Tuesday, March 27, 2012

For the record...

I had to post tonight, after my "venting and processing" post last night, to say that today God has shown me his goodness in so many tangible ways.

This morning, Jessica led the devotion at CC, talking about God being a God who sees--El Roi.  That struck a chord with me, as I thought about my day yesterday, and how that is often where my frustration lies.  That no one sees the day in and day out.  And I was reminded, with Jessica's words, that God sees.  He absolutely sees. 

And after wallowing in my sin yesterday, God has shown me today that, despite that sin, he sees me in very tangible ways.  That, in his kindness and mercy, he does not give me what I deserve.

Today I got a surprise paycheck at CC, which provided some padding in the budget...some breathing room.  Enough that we were able to eat at Chick-fil-a guilt free on a night when I just couldn't stomach leftovers. 

John was in a good mood almost all day.  He smiled and laughed when I went to get him after his nap.  This is rare in our house. 

And tonight, when my allergies were getting the best of me.  When my entire body was itching in reaction to Spring itself, and I had resigned myself to the fact that I had to bite the bullet and make a doctor's appointment and somehow work that into the schedule--at that moment, I stumbled upon a bottle of prescription allergy  medicine from last season that was not expired and included a refill for this year.  Apparently in the midst of my many doctor's appointments last year dealing with my random skin condition, I also got a prescription for my allergies/asthma.  I really was overjoyed that I had access to medicine without having to make the doctor's appointment.  I was up all night last night (five times I moved Ada back to her bed, and five times I woke up to find her beside me again.  That girl is stubborn, I tell you), unable to sleep because of my allergies--not to mention Ada snoring in my ear and pushing me out of my bed.  So, as I was facing another long night, it was such a relief to randomly find some medication that is already making me feel so much better (over the counter claritin is just not cutting it, and I do realize just how cool I sound going on and on about my allergies ;) )

Now, if tomorrow goes south fast, I pray that God will remind me that he sees.  He sees it all, and He will strengthen me.

Monday, March 26, 2012

And unfocused again...

It's been a hard day.  I know you're thinking that I always say it's been a hard day, but today really was a hard day.

John had three breatholding spells before noon, and after that third one I finally just put him down for a nap at 11:30 am, which is not good.  I like to wait as long as possible or else we are in for a long afternoon while we wait for daddy to get home.  But, the poor thing had no hope of being in a good mood unless I let him sleep for a while. 

And really, the only other hard part of the day was that Scott got home from work really late.  And I put dinner off as long as I could, until 6 pm rolled around and he hadn't left work yet, and I sat us all down for dinner without him.  And I know that so many people eat dinner without their husband, but I don't like to.  Scott is a huge "partner" around here in the evenings when I am out of every bit of kindness I can muster up towards these kiddos.  So, anyway, during dinner, when I walked into the kitchen to get Ada some more black beans, I heard Ada say, "no sir, buddy," to John, and I glanced up just in time to see him climb out of his highchair, over the tray, and proceed to hit his head on the table, which sent him into another breathholding spell.  And I was so tired at that point.  Who isn't at 7 pm?  And I had cleaned up the toy clutter so many times, and I was so ready for Scott to be home.  So, when Ada decided to cut paper with no purpose, out of boredom, and then complain and whine when I asked her to pick it up, I lost it.  It was just pure sin.  No other way to say it.  I yelled, she cried, and it was ugly. 

It was this cycle all evening--feel frustration bubbling up, go over the verse in Psalms that reminds me that this very day was ordained by God.  He is the one who decided that John would take an early nap on the same day that Scott would work extra late.  And as I kept repeating this cycle, I realized that the verse wasn't helping because then I was just frustrated with God.  I was frustrated with this house and my emotions that I wish were so much more simple and easy to deal with, and I wasn't believing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made or cut out for this job of being Ada and John's mother.  I feel like a failure all of the time.  I went over all of this with God over and over in the midst of baths and cleaning the kitchen and reminding Ada to put toys away. 

I don't even know what my point is, really.  When Scott finally did get home, I left to put gasoline in the car and get a fountain diet coke, and, of course, in the quiet of the car, I was finally able to process a bit.  I thought about how frustrated I feel over my situation.  As long as we are in this house, there are things that are put on hold.  And I am going to feel cramped at times.  And I, of course, went over the obvious blessings--I have food and comfortable shelter and a car and a husband and children and the list goes on and on and on.  But, I still felt frustrated.  I almost felt frustrated by the fact that I really didn't have anything to be angry about.  And then I thought about last year, and how Scott and I prayed over and over and over again for a new job for him and for us to be able to get out of debt.  We were persistent with that prayer, and even told God that we would continue to pray these things until he gave them to us or until he changed our hearts.  And, now, from this perspective, I can almost picture God saying to us back then, you don't understand what you are asking.  You don't understand that things are going to have to change drastically for me to give you what you want.  You don't understand that things are going to have get a lot worse before they get better. 

And, if a lot worse, is living in complete comfort, obviously I don't understand suffering.  But in my humanity, in my, "I am nothing but dust," state of mind, it feels uncomfortable to live here in this moment, right now, on this night.  And we are even hearing God say to stay put for another year and a half.  Which means other things will be put on hold as well.  We are hitting the pause button as we try to get our finances in order.  And we feel the momentum building.  God is answering our prayers from last year--on this very day, this hard day, he is answering our prayers--and even tonight, it was as if God said, "do you trust me? or do you really want to do things your way?  Really?  How well has that worked for you so far?"  And I surrendered the frustration to the reality that I want to do it God's way, obviously.  And I am in the midst of seeing him answer our prayers!!!!  And in the midst of him answering the very prayer that I prayed for a year, I feel frustrated with Him. 

Oh the state of my heart.  And my desperate need for his grace.  I yell at my children, and I am ungrateful when God does the very thing that I have asked him to do.  And I am sure that from Scott's perspective I am such a joy to come home to ;)  But, God, in his grace and mercy, has given me a husband that loves me unconditionally, even on these worst of days.  And Ada, who forgives and forgives and forgives again.  And little John, despite everything, he is such a joy to me.  He really is.  God has given me a treasure in this family of mine, in these very people who drive me crazy all of the time ;)  He has given me so much.  And I just needed to process in writing...get it all down...maybe so that one day when Ada calls in tears, I will say, read this, my child, read this.  You are not the first to feel inadequate as a mother, and you probably won't be the last.  But God is gracious, and He will equip you, no matter how it feels.  Praise the Lord for that.

edit:  as I reread this, I am afraid that it comes across that I am ungrateful for my family, but I am really trying to say that after a really hard day (just hard b/c of the normal daily stuff), I am so grateful for my family because they allow me to have really bad days.  Just to clear that up ;)

Friday, March 23, 2012


Obviously, the homeschool conference is over, and I am back into the thick of parenting, but I am back with new energy and resolve.

Practically speaking, I left encouraged to "just calm down," with Ada's "schooling."  Right now, it's all about reading lots of books together and playing lots and counting things in the context of day-to-day.  So, that's good. 

But, big picture speaking?  I am reminded that parenthood is a privilege.  It's an honor.  Thank you, Lord, that I get to be a mother.  I have been struggling the past few months with feeling discontent with this life.  Feeling bogged down in laundry and clutter and so. much. discipline.  This past weekend, though, I was reminded of the beauty and the kingdom building that comes in all of those things.  In the nightly family dinners that involve much reminders to, "sit on your bottom," and, "no, you can't be excused until you eat three more bites," and even my children seeing me perform the daily grind.  They are learning perseverance and hard work.  This is character building.  I think to myself in the midst of the toy clutter, these are the front lines of ministry--these little children who will grow into men and women.  And I am praying they will be men and women who want to know God and make Him known, and that is why I am doing this.  Of course it's hard.  It's so stinking hard.  But there is a reason that we keep steadily plodding along, that one day they will raise children to know him and make him known, and so on and so on for generations to come.  That is what this daily grind is about, really. 

And by the way, I do love that spring is here.  But I do not love the pollen that comes with it.  However, who can resist this beautiful weather?  So, I just sneezed my way through a walk today, and I suppose I will do the same thing tomorrow.

p.s. I actually wrote this on Wednesday, I think.  And now it is Friday, and I am surrendering to the pollen and no longer willing to go outside in it.  I feel like I am having an allergic reaction to the air, so as beautiful as the weather may be, I can't deal with it and maintain my sanity.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quick Update

I am doing a quick "check-in," since I have been MIA this week.

I am headed out of town today to attend my first ever homeschool conference--it's official, we are a "weird" homeschooling family.  But I am so excited to go, mainly because it's also my first ever "girl's trip," with my mom friends.  It takes me back to college.  Four of us are piling into the mini-van and hitting the road, so there are some obvious differences from college--mini van, homeschool conference, etc. etc., but you get the idea ;)  And Scott's parents--Pop and Mae Mae--have graciously agreed to stay with Ada and John today while Scott is at work (they will be here in just a couple of hours), and they will stay through Saturday to help Scott out and visit with the kiddos.  Ada and John are fired up.

Anyway, I will do a quick update, list style.

1.  Are you loving this weather?  I feel like we just skipped winter this year, which is A-okay with me.

2.  These days I am reading--

Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges, so convicting.  I highly recommend it.  It discusses those sins that we just accept as normal.  That we have become so accustomed to that we don't even flinch when they are a part of our daily lives--things like frustration and anxiety.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn--for the first time, I read this, and I loved it.  If you haven't already read this, go for it.  It's an easy read too.

We are studying Colossians in my discipleship group, and we are using the MacArthur commentary.  Good stuff.

What are you reading?  I always love a new book to read.

3.  John is still loving cars.  And lining things up.

4.  Our car is in the shop.  And it's never fun to have to pay for a tow truck and to get the car fixed--those unplanned things that pop up.  Yuck.  But God has been gracious to us as he worked out all the details.  The car broke down just as I turned into my tutoring student's driveway, so while I tutored, the dad looked at my car, called the tow truck, and took care of those details, so I still got paid to tutor, which then paid for the tow truck.  And I was sitting in a house instead of the side of the road while I waited for Scott to come pick me up--all the way from Vinings.

5.  On that note, we are praying and making big decisions about where will be in August when our lease runs out.  Scott continues to get home very late and spend so much money on gasoline, so we are sadly discussing whether we need to stay where we are or move to the north side.  We have made a home here over the past four years, so it's not an easy decision to make.  We are praying lots for clear direction.

So, there you go.  I will, one day, blog about John's birthday.  Blogger is driving me crazy with the pictures and posting them sideways, so every time I have tried to blog about it, I end up very frustrated with the computer (speaking of sin).  But I will figure it out, and post about his birthday party.  One day.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Can someone help me understand the point of pilates?

okay, a little gym story for you...

(and no pictures in this post either.  Maybe I will go find a random one from my phone)

yesterday, for the second day this week, I showed up to spinning to find, tragically, that all of the bikes were full.  Granted, several of the bikes were only full of someone's water bottle and not an actual someone, but still, I got the message.  No available bikes.

So, for the second time this week, I scouted out a class schedule, desperately hoping that there was another class option because I hate the tread mill.  The only thing on the horizon was a 9:45 pilates class, and it was only 9:20.  So...I headed up to the treadmill, very reluctantly, and I climbed on.  After proceeding to run for only five minutes at a ten minute mile pace, I was already over it.  I was exhausted.  What is wrong with my body?!!  I can't run.  Ten minute mile pace, for five minutes!!!  Anyway, to get on with the story, after battling with my mind for a while, I opted to give pilates a go.  It did say full body work out, so off I went...

My first warning sign when I walked into the room was that everyone was taking their shoes off.  I did not feel good about that, but I pressed on towards the goal of calories burned without the help of a tread mill.  The sinking feeling increased when the instructor turned the lights off and started the very slow music.  When I think burning calories, I think loud music, high energy, fast pace...you know what I mean?  And I wasn't clueless about pilates, but I did think maybe there was more to it than lights off, quiet music, etc.  But again, I pressed on.  And we proceeded to stretch? for an hour?  I guess that's what we did?  There's was lots of talk about whatever feels right for you, follow your body's instincts, connect with the energy within....I kept looking around to see what other people were thinking, and they were so into it.  So much so, that I felt really weird about walking out, so I stayed, waiting for that total body workout that was promised.

It never came.  And in fact, for the last ten minutes of class, we just lay on our backs, with our eyes closed, in the dark.  I really wanted to scream, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  I was really frustrated that I spent an hour of my day doing this, and I still had not worked out, except for that 15 minutes on the treadmill that really didn't even count because I walked half of it.

And then the instructor told us to be very careful coming out of the "rest pose," because the rest pose can be very intense.  We were laying flat on our backs, in the dark, listening to music.  It was intense, in the fact that I kept almost falling asleep.

But here's the thing.  I know a lot of people love pilates.  What's the deal?  What is the purpose?  I felt nothing.  Was it just a bad instructor and sometimes pilates really does offer a total body work out?

The good news is, today I made it in time for Body Works, which is a weight lifting class, with loud music, fast pace, and an appropriate amount of muscle fatigue at the end of class...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Offical Members of Costco

Okay, we finally did it, the Moore's are officially members of Costco.  All four of us headed to Costco last Saturday, joined, proceeded to make a spectacle of ourselves with all two of our children (you would think we had six or something, Scott was on edge the whole time and vowed to stay home with John for future Costco visits, but I personally didn't think it was that bad ;)  ), and then ate cheap hot dogs and pizza in the food court for lunch.  I didn't buy much on Saturday, instead I wrote down prices of everything that I thought might be a good deal.  (I did buy string cheese because we were out and a Rotisserie chicken to eat for Sunday lunch).

In case there are any other serious "price watchers" out there, I thought I would share my list of what I think is a great deal, even cheaper than sale/coupon prices at Kroger or Publix.

Ground beef, 88% lean, 2.99/lb (I sometimes get this price at super Target, but it's rare)
Capri Suns (I splurge on these for the lunch boxes.  Obviously, they aren't real juice, but they have no high fructose corn syrup), 4 boxes, 7.55, making them less than 2.00 a box.  2.00 is the sale price at Publix or Kroger
Dannon Activia, 24 pack, 9.29.  4 usually come in a pack, and with a coupon combined with a sale, I can sometimes get them for 1.00.  However, I have a harder time finding the coupons lately.  So, the Costco price is still less than 2.00 a pack.  Not bad
4 lb of butter--7.39.  I thought this was a great deal, and I use butter so much.  It's a basic necessity, so it is definitely on the list.
36 eggs, 3.59.  Another great deal.  (due to budget, we don't do free range or organic.  Maybe one day when we are debt-free, but that day is not today)
30 packets of Carnation Instant Breakfast (my kids drink this every morning), 11.79.  GREAT deal, and I buy this every week.
36 Fiber One Bars, 11.79.  (this is what Scott eats for breakfast, so I buy these every week as well, and he doesn't like generic brand).  5 normally come in a box, and I am excited if I can get them for less than 3.00, and that is rare.  So that is a really good deal.  Right?  Am I doing that math correctly?
50 small bags of chips--11.30.  I really have no idea if that is a good deal, but I love the convenience of it.  I love potato chips.  Love them.  So it would be good for my diet to have automatic portion control rather than me having to exercise some sort of self control

Also, there was a flavor of Naked brand juice, called green machine (I think), that John loved.  He drank all of the sample.  It was full of good stuff--spinach and all kinds of other green vegetables--so I am probably going to buy that as well, and let him drink some every morning.  You know, another way to cheat and get some nutrients in.

Am I missing any obvious good deals?  I forgot to check the price of sandwich bread, garbage bags, lean pockets (you are seeing that my husband's diet consists mostly of processed food, though I make sure he gets some veggies in each evening at dinner, and I sometimes sneak a piece of fruit in his lunch), and other snack items...

so there you go.  Official costco members.

p.s family members, I have not forgotten about John's birthday party post.  I do have the pictures, and I need to sit down tonight and actually post them.  Stay tuned...