And How

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rock me to sleep, Jesus

I'm taking an "Experiencing God" class at my church right now and the topic of quiet time came up tonight.  A consistent quiet time with God is always something that I struggle with and obviously, I'm not alone.  While we were discussing the topic tonight, someone chimed in with the response that we sometimes focus on the "block" of time we put aside for God, somehow thinking that if we put in our time, we can check "Time with God" off the list for the day and go about business as usual thinking that He'll bless that.

We're too busy to think about God during the day and then we're too tired at night.  Sounds like the life of a mom, right?

I know, as a mom of two (soon to be three) young ones, I spend many of my days in survival mode where I am in a constant state of exhaustion and motion and I can't really tell anyone why.  At the end of the day, the house is still a mess, we've done nothing educational, and sometimes haven't even stepped out of the front door.  Those are the days that life happens, I guess and as little time as I might have spent doing scholarly Bible study, those are also the days that I most desire to hear from my Savior.  When I crawl into bed some nights, I think about a passage that I read a long time ago in an awesome book by Brennan Manning.  He says,
The greatest gift any ragamuffin can receive from Jesus is the Abba experience. Jesus says we are to go to God with the unaffected simplicity of a child with his daddy. In  poignant psalm expressing childlike trust in God, David says, 'Enough for me to keep my soul tranquil and quiet like a child in its mother's arms, as content as a child that has been weaned.' (13:12) The little one is not an infant, but a weaned youngster of two or three who had been toddling around exploring the mysteries of his father's flashlight, key chain, and assorted coins left on an end table. The little ragamuffin suddenly wearies and staggers back into his mother's arms. Soothed by her affectionate words as she strokes his hair, the little guy falls asleep, tranquil and quiet.
Jesus invites us to become like a little child, to crawl into Abba's arms and let Him love on us. Though, as Alan Jones notes, "the most difficult part of mature faith is to allow ourselves to be the object of God's delight."
-- Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, p. 234.
As I'm learning more about God and who He is and what His will is for my life, I'm able to understand that God doesn't want me to pencil Him into my morning.  He wants me to let Him weave himself into the fabric of my everyday (messy, crazy, unorganized) life.  He doesn't see me as a student to be taught, but a child to be loved on.  And if there's anything that I know for sure, it's that as a parent, you cherish those moments that your child crawls into your lap just to be close to you.  We don't get angry when our precious children fall asleep in our arms, so why would God be upset with us when we fall asleep with thoughts of Him?  So when the gears in my mind don't want to stop turning at the end of a busy day, I'm going to let my mind wander into my Jesus' lap and let Him rock me to sleep.

"At day's end, I'm ready for sound sleep; for you, God, put my life back together."   
Psalm 4:8

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Top This...

A good night's sleep.

Seriously.  Those have been few and far between lately.  Between my growing belly, my shrinking bladder, and an injured shoulder on my right side, I have not been able to get comfortable at night lately.  I'm fine sleeping on my left side...for a while.  But then, I need to turn.  And there's nowhere to go.  And it stinks.

Then there's my boys.  Penn rarely has ever slept through the night and usually comes in our room at least once only to be sent back to his room.  This usually wakes Jude up who is not so easily directed back to he bed, so he ends up snuggling with us for a while, which brings Penn back in the room because "that's not fair," and so forth.  We sleep in a queen bed (although we REALLY REALLY want a king asap) and the problem is clear as to why four-across is not comfortable.  Add into the mix that Jude INSISTS on sleeping on my right arm (hence the shoulder injury...thanks, kiddo), and I usually wake up into one grumpy mama!

But last night...I slept.  No one woke me up in the middle of the night, my shoulder did not feel as if it was on fire when I laid on it, and I didn't have to go to the bathroom not even once!  Heaven for this tired gal!  I realize that tonight maybe just the opposite, but I am so thankful for one night of peaceful slumber...and these days, you can't top that!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Baby name...CHECK!

I still can't believe it...
Penn (a.k.a.. Daniel Packard V) never had a "girl name."  We knew our first boy would be a namesake for Pack and we'd come up with a nickname, but amazingly, we never discussed girl names at all.  With Jude, after much deliberation, we had his "girl name" all picked out (although we never put a lot of thought into boy names until after we found out his gender).  His girl name would have been Riley Kay.  Fortunately, he ended up being a little boy, so we got to have a little fun with his name and choose something that meant something to us (Jude=a Biblical name with a good song and sounded good with Penn, and Tillman=for Tillman Hall at Clemson University where Pack graduated).  It all worked out because after a while, I decided I didn't really like the name Riley anyway.  It bothered me that Penn had a name with such great family heritage from both sides of our family and the next baby would have had a name that we just liked.  I wanted the name to have a story (and preferably a really good song).  For the record, I don't think there's anything wrong with choosing a name for your children that you simply like the sound of, but I wanted an equal amount of thought and sentiment to go into each of my children's names.  

And BOY did a lot of thought (and arguments and maybe a few tears) go into this one...

Anna Hazel

I had been thinking of the name Anna Hazel since after Jude was born.  Ann is a name that has been used in a lot of girl names in my family (my former middle name was DiANNe, as a matter of fact).  My mom's sister Ann is the eldest of eight children in her family, and although she has no children of her own, she has been like a mom to all of her nieces and nephews.  I've always wanted to be able to honor her by including her name in a little girl's name (if I ever had one).  My Aunt Ann is definitely the female leader in our family and is the best planner/hostess/baby holder you will ever meet.  Anna is going to adore her.

Hazel was my Grandmother on my Dad's side of the family.  She, along with her twin sister, Hallie, kept my twin sister and I from the time we were born until we were able to stay home by ourselves.  They taught us so, so much, and left us with a ton of awesome memories, but I'm always wishing we had paid attention even more.  We spent our time with them serving others, picking whatever vegetables or other foods were in season (WHEREVER they were in season), making crafts and home goods, and visiting relatives that I would probably have never know otherwise.  They definitely had a huge influence on the woman that I am now and I see a lot of both of them in me more and more every day.

The name for my new baby girl may seem ordinary or old fashioned to some, but the women that the name represents were and are truly extraordinary and I can't wait until the day when she understands where her name came from.  I know she'll be proud of it!