Monday, August 25, 2014

Press Pause; Then Play

I truly wish there was a pause button in life. Oh, how I would use it over... and over... which is probably why there isn't one... Just think how that button would be abused! But that doesn't stop me from wanting one...

Not only would I use the pause button to savor those precious once in a life time moments; but I would also use it to just stop the hectic parts of my day... the parts of my life that make me feel as if I have been running a marathon and am out of breath.... I feel like that now.

I love spending time with my children... and I enjoy watching them learn and grow... but it's just so much work, in and out, every day.... How do I find the time to just breathe and process? Parenting is exhausting.

I find writing helps calm me; helps give me a momentary perspective of my life and goals.... needs vs. wants... but finding the time to actually write when the desire hits, is non-existent... I really should keep a notepad with me at all times so I can jot down exactly what I am thinking, and expound upon it later. Wouldn't a pause button be nice for that? To never forget a thought; to pause all the things around you, focus on that one thing quickly, and resume as normal...

If you're anything like me; perhaps you are having tea/coffee with a friend - he/she says something to you and SUDDENLY; you interrupt with an off-topic remark; and then apologize and hopefully resume the conversation, sans rabbit trail.... all because if you didn't blurt it out, you would forget it forever... or remember at 3am in a panic.... when it no longer matters. *SIGH*

C'est la vie, no?

I really need to start carving out, an hour... thirty minutes to myself. Just so I can refocus and gain some clarity during the day. If only every afternoon could be as calm as mine is today  - I suppose I can dream, right?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Waiting For Your Call

"Oh, you're so sweet! Thank you very much!
I'm sorry I haven't called, I've been busy.
But let's make sure, we stay in touch."
Smiling at your seeming warmth, I pleasantly reply,
"Sure thing, absolutely." And then we say good-bye.

"Hey! How are you? I'm still waiting on your call...
It's been forever, I'd love to hear from you..."
I anxiously await.
But there is silence on your end,
Nothing at all.

Eventually I get a reply, much like the first.
"So sorry dear. Life is nipping at my heels.
I'm busy with the children, work, planning meals...
When I have time - I'll call. Maybe later in the week?"
"No problem - absolutely. I understand."
It's only friendship I seek...

Life also has me running ragged -
Darting to and fro.
Yet, I still make an effort...
Carving out the time...Waiting for the call,
We both know isn't going to show...

Have I offended you? Does my presence repulse?
You say how sweet I am, how generous and kind...
Words like honey flow from your lips, pleasant and sublime.
And yet, there is no girth to support the words you say.
For no actions follow them - and I wait, day by day...

If friendship truly existed, as you say it does -
Then why no effort on your part to stay in touch?
Why the silence? Why am I ignored?
If there is a bond between us, worth anything to you -
Then take the time to save it! I don't require much...

I simply want transparency... Honestly and Truth.
Enough time, maybe an hour or two...
For some prayer, reflection - soul sharing...
Is that sum too great a price to pay -
To ensure the survival, of the friendship from our Youth?

And if, perhaps, we've simply gone
Down two different paths - where neither one can follow...
Where is the respect we once shared?
Will I find it in your call, "sometime tomorrow"?

Have the decency to say to my face,
There are too many differences that you cannot ignore.
Don't hide behind seemingly sweet words,
Plastering your disdain with them,
Giving the illusion I am adored.

I am no longer able to play pretend -
Aren't you tired of this facade?
I can no longer adorn myself with the pageantry of "friends"
My desire for true grit, is much too high...
Either be real with me, or don't bother saying good-bye...

Support the words you speak with action -
Or don't bother saying them at all.
I am no longer going to sit and pine for you;
I am done waiting for your call....

~ Me

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blogidy Blogidy Bloggy Blog Blarg Blog!

If you were able to enunciate the title of this post without 'missing a beat' and pure confidence of heart; I solute you! If not however, then... don't feel bad. It sounded smooth in my head before I actually took the time to read it out-loud.

Moving on!

This is the first time I have been able to freely and guiltlessly blog since January. I am caught up on all the house chores, dinner this evening will be extremely quick to prepare... the two youngest minions are napping, and the eldest is away being publicly educated by a rock-star of a teacher down the road!

I have had so many thoughts to which I dreamed of expressing in the written word, but sadly time and the exhaustion of corralling them into a singularly formed thought process has caused me to just not be able to.

Seriously, though! I am constantly doing something; and as of late; its been the house work! I even had to 'hire' a friend of mine to come help me out because I just didnt have enough hands... she was so sweet to give me two days of her life to sweep my floors and help me scrape some spilled wax off a lamp and the wall... her little brother came too and helped dig a fire pit ... paint some furniture! And now, I am actually all caught up... It's such a freeing feeling to wake up, place your feet on the floor and not trip and fall to your almost inevitable doom amongst a mountain of clean laundry needing to be put away. I can actually see my floors now. Oh, and see how they need to be vacuumed... so, that's a plus? Maybe I should put all the clothes back and then I can ignore the carpets? Ironically that exact scenario will probably happen in a day or two when the laundry needs doing again... *LEH SIGH*

(yes, I did purposefully put "leh sigh")

My children have been keeping me quite busy too; not so much my oldest because he is at school half the day... but my younger two are home with me and they are QUITE the combo! My daughter is 4... opinionated, stubborn, loud, obsessed with her LeapPad2 (her "tablet").... But she is also hilarious, smart, and just so darn joyful! My second son, is 2.... He has finally discovered how to play pretend... and is constantly ... "helping" me whenever he can (or when I don't want him to)... He wasn't speaking very much because he is the youngest and would cry and his siblings just gave him whatever he wanted. All he had to do was grunt and point... and if that didnt work, cry bloody murder; either way "SUCCESS" (from his point of view at least)! He is also getting all four of his molars at the same time. Quadruple joy for Mommy! *sarcastic jazz hands* So, in an attempt to get him to broaden his speech; we began playing with flashcards! "What is this a picture of?" - "A house!" ... "What is this?" - "A tree!" ....  Now we have moved from flashcards to nature walks and everything at the store, gas station... "What is this?" - "Water Pump Blade!" (just kidding, but seriously trying to expand his vocabulary as much as possible)... When we do use the flashcards, on the back side is a three - four letter word of what the picture is... so for my 4 year old, I ask her to tell me what each letter is, what sounds they make.... and she has finally figured out that letter sounds, when put together make... *drum roll* WORDS! She is reading (at least grasping the concept and can read "bug", "sun", "milk" etc....) She is also obsessed with watching 'My Little Pony'.. "Wild Kratts"... and "Arthur" (some kid movie - ANYWAYS) ... I am also trying to limit TV to about 1 show or 1 family movie a day...

Now this stroke of genius means that I have to find other creative means of entertaining them and still not get my house TOO dirty (or not so dirty/messy that I can't clean it up in under 5min)... and keep a getter eye on them so they aren't left alone while I do the dishes... so... how do I DO this you ask?


I make them do chores.

Yes, I make my 2 year old and 4 year old do chores. Right. Along. Beside me. When I make bread... guess who helps? Yep, that's right... my kids! When I sweep, guess who sweeps too? Yep, my kids! For my 4 year old, I sweep the room first... getting almost everything... and then I will take some painter's tape and make a square on the floor. Her broom is her weapon. The rice and raisins and bread crumbs are her foes.... The square; is the prison cell to which she must corral the enemy at any cost! If she accepts this mission, she is handsomly rewarded with a mini marshmallow. If she refuses; her brother gets a marshmallow just because she refused! And speaking of her brother... what does HE do? He gets an old broom that has an uber short handle (dubbed 'the baby broom') and he gets to "sweep" the room after we're done (he is only 2 after all). When I wash dishes, he gets one side of the sink with an inch or so of water and bubbles... and gets to "clean" the cookie cutters and measuring cups.... and when water gets spilled all over the floor (which is an inevitability) I mop the kitchen. and he follows me behind with a broken Swiffer that his little heart believes is in pristine condition...

Its a win-win.

I am going to try and take more time to carve out of my day, or evening, so I can blog more. Empty out the constantly collecting thoughts and ideas. I actually have quite a few good ones, but if I dont write it down... I forget... or get distracted and then forget... or suddenly remember at 3a.m. and have to make the grueling life decision of more sleep... or write it down?

9 out of 10 it will be sleep. Just sayin'.

Enough rambling for the moment. I have dinner to prep and a child to pick up from school... and taxes to file... and one more load of laundry to put away... and a dishwasher to unload and load.... and... wait.

I guess I am not all caught up. *leh sigh* It just never ends... Oh well.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Open Letter to UPS and USPS

Dear UPS and USPS -

I appreciate that you work hard, and deliver my packages intact, and are punctual 98% of the time. I sincerely love both of your businesses and I will continue to use your services.

However; your customer relations are severely lacking; especially when businesses ask one of you to deliver a package to the other and eventually to the intended recipient. When this happens and there is an issue in the delivery - BOTH of you do not accept ANY blame and refuse to work with the customer (i.e. ME).

I informed you both that despite your records, I did NOT receive one of a two part package... and the package I did receive was torn, bent, and the contents were scratched. Neither of you could do anything about it and just short of accused me of lying... because of your precious records (I am mainly talking about YOU, USPS) ...

Thankfully; the folks at VistaPrint believed me and sent me a replacement of not only my missing order BUT my damaged order as well. And low and behold; I received an email weeks later... from UPS, to my work email address... about a box of business cards found with my name and work email on them.. asking if they were mine and if I could please give the original tracking number as verification (even though my email and information wasnt enough)

So, I did just that... and my business cards from November are FINALLY on their way.

And this ends my Open Letter to you, UPS AND USPS, letting you know I am not a liar, I did NOT receive one of my packages in two parts... and your "assurance" that I did in fact receive my packages was wrong... and I have the emails/correspondence to prove it.

The Mother Tiger AND Her Soap Box

My children mean so much to be; they truly are my most valuable earthly possession and charge that I have been so graciously given... I am more thankful for them, than words can express...

My Grandmother Nance' Jane told me once; that one day; I would know exactly how a mother tiger feels like, the primal urge to protect my young, even from those with "good intentions"... I didn't understand her at the time. I was currently pregnant with my first; but now I do. I have for some time; but the older my children get (I currently have been blessed with three) the deeper those primal urges and feelings come over me; the deeper my desire to protect my children becomes. By time they are fifty - I'll probably be a psychopath and jump out from the shadows with grenades and bazookas every time someone on the road tries to cut them off... Look out world. You have been warned.


As a Christian; and as a mother; I am trying my utmost best to raise them in a Biblical, godly, respectful, and well balanced manner while still trying to make them aware enough of the modern world to survive on their own when that day comes. It's a balancing act - let me tell you. Another thing I am trying to instill in them is: a childhood.

I want my children to be children; as long as they are. 1 Corinthians 13:11 (When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things) ... My children are 5, 4, and 1... they need to be taught and instructed to be respectful of their elders and to be obedient to their elders... to walk in God's ways... in His word... (Colossians 3:20, Deuteronomy 11:19, Proverbs 1:8-9, Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1-4, Proverbs 22:6) BUT - they also need to be appreciated by other people as BLESSINGS - THE blessings that they are... They need to be seen through the eyes of our Lord, not as burdens... not to be "seen and not heard"...

Psalm 127:3-5
Sons (children) are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 8:2
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

Matthew 18:2-6
He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.  But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Matthew 18:10
See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."  And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

Mark 9:36-37
He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them,  "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."


I bring these verses to mind because I was emailed by someone in our church, in regards to my children... the email eventually lead to a phone call between us; in which they expressed their concern and discontentment with my children's behavior during worship (primarily my 1 year old, but also my 5 year old when in the presence of another child) - and it wasnt just them, apparently it was a concern from several people in our small congregation.

Before I continue let me again repeat; my children are 5, 4, and 1... my church's worship is almost an hour long, sometimes an hour long... and my church building is an old garage converted into a fellowship place, kitchen, and mini kid's room. It's not exactly a large sanctuary where we can sit in the back and leave, or reprimand our children without much notice.

I would also like to point out that I am the ONLY one (only family) with small children present. (With the exception of one family, having nine children and their youngest is 6.. the older ones are ages 11-23) ... so again; if my babes cry or throw a fit; it's definitely noticeable.

These scenarios make it very difficult for my children to not not only sit through worship (or stand) contently, but make it very difficult for me to distract/entertain them. If I bring crayons and paper, they fight... or try and eat them... and the carpet in the fellowship area is light cream (almost white) so they are almost guaranteed to get crayons on the carpet, walls and chairs.. If I bring books, I have to actually read them out-loud which is distracting to others, a Tablet is again... distracting to others... and a potential item they will wrestle over and then potentially break... I can hold up to two of them, but then, at some magical point they will want down or be upset that the other is touching them and cry... whine... If my husband tries to help, again, the baby will be upset (because he is clingy right now)... If I let my baby run around in the back, he will eventually run up the isle... open a lady's purse... steal another kid's snack... You get the picture. All in all - its very difficult keeping my children "in check" by myself (and even with my husband's help) ... they're young. My kids are crazy and hyper and goofy and giggly. Beautiful children who are CHILDREN. Anyone with a small child knows this is common territory / common behavior of small ones, ESPECIALLY with small ones all near the same age... in a confined space. We would have been happy to chill (take turns) in the little kid's room/nursery area; but that door has been locked during worship because they are trying to keep the room nice for the kids to go to, during the Message. So, what am I supposed to do?

Well; let me tell you what has been suggested: Firstly; I am a young mother, so the assumption has been made that I don't know what I am doing. I also (apparently) don't know how to discipline my children, AND I don't know what is expected of me or my kids during church. Hmm... Let us think about this. I have five siblings, went to church my whole life, had to sit still or I would get my butt beat for causing embarrassment to my parents and distraction to those around me. I am fully aware of what is "expected" ... and I am also fully aware of what I am doing.

I understand my children are and have been a distraction to others; I understand the entire "spare the rod, spoil the child" philosophy and scripture - I was raised that way. I get it; I really do. I uh, happen to live it folks! What bothers me the most is: Wait for it. Moma Tiger Coming Out Of The Shadows.... They suggested I spank them severely - like they were spanked in Catholic School. That I do this in the middle of the fellowship, during worship, as a means of disciplining my children, training them to sit correctly and know what is expected of them.

Ya. They suggested that alright.

*growling deeply within*

Here is the problem with that 'suggestion' ... They are MY children and I will raise them and discipline them in the manner that I (my husband and I) choose. And; I will do so in a Biblical manner; using the "rod" if need be, BUT not forgetting they are CHILDREN. Not without giving them grace... It's ironic, isnt it, that children are expected to have all the grace and patience of adults, sitting quietly without a sound or complaint, are expected to not throw fits, or cry... Ironic they have the same expectations placed upon them as we have for adults... and yet; they are not adults. They are children. Not knowing how to emotionally and mentally process the idea of not doing what comes naturally to them.

And please dont get me wrong, I know full well that it is my job as their parent to TRAIN them how to be patient, how to sit still when they need to... it is my job to TEACH them to do these things; it is my responsibility to keep them "in line" - and I take the "blame" for not doing so... After all, that IS my job... And I am doing my job, keeping in mind that they are not perfect "little angels" ... that they are going to disobey me sometimes, that they are incapable to get it right away, or do it every single time I say/ask. I am training them diligently, with grace and mercy when they "fail".

I am personally offended at the jabs towards my mothering technique, or the "lack there of", I am furious *mother tiger syndrome* at the suggestion to beat their buns for being what they are; children; (and as a side note, any parent knows if you spank a child in ANY public setting the crying and screaming escalates and reaches decibels you never knew were possible; so ya, that'd go over REALLY well in the middle of worship without causing any further distraction, right? *sarcasm* OF COURSE RIGHT!) But I think the thing I am most saddened and disappointed by is the lack of grace, the lack of understanding.. and the lack of community within our fellowship.

If I watch my children like a hawk, then I am deprived of worship... if I get lost in worship and forsake my kids (even for a moment) I am causing someone else to be deprived! It's a Catch-22...  Quite a few of these people who complained and made suggestions were once parents to small children... have been in my shoes... so where is the understanding and grace? Where is the offer of help? Where is the helping hand they "see I desperately need"?

I've seen mothers slap their child's hand for touching their clothing during dinner, because they are "being messy" ... seen kids sit stone wall during services, with little to no emotion (being "obedient"; living up to expectations)  ...  and I will be honest; I see those things and they break my heart. I want and desire for my children to be children while they are children... and if that means a messy couch covered in bananas... and apples with one bite out of them forsaken on the stairs... than that is the kind of childhood I am going to give them. That is the mother I am.

I will/am training my children to listen, to obey, be respectful as best as I can, but only with expectations and standards appropriate to their age. And if that offends you so much; I am sorry it offends you; but I am not sorry for giving my children the best childhood that I possibly can - for letting them be children - because in the blink of an eye, they will be grown and this time with them is limited... precious.

I truly wish others could see children through my eyes... through the eyes of Yeshua/Jesus. As joys and delights, not burdens or distractions... not as problems to be solved, but as blessings to relish in.

Mother Tiger
-Soap Box Special-