Thursday, March 26, 2009

Trouble Right Here in Amytown

The other day I was sitting with Molly – I forget what we were doing – but I turned my attention to her and asked:

MOM: So, Molly, what’s up in Molly world?

MOLLY: Huh? I mean, ma’am?

MOM: What’s shakin’ in Mollytown? What’s happenin’? Aren’t you the ruler of Mollyville??

MOLLY: No, Mom, I’m not the ruler…Jesus is.

Later that evening, we were all sitting at the dinner table and I relayed the interchange to the rest of our family. Michael joined in…

MICHAEL: So, Jesus is the ruler of Mollyville, huh?

MOLLY: Yes, Daddy, but I AM the president.

I share this because it got me thinking of how much of a dictatorship Amytown is sometimes. Amytown is often very important to me, and I just dare one to make it difficult or messy. Amytown is at its best when it is neat and tidy. I like to talk about Amytown (obviously), making sure Amytown has everything it needs. Amytown is often a slave to order and predictability…but some of the best “towns” are, am I right? Amytown is a comfortable place (or at least, her ruler-ME-desires it to be…sometimes above all else).

It’s laughable, really, how often I do make life about me, what I want, what bothers me, and how to bring comfort back to those raw, uncomfortable places.

The last few days have been very encouraging ones to me. God has sent some people my way to remind me which way to face. When I am too mired down in thinking about how life is affecting me and looking only at my circumstances, I forget who is holding me, and more than that – who is holding the universe. God is in this, and he wants me to take my eyes off of self and put them back where they belong…on Him.

So, thank you Molly, for reminding me that ultimately I want Jesus to be ruler of Amytown, not me. In fact, I don’t even want to be president when you get right down to it. Maybe some unimportant cabinet position or something…ok, now this is just getting weird.

Bless ya!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Back to Reality

I think it's funny that every so often some poor person ends up on my blog who is just looking for a way to get crayons off their clothes once they've been through the dryer. This is all thanks to Google. If you do a search for "get crayons off clothes in dryer" or something like that, my blog will be among the results.

Boy, have I been there. Those crayons are little dickens to get off, as well. Actually, you can't really remove it all. I think Michael has a couple shirts which are monuments to the elusive crayon in the dryer.

I got to have a break this week. It was so relaxing and so energizing. The tanks feel full.

Julie, Terry: I love you! I had such a wonderful time with you both! I'm so thankful God caused our lives to intersect. Yours are friendships I will cherish all my life...thanks!

And Alex, Jean and Michelle: I love you as well! Thank you for taking care of my children for me so I could rest. I never worried about them for one second. You are a like a gift to me!! I appreciate you so much...thanks! is good.

Bless ya!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Right or Left?

Last week we were all in the car and I heard Mason yell from the back seat:

"Mom! Which one's my right hand and which one's my left?"

Michael and I glanced at each other. How could he forget this? I mean, didn't he learn this years ago? he's almost 10 for Pete's sake!

I yelled back that your left is the one that can make a correct looking "L for left" with your thumb and pointer finger. (Isn't that how you remember it?)

It made me think...

Sometimes I walk around like I am an orphan. Like I have no heavenly Father. Like I have no Holy Spirit to speak to me. Sometimes the cares of this world come crashing down and I forget what's true: I forget the gospel.

Thankfully, when I do forget, God is sweet to remind me. He doesn't srcunch up his face and wonder, "How can she forget this? Didn't she learn this years ago? She's 40 for Pete's sake!" No. Instead he is kind to show Himself again and remind me that he sees all I see, and more. Things may look hopeless, they may look real, real bad, but God is good and he is all I need.

Bless ya!

By the way...who is this "Pete" anyway, and why do we say things for his sake?

Rocks for Money

A few weeks ago Molly and Caroline were looking for some ways to earn some extra spending money. Caroline is saving her pennies to buy Felicity's bed costs about $100. That, to me, seems like a daunting amount for an 8 year old to save with no birthday or Christmas in near sight. When I was her age I would have given up at about $25, had my mom drive me to Harco (remember Harco?) so I could buy $25 worth of bubble gum and lip gloss. But that's neither here nor there.

My kids are savers. Well, Mason and Caroline are; Molly has to get rid of her money the instant she has a dime. Pull the car over, Mom! I've got to find a gumball machine! Mason actually saved every dime to buy his Nintendo DS. He then saved to get some Wii games and controllers. He denies himself in order to get the thing he really wants. Caroline is the same way, though at time it is painful for her. I bought the kids winter Crocs for Valentine's Day (they were $10 on sale). They wanted some of those little "thingamabobs" that you can poke into the holes on the crocs, so we went back to the store to look at their selection. Everybody picked out 2 or 3, and produced the cash to pay for such. I looked over at Caroline. She was starting to tear up looking at the cute little "Cinderella" thingy (I really don't know the name for these. Anybody?)

"What's wrong, sweetheart?" I asked

"I really want one of those thingys...but I also really want to save for Felicity's bed set!"

"Well, Caroline, I think you should save for the thing you really want."

"Yes, but everyone else is getting one!"

"And then their money will be gone, but you'll still have a good head start on your bed for Felicity. Would you like to buy just one thingy instead of two?"

"No, Mom...I'm going to save my money for the bed."

Anyway, back to my story...the one about the girls looking for ways to earn some extra money.

Michael told the girls that he would give them 1 penny for each rock they picked up out of the yard. At first I thought that was kind of cruel. I mean, they would be out there working for what, to them, would seem like all day, and for their effort they might get 50 cents. Maybe a dollar if they were fast.

Michael and I grossly underestimated our dainty little girls.

Caroline wanted to know how many rocks she'd have to pick up to earn $20. 2000 rocks, I told her.

Later, on the porch, sat 2 huge buckets full of rocks. 2000 rocks. Caroline earned $20 that day, and Molly earned $18, I think.

Tenacity like that makes me want to just call the American Girl company and pay for that bed myself. She deserves it! But in the long run, I know that she will prize the bed much, much more if she saves the money for it herself. It's good for her to learn lessons of sacrifice and delayed gratification. I still need reminders of these quite often. I know it's just a doll bed; I know it's just a "thing", but I love what it's doing in her heart. I pray that as she grows up, not having been given everything her little heart desires, that she grows to be content with the things that are really important, that she loves the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength, and that the "doll beds" of her life are just the icing.

Bless ya!