Monday, January 08, 2007

In the back of my mind...

This post has the feel of a potluck with the photos pictured here. (You do know what a potluck is, don't you? Where everybody brings a dish to pass and when you go to eat at one, you're not really sure what you're going to end up with. That's a potluck. My brothers and sisters and I have been to lots of them- growing up as PK's. We sometimes coined them 'pot yuck'. Ahhh. Fond memories, indeed!)
Anyway, they do all have something in common and that is my the element of 'playing'. I caught Ava with her little ponies a couple of weeks ago. She has been getting so much better about imaginary play, rather than just banging toys together or making a mess with them. Then there is the one of the girls just after dinner one night last month. I finished clearing the table and wiping hands, and then we cranked some Christmas carols and had a music-fest. They are singing and jingling bells to the song 'Come on ring those bells' in this picture.
The previous photo is a layout I did using Fancy Pants products as I submitted this for their Design Team call. It simply says, 'The time for fun is now', and there are a few other quotes about playing on the strips to one side.
You see, in the back of my mind, I think the greatest fear of my life when it came to having kids was that I wouldn't 'do it right'. That somehow I wouldn't be good enough or be the best example or know how to direct their energies, or that I would, in the end, give my very best, and find that I failed even when I tried my hardest.
That's what was going on in my head for almost my entire pregnancy with Teagan. I dreaded taking her home and having to be responsible for how she would turn out- at least to some degree. To a big degree, it seemed at that time.
I am learning everyday from my kids and from living life and seeing other examples and making choices, that it IS a big responsibility. But it doesn't have to be scary or overwhelming. Not totally, anyway. It's still scary to know that there is such a strong influence to everyone of us from the media- tv, radio, images in mags and on billboards and products, and that what other people say or do can hurt or change our paths- even without the other person even realizing it necessarily. {Recall my post last Feb., I think, when I blogged about my English lit prof. that changed my heart and passion about writing for a LONG time...til I started this Nitty.Gritty. blog and decided not to let 'her voice' tell me my writing was inadequate any longer! Yay for listening to my own heart for once, huh?}
You see, I am learning everyday that the best thing I can do for my kids is to give them balance and opportunities and support and encouragement and love. Knowing that God is ultimately in control of all that happens helps to ease some of my fears as well. I am working on and have gotten much better in the past few years, about living intentionally and making choices everyday that will enhance life, rather then just allowing it to come at me and then me having to respond to it. I think that has made the difference in how I live and seek to raise my kids. I hope that I am being an example to them- that life is full of ups and downs, ins and outs, joy and sorrow, chance and circumstance. But in every situation, you can choose how to live in that moment.
I love when I have time to just enjoy life. To just see the beauty and goodness that exists. To watch the smiles on my kids faces, and know that I am doing my best. And even if it's not good enough all the time, my kids will know that I tried. I want them to know that I sought to give them the 'big picture'...a little bit of everything.
And that you always need to make sure you have some fun- you just never know when you might never get that chance again. Sort of like going to a potluck- lots of variety, you just never know what's in every dish.


Rebecca said...

Thank you for the great parenting reminder!I am so relieved to know that all I can do is my BEST and let God take care of the REST.

Sam said...

I have lurked on your blog a couple times and made the decision to no longer do that to people! So, here's my comment. :)
I am amazed by you and your journey in life. You have given EVERYTHING to God and he is using you even through this blog! You are inspiring to me as a true example of faith and I just wanted to let you know that. Have a wonderful day and thank you for the encouragement and true testimony you show to more people than I'm sure you know.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Jody.
Life is a pot luck sometimes, isn't it? Such great reminders.....
You know, in Arkansas and pot luck is called a carry in, in Indiana it's called a pitch in? I've always known it as a pot luck!

Anonymous said...

Great post as always Jody.
Your pics are waaaay cute!
I am so thankful that I had my share of screw-ups and mistakes when raising my kids... cuz I am all the more aware that the Lord was ultimately in control and that inspite of my mistakes, they turned out sooo awesome!

We do our best... and He does the rest!

Anonymous said...

Some areas call it a "covered dish"..but not here in the Upper Midwest!! Then there's the smorgasbords~~but that's another story!! LOL!
You know Jody, just when you think you've got this parenting thing figured out...then one of the kids does something that totally changes all that. You're in the ankle-biting stage pretty much now...but (and I don't want to scare anyone), just wait until the teen years!!! They become a whole other species then! But it's all worth it!! I have to say that my kids (despite me and my husband) turned out pretty well.

Kim said...

Wow. I first read Melody Ross's blog and now yours. Gee, wonder if the Lord is speaking to me today?! (: Thank you for the reminder to live out loud.