Monday, May 20, 2013

A piece of pie and character counts

Well a week has passed since Mother's Day.

If You didn't get breakfast in bed or a card gushing nice things about all your unnoticed and under appreciated tasks you accomplish each day, know that you are still important. Please hear me when I say I have felt the same way on occasions. Days like Mother's Day sets a percentage of the women in this world up for disappointment. Either because we long to be moms, have lost a child or our own mother, or because the offspring we have given birth to may not always know how to say or give us the appreciation we desire.

I have learned that if I can reach out to other moms I love or feel drawn to  and remind  them how great they are doing as moms I feel a lot less pressure to sit and wait for my moment of affirmation. When I do this, the faulty thinking of it's my "right" to be honored becomes less significant as  I choose to honor another.

But this year my husband and children did give me sweet notes and gifts and hugs and pie.
That's right my guy made me old fashioned cream pie.
It's really wrong of me to eat such food, I admit it... Sometimes I like to be wrong ;)

It was seriously the best pie I've ever eaten! I may have tried to help... But he bossed me right out of the kitchen!

There are a number of you who have asked for the pie crust recipe that I use.
Here it is... My Mother's Day gift to you :)
1-5lb bag of all purpose flour
1-can of shortening
1/2 cup sugar
6tsp. Salt
Mix in a fix and mix bowl until it looks like this(I use my fingers and just get right in there until its crumbly)
Store for up to 6 months in sealed container
When ready to make crust dip out 2 cups mix and add 1/4 tbsp cold water.
Mix it and roll it out with flour.
This Should make 2 shells or a shell and a top crust.
Pie is a lot less complicated when your dough is mostly made. You can also use this dough for pot pies.It's my mom's recipe and we love it.

I got to hear my dad preach in the morning. We had friends join us for lunch and then went to my mom's house in the evening.

And then Monday evening Mr Micah got recognized as the 7th grade outstanding male student of the year. What an honor for him to be recognized when we could think of so many other deserving young men in his class!

He is a good student and looks out for the underdog. In fact he's hoping to get into the new program next year helping kids with special needs in school. I love that we have had the privilege of having someone in our family who isn't exactly like everyone else and our children have had the blessing of being around someone who looks a little different and acts a little different but brings huge amounts of joy to our lives!

 My uncle Dales life has shaped two generations.

And while that great uncle of his has never gotten recognized for a student of the year award, his life has helped to shape Micah into the young man he has become. I am thankful for God's great gift to us!

And not to be out done... Jalen came home with an award this week too.
He has gifts too. Like the ability to bring others laughter. I think he pretty much gets all his mischievous nature from his dad. No doubt. ;)

I think I'm a pretty fortunate mom.
These kids all have different personalities. Weaknesses and Strengths that sometimes scream "WE ARE MINI YOU'S"! But in the middle of all of this stuff we call mothering I think I have been most surprised by how changed my world is. Even after these almost 18 years. Maybe  now more than ever. I am forever ruined with my love for you Malaina, Jalen, Micah and Sophia.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A letter from a less than perfect mom

Here it is Mother's Day again. If you feel like once again Mother's day is a reminder of all you are not than you and I.... We are kindred spirits.

In fact this week alone I have taken a vicious internal beating as I recognized how flawed I am as a mother. I don't mean to brag but I think if there were awards for procrastination and fly by the seat of my pants, I may get Gold.
This week was one of those times.
We had been talking about this for several weeks. A special night out for me and the little one. We would go to the Secret Keeper Girls Night, Just her and I.  We talked about how fun it would be to bring the little girl from church who just started attending. We knew her and her mom and Sophie thought that would be great. So we invited them to meet us there. I checked out the site several times for 10 days but each time I did I thought, "I'll wait until I have my purse close by to sign up". The church posted different prices for sign up before or at the door so never once did I anticipate when I finally went to sign up only  some 40 hours before the show that the words "SOLD OUT" would be written across the church website. My heart sank as I scrambled trying to figure out how to remedy the situation. I called the church, talked to friends who I hoped may be able to help... Nothing.
I heard lots of accusations come flooding into my mind..My inability to keep it  all together. What a failure of a mother I was. How could I disappoint my sweet 10 year old? If I were just a better person I would never have allowed this to happen.
How I Detest letting those I love down. 

I didn't tell her about it until the night before. I painfully told her what had happened. And that sweet little girl was so gracious. "It's okay mommy. We can do something else together". She said. I assured her we were going to attempt it anyway. The church had told me there may be tickets people didn't want so I should come by 5:30 and they should know by 6:15. My heart felt heavy. But  after we arrived we spent a little time talking to Jesus about it before we left the van. And we decided that whatever they said at the door we would still have a good time together tonight.
As soon as the doors opened we headed to see what the verdict was. The kind ladies at the door said, "why yes we do have some extra tickets". They could have asked me to pay $50 a ticket... We were going.
As I sat there among all the girls hearing them scream and giggle, I held my little girls hand. I listened to the very well crafted evening of speakers and dancers who told stories and "impromptu" messages. I knew we were supposed to be in that room. The most powerful moment came for me when Suzi (the main speaker) came out with a robe on with different embroidered negative messages all over it.  They were messages like "unlovable" and "ugly" and "stupid". And as she spoke I felt it cut right to my own heart. She Reminded us that these labels are lies. They may be labels someone else gave us or they may be labels we gave ourselves. But either way they won't make us free. My own imperfections felt like they were written across my forehead. I realized again in that moment that I would never talk to another the way I had let my own mind and lips berate myself.
My Father feels differently about me.
I know this.
I have known since I was a child. And yet this week, I had forgotten. And because I allowed my imperfection to define everything I felt about my role as mother, and how I felt about myself as a person instead of remembering the truth about what the one who created me says, I had felt small and defeated.
So as we approach Mother's day this year I don't know what negative label you may be wearing.
But I'm inviting you to take it off with me.
Maybe it's friendless, or Worthless. Maybe you are struggling to believe there is much good at all in you. You've made mistakes. Maybe You have believed lies that were spoken about you. Whatever imperfection you see in the mirror remember there is a creator who thinks you are pretty amazing.

 He wants to change your name from Outcast to Friend, Ugly to Lovely, Fearful to Courageous. 

We are so lovely to him he left perfection to walk on soil. The earth he had spoke into existence. And lived among man  he had formed from dust.

Recognizing we are flawed and allowing our mistakes to make us feel defeated are very different matters. 
The realization of my own weakness allows me to be gracious to others in their shortcomings.
But Allowing my flaws to define who I am takes me down a path of defeatism and negative thoughts. Keeping me bound up and moody.

So tonight I say yes, I know I am less than perfect,but I think in some ways my understanding of that fact makes me a healthier mom.
Hopefully, I can extend graciousness to my children when I see their less than perfect ways.  Showing forgiveness when they mess up. Loving them the way I have been loved.
Realizing I need to be shown patience  in my shortcomings helps me to be patient with theirs.

And tomorrow I will celebrate the fact that God gave me a mother. And made me mother.
Neither of us being an image of perfection....but of redemption.
After all, that's what the one "Who dances over us with singing" paid for.
Imperfectly yours,

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blessed are those who mourn...for they will be comforted~ Jesus

We huddle around a table catching up on all that is happening in the lives of one another. It feels safe and many tears are shed as we share heartbreaking struggles with each other.  I realize the path we are on is not only painful but in many ways feels sacred. We feel for and with each other and the future no longer seems so certain or clear. There is strength in traveling in a pack  So we hunch down and draw tighter together to form a circle. Sharing stories, tears and encouragement.

The weight of death is raw and it's sharp teeth penetrate at unexpected moments. A reminder of what has been lost feels overwhelming and without warning sweeps in and shows us no mercy. A dream can make us sad. A memory of better days can cause us to become a mess of emotions and tears.The tear filled eyes of my children and Sister as they process such a tremendous loss. They express doubts of life ever returning to normal and the ache ever leaving their hearts. A lump on my little ones neck makes her question through tears if it may be life threatening, which once again gives me a glimpse into the innocence lost. Her vulnerabilities are now greater as she watched one close to her own age slip away. My heart aches for what I cannot change. I am helpless to wipe away the hurt.  In these moments We can only run to the only one who can do that for us.
Today I am clinging to that.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7 ESV)