The "Committed" Mom?

I am blessed to be the mom of three wonderfully amazing children I call Brent, Lottie and Kenzie. But honestly, there are days when I am committed and days when I need to be committed! So here's where this little blog comes refuge- my opportunity to share with all who care, the joys of being a "Committed" Mom!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thanks Max

For the past few weeks I have found myself pulling further away from my time with God.  Sure I manage to sneak in a quick 2 minute devotional read, but I really haven't spent any quality time with him. If you know me, you know that Christ is a big part of my life and I would like to say He is one of my very best friends.  But honestly, these days- I suck at being a friend back to Him.  I don't answer His calls, He tries to connect with me through His word, music, books, news articles, Sunday Sermons, my children. He speaks in ways that I will hear Him best, ways that speak to my heart and say "Hey, I have something I want to share with you- are you there?" He always gets a busy signal and He is always leaving messages for me, the problem is I am too busy to listen to those messages or hear what He wants to share with me.  
Last year in August, a whorl wind of trouble began raining down in multiple areas of my life and it pretty much lasted until this April.  Every month a new attack presented itself and every time I felt like my head was above water, something or someone pulled me back under.  There were many times when I felt like I wouldn't make it, it appeared as if I was living in an eternal season of winter.  I felt like I was poked, prodded, shoved, pushed, pulled in every direction. But the one thing that got me through was my faith in Jesus Christ.  He was my rescuer from the water, His hand pulled me up to keep me from drowning. The warmth of His love, kept that season of winter from making my heart cold and killing my relationship with Him.  He stayed by my side and provided food for my soul daily. When I felt like I had nothing left in me to give, He refreshed me with living water.  He was in all ways my rock and my salvation.  When April came, changes began and I felt some of the chains that bound me breaking free...I felt joy again in my heart and I flew as high as I could and embraced the new challenges He set before me.  
I didn't doubt, I didn't fear, I just pressed forward...the problem is I got to far ahead of Him and now it is hard to see Him. I ran ahead, forgetting what He had done and where I came from, only to find myself with this new feeling of melancholy and frustrations.  I am admitting there is not much joy in my heart, where joy was is now replaced by grouchiness, irritability, frustration, anger and down right bad attitude.  Why?  Where did this come from?  What is my problem?  Today I opened my e-mail and I was thump-thudded and I realized what was going why am I writing this? To encourage you, as I have been encouraged! The following comes from Max Lucado, one of my favorite Christian writers of all time.  He is a modern day parablist, whose writing always manages to speak to my heart, I pray it speaks to yours too. 

Week of July 22
Thump-Thud, Thump-Thud
When a potter bakes a pot, he checks its solidity by pulling it out of the oven and thumping it. If it “sings,” it’s ready. If it “thuds,” it’s placed back in the oven.
The character of a person is also checked by thumping. Been thumped lately?
Late-night phone calls. Grouchy teacher. Grumpy moms. Burnt meals. Flat tires. You’ve-got-to-be-kidding deadlines. Those are thumps. Thumps are those irritating inconveniences that trigger the worst in us. They catch us off guard. Flat-footed. They aren’t big enough to be crises, but if you get enough of them, watch out! Traffic jams. Long lines. Empty mailboxes. Dirty clothes on the floor. Even as I write this, I’m being thumped. Because of interruptions, it has taken me almost two hours to write these two paragraphs. Thump. Thump. Thump.
How do I respond? Do I sing? Or do I thud?
Jesus said that out of the nature of the heart a man speaks (Luke 6:45). There’s nothing like a good thump to reveal the nature of a heart. The true character of a person is seen not in momentary heroics but in the thump-packed humdrum of day-to-day living.
If you have a tendency to thud more than you sing, take heart.
The true character of a person is seen not in momentary heroics but in the thump-packed humdrum of day-to day living.
There is hope for us “thudders”:
1.     Begin by thanking God for thumps. I don’t mean a half-hearted thank-you. I mean a rejoicing, jumping-for-joy thank-you from the bottom of your heart (James 1:2). Chances are that God is doing the thumping. And he’s doing it for your own good. So every thump is a reminder that God is molding you (Heb. 12:5–8).
2.     Learn from each thump. Face up to the fact that you are not “thump-proof.” You are going to be tested from now on. You might as well learn from the thumps—you can’t avoid them. Look upon each inconvenience as an opportunity to develop patience and persistence. Each thump will help you or hurt you, depending on how you use it.
3.     Be aware of “thump-slump” times. Know your pressure periods. For me Mondays are infamous for causing thump-slumps. Fridays can be just as bad. For all of us, there are times during the week when we can anticipate an unusual amount of thumping. The best way to handle thump-slump times? Head on. Bolster yourself with extra prayer, and don’t give up.
Remember, no thump is disastrous. All thumps work for good if we are loving and obeying God.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hello Old Friend

Tonight is a good night to begin my blogging again, I honestly can say I have tons of ideas in my head and I am gonna try to be as faithful as possible in getting those thoughts out. We got a phone call shortly after July 4th, Lottie's half-sister, let's call her Alexis, was asking her grandparent about whether she had any brothers or sisters. When we took Lottie one of the things Kevin and I agreed on was making sure all our children knew their half-sibs, we know how important family is and we don't want to lie to them about their history.  We decided we will reveal when necessary and when it's age appropriate. Alexis is 9 and is asking lots of questions, so her grandparent called the CASA, who knows both of Lottie and Alexis and their biological mother- point...Alexis is ready to meet her sibling. We decided that Lottie is young enough that now would be ok, we are not sure how much she will understand at 3, but it's important to Alexis.  So Kevin and I agreed it would take place in a few weeks, in a neutral place, like a park and our whole family would go. I really don't have any feelings one way or the other yet, but I am sure as time draws near- I will blog it.
     That was this morning, this afternoon while we were swimming I thought it would be a good time to kind of share with Brent what was going to be happening. I don't know why I said it, I didn't really think about it or even pray about how to tell him, I just sort of said it.  He thought it was cool she was close to his age and he would have a new friend to play with (smirk).  Bug's only statement was "What sister?" ...I tell her a big sister.  She says "Oh, I haven't met her yet" End of conversation. Simple for her 3 year old mind, she won't have another thought about it until she meets Alexis.  However, what I did not intend on was how the wheels would start turning in my son's head.  In case you are not familiar with my son, he is very methodical, he analyzes things and really thinks about certain things at times- never mind he is impulsive the majority of the time with actions!  So tonight at bedtime, I tuck in Bug and say prayers, it was a pretty easy night with no bed time beatings...JOKE....I walk into Brent's room and kneel down thinking it was gonna be a quick in and out with him WRONG!
     I ask Brent and Lottie every night before prayers what their blessings are for the day and what their disappointments are.  I was not at all ready for what he shared with me.  "One of my disappointments today was that Brandy wasn't able to do the right thing and take care of me" (We've had this discussion before) I listened to him share his heart and then I asked, "Hey Buddy what made you think of Brandy today? Was it because I started talking about Lottie meeting her sister?" "Yeah" He then proceeded to talk about some of his past and the people in it and he ended up with someone he referred to as, his other mother.  I was quick to share that the woman he lived with, who abused him was not in anyway a mother to him, she was just a woman he lived with.  We then proceeded to talk about the story of how he came to live there (again, we have had this conversation...but almost 8 now brings new insight and deeper thoughts) "Why did Brandy leave me there?" Tears flowed down his little cheeks, as he looked at me searching for some reason.  My heart broke, my response as truthful as I can be "She didn't know that the EVIL LADY was hurting you too, she just thought she was hurting her"
     And then it happened...the question we have been bracing ourselves to answer, because he has come so close in asking before, but always stopped short...
"But what about my dad?" I breathed in slowly and under my breath said "Here goes Lord"  Outloud-"Do you mean daddy?"
 "No not him,the other guy?"
 "The guy who helped make you with Brandy?"
 "Yea, him" (DEEP BREATHS)
I then proceeded to tell him as delicately, as age appropriately as possible that we didn't know much about him and that like Brandy he wasn't able to take care of him.  We said he didn't want to be a dad and didn't want to have anything to do with kids or babies. He was very selfish and just wanted to play and do what he wanted to do, he didn't care about anyone else. I watched as my son broke down in my arms saying "How can anyone not want their son or baby?" I cried with him and hugged him and held him for as long as he let me. "I can't believe he didn't want me" I gave him some time to cry before trying to pick up his heart and help hold it back together again.
"Brent, do you know what? It wasn't that this guy didn't want you, He didn't know you he never met you- but I don't doubt for one minute that had he met you- he would have fallen in love with you and wanted you- I know your daddy did"  I shared with him the first time Kevin laid eyes on him and how Brent just loved Kevin and flirted with him, he even cuddled on the couch with him after an hour of meeting him.  I told him how Kevin's heart was captivated and he knew from the moment he laid eyes on Brent that him.  I said "Just think if you hadn't come into our lives, if that bad thing didn't happen with Brandy and that guy- then we wouldn't have you and without you, we wouldn't have Lottie, and without you and Lottie we wouldn't be a family.  So God took something so bad and turned it into something so good, because GOD wanted you too.  That's why He made you in the first place.  He wanted you to be and do all the amazing and incredible things Konner Brent Logan Smith can do! Daddy and I, our lives would be so boring without you- who would we yell at? Who would I tickle?  Who would say silly prayers and teach Lottie what to do?" He laughed and hugged me, and started saying "Who would Grampy and Grammie spoil?" "Who would Papa play catch with?" "Who would you ground?" I laughed and cried at the same time..."No one Brent, no one- because He made you and formed you in your mother's womb. (Psalm 139) He has plans to prosper you Brent, He has plans that only you can do.  Other people can do them, but NO ONE can do them the way you do them.  You are special and loved and wanted by so many people and we praise God that He gave you to us! Because we wanted you before we met you!" I watched as my son's eyes lit up and the joy returned to his face, praise God for He heals the broken hearted- His words bring healing to His soul and as Brent's mommy I am eternally gratefully to our Redeemer who makes beautiful things out of dust and out of us!

***"One last question mom?"
"Yes B?"
"How does a man help a woman make a baby?"
(Laughing inside my head loudly) "We will save that conversation for another night son...."