Friday, August 22, 2008

Thought for Today

This is from this month's Tabletalk article called "True Greatness" by Tom Ascol.

"You can gauge how far along you are in developing a servant's heart by taking note of how you respond when someone treats you like a servant. When feelings of resentment, bitterness, or anger emerge when our acts of kindness seem unappreciated that is a good indicator that we still have a way to go in our pursuit of true greatness."

---"just as the Son on Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28

I will often pride myself on my service: I give up so much for my children and love it, it doesn't bother me to get up early when Matt oversleeps and make him some breakfast and coffee, If you are in need of a meal, call me because I love to make food for others, I love to have people over, etc. Today it hit me that perhaps what I really love is other's gratitude. I love making people happy. The joy on their face when I do something for them makes me feel good. As I was reading today, I felt very convicted. I have often confessed to Matt that I get so angry when the boys don't even recognize that I spend my entire day doing things to make them happy, or comfortable, or clean and all they can do at the moment is complain, like "Mom, it just isn't good enough, try again" And what would I do if Matt told me his coffee was too sweet yesterday, or if a family told me the meal I brought just wasn't up to par? Would I joyfully keep serving, or would I build an angry resentment and quit trying? I even think sometimes that one day these boys are going to realize everything I have done for them and praise my wonderful service! Here the Lord is using my boys to teach me yet another lesson about myself. Jesus gave His life for me, and I know I often go about my day taking it for granted. I can't grasp the extent of His sacrifice, and often dismiss it as His job. I look at how Jesus lovingly laid down his life even when no one really got what He was doing, and I ask "Lord make me like this, make me not care about other's appreciation, but give me a heart that wants to serve you."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Matt has to complete a certain number of continuing education hours every year. There happened to be one in Gatlinburg this past weekend, so we rented a cabin with the Grant's (Matt's partner, his wife, and 15 month old little boy). It was far better lounging on our wrap around porch and eating out with Dada than staying home alone. The boys had fun, and I enjoyed the break from laundry and other everyday chores.

Owen and Gatsby swinging with Shaylon. These guys were good buddies after they learned to take turns with Gatsby's lawn mower! Really Gatsby was amazed at Micah and wanted to do everything he did. Hmmmm sound familiar?
Brittan and Stephen Mullins. It was so good to spend time with old friends. They are settled in Cookeville and expecting in March! Stephen had fun "practicing" with Owen after dinner on Saturday.

All the men with the boys! Hard to believe these guys are doctors and Dads. Wasn't it just yesterday that we girls were chatting in the den while these guys were cramming for boards?
The boys in the cabin. We were catching some Olympic coverage, (how about Usain Bolt?) so Micah was watching the little DVD player. Although, he did rather enjoy counting the seconds for the runners. Owen is on his tippiest tippy toes trying to see!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Strong Willed

Oh the joys of parenting a strong willed child. Honestly, I am only just learning that Micah is "strong-willed." It masked itself when he was a baby as just sad, something was hurting, desperately shy, etc. I had a very hard time with him. I was very prideful about having children. I knew from the time I was 3 that I wanted babies and lots of them. Well three months into having my first child and I was a wreck. The Lord brought me to my knees quickly and showed me, again, that this was going to take reliance on His grace, not my own good efforts. Things were not going the way I always imagined them. My baby that I wanted everyone to love on and enjoy would hardly let anyone but me touch him. If I left the room, he knew it and would cry. If it was even remotely close to feeding time, he would cry like he was the hungriest baby alive. He would scream bloody murder every time we rode in the car. The Lord has used Micah to mold me in so many ways. He humbles me every day as I run to Him and beg for help. I never thought having children would be soooooooo challenging. I also never imagined that Matt and I (probably two the least strong-willed people out there) could produce a child in such need of control and so stubborn. Matt and I want to please, don't have strong preferences, would rather others make our decisions and do the really hard work for us. Although we can have intense feelings, (and I am certainly a discontent perfectionist) we just have a hard time understanding Micah, especially his need for control. When Micah is good, he is really really good; when he is having a hard day-watch out! I remember learning that when you get married, you get the opportunity to see the world through someone else's temperament. And that because of this, you become more Christ-like. I know that the Lord's purposes in putting our family together is beyond my ability to fully grasp, but I think that one thing he wants is for me to be able to see the world through another temperament's eyes. We now have a "doer" in our family. Micah loves having projects to do, things to figure out. He is intense and thinks deeply. He will not be easily persuaded. We love him more than words. I love this journey even though I am often exhausted by noon. I constantly second guess myself, and feel immense pressure to do everything "right." There is that perfectionist! We are working on things to help mainly with my frustration. I try not to nag Micah and constantly remind him to do something, but instead make eye contact and explain what I want him to do and the consequences for not following through. We try to explain to him the authority we have over him is God-given. He has a job to do, and that is to obey his parents in all things. We have learned how to avoid giving commands that we don't care to follow through with. We have learned to use a timer because it is easier for him to stay on track. The one thing that is still very hard is nap time. Micah either takes a three hour nap (and then wants to be up all night) or takes no nap at all. There is that intensity. Micah is either hot or cold, but one thing is for sure: Micah is never luke warm. The days with no naps are challenging for me. I know what the evening will look like, and I dread it. I feel sad that Matt has to come home to a cranky boy, and I get angry that he won't just lay down and rest. After all, a nap is a dream come true for me for Pete's sake! Here is a picture of one of the ridiculous nap days. I think we went to wake him at 7:00. We laugh as we think "most kids are going to bed right now, and our's is just waking from his nap." I guess the bright side is that soon enough he won't need a nap. By the way, today is a nap day hence the long post.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wedding Weekend

We gathered with Matt's family this weekend for the wedding of first cousin Christopher Cotton to his lovely bride Kate. The day could not have been more beautiful for a wedding; 85 with low humidity is almost unheard of for a Tennessee August! The reception site was gorgeous with a serene garden and many horses. The boys had fun dancing and exploring the grounds of the Inn at Walking Horse Farm in Franklin. I had fun snapping pictures of my handsome boys.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sweet Boy and Night Night Rituals

Here is sweet Micah singing his best to the last verse of "All Creatures of Our God and King."
At church, we sing a verse of a particular song for several weeks. We love this because it gives us time to teach the song to the boys, and the look of joy on their faces as we sing together on Sunday mornings in priceless. We often sing the song on the way to church and then often throughout the week and always at bedtime. One thing Matt does every night no matter how tired he is, what game is on, or how late it has gotten, is gather up the boys for "prayer time" in Micah's room. Owen used to go to bed, and Matt would do the ritual with Micah (it is the same every night; Micah would have it no other way!). But now, even if he is literally falling on the bed from exhaustion, Owen is determined to stay awake and be there with the family. He loves watching Micah as he helps read the Bible (we are going through the Psalms right now), spins circles to the songs, and walks around the room helping with the prayers. "Oh, please give everyone a good night's sleep." "Oh Lord, we pray especially for Mama, and Dada, and Micah, and Loaf"--Matt adds in the specifics. "Oh Lord, please be with Uncle Drewby, Uncle Bomp, and Uncle Micah"- again Matt on the specifics. He says these words with such passion as he walks around the room with his finger pointing upward and his arm pumping up and down. Matt and I often have to bite our cheeks to keep from laughing. After prayers, there is a whole slew of songs that we sing including "Holy, Holy, Holy," or as Owen sings it "Ho, Ho, Ho," "Jesus Loves Me," Micah 6:8, "The Doxology," and sometimes "Joyful, Joyful" (or as I call it "the spinning song" because the boys spin circles for this one!) As I was going through an old scrapbook, I found our wedding program. I couldn't help but smile as I saw that one reading was from Psalm 100 (Micah's favorite because he loves the number 100!), and some of the songs were: "Holy, Holy, Holy," "All Creatures of Our God and King" and "Ode to Joy." I hadn't even realized the connection until now, and it is neat to think that the selection of songs and Scripture from our wedding day are being passed on to our children.

Friday, August 01, 2008

This is Hilarious

Matt found Micah a counting song on iTunes (excuse the poor musical quality; this song was obviously made by a math teacher and not a musician), and Micah has had so much fun memorizing his multiples. Owen even chimes in for the eights as they are a little harder for Micah!

My Technophiles

tech·no·phile (tkn-fl)n. One who has a love of or enthusiasm for technology, especially computers and high technology.

Micah loves the iPod, and as I have mentioned before, Owen loves anything Micah loves. Usually Owen is up an hour or so before Micah in the mornings. He got so excited when I let him listen to some music on the headphones the other day. Owen really has a things for music. He hums to the beat, always knows when the song is ending, and gives his loudest "bum, bum, bum!" for the finale.
This is Micah's new favorite toy: a watch. I have mentioned his love for numbers and time; now he keeps us on a tight schedule throughout the day. "It's 9:43, time to get dressed; it's 10:45, time to go to the store; 2:20 it's naptime!"