Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

As parents, you often times wonder if you've made the right decisions in training your children. Especially when you train them against of the grain of society. I really hope that you are encouraged by this post was written by my daughter Ruth Miller. I saw it on her Facebook page. It really touched my heart and I wanted to share.

I can't believe how quickly time has gone by. I remember as a kid, days would go by so slowly. You could be outside playing for what seemed liked forever, only to find out two hours went by. And now, I'm an adult. My days filled up with cleaning and cooking, maintaining our budget, reading books on pregnancy, and preparing for labor and delivery with exercise videos. And the craziest thing of all is I'm about to be a mommy! Wow. It never stops giving me the "wow" factor when I think about it.

Last year seemed to fly by, with graduation and the wedding and finding out we were having a baby. It was such a great year! 2010 was probably the greatest year of my life so far, and yet, 2011 is sure to top it within the next two months when Mikey arrives.
It wasn't until I became pregnant that I really truly began to understand the power the love of a parent has.

Whenever I got sick or threw up due to morning sickness, the first thought in my head was my baby. Is my baby ok? Is he getting the nutrients he needs? Its mind-boggling how without effort, your thoughts, emotions, and energy are all focused on this little being whom you haven't seen yet. And how much relief you get when you find out they are ok.

It's amazing how excited I get when my little boy moves in my stomach when he hears his daddy talking to him in the morning. And how much emphathy I have when he has the hiccups literally all day long. I laugh when I look down at my stomach as he rolls from one side to another, making my stomach very lopsided. It touches my heart when he starts to calm down when I talk to him nice and quiet.

The love I have for my baby boy is unlike anything I've ever experienced. And I finally understand why my parents did some of the things they did growing up. It was because they loved us that they didn't let us sleep over at just anyone's house (looking back, that was one of the wisest things they ever did. You never know what goes on in people's homes). It was because they loved us that they didn't let us pick out every toy we wanted at the store (we'd end up spoiled and ungrateful if they did). It was because they loved us that they disciplined us (if not, we would be some of the most unrulely kids!). It was because they loved us that they decided to move our family from Vegas (though I hated the idea at first, spending so much time with my parents in Idaho was totally worth relocating). And it was because they loved me that they let me spread my wings and fly when the time came.

I really hope to be the kind of parent to my kids that my parents were to us. One who puts my children first, despite what society says. One who teaches my kids to respect those who are older than them. One who invests my personal time into teaching life lessons to my children. One who teaches them to respect their father by respecting him myself. One who never misses a game, or a recital, or a play. One who encourages them to never give up, even when things get hard. One who forgives and doesn't hold faults against you. One who never lets a day go by without saying "I love you"...

I'm so excited to be a mom, and I welcome this new chapter of my life with open arms! I count down the days until Ryan and I will be holding Michael in our arms, looking down in amazement at this little guy God chose to bless us with..
Nothing is going to top that day :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The White Shower Curtain Liner: Did it really have to go down like that?

In my quest to try and conserve on energy, I came up with a brilliant plan that we've been implementing. Since no one lives in the bathroom, we've been keeping the door closed because that room doesn't need to be heated. If you're familiar with keeping a room that's wet in closed quarters, we know what happens. Mold!

My plan has been a success in keeping the energy bill low. I wish I could say that for the mold. I didn't make it clear to the children that the fan needs to run while taking a shower and leave the door open for a bit afterward. At least until you can see the mirror.

These are not my curtains.
I have these pretty lace shower curtains that I've had since my husband and I were married. I take pride in caring for them. I love the ecru color because it's soft on the eyes and gives the decor a more homey feel.

The other day, my son mentioned that the liner needs to be replaced. He said he would pick up one while he was out. He took his little sister with him because he had a few stops to make. I'm thankful that he enjoys having his younger siblings tag along with him.

I was so excited. Not because he was picking up a new liner, but because he was driving by a place that sells my favorite drink. He makes it a habit to pick up his momma a special drink every time he passes this place on his way home. I walked him to the door and squealed about how much I would enjoy this drink. He asked if I had a coupon. I didn't and checked online. No new coupons that day. He kissed him momma goodbye as always.....

Three hours later they returned home. When I heard his key turn the doorknob, he entered. Alas, no drink in his hand, but a shower curtain liner.

My face must have shown disappointment. I'm still working on having a poker face and not letting my feelings show. Smiling for me is the norm. When I'm not, something may be wrong. I must confess though, it's very hard for me to hide my emotions. They are written on my face.

He asked what was wrong. Giving him the response that we women give, I replied, "Nothing!" Knowing all the while I was upset. Upset because he didn't give me wanted I wanted.....

He apologized and informed me that he was getting ready to replace the liner. I asked him what color did he get. When he said it was a white liner. I felt my nostrils flare. Trying to keep my cool. The key word is trying. I asked him when has he ever saw me put up a white liner in the bathroom. He stood there. Stunned because he didn't understand why I lashed out the way that I did. How was he suppose to know that my shower curtains are ecru and a white liner was borderline blasphemy in my eyes?!

Later that night he was saying goodnight. I responded in a kind, but somewhat cold way. Then it happened. The moment when I was convicted by my actions toward the son who needs the hugs and the "I love you" the most.

Had I withheld the things that he needed the most all because things didn't go my way and I didn't get what I wanted? Had my son spent his whole evening wondering why I was upset when he was really trying to help me? Did I withhold love and affection from my husband and children because I didn't get my "special drink" and the liner was white?

Did it really have to go down like that?

No it didn't, but it did.

How do I pick myself up after behaving the way I did?

No, I wasn't screaming at the top of my lungs making my husband and the children scurry for cover. No, it was worse because it was subtle. The hugs weren't as tight and long as usual. The "I love you" didn't have the normal spunk. The daily talks with my sons on their latest business venture didn't occur because I was "busy." Busy with what? Sulking in my flesh that didn't get gratification that day.

That's when the Scriptures that I've quoted so many times came back to my remembrance:

"Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." -Psalm 119:11

I had sinned in my heart. My heart wasn't pure at that moment. I allowed my wants to over ride the needs of my family. I had to run to the mercy seat of my Father. It's funny, when we sin, we want the mercy of God. When others sin, especially if we feel they sinned against us, we want judgment.

Just like the Psalmist David, I too, had to say, "Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit." -Psalm 51:9-12

Seeking forgiveness and forgiveness was granted, I hugged and hugged my family.

As wives and mothers, how many times do we hold back our love, time and affection from our family because of how we feel? Or because they didn't perform or do what we asked or wanted? I wonder if we as women realize how much power and influence we have in our homes.

I want to encourage you to grab hold of this Scripture and apply it to your life and home:
"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so." -Proverbs 3:27.

Oh, he didn't get my the drink because he simply forgot and got side tracked. Ha!