I’ve Completely Run out of Words for “Random”

Papa Bear is gone for the night and even though I had high hopes of cleaning, I fell asleep for an hour in the kids’ room and then woke up with a backache. I happily took the out and flopped down on the couch instead. Basic cable was already included in the cabin bills when we moved in, and although I had originally planned to steer clear, HGTV has me wrapped around his little finger. Sneaky.

Papa Bear has gone up to a friend’s house to seek the Lord (and godly counsel). He’s been suffering from a worsening depression for a few weeks now, and I don’t think he’d mind me telling you so. He may stay gone for a few days. I think he plans to wrestle until he’s blessed. I think it’s ironic that I just posted in answer to solo parenting, though. I may or may not have flushed a hand-full of jelly beans down the toilet tonight* because someone didn’t eat her dinner and was throwing a hissy fit over her forfeited bribe dessert.

*Which I’m not apologizing for, by the way. It was the absolute right thing to do.

Anyway, I just thought I’d check in and ask you all to pray for Papa Bear’s time away. We’re good, just in case you were concerned, but I am a little worried about my man and the stress that seems to be following us around lately.

While Papa Bear is gone, I plan to finish organizing our little bedroom. So, sometime in the next few days, I should finally be ready to post pictures of the cabin!

I guess that’s it for my Friday night update. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend!

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His Praise Will Continually Be in My Mouth

I used to have an opinion about everything….religion, intricate theologies, current events, politics. Now I’m pretty much down to “Jesus is Lord, the Word of God, and the only way to life.” And I’m not sure how I carried all of that other stuff around before children (not that there is anything wrong with having opinions, even strong ones, about most of those things), because this reality seems big enough all by itself.

Last night in church, however (like you didn’t know that was coming), someone asked a question about which I absolutely do have an opinion. I didn’t speak up because it wasn’t really my place. This is my place. Lucky you.

The question posed was, “Can Satan hear my thoughts?” The sound biblical answer given was, “No,” but the exception is something God has been teaching me over the past few years. Oh, and I’m probably only posting this now because I’ve been failing absolutely miserably in it these last couple of days. And after posting this at six in the morning, I will be different today. Amen.

Glory hallelujah.

While I absolutely agree (and will defend) that Satan cannot hear my thoughts, I also contend that he knows quite a few of them. Why? Because he put them there. So, when I think something that I don’t actually believe (i.e. my children are in my way, I don’t love my husband, I’m too busy to stop), I have a patented reaction that I practice saying….out loud.

Are you ready? Get ready….

“Praise God!”

It’s that simple, and it takes absolutely no time out of my day. Although, I have had people look at me strangely in the grocery store (but that might have been because I was dragging two carts and mumbling to myself). When Satan (or, much more likely, one of his minions) puts a thought into my personal head, I also believe that said spirit watches and waits for the turmoil and destruction. If an opposing reaction is not witnessed, it seems much more common for the assault on my mind to continue.

Knowing that these “yucky thoughts” (you’ll forgive me, I’m a mommy) are not mine gives me great freedom to say, “Dear Lord, I have no idea how that got in! Please take it away for me. Would you? Praise God!!” Because Satan can’t hear my thoughts, I think it is especially important to praise my Redeemer out loud.

This really, in a not so round about way, brings me to my favorite question from my recent Facebook poll:

How do you salvage an evening of parenting (solo) that’s gone out of control?

Ummm…good question, Mary from “Where’s the Cow?”. Send me your snail mail address so I can rush eventually mail you your free Jared Anderson* CD!

*I just have to pause and say that I consider myself to be completely failing as a blogger if there are those of you who have yet to rock out to Kingdom Twindom’s favorite worship leader and solo musician. Take a minute this morning and plug Jared into your Pandora. You’ll thank me, I promise. You will. 

It’s not unusual for me to be parenting solo in the evenings. It’s not the rule, praise the Lord, but it happens from time-to-time. Papa Bear likes to do things, and away from the house. Whether it be softball or volleyball or a movie with the guys, I do let him off his chain from time-to-time.

That’s a joke.

I have yet to find a chain that will actually hold him.

In these times where I am feeding, bathing and settling alone, I often find myself inordinately stressed out. But you know what I’ve found really helps (seriously, you’ll never guess)?

Praising. Jesus.

I’ve also found it an invaluable practice to check what I am doing when the barbs of “I can’t do this!” “These kids have no respect for my authority!” “He’s having fun and I’m stuck here not having fun!” sneak into my otherwise loving thoughts. “Am I (and I’m throwing this out there just for fun) doing something that’s making it easier than it should be for Satan to speak to me right now?”

And oh, when it comes to time that is usually “my time,” the answer (for me) is a resounding “Yes!”

Of course, there is nothing wrong with my taking time for me. There is something wrong with the expectation of “this time is mine!” If there is going to be any true rest in my time, anyway, it really has to be God’s time for me (or my time for God), if you will.

The sad fact is that when the kids just won’t go to sleep, I’m usually only upset because there is something else I’d rather be doing!

So, when parenting solo, I try (as much as is possible) to completely clear my schedule. Even when parenting with my husband, bedtime really shouldn’t be a rush-them-to-sleep-so-we-can-start-living time. Night time and bedtime should always be a special and set apart time of parenting (a time to redeem what may have not gone perfectly throughout the day). Rare nights of solo parenting, though, are great times to read to my children, pray with them, sing over them (without anything or anyone else getting in the way). And there may not need to be a cut off time posted for these activities.

When Satan plants the “I really don’t have time for one more hug. And why isn’t your daddy home to help me?!” thoughts, I should respond with a bear of a hug and a loud enough for my children to hear, “Praise God!” And when Satan reminds me that I had really planned on doing fill-in-the-blank, I can remind myself of my one truecalling in that moment and then lay myself down next to my children with the sweet sigh of “Thank you, Jesus.”

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At Least I Still Have Hair

If my life were a t.v. show, I’d wake up tomorrow completely gray….or bald. So thank heavens this is real life and I’ll only awake to the bad hair-day of my life. And, yes, that is my being optimistic. I haven’t told you about the past twenty-four hours, yet.

By the way, thanks to those of you who responded to my Facebook plea for blog material. Because it’s been a terrible day, there’s still time for you to enter. And, technically, I can pick up to three winners (if I’m so inclined). 

Last night, we arrived home from our Colorado adventure about an hour after the kids’ bedtime. We arrived home to a note on our door. It said something to the affect of “There seems to be broken glass all over your living room,” and it was left there by our landlord (who, by the way, is not the type to shatter and run). Since we are in a rental, however, we’re not convinced we, besides our landlord, have the only key. Especially since it seems unlikely that our once huge and heavy mirror jumped away from the wall and shattered itself all over our floor.

Yeah, highly unlikely.

It did, however, end up shattered, delaying our entrance into the house by almost an hour (Papa Bear went inside by himself to de-shard). By the time I did lay the kids in their beds, I was too tired to move to my own. I stayed cuddled next to Baby Bear until Papa Bear woke me with a problem.

He was having trouble submitting a late project for one of his online classes. He thought I could help. I couldn’t. What I could do was erase hours of work by closing a read-only project that had not been properly saved. Papa Bear went to bed, and I stayed up trying to complete a project for a class in which I am not enrolled. I gave up, in tears, somewhere around three in the morning.

This morning, of course, I woke up sick….but really sick. Cuddle Bug isn’t reacting well to the severe cold front, either, and the rest of the kids are fighting about who is the closest to hospitalization. Lovely. I insisted that we attempt a six hour nap starting almost immediately after breakfast….and we watched a lot of t.v. to pass the time.

It never crossed my mind, as I wallowed and moaned this afternoon, that things could get much worse than they were today. Three still packed suitcases line the living room wall. Oh, and we haven’t eaten much more than pb and j because my refrigerator is temporarily in the garage (I really can’t handle telling that part of the story right now), and I was too tired and too cold to walk outside.

When Papa Bear came in from work, I expressed to him that I had just about had it. I’d already sat on the floor and cried three times. And, “Have you talked to the landlord about the mirror mystery, yet?” I asked.

It so happens that our landlord was working right outside, so Papa Bear went out to talk to him and hopefully receive a much needed pat on the back for all of the hauling and clearing we’d been doing at his request. So, when Papa Bear ran back to the door less than five minutes later and announced, “We owe him $1,000!” that’s when I’d had more than I could take.

We’re in this run down, washer and dryer free, tiny little cabin to save money for the winter. That’s it. The views are gorgeous and we’ve been making it work well for our family, but we would never have picked this place if it weren’t for the opportunity to save big and give big throughout what is usually our most difficult season. In exchange for the very low rent, however, we’ve been given a laundry list of chores and favors that he needs completed as an out-of town landlord. And, although it’s been difficult to work these things into our lives, we’ve been happy to repay his generosity.

And, apparently, we’ve done a lot more than that.

It was just about three weeks ago when I sat with my landlord on the front porch, taking scribbled notes of all of the things he wanted done before his next visit. When he pointed to the large pile of boards and trash and carpet scraps in front of the cabin and said, “Have Papa Bear haul this off to the dump,” well, it didn’t cross my mind that it wasn’t all trash. Why? Oh, I guess because it was all in one big pile!

I’m seriously never communicating with any man besides my husband for the rest of my life. Sigh. 

At least we don’t actually owe him $1,000, we do owe more than we would have owed if we’d stayed in our townhouse (you know, the one with the washer and dryer), though. And I cannot even tell you how much that hurts my already tired faith right now (just being honest).

On the off-chance that tomorrow really will be better, I’m going to post this disgustingly real and whiny post, and then I’m going to crawl inside the covers and curl up next to the love of my life.

In other words, I am still aware to some extent. I have a lot to be grateful for.

And, by the way, our landlord really is a great guy. No matter how great a guy, though, no one likes having their stuff thrown away while they’re out of town.

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Sometimes My Love Is Blind

Sooooo….apparantly I am not supposed to post about what we’ve been up to this weekend. At least not yet. The time will come. It will. And maybe I went back and deleted a few lines from my blog because I’d already said a little too much. Maybe.


While Papa Bear and I were out at a pool hall, just having fun for no other purpose at all (ahem), Papa Bear commented on how we had matched our outfits on accident. I was wearing a cute striped t-shirt (green and cream) that I’d borrowed from my sister-in-law’s closet. He was wearing a chocolate brown shirt that he’s had for the past four years. Our shirts did look cute together. But they did not match, at all.

“How do we match?” I asked.

“Cause we’re both wearing green shirts.” He paused….and then he continued, “Aren’t we?!”

That’s just another way that he needs me.

But don’t even get me started about all the ways that I need him!

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Car Blogging

Lil Prince just burped three times in row….on purpose. We’re in the car, and I think we can all agree that car gas is even more annoying than plain old at home gas. Anyway, I asked him to stop.

“Honey, that’s not gentlemanly.”

He quickly replied with a giggle, “Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me.”

And I’d sigh and say, “Oh, boys,” but Cuddle Bug just joined in.

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