Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Where is paradise?

When I woke up this morning, I had a thought for a blog post. I wanted to write about why I chose the word "paradise" to describe our family/blog/life. We don't live anywhere exotic and  we can't grow tropical fruit. I wanted to explain that paradise for me is not a place, but an attitude. Paradise is like joy and joy is from the Lord. Each day we have choices to make about reactions to life and I want my first thought to be about how blessed I am. I do live in paradise if I choose to look at it that way.

(Emma's outfit #1 for the day)

So, a lot has happened since my first thoughts about my joy-filled blog post. Mandy has made quite the fuss about sleeping in her crib since her recent sickness. I guess I would have some issues after waking up in my own vomit as many times as Mandy did when she was sick with the flu. Still, she needs her rest and she cried all morning. In the meantime, I was trying to figure out how to import 111 email addresses onto my new computers to send out a group email for Janice. I've been procrastinating the project ever since I got my new computer in the spring. I was trying to figure it out and Emma was being a PAIN in the cazzoo. She was whiny, disobedient, and loud. I took a time out and played with her. I punished her and talked to her. I punished some more. I gave her some cheese for a snack. Nothing was going well and the "paradise mommy" was nowhere to be found.

I was also doing laundry, getting more and more frustrated at the crying baby, whining child, messy house, and I had a head-ache that would not quit. I actually went outside in my stocking feet in the rain to calm down. Paradise my @#$#*($&(*#$&@! is what I was thinking. How could I start out so content with my blessed life only to find myself ready to run away just a few short hours later?

After a few deep breaths and a prayer to God for peace and patience, I returned to the mayhem. Instead of worrying about the laundry, I got out my camera. Mandy never did take a morning nap. And I discovered Emma had a fever. She admitted that she didn't feel good, so she probably has the flu Mandy had over the weekend. Life in perspective is a little easier to deal with.

Some days we just want to throw a clean pair of underwear over our heads and hide.

With a clean pair of underwear on my head, life doesn't seem quite so serious. And the sun will come out sometime soon. Literally or figuratively.

We escaped when the rained paused for a short while. Emma got her bike and road up and down the driveway giving a tutorial to Mandy who wasn't listening. She said, "Now Mandy, when you get bigger and your legs are not oottie (little), you can go on a bike like me. Now watch Mandy. Mandy, watch me. See how I can go fast? You are too oottie to go fast."

Mandy enjoys the walker toy a lot. She walks easily with help, but still doesn't have any interest in going solo. It's been over a month since she took her first unassisted steps. I have not given up hope that someday soon she'll discover how cool walking is on her own.

I have no brilliant advice for moms out there who struggle trying to live in paradise. Well, maybe I would advise putting a clean pair of underwear on your head, taking a deep breath, and praying to God. That will help. Some days are harder than others. Sometimes we want to scream and we do. All I know is that I keep grasping at paradise and I can find it when look close enough.

I got the email addresses imported. Yay! I got the laundry folded and put away. Yay! The girls are down for their naps and I again remember that paradise is a choice.


Grace said...

Well put! Some mornings I am overwhelmed at how perfect life seems to be, but quickly real life sets in and it's so easy to lose perspective of God's AMAZING blessings that sometimes disguise themselves as little, loud, mess makers with peanut butter in their hair (we are headed for the bathtub!). God is so good though! It really is paradise! Thanks for the reminder!

Grandma Sherri said...

Reminded me of a story about Suzannah Wesley I think- she would sit in the corner with her apron over her head for her "quiet" time because there was no quiet to be found in a house full of kids! Guess the girls should have come home with grandma- our house looks a lot like those pictures with the boys here, its a lot easier to take though as a Grandparent because you know its not going to be this way for long, and pretty soon the house will be quiet and lonely again.

Lindsay said...

Love it! Real life is paradise!

april said...

I love how you are so real and funny at the same time!

Michal said...

this post really speaks to my heart. some days it is so hard to have our homes be the havens that we really are striving for. sometimes you just want to scream! i try to do the same thing you did--take a moment to pray and seek god's guidance and peace. i love that after praying you decided to enjoy the girls instead of trying to work around them. thanks for your great example.