Thursday, August 3, 2017

Summer of 2017

And just like that, Summer is just about over.  School starts in just a couple of weeks and I will now have a 7th grader and a Junior in High School.  It just doesn't seem possible.  I don't envy my friends sending their babies off to college or starting their senior year.  My heart is with you all that are having to do that.

This Summer has been full of lots of things, mostly good things.  We got to play some football and basketball.  Christian loved going on the Missions trip again.  It is always a life changing experience for him.  Bo is determined to go next year.  Both boys enjoyed youth camp and Bryan and I had a week to ourselves. It's a brief glimpse into what life will look like without kids around.  We have talked about what hobbies we may try to take up so that we can have things to do when the kids leave us.  He mentioned golf and I mentioned dancing.  Bryan was quick to tell me he wouldn't be spending every weekend at the club.  This was quite comical to me since I can't remember the last time I have been to a club.  Don't ask me how many times I went when I was younger.  Of course, I meant salsa lessons or something along those lines.  We are getting better at taking time away from our kids even if it is just for a day.  20 years together and 18 years married, we are still working on this crazy, wonderful life we live and created together.

This was the first Summer that my oldest has been a full time licensed driver.  I have to admit, I pray often but I really do like that I don't have to chauffeur him around anymore and he can help with little brother too.  With all of that responsibility has been a whole new learning curve for mom and dad.  We have had to establish rules which we never have had clear cut ones.  Bryan and I do well as a team in deciding what's best for our kids.  However, I am much more the worrier and want to put down rules to give myself some sense of security.  Bryan's rules are much simpler: Be respectful, be careful and you know what we expect.  I mean, that's it?  Like I said, we work better as a team.  I think the hardest part has been raising the teenage boy.  Sure, we haven't dealt with much drama or emotional meltdowns at certain times but the struggle is still real.  The hardest part for me in raising boys is helping them become the strong men they need to be to lead their homes and raising them to still be submissive to authority and kind and compassionate.  It sounds easy but not so much when you have strong boys.  I have had many moments where I wonder "who raised these kids?"  I always have this fear of raising jerks so when one of mine gets that tone, I take it personal to the extreme.  I have to choose my battles at times too.  I have to let my guys talk when they are ready and then be careful not to ask too much because then they shut down.  It can be tiring trying to figure out what my move should be.  This is why I think the best thing a momma can do is pray and when you pray, you call out the good things in your kids.  Though they may act like the devil, you call out the light inside of them.  You remind yourself of the joy you had in your heart when they were born and the promises God gave you for them.  You see them at their best even when the worst may be spewing out.  And don't ever stop praying for their friends.  Their outside influences enter your home whether you physically allow them to or not.  When you pray for their friends you get to see a strong bond develop and you can be confident in knowing the circle will rise and succeed together.  Mommas, don't ever stop praying!

This Summer, we also decided to do some updates to our house.  It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint and some new decor can do.  I am no decorator and my house hasn't been spruced up since my mom initially helped me years ago.  Thank God she was there to help me then.  Surrendering to the fact that decorating is not my strong side, this time I asked the help of a great lady with an eye for such things.  She came in and used some of my old stuff along with some new things and basically brought me to tears when I saw the final product.  It may not be as fancy to some but to me it was a fresh start.  There were a couple of old pieces that had sentimental value to Bryan's family that I never knew what to do with.  So one hung in the garage and the other in my laundry room.  She took them and gave them purpose with refurbished frames and mounts.  I have always been honest with you guys in telling you that I feel the Lord talks to me through my experiences.  So seeing these old pieces being made new again spoke volumes to me.  God always has something new for you.  It doesn't matter how old you are or where you have been hiding, God's mercies are new every day.  Dust off the old.  Open your eyes because you never know who he will put in your path that will call out the good in you.  Sound silly?  Maybe so, but it speaks to my spirit.  I will be 40 this upcoming year.  Some may say that is old and others may laugh and call me just a baby.  But you would think as I approach 40 that I am more comfortable in my own skin.  While most of that is true, I am also going through a transition.   Am I smart enough?  Am I pretty enough?  Am I healthy enough?  What dreams do I have?  What new thing can God do in me?  The truth is he can do something new in me.  And I can do something new for someone else.  You may be the dusty old picture hanging in some dark place.  You think you will go unnoticed forever.  But open your ears and your eyes, because God can send someone along the way who will pick you up and see the beauty within you.  You may be the one who needs to find the light in someone else.  Don't hesitate to share with someone their worth and what they mean to you.  You may be the person they need to call them out of the darkness and into the light.  We all have purpose.  Ask for it, seek it and knock.  We have not, because we ask not as the scripture says.

I am not a bible scholar nor am I the perfect Christian.  I am a momma, a wife, a daughter and a friend who is trying to figure this life out just like you.  I mess up daily.  Some days I like to believe God helps me correct my mistakes and other days I think he must say: be careful, have respect and you know what I expect.  I am so thankful he makes all things new even at 40, well almost 40.
Enjoy the rest of your Summer friends and family.
Summer days drifting away...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Confessions of a boy mom

So it has been a really long time since I have sat down to write.  Honestly, I have gone from crazy, to super stressed, to just being still.  Recently I feel like that is what the Lord has been saying to my spirit.  "Be still and know...".
Life hasn't changed much really other than the boys are another year older and I am about 20 pounds heavier than I want to be.  But recently I have been all up in my feelings.  I have been that emotional girl.  I have been that crazy wife and I have definitely been THAT mom.  And in my house full of boys, it is not easy being the emotional one.  I am all alone in that department.  Oh the joys of being the only lady in the house.  And I use the word "lady" very cautiously.
I have heard it said that it is harder to raise a daughter and how you worry more with a girl.  So let me preface what I am about to say with this.  I do not have a girl and I don't know what it is like to raise one so I won't pretend to know exactly how it is with a girl.  Parts of me wish Bryan and I had a little curly haired girl running around but it just wasnt God's plan.  And we agreed to not keep trying to figure out God's plan.  Instead we ended up with boys.  We ended up with two testosterone filled, stinky, strong willed, competitive boys.
So as a boy mom I need to get my feelings out.  This week has been crazy!  My boy's birthdays are one day apart with 4 years in between.  I have one who is on the verge of shaving and the other who just got his license.  I have been completely distracted by trying to do the parent taught driving thing that I didn't even realize my 12 year old has facial hair.  He needs to shave soon.  But now that I see it, I am just in denial.  It's baby fine, no one else notices it.  Or do they??  I refuse to have any part on making the call on his first shave.  I am a mom in complete denial that the baby is growing up.
But this does not compare to the driving thing.  So when we signed up for the parent taught driver's course, I was all about it thinking Bryan would show him all of the ways of driving.  I hate to drive.  If I was rich I would have a chauffeur.  Little did I know, I would be with my kid the majority of the time.  I could not stomach the whole process.  I panicked and yelled.  We would often get in fights on the way somewhere and then have to fake a smile as we got out the meet someone.  Why did I get stuck doing this?  Fast forward almost a year later to his 16th birthday.  I stressed all week that my paperwork wasn't in order.  Then I looked at Bryan and said "He isn't ready!".  Bryan said "Well if he isn't ready by now we are in trouble".  I prayed the whole week and even more so the day of his test.  Needless to say he passed with ease and we now have a licensed driver.
Now we start a whole other set of rules.  To be honest, we are learning as we go because we have never had to set firm rules.  Oh and then there is this need for me to try to control things even more because I am afraid of losing control.  I know I am sounding a little crazy.  Then if you have a strong willed child you know you have to tread easily.  You want to maintain control without totally killing their spirit and what makes them unique.
I am confident most of the times on the way I have raised my boys but still question my mothering skills just about every day.  I wasn't prepared for the feelings I would have when they go to meet a friend's or girl's parents for the first time.  I get a pit in my stomach knowing there is someone looking at my son thinking they may not be good enough.  And mom's of girls I can only imagine this is how you feel and no boy will ever be good enough.  I so understand because I am sure this is how my parents felt.  But I can promise you we are trying.  I pray that my boys are respectful and act like gentlemen.  I hope they hold the door open and compliment her when she looks nice.  I hope you know that they have goals of their own and that we would never want them to hinder your daughter's goals.  But I can't promise that they are always thinking about them as I watch them giggle like two year olds watching Sponge Bob or playing a video game with their fellow stinky friends.  I can't promise that they won't ever rev their engine or make a rut in the yard or leave their trash out.  Bryan and I will do our best to raise Godly young men who will one day love your girl the way Christ loves the church.  This is a work in progress and consists of daily prayers.
I also never knew how much I would love my boy's friends.  They are like my own.  I feel like I have many sons.  They will make you laugh.  They will fart in your car.  They will take off their shoes and you will think you have died and gone to hell. They will insult each other, laugh and get over it as to where I would be in tears.  I have prayed for those boys by name.  I believe in praying for the kids who surround mine.  This is an important circle for you to know and pray for.  Who is speaking into your kids lives?  Who are they running to Whataburger with?  Who is in their truck? Who let the dogs out?  Just kidding on that one.  Seriously though, there is something about the male bond that us girls will never truly understand.
My last thing to say is this.  I want to raise strong boys who are courageous and can stand in the toughest of times.  I also want them to be meek and humble.  I want them to know that they first must seek God's kingdom.  My boys are blessed with the best earthly father but there is no father like God.  I pray they know His voice.  If they know His voice then in the moments of temptation just maybe they will hear His whisper.  Mom and Dad won't always be around so they have to know the voice of the Father.  Though I would have loved the sweet tenderness of a girl, I am learning to embrace the valor of my boys.  Don't know if I am tough enough to handle all they throw at me, but I sure am building some muscle.  "The Lord is my refuge and strength..."

Love all my girl moms.  And to my fellow boy moms, take cover in the battle zone.
God is raising up a great group of boys and girls!