/> Raising Angels: September 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Little Time Please

I find myself excited these days by all the things God is saying to me. I love the way He always meets me right where I am. He speaks while I'm running using the runs as metaphors. He uses my prayers for the school to talk to me about being in His army. He moves me.

Now...if He could just squeeze in some time for me to write it all down!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rock Into Peace

Saturday morning during a praise and worship session on a women’s retreat, we were directed to dive into the river of God’s mercy. Holding an overtired and fussy 20 lb. baby did not lend itself to jumping in. I bounced Max, sang and tried to enter in.

After a few moments Max relaxed and put his head on my chest, something he’s been doing before I put him to bed lately. It is the sweetest thing. Holding him in my arms and swaying to the music, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for this gift. As hard as it was, it was so amazing to have a weekend during which my only focus was on Max. Having his body molded perfectly to mine, it struck me how much I love this child. He is flesh of my flesh and my love for him is indescribable.

Basking in this gratitude, eyes closed and swaying my sleeping child, God the Father came down, picked me up, and put my head on His chest. It was so real I could feel the warmth of His body. I was totally relaxed, unbelievably peaceful. I was in the Father’s arms being rocked into His peace.

It was an amazing, miraculous experience – a moment in the physical presence of the Creator. I think it’s a message to all of us, one that is especially meaningful for parents. God wants us to stop fighting. He wants us to stop looking at everyone around us. Instead, He wants us to relax, put our heads on His chest and let Him rock us into peace.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not So Silly Putty

Shame on you oh you maker of silly putty. You, who makes it so enticing...so seemingly fun. You, who makes it bounce when rolled up and pick up images from newspapers. You, who seems to have a vendetta against moms and all household items.

I wish YOU could have been here this morning. The morning my 5 year old woke me up to tell me his silly putty jumped out of its egg last night and landed mysteriously on his bed. The morning the fluorescent green evilness was on his pajamas, sheets, pillow and hair. The morning he decided to spend a few moments in our bed to make sure the stuff was also transferred onto our pillows and sheets.

Why oh why did you make that stuff? And, really, why on earth did you color it fluorescent green?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One Tiny Victory

Now that my running secret is out, I can talk about it in the open. It has been a long and arduous journey and it's not over yet.

Tonight however, I experienced a victory that I am going to celebrate. I have, since joining the running group, consistently been the last one to finish...everything...every time. I figured this would be the case since I'm a virtually inexperienced runner, training with real runners (some actual marathoners). However, my competitive nature takes a beating every time we take off as a group and I continually watch the backs of runners putting distance between me and them.

Tonight was a 40 minute run - 20 minutes out and 20 back. When we've done these in the past, everyone passes me on the way out AND on the way back in. Not so good for motivation. I mean everyone's really nice and cheers me on as they pass me...and pass me again…but it's still a bit disappointing.

Tonight though, in the cooler weather, I ran my 20 out and turned and ran my 20 back and not one single person passed me on the way in. It's a silly victory to celebrate, but when you're training for a half marathon, any victory is worth celebrating. It's not that I really enjoy beating people (and mind you, I did not win, as everyone else ran farther than me), rather it's a milestone of personal progress.

I'm beginning to learn through all of this that it's not really about anybody else. It's about me and my goals. And tonight, for the first time, I did not get lapped and I'm really proud of myself.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Day in the Life (or a Moment in the Morning)

Today was a historic day in the Parris household. The kids got themselves up and ready for school a whole 35 minutes before it started. It was the perfect day to make good on my mentioning that we might try to walk to school one day.

I grabbed the stroller from the car while the three "big" kids bounced with glee down the driveway. We hit the street and said our Armor of God prayer. Everyone was giddy.

We had just reached the end of our street when Aiden bit the dust. Not a little trip but a big, skin your knees and scrape your hands fall. He was certain he could not make it all the way to school with the injury so...we promptly turned around and walked back.

Everyone was really disappointed. By the time we made it back home, bandaged the knee, packed up the stroller and got in the car, we were almost late.

I'm not sure why it happened. It's just par for the course in the life of a mother with little kids. Things seldom turn out the way you plan. Even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable at times. And, every time you think you’ve got it made, you find out you really don’t.

All you mothers of grown children out there who say things like, “Ah, those were the days,” with fondness in your voices – let me just say that early memory loss is a gift to you from God.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Cheating Gardener

Nelson recently painted the white plastic cleanout in the middle of our yard. He thought painting it green might help it blend into the grass better.

This morning on the way to church, Mackenzie stared out the window and observed, "These people have REALLY nice yards. Their grass is really green."

"Hey," Nelson said in a bit of protest, "we have a nice yard. Our grass is really green too."

"Yeah Daddy, but you painted ours. That doesn't count."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Secret's Out

Okay, so if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you will remember how much I struggled to do this. And the following year, I did this and loathed every minute of it. Then I got pregnant with Max and quit all forms of cardio exercise.

Then, oh about late May, my brother once again threw out the gauntlet to try this. I think it was the new mother hormones and the inspiration I got from this that made me say yes.

Up until today it’s been my little secret that only a few friends and family members knew about. It is such a seemingly impossible task that I didn’t want to make a possible failure on my part such a public event. That is until today, when I awoke to the calls from three different people telling me to open to the front page of the Sports Section and read this.

So much for anonymity.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Sweetest Sounds

As Dawson popped his cornbread into his mouth at dinner he said, "Ooh...this muffin is SO yummy." Then he looked at me and gleefully added, "Thank you for making this meal Mama!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shooting for the Stars

Over lunch today Dawson looked over to my place and asked, "Mama, when can I drink out of a glass like you?"

I thought for a moment when I might be willing to give this a try as even my 5 year old boy is still drinking from the unbreakable plastic cups. "How about when you stop spilling your drink?"

"Don't spill for how long?" he earnestly asked.

"Maybe in a few weeks, if you don't spill, we can give it a try."

He thought again for a moment. "How about this Mama...how about I don't spill at all...EVER again. Then could I use one?"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Things We Did with our Foreign Guests

We let them experience some American brews...
and cooked them some great American food.
They spoke to Mackenzie and Aiden's classes about Germany and brought some gummy bears to share.
They wrestled with the boys...
and joined us in admiration of Maximilian's utter cuteness.

Friday, September 12, 2008

An Interesting Discovery

Hosting parties and having guests is one way to get a lot done around the house. This week we were honored to have some dear friends from Germany come for a visit. For the first time in our marriage, we actually had a place for people to sleep while staying with us.

Last weekend, in preparation, we got back into "house mode" and readied our apartment. We worked long and hard so that when they arrived on Monday, they had their own little retreat which allowed them to sleep past the early morning waking time of my little crew.

It was fantastic to spend time with people from a different culture. It was such a blessing to be able to host them in such comfortable way. We are already to planning to meet them in a few years somewhere foreign to both of us!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

My Sentiments Exactly

Upon waking Aiden for school today, he rolled over and mumbled, "I don't want morning."

Friday, September 05, 2008

Generation Gap

Mackenzie has been listening to the soundtrack from Alvin & the Chipmunks a lot lately. We've discussed how some of the songs were remakes of songs that have been around awhile.

Tonight I happened to catch their version of "Funky Town". "Now that's an old song," I said to her.

She turned and said in total agreement, "I know! That one's from Shrek 2."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

First Day of School (Which happened to be Tuesday)

When did he grow up? How can it be that my baby boy is a Kindergartener? He looked so old Tuesday morning. He looked so excited. He looked a little nervous. He looked incredibly handsome.
And this girl, where did she come from? Can it be that she's already half-way through elementary school? She looked beautiful, excited and confident.
Wow! There were days that I thought this day would never come and then, in the blink of an eye, it was over.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Yeah, I Knew That

As I was packing lunches for school tomorrow, I went in and asked Aiden, "What do you want on your ham and cheese sandwich?"

"Ham and cheese!" he answered with a big grin.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


watch THIS before you vote. Enough said.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Good Enough to Eat

This evening we donned our Bama gear and headed to Chick-fil-A for our free chicken fingers.

Dawson noticed that even Max had on his Alabama shirt and asked, "Max is going to eat some?"

"No," I assured him, "I'll probably eat them."

He looked at me in amazement. "You are going to eat Max?"