Wednesday, March 27, 2013

'Member that Scene from E.T.?

If you look closely enough, you'll see a live baby in there.

was nearby, believe it or not, when this in, around the corner nearby. CJ told me she was helping Baby H, but I did not realize how much she was helping him till I walked over to see...

Part of the reason I've not been writing here is because there's been little time. But the bigger cause is that this is a dry season for me. I have few organized thoughts. My brain and heart are tired, physically and otherwise.

I've been reading Graceful by Emily P. Freeman. It's her young women's version of her earlier published book Grace for the Good Girl. For some reason, I didn't or couldn't finish that book, but I ordered Graceful with my perfectionistic firstborns in mind, but wanted to read it first myself and check it out. Good decision. I've been refreshed, encouraged, and challenged as I've read Freeman's observations on grace.

Oh, and reading anything at all, that's a grace all its own. It's been a long time. I also had the treat of listening to the audio version of Max Lucado's In the Grip of Grace in the car. Over the course of six weeks. Didn't quite finish it, but what I did take in was a blessing.

All this grace reading has made me feel like I just don't get it. So, I started praying for understand grace. Then it occurred to me that it's such an amazing thing that maybe I should just ask the Lord to help me know grace, to receive it, and most definitely, to give it.

And I continue my simple short Lent prayers: Lord, help me, help us truly love You. Help us enjoy Your love, give your love to each other.

So, in family news. We said goodbye to BB a while back as he jetted off to India for work. For two weeks. Two. Weeks. You know what? We have never been apart that long from the time we started dating until now. It was a huge blessing and privilege for him to take part in the trip and he came home with lots of interesting stories and pictures. He also came home beyond exhausted, as every moment there was scheduled full of busy-ness and business. And jetlag. Oh dear. That's a killer. I've never been around someone recovering from that degree of jetlag. It was/is hard, getting one's body back on the right time zone and such!

I was a bit nervous about having my best friend and co-parent away for so long. I truly think it was his friendship and companionship I missed the most. The unpredictability and unreliability of all forms of communication really complicated any efforts to connect as well during his absence.

Let's see. The first week he was gone was spring break here. It was nice to have less on our plates. We got a few appointments handled. We went to the park twice. We had half a day that we spent collaging, something we all enjoy ('cause remember, I do not have the crafting gene, at all, but I like the randomness of clipping out images and words and arranging them).

Then there was pajama and movie day. If you'll also remember, I'm not the fun parent. But I think our Wednesday of vegging and pajama-ing got me a few points in the fun parent department. Watching the tube all day makes my brain tired, though, I have to say. So we'll keep that event to a once-a-year minimum I'm thinking. I gave them a little sampling of 80's television corniness...we watched an episode of Punky Brewster, Knight Rider, Alf, and Perfect Strangers. They actually liked Perfect Strangers the best!

I popped real popcorn, not in the microwave. That's a big treat and favorite around here! For movies, we watched Frankenweenie, Tintin, and the 1960's big screen version of the uber-uber-corny Batman tv shows. Our all-around favorite from those choices was TintinBatman was just plain painful to watch. Twenty-five minutes of the tv show would've been more than enough. Oh, and we kind of forgot to eat supper that night, what with all the popcorning and lying around we did!

We had other adventures whilst our man was away...

The washing machine malfunctioned, sending a geyser of water flowing out into the laundry room and kitchen. God's tender mercies in that one: we had just enough towels, blankets and kiddo-helping-hands to sop up the water; it did NOT reach the hardwoods; our neighbors know a guy, and sent him over...he looked at it and fixed it, for a very minimal cost. We were without a washer for only about 12 hours, if that long!

The garage door malfunctioned. Not broken exactly, but still needing repair. Thankfully, I was able to get that handled easily.

Baby H has been sick and congested off and on for a month, but while BB was gone it became wheezing and coughing that wouldn't stop at night, so we experienced our first breathing treatment and the little guy has been on three meds this past week due to seasonal allergies that morphed into bronchitis.

He's been doing great the past few days, though. Thanks be to God. I'm so glad our doc was able to get us in quickly and easily the two times I needed to take Baby H. I'm grateful, too, that between friends, babysitters, and increasingly independent big girls, I was able to pull off those appointments!

I can't remember much else from those two weeks. H's sleeping (or should I say waking) habits have been exhausting. The past few nights he's done better, so that's encouraging! We had our kind of usual flow of emotional-roller-coaster stuff that keeps me hopping and praying and exhausted. There are up days and down days and yes, it's grace we all need, and so much wisdom and help from Jesus. I don't know what that means or looks like much of the time, but I do know that HE is the answer and so I'm asking!

I'm excited that Good Friday is upon us and Easter. Quietly excited and thankful and thoughtful (when I get a chance to think thoughts...).

H loves to jump in our ancient johnny jumper


CA gets bored easily and moved on to painting after throwing together multiple random collages with us

 CA and MK produced a little puppet show inspired by the Batman movie. CA drew all the puppets and they made them talk and such. It was way better than the actual film, of course. That's Robin on the left and Batman in the middle. I think the guy on the right is a random bad-guy thug.

CJ running free and happy outside during one of the big girls' therapy appointments. Ah, the good weather. Thank You, Lord! Otherwise we are all "cozy" together in the car during these appointments.

I'll stop there. I'm realizing I have other fun pictures from our past several weeks that I'd like to post, but I don't want this post to get any longer!

One last thing: I'm giddy because BB and I had a really neat at-home date last night. We sent everyone to their rooms early, but not to bed necessarily, and then we sat and talked. It was a refreshing conversation. We struggle to have talks that go beyond what's on fire and it's hard to get past management mode, where we're talking logistics and schedules and kid-discipline and all that. Thanks be to God, though. This was a blessed and overdue heart to heart for us!


  1. I love what you wrote about praying for the ability to know, receive, and give grace. It's easy to pray for God's grace... but in reality, it's already been given. We need the Spirit to show us, to give us eyes to recognize it and embrace it and, most certainly, extend it.

    Lovely, lovely post. Many of these days I know that you FEEL like you're just surviving, but I see that you're living at the foot of the cross and that is flourishing! Press on, dearest.

  2. Thank you, Beth, for sharing your life. I'm amazed at all you do! Kudos for trying on the fun-parent role :) So glad BB is back and you got to have a heart-to-heart. I think I do way too much business-partner kind of talking with my husband and not enough best-friend-lover kind of talk. hm. Inspirational. And so easy to arrange - I love how you did that.