Tuesday, January 19, 2010

There are many things

going through my mind.  They're running around like wreckless drivers, and I need to slow down the traffic before the craziness causes a 15 car pileup.

After a week that didn't go my way, I'm making up a TON of homework, trying to keep up with housework, and allow for a little playtime too.  On days/weeks like this I think God should give me superpowers, because how else am I supposed to do it all?  If sleep just weren't so necessary...

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Galations 6:9)

Since there's always some silver lining, I would like to point out that my car wreck made it necessary for us to purchase a new car.  This means that I will finally join the cool mom's minivan club (our definitions of "cool" may very well differ, but so does our eye color)!  We're planning on buying a new-to-us mom-mobile by this weekend.  My kids are just as excited as I am, because they envision some sort of party bus, while my neighborhood mom friends are relieved that I can finally help carpool some of their kids.  Turns out, totalling my car is a plus for everyone!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

I never mentioned my New Year's resolution for 2010.  It's very personal, unlike the general goal to get rich or skinny.  My hope is that this year I can finally grab onto a brighter outlook and future based on letting the past go and becoming a person that is no longer defined or held back because of old habits, unrealistic expectations, others' opinions, scewed perceptions, unnecessary ambitions, bitterness, bad attitudes, and excuses.  I'm praying that God gives me the courage to face up to the ugly things instead of avoiding them.  I'm ready to be free- and to be true to who He made me to be.

There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. (Phillipians 1:6)

And now I have to chip away at some more school assignments, dishes, laundry, grocery shopping...and build a house of blocks with my son.  Ta ta!

Since I don't upload new photos every day, these pictures were taken from the Byham photo archive.  One of these days I'll organize, date, and save them on CDs then file them to free up my poor computer's failing memory. 

Friday, January 15, 2010


Two days ago, I wrecked a car for the first time in my life.  Sure, my little white car has suffered a few bumps and scrapes, and flat tires, but I've never actually broken it quite like I did this week. 

The bright side is that my son and I walked away from the accident unhurt, as did the passengers of the truck in front of me.  I remember trying so hard to stop, pushing my foot on the brake pedal even when I knew I wasn't going to avoid the crash.  And then it happens, and it's done.

My first thought wasn't "Thank you, God, we're okay."  It was "Crap. What have I done now?"  How quickly I allowed myself to feel discouraged and defeated by one mistake.  This is not what God wants for us.

The next morning when I was journaling, I took a good look at my attitudes and actions.  I certainly see how blessed my life is with healthy relationships, more than the basic necessities, entertainment, opportunity, and a lot of extra stuff.  And while I'm thankful for all that I have, I don't think I truly exhibit that gratefulness every day.

Do I show my family how much I appreciate them, or do I just go through the motions of housework and scheduling?  How do I show God that I am not someone that wastes resources and opportunties?  Instead of complaining about what has to be done every day, I should be deeply thankful that I have been given so much responsibility so that I am able to share with others. 

Yet I am as broken as my car.  It's difficult for me to see things clearly the way God does.  I repeat "Not right now.  Just a minute.  I'm busy" too often with the kids because my mind is on a million different things I have to do.  I don't kneel down enough to listen, laugh, and play without being distracted by the next item on my to-do- list.  I unnecessarily get overwhelmed by those very tasks, when I should feel excited to accomplish things that bless others-especially my family.  And if it's stealing precious minutes from them, it isn't important enough.

I am so grateful for God's grace.  I'm daily surprised by it.  It's most often displayed by my very own husband.  I tell him all the time that I don't deserve him, and I have no idea why he puts up with a mess like me.  But he does.  I love him for that.

My friend was reminding me yesterday that God is just like that.  We don't deserve His grace and forgiveness-his second, third, fourth, and thousandth chances.  But He gives them to us, because He loves us. 

He loves us.  Broken or not.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What a big boy can do and a mom can brag about

Brody is 2 1/2 (yes, we celebrated the half year, because it means we're so much closer to a birthday), and he has decided to be a big boy.  For my toddler that means:

a.) giving up his pacifier
b.) chewing gum without swallowing it
c.) sitting in a chair without a booster seat
d.) taking his dishes to the sink
e.) cleaning up his own messes

Soon, I hope it also means he will be potty-trained, but for now my heart blows up when I see how proud he is of himself with each small accomplishment.  He has his eye on riding a bicycle already too.  I'm not sure I'm ready for that!

I'm not ready for him to turn another year older either, but that will happen in 5 short months.  It's the bittersweet blessing of being a mom.  You want them to learn and grow, but you're afraid you'll miss who they are now.  But unless I can stop the sun from rising and setting, I can't keep this kid from growing up.

Monday, January 11, 2010

a different view

We all get lost in the details: figuring out what to wear after you find out there's a tear in your favorite sweater; deciding if it's worth getting up an hour earlier if it means your starting your day quietly but losing sleep; trying to muster up some patience when almost every phrase out of your child's mouth is in that nail-grating whiny voice; worrying about what you're afraid you can't handle; wishing family members were nicer than they are; wonder what the heck God put you on this earth for besides doing loads of laundry and dishes every day...


But the Bible says:

Isaiah 55:8-9 (New International Version)

 8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,"
       declares the LORD.
 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
       so are my ways higher than your ways
       and my thoughts than your thoughts.

So God has the bird's eye view of our whole ordeal and can separate Himself from the unnecessary pressure we feel with each and every decision.  My prayer for today is that I can see the way God sees, think the way God thinks, and walk the path that He would rather me walk.

I don't mind feeling peacefully small if there's a big-armed God who is watching out for me. 

*Quickly look up verses by keywords or references in any version online at


Sunday, January 10, 2010


Every now and then I ask myself, "What have I gotten myself into?"  Then, I take a deep breath and dive into the rapids of responsibility.  Hope and a refusal to doubt my abilities push me forward.  I may be afraid.  I will probably sink a few times, but I will keep going.