Wednesday, May 28, 2008

3:38 AM Thoughts

Sleep has been impossible tonight.

I've decided to kick the Pepsi habit (again) and the accompanying caffeine loss has my left temple pounding. But that's not the main reason I find myself writing so early into the morning. A dose of Excedrin Migraine off-sets the headache but does little, if anything, to alleviate the random thoughts, memories, and questions cycling through my mind...

I've been thinking about the "harvest" of twenty-years of mothering. All the words--thousands upon ten thousands of words I've sown; words of instruction, correction, praise, encouragement, frustration, joy, discouragement, anger, counsel.

I've been mulling over--no, that's far too innocuous a term--I've been evaluating the harvest of my own choices as a young girl, teenager, twenty-something, and beyond (I'll turn 43 in a couple of months); examining the outcome of those willful choices (some worthy, some horrendous) and considered the part they have played in the lives of my own three children.

You reap what you sow.
What goes around comes around.
Mothering is exhaustive work.
God gives strength to the weak!

Kristen and Ricky Neal (19 and 18 respectively) will soon be leaving for the entire summer to work at a Christian camp nestled in the midst of Sequoia National Park. I love the fact they will be together--looking out for one another--and strengthening their friendship as sister and brother. I smile knowing one will be working full-time hours as a dishwasher; the other housecleaning. Hard work coupled with a spirit of service will shape them far more than they realize.

Patrick (13) is more than happy to take on the status of "only" child. And his father and I are looking forward to getting to know him in a manner unlike the years before. We got a hint of what's to come this last school year. Ricky Neal was a Senior, he waited tables at our local Italian Pizzaria, Rosy's, and more evenings than not it was just the three of us--Rick, Patrick, and me, sitting at the table and catching up on the days events.

It was, well, weird at first: being able to finish a complete sentence without someone interrupting; needing to think of more to say often times as there were two less people to carry the conversation. But it was delightful too: listening to our third child (how often his voice was drowned out by the drama of other two!); fixing his favorite meal--night after night; and seeing him, in some ways, for what seems the very first time.

Please excuse the randomness of this post. It was early when I started and a couple of hours later as I finish. Love your children. Don't grow weary in planting and sowing words and actions doused in love and wisdom. Hang in there! Forgive much--of others and yourself.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Woman's Day Magazine

Check out "How to be a Better Mom." and find my quotes as well as other fabulous parenting experts and real moms advice.