Wednesday, June 30, 2010

States

I saw a guy walking in Downtown Orlando today with a shirt that said "I love my State." My immediate thought was, "Florida is not that great. I'm sweating and the A/C in my car won't blog cold because my car sat on a hot parking garage roof all day." But then I thought about the other states.

How do you feel about your mental state?
What about the state your life is in right now?
How about the state of your marriage?
Or the state of all your relationships, for that matter?
The state of your faith?

What say you?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Paranoid and over-controlling? NAH.

I'm new to the "day care mom" role. Zeke's been in full-time care for, oh, about six weeks, and it feels like FOREVAH. You shouldn't be surprised that he's doing great. He's healthy, growing, INCREDIBLY social, knows all his colors, most of his shapes, his ABC's, and quantum physics (he gets that from his daddy). But there are a few things he's learned that I'm not thrilled about. They are, as follows:

* The phrase "shake your booty."

* Pointing his fingers at me and saying "pew! pew!" as if he's shooting a gun.

* The word "no."

* The word "mine."

* The fact that he has an opinion.

And here, my friends, are the two ABSOLUTE WORST things he could have POSSIBLY learned in school. I tremble in fear at the very thought:

* DORA

* SPONGEBOB

O.M.G. I about had a heart attack when I went to pick him up early the other day and he was asking another child about Dora. "No, God! Not my sweet baby!" THEN he started saying "Want watch Spongebob!" I passed out. Really, I blacked out for just a second.

I don't want him to watch Dora because it's just plain annoying. So really, there's no issue there that holds any sort of water. I can get over the Dora thing and just not watch it at home. But I have more of a true issue with Spongebob. I truly believe that it's NOT a kids show, and that it's rude and gross. The only time I've ever watched it, the yellow fellow was farting, burping, and pulled down his pants to show his butt. I just don't like that. Can I get an "amen?"

So this morning, my husband very calmly and non-chalantly (I'm so proud of you, honey!) asked the director where he may have gotten the "Spongebob" thing from. She confirmed our belief that they do not have a TV in the building (PRAISE JESUS!) but that they do listen to CD's for music time. She said that they have a Barney CD (which we already knew because Zeke is totally obsessed with the dino) but that they also have a bunch of Spongebob tapes that they listen to. I can't say I feel a WHOLE lot better, but maybe a little bit. We're not really sure what to do here. Being realistic, I can see that I'm probably the only parent who cares about this. But being Zeke's mom, I know what I do and don't want him exposed to. I'm not going to tell them not to play the tapes because it's their school, not mine (aren't you proud of me not acting all "entitled?!"). This is surely the first of many songs/videos/curse word issues I'm going to have with him at school throughout the rest of his life. How do I deal?

Can some of you more experienced moms help me out? What would you do in this situation? What HAVE you done in this situation?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Healing.

I heard somewhere (maybe it was in a book, which would mean I read it...or maybe it was our pastor who said it in a sermon) that you know you're healing from a hurt when you can pray for the person who hurt you:

When you no longer wish that harm befall him/her...

When something about that person causes you concern...

When you can honestly go to the Lord and pray for that person...

This week I had a very humbling experience. My heart broke for someone who broke mine. I found out that a certain person who was once in my life is having treatment for something that medically, was thought to be resolved.

Honestly, I was surprised when tears welled up in my eyes as I read what was going on. Before I could process what was happening, I had already begun praying for the person. I actually stopped myself and thought, "What the **** am I doing?!" For the next few minutes I fought it. HARD. But eventually God got the best of me and I gave in. It was time to take yet another step toward letting go. So I prayed. And I've prayed every time I've thought of it since.

If that person, or anyone who knows that person, is reading this, I just want you to know that you and your whole family are in my prayers. I am concerned and worried and my heart hurts for you. In praying for you, I was also led to pray for my own forgiveness for the sin of my bitterness. So thank you.

It's not much, and I'm still on the mend, but it's a start. And it feels really good to let go of just a little bit more.

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
--Matthew 5:44-45

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Operation KidConnect!!!

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Welcome!!! Operation KidConnect is a little project where I partner with Hallmark cards in an effort to encourage the special kids in my life. I hope you'll take this opportunity to do the same!
If you are new to Operation KidConnect and want to catch up, the introduction is here. If you want to find out some more about the kids I am personally encouraging throughout this project, please click here.
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Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
Engines pumping and thumping in time.
The green light flashes, the flags go up,

Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup.


Have you ever been to an elementary school track meet? You walk from the parking lot across the field into a sea of parents and older siblings dragging little ones into a throng of munchkins. All that's missing is the Lollipop Guild, really. The air is a mix of fifth-grade-boy sweat and palpable anxiety as the kids line up in age groups and prepare to race. Some parents are practically forcing their kids to get into their age group. Some are super-prepared in sweat bands and UnderArmour. Others are in jeans or pajama bottoms, totally ill-prepared for what's next.
And then, the announcer yells to start. And it's all a blur. A flurry of lanky, skinny legs and arms flailing past the start line. They're about to run a mile. That might as well be 100 miles to a first-grader.

They deftly manouver and muscle for rank,
Fuel burning fast on an empty tank,
Wreckless and wild they pour thru the turns,

Their prowess is potent and secretly stern.

The course is marked by the "rabbit," an older, cooler kid who is honestly just more able to hide his exhaustion and panting from the others. They run. And they run. Of course, there are winners in every age group, which means someone loses. Some cross the finish line to the cheers of encouragement from their waiting families. Others are pushed more forcefully: "Keep going! You've got this! Come ON, PASS him Jason!!!" Some cry. Yes, at K2's final race of the season a girl crossed the finish line first....in hysterical tears.

As they speed through the finish the flags go down.
The fans get up, and get out of town.
The arena is empty except for one man,

Still driving and striving as fast as he can.

The most remarkable part about an elementary school race is not the winners or even the losers, or the flailing frantic kids. It's what happens after the winners AND the losers have crossed the finish line. It's when the kids who never even had a chance cross the finish line. The scrawny, the unpopular, and the special needs kids. And when they are accompanied by their parents, who have chosen to run the race with them and encourage them through the breathless "I can't do it, I can't do it, I just can't"...THAT is what it's all about. THAT is where the true strength is found. There is no one left in the bleachers, the rabbits have gone off to make out with their 5th grade girlfriends, and the score-keeper is packing up her table. And still, they cross.

How do you "go the distance" for or with your kids? How can you "go the distance" with a kid who's not your own but who desperately needs your encouragement?

* Song lyrics taken from "Going the Distance" by Cake. Cake is an awesome band.


* I did not receive any compensation from Hallmark for doing Operation KidConnect. I just really like Hallmark and I hope they like me too. :)



Monday, June 7, 2010

Connecting....

Hi everyone...

I've been...out of touch recently. I've really been sad knowing that my blog is here waiting for me to write; just waiting for the words to fall on the page. Trust me, there's much to discuss. Unfortunately not much of it can be discussed on the interwebz. Strike that, NONE of them can be discussed on the interwebz. It's sad, really.

Here's what I CAN tell you:

* I am LOVING every minute of my internship. Really, that's all there is to say about that. I mean, I have never been so sure that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I'm supposed to do.

* My requirements for graduation are intense. There's a huge exam to study for, a paper to write, a portfolio to prepare and a presentation to craft. I work for at least 3 hours every day on one or all of those tasks. It's exhausting but I keep reminding myself that I only have 5 more months left.

* My son, for the most part, enjoys his day care. It's really precious to ride home with him and hear all about his friends and his teachers. He tells the best little stories!

* We share a car. That means I'm taking time out of my day (and Josh is taking time out of his) to commute with each other to Zeke's day care, then to work, then back to Zeke's day care, then home. We leave the house before 7:00 a.m. and don't get back until after 6:30. It's pretty brutal. Does anyone want to give us a free car? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

* We are doing our best to draw close to the Lord through this time and to really sort out the lessons that are to be learned. There are about 1,000 I'm sure.

* We are just doing our best, and just getting by.

So I apologize to those of you who have been reading my Operation KidConnect posts. I'm extremely upset that I haven't been able to post them regularly, and I know I should write my posts on the weekends and schedule them throughout the week and blah blah blah, but I am really struggling. Now that I don't spend all day with my toddler, when I do get to spend time with him on the weekends it's really important that I take that time and unplug from my various devices.

Today at church, the pastor said "saying that someone has 'potential' is a compliment...until it's an indictment." Meaning, you can have all the potential you want, but at some point you need to use it. That's what I'm doing here, trying to finish my degree and yes, WORKING once I receive it. I'm struggling through massive feelings of guilt about putting Zeke in day care and mourning the loss of the freedom I once had to take walks, go to the gym, go to play dates and see my friends. Finishing is one of the most difficult decisions I've made. It would have been easier for me to keep the status quo and blame my lack of completion of this degree on "time running out" or "life happening" or something like that. But the truth is, I have the power to finish this thing. And if these gifts of mine are truly given to me by God, which I wholeheartedly believe they are, then God will see me through this internship, through graduation and onto a fulfilling job. So basically I've realized that it's time to start acting like I believe this. So that's what I'm doing. I'm sorry that's caused me to be a little bit out of touch lately. I hope to have some thoughts about connecting with kids a little bit later this week.

You all rock. Thanks for reading. :)