Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Changing the World

I want to do more.  Make a bigger impact. 

When I was a teenager I dreamed of doing mission work.  It was the grandest version of serving the Lord I could imagine.  And I wanted to "go big".  Rocking orphans in the middle of Africa has never transpired.  I never traveled beyond the ocean to tell people about Jesus. 

I want to change the world.  Rescue an orphan.  Feed the hungry.  Save all the strays. 

When my eight-year-old goes on and on about Blockland and the store he "built" there today, I realize, sincerely listening to him will change his world. 

As the toddler climbs onto my lap and I squeeze him, kissing his chubby cheek, I realize, I am changing his world.

Praying with my girls when I tuck them into bed and answering Rose's question, "Why don't I hear God?" will change her world. 

It is small things.  Providing a home and being a mother changes, alters, each of the human beings linked to my day to day.  I have the power to heal them with my words, or tear them down. I have the power to affect their world. 

And I am suddenly humbled.  Staggered with the responsibility of their world and the big impact I make every day. 


 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.  -Isaiah 54:13

Friday, December 07, 2012

In Too Deep...

Inspired by the never followed ever-stretched-budget, I cruised around online in search of a part time job here in dusty Alamogordo.  Nothing fit in with Jason's schedule.  Nothing would work for my family.  It was disheartening. 

Light bulb!!  I could hire someone to watch the kids while I work!  Isn't that what the other mommies do?  Yes; the solution!  Let's see...  childcare, times five.  Yikes!  That would be my entire paycheck!  Never mind...

I always wanted to be a mommy.  I say this outloud to myself on the hard says.  Like a mantra.  "I want to be a mommy!  I want to be a mommy!"  Color on the walls?  Shoes all over the floor?  Muddy footprints in my kitchen?  "I want to be a mommy!  I want to be a mommy!"

Children are like magnets and I'm the big white fridge.  They stick to me, drawn continually to all my sides.  There's no escape.    It is a tug-of-war.  I need that mommy escape to Wal-mart, but as soon as I walk out the door my heart tightens in my chest and I miss their sweet faces.  An unexpected symptom of Motherhood. 

I remember the Truth.  I am called to Motherhood Ministry.  I do enjoy my kids.  I would miss them greatly if I were gone all day, every day.  I am a crazy blessed woman, indeed. 

I'm in too deep to turn back now.  Might as well grab those sweet chubby hands and run the race set before us.  Ready, set, go!  Wait.  Yes. I can tie your shoes.  What? You forgot the water bottle?  UH?  You need to potty??? 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Post Deployment Residue

I feel awkward posting on this blog today.  It has been eight months since I tossed confessions freely out into the blogosphere.  Writing is such a piece of me, that I miss it and my thoughts are fairly demanding that I type them out.  They need some room to breathe. 

I decided to resurrect my yearly photo album habit and started 2012's album last week .  I pasted pictures on the first two pages, labeled them "January" and then couldn't bring myself to conjure up enough desire to press on to February.  Three days later when the tab still glared at me every time I opened my laptop, I realized, I don't want to remember this year.  I don't want to commemorate it forever.  This year hurt.  It was hard.  I am not ready to put pictures of us in a glossy photo album, permanently smiling through the pain.

The deployment is over, but its' residue still sticks to our hearts.  Jason's absence cut each of us differently.  The girls and the little boys appear to have bounced back and happily accept Daddy's return.  Isaiah is another matter entirely.  He told me yesterday he felt like his heart was "smashed".  He asked me why he didn't feel OK now that Daddy was home. My answers are sincere, but are they helpful?  I just don't know.

My heart does not feel broken anymore; the physical ache in my chest has blissfully disappeared.   I am happy to my core that my love has returned to my side, but the hurt and pain of deployment hang like a skeleton in the closet, knocking around at odd moments.  Songs from the radio trigger memories of sitting on the kitchen floor, sobbing, feeling hopeless and lost.  Tallying my response to the deployment brings both pride and embarrassment.  Situations where I definitely could have done better (the whole crying on the kitchen floor thing) and situations where I totally rocked deployment (roadtrips with five kids and two dogs) equal a mediocre score, at best. 

In the middle of re-integration dust, I remain incredibly relieved and thankful the deployment is over and Jason is home.  Routine and rhythm are slowly beating their way back to normal.  As far as my oldest, God knows Isaiah's heart and I trust Him to heal my son's heart completely.  We continue to take one day at at time, thankful for undeserved mercy and precious, precious grace.   



Monday, April 09, 2012

Keys School... Almost done!!!

We are wrapping up our school year at the Keys House.  My goal is to finish everything by the end of May.  Earlier this school year, we had a few slow months where we slogged through school, missing many days due to an abundant life.  So the next six weeks will be intense as we push hard towards our goals and wrap Kindergarten and 2nd grade up nicely, neatly and with style.

Funnix has continued to be The Best curriculum purchase I have made in my three years of homeschooling.  Isaiah is on lesson 96 of 120 in Funnix Level One.  We hope to continue working hard and be completely caught up (maybe even ahead!!) by the end of next year. The girls worked through lesson 24 before I decided to pause Funnix with them both and focus on completely learning their ABC sounds and letter recognition.  They have excellent comprehension of reading, but I do not want to move forward until they have their letters memorized 100%. 

Late in the Homeschool Game of 2011-2012, I discovered another excellent site.  IXL.com is a math practice website.  For only $9.95/month, one child can practice endless amounts of math skills in Kindergarten through Eighth grade.  For an additional, $3.95, per child/per month, I can add as many children as I need to the program for their own individual practice times.  IXL lists state math standards for each grade and offers practice exercises for each state standard.  The kids love it.  And so does the teacher. 

Thanks to our previous slow poke ways, we are now high tailing it around the last few bends, pushing to finish the year with a bang.  I increased our school time to doing math and reading every day, instead of alternating days.  The kids are doing great with the extended time, not overwhelmed with the extra work at all.  Yay! 

So that is our Keys School Update.  For those who wonder what we DO all day...

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