Saturday, November 27, 2010

I love this kid, a year ago and today too...Remembering Will's first birthday party

Exhausted from the long day yesterday, I sit here and type out my remembrance of his day. His first birthday party. I wanted to soak it all in but instead all I could think of was if there was enough food, if everyone was enjoying themselves or if I was doing things too quickly or too slowly. Then there was the other thoughts, was my house clean enough, why didn't so and so come?

And then I think of all the good. The out of town sister-in-law that would've given her right arm to help in any way, the little man's face lighting up when he saw all of the people coming in, the best friends that DID come, Daddy in his pilgrim hat, lots of food and fun and good times with friends.

The party started at 2:00pm Saturday, the 20th of November, but the preparation started weeks before. The invitations were all handmade. Turkeys, Candy Corns, and Pilgrim Hats. A label with all of the party information was attached to the side of each invite with Raffia. The Cake was a giant cupcake! I saw this great giant cupcake pan at my mom's house when I went to visit her in October. I told her that it would be perfect for his party and she said she'd be happy to let me borrow it.

The Cupcakes were carrot cupcakes, regular size and minis with homemade white icing and topped with leaf paper punches in yellow, orange and brown.

The Treats were the cutest little Turkey Cookies that I snagged from Betty Crocker online! They'd be perfect for a Thanksgiving Day activity with older kids. My Mother-In-Law and I whipped up 39 of them in 3 hours two days before the party.

The Guests ages ranged from 2 1/2 weeks to 7 years. They played a game where they had to find "the turkey, potato and corn" (squeaky toys from Target) and they got the prize that was with it when they found it! (an Odessey cd or a Punch Balloon - who doesn't love a good punch balloon?)

All in all I think everyone had a good time. Maybe too good. Poor Will has been "getting" teeth for about 3 weeks now and it seems to have finally gotten to the worst. He hasn't slept a whole night through in 4 days. The last two nights, he has woken up 4 times! He's getting a little on the snotty side because of it and can't breathe when he lays down at night. So he drops his paci to breathe out of his mouth and then cries because he doesn't have his paci. It's. been. miserable. He woke this morning at 12am, back to sleep until 2:30, then asleep until 4am, went back to sleep and then woke up for good at 6:25am. He cried all morning and Tyler came in and said, "if you guys need to stay home from Church today it's ok."

Despite the permission to stay, we got up and started getting ready, only after 4 meltdowns and a total screamfest, we decided to forego church this morning. I tried.

We sat down in the living room and nursed him, he fell asleep. I couldn't quit looking at my little boy. My baby. My sweet little man with his red curls, all asleep in my arms. I love this kid, a year ago and today too.

Friday, November 12, 2010

saturated in eternity

I had a conversation with a teenage girl the other day that really opened my eyes up. We were discussing the matter of "cliques" and I ventured to say that maybe this group needed to reach out a bit more to others instead of always hanging out with the same people. The response came as follows:

"Well, other people have said things about us being a clique, but we [the clique] talked about that and we decided that if we like hanging out with each other then why should we hang out with anyone else? We don't want to hang out with others because we love each other so much." (this was said in a very sweet manner, not rudely or with even an ounce of attitude)

I sat there, hoping to interject a peice of wisdom that would be heeded by the young girl, and not stuffed under the seat to rot and decay where other "jewels" I have given end up.

I started out, "Well, at least you're honest...but what happens if we only 'hang out' with those that we like? We stop being a Youth Ministry and become a Youth Group. Instead of reaching out, we become so exclusive that we don't minister to anyone but ourselves. That's not really the purpose of the Youth Ministry."

I went on to reference a message Tyler had JUST PREACHED on Wednesday night about "Saturated In Eternity." He told the funny story of one of his high school teachers that took a bottle of Eternity cologne on a trip with him. When he opened his luggage at his destination, he discovered that his bottle of cologne had been crushed and the contents of the entire bottle were distributed somewhat overwhelmingly onto each and every single garment he owned! He washed and washed his clothes but nothing could rid the smell of "Eternity" from his clothing. When he came back to school the following week the kids were almost knocked over with the stench. "What is UP!?" they asked their teacher. He told them the story and ended with the line, "I can't help it guys, it seems that wherever I go, I'm just saturated in Eternity."

The main point of this story being that our lives are lived simply from point A to point B. Lasting about as long as a vapor of steam (James 4:14). But eternity lasts, well, forever and ever and ever and ever and well, you get the point. What we do in this life is but for a moment, but living for Christ is a life spent living for others and laying up treasure that lasts for an eternity.

Was I saying that it's wrong to have close friends? Special friendships with people that are encouraging and fellowship with those of a like mind? No, of course not. But I was saying that if those friends were true and real and worth having, those friends would understand if you chose to sit with a visitor on Wednesday night instead of with them. Would understand you inviting someone to your house that isn't normally on your "Saturday Night Sleep-over" list. Would understand giving a hand to a struggling fellow believer or newcomer to our church family. These are the friends that would help you to be "Saturated In Eternity" and these are the friends worth having. And if you don't have these friends, why not reach out and find some friends like that?

Encouraging this young girl to live out the sermon she had just heard on Wednesday was an exciting and yet, humbling experience. Why? Because I know that in my own life there are days and I might add, weeks where I lived 'in the moment' instead of 'in Eternity'. 

We are such selfish creatures.

From the beginning of man, to the end of time, we will either continue to live for self or decide to live "Saturated In Eternity". When I drive through Chic-Fil-A next week will I selfishly take my No.1 with extra pickle and pull off or will I take the time to hand the cashier at the window a tract with the life-saving gospel of Christ? Will I lounge on the couch and spend countless hours on Facebook and Lightroom or will I sit with my child on the floor, sing Bible songs and teach him about His sweet Creator?

What will you change? Will you pray and ask the Father to help you become "Saturated In Eternity" today?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

After The Birth, What A Family Needs...

This is an amazing article that I wish I would've had when Will was born. You can bet that I will be implementing it for my next birth. Everyone is different. Some people want company, others just want peace and quiet alone with their new baby. I was the latter of the two :) A few people kept wanting to just "pop" in on me to visit...They wanted to hold the baby, which was completely understandable, but when I was exhausted and just wanted to rest with my baby, having people over to entertain was just another tiring thing.

I found this on a friend's FB page. Went to her website, copied and pasted with her permission. Please visit her site, Gloria Lemay, Birth Blog, for more information!

After the Birth, what a family needs

Posted on October 28, 2008 by gloria

“Let me know if I can help you in any way when the baby is born.” … “Just let me know if you need a hand.” … “Anything I can do, just give me a call.”

Most pregnant women get these statements from friends and family but shy away from making requests when they are up to their ears in dirty laundry, unmade beds, dust bunnies and countertops crowded with dirty dishes. The myth of “I’m fine, I’m doing great, new motherhood is wonderful, I can cope and my husband is the Rock of Gibraltar” is pervasive in postpartum land. If you’re too shy to ask for help and make straight requests of people, I suggest sending the following list out to your friends and family. These are the things I have found to be missing in every house with a new baby. It’s actually easy and fun for outsiders to remedy these problems for the new parents but there seems to be a lot of confusion about what’s wanted and needed…

1. Buy us toilet paper, milk and beautiful whole grain bread.

2. Buy us a new garbage can with a swing top lid and 6 pairs of black cotton underpants (women’s size____).

3. Make us a big supper salad with feta cheese, black Kalamata olives, toasted almonds, organic green crispy things and a nice homemade dressing on the side. Drop it off and leave right away. Or, buy us frozen lasagna, garlic bread, a bag of salad, a big jug of juice, and maybe some cookies to have for dessert. Drop it off and leave right away.

4. Come over about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then fold all the piles of laundry that have been dumped on the couch, beds or in the room corners. If there’s no laundry to fold yet, do some.

5. Come over at l0 a.m., make me eggs, toast and a 1/2 grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw out everything you are in doubt about. Don’t ask me about anything; just use your best judgment.

6. Put a sign on my door saying “Dear Friends and Family, Mom and baby need extra rest right now. Please come back in 7 days but phone first. All donations of casserole dinners would be most welcome. Thank you for caring about this family.”

7. Come over in your work clothes and vacuum and dust my house and then leave quietly. It’s tiring for me to chat and have tea with visitors but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to clean, organized space.

8. Take my older kids for a really fun-filled afternoon to a park, zoo or Science World and feed them healthy food.

9. Come over and give my husband a two hour break so he can go to a coffee shop, hockey rink or some other R&R that will delight him. Fold more laundry.

10. Make me a giant pot of vegetable soup and clean the kitchen completely afterwards. Take a big garbage bag and empty every trash basket in the house and reline with fresh bags.

These are the kindnesses that new families remember and appreciate forever. It’s easy to spend money on gifts but the things that really make a difference are the services for the body and soul described above. Most of your friends and family members don’t know what they can do that won’t be an intrusion. They also can’t devote 40 hours to supporting you but they would be thrilled to devote 4 hours. If you let 10 people help you out for 4 hours, you will have the 40 hours of rested, adult support you really need with a newborn in the house. There’s magic in the little prayer “I need help.”

First Posted Aug 2001

Monday, November 8, 2010

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