Friday, April 12, 2013

When they actually listen and act too...

My kids are growing up far faster and with lots of stories and details than I keep up with on my blog these days. I used to be so much better about it, but as I said, the ease of FaceBook to post short sentences, links and upload photos has taken much of the place of blogging in my life. But I do like to come here and write when I have more time and space to do so. I also have been reading back through months past and noticing just how neat it is to actually have all these stories, photos and memories in a place like this. It sort of inspires or motivates me to want to write more. But lately every time I say I will be better about writing it just leaves me missing yet another goal. So I will simply hope that I can do better about this- but I won't bank on that happening.
So here I go...some thoughts and a couple of stories about my kids lately.
Wyndham is doing very well right now. She loves being back in her aqua therapy and is quite the swimmer from what I hear. I have yet to have the chance to see her in the pool at her therapy facility because I am always home caring for Teague and Crew while she has her appointments. But Chip tells me that she loves it so much and often splashes and jokes around when she doesn't want her pool session to end. She has been healthy for quite a long stretch now and that makes things so much easier for all of us- obviously. Between last winter and this winter she has not had a major illness- at least the kind that requires hospitalization. Prior to that she was in the hospital every winter, sometimes several times and sometimes in the summer too. So I think she is stronger and her immune system might have finally caught up to where it should be. I have loved seeing her personality shine and it is extra fun to see her act more like a preteen than a little girl. She has a very sharp sense of humor and we all love that most about her!
One of the things that jumped out at me about her last night was that she was the last person sitting at the table for dinner. The younger brothers are always the first to leave {or be excused!} and the others had run off to play and do homework. I was starting to clean up the kitchen and asked Wyndham is she was ready to move to another room too. She got up {which she rarely does on her own} and then picked up her plate and fork and brought it over to the kitchen sink. I was so proud of her and praised her for being a good helper! She loves to help set the table and mix things when we're cooking, and even likes to wipe the table when we're done. But it was cool to see her take the initiative and just do something that she is fully capable of doing, but rarely does. I know I could and should 'demand' more of her and all my kids when it comes to stuff like this. It still made me happy inside to know that she did it all her own and that she was pleased with herself too. It's hard to know what respnsibilities she should have, and even hard to not just do them all ourself because it is easier on her and on us. She beams- just like you see in her picture here today- when she meets or exceeds expectations. Don't we all?!
Then there is Brock. he deserves the spotlight around this blog too. As the oldest of the kids that ARE so demanding around here, he often gets added chores or time blocks where we ask him to help out. He still is always so willing to do whatever it is we ask. I don't praise him enough for that, and although I sometimes take him along to Target or to Barnes & Noble- and he also gets to go to sporting events and hang out with his friends there and at youth group, it is still nice to hear the praise too. So I am going to publicly say thanks to him for his generous spirit and helpfulness to Chip and to me at home. The kids look up to him and love him- even as much as they annoy him and hang on him too. I thought it was pretty impressive that a young check-out girl at Target actually noticed and said to him, "You're a good big brother" as he pushed Teague in the cart while I unloaded and paid the tab. Just by watching the way he responded to and entertained Teague for those few minutes was enough to make an impression and speak to his character that was seen by the girl ringing up our groceries. It made me realize that he is dependable and kind in how he treats his siblings. He told her he likes being the oldest of the 6 kids and Teague put on quite the show by barking and panting like a puppy right back. =) hee hee
I was thinking today about how much time and effort and prayers and tears and feelings of inadequacy fill my life when it comes to parenting and raising kids these days. That is much of my life from morning til night- and often even in the middle of the night too! But oh how wonderful and affirming it is to have glimpses of your kids "getting it right". I am realizing that though they need endless reminders and lots of guidance, they are learning at the very least what the expectations are, and that when they hit that mark it hopefully fuels in them the desire to keep going and strive to be the best they can be.
I wondered how I am doing on that level in regards to my spiritual life. After years of knowing what to do and how to do it I still need reminders and lots of guidance and encouragment to do the right thing. The walk of faith can be long and winding and daunting. Yet I know that I am going in the right direction and my heart still yearns to beat like that of Christ's. But I fall short everyday. Still, I know that God loves my efforts...He loves to see me {and all of us!} try our best. He loves when we listen, follow and obey. No matter what the cost; no matter who is watching.
I know that even on the days I am less than beaming for Him that He still wants the best from me, and expects it too! I know nothing I can do will make God love me more or love me less. Still, it is a neat picture to imagine Him smiling down when we get it right. Simply because we are being who He created us to be. I am working on being a better listener too. That way you know just what He wants and I know in turn my kids will see a better example of what I hope they grow to be too. More like Him.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Great to see you back again and to read about your beautiful family.