Reformed Grits

I’m brave
January 17, 2009, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Family, Life

As soon as I hit “Publish” on this post I’m doing something scary.

I’m going to delete my old typepad account.

I know, I know it’s not really that scary but I did put “my life” there for a long time.   I miss writing every day.  I miss the interaction with (both of) you.  I miss the journaling of my life there.  But it seems that the older my kids get, the more complicated our lives get as we get closer and closer to ministry-life, the less transparent I’m able to be.  Just like in Uncharted Territory when I was unable to share the reason’s behind soccer’s demise in our home.  I hated that.

Things that have happened in our lives in the last month I can’t share regarding Mr. Grits’ job situation.  Growth milestones with my kids that could embarrass them if I shared.  “My” life is so entertwined in others’ lives that for me to share invades their turf and I get that.

The stories shared here have been precious to me.  I’ve moved them here for safekeeping.  Pushing “delete” on the old blog is scary because that time in my life will be gone– from that part of the internet anyway.   I’m brave enough to do that.   (gulp.)


October 7, 2008, 8:26 pm
Filed under: Life

We didn't get the best news at the update at the orthopedic surgeon today.  Jojo's fracture has displaced and is now at a 35 degree angle (making it a tad worse than when he did it.)  The Dr said that it's a rare thing that a muscle in the upper arm moves in conjunction with some muscles that are attached to the wrist it causes it to move out of place.  I really don't understand it all or what I'm saying but the deal is that by moving his arm over his head– like the doctor told him to do to keep the swelling down and from returning– he has yanked his bone back out of place.  Big time. 

So Thursday morning, he will be having surgery to put the bone back as it should be, then having a pin (or plate– they didn't know for sure) put in to hold it there.  He was very upset when he realized what was going on (funny enough, it was before I even figured it out.  The doctor said they would "give him laughing gas" to fix the bone.  I was thinking, "OVER MY DEAD BODY!"  No kidding, I almost went postal on him until I realized he was being euphemistic.)  Please pray for him and any anxiety he may encounter over this.  He was really, REALLY bummed as he was even saying on the way there how he was hoping it would have miraculously healed so much he could have his cast off.  (Yeah, right, but I didn't burst that bubble.)

Anyhow, here's one of his x-rays of the original injury.  It's a side view of his arm. 
Jason's arm 1 - Copy (3)

It’s October!
October 3, 2008, 11:02 am
Filed under: Life

And October is the beginning of fall in my house.  I don't decorate for anything but fall and Christmas.  I know that's weird, but deal with it.  I think in some ways, decorating for fall is my way of pushing the summer heat into the distant memory and visually getting me ready for the next thing:  Christmas. 

Mr. Grits thinks I'm insane that as soon as the kids are good and established in school, I start getting ready for Christmas.  I have really found that I do it out of necessity, not so much because I enjoy it.  We have 10 nephews to buy for (cheerfully, I might add) as well as 4 parents, 2 grandparents, as well as a number of other family gifts, depending on who will be in town that year, and the odd gifts that we seem to have to be prepared for each year (for a party or to reciprocate– modestly– any gift that comes our way.)  We do budget for Christmas and we try to be generous without going crazy– we aren't wealthy by American standards, but we do enjoy giving. 

It's hard to do all this keeping in mind the "reason for the season" as the cliche goes, but we do really try to stay centered on the fullness of Christ while enjoying the fact that it's become a cultural holiday as well.  Yes, I am capable of admitting that as well as doing it.  I try hard not to examine it too much.  Ahem. 

Already, I have a few stocking stuffers put away, as well as a list I'm beginning to compile for each of my children– things that I hear they mention they like or enjoy.  I had a child just yesterday say she'd like her own can of chicken broth and a jar of peanuts in her stocking.  This, I can do.  We're simple like that.

As far as decorations, I probably won't be picking anything new up this year as it's a "building year" for us financially.  (Only to mean we have different priorities this year, and so my Christmas budget is firm.)  This will be the first year we will, by God's grace and if the Lord wills it, not use any credit to purchase anything for Christmas (we have always paid it off in January when the bonus comes in, but we felt like among other things in keeping with James 4:13-17 that's not an option for us anymore.) 

Why do I feel the need to explain that we wouldn't put a can of chicken broth on a credit card in a normal situation? 

Anyhow, my job has slowed considerably which allows time for planning so I'm thankful.    I want to enjoy the season and not wish and "prepare" my life away.  So tonight, Lord willing, I'll be taking my oldest 2 to the football game to enjoy the crisp weather.  I don't know about this weekend.  But their may be some listmaking involved.  Reformation Day and Thanksgiving come first and there are some joyful plans to make!

When do you start preparing for the holidays? 

He owns the cattle… Part two…
September 29, 2008, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Life

I've been watching a little of what's been going on in the news with the financial world.  You would be correct if you recalled that I can't watch the news because I freak out and that I also hate money.  I watch what is going on and I really don't understand how it is going to translate in to everyday life.  I'm not good that way and because I hate conflict, I am a 1 issue voter so it really doesn't make a difference, economically speaking, who I think should be elected.  (The issue, by the way, is abortion.) 
All of the frenzy.  All of the instability.  All of the chaos. 
I'm not unaffected but honestly all I can think is of that song I mentioned.  I'm thankful that we don't carry debt, other than a manageable house payment.  I wish we had more cash in the bank should hard times come, not that our bank is "our" bank anymore– yes, I know, er, think our money is safe there.
All I can think of is

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,
I know that He will care for me…

Granted my husband has his job and we still have our house.  If times should get tough, I hope we will remind ourselves of the fact that this is not our home and it's all gonna burn.  We are just passin' through and this short span on earth is but a short time where we can glorify our Maker through stewardship, service, and love. 
And you can take that to the bank. 

Them’s the breaks….
September 21, 2008, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Family, Life, Soccer IS life!

Well… the weekend didn't go like we planned…

We enjoyed the stay with our wonderful host family– God bless you, A&G, for your hospitality and for caring for me and the boy.  But it was cut short and that's a shame…

The first game Saturday was a blood-bath.  It was a tie 0-0 but the most brutal, violent soccer game I've ever seen.  Naturally, all officials call games differently and to be honest it's more fun when they let a lot go.  That's some real action and the boys really get in to the aggressiveness and I love that.  But there's a point where rules must be enforced for safety reasons.  It's for their protection and so that REAL soccer can be played that the officials are there.  Our officials in our first game seriously frightened every parent there.  The boys really all crossed the line and it was literally violent– think 2or 3 fist-fights, lots of "posturing", a TON of pushing, shoving, cursing, throwing other players to the ground (literally like grabbing 2 fists full of shirt and heaving them to the ground), elbows thrown, high kicks, and a lot of shouting from parents… and kids.  It was a mess.  It really did drain our boys and took them out of the game mentally.  It was spartan.  It was so disappointing that they were not playing their best– or even GOOD– soccer as a result.  And as a result, we tied 0-0.  I still get a pit in my stomach as I feared for my child's health and safety on the field.  Can I say that I was very proud that he kept his temper in check and that he played equally as tough as the other players but kept himself in check?   Love that kid. 

A few hours later as the boys hit the field we were disappointed to see that our guys were mentally out of a game that they easily could have won.  They were tired and it looked like a pick up game.  Sad, sad, sad.  Halfway through the second half, I looked downfield as someone yelled, "Kick it out of bounds!"  I saw Jojo white as a ghost holding the back of his forearm as he sank to his knees.  Uh-oh.  He went down and leaned over as I saw his buddies on that end rush to see about him, and then I saw one of our team dads who was an orthopedic surgeon run out to him from the sidelines.   I heard Jojo kind of moaning/screaming (he told me later he was saying, "It's broken!  It's broken" because he had heard the "crunch"– sorry) and I started flitting around in a mini-panic.  It was obvious when I saw the other teams parents running looking for help that our soccer day was done.  When I got down to him he was looking for me and Dr. M was holding his arm together with both hands.  We got J to lie down and he was in shock I believe.  I threw my phone to a friend who I got to call Mr. Grits–I knew if I called him I'd scare him with my freaked-out voice that was currently 2 octaves too high plus I had just gotton to J and I didn't want to scare him either.  I was able to calm him down by praying with him and getting him to slow his frantic breathing down.  Miraculously I was able to calm myself down too doing that.   I asked my friend, "So what are we looking at?" and he said, "Compound fracture of the wrist."  Ouch. 

Our good friend Dr. M, who just "happened" to be from Memphis, where we were, had some other ortho friends who worked and lived locally.  He started pulling in every favor he ever had and within a few minutes we were on our way to see an old friend and walked right in to the hospital with standing orders for my sweet boy's care.  Wow, what a blessing.  Can I just tell you too that before we left that night there had been SIX other broken arms from that particular soccer tournament that weekend?  Good officials are very necessary.  😦

To make a long story longer… he had x-rays and I was able to go back with "my doctor friends" haha and see the pics as they discussed them.  It was so cool how they do it all digitally now.  I was a little grossed out to see the particulars of the injury– radius and ulna both fractured.  The ulna just looked like a bone that snapped clean through.  The radius looked like a train had hit it from the front and it just splintered in half and pointed up.  Yeah, it was nasty. 

Shortly they had him in a treatment room, hooked him up to an iv of versed and morphine which may have been the 2nd worst part for him–he is very anxious over these things.  As soon as he was relaxed and sleepy, I told him I'd be back and I went out to wait.  Dr. M had told me that he might get wide-eyed and say "OW!"   Yea.  What I heard from 20 feet away was not "OW."  I think it was the tearing of the fabric of a mother's heart as my baby boy screamed a "man scream" of the worst kind.  I was on the phone and the woman on the other end heard it (yeah, it was that loud) recognized his screaming and we both burst in to hysterical tears.  I could barely breathe; she just started praying one of those prayers you just "vomit" out when you can't think.  I felt someone rubbing my shoulder and when I looked up about 3 minutes later when I started to stop shaking there was a hulk of a old black man nurse who came to comfort me.  What a sweet look he had on his face.  He just stood with me as I sobbed and then another younger female nurse moved me outside to talk to me back down from the ceiling.  A few minutes later I was ready to see him and be by his side so I wiped down my face and tried to calm myself.  I was squatting at the same place in the hall with a box of snotty tissues when the docs stepped out so they could x-ray the re-set.  Dr. M happened to look over at me and blanched.  He came over and told me he hadn't realized I'd only gone that far– I should have been OUT.  Yeah, um, I wasn't.

Can I have something for the pain?

I composed myself and went in.   I tried my best to act like it was no big deal.  I think I pulled it off.  He said he felt a lot better now.  The doctors said we'd have to wait a few hours to make sure the meds didn't have any adverse effects, so we waited for what was an eternity.  I'm so grateful for all the phone calls we had during this time, and the visits from all the friends (including A&G who brought our luggage to the hospital, as our plan was to head back HOME after discharge that night.  He and I were both ready to just go home.)  We got a lot of discouragement about going home that night, and with my husband's blessing I could have… but it wound up being so late by the time we were able to get released that my sweetie wound up booking a room where the team was staying.  (I know we could have troubled you, A&G but it was so late we didn't want to cause more confusion in your home.  Y'all have been so sweet and good to us!!!) 

We finally got some dinner and back to the hotel, and one of our team dad escorted me to a pharmacy to get some pain meds for my boy.  Pain meds in; lights out.  We were dead to the world– and I NEVER sleep in hotels. 

He had wanted to try to get up and make the team's 7 AM game, but sadly we slept through it.  (We lost, making our weekend record a pathetic 0-1-2.) 

We checked out, got on the road, and now are so glad to be in our home (which, I still wish we had done last night but oh well…) 

Thanks for all your prayers and comments.   The weekend was not what we expected, but as I've said a million times to my sweet boy, it's all for our sanctification.  He and I thoroughly enjoyed being together.  I can't count how many times he told me
thank you for different things.  I can't tell you how many times he did sweet things like offer me his jacket when I was cold and ask me if he could help me and walked with his arm around me (oh yes, he did!)  How many times this day have we said "We had the BEST time this weekend– except for that one part."  :-) 

in this tornado that is my life…
September 14, 2008, 4:09 pm
Filed under: Faith, Life

I'm so thankful for today.  It's Sunday and I'm sitting in my chair in my room listening to nothing but the a/c running. 
We have done nothing but run, run, run all week and I'm thankful to have slowed down today. 
In the last 7 days, we've had 3 soccer games (one 2 1/2 hrs away), 2 practices, 2 meetings, 2 birthday parties, 1 Scout meeting, 1 day of work for me (well, at the site anyhow), a termite inspection, a plethora of tests, purged 3 rooms (for a total of 5 children), rearranged the furniture in one room, switched 2 bedrooms with each other, a youth event, and stuffed almost 2000 information packets with Jojo.  All this in addition to church twice, groceries, CVS, and other places.  And this is the tip of the iceburg. (Of course there was laundry, meal prep, etc but that's hardly worth mentionig, eh?)

It's the picture of life:  I'm sure yours was likely as busy.  But today I'm tired, and it's the first day I've been able to slow down and just be.   It's nice.  I like it 

But if all days were like this it'd be called "lazy."  On this one day, God calls it "rest."  I love Him for that.  It makes the work on the other six days more intentional, and it makes the quiet on this day all the sweeter. 

September 11, 2008, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Life

It's been on my mind a lot if you haven't noticed.  Change is in the air and me no likey.  The Bee must be potty trained and it's one of those parental duties that you have to gear up for.  Like going on a diet.  Or planning a vacation. 

But as much fun as being on a diet on vacation.  

Yesterday I completely PURGED Sugie and Bee's room.  I threw stuff out, seriously THREW it away.  The equivalent of 4 garbage bags full.  To the curb, and it's gone tonite in the local dump.  I feel no guilt.  The room is sparkling and more spacious, and I moved the crib into a dormer area in the room so that Sugie and Bee can't play at bedtime.  It looks really cute in there and Sugie was stunned and speechless when she came home from school. 

Oh and I caved to (evil) peer pressure.  I let Sugie stay up from naps for 2 days in her fresh room to play quietly.   Yesterday by 6 she was crying.  Today, she began crying at 4 and didn't stop until I put her to bed early, and then she cried in her bed because she was so tired that she couldn't fall asleep until I got her BFF on the speaker phone who promised to make her a card with a bear and a monkey on it to give her at church Sunday if she'd stop crying. 

I couldn't make that up.  Especially since it worked.  I pity her poor teacher tomorrow. 

Ok so today I moved JD and Poo in to Sister's room.  The boys room was bigger and Sis had a double bed… yeah, yeah, yeah, I mentioned all that.  We hung Scottish flags over all the decorative wall art until I can paint it.  One year from now.  I still haven't finished the upstairs water closet.  But I digress.  I put Sis in the bigger room because in the corner I brought up a tiny toddler bed for her. 

Tonight is her last night in her crib. 

Tonight is the last night that one of our children will sleep in the crib that we picked out as babies ourselves expecting Jojo 14 years ago.  We had picked out the one we wanted, but used to being broke and in college (we weren't at that point) we could not bring ourselves to plunk down the $225.00 for the light wood crib-o-dreams.  We went to the baby superstore every weekend and would say, "OK TODAY we are getting SOMETHING… we have to get the crib!"  But we never did. 

Until one day I had been out doing something and Mr. Grits, my beloved, called me upstairs in our tiny townhouse to go to the future baby's room as he had a surprise for me.  I walked in the room and there was the crib.  It was the first fiscal thing we had done to acknowledge the fruition of our dreams.  I burst in to tears and for the first time, despite the movement in my belly, it seemed real

That crib has securely held 5 of our babies… the only one who didn't sleep in it was Sister because Jojo, being just 15 months ahead, was still in it.  (Amazingly enough God provided a beautiful crib for her to sleep in too out of the blue from the same kind family who encouraged us to perservere with Jojo's soccer… Thank you, K and J.)  

Tonight, it's being used for the last time for one of my babies.  Tomorrow, she will move to a "big bed" in a new room and the crib will be taken down and stored for grandbabies, if God so provides.  Within the next month or so, she will wear her last diaper (I really like diapers, by the way) and graduate to big girl "peenies" as she says. 

My childbearing years have gone unless God provides a miracle for which I'd be grateful.  My last baby is not going to be a baby for much longer.  She already says she's a big girl.  These have been the most difficult but most rewarding days of my life.