Monday, May 30, 2011

Thankful. #s 101-110.

100.  Freedom.  The men and women who died and are serving to make that possible.  I love these images over at The Pioneer Woman's site. 

101.  Summer.  Summer will be a reoccurring thing in tonight's list.  Remind me of that in a few weeks when I am DESPISING the heat. 

102.  The first watermelon of summer.

103.  John's first time in the baby pool.

104.  Little girls' screaming in delight over the sprinkler.

105.  Lightening bugs.

106.  Ten dollar pizza deals when I forget to put the pork roast in the crock pot and all other dinner options are frozen rock solid.

107.  Redbox dollar movies with Scott after the kids are in bed.  Relaxation

108.  John's loving books, even if right now the love includes throwing and slinging and making a mess.  We'll get there;)

109.  A shampooed carpet.  Stains removed--stress removed.  Thank you, friends!!

110.  Bedtime issues halfway solved.  Now if I would only stop waking up in Ada's bed--I have no memory of actually going in there when I wake up in the morning, which makes it hard to deal with in the middle of the night;)

Oh...and because Ada often has an ungrateful spirit (to say the least), I am teaching her be thankful when she wants to pitch. a. fit. instead.  So, her list so far...

Ada is thankful for

1.  playing in her pool
2.  playing in the mud
3.  cheese

Friday, May 27, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Forgetting

It's Friday.  Five minutes to write at the end of a long, long, long day.


And the words that pop into my head are...forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead...and I turn to my trusty ESV study bible and look it up. 

Paul is pressing on, walking away from all that used to define Him.  He was the best of the best of the best of the Jews, and he found out it was all rubbish compared to knowing Christ and wearing the righteousness of Christ.  (Philippians 3)

On this day, when God says no again to prayers that we have been praying for months now, and the bills pile up, again, I find myself tempted to turn right back around and run fast and strong into the arms of the things that I used to believe would save me.

When the scale and the diets beckon and offer the promise of control in a season when things spin wildly around me, then I must press on.  Turn this body right around and flee the temptations to find myself in something other than Christ.

Because I learned the hard way that all those idols really are just broken cisterns, and they can't offer me anything but despair. 

Instead, I will crash into the arms of Jehovah-Jireh, who offers me the living water.

...Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, Phil. 3:13-14

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I am thankful for my tutoring job for several reasons--the main reason being that it is yet another thing that God uses to provide for our family.

I am also thankful for it because I enjoy it.  I miss being in the classroom so much.  I am so thankful that I get to be at home with Ada and John, so thankful, but I miss teaching A LOT.  And I am thankful that I get to do something education related a few times a week. 

Tutoring is so great, too, because I get to know the families so well.  And the students just bless my life in so many ways.

I am currently tutoring this one little guy, a first grader, and he is a struggling reader.  He absolutely can read--can sound out almost any word--but it just isn't flowing for him.  He sounds out every letter in a word, and we are just struggling along.  He is a smart kid, though, so smart.  And funny.  His teacher suggested that he repeat first grade because of his slow reading skills.  His mom really didn't want to do that because he really is so smart, and it didn't seem to make sense for him to repeat a grade.  Well we have been busting our tails trying to get him approved to move onto second grade.

Congrats to him because he is moving on.  He did GREAT on all of the end of the year tests, and he will be in second grade next year. 

Well, as I was leaving his house earlier this week, I turned around to say good-bye, and his sweet little six year old voice said to me from the top of his stairs, "Thank you.  Thank you for helping me pass."  He said it with such sincerity.  I melted. 

On the other end of the spectrum, I am also tutoring a guy who is a junior in high school.  I started tutoring him when he was freshman, and he is a fun guy with a really great family.  Well, his mom is great about giving me really fun "teacher gifts," and look at what I got tonight (we are done with tutoring for the summer)

So fun, right?  I am going to make it my water cup so that the only way I can use it is if I am drinking water.  It's true, I have to trick myself into drinking water.

As much as I love teaching and students and education, I am SO VERY THANKFUL that my mornings start out with these stinkers crowded in my lap, rather than a classroom full of students.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thankful. #s 91-100.

"We deserve nothing from God but eternal judgement.  We are continuous debtors, not only for His sovereign mercy in saving us, but for every breath we draw, every bite of food we eat.  We have no rights before God.  Everything is of His grace,"  (Jerry Bridges from his Trusting God.)

91.  That the days end--they aren't endless-- every morning we can start over.  (I should say that during this season they aren't endless.  Days with a newborn are rather endless.  I am praying for grace for you mamas who are doing the all-night dance with your newborns.  Grace, grace, grace, and SLEEP!!)

92.  John with two clear eyes!!!

93.  Parents (my own and others) who have gone before me and pass on their wisdom.  Because, goodness gracious, I need guidance!!!

94.  Saturday night, after much crying, rocking, and spanking, Ada went to bed on her own!!!!  No lying down with her.  She really was a big, brave girl.

95.  LOTS of fresh pineapple and grapes from our food co-op.  Nothing beats frozen grapes in the summer.

96.  John eating and loving the fresh pineapple.  And then, today, strawberries.

97.  A kitchen so stocked that I didn't even have to go to the grocery store today.

98.  Chicken in the crockpot--an easy dinner that both of my kids loved!!

99.  Ada so excited about an afternoon to spend in the sprinkler and baby pool, that she insisted on wearing her bathing suit and sunglasses to Sunday lunch.

100.  The use of my sister's car while she is in China for the next several weeks.  Some time to make room in the budget to once again fix our "broken" car.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Praises, Praises!!

I cannot say enough about how well everything went today with John's tear duct probe, the "official" name of his surgery. 

It was one answered prayer after another.

At one point, when we had been on the road for 50 minutes but were only ten miles down the interstate and all routes to the hospital were blocked by wrecks, things were looking pretty grim.  Seriously, I was on the verge of tears at the thought of having to reschedule everything--the pre-op appointment, the three days of eye drops, care for Ada, Scott's day off of work, etc. etc. etc.  But after a few phone calls back and forth with Children's, the doctor said, "come on, it's not a problem," and I was RELIEVED!!!  THANK YOU, LORD!!!  At that point I had to immediately repent for a terrible attitude because I had been seriously questioning what the Lord was doing.  Yes, me of little faith, always.  (And had we had to reschedule, obviously it wouldn't have changed God's sovereignty and goodness in those details).

Anyway, John was a trooper throughout the entire procedure.  Not only was he not upset about no food or drink, he was in a surprisingly good mood.  Seriously, he thought it was a party.  He didn't even fuss when we were in stand still traffic.  God's doing?  I think so.  He loved the surgery center with all of it's fun toys.

in the waiting room when we first got there--party number one

And in our pre-op room, party number two.  This guy was living. it. up. 
This basketball goal was the biggest hit of all.  It has second birthday present written all over it!!

Everyone at Children's was WONDERFUL, to say the least.  They were all so conscientious (I think that's the word I am looking for).  From the specific toys in the waiting rooms to the lack of waiting, to their willingness to answer any and all questions.  I was IMPRESSED with how everything went. 

I have to say that John in that hospital gown was just about the cutest thing I have ever seen.  He was so short in it.  So funny.

Do you see the mark above John's right eye?  Just to make sure they get the right one.  And his little hospital band around his ankle.  And do you see the bags under my eyes?  They've been there for, oh, about 3 1/2 years, and they aren't going away any time soon.

And here we are, post-op, when he was finally able to have something to drink and eat.  He scarfed down an entire bag of pretzels, and then he was begging for something else to eat. 

The only bad parts of the whole day were when I had to take John back to the operating room, and they put the mask on his little face to put him to sleep.  He was looking at me and crying so hard, and, of course, there was nothing I could do.  I felt a little emotional when it was time for me to leave the OR and the doctor (whom I LOVED) shook my hand and assured me that he would take good care of my John. 

The other bad part was when John was waking up.  He was a little bit hysterical, which they said was normal.  He was thrashing around and was a bit inconsolable.  The nurses asked me if he was a "breath-holder," and, of course, we said that he was.  They said, "we thought ya'll seemed really calm about his response to the anesthesia.  We assumed ya'll were used to this type of behavior."  Plus, he kept trying to hold his breath.  When the nurse was walking us out, she said, "bye-bye, you little breath-holder." 

Really, I am blown away by how well everything went.  THANK YOU, LORD!!!  Thank you, Children's.  Thank you!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thankful. #s 81-90

Multitude on Mondays.

I love that title because, really, it is a multitude, isn't it?  A multitude of things that God is doing and giving and gracing right here in the everyday.

81.  Mom, safely here on a Sunday night, to watch miss Ada while John has his procedure done.

82.  Again, my mom, in a matter of minutes, straightening up my room, which has threatened to bury itself in a mountain of "stuff."  (as always!!)

83.  Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, so glad it's just a short drive away.

84.  A fridge stocked so full I can hardly shut the door.  The pantry is the same way.  

85.  My comfortable, warm bed that I get to climb into every night.  Think of those who don't have this.  Think of it.

86.  South Point PCA, our church.  We have found a home there.  

87.  The women in my discipleship group, who let me unload every Thursday night.  And then they kindly speak truth in the face of my junk.  It's life-changing in the simplest of ways.

88.  A day spent in Birmingham with college friends, talking motherhood and marriage and life after Auburn--celebrating a new life that is on the way.  (Amanda, I am stealing this picture off of your blog.  I hopes that's okay).
89.  A unexpected trip to Big Blue Bagel, right there in Birmingham.  Crazy, really.

90.  The strange pain in my arms, back, and neck--a side effect of the skin "condition"--is GONE.  The vitamins perhaps?  I am relieved, to say the least.

And we would greatly appreciate your prayers in the morning as we head into "the city" to have John's eye fixed.  (So excited to finally have it done).  The part I am dreading the most is a morning spent with a hungry, thirsty John.  It seems like torture to not be able to give him any food or drink.  And of course I pray that the surgery is completed with no complications and that it WORKS.  Please, Lord, don't let us be that 10% that has to have further work done.  It's never fun to have your child given anesthesia, but I am also thankful that he won't feel a thing.  I will be back with an update tomorrow afternoon.  Bless his heart, my little John-John.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Deep Breath

It's Friday.  Where did the week go?  It was just Monday, and I was posting my thankful list.  But anyway, it's Friday, and I just love Gypsy Mama and her blog and especially these five minutes on Friday to just write it out.  Will you join me?  And her?  And all the others writing for five minutes on Friday?

Today's Topic:  Deep Breath

Here I go...

Deep Breath.

Because it's 10:33 pm on Friday night, and I haven't stopped all day long.  Breathing deep into the fact that finally the kids are sound asleep, and the house is quiet and I can breathe for just one second. 

Deep Breath.

As I stare at the grocery list before me on the kitchen table.  Coupons scattered all around, and I punch the numbers into the calculator one more time in hopes that a math miracle has occurred, and I feel overwhelmed by this not-so-small task of feeding this family while sticking to the budget.  Deep breath.  Because he has promised to provide, and that might just mean giving up my idea of the perfect breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as he opens my eyes to my full pantry and fridge, and he reminds me of the Israelite's manna.  "And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD," (Deut. 8:3, ESV)

Deep Breath.

As John kicks his leg in frustration at the nurse, wanting that blood pressure cuff off his leg, and we just need to be cleared for operation.  But his typical anger is making that blood pressure soar too high for an all-clear.  Deep breath.  And I ask the nurse for a cracker, and John holds it in hand and he is good, as is his blood pressure, and we all breath deep with relief, as the nurse and I both let out a relieved laugh. 

Deep breath.

On a Friday night spent at three different grocery stores, a far cry from the Friday nights of the early years of dating.  John is crying, and Ada is dancing down the aisle, oblivious to the three other customers trying to get their shopping done, and the prescription eye drops will be another 30 minutes.  Deep breath, and Scott will take the kids to the car, and I can enjoy ten minutes of peace on this Friday night in Target.

Deep breath.

On this afternoon when the dishes and the laundry and the toys are piled high because of a morning spent at the doctor's office, but there is still much to do and never enough time to do it.  Deep breath, as I hear that all familiar lie that I am inadequate as their mother, his wife, the homemaker.  Deep breath, as I am reminded that I am home not to have the perfect house but to walk and talk the gospel with these children when we sit and when we rise and when we lie down again.  And that can happen in the midst of messy; in fact, that's probably the ideal place to talk of the gospel.

Deep breath.

And I remember, "Rejoice in the Lord, always.  Again, I will say Rejoice...the Lord is at hand," (Phil. 4:4-5, ESV).

Deep breath.

Killing time in Target, while waiting on John's eye drop prescription.  John was thrilled about the situation;)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thankful. #s 71-80.

So thankful, when I take the time to look past my natural tendency to complain.  I am a glass-half-empty kind of girl, but this purposeful thanksgiving is quite the remedy for that.

1.  My mom.  She is still so my mom.  She comes to the rescue, every time.

2.  The box of vitamins and "things" that mom had sent to my house.  Not inexpensive, I tell you, but she believes that it might be just the thing to get rid of this mysterious skin "condition."  THANK YOU, MOM.

3.  My mom's mom, holding me in the above picture.  My sweet, sweet grandmother.  Look at her being such a mom in the above picture.  Because when do you need your mom more than in those first days with a newborn?  

4.  That positive pregnancy test six months into marriage.  Little did I know that it was my Ada that God was growing inside of me.  I am so, so, so thankful that God's plan was so much bigger than my own.

5.  And my John Thomas.  My cranky, stinker, rascal of a boy, John.  It is Heaven when he hugs me so tight.  In the midst of his crankiness, he is my precious cuddle bug. 

6.  The safety of this house.  Think of the moms out there, living in fear every night.  I am so thankful that my children are tucked so safe-and-sound in their beds.  What a gift

7.  That God's grace is sufficient.  Because no matter how safe this house feels, I don't know what a day holds.  Thank you, Lord, that your grace is sufficient for whatever comes our way.  That is where the peace is found.

8.  That I am at home with the kiddos.  Think of it.  It is not a given, and yet, I am here with them everyday.

9.  My mother's day nap yesterday.  Scott let me sleep the afternoon away.  It's all I really wanted. 

10.  On top of the nap, Scott cooked sweet potato chips for dinner.  It was like he brought a piece of Auburn to our kitchen.  Amsterdam Cafe right here in Georgia.

All of this.  Stressful?  Yes.  Stains and spills and crumbs and toys in every. single. corner?  Yes.  Exhausted to the very core?  Yes.  But, motherhood.  Thank you, Lord.  Thank you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Motherhood Should Come With...

I am joining Gypsy Mama and her five minute Fridays today.

The prompt is Motherhood Should Come With.

Here I go...

Motherhood should come with diet coke, diet coke, and more diet coke--morning, afternoon, and evening.  Diet coke that miraculously doesn't make it through to your milk, I mean. 

Motherhood should come with pants that hide that aftermath of nine months of growing a human being.  Or maybe, motherhood should come with a pass to be oblivious to how our bodies look after the fact. 

Motherhood should come with a guarantee that there will be a moment, everyday, when I can slip out the door and run, uninterrupted, for at least 30 minutes.  A chance to sweat out all the frustration that wants to come out in a voice so ugly it hurts my own ears, not to mention the ears of the ones intended to receive it.

 It should come with an understanding that I will never, ever be the same woman that I was before that positive sign showed up on that stick, that crazy afternoon, alone in that bathroom in my midtown apartment, only six months this side of marriage.  I cried because I knew that something much, much bigger than me had taken over my life, and God was going to destroy my idol of control over and over and over again, until it was gone for good. 

And I cried when I saw that tiny baby Ada, and I knew that the loss of the before life was absolutely worth it for the chance to play a part in this mystery known as raising a human being. 

I am so glad that motherhood does come with the promise of Grace.  With the promise of one who loves these children in such a way that he will save them from me, their own mother.  Motherhood comes with the promise that I don't have to fear all the ways that I will mess this thing up a  million times before it's all said and done, because He chose me, before the foundations of the world, to raise these precious children.  And this grace, all that it asks, it provides.

Okay, that's it, my first five minute Friday.  If you want to join in, just head over here....

and I'll end with a glimpse at motherhood on this day

That's our ottoman, by the way.  Meant to store blankets, not children.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Few Snap Shots

I don't have a real reason for blogging.  I just wanted to record a few snapshots of John-John and his funny self.  He is a stinker to the core, and Ada loves to bug him to death, as you can see in the second picture.  Those were taken Wednesday night in Perimeter's food court, after we finally left John's eye appointment (we were there for over four hours).  We had no idea the extent of the tornado damage, and we were actually just trying to hurry home before the weather headed our way.  That last picture is John's funny face that he likes to make.  He squints his eyes and purses his lips, and he thinks it is just hilarious, especially if I make the same face back at him.

By the way, thanks for the all the feed back on my "condition."  I was hoping for some fresh ideas.  (And, Amy, I can't bring myself to post pictures on the blog, but I would be willing to e-mail you some pictures.  Just send me your e-mail address).  I will talk to my Huntsville dermatologist tomorrow and will most likely be headed in a new direction with this thing.

Good-night, everyone!!