Saturday, January 23, 2010

Man, he is strong

I really hate it when I am in the midst of feeling like God is totally in control of my life and I find myself in a place of peace and gratitude with a heart filled with love for God Almighty and satan finds a way to hit me right where he knows it hurts the most! For all of you who know this feeling, maybe you've been there or maybe you are there now, I lift you up in prayer as I lift up myself and my family! I will not let him in! I will not let him in! God is soo much stronger than anything we are facing and it is through His strength that we will win the battles we are facing!!!! Pull out you sword of truth my friends and pray for us as we are praying for you! The evil one is strong but not strong enough!

Friday, January 22, 2010

thoughts for today

I have had many thoughts clogging up my brain lately-

My friend Mr. Mundy often posts the birthdays of the undead and the dead as his fb status and the other day it was Bobby Goldsboro's birthday - it reminded me of the amount of music that we listened to growing up together as a family. Mom made sure that there was music going most of the time in the house and she really taught us how to appreciate different genres of music as well as how to listen to them. She taught us to feel how the music made us feel. She taught us how to listen to the different beats and the tempo etc... She also taught us that listening to the words is a very important part of music appreciation. I try to teach my kids that as well. A song may be good because of a certain beat or something but the words can make or break it. I still love the song that goes something like "you.... you got what I need.... but you say he's just a friend.... yes you say he's just a friend" LOL- I know the guy didn't sing it so well, but the beat was good and I liked the repetition. We listened to different artists that I bet most of you didn't (The Seekers. The Stylistics, Bobby Bear, Glen Campbell {ok most of you have heard of him and John Dener}) But it just reminded me how much music is a part of my soul.

Other thoughts:

Money and the lack there of for us these days- since I stopped working money has been tight to say the least but we have yet to miss a house, car, utilities, credit card, whatever payment- we are really blessed! That having been said it has really bugged me lately the importance that some put on haves and have nots- I feel like I might be becoming (I know the english teachers just cringed) a reverse snob. In other words I feel like I might be starting to harbor feelings that are less than positive towards those who have money and their attitudes reflect it. I'm not talking the rich per say because we are considered rich- I am talking those who must "keep up with the Joneses" weather it is the house, the cars, the way our houses are decorated on the inside, the clothes we wear or what we dress our kids in whatever. I have just seen an increase in the albeit desire for perfection and I feel like that desire affects our ability to truly portray Christ. I don't think that Jesus would have cared what type of car we drove- I think he would have been more concerned with who we did or did not speak to at Church and during our day. I don't think he would have cared what we wear to Church and would care more if we were teaching our children to be friends with everyone not just the children that everyone else seems to be friends with while others stand in the corner alone and wondering why. I don't think he would care that there are clothes and toys scattered around our homes with their semi decorated walls or for some of us our perfectly decorated homes with perfect colored walls and toys put away etc... I think He is more concerned with who we invited in to visit with because they seem stressed out or lonely or just outright sad. I think it is possible to have everything and yet still reflect Christ but I have been the recipient of the former and not the later- I have watched a young girl at Church struggle to fit in just because she doesn't look the same. How is that possible after all the examples we are given about how to treat others and act in a way that includes all. It is time to examine ourselves and ask if we are becoming the snobs of the Church and neighborhood or are we walking the way Jesus would walk?

And last but not least...
Haiti- heart wrenching to say the least- I have to say I was intensely disturbed by Sunday night's announcement at Church- yes, we are going to collect money to help with relief but because of the number of Church's of Christ in that country we want to make sure it gets into the right hands ( now maybe I misunderstood - did that mean they didn't want it to fall into the wrong hands (twisted government and what not) or was that we want to make sure it goes into the hands of just the members of the Church of Christ). If it is the later- why do we still have that attitude? Really? Isn't the whole country hurting- and what about WWJD did he or did he not eat with even the tax collectors? I know of a Church whose contribution is going specifically for the children who are without parents- I also know of one whose contribution is going to help with water purification systems. Help that will effect many and not just "said believers" I hope I just misunderstood- I really hope I did-

I know this sounded very soap boxie but these are the thoughts- as always comments are welcome- may your day be blessed with great things!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

thoughts for today

First let me say how much I appreciate the comments left on the last post-Jill, apparently God found his way around birth control several times for us - so I know He can do things like that : ) I got a call on Friday to fill in and keep sweet Samantha on Monday to help out a friend whose normal caregiver was unavailable as was her backup. Then, I got a call from a friend who has a friend who is going back to work this month after being on maternity leave and has a 2 and 1/2 month old - they asked if they could pass along my number and info in case they hadn't found care for their little one. I love how God opens doors and creates amazing possibilities. I don't know if it will happen but the prospect reminds me that God has always been faithful in honoring my requests! That having been said... What is on my mind for today?

Single parents and military families...

Jeff has been working very early mornings into late nights- it seems the longer he has this job the longer the hours- I'm not complaining- it is a fantastic place for him to be and has had tremendous growth opportunities with lots of bonus' and raises in order that we can raise our family. I love him for his work ethic and that he cares about his job and wants to do his best! Tax time has always been a busy time for him, but now this last year they asked all the managers to get their CFP. I remember a friend of mine when I was single getting paid from the company that he went to work for right out of college who got paid to just study for like 6-8 months just to prepare for the CFP. Wow, wouldn't that be nice! So now not only is he working the late hours but he is taking the little tests that are required in order for him to take the big one in March. I guess you could say he is burning the candle at both ends with the stuff at work (ie tax time and lots of questions from his team members and from USAA members) as well as preparing for the test. He is at his desk 7 days a week because he can't study at home. The kids miss him and I miss him. I had about 3 min of quiet time this morning to reflect on how my sister (who raised her children alone) and other single parents that I know as well as mom's and dad's who have spouses that are deployed. I spent the time praying for their mental tenacity. It is hard to be with your children 24/7 with no break. I don't count sleep as a break- because mom sleep is different than sleep that comes when you know that your children are being cared for and you don't have to get up if you hear them, see them, know that they are counting on you to meet their needs in the middle of the night. Side note... people ask how I can sleep in a pink tent on the ground after covering 20+ miles a day at the three day... no children- ask my tentmate- I never even hear her getting up or down/ in or out of the tent at night- I am better rested in the morning the first and second mornings than ever- don't get me wrong the 60 miles of the Breast Cancer 3Day catch up but I'll go back to my thoughts for today.
As I was saying to those single parents and those military families- I salute you for being in the lives of your children 24/7 without a break. I think that is what I am struggling with the most during this time where Jeff is working so much. It isn't just the basic care it is the all encompassing day to day everything. From paying bills to doing the laundry, cooking, cleaning, care for the kids as well as the house and helping with the school work- I try to keep it together so that the time that Jeff is home he can spend time with the kids when he is home without having to "worry" about any of it. I want him to be able to connect with the kids as much as possible since they are not seeing much of him either. As I often say... if I can get it out of my brain I can move on to other things- so that is what I am doing this morning... getting the noise of being a "single mom" and "thinking of others in a situation that is even harder than mine" out of my head. I hope you will join me in praying for those who are struggling. My friend Bryan Hall used to always play a song for me when Jeff and I would go over to the Hall house (before children) it is by Accapella... "now to Him who is able to do immesureably more than all we ask or imagine ... " if you get the chance to listen to that song somehow today- may it wash over your soul and give you strength to carry your load for today!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I know I am crazy

So... if you know me you know that I love love love babies! I grew up wanting to be a "nurse in the nursery of a hospital) - that is what I used to tell people when I was little and they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I dreamed of the day when I would be married and have babies of my own. I think from the time I was 7 or 8 I would sit and hold babies (little ones) when visitors came to our house for Bible studies in Africa (my parents were missionaries). I can remember asking to hold every baby at Church (Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night) and mom's would let me. I loved being able to be around my nieces and nephews when they were babies (and I still love them now)- I can't tell you how many times I have had the distinct honor of being in a hospital room with a woman who is giving birth. It stirs my soul and I am thankful for each baby that I have seen come into the world and for each family that has allowed me to share in the experience with them. I have 4 amazing children of my own and goodness gracious I remember what it felt like to have their sweet little newborn faces right next to mine as they were handed to me for the first time! I love that first kiss on their faces in that space right below their nose and above their upper lip. My pregnancies were difficult- I threw up A LOT! I don't mean just a bit but every day for weeks and instead of getting better each pregnancy got worse- I threw up through week 31 with Zoe- and yet I loved being pregnant! I loved feeling my children move and kick inside- I loved that God used me as a tool to grow His creations. I was very sad to have not carried all of them to full term- Cooper was my only full term baby- the rest had to stay in the NICU after birth and it was heart-wrenching to say the least to leave them at the hospital knowing that I was not going to be with them after I had carried them. So at 40 years old why in the world am I going through "baby ache" again. They say you will know when you are done having children- I am not so sure that is true. I have found myself feeling that old familiar feeling again. That- awww my little one is almost 2 and my arms and heart are lonely for another little one- what is that? Why in the world does that feeling not go away? My head says, "are you nuts?" but my heart says, "awww where is the next one that I am supposed to care for?" And hello 40- Jeff is 42- enough already-so my question is - does that feeling ever really go away or is it something that women just decide to ignore and go on- obviously the Dugg*r family hasn't ignored it and there are others who have more than 4 who haven't- in fact I have noticed that there was a time period where 2 was sufficient and it seems like now we are in a time period where more 3 or more is the preference. Financially, it is a no brainer- done - with regards to time spent with each individual child it is a no brainer- done- with Jeff it is a no brainer- done, but why is it so difficult to convince my heart? When there are so many out there who haven't had children why would my heart even think of going there again? My cousin and her husband have been trying for several years without success to have children of their own- I know there are others- so what drives that passion within us? How do we settle that ache? These are just some thoughts that have been running through my head lately and because I use my blog like an online journal in case there are others out there that feel they are alone... I just thought I would write it all down. For those of you who are concerned... don't be I am not going to have another one unless God chooses to take that opportunity with us again- we are doing what is necessary to make sure that doesn't happen if under our control. Until then- If you see a baby in my arms- know that it is my way of filling my arms and heart when they ache for the feel of a little one. I think I have a lot to offer to the mommies and the babies of the world - I hope God will lead me to the right places this year.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Catch up

Ok so I know that you have been waiting.. so here is the synopsis of Christmas and New Year...

I drove with the 4 kids to Nashville and it wasn't too bad actually- the first day it did take 7 hours to get to the other side of Dallas- but then they settled and I was able to get to New Boston - we slept in a fancy hotel (according to Cooper) and then started out the next day bright and early at around 10:30- Mason was a huge help on the trip and the second day went much better- We were able to make it into Nashville around 9:30- I spent the week helping mom and dad get stuff sorted and put away where they had "inherited" stuff from both Grandmother and Granny. My brother and his wife and their two kids came in and so did my sister and her 3 kids and my younger brother made it in for about 24 hours maybe a little more- so all of us got to see each other even if for only a short time. We enjoyed some great food and some good laughter. Not that it was all smooth- There were some "family" moments but overall it was good to be together. I was able to see my high school friends that get together each month and have dinner and that brought with it some fun memories and more great laughter! By New Year's Eve, everyone had gone with the exception of Jeff, me and our kids- we went bowling with Dad (the church they attend had rented out the bowling alley) and we had a great time watching the kids bowl and watching my dad "work" the crowd- I get my social butterflyness (I know not really a word) from him. We left New Years day and made it home on Saturday night before midnight. We spent Sunday pulling our brains back together for the beginning of school and work. All in all a successful holiday! Santa was very generous and the kids have enjoyed playing with their Wii- thank you mom and dad. As I look back over 2009 I can't help but be mindful of how God has blessed us over the last year (that post to come later) - I know everyone says that but considering how we started 2009 and how it ended- I am so very thankful for God and how he works in our lives! I hope to be able to post pictures soon but I took a bunch of old disposable cameras with me to use up and currently they are waiting on me to take them to be developed. May God bless each of you in 2010.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'l be back

I know it has been a while- Christmas and all and I do have a lot running through my thoughts- fun of Christmas- changing dynamics in my "Norwood" family- what is going on with the kids- new year thoughts- resolutions and al- but I can't get it all straight in my head with out it being an insanely long post- I guess you could say I need to decompress from the last few weeks before I can wrap my brain around all the noise- I will be back with a few posts when I calm the noise- I can tell you that even with all the sodas and other junk food from travel and 2 weeks at my parents I have lost 11 pounds- you really can't tell unless you know my double chin and the lack thereof of the second one or unless you are one of my unmentionables- fitting better and might need to purchase a few things soon : ) That is just fine by me! For now it is back to water, and making better choices for food consumption. For all of you who chose weight loss or body fitness as a resolution - good luck- I wish you all the best! Until next time... keep up the good work!