Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Humble Pie

I know that my boy Gannon will get more blog time than the others because God sent him just to teach me so many more things than my other boys! He teaches me patience and he teaches me how to outthink a three year old. He teaches me how to work with people who are hard to work with! He teaches me laughter and he teaches me joy and he occasionally serves me up a portion of humble pie! And believe me, God intends to serve me up a heaping portion because He knows I can be pridefully ugly. I mean, I have six boys. And five of the six are easy going boys who ( as young boys) cower in the face of the unknown. Take them to Sunday School or someone's home they've never been to and they will hide behind my legs and perhaps not utter ONE word the entire time they are there. Even for MONTHS or YEARS of going to the SAME class...they will barely make a peep. And at times this has been a burden as I want them to enjoy themselves and drink in life to the full! I want their teaches and classmates to know them and see how sweet they are. And it causes horrible cases of separation anxiety for them. And I hate that. But, you know what? I have always enjoyed the side of this that keeps my boys obedient and compliant when they are away from us. I have never had to worry that they are disobedient or making a bad name for themselves...or us! :)

But then came Gannon. :)

He is not like his brothers. At all. And what makes him precious and adorable and lively makes him hard to manage and a pain in the neck. He loves life. No worrying that this boy is not loving his life to the full. He LOVES people and he knows NO stranger. He speaks to store clerks and teachers and children of all sizes. I never know what he might say! A nurse asked him the other day how old he was and after he held up four fingers and said, "I am three" he then asked her how old she was! We burst out laughing but truly, that makes sense doesn't it? If people always ask you how old you are...then surely you should ask the same, right? He perks up and talks to anyone. And I kind of love it. None of my other boys would do this...even the teenagers will not speak unless someone speaks to them and even then it is hard to get them to answer clearly and with eye contact. And Gannon is stinkin cute too. At least I think so. He is a blondie with the sweetest little lips you have ever seen. I am telling you, if he weren't so rotten I'd eat him with a spoon....well, if I weren't spanking him with it first! :)

SO, what brings this up again? Cause this ain't the first time I have blogged about little Gannon. Well, it was prompted by the first EVER phone call I have received about one of my sons' behavior in a class! GASP! Our boys go to about a half a dozen FamilyLife staff meetings a year. While we are in the meeting, the boys are in classes. Well, it has been since October that Gannon was in class and for some reason the coordinator was just now getting to calling me because the first meeting of this year is tomorrow. The teacher of his class (who BTW is a young , childless woman) said he would not obey. He isn't mean. He just doesn't want to do what he doesn't want to do. And if you have never had a spirited child you are saying to yourself right now, "Well, duh, what child wants to do everything he's told? Spank him more!" Well, my friend...let me serve you a piece of my humble pie...not all kids are the same! Believe this momma of six. Five came out pretty much the same and one came out with spots! :) And believe me, he gets him some spankin'! In fact, almost every battle with Gannon comes to blows with a spanking. He just doesn't back down any other way. But, the Lord has settled in my spirit that dealing with him all the time with the rod is NOT the way to his heart. God made him different. And this momma is determined to work within Gannon's bent. "Train up a child in the way he should go..." is more accurately translated...."Train up a child according to his natural bent." See, we want to bend them our way. But twigs don't bend much before they snap. Some twigs give easily and their natural bent is towards us...but other twigs are bent in their own special direction. And while some days I'd like to give that little twig a good snap...I know this has no gain in his life or mine. SO I work with him. I try to foresee battles and issues of control and I try to head them off at the pass. I try to allow him lots of lead room to do things himself and make decisions where I can. He doesn't want to eat? Don't eat! He wants to wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt when it is 80 degrees...go for it! He wants to wipe his own bottom, put on his own shoes (on the wrong feet), open his own wrapper, buckle his own car seat....GO BOY GO! But, of course he has to mind. And he has to control his screaming temper or he is going to feel some pain. And most every day involves some pain for this kid. But apparently it is worth it to him to have a say in his life.

Here is the thing though...when I hand him off to well-meaning teachers and sitters, they don't know all this. They need him to do as he is told. If all the kids are sitting on carpet squares with their hands folded nicely...he should too. If it is snack time and all the other kids are seated nicely around the table...he should too. And if a child takes his toy he should share. And he should speak softly. And he should lie on his mat at naptime. But for Gannon....he is NO respecter of authority. Again, gasp. He no more respects them as authority than he does his daddy and me. Seriously. He does what we tell him to do because of one of two reasons: 1) He wants to do what we have asked or 2) He fears the consequences if he doesn't. But, it is hard to get this spirited child to do what he doesn't want to do with someone who holds no consequence with him. UGH! This means I have to step in and wield consequences which is difficult when I am not there. And this means I have to ask some immature, inexperienced (typically) person to understand my child in a way that is different than the other 10 in the class. If he will sit in a chair quietly but not on the floor...then PLEASE let the boy sit in a chair. He just wants a choice. Who cares if he is the only one doing it or if some of the others want to sit in a chair also? If he can have a choice...please offer him one. I get it. There is not always a choice. All I am asking is see his heart...his natural bent and give him room to be him. That's a tall order. I get it. After all, he is my boy. I love him unlike anyone else besides his daddy. And that love spurs me to be patient and work with him.

Here is the bottom line. Being Gannon's mommy has taught me to stop judging other parents about how they handle their children. I have NO idea what is happening in their home and in their hearts. What appears to be a poorly disciplined child may actually be a leader in the making. I refuse to be ashamed of him or discipline him sternly so that others can "see" what a good parent I am. I wring my hands over this child every day. He is a HAND FULL! But oh how I love him! Can't wait to see who he is going to be! ~M.

Monday, March 7, 2011

This that and the other....

  • It's COLD here and gray. Oh curses on the gray cold days. And tomorrow is the boys last day of SEEK (science class at the 4H center) and rain is certain. Bummer because the last day is usually reserved for outdoor fun. Stink.
  • Our entire family is sick. Well, Keith is not as sick as the rest and may escape but I doubt it. This is a NASTY cold virus. As in, I have not been THIS sick with a cold in a long time. I typically dodge the bullets but not this time. The coughing here is exhausting. You know the cough...the one that can't be touched with prescription or OTC meds. You have to combine them both and pray it helps and doesn't kill them. The sinus pressure is unbelieveable. Some have had fevers, others diarrhea. Lovely. SO we are holed up in here and miserable.
  • Except for the reality that I have to teach Precept class tomorrow. Yeah. That's fun. I am so looking forward to it and yet praying so hard that God shows up big time to drown out my weakness. I feel like God has poured water on my offering just to show up even more powerfully. (see 1 kings 18:38...I love this Bible story) Keith has to stay home in the morning to keep the littles because they are too sick to take to childcare. Stink again.
  • I am making homemade tomato soup and PWs rosemary rolls for dinner. Yum. Comfort food.
  • I have been reading All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. It is fabulous. I hope I can get inspired to do my own square foot garden this summer. Seems so simple but you have to actually do it. Wish someone would come get it set up for me.

Well, that's all I guess. I am looking ahead to the weekend when temps in the high 60s/low 70s and sunshine return! Perhaps by then we will all be on the mend and I can return to church and life! Love you all! M.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stream of consciousness...or a post in which I purge my mind of all the unposted FB statuses I have been harboring!


So, it's been a little over three weeks since I have posted. And to some degree I have been away from here...and Facebook. To some degree. I steered pretty clear for a week and then steadily drifted back to checking in on a few blogs. The nice thing about blogs...versus Facebook is that bloggers tend to post no more than once a day at the most (and most a lot less than that!) so once I have perused the list I am done. I still try to stay away and not go digging through old blogs and such. As for FB, I do periodically log in to accept friend requests that come to my email box or to deal with an issue I had not getting FB messages sent to my inbox. SO, if you "saw" me on there I assure you, it was a quick peek...okay and maybe a QUICK scroll down the screen...before I felt convicted and logged off! :) Honestly, I miss it. A bunch. I miss my real friends, not FB friends. I miss their status updates that say so-and-so is sick or well, or having a birthday. I miss photos of vacations and photos of cute, growing kids. But when I have done a quick scroll, I see that mainly the statuses are "status-quo" (haha) and I know, in reality I am not missing that much. In fact, I enjoyed a long phone conversation with my besty just because we couldn't connect in our usual manner. And as usual, it ended in tears. I think that is why we prefer FB...neither one of us want to blubber about how much we STILL miss each other and each others' family even after nearly 6 years. But it was good for my soul to hear her voice and chat it up for way too long!

SO, here are the things going on around here that probably would have been status updates had I been on FB these last three weeks!

  • The weather is GORGEOUS. (abundant sunshine, lovely temps)
  • The weather is AWFUL. (abundant clouds, nasty humidity)
  • I felt my first EARTHQUAKE two nights ago. Did you know AR is on a fault line? Wacko. The bed was shaking and I was freaking out. Only Grant and Garrett were still awake and they thought each other had shaken their bed! (They sleep in a loft bed that is all one bed)
  • Keith travelled for five LONG days to Hershey PA to serve with FL at a WTR event. We missed him but we did REALLY well.
  • Praise God I felt great and ate well while K was gone. Except for sleep...I really hate sleeping without him.
  • I love doing Precept studies. I am thoroughly enjoying Colossians.
  • I am quaking in my boots (pun intended from earlier earthquake status:) about being asked to teach aformentioned Precept class next week while our leader is away. I have been trained to teach Precept and only someone trained can teach...but it has been over ten years since I have taught. Before she asked me to sub, God had reminded me that I have been so blessed to sit under wise, mature women as Precept leaders. So when she asked me to do this...I felt humbled. Not because I am wise and mature...not by a long shot...but because I tremble to think of filling those shoes...even for a day. Pray I don't get in God's way next week.
  • I had to miss Precept this week because Grayson-boy is sick with fever. I just love to snuggle a sick why didn't he get sick some other day? :)
  • Grayson-boy is sleeping his second nap of the day. He is so sweet. I am telling you...he is too precious for words. I could eat him up.
  • Speaking of Grayson being too precious...his big brothers adore this child. I am telling you, if you wonder how it works having teenagers and is a sight straight from God. I love it. He loves them and hangs with them. They snatch him up and still, two years later, race to see who can get him up from his nap.
  • Gannon is still my early riser and constant companion. He is too cute for words too. With nicer weather he and I hang out on the deck A LOT. He loves this. He isn't a cuddler but LOVES companionship. If I sit on the deck he entertains himself forever in the backyard.
  • My hormones have been good to me this month. Thank You Lord.
  • I am following a hypogycemic diet in an effort to curb my appetite, stop my heart palpitations, even out my hormones, and be a happier healthier person in general. This means no sugar, no fruit (for now), limited dairy (for now), no wheat (for now), limited grains, and no processed food. Sounds daunting doesn't it? But when I see how my health is affected...I press on. I FIRMLY believe sugar is killing us...literally. It is the cause behind obesity, heart disease, diabetes, early aging, candida, cravings, depression, anxiety..should I go on? I won't. I could. I won't. :)
  • The Lord has been so good to me this past month...sheesh...this past LIFE...but you know what I mean. He has been so present and so patient. I give Him all the praise for giving me the knowledge to help myself with better nutrition. He has given His Word which has helped nourish my soul. He has blessed me with a mate who is so much more than I deserve. He has blessed me with sons that touch my heart in ways that make me ache with love for them. He knows me and He wants me to know Him even more.

Well, that is all for now. Gannon is PESTERING me to DEATH to go outside. Rough life for me! Love you all! Thank you all for the prayers and messages sent to me. You are so dear! M.