Monday, October 12, 2015

A weekend away.....

When I was looking through my pictures from this weekend with Lia, Ellie, Zeke and Anna, this picture just jumped out at me.  I spent a couple of days taking care of the grand kids AND the "grand dog"!   Chandler is a really good dog (as I have previously blogged) and lately Anna is quite interested in him.  She is usually met with a growl or a little bark and a rapidly moving away dog whenever she approaches him.  But, for some reason on this day, Chandler was just very relaxed.  Anna picked up this "Rapunzel braid" and plopped it on his head.  I heard a little sigh and then his eyes closed.  So I couldn't pass up the picture.   It is a bit of a picture of my weekend.

To begin with, there is a good reason why people who are 61 don't have kids!  I am very tired!  But it was a great weekend.  I spent a lot of time "wearing a different hat".  Instead of just grandma, I was really a mom/dad substitute.  For the most part the kids accepted that.  On the second night without mommy and daddy, Anna had really had enough.  The first couple of times she woke up she called for momma.  The next couple of times she called for dadda.  When I went in to her she sort of looked at me like "really??? I guess I have to settle for grandma".  Sometimes you just have to do the best you can with whatever hat is "plopped" on your head!

It was a glorious fall weekend.  The weather was wonderful and we were outside often.
I loved these fall beauties I found on the lawn while I was supervising Anna during one of those times.  I was so blessed that because of the kids, I spent time outside.  Truthfully, if I had been on my own for these days, I most likely would have spent them INSIDE.  So just like Chandler and the braid, I was acting somewhat out of character! And being inside would have been really sad.  

The couple of days went really fast.  We seemed to just move from one activity to the next (and we never left the house!).  My favorite time was bath and bed time.  Seeing those four little ones in the (very big) tub was so neat.  And then reading books, singing and praying with each of them was just the icing on the cake.  On the first night Zeke told me my prayer wasn't right!  So I told him to go ahead and pray for himself.  He added a special prayer for one of his mom's friends who has a foot injury and a favorite babysitter who recently suffered a concussion.  Isn't that sweet?  It was obvious that the kids are very used to this routine.  Each had favorite books that I read to them.  Ellie asked me to read to her from a special girl's devotional book.  I read several truck and train books to Zeke and Lia read to me from a new book she just got.  Anna picked out different books each night and was clear that I needed to read 2 books - not one!  Let me tell you there is nothing more relaxing and wonderful than cuddling with a pajama clad child, praying and getting hugs and kisses.  

Yesterday afternoon, while Anna napped, I let the big kids paint.  I have yet to meet a kid that doesn't love to long as there is no judgement on the finished project.  It was a wonderful several hours of fun listening to the kids, as they chatted while painting.  Oh how I love these finished projects!
Lia decided to paint a "pre done" canvas that she had gotten for her birthday.  It was so fun listening to her talk about the color choices she was making.  
Ellie painted this house.  I love that she started off with the BIG sun in the sky!  
And this is one of Zeke's masterpieces.  He also painted a watercolor on the easel.  He told me that this was "Goliath the roller coaster" as well as several other things.  I decided that it is a flexible work that is open to interpretation.  I just love the colors!  He "created" the purple in the upper right hand corner by mixing his red and blue!  These pictures were my "photo opportunity" of the weekend! But alas, in truth telling, I forgot to take a picture of their finished paintings.  So Gwen had to send these to me today.  Another part of being a somewhat forgetful 61!  Sigh.

The weekend gave me so many great memories.  Plus I realized that I can actually really enjoy time outside in the fall weather!  I also found out that I still have enough energy to handle 4 kids for a few days.  I also learned an important lesson about praying from a sweet four year old who takes the needs of others very seriously.  So while Gwen and Tim were on a retreat with youth talking about "being still",  I learned that in the crazy, busy, LOUD and messy and tiring time with four kids, you can still hear the voice of Jesus.  I have to tell you the silent time after the kids had gone to bed and the house was quiet, I had some wonderful time with Jesus.  But I felt His presence with us the entire weekend.  He was whispering "peace be still" as I was trying to calm Anna when she missed her mom and dad.  He was turning my face to the clear blue sky reminding me to look up while I was sitting on the grass.  And with every paintbrush stroke the kids made on those canvas', Jesus was reminding me that He was the one painting the trees with fall colors.  All you have to do is make sure that you listen!  Jesus is always talking!  

Yes this weekend was a wonderful time learning to hear Jesus in the ciaos of everyday life.  I have a much better appreciation for the activity level that Gwen and Tim have all of the time.  It was a great reminder that we can hear Jesus ALL THE TIME!  In quiet and in loud.  He is speaking from heaven!

Jesus, thank you for the reminder that our circumstances do not determine our ability to hear your voice.  Thank you for children and hugs and fun.  Holy Spirit, remind us to slow down and listen.  When you take us out of our comfort zone, help us to listen to your voice.   Thank you for time away from our routines that refresh us.  Jesus, thank you for continuing to speak to us!  Amen

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