Friday, April 30, 2010

Meet the Fist

For those of you that have never been acquainted with the fist, let me introduce you. It's really quite simple, yet it's origins are unknown & it's arrival is not documented. Roughly four months ago Veronica would fall into a trance like state watching Strawberry Shortcake, or have imaginary playtime. While she was completely involved in this "other" world, she might voice, "Mama go away," or "No daddy, only Veronica." She wanted to be in her own world without us there.

This makes complete sense. I know there are some movies, shows, or conversations that I want to do solo. Well, as time progressed & we asked Veronica to ask us to leave politely, she developed what we have later dubbed, "the fist." This is where she would put her fist up to block our faces out of her view (see picture below).

The fist has even been included in the times when she is facing an unfortunate consequence. And it is not uncommon to hear me affectionately say, "Veronica, don't give me the fist."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

To Delight

I have been in San Diego with Ben as the girls have been with his parents in WA. Our family got hit with sickness this past week ending with me. Today is our third day here in CA & my first day feeling the best I have since Monday morning.

I brought some books to read and have spent some time this morning reading a book from the author Karol Ladd. She aims to help mothers become ‘Positive Attitude Coordinators’ in their life, home & community. It’s basic stuff, not heady or overly involved. Yet although it’s simple & practical–”the proof is in the pudding,” so to speak.

Last week while Veronica was sick, I was tested time & again in patience. It was one of the harder weeks of being a mama. On Friday was my breaking point. I asked God lots of questions & began to wonder if I was doing anything right in raising these girls. Did I need to revamp the way I did things or read different parenting info or what?

Then, it hit me like a bag of bricks. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, yet it was. It was that aha moment even if we’ve heard it a million times before. God confirmed that I didn’t need to scour the parenting section in the bookstore.

As the girls napped, I wrote out a mission statement for my life. As I was answering questions, a few common themes appeared. I began to connect the dots and that’s when the light bulb appeared to my aha moment.

In college and for a big chunk of my post junior high life, I’ve been told of the importance of having a daily “quiet time” with the Lord. People/mentors would quote Scripture as to why it’s important. Heck, I was one of those mentors saying the same thing to the people I cared for; however, I don’t think I really, truly understood the full value of it.

There would be people who would say things like, “oh, I can’t survive without a quiet time with the Lord,” or “All I need is alone time with God.” I remember thinking, “seriously! Are you being honest with everyone or is this just for show?”. I think for me it was more like I waited till I was starving to spend time with God.

Psalm 63:5 says this, “My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips.” I had been depriving myself of the feast God prepares for me daily, in order that I would be sustained throughout the day. I would use verses like “pray without ceasing” to rectify my situation, or even feel like I was holy enough to not live within Christian imposed standards. But, what I really was neglecting to see was how God was inviting me to his wasting table to dine with him, to come to his inner courts to hear his words of delight as I danced freely within the safety of his arms.

Last Friday I heard God say that I needed to come to him daily to hear him speak to me what my worth is & where my identity rests. I need that daily time, in order to fulfill the God-given roles he has placed before me. And when I try to do this mothering, wife, friend (fill I the blank with whatever role I am carrying) thing without hearing from my perfect Father daily…I end up depriving the stomach of my soul. It’s like starting my morning by eating skittles & Coke, as if any sustenance can come from that breakfast.

When I first started this blog, I had the most ridiculous address, because it was ling & complicated. It was ‘’. I quickly changed it, but the verse was spoken & prayed over me when I was doing a mission trip in college. “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

This is the place where God invites me to rest and to be known. And in this day as I am able to reflect & hear from God without child interruptions, here is a quote that spoke to me, “Our delight comes in following God’s purpose & plan for our own families, not someone else’s.” I pray that you would be encouraged to feast at God’s table & find his words of delight in you as you follow him.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

On the Sisterhood

I never had a sister. When my mom was pregnant with my younger brother Andrew, I remember praying to God asking for a sister. Not only did I get a brother, but he happened to share the same birthday with my older brother, which meant another thing to bond them.

I never got my wish, but Veronica got mine for her.

It wasn't until two months ago how glad I was that Veronica got a sister instead of a brother. When I was pregnant with Cadence, I was wanting a boy to ensure we had one of each. But, of course, I wouldn't have it any other way. They each have a sister. A friend. A buddy to do life with. It's a bond I have never known. I have prayed for that bond since Cadence was born.

When we pray at night, Veronica wants to pray for her friends and this is what I pray, "Lord, I pray for (insert name her), that she'll/he'll be obedient to her/his mommy & daddy, be kind to her/his brother or sister and a good friend." We pray that our girls, who are vastly different, will be kind towards one another, best of friends, stand up for one another and share laughter & love with each other.

Veronica has high emotions. She's a reactionary and she's three. I'm a reactionary and I don't have the three years of age thing going for me. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. She hears four items come from my mouth a couple times a day, "Take a deep breath, stay calm, get control & use your words." It's my mantra for her (and me). It works at those miraculous moments, but the stats are around 28% of the time (increasing every week).

However, I recently noticed how these four statements (this mantra) is almost always practiced out when it comes to Cadence. Veronica will run to the kitchen to tell me, "AWWW, mama, I'm so frustrated at sister Cadence!"

As a stay at home mama, I see many of my child's shortcomings and there are days when I focus only on the shortcomings and fail to see the achievements. But, in good fashion, I feel it necessary to boast about how wonderful Veronica is to Cadence. I can only think of a couple times where she's been mean. She is the best big sister to Cadence, which makes Cadence want to do any & all things Veronica does even more so.

Veronica was watching a Strawberry Shortcake video and Cadence wanted to sit next to her sister. So I helped her up and a minute later, I caught this on film. And another reason why Veronica loves her sister and does a good job at it. If this doesn't melt your heart, I honestly don't know what will.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Busy Work

This morning as the girls were playing and I was sweeping up post-breakfast, I glanced up to notice Cadence's activity. She was busily huffing & puffing removing as many kitchen play toys (one by one of course) to put them on the table.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spending time with G&G Scellick

The girls & I drove over to Grandpa & Grandma Scellick's house earlier than planned last week. We ended up leaving our house for theirs on Monday and stayed until yesterday. Ben drove over Thursday night, which ended up working out just great, considering the pass closed on Friday at the same time we would have originally been traveling. I was able to spend afternoons without the girls, while G&G watched them and it was so nice. I rarely get this luxury, so when it does happen, it's a God send.

When we got back to our house last night, Veronica was in uproar about NOT being at Grandma & Grandpa's house. She had one long meltdown over having to spend the night at our house & even regretted her decision upon rolling into the driveway about leaving "puppy" there. Such a fickle little girl. Later on this month, Ben and I are going to La Jolla, while the girls stay with G&G again. Veronica knows this, so when I announced it was time to go home yesterday, she said, "Mama leave and go on a airplane!" Of course, she was implying that Cadence & her were suppose to stay at G&G's house, while Ben & I left. I'm glad to know that she feels comfortable enough to stay there without us (I guess that also explains more Veronica outbursts specifically for G&G, too--she trusts them enough to widen the audience of just mama & papa).

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our time together, the first being my absolute favorite.

She's Happy,

She's Not!

Reading books, especially Strawberry Shortcake, is a treat.

Veronica enjoyed dying Easter eggs with Grandma & making cupcakes.

Cadence is wearing daddy's apron from when he was a little boy.

Both girls got sunglasses for Easter (and no, this was not posed).

Cadence continued to wear her sunglasses...

...and continued a little more.