Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This I Know

I am doing a Bible Study with a group of friends right now that really has me thinking.  Namely, I am thinking about what a huge responsibility it is to teach your child about God.

I think I really need to step it up in that area.  Yes, Gracie goes to a Christian school.  Yes, we say the blessing every night and prayers before bedtime.  Yes, we sing “Jesus Loves Me”.

But I’ll be honest; we almost never make it to church.  Parke usually works on Sundays and its hard to get up and take a wiggly toddler to church by myself. 

I grew up in a family that almost never missed a Sunday.  I went to “Junior Highs” on Wednesday nights, my parents read their Bibles in front of us- I couldn’t escape God if I tried.  I was around 13 when I truly began to understand and accepted Jesus.

It was a long road from there…I had friends who happily talked about God in every day life.  I was too afraid of being “cool” and kept my religious beliefs largely under wraps.  Anyone who saw my eyebrows during those years would know there was never any danger of my being cool, religious or not.

College was college; I talked to God when I thought about Him-which wasn’t very often.  I never went to church unless I was home from school.  I graduated; Parke and I got married a few years later and went to church sporadically.  I started reading my devotionals again.  I got more and more back “into” God as the years passed.

I got pregnant.  I prayed out of fear almost all night every night.  And then my baby died.  

I held on to God with everything I had...which was nothing.  I had nothing but somehow all of those years I had as I child going to church, going to Wednesday nights reminded me what to do when all was lost.  Forget being cool, I ate, slept and breathed me some Jesus.

I spent so much time on my knees in prayer in those days I am surprised we didn’t have Anne shaped spots all over our carpet.

And then I got pregnant with Gracie.  And I promised I would teach her how special she was, what an answer to a prayer she was…and Who answered my prayers.

I haven’t been very good about keeping that promise.  But I am going to try to do better, a lot better.  Because as much as I want to protect my child from all of the bad, its going to happen.  Relationships break, finances strain…we lose our most precious people.  I won’t always be there to help her through these things; it is so important that she knows Who will.

When we sing, “Jesus Love Me, This I Know”…I want those not to be just words, but a way of life to her.

I apologize for the preachy post…clearly; my cool days are behind me (I think there might have been a week in the 10th grade).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Let me count the ways

Actually, Gracie-girl, there are too many ways to count.

I love the way you jump up and dance your little booty off at the merest hint of music, including the intro to every commercial and television show.  I love the way you then yell “YAY!” at the top of your lungs and clap your hands, so proud of your moves.

I love that you are determined to get the dog to join in our “Patty Cake” and “If Your Happy and You Know It” sing-alongs, getting right into his face and clapping and calling “Dock!” loudly, because clearly he has not caught on to this whole clapping thing.

I love that you never let me get too sentimental.  I could, with you, turn into one of those sweetsy people I have always been so wary of.  But, as I sit and read books to you at night, and I take in your soft hair and baby breath feeling wistful about the days you won’t be so tiny, I sometimes reach out to hold on to a part of you…at which point you bellow “MINE!” at the top of your breath and jerk away your foot, arm, whatever, and bring me back to reality.  Thank you for that.

I love your self-confidence.  I love that whenever we pick out outfits in the morning, you put them on and declare, “Gee Gee TUTE!!”  Gee Gee is very tute.

I love that you love trucks just as much (if not more) than you love baby dolls.  I love that all the way to school you yell, “SHRUCK!!”

I love that you are a little bossy.  I love that you tell your Daddy and me to “SIT!” and “THIS WAY!” in such a commanding way that we usually do what you say before thinking about obeying a little 20-month-old tyrant.

I love the spontaneous kisses you give (even if they are usually when you have been just a little bit bad).

I love that you make me laugh out loud, even when I am trying to rock you to sleep, making funny faces and getting right in my face and whispering “HEY!”

I love our after bath routine, where we look in the mirror and you say “Mama, Gee Gee, Whoo whoo whoo” pumping your little fist in the air.

Most of all I just love you, Grace Louise, exactly the way you are.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kitchen Nightmares

This is not the sort of thing I normally blog about, and I really don't think anybody even reads this thing anymore, but I need some help.  Well, I probably need help with a lot of things, but let's focus on one...healthy food for my family.

Some things to know:
1) I hate cooking.  I think it is because I don't know what I am doing and I hate doing things I don't know how to do (admittedly, not one of my best traits).  Also, I am really bad at it.  Family legend has it that I don't know how to make instant oatmeal.  Yes, there was once an "incident".  I would also like to add a disclaimer here that my mother is a FABULOUS cook, I just didn't seem to inherit that gene.

2) I am neurotic.  I have always been a huge fan of "moderation is key", so I don't mind Gracie eating a hot dog and a cookie here and there.  But right now I feel like she is getting a lot of overly processed school food and then not much better at home.  Which leaves me up at night freaking out that she is going to grow two heads, grow a tail- anything seems plausible around 2 am.

3) Like everyone else, I just don't seem to have enough time.  I work all day, and I don't want to spend what time I do have with my family in the kitchen.  Also, if I was in the kitchen I would probably just be standing in there for no reason because I don't know what I am doing.  Another disclaimer, Parke is a great cook and does most of the heavy lifting here...but I am in charge of the grocery shopping.

4) I like to eat.  A lot.  And I like my food to taste good, every time I read about an actress/ model who lives on steamed fish and lettuce it makes me so thankful not to be that person I run right out and buy a package of M&M's in celebration.

So, my request for anybody who still happens to read this blog...what do you feed your family?  And how do you know where to start?  What will your kids eat that is good for them? I would love to overhaul our eating habits (for the most I said, everything in moderation) but that goal seems way out of reach right now.

Anybody out there who can help or offer suggestions?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bad Dog

This weekend, Parke and I took Gracie to her very first Clemson football game.  Well, we didn't quite make it to the football, but Gracie had a blast running all over the place while we did some tailgating.  She was full speed ahead and Parke and I spent most of the time chasing after her.

At one point, Gracie found a dog.  She LOVES dogs and ran right over to get a closer look.  The dog, on the other hand, was not quite as pleased to see Gracie. Parke grabbed her just in time.  Watching all of this happen, I found myself with tears in my eyes- because this is what kills me about being a mom.

See, I want there to only be sweet, loving dogs in Gracie's world.  Dogs who, when she gleefully squeals "DAWG" with her groggy southern drawl, run over and give her a million kisses.  Because right now, that is all she knows.  I want there to be only good dogs in Gracie's world the same way I want there to only be good people.  Because right now, that is all she knows.

But as her mother, that isn't my job.  Most of life is very good, but as Gracie gets older, no matter how hard I try to stop it, she is going to encounter some bad. Bad dogs, bad people. My job is to prepare her for it, and then love her through it.  Its a tough job.

For right now, though, I will do my best to protect her innocence.  Because the best defense against bad is to know a whole lot of good.