Back in Action, Maybe, Mostly, Part 1

I feel the need to forewarn you – I do not have my act together. (I’m 101% sure, though, that almost every one of you already knew that.)

But, as it pertains to today – I really and truly  don’t have my act together.

So… today’s post will be a 2-parter.  But no worries for those of you that detest cliffhangers (I do too!), the other part is coming later on this afternoon.

A fun little summer montage may or may not follow, if I get my act together later. Today. Maybe.

For now, though, I’m letting my heart linger on the summer memories we’ve been busy making because MY BABY IS GOING TO KINDERGARTEN in too few days.

Thankfully, my nephew took my mind off of all of this Kindergarten Business by hitting me with a picture of him eating my Last Precious Piece of Cake from the local snack bar that we love down on the shore.  Stinker.

cake_debacle_Missindeedy

Thank you God for summer memories.

I pray each one of you have had the chance to make a couple of your own memories, this summer.

Yes indeedy!

Because I Can

Dear Sweet Children,

I know that you are a little sad that Daddy had to leave Florida to go back home to work.

I am too.

But, that’s what happens when you become an adult.  You have to stop All The Playing to do some work, too.

Don’t you stop playing though.

Play lots.

No. TONS.

Get real tired, okay?

And I know that you are a little nervous because I am going away for a few days.

But, you are going to have So Much Fun with The Nana and Captain Ahab – because they love you so.

And you will be going on such a grand adventure with them before we meet up in a few days.

I need you to know, though, that I will miss you both to smithereens.

And, do you know why?

Because I can.

You need to know all of this, sweet children.

Because, I’ll be calling to tell you that, “I Love You So Stinkin’ Much”, really soon.

Because I can.

And I do.

So…

Eat your strawberries.

Stay hydrated.

Be polite.

Go potty FOR THE LOVE.

Say your prayers.

Give The Nana a few extra snuggles (I think she’s going to need them because she’ll be missing me).

And remember that I Love you BOATLOADS and God loves you even more!

Until I See You Again,

Mama

P.S.  Ahab is going to try to get you to go to sleep without your noise machines.  Humor him, okay?  He’ll catch on after that first night.  Promise.

Lessons by Sunrise

As we were strolling along the beach, earlier than humans should be allowed to be strolling, and looking for shells and treasures, Sweetgirl kept stopping to pick up “shells” like this:

At least their vibrantly colored, right?

At least they’re vibrantly colored, right?

Ahab and I kept telling her that she should be looking for shells like this:

The ones with holes are perfect for stringing necklaces, right?

The ones with holes are perfect for stringing necklaces, right?

You know. Perfect shells.

Because, all of us adults seem to have this need for perfection.

Or, maybe just the pursuit of perfection.

And there’s that theme again. When, Lord?  When will I learn this lesson once and finally?

But, God doesn’t want perfection from us.

Perfection began and ended in His Son, Jesus Christ.

I just need to follow hard after Jesus.

And for every time I stumble, I need only look up at The Hand that is offered to get back up.

Maybe, I need to see myself as one of those broken shell pieces.

I should also try to remember that I am already precious to Someone exactly as I am.

Just as those broken bits are to my Little Bit.

Although I would have preferred an earlier start to this lesson in my life, I’m ever so thankful for it.

And, I thank God that He is providing opportunities to teach her this lesson much earlier in her own life.

I’m also hopeful that this lesson sticks with her as she navigates life amidst All The Broken.

Oh, yes indeedy!

This Is Why…

Or…

It’s time for a little levity. (Please, all of my Duck Dynasty loving friends, say the word levity just like Mr. Phil would, kay?)

Things can get a little confusing around The Nana & Captain Ahab’s house.

As in, “But, which cup is mine, Mama?”

Please refer to exhibit A:

confusing_cups_MissindeedyNo, my friends, to a child who can not yet read, one of these things is most definitely NOT like the other.

Oh Dear John!

In other news, I think I may just have taught Sweetgirl how to decode the word MILK quicker than any mama in the history of Ever.  True story.

Yes indeedy.

Back to our regularly scheduled activities, people.

And, no more black cups for you, Captain Ahab.

In Your Blood

Turtle_Egg_Beaching_Missindeedy

Or, I could have titled this post, “Just Another Deep Beach Walk & Talk With Ahab”.

The Tantrums and whining have been plenteous out of Sweetgirl at this stage of her development. Can I get an Amen from other mama’s that are In It or who have Been There?

Ahab likes to remind me that I still have them, now and then, at 40-something.  Don’t hit me with facts, man!

We are employing the “ignore the nasty behavior and maybe it will go away” strategy, right now.

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, during our early morning walk the other day, the sweet children were delighted to see the turtle egg sanctuaries dotting the beach.  They ran right up to them and asked, again, about the process.

I patiently re-explained how the mama digs a hole in the sand and delivers her baby turtle eggs there and then covers up the hole with sand and heads back out into the ocean to eat.  And I reminded them how when the baby turtles hatch out of their eggs they make their way out to the great big ocean to find their mother (I might have made up that last part to stem the 400 anguished “But, WHY?” questions that would result from full-out honesty, here). 

Their eyes glazed over and they bailed.

Down the beach they went, playing “catch me if you can” with the waves lapping at their feet.

Ahab turned to me and said, “Those kids sure are ocean lovers, aren’t they?”

I replied that of course they were – I am their mother!

And he reminded me of this truth:

“Once the ocean gets in your blood, it’s there to stay, isn’t it?”

As he sauntered off to frolic with his grandkids, I stood still for a moment to let that sink in.  And I came to a realization.

The ocean getting in your blood is an awful lot like when Jesus enters your heart.

He is there to stay.

And He will cleanse you.  Much like the ocean will for any wound you have on your body.

And He will wipe out our mistakes. As the ocean will do to any pictures drawn in the sand.

And He will remind you of how Powerful He is.  Just as the crashing waves of the ocean will.

And the deeper you allow Him to take you and your heart, the more beauty you will discover. Oh, the beauty to be found in the depths of the ocean!

And, sometimes, there are scary things lurking in deeper waters. We are all quite capable of envisioning something in the ocean that causes fear.

And His significance will ebb and flow throughout your walk with him. Just like the ocean’s tides.

But His love for you is endless. Exactly as the ocean looks when you stare out at the expanse of it.

My pondering came to a screeching halt when Sweetgirl came running up to me to ask, “When the baby turtles hatch, will they see their mama? Does the mama come back? Who will help them? How will they find her?”

Rapid fire.

Just like that.

With an increase of Whine and Panic with each new question asked.

And before I can answer, Ahab jumps in and says, “She doesn’t come back because then the baby turtles will just whine instead of figuring out how to make their way to the ocean by themselves. They just know how to do it already.  It’s in their blood.”

To which Sweetgirl replies calmly, “Oh.”

To which I reply in my heart, “Oh.”

Yes, indeedy.

Let Her Be More

Sometimes, I like to envision Memory and Perspective walking hand in hand.

While The Nana is away on a business trip this week, we are babysitting being companions to Ahab.

So, naturally, we cooked him his favorite dinner last night, steak and potatoes, and then headed out to Dairy Queen for a sweet treat afterwards.  We wanted his first night without The Nana to give him promise that we weren’t going to be Lazy Hang-Abouts all week long.  Ahem…

Ahab and I sat at a table, while Sweetman was waiting for our order, and watched the kids flit here, there, and everywhere.  While we did, two teenage girls walked up to the window all decked out in their teenage finest (read that, shortest and tightest dresses possible).  Their hair was teased and coiffed and I’m near to certain that they had a pound of make-up on their faces between the two of them.  They texted and lol’ed, checked out the surroundings for the few teenage boys working the counter, and generally did all of the things that teenage girls will do.

Ahab turned to me with a twinkle in his eye and asked me if I remembered those days?

What the what now?

I do not remember ever (just so we’re clear) dressing up quite that provocatively.

Or, maybe I’m just older than I want to admit to being.

Either way, I remarked that thankfully, sweetgirl was a lot like me and that I was pretty sure that she was going to be confident enough in herself to never think she needed to dress that way to attract attention. (Speaking it makes it true, dontcha know?).

I also might have mentioned that I was going to teach her that she didn’t need to “package” herself at that age, or any age, to attract the attention of men. And I might also have gone on about how I will be teaching her to care more about making her heart attractive.

Oh, the intentions I have…

And as we watched Sweetgirl flit, Ahab marveled at how precocious and outgoing she was and commented that, “Yes indeedy, (I come by it naturally, you see), she’ll do alright.”.

Isn't she beautiful, mama?

Isn’t she beautiful, mama?

I said that she came by her precociousness naturally, of course, because I was like that at her age, too.

Right?

But, what he replied with was not what I thought I knew of myself.

No. Not at all.

Ahab said, “No, you were actually kinda quiet and on the shy side.  You were much more cautious and a thinker.”

HUH?

Now, from the stories about my formative years that The Nana would tell you, I was all sorts of spitfire in the personality department.  My brother – he was the one who bounced from point A to point B.

But I?  Well, apparently I was the mastermind behind the bouncing.

I’m left chewing over that and trying to make sense of how God brought me to such a place of confidence compared to how I used to supposedly be.

And I can only conclude one thing.

By. His. Grace.

By His Grace, I am able to remember that I am more than my outfit.

I am more than my appearance.

I am more than what others think of me.

I am more than what others may say about me.

“But by God’s grace I am what I am, and his grace shown to me was not wasted.”

1 Corinthians 15:10

And oh! How I pray that Sweetgirl always holds this truth close to her heart.

Let her be more than a conqueror, through you, Jesus, too!

Yes indeedy!

What truth do you want your own daughter, or the little girls in your life, to hold close to their hearts?

And Then We…

I wanted to first say THANK YOU for praying!  My friend did receive good news a few days ago, and the cancer has not spread. I was praying in earnest, as I know so many of you were, too.  Those prayers… they are precious to me.  And more importantly, to my sweet friend.  Whom I love.

So, again, I am so very grateful for your prayers on her behalf.

2

Summer activity is in full swing around here.  And we like that.  It reminds us that there is a beginning (of All The Fun) and an end (of All The School).  We get to languish in the mornings, eat lunch on the deck, and rustle up dinner whenever we want to.  There is water to be played in and ice cream to be consumed.  It is all a sweet balm to this mama’s heart. And to my sweet children’s hearts, too.

As we make preparations to head down to Florida to see Captain Ahab and The Nana for most of July, I thought I’d show y’all what we were up to last week.  Because, who doesn’t like pictures to remind us of The Joy? (Although, I beg you to ignore the fact that I chose to hold up my Coke Zero like I was in an advertisement for the thing. Sigh…)

But, aside from that… LOOK!  Summer!

Yes, indeedy!

Beach_With_Friends_Missindeedy

Happy Summer!