The kids had to get out in the first snow right after breakfast...I was tempted to say "no" since Tristan had school to get ready for and I was afraid of them all catching colds...but hey...what's the fun in that? You only live once...might as well let little kids be little kids.
On that note...I forgot how much goes into getting kids ready to go out in cold weather. Just taking Tristan to school was rather challenging this morning...it went something like this;
10 boots (and all that that implies...finding socks and wrestling kids down to put them on...)
5 winter hats
pants that fit
library books for the kids to read on the way to school
one packed lunch
one school project
emergency lollipops for a crying Finn
warm up the car
....and don't forget the baby!
I remembered it all...except after I had driven half way to Koala's school I realized I had forgotten MY purse and phone. Awesome times. I didn't turn around to go get them...I just drove driver's license free - living on the edge.
We celebrated with muffins ....
And I couldn't very well end a post without a word or two about what I've been learning.
First of all, I heard someone say recently that you will never regret the time you spend with your kids. You won't look back in 10 years and say "wow, I wish I wouldn't have given them so much of my attention." I want to be constant in my kids lives...I want to drop what I'm doing when they need me and when they don't - I want them to be a priority all of the time. I think that is one perk to homeschooling - I know what my littles are looking at, how they are speaking to each other, what they are learning, what they are eating...I can see it all. I can train them all throughout the day in every situation. This is a good thing (I've had differing opinions on this...I've finally come to the realization that I no longer give a flip. I'ts my life. :) )
However, I also am aware that just because I am home with them doesn't mean that I am always present with them. There are days where I am constantly trying to pull myself away from my thoughts...my worries and my fears and my daydreams, my agendas...just to smile at them and be present. God is challenging me right now to keep him first, others second .... isn't it so easy to not view your family in the "others" category? It is for me sometimes.
And secondly, I'm just encouraged that He says that if I am delighting myself in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart. I'm realizing more and more how long I haven't really believed this promise because of our struggles over the last few years. I kept feeling like because my life has turned out differently then what I thought ... that my desires...the ones that are deeply seeded in me...wouldn't have the possibility of blossoming or flowering or growing at all.
My biggest desire has always been to be a mother...a darn good one. I've always wanted to keep my kids close to me, I've always wanted to be used for more, I've always wanted a fulfilling marriage - that's basically it. To some people that might not be a very lofty dream. For me, when I found out that our two boys were autistic I felt like most of that dream would go away. Part of it is because of advice from others about how I would need help, a lot of help....how my kids would need trained professionals to help them. So, to me...this meant my kids would be away from me, I wouldn't be who they needed....and outside of that - at this point, I really don't know who I would be. Oh I've heard a lot of "well, just think...with your kids gone during the day you could paint, you could run, you could get caught up on stuff at home so that when they get home you can be a better mother to them." It really made me start believing that that truly would be best...I started doubting my capabilities and if I was really just kind of a drag to my kids because I'm pretty tired and stress....like a lot. I would try it out in my head...picture what the day would be like. And, after lots and lots of thinking - I'm totally uncomfortable with the whole idea.
And then, it came to me. UMMMM - I'm STILL the mother. Autistic or not - I'm still the mama bear and I still know these kids the best and God tells me that He will give me strength in my time of need - that I can do ANYTHING with Him. I can teach these kids school...I can. I can spend time with them even though it takes a lot more thought and effort than it does when "hanging" with a typical child. I can love them and give them that sweet good childhood that I crave for them. I can read them stories even though thirty minutes earlier they were in the middle of a meltdown - I can change my day to suite their days. If they need therapies, I will get it for them - but I don't have to give up on my believe system because of them needing a few therapies.
Our lives our different - we don't have a huge group of friends, we are pretty isolated. Right now, I often feel like I'm not being used or serving others as much as I would love...and then I'm reminded that as long as I am open and giving then God will give me situations that I can help. It might not be a missions trip to Haiti right now or helping to pay someone's rent but that's just because it may not be the season for me to be used that way.
I'm going to get to the point where I just look at my kids and i have a heart of thankfulness and see them all as huge blessings and I don't see them as a burden or a hindrance to my dream. I want to do this on a daily basis...I want to watch them learn, I want to watch them live --- and I want to do it with hope. If I delight in Him...He will give me the desires of my heart. My desire , if I'm walking with God and loving Him and talking to Him and letting Him hold me, my desire will be to live the way he wants me to live --- and that means I will live with thankfulness not with fear and resentment, I will live with love and not bitterness, I will be giving and not selfish - my desires will be HIS desires. That's how it works. And for now, my desire is to be with my kids...to teach them obedience, attentiveness and self control. So...that's what I'm doing. We may skip school from time to time and eat one to many muffins...but we are doing good and they are learning and I want to focus on building good character in my kids. That's my goal for now.
So...really, my life is just right. I've been given exactly what will bring me closer to Him...to my husband, and I work hard everyday trying to connect with my babies in ways most people will never understand. The challenge for me is to believe this truth on a daily basis...
And now, I'm going to turn of my computer and listen to the sweet breathing of my Squirrel Girl who is snuggled beside me in my bed...having a little girl slumber party tonight.
Happy Weekend Friends...