Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boys are Born This Way

So, I've noticed a preoccupation with my son over the last year or so. Actually, it's been longer than a year that I've noticed it, but over the last year, I think it has become really apparent. It's not just Jackson, Cole has begun to show signs of obsession with this particular thing. The preoccupation is...the wiener. I mean, come on! I guess this is just something ingrained in them from the time they were born. Around six months of age, both my boys became nearly impossible to diaper, as they had found the other appendage down there. But last night Jackson did something particularly funny. My best friend bought the boys some bubble guns. They are little toy guns that go into a holster you can fill with bubbles. Pull the trigger and they blow bubbles. Well, Jackson was getting ready for a bath, and he thought it would be funny to hook that bubble holster onto the zipper of his jeans. He comes into the kitchen where I am, and says, "Mom, look. I have the biggest wiener in the world! Isn't that cool?" What is with the male species and taking pride in that particular are of anatomy?
And, it's not just that area. My boys have a great fascination with "boobies". Jackson will sometimes randomly just yell the word out, and he and Cole just giggle. Such a taboo word for a four-year old. So, this got me thinking, "Is this really how God designed my sweet precious babies?"-to be like every other man in the world-ugh! My dad used to say all men are scum, of course, in high school and college, I totally disagreed, but now...well, I see exactly what he meant. Their curiosity for the female body must just come naturally. Of course, this terrifies me. I see this as a huge battle to keep my boys from letting this curiosity turn into lust. I'm not naive, I know this battle is impossible and that to avoid lust would be perfection. While I sometimes think my boys are perfect, I know they aren't. I know this area of sin is a struggle for all men. So, my prayer for them right now is a prayer of a pure heart...pure heart, pure mind, pure body.
Psalm 119:9-12 says, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to the word. With my whole heart, I have sought you; Oh, let me not wander from your commandments. Your word, I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord! Teach me your statutes!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Family Photos

We scheduled to have some new pictures taken recently. My father-in-law has been asking for a year to have all his kids together for a new family picture since Cole has been born-I know, I know...it's sad. He's almost two. But, finally we got around to it and they turned out great! Our photographer is a friend from church. She runs her own business on the side of being a mommy. She is so awesome and does a great job. Why is that a fight always starts when you're trying to take pictures? It gets really hard to fake a smile after the 15Th time of yelling at my kids and bribing them with candy and threatening spankings. But luckily, she is a professional and she can catch that one second that everyone is looking at the camera, and Cole is still and smiling. She's a miracle worker! Meanwhile, after the pictures are over, I'm sweating and exhausted! Janelle, I don't know how you do it, girl! Thanks for capturing memories. I'll treasure these pictures of my family forever.

Everyone all together-our family, my brother-in-law, sis-in-law, and nephew. My father-in-law will be so happy.

Me and my sweetie. He gets better looking with age-isn't he cute?!

My kiddos.

The stinker.

The lover.

Precious little boys. I love this.

My nephew Jett-I think this is my favorite picture of him...EVER.

Mitch, Amber, and Jett

I have a great family-I'm truly blessed. I love you guys.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Today has been one of those days when I feel like I've lost my joy. I don't know why exactly. Nothing has happened to put me in a bad mood, necessarily. I say "necessarily" because it's a daily battle for me-to keep my joy, whether it's been a rough day or not. This is something I'm trying to teach Jackson right now-that joy is different from happiness. I know the right things to say, yet I struggle myself. It's been the kind of day that I woke up and immediately felt like "Being a mom is the last job I want to do today." Sometimes I don't enjoy my job and I wonder if it would be easier to go to work...if I would feel happier, more fulfilled.
I realize in saying this, I'm bearing my soul. I'm giving you permission to judge me. So, I struggled today with wondering if I should even say how I feel. But, I also feel very strongly that moms need to be able to share their hearts and feel safe. Why is it as mothers we feel the need to look perfect, act perfect, and make everyone think we ARE the perfect mom? That we totally LOVE every aspect of our lives? That it gives us such joy to serve our families everyday? That we actually enjoy playing Candy-Land for the umpteenth time? Well, i personally hate Candy-Land...and Play-Doh...and building train tracks for that matter. I loathe building train tracks. I feel like I've lost my zest and excitement for motherhood. Every day is the same, and although it's a blessing to watch your children grow, learn, be there for them-it's also a 'thankless' job. You don't get a paycheck, or even a gold star.
I seem to get in this rut every three months or so, where I feel discontent. I keep telling myself what every other woman tells me, "This is a season of my life", "Enjoy it, because it goes so fast", "Someday, you will miss this." But when I feel like this, those things don't seem to help. If God knows my heart, surely he knows and understands how difficult this is for me. The "selfless" trait of motherhood does not come easy and it goes against everything that I am.
I've been reading every book I can get my hands on lately-mostly self-help books. I've read books on time management, books on self-talk, books on organization, books on how to love your children according to their 'love language', how to deal with strong-willed children, and how to better love my husband. And then it dawned on me. I haven't been reading God's word.
If God knows my heart, he understands how I'm feeling and I'm not doing this alone- even though I feel like I am. I'm not a person who can just aimlessly open their Bible and find that one verse that speaks to them, so...I googled. I was thinking of that verse that says how we were "knit together in our mother's womb." I found it (Psalm 139), and this is what it says,
v.1 "O Lord, you have searched me, and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you understand my thoughts from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And you are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Behold Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before. And laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Where can i go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?" v.13-"For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." v. 17 "How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You." v.23 "Search me, O God and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way."
That was a comfort to me...that he sees me. Even when I don't want to do my job...He sees me. Even when I feel alone...He sees me. Even when I feel like I'm a failure to my children...He sees me. When I've lost all joy...He sees me.

Lord, help me to be content in the season of my life. Help me to live in the moment and not constantly be looking forward to the next stage. Help me to find joy in where you have placed me and what you have given me. And when I can't seem to find that joy, help me to turn to your word...and patiently wait.

My friend Beth sent me this video link to me about a year ago. It ministered to me in so many ways, and days like today, i look it up and watch it-sometimes more than once. Hope you enjoy it as much as i did.


On Halloween we had big plans of taking the boys to make the rounds. But first, that afternoon we took Jack on a special date. While Cole was taking his afternoon nap, we had our babysitter come over so we could take Jackson to see the movie, "Where the Wild Things Are." Bizarre. My advice, if you want to see it that bad-wait til it's at Redbox. It was the biggest waste of $15 and a little scary for a four-year old.
Anyway, that evening we got the boys dressed in their costumes and took a few pictures in the front yard. G.G. made Jack's pirate costume and did a great job. We got compliments on it all night. Colie wore Jack's old lion costume. I found it in the attic after I thought I'd sold it in a consignment sale years ago. It was such a surprise! I think it has been my favorite costume of all the years we've gotten to do Halloween. I was so happy Cole got to wear it as well.

For our family, Halloween is similar to Christmas in the fact that, I feel like we spend the day running from here to there. Everyone wants to see the babies in their costumes. So, it's a little stressful and crazy cramming all the visits into about three hours. We went to visit my grandma-she has a special relationship with my boys and it has been such a blessing to watch that. We also went to Trinity's Trunk or Treat where the boys played games, and got lots of candy. Papa and G.G. and their small group take the kids on "train rides". Really, it's a tractor pulling little cars-but the boys love it. Jackson won a door prize of a Thomas the Train tent-so it was an incredibly successful night in his mind. Finally we visited Birdie and Grumpy. It was a busy night and the boys were exhausted and loaded up on sugar. That's what Halloween is all about, right?!

Pumpkin Carving Party

Our sweet friends Ryan and Lindsay, hosted a pumpkin carving party at their home this October. We had such a blast. All our friends from our small group at Trinity were there. Including some former members we hadn't seen a really long time-Sunny, Creed, Rinny, and Jude-we love you! Lindsay is awaiting the birth of their first child, due in April. She was so gracious to have almost 20 kids at her house with paint and pumpkin guts in hand. I guess it was good preparation for her to see the messes children cause. Here's some pictures from our night of fun.

Here' a picture of all the kids at the party-eating popcorn balls. YUM!

Jackson painting his pumpkin.

Colie painting his pumpkin-he is really dangerous with purple paint. Notice his "Hitler" mustache. He did this himself. Such a ham.

Sweet baby Jack-such a lover!

Jon and Jack carving our family pumpkin.

Our newest members-the Foret's. We love you guys.

Jack and his friend Rinn. They were born three weeks apart and have been friends since. Isn't she the cutest?

All the mommies-good group of solid girlfriends.

The finished product. Great job kiddos!

Ryan and Linds-thanks for having us. We all had such a great time. "Doin' life together!"