My mom came to visit recently. This is a treat that occurs only once or twice a year, since she lives in Australia and I’m in Texas. Her stays are usually 4-6 weeks, and believe me when i tell you that’s never long enough. A few days after she left here, she was visiting my sister.
I told her over the phone that since she’d left, one of the kids had a bad virus and was throwing up and having diarrhea. Amazingly, she offered to come back. Yes, she’d been here for weeks, and was probably eager to return to her own life and home and NOT to my kid’s virus, but she sincerely offered anyway. Now that, y’all, is a mother’s love.
I declined her offer, though, and she’s been back to her home for a few days. Tonight I called her and when she answered, I said, "Hi. Have you seen my shoes? The gray and yellow New Balance ones?"
I love what she said next.
"Um. Are.. are… you talking.. to me?"
Then we started lapsing into Robert De Niro impersonations "Are YOU.. talkin’ … TO ME?"
Mom said, "Kelsey, I’m in another hemisphere, you know."
"Oh I know, but I haven’t seen my shoes since you were here, and I thought maybe…"
Really, I thought she’d tell me ‘yes, they’re (fill in the blank)’ or ‘no, haven’t seen ‘em.’ And then we’d move onto discussing the Australian version of The Biggest Loser or something else.
We went back in time, to where I’m nine, and she’s patiently doing the "when was the last time you saw them?" routine. A routine, I might add, I go through with my own kids ALL THE TIME. And yet? I didn’t see the twists and turns of that old familiar conversation coming. I have no idea why.
Mom first asked me if they were on the shelves in the closet.
I stopped feeding the baby his cereal and ran and checked.
Then she asked if they were under my bed.
I ran and checked.
Then she asked if they were in a different place in my closet.
I gave the baby another bite, then ran and checked.
Then she asked "Are they under the couch?"
I fed the baby a spoonful of cereal, and said, "Of course not." All indignant and stuff, because that’s what you do when you’re the obnoxious shoe-loser in this conversation. "WHY would they be there?" Pfft.
"Don’t get all philosophical on me, this is about thinking of places and then checking them." She used her ‘don’t mess with me, I’m-the-Mom-Tone-of-Voice.’
So I bowed to that supreme authority and ran and checked.
She suggested I look between my nightstand and the changing table.
"Ooh, yeah. That’s a good one." I start to run and check when the I’m-the-Mom-Tone-of-Voice returns and says, "Maybe you should start by telling me where you HAVE looked."
Oh, that one floored me. I got the giggles, because how many times have I had this same conversation with my kids? Countless times, and yet I somehow hadn’t seen that one coming.
I also hadn’t seen it coming that I would get back to the bedroom, flip on the light again, and Ethan would sit straight up in bed and blink at me. I screamed. "WHAT are you DOING there?"
He laid back down and went to sleep. I hadn’t noticed him when I’d been in there a minute before, looking under the bed. I left him there, and reported to Mom that my shoes were not between the nightstand and the changing table after all.
I got a workout, the baby eventually got dinner, and Mom patiently told me that they were probably in my closet, and that she had a call on the other line. It was her sister, so I told her to say hi for me. (And that I was busy regressing into a nine yr old, looking for my tennis shoes.) No doubt, she did.
Sometime over the last years, my mother turned into one of my dearest friends. But tonight, it was all about the shoes, the mom, and accidentally re-discovering that we can lapse into an age old mother-daughter conversation without skipping a beat. I loved it all. Thanks, Mom.
Updated: They were in the closet. You were so, so right, Mom.
Write your own! Get it done by midnight on Monday, and send it to Heather!
1. Peace is a choice, and i urgently needed to get that.
2. The family got home tonight.
3. I clean when I’m mad. When I’m really mad, I really clean.
4. I cleaned the whole house.
5. The laundry is almost done. Yes, that includes the laundry they JUST brought home.
6. I scrubbed the gray nastiness off the underside of the no-slip tub mat thing.
7. I bathed the cat in the laundry room sink. (Yes, you can do that.)
8. Now that the no-slip tub mat thing, the entire house, the laundry, and even the cat are clean, i don’t know what to do.
9. Peace. is. a. choice.
10. I’m not feelin’ it.
The flowers arrived today. Yep, from Mike. He said they weren’t ‘guilt flowers’ but come on. Of course they are. But who cares?!
Mike doesn’t do anything halfway. I’ll do a pic thing soon, but what came to my door? THREE vases of flowers. All kinds.
I love the guy.
Ever feel like God is talking to you about something specific, and He’s saying "Get this, and get it NOW?" That is the urgency I’ve sensed with understanding His peace. (I refuse to wonder WHY I need so urgently to get it right this second, because i just don’t need to let my mind go there)
Specifically, He’s talking to me about how His peace is directly related to acknowledging and submitting to His authority over my life. I get that.
Here I mentioned that following God can be really inconvenient. I had the well thought out idea that Mike really shouldn’t take Kim-11yr and Ethan-6yr on this cruise. I had a TON of reasons, mostly stemming from the ugly/unhealthy family dynamics we’ve got going on right now. I always worry when the kids are away, but I couldn’t even imagine how much worse it would be this time. For SO many reasons, this was a bad idea for them.
But Mike insisted.
I brattily said, "Fine! You tell God to change my mind, because that’s the ONLY way I’ll agree." Ha! I thought I had it in the bag. No way was that gonna happen.
But it did. God said ‘let them go.’ So I did.
I haven’t worried about them at all.
Peace accompanied submitting to the Prince of Peace. I couldn’t have predicted it, and it didn’t make sense until I started getting into the lesson on peace this week.
So, if I’d done it my way, my kids would not be in Mexico right now. I would not be relaxed, I assure you, I would be caught up in the ugly/unhealthy family dynamics we have going on right now. Peace would not be mine, or theirs. I would have chosen what i THOUGHT was peace – but it would have been my way. And thank God that His ways are not our ways and his peace is a whole lot better than my idea of peace!
What I keep sensing is He’s pointing out that to a degree peace is a CHOICE. Hmm. It’s not just mine, just because? Nope. Not if I choose not to submit to the Prince of Peace.
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
So it’s that "Let" God is talking about. I can ‘let’ or ‘not let’ peace rule in my heart. And I can choose to be thankful, or not.
Living Beyond Yourself, Not Eloquent or Fancy:
Choose to submit to the Prince of Peace. (Don’t decide you know what’s best, Kels, and keep your kids from the blessing of seasickness and sunburns.)
In this instance, this is ‘letting’ peace rule.
Then, get a good attitude about it, be grateful, and don’t be a brat.
(i wanted to post now, since I’m supposed to, but I’m still going over the homework and studying this stuff.)
This is a list of the women participating in the study and the links to their blogs. New postings on the study will be published weekly, between Friday 8pm – Saturday 8am. Please feel free to visit each of us and comment. Everyone is welcome to participate in this discussion as we seek to live beyond ourselves. May God bless you richly from the hearing of His word.
So my social life has taken a huge uptick. First, i had the dinner with the New Friend last night. Then today I had lunch with One Of My Other 2 (Yeah, Just 2)Friends.
TWO SOCIAL EVENTS IN 24 HOURS, KELSEY?! NoooOOoo! yeah. really. The last time THAT happened easily coulda been 5 yrs ago. Or more. But I’m so cool now. Where’s my calendar, already, because it’s too much to keep track of, and I’m feeling the slightest bit dizzy.
So, how’d dinner go, right? well. I don’t know.
Have you ever seen A Dating Story on TLC? (i know it wasn’t a date, but hang in there with me) The couple meets, goes out, and then afterwards the camera shows each person, post-date, say how it was. Inevitably, one of them will be all hyper, jumping up and down and "oooh, so great! we got along so well, i can’t wait to do it again, and ohmigosh IT WAS SO GOOD!" And the other one is more like, "Ummm… yeah, it was… ok." But that one is ONLY saying that because there’s a camera and it would be awful to really say, "She was the dumbest. chick. ever. I will never, ever go anywhere near her again. Now go away so I can call my friends and make fun of her stupid laugh."
So. I’d hate to be the one going all "oooh! Yea! Great!" just in case it really wasn’t, and i was just not picking up on the whole "you are dumb, WHY am I here?" vibes. They coulda been there. I don’t think so, but you get what i’m saying.
The answer to how was the dinner is: (reserved, calm, thoughtful) Nice. It was… nice.
Today I had lunch with a friend I’ve known for almost 10 years. We did what we always do: laugh, cry, change at least one poo diaper, talk, and eat. She is the sort to declare undying love and affection and friendship every time we speak. I love that. Maybe she’s noticed how weird and socially insecure I am and that I could really use that. Huh.
A florist called today, trying to get directions. I wasn’t home. (Due! To! Social! Life!) Anyway, I don’t know for sure it’s Mike, since I never talked to the florist, but no one else sends flowers.
Perhaps someone regretted going on a Caribbean cruise without me, leaving me home with a vomiting child, and then mailing me his dirty vacation laundry.
Perhaps this is the exact moment to put on that special tone of voice (join with me, southern sisters) and shake our heads and say "tah-cky!"
(But for the record, I didn’t think taking four kids – 2 under age 2 -on a cruise would be a good idea. Call me crazy, but it just didn’t sound fun.)
You know how I said Mike mailed home some dirty clothes from his vacation with the two older kids? Caden-2yr insisted that we open that box yesterday. I let him convince me, since things could possibly be mildewing in there.
We opened it, and there was an enormous, heavy duty Ziploc bag holding a ton of their clothes. Caden-2yr opened that, and then we both BACKED. UP. Oh, the smell that came out of that bag! I have no idea what was the matter with those clothes, but it was worse than any dirty laundry smell EVER.
Caden-2yr shook his head in shock, as he backed up, and shouted, "Dir-TAY! Dir-TAY!" Then he bravely started scooping it up and running to the laundry room, making trip after trip until he was finished. The smell lingered in the living room all day.
I think he wished he hadn’t opened the box.
You know that post about I Am From? I did that at midnight and TOTALLY forgot to say, hey, it’s just a meme. Don’t be too impressed. Do one yourself! Fill in the blanks and sound like a rockstar! Oh my gosh. So sorry. Please go to Owlhaven to read a ton of other, much better ones, too!
I am from Volvos, piano and ballet lessons, and perfect pie crusts made with the recipe on the Crisco can.
I am from the stone house near the lake, where the sailboats circle up in regattas.
I’m from the thorny pyracantha, pink crepe myrtles, and neat rows of hyacinths. I’m from the dogwood tree that bloomed more than any other in the neighborhood.
I am from an amazing group of women who are independent, smart, witty, and make me proud to be among them. I am the youngest granddaughter of Nancy, and the youngest chess partner Travis ever had.
I am from the family where humor, originality, and good manners are valued.
From where ‘tacky’ is a weighty word indeed, and all the women know just when to use it, and in exactly what tone of voice.
I am from church camp in the summer, and trips to the bluebonnets of Hill Country.
I am from Ft. Worth, from hamburgers on the grill, and pies for birthdays instead of cakes.
From the family where the mom managed to do it all, with the sister whose personality is larger than life, and the father could make a joke of anything.
I am from As The World Turns, from lazy Saturdays of CMT, and from a lifetime of singing duets with my sister.
I am from the house near the lake, from a family of strong, beautiful women. I am from a place of beauty, of love, and of blessing.
You know how here I said that if Mike were around there’d be more dirty laundry? Well, ask and watch how quickly it shows up! Seriously! So what if Mike is in the Caribbean? He MAILED HOME some DIRTY LAUNDRY, Y’ALL.
(Fortunately he addressed it to himself – not to me, who mighta thought she was getting a sweet little care package - and he also remembered to say "don’t feel like you have to open it or anything…" pfft.)
Please see this brief post below. I’m trying to get this settled quickly, y’all, so work with me here.