Friday, November 13, 2009

A little disgusted

I haven't written for a bit, yet again. Seems that any extra time I have goes into something else, usually some quality time with kids, a little housework (very little), some lesson planning, or some web surfing after kids are in bed.

I figured this would be a great place to express my slight disgust about something I heard yesterday. But first a little background.

Moriah and Susannah have been receiving mailings from an organization called People to People. This group offers great-sounding trips that seem to be civics-focused to Washington DC for the low low price of a couple thousand dollars (plus airfare). The trips look fun and informative, but the price was an automatic no, especially for two kids and especially since I couldn't find any information about scholarship options in the first batch of papers.

Now on to the disgust.

Yesterday Jim told me that another mom asked if our girls were going because her daughter along with three other kids were planning on going to one of the trips. Now, her daughter is one girl that my girls aren't really getting along with lately, making me feel a little better that my two girls aren't going. But then Jim told me that this mom and the other parents were planning on asking the community to help them fund raise for this trip.

For whatever reason (basically, my own personal sense of what's acceptable), that really sat (set?) wrong with me. I would never ask others to help me fund a trip that is only a benefit for my own child. I can see asking an organization like Rotary or Lions Club for some funding, considering the focus of those clubs. But to ask other parents to pay for my child to go on a fun trip? That isn't cool. At least not to me.

I'm trying not to jump to conclusions as to what she meant by fundraising (as Milo would counsel me in Phantom Tollbooth), but if I am asked to support these kids for this trip, I won't be happy. In fact, I've imagined a couple of times today what I might say if any of these parents ask me to support the idea. And I haven't figured out what I'd say. (How's that for dwelling on the negative?)

Perhaps I'm jealous that these families are planning to send their kids. But I don't think that's it (particularly because it is a distinct possibility that the girls will have the opportunity to take a class trip to DC next year, something I am already anticipating saving for). I think it's more likely that I'm finding that my inner-overly-righteous-severely-judgmental moral police that I've tried very hard to squish over the years is very much alive and well. I just would never do that. Ever. If I can't afford to send my kid on a 'joy' trip (which is really how I see this), I would never dream of asking someone else to help.

A mission trip is different to me. A school trip that involves every student participating in the fundraising and that enhances the curriculum is different to me. For whatever reason this format of trips just doesn't resonate with me as a great reason to ask others for money. And I'm rankled.

(and rather uncharitable, huh?)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I yelled at my kids today*

*Today=August 11, a month ago. *grin*

The title isn't fully accurate any longer; the message remains the same.

The girls and I had a lovely trip to Kohl's and Target today*. I wanted to get out there and do a little school shopping (any excuse to get out there will do!), so I grabbed the chance today*. After packing a light lunch for ourselves, we were off.

I have already drastically changed how I drive the road between Girdwood and Anchorage since Jim became the Volunteer Fire Dept. chaplain. He doesn't go out to the accidents, but he does do counseling for the responders afterwards and he's seen some gory photos. Taking it slower and driving the speed limit no longer feel like constraints. They feel like potential life-saving measures and have made me much more patient on the road. Until recently, with the number of deaths we've had on the highway.

On this particular day, I was fairly tense. Why did I yell at the girls? Because there have been six deaths this summer on the Seward Highway, two within the last week (of today*). Psychologically, those recent deaths have had an effect on my driving and made me a little more impatient than usual with the girls' noise. They just couldn't seem to get quiet despite my requests otherwise and made a lot of noise, especially once we were done shopping. All the new purchases had somehow pumped them up and they were overly enthusiastic once too often.

So, I yelled. Loudly. And for a good length of time.

Did they 'deserve' it? Maybe not the delivery style. But they 'deserved' the message. To listen to my directions so that I can stay as attentive a driver as I can, particularly with such precious cargo within the car (I mean the kids, not the wonders Target and Kohl's had for purchase!).

Driving along the highway is beautiful and deadly. I need my kids to understand that. I can live with a little yelling to make sure they do.

Friday, July 10, 2009


The internet is an amazing place to find others with common interests, common backgrounds, common occupations, common habits, common...oh, you get the picture. You can find some great laughs, some great stories, some great teaching aids, some great recipes, etc etc etc. Those tubes can dispense some remarkable information.

But it's also a place where fear lurks. Where you can read about horrifying human rights violations. Or about someone who is experiencing a disfiguring disease. Or someone who sows hatred wherever possible. Or about someone who has lost their young child.

Right now I'm brought very low with remorse over my recent self-named 'escapes' from my kids. I've had a night away with my husband, going out on a friend's boat out in Prince William Sound (yes it was fun), and I was gone most of the day today, first on a walk with one friend and then to town to 'play' with another before she leaves for medical school. And you know what? I thoroughly enjoyed being on my own, no kids in sight, no potty training stress, no toddlers pulling on my shirt and calling out "mama!" One might even say I reveled in it. Of course, you say, that's how it should be. A little time away from the kids is a good thing. Some time to yourself is 'earned' and needed and should be sought out and savored.

But I've just finished reading a blog of a family that lost a young child, a son not yet two, within the last few days. Inexplicably, their little boy died sometime in the night and they found him, lifeless, that horrifying morning. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain they are feeling. The dizzying sorrow that has invaded their house. And their sweet boy was a twin. Something that hits even harder at my heart, if that's possible.

And I find myself feeling guilty. For wanting to be away from my kids, those precious gifts that God gave us to raise and cherish. For wanting to have some 'me' time, time to be selfish and carefree. For wanting to be away instead of here. For not wanting to spend every moment I possibly can, drinking in their curiosity and their silliness and their interactions and their conversations and their dreams and their hopes and their beauty and their being.

I know. It's silly and not a little pointless to take all that on. But the fear that 'it could happen to me' is real and I'm feeling it. The thought of losing any of my children makes my heart constrict in my chest and my eyes well up with tears. How the hell is it that I can take them so for granted? Those smart, funny, beautiful children that light up my life? How?

Forgive me, Father, for being so careless with your gifts. And help me to always be thankful for those gifts. Each and every precious one.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Let's see

Who am I?

beloved child of God
pastor's wife
mom of two sets of twins (God's quirky sense of humor at work in the world)
Alaskan (yes, this feels like my home state longer a Hoosier first)
lazy butt

I'm sure I could come up with more adjectives/jobs/roles/personas, but this list seems to fit most of who I am/do. I sort of put it in order of importance, too. (No wonder I get stressed. I have a lot on my plate.) The first one might sound mushy, but it's true. I sure don't always remember that cherished spot I have in my Lord's family in the midst of my busy-ness, but when I'm down or feeling icky (as evidenced in my last post) allowing that fact to seep back into my consciousness gives me such a feeling of belonging and peace that I'm surprised I don't remember it more often.


I recently completed a Beth Moore study called Loving Well. Her basic premise is that we can't love well if we don't allow ourselves to be well loved. She said so much more during the course of that study but that is the biggie I came away with (besides Joy, Testy, Foe and Far and the blessing of combing a stranger's hair...gotta do the study to understand all that!). Allow God to love us well and we will be able to love well...His light in this world.

I don't think I allow God to love me well most of the time. I don't slow down to consider it. I don't really think I'm always worth it. And I certainly don't reflect enough to take it in. Really take it in. It goes without saying for me that God loves me. One of my spiritual gifts is faith and I really do believe with all my heart in my God and all he has done and will continue to do for me. But to fully accept that love? It boggles the mind. My mind anyway. I'll keep working to let his love wash over me and through me and see if I can't cut down on the type of downer posts I did last time.

Jesus loves me, this I know.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shy? Lonely.

I haven't written anything since that first post, 11 days ago. Probably because I assume no one is ever going to find this blog and read it. :) That would be the shy part of the title.

But tonight I think I'll delve into a subject that is one reason I started this blog: my relative loneliness. Hence the other part of the title.

The loneliness strikes me at odd times. It causes me to doubt myself. It is probably somewhat hormonally triggered. And it sucks.

I am surrounded by a noisy, loving family every day. I have a husband who is my best friend. And I love the chaos that is our home. Most of the time. But (there's always a but, right?). It's not always enough.

I am mostly a homebody, to be sure, and don't crave much of the social stuff that involves drinking and talking about things that don't interest me personally. But (yes, another but). I don't seem to be one of those people that others make a point of including. I guess I crave being wanted. Being someone who others seek out for company. And it doesn't have to be a big social event. Just a walk or a talk or a hike or phone call. But no one calls, really. I have made efforts with some people and haven't gotten much response. And that makes me sad. And insecure. Blech. (Sorry this is such a downer post, but it's on my mind and heart and I need to say type it.)

Part of me wonders if it's because I'm a pastor's wife. Could it be that others assume I won't enjoy something because of my faith? Part of me wonders if it's because we have a large family, one of the largest in this small town. Do they assume I'm too busy or overwhelmed to want to hear from them or not have time to go out to do something? Part of me wonders if I'm just a kill joy or a geek or annoying. My fragile psyche tends to assume the third option, even though at the same time I think I'm a good friend and fairly funny. Sigh.

If anyone figures out this dilemma, let me know. I'm ready to shed this yuck and feel better about myself.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Starting again

I have discovered that I enjoy blogging. I'm still relatively new to the blogosphere and am convinced I will never have a large audience, but I like it all the same. Along the way these last few months, I have found that there have been times that I wanted to blog about something more personal than this blog was created for that purpose.

Without further ado...drum roll please...welcome to my personal blog. :)

What is significant about the title you ask? Well, I am absurdly blessed. I have a life I could have only dreamed about living when I was a little girl: a truly remarkable husband, five kids who are healthy, happy and 'keepers' (read: I like them as well as love them), a job that blends my desire to work and desire to be a stay-at-home mom, a beautiful place to call home and above all a God who loves me even after looking into the depths of my heart.

I started realizing and saying I was absurdly blessed after finding out that I was pregnant with twins for the second time. I had yearned for another child for so long and God had granted me another pregnancy, with an 'extra' kidlet thrown in for laughs. I wasn't terribly excited at first (in fact I cried a lot--but don't tell the little girls!), because I knew what I was in for, but knew all the same that this pregnancy was a huge blessing and that life would only be richer for the two little lives that would join us. I was right. And stressed. And blessed. :)

So now, my youngest blessings are very ready for bed (overtired and crying) and I must end this first post.

I hope anyone who stumbles across this blog enjoys it. I know I'll enjoy writing it.