Saturday, May 31, 2014

The parenting parallel

I collapsed my head into my hand after witnessing Emmaus pull her sister's hair for probably the 40th time today. Every time the same thing. She wanted a book or toy and would pull hair and swipe the toy- it was followed by  "Emmaus! We don't pull hair" and then off to time out.
She is a sensitive little girl. At the first "No, No" she usually is in tears.  Yet, she struggles to learn.  It always takes her much longer to learn even seemingly simple things. So it is no surprise it is no difference with this.
As I sat with her in time out (because she is too little still to stay on her own) I looked at my beautiful child. Who was in the middle of a very sad fit. Her frustration over not getting her book, and hurt pride over being in trouble mixed into a ball of sad emotion.
After a minute or two- tears still streaming (for what felt like the millionth time today) I pulled her into my lap.

I hushed her and calmed her. I explained that it hurts when she pulls others' hair. That is makes that person, and mommy sad.  I gently reassured her that I understand her frustration, but that in life we don't always get what we want, and hair pulling is not an option. I told her I love her.
You see when Emmaus sits on your lap it is a wonderful thing. I think it may be her low tone, and naturally cuddly self. But she sort of melts into you. Her weight doesn't feel heavy- She doesn't try to get up or leave- she just sits, melts, and its lovely. It makes me feel all dreamy- and nostalgic, and often throws me deep into thought.

Today as I was sitting in our narrow hall way cuddling my girl I couldn't help think of God. How many times has he wanted to collapse his head into his hands as I struggle to learn even something simple. How many times have I cried and thrown a fit because I couldn't get what I wanted or  because I could feel the recourse for my actions? And how many times has he sat with me, gently showing me the err of my ways, and in the end whispering he loves me.

As parents we just want what is best for our children. And that is part of disciplining them. But as a parent I wonder how I can mirror Jesus in this. How can I best love my girls. How can I best redirect them. Show them what is right- and help them choose what is right.

I am thankful for the parenting journey I am on. That my children drive me closer to the heart of God daily. And mostly for a heavenly father who is always right with me, helping me chose the right path, and who is patient and forgiving even when I need to be reminded more than once.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Intentional Rest

Rest is a very abstract idea.
Or maybe it is that is truly so complex that it becomes abstract.

I am learning that rest is a mind set. It is becoming intentional about having open spaces in your life. About having purposeful schedule to allow for that space. (Although that seems backwards-somehow it works)
We have chosen to sit in a season of rest after a very very hectic and busy section of life.

We got married, Dan got sick. He graduated and started a new job. We worked super hard to get out of debt. We had a baby, she got sick. I changed Jobs. We had a miscarriage. Our baby had brain surgery- we found out we were having and had another baby and I changed jobs again.

Phew. Does that make anyone else dizzy?
So now. We rest. Intentionally.
Purposefully say no to over packing our schedules. Say no to busyness for busyness sake.
We evaluated what we put on our calendar- and as new things come into the picture often re-evaluate and cross things off.
It is freeing. Life giving. We are living an abundantly full yet incredibly restful life.

This month we got to go on a family trip. I have heard going on vacation with kids isn't "restful" however- I would say (minus the actual traveling) it was quite restful.

We splurged on a nice condo with two rooms, a large living space and a kitchen. We saved by not eating out except for once or twice. We had no agenda. Enjoyed the beach.

(Some more than others- Emmaus loved it- Shiloh, not so much)

The girls napped every day. We spent afternoons at the pool. We played in the condo.
We took one failed trip to the gulfarium- which was comical- and typical for our kids. (They hated it, whined the whole time and were basically melted puddles of babies by the time we called it quits- and we happily left kinda laughing that we "thought that it would be fun")
At the Gulfarium 
Every night we walked the harbor and each enjoyed our favorite drinks and each others company. 

We truly enjoyed our time together. Sure our girls still had meltdowns. We changed dirty diapers, and read 985,000,000 books to Emmaus (Well the same books over and over and over).  And Shiloh didn't sleep all night a single time. 
But that is the beauty of our life. It is Chaos. It is hard work and incredible joy. And OH SO MUCH parenting! 
But to find rest, to stake our claim to calm- to teach our daughters that rest doesn't just happen once a year on vacation- but daily, and weekly, and monthly. Those lessons- are beautiful, and fruitful and oh so sweet. 


Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 18

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.  –Robert Frost

Okay- lets be honest- I got shoved down the road less traveled. 
I always used to tell my friend- "I don't want to live the American dream, I want my life to be different, do more than having a nice house, full of stuff, and still striving for MORE" (aka take the road less traveled). 
Ha. I had no idea what I was saying. I thought being a missionary- living in Africa sounded like me. Till I went there and realized that is not what my future held. I thought about the peace corps- I have always longed to help, to make a difference. To be a person in the world that helps make wrong things right. 

And then one day- exactly three years ago today- I got shoved down a road less traveled. A road I was not expecting- and that definitely was not part of my approved "Laurisa's life goals" list. 
In a dark ultrasound office, in a quiet, calm and confident voice I listened to a stranger explain my perfect baby had heart tumors, that the type she had were not cancer, but associated with a disease called Tuberous Sclerosis. She wrote it on a card for me so I could remember the name.  I remember almost having internal goose bumps.  Trying to be strong, not cry and make it home. I remember the overwhelming numbness as I told Dan "no everything isn't okay" (poor guy stayed at work at my request-cause I just knew I was being paranoid in the first place) I remember a warm meal, with the best of friends, and sitting on the porch eating frozen custard. All to avoid a google freak out fest. 

That day I stood on my new road looking down at the weed filled, bumpy gravel. Feeling very alone. Scared. Hopeless. And Sad. 

I hate TS. I look at my beautiful girl and wish more than anything that I could take this away from her. That I could change her genetic code. That she could play, and pretend with her best friend. That at almost 3 she could choose to wear a tutu, pretend or even tell me when she is scared, hurt, or confused. 
However- on this road we have learned about community. We have learned the power of prayer. Learned to ask for help when we need it, and be independent when we can. We have learned we have a capacity- that we cannot do everything. 

I would not have chosen this road. It is hard, frustrating and heartbreaking. But man it is sweet. To slow down, to see the beauty along the way- it truly has made all the difference.  
I have learned the beautiful faithfulness of the Lord. Over and Over again. So while today is a day of grieving for me- and sort of "before TS and after TS" marker. It is also a day to look back and remember the incredible faithfulness of the Lord.

So while I may not be a missionary in Africa, or never joined the peace corp. I do feel like I fight to make wrong things right daily. Even in my home with Emmaus. 

Who would have know my "road less traveled" would have been the Emmaus Road. - Guess God did. So thankful that he was on that road 2000 years ago- and he is on our road today.