was overcast, muggy, and maybe 5 minutes of drizzle. But then for the next 4 days, we have had torrential down pours - not all the time, but definitely the rain bands from Fay. Go figure...

I took the boys to the playground and they learned how to jump off the equipment safely. Ryan loves to hang out of openings and laugh. I know what he is thinking, "This is a little scary, but my mom is there... Oh look at her frightened face, isn't that funny? [insert belly laugh] Oh, wait that is scary, let me just back up..." So I decided that if he is going to hang out in the openings, he might as well be safe. We mastered that... Then Zach goes for the monkey bars, misses, and ends up in the sand. He thought that was the best thing, so now he launches himself off the equipment! The problem is, he aims for his brother! He hasn't exactly landed on Ryan yet, but it's close. I can just see the note from school...

The funniest thing about our trip to the park was, Ryan was safe getting off the equipment, but on the way to a car, the curb took him out! He feel and scraped his cheek. Poor little guy - he looks like he is constantly brawling!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

God is so good...

Yipee! Mark got his compliment from that certain someone!! I couldn't believe it when he told me... This whole experience reminded me that God truly loves us and cares about the "small things!" Sometimes I think He answers the silly prayers because He knows it makes us so happy and like a parent, He just wants to see us happy!

Several years ago, we took our dog to my grandpa's house in Traverse City, Michigan. Troy had so much fun playing in the water and waves that he lost his collar and dog tags. The next day, Mark was wading in the water and prayed for the collar. Mark specifically said in his prayer that it was no big deal, but it would be kinda cool if he could find the collar. As he was shuffling along, he found the collar underneath a little bit of silt! How cool is our God??


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

25 lbs down and other ramblings!

Yee-haw... God has melted 25 pounds off of my body! I am so excited... soon I will be down to my before Ryan weight and then I can work on removing Zach from my fat stores. I have mainly had God take this weight off of me through a life changing bible study called "Setting Captives Free ~ The Lord's Table." I have grown so much closer to God through this and as a result, He is removing the pounds. I would encourage any of you to check this out - or ask me some questions! I love it...

With the huge celebration above, I'm not sure why I'm "weepy" today. It might be because my heart is heavy with prayer for Mark and some junk he is going through. I truly know God is in control and it will go according to His plan, but I hate the uncertainity that goes with waiting for the answer. If you read this, just pray that Mark gets a compliment from someone specific!

Ryan is headed to the neurologist today and we will address his increase in seizures since he has been growing. I hope Mark remembers to ask if the medicine makes Ryan dizzy and could that be why he falls so much? I don't really want to switch meds again because the current cocktail works pretty well. But again - God is in control!

School starts in 4 days and the boys are soooo excited to ride the bus again and see their teachers. I'm excited for them too, although this means that I am back in full-swing too. I am just ready for a schedule and a routine (not to mention a paycheck!!) I think this will be a great year! Zach is making some huge progress. Just the other day he was "drawing" pictures of Mark and I. We look like big blobs of yellow scribble (but my blob might be getting smaller??) and so I would repeatedly ask Zach which was me and which was dad. Each time, he pointed to our "picture" and he was consistent. So I guess that means that his drawing actually looks like us in his mind. I thought it was great that he was consistent! Here's hope that by the time he is 80 he is ready for college! Just think how huge is 529 college savings plan will be!

Thanks for reading about my ho-hum life!

Friday, August 8, 2008

"Back home again, in Indiana..."

The boys and I came up to Indiana for a few days to visit with the grandparents and friends from high school and college. I'm going to a wedding this weekend of one of my best friends from college - she was an old roommate and put up with me longer than anyone should have to!

Our flight here was a bit nerve wracking... I got to the first security checkpoint and realized that I didn't have my ID! They gave me a special boarding pass and an extra special security screening. But right at the point that I became stressed that I didn't have my ID was the point where the boys got tired of following directions and became boogers! Ryan stopped walking and Zach slowed down and started looking at everything like he has never seen an airport before!

Once we got to the metal detectors and x-ray machines, the special security measures kicked in. The good news was, my bags were taken and I only had to take the boys - some guy did the bomb test on them and I had plenty of time to get everyone's shoes on. It was nice to have help through security!

I decided not to check anything and so we dragged a ton of stuff through security and through the terminal. I'm not sure this was the best idea, because it was a ton of stuff - including a booster seat! Once we got to our gate, we were blessed by having 2 other small children that played with Zach and Ryan and I could take care of my missing ID.

I have a friend who is one of those people who always bails me out of my troubles - she's my knight in shining armor! So I called Cindy - only to realize 5 minutes into the conversation that I called the wrong number! Oops...

The airplane was almost empty and we had no trouble getting seats. Ryan was squirmy and kept playing with the tray table and window shades. After about 2 hours he was totally whiney and annoying. I said, "It's a good thing we are going to Grandma's because someone needs to love you!" I guess I said this rather loudly and the people behind me started laughing. So once again, bad mom struck again!

Once we got here, we've had a ton of fun catching up with old friends and playing outside a ton. It's low 80's/high 70's. Perfect weather... In a few hours we will head to Bloomington for a big party!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Phew... I'm not the only one

Last week was tough, the boys were easily bored and I had a ton of things I wanted to do around the house. The laundry was piling up, the floor was covered in crumbs and dog hair, the toilets needed scrubbing and dust that needed removing. I was totally in task-oriented-mode and was missing the joy of children - and life... By Thursday, I was toast and I really didn't like my kids! I know that is a horrible thing to say. I love them, but I didn't like them.

Friday was shaping up to be another horrendous day. We had to go to the post office to mail 9 packages (and printing the postage that morning was a nightmare), Zach had to go to the dentist, we had to get tags for the car, go to the bank and stop by my school. I was concerned - to say the least! On the way to the first errand at 7 am, a song came on the radio and it set the entire day in perspective. Would you believe everything went according to plan - and even better? Zach was a champ at the dentist and it helped that he was surrounded by girls. Everything goes better for him if he is with girls... (I want to put in his IEP that he needs a wife...)

I think God gave me a great Friday so that I wouldn't completely abandon my children to the gypsies... But this morning at church, I was talking to one of the ladies in the nursery and she recalled how she didn't like her daughter at age 3. I was so relieved to not be the only person in the world who didn't like their children! I figure we all go through times when our kids try us, but not many moms would actually admit they didn't like their kids. I feel so much better that I'm not the only one!! So I will continue to love my kids, and I will really try to like them all the time! It helps when my house is clean, though!