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From Dump House to Redeemed House with Slideshow

It has been three official years of us working on the house purchased at the end of 2015.

This house journey began by us picking up the siding off the road and putting it back on before we could have an inspection.  We had to replace the deck before the appraisal was approved. Once the house was purchased, it was a knock down, drag out every wall but 8 small ones in three years. Finally, we are getting to the closing point of the house itself.

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This Mama’s Serenity Prayer

We all know the beginning of the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

(See entire Prayer at end of blog)

Well, my oldest child helped me create a new one this year. It was a beautiful spring morning. My son must have been in an extra creative mood because he spent the morning expressing his creativity in multiple ways.

The first way was through paint. I was building his fire station toy box and wanted his help painting it red. No problem. He came right over, grabbed a brush and went to town painting the boards…and every cat that walked by his area. By the time I took the brush away, every cat had thick red paint on various portions of their fur. Brian’s comment was, “They all look mauled!” I just laughed. Yes, they all did because out of all the colors of the rainbow and beyond that we have used on this house, Brandon chose red to paint the cats.

The second was through pencil. As I was cleaning up the paint outside, Brandon took to decorating the walls and cabinets throughout the upstairs of the house. Not just one wall or cabinet, but everyone that he could touch from the kitchen to the bedrooms were marked with long lines of pencil. He was so proud of himself, walking me through the house and showing me all the wonderful designs that had taken over my newly painted white walls and cabinets.

At this point, I realized, okay, the kid needs a healthy outlet today for this creativity. “Here, Brandon have some washable paint and a few pieces of paper.” As he sat at the table painting-with his back to us, Brian and I stood a few feet away talking about cleaning up the other messes. Of course, as our attention was to cleaning and Brandon’s was to painting, he turned around and said, “Look Mommy, I have a beard!” Sure enough, there was a very green painted face.

I surrendered right then and there. There was no stopping this kid this day. Everything was a blank canvas and masterpiece: cats, walls, cabinets, faces.

It was during his bath (after he got all the painting out of his system) that I began praying my Mama’s Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept that my child painted the cats, drew on every wall and cabinet, and painted his face and hair in a matter of two hours.

God help me to be thankful for the cats who will lick the paint off their own fur and clean up that mess without my help;
To appreciate the people who created Magic Erasers, which will easily remove all the pencil marks from my walls and cabinets;
To be grateful to the inventors of washable paint and modern day plumbing and tubs that will assist in easily cleaning my child’s very green face and hair;
And to see the blessing in this beautiful, creative child that you made and gifted me to mother.
Amen.

Yes, I have children. Only for a short while do I have these wonderful children. I am a mama who believes in messes. Messes do have a place that encourages creativity. Some are worth it, others not so much (painting cats). However, each mess that my four-year-old makes typically has meaning behind it in his eyes. I love seeing the creativity in Brandon grow and expand. I don’t want to do much to stunt his imagination. Sometimes it calls for messes. Sometimes, I have to accept that my child is being messy to learn something or present something in his language. Sometimes, redirection is needed.

I was the messy one when I was a child. I played in the dirt, made the mud pies, helped with the flower beds, spilled the flour all over the counter, dug up worms and bugs and many other things. It has continued with me into adulthood, especially when baking. I was the messiest restaurant employee for most of my food career. I love painting, drawing, coloring and expressing myself through art just like my son. I, too, drew all over the walls of my room when I was a kid (I was learning calendar in school, why not keep track of yellow sunny days and grey cloudy days on my wall, too.)

I feel like appropriate messes are part of a child’s job. Live in the moment because really what’s the worst thing I, as mom, have to do? Clean it up. Big whoop. Let the kid play, have fun, create, engage, imagine. Clean up is easy. Learning imagination when you’re older, hard to come by. Teach it early. Let it be expressed appropriately to the fullest and engage it. You never know what that creative, expressive mess will come to when the kid is looking for a job. You never know what God is molding and planting in that little, big brain. And we are in a day of age, where pick up after expression is so easy, why stress the small stuff?

If you have a mess you need advice on cleaning, let me know. I probably have a quick solution for you. I could write many stories for clean up I have learned in the past several years.

Serenity Prayer (written by: Reinhold Niebuhr)
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Amen.

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Finding Forgiveness and Love in Linkin Park? Part 2

Last week, I started my blog on the song “Leave out all the Rest” by Linkin Park.  If you haven’t read it, take a step back and read it first.  Starting from left off point… The third thought I pull from this song is at the start, the very first verse, ‘I dreamed I was missing. You were so scared, but no one would listen 'cause no one else cared. After my dreaming, I woke with this fear, what am I leaving when I'm done here?’  

I remember very clearly two years ago (2016) around the beginning of March, I had this crazy, real-feeling dream. 

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Finding Forgiveness and Love in Linkin Park? Part 1

I occasionally listen to Linkin Park’s music. I know, surprising to hear that from me.  I have been a fan of their music since I was introduced to it in 2001.  Regardless of feelings on this band, their music has gotten me through some moments in life and has provided good means of memories at other moments. 

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Snow Flowers

It was the week of Easter (2018), and I was outside taking pictures of snow flakes, a new hobby of mine. As I was taking pictures and enjoying the different flakes, I began thinking about the upcoming weekend and the true reason for the season.  Easter is the weekend we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. It the weekend we remember that He died on the cross for our sins so that we may enjoy eternity with Him, forever.

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Finding Hope in My Grief (part 2b)

(This post picks up exactly where the previous post ended)  I told Brian that I wanted to name our children.  I know that we don’t know if they are girls, boys, or one of each, but each month I had a mommy sense of what I would be carrying, I went on that for naming my children (I have been right with both my known boys, too).  I also believe that it doesn’t matter necessarily what I name them because God gave them new names in Heaven, along with those new spiritual bodies. (Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.  And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. (NKJV)) 

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Finding Hope in My Grief (part 2a)

In one sentence, Brian I have two children who are now our brothers and/or sisters in Heaven with Jesus.  That’s how I have to grieve.  I have to grieve with hope.  I believe that our babies, that we never got to meet or even really connect with here on earth, are in the precious sight of Jesus Christ right now.  They are enjoying a heavenly life that I only get to imagine.  Not only that, they are no longer my children, they are truly God’s children and my siblings in Him.  I have a wait for them, but they have no wait for me.  They are focused on Jesus and that which is being prepared for all Christ’s saints.  They each have a home in heaven that God prepared for them before I get to see mine.  My kiddos are in the best hands any parent could ask for.

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