Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Brain Overload....

Am I the only one whose brain shuts down protectively when there's just too much over load??

When I get stressed, I need to blow off steam for just a moment and then I'm able to cope. I really want to be able to blow steam out of my ears like the cartoon characters do when they get heated. 

Or the scene in "Real Genius" that takes place during finals week. The scene is of a study group, all in various poses with various books. One young man has had ENOUGH. He just starts to scream. He looks at several others and screams at them before running away. Another student takes his vacated seat as if frying brain circuits was normal. And in the movie school, it probably was. 

That's me. When I get into overload, there are several things I want to do.

Hide. That's a huge one. I can hide in a book. I can hide in a nap. I can hide in a Facebook. I can Hide in a video game, if I've got one. (mostly I game vicariously through the Professor's gaming)  I can hide in the plot of a work in progress. 

Lately, I've wanted to run screaming through the house, "Too many plot points and not enough brain!"

Or hide from the kids because they're all in a serious stage of bickering with each other. 

Then there's the fact that summer is coming. Do I enroll the kids in swim lessons?
Or not? We're no where near where I wanted to be in school work for this time of the year. Must be that hiding (hey, I'm honest). There's also the many times we weren't home. Or were sick. Or just not interested in school. 

Then there's the constant struggle to get (and keep) G-man on task.

The professor had such a bad day at work yesterday that he ground his teeth until one broke. 

Then there's all the other daily stuff. 

Kids outgrowing clothes.
House work.

Drama that happens at unscheduled moments. Seriously. I wish I had the schedule for that so I could plan the drama into my imaginary schedule. 

All that to say, I'm having a day of brain overload. 

It'll all work out okay - because ... well because it will. I still believe in God and He promised. 

Speaking of Him. 
I can't discount that he's been talking. Being easily amused, I'm glad that he talks to me in a way that I know it's Him and brings me amusement. 

I woke up one day, with an overloaded brain to the lyric, "All things are going to happen naturally"

From the Jason Mraz song ... That's all. 

So being me, I listened to the entire song. 
The entire song matters not - that one single lyric from the song was for me. 
It was my God kiss. 

I like the song - so that was an added bonus. 

But with brain overload, it has become my mantra, after a fashion. 

All things will happen naturally. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I don't suck...

As a mom, it's a constant struggle to not look on the failures of my children and not take them on as my own. Failures like:

-- lacking the maturity to realize that if books fall on your brother's head from the height of a door frame (no matter how innocent the prank) His head will hurt and he will scream and you will get in trouble.

-- Bickering.

-- If you start wrestling with your brothers, and you are a girl, you're liable to get hurt. Don't start something you can't finish. And if you're a brother, and I see you double team the sister who started the wrestling match -- You will get in trouble. Just sayin'.

-- Bickering

-- Arguing instead of obedience.

You know -- those sort of failures. They really are failures of a sort. They know better. A wise woman told me that 'these kids are learning how to interact with the world by interacting with each other.' 

oh -- goodie.

Apparently, I need to segment the world into four distinct parts and let them communicate with red phones and war threats. 

Along with the normal, average mom stuff, I have the distinction to add homeschooling to the mix. Talk about egg shells there.

"What do you mean you don't know what a noun is??"

"YES! You have to do that writing assignment."

"No - A 't' does not make the 'n' sound." 

Since that's not just enough for me ... I get to add the neurosis of being a writer/creative type to the mix. 

Fine is often a key word. "Freaked out, insecure, neurotic and emotional". We writer types, or maybe it's just me, need to have some ego boosts now and again. I have a few extra special friends who'll stroke my ego - realistically - should the need arise. (I'd know if it's fake)(at least I'm fairly certain I would.) (grrr)

All three of those things makes me me. It also explains why I tend to run away. (Oh, wait, that's the prophet in me, apparently. So that just adds ONE More facet of my character.) 

It's a darn good thing I'm easily amused and that I mostly like myself.

Otherwise, I'd be in serious trouble and be a serious mess.

Generally speaking, I'm a pretty well held together individual. Though - some days, One or more of my many facets can crack and I get 'Fine'. (See above)

On the really bad days?? Oh, never mind. Just think "blue" and you got it.

I read about putting together an "I don't suck file". I can't remember where I read it - but I followed the link to Christi Corbett's blog. AHA!!! A fellow writer!! Ms. Corbett wrote a fantastic article about her "You don't suck" file. I need such a file.

For each of my many facets, I need this encouragement. 

For the mommy part of me, I'd make a note about the sweet things the kids did to help each other. I'd make a note about the moments they make me smile. That they show a glimmer of 'kindness'. Or what other people might have said about them.

For the teacher in me, I could save something that they've achieved. A moment in school where they've gotten it. Of course, like today, it would be hard to capture a moment. Watching G-man run back and forth from his history book to the map to track the progress of the pilgrims. 

But i could write it down. 

For the writer in me, of course, I'd keep the notes friends write me even here on my blog. These things are not for ego, these are moments, lifelines to encourage us to keep going.

We all need those cheerleaders ... and sometimes, we just need to be reminded that we're more than fine...and that we don't suck. 

I'm starting mine. 
Let me know if you start one, too.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sweet little guy...

I kissed J-man good night the other night. He's seven now. I can't believe it. 7. Seven. It just seems hard to believe. 

Anyway - I kissed him goodnight. 

"Mom, do kisses rub off of your skin?"

"Not my kisses." Said I -- not knowing where this was going. Knowing J-man, it could be ANYwhere.

"No. I mean, do they stay on your skin?"

"Sure. These kind of kisses do because they touch your heart."

"I wish when you kissed that your heart grew bigger each time."

Of course, he was talking in the general sense of 'you'. I could see that -- it was a sweet thought? Our hearts can hold an infinite amount of love and his notion just caught my fancy.

He's such a sweet guy. 
I think he's could have a future in the greeting card business.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Desiring Faith

If you read the Bible at all you know the concept as laid out in Matt. 19:14. It's an oft touted concept ... the faith of a child.

It's a faith so simple that anything is possible. It's the adult in us, the life experiences that we live through (how else do you get experience?) and really, the fact that we try to reason in our own minds that creates a more complex faith. Our emotions lie to us. Our thoughts betray us. We believe one way and we might not see the answer because the way God answered isn't how we perceived the end result.

Which ... that goes back to our thoughts and emotions getting the better of us.

The last few days, in living through an emotional time here in the Laundry Pile, I've been contemplating the faith of my children.

Do we sit around and have devotionals every morning?? Nope. I can't even claim that we do them weekly.

Heck. I don't remember the last time I picked up a devotional.

However, we talk about God. We experience God. We worship God.  Those tangible things have been building in my children a faith that I am envious to have for myself.

I can take no credit. It is not something taught. It has all been learned.

During this past month, I have struggled with my writing. I've struggled with my self-perceptions and self-image. I have struggled through thoughts that seemed slippery and un-tamable.

Through it all, I've been looking for that weapon to use to fight back. I know what God says. But I needed something tangible for NOW. Not something I could flippantly spout off...I knew that wasn't going to work. As I hunted for this weapon, I pondered the faith of my children.

I fell in the shower. It was a weird thing. I fell and hurt my back against that thing that I think is supposed to be a seat. Or a shelf. If it had been sharp or even square-edged, I'd probably have cut myself or done some serious damage. I *FELT* how it hit. It took me a second to find my footing and get up. I'm a bit cumbersome. Especially when slippery.

Mini-E came up to me after I emerged from the shower. She'd heard the noise and wanted to check on me. By the way, she's five now. I told her that I'd fallen and I hit my back. She asked if she could pray for my body - and not one to miss the opportunity of a moment with Holy Spirit, I said yes. She pressed several tiny fingers against the exact spot I hit in the shower and prayed for me. "Jesus, please heal mommy's body." It was that simple and that sincere. It touched my heart. (Where two or  more are gathered and all that.)

I want that sort of faith. Where my FIRST response is to speak God's power.

Last year, I submitted my first manuscript to an agent. His automated e-mail told me that it would be up to a year before I heard from him, depending on his work load. Fine. I waited. Somewhere in the middle of that time, someone asked if they could read the story. So I sent it to them. They could not open the same file. I didn't think much of it - thought the systems weren't compatible. But it niggled in the back of my mind. So I finally tried to open the file to discover I had sent the agent a corrupted file. Somewhere in the conversion from one software to another, the file was corrupted and unreadable. The agent never let me know. I suppose, he just didn't want to waste his time on it. That's fine. I decided he probably wasn't going to do me much good, anyway.

The point of it all was, and still is, the children.

"Mom, have you heard from your agent?"

"YOUR" agent.

Not 'the' agent.

These children have been a constant encouragement to me as a person. ... as a waiting writer. I want that kind of faith. I'm still searching for an agent - and they're still encouraging me.

--- several people have prophesied into our lives on three different occasions. Separate occasions that God will provide a bigger house for us. Which is excellent. We need a bit more elbow room. (I hope it's not contingent on finding an agent!) (God doesn't need an agent.) (I love that about Him)

We were talking about it one day. Mini-Me overheard The Professor and me talking about moving. It bothers her. She's not so sure she's a fan of change. Except monetary. So we talked about how God promised a bigger house. (I wouldn't have told them... if I didn't trust the sources). J-man was first. He disappeared and came back with a handful of coins. He wanted to give money toward the new house. I prayed over his 'seed money' and It's now sitting on my kitchen window sill... reminding me of his great faith.

I want faith like that.

The faith to simply believe. To not just say -- "But God .."

I want to be like Mary, who said, "Let it be to me as you say"

I want to be like my children -- who don't let thought clutter get in the way of their faith.

It is a desire of my heart.
It's a weapon of warfare.
It is possible. Hopefully tomorrow, I'll be able to walk in it even more.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Book Review from Mini-Me

Did you know that I was homeschooled??
A lot of what I do now really is influenced by what I remember of my own education. 

I hated book reports.
I saw no need in them.

I still don't. 

However -- a good book review. That's a useful thing.

So to get around my 12 year old's shared aversion to a book report -- I've come up with the idea of a book review.

The girl is a voracious reader. (She's got good genes)

So here's her first review...


The Nick of Time by Ted Bell takes place on Grey Beard island 1939 [during World War II]. When 12 year old Nick McIver, his little sister Katie, and Nick’s dog, Jip find a strange chest on the beach, unknown to them the chest was containing a golden orb that turned out to be (duh duh dunnnnn) a, 

                                           TIME MACHINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unfortunately, the evil Billy Blood’s parrot Bones was watching them. Billy Blood wanted the time machine. Billy Blood had been using a second time machine to capture children from all over time and hold them for ransom!  For instance, the Pharaoh's son was kidnapped by Billy Blood.
My favorite part was when they were in Hawk Castle and Katie thought that the elevator was a portal to china and thought that Commander Hobbes was Chinese!

The book had everything comedy, action, suspense, drama, and even a huge sword fight!  

The Nick of Time is anything but boring. I enjoyed it immensely and am looking forward to the sequel. 

When I asked her about the historic figures that were peppered through the book, she couldn't remember any. I know they were there because she talked about the characters in the book. 

I'm hoping that once she grasps the fun of a book review, she'll add more to it. As it is, she tore through this book and the sequel. They're worth a look.