Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy to Help

Yesterday in the middle of a very busy day of many lessons to teach, a performance by the older girls at a elementary school and dance class for the littlest, I get an e-mail from a lady realizing that she needed child care for the Christmas dinner that evening. Oh darn! I had forgotten that I was in charge of getting said babysitter if such an need occurred. But I didn't think someone would call the very day of the event! Unfortunately I had no plan. So I started making calls, sending out e-mails, knowing I couldn't use my normal fall-back, emergency sitters---my own girls. They were off to their own events that night. Everyone over the age of 12 was busy or unreachable! An hour before I had to leave I got an e-mail from a friend offering her two young daughters. At the end of a phone call with her to hammer out the details, she signed off by saying, "Happy to help."

It has stuck with me. Happy to help. What a wonderful thing to declare.

I am often happy to help, but may not show it with my face or my actions or my tone of voice.

I am often not happy to help at the moment I am asked, but then become happy to help as the helping makes me happy.

Today my lovely middle girl asked me to french braid her hair. I was still in my robe and had no make-up on and had lessons coming in exactly 13 minutes. Not so happy to help right then. But I remembered. Stopped what I was doing and said, "Sure. Happy to help." And then I was....happy to help.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Help Needed!

Help! I've been left home (almost) alone with a 1/2 a pan of Layered Dessert! The 4 year old seems oblivious to the fact that I'm eating dessert at 10:33. This was brought on by my 14 year old daughter wanting Layered Dessert so much that she cracked walnuts and had a friend bring chocolate pudding to church for her to borrow. No problem for her and her amazing metabolism. Big problem for Mama and her not-so-amazing metabolism!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

22 Years

This morning my husband gave me the sweetest gift. No, it was not the flowers I'd love him to surprise me with, it wasn't the plant for the yard that I've hinted about, nor was it breakfast in bed that some people seem to like. He woke up on a Saturday and said, "Let's go get on that bike."

For some reason, I've committed myself to a mini triathlon with the women in my church---in a month. Some of my friends who are doing it have been biking for a long time. They go out together on Saturday mornings with the cute outfits and fit bodies and ride for long, long rides. Some of the ladies who are doing this have been training in the pool, whittling down their times and boosting up their confidence. Some ladies are even serious runners or consistent walkers. My busyness and bustle of summer combined with a case of serious procrastination may be my downfall come September 3rd.

The walk/run part of the triathlon is not worrying me. Me and my treadmill are close friends.

However, I have not been in a pool for over a year. I have never gotten in a pool in a lap lane with the intention of actually swimming a lap! Whenever we go to a motel with a pool (not that often!) I get in with the kids and swim back and forth on my back, trying to burn the extra vacation calories. That is the extent of my swimming. And truth be told, getting quickly into a pool is a huge problem for me, especially if it's even a little bit cold! My dear husband says that he is pretty sure I can't do this part of the triathlon! For some reason, I think I can, but now I need to get in that pool to get some practice. He has labeled himself a non-swimmer. He can't do a thing about helping me with this part.

The biking he can do something about. He bought me a ladies road bike from his brother for $100. (He found out yesterday it sells for $1100!) Last night he brought me downstairs and showed me his latest purchases for me "because I am the mother of his children." A new helmet and cushioned shorts. I made a fuss about the shorts--an extravagance I was sure I didn't need.
This morning was the best gift--a push out of bed and onto that scary bike! We rode in the morning sun around our small, beautiful town. A short, little ride. "Keep up, be a good riding partner, keep pedaling while you shift, stay out of the other lane(!), be able to turn and look behind you...." I found out that the shorts were not a luxury, they were a necessity!

Then he was on to spraying the weeds that had taken over our yard, cleaning the carpets and couches, an airport run to retreive our second son, mowing the large lawn.

This evening, he said, "Let's ride again Monday morning."

Better than flowers.

He's a keeper.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"And a Little Child Shall Lead Them..."

Doing the dishes the other day. I left the water on while I reached for some more dishes on the other counter. My 4 year old is milling about..."helping." She says something I can't hear. "What did you say?" I ask her.

"Mom," she asks, kind of put out that I hadn't heard her or hadn't understood what she said, "You know Jesus?"

I did a quick inhale of surprise. How to answer such a big, probing question? The whole essence of life--do we know and follow Jesus. Should we sit down and discuss the meaning of knowing and following the Savior? Should I get out some scriptures? A flannel board story? A song?

"Yes, Sweetie," I say slowly so she'll know that I mean what I'm saying. "I know Jesus."

"Well," she responds, "You are wasting his water."

In her mind and heart, he is real and by the way, I was wasting his water.

The question has stayed with me since. Do I really know Jesus? Some days I answer, "Oh yes, I most certainly do!" and other days my answer is not quite so confident. Do I live like I know Jesus?

And most importantly, do the small ones and tall ones in my house know that I know Jesus? I hope it shows. Thanks, my little girl, for the wonderful question...and the reminder to turn off the water.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Early this morning, while shuffling around the kitchen in my robe, do-see-doe-ing around my tall, tan son as we filled his giant lunch cooler, I apologized for not having something different to put in for his lunch. I have been making him the same sandwich for several weeks now. Regular bread, mayonnaise, a little mustard, pre-sliced cheese that will soon be gone and replaced with the cheap kind and whatever sandwich meat happens to be in the frig. He responded with the nicest compliment I've heard from him in recent memory..."I like your sandwiches."

Wow! I think he meant:

Mom, thanks so much for getting up with me each morning while I go to this pretty hard summer job. I appreciate that since I started coming home from school for lunch, you have let me make all my own lunches and learn how to fend for myself. In fact, only making me two lunches in 3 years. This has taught me many lessons. So I realize that it is summer and you don't have to wake up early and don't have to make my lunch--I'm capable. That's why I appreciate so much your making this lunch each morning. I understand that this is your way of telling me that you are proud of my hard work. In fact, I appreciate all that you do for me....

Or perhaps, he just meant, "I like your sandwiches." made my day.