Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Happy 7th Birthday Grant!

Today we celebrated another year of Grant. 
I am so thankful for another year the Lord has given us with our beautiful son.
I often take for granted the lives the Lord has given us and as I went back through pictures to post on here, I was overwhelmed by His goodness in giving us these children.

With each year our children become more defined. Strengths become clearer, as do weaknesses. And with each year, I realize, I must proceed with humility. Humility, because I realize these little people are so far beyond myself. They are far more than accessories to my life. I believe the Lord has designed them specifically and for a purpose and I often realize that the unraveling that I often write about isn't quite how I thought it would go or how it would look.

Sweet Grant. 

This past year it has become much clearer that you have a knack for learning. And while you often won't come out and say it, there is no denying it. You have a sharp mind for math. And a strong comprehension of material read to you. And you've surpassed me in the memory work required for Classical Conversations. 

Your love for games only increases each year. You love to play any kind of game, a card game, a board game, an outdoor game, and especially video games. And you're good at them. You especially like to share these games with me. I'm sorry I don't play them more with you. I know that is a special way I can show love to you. I think our bond deepens over a game of Pac Man.

I still think you are an introvert, especially when I see how you form extremely close bonds with just a few. You have Micah, and ya'll are TIGHT. And I think Hannah may  be your other closest friend. You enjoy her company and even miss sharing a room with her, often leading you back into the girls' room for "sleepovers" where your new fun is having her read to you (that is when you aren't making trouble). You are even willing to sleep on the floor with only a pillow if it means you can be in there.

That temper, that temper is still there. It manifests itself differently these days than in the past. I'm afraid between me and Daddy, we didn't set you up too well for avoiding this one. Kate tests your temper lately the most. I am always praying for wisdom in how exactly to help in those situations. I've thought before, how can I help stifle this now before he becomes a grown man? I pray the Lord would be gracious in leading you to repentance.

You're our most shy one, and that probably goes hand in hand with introversion. But I don't want that to define you. I often pray for boldness for you, and for all of us. Daddy has helped you come out of your shell in ways like making you order your food at a restaurant or going up to the Chick fil a counter to ask for icecream. I hope we will continue to take small steps like that to help you not fear man.

You continue to be tender. I'm SO THANKFUL that at 7, you still want to hold my hand. And that you ask to sit in my lap and let me carry you to bed. I know your tenderness won't always manifest itself in this sweet way (it would be weird, right?) so I try to remind myself to soak it up. I'm sorry for the times I have not. I know that,too, communicates love to you. 

You love to talk. I get that. You don't talk much in public but when you are familiar with someone and it's in a quaint setting, there's no stopping you. You have a lot to say. Some of it is just crazy, like potty humor, while other topics are very insightful. 

You, my dear son, are unique. The Lord knew you BEFORE creation. And now, I have a front row seat of seeing you, in all your beauty and all your mess, coming to be. My prayer, as always, is that you would know the Lord. And that you would put to use all these qualities the Lord knit in you while you were inside of me for His glory. Repent. Trust in Him. Be bold, my son. Fear not, for the Lord is with you. Go and do mighty things for Him.





















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Monday, May 18, 2015

Awards Day: Homeschool Style





It's that time of year....

AWARDS

So here are a few awarded to my three students at The Harman Hood for the 2014/2015 school year...

This year, Kate has shown an uncanny ability to fall asleep in the midst of even the most noisy environments. And not only that, but many times she manages to do so in style. And so, I'd like to award Kate with the "Stylish Sleeper" Award.






Next, I'd like to recognize Hannah. While we could award her with the "I'd Rather Be Anywhere But Doing Schoolwork" award, we'll call it the "Ingenuity Award." Ingenuity because well, not only does she have obscure ideas like creating a pulley system on a tree (with which she planned to hoist Kate high into its branches on the plasma car) or making a double riding plasma car with only duct tape, but she manages to incorporate her big ideas to distract from the monotonous book work indoors. We may also award her with "The Most Influential" award because she manages to convince her brother and sister that her ideas are well worth pursuing and investing in, even it means plummeting from a vertical hanging plasma car or spinning out of control on a wild ride.



 I'd like to award Grant with the "Good Sport" award. Whether it was the time he stood at the bottom of our hill screaming after face planting on the asphalt from a bad scooter fall and I, not noticing the blood oozing from his face, casually told him it was okay. Or it was that time I waved at him from the bottom of the Butterfly Garden at Callaway Gardens and took his picture, only later to discover his head was actually stuck between the two rails and was NOT posing for a photo op. And yet, both times, he was patient with his clueless mom in the midst of a traumatic situation.



(stuck...and he even humored clueless mom with a smile)

Kate also is the recipient of the "Most Distracting" award. While Hannah, Grant,and I were hitting the books hard, she often lightened the mood with her wild ensembles and crazy quarks. This also invited  frustrated comments like, "Mom, make Kate leave," and "I can't think with Kate in here," thus making Kate the front runner for this award. Well done, Kate, well done.




This year we have a first. Thanks to a daring rescue of an injured dove, Crystal, I'd like to award Hannah with the first ever, "Humanitarian Award." Hannah exhibited compassion, concern, and executed a well thought plan to help Crystal survive. We were relieved to discover upon returning to Hannah's makeshift "flower pot" shelter, Crystal was no longer present. We like to think she's flying freely in the open breeze and those skeleton bones later found belong to some other unfortunate animal.


And in addition to the "Good Sport" award, Grant also received the "Best Comeback" award. After a year long stint away from his bike, he decided to get back on it and try again. It definitely helped that his younger sister recently learned how to pedal without training wheels. Now, Grant's leading the pack when it comes to burning rubber on the pavement. Way to go Bud!


And lastly, for a special award, we give Kate the "Meerkat Award" because, as Hannah said, "She really does look like a meerkat here." Bravo, Kate, for making the impossible seem possible. 



And that, folks, concludes our Harman Hood Awards Day. What a year we've had and what talent we are honing.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Risk Taking

For all the risk takers out there, take note:


Sometimes, being a risk taker means you've got to just go for it, even if your legs are too short to actually extend across a giant, water squirting beach ball. It also helps to close your eyes really tightly and pray that maybe today, maybe today, you will sprout wings.



Taking risks means trying something new, even if it does leave you a bit, well, stuck. Closing your eyes helps in giving you the illusion that nobody else actually sees you in the predicament you were hoping to avoid.


Taking risks means, well, danger could be involved. This may include a head concussion if your arms aren't quite strong enough to support the downward thrust of your body due to the slickness of the ball and gravity's undeniable force.


Risk taking means maybe looking a little different than everybody else. It may even go so far as to make you appear to have grown a rather long, green tail. Trust me, risk takers will make heads turn.




Sometimes, taking risks may be painful. And surprising. You may just push your body a little beyond what you realized it could do. But that may entail pain. Lots of it. But the rush of the accomplishment, well, there's nothing like it.



Taking risks may require a team effort, even if it does leave one of you plastered onto the ground after a zealous, but maybe overly confident attempt. Making fierce faces definitely helps ease the let down though.


After much risk taking, you may be tired, exhausted even. You may want to give up. You may not have it in you to take one more step. But risk taker, you must press on even if it means all you can do is hike one leg half way up an ever deflating, water squirting beach ball. Risk takers, well, they never give up.



And, if you are tired and aren't too sure if you can accomplish the task at hand, at least look cool while you try. Most risk takers, well, they have the cool factor going for them. What they lack in execution they make up for in looking the part. You get so distracted by their undeniable coolness that you forget they are actually failing miserably.



Case in point, you totally don't realize Hannah is in no way jumping OVER the ball because well, it looks like she's flying...flying right past the ball she was trying to jump OVER. Coolness. Get it. Own it.



Oh and Grant, yeah, canon ball OVER the beach ball? Nope. But he looks cool. Diversion. Again.

And sometimes risk takers go beyond exhaustion to extreme mental fatigue. A fatigue that can only explain why in the world one might hold her nose while running PAST a simple spray of water with no intention of diving into a deep body of water. Beware risk takers. Keep your minds sharp. This may mean doing some Sudoku off the training field.


And finally, risk takers, remember you are role models for the younger generation. So if you are pulling more stunts out of exhaustion than strength, well, you may want to rethink your plan because they are watching and they will model what you teach...including jumping past a beach ball instead of actually over it. 

May these pointers serve you well on your journey of taking risks.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Motherhood

Motherhood.

I started this little blog to chronicle motherhood,

its messiness, its beauty, its sadness, its pain, its joy.

all of it.

Last night as I peeked into the kids' rooms before going to bed, I felt unworthy to be celebrated as a mom, or at least in such a way that elevates me to a super hero status.

Do people know how I screamed at my kids the other day? Do they see my heart when I grumble about making another meal for my children? Did they see my lack of compassion when ANOTHER tear fell from my child's cheek? Or the way I rushed through bedtime so I could FINALLY have alone time?


Motherhood is hard. It is for me. And, not so glorious as all those commercials make it out to be. It has been an unraveling of myself in many ways. 

Motherhood does demand selflessness, sacrifice, service, compassion, love, patience, faithfulness, perseverance, self control, and more.

But, eight and a half years has exposed my deficiency in these areas. It's exposed my inability to faithfully execute consistently these qualities. I've found myself frustrated and defeated.

There's been an unraveling.

An unraveling that has exposed my great need for help. 

When my daughter struggles with another math problem and my patience is thin...help. 

When two of my kids are arguing again before breakfast is even served and I haven't a clue how to resolve it nor do I have the energy to try...help.

Or when my son wants to play a game with me and I have no desire to spend time with him...help.

Or my sick daughter needs attending to again and my compassion is waning...help.


I need help.

And there's Good News...

Thankfully, my cries for help do not go unattended. My Helper is ever present and ever willing to equip me for this high calling of motherhood. Where I am deficient, my Lord is not. 

He is "an ever present help in times of trouble," and "will meet all {my} needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

He is there to help me. He is there to manifest what I cannot, apart from Him. Just as he provided for my own salvation "how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?"

James 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." 

So, I am not left defeated and frustrated or unequipped. By His grace, He gives me those beautiful qualities that are manifest in my life: patience, service, love, faithfulness, sacrifice...those aren't of my doing...they are a gift from the Lord. It's a small snippet of Him and a small taste of His inexhaustible goodness. So that I can say with Paul, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'

So, as I think of motherhood tonight, may I boast in what Christ has done in me and through me as I flesh out this calling. And may I not crumble in defeat or boast in myself, but may I rest in Christ who is my all in everything, including motherhood. 



 And Thank you Lord for these three really good gifts...