Saturday, July 12, 2008

Community - It Takes a Village . . .

We moved to Georgia September of 2007.  As everyone knows who has ever moved to a new place, it can take a while to make friends and build community.  Having 5 little ones in tote can sometimes make it a bit harder, because all of my time is focused on them (mothers with more than 5 - you leave me in speechless awe).  I really don't know what I would have done if it was not for the help of our new church.  They have really cared for us in an amazing way.  

There have been a few times since our move where I felt a little panic rise within - I have NO family here.  What happens when we really need a favor or some extra help? Well, I can confidently - and with a little surprise - say that God has been faithfully providing some great friendships & solid community to surround us and live out what it means to be a family in God.  Cheesy - oh yeah baby - screaming velveeta!!  But I am a mother of 5 little ones, so some help in maintaining my sanity is a divinely sweet thing.
I know that I should NOT be surprised at how God cares for us, but it seems I am forever learning the extent and length of His love.  And also realizing that if I can let go of my stubborn habit of trying to be self-sufficient, there really are some amazing folks to claim as my friends.  My soul begins to warm up to & get reacquainted with one of it's original designs - community.  The Godhead - Three in One - the Trinity - is community, and if we are made in His image we as well are made for community/fellowship.  An incredibly scary  & wonderful thing.
Living in the Dominican Republic forced me to develop community, and living in Georgia with 5 small children is forcing me to look for community.  It takes a village to raise kids, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Our great friend, Alexa, with Chloe & Claire

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's Not Just Hard - It's A Sacrifice

A group of us moms met yesterday to pray for our kids & share the hardships of balancing mom-wife-house-life.  Our theme to focus on was being an example to our kids - living out the life we desire for them to emulate.  I'm not talking cookie cutter images that adopt our personality & thoughts, that actually might be easier.  I'm talking about setting an example of what it means to fall in love with God, have Him as your foundation & serve others through His outpouring of love.  Kind of makes you want to create exact images of you rather than strive to have children who are radically sold out to Jesus.

Anyway, as we discussed this amidst potty training, how to have one on one time with our kids, and other mundane mommy things  -  the word hard came up again and again.  We quickly realized that just b/c something is hard it does not mean it has purpose.  What we are doing day in and day out has extreme importance - an eternal significance - a God given purpose.  So realizing that all that we do is a true SACRIFICE is an amazingly divine thing.  We are willingly if not always happily making sacrifices of our time, energy, patience, money, creativity - you get my point - to serve our husbands, children, and provide a good home. I know this sounds lofty - but isn't it??  Don't get me wrong - I do NOT want to be a martyr type - always complaining and whining about what I have & have to give up for 'this' family.  No.  I want to follow in Christ's footsteps and lay down my life for these people that I cherish most in this world.  I know that I cannot do this on my own - God help me.  And with His help - because of His help I can secretly, lovingly, daily sacrifice for this family - my family with a goal & purpose in mind.  How do I (we) do this??  It will look different for everyone - every family.  I will do it one day at a time, and with a big strong cup of coffee.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 7, 2008

One of Those Days!!

You know those days when you feel like all of your prayers for patience is being worked out by testing through fire & trials??? Today was one of those days.  Praise God that I became vaguely aware of it, and that today was Arturo's day off or we may have needed to start a therapy fund for our kids.  Here are some 'fun' glimpses of what I mean:

I spilled coffee all over myself
I missed the refrigerator door & dropped the jelly jar on the floor (yes it was glass & broke into a million pieces)
I opened the freezer door & a frozen casserole fell onto my foot (ouch)
Chloe rolled on the floor for 5 minutes in a fit b/c I took her out of the bathroom so that she wouldn't play in the toilet (I am NOT exaggerating - 5 full minutes at least - and she is not even 1 1/2 years old - scary)
Jillian feels like it will be 'Forever' before her b-day in October & cried
I was lifting Jillian over the baby gate with a cup of coffee in my hand, lost my balance, and fell onto the gate.  I did not land on Jillian & my coffee was mostly in the cup, but . . . my knees still have criss cross marks.
I spilled an open tupperware full of cut watermelon - good thing I hadn't mopped the floor already.
Stella let me know she had a poopy pamper by showing me the poop on her fingers from where she had dug in her pamper.
I decided a change of scenery would help, so I convinced Arturo that we should go feed the ducks at a local pond.  Everyone arrived a disheveled mess - trying to be fashionable & cute with 5 girls is way too stressful sometimes & today we were bumming - or should I say very casual. I didn't realize it was going to be blazing HOT & that there was going to be about a TON of duck & goose poop. ugh
Not sure if you can see all the piles of poo
Luckily, we came home, I filled up the kiddie pool, the kids got ice-pops, and . . .
as I went inside to put the scissors back in the kitchen - when I came out Chloe & Claire had climbed into the kiddie picnic table.  Lovely.  Here we go again, in double - Lord help me.
So I gave myself a time out, and Arturo took charge while I went for a loooong walk. AAAHHHHHHH
Tomorrow is another day - and hopefully my patience won't be tested as much!

Stella's hair . . . what can I say?

Another thing to climb on.