Great Job With The Laundry!

IMG_2771I’m doing a Bible study called Gideon by Priscilla Shirer about how God uses our weaknesses and turns it to strength. (Find the story of Gideon in just three chapters of the Bible). This week we talked about finding God in the ordinary tasks of our days. Gideon was threshing wheat – an ordinary, not exciting job – when an angel of the Lord met him.

What are the ordinary tasks in your day?

  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Changing Diapers
  • Picking up toys
  • Driving kids to activities

We noted its not often our husbands come home and say “Great job with the laundry! You did really good at loading the dishwasher! No one drives the kids around town as good as you!” But even though these ordinary mundane tasks often go unnoticed, they are still important. “Today’s tasks – even the most mundane of them – are often preparation for tomorrow’s calling. They can carry clues to what He (God) is leading us to learn and accomplish as we faithfully serve Him” (Priscilla Shirer, Gideon study, p.47).

What is God trying to teach you through the ordinary of your life? I have dishes to do because I have food to feed my family. I have laundry because we have an abundance of clothes. I’m thankful for diapers to change and toys to pick up because that means I have a precious little boy to play with. God is showing me to be faithful in the little things, so I learn to be faithful in even greater matters (Luke 16:10). He is showing me to do all things as unto the Lord, giving thanks to Him (Colossians 3:17).

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And I’m learning that if I really want acknowledgement for the ordinary tasks I accomplish, I should text my mom.

Don’t Freak Out When the Squirrel Comes in The House

Have I mentioned lately that Jack doesn’t stop moving? It seems that everyday he discovers more of the house and increases his speed. Despite the multitude of toys he could play with, he prefers making a speedy get-away to everything he’s not supposed to get into: the newspaper, pulling up the floor vents, etc. Yesterday Jack discovered how to open the kitchen cabinets and drawers. And he’s very proud of himself for doing so. He also enjoys inspecting the cables behind the media cabinet as if he is planning on rewiring the system.

image_4After chasing him all over the house this morning, I fashioned my own gates to at least keep Jack in one room.

Unfortunately the incredibly loud thunderstorms interrupted Jack’s nap (and mine – you know its loud if it wakes ME up!) So we prepped for a walk. While I grabbed our jackets, Jack crawled head first into the frame of the coffee table.  I didn’t see this, I only heard the thud and recognized it immediately. I’ve walked into the table myself. I know the pain. Poor boy.

image_1Thankfully he was distracted from crying because our squirrel was at the back door! Jeff has trained several squirrels over the years to come to our back door for treats. Our first squirrel, Buddy, was trained by throwing little nacho chips toward him like frisbees. Since then we’ve had a few squirrels but I don’t remember all their names. They usually stick around for a season and then we don’t see them again…image_2

Lately we’ve had a new squirrel who has a patch of fur missing, hence his name Patch (are you amazed at our creativity?). He’s a little enthusiastic about getting a nut. (That’s some foreshadowing for you!)

Jack sat by the back door and I knelt next to him, getting a nut out of the jar for Patch. I open the door to throw the nut but Patch imagelooks like he’s going to bite my hand off. So I dropped the nut. Except Patch didn’t see that. So he came inside the house.

At this point I wanted to freak out and run away.  (Aaaahhh! Rabid squirrel in the house!!!) But then I remembered Jack boy sitting next to me. I mustered up some bravery, half shielding Jack with my arm (because of course the squirrel who climbs high into trees can’t make it over, under, or through my arm to the cute little boy sitting less than two feet from him).

Patch took a few steps backward out the door and I threw him two nuts. Closed the door and locked it. Just in case he knew how to open the door. Breathing a sigh of relief, we watched Patch while safely protected by our super heavy glass door. I’m sure Jack would have preferred to pet Patch. 

image_5After our walk, Jack had lunch when he demonstrated his faster-than-mama-reflexes by hitting the spoon as I move it towards his mouth. You can imagine the disaster. But wait – you don’t have to imagine, I took a picture! I had to change his whole outfit which is an adventure itself because he won’t lay down or sit still. (When we are in public and I have to change Jack’s diaper, I strongly consider asking a stranger to come help me).

I put Jack back with his toys while I cleaned up lunch real quick and when I turned around Jack is licking the bricks on the fireplace.

Success for today: at least we didn’t get attacked by our squirrel.

Yesterday I Couldn’t Walk

This post should have been written last week but I was too busy hobbling around.

Last Monday night I sprained my ankle playing soccer. (Hopefully that’s glamorous enough of a story for you because all I did was step and turn and my ankle didn’t come with me.) I heard a lot of cracking, breaking noises as I fell to the turf. I was hoping my ankle wasn’t broken because how do you take care of a 9 month old who doesn’t stop moving when you can’t move yourself?

Arriving home, as I hopped through the house to shower and change, I realized my chances of taking care of Jack on my own the next day were slim. My mother-in-law (“Mimi”) and grandmother-in-law (“Granny”) came over to help with Jack. It also happened to be a huge snowstorm.

IMG_1541Before Mimi and Granny arrived I tried putting Jack down for a nap. I pulled him onto my lap, sat in my computer chair, and rolled over to the stairs, where I hopped/limped up and laid Jack in his crib.  He was much too curious about our mode of transportation to go to sleep. After a few attempts, we went back downstairs and cuddled on the couch watching Dinosaur Train. I tried to ice (with a frozen bag of corn – it’s the best ice pack!) but Jack wondered what it was. Eventually I quit icing and Jack fell asleep on the couch.

When Mimi and Granny arrived (and even brought lunch!), I left Jack in their capable hands – and movable feet – and drove myself for x-rays to make sure the ankle wasn’t broken. Although it took the doctor forever, she finally confirmed my ankle was just sprained. Then she tried to put my old air brace on me which I had brought with, but she adjusted it incorrectly… At one point she said “You probably know more about this than I do!” Yes, I’m sure my previous injuries are the equivalent of a Medical Degree.

That evening I talked to my mom, requesting her assistance for the next day to help me get back into this walking thing which was painful and nearly impossible.  She gladly agreed.

Wednesday morning I woke up, and despite the still-swollen and still-bruised ankle, I walked on it with almost no problems and little pain. Jack decided he’d help me test this out.

Jack standing at the table he's not supposed to stand at.

Jack standing at the table he’s not supposed to stand at.

  1. Jack poops. I change his diaper. He finishes his bottle. While he’s playing nicely on his play mat I rinse the bottle and put in dishwasher.
  2. I rush back to find Jack playing with the blinds and he has pooped again. I’m not sure what transpired except that I put my glass of water on the coffee table, went to the kitchen for literally 5 seconds before I hear some clinking noises.
  3. Jack spilled my water on the table and floor but thankfully the glass was rolling on the floor and not broken.
  4. Poopy and somewhat wet Jack was sent to jail, I mean the pack & play, so I could dry the floor.
  5. I changed the second poopy diaper. But before I can get a new one on, a fountain shoots forth (which always shocks me like I don’t know where it’s coming from. In fact most of the time this happens, I actually back away from the fountain, instead of covering it.)
  6. Jack goes back in pack & play so I can clean up his pee. 
  7. Returning to Jack I see he managed to reach the box of Kleenex on the side table and had shredded a Kleenex, dropping most of it on the floor and I assume eating the other parts.
  8. Then Jack spits up all over pack & play.

That was only the first hour he was awake! I was definitely ready for a nap. So my mom, Grammy, shows up while Jack is napping. But since she always wants to be productive (and is aware of my infrequent deep-cleaning of my house (or cleaning, not even “deep“)), she begins to clean. She’s wonderful.

About the time she finished cleaning the house, my ankle was miraculously healed! (I joke, but I’m kind of serious). At least my ability to keep up with Jack was almost back to normal, and to do so without much pain. “Mom, yesterday I couldn’t even walk.” I tried to explain that I really did think I was going to need her help, but turns out I would’ve been ok. Thankfully Grammy loves any excuse to see her precious little Jack.

What a blessing to have family who drop everything to come help me! And I’m very thankful my ankle is healing quickly.  Back to soccer next week!

Love It. Hate It.

I’ve found recently there are several things I both love and hate simultaneously. I’ve been making a mental list in preparation for this blog.IMG_3869

1. Jack will be fussy late afternoon despite my fun and creative playing with him. Then Jeff walks through the door and Jack smiles and cheers like he’s been a perfect little boy.
Love It: Jeff’s a great dad and I’m glad Jack is happy to see him.
Hate It: what’s wrong with playing with me?

2. In the middle of the night Jack sometimes cries. As soon as I pick him up he is quiet and asleep in my arms.
Love It: Jack is so cute and cuddly when he is asleep!
Hate It: I had to get out of bed and walk on a cold floor.

Jack cuddling with Mama because he wouldn't sleep in his crib. Another Love/Hate.

Jack cuddling with Mama because he wouldn’t sleep in his crib. Another Love/Hate.

3. When Jack and I arrive to see family, or friends, or Bible study. People immediately greet Jack.  It takes about half an hour later for them to say hi to me.
Love It: Jack is so cute and fun and smiles when he sees you, not to mention he’s changing everyday, so it makes sense people would greet him more.
Hate It: You know Jack wouldn’t be here visiting you unless I had driven him over 😉

4. Usually Jack is with me at the grocery store. He sits in the cart like a little big boy and smiles at everyone we see, especially those of grandparent-age. People smile back, tell me how adorable he is, and often we are in conversation for a few minutes. Shopping without Jack is quicker, but less friendly. People aren’t as forgiving when you almost run into them with your cart.
Love It: I enjoy showing Jack off and getting into conversations with strangers. I think Jack brightens people’s days.
Hate It: I can brighten people’s days too. I smile. Just smile back once in awhile.

5. Sometimes I worry about Jack: what he’s eating, who can babysit him, what he’s going to be like when he grows up, he’s going to grow up and not be in my arms anymore. But continually God is reminding me that He is in control – not me, as much as I think I am often. God holds Jack in His hands. His purposes are greater than I can imagine. I can trust the Lord with everything, including my precious Jack.
Love It: My faith is growing as I learn to let go of my concerns and realize that God cares and God is in control.
Hate It: I don’t want to worry. I know I have to continually surrender my cares to God.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

“Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders— He’ll carry your load, He’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin. But you, God, will throw the others into a muddy bog, Cut the lifespan of assassins and traitors in half. And I trust in you.” Psalm 55:22-23 (The Message)

Reflexes

Babies have this reflex where they throw their arms out if they think they’re falling. The funny thing is, they aren’t falling. Jack does this all the time. And it’s hilarious.

Jack loves his changing tables – any changing table for that matter. But it seems to be the place most often where he thinks he’s falling. I wish I could capture it in a picture or video but I never know when it’s coming. Sometimes he just throws his arms to the side, trying to catch himself (from no danger). Sometimes his legs go out too so his body makes an X or a starfish. I laugh a little and reassure him. “Jack you aren’t falling. I wouldn’t let anything happen to you.”

Then it hit me: how many times do I do the same thing? How often do I “freak out” over nothing? Worry about things that won’t happen?

And God looks at me, laughs a little, and says “Debbie don’t worry. I’m with you and I won’t ever leave you. Give Me your burdens and I’ll give you rest.”

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Monster or Miracle?

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“Mommy’s Little Monster” is what Jack’s shirt says. A friend gave it to us. I’ve seen “little monster” baby clothes everywhere. But I’m not a fan.

Jack isn’t a monster. He’s a miracle. Even if he wasn’t prayed for by a hundred people, even if it wasn’t a high risk pregnancy with complications, he’s still a miracle. Every baby is.

Babies aren’t monsters. They are a gift. A reward. A blessing.

Yes I even feel like this at 2am when he wants to eat. And though there will be challenges and hard days, I’ll feel like this when he’s a teenager.

It’s Jack’s third outfit for the day so he can wear the monster onsie. Yes I know its just a onsie and not a “big deal.” But he won’t hear his mommy call him a monster. My Jack is an amazing gift from God. What a privilege and blessing that God has entrusted this precious boy to me!