The Wheels on the bus.

It was cold.  It was gray, and in general dreary. But behind my glass door I stood in great anticipation….for the school bus.  Listening…until, there it was, unmistakable in its effort to get up the hill by our house. It had been seven long months since I had gone to work full-time , and seven long months since I had watched Isaiah get off the bus.  And then I saw him step down, monster back pack on his back, he usual hoodie . At this point, much to my embarrassment, I started to cry. I pulled myself together by the time he reached the porch. I tried to hug him, he tried to act like he was too big for that. We did our dance. Had snacks,  talked about his day. As he chattered away, all I could hear was the sound of my own heart. My heart song. It sounded like …joy. Joy to be back in this place, my nest, present in the little details that at times, seem insignificant, but aren’t.

Working  moms , I salute you. You don’t do less, you do MORE , you put yourself last, and then you wake up early, and do it all over again.  I feel so blessed to have experienced life outside of my home, and so blessed to be finished with that season…for now.  In the end, we all learned a lot. I was obedient, my kids, and husband saw that. Sometimes, it takes a whole family to make a house run, and most of all….that I am capable of more than I was giving myself credit for.

We are ready to start our next adventure….with a bang ! Hint, hint.

Oh brother….

Shalom Bringing peace to chaos.  What a word.  It really packs a punch.  That was the topic in City Kids this morning.  Of course,  if I am about to welcome 40 kids and pray for peace over the service, you know that means that MY kids were fighting in the car on the way.  Does God give you peace if you are yelling when you ask for it ?  Yep, I can vouch for that.

Once we got everyone in small groups we asked the kids (1st- 5th graders), an area of their lives that needed shalom,  peace being brought into chaos.  98% of them said sibling relationships were the area that they most needed peace.  Let’s think about that for a minute. The enemy has been coming against the sibling relationship since Cain and Abel. Why ? I believe that it’s because there is power there,  no one else knows you like a sibling, you share so many of the same stories, traditions, funny memories, and let’s  face it….crazy parents.  So, we prayed for shalom to invade our homes,  our schools,  but most of all, our families.  We prayed that the peace that comes , will come from the inside , the peace that Jesus puts there, and it will reveal itself in the midst of chaos. Amen to that. The lesson was right on time for me, and mine.  God is good.  I hope that shalom will be a theme in your home this week, this season, this very minute. Peace.

Ok ya’ll.  I say ya’ll because this is South Carolina, and that was how I was raised.  I like it. Tonight,  I’m going to let it fly.  Random thoughts.  I don’t know if this post will ever see the light of day, but oh my, how I have missed you. It’s 8:30 , I’m eating nachos (gasp), I still have on every part of my work costume, from the earrings to the shoes….I came in to a storm of  he said, she said…where is she ? Can I go here ? He hurt my feelings. Thomas is working on at least 4 things at one time, and I think…aaahhh work was nice.  Just kidding.  Now that I work, I live for the weekend.  It’s solid gold to me. Even cleaning is a pleasure.  God, I miss Erin. (i mean that as a prayer).  Thomas has been so good since the whole work thing, keeping it all together, thats a gift of his.  And I am grateful.  Keeping it together….not my gift. Tearing it apart ? yes, can do….causing  a scene, losing all hope ? Yes, and yes.  Again, I say, I am grateful to him. I love him.  BUT…..since I am letting it fly, I thought I’d write a letter.

Dear friend that could’ve been, but is not,

Why do you make me feel like I am not worth your time ? My heart is good, and real. My stories are funny, and my advice right on. You don’t actually have it all figured out. I give up. No more liking your photos on facebook, fake air kissing at church, my heart is done. I wish you well, but I won’t sit around wondering why you don’t give me the time of day.

Signed,

the best friend you never had.

Please don’t take offense at this. It’s real. That’s all. I’m venting, and letting my fingers fly. I am a daughter ( not the best, looking back), a sister ( selfish), a wife ( hard to deal with  at times), a mother (all in…to a fault), and a friend (loyal, sensitive, over analyzing, sweet, sad) , to some.

Time for P.J. ‘s….this week has lasted a year, and my head is full.  Man-child is at the football game, and the littles (who are not little) are playing a game of RISK with their dad.  And there you have it.

 

 

 

 

 

Answer on the first ring….

I talk a lot about my kids on this blog. A whole lot of lamenting, as well as boasting.  Today, I will be boasting, but I know better than anyone pride goes before a fall,  and so I will preface this post by saying I cannot take all the credit for the decisions my kids make,  good, or bad.

This one, here to the left, is a freshman this year, he is V.P. of his class, running on the XC track team, and part of the civil air patrol.  He is a good boy.  Yesterday he asked permission to ask a girl out.  Without a doubt, there was a part of me that wanted to panic, and maybe even cry a little. But the main part of me was overjoyed that he was sharing this with me. That he is handling it on the up and up. He is listening to me as I talk about perimeters , and boundaries…it sounded like a strategic battle meeting, and still he heard me out, and agreed to my terms.

Now this one, here to the right…she is a hand full, I always say she is just like me, but she is not…she is so much more. I gave her a hug before church this morning, and stuck my hand in her pocket ( I’m just like that, I snoop, I suspect…its a problem).

I pulled out a tiny, folded piece of paper with an – AHA ! I opened it up, tears came when I realized that it said…you are beautiful, Jesus loves you, Live for him. Yeah. Her goodness surprised me. That made me feel bad, but it was a short lived emotion, because I was too busy PRAISING GOD that she KNOWS him. And so, I am praying today. If you have sons, and daughters, small, or big….join me.

Abba- There is a generation rising up to  meet you, to know you.  I know because my treasures are part of that generation. They are calling you. Answer them on the first ring, the first ring  Papa. They are calling out through the darkness of the culture that surrounds them looking for your light. I’m asking that you not let their call go to voice mail, but that you will pick up on the first ring. Love you- Angie

Seasons.

Yesterday I sent out ten resumes.   I was pretty proud of myself, and thinking it was the right time.  Literally,ten minutes after said resumes had been sent, and a post on face book had been made…the school nurse called.  Isaiah had a stomach ache,   and had been in twice, could I pick him up ? Was that a sign ? Coincidence ? It makes me a little wary to get a job right now.  I might be rushing it.  Whether his stomach ache was a virus, or brought on by stress…it was there.  He is doing a great job with school, and I am very proud of him. But my job here, at home, is not done yet.  I will trust my gut on this one.

Adam won the election for ninth grade vice president ! His first cross country meet is today.  We are excited to see him run,  he has put a lot of work into it.

These kids….I have to get Belle a new pair of glass,  like right now ! And Sidney is preparing to move out this week.  There is never a dull minute !

It’s true, I am guilty of being bored at home, and wanting to do my own thing for various reasons, but the truth is…being a mom is the most important thing to me.  Giving my kids what they need is my main priority. They are not babies,  I can’t just give them a bottle,  and put them in fresh jammies,  and call it a day.  I have to give them real food,  nourishment for their spirits, and encouragement for their souls.  They won’t always be here with me, they are going to have to navigate this world on their own.  It’s a big job preparing them for that.  Sometimes, I want a do over, a time machine that could take me back to the chaos of them being 10, 5, 2 1/2, and 6 months. My flesh wants that, because they needed me for everything.  But in my heart, I know we are in a special time right now, they don’t need me for everything, but hopefully ….they want me.  Life lessons.

updates…

This will be short, and somewhat sweet. The last 7 weeks have flown, and dragged by at the same time. Wrap your head around that.  I had the longest cold of my life, which turned out to be 6 weeks of bronchitis.  Six weeks of trying to be well, six weeks of doing housework, traveling…doing my best to get on with it,  and then finally realizing ,  after chest x-rays that I just needed to sleep for several days if I wanted to be healthy.  So, I did.

My best friend moved to California.  That’s a biggie.  I wasn’t sad, handled the news quite well. The trouble with that…I was in shock.  I think I am coming to terms with it now. I knew that she was an adventurer when I chose to love her.  Now there are rivers, and roads between us, but that’s nothing.

Manchild started high school.  I got in the car after orientation and cried.  He thinks I am a lunatic.   I can confirm it….I am.  Sometimes, you catch a glimpse of how fast life moves, and it overwhelms you. I remember his first day of kindergarten.  Nothing has changed, he walked away from me, and waved.  He was fine.  Still is.

Isabelle is a seventh grader. I used to get so offended when my husband would say that I had used up all my words for the day. Now I understand.  Apparently, Isabelle is a mini-me. She has a lot of things to say. She brings me joy in the most frustrating , and beautiful way.  Okay, just got a phone call from a mom that I carpool with telling me how much she loves Isabelle.  Thank you Lord.  You are good.  She is a treasure.

Isaiah went back to school this year.  He is a fifth grader at a new school, and he is doing great ! It was his choice. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid.  But love is stronger than fear, and I love him so much that it makes me crazy.  His strength is amazing.  He is a mystery in so many ways.

We are all growing, and stretching.

Test = Rant= WARNING !

Really ? If I make a claim…like – I love you, I am not judging you…..the testing begins….as if it’s on some kind of autopilot. It is simple for me to love all kinds of things.  But when it comes to my kids, how do I get them to understand that I can HATE their actions, and love them all the while ?  Are we allowed to judge actions ?  To say- hey that’s wrong, you need to turn,  and walk away from that as fast as you can…or am I supposed to be love and peace, and ignorant bliss all the time ?  I feel like I am on a roller coaster, and not a fun one. My stomach just dropped, and I can’t seem to get it back.

So to all of you moms, who say how much you are annoyed by older moms saying – enjoy every minute ! Ha, what we mean is – you can’t see around corners, so enjoy the physical tiredness that comes with chasing, and diapering, playing store, and car trip chaos. Getting up with your kids in the middle of the night means knowing where your kids are at night.  So try your best to enjoy the terrible twos, and thrilling threes….It’s hard in every stage, but only an older mom has the experience to tell you that,  so don’t begrudge her advice.  And if she repeats herself chalk it up to the MENTAL exhaustion that comes from having teenagers. Thats all.

I’m handling this latest test the best way I can….love is not smooth like a river stone, it is jagged, and rough.  So, thats how I feel today. Jagged, and rough.

and one more poem.

Skin. Silky, smooth, tanned by the sun. A little chest outside of a beating heart, little boy hands holding mine. Mostly in the peace of night. Without even being aware, little fingers in my hair.

Big, dark eyes, that hold mysteries inside. Muscles inside little arms that hold me tight. I lay here, and wrap us both in a blanket of hope each night. I love you little lion boy.

can’t wait.

My sister is at the beach with her kids, first time they have ever been.  Magic.  I remember the first time each of mine saw the majesty of the ocean,  my favorite memories of all times . We will be going in a couple of days,  and I am no less excited now that they are 14,  12 , and 10.  I love the idea of wrapping myself in them like a blanket,  letting their banter cover me, and their laughter feed me.  At least for a little while, and then someone will hit someone,  someone will scream….and I will be ready for time apart from them.  The ebb and flow of life as a parent.

   Last day of school for Z today.  Relieved.  Ready to rest my brain.

Man child got his passport in the mail. What ? two weeks in Germany with his grandparents. Oh my.

That is all, an update about what goes on.

start with me.

Practicing what I preach is a concept that has never come easy to me. I can clearly see what my kids need to do , and I am quick to tell them. (ask them, they will not deny it).  Adam is feeling like the Lord doesn’t speak to him, well, that’s easy son….go to HIM, draw close, and he will answer.  Isaiah feels like he is not enough, not worthy…ok then, let’s bless your spirit with the truth, the only truth…what Father says about you. Simple.  Belle is having girl problems, feeling less than, and in general friendship tribulations. What do I say ? You have to be a friend to have a friend. Be kind, don’t take their words, or lack of words personal. They don’t mean to hurt you. This advice… I don’t take, listen to, or accept.  At the ripe old age of 38,  I still am a work in process when it comes to friends.  I over analyze, I feel left out…and I withdraw. So today, I am asking. Lord- START WITH ME. Keep on giving me the wisdom to teach my kids, but start with me. Repair my heart where it is wounded, so that my words would be truth to them.  Bring change, bring understanding, and belief, start with me.

On my own almost grown girl is having nightmares.  She is haunted by the very things that she has allowed into her mind.  My advice, turn from those things, repent, start over…again, and again, you can do it every day.  She is doubtful, unbelief is all over her face.  She is no different than me when I doubt, I just happen to be more seasoned at coming back to you Lord. And so, I pray that as you start this work with me, that it would overflow into her. That faith would begin to trump doubt, that peace would reign over chaos, and most of all…that love would slap the face of fear. Start with me,  start here.