My good friend, Chris, shared a funny little message with me the other day. It said, “If you feel the urge to slap someone, just go ahead and do it and holler, ‘Mosquito!’” As cruel as that kinda sounds, it made me laugh since it hits so close to home here in
South Texas…in the sweltering summer heat...with mosquitoes buzzing around anxiously waiting to pounce on their next unsuspecting victim.
For over a week now, I’ve spent an hour and a half by a swimming pool each day. Oh – boo hoo – that sounds so tough, right? Well, it’s rough because I’m literally BESIDE the pool. Not IN the pool. Not even CLOSE to getting my toes wet. I’m sitting NEAR a pool, with sweat rolling down my back and legs in a sauna-type atmosphere waiting for my little ones while they take swimming lessons.
Moms are so unselfish, aren’t they? I mean, who else would sit and wait BY a pool, splashing their bottled water all over themselves to stay somewhat comfortable while patiently waiting for their children. I see the mommies come day after day and sit and wait and sweat. I love moms. I just do. Many, MANY (most) times, they put their children’s needs before theirs.
No names here, but one of my friends admitted something the other day. She told me that she took her kids to the neighborhood pool one afternoon. She put their suits on, slathered them up with sunscreen, grabbed their towels, and packed plenty of drinks and enough snacks for the whole neighborhood…only to realize that SHE herself did NOT have a bathing suit on once she arrived at the pool. Who does that? A mom who puts her kids first – that’s WHO! (I won’t tell you her name because it’s possible she would try to get off easy with the ole mosquito slap trick and the joke would certainly be on me!)
It’s so interesting how we women transform once we become moms. We become so-and-so’s mommy. Sometimes we lose who WE are and sometimes that works against us. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for our roles as wife, mommy AND woman. But, if we find that thing that still makes us – us – then I think we can be better moms and wives.
Sometimes, I try to think about the stuff that I loved to do before hubby and the kiddos. Honestly, it’s hard to recall because my roles of mommy, wife and woman have truly become so intertwined that it’s hard to separate. But, I have recently found my “me” thing in writing and I'm loving it. It’s just the thing that I needed to call my own.
Maybe you like to garden, scrapbook, exercise, blog, read, do puzzles, shop, cook, fish, paint or sew? Be sure to find that little thing that makes you – you – and make time for it. Your children watch you carefully and truly love to see you happy. They will appreciate your extra patience once you have found a few moments of YOU.
My five-year-old daughter asked me a profound question the other day after she sensed exasperation in my voice. It was right after I cleaned up the bathroom because of a toilet that overflowed (Don’t use so much toilet paper…for the hundredth time…). She asked, “Mommy, is it hard having kids?” I said, “You know, honestly, it is. I can be driven to the limits of crazy in one moment and realize in the next, that I never knew I could love so much and so deeply.”
She paused for a long time. I’m thinking she is soaking it all in and really understands me. Wonderful. She gets me. Then, she says, “I don’t get it.” Of course she doesn’t. And, she won’t…until she has children of her own one day.
I need my children just as much as they need me. The other night, my husband was away on a fishing trip with our son and it was just us girls. I let them eat popcorn for supper, take a bubble bath in the garden tub with a ridiculous amount of water and we stayed up too late.
When it was time to crawl into bed, I asked my five-year-old if she wanted to sleep in mommy’s bed. She saw right through me. She said, “You want me to sleep in your bed because you are just used to having daddy beside you.” I’m thinking she’s WAAAY too intuitive at this point. Here I was acting like I was all tough, trying to do HER a favor in case she was scared. But, the answer was, “Yes, I’d love to have you beside me.”
There is a beautiful quote in one of my inspirational books about God needing us. I have to admit that I rarely think about how God NEEDS US because I’m always thinking about how I NEED HIM. Here is the thought-provoking message that I love:
“Think of me as a friend, but realize the wonder of the friendship; what I can do for you, yes, but also what WE can do for each other. Your service becomes so different when you feel that I count on your great friendship to do this or that for Me. Dwell more and dwell much on the thought of you as my friend and of the sweetness of MY knowing where I can turn for love, for understanding, for help.”
I need prayers. Who doesn’t? But, what I’m referring to are the “I need” prayers. You know the prayers I’m talking about – I need a better job, I need a favor, I need a new house, I need a new car, I need money, I need you to heal my friend, I need you to watch over my family, I need…
My Uncle Erol always sends me great e-mails with wonderful messages that I NEED to hear. Here is one about what happens in heaven when we pray:
I dreamed I went to Heaven and my angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side into a large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, “This is the Receiving Department. All petitions asked of God in prayer are received here.”
I looked around and it was terribly busy with many angels sorting out written petitions from people all over the world. We moved down a long corridor until we reached the second section. “This is the Packaging and Delivery Department. Graces and blessings that the people asked for are processed and delivered to those asking for them,” said the angel.
I noticed how busy it was in this area, too. There were many angels working hard since so many blessings were requested and delivered to Earth each day. Finally, we reached the end of the corridor and we stopped at the door of a very small room.
To my great surprise, only one angel was there, sitting idly. My angel quietly admitted, “This is the Acknowledgement Department.” My angel seemed embarrassed, so I asked him why there wasn’t any work going on.
The angel sighed. “It’s so sad really. After people receive the blessings they ask for, very few send back an acknowledgement.” I asked, “How does one acknowledge God’s blessings?” The angel answered, “It’s simple. Just say, ‘Thank you, Lord.’”