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Friday, October 21, 2011

Mother of Four

I have found myself doing things lately that I never thought I would do. These things might solely be attributed to my personality but I think it's because I'm now a mother of four. I'm not sure where the tipping point was, probably somewhere between kids 2 and 4, but desperate times call for desperate measures!

You know you are a mother of four when...
  • You can feed a baby and change its diaper without lifting your head off the pillow. 
  • A small smear of infant poop on your shirt isn't a good enough reason to change it. (I would have changed if it had been stinky, big kid poop, but the newborn variety seems so benign).
  • Your neighbors don't recognize you when you don't have your brood with you. 
  • You can go through three wrong names before you remember the name of the child standing in front of you. 
  • You try using the 3-2-1 countdown on your husband. 
  • You fake having to go to the bathroom to get a few minutes to yourself. (Not that it matters because someone always follows you and sticks their fingers under the door or knocks on it like Sheldon Cooper)
  • You carry your baby upstairs in a basket of laundry to save yourself a second trip.
  • You are in a public place and can take child number 3 to the bathroom and the drinking fountain with out taking child number 4 off the boob or exposing yourself. Twice. 
  • 4 out of 7 days during the week you trade your shower for an extra 30 min of sleep. 
  • Your infant drops the pacifier under the dinner table for the third time you use your toes to pick it up by the handle, wipe it off on your pants and had it back. 
  • You feel entitled to the Nobel Peace prize when you can get them all to take an afternoon nap at the same time. 
  • Going to the dentist or doctor by yourself feels like a mini vacay. 
  • If the the temperature is right, you park in the garage and let the kiddos continue their nap there rather than take the chance they won't stay asleep if you try and transfer them to their beds. 
  • You are walking hand in hand with your hubby and you can't get used to holding a hand larger than your own. 
  • You find yourself clearing the dishes from one meal so you can set the table for the next. 
  • Your kids see you cleaning up and want to know who is coming over. 
  • You get your kids to help by playing Simon Says. "Simon says touch your nose! Simon says pick up two books and put them in the book case!"
  • You dress your children from the laundry basket more often than from their dresser
  • It takes you a week to finish this blog because you only get to blog on your phone while you nurse and that means doing it 20 minutes at a time and all with one thumb.   

I'm sure there are lots more too. Feel free to add any that you find yourself doing as well!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Veggie Tales Theology

Wednesday was a rough homework day. I'm not sure why homework time often brings me to tears, but it does. I probably cry more about my kid's homework than anything else. Maybe it's because I am brought face to face with the challenges my kids with special needs have. Maybe it's because I'm faced with my own inadequacy to help them overcome them. It's probably both.

I was working with Mila on her homework for kindergarten. This is a new thing for both of us and Mila, as in all things, presents challenges when it comes to accomplishing the task. The brain hemorrhage she experienced at birth has caused significant cognitive impairment. Her recent EEG shows that she has episodes of slow brain function. While we honestly feel like there is more going on in that little brain of hers than she, at times, would have us privy to, her inability to focus prevents us from knowing what's really going on in there. Mila sat, flapping her hands and wringing her fingers, eyes darting in every which way as I repeatedly asked her to tell me something that started with an S. Mila has all her letters and their sounds down pat, yet in the 5 mins I patiently sat and asked her again and again, she said nothing. We moved on. I pointed to the drawing of a sock and asked her what it was and what letter it started with. Still nothing. I know she knows this!! As I sat and watched her, flapping, wiggling, head bobbing around, the image of a group of middle aged people from an adult day care center that frequent our local mall came to my mind. That's not exactly what I had in mind when we brought her home. While her progress since joining our family has been remarkable, I was hoping more for the miraculous. Her life itself is a miracle. Couldn't I...shouldn't I expect God to perform more of them? It's not like there is a limit... "Gee, I'm sorry, fresh out of miracles!". So why was I sitting there beating my head against a wall? Why, despite my redirecting, begging and pleading, was she on another planet. She's as dumb as a door nail (I'm just being honest, that is literally the thought that ran through my mind). God, what am I doing? Better yet, what are you doing? Why isn't she doing better than this? I don't know what to do with her!! The tears began to fall as I imagined her as a grown woman on her weekly field trip to the mall's food court. And then I heard God calling to me from the living room. Ok, so it wasn't ACTUALLY His voice, it was the DVD player, but it might as well have been. Veggie Tales was on, again.

Don't cry, Daniel
Fear not, Daniel
Don't you know you're not alone
There is One who is watching you
He hears you when you pray
And though it seems like there is no way out
God has made a way

God you are so faithful to speak to me, even if it is through a bunch of vegetables.

I don't know what "a way" means exactly. I don't know when "a way" will become apparent. But it will. I was reminded of this again in worship that night as we sang Healer.

You hold my very moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You, I trust in You

I believe You're my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe

And I believe You're my portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus You're all I need

Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for You
You hold my world in Your hands

So true. While I know all these things in my head, sometimes it's honestly hard to believe it in my heart. I know that God is fully capable of restoring Mila's brain, but will He? Why wouldn't He? Wouldn't that be the best thing for her? Or am I being selfish, wanting what is best for me, so I don't feel like a failure? Ah, there's the kicker. Maybe this is about my pride, I struggle with it so often. But God if this is about my pride, don't make her suffer to make me humble. Isn't there a better way to teach me this? Hmmm... Sounds like I'm about to start bargaining with Him. But I know better.

In every trial I've faced in life I've taken the perspective that God wants me to learn something from them. But as I sit on the floor of the office, huddled next to the homework table, I'm tired of learning. Of course if I was done learning, if God was finished with me then what would be the point of my life? And besides God is more concerned with my character than my comfort. I know that He doesn't always answer the way I want Him to and I've been through enough to know that He is God and I am not. I trust that He knows what's best for me, I may not always like it, but I trust him. He has never failed me.

So, as I learn to reconcile my faith to His will I'll continue to let the wisdom of Bob and Larry resonate in my soul and proclaim that nothing is impossible while I earnestly pray for a complete and miraculous healing of my daughter.