The other day Betty said to me, “I want to do something I’ve NEVER done before!” I literally blinked my eyes and stared at her in wonder. Not for the first time, either. This girl seems to say things which I feel like have come from somewhere deep inside my own heart. Unspoken. Then they find words and come out of her mouth. “Really?” I answered, playing with her hair. She’s been on big rollercoasters and flown inside a cessna airplane. I could tell in her eyes she had a hunger to experience the thrill of something new. Just like her mama. So, even though she’s done it before, it had been a long, long time. We decided to take a walk around the neighborhood and she asked to bring her bike. It’s been about a year since she rode it, and she was nervous about falling down. My favorite thing about our time together, wasn’t the fact that she did in fact ride the bike without me holding on. No, my favorite thing was how she talked to herself while she rode. “I can do this! I can do this! I can do this!” she breathed over and over while I slowly let go and ran beside her. Cheering her on. Watching her fly alone. In her hounds-tooth dress and polka dot rain boots. Her fear lay in a pothole somewhere between our house and 8th Ave.There’s something incredible about what we say to ourselves. I dare you to listen to yourself when you’re thinking. It’s incredibly enlightening. Do you say things to yourself that you would never allow someone to say to your child? Or to you? Changing negative thinking has totally transformed my life and is transforming the lives of our children.
Interestingly, Paul didn’t say, “I think I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Nope. We should never say we will try to do this or that. Every time we try, we make a small exception for ourselves to fail. And you know what? You might mess up and fail. But that should never keep us from picking ourselves back up and getting stronger. I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I am so proud of these kiddos. We completed our school year a couple weeks ago. They have all grown and accomplished so much!
Being out of school has been just what we all needed. There has been a lot of imagination and rearranging and purging that comes when Mommy’s brain is free from thinking of school for a couple of weeks. We started our vacation out right with a broken arm. Broken in three places, no less. That girl is incredibly tough. This is the second time this has happened in her short little life. She doesn’t complain, and she really hasn’t let it stop her from doing anything. When I told her to be careful on the playground, Betty piped up: “At least I can jump! Because I have two arms and two thumbs and two elbows!”
New neighbors just moved in next door, and the boys had no qualms about asking them if they could have a bunch of their huge furniture boxes to make a small town with them. The rest of the day was spent cutting and creating tiny houses.
Earlier this week, Elsie let out a big sigh in front of me and said,”I just want to run a business or something!” She kept persisting, and finally her dream became a reality. Older sister and a friend all chipped in to squeeze lemons and taste test the perfect lemonade. We had some very enthusiastic salesmen and women, who were not afraid to ask the UPS man, the neighbors, and any passersby’s to buy a cup of refreshing lemonade. Why? Elsie, broken arm and all, determined it was to raise money for gymnastics. This has been a huge dream of hers, and I’m so proud of her for looking ahead, past the “impossible” and seeing her arm healed enough to take gymnastics.
Many days are spent gardening and cutting fresh flowers, enjoying delicious berries, and being amazed at how my belly has popped out with pride and joy. At 17 weeks, baby Chip is kicking and loving the berries I’m eating. Most recently, Matthew put up a new fence on the one side of our yard. It was an exhausting day. But one of my favorite kinds of tired.
So very thankful and daily more in love with this guy. He takes good care of us. He feels great, which is something we never ever take for granted. Once your health has been on the edge of survival wondering at the surety of your next breath, you never go a day without praising God for one more day to enjoy this thing called life. Every day my passion grows to help others who are hurting and sick and tired of being sick and tired.
For the next coupe of days I need to get my game on and face my least favorite past-time: packing. The motivation of having five whole days with Matthew by my side, along with some of the most motivating, loving, encouraging people… I’m not going to TRY. I will take a lesson from my sweet Betty and whisper: “I can do this. I can do this.” I can confidently face my suitcase and smile.