Sunday, 31 July 2011

Saturdays - Organized Chaos

Saturdays...the craziest days of the week in our home.  In a house with four kids, what day isn't crazy?  I believe the theory that things happen the way they do on Saturdays to make us want to stay in bed on Sundays.  I used to believe that Sundays were the hardest day of the week to get moving - when for two consecutive weeks we went out to discover flat tires and then our dummy tire went flat while we were in church.  Those things didn't keep us home so the chaos started on Saturday nights, just to try and wear us down!

So yesterday afternoon, around three p.m. I decided to make my family a homemade vegetarian pizza and garlic fingers with whole wheat crust, it was also around that time that my husband decided to go down into the rec room and immerse himself in Turbo Jam (he's lost nearly 20lbs already, very proud of him!).  So that leaves the dilemma, who will watch the princess?  Being the eldest, Logan always gets nominated for these types of jobs.  He's an amazing older brother and really loves spending quality time with his siblings. 

While they were bonding, I left the kitchen to tend to some other 'to do's' on my list.  I listened to them laughing and smiled to myself...although it was a short lived smile.  You see, I overheard "Elizabeth, you're such a pot head!" Well, it's one of those moments when, in your mind you've already decided the reasoning behind such a statement - he'd obviously been watching shows on television that we didn't approve of.  I was uspet and made my way to the kitchen to let him know that in our house we don't call people names at all, let alone names with reference to drugs.  Yes, I had it all planned in less than ten seconds.

When I rounded the corner into the kitchen, there sat my sweet miracle baby with the smallest pot on her head - laughing hysterically at her brother who was wearing the largest one on his head to make her smile.  It wasn't what I thought at all, he wasn't making reference to drugs, just cooking pots.

In life we're quick to do that.  We hear something about someone or about some situation and we figure it all out in our heads, with little or no facts. Then we allow our misguided opinions to dictate how we treat the person or behave in the situation.   This is why we should be slow to speak and quick to listen.  Not quickly angered but longsuffering.  How many realationships have been ruined because a small bit of a conversation is heard, and with no investigation, one of the involved persons decideds to walk away, bitter.  There are probably many more scenarios you can think of.

I'm just glad that I got to see that Logan was really doing something wonderful for his sister, before I scolded him - for something he didn't intend.  I find that watching my children, I can get some really good application of scripture in my life.  They're always bringing things to life for me!  After that, the four of them emptied every pot, pan and metal bowl from the cupboard and played drums on them using wooden spoons for sticks...that was Saturday night entertainment at the Williams house!

On an end note - my husband hit the wall last night, literally.  He was coming down the hall in the dark and missed the door opening and hit the molding around the door, cut his eye brow and everything.  That was a little too much excitement for two a.m.  He hit the wall, I hit the floor...

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Blessed In The Mess: When Our Ideals Become Our Idols

I always wanted a big family...six kids was my dream.  My husband wanted two, so I guess we've met in the middle.  I would look at large families out and about and think that it must be very exciting to always have people around you, you'd never be lonely!  In my mind, it was a serene place where everyone worked together, their houses were always clean, their children never misbehaved, they got everything on their 'to do' list accomplished everyday, and still managed to solve all of the problems of life by a ten p.m. bedtime.  Now, either I've failed somewhere or my ideals were slightly (or majorly) skewed.  Life as we know it has thrown us major curves that can't be cleared up by ten p.m. and we have days, most days in fact, when the children don't work at all let alone together to get things done.  Some days the only things we accomplish are actually getting out of bed and standing up.  The point I make is basically this, our ideals can often times lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction with our lives.  We believe that even though we're doing our best, we're somehow failing.  It's the 'grass is greener on the other side' mind set, someone else's life is better than ours.

Last night I was going over the events of the last year - for those who don't know, our daughter has undergone two open heart surgeries and still has one other in her future.  I was rehearsing the ideals I'd had for our family - CHD did not fit in, we didn't have time for it - life as we knew it changed forever.  Things no longer fit in my original ideals of everything being perfect.  We had to determine to enjoy life in the midst of the PICU, in the midst of Elizabeth's sickness, in the less than ideal circumstances we were forced to face.  When the ideal of a clean house keeps us from enjoying the family God has given us to enjoy, then it actually becomes an idol, not an ideal.  When the children are held to such a high standard that they can't be kids, then our ideals for them have become idols...when our children themselves become the focus of our lives, or the sickness becomes the focus, or the finances become the focus, then we have to realize that our ideals have become idols....

The perfect life doesn't come from these things, the perfect life comes when we're submitted to God and all the other things He calls into place - even if it doesn't fit our plans - because we know that He knows what's best for us.

So this morning when the Little People were all over the floor, and water was all over the bathroom vanity, I thanked God for the family He's given me and asked Him to give me joy even when I'm cleaning up after them.  After all, I may not have been as richly blessed as I am.