Life is hard. Some days crawling into bed and staying there is the easiest and safest thing to do. . . but we all know that really isn't an option. Well, it's not an option for those who want to thrive and live in abundant joy. I know I opened with a negative, but just give me a minute, we'll get to a happy place, I promise.
During the day various things can entertain me, make me smile or laugh, make me think and just generally pass the time. Not that I need to have time passed more quickly because time usually speeds past me lightening fast. See I live with three entertainers, four really, but Hubs is gone all day. He's the evening entertainment. ~Smile~ My kids have the uncanny ability to make me smile, laugh, cry, scream (not that I would ever. . . . . not even I can say that with a straight face), question my sanity, question the decision to stay home, laugh some more and cherish the small things in life. All in a day. Sometimes all within ten minutes. Just depends on the day. See my kids, like most kids, say and do the most hilarious things, most of the time.
For instance. . .
While grading Makiah's school work I absolutely cracked up at one answer she had written down. She is learning about George Washington and the question concerned what national holiday he instated in 1789. Her answer: a national day of fasting. FASTING!! The answer was thanksgiving. When I questioned her, she answered thanksgiving. So then I asked her why she would put fasting in her book. She said, "well he was a president and I would think that would be something he would do and think is important." Oh my daughter! See laughter and cherishing the fact that she knows fasting is important.
Randomly the other day Daniel, otherwise known as the child who never, ever leaves my side, abandoned his cars and trucks, climbed up beside me, threw his little arm around my neck and said, "Mama, I love you more than ice cream." Melted heart. Greatest part of this. . . he had not just gotten in trouble! ~Laughter~ He brought sunshine into a regular moment. Smiling, cherishing the fact that he still wants to hug me. One day when he is older and wants to run far from my hugs, I'll remember the day I was more important than ice cream (which is a pretty big deal to a three year old).
Sam is the clown. Sometimes he is the clown without trying. If he did attend public school I feel certain I would be called in for numerous parent teacher conference for a plethora of reasons. The boy is a 3.5 foot, 55 pound whirling dervish that can sit still for a video game for HOURS, but cannot sit still in church to save his life. Maybe if the platform team and Pastor dressed as Mario characters?? Oh never mind, back to the funny. Sam is just finishing up Kindergarten. Around the first of February he will officially be in first grade, except for Math, which he is almost done with first grade math. I gave him his newest Math PACE and I said, "I need you to do this page first, do not skip ahead." He looked at the page of addition problems, put his elbow on the desk, his head in his hand and dryly responded, "You have to be kidding me, more adding problems. Don't they know I know this already?" I had to stifle laughter. I said, "Sam, practicing it over and over will help you get faster and make sure you really, really know it.". He said, "Mom, I need to be challenged." Stifling no longer worked. I cracked up. I said, "well son, I'll see what I can do, but in the meantime, do this page for me. Okay." He sighed, but he said, "Okay mama, I'll do it, but they need to make harder problems. This is 3 year old math." Sam had me laughing, thinking of how I can challenge him a little more in math and cherishing the fact that he loves to do math. I also bowed my head and prayed he would continue to love math this much forever considering the math battles with Makiah I currently face. He is creative and funny and a builder extraordinaire. He usually builds things so fantastic he has to make up a name for it. Like the day he built a blogger schnogger out of blocks and gears.
I won't give any examples of crying, but just know that Mommy guilt and Mommy needs peace and quiet enter the picture at least daily. . . prompting tears and/or banishment to their rooms. A mommy can only take so much. I won't say that I am driven to tears daily, but banishment at least once per day is a given. ~Smile~
The dear Lord knew that life would be hard sometimes. And some days would be hide under the cover days. He knew that we would need Him to survive. He built into the model of the family, be fruitful and multiply, little ones who would love us more than ice cream, need us, make us smile, make us laugh and they would also drive us to our knees in prayer for everything from our sanity to their salvation and back again. I know that God is the center of my joy (people disappoint) but I know God uses my kiddos daily to teach me, love me, show me how grace really works and last but certainly not least, as instruments of joy. The Bible says that a joyful heart does good like a medicine but a crushed spirit drys up the bones (Proverbs 17:22 ESV). So when life is difficult we must make a decision. . . either find the cheerful things that surround us and soak them up (and of course prayer makes a heart cheerful too). . . or dry up under the covers. For me, I prefer the first option.
As for my kids bringing the funny. . .I can count on it like the sun rising and setting. . . .
The Lovelock kids~spreading joys and toys wherever they may go.