Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Is Heaven for Real?

Oh, those wonderful TV commericals...

Right after our first visit to Crossroads, J saw a commerical for the movie "Is Heaven for Real?".  He immediately began requesting to watch it. 

At first, I kind of blew it off - not sure I wanted to go there with him just yet.  Of course it is for real.  That's where Great Grandparents and our dogs have gone.  They live at a prime age.  No arthritis pain or memory loss - just everyone at their prime - living joyfully.

But he kept asking.  Sometimes totally out of the blue. 

So, being the bookworm I am, let's read the book, so I could get a feel for what it says before sharing with him.  Only, the book had some pretty negative reviews that I really did not want to share with J at his tender age.

Option 2 - the movie.

I reached out to my friends on Facebook, and got back wide-spread, resounding - share with J. 

So this weekend, we did.  And we were entranced.

I liked it backed up what we've taught him.  It reinforced Heaven is indeed for real.  That children have had the opportunity to see him, and still be here on Earth is confusing, and honestly - I think a tad over his head - since he hasn't asked a lot of questions.  I'm expecting the first to be - Why?  Why that child and not me?

And I won't lie, I question that as well.

But I'm glad to see God still opens doors to reinforce Faith of the Masses.  We have to believe in what we can't see.  It's an amazing thing.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Small blessings - Sleep

Monkey hates to sleep.  HATES it.  NEEDS it.  And still hates it.

He also hates to get up in the morning.

So early bedtimes are a must in my world.  Whether he wants them or not...

Currently, I am going into my slam busy time at work.  Thankfully, I am less slammed this year than I have been in past years at this time, but slammed nonetheless.  So a tired boy on Sunday = an early bedtime.

As we wound down & crawled in for our bedtime snuggles... J's eyes spotted the neighbor girls outside playing.

Granted it was 6:35, an hour before any normal best case bedtime. 

Oh my... I thought we were going to lose our mind.  He waited a few minutes, and looked again - thankfully the 5 year old next door was not visible.  So he only saw the two 4 year olds from across the street.  To which he replied... They were lucky they didn't have school in the morning. 

And with the *knowledge* of the 5 year not being seen, therefore must have also been called in for bedtime, J was peacefully and blissfully asleep by 7:05pm.

When I woke him up this morning at 6:15, he did not have to be drug out of bed.  He hopped out ready to start the day.

And that is such a sweet blessing to start my 12 consecutive day work week, I'm just going to be thankful for small blessings.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sunshine on a rough day...

This week, I received a phone call from J's teacher.

During a water break of his martial arts, I asked him...

What would you say, if I told you Miss B called me today?



Um... I'd say - I was bad today.

His utter and complete honesty was made my next reveal more heartwarming than I can possibly capture into words.

She did say the entire class had a rough day listening and following directions, but that she was calling because wanted to give you kudos for being the only one out of 24 kids to say "I'm sorry" for said obnoxiousness.



Later when he listened to the full voicemail, he was so happy.  He was proud of being recognized for his manners, even after a rough day.

I'm so happy he, 100% on his own, thought to be thoughtful and apologetic.  I'm even happier his teacher knew to acknowledge that fact.

Small victories can be huge in the life of a 6 year old.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lifetime Goals

As a parent, I've always wanted the *best* for J.  What does that mean though? 

I used to think it was about being successful in life equaled grades today and financial success tomorrow.  It's quantitative.  We can measure success on a standardized basis.

Now, I'm leaning more toward this quote I read in a #DaveDaily

You'll never be happy if you chase money all your life.  Find real joy through giving and serving others.

What is really wild about this, in listening to those Crossroads Church past sermons, I heard one on trusting God.  I could probably give more to the Church, if I truly trusted God would ensure I had enough. 

I'm not thinking all crazy, but how many times have I given less than I could afford, preferring to save that money for a material possession that loses its appeal in a heartbeat?  I don't want that for J.  I think my quest to calm my wanton heart was sparked by a little boy who always asks for more toys, even though he has some not even opened yet at home.

It was eye opening for me.

My reaction initially was less than stellar parenting.  When I trusted in God and asked for His guidance, and working with Mr. M - my reaction has mellowed.  In response, I've noticed a real change in J as well.  Last week, we were shopping for gifts for birthday parties he was attending.  He without reservation, was completely okay with leaving his beloved toy section with gifts for his friends, and none for himself.  He did so happily.

This week I was complimented on his manners.  I shared that with him.  I saw the joy it gave him.  I hope I can keep instilling in him the real things that matter, and temper those worldly materialistic traps.

Money does not buy happiness.  It does not buy a hug or bedtime snuggle.  It makes life easier, but if we truly trust in God to ensure we have enough - then it shouldn't be the measure we use to determine success.  Maybe that needs to be looked at through the qualitative measures we can so easily and often overlook.

I pray that J finds success in life.  Success that only living to honor God can bring.  Then I will be assured J will not only find success, but happiness and peace as well.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reaping what you sow...

Galatians 6:7-9 ESV
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

I've begun listening to sermons while I work.  It's amazing what catches in your mind, as you work through other items.  Probably a sign of attention deficit or some other inability to be totally focused disorder, but it works for me.  It's how I process things that need to be chewed on rather than just acknowledged.

One item that has been gnawing at me, is people who feel they can act however they want, and have no repercussion. 
  • Never pick up the phone, but hold to consequence those who do not call
  • Judge, but attack those who judge them
  • Hold grudges, but attack those with grudges
I've long since realized I am not perfect.  I hold no moral high road.  In the past year, as I've felt a strong calling to God, I've truly tried to become more moral.  More loving.  More modest in frivolous items.

I've recently found myself praying for God to calm my wanton heart.  I still want for the frivolous things, but I'm highlighting those wants in myself as being shallow and not in sync with my overall goals.  Teach J to love, be loved.  To accept responsibility for his actions.  To act kindly.  To think of others before himself.  To be happy.

To realize he is blessed with enough.

We may not have everything, but we have enough. 

Today, as my brain gnaws on how to respond to a passive aggressive comment I recently received, this idea of reaping what you sow comes to mind.  And with it, I'm seeing I need to work harder and better with J to overcome our resistance to be in contact with people who sow negativity.  People who do not dial our number, but hold me in contempt for not dial her number. 

If I want my phone to ring, I need to do a better job of ringing others.

God, today I ask you to not only calm my worries, but also to give me strength as I reach out in the spirit of love, that I may not encounter the expected negativity and snark, but be blessed with joy.  Let my seeds of happiness plant, where now lies weeds of despair.  Help me to speak in Your Honor and carry myself with Your Grace.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Catching a glimpse into his teenage years

This weekend was a busy one for us.  Monkey had two birthday parties.  First one was an old friend from FRA.  It was so nice to get to see our old friends.  Moms got to catch up, something that there never seems to be enough time for in day to day life.

Due to the first party, we attended Sunday Service, and again - J loved it.  He came out singing "In the beginning, in the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth".  On our walk to the car, he is bubbling over with JOY.  Another couple overhears him as his excitedly tells me how during the Q&A section of his class, he got tell he knew God created Eve from the rib of Adam.  The couple giggled at his excitement & said "He's got that one!"  He is such a sponge, because in all honesty, it was a message I had just told him last week when he was asking me who were the first humans on earth. 


The second was for a new classmate.  I was excited to get to meet new moms, and while J was over the moon having a great time - I have to be honest Mommy didn't really get to meet anyone beyond the new classmate's mom.  She was super sweet, but having been in her shoes - I understand - her priority was hosting the party. 

On the flip side, by mommy having no one to chat with, she got to watch J without distraction.  It was in this time, I caught a glimpse of him as he will hopefully be in his teen years.

Happy, laughing, being the center of it all - and the object of a beautiful little girl's affection.  Chloe was her name.  And she sat behind J on the bleachers, wrapped her arms loosely around his shoulders and pulled him back so his head was resting on her stomach.  Would be such a natural thing to witness, if he were 15, but at six and half it was heart-wrenching.  I'm not ready to give up his innocence.

Chloe's mom & I had a commiserating laugh over this siting later when I caught her & shared what I saw.  Bless my heart was her response.  I assured her - J still believes he has to be 30 to kiss a girl, but that we can discuss when he's 18.  Truly - if I make it till he's 10, I'll be thrilled. 

More importantly, I want to keep the openness to communicate.  Right now, in the dark as we are snuggling before bed after prayers, he will talk to me.  I hope we always keep that.  It's probably the number 1 reason I make a point to snuggle him every night possible. 

One day, he will not want these snuggles. I hope - even then - he will talk to me as he does today.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

and then I'm humbled, yet again.

This morning, as we were wrapping up reading he was simply to tired to complete last night with any chance at retaining information for his comprehension test today, I took a moment to ask J if he knew anything about report cards being published.

Hey Bud... Did Ms. B. mentioned she posted report cards?

No.  How'd I do?

Well, what would  you say if I said something other than great.

I'd be really sad.

Then I'm thrilled to tell you, you did great.  You've worked really hard and you got a B in reading and As in everything else!

Complete with a huge hug & kiss.  He rejoiced in this excitement with a double fisted pull down of YES!!!

Mr. M joined us at that point & reinforced how great J did.  Even lightly treaded over knowing J struggles with reading - so if he gets all As next time - we will figure out a special reward.  Not something to be decided today, but one we can discuss and jointly agree upon. 

Last year's reward for an A average on his spelling tests was his loft bed he got upon graduation. 

But his answer has stuck with me.  He is such a dedicated and hard worker.  I'm in awe of him so often, I realize I need to dial it back and let him motivate himself.  He obviously gets it.  At 1st grade, he gets schoolwork is important.  He realizes, that we want him to be successful at it.  He didn't want to do his reading last night or this morning, but when the alternative to doing it was going into class without me signing off on his reading sheet - he did it - happily. 

So many times I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall, but reality is - he is listening.  He is learning.  He is developing the sense of importance on things that are important to me.  Recently he has started making a big deal about getting and hold the door open for me as we enter or exit a place. 

As with other things in my life, I need to cast my worries to the Lord in regards to parenting.  Why I seem to think I can control anything on my own, is beyond me at this moment.  I've proven time and again, we I am in charge, instead of letting God drive - everything is worse.  Thankfully, He has the power to intervene and generally forces me back into his loving comfort before I can cause permanent damage.

And today, I believe He was opening my eyes in regards to parenting J. 

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.