Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Visit to the Park

I've been trying to motivate myself to do more fun things specifically for Mary each day after we drop Charlotte off at school. So today, we went to the park at 7:40 AM. I wasn't even sure it would be open that early, but thankfully it was!

Despite the sand pit being closed, Mary still had a good time. I tried to discourage her from taking the sand toys out of the bag, but she insisted and said, "dat's otay. me can petend!" This is her using her sand toys to make us some breakfast. In this case, it might have turned out better that the sand pit was closed.

Later she called out to me, "de eggs are almo done honey!" For some reason she calls me her honey, which I don't mind at all. I have all sorts of nick names for her too. My favorite though is May-May, which comes from how she normally says her own name. Recently though, she's been trying to say it more like Mare-a, which sounds much more like her actual name.

Because the ground was wet, Mary got a little creative and made what she called a "foot parade." It was so exciting to me to see how excited she got each time she made a new set of footprints. I wish I had thought to get a close up of some of the foot prints... her toes are still so little and they made the cutest dots above the rest of her foot.

She also consented to some video footage... though it took a little more convincing. These are mostly here for the enjoyment of my family, but hey, the rest of you can feel free to watch too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Is God Really Sovereign?

I am so glad that, as a follower of Christ, I am called to think differently. Were it not for Christlike thinking, I'd find myself stuck in sorrow, fear, and dread far more often. I am human of course and do deal with these issues, but faith in Christ gives me a place to go with my fear and my dread and my sorrow.

In my life, this hasn't just been a theoretical idea either. Recently, two situations in my life tested how much I really believed what I wrote about thinking differently. To understand where I am coming from, you may recall a post I wrote last Spring called "Motherhood and God's Sovereignty."

About 2 weeks after I wrote that post, I had my 20-week ultrasound. In it, the ultrasound tech thought she noticed a club foot. Her findings were inconclusive, so we eventually had another ultrasound. As it turns out, our son does have a right club foot.

At the time of my post on God's sovereignty I wondered if my thoughts were the natural progression on my faith journey or if God had revealed that knowledge to me at that time for a specific reason. As it turns out, He was being intentional in my thought process about His sovereignty. Pretty cool if you ask me.

I do not fear dealing with a club foot. My research over the last couple of months tells me it will not be easy, particularly when we get into the bracing phase, but a club foot can be addressed.

The other situation that tested my belief in God's control was harder to deal with. It came on more suddenly and was more severe. Fortunately, I had a couple of people I could go to in that short time who pointed me back to the truths of scripture and reminded me that, for a Christian, there is no bad news from the doctor.

In late July we found a lump in Charlotte's groin. She has slipped in the pool earlier in the day so my first thought was that she had a hernia. A doctor's appointment led to an ultrasound which showed no hernia and suggested she had an enlarged lymph node. We were told that, if the lymph node didn't return to normal in a few weeks, she'd refer us for a biopsy. This also led to blood work which showed she was anemic.

Let me pause here to tell you that Dr. Google is not a mother's best friend! You'd think I would have learned that lesson when Mary was born, but I'm stubborn!

The results from her blood work came about 4:15 on a Friday afternoon. Great timing. Knowing we had a surgical consult just a few days later provided some relief, but let me tell you... I spent quite a bit of the weekend laying on Charlotte's bed praying for her, hoping that we would not be walking the path of a child with cancer (Google's logical conclusion of a swollen lymph node, anemia, and the absence of an infection). A friend who was aware of the situation emailed me to make sure I stopped Googling everything. Of course Bruce and I prayed together and read scripture together to be encouraged that God is in control of even our smallest details.

As it turns out, the surgeon thinks the initial ultrasound was wrong and that Charlotte really does have a hernia. It's not causing her any pain or discomfort, so we are just keeping an eye on it. And giving her a multivitamin with 100% of her RDA of iron for the anemia, which will be rechecked in a couple of months.

In the end... these circumstances are but a small test of my faith. I am no more at risk of losing a family member than I was before I knew about the medical issues we could be facing as a family. I am grateful that God spared me from watching Charlotte fight cancer, but I like to think that, had we been called to walk that road... I would have remained grateful to God for the opportunity to praise Him in that storm as well.

"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, through praise and thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Phillippians 4:6-7

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Being a SAHM to One

The adjustment to taking a child to school every day has gone fairly well. We've developed a few morning and evening routines that certainly make getting out the door much easier. I've tested them by waking up late or neglecting the routines in the evening... without them, things start to unravel quickly. And rushing to get out the door is no fun for any of us!

One thing that I thought about this morning, and surprised myself with, is that I'm kind of back to being lonely as a SAHM. Sure, I may have complained about Charlotte's constant chatter, but now that she had gotten old enough to have actual conversations, I did enjoy her company more.

Mary plays wonderfully by herself. Which is great in so many ways. I can be more productive if I choose to be since she can occupy herself making up great stories with her Littlest Pet Shops or coloring several pages. In fact, I think she prefers playing alone to playing with me.

I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.I looked back over my schedule for the last month and see that I was avoiding that loneliness by keeping Mary and I super busy. Some of the busy-ness was a great fill for my loneliness - it involved spending long mornings with friends or going to MOPS. But the rest of it... Facebook and Pinterest and whatever else caught my fancy online... not so much.

As always, the solution to this issue is to learn contentment with where I am. And to stop wasting gas money driving around town filling my day with errands!

How do you deal with loneliness? What do you use to fill the void left by major changes in your daily schedule?