But since I *am* a mom . . .

I’ll go ahead and write about my kids today!

Rebecca is a senior at Searcy High School. Absolutely unbelievable! The baby that changed us from a couple into a family is about to leave home. She is a talented writer, actress, and thinker. She is planning to come to Harding next fall and major in English and minor in drama/ancient languages. Of course that could change a few times but she’s been pretty consistent about it so far. Until March 15, you can see her senior pictures here. Look for “Rebecca” toward the bottom of the page. On her facebook profile she said, “I want to have lots of babies and work in a library like my mom.” Made me want to cry!

Noelle is in the middle of her freshman year. She’s playing softball on the school team. Their first game is later this week. She’ll be starting on the varsity team even though she’s a freshman! She was really excited about that because the practices have been hard. Noelle is the tallest female in our family. Lately she’s been teasing me because I won’t say she looks sexy. 🙂 I told her it just had a completely different meaning to people my age than to people her age and I just couldn’t say it. Hey — I work with college students! I try to understand their mindset and see things from their perspective! I just cannot in good conscience use that word as a synonym for “pretty” or “nicely dressed.” Sigh — I guess I’m getting old.

Emily got braces today! She was looking forward to it, but I don’t think she was quite as excited after she actually had them on her teeth. Her mouth was achy and she seemed a little self-concious. Lots of her friends have braces so I think it’ll be fine once she gets to school. I’ve already threatened her brothers within an inch of their lives if they tease her. We’re going to have pancakes and sausage for supper tonight. That way she’ll have something soft enough she won’t have to chew if her mouth is still sore. Emily’s as tall as I am, by the way. I usually wear shoes with about a two-inch heel so I didn’t really notice it until today when I wore flats. It’s amazing how quickly they grow.

Caleb is nine and comes up to my nose. He loves helping in the kitchen and is fascinated with musicals. I think his current favorite is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It’s a great, fun family musical, but it comes with a WARNING! Get it on dvd and SKIP THE SECTION WITH MRS. POTIPHAR. Just skip it altogether if you’re watching it with your kids. You’ll be singing the songs forever, so it’s really worth the watching other than that scene.

Daniel is seven and you would never believe that he and Caleb were the same size at birth. He’s tall, but he not any bigger around than my little finger. He’s a great reader and loves dressing up like a superhero (hmmm — maybe I rubbed off on him?). The funniest thing he’s ever done is run around with his Darth Vader helmet and underwear on. BIG black, scary head, scrawny little body and tighty whities. Some day he’ll learn to wear clothes at home. I hope.

Well, that’s it. Those are my kiddoes. I’ll try to update you on them more often. They’re really amazing. I can’t believe God has blessed me so tremendously. Sometimes I feel like Sally Fields at the Oscars — “You love me! You really love me!” — when I look at my children. At one point in time I really thought I had to get it all right or I’d completely mess ’em up. Now we all admit we’re imperfect, do the best we can and love each other and forgive each other. Praise the Lord!

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Different kinds of mothers

I read a great quote one time. “There are kissing mothers and there are yelling mothers, but they really all mean the same thing.” I don’t remember who said it, but I remember thinking that it was quite true.

Confession: I am not the kind of mom who writes about her children much. I wish I did! I read my friends’ blogs and I love how much they write about what they do with their children. I kind of thought I would do that too, but for some reason the inspiration isn’t there. Sigh. How embarrassing is that? My childhood ambition was to be a mom!

So, let’s see . . . so far we have kissing mothers, yelling mothers, and blogging mothers. Sometimes I look around me and I see another kind — SUPER mothers. You all know at least one. She has at least six children, all of whom are snappily dressed at all times. They never raise their voice in the house and by the time they’re 16 they’ve homeschooled their way through college and have earned enough money to buy their future spouses a house. Oh. And they wear denim. A lot of denim.

I wanted to be a supermom. I really, really wanted to be a supermom. Some of my best friends were supermoms. I wore the denim. I had five children (not six) and even had four of them at home. With no drugs. For 13 years I was either pregnant or nursing (or both) and I homeschooled. I tried so hard to be supermom but just couldn’t quite get there.

Then, I had an epiphany. I was watching a movie that will forever stay at the top of my list of inspiring movies. It was packed with truth about human nature and working together. It spoke to the very soul of family relationships and how crucial it is for each person to fill their God-given role. It forced me to deal with my desire to do it all on my own. It encouraged me to step down from being Supermom and just be mom.

The movie? The Incredibles. Laugh if you want to, but there’s a lot of truth packed into that gem from Pixar. The part that hit me the hardest was when Edna Mode made the point that superheroes with capes always died. The cape would somehow get in the way and bring them to an untimely demise.

I decided then and there to take off my cape. I would no longer try to be all things to all people. I would get up every day, do what needed to be done, and — praise GOD! — let him handle the rest.

Today, people frequently say to me, “I don’t know how you do it. You have a big family, you work, and you’re in grad school. I could never do all that.” My answer? “I’m a mom. There may be different kinds of mom, but really, we all do the same thing. We get up every day and do what needs to be done for our families. We may be doing different things, but really? We’re all doing the same thing.”

Injuries and scars

One of my favorite bloggers, Mike Cope, voiced what many people are thinking: did Anna Nicole Smith have any idea how much God loved her? We all watched her self-destruct in front of our eyes for years. She was the focus of many things — the paparazzi, reality tv, and porn addicts to name a few — but did anyone ever focus God’s love on her? My heart hurts for her emptiness and for the life that lies ahead for her newborn daughter. I know what emptiness feels like.

I’m not sure why, but her situation reminded me of a thought I had a few years ago. It dawned on me that Jesus kept some — not all — but some of the scars from his brutal death. Why did he do that? When we think of our glorified body, we envision a perfect body. No flaws, no scars. Why did Jesus keep the ones he did? Was it just for us? Because he knew we would need proof? Maybe it was just because he knew Thomas would need proof. Like everything else, it was for us.

What if you could keep a scar? What if a part of your glorified body included a scar from your physical life. What would you keep? Why would you keep it? Can you hear the conversations in heaven?

“Look, see this? These are the scars from being beaten as a child. I cried myself to sleep every night, but I was crying out to God. That’s when I learned that I had a heavenly Father.”

“This scar? Oh, I was lost in drugs and alcohol and I was in a car accident. Everyone else was killed, but I lived. In rehab I learned that Jesus died for me and that everything — everything — had been forgiven. Even though I caused someone else’s death, I was forgiven by Jesus’ death.”

“Oh, this? I used to cut myself when I got angry or depressed. I didn’t know that Jesus’ blood had already made up for all my shortcomings. “

Or maybe we don’t have to wait until heaven to share our scars with people. Maybe if we admitted that deep inside we’re all an Anna Nicole Smith waiting to happen, then we could keep a few people from winding up with such tragic lives. Our injures could keep other people from experiencing such pain.

John Newton’s last words were said to be: “My memory is failing, but I remember two things: I am a great sinner, and God is a great savior.”

Things I’m excited about today

1. Rebecca won first place in oratory for her original composition “How to Live a Jane Austen Life.” She won at our old hometown in a tournament named for our good friend David Ray. How cool is that? Her main points? Be brutally honest, look for happiness where you are, and never settle for less than you know you deserve. Preach it Sister Daughter!

2. Prince Caspian has been cast. Check it out here:

http://www.narniaweb.com/news.asp?id=1083&dl=11571855

He’s WAY hotter than I ever pictured Caspian!

3. Spiderman III is coming out this summer. So is the next Harry Potter movie and the last Harry Potter book. I’m kind of ready for Harry to kick Voldemoort’s butt and go on with the rest of his life. Actually, I’d really like to see Neville rise to the occassion and do it. Harry’s turned into a whining baby in the last few books. Neville deserves to be a hero.

4. I’m getting satellite internet soon. Not sure exactly when, but soon.

5. My headache is gone. WOO HOO!!

6. I have a $10.00 gift certificate to Midnight Oil.

7. STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN IS COMING TO LITTLE ROCK!!!!!! Jeremy Camp, Sanctus Real, and Hawk Nelson will be with him!!!!!! OMG, OMG, OMG!!!

8. I have successfully procrastinated on my reading assignment for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

9. My friend Melanie is engaged and very happy

10. God loves me and gives me a new chance every day. What could be more exciting than that?

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