Does that bother you? It bothers some. I was recently challenged to "pray through that" by someone whom it bothers. As I continue to pray, I need to get some of my thoughts out, and this seemed like the place for it.
Concerning Capacity: I love my husband more than I love my kids. I have never used the term "less than" in some warped reciprocal rephrasing. I love my kids. I love them with everything in me. I love my husband with everything in me. There just seems to be more of "me" aligned with the task of loving him.
Concerning Commitment: Philip and I are "one". [Gen 1:23-24] And though my children began as "part of me", their birth was the first step down a path of separation that will ultimately end with each of them becoming "one" with their spouse. One day Landen will love his wife more than he loves me. [Gen 1:23-24] Today I love my husband more than I love Landen. Is that unreasonable?
Concerning Confidence: Each night (except for some date nights) Philip kisses the girls good night and sweetly offers questions. The answers to which repetitively and consistently solidify security. "Who loves you the most?" "God" [1 John 3:1] "And who else?" "Jesus" "And who else?" "You and Mommy" They KNOW we love them. They feel it. They see it. They know it. But we've given them a glimpse of a wonderful mystery. They've been told that we love each other even more than THAT. Our deep love for one another does not diminish the love they receive from us. They know our love for them to be true and marvel that a relationship exists where there is more. It's in their future. Psychologists say a child's security is directly linked to the extent to which he is confident that his parents love each other.
Concerning Core: Creation begins with a garden, a man, and a helper-girl. (Zero kiddos in the garden) God created Eve for Adam and at the end of the day, said "It is very good". He told them to be fruitful and multiply, but didn't wait for kids to be around for it to be "good". [Gen 1:27-31] He didn't tell them to add to their family. He said multiply. To me, that means "raise children who will leave you, cleave to another, and raise more children. Philip and I ARE the core family. All these little blessings will be leaving at some point, and our core family will still be intact. I hear people say to newlyweds, "When are you going to start a family?" That ship has sailed, people! Children are gifts from God and we welcome and treasure those gifts. There is a difference between getting special attention and being the center of attention. We try to show each of our children special attention: special activities, special words, special days, special gifts. But to give them the idea that they are/will ever be the center of attention is misleading (and I think, cruel). Christ is at the center of our family. Our world revolves around HIM. No one else can take that spot....no matter how cute they are.
Concerning Communication: I asked Ashli this morning if she knew I loved her daddy more than I loved her. She smiled and said, " oh yeah." I asked her if that bothered her. She said, "nah". I asked her if anybody in the world loved her more than I did, and she smiled and said, "only God and Jesus...that's it." None of my children seem to have difficulties with this issue. I've polled them all this morning. They're cool with it.
I'd welcome any review or rebuttal. My mind is open, and I'm praying through it.
Top Ten Quotes to Prove We Need to Go to WalMart Immediately
#10 "Where's the cheese?" #9 "There's no cereal that's my kind." #8 "There are only 2 apples and no bananas...I call one of the apples!" #7 "The ketchup tooted!" #6 "The mustard tooted!" #5 "Babe, I'm outadeoderant." #4 "No, just wipe her bottom with a wet paper towel and put the new diaper on." #3 "The ranch dressing tooted!" #2 "Why did I get a heel?...me too!...I did too!.....I didn't! (turns sandwich over) HEY--I did too!
And the number one quote to prove we NEED to go to the store ASAP:
#1 "Hey Sis, you wanna know what I just had for breakfast? That really old, left-over chicken sprinkled over brown lettuce in a tortilla that snapped in half when I tried to fold it. It wasn't too bad, but I couldn't find any ranch, so I just poured the rest of the Italian dressing on it. "
I will not bore you with the details of this past weekend. All I want you to know is that from Friday at 6pm until last night at 10, there were back-to-back activities for ALL the Johnsons....I'm not exaggerating. (Wedding rehearsal, double-datenite, garage sale, wedding, football game, Daddy/Daughter Datenite, Sunday School, Pumpkin Patch "Unload", Cowboy game, MP3 rehearsal, and college fellowship at our house.) Eight wardrobe changes but only one meal eaten "out"...and that was at the Wendy's drive-thru dollar menu. Ramsey would be so proud.
Today it rained. Bless the Lord, it rained. We stayed in and chilled all day. We had to begin discussions about Fall Festival costumes, so we shared ideas at breakfast. By lunch we had pretty much settled into our top choices, and by dinner I had sketched all five and had a supply list. Listen up, Dave...I intend to produce 5 darling, yet witty costumes for $10 total. I sewed for an hour or so tonight and finished the first one. I had all the notions, so I've spent $0....and she looks adorable! Four to go, and the entire budget is intact! I'm aching to share what we're doing, but I just know I have to wait for the pictures. If I get them done early, we'll just take pictures and post them BEFORE the Fall Festival. Wouldn't that be sneaky?
What else? I don't know, but I got an incredible night's rest last night, and I'd like to publicly thank God, the creator and initiator of perfect rest. Hallelujah!
Oh, gosh, now I have to confess. When I'm stressed (a condition I've mis-managed for a week or two, now) my language and the roughness thereof is the central indicator of my anxiety. So, I have a hard time editing my remarks concerning the house and it's clutter. ok, here goes. Today, the girls and I were going to their room to let Mari play and finish up the patterns and sketches for the FF Costumes. Ashli entered the room ahead of the rest of us and apparently stumbled onto a pile of her sister's clothes. Her first response: "What is all this crap?" I would have cried if I hadn't been giggling. Luke overheard her exclamation from the other room and soon allowed his giggle to swell into a full-on guffaw. Then we were all rolling. Bless her heart, her mom is a stressed-out hag. oh well. I'm gonna put a band-aid over my lips and give parent/child modeling another go tomorrow. Lord, help me please.
I'm adding a link over there at the side. It's for my wonderful cousin, Leslie, who just began her battle against breast cancer. She is bright and articulate and she makes me laugh. She's gonna beat this thing, and she's keeping a journal so we can be there with her as she does! Thank You, God, for Leslie and for having her entire life in Your mighty, loving hands. Thank You for Your perfect strength.
We're good. Busy, but good. The margin of life has become a very thin, fragile line. I hold football primarily at fault for monopolizing all our available evenings and Saturdays. This is the last week of regular season. Playoffs? No thank you...don't tell the boys.
Thursday, James, the kids, and I drove to Arkansas to be with my grandmother during the memorial service of her dear husband. It was so good to visit with relatives, and I was glad we made the trip.
We had a garage sale yesterday. Dave Ramsey says we need to get some cash flowing, or logs moving, or something. Philip Johnson says we need to get rid of some of this junk and make some money. I was entirely unimpressed with the vast amount of energy it took to get one sorry ol' log rollin down the river. It put me straight up in a bad mood. Philip was grumpy because I was not giddy. I was offended by his expectation for my giddiness, and discouraged by his grumpiness. I believe James' quote was "Garage Sales are from hell". He may be right. The weather was hellish for sure....92 degrees on the first Saturday in October....whatever!
After the sale, I made lunch and dinner, then did the prep stuff for Sunday's lunch AND made the platters for the sun evening fellowship. By our 8pm post-game dinnertime I was shaking I was so tired. Philip seemed rested and doing pretty good. I said, "I'm about to dub you 'Knight of the Kitchen" for the next 24 hours". He stared at me....reading my eyes for resolute sincerity. He attempted to jest: "I decline". I continued to offer my wide-eyed stare. He studied my gaze, realized the desperation with which I had given my decree and wisely chose to raise one eyebrow and smile. "I mean I accept, of course, I accept, 'My Love". Good deal. I was outa there.
I showered and studied for Sunday School. After some good, good sleep (Thank You, Lord) I awoke, printed off some stuff and laid out clothes for everyone; but after a glass of water and a granola bar, I NEVER stepped foot in the kitchen again. As I stayed at church to sing with the choir for the second service, he came home and made quesadillas, rice, and beans for everyone. WHAT A STUD! The boys had a friend over for the afternoon and some of our friends came for a visit too. (plus on having the platter already done). We all loaded up and enjoyed dinner with our church family.
Now it's late. Philip has already gone to bed. He's been moonlighting (another Dave Ramsey idea) everyday after his real job. It's only for a season. He basically does the same stuff he would normally do here in our yard after work.....he just gets paid for "piddlin". It's a great set-up. He's such a hard worker...seriously. He isn't as easily tuckered as I am, and he keeps such a positive outlook. I'm so lucky to be his girl.
Thank You, Father God, for Your many blessings. Thank You for extra income. Thank You for health and energy to do what You've called us to do. Thank You for friends and family.Thank You for Grandma Billie. Thank You for Leslie. Thank You for Rhonda. Thank You for Papa Hank and Grandma Iona. Thank You for working Your will for our good. We certainly discover joy in Your presence. Thank You for never changing. Great is Your faithfulness!