New Years, Christmas and Everything in the Middle

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It was here and now it’s gone!  Well, almost gone.  I am talking about 2015.

I mean it’s only December 31st, and for procrastinators like me, that is plenty of time!  Time to evaluate the past year, finish up on resolutions (it’s completely possible to finish those books I resolved to read in the next 10hrs), and work on goals for the next year.  I have plenty of time.  In fact, I think I am going to finish the laundry and write on my blog, before I check these things off my list!  Like I said, I have plenty of time

Let the cycle of procrastination begin!

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The older I get, the more conscience I am of the slippage of time.  I am sure everyone feels this way and I’m just late to the party, but I can’t help but feel this was the fastest year I have lived through.  And even though it’s exactly the same amount of time as the last year, it still seems faster than the year before.  Does this make me less of a procrastinator?  NO.  Does this make me feel like a sentimental, weepy fool?  YES.  One hundred times; YES!

I have written to death the fact that my kiddos are now pretty much teenagers, and about how much I miss them being babies/toddlers.   Really, I miss anything but teenagers (people say that someday I will miss this stage too…but, My Lord in Heaven, I KNOW it will not be anytime soon).

Some people are teen whisperers.  Teenagers are their jam!  They love this stage.  They are able to somehow communicate intelligently with these little hormonal monsters!  It’s like their soul purpose was to parent teenagers.  I am not this person!  I know I don’t have a choice in the matter because all babies turn into teenagers, but I feel like I am fumbling my way through these years.  Left wishing for the years when I felt like somewhat of an expert to be back.

The other day, my oldest was in the depths of despair because he was the only one without a specific XBOX game.  Now, please recall that Christmas was only a week ago and he received, what can only be described as a “crap load” of gifts!  Ranging from clothes, shoes, a portable speaker and a variety of many other things; he did all right when it came to receiving end of Christmas.

But, he didn’t get this particular game.

Now, I knew he was going to get it.  We had spoken to the grandparents and conveyed to them how much he wanted it.  He was getting the game.  He just had to wait until we were able to see them.

I could see the way this little disappointment was working it’s way through his teenage mind.  He really is s a good kid, so he was more than grateful for everything he had gotten. But, it was still in the back of his mind that he hadn’t gotten what he really wanted.  It was very interesting to watch this play out in his mind and actions.

It started with lots of thank-yous.  Then it went to wishfulness (you know, “thank you but I wish I would have gotten this game too” kinda thing).  Then maybe someone had gotten it for him and he just hadn’t received it yet.  It moved on to that maybe he could do some chores around the house to earn the money to buy the game.  Then there was regret for spending his last paycheck on something other than the game.  Then would I buy it for him and he would work it off.  Then it was, you know “I really deserved to get this game but, I didn’t and I got a lot of other things I like, so I guess it’s okay.”

Then, the ugly teenager hormones began to rear their ugly head and took over my sweet child’s mind and heart

He deserved the game.  Everyone else had it, he shouldn’t have to wait and see if he got it.  We should just buy it for him.  He would work it off; better yet, we should just buy it for him because he was a good kid.  Finally (the best one yet), IT WASN’T FAIR!  He was being left out and didn’t have the game.  Of course, I was in complete control of fixing this for him and making him happy and I wasn’t doing anything about it!!!

OH

MY

I swear to you sometimes you see yourself in your kids and it is so humbling you just want to run away and hide!  You just want to cry, pray, and plead with God that they don’t have to learn the same hard lessons you are still trying to learn…that they will be spared the same regrettable heartache you could have avoided if you would have just been still and silent…

You see, I have been dealing with this exact same scenario in my own life.

There is something I want.  Something I want really bad.  It’s a good thing.  It’s not a selfish thing.  And, it is entirely out of my control.  And, I want it so bad I can hardly stand it anymore.

And, I have watched myself go through that same thought process that he went through.

I have said the same things to God for what seems like forever.  I have tried to be thankful.  I have tried to bargain/earn it.  I have even allowed myself to follow that ugly little cycle all the way to self-entitlement; and I am not a teenager anymore…

I found myself on the stairs looking into my son’s blue eyes saying the words I am sure God has been trying to get me to understand for the at least 8 years now.

“Sometimes, you just have to trust that I have your best interest at heart.  Sometimes, it’s not the best thing for you to get exactly what you want the minute you think of it.  Sometimes, I know that waiting is the best thing you can do.”  

As, I  spoke those words to him I almost had an out of body experience.

You see, I knew he was getting the game, and I knew when he was getting it.  It was so silly for him to waste all of his time scheming ways to get it.  It was a waste of his emotional energy to dwell on all the reasons he deserved it, and to try to control how he got it.

And, all of the sudden I felt God’s heart when He sees mine.

I wish that was the end of it.  That he listened to me and moved on.  It wasn’t and he didn’t.

But, he settled down, did other things and, stopped whining about it.  Yesterday, he got his hearts desire (insert sarcasm here): Star Wars Battlefront.

I am going to choose happy on my way into this New Year because of what can only be described as the Lord’s divine patience with me.  God has a way of showing me my own teenage heart in what is usually gentle and patient way.  A way that I could do well to learn as I navigate through this pretty messy stage where I have no idea what I am doing and tend to lose my cool once in awhile (yeah, right).

Now, where did I put that list of resolutions…oh, look it’s snowing; I should definitely shovel the driveway first!  I have plenty of time 🙂

 

 

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Groundhog Day

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The alarm goes off.  I hit snooze.  I get up.  I wake the kids.  I fight with the kids.  I make breakfast.  I fight with the kids.  The kids fight with the kids.  I drive them to school.  I fight with the kids.  I come home, do various tasks and work.  I pick kids up from school.  Clint and I fight with the kids.  Homework gets done.  Fighting.  Pack lunches.  Arguing.  Dinner.  Kids fighting.  Bedtime.  And repeat.

For the foreseeable future; repeat!

This is life lately.  That, up there, on repeat.  Especially, the fighting.  So much arguing, debate, and controversy about EVERYTHING.  I guess I should thank my lucky stars for the break that comes with school everyday, but it doesn’t seem like enough.  It just is NOT enough!  I actually overheard a meaningless debate turn into WWIII about an episode of Cake Boss.  Yes, you read that right…Cake Boss.

I know, I know, how do I dare share with you that my precious family isn’t the perfect example of sibling togetherness?!  I write an encouraging blog.  This just seems wrong.  What am I thinking, letting you in to see that behind the pretty little white porch is an actual war zone?  That includes a boy who hasn’t said a nice word to his sisters in weeks, and girls who share a room, but can’t speak to each other without tears and a good amount of yelling.  And, of course the hidden minefield.  My house is so full of teenage angst and hormonal outbursts that make no sense, anyone who comes in close contact leaves confused and with a mild case of PTSD. IMG_1869But, I did!  I let you in.  Now you can see this day.  This groundhog day.  This monotony that never ends and just keeps showing up the minute the alarm goes off.

Every.  Single.  Day.

Now what?  Am I going to share a cute anecdote that makes it all better?  Am I going to tell you that I found the secret to teenage togetherness and homework harmony?

Nope.  Just Nope.

I am going to say that my heart knows it’s just a season.  That being a teen is hard especially with annoying sisters.  I feel pretty confident that they will eventually tolerate each other?  I mean this week, they did sit in the same room without complaining about how loud the other chews breakfast.  Thats progress, right?!  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m just crossing my fingers that it doesn’t mean they finally succeeded in their master plan; to slowly kill me…IMG_1870I am hoping that you’ll read this and be encouraged that you are not alone.  Or, that you don’t have it so bad after all.  Maybe, I’ll give you a good laugh.  Or, maybe you read this and think I’m being a whiny baby.  That you have it much worse than I could ever imagine…you probably do!  But, now I’ve validated your position and you’re slightly encouraged; BOOM!  Drop the mic!  I found a way to encourage you by using discouragement!  My blog is a success!

I  will choose happy this week by thanking God for the strength SANITY that comes from strong coffee, a little sleep, and the moments that happen just before bed (that’s when all three of them are snuggled in their beds looking like angels sleeping).  Wait a minute, two of the three talk in their sleep…

 

Which Way is Up?

I am pretty sure I have shared (maybe even overshared), the fact that my husband and I are struggling through the craziness and confusion of trying to understand teenage minds.  We currently have a 14yr old boy, and two preteen girls; 11 and 12 to be exact.  I cannot even begin to tell you the absolute and utter confusion that reigns in our home on some days.

One minute everyone is laughing, teasing, and getting along, and in the next there are tears, yelling, and doors slammed because we just don’t understand.

Guess what?  We don’t…

Seriously, last week we were all in the kitchen talking about homework, the upcoming track season, and Spring Break only to find ourselves standing in the midst of a full blown mental breakdown because Finn said Bella was wearing combat boots?!!

She was wearing boots.  They were in fact, super cute purple combat looking boots.  She loves these boots.

Finn is in her class.  She does NOT like Finn (I mean, in THAT way).  She does NOT care about his opinion.

However, she WAS ready to drop out of school, and leave all who are close to her because a random boy in her school decided to state the obvious?!!!

God, help me Jesus I am going to lose my mind!  I really should call and thank my parents for allowing me to survive my teenage years!  Really, I should tell them how amazing they are having survived themselves…some days I am ready to throw in the towel.

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And we haven’t even started the girlfriend/boyfriend drama, the mean girl cliques, or the tricky navigation of high school.  Lord, help me!  I am gonna need some pretty cute grandkids to make any of this worthwhile 🙂

Lately, confusion seems to be par for the course.  I am trying my hardest to learn contentment (click here to see my post about this from last week).  It seems to be proving a little more difficult with confusion at every corner.

Sometimes I can see God’s hand as clear as the snow falling outside my window, and feel it as sure as the love of my husband.  Other times…

Other times His hand seems so far away.  So distant.  So unfeeling, and deaf to my voice.  Even little, teensy tiny requests, that would only make a difference to me, seem to go completely unanswered, or even ignored.

And I feel little.  And I seem invisible.

And I am confused…again.  Left standing in the kitchen, wondering what in the world just happened.

I want, with all my heart, to tell you that it is at this very moment that the sun comes through the clouds and some little detail catches my heart.  Something, that can only be attributed to the lover of my soul happens, and suddenly I feel like I am heard and all is right with the world.

But, that is just NOT what happens every time.

Sometimes, it takes a decision.  A resolve to trust.  To wait.  To stand.  To worship.

Through confusion.  During contentment.  Making my life an offering even when I cannot understand.

So, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:
Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.
Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Readily recognize what He wants from you and quickly respond to it.
Unlike the culture around, always dragging you down to it’s level of immaturity.
God brings out the best of you, develops well formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1-2
The Message 

I have decided to choose happy through the trying times when it seems I am not heard, when confusion fills my heart and I don’t know which way is up.  I have resolved to make my life an offering, to worship, and do my best to stand when I feel like I’m crashing to the ground.

It’s a work in progress; just like teenagers and their parents!