Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mowing

When I was younger mowing was something that the boys in the family took care of. Until recently, I am almost ashamed to admit, that I had never started, pushed or ridden a mower in my life.

My husband's parent's live outside of Parker -the town where we attend church. Sunday's have become somewhat of a tradition in the Smith family that we go to Sunday school and church and then afterwards the family gathers at grandma and grandpa's house for lunch.

Everyone helps getting things ready, it is usually loud and somewhat unorganized - but it is family and we wouldn't change a thing! Lots of laughter and lots of love!

Because they live outside of town a ways, they have several acres of land to tend to. So for the past couple of years we have helped when we can with the mowing. Gabriel LOVES the "tractor", as he calls it. He has been riding on that mower since he was very small - often times falling asleep in grandpa's arms while he mowed.

Every Sunday that we go our there, Gabriel wants to get on the tractor. About 2 years ago I took the plunge and decided to try this thing for myself. I still have trouble remembering how to start it - with all the levers and everything...but once it is ready I am off!

What an unexpected joy this somewhat menial task has become to me. It has become a time of worship for me, a time of reflection, a time of prayer. I can sing as loud as I want, whatever I want - and no one will hear me, no one but God of course! :) I know that maybe sounds silly - but when you are on a mower going around and around in circles for an hour or more...well you have to occupy your mind with something.

Today as we mowed I was grateful for the sunshine and the breeze and for the smell of the fresh cut grass. Grateful for the time alone with Gabriel, doing something that was making him really happy, grateful that I can do something simple like mow for someone else just to be of service.

If you find yourself in need of some time alone with God, some time to be able to sing as loud as you want and no one will hear you, some time to be able to easily find things to be grateful for, or some time to be of service to someone else....hop on a mower. It definitely has become something unexpected for me!

God bless your Sunday!

Friday, June 27, 2008

6 Months

Dominic and I decided about a year and 1/2 ago that we really wanted to try and add to our family. He has always wanted 4 kids, I was leaning more towards 3. We have 2 amazing blessings already in our sons, but to be honest I have always longed to be the mother of a daughter.

I would NEVER trade either of my boys, but given the option, an addition of a daughter would be so wonderful. I get all silly and emotional when I think about it - but have you ever heard that Steven Curtis Chapman song about dancing with Cinderella??? Every time I hear that song I have this image of my husband dancing with our daughter at her wedding. Now if you know my husband and his great distaste for dancing you will know exactly how silly this all sounds...but still I can see it.

So we finally make that decision that we are "ready" to start trying again...and I really think that this time it is going to be easy. Unfortunatly it is proving different. After trying for a year without success and much frustration I FINALLY get pregnant. We found out in early February that we were pregnant and we were so very excited.

Maybe it is a "mom" thing, but immediately I got back out the "What to Expect..." book and did some online research about early pregnancy. I found a website that offered all sorts of free coupons and stuff when you registered your e-mail address and due date. I am all about free/cheap stuff - so I did.

For whatever reason this particular pregnancy wasn't "meant to be" and we miscarried later that month. I was devastated, still am to some degree every time I see another pregnant woman, but I am getting better...at least I thought so.

Then last night I was checking my e-mails and came across one titled "6 Months". It was from that site that I had registered on, telling me how my baby was growing, moving and changing. What to expect in the next few weeks, how to deal with this situation and that. All wonderful advice - except...well you know the rest.

It is times like these that are the most difficult I think. Times when I question why this had to happen, times when I imagine that things were different, times that the sadness again creeps back in - just a little.

I can't imagine going through life, whatever it might be, and not having my God to rely on. I can't and don't always agree with or understand why things turn out the way that they do. But I can rest in the truth that God is carrying me when I can't walk alone. He is loving me through the hurt and the sadness that I have. He is blanketing me with peace when I need it the most and He has promised that He has a plan for me. A plan that isn't always going to be my plan - but possibly if I can trust in Him, may be better than anything than I could have imagined.

Today if you are feeling like this life isn't how you had planned...ask God to show you the plan that He has for your life and then ask Him to empower you to carry His plan out. May you be blessed in the asking.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gabriel

Ok - now for a little humor before I end for the night. Our son Gabriel is a joy. He has been disgnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but is very functional. He has a few quirks though and sometimes doesn't recognize appropriate "social norms". The following is one of those situations...

This past weekend we had to replace the shingles on our roof. We had LOTS of family and friends over for 2 days straight helping us with this project. We were so very blessed by their time and assistance. My sister Beth and her husband Jeff were down - Jeff is a workhorse - (amazing and very talented), and Beth just came to "hang-out" with me for the day! :)

On Sunday evening she and Gabriel went for a walk. They had been gone for quite awhile when I see them walking very quickly down the sidewalk towards our house. Beth is laughing and has tears coming out of her eyes. Gabriel is running up the deck to our door and has his pants halfway down his legs, waddling to get inside.

I have to know what is going on so she tells me....they had walked up to the school, which is about 4-5 blocks from our home. They played on the playground equipment and she pushed him on the swings. He told her that she was "the best one ever" and "his best friend". :):) Then all of a sudden he gets off the swing and says "I think I will go to the daycare -(which is right next door to the school) and go to the bathroom".

Beth tells him that because it is Sunday the daycare is closed and they can't go in - he is sure that she is wrong that it is Wednesday. But she assures him it is Sunday and they will have to walk home to use the bathroom.

As they start to walk home he tells her "Beth, I think I am going to poop myself"!!! Needless to say Beth started walking MUCH faster. She knew it was a ways to go and she was praying that he wouldn't poop his pants in the middle of the journey. :) (She doesn't have kids yet...I think it freaked her out a bit)

So she was laughing at Gabriel and he told her that she should stop being silly, and she said Gabriel you are the one being silly. And he answers "Why? because I said I am going to poop myself?" Things with Gabriel have always been pretty matter-of-fact.

Thankfully - he made it home in time and did not have an accident. We praised him for that! :) And Beth and I laughed so hard we both cried while he was inside.

Life is a journey - sometimes it is one that causes us to be fearful that we "won't make it home" and other times it is one that causes us to laugh until we cry. I am grateful today for both.

First time for everything

Well I have done it...I have entered the age of blogging. I have to admit that up until several months ago I had no idea what blogging was. It wasn't until I had cause to read a blog of a very special "web-friend" Angie that I came to understand what this was all about.

I have added Angie's blog site as a link here so that if you feel the need to be inspired that you might go over and check her out. She is an amazing woman, mother and writer. She has inspired me to try and do the same. To make a record - for myself, for my kids, of the journey that we have been on. It is a journey of faith. One that isn't easy to tell at times. One that I am not always proud of - but one that has brought me here. A journey that is filled with the grace of God time and time again. I am so very grateful to have a God in my life that loves me - in spite of me. That calls me to Him even when I run away and that forgives me even when I don't deserve it. It amazes me when I think of it.

If you, like me, have found yourself on a journey of faith - I encourage you to keep moving forward. Press into the Savior that loves you and feel His presence. I am confident that He is walking with each of us on whatever path we are on.


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