Archive for January, 2009

Why Do I Even Try?

That’s a question I’ve asked myself a lot lately.  Like when I try to set a goal to blog at least 3 times a week…and then Scott and the baby get sick for a week!  Scott says I set unrealistic goals for myself.  He’s probably right, but I’ll never admit it!

The other day I asked myself the same question again.  Only this time it was after trying to help my 15 year old son with his school/homework/organization.  We’ve been taking him to counseling where he came up with a plan to help him be more organized (so he will actually turn in his homework).  But he hasn’t followed through at all.  

At fifteen, I kind of feel like I shouldn’t force him to follow through with this, but at the same time, as his mom, I feel I need to push him when he doesn’t want to push himself.  I struggle in knowing where to draw the line.  I could make him do this, but if he doesn’t want to, he is going to make it stressful and painful, and to be honest, I don’t have the time or emotional energy to deal with his resistance on a day to day basis.  (Especially when I have 5 other children to take care of).  But I know he will be graduating in 2 1/2 years and if he doesn’t get this now, there is no way he’ll make it through college.  So, I’m crossing the line and holding him accountable for the commitment he made to his counselor and himself to be more organized so he doesn’t keep losing and forgetting his homework.

So Monday evening when I  told him to bring his homework folder down to me so I could compare it with his agenda, he instead brought me a torn sheet of paper with an outline on it.  I was already frustrated that he ran upstairs and scribbled down some assignments on his agenda before brining it to me.  That meant he still isn’t writing down the assignments as he’s getting them in class.  I also later realized he never brought me his actual homework folder – the one folder he should take to all his classes.  That’s because he “left it in his locker”  (which means he wasn’t taking it to his classes!)  But the torn paper?  Was he really going to turn that in?  

“Dwight, this is unacceptable.  You can’t turn in your homework looking like this.”

“Mom, it’s not homework.  She’s just going to check to see if we did it.” 

“Then it is homework, Dwight.”

“Mom, she’s not going to take off points for a torn paper,”  He argued.

So I explained to Dwight why it was unacceptable.  Even if she didn’t take points off for presentation, what kind of an impression was he leaving?  “Dwight, this paper is a reflection of who you are.  Is this the kind of impression you want to make?” 

And he laughed. 

At first I thought it was just the autism.  He didn’t get it.  So I continued to explain to him.  “Dwight, the bible tells us to do our best, as unto the Lord.  Do you think your teacher is going to look at this and think you did your best…for the Lord?”

“Mom, it’s not who I am…”  He argued.

“But what do you think your teacher is going to think when she sees your paper?  Dwight, I would have never turned in a paper like this!  How hard is it to just grab a new sheet before even starting on it?  Dwight, this kind of effort is the difference between an honor student, and a struggling student…”

Dwight continued to smirk, laugh, disagree, argue, and try to explain his way out of simply pulling out a clean sheet of paper and copying his outline down neatly.

“I’ll just tell my teacher I’m sorry.”  He said.

So I tried again, thinking he just obviously doesn’t get it.  It’s the whole social handicap thing he’s got going on.  “Sorry, Teacher.  The paper is torn.  You understand, right?  Sorry!” 

I tried to explain his teacher’s point of view, until he said, “Mom, it’s a waste of my time to copy this again.” 
And then I realized he just truly didn’t care.  He didn’t want to put any more time or effort into that paper or class and he just wasn’t going to.  This arguement was a waste of MY time! 

And I gave up.  “Fine Dwight.  You do what you’re going to do then.  I’m not going to argue with you any more.”

As he headed upstairs, I fought back the tears.  Why do I even try with him? 

“Why, God?”  I asked.

And then I wondered if God ever feels that way about us…about me. 

When I am being stubborn and refuse to look at the truth He is trying to show me, why does He even try?

Why doesn’t He give up?

And His answer? 

Because He loves us. 

He loves me. 

He loves you.

He sees the potential in us, the beauty He created and He holds on.   He perseveres until WE finally one day get it.  And when we do get it, isn’t that when we are eternally grateful He didn’t throw His hands in the air and walk away?  Isn’t that when we fall deeply in love with our creator? 

Because how could someone love us so unconditionally for so long? 

How could someone wait patiently for us to come around when we insist on doint things our way? 

Aghhhhh.  Who am I to give up?  I can’t.  God should have thrown in the towel on me years ago.  But He holds on, He keeps pushing me when I don’t want to push myself.  He crosses the line until I get it right.  So I’ll keep trying.   And I’ll keep learning these awesome lessons that make me a better person through parenting my obnoxious and difficult teenage son!  (Come on now,  you can laugh at that one!)

God, please fill me up with Your everlasting love – Your unconditional love – not only because I need it, but most importantly so that I can share it with those who need it most.  Amen!

1 Corinthians 13

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Read Full Post »

When Joshua was just a baby, I started going through a very trying time in regards to my faith.  I questioned whether God was real and as a result of that question, I fumbled through a hundred more questions that I could not answer.  The funny thing is, I never stopped to question whether or not Satan was real.  I’d survived some serious hardships as a child and teen, and I saw and experienced terrible things on a spiritual level.  Even though God brought me through all of that, I still had to stop and ask, “What if?”  What if all the things that have happened in my life happened by mere coincidence? 

I think a lot of it started after I had Joshua.  I was struggling with post-partum depression (even though I didn’t realize it at the time).  9/11 happened and that just sent me spiraling downward.  I remember looking at my 2 month old baby and wondered why I even brought him into this evil world. 

Joshua was a healthy baby, but as time progressed he started getting ear infections.  The doctor would prescribe him antibiotics and a couple months later I’d be back in the office.  By the time he was around 18 months old, the doctors decided he probably needed ear tubes. 

The thought of my baby having to go through any sort of surgery terrified me.  At that point, I’d decided God had to be real, but I still felt alone.  I remember praying and begging for God to heal my baby so he wouldn’t have to go through the surgery.  I claimed his healing and spoke in faith.  I believed that God was going to heal my baby. 

But when we took Joshua in for one final appointment to check on his ears, I was told that he wasn’t improving and they scheduled him in for surgery.  What was worse was my husband wasn’t even going to be able to be there when it happened.  I had to do this all by myself.  I remember talking to a Christian mentor, a woman I worked very closely with at our church in several ministries.  I cried and told her that I didn’t understand why God wouldn’t heal my son.  I had faith.  I believed.  I did everything I was supposed to do and yet here he was being scheduled for surgery.  I felt rejected and ignored.  It made me wonder again, if God was real.  If God was real, why wouldn’t he just heal my son?

I knew my son didn’t have a life-threatening illness, but to me, I felt like God should have healed him anyway.  I prayed, had faith, and claimed his healing.  Why didn’t it work?  Either God was ignoring me, or He wasn’t real.  That was my conclusion. 

So I took my son in and teared up as we got him on the operating table.  This precious little boy waved bye-bye as the doctors wheeled him away into the operating room.  I was thankful he went so willingly.  I walked the long way back to the waiting room and sat down.  Dwight was sitting next to me playing cheerfully on his game boy.  I looked at my book and ignored it.  Instead I closed my eyes and prayed for my son to be okay. 

It wasn’t 5 minutes later and the doctor walked into the room.  “We’re done.”  He said, and brought me into the recovery room where I gave my drowsy son apple juice and marveled at how fast the surgery really was.  The nurse kept an eye on him for about 45 minutes and then he was released.  Joshua didn’t suffer another ear infection again until he was 7 years old!  (He was prescribed antibiotics and has been fine since). 

Going through that whole ordeal, I realize now just how depressed I was.  It never occurred to me that I was suffering from post-partum depression until I was pregnant with Madison.  But even after I was finally able to pull myself out of my dramatic little pit of despair, I’ve still wondered why God didn’t just answer my prayers.  Why didn’t He heal Joshua so that he I didn’t have to go through the stress of that surgery?

Over the years, I have grown stronger in my faith, but I’ve still wondered why things happened the way they did.  I mean, I believed.  I had faith the size of a mustard seed.  That was all that was required of me, right?  

It hit me the other day when a friend asked for advice on how to help her little girl recover from an ear infection.  Suddenly I thought about all the families out there who couldn’t afford to take their kids to the doctor or who didn’t have health insurance to get their children the surgeries they needed.  Then that still, small voice whispered to my heart.  “You didn’t need the miracle, Melissa.  She did.”  

It still makes me want to cry when I think about it.  In the midst of my prayers, desperate pleading, demanding, and instruction on how I wanted things handled, My God provided for all my needs.  He always has.  And even when I thought He was ignoring my prayers, (rejecting me is how I truly saw it!),  He provided in a way different than I expected or even wanted.  I was too busy wallowing in doubt and depression that I didn’t even see it.  It’s amazing that it has taken so long for me to see the truth.  But isn’t it funny that I saw the truth once I took my eyes off myself?  No, there was no miraculous and instant healing, but He did provide for me and my son.   

And I have been truly humbled over the last week as God finally revealed a glimpse of himself to me.  Being the control freak that I am, it scares me to death to say this, but I suppose I should take a step back and let God be God.  He does a way better job of taking care of things than I ever could!

Read Full Post »

The sun is shining.  The streets are clear.  But school has been canceled.


Get this.

Because it is too cold!

Read Full Post »

Scary Moment

I just  had one of those scary moments followed by minutes that seemed like hours passing by.  I was waiting for an answer and as I waited, my mind tried to wonder to a thousand different dark places nobody would dream of going.  This happened right after Joshua burst through the door and said, “Where’s Kelly?!?!”

“She wasn’t on the bus?”  I asked, alarmed. 


I called Dwight and he ran out to the bus stop to see if any of the parents might have seen her get off the bus while I dashed for the phone and called the school.  I got the receptionist 10 minutes before the school’s official hours were closed for the day.  Thank God she answered.

And then I told her that Kelly did not come home and her brother who rides the same bus didn’t see her on the bus. 

She put me on hold to see if she was still at the school.  No luck.

She put me on hold again only after letting me know she didn’t forget about me, she was just waiting for more answers.

And while I was on hold, my mind continued to wonder where she could be.  I wondered if she ever really payed any attention to my warnings of strangers.  It wasn’t that long ago when she got into a “friend’s” car and her brothers and I were frantically searching for her as she sat in the car with her little girlfriend.  Her friend’s dad ended up driving her home just as I opened the front door to start searching for her again.  Boy did she get in trouble for that one!

Dwight came back home as I continued to wait and told me that nobody saw her get off the bus. 

Would she?  Would she get in a stranger’s car or did she get on the wrong bus and end up in the wrong neighborhood?Would she have left with someone at the school if they approached her with something enticing?  Could she be with some sort of evil kidnapper just waiting for her fate to be handed to her as we passed around flyers with her picture on it?  I’d just taken her picture today.  Would it be the last one?   

“No.  Stop thinking.”  I told myself.  “Everything is going to be okay.  I can feel it.”

“Okay, we found her.”  The receptionist’s relieved voice broke my train of thought.  “She IS on the bus, she just never got off.”

“Oh, thank God!”  I exhaled.  I could now stop struggling to regain control of my thoughts. 

“I know you were scared.  She’s not even my kid and I was scared!”  The receptionist confessed.  “The bus driver will bring her home, but it will be another 20 minutes before they get here.”

“Oh, thank you so much for helping me.  I wasn’t sure who I should call!”

I hung up my phone and started this post as I waited for my daughter to return home.  Dwight was kind enough to put on his winter gear and walk the 5 houses down to the end of the street to get her.

Kelly actually  just came through the door.

“Why didn’t you get off the bus?”  I asked.

“Because I fell asleep!”  She answered.  “And nobody woke me up!” 

The look on her face told me she was scared too.  I hugged her and let her know I was glad she was home. 

I told her we were worried about her and she said, “I didn’t even get in someone’s car!” 

I sent her to the table for her snack and smiled in relief.  I guess she listens to my words of caution after all.

Read Full Post »

Change of Goals

Why did I specify which days I was going to try to blog?  Maybe I should just change my goal to 3x a week.

I took America to the doctor yesterday.  She was on the verge of an ear infection and the doctor prescribed her some antibiotics.  That was a good call on her part!  I’d already told the doctor that I almost didn’t take her in because she was acting better (of course it was AFTER I scheduled the appointment that morning!).  She said America was just on the verge of an infection and she was afraid if she didn’t prescribe America something, I’d be coming back the next day.  So she decided to go ahead and treat it and I believe she was right.  America woke up this morning with swollen eye and more goo stuff coming out of them!  I could tell her ear was bothering her because she started tugging at it again.  I’m so glad she is on the antibiotics! 

Overall she was behaving much better today.  In fact, she reached another milestone.  Today she started clapping and tried her best to say, “Yay!”  (I swear it!)


I know…a little excessive on the pics, but I didn’t even post half of them.  She was just too cute!  Plus, I finally got my new camera – a Nikon D40 digital SLR and I’m learning how to use it.  (A late Christmas present – got a GREAT deal off ebay).  Now I’m lusting after a better, much more expensive lense.  Ha ha! 

Too bad Scott and I signed up for the Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey) class at our church.  *sigh*  No, really I’m quite excited about it, but change is never fun, (nor is learning to be more disciplined with spending)!  My conscience is really setting me straight on so much when it comes to my spending habits now that we’ve started this class.  But it’s going to be good for us to get our finances under control and finally pay off debt!  (Just another goal to add to my New Year Resolution!)

Read Full Post »

End It With This

Scott and I have a secret little game we like to play when we open up our fortune cookies. Sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes it’s downright hilarious.

We always end our fortunes with two more words – in bed. So for example, Friday night Scott’s fortune said:

“People find it difficult to resist your persuasive manner (in bed).”

Mine said:
“The only way to have a friend is to be one (in bed).”

Here’s another:
“The current year will bring you much happiness (in bed).”

And another:
“You will be unusually successful in business (in bed).”

See? Totally fun, but totally NOT for kids! ;)~

Read Full Post »


I got a few good laughs yesterday and just had to share. 

1.  I saw hubby whack his face into his car door.  It knocked his hat sideways and everything.  You know I had to open the door and yell, “I saw that!”  It was so cute.  Kind of reminded me of our so-called “first date” when he walked right into a pole at Applebees. 

2.  Scott and I went out to pick up some Chinese and rent some movies last night when Joshua called. 

“Mom, Dwight is being mean to me.  He’s yelling at me and he cussed at Patrick.”

“What did he say to Patrick?”  I asked.

Josua paused and then asked…”Ummmm, am I aloud to say it?” 

“Yes, Joshua, for the sake of telling me, you can say it this one time.”

“He said, ‘Shut the heck up.'”

“Let me talk to Patrick, okay, Joshua?”

Patrick gets on the phone and I ask, “What’s going on, Patrick?”

“Well, Dwight got ahold of the Sharpie and colored all over his face.  He was trying to draw a beard and moustache and now he can’t get it off.” 

(Control yourself, Melissa.  Don’t laugh yet). 

“Okaaaaaay, but Joshua is calling and saying Dwight is being mean.  Is that true?’

“Well, kinda.  He yelled at Joshua, but now he just went to his room and said he’s not going to clean anymore because he thinks he’s in trouble now.” 

(We told the boys to clean up and we’d play a game when we got home).

So we get home and Scott is asking Dwight what is going on.  They get to the end of their conversation and Scott asks me what I think.  “I just want to know why Dwight thought he was in trouble if he didn’t do anything wrong.”  I said. 

Dwight was at the sink doing dishes and Scott told him to answer my question.  And when he looked up at me and started talking, I didn’t hear a word he said.  I was to busy trying to contain myself.    But it was no use.  “Pfffffffffft!  ha ha ha haha ha!” 

I saw faded marker all over his chin and under his nose.  His skin was red from all the scrubbing he did while we were gone.  And then, do you know what he asks me just a few minutes later?

“Mom, which color do you think looks better on me?  Black or red?” 

I stopped and looked at his face.  “Ummmmmmmm…it’s really hard to say right now.  (Giggle) I guess I’ll go with the black!”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »