Why I want to be just like my kindergartener when I grow up

Ya’ll. This boy! It’s like he’s good at everything I want to be good at. He leaves me with my mouth hanging wide open all the time. That little Daniel amazes me at every turn.

I want to be just like him!

Today I picked him up at school, and his teacher told me she thought he was getting sick.

I waved it off. He’s still getting over this cold they had.

“Mom,” he said, while he waited on the playground for his brothers to get out of school, “I need to go to the bathroom.” I sent him back into school to go to the bathroom.

20 minutes later, I was all, “Geesh, Daniel. You were in there forever.”

What a clueless mom I am.

Daniel handled it all like a champ. He came in, changed his clothes, and packed his suitcase all by himself because he’s going to Nana and Granddaddy’s house this weekend.

I forgot all about his teacher’s warning. I thoroughly didn’t have a clue.

Meanwhile, his fever was getting higher, and he was suffering from some sort of stomach virus.

Finally, he came into my room, laid on my bed, and said, “Mommy. My stomach hurts so bad. I don’t feel good. I might throw up.”

Boy, nothing gets your attention like that sentence does!

I felt him. He was on fire. I took his temp. Yep. Fever. I gave him Tylenol and a smidge of food and drink. I let him lie in bed and watch Home.

I look at his gigantic blue puppy dog eyes and adorable carrot top, and I just think, “Wow. Daniel. I want to be like you.”

I can’t tell you how often I stumble upon Daniel in a room, washing the mirrors or sweeping the floor. Not even kidding. This boy is better than me.

Yes, he is.

He’s a server. He loves to help people. He accomplishes all of his tasks to the best of his ability, and if he is ever lazy, I promise you he must be sleepy or sick.

So yes, I want to be just like him. He’s bold too. There’s a girl in his class that he likes. Does he torture her by pulling her hair and calling her names? Oh but no. Instead, he told her he wants to marry her and always sits by her. Thankfully, she is still his friend! Ha!

 

I love all my children the same. Adore them. They fill my heart with so much love and pride, and I see so much of myself in them. Every bit of shyness. That’s me. Every bit of laziness. Also me. Every bit of hiding in their room to read. So extremely me. Temper? Me.

But this? This sweet, loving, serving, hard-working little leprechaun? Maybe someday. Maybe someday that will be me too.

I love you, Daniel. Feel better soon.

 

 

It was not a failure, though I thought it was at the time.

It was not a failure.

*This post does contain some affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through my site, I receive a small percentage.*

I’ve been dealing with my own feelings of failure for a while now. Have you ever felt that way? I read this story this week, and I poured tears as I contemplated my own “failure.”

There was this man. He was from out-of-town. He wanted to teach people about Jesus. That landed him in prison, and not just prison. First, he was stripped and beaten, and then they put him in prison.
He got out though.
And then you know what he said about that trip? He said, “It was not a failure.”

Public humiliation. Beaten! Imprisoned!

That was not a failure?? He was basically chased out of town. He can’t go back there.

But that man was Paul, and that town was Philippi. You can read more about that story in Acts 16:16-25 and 1 Thessalonians 2, all of chapter 2.

“You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition.”    1 Thessalonians 2:1-2

It was not a failure because they STILL did share the gospel, as they set out to do. When we tell people the good news, that Jesus loves ALL of us and wants to save and be a friend to ALL of us, we aren’t responsible for how people respond to that. That doesn’t mean be a jerk and don’t care. That means don’t be obnoxious. Share it, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Public disgrace does not equal failure.

Things not ending as planned does not mean we failed.

Being physically destroyed is not failure. It’s not.

You are not a failure either. Think of your most recent failure, and then consider. What did you learn? What good came out of that?


I was reading about all of these things in Children of the Day, by Beth Moore. It takes books like these to help me understand things like Acts 16 being tied to 1 Thessalonians. Believe me, I’d never figure that out on my own. Every single Beth Moore Bible study workbook I have ever read has been a massive blessing to me.

This one is no exception. She just HAD to go and ask us what our most recent failure is. She left a little blank space for us to write about it. Ha! I got out my spiral notebook and filled up a whole PAGE.

I wrote, and I thought, and I cried, and I prayed, and in the end I was reminded.

“Though a righteous man falls 7 times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.”  Proverbs 24:16

Failure stings when it’s something that means the world to you. It stings like getting stung by a HIVE OF BEES  or 50 fire ants.

I set out to home school those two years with two objectives:

  1. I wanted to give them that one-on-one boost with their academics.
  2. I wanted to improve their character. No, I can’t improve it myself, but I wanted to promote it. I wanted to provide the right environment and the right tools for the boys and God to work that out.

I was not able to accomplish what I wanted, academically, and to make it worse trying to be a teacher, homemaker, blogger, and mom all at once made me MISERABLE. It was heart-breaking. Even as I write about it again, it’s like my heart is all ripped up and bleeding. I want to pound my fists to the wall and then lay my head against it and cry until there’s no water left because no matter how hard I tried, everything felt like failure.

I love these children with such intensity, I want to fix every single problem that they have, but that’s not possible, is it? The ability to fix everything was so far beyond my control.

So I failed. Or so I thought. But you know what? I did not fail. They didn’t fail either. Nothing failed. There was nothing wasted here.

In those two years, I saw their character bloom. I saw love, humility, honesty, justice, kindness, and goodness in my boys.

Caleb was saved and baptized, of his free choosing during that time at home with me. I even heard him teaching his friends about Jesus.

There was spiritual warfare waged over the souls of my children those two years, and God won.

I grew to understand the boys’ strengths and weaknesses. I came to terms with my own limitations. We emerged a different family than when we went into this.

I failed in some ways in order to learn. Sometimes we have to fall to learn, to grow, to become.

We saw it happen with my children too. We watched them overcome the kind of adversity that would have CRUSHED me at their age. I would not have handled it with the strength, dignity, and courage that I watched my son display.

That’s not actually failure is it? But it sure feels like it when you’re laying in a wad on the ground.

So no, we have not failed. We have only fallen and gotten back up again, and we too shared the gospel in the process.

All of these thoughts led me to this song, and I can’t get it out of my head. Its “fall down and get back up” message resonated with me. Yes, we are trying EVERYTHING. It’s a fun song, and my favorite line is this one:

“Birds don’t just fly. They fall down and get up.”

You’ll have to click the link below to go to YouTube to see the lyrics and hear this song. It’s worth it.

 

Ok. Your turn to answer Beth Moore’s heart-wrenching question. Failure. When did you last feel it?

“Ask yourself: Did we do the will of God as best we perceived it? Were we authentic before God and man?”    —Children of the Day, page 41, Beth Moore

And I would add, what did you learn? Then maybe it’s not such a failure after all, and even if it is, get back up again.

 

Our Top 10 Stories from 2016: The Drama Year

Daniel, waiting for present-opening time at my parents’ house

Christmas is over, and boy, was it a good one. In the photo above, all 4 boys were watching the clock intently. Christmas truly is magical for children.

I’m so thankful for a Christmas when my kids were healthy, we didn’t have to fly, there were no funerals to attend, and all went smoothly.

Now on to the new year!

2016 was all about drama. Yep. Drama. I’m hoping 2017 will be more about persistence and less about big things happening.

But who can tell the future? I’m not even good about making plans for the future. This year I want to be better about it, even though our best laid plans are so often a joke.

Before I plan for the future, I always look back at where we’ve been. This helps me to stay realistic. I can be idealistic and get myself into ridiculous situations.

I want to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground and perhaps allow my head to wander into the clouds just a little bit…

So let’s look back. Google Analytics tells me which of this year’s posts were most popular.

Top 10 Stories from 2016

#10. Exciting News, Dirt Angels, and Checking on Daniel

This is what my to do list looked like the other day:

-Morning Chores

-Check on Daniel.

-Shower/get ready

-Check on Daniel.

-Start sheets.

-Check on Daniel.

-Put away laundry. Move sheets to dryer.

-Check on Daniel.

-Well, you get the idea.

 

#9. JD Presents the New VeggieTales DVD Giveaway

It was exciting to partner with VeggieTales. I’ve always loved them, and giveaways are always a hit.

 

#8. What do I wear to the wedding?

As it turns out, my friends love to help me pick out what to wear. Ironically enough, I woke up with a swollen hip, and none of those dresses fit. Want to see what I actually wore?

This, and it looked awful on me. That’s why I cropped the photo. But it was okay because we had so much fun at the wedding. Want to see the bride?

 

She’s the beautiful red-headed one in the white dress!! (Ha! Obviously) This is the family red-head photo!! Gingers rule!

#7. The Linq Procedure: Another Half Naked Story

Yes, occasionally I blog about my health problems. I hope that it helps other people with similar problems. And sometimes I DO just want to whine!

Only 1 more health article on the list, I promise:

#6. Health Update: Ventricular Tachycardia, My Favorite Doctor, and Tendonitis Everywhere

This tells the story of a PA who I was so excited to find after having so many MEAN doctors. What is the deal with the rude docs? Why are you a doctor if you don’t even like people? I get so nervous about medical stuff, I need straight up Mary Poppins  when I go to the doc’s office!

#5. Life gets really fun once you get over yourself! 

This one’s my favorite. Here’s a quote from it:

“Ha! I bet some of you wonder why I’m always sharing my crazy crap on the internet.

It’s worth it, y’all. Do what you love, and shamelessly share it. It may even turn into income for you.”

first Christmas in Nana’s new house

#4. The Story of My Wedding Dress: What Fire Couldn’t Burn

….Grab your tissues for that one.

#3. 3 Fall Funnies and a New Giveaway for Your Kitchen

Again, giveaways are popular! But this one did have some CUTE stories.

#2. When We Met Matthias: Story of a Military Family

This was the GOOD kind of drama. Emma stayed with us for just a few weeks. She labored at our house and brought her new baby home to our house, and it was so exciting to be a part of it.

 

#1. Logan

Alan lost two teenage cousins this year. These were two separate tragic single-car accidents, devastating events.

 

Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.

Isaiah 57:1 New Living Translation

 

Last year wasn’t easy. Life is full of both the good and the bad for each of us. I wanted to share a happy Christmas video to perk us all up:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you for being a part of our 2016.

 

 

 

1 2 3 18