I do not even WANT to think of the amount of time I have spent trying to get a good picture of Graham. Today at the park we finally had a bit of success. My thanks to the guy on the giant lawn mower/leaf picker-upper that drove through at the park and captured Graham's attention long enough for me to take some pics.
The election is one week away. It seemed like it would never arrive, and now that it is finally almost here, I find myself becoming more discouraged with every passing day. If you believe the polls (which I generally do not put a lot of stock in), a McCain/Palin supporter could be led to believe it is over. And if that is true, we could be on the cusp of an America we barely recognize. An America where even the most basic rights under the constitution (the right to life, the right to freedom of speech, the right to bear arms) would be in jeopardy. Its not about political issues anymore. Its about righteousness and our basic freedoms. The very foundation our country was built upon is being jeopardized. I am only 32 years old and I never dreamed I would live to see a day where this sort of thing is happening in our country. If someone dares say something against Barack Obama, they are investigated and defamed. This scares me to death. Things are moving so fast. I wonder what sort of world my children will be living in. Am I preparing them for what is to come? Am I prepared? How can my prayers really make a difference in the larger scheme of world events? All these questions have been bumping around in my ahead and fear has been gripping my heart. But then I remembered whose side I am on. My prayers are not my own. I have the power of the creator of the universe dwelling in me, and he makes sense of my jumbled and inadequate prayers. As believers in Christ, we need to wake up. Its not too late for prayer. This morning I took some time to pray for our country, something I should have been doing long before now (instead of being afraid). I did not pray for John McCain to win. I did pray that God's will would be accomplished and that, no matter what, Christians would be given the strength to endure anything we may have to go through in the future. That is all I can do, and that is more than enough. The scripture I believe He has given me through all of this is: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged for the LORD YOUR GOD IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO." Deuteronomy 31:6.
Imagine you are the owner of a company. Its a small company, but your employees require quite a lot from you as their owner/manager. You are not only in charge of the training of your employees, you are also required to care for their basic needs, some of whom lack even the simplest of skills. You must also provide meals for your employees, which you will cook yourself, and you must listen as what you have lovingly prepared is subject to descriptions such as "yucky" and "horrible." You are also in charge of maintaining the safety of your employees. Remember, some of them lack even the most basic skills to keep themselves safe. You will have to make sure at every waking hour that your employees have not put something in their mouths that could make them sick/choke them, or have accidentally walked onto the street while playing outside. You will constantly be afraid of something happening to your employees. At your company, you are also in charge of all building maintenance. You will spend hours fixing and cleaning the building, only to have your employees trash your hard work in a matter of a few minutes. You will then be expected to start all over again and clean up after them. As building maintenance supervisor, you are required to keep inventory of all needed supplies such as food, clothing and cleaning supplies. You must attempt to get all supplies at the cheapest possible price so as to keep your company in the black. Not only are you responsible for the training, safety and basic care of your employees and all building maintenance, you will also handle all conflicts between your employees. You will try to provide successful conflict resolution between your employees, but most of the time you will fail and the conflict will continue. As owner of your company, you will head up the company "fun committee." As head of this committee you are expected to provide fun activities for your employees. Not only should the activities be fun, they should be educational. Should you resort to the television as your "fun activity," you will feel guilty. As owner of your company, you will need to get used to your "friends" guilt and fear. They will be your constant companions as you perform your job duties. Now imagine you don't ever get to leave your job. You must work at all hours of the day, every day. At night, you may sleep for a few hours, but you must continue to be on call should one of your employees have a problem. Should you ever get the chance to take a brief break away from your company and your employees, you must carry a cell phone with you so someone can reach you should your employees have any issues. If you attempt to do your OWN fun activity at your company, you will be constantly harassed by your employees who will undoubtedly need you the entire time you are trying to do your activity. Then, (you guessed it!) you will feel guilty that you are not being a better employer. You must perform all of the above job requirements to the best of your abilities (but even then, you will doubt yourself and wonder if you are running your company into the ground). Oh, and there is no monetary compensation or vacation. Welcome to the world of motherhood, where you will be amazed at the things you will do for love.
Here's some odds and ends from our life recently because I haven't been feeling compelled to write anything truly interesting lately:
*I am finally feeling inspired to get my house in order. It has been fun to pull everything together and to organize closets. I have a linen closet for the first time! I have always wanted one. I go to the closet at least twice per day and open it up and just look at all of the neatly folded and labeled linens. Pathetic, I know. *I am sick to death of the political world, as I am sure everyone else is. Election day cannot come soon enough. *Graham has been sick off and on and has been working on his first set of molars. Therefore, he has been miserable. It is like having a newborn again (the child never sleeps anymore) without the perk of laying him down and knowing he can't go anywhere. He is constantly on the move-even when he doesn't really want to be. He is just obsessed with discovery. *Although he doesn't have quite the gift of gab that Isaac had (let's all breathe a sigh of relief), Graham is acquiring his little library of words. He now says: mama, dada, papa, Isaac, up, out, shoes, (those last three all relate to him being on the move), baba (bottle), and he actually said, "elephant" the other day, believe it or not. Graham only says what is absolutely necessary for him to function in life. (unlike his older brother who talks our ears off.)He can make the sound of a monkey, and I am working with him on other animal noises. He is TOTALLY into books and LOVES to just sit for extended periods of time on my lap going through books. Isaac never did that, so it is fun for me. *Dave started seeing families in counseling part time last week. I think he will really enjoy it.
This entire song has always spoken straight to my heart. It seems as though the entire salvation story is represented in its words. The whole thing, from beginning to end, really gets to me. The words that particularly speak to me are these:
"No guilt in life. No fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me. From life's first cry, to final breath, JESUS COMMANDS MY DESTINY. No power of Hell, No scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand. Til he returns, or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand."
Tonight Isaac, Dave and I were cuddling together before we put Isaac to bed and Isaac said, "Mama, I like coming home." (he had been at his cousin's house all day). Then he said, "The Lord gives us everything we need." We had been talking a lot about that lately. Isaac has a song on one of his CD's and the words are, "I like to think about the goodness of the Lord. He gives us everything we need and so much more." Whenever it comes on, I turn it way up and the two of us sing as loud as we can as we are driving in the car. It is a great lesson for him, and an even better reminder for me. God is Faithful. His provision in my life is more than enough. Sometimes its hard living on one income. There are so many times I think about the things we could have if I worked full time...a new vehicle, a bigger house, more scrapbooking toys...the list is endless. But, when it comes down to it, we have everything we need, and SO much more. And, learning to live with less has been a great lesson in self-control for me. I am not saying I don't still have those moments of weakness at Hobby Lobby :) but I have changed so much in the past two and a half years I have been a stay at home mom. I look at things so differently than I used to. When I think of all the food I used to waste, or things I would not have needed to buy, I almost get sick inside. One thing God has been teaching me these last couple of years is how to be a good steward of what he has given us, whether that is food, money or things we have bought in the past that we need to put to use before we buy something new. It becomes a challenge, and almost fun, to see how far I can make our money go, or how I might be able to repurpose something. However, it does take discipline to not get sucked into the "why does everyone have it so much better" mindset that can consume you if you let it. Where we live, there are so many very expensive and beautiful homes leading all the way to our block. We drive by them everyday. (We have a beautiful home, for which I am VERY grateful, but is modest in comparison). Its hard to stay focused on our priority of raising our babies and doing the best we can. Hearing that precious reminder from Isaac tonight helped. We have everything we need and SO much more.
We took some time on the way home from Dave's mom's house this weekend to visit Jerry's grave. I don't think hardly a day goes by where we don't think of him. I so wish our boys could have known him...they would have so enjoyed each other. Can't wait for heaven! What a reunion that will be!
"Sons are the anchors of a mother's life." -Sophocles
Isaac is 10 and is a fourth grader this year. He is the laughter of my days. He is dramatic, hilarious, smart, creative and has a great sense of humor. He loves LEGOS, Minecraft, Making stuff out of polymer clay, Taekwondo and music.
Graham is six years old. He is a kindergartner this year. He is the excitement and color of my days. He is obliviously hilarious, independent, snuggly, sweet and totally boy. He loves LEGOS, minecraft, eating, playing basketball and doing projects with mom and dad.
Grayson is 18 months old. He is the pure love of my days. He likes to do whatever his brothers are doing, he loves to snuggle with mama and get into stuff around the house. He loves his papa.