Thursday, April 29, 2010

Motherhood Follies: Locked Away

"Everyone upstairs!"  I called to the brood.  Lela darted quickly off the back porch.  Rose took her time and Isaiah rushed past me with a huge grin on his face.  

I surveyed the damage caused by four little children unleashed on the back porch.  It was a rainy day and I needed a break.  So I had let them loose on the screened in back porch.  The same back porch where Daddy stores his stuff.  

My endlessly creative kids turned a small storage closet into an elevator.  Isaiah carefully removed Jason's yard tools so that the small closet could be put to good use.  Before I shewed them upstairs, I thought their elevator game was very fun and creative.  Now, staring at the sharp yard tools across the porch floor, I sighed.  Time to clean up.  

Approaching the closet, I noticed a clothes hanger slipped through the door handles.  My Isaiah had locked the doors shut.  About that same time, I saw the doors move.  I jerked the clothes hanger out of the little holes and ripped the doors open.  Gasp!  My one-year-old Samuel stood waiting patiently in the "elevator".  He looked up at me, slightly amused at his own captivity.  I hugged him ferociously.  He wiggled against me, anxious to ran after the other kids. 

As I headed upstairs,  I decided to be a little mean and mess with Isaiah.  Samuel was behind me, so I knew Isaiah did not know that I knew.  I called up the stairs "I can't find Samuel anywhere!  Has anyone seen Samuel?  I don't know where he is!!"  My voice sounded hysterical.  

Isaiah met me in the hallway.  He looked very guilty.  "Mom," he said.  "Mom, I know where Sam  is.  Come here, I'll show you."  

"I know where he is, Isaiah!  I found him in the closet," I confessed.  Isaiah stared at me.  I often shock him with my infinite knowledge.  

After his much deserved discipline, Isaiah and I loved on each other.  He apologized and I told him he needed to ask forgiveness for locking up my baby.  He did.  But then Isaiah turned to me with his eyes full of mischievousness.  With a touch of glee, he said "Mom...  How long was he in there?"

Friday, April 23, 2010

Better than Twilight Love

I finally broke down and watched the cultural phenomenon Twilight.  As a Christian, I wasn't sure where my beliefs fell when it came to vampires and werewolves.  Eventually though, curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  

Honestly, I totally enjoyed the movie.  I can see why teenage girls flock to the theaters to swoon over Edward Cullen and his little human girlfriend.  The movie was intriguing and drawing in a mysterious way.  

The Twilight movies have a magic about them.  There is something that draws me in and holds me for days and weeks after viewing the film.  Even now, when I returned Twilight to the library, I stared at Edward and Bella on the DVD cover.  Why was I drawn to this little love story?

"I love you like that," God whispered to me.  My heartbeat quickened.  

"Lord?"  I whispered back.  "YOU?  Love ME?"

Suddenly, my point of view shifted.  Instead of Edward the Vampire, I saw the Almighty God, the Creator of the world.  Instead of co-dependent Bella, I saw broken and hurting me.  I saw The Greatest Love Story Ever Told.  The most powerful supernatural Being, the God of Israel, offers his love to lowly humanity.  This is great love!

The depth of passion and longing displayed in the Twilight Saga pales in comparison to the passion and longing God has for his people.  God sent his Son to die for us!  Christ loves us so much He gave His life for us.  For me!  For YOU!  This is love.  What passionate love!  God has always lived and will continue to live forever.  God protects us.  God is our refuge and our deliverer.  God knows my thoughts.  God watches over me at night.  God is way better than a blood-thirsty and confused vampire!  

I am humbled by God's great love for little old me.   I am love struck when I look at the great Being who cares so deeply for ME.  God is a Being worth trusting.  He is faithful and true.  He will not let me down.  He will never leave me.  

I am so in love!

Friday, April 09, 2010

My Secret Mommy Hideaway

There's a secret place in my house where I go when I need a break from the chaos of life with four small children.  It's a small room, the size of a closet.  I can turn the little fan on and drown out some of the sounds of life.  Sometimes I sit and read.  Sometimes I leave the light off and just sit in the floor.  Sometimes I look in the mirror and hold a mock interview between a reporter and myself as we discuss adventures I've conquered.  Sometimes I pray.  Sometimes I sit in the floor and cry.

And sometimes I pee.  

Yes, my secret place is the bathroom.  Well, now you know.  

You see, downstairs the only private areas are the laundry room and the bathroom.  The laundry room door doesn't lock.  The bathroom door does.  Locked doors are important for secret, private places.  

I don't know what I would do without my secret place.  Er, my bathroom.  Back when I only had one or two kids I let them come to the bathroom with me.  Back then, it seemed easier that way.  Now that there are four children banging on the door, I figure they certainly can entertain themselves while I am, um, busy.  

I really love my bathroom.  I think when we move to our new house this summer in New Mexico I am going to paint my bathroom a nice color and make it really cozy in there.  Sigh.  Sounds so nice.

Excuse me a minute.  I need to go potty.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Screaming Imperfections Are Hurting My Ears

Today, my little seven-month old Cocker Spaniel darted out the back yard gate.  As I chased her around the playground, I grew angrier and angrier.  I was mad that she was running away and not coming to me.  Which made me mad that I have not been training her on a lead so that she would learn to not run away.  Which then made me mad that I had not been making training my dog a priority.  Because, you know, it's not like I'm taking care of four kids or anything. 

I started working out at the YMCA this week after a long sedentary stretch of no work outs.  At my first trainer-led work out, I was far from perfect.  Three days later, my thighs are still sore.  I'm reminded just how incredibly out of shape I am.  I am frustrated with myself for not having kept up with my work outs in the past year.    

Yesterday, five minutes after I tucked the girls into bed, I heard little pattering feet.  I limped up the stairs [quite a feat with my painfully sore legs] and found three-year-old Lela on the toilet,  pooping.  I stood in the hall waiting for her to finish so I could do the joyous job of wiping her butt.  Four-year-old Rose sneaked out of her room, right behind me. When she saw me in the hallway, she darted back to her room.  Then Rose started whining about needing to go pee, even though she had just peed ten minutes previously!  Oh, my blood was really boiling at that point.  Suddenly, I wanted to toss Rose out the window.  How could I, the perfect mommy, think such horrible thoughts about her precious child??  

Striving for perfection is stressful and overwhelming.  It is hard for me to admit that I cannot do it all.  I easily slip into the mentality of trying to everything.  And not just do everything, but, of course, do it perfectly.  I took all this to the Lord and He slapped this verse in front of my imperfect face.  

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  2 Corinthians 12:9

Oh.   Right.  I'm not supposed to be perfect.  Because if I were perfect, I would not need a Savior.  If I were perfect, I would not need the help of  my God.  God's power is made PERFECT in MY imperfections.  What a relief!  Disobedient dogs, sore muscles and mommy meltdowns are all wonderful opportunities for God to show His POWER through my weakness.  

His grace really is sufficient, more than enough, for this tired, very imperfect, mommy of four small children.  

revolutionary love

I have experienced revolutionary love. Love with no strings attached. Jesus Christ loves me and made a way for me to have a relationship with the One True God. God desires a relationship with you, too. If you have yet to experience this revolutionary love, please email me at jandjkeys@hotmail.com so I can share this amazing experience with you. Blessings, -Jess