Sappy

I’m usually not very sappy or emotional really. But I sat down after unloading all the groceries and Molly started playing piano and singing and it struck me that in a few years she probably won’t be here in this house playing piano all the time. What will it be like without music pouring down the stairs??? Oh dear. That’s something sad to think about. I thought a quick video might need to be saved so I can reminisce one day.

All this probably has something to do with the fact that we toured a college this weekend. And Molly, in particular, loved it! You could see her envisioning herself there—meeting people all the time, living on her own with room mates, staying out late, being silly, learning new stuff and just generally having a good ol time. I will miss that booger when that day comes, but I won’t get ahead of myself.

professional pillow mover

I walked into the bedroom holding the two pillows from the couch. I tried them out on our bed. Didn’t like the look, so I picked them back up and tried them in another room in the house. Better. But now the pillows left in the living room needed some rearranging. This isn’t a rare event at my house, this switching around of pillows. Or unzipping covers on pillows to find out if the cover underneath is one I like better or not. So many pillow options. In my moment of pillow moving, I looked at Josh and said, “Who knew so much time of being an adult would consist of moving pillows around?!?!” (he probably thought I should speak for myself)

Seriously though, such a non-important thing can really suck some of my time. 

I am reading in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy as Moses recounts to the remaining people of God all that they have been through together. In chapter four Moses tells them, “Your eyes have seen what the Lord has done….” He reminds them that no other nation has a god like their God. Then he gives further words of remembrance and caution. 

“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do no depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and grandsons.”

He goes on and tells them to REMEMBER. He says, WATCH YOURSELVES CAREFULLY. And again, WATCH YOURSELVES so that you don’t forget the convenant of the Lord your God that He made with you. He says TAKE IT TO HEART that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on earth below; there is no other.  

These words are spoken by Moses, a man who didn’t get to actually go in to possess The Promised Land, despite all of his leading of some very difficult people. He didn’t listen and obey completely what God said to him when he was supposed to speak to the rock and cause water to rush out for the thirsty travelers. Instead, he called them rebellious (true!) and then struck the rock twice (probably out of complete frustration!). But that wasn’t what God told him to do. G.Campell Morgan says about Exodus 20:11 that “What Moses did was most natural. Therein lay the wrong of it.”  Wow. Just because something is most natural—or maybe especially when something is most natural—we should take a breath and seek the Lord on the matter. 

Moses spoke to the remaining children of Israel from a pure heart that wanted to warn them that they could miss out on what God has for them if they don’t REMEMBER His works, WATCH THEMSELVES and TAKE TO HEART who God is. He wanted to sober them up completely and remind them of Who is truly in charge and totally holy. Verses 24 and 31 are great reminders from Moses who experienced all of Who God is—“For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” and “For the Lord your God is a compassionate God and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and soul.” He is both. Don’t miss it, people of God! Don’t go to this amazing land and forget Who God is. 

Moses had seen the people of God turn their back on God and worship a golden calf. He had heard their complaints and grumblings. He had experienced their pride and anger when some wanted his position…and he’d seen them swallowed up by the ground. 

I may not have a golden statue sitting on my mantle to worship in place of God. I may not ever beg to return to some time in my past when I was a slave. It is likely more subtle—like spending too much time rearranging pillows. Or spending money too carelessly because life is just so stressful right now, what does it hurt to roam Target for some treats to get us through this dumb summer? Or maybe I allow myself to worry about my kids’ futures —but, seriously, one second is too much time to worry. Is He God or not? Is there none beside Him or not? Is He for me or not? Is He good or not? Does He withhold good from His children or not? Does He know the plans He has for us or not? Is He worth spending my life for or not?

Just like the children of Israel, I can easily forget His perfect track record. I can easily feel forgotten and decide to take things into my own hands. I can grumble and express my bitterness for what I don’t have that I think I should have or what I do have that I don’t want. 

So as I read from Deuteronomy, I thought to myself, “Kristy, watch yourself so that you don’t spend most of your adult life doing something empty like moving throw pillows from room to room. Pay attention to what God wants for you!”  {And if you’ve been around her long enough you know I don’t count mundane things as unimportant things. Those are sometimes THE very things God is asking me to do with more heart and kindness….the point is to REMEMBER and WATCH YOURSELF and TAKE TO HEART what God is showing you, how He has dealt with you and how to spend your life for Him.}

the end.

 

Go to school or stay home?

Three and a half weeks until school starts. This mama and her kids are all anxiously awaiting that day and praying every day that nothing changes the minds of those in charge of our school’s decision.

Remember, too, that this mama and her kids homeschooled for many years before this past school year. I have blogs and blogs of school stories and photos over the years. I love that we have those memories and all of that time together. I truly think that home schooling during that season was exactly what we were supposed to do. No regrets. God’s hand guided us and orchestrated details I didn’t have the sense to think of. I am grateful!

I also believe that the kids going to school this past year was exactly what they were supposed to do. (Though I have cursed Covid-19 for ruining the last few months of school, I actually do trust God with the whole situation.) It was good for them in this season to be around other kids and have other teachers. They were ready, and I was ready to share them with others. God’s hand guided us and orchestrated details I didn’t have the sense to think of. I am grateful!

So with the perspective I have on schooling kids (did you know I also taught public middle school one year and substitute taught before kids?), I find it so interesting all of the conversations I am hearing and reading about around the topic of school decision. 

It reminds me of the poem “Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” There is so much truth there! Remember being told to draw an imaginary circle around yourself and take care of who is in the circle, and in doing so, your life will be so much more simple and drama-free? Yeah, that lesson needs to be dusted off these days.

For YEARS I had to deal with people asking random questions after hearing that we home school—-“What about socialization?” (this person must assume I lock them in a room after giving them workbooks and only let them out to eat on occassion) or “Do you plan to home school through highschool??” (this person assumes I have a magic eight ball that allows me to see far into the future and know every detail of my life) “How do they make friends?” (this person assumes I have no life outside of my four walls)……and on and on we could go. 

NOW, people ask me if I am worried about sending them back to school to be around other kids? And I just have to shake my head. Good grief! You people cannot have it both ways. So I was ruining my kids when I kept them home but now I am ruining them for sending them?? Do tell me more about what you think I should do.

Before I get more hot and bothered about the topic, let me truly use this time to tell each person who might be reading this:  YOU WERE GIVEN YOUR KIDS BY GOD. YOU CAN MAKE DECISIONS FOR YOUR KIDS AS FAR AS HOW THEY ARE EDUCATED. You do not owe other people answers or explanations. You can change your mind about how your kids go to school or where they go to school. Pray about the decision. God’s hand will guide you and orchestrate details you don’t have the sense to think of, and you will be grateful! 

Draw your circle and do your thing. I believe in you.

Paradise

Josh and I will be married 20 years in January 2021; since the kids were all three going to be away from home this past week, we decided to plan a getaway for us. We planned this well before Covid-19. We almost decided not to go. What a bad decision that would have been! It was our best vacation yet!!

Being married 20 years is a big deal and deserves full celebration, which I will likely write about in January when the actual anniversary date arrives. This time away was particularly needed because —have you ever had three teenagers? I mean, if you have and you survived, send me all the advice, ok?? We deserved this vacation, not necessarily as much for being married 20 years as for daily facing life with three teenagers. During a global pandemic with “safer at home” orders for many, many weeks. Dear Lord, help me.

Don’t misunderstand. I love my kids. I love how God made them and their fun, quirky, strong personalities. I love to watch them use their gifts and talents. I enjoy hearing their perspective. I love my three kids.

And I love time alone with Josh. Neither of us realized how much we needed this time until we were actually away, alone, just being together.

We got settled in and found our way to the pool. There were kids laughing and playing on a float and then they were arguing and slapping and calling for their mama…and then we overheard someone say something about an adult pool. And without being too obvious, we packed our stuff and walked around to the adult pool…all the while hoping it wasn’t topless women, but weighing the scales of what we’d put up with on our vacation—topless sunbathing or obnoxious kids. 🤣🤣🤣I kid. I kid.

I woke up every morning around 6am so I could sip coffee and watch the sun rise. And I don’t mean that I just watched the sky change pretty colors. I actually saw the big, round orange sun pop up every morning and make its was up, up, up into the sky. It was gloriously beautiful.

THIS👆🏻is what I credit our marriage to—Thank you, Jesus!!!!

And another full day of sun and relaxation.

No one else on planet earth I’d want to be on this journey with. He is my favorite, forever and always.

Monotonous, marvelous motherhood

Ruby was huffing and puffing while she was helping clean up after dinner. I was also tired after a long day and was washing dishes while wishing I was able to sit down and rest. I reminded her to think long and hard before jumping into motherhood because most of motherhood is work. I know that there are a million blessings intertwined but to overlook the vast amount of work would not be smart. She didn’t say anything is response.

The work can be monotonous and yucky—like using your hand to wipe off nasty dishes from time to time. Or cleaning the dog’s throw up off the floor. And I can’t forget the gazillion nasty diapers I’ve changed or runny noses I’ve wiped. Plunging toilets. Wiping hard toothpaste out of the sink and more. Then, there’s just the regular stuff—making beds, driving kids to places, ordering school uniforms, wiping down counters, figuring out what to cook for dinner for the millionth time, folding laundry, sweeping the floors, paying bills, picking up random shoes or baseballs or notebooks or games scattered all around the house.

Sounds glamorous, right?

I know, no one goes into motherhood or family life for the fame and glamour. But that doesn’t mean moms don’t sometimes feel a little trapped in this monotonous work. The Lord reminds me often that this is an important work. My kids need me. My husband needs me. The hidden work is often where I’m being made. My inner thoughts are being sharpened and my character is being strengthened in these daily tasks I sometimes huff and puff at.

I am reading in Exodus and came across the section in chapter 28 about how to make the priest’s robe. It struck me as comical when God is describing the hem that He, first, gives an overview: “You shall make on its hem pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet material, all around on its hem, and bells of gold between them all around:”

Ok. Sounds straightforward enough.

But then He adds in the next verse “a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe.”

And immediately I was struck my the monotony of that task. “A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate.” Wonder if the person assigned that task ever looked at someone hammering out gold or handling the jewels for the breastplate or making the laver and wish they had a little more exciting job?

But every person making any part of the holy garments and holy pieces for the Tabernacle were doing a holy work. God told Moses to speak to “all the skillful persons.” These were people “wise of heart,” my Bible clarifies…so they probably understood the magnitude of their job. The person or people making sure there was “a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe,” were making something for Aaron to wear “when he ministers; and its tinkling shall be heard when he enters and leaves the holy place before the Lord, so that he will not die.”

I’d say that’s a pretty important role! So I’m reminded that even (and maybe even especially) during monotonous work, I’m a part of ushering in the presence of God. The way I view these mundane tasks matters. God meets me here in the messes.

Lord, give me a heart of wisdom today in everything I put my hands to—the dishes, the toilets, the sweeping and mopping, the driving and drycleaning pick-up, dinner and every little interaction with those I love. Help me see this role the way You do. Amen.

Happy Independence Day!

Independence Day 2020. A very interesting time in our country. Global pandemic, racial tensions, an election year, face mask mandate in several states, how school will start is still unknown, and more weirdness.

In an act of sanity, we tried to do something we would normally do even though it was discouraged by most. We cooked and ate with real, live people! 😊 What a great lunch! We had friends over—old friends and new friends that are church friends and work friends, young friends and our age friends. I’m so grateful for those who were willing to be with us today as we celebrate the undeserved privilege of living in America. I sure didn’t have anything to do with the fact that this is my birth country, but I’m grateful that because of that I was able to, quite easily, hear the gospel at a very young age and know Jesus as my Savior and Lord, my Friend and my Father—Another undeserved privilege that had nothing to do with me endearing myself to God. All Jesus. All praise to Him! And who the Son sets free is free indeed!!!

I meant to get a group photo, but everyone was busy eating and talking and enjoying themselves. So I’ll share what I did get.

Now the kids have gone to hang out with friends, Josh is snoring in his chair, and I’m sitting with Rolo while she begs me to go share some BBQ with her. Sweet, silly, manipulative dog. And my neighbor just text me to ask if she can have some flour to make an apple pie. Seems like a very American thing to do today! Happy Fourth!

Summer Stuff

I painted Molly’s bed and side table. Wish I had a before photo, but I don’t. The side table was black and the bed was dark brown. We’ve ordered a Tye-dyed comforter that Molly picked out for her bed. It was not my first or second or one hundred second choice, BUT she only has a handful of years in my house, so I let her choose. I’ll make it into an aesthetically pleasing guest room one day!
Ruby and Molly had friends over to tye-dye and bake together. And tic-tok, of course. This summer is definitely different and a bit slower paced, but we are making the best of it.
Mack walks around with AirPods in his ear. He sleeps really late these days…he could be growing again! Or maybe his body has to work harder than usual to carry around all that hair he insists on having. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t usually wake sleeping children, no matter their age.

Overall, the summer is going well. We had crawl space work done. We had to get a new upstairs A/C unit. The kids have gotten lots of rest. We’ve had lots of deep discussions about current events. There are peaceful protests and violent riots around the country. Race relations, as a whole, are in bad shape.

The Covid-19 numbers are rising in North Carolina, so Governor Cooper decided to mandate mask wearing in all public places where you cannot keep six feet distance. We will see if it helps the numbers. I’m so over all of it but you can’t just ignore it all—it’s something to consider no matter what you’re doing! I’m hoping the increase will actually help herd immunity to happen and maybe fall won’t be so bad. But I have to admit, as I am beginning to read through the book of Exodus, I can’t help but relate a bit better to the people of those days. Everyday the headlines get grimmer and grimmer. July has been told to come in, sit down and mind its own business, yet somehow I don’t think that’s going to be the case. We shall see.

Father’s Day 2020

Josh is our hero. I am amazed at how much he does, how hard he works and how much time he devotes to us. He’s so easy to honor and celebrate!

Each of these kiddos get frequent reminders from me about how blessed they are to have a dad like Josh! So grateful for his godly influence in each of our lives. He isn’t on any social media and has no intentions of getting on any of it. It’s a colossal waste of time, in his opinion. And he ain’t wrong. He’s very comfortable in his own skin and boldly shares and lives his convictions. He’s a critical thinker and wise beyond his years. He leads us well. We love Joshua Lee!❤️

With Ruby😍

Hope you know how much we adore you, Josh!

where is “normal”?

What I wouldn’t give for a normal day. For a day of waking up early, getting everyone off to school, working out, grocery shopping or Bible Study group, washing clothes, dinner prep, picking kids up, fussing at them to get their homework done and then going to bed to do it all over again. Just a normal day. I miss it so bad.

This year has been so disappointing and full of upsets. Not to mention we are doing remodeling and crawl space work and having to get a new AC unit installed upstairs. We have challenges in other areas of life that I won’t mention here. And then there are racial tensions such as I have never experienced in my 43 years of life. And while I acknowledge there are so many issues that need addressing around all of it, I don’t feel safe sharing thoughts or opinions on the world wide web…have you read some of the comments out there and the ‘out for blood’ actions and words that are spewed?? It’s not a fun place, this internet. I am amazed at how many people have the issues solved and are ready to tell me what I need to be doing about it.

So, I post here to just say that I miss my normal days. I miss mask-less days. I miss hugs and smiles and eye contact. I miss moving around and going places with ease. I miss the kids at school and all that it entails. I miss my normal. Not sure it will come back, so I just wanted to say I miss it.IMG_1785