Insert Grace Here…

…finding grace to help in the time of need…

Archive for May, 2008

Mean Mom In Need Of Mercy

This blog post is not going according to my original plan.  My thought was to patiently wait for divine wisdom and revelation from on High, then post insightful details.

After several days of recouping from strep throat (YUK) and adjusting to summer’s schedule (or lack thereof) I’ve come to the end of myself.  But that’s not such a bad place to be, really.  It’s usually there that I finally surrender my plans and endless to-do list, throw a tantrum (or 20), sit and sulk a while, and turn my eyes to the One who orders my steps and directs my paths.

Lisa at http://thepreachers-wife.blogspot.com/ just posted a blog closely akin to my current state of mind.  For such a lonnnnnggg time, I was very much a schedule routine person.  I say routine- I suppose- because I really did not think of myself as a strict schedule-crazy person.  Throughout the years, as my two oldest daughters were growing up I kept children in my home on and off.  I was a Nanny.  Not a “Nanny” in the caretaker of a few well-off kids sort of way.  Pretty much an in-home sitter.  They just called me Nanny.  My neices and nephews call me Nanny.  Come to think of it, my sister, Ginger, often calls me Nanny.  I think being a “Nanny” was more than just a job, it’s pretty much part of who I am.  But being home most weekdays with a “routine” weekly schedule allowed for more “routine” in those days.  As my About Me page says, I do find cleaning my house therapeutic.  Well….most of the time.  I like my house to stay in order.  But things have changed.

Now there is a toddler in the mix.  Since she arrived I have not gone back to being a Nanny.  Now…well, I’m not quite sure what I am!?  I may just be having an identity crisis.  I suppose I’m a part-time SAHM.  I want to write.  I clean a few houses which pretty much takes place on Fridays.  I help on occasion at a friend’s re-sale shop for children… which will hopefully take on a change from sporadic days (with Sophie- mind you) to Mondays when the store is closed to catch up on inventory (hopefully without Sophie).  Sometimes I bring Sophie with me to clean a house.  Sometimes I happen to have Cammie (rarely now that she is working full time) or Courtney (probably even more rare now that summer has begun and volleyball practice and volleyball games and driver’s ed…and help me…please…somebody) or my mom keep her.  Come to think of it…I think she’s do a sleepover at Nana and Popppy’s house.

It seems for quite a while now I’ve accepted the crazy sporadic routine of a life I’ve had.  Oh, I’ve had crash days, but I suppose I’ve tried to learn to roll with the punches.  And now…summer is here.  And for some reason I seem to have thought that this was the time for me to get my act together, prioritize, work on the routine.  Having a routine is important.  As I said earlier, I never have thought of myself as a schedule person.  I agree with Lisa, we should not schedule our entire lives completely around our children lest they expect the rest of the world to do so.  But routine… I mean, brush your teeth daily (several times), FLOSS (fyi:  I am a floss addict…really, can’t help myself…floss every time I brush), bathe (ahem…kidding, kidding, Preacher’s wife….adults are allowed “skip days”, too), eat (you know, regularly) and of course there’s discipline in your walk with Christ.  I think I seem to have tried to adapt my prayer life to my “life”.  This could be the real problem.

God doesn’t want our leftovers.  He wants our first fruits.  (This is where I feel the sting from the profound, divine wisdom and revelation.)  Had I focused more time and energy on HIM, perhaps I would not be frustrated with trying to force everything to line up the way I think it should.  Maybe I wouldn’t be so hard on myself for not working a little more consistently with Sophie on the potty training….a day here or there in panties at home for a while in an effort to progress could be considered a victory rather than terribly inconsistent parenting.  Yea, yea…ease up, I know.

Summer can be hectic.  It’s a complete change (extreme even) from the way things have pretty much gone the past nine months.  But it’s also a time to relax, take things a bit slower, sleep in…  It’s not, however, a time to vacation from the Lord.  If I give Him first place, He is there all along to help me prioritize, strike a balance.  Balance, temperance, is something I am having difficulty with.  But in my weakness, His strength is made perfect.

Seeking Him early for grace tends to mean the need for less mercy at the end of the day.  Tonight….I’m in need of lots of mercy.  I’ll try and remember that when dealing with resistant teens and a sassy toddler….speaking of which…after several attempts to get her to go potty before bedtime (which has yet to have happened- betime, that is….oh well, it’s SUMMER! 😉 ), I very sternly hollered told her to “get in there right now” (which, I will ramble on to add is one of her favorite new phrases, “RIGHT NOW”).  I plopped her little hiney on the potty and she said very calmly,”Mean.”  Before I could even begin with a scolding she then says, “ha ha a booboo!”  That would be her very favorite new phrase all thanks to Courtney!  I think it was right here…at the kids’ attempt to overthrow Mom’s authority that I realized that the more I tried to control everything, the more out of control things got….and the more out of control I got.

I’m running….to the mercy seat!

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

 

New Blog

My baby sister, Ginger, (okay, she’s not technically a baby any more) has a new blog.  Check it out at:

http://heresmycuplord.wordpress.com/wp-admin/

We will both be guest posting on each other’s blogs.  And perhaps we will one day soon share some stories of growing up and life lessons we have shared.  So stayed tuned!  Never know what’s coming next…

 

Dancing Queen

Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.  Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.  Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.  Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.   Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.  Psalm 150:  1-6

Yesterday was Courtney’s dance recital!  I was so blessed watching her up there on that stage!  Yes, again, I am prejudice.  Her ballet dance was to Chris Tomlin’s Amazing Grace.  It was truly breathtaking.  What an awesome choice of songs!  For me, that dance was a beautiful interpretation of God’s grace!

Her tap and jazz dances were to Funk Soul Brother and Flip, Flop and Fly.  They were GREAT, too!

Watching all of the little munchkins dance in monkey costumes, frog costumes, etc., CRACKED ME UP!  It reminded me of when Cammie and Courtney took dance when they were that small.  Sophie enjoyed it for the most part.  But “POTTY, POTTY” every two seconds was NOT fun! 

I just have to mention that Courtney’s uncle danced with his daughter (her cousin) to Greased Lightnin’.  It was sooo cute having those dads come out there with white t-shirts, jeans and black boots.  But he stole the show!  He and his daughter were the last two off the stage after the dance and he just had to pop his head back in and wave again!  TOOO CUTE!

But Courtney was MY STAR! 😉

Here she is….shining:

My Dancing Queen

 

 I love you my Dancing Queen!  Shine, shine, shine…. Love, Mom

 

 

The New Alphabet (toe is the new o)

I CAN’T STAND IT! 🙂 Joe was working with Sophie on her ABC’s… most of it went something like this… “a e c e e e g, h i a k em a nin o p… then maybe cu (q) and pick back up at e e e…”.  Great…all smiles…. but then, THEN, when I picked up on Joe’s careful enunciation… (rolling on the floor now, really, trying my best to type…) I heard, “el em en TOE p”….. YES I’m for real!  And, yes, he knows I’m typing this post.  I just couldn’t help it.  We called Cammie in to witness Sophie’s rendition of ABC’s and she fell apart right with me when we heard Joe’s…..well, it was all great, but the TOE?  Is there a toe in there?  Really? 

Alert all preschoolers….This just in…New Alphabet- toe is the new o!

hahahahahahahahahahaaaaa!

I love you Joe…thanks for the material! 😉

Too Big For Her Pull-Up

This post is dedicated to the toddler….Sophie.

I realize that having teenage sisters enhances her vocabulary, but I just wasn’t prepared for some the things that come out of this kid’s mouth.  (Hey….I just thought of a great new movie title:  Two Teens and a Todd.  You know?  Like Three Men and a Baby?  Never mind….I ramble… 😉 )

Just the other day, I called out, “Sophie”, several times as we were about to leave and I was ready to load her up.

“WHAT!?”, was the reply.  arggghhhh!

ONYD?

Yes, she did….then, as I was loading her up, I was fussing about something and she said, “FIIINE!”

I blame them- the sisters!  But she’s not even two yet?!  She’s only 20 months old!  But wait…there’s more!

When I load her into her very comfy black leather Eddie Bauer carseat (thank you, thank you…to my baby sister Ginger, bff since high school Tracie, her sister Jen and my friend Suzonne….GREAT shower gift ladies!), I barely get her buckled up before she begins…”HOT!  HOT! AIR!  A-IIIR!”

What?  Are you kidding me?  YES, this is Louisiana, but again- YOU’RE 20 MONTHS OLD!  I don’t think she knows that.

She is funny, though.  Never a dull moment.  And she is random!  I mean, she can be sitting quietly in the Walmart buggy before she suddenly hollers out “HEY LADY!”, or “HEY BABY!”  But the five and six year old boys and girls just don’t like being called baby.  And when hunger strikes:  “hung-y!  HUNG-Y!  Bite?  EAT, MAMA?  HUNG-Y!  PEASEEEEE?  EAT?”  Yes, people, I feed her!

The latest is the potty training issue.  She must holler “POTTY” 20 times in one shopping trip!  At first, I don’t want to chance it.  Gotta’ make that run to the potty (with no attachable potty lid), cover the potty as best as possible, pull down her pull-up, and try to hold her in a hovering position so as not to sit on the potty.  FORGET IT!  The kid really wants the security of the lid in the first place.  Hovering is not an option.  Who was I kidding? 

She is exhausting…  I should be sleeping right now as she naps.  But there’s that sweet, innocent, tender child heart she has.  She takes her hands and cups them around my face and just looks into my eyes like a mother does to her child.  It makes my heart swell.  HOWdoes she know to do that?  She’s the kid!?  She gives the sweetest hugs!  And she often comes to my bathroom when I’m just about done getting ready to go somewhere and says, “AWWW, Pre-ttty!”, and smiles.  Be still my heart!  She also tries to sing some of the songs on her Praise Baby cd that she sleeps to as well as Jesus Loves Me.  Hearing her say His name…well, there are no words.  I try to remember these tender moments when she is trying to bargain with me.  Naptime, anything-she-doesn’t-want-to-do-time, she says “NO -time-out?”  What??  Now you want time out!? 

But as feisty as she can be, God will use her in that little personality.  Tempered, that is.  Last Sunday we missed church due to sheer exhaustion from LIFE.  No excuse, I know!  As Courtney and I were lounging in the living room, Sophie came in after waking from a morning nap (she was up most of that night) and said, “CHURCH?  CHURCH!”  Stunned!  Courtney and I just stared at each other in disbelief.  HOW?  HOW could she know or remember?  I hear you, Lord!  OUCH!

Here are some pics of my sassy Sophie:

 

dsc000861

Potty Time!

Sooooo innocent!

dsc000341

Time out!

Sassy?  From that little thing?  Hmmm?  Trust me! 😉

 

“The Daily Mercies”

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning:  great is they faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:  21-23

This is one of my favorite Scriptures!  No matter what we’ve done, where we’ve been or what life throws our way, God’s mercies are brand new every single day!  The title of this post was one of my options for my blog header.  If I had my own paper or magazine I think I would call it “The Daily Mercies”.  Sounds like the title of a newspaper to me.  One that I think I just might want to read.

After the tragic news of the death of Steven Curtis Chapmans’s daughter, Maria, this verse has taken on new meaning.  My heart, along with so many others, has broken for this family and this teenage son.  Cammie has her own car now and Courtney is taking Driver’s Ed the next two weeks.  Permit and another teenage driver coming soon.  And I have a toddler.  Horrible tragedies such as Maria’s happen, though we simply have trouble understanding.  I pray that the Lord’s brand new mercies cover them.  His compassions surely will not fail!  During this time of grief for this family, as we unite together in prayer, let us wait and watch expectantly for the Lord’s great faithfulness to prevail.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.  Psalm 116:15

 

 

Finding Her Place In God

God gave me three daughters with three different personalities.  I marvel at how each of them mirrors me in different ways.  And yet, they are so different.  It boggles the mind.

Sandwiched in the middle is Courtney.  The middle child.  I’ve thought a lot lately about her.  At the moment, she is at rehearsal for her upcoming dance recital.  Courtney is a very beautiful, bright and talented girl.  Of course, I’m prejudice!  I’m her mom.  But truly, she is.  By her own admission, she is a perfectionist.  I have always considered her drive and determination gifts from God.  And I’m sure they are.  But for some time now, I have felt burdened for my child as I’ve watched her strive in so very many areas of life- academically, athletically, socially and even in her own walk with Christ.  Understand that I admire her and appreciate her drive for excellence.  I suppose that as a mom, I just don’t want her to come tumbling down one day.

Beth Moore’s blogpost from this past Sunday- Something’s Got Me Thinking – summed up exactly how I feel about my second born.  And quite beautifully, I might add.  Check it out at http://livingproofministries.blogspot.com/.

I certainly don’t want to over exaggerate the middle child syndrome, but I am aware of the effects (and advantages) of birth order.  As one of my good friends put it- Courtney will never be the oldest sister, she will never be the youngest sister, but she gets to be the older sister and the younger sister.  She has, however, been overshadowed at times.  She has worked so very hard for so very long.  Though she is by no means perfect, she strives to do right.  She has a strong conscience.  Yet in spite of her efforts, she often turns up not quite number one in many areas.  Of course, that’s not the most important thing in life.

Over the past year, Courtney has watched as her older sister went through an amazing transformation.  Cammie did not make the grades that Courtney makes.  Cammie had to work a bit harder at it.  However, in a short time, she discovered her potential.  She made some drastic changes and not only improved in all areas of life, but she excelled and graduated at the top of her class.  I know Courtney is as proud as I am of Cammie.  She absolutely loves her sister.  But I am sure that this frustrates her continuing efforts to do her absolute best.  Add to that a toddler sister who gets praise for using the potty and counting to five and almost equal attention for saying “NO” to Mom or Dad or just poking her lip out.

This is my prayer for Courtney:  that she will stand firm in who she is in Christ.  That she will recognize the gifts that He has given her and know that ultimately, they are for His glory.  That as she surrenders them back to Him with all of her dreams and desires, she will find that she can trust Him and that her surrender to Him will ultimately bring her the peace and joy that she longs for. 

This is a poem that Courtney wrote for Honor’s English.  She had to include similes, metaphors and a myriad of other Honor’s English phrases.  And it’s about being the middle child.

 

Independence

 

The rooster crows to announce the day

Boasting the break of dawn

As the sun rises

Like new parents’ joy of their first born

 

The church bell chimes at midday

The masses rush to break for lunch

Underneath the bright shining sun

Its intense heat magnifies their stress

Overshadowing its brilliance

 

Just as a second born unexpectedly arrives

Amidst the chaos

Hiding its beauty

 

Dusk falls peacefully

Calling all to rest

Twilight beckons relaxation

The cares of life disappear

Allowing freedom to rush in

Like a mighty ocean wave

Overflowing the dry sandy shore

 

The course of life brings forth

A newborn baby

Glowing as would a setting sun

Pampered and spoiled

As parents slumber

From a life of responsibility

 

Though seemingly lost as the noon day sun

I know my place was chosen by God

To shine magnificently and independently

 

 

By:  Courtney Sutton

 

Court- Mom loves you more than you could ever fathom!  I am your biggest fan (next to Christ)!  You will always be my baby.  Remember…you were the baby first. 😉  Much, much love- Mom.