Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ready or not...

It's December 21st.  Four days before the big day.  Everybody is scurrying around baking, shopping, festivus-ing, getting it done.  It really is one of my favorite times of the year.

But I have to say that this year, for some reason, I'm just not feelin it.

Thanksgiving came late this year and it really threw me off coming back from Turkey break and realizing it was December 1st.  The usual stuff happened...two kids sick with sinus infections, me with a needles in your throat kind of virus, lots of doctor and dentist appointments, teacher conferences, all that.  And yes, there were a couple big Life curve balls thrown our way that we obviously weren't expecting. Somehow, though, we managed to get a tree up and lights on the house for the first time ever (because we are the "ONLY ones in the neighborhood who don't put lights on our house" obvs).  I've been playing Christmas music, watching Christmas movies while I do laundry, and of course battling through family advent devotions at night (total failure, btw).

Still not feelin it.

This bothers me.  But not as much as it used to.  I remember being a teenager and sitting in the hall while my mom hauled the Christmas lights out of the attic.  I sat there and cried, admitting that it just didn't "feel" like Christmas.  What was wrong with me?  I was doing everything I used to do to experience the magic and it just wasn't happening.

Nowadays I know that there's more to Christmas than all the fluff, for sure.  But some years I am able to kind of mold our Advent season in a way that seems to prepare our hearts for celebrating Jesus.  In the past I have planned family Advent activities and scripture for each day and the kids really love it.  (Sidenote:  it's nothing extravagant, just a little something to help us laugh a little and turn our eyes to Christ.)  I couldn't get that together this year and frankly, I am struggling to even open my devotional in the morning to focus my heart in the right place before I blast out of bed.  Like I said, I'm just not feelin it.  But here's what I'm hearing in the midst of this weird Advent...

Christ's coming is not dependent on my feelings.

If you think about it, really nothing surrounding Jesus' birth seemed to go right.  I'm sure Mary didn't feel like being ostracized for being an unwed mother.  Joseph didn't feel like marrying a woman who was pregnant with a child that wasn't his.   Neither one of them were probably feeling like taking a long trip while they were expecing a baby.  And there's no WAY Mary was feelin it when she found out she had to give birth in a stinky, gross stable.

Yet regardless of their feelings, Christ came anyway.  Ready or not, He was there.

That's some really good news for this lady.

Just an hour ago I was sopping poopy water up off the tile in the kids' bathroom from a toilet malfunction.  Tomorrow I have friends coming over to bake in my dirty kitchen.  In approximately 32 hours I am going to have my entire family (plus gifts) packed and in the car headed to Charlotte.  My throat needles are still in full effect, I haven't been to yoga in forever, and my eyebrows need a serious waxing.  But I am grateful that in four days, no matter how I feel about it, I'm going to celebrate a little baby who came to give me full life.  Ready or not, here He comes.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Antsy days...

It's Thursday and all family members are where they should be, meaning I am home alone.  I've had a little one home for the past few days, which as you mamas know translates as, "halt all plans or dreams of being super and simmer down to doing the MAIN thing...caring for your kid."  Eeeeeasy super Buff.  Time to read books, wipe noses, listen to whining, make healthy meals and try to keep your kid off constant TV while they are home.  Actually, that does sound like a supermom.

So here I am all alone today and I have to say I'm a little antsy.  Aside from the extra dark coffee and borrowed (read:stolen) Baby Ruth's from Halloween bags, I don't know why I am feeling so antsy.  My thought is that it's the manic nature of my days.  From about 6 am until 7:56 (bus time) I am shot out of a cannon.  This morning in particular I had my neighbors' three kiddos at 7 am so she could take a subbing job at the middle school.  Basically these kids are like little nieces and nephews to me and it was a total trip having them in the mix this morning.  At one point I was unloading the dishwasher while my oldest watched Daniel Radcliffe rapping on You Tube,  one of the kids was seeking advice about a possible love interest at school, one was on her third outfit change, and the others were doing Karaoke to "Problem."  We ended up running to the bus stop as to not miss it, and once they were all safely on board I walked slowly home, breathing in the cool air with a smile on my face.  It's a gift to be able to stay home with my kids.

But I'm so antsy!  I paid bills, shopped online, dealt with the mail, returned emails, and here I am.

Don't get me wrong, I have puhlenty to do.  So many things I COULD do.  But when I have days like today I end up wondering what I want to do.  I realize this is a luxury.  I know there are so many women and men who would LOVE the chance to have a choice in how they spend their time.  I get this.  I am just having trouble figuring out WHAT to do.  I have thoughts and dreams and ideas for writing articles or maybe even a book someday.  Seminary is always looming, like constant white noise that sounds strangely like my Dad's voice.  I have the privilege of speaking at women's retreats this spring and so much to think about and pray through for that, which is really exciting and life giving.  So here's the do I convert the snippets of constantly interrupted time into productive forward motion toward these desires in my heart?  How do I put one foot in front of the other when I struggle with being scattered and struggling to focus during these available minutes?

(Just so you know, reader, there's about a 30 minute window right here where I stepped away and did some other stuff.  Then this happened...)

Ok...stop right here.  I just realized something that does not invalidate this entry, but dramatically lessens the intensity on the antsiness that I am describing and feeling...

I forgot to take my meds this morning.

Aaaaand scene.

(This has only happened to me ONE other time in my life and I realized it in the afternoon while I started getting the sweats and feeling virtually IBS-ish while I was in the movie theater with my sweet hubs.  Moral of this story, ladies...take your meds.  Celexa is on board for a reason.  Ain't no shame in it.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

So I'm apparantly on a once a year blogging kick.  That's vague, I know.  I just write when it hits me and for some reason today it hit me.

I just shut the door behind a nice A/C repair gentleman who left me with an heavy estimate on the new unit we need to install.  That happened about two hours after I walked in the door from our first trip to the orthodontist for Maggie and Zoe.  (And lest you fear Tori felt left out, the dentist has already informed me that Sweet T will be spending lots of time in the orthodontist chair in the future).  Getting these girls' teeth straightened out is gonna set us back, well, about the amount of one and a half A/C units when it's all said and done.

So tonight's after dinner finances discussion is going to be just a joy.  It's not a choice, really.  Saint Augustine Augusts are brutal...more brutal than a mouthful of crooked canines.  A/C comes first, then the grillz for the girls.

As I was sitting at the orthodontist's office I was struck by the fact that I was in the ORTHODONTIST'S OFFICE.  When did my kids get old enough for this...especially Maggie who is headed for braces as quickly as she is headed for middle school?  This past Sunday at church was "move up day" and for those of you who did not grow up being hauled to church every time the doors were opened, "move up day" is a big deal.  It's the day you get to go from whatever measly little grade you were in to the NEXT grade.  The big deal this year, though, is that Maggie is going into middle school.  Our church, Mandarin Presbyterian, does things a little differently, which is one of the reasons I love that place.  Sunday morning Maggie and her friends went to their normal class and then were "kidnapped" by our middle school staff couple and taken away to become acclimated with all things Hang Ten (our middle school program's name).  As I handed her the obligatory McDonald's money I realized that this was our defining moment.  She had officially become a middle schooler.  I know she doesn't start school for another week, but I hope and pray that outings like these will define her middle school years much more than the stuff she learns at school, the drama that ensues between friends, the boys who want to "date her" one day and move on the next.  All these things will happen, I know, but I sure am grateful for some older, wiser, more fun folks than me to give her another soft place to land when life gives her a super-sized beat down.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here I am in all my middle school glory:

I think I'm saying, "Taa-daaa!  I am 12 but I look like a mom already.  Thanks hot rollers, button down short sleeved shirt and big glasses on my head!"