Thursday, October 21, 2010
I'm not sure why, but when I tell women that I'm precious they snicker. I tell my husband that I'm precious, and he just nods and walks off. Sometimes I'm way too precious. You know for things like sweating outside, getting messy (unless it's my idea, of course). Sometimes I show just how precious I am by wearing something bedazzled. (Ya'll remember that? The BEDAZZLER!) Really, I might just wear something with a little bling and sparkly. As a matter of fact, should I become a grandparent some day, I think I want to be called "Precious." Some ladies I meet may laugh when I tell them I'm precious, but then they decide they want to be precious too, so I call them "P.I.T." – Precious in Training. If someone isn't treating you the way you think you should be treated, just say, "Brother, you better back up. Don't make me show you just how precious I am!"
Now, if you know me at all, you know I'm grinning when I tell people that I'm precious. When things get tense, I whip it out too. You know, just to lighten the mood. My P.I.T.s also don't take themselves too seriously either.
But in truth, ladies, if you've read any of my blogs about letter from your father, you know that your Creator knows you. He thinks you are precious. If you read my blog in August titled "Has a Lesson on Encouragement," "Has More Words from Your Father," and "Has a Love Letter from Your Father" you know just how precious you really are. God's Word is full of love letters to you, His precious daughter. Don't you just love, love letters? I do. When was the last time you picked up His love letter to you? When was the last time He spoke to you through His Word? Well, it's been too long.
Cozy up with this good Book, breathe deep, and ask your Daddy what He wants to tell you today. He's just waiting on you, Precious. Don't keep Him waiting.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
My daughter did it a few times, but my son did it more frequently and with more vitality than I ever knew was possible. Nothing had prepared me for it. None of the children I had ever babysat for ever did this, and I was totally caught unaware as a parent. My son's hit early. My daughter's was delayed. I am fortunate that Erin came first and chose to do her times pretty much at home. Pearce was equal opportunity. The time, location and number of people around mattered not to him. Some refer to these outer-body experiences as temper tantrums, the "terrible twos" or the "trying threes."
I remember when Erin hit one of those temper tantrums full-blown. I looked down at my affable, easy-going beautiful little girl and thought the Exorcist had taken possession of her. When she decided to abandon all self-control again, I did something that I continued to use with Pearce. I put her in "the hold." When I was in middle school and high school I worked with a girl at church who had cerebral palsy. In order for her to get on the floor with her peers, I would take her out of her wheelchair and sit her in my lap. I placed her feet between my legs as I sat like an Indian, and I pulled her left arm across her to hold it with my right, and did the opposite for her left. We looked like an intertwined pretzel. With the girl I could help navigate her arms while she attempted to manage direction, but when Erin was in the thralls of a thrashing tantrum, her arms were not allowed to flail. She would fight against me all the while I would be calmly saying, "Erin, when you calm down I'll let go of your hands, but the harder you struggle the tighter it will feel." It was tighter not because I was tightening my grip but because she was pulling away. Eventually, Erin would get it all out of her system and begin to release control of her anger and would settle against me exhausted. It was then I could actually parent her. Like I said Erin did her tantrums at home. Pearce…not so much. I remember one time specifically at the Fall Family Fun Festival. He was a little over three years old, and he was a cowboy. So stinkin' cute! His daddy was working one of the booths which meant he had to stay with me as we went to find my friend who had Erin. This did not please Pearce at all. He began thrashing, yelling and acting like a raving lunatic. What was I to do. I had to show him his momma was the same at home as I was in public, so I sat down and put him in the hold. Had there been a more private place for me to do it, I would have, but this was in an open field in the middle of God and everybody. Yes, GOD AND EVERYBODY!
Now Pearce add a twist to his flailing and thrashing. Once I would put him into the hold, he would start throwing his head backward into my chest or head, so I started leaning forward to prevent him from the behavior. I was praying the blood of the cross from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. When he calmed down enough for me to manage him, we went to the car. It didn't end there. Let's just say it was a LONG RIDE HOME for him and me.
Have you ever wanted to lose your control? Have you lost your control as an adult? Embarrassingly I admit I have. My sister says that motherhood sometimes feels like you're being pecked to death by a duck. I have on occasion snapped, lost my ever-lovin' mind and exploded. My children's jaws hit the floor. I remember my jaw hitting the floor when my mom would get to the point where we would make her say her cuss word – "Dang it." (Snicker all you want, but when Lori and I heard those words come out of Momma's mouth we knew we had not only crossed the line but were broaching where angels fear to tread!)
Sorry, I chased a rabbit.
But self-control doesn't just mean your temper. It means your mouth – do you have control over your tongue? It means your mind – do you control your thoughts or do they run amuck? Do you have control over your eating, or do you eat when you are not hungry or do you over-indulge? (Trust me, I'm talking to myself as I sit down here in New Orleans where the food is WONDERFUL!) Do you control yourself in your spending? Do you control where you go and what you do so you reflect your Father's interest? Are you exhibiting self-control? It's one of the fruits of the Spirit. If you are struggling with this, seek Him and His wisdom. This isn't something you or I do alone.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
My son. The boy.
I'm not easily surprised. If you don't know, I investigate insurance fraud for a living for an insurance company. I've been told more lies than I can count. There aren't many things in my line of work that surprises me. I've interviewed arsonists, gang-bangers, murderers, and the like. I've taken statements in maximum security prisons. I've interviewed a man whose nervous tick was PICKING HIS NOSE when he would lie about some fact regarding his claim. I've been threatened. I've been cursed at and called all kind of names, and I'm able to smile because I know I'm pushing the right buttons. That may be why my boss says I'm mean as a snake, but I just think it's because I'm effective in my job. But for some reason, I am caught off guard by one little six year old in my house – my son.
There are things I never had to tell my daughter that apparently I should have told my son.
- We don't eat "mud" from the backyard where the dog is.
- Don't eat the dog's food.
- Do not put things up your nose.
- Do not jump off the sofa onto a pillow that is on a hardwood floor.
- Don't climb the twelve-foot ladder that is just propped up against the fence.
- Don't pick on someone who is bigger than you.
The most recent instruction I failed to tell my son was, "Do not put paper towels down the toilet;" "Don't encourage your friends to do that either;" and "Whatever you do at school, I will find out."
I didn't look in Pearce's folder one day last week because he told me he had an A. When I opened it up the next morning to clear the papers and stick the folder back into his Cars backpack, I noticed there was a note from his teacher attached to the folder. Apparently, Pearce and a couple of his friends flooded the boy's bathroom at school. I called Pearce to come to me, and I asked him what happened yesterday that sent him to see the DISCIPLINARIAN of the elementary. (I'm still perplexed how he got an "A" in conduct and still flooded the bathroom.) He then went into this spill that his friend Asa had put some paper towels in the toilet, and Pearce and another boy were laughing because it started bobbing up and down in the toilet. I'm assuming it bobbed up and down every single time they flushed the potty. Then he said, "My friends told Ms Lewis that I said, 'flush it, flush it, flush it!" I said, "Pearce, I have Ms Lewis's phone number, if I call her, will she be giving me the exact same story?" He dropped his head and said, "Okay, so I told him to flush it."
I don't care what psychologists may say. Boys are so completely different from girls and at an early age too. Pearce was barely sitting up when he took two baby dolls rammed them together making car noises. Had been taught that? NO!!! Boys are wired so completely different than girls. Body humor and body functions are intriguing to them, and they aren't afraid to get their hands dirty in Lord knows what. They want to know how things work, so they take it apart but can't get it put back together again. At one point in time, we had ten incomplete flashlights in this house. How do I know that, you ask? Because a storm hit and when we went looking for all of them none of them were still in one workable unit.
I'm sure there are other rules that I'll have to instruct him on after the fact. He definitely keeps life interesting. (And what's more, is he is the typical younger brother and prankster! He loves slapstick!) He wears me out, but sometimes I have to quickly go to my room to snicker.
I tell him all the time when he says his prayers at night that he needs to thank God over and over that He made Pearce so stinkin' cute; otherwise, he might not make it to see the next morning!
Gotta love boys.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I love watching people. One of the best places is at the airport. Talk about a regular menagerie of folks! I observe their appearances, what they are doing and how they walk. Have you ever noticed how many different kinds of walks there are? There are some women out there that wear stilettos like they are Nike's – IMPRESSIVE! Then there is the Power Walker – women who have the look of determination on their face just daring some small child to dart into their path. Then there are the Wanderers -- those who are wandering aimlessly and clueless and who somehow miraculously avoid being plowed over by the Power Walkers. Of course, you can't forget the Mom – she acts more like a herder. She has one child in a leash contraption, one in a stroller, and one just beyond her reach. She has diaper bags, toy bags, and somewhere in there is her much needed Tylenol. There are also the Suits – they're the ones who not only turn on their phone before the light goes off in the plane, but they are talking on it pulling their laptop carry-on bag as they weave in and out of the rest of the world.
But you don't have to go to the airport to see different kinds of walks. There's the swagger. There's the loper. I tease my daughter because we say she has one speed – idle. My sister says when Erin runs it looks like she is forever running up hill, and it just fits Erin's personality. I can't imagine her any other way. My son's walk changes depending on who he is with. If he is with my husband and some of his work crew, Pearce, my six-year-old has his own SWAGGER! He's six! It cracks me up. Other times he runs circles around Erin, and I wait for him to come back around so I can trip him and catch him. Getting older means I have to play smarter. My days of running in high heels have come and gone.
All of this got me thinking about my spiritual walk. Each one's spiritual walk is unique. Does your faith, your walk show a bit of a swagger and confidence when things are going good and in you are where you are supposed to be? What happens when your life hits the skids – because reality happens to Christians too. We are not exempt from pain. As a matter of fact, the Bible says, "In this world you will have trouble (John 16:33)." What happens to you then? Do you lose hope? Do you threaten to give up and throw in the towel? I write this with the love of Christ, if you lose hope you need to check to see what you are focusing on or who you are focusing on!
I've had a particularly hard and difficult week personally. Nothing I can get into on my blog, but just know, that my nerves in my shoulders are in knots the size of golf balls, and my jaws are so tight from my clinching them that they ache. I might need a jack to separate them. It's what I get for holding my tongue. My grandmother use to say that it is better to say nothing at all than have to go back and apologize for something that escaped in the heat of the moment.
But my hope is in Christ. His mercies are new every morning – THANK YOU, LORD! I know that no matter what he or she says or does, what breaks downs and needs to be replaced, or what issue may arise that my Creator, my Redeemer has me in the palm of His hand. He holds my future. He knows how everything is going to work out for my good because I'm a daddy's girl, and I love Him. I know that when life gets too tough to take, and I want to fight in the flesh that with Him anything is possible. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to keep my trap closed! I know that He has been working on a solution before I even knew there was a problem. So, I'm going to choose to put my big girl panties on, and let Him deal with it. I hope you will too.