Sunday, April 20, 2014

More Easter Thoughts:

This Easter has been different. Normally we have everyone who wants to come over and who doesn’t have anywhere else to go come to our house for Easter supper. It seems as there has been a shift in our house. There has been so many changes over the last year with the dynamites in this house with yet another one of our kids moving out. Our oldest daughter Stephanie hasn’t be...en home for Easter for awhile now and our daughter Shannon is celebrating Easter on her own as a married woman. As I was gathering the goodies to put in the Easter baskets it was a little sad for me. I am down to four from six baskets to fill. I know that children are meant to grow up and leave the home to make a life of their own, but that doesn’t make it easy. All my kids came to church with me this morning except for my daughter Stephanie who lives in MO. I am sure she would have been there too if she could have come. As I sat there listening to the Easter message of hope I glanced down the row with pride. My heart was filled with joy to know that as a mom along with my husband had taught our children about God. They know the true meaning of Easter. I found comfort knowing that because each of them have accepted Christ as their personal Savior I know that they truly belong to God and that no matter where they are He is with them as well. Last night I was up filling the baskets with little trinkets of goodies and small gifts. I always love seeing my children's faces when they dig through them in the morning. However, the joy they have on their faces as they look through the special little gifts is nothing like their faces were when the received the ultimate gift of God’s love. Next week is Baptism Sunday and our youngest wants to get baptized. At the age of six she was baptized on her birthday as a gift to God, but she wants to get baptized now because she understands so much more than she did. We will honor her wish and we look forward to seeing her proclaim her love for Christ to everyone who is there.

It is amazing where my mind goes when it is quite, which at my house there is only quite at night when everyone is asleep. All the kids are with my parents. They wanted to take them to the movies. Our house is usually full of at least 30 people or so on Easter. We have had people stay until all hours of the night. A big part of me misses this house being so full of friends, family, laughter and tears to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, but this year I needed a break. We went to church and met my parents for lunch. My dad was having a hard time as he showed me a picture of me and my older brother Michael at my daughter Shannon’s wedding. When he showed it to me he said that this picture always makes him sad and then he asked me who was missing. I said Matthew my younger brother and my dad’s eyes filled with tears. Since he passed away almost 4yrs ago it is still fresh in all of our hearts. Holidays are never the same when you lose someone you love. Sitting here I remember Matthew was the one who would cut the ham and taste test it, wrestle around with the kids and who found the most interesting places to hide the eggs. One year we had one shoot out of our tail pipe of our van and about a month after one Easter we were smelling something stinky and we looked everywhere only to find a rotten egg hidden deep in the sofa. I sure do miss him, but he is celebrating yet another Easter with the one in whom we all celebrate the reason behind Easter in person.

It’s true I have had a hard time getting into the spirit of Easter. I have been sad that my kids are growing up and leaving the house and I have been consumed with money and having enough of it to give my kids Easter gifts. Easter isn’t about the Easter bunny, fancy dresses or Easter traditions. Easter is about love, family, friends, and most of all HOPE! We all have hope because the fact that Christ died and rose again!! Did you here that He rose again!!! He lives, yes Jesus lives!! I may have not opened our home to those who had nowhere to celebrate Easter this year, but I still want to tell others about HOPE and about a Savior that loves them. I am sorry to those who should have been here to celebrate with us, but my heart was heavy this year and I forgot about why we celebrate it to begin with. Take time today and remember that Jesus loved and loves you so much that He died on the cross so we can be forgiven for our sins. Remember that if you put you trust in Him and accept the free gift of eternal life we will be with Him always. Remember the HOPE that is ours to take because He rose again three days after He sacrificed His life for ours so we can be with Him always!! I am sorry I let this world get to me to the point of cancelling Easter here at our home, but I am here blessed still knowing that God loves me. He loves you too!! He cares for you!! And you are not alone!! I pray that you have a blessed Easter Sunday knowing these things.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Temper Tantrum

I haven’t written anything in a while.  I have been sorting out so many things in my life and trying to make sense of a lot of it.  I have been going through a very fast and trying time in my life.  I have faced many trials in such a short time.  Life keeps throwing me so many curve balls that I haven’t been able to keep up.   This morning Sarah who is my youngest and is nine had a rough morning.  There has been an illness running through my home and my daughter Sydney was sick through the night and woke up with a fever.  J.J. my one and only son was sick last week and through the weekend had a late start today so I let everyone sleep in.  I was very tired after spending a long night taking care of Sydney.  I decided to take Sarah to school after I took J.J. to school, so she would be late.  This didn’t sit well with Sarah. She thought that it was unfair that she had to go to school when Sydney didn’t.  I explained that Sydney is sick and has a fever. Sarah stated that she didn’t feel good either.  I checked and she didn’t have a temp so I told her that she had to go to school and that she couldn’t miss any more school.  She has had a rough year with getting sick and has been having heart issues.  She completely lost it and started yelling and screaming about how unfair I was and that she hated me and everyone else in the house, especially me.  She said that she hated it here and that she wanted to live somewhere else. She keep saying she wanted a new home.  Nothing I said calmed her down so I got up and opened to door and told her to go. I told if she really doesn’t like it here than go ahead and find a new home.  I felt so small as I held that door and said those words.  Of course she didn’t go, she just told me to shut up.  I then told her to stand in the corner and again she told me to shut up. I walked over and gave her a swat on the butt and told her that she could not talk to me like that.  I told her to get her shoes on and that we needed to take J.J. to school. Screaming and crying she got her shoes on.  I sat on the coach and prayed for wisdom and that she would calm down.  I was getting upset and I didn’t want to say something to her I would regret.  A few minutes passed and she stop screaming and crying.  I told her to come over and talk about what just happened.  She came over I opened my arms and she gave me a hug and said that she was sorry.  I told her that I love her and that this would always be her home.  I explained why she had to go to school and that she missed too much school already.  I told her that I was trying to do what I thought was best for her and I was not trying to mean.  We sat on the couch with me holding her for a few more minutes until it was time to go.  When my mom used to say “this hurts me more than it hurts you” I thought yeah right, but being a mom I now understand that it does hurt.  I don’t like seeing my kids hurt or upset in any way.  However, as a parent doing the right thing sometimes hurts their feelings and they don’t get their way all the time.  When I saw her so upset this morning and when I had to give her a spanking it hurt my heart.   As I was sitting here processing this morning I was reminded how it must hurt God’s heart to have to correct us, to watch us become upset, and to hear the hurtful things that come out of our mouths towards him and others.  This hit me hard.  God’s love abounds greatly for us.  He truly loves us and wants what is best for us.  We may not like it but when all is said and done His way is always the best.  In Jeremiah 29:11 He says that He has plans for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us.  As a parent we do the same for our kids.  They may not see us sending them to school when they don’t want to go as something good, but we know that their education is important.  We see a bigger picture. If I have to be honest I would have to say when my daughter told me that she hates me this morning, I have told God the same thing.  I told Him this when my brother died almost 4yrs ago.  Since then I have told Him that I was angry at Him.  After telling Him those things what do you think He did?  He opened His arms and said that He loved me any way.  I will never be the prefect parent but I am so glad that we have a Heavenly Father who is.
“Dear Father, help me be a better parent and to love my children with a heart like yours.  I thank you for loving me even when at times I don’t deserve it, make bad choices and say hurtful things. Please help me understand the deepest of Your love more in my everyday life.  Thank you for all You do for me and for knowing what is best.”