Advice to a "Friend"

Suppose I had a friend call me while she was close to tears.

She might share something like how she is a bit overwhelmed. The two-year-old still rarely sleeps through the night. The baby fights naps. The four-year-old has an attitude. Her husband's job is stressful right now. The list could go on and on.

Then, before she finished, she would add that she knows that not one of those things is a "major" problem. She knows she is incredibly blessed, but she is just so tired of it all.

What would I say to her?

Perhaps, I'd suggest she grab some coffee, Coke, water, or whatever. Then, I'd recommend she find a quiet moment even if it means locking the bathroom door and turning on the exhaust fan. I suggest she read the Bible even if it was just a verse.

After a moment of prayer and meditating on what she'd read, I'd suggest that a piece of chocolate surely couldn't hurt.

I'd reassure that it would be possible to feel better even though her circumstances might not change.

She might then ask what she should do about all of the tasks she feels she needs to accomplish. There is the laundry, yesterday's dishes, and toys everywhere.

I'd remind her that having three little ones isn't easy. No matter how hard you work, the mess will still be there for you. It is just part of the job, like it or not. I know that would be tough to hear, but I hope it would also be a bit liberating.

I would tell her that it certainly didn't mean she had to give up trying to make their home livable. It just means that sometimes standards have to relax.

I'd suggest she steal quiet moments to pray as often as possible throughout the day. Long nap times are great, but they are rare. You have to work with what you've got.

Then, after saying good-bye, I'd try to take my own advice. After all, I could have made the same call.

Thankful Thinking

After reading The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall, I resolved to start each morning by thinking of ten things for which I am thankful.

Doesn't that sound like a great way to start the day?

Well, of course it does. Unfortunately, I forgot that I frequently get too-early wake-up calls from my children. Being roused too early, too often doesn't exactly put me in the thankful mood. But I suppose that is neither here nor there. The only reason I share any of this is to lead into a list of a few things for which I am thankful for tonight...

  1. The way my son, Chris, makes my one-year-old laugh and laugh
  2. Friends, both new and old
  3. Cozy mysteries
  4. Running outside in the warmer weather
  5. Spring!
  6. My oldest daughter's imagination
  7. Reading Little House on the Prairie books to Ann, my oldest daughter
  8. Long nap times
  9. My husband helping me clean the house
  10. Early bedtimes (both for the kiddos and me!)

Now, perhaps this feeling of thankfulness will carry over into tomorrow morning when the munchkins wake me long before I think they should!

Good night.


More Than Siblings

Countless times I've turned up the music in the van to drown out the unhappy sounds of my children. A newborn's cries and a preschooler's tattling are both more unpleasant in the enclosed space of a van.

Tonight was different.

As we drove home after a lovely evening with friends, I found myself first turning down the music and then turning it off.

Ann was asking me for a guinea pig when our dog "goes to heaven."

Chris said he didn't want the guinea pig to bite him.

Ann quickly reassured him that she wouldn't let that happen.

Convinced of his safety, he added that he'd like a monkey.

Ann confidently told him that he couldn't have a monkey because they need trees and we can't have those inside.

On and on the conversation went. I answered questions as they asked them, but mostly I just listened.

I thought back to when Ann was nearly two and Chris was just a baby. He cried each and every time we got in the car. Nothing would soothe him. For those five seemingly long months that he screamed any time we were in the car, I would have never imagined how in just a short while he and his sister would be carrying on friendly chatter as we drove peacefully through town.

Next I caught myself daydreaming about what they might be talking about 10, 20, or 30 years from now. Before I could even begin to imagine them as adults, I found myself hoping and praying that they would be good friends.

Seeing and hearing my children enjoy each other's company as we drove made me feel even more blessed than usual. It also served as a reminder that the tedious and exhausting job of helping my children learn to get along day in and day out may one day be richly rewarded.

If my prayers are answered, my children won't simply call each other brother or sister, they will call each other friend.


She Used to Be the Calm One

I do believe this picture is proof that she is no longer Little Miss Mellow. Doesn't she just look like she is thinking of trouble?!

I suppose that is why I'm finding less and less time to write on the old blog. I actually compose a fair amount of posts in my head as I chase this munchkin around the house attempting to keep her from hurting herself.
And while I sometimes (okay more than sometimes) long for a quiet moment, I still wouldn't have it any other way.
Until that next quiet moment, whenever that may be...


Please Pray

One day I hope to write about how, while living in Arkansas, I discovered that my back-door neighbor was an acquaintance I'd gone to high school with in Colorado. Small world, huh? A wonderful friendship was born.

However, today is not the time or place. My friend is hurting. The sad truth is that it looks like her sweet baby girl, still in her womb, may not live long after birth.

If you'd like, you can follow their story here. If you would, please pray for Carissa and her sweet family. Thank you.


Expensive Crackers Save the Day

I'm a tad addicted to cappuccinos from gas stations. Just ask my husband. I ask him to stop and get one before we are five minutes into a road trip. It drives him crazy.

However, I don't usually buy anything else from the gas station. I always wonder to myself who in the world would pay such crazy prices for grocery items. Two dollars for one sleeve of Ritz crackers?! Seriously?

Well, now I have my answer.

A mom who gets to take her three little ones with her to the eye doctor will gladly stop by the gas station for resources. She will happily pay over three dollars for a few crackers, two lollipops, and a coffee.

You just can't put a price on children who sit quietly.

There is a time and a place for bargain shopping. Realizing you have no "hush food" before a doctor appointment is NOT one of them.


Needs a Clever Caption

My sweet Jane (13 months) has no choice but to be tough when Chris (almost 3) is nearby.


A New Letter to Summer

Dear Summer,

I take it all back. I was wrong when I wrote this. It was all Fall's fault. She tricked me with her beautiful leaves and cool breezes. She teased me with fun holidays. Yet, merely days after Winter's official arrival, the holidays were over and I was left with nothing but cold, gray days.

If you come back soon, I promise the disease-free mosquitoes can have all of me that they want. I'll even try to ignore the chiggers. I'll smile at the way the humidity makes my children's hair so curly and ignore the way it makes my legs stick to everything.

Please give me another chance, dear Summer. Don't simply tease me with Daylight Saving Time. Come soon! I'll even share the ice cream!

Your Friend,



A Lesson From My Eyeballs

Back when I wore contacts, I frequently stuck my finger in my eye and moved my contact around until it was just right. I would sigh and be able to see once more.

Oh how I'd like to do that right now. Except of course, I can't. Well, I suppose I could, but since I had eye surgery just a few days ago, I'm guessing that isn't the best idea.

Fortunately, I'm going to the doctor in just a bit for a follow-up. I'm really hoping that the bandage contacts are removed.

Meanwhile, I'm ashamed to say I've been a cranky wife and an even crankier mommy.

I keep thinking how silly it is of me to be so frustrated by something that was elective, sort of even cosmetic surgery.

It is at times like these that I realize how much I need to change to be the person God wants me to be. Progress sometimes seems so slow when it comes to bearing such fruit as patience.

However, I know that God won't give up on me. Just like my recovering vision, the process might be slower than I'd like, but I know the end result will be worth it.