We are just a small southern family on a crazy journey. Momma, the author, created this blog so that we can share the joy, frustration, and happy chaos that we experience through our marriage and with our beautiful little girls. We hope you enjoy reading about our everyday adventures...but don't hold them against us...
What does it mean to be real? And why is it so hard?
I've never liked pretenders. I think the skeptic in me sees them and thinks...
Okay but what are you really thinking?
We've had quite a bumpy road with Brooklyn, and if you keep up with my blog, that comes as no surprise to you. My prayer throughout this whole adventure has been that I would stay real.
I think as a Christian we try sometimes to find a very delicate balance between saying, "I trust God and He is always good so everything is happy all of the time and I have absolutely no reason to be sad" and "I'm really sad but I can't tell anyone because then they will think I don't have faith in God." I don't want to fall into either of those categories. I want to be real.
Do those who claim the name of Christ go through hard times? Absolutely. Do they get sad? You bet. Is it wrong to be sad? Heck no. I'm always encouraged by the story of Jesus and Lazarus. Lazarus was a dear friend of Jesus who died. Jesus went to his grave at the urging of his sisters, and He wept. The scriptures don't say that He shed a few tears... He wept. The word wept conjures up images of heartbreak. Or if you are like me, splotchy skin and a really ugly crying face. The interesting thing to me is that Christ knew His father. Intimately. And He trusted Him. Implicitly. Yet He wept.
Later, when it came time for Jesus to carry out His purpose in being on earth and the time drew near for him to endure great suffering for us, He was not happy. He was in anguish. The accounts say that in His agony, his sweat poured out like blood. He begged God to change His mind. And then when He didn't, Jesus submitted to God's will. He wasn't excited... happy... joyful...nor do I believe He had a smile plastered to His face. But He chose to walk that road without kicking and screaming.
It is almost comical to me sometimes that we even try to pretend for God. We thank Him for things that we really aren't thankful for. We tell Him that He is good when we don't really believe it. A friend of mine in high school told me once that I didn't have to pretend with God and that I had permission to tell God that I didn't understand. I remember looking at him wide-eyed and thinking... that would be so disrespectful. He went on to explain to me that if you read the Psalms, David asks questions of God and asks Him to change His mind repeatedly. He asks why. And he was a man after God's own heart. I remember him saying, "Besides... don't you think God already knows how you really feel?"
I want to be real. I want to be transparent.
I want to be able to say... this is so hard.
But then I want to convey that even when I don't see the evidence, I know in my heart that God is indeed good. And that doesn't mean I'm happy about my circumstances or that I want to go skipping through a meadow rejoicing. But because I trust in His goodness, I am willing to walk the long road. I am willing to do the hard things. Because I know that God loves me. Deeply. And that if He allowed something to pass through His hands to me, it was for my good. And He is changing me.
Which is, in a way, a reason to rejoice.
Because He loves me too much to leave me as I am.
This did not happen. I did not go to my daughter's soccer game on Saturday. She did not play the entire game and then wave me over to tell me that she had a secret to tell me. She did not lean in close to my ear and whisper, "Mom, I forgot to put on panties today. My shorts keep getting stuck in my bottom while I'm trying to be a soccer star." Nope, not me.
I've always wished that I was witty or quick with comebacks. I'm not. At all.
In fact, even in a fight my argument is usually worthless. Darren and I will be arguing (yes, shocking, I know, but it happens) and he will make a valid point and then mine is usually like, "Well.... well... that's stupid. And whatever." And then three hours later I'll think of about a paragraph of really good points that I should have made. But I'm not quick on my feet.
So you know that when I tell you the following story, there's no way I could make this stuff up.
On Tuesday, Brooklyn was sick. She'd had a rough weekend, and she kept getting worse. She was having muscle issues, and falling down a lot. Then she started holding her belly, doubling over, and screaming. I took her to the pediatrician's office, but not our pediatrician because she is healing children in Africa right now, but the one filling in for her. She felt like Brooklyn was really sick and was at risk for some damage to her organs if her body started to shut down from her metabolic issues complicated by the fact that she wasn't eating because something in her belly was bothering her. So she said she wanted to direct-admit her to the hospital.
I drove her over to the hospital, and of course before we got there she had a massive diaper explosion and quit crying (presumably what was inside needed to come out) and seemed somewhat more content, even though her muscles were still fatigued from the stress on her body. The wonderful attending physician there (sarcasm, of course) said she looked fine to him and he discharged her. We just love that physician (again, sarcasm). I refrained from throwing any punches and took my lethargic child home.
In the meantime, Savannah's bus driver forgot to stop at our house on the way home, at which time she started screaming bloody murder until the driver realized her mistake and turned the bus around. I never have to worry about that kid speaking up for herself.
Savannah had a soccer game, so I took an unconscious Brooklyn with me to that (I figured if she was going to sleep on my shoulder anyway, I might as well see the game). On the way home, with two children strapped in the back seat, I saw red and blue lights in my rearview mirror. What followed was this conversation.
"License and registration please ma'am. Do you know why I pulled you over?"
"Ma'am, you were driving 44 in a 55, and your lights aren't even on."
"You would not believe the day I've had."
"You would not believe how many times I've been told that."
"But this is legit. My daughter was in the hospital today and a guy valet parked my car. I guess he turned my lights off of "auto" and it really isn't dark yet... just dusky... so I didn't realize they weren't on. I never turn them on because they always come on by themselves."
"So why were you driving 44 in a 55?"
"Because I thought the speed limit was 45 and you were following me."
"I'm going to run your license." pause "Ma'am, have you ever had a ticket before? you have a lot of positive points on your license."
"No. I've never been pulled over before."
"Well, I'm going to let you go. But you need to turn on your lights."
"Thank you. And I promise I'm not lying about the hospital thing. My husband is an officer and I wouldn't lie."
"Okay. Turn on your lights and have a good night."
We arrived home and I had the following conversation with Savannah.
"Did you find your lunch box at school today?"
"Yes! It was in my cubby where I left it on Friday!"
"Oh good. Where is it now?"
"Well, I didn't bring it home. You just told me to find it."
Once upon a time, we decided to go with friends to the zoo.
It would be a fun Saturday trip to entertain the kids.
Or so we thought.
We crammed into a swagger wagon to save on gas money and headed down the road.
We had to stop at least a few times to let the children use the potty.
Some children screamed.
Others argued. And whined.
When we arrived at the zoo it was a sweltering 94 degrees and the humidity was approximately 7000 percent. Or so it felt. We were sweaty and soaked within minutes.
The children were whiny.
So we decided to eat an early lunch in the shade.
No sooner had we sat down....
...and it began to pour buckets.
It didn't seem to care that zoo lunch cost a fortune.
Or that the only shelter available was a 6 inch ledge.
Brooklyn decided to go to sleep after seeing approximately 2 animals, slept through the entire zoo, and woke up in time to see the last animal.
She may or may not have fallen and skinned both knees, approximately 30 seconds before Savannah also fell. Overwhelmed with two screaming kids, my husband may have forgotten to set the brakes on the stroller. We may or may not have been tending to the children and then turned around to see Brooklyn's stroller heading off the trail through the woods with all of our stuff in it.
Grayson also decided the zoo was overrated.
I didn't get any picture of Austin because, well, he has a camera phobia, so he screamed whenever I got near with the camera. However, he was present and well behaved.
Savannah's favorite part of the zoo? The ice cream.
Not the animals.
On the way home, we may or may not have stopped 4 times for her to pee.
And she may not have gotten buckled back in the last time, let us get on the road for 30 seconds, and then said, "I need to poop. I only went pee last time."
All in all, though, I think I laughed more that day than I have in quite a while.
And it was certainly memorable.
Thanks, Brian and Jessica, for the adventure!
And thank you, dear blog readers, for joining us for National Lampoon's Trip to the Zoo.