Choosing JOY

October 27, 2011

I hear a familiar scream.
fingernails on the black board kind of scream.
 For the umpteenth time. 
Because so and so did such and such
Self Righteousness.
Then I decide that it all ends.
With me.
So, I sit my littles down for a nice, long heart to heart. 
We talk about how it feels 
when someone is unkind to us.
We talk about tolerance.
We talk about how we are all sitting in a room 
that holds what should be the most important people in our lives 
(plus Daddy, who is at work.)
We talk about choices.
We all have them to make.
We choose our actions.
We choose our reactions.
Each choice is attached to it's own consequence.
Either good or bad.
We make those choices 
independently from other people's choices.
We talk about what happens when we die 
and stand (or fall) at the feet of Jesus.
We will be alone.
Unable to lie.
Unable to blame someone else 
for our actions or reactions.
Accountable for every single choice we've made.
We talk about living our lives in a manner 
worthy to be sitting 
at the feet of Jesus in the first place.
Eyes focused more on the destination than the journey.
And then. 
We talk about LOVE.
It is the greatest command we've been given.
As Jesus LOVED.
Not because it's earned or deserved.
Because Jesus said so.
We talk about choosing JOY.
Jesus first. Others second. Yourself last.
I am reminded today about 
by a very dear friend of mine. 
Life is going to be unfair.
It's going to be difficult at times.
We are going to face obstacles and trials.
We can choose to fall down the hill or climb the mountain.
The choice is ours to make.
And with it, the reward- 
good or bad.
What do you choose?

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34-35

"And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." Deuteronomy 6:5 


Music Monday

October 24, 2011

A big part of my relationship with Christ is praise and worship. It's often one of the most emotional parts of church service every week and many times music gets me through difficult days. It's a way for my soul to give voice to what my heart is feeling.

I officially declare Mondays to be "Music Monday" here at Calverette Chronicles. I will post several of my newest favorite songs for your listening pleasure {and mine}. I hope that you will be blessed!



October 17, 2011

My life has been very busy lately.
In a good way. 
It's been FULL!

Full of wonderful moments that I want to breathe in and etch into my forgetful mind for always.

Full of moments when I want to pull my kids into my lap and snuggle with them before they grow so big that they have to pull me into their laps instead.

Moments that I do not want to take for granted.

Moments that are full of love.
Both going out and coming in.

Moments that I am so excited to be a part of.

Full of grace. 
Oh beautiful Grace!

Full of thankfulness.

Full of inspiration.
Inspiration that is born from desperation.

Full of hope, rising from ashes.

Full of prayers for mercy.

There are moments where I am at a loss. 
A loss for words and a human inability to change painful reality.

Moments where I lose my patience.

There are moments when I need others.
And moments when others need me.

Our lives are full of moments.
We must make sure to live each moment in it's absolute fullness.
Our moments are numbered.
Let's not waste them.

I am trying so hard to keep the little things in perspective.
Spilled milk, is well, just spilled milk.

I'm not going to remember if I arrived 5 minutes late because I was following someone who was driving 15 miles below the speed limit.
But, my kids will remember if Mom was angry and intolerant.

I won't remember every little mess and mistake that my kids make.
But, my kids will remember if Mom was quick to forgive and gentle in her voice.

I won't remember going out of my way to smile at someone, or to say something nice.
But, maybe, my kindness made a difference in that person's life.

I struggle to speak lovingly to my kids ALL the time. 
I often allow my frustrations to be on display with them.
I don't consider how they interpret it.
It would destroy me if I thought that they were personalizing my shortcomings.
So, I need to make sure to be a little more careful.
A little kinder.
And keep every moment in perspective.

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galatians 5:13

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32


Let's Get Smashed!

October 14, 2011

Won't you please check out this post over at Finding the SONlight! And then go get smashed!

And here's a little lagniappe for your listening pleasure... 'cause that's the kind of girl I am. You're welcome.

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33

"The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is might; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." Zephaniah 3:17


Don't Get Me "Cranked" Up

October 12, 2011

crankyadjective- ill-tempered; grouch; cross

"Mom, why are you so cranky again?" And so begins the rant. Somebody please tell me that I'm not the only mamma who finds herself cranky more often than she'd like to be.

After telling my sweet little deaf children exactly what I expect them to do, I return to the scene of the crime to find that I was ignored, again. {Insert mild frustration.}

Then I step in what is {hopefully} some sort of super scientific sticky experiment honey. "Who had something sticky?", I ask. "Oh, I got myself some honey for my sore throat", Drake answered. And then I see it all over the counter, too. {Now, I'm starting to get more frustrated.} Can't they see when they spill something? What is it that prevents my kids from just giving the mess a quick swipe with one of my handy-dandy kitchen towels that always seems to be waiting begging to be used? {Feeling a little bit like they're taking advantage of me.}

Earlier in the day, there were NO more utensils. Not so much as a butter knife was clean. Now, I have recently had a conversation with my eldest about what to do when the dishwasher is full. There was a full on demonstration and everything. One pop quiz later and we've got a big, fat "F"- as in, Eat With Your Hands! {At this point, I am convinced that I am raising cave men.} What gives?

So, what do I do?  In the famous words of Dori: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."  So. That's what I'm going to do. Keep on swimming, oblivious to how many times I've just had the same experience. I'm gonna put on that smile and...

...and I probably should remember that I've not always been the most obedient child either. There's hope. There's always hope. And if I run out of hope, I can hire a cleaning service....

...or I can use my wit...

Mom: Don't think of it as cleaning your room, think of it as a treasure hunt and the prize is finding the floor!

What's your best advice? I'd love to hear it!

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6


Did I Just Say I'm Grateful for Wal-Mart?

October 7, 2011

Things I Am Grateful for Today...

  • a daughter who can (and loves to) make pancakes 
  • a husband who actually wants me to go to the hunting camp with him every weekend
  • the fact that said hunting camp is only 15 minutes from home.. aka I can go shopping while the boys go hunting and then drive over to eat a supper cooked over an open campfire and spend the night
  • the fact that I have a little wee one that provides a perfectly legitimate excuse for me to not have to go hunting with the boys
  • Goodwill actually has SALES! 
  • our security system which allows me to actually sleep at night knowing no one is breaking in through a window and stealing my precious kids from their beds across the house (and eventually, it will keep said kids from breaking out through the windows across the house)
  • coffee... particularly the chocolate flavored kind
  • a kid who is actually EXCITED to wear the pirate costume I just found in the back of the closet that "older brother" wore a couple of years ago
  • dancing costumes (that I paid way too much money for) that can (and will) double as halloween costumes this year for not less than one kid
  • did I already mention that Goodwill has sales? 
  • educational cartoons that are somewhat entertaining which allows me to feel just a little less guilty in the parenting department
  • the UpSideDown show only plays at night {Thank you Jesus!}
  • FALL weather
  • my church
  • portable DVD players for the car
  • older kids who can do Flash Cards with younger kids while Mom-to-pus works on other things
  • kids who are old enough to help with laundry
  • I still have at least one child who still likes me and says I'm her best friend
  • it's late enough in the year that I can actually start CHRISTmas shopping! What!?! WooHoo! Let's get this party started. Oh Yeah... ooops. Sorry about that. Really. I am.
  • I can punish my children with EXTRA CHORES! Dirty Microwave? I'm sure there's a naughty boy who can take care of that. Base Boards need some dusting? I've got a tooth brush and a sassy mouth to take care of that. (if you haven't tried this yet, you should! Hallelujah)
  • at least my 3 oldest can take care of bathroom hygiene (if you know what I mean. Nothing like hearing the sounds "Mommy! Come wipe me!" Oh yeah, you've got a visual now. You're welcome.) 
  • my husband will still compliment my cooking (I guess he's just glad that I cook and he wants to encourage me so I don't stop again. Nothing like a little unintentional "strike" to get some appreciation.)
  • technology... man, it sure makes my life so much easier most of the time. I don't think I could do chicken coops, cow patties, and vegetable fields. As shocking as this is for me to say... give me Wal-Mart any day
  • Grace 
"And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified." Acts 20:32

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work." 2Corinthians 9:8

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:11

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God," Ephesians 2:8


The Stepford Wife

October 5, 2011

I wish that every day I could sit down {in a quiet house} with a huge cup of yummy delicious coffee {that part is real, well, except for the quiet part} and write a blog post about how perfect everything is. I would tell you that our bank account is so full that I am forced to go shopping. I would tell you that on said shopping trip I found the most adorable clothes for my kids {that they all love because we share the same sense of style} and I got all these clothes for a steal of a deal! But, there was still so much money in my bank account that I had to look for clothes for me and the hubs, too! Which, yep- you guessed it! I got for a steal of a deal AND {here's the real bonus} they all make me look smoking hot! Oh, and while I was out shopping for clothes and getting great bargains, I stumbled upon the most gorgeous collection of fall inspired nail polish- wait for it- ON SALE! I would tell you how my Mommy-van {which gets excellent gas mileage} pulled into the parking lot of a home decor shop and once inside I realized that the whole store was on sale clearance {which is so much better than on sale} so I picked up some really cute items to decorate my home for fall and make it smell just like heaven! Oh, and before I left for this shopping trip someone called to beg me if they could have my kids for the day {ALL of them}! Oh. Yeah. Baby.

I would be able to tell you that on the days I am not out scoring deals on clothes and fun stuff, I am home schooling my four awesome children {okay, the four part is real, and so is the awesome part}. I would be able to tell you that I never have to remind them {after 8, 10, & 12 years} to brush their teeth EVERY day, their rooms are always clean, they never fight or argue with one another, they don't make messes when they eat, and they never procrastinate where school is concerned! I would tell you that my laundry automatically washes, drys, folds, and puts itself away while I am schooling the crew. I would not forget to mention that I have exclusive access to a little fairy who discreetly comes into my home several times a day to sweep and mop my floors. I would be able to tell you that my kids ease through their school lessons, and when they do need help, I completely understand the lesson and I'm able to explain it to them without having to teach myself the lesson first {and I'd always get it and we'd never have to wing it} before effectively explaining it to them. I would tell you that they've all memorized their math facts and they are natural born spellers. I would tell you that I've never been at the end of my rope and threatened to send any one of them back to public school via the big yellow bus that passes in front of my house at 6:15am. I would tell you that I am super confident in my parenting abilities, I never make mistakes, and my cooking is divine. I would also be able to admit that I am an awesome friend who never says the wrong thing, I am always respectful to my parents, I never let my emotions get the better of me, I know a lot about the Bible, I never sin, and I am well qualified for the Best Wife Ever award.

But, that's not my reality. I forget to pray sometimes. I lose my patience with my kids more than I'd ever like to admit. My husband and friends have had legitimate complaints about me over time. My momma should have washed my mouth out with soap more than once. I've wasted years NOT learning more from my Bible. As hard as I try to fake it, I have no clue how to do this parenting thing well. I often say the dumbest things. I have the roughest bark that I absolutely hate. I would like to give more. And as for housework, well, I do the best I can. Sometimes it's not enough and sometimes it's too much of a priority. Oh, and my gas light is always on in my Mommy-van. {I wish that weren't so close to the truth as it is.}

So. What does all of this mean? Am I just some unhappy ogre? {Dear God, please don't let anyone ever desire to use the term ogre to describe me. Amen.}  Doomed to a life of Less Than or Just Not Enough? Nope. Not at all. When I sit down to my computer each day, I am grateful if nothing else. I realize that, yes, there are some things that I don't have. But the things that I do have are of far greater importance and relevance. First and foremost, I have the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I've booked my reservations, I've got the confirmation number,  and my eternity has been paid in full. Thank you, Jesus! And I have such a wonderful family. My husband loves me. He really loves me. I didn't always know that I was worthy of being loved and for a long time I wasn't sure anyone would ever love me. But he did, even before I learned how to love myself. And from that love four beautiful, smart, interesting, loving, and amazing kids were born. I've never done anything to deserve them. Really. No one can ever tell me that they're not awesome because if you try, I will fight you to the death of one of us. I've also come into a circle of a few really good friends. Now, again, I didn't always have good friends. Actually, I've had some pretty crummy friends in my time. It took me a very {VERY} long time to be able to trust anyone in the friendship department. And I still have my reservations, but not with these girls. And even though we don't always agree, or we say some not so nice things to one another on occasion, we love each other and we do it well. And then there are all the temporary things that bless me, like safety, bills paid every month, food to eat, reliable Mommy-van, yummy candles, decent clothes {thank you GoodWill}, a nice home where my favorite people on earth lay their heads at night.

It means I am human. It means that despite all that I don't have, I will never forget what I do have. It means that even though I give it my all, sometimes I fall short. It means that if I am going to be happy I must realize who I am in Christ and forget about the world's standards.


The Door's Unlocked... Come On In!

October 2, 2011

Seasons are changing.
Fall is seeping under doors and through opened windows.
I love fall.
I welcome the energy she brings with her.
Full of Hope. 
Leaking Promise. 
Offering a fresh perspective on Life.
Something is different. 
Missing, almost. 

I'm busier than I ever remember being before. My calendar is riddled with appointments and schedules. I feel like I'm being robbed of the opportunity to breathe in the joy of just living. Even though I've said "yes" to things that I want to do and are important to me. 

My life is being rocked. Hard. My eyes are opened to so much struggle around me. There are several people that I know who are fighting like mad for their very lives and the lives of those they love dearly. Hitting close enough to home to leave my heart tender and raw. 

The devil is working overtime to attack me. Using my most precious relationships to break me. But you know what?  I am taking a stand against him. I've read the end of the book and I know Who wins! 

Today I make a decision.
I'm choosing to spend time with an old friend.
To enjoy her company.
Welcome Fall!
How I've missed you.
Come on in. 
Let's sit a while and share a cup of coffee
Let's take the kids outside for lunch.
Let's recognize the Joy found in the things that keep me so busy right now.
Let's take a walk. Slowly.
Let's pray together often enough that the devil gets sick of hearing it!
Let's find energy in the earth and the beauty of God's creation.
Let's not forget that God is still God, no matter how hard life tries to make me forget it.
Let's work on fewer commitments and more adventures.
Let's remember to smile.
And breathe.
And Love.

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1Corinthians 10:13

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world." John 16:33

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." Psalm 27:14