Saturday, October 27, 2007

Single parenting this weekend

Todd left last night to help out on a youth retreat so while he is hanging with teens, I am alone hanging out with our kids. After Todd got on his way, the kids and I got our costumes on and went over to their elementary school for the annual "Monster Mash". I wasn't thrilled about it, but it ended up being a really fun time for the kids. As we lined up to get our tickets in, I took note that I was the ONLY parent in a costume. I hate to stand out and with my "bar maid" dress and messy hair I did catch glances my way. As we entered, I thought that at least the mom's that organized would be in the Halloween spirit, I made a point at the moment to make the best of it. Besides I found 5 or so more parents eventually who were dressed up. :)

The party was set up so that each class room had an activity or game and a prize for completing it. There were carnival style games, crafts, a haunted room and even a large blow up bouncer. They had a magician who was very entertaining, but many of the kids got a little antsy when i ran over 45 minutes. The funniest part of the night was when we went into the "fortune teller" room. I have to be honest, I hesitated to let the kids in, but realizing it was probably all in fun we went in. I laughed as soon as I saw the two high school students who were "performing". My first comment was " Somehow I can't see taking " Minnie Mouse" as a serious fortune teller". The students were goofy and fun and told the kids what they would be for Halloween (pretty easy to guess when they were WEARING their costumes!).

Though I miss Todd so much when he leaves for the weekend, I have had a great time with Hannah and Caleb. Today, Hannah and I worked together on a school project and then the three of us put together a shoe box Haunted House for Caleb to take to school. We even had time to do a devotional together.

When I am forced to devote all my time on my kids I realize just how much I treasure them. Just as long as Todd returns by Sunday night! LOL

Thursday, October 18, 2007

We're back

"Hi, Caleb, we are leaving Nana and Papa's house right now and will be home around 8:30."
"Okay, he-he,"
"Can you tell Grandma?"
"Yes" Giggling erupts.
"Caleb, what is so funny?"
"Cause you got us something!"

Thus is the conversation that greeted me as we drove our final stretch of our long return home on Monday night.

We spent a relaxing, refreshing week aboard the Pacific Catalyst exploring the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington. Todd and I traveled with 8 friends of ours that we meet on YMX a forum for youth workers and ministers. Two of our friends, Bill and Shannon owned the boat that took us on our adventure. And what an adventure it was!

We hiked up trails and hills, kayaked the bays and went on long boat rides searching for sea life. I have not laughed so hard, felt so free or experienced anything like that before last week. Each turn around the corner brought such breath-taking beauty and amazing appreciation for the wonders God created. To think that much of those lands are rarely experienced by the outside world was unbelievable. We watched a seal fighting with sea gulls as he tried to consume his fish. We laughed in amazement as three porpoises danced in and out of the current in the front of the boat. They were so close, it felt as if we could have touched them. We sat and observed the mighty eagle soar above us or sit regally in a tree as we passed. We discovered dozens of trees that had been knocked over by the wind, taken over by fungus and new growth or just towering above us. We listened to the ocean lap over the rocks and shore and the quiet serenity of the waves as they splashed the sides of the boat.
We were feed till our stomachs could not hold anymore, sang silly songs and then songs reflecting God's beauty we beheld. We shared stories of fond memories, silly teenage loves and our deep-felt heartaches. We built friendships I will treasure for a long time.

Upon arriving back in Sidney, BC to catch the first leg of our trip back, I was content and ready to return home. It was a longer trip back then planned, but after our flight canceled, spending one extra night in a hotel and arriving three flights later, I looked upon the picture Todd had captured his last morning on the boat and the peace I had gained while there returned.
I am so thankful for the gift Bill and Shannon gave us. I hope they are blessed many times over for their hospitality and overwhelming generosity.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The shotgun needs to come out

Our daughter, Hannah recently turned 10. She is still young and innocent in spirit, but her body has been trying to race her to teen hood faster then we'd like. She stands over 5 ft tall and recently discovered she now wears the same size shoe as me. Thats a little strange to get use to!

On Saturday, she was invited to a birthday party at "Max Play" a place where they have anything from rollerskating to laser tag to whirly ball... you get the picture. The birthday girl's parents own the fun center so the girls could do just about anything they wanted. They even had a company there who did the girls hair and make-up, let them pick our fashions, then created a run-way show just for them. It was every girl's dream!

When Hannah came home, she told me she had a secret that she didn't want to say around the "boys" (mainly Dad and Caleb). When she was waiting in line for skates, a boy around 12 or so came up to her and asked her if she wanted to play laser tag with he and his friend! Hannah sweetly told him she was there for a birthday party and the boy went on his way.

As a mom, I thought the story was cute and didn't surprise me that a boy would think she was older then what she is. Plus, she IS cute after all! As a FATHER, however, Todd had a different take.
After Hannah went to bed I told Todd about the encounter. He stared straight at the T.V. and slowly his lip curled up over his top teeth. He looked like a pit bull about to take on an opponent. He sat that way for quite a while and finally uttered, "I'm not ready for this".

Jokingly, I told him maybe its time to take out the shotgun. he agreed, but somehow I don' think he felt quite as humorous. LOL

Monday, October 01, 2007


I find that lately I am surrounded with the act of waiting. I think it has always existed, however, in the last 2 1/2 years it has really begun to illuminate over all other things. There are times when the thoughts that we are still waiting on God to move don't even cross my mind. Other days, such as Sundays, I am constantly reminded that there is a void in our lives.

For so many years it was I who drove separately from Todd because he had to be at church much earlier. There were many nights when I waited for him to get home after he spent a long evening with teens and adult volunteers. I remember sacrificing my involvement in activities because it would involve leaving the kids too many nights with a sitter or make it difficult for our family in some way. I always wanted Todd to feel free to minister in the church even though it meant a few sacrifices along the way.

Now, we have reversed roles it seems.

I am the one who has to be at church early in the wee hours of the morning and he is the one staying back and making sure the kids are dressed and ready. There are many nights during the month that I am at church for a rehearsal. Most recently, Todd sacrificed being able to attend a special worship service so I could go and help out (there wasn't child care). Though I am deeply grateful that God has allowed me to be so involved in the ministries I love, I am also heartbroken. I have pleaded with Him on several occasions to take all the favor He has given me and release Todd back into ministry. It is a struggle we both face and it feels sometimes like it is choking the faith out of us. I want to believe that God has a plan and reason for keeping us waiting, but I also grow weary with the long road before us.

Then there are times when I remember so many others who are waiting.

Today, I saw a friend of ours jogging who is still waiting for God to send him to China. He and his family gave up everything last year, a home, a job and the comforts of being with family and it appears that God is not quite done with the preparations. My grandmother, who has been like a mother to my cousin, waits for him to get home from his second deployment to Iraq. A woman I knew from school is waiting today to see if her dad will pass away as they take him off the ventilator. My heart breaks when I think of my dear friend, Stephanie, who just finished radiation therapy and is waiting to regain her strength and health again. She lost her job, her apartment and even friends when cancer took over her body a little over 6 months ago.

I wish there was a word of comfort in all of this, but my only hope is that God is in control and He won't forget us. That I won't let my doubts and frustration turn into bitterness but that this time of pressing will strip all that I should not be and release all that He wants me to be. That in the end of the race, I will be fashioned into the vessel He had designed all along and that I won't fight each painful moment but embrace it.