Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Taking some time to myself (among other things)

Maybe this is a new phase, but this morning J again didn't want me to read to him even when I offered, but wanted me to read aloud a book he picked out while he was reading one. If I was quiet, he'd say "mommy, read it" wanting me to keep going.

Then it was nap time for J. I had put off for too long various things that needed to be done around the house and I can't believe how much I got done today! It felt so good to see the results afterward. It was the kind of cleaning I don't have a huge block of time for very often but today J took a 3-1/2 hour nap (from 11:30-3pm)!!! I checked in on him a couple times and he didn't hear me or stir at all. I just kept cleaning until he woke up.
Here is my exciting list:
-cleaned our bedroom getting to areas that hadn't seen a vacuum in ages
-cleaned J's room
-scoured sinks
-reorganized and cleaned up toy area
-hung painting that had been my mom's which was sitting in living room for past couple months
-swept/mopped floors
-load of laundry
-vacuumed living room, stairs, upstairs bedrooms

In my time with the Lord today the reading was Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. It was probably 3 or so months ago in a time of challenge with J that I remember thinking, I am training J. Every day by what I say, what I don't say, what I do, he is watching me and absorbing more from me than I know, both the bad and the good. It reminds me to stop myself in those hard moments and ask, how am I training him? To be patient or impatient? Loving or angry? Gentle or harsh? And then ask for a fresh supply from the Lord to train him in the way he should go. Beth shares how this verse to the ancient Hebrew was one of the sternest commands of God. Paul described himself in Phillipians 3:5 as a "Hebrew of Hebrews" meaning nothing but Hebrew influence touched him in his early childhood. Paul was raised a Pharisee which at the time represented some of the noblest traditions of the Hebrews. For the parents, living a godly life was the most important of all. By the time Paul was 13, he would have assumed all the responsibilities of the adult Jew and was considered a man. He had done much memorization of God's word; the law of the Lord was his life. This is so good to be reading about how Paul was being raised. "Living a godly life" as his parents were committed to doing is so important to me to strive for as I know most of what J learns is from my actions, not what I say. I want my life to teach him my love for the Lord.

We had gotten Jungle Book the movie and J liked this part where the elephants go marching. He had me play it again and again. After his nap, he wanted to do a flip off my lap. I don't know when I taught him how to do this but he sits on my lap facing me and while I hold his hands he leans back and flips. He's so proud of himself too. "I flipped mommy!" he'll say.

Tonight was my solo night out. Our area library was showing The Blind Side with free popcorn. L wasn't that interested in it so he watched J while I got to see a movie, a rarity. It was really good, like I'd heard. It was so nice to take a night away. This was reinforced by a blog I found where she encourages mothers to take some time to themselves (she's addressing homeschooling mothers).

Here's the excerpt taken from a post on The Flourishing Mother:
For a mother to allow herself a bit of leisure to rest and refresh herself by exploring her own interests, to find a little time for herself, especially when so many others depend on her, is a what Karen calls, Mother Culture ®.

When a busy homeschooling mother takes part in Mother Culture she safeguards her enthusiasm, so she will be better able to cope with her responsibilities. To partake in Mother Culture is to feed herself with the Word of God, with ideas from books, nature, art, music, etc., thus taking care to keep growing spiritually and mentally. If there such is a thing as the joy of childhood, there is also such a thing as the joy of motherhood, and Karen admonishes mothers to recognize and live within such a blessing.

L said J wanted to see the elephants of Jungle book over and over and then they went for a walk and played outside before bedtime.

This morning our Titus's mom's group got together in our church gym for play group. We canceled being at the park since it was raining. There were only a handful of moms that came. J liked playing in a little tent they had set up. He played with cars and little people. He had trouble keeping his hands to himself (trying to hit) so I had to correct and then finally a time out when he hit a little girl. It's like he has this little space bubble and if someone gets too close to what he's doing, he reaches out to push them away or hit. Two of the moms were sharing with me they have the same struggle they're working through with their kids. Time outs seem to help a bit, but not completely.

On our way home, J asked to go to McDonald's. He hasn't done that before. There was one near our way home with a playland so we stopped there. I was worried he'd get stuck at the top in the playland but he was able to climb back down when he went to the top. Then he wanted my help to go up the other side and some kids at the top were crowding around him saying "hi cutie, cute little baby" and it got a little much for him.

Today in my devotional time I read Acts 22:3 At the Feet of Gamaliel Then Paul said: "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. Paul's father sent him to Jerusalem to continue his Jewish education. Gamaliel was highly esteemed (and Beth says he still is today) and was a remarkable teacher. Beth shares Paul's words from 1Corinthians 8:1-3 how "knowledge puffs up, but love builds up." The man who loves God is known by God. She encourages us to study God's word not to gain knowledge, but to increase our love for God. I only earnestly began to study God's word as I was coming to the Lord between age 25-30. It was when I turned 30 that I found a small church group where I met with a couple individuals including the pastor's wife and I learned how to study God's word so that it became a regular part of my life. Each day as I read, I find out just how much more I have to learn!

J took a pretty good nap which was good since we were invited for dinner by L's childhood friend Marilyn that he reconnected with through Facebook. I haven't heard L laugh so hard in one night for a long time. They said it was like having their own little class reunion. They went through their old yearbook page by page and went through picture albums including a month-long trip their French class took to Europe. J ate like a little bird and then he played with their foster daughter Katie who is 12. She is great with kids and babysits too. It was so funny throughout the night, we found several things we had overlapping in our lives or in common like my medical transcription background. One was it turns out I interviewed Marilyn back when I worked at the UW Hospital (but she turned down the job). It was so long ago that I didn't connect with her name. We got home past J's bedtime and L was putting him to bed and he was melting down. I came up and calmed him down just holding and rocking him but then brushing his teeth he had another melt down and then had to be calmed down again.

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