Sunday, January 24, 2010

"The Move"...... Lesson Learned

When AJ and I first learned he received the job here in Texas, we were blessed with 4 weeks before his starting date at the new job. Though we are not fond of renting, we felt this would be in the best interest for us at the time so we could learn the area before purchasing a place. So graciously, our friends, William and Taryn, offered to keep the kids one weekend while we came to house hunt and get a feel for the area. Nothing was found, so as we returned home we discussed the different options of what to do. It was most clear we did not want our family to be split, with AJ in Texas working and us back in Louisiana. So the week before his starting date, we made reservations at a hotel. We would go as a family for a week, while AJ was at work, the children and I were to look for a place to rent.

"Are you crazy? You are going to stay in a hotel with FIVE kids for a week?"

"I would rather be without my husband for a week than stay in a hotel with kids."

"Are you out of you mind?"

"Better you than me!"

These were just a few comments I received.

To be honest, when I thought about staying in the hotel room with 5 kids, I cringed.

I knew I had to come up with a plan. For my sanity.

So thus, I started jotting ideas down of what we could do for this long week.

Make tents.
Play "Old Maid."

These were my plans.

So thus, we headed out and I was ready to "fight the good fight" knowing my week was going to be hard.

Well, one week turned into 2, which turned into 3, and eventually ended up to almost two months.

During these two months, I learned a lot. But the biggest thing I learned was...I enjoy my kids.

Say what? I am just learning this?...Unfortunately, yes.

You see, being a wife, "Keeper of the Home" (which includes 3 meals a day, laundry, bathrooms, stepping on and picking up toys, constant training of children, dog trainer, window cleaner...sometimes...floor sweeper, and more.), a homeschooler, active servant in my church, friend, daughter.

With all of these "so important"things, I lost my focus of what a true mother should be.

Sad? Yes.

All of my "duties" took front place over my children. Isn't this what a good wife and mother is all about? Being able to manage everything and still have a clean house?

Sadly, my kids would frustrate me because I was trying to get something done. I did not have time to play 2 games because I had a pile of laundry piled so high I couldn't see the washing machine. I didn't have time to play hide and seek because I was meal planning or scrubbing a toilet.

Then came our life at the hotel.

No need to make breakfast, it was in the lobby waiting for me. I had a "personal maid" each day to clean our bathroom, make our bed, dust, etc. Laundry would be saved for our weekend at home, which was also used to cook meals for the week so we did not have to eat out.

With this extra free time, I had the chance to "do" things with my kids.

We went to different parks. Colored together. Played "Bible Tag", made up games, tickled one another, observed bugs, snuggled, sang songs, stare contests, read books.

I learned that my kids are fun.

Wow. Sitting here now brings tears to my eyes.

The time I missed with my kids for "so called" "duties"?

Sure, I have responsibilities in the house, but isn't a top priority, as a mother, to nurture and love my kids for the Lord?

Work will always be there, but my kids will not. They are growing up quickly. I will have young men and ladies in my house soon. I would be foolish to let this time pass by and not to enjoy my children.

My children are precious. They are fun. I enjoy spending time with them. I enjoy getting down on the floor and playing "doggy", or going outside to play "Catch the Cow, Cowboy".

Learning this lesson was the best thing for me. I thank God very often for our long stay in the hotel. To be honest, I was sad when it was over. To not have my precious children not in the same room with me at all times, in close quarters, is sad. I miss the closeness it brings. And the children miss it also. Just tonight I had one ask if they could "move in with mommy and daddy".

Words will never express the gratitude I have for my Lord, Jesus, for bringing me to this place of showing me how precious my time with the children are.

Though I have returned to my normal "duties", I now devote time each day to have fun with my children.

I still have my moments of "losing sight" of what God taught me. I get busy in my day to day activities, get frustrated for "them messing up MY plan", tell them I am busy and "it will have to wait". But at the end of the day, as I lay my tired body down in bed, the Lord gently reminds me of HIS lesson taught to me. I am not perfect at this, but I shall continue to try my hardest to be the mom they deserve, the mom God created me to be.

I spend time with my children not just for them, but also for me, as a mommy, who loves and enjoys these gifts from God.

So, to the comments I received:

"Are you crazy? You are going to stay in a hotel with FIVE kids for a week?" Yes, and I would do it for seven more.

"Are you out of you mind?"
Nope, just a mom who loves her children.

"Better you than me!" I agree.


I am proud to be your Mommy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

"The Move" Part 5

Upon arriving to Texas and one more night in "our hotel", I arrive at our "new" house to see the truck waiting.

Once again, after learning the plan, the men quickly got to work...

and finally finished around 6:30 pm...

However, before they left, AJ had the privilege to share the Gospel with them. The men do not go to church but were very polite and listened and engaged in the conversation. We may never see these men again, but this we DO know...... God's Word never comes back void.

After moving in, a week later we went to Florida for a few weeks, came back and headed to Baton Rouge for a Christmas celebration with AJ's side of the family...who is a strange :) but a fun group...

Uncle Vic:

Aunt Margaret...

and cousins...Vic and Keith...

Zechariah trying to figure out "what this guy is all about"...
Don't worry Zechariah, we are still trying to figure out Uncle Vic also.

Keith "fixing" Elijah's hair...

And last, our most precious, classy, "MawMaw," who is a proud 90 yrs. old:

Since returning from this celebration, we have been busy with company, with our last leaving Wednesday morning.

Though these were great times of fellowship, I am eager to finally begin to get settled into our new home. I still have boxes to unpack, pictures to put up, and curtains to hang, but I look forward to making our new life here in the......

Great State of Texas!!!

Just for Fun...

For any of you who like history, take a look at this picture and tell me who Keith resembles...

Did you guess....

John Calvin, the great theologian?...
Crazy, huh!?!

"The Move" Part 4

I was sitting at the computer when I heard the truck rolling up. I glanced out the window to see the truck pulling to a stop at 7:59am.

My heart began beating quickly as I felt anxiety quickly entering into my mind. Tears were in my eyes.

"This is really happening" I whisper to myself.

"Are we making a mistake?"

"What about my friends?...will they forget me?"

"The kids, are they going to adapt ok?"

" This is where my kids were born. I have all my memories here. AJ has come so far fixing up the house from when we purchased it as a foreclosure."

I cry out to God.

I e-mail a friend who has just gone through the same thing. (Thanks Nikki, for your words of encouragement.)

I am feeling tense all over my body, trying to dry my tears as I watch the men exiting their truck.

After a brief discussion how things will go, the men quickly get to work.

After 2 days of packing, they begin loading up everything onto the truck on the 3rd day.

I asked the men if this "blue carpet" was for me since I AM Queen Christine:
I don't think they were amused. Although I was. :)

On the night before I was to leave for Texas to meet the men at our "new" house, I had dinner with my good friend, Amy. After leaving, I took the kids to a friend's house ( Julie) to spend the night. After getting them settled for bed,
I headed towards Amy's house to spend my last evening in Baton Rouge playing games and relaxing with her and her husband.

It was around 9:00 when I left. As I was driving, I came upon a point in the road I was not familiar with. I could not tell where the road was headed, hit a curb, almost went into the other lane, with a car headed straight towards me, spun a little, and then stopped. I was shaken up a lot, the baby was crying, Elijah was still sleeping. I pull over to check the van to see this:

A flat tire. My friend's husband, Clay, who is a mechanic, comes to my aide and we head back to her house for the night. (Thank you Clay for your kindness. You and your family are great blessings to us.)
I head out for Texas the next day after getting a new tire, and a quick, heartfelt lunch made by my friend, Taryn.

I have to say, with all this anxiety I felt on these few days was because I took my eyes off of Christ. I looked to my own strength, which never gets me far. I started to doubt, fear crept in. I was a mess inside.
I thank God for Him restoring me with HIS strength, HIS hope, in my weakness. I give Him all credit and glory for His strength.

2 Corinthians 13:9 (King James Version)

"For we are glad, when we are weak, and Ye are strong..."

To God be all the glory for His strength in this hardship.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolution

As the new year approaches, many people begin making their "New Year's Resolutions" ...excercise more, lose weight, stop smoking, remodel house, spend less, and so on. There is excitement about the new goals that we make and intend to keep. We get excited about what this new year will hold for us. Could be an expected child growing in the womb, marriage date coming, a vacation that has been planned for months, maybe years.

But for some, the new year brings sorrow. This has been deeply on my heart for weeks. As I have gone through the season my heart has been hurting and at times my eyes have been brought to tears. For as the "New Year" approaches this will be a year of firsts for many.

I am reminded of the mom who lost her 2 yr. old daughter, Vivian, due to drowning in their swimming pool. As Zechariah was in PICU recovering from whooping cough, a little girl named Vivian laid in the next room with her life slipping away from drowning in the family pool.

As AJ and I kissed each other at midnight last night, my grandmother was standing their as a new widow, first time in many years not able to kiss her loved one at this special time.

The family whom their loved one is now missing, unknown to them if they are alive or dead.

View Poster
Case Handled By:
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Case Type: Endangered Missing
DOB: May 3, 2009 Sex: Male
Missing Date: Dec 27, 2009 Race: White
Age Now: 7 Month(s) Height: 2'0" (61 cm)
Missing City: TEMPE Weight: 20 lbs (9 kg)
Missing State : AZ Hair Color: Lt. Brown
Missing Country: United States Eye Color: Blue
Case Number: NCMC1137894
Circumstances: Gabriel was last seen on December 27, 2009.

This new year for them will be a new year of life hurting without loved ones. 2010 will be the first "year" their loved one has not lived in with them. May seem small to some, for others, this is a big deal... I speak from experience.

So why do I bring this up?

Two reasons.

First, I am in hope that each one of us will be in prayer for these hurting ones. We may not know them, they not know us, but God knows each hurting one. He knows their needs. He knows their deepest pain. The tears that have fallen down their cheeks.

Psalm 56:8 (KJV) Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

Second, take time to appreciate the loved ones, friends, in your life. Call them. Give a tight, warm hug. Send a hand written card letting them know you are thinking of them. Listen to their every care, though it may seem small to you, it could be big to them. Invite them over to dinner. Kiss your child one more time before bed. Visit your grandparents and ask them to tell you old memories they have of growing up. Show patience to the rude cashier, she may have lost a child. Forgive the driver who cut in front of you, he may angry and hurting at the thought his dad's life was taken by a stranger who robbed his house.

May we make a "Resolution" to show one another love and patience this year. To be in prayer for the hurting. For next year, it could be YOU, it could be ME, who will need love, patience, heartfelt prayers.