Saturday, July 25, 2009

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Minding the Wheel

The very thought of a challenge usually excites me. I like that initial rush of ideas that come flooding through my thoughts. The adrenaline supplies me with creative solutions and multiple options. Then once I have isolated all that needs to be done terror strikes.

This happens to me when I plan one of my themed parties for my husband, mother, children or friends. I call it "party planning magic". The ideas come together quickly and easily. I love getting a theme and planning a menu around it. I even have a party planning notebook. It was a gift. Really. When I have put together my guest list I start to think about what each guest will say, wear, drink etc... when they arrive. I methodically put together my itinerary that starts 2 days before the party. Then as the party approaches I get stricken with fear and ridiculous questions. What if no one shows up? What if I ruin those cinnamon buns I have made a thousand times? What if I don't have enough time to clean the house? (This would never happen to Pam!) What if I don't have time to comb the kids hair, my hair or shower before the door bell rings? One of my closest friends would interject now and say: "That's why I don't do those things. (giggle) "

But I do do those things. This leads me to my next venture. Minding my own business. As a teacher I have come accustomed to a curriculum I must follow, a class list, protection from unreasonable people, and a pay cheque. These conveniences have come at a cost. I have 3 young children who don't always get the best of me. I missed spending those slow times with them. I missed waking up with them and starting the morning with them. I missed not being able to dance with them after breakfast and before dinner. I missed taking them to school and praying with them before they left. I missed them.

For 9 months I prayed that God would show me what else I could do to fulfill the need I had as mother and also help my husband provide for our family. One sunny spring day the answer came to one of my friends who then handed it to me. I took the suggestion and did my usual "party planning magic" routine. I had the whole venture figured out on the ride home. As I sat down that evening to work out the details I thought why stop there why not make this really big? Then my "party planning magic" really took over and I set out to do a website, facebook page, advertising and business cards. The details (most of them) were ironed out in a couple of months.

Now there are only 2 months before I start this new venture. I am deciding how I am going to advertise this new business. Terror strikes again. What if someone steals this great idea? What if I waste all this money on advertising and I don't get a response? What if I get too many clients? What if I can't handle the financial aspect of running my own business? In the midst of this "party pooper" moment my friend calls. (This is the one that says "That's why I don't do those things". I call her Honey Bee. ) She tells me about Michael J. Fox and his book about being optimistic. And the phrase I need to hear comes rolling out of her mouth. "Let Jesus take the wheel."
Hmmm. (I don't know if I mentioned that I have control issues. Tiny really. But that's why:
1. No one is allowed in the kitchen when I am in it.
2. I make my eldest son wear his hat with the cap forward. Not back. Definitely not to the side!
3. Must bake/cook most things from scratch.
4. Make my husband change the outfit he chooses for our daughter. Leggings are for outdoors. PJ bottoms are for sleep. No matter how cute. )
So letting "Jesus take the wheel", hmmm that's hard.
Then I realize it is also freeing. I can let Jesus take the blame if it doesn't work out. Right? It reminds me of the usual reasons my christian boyfriends gave when they broke up me. "It wasn't God's will." As funny and painful as those moments were, they were right.

I'm getting out of the driver's seat as we speak. Jesus just make sure you signal those lane changes well in advance.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Player of the Game

He would still be clutching the ribbon in his hand. My husband had to pry it from him. He is so proud of that ribbon. A simple dark blue ribbon with the words "Player of the Game" written on it. He was so excited as he ran up to me at the end of his soccer game last night. "I got it! I got it! I got player of the game." His little 3 1/2 year old voice squealed with excitement. I picked him up and swung him up in the air giving him a million little kisses. I was so proud. All the fighting and arguing, the I will not go to my room, share the toys, play nicely with my friends, get dress, eat nicely vanished. All I saw was pure joy- childhood joy.

Later it dawned on me that I can easily forget that that 3 second lift in the air is all he really wants from me. That feeling of being swept up into the sunny air with secure hands holding him up. Some days it seems like we are far from that moment. He is just like me stubborn, argumentative, secure in his position, and outwardly unashamed of it. Hence our tug of war.

Today I got something too. I was "Cohen's mother" for a brief moment. Not child minder, or scheduler, or maid, or peace keeper. I was just a happy mom swinging her happy child a little closer to the sun.

Thanks Coach Peter!