Saturday, October 22, 2011

What Matters Most?

This week I have been chewing over this little tidbit that was said to me at our Mops (Mothers of preschoolers) meeting.  We watched a video by Julie Barnhill.  She was speaking on her book One Tough Mother.  There were numerous points through out her talk that applied to me.  However, the one that stuck with me about mothering was this... In the light of eternity, what matter most?  I have been dwelling on that line ever since. 

In the light of eternity does how clean my house really matter?  In the light of eternity does having my children involved in lots of activities matter?  In the light of eternity does it matter if I serve frozen pizza twice in a week? (yes, that really happened this week)  Obviously, the answer is no.  No, those things do not matter in the light of eternity.  Why am I so hung up on such trivial stuff?  Why have I convinced myself that part of being a good mother is that I have a clean house, that my kids "should" be extra ordinary at everything that they do, that when people see me they see a perfect Suzy-homemaker?  These are all lies.  Lies that I have presented to others, convinced myself of and demanded my family to live up to. 

So here it is.  The real truth.  My house is never clean.  I try and try but it will never look clean.  It is one of those houses that always looks "lived" in.  Here is a small sampling of photo proof that I took on a regular Wednesday afternoon.

 The girl's bedroom.

 My bedroom - washed the linens but haven't had time to remake the bed

 Laundry - oh so much laundry that has piled up

Gobs of shoes by the front door and coats on the floor even though there is a hook near by.

One thing that I have felt convicted on this week is that I do not often enough delight in my ordinary children.  I feel this need that they "should" be special, outstanding, better then the rest...  You get the idea.  I think that outwardly I am pretty good at appearing not too competitive with other moms.  On the inside, however, I worry/obsess if someones child is doing something that mine is not yet or maybe will never do.  This needs to stop.  My children are a wonderful blessing from God.  I want to delight in the fact that they are regular kids and, really, we lead a very regular life.  Nothing glamorous or exciting and that is okay.  Actually it is perfect really.

Then there is finally the perfect Suzy-homemaker farce.  Oh man, as much as I have tried to be I am just not.  I will be real with you and tell you that today I was tired and not feeling well.  I was not nice to Dan pretty much all day.  We had leftovers for lunch (pizza) and I made the kids waffles for dinner.  To try and make myself feel better about it I made sure to serve strawberries with their lunch to offset the fact that they had pizza for Friday night dinner and Saturday lunch.  Strawberries are healthy.  It helps counter act too much pizza!  Right?!?

As I thought about all these things this week I decided to adopted a few REAL mothering goals for myself.  These are the things that really matter to me.  First, I want my children to grow up to be kind, loving individuals with a heart for the Lord.  The state of my house does not factor into that goal.  Second, I want my house to be something that my children want to come back to.  I don't want them to leave at 18 and never what to come back.  I want them to feel safe, loved and God's presence when the come back home.  In the light of eternity those are the things that truly matter to me.  The rest is just not worth the worry.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lupie Lady Update

In the last few weeks I have had a Rheumatologist appointment and an eye doctor appointment that I wanted to update on.  At my Rheumatologist appointment I talked with my doctor about my joints acting up as my Remicade began to wear off.  There were a good 3-4 weeks out of the 8 week treatment schedule that my joints would start acting up.  I would begin to have swelling and pain in my hands and feet.  It was nothing compared to before but I felt like it was still interfering with my day to day life.  She suggested that I up my chemo drug to 20mg.  I had expected this and so it wasn't a huge surprise to me.  A few weeks have gone by and I am happy to report that it seems to be an effective dosage for me.  It has really helped as my Remicade has begun to wear off.  My body is still getting used to the new dosage though.  I am more fatigued but I think that the next month or so I should be more used to it and will not be so tired all the time. 

I had my eye doctor appointment today.  It has been years since I have been in and I needed to get a check up because a medication that I take, Plaquenil, can affect your eyes.  In rare cases it can cause damage to your retina.  It is recommended to see your eye doctor once a year to monitor your eyes.  Today at my appointment my doctor noticed some spots near my retina that were some cause for concern.  Those spots right now are not affecting my eye sight but he wants to do a few more indepth tests to see for sure what is going on.  I will be going back in two weeks for those tests and at that time we will know more.  The doctor plans on being in contact with my Rheumatologist through the whole process.  

I really feel grateful this afternoon for the care that I have received with each doctor I go to.  I know that there are plenty of people out there that have a hard time finding the right doctor that fits their needs.  God has seemed to really provide for me in this area. 

On a non-medical note, I am beginning to adjust to the life of saying no and not feeling like I need to do everything for everyone all the time.  It has been a hard adjustment for me and I still often feel guilty that I am not "doing" more or when I have to say no about something.  However, I firmly believe that I am making the right choices for myself and my family.  I am thankful for the energy that I have to take care of my family.  You would be surprised (or maybe not) at how much energy it takes to raise three kiddos.  God seems to give me just enough to make it through the tough days and some days I even have extra for myself.  On those days I have extra I have spent time pursuing my new hobby, sewing!  These last weeks I have been meditating on this verse and I feel as though our life is a living testament to this promise in Philippians 4:19, "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. "  God has provided for Dan and I through out all my health issues and I want to be sure to give all of my praise to Him.  It is a comfort to know that I am in His hands and even though times can get rough He will always provide. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Girl talk with Emma

Yesterday, Emma and I went outside and jumped on the trampoline together.   I generally do not get on the trampoline often because it hurts my joints to jump but I have been feeling better since the upped my chemo medicine and Emma told me that she wanted to spend time together.  We had fun playing games and jumping around.  We finally laid down on the trampoline to rest.  Keeping up with Emma on a trampoline is no small feat.  This mommy needed a little rest before we went again.  As we laid on the trampoline looking up at the sky and the big tree branches I started asking Emma questions about her life.  I asked her about school, her friends, soccer, all the things that I could think of that are important to her.  We eventually laid there in silence for a bit after I ran out of questions and then Emma turned to me and said, "I love that we could come out here and have some girl talk together Mommy."

It hit me.  How often I do talk to Emma like this?  I will be honest that the answer is hardly ever.   She is pretty much an open book so I feel like I already know everything about how she is feeling.  This moment showed me though that she wants to be asked, even at 4 years old, just like I liked to be asked about what is going on in my world.  It was a precious moment between us and I am thankful for it.  Emma is a beautiful blessing to our family.  Thank you God for giving me such a funny, joyful daughter.   I look forward to many more years of girl talks together!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Aubrey is Finally Walking!

My baby girl is finally walking (at almost 15 months just like her brother and sister).  While I have been so excited about her reaching this big milestone I am also a little sad.  She is the last baby to crawl around this house.  These past fifteen months have seemed to fly by.  I have savoured every minute of my little baby Aubrey.  It is a joy being mommy to my sweet girl and it is a little bittersweet as we move from the baby stage onto this toddler stage.

Here is a video of Aubrey walking.