Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"I'm Not a Kid Anymore"

Yesterday I took the boys to the park and then to McDonald's for lunch. At the park, Briggs was not his normal I-can-have-fun-anywhere-self. He was bored and ready to leave after a few minutes. Afterward when I got them lunch, I made them wait because the chicken was very hot. Briggs got tired of waiting and in exasperation said, "Mom, I'm not a kid anymore!" When I flipped out and and started my "what do you mean you're not a kid anymore, you're only 6 years old" speech, he quickly retracted and explained he meant that he was not a 2 or 3 year old baby anymore. I think he was upset that he was being treated like Max, so I gave him his chicken nuggets to cool off himself.

Of course, this made me think about all of the ways he is trying to become more independent, like not wanting to hold my hand when we cross the street, getting his own glass ready at dinner, and even helping me with laundry. I know that this is a small taste of what is to come since growing up is really all about children learning to become more and more independent of their parents. How does a mother, whose job it is to nurture and protect, get ready for all this independence?

Last night when Briggs was saying his prayers, he prayed for Max to be good. Afterward, I reminded him that he is not perfect and also needs God to help him to be good and to forgive him of his sins. We talked about forgiveness, how we can never be good enough, how we deserve punishment, and how Jesus took our punishment and became our substitution on the cross. He says that he understands all of this and has already asked God to forgive him of his sins. We then talked about Jesus being the Lord of your life and how that means that He is in charge, not us.

I think Briggs is close to understanding all of this. I think because Briggs is a good kid and wants to please us, it is hard for him to see his sinfullness, whereas Max's is pretty clear! I just pray that it truly is the Holy Spirit drawing him to Himself, showing him his total depravity, and preparing Briggs to be lavished with His grace. It's the most important thing that will ever happen in his life and I am so excited to watch his love story with Christ unfold.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Carpe Diem

The summer is flying by and Briggs will start first grade in less than three weeks. Some days we have been busy and some days have been boring. Yesterday was one of those boring days. In my boredom, I was reminded that I have been wasting days as if I am promised an unlimited supply. Lives are not made up of as many big events, as they are small hours. I can never get this summer back once it is gone. So I prayed that God would help me to cherish every day and motivate me to create sweet memories with my children.

So today I set out to document the entire day. Rod took the boys to do manly things, like go to the Tractor Supply Store (even though we have no tractor in need of supplies) and to borrow a chain saw from a friend to cut down some dead trees in our back yard. I, on the other hand, grabbed the camera and headed to the Mt. Laurel Farmer's Market to buy some local produce and to enjoy a few peaceful hours to myself. Mt. Laurel is one of my favorite places, right after Seaside. The houses are like a mountainous version of Grove Park (our old neighborhood) with tons of trees and just about everything you need to live there and never have to leave. There is a corner grocery, a soda fountain, a pizza place, a toy/candy store, a dry cleaners, I could go on and on. It is so beautiful and a story book place to live. Mom and I went there last Saturday, but Max did not feel well and we did not get to stay very long and browse. (Ok, that's a lovely way to put it, but not at all true. He pitched a fit as soon as we got out of the car.) So today I went back alone and met two farmers from Jones Valley Farm, a very beautiful (and very hip) farm just down the road from Mt. Laurel, who told me all about their chocolate bell peppers, lipstick peppers, San Marzano tomatoes, and fresh basil. They supply vegetables to some local chefs and inspired me to make some fresh pasta sauce with roasted red peppers and basil.

I also met a precious woman, who remembered me from last Saturday as the mother of the screaming child, who makes gourmet shortbread cookies using German molds that were belonged to her mother. I was privileged to talk with her long enough to hear her testimony and what becoming a Christ follower has cost her. My heart ached as she told me her story and I was amazed at how two strangers can connect instantly when they are sisters in Christ. The delicious and beautiful cookies have images of flowers, shepherds, angels, or even Jesus on them. Rod especially liked them and said for me to keep buying the "Jesus bread" for him.

After driving around looking at the houses for a few minutes, I headed to Bug Juice Gardens for some more plants to kill- uhh -water frequently. They have really beautiful plants and it was fun to look around without worrying about little hands causing mischief.

After a couple other stops, I headed to Edgar's Bakery for a fried green tomato BLT. It was so good, but I thought people might think I was crazy if I took a picture of it. This sign below will have to suffice. I also picked up a cupcake and a cookie for the boys and headed home.

After Max's nap, we all went outside. While Rod worked on the trees, the boys threw the frisbee to each other and played on the swingset and trampoline.

Briggs and Max decided they wanted to roast hotdogs for dinner, so after Rod finished working, he built a "campfire" to cook our hotdogs. He made four seats out of the tree stumps and we all sat around the fire, sweating.

We ate our hotdogs (except for Max who decided he just wanted a poptart) and the boys played until it was too dark to keep playing. At 9:00 the freshly bathed boys finally went to bed. Briggs and I read the last chapter of Ruth, so that he would be ready for the sermon tomorrow; and we both prayed that God would help him sit still and listen to it.

As it is now midnight, I think I can say this day was seized. Thank you Lord for such a good day. Help me to treat everyday as if it were as precious as it really is.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Briggs' Gym

Leslie and I (sometimes) work out in the basement. Briggs however has recently seized ownership and now during daylight hours he's operating a daycare/gym where two year olds and ninjas are equally accepted to feel at home so long as they are willing to submit to the iron fist of the new management...Max is happy to abide and is quickly mastering the lessons of his teacher, as you can plainly see in the vid...already he is able to knock out nearly twice his age in pushups...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

87 Unleaded

This past Wednesday I received a phone call at work that went something like this...(shaky voice)..."Briggs got sprayed with gas and I think he might have swallowed some gasoline! It got in his eyes, nose, and mouth! What do I do!?" Leslie wasn't as frantic as she could have been, she really did quite well I thought considering the circumstances. Briggs was helping to put gas in the car when he pulled out the nozzle while it was still running. The gas apparently got on his face and in his mouth. Thankfully Uncle Scott was there to get it away from him and reduce the amount that got on/in him. Leslie flushed his eyes with water in the gas station rest room and called 911. While all of this is going on, Briggs asked Leslie what was going to happen to him for swallowing the gas. To which Leslie (who apparently takes the "harmful if swallowed" signs very seriously) replied, you could DIE! Upon being notified of his potential untimely demise, Briggs cried out to her "Mom! Pray for me! Pray for me!" Which of course she did. Ultimately Briggs didn't get that much in his eyes and didn't ingest very much either. The paramedics came, checked him out, and told her that he would be fine. I had her take him to an optometrist for good measure and everything was fine there as well. All things considered, I'm actually very proud that through this event Briggs' first thought when in need was to pray to God. Accidents are going to happen, but I take comfort knowing that He is in control regardless of the outcome. Thank you God, Scott, and Leslie for taking care of Briggs in a time of need!