Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Fighting Cobras



Here is a picture of Major. Yesterday, he appeared wearing cowboy boots, and carrying this lunchbox and said, "I wearin' Grumpy's boots. I goin' to wuk." He may have seen his Grumpy (Josh's Dad) with a briefcase, or maybe noticed the laptop that Josh takes to work every day. I thought it was pretty cute.



Mary Alice is playing soccer. I had envisioned her on a team with girls, but her team is coed. We had a little bit of trouble at her second soccer game today. She refused to play. Her first game went well. It was so cute to watch her run around on the field with a big smile on her face THE WHOLE TIME. So sweet. She did complain that she didn't want to get sweaty, but that was the extent of the problems we faced at her first game. Today, however, was a different story. Let me just say that Mary Alice had a bad day. She (like her mother) is prone to emotional breakdowns on occasion. Today she firmly decided that she didn't want to play soccer. We got out to the field and she started crying and saying that she didn't want to play soccer, that she was too "tired" and that she didn't want to "feel sweaty". She said that she just wanted to "go home and stay in her bed all day". She is going to have to get over that. She has regressed. My sweet little smiling soccer player was replaced with a character that we call "complaining Connie" in our house. She would have nothing to do with soccer, but instead sat in the grass on the sidelines talking with another hesitant girl on her team about things like ice cream and spending the night at each other's houses.

To help her get out of her funk, Josh did something that I was really proud of. It was very hard, but we didn't feel like it was okay for her to not be a part of the team and to cry on the sidelines. After much gentle encouraging by us to get out there and be a "joyful Josie" (the other character that sometimes frequents our house) she made up her mind that she not only was she not going to play, but there was no way that she was going to be joyful. After the game, Josh took her to a local park where he had her run laps. She was so cute and thouroughly enjoyed doing it. She didn't complain at all. Josh ran her until she was adequately "sweaty" and had gotten a little bit of exercise (the reason we signed her up for soccer in the first place.) She was a little out of breath when she got into the car and did mention that she was a little bit sweaty, but wasn't overly traumatized. We took her home and, after a good lunch, put her to bed "for the rest of the day". She took a nap and is now sitting on her bed, where she will stay until dinner. Remember, this was her request to "stay in her bed all day". She keeps asking me if I have made dinner yet. Staying in her room is such hard stuff. We did allow her to have a few books, but she has to stay in her bed. Hopefully, this will help her attitude to be a little bit better for next week's soccer game. We'll wait and see.

I won't defend her too much, but her last three soccer practices were cancelled at the last minute, so it has actually been a few weeks since she has even seen any of these kids. She has only officially had one practice and basically has no idea what is going on on the field. She does know that she doesn't like her coach very much (not because of him, just because he's a guy). She is hesitant to befriend men (a trait that I am very excited about and hope stays with her), so she really hasn't bonded with her coach yet, but prefers his wife. I also need to give an example of how little she actually understands soccer and sports in general. On the way to her first practice, I explained how she needed to listen to her coach and do what he told her to do. "Mom, why do you keep saying 'coach'? That is that thing on Cinderella." Maybe she isn't destined to be a star soccer player, but we're going have her finish out this season on the field, not on the sidelines.

Go Cobras!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Dumb Diarrhea Diet

The kids have been rather restless lately. We have been overcome here by some sort of a weird illness that resembles dysentery. Well, mainly Mary Alice. Seriously! The girl has had diarrhea for a month! After the first two weeks of on and off diarrhea, I called the doctor, VERY concerned. I had already had the girl practically fasting for a week or so, with little results. The doctor's office calmly told me to put her on a diet, with bread, water, no fruits except bananas, and plain, ungreasy meat. They said to keep her on the diet until she was "regular" then to keep her on the diet for three days after she was "regular". THIS DIET IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!! I kept her on the diet for two more weeks. It helped significantly, but she has yet to be back to normal. Today marks the three day point of her being semi-regular. Like an idiot, I gave her one SMALL piece of cheese with her plain bread and lunchmeat sandwich. Of course, the ria returned!!!

I called the doctor AGAIN, explaining that Mary Alice has now had diarrhea for a month, that her abdomen looks like she's nine months pregnant, that she has gas, that she complains about her stomach hurting on occasion. "Does she have fever?" they asked. No. "Is she lethargic?" No. "Is she acting normal?" Yes (with the exception of the occasional complaining about her tummy hurting or her bottom hurting). "Everything should be fine. There is no need to be concerned."

WHAT?? I fear that my daughter has a parasite. I have done MUCHO research on such conditions as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, appendicitis, giardia, and other such horrible infirmities. I really really really am tired of being given the runaround. I am wondering how long it is going to take for these people to DO SOMETHING. I realize that I'm not a doctor (despite the fact that every time I've gone to one I've already determined the problem via my savvy use of the internet), isn't diarrhea for a month a bit of a red flag??? Not to mention the retarded diet that Mary Alice is on... In fact, now that I think about it, maybe her nine month pregnant tummy is due to the fact that she is MALNOURISHED!! She told me yesterday that she was very "sick of this diet". Don't blame her. I am not exactly sure what I am going to do to get the doc's attention, yet. Any ideas?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Hymns..

There is something so beautiful and so comforting to me about hymns. I really love words and have come to appreciate the value of a good hymn. I definitely don't use words like "Thy" in my everyday speech. The things that come out of my mouth are far from a line of poetry, but I still love to sing the works of others. Here are the lyrics to some of my favorites...

Be Still My Soul

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and bless├Ęd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, be leaving, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.


Jesus What A Friend For Sinners (my favorite hymn ever...)

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.

Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Jesus! what a Strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my victory wins.

Jesus! what a Help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my Comfort, helps my soul.

Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.

Jesus! I do now adore Him,
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.





Thursday, March 02, 2006

If I Could Put Time (and Jeannie) In a Bottle

At BSF last week, the speaker said something that really interested me. She always says thought provoking things, but I felt like this time her statement really applied to me and what I've been dealing with. She began by talking about how we have more time on our hands than practically any civilization ever. She said that even 100 years ago, the majority of people worked from dawn till dusk. She quoted some notable person who posed the questions: "If you are a man, do you spend more time shaving than on your soul?" and "If you are a woman, do you spend more time putting on your makeup each day than on your soul?" She went on to talk about prioritizing our time and how we should choose the things of God first before our daily to do list. She stated that we should "try a little negligence" in our earthly duties and put God first. She said that the key to a godly life is godly prioritization.

For me, who already feels negligent enough of my roles as a helper to my husband and keeper at home, this really challenged me. I don't always feel a desire to be in God's Word. I do, however, feel the desire to watch television. I don't always spend time in prayer. I do, however, like my "personal time" on the computer or on the phone with a friend. This just really made me think about how I prioritize my time. Am I wasting my life on entertainment (some of which teaches the opposite of what is taught in Scripture)? Do I work harder at my relationships with friends than on my relationship with God? Just some things I have been thinking about lately. The answer, sadly, for me is yes. I am sorry to say that lately, my makeup application process has taken more time than I have spent reading the Bible.

Another thing to think about: I recently met a wonderful woman by the name of Jeannie. She attends BSF with me. From some of the things she has said, I've gathered that she attends a church that is what you might call "holy roller" or "charasmatic". I have learned so much from this woman in the way that she deals with people. She tells it like it is. She isn't afraid to confront sin. Just recently, I was talking to her about a certain situation in my life that was causing me great anxiety. Very lovingly, she said to me "Don't you know girl, you shouldn't worry about anything. Worry is a sin!"

She's kindof funny, that Jeannie. Picture a fifty something Avon saleswoman (lots and lots of makeup) who talks like a character from Steel Magnolias. (Dolly Parton combined with the new Christian played by Darryl Hannah) She always says things like, "Girl, don't you know God is good!" and "I'm tellin' ya, girl!" and "Hey sister, how's your walk?" also "Preach it, sister!" SERIOUSLY, she says this. At first she made me uncomfortable. When I first met her, I didn't really think I wanted to get to know her any further. Now, what I see is a slightly eccentric, but definitely on fire for the Lord woman who "preaches it" through her walk and, more than that... her TALK. She is so joyful! It is very contagious.

Another thing she did that really stood out to me was this: She was visiting with some of her friends at the beauty shop. These women were her friends and were contemplating going to see the movie Brokeback Mountain. When asked if she was going to see it Jeannie firmly replied, "No, girl! I'm not going to see that movie. The Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord and a sin! I won't be going to see that! No way!" When Jeannie told this story, I was dumbfounded. If someone had asked me, I might've replied with something like, "No thanks." or "I don't think I want to support that." Not Jeannie! She comes right out with what the Bible says about things. Not "I think" but "God says" It has just made an impression on me lately that I need to be more bold and that I need to think about what God says about the things that I am doing with my time and where I am allowing my mind to dwell. I know this, I think that there will be plenty of "Jeannies" in Heaven one day, because she focuses on what pleases her Father. A joy like Jeannie's attracts people to her, because they know whose she is and they get no mixed messages about what she stands for.

Not wanting to be preachy, just wanted to share some things that I found applicable to my own life right now. I haven't been the best at prioritizing. How are you spending your time?