Friday, May 6, 2011

The Dance is Done

What a a Fantastic Friday! Unfortunately, the weather here is a little gloomy, but my mood isn't. This is always a crazy busy time for us, with dance rehearsals, recitals, graduation, end of school activities, you know the bit. We never seem to slow down until the middle of June, and it always seems so great when it arrives. I try to pretend that I hate this busy month, but secretly I love it. Why? Probably, because it revolves around my two girls.

Tomorrow is Mabrees dance recital. Its always exciting and crazy. Mabree is good at everything she does, including dance. I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter. God has truly blessed her with a number of talents. It amazes me how quickly she can learn a routine. Mabree has decided that this is her last year of dance. We left the decision up to her whether she would continue to dance or pursue sports. She chose sports after finishing up this season. Its bittersweet to me. I've watched her every year advance to harder classes with no hesitance. Shes done it for so long, I was really surprised at her choice, but not disappointed. I've always taught her not to be afraid to try new things. I think thats how you grow.

Nine years ago, she was so tiny going into class for her first time. Just 3 years old at the time, her little pink leotard and tights were so cute....of course we took a gazillion pictures of her. I had so frantically made sure she had a cute dance bag, a few dance outfits, shoes. I didnt know if she would enjoy it or if it would be a fight every week to get her there. The first night, I was a little nervous not knowing what her reaction would be, but we opened the door and in she went. No hesitation, no clinging to mommys hand, no goodbye....We watched through the windows, I expected a nervous, shy, crying child to be looking back for me, but nothing. She was focused on her teacher and the mirror. I have to admit that I was kinda disappointed that she didnt search for me, but I was too excited watching her, that my disappointment soon faded.

Each week, we stood proudly watching her through the windows. She was learning the routine so quickly. In December, they were to ride in the Christmas parade. It was quite chilly, so we dressed her in warm clothes and mittens. As she passed by the crowd, she waved so sweetly to everyone. She was beaming with happiness, and so were we.

In May, dance recital time comes around. It usually falls on or around Mabrees birthday. This year will be her last. Yesterday as I drove her to rehearsal, she couldnt stop talking about it. I cant believe this is my last year she would say. I would reply back that it was still her choice and that we would support whatever decision she made. She just shook her head. She continued talking about how she was going to miss her dance friends, she had known them for so long, and wanted to come visit and maybe see next years recital. I just sat listening. I had no idea that she was taking it this hard. It was very difficult to listen to her, because I was in awe that she was expressing herself to me. Even as we sat down to eat dinner with my mom, before rehearsals started, she brought it up to her. Talking up a storm. I think even my mom was a little taken back by her conversation. Mabree never talks this much, maybe she feels overshadowed by her little sister, or maybe she just needed to express how much of a loss this really was in her life.

I never in a million years would have guessed that she would quit dance. I thought we would be doing this for the rest of her teenage years. But I am so proud that she has chosen to try something new, and confidently, not hesitantly. Mabree will probably struggle a little bit when dance season starts again in the fall, and whatever she chooses, we will stand behind her in support. It seems like such a small decision as an adult, but in her eyes, this is life changing. The thing thats shes done every week since she was 3, will be a thing of the past.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My BIG Little Girl

So I've decided since its Mabree's birthday week, I'm going to make it all about her. She turned a whopping 12 on Tuesday. Usually we make a big deal about birthday dinners, but not this year. She just wanted a simple dinner at home. Its not the first change I've seen in her lately,and I'm sure its only the beginning of a number of changes I will be seeing.

Mabree is the type of child that everybody likes. She is sweet (to most people), very laid back. Her dad and I always joke with her that she is on "Island time". She never rushes to do anything, just kinda eventually gets it done. I think shes a perfect mix of her dad and myself. She gets her laid back attitude from her dad, and her craziness from me. She never ceases to amaze me. Just when I least expect it, she does something that catches my heart. On her birthday, she went to leave to go to her dads, and forgot to give me a kiss and hug. It only took her a few seconds to realize but when she came back in, it wasnt the usual half hug and kinda kiss. It was a tight, like you mean it hug with an extra long kiss...I have to admit, it made my heart skip a beat. I don't get those too often, and I know that eventually I may not get them at all.

I know there will come a time, when her friends are hurrying her out the door, or her boyfriend is waiting at the movies, that she may not even say goodbye. I know that she is not my little girl anymore. Our conversations aren't about the stuffed animals shes sleeping with tonight, or the newest toy out in the store. My mind can't seem to wrap around the idea thats shes not 6. I want to cherish every minute I can get with her. I can see the days slipping by, and before I realize it, they will be gone. Some days I sit and watch my daughters in the yard playing, and I think...Mabree will be driving in 4 more years, and leaving for college in 2 years after that. I m not ready for any of it and I m probably not going without a fight. I m scared that she will want to go to the other end of the earth for school, and that I wont get to see her but twice a year. I m scared that she wont make good choices, and that I ll get a 2am tearful phone call, of which I can do nothing about. I guess thats where my faith is lacking.

I can remember doing everything for her, but now she wants to do it herself. She used to want to go places with I m gradually heading to the backseat, and thats okay with me. I look back at pictures, and wonder if she would have been a different child had her dad and I not divorced. Would she have been so inverted?

I know God is holding her hand, even when she wont let me. That is comforting to me. I m glad Hes holding my hand too. I know that God has her life planned out for her despite what my plans may be. I pray that when the day comes, she allows God to lead her on a path that glorifies Him. I pray that I will never hold her back from doing what her heart desires. I pray that I can be a positive Christian role model for her on the days that she left her faith in her other purse. I know my prayers wont go unanswered, but they may not be answered the way I think they should be. I pray that she will be happy and always a fruit of the spirit, even in her weakest and most vulnerable moments. I would love to pray that she stay little for a lifetime, but that would be a selfish prayer, and would never be blessed.

I am her biggest fan, even though there are times she may not see me in the bleachers. I am her sounding board, even if she has pressed the mute button. I am her defender, even if I show up without armor. I am her protector, even if she doesnt see the net down below. .......and God? God is supervising, to make sure I dont mess it up...and if I do....He makes sure I know it. With God in her heart, she may stumble, but she will never fall.............

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Twelve Going On.......... Grown

Yes I know, I know, its been WAYYYY too long since I last blogged. I had hoped to be a more consistent blogger, but as with anything else in my life, it seems to take a back seat to.......well life.

I have recently discovered a 12 year old stranger living in my house. Her name is Mabree. Mabree....Mabree....why does that name sound familiar? Oh yeah! I conceived her, birthed her, changed her diapers, fed her, you know the usual. She has become somewhat of a mystery to me....and I mean that in the kindest most loving words ever. In one week, she went from a little girl who didnt mind dressing in front of me, or taking a shower while I was in the bathroom to OH MY GOSH MOM can I get some privacy?!?! Huh? Really? I just couldn't have imagined that in one weeks time my daughter would become a young lady.

I try really hard to think back to when I was 12. Oh so long ago, different time and place. At 12, I was boy crazy, with my first real boyfriend, we were going out. I remember my mom saying going out? Where do you think you are going out to? Of course she couldnt possibly understand what going out meant....jeez the nerve of her, right? Now I look at my daughter, and see how very different she is now than I was. She could care less about boys.....I think. She's very into clothes and her appearance (which I must say just came out of the blue), friends, going places....socializing. We are very strict and dont really think she needs a social calendar quite yet. I am trying so hard to hold on to the little girl who loved to play with dolls, and polly pockets, and littliest pet shop...but its fading very fast.
I called my mom recently for some moral support, but all I got was laughter coming through the phone.....the reason you ask? Because supposedly, (its all hearsay)I am now getting a dose of what I dished out to her, and somehow my mother finds that quite entertaining. I described Mabrees reaction to "The Talk" (you know the one) as a deer in headlights, only to have my mother respond...."whos the deer in the headlights now" as she chuckled.....although eventually after much laughter, she did give some good grounded advice....Keep the line of communication open, but be realistic about my expectations of what she will actually tell me. I dont want to be realistic, I want to know everything! Mabree is one of those inverted personalities too. Doesnt get too excited, never know how shes really feeling, unless its anger. She expresses that with nooooooo problem. Just ask any door in the house....
Something popped into my head a few days ago, and I wrote it down. "I pray God gives me the words I need when my daughter has her first broken heart over a boy who didnt deserve her." Now I pray that she will tell me when she starts liking boys. Mabree says she doesnt tell me things because I m too emotional about everything, and that I cry about EVERYTHING! I dont cry about everything....not everything...!! I love my girls, and anything they do makes me emotional....I cried at Mabrees first volleyball game. I cry at every dance recital and school program, oh and when she sings in church, solo or group, or when she has done or said something so sweet....yeah shes right... I cry about everything....hahaha
I think my only alternative is to go with the flow. Very difficult to do when you're a control freak like myself. If I have any chance at all, I ll have to cry privately, and just be a sounding board for her.....ever so gently offering advice when solicited. Ya'll just pray for me....I need all I can get....and is it medically possible to remove tear ducts????

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fill 'er up

I just said to a friend this past week that I have found myself quite fact....too busy for God. I knew it already, but just saying it aloud made it real. I have not had God on my brain or my heart except to say, I'll talk to ya later, gotta get this done right now, but never to return. My soul was feeling it too. I had become lost, and empty. Oh, my convictions were beaming, it was obvious to me, but I would continue to push them over as I would anything else that I felt was in my way. It would always show up, as if to remind me that it was there and I needed to deal with it, but still I continued ignoring it.

Then last night as if it were a Marquis sign, a message was given to me, and quite frankly I felt that it was directly to me. How can the spirit of God grow if you are only feeding the flesh? A great illustration was used with a red balloon (our spirit)inside of a white one (our flesh). Different sizes of the red balloon represented our spirit being fed. At one point, you could barely see the red balloon at all. It was very small compared to the white one, and it continued to grow as it was fed until there was really only a white covering over a fully inflated red balloon.

That was me, not the fully inflated red balloon, but the barely filled red balloon, and I had allowed it. I had made a choice that what was going on in my life was more important than what was going on in my soul. Sure alot of it was Church based activities, but sometimes we can get so wrapped up in what we are doing, that we forget why we are doing it. I havent picked up my Bible in weeks except to reference something, or in Church. What had I done that was so important that I put Gods word down? My answer.......nothing...absolutely nothing. If I was able to pencil in every other appointment, activity, and event in my planner maybe I should use a permanent marker to add God. A permanent marker can't be erased, or scribbled out, and neither can God. He is always here for us, whether we choose to accept his grace, so really there is no need to schedule Him in, He is already there. I have learned a hard lesson......Dont't get so busy in life that you forgot who gave you yours......and sacrificed His. Don't get on such a schedule that you have to pencil Him in, because He didnt pencil you in-He permanently marked you for grace and mercy if you accept it.

Help I am Becoming My Mother....and I Can't Stop!

The last couple of weeks has really been trying for me. I have realized in an instant why my mother is beginning to show in me. My oldest daughter, Mabree, who will soon be 11, has come to an age of all knowing, moody, grumpy, hormones on their way, insanity. I often remind her that the only one that is all God. And very quickly she replies back to me, mhhmmm as if to say back at ya babe! I really dont know how I ever made it this far in life. My daughter seems to think I dont know my head from a hole in the I must have been really lucky to be where I am today....

She does have valid points, which is where I quickly reference back to my childhood. I can remember when VCRs first came out (wow that dates me), and my mom had no clue how to work it, hook it up or any other electronic contraption for that matter. I also remember how crazy I thought she was for not knowing....I have recently found myself in the same situation. There are applications on my cell phone I didnt even know existed or how they operate. Mabree can figure them out quickly, only leaving me in limbo, because its "so easy, how could I not know how to do it". I feel more and more like my mom everyday. I'm not hip or in tune with all of the new techno stuff, or whats popular....and I almost always get a "you are not serious" look when I say "Oh these clothes were in style when I was young". What???? Did that just come out of my mouth???? I am becoming my mother....what has happened to me?

I have quickly learned that I have no clue about the world and how it revolves, and by the words of my daughter when referencing her substitute teacher as being in her 30s and OLD and possbily having dementia, because thats what happens to old people....Lord please help me....before my mind goes and I lose all control of bodily functions. I'm only a few years away from 40, I ll be needing a walker or wheelchair soon! Wow....I see now why my mom said and did the things that she did. I never thought I would ever see where my mom was coming from when she made the rules, just as my daughter will not see the purpose of my rules until she has children of her own. Life truly comes full circle, doesnt it?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Jennifers

God has blessed me with two Jennifers in my life. One, I've known for years, the other, a little over a year. I often wonder what I ever did to deserve the friendships that I have, and to this day I still dont know.

One of the Jennifers, the one I've known the longest is like my kid sister. My mom will sometimes call me laughing, having read one of our comments to each other-usually with name calling involved. Chickenhead, dork, Kiki, Jenny, its all been used before. We have so many things in common. We both have two children, she has boys, I have girls. She may eventually be crazy enough to have a third, but thats all her, I want no part of that!

She inspires me to think outside of the box. She is creative, even if I make fun of her creativity, I really love it, but its my job to aggravate the kids sister right? We are alot alike with our attitudes, shes my "google queen", and I'm her "pick your battles" friend. She is a wonderful person, a little timid compared to me and Traci, but a wonderful person. We can have fun together, because we both accept our differences, we dont have to be attached at the hip when we shop, and we are pretty honest with each other. Jennifer is one to nicely break things to you.

She has really had alot on her mind lately. Our conversations have changed. So my prayer for her is that one day she will know "her worth". I want her to know how creative she makes me, and how she laughs at her husband and enjoys his humor, how her eyes light up when she thinks of her children. We are both sentimental "fruit loops". I say that lovingly, because we both get choked up when thinking about our families and the memories of our childhood. Jennifer, know that you are worth the hand of your husband walking beside him and not behind him, the breathe of your boys that you gave them, the push you give me to get out of my comfort zone, and an ear to listen to anyone who needs it. Love ya Chickenhead!

The other Jennifer, one that I have known for such a short time, but I feel like I have known her forever is the truest form of faith that I have ever seen.

One morning, when Mallory was still a baby, I was dropping her off at the church daycare. My mother in law had been telling me about a little girl at their church that was really sick with cancer a few weeks before. As I am walking Mal in, I pass a woman, her young son, and her daughter. At that moment, I knew who the little girl was, I choked back my tears until I was safely back in my car, and then in the quiet, I lost it. I was a mother hurting for another mother. I didnt know her at all, but God did. It was then that God began really working in my life.

For a long time after we starting to go to the same church, my heart ached for Jennifer anytime I thought about her. Just a few short weeks later, Emilee died, but that is where Jennifers inspiration really started. She still engulfed herself into our childrens ministry, and even though I knew and still know that her heart breaks everyday, her faith in God has pushed me on the days I forgot my faith. She is one of the most inspiring people I have ever had the chance to know. God put her in my life to fully show me what faith should be.

Jennifer is such a sweet person, she has been plagued with an unimaginable loss, but to meet her, you wouldnt know it. She is the one that Christ shows His face through. A gleaming light for the world to see, without any sign of tragedy. She has taught me more than I could ever repay. A friend and I were talking one day about her finding someone to love her like she deserves to be loved, but to us there is nobody good enough for her. She deserves so much more than any one person could ever give her. One of her treasures is waiting on her in Heaven, the other beside her. Jennifer, I hope you realize what an inspiration you are to so many people. You are a light for Christ, more than you know. Love ya sista girl!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Be Still & Know I Am God

Our lives are so busy, its rare that we ARE still long enough to hear from Heaven. I've always said in talking to people that I'm a little stubborn. I am not one that God can gently tap on the shoulder and I will listen-its more like UFC fighting when He pops me in the back of the head.

I am convicted everyday, which to me means I am walking with Him. Because just like with our parents, we didnt feel guilty unless we thought we were going to get caught. The mercy He provides us is undeserving.

For months a friend and I have been toying around with the idea of starting a new business. I have been faithfully praying about what Gods plan was for me. Those of you that know God also know that He works on His time not ours. A month or so ago, Jennifer and I were talking and we decided that this was it, it was time, so we sat down and wrote out a game plan. Our purpose is to brighten the lives of people, and do something we both enjoy.

Hopefully we will begin booking home parties next month. As the blessings pour in, we also want them to pour out. Our hope is that we keep God in the center of our lives and in doing so we are able to share our profits with those in need.

In giving God the glory.....Sugar Snails Pottery & Gifts is becoming a reality.