Saturday, June 29, 2013

Why We Love FCA Camp

Every June we get the privilege of helping out at the Northern Hills FCA Camp.  This year was a bit different for both Chris and I.  He served as the head coach for the cross country kids and I pitched in to help with the 30 coach's kids.  For both of us it was a growing experience.  The big boys look forward to this week all year long.  "How long until FCA camp?", usually begins in January!  Here are a few reasons why the cross state driving, dorm living, & cafeteria eating are all worth it.

1.  Elijah loves the freedom.  He gets to pick his own food, which he proudly carries back to a table of friends.  This year he and John stayed in their very own room!

2.  We get to see our "camp" friends from Canada, Iowa, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming.

3.  On Monday, the campers are tentative about openly worshiping the Lord but by Friday there is true worship happening.

4.  Gut Check, the Friday tradition of 22 difficult exercises.  Elijah has done it two years in a row and this year a few buddies joined him.  Chris is always the major cheerleader for the adult/coaches group which always makes my heart smile.

5.  I don't have to cook for a week and John can eat cheese pizza and biscuits and gravy every day.

6.  We get to see the Grandparents and do fun things with them too!  Bonus!

7.  God grows us every year we are there.

8.  There are many hands and eyes to watch the kids (mine are usually in three different places).

Our favorite picnic and run around rest area in Chamberlain.

Who doesn't like a 4-wheeler ride with Dad?

And who doesn't like shooting guns?

I take the same picture on the same bridge every year.  Daniel was too busy to smile.

Getting ready to put on a show for the Mom's.  Go John!

Gut Check!  Go Elijah!

And by the end, we are all open mouth sleepy too!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Blowing It

This last week might go down as my worst week of being a mother.  Ever.  Being the full-time disciplinarian does not play to my strengths.  And as we enter a season on childrearing that involves a somewhat huffy seven year-old, a five year-old who likes to yell at me, and an 18 month-old who screams his head off when things don't go his way, I don't see things getting easier.

Monday really brought in a spirit of defeat for me after having my darling blue-eyed boy yell at me each time I told him no.  By 7:00 and 20 yelling incidents, I succumbed to the sin within me and yelled right back.  Loud.  Mean.  As I carried him down the hall listening to him yell, "You are the meanest mom ever!",  my heart broke and we both crumpled to the floor in tears.  Rocking back and forth saying, "I love you" over and over and praying in my heart for forgiveness I felt so defeated.  My dear boy looked up at me, "I love you too."

Tuesday we were chugging along in the van when my brown-eyed big boy launched into a confession.  "You know how I sometimes act crazy and loud?  I do it on purpose."  What!  My compliant, rule follower being naughty on purpose.  "I just feel like I need to do something to get your attention, even if it means you are going to give me a talking to."  Oh, man!  The return of defeat.

The rest of the week did not get much better.  My dearly beloved left on Thursday for four days and it rained a lot while he was gone (i.e. we had to stay cooped up inside).

But what's a Mom to do?  I don't want to be "that" mom.  The one who yells and can't figure out why her kids don't listen.  I don't think the answer is in a parenting book.  I feel very strongly, down in my bones, that the solution comes in prayer.  This week showed me once again I can not do this alone.  I cannot!  So, I dug out the very nice prayer journal I received from the pastor's wife after Daniel was born and have begun to meditate and think on the scriptures my boys need me to pray into their lives.  And I have begun to really take seriously the practice of seeking His presence in every moment.