Friday, September 29, 2006

My son, J1, has been having a difficult time with negativity. Everything irritates him. This is not new. He has always had a very type A personality. He is very rigid about his routines, becomes easily frustrated when things go awry, and generally always believes he is right. Lately, it seems as if the only way he knows how to interact with all of us is through conflict or arguing. Even fun times degrade into a battle. If it weren't so irritating to deal with it would almost be comical.

While praying about it last night, I kind of felt a nudge from the Lord. I realized that I no longer have any private, just fun, time with only him. His younger brother, J2, gets pockets of time each day when it's just us and we can read a book or play a game because he isn't in full-time school yet. But, J1 goes to first grade each day, comes home, does his homework, has a snack, and then time to play with his brother. I am there during all of this, but so is his brother. More often than not, conflict will arise between them, usually initiated by J1, and I will have to correct him or intervene. As a result, I realized that a lot of our interaction is not positive, fun-loving, or peaceful.

I am going to try and find a way to carve out some special time just for us. I really think that he needs some reassurance and love for just him. I am hoping that I can turn this thing around for him.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Satisfaction

I am beginning to uncover the germ of something that has been stirring in my soul intermittently over the past several years....Dissatisfaction. Perhaps it's the process of getting older, or the disappointments of life that worm their way into the cracks of our souls like water seeping into the lowest crevice in the ground, but there is a sense of dissatisfaction with things that sometimes follows me like a shadow, staying just behind me, seen only briefly through my peripheral vision. It overtakes me in brief, unpredictable moments that eventually dissipate, but leave a faint mark upon me.

Why should I be dissatisfied? I have a good husband, two kids that I adore, even a dog that follows my every move. We have a roof over our heads, food in the refrigerator, and clothes to wear.

Of course, I realize that satisfaction has little to do with the things you have and much to do with acceptance of what you do have.

For many years I longed for acceptance from my immediate family. We loved each other, but I never really felt appreciated for who I was. I never felt understood by them, or as if they "got" me. This sneaky little hole in my psyche would often leave me longing for a mother I didn't have as opposed to embracing the one that I did. I even was surprised when my older brother, who is a Christian like me, didn't spend much time with me when he was last in town. Surely, I thought, we would be able to connect because we shared the same beliefs that the rest of our family didn't. But, after many years, I have come to discover that it just isn't going to happen.

Like a bolt of lightning I sensed that really everyone feels this way. Everyone is looking for validation and acceptance. Yet, how many of us get it?

Friends and family can light the spark within us temporarily, but then, when the harsh winds of reality blow, and the Norman Rockwell moment passes, we're right back where we were before.

True satisfaction only comes when you find it in God. He always gets me, even when other Christians don't. He always knows what I mean and doesn't misinterpret what I am saying. He sees my heart when others only see my body language. He accepts me as his child. He is the parent I never had; concerned about me, loving towards me, directing my path when I don't know which way to turn. I hope that I can parent my children with the same love that He has shown for me.

At least I know that when I tell a joke, He gets the punchline, even if the rest of the room is awkwardly silent.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Yesterday, my son attended a birthday party for one of his classmates from school. He had received the invitaion two weeks beforehand and was eager to go. The night before, we went to Target, my second home, and he picked out a cowgirl Barbie. He said that girls liked Barbies and that' s what we should get her. While a little sexist, I did appreciate his desire to get her something that he thought she might like. So, I bought my first Barbie doll as a gift for this little girl. It was very cute. It came with a stable and all sorts of horse supplies for the accompanying horse which we didn't purchase, just because I think $20.00 is enough to spend on a child unrelated to me.

At 2:00 we got in the car and headed to this little girl's house. As we pulled up I got a bad feeling about this party. There were only two cars in the driveway, not exactly a place swamped with people. As we rang the doorbell I could hear a little girl's voice screaming,"He's here...He's here..J is here!" Within two minutes of entering the house, I was informed that we were the only people out of A's class of 23 to respond and come to her party. I felt so bad for this little girl. She was so excited to see us, you would have thought we were royalty. She was very sweet and repeatedly thanked her parents for the great party. I was happy that she didn't seem to care that no one else showed up.

So, for those of you who actually read my blog, which I think is about 1.35698 people, what's the deal?

Do you go to parties of your children's classmates even if you don't know them well or at all?
If not...why?

Leave your comments...Please! :-)

Friday, September 08, 2006

I am feeling a little more centered today than the past couple days. Sometimes those mood swings hit out of the blue and catapult me into the depths of some post-modern malaise where everything is gray and drab.

Of course, I just bought myself a new pair of sandals, on sale, so that helped perk me up a bit. I had been wearing these $3.00 flip-flops for the past two weeks because my former leather sandals had gotten left out on the back porch. They got wet and when they dried out , they smelled pretty ripe. I tried to Febreeze the smell out of them, but then they only smelled like flowers with B.O.....not exactly the scent I was going for. So, because I have been so busy, I have been getting by with these sad flip-flops. But, no more! Now I can walk around without being followed by the incessant THWOCK.....THWOCK....sound that rubber flip-flops make. That's a really embarassing sound when you're trying to be inconspicuous!

Last night, as I was putting my son to bed, he began talking to me about his Accelerated Reading scores. Accelerated Reading is a program where children read books and take a test to recieve a certain point value. Throughout the year they receive rewards and incentives to read more. Last year he was fifth place and received a medal and some other small things. However, the person who won first place received a shiny trophy. My son was in Kindergarten last year and this was our intro to the AR program. We didn't realize that there would be medals and trophies. Now, that's all he has got on the brain. He's already strategizing on how he can bring that trophy home.

I am not sure how to feel about all this. I love that he's smart and wants to excel, but, do I really want to encourage this level of competitiveness within him? He's only six. On the other hand, all of his intelligence and drive truly do come from inside of him. While we have given him opportunities to learn, we have never pushed him or tried to turn him into one of those children who graduate from high school at the age of twelve. So, do I try to temper this drive within him, knowing that it has a negative aspect to it, or do I nurture it and let him push himself as far as he wants to go?


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Today I was struggling with feeling very out of touch with God. I know that He is always there, ready and waiting for me to turn to him, but sometimes I feel so anesthetized by the busyness of my life and my daily responsibilities, that it's hard to cut through the fog and sense His presence.

On the way to pick up my son from pre-K, I put an old Out of The Grey cd into the player and listened. Wow, it took me back to those first new years of my faith, when my only wish was to know God more. It seemed so easy then to focus on God and spend time with Him. Now, from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed there is always somebody or something vying for my attention.

I am grateful for my husband, sons and even the dog, but I resent feeling like my time is not my own. I can no longer sit quietly and listen to music while I read or pray. There is always someone there or something that needs to be done. I miss the solitude of my single life....the ability to get away when I needed to. I wouldn't trade what I have now for anything, but I wish I were better at figuring out how to get that ability to have solitude back.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Yesterday was election day here in Florida. I headed out at about 8:45 to do my civic duty and was rewarded with a very snazzy "I VOTED" sticker. The primary races here were all very contentious, and as a registered republican, I personally recieved about 20 pre-election automated phone calls from the various candidates. I contemplated taking the phone off the hook, but was disuaded by the improbable possibility that a national emergency would occur ad I wouldn't be able to be reached!

Now, we only have two more months of political ads to get through! They have already started, and I have a hard time explaining them to my six year old son. He hears one and says things like,"oh, don't vote for him! He's not a good leader!" Ahhhh, the impressionability of a young mind.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Wheat among tares...on new beginnings...

Wheat Among Tares will be my personal, spirtual life blog. I currently have a jewelry website, Earthen Vessel Designs, and a jewelry blog, Earthen Vessel Designs-the blog, but; I wanted a place that I could blog about things unrelated to my business.

Starting my business has been a huge faith operation, and the ups and downs I feel as the roller coaster makes it way along the tracks are not appropriate for the actual site, but I need a place to express them.