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Friday, April 1, 2011

goodbye box mom.

Things are getting a little sister-wifey around here. 
Sometimes you just NEED two moms
We needed two this week, and I would like to introduce you to the Connolly-family-second-mother. I affectionately named her, "box-mom"

First, our water heater busted. Well, really it busted twice. In one week. Both times on days that we were hosting a meeting in our home. That was calamitous enough in itself. It happened in the midst of one of the most silly-things-all-going-wrong-day and I was frazzled beyond belief. Then we lost toilet usage for 24 hours. Then I went away for three hours to get my hair cut and hired a babysitter, which is a brand new phenomenon for me. Then I got some kind of crazy death flu. Then I had to clean the WHOLE house after recovering from the death flu. Yeesh, it was a week. 

In the midst of it all, we discovered that with a new hot water heater came a new HOT WATER HEATER BOX. And as soon as that baby made her appearance, Nick called it. It was going to do us some good this week. When I came home from getting my hair done and asked for a report from the babysitter, she assured me the kid's behavior was AMAZING, because they hadn't gotten a foot away from box-mom for three hours. 

When I was resigned to the couch with fifteen minute intervals of sprinting to the bathroom, box-mom came to the rescue. I put her in the middle of the room, gave the kids washable markers, held one eye open and called out a creative idea every eight minutes or so of what they could do with box-mom. 

Pretend she's a spaceship. Pretend she's a house. Pretend she's your mom and beg her for more juice cause Lord knows I can't get off this couch right now. Ask her where babies come from. Ask her to change your diaper. Ask her if she knows how to potty train you or how to increase your bladder strength. Pretend she's a planet. Color her aimlessly for fifteen minutes. You get the drift. 

Box-mom, she saved me. 

But now, I'm feeling better and the sheets are all washed and de-germed. I've kept solid food down for 24 hours and I'm ready to retire her. And in almost-but-not-full-disclosure, I'll tell ya'll: one of our kids is going through a hard season right now. I won't tell the whole story, because even though they're little, there is no point in shaming them. It's just normal preschool age behavior issues, but in the moment - it seems larger than life. It's discouraging and disheartening, it makes me sweat and it's often made me cry. It's not that I want my children to be the most well-behaved, I don't. I don't think that's gospel centered. I just want to be able to apply the gospel to this situation, for this child, and it's very hard. 

Another reason I won't tell you the whole story, is because you'd be tempted to give advice and I'd be tempted to ask for it and the biggest thing I've learned in this situation is that a) this is a normal problem, that a lot of children experience and b) the way every kid/parent responds to a normal situation is different. So all that being said, I'm seeking help from people who know me and my sweet kiddo and mostly, I'm seeking the Lord and praying about each day and each situation - asking Him for wisdom and grace to handle each little flare up of behavior. 

But what box-mom did, is she made me miss my kids. While I'm so thankful for her help - while I was mopping up overflowing toilet water, and a few days later, hugging that same toilet for dear life (thank you husband for deep cleaning it in between) - I wanted to be on the floor with those children. Playing airplane and praying with them, reading books and getting crawled on. It was almost like a weirdo-vomit-induced vacation, that left me refreshed and longing to be a mom again. To kick box-mom to the curb, quite literally. 

And with that, I'll leave you with a few quotes from my FAVORITE PARENTING BOOK ever, Gospel Powered Parenting by William Farley - a quick read this morning coupled with the refreshing help of box-mom, left me more ready than ever to be a mom today. Hope it's a blessing to you, too. 

"Parents who joyfully pursue God are contagious. Joyful sacrifice for the gospel is contagious. A gospel that makes parents stable, joyful, loving, affectionate, and humble is contagious. Children will want a God that produces these qualities."

"Kids also internalize their parents' passions. They alone see what you REALLY love, and not what you merely pretend to love." (ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch)

"So our attempts to live the gospel expose our failings, which in turn amplifies our humility, which in turn makes us attractive to our children. The gospel is the good news that our children do not need perfect examples. The need humble examples. Humility impacts parents in several ways. First, it makes us quick to admit wrongdoing... When they sin against their children, humble parents quickly confess it. They confess their parental faults to God first, but they are not afraid to do so in front of their children also."

ok, ok. I'll stop. I want to quote the whole book. 
I smell a giveaway coming. 

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