IMG_1066

Looking Back..Kroger Adventures

Posted on

Looking back….Kroger adventures

I have three grown children so I’ve had a busy life. I occasionally have a little time to sit down and reflect over some of the fun and not so fun things that have happened while the kids were growing up. I will tell you that two of my favorite ways to reflect about years gone by are: 1. The whole family sitting around the table and talking about some incident that happened…each kiddo chimes in with their funny take on the situation and sometimes Dad and I are learning NEW things that we didn’t know when the incident occurred. ☺ 2. Bringing out a box of old pictures and going through them together as a family. Kids always talk about what they remember (which is sometimes different that what you remember). Usually both situations bring about lots of laughter, fun times and great memories.

Since my oldest turns 24 today I have been doing some reflecting. Some serious reflecting this morning in my time with the Lord and now reflecting on some of the laughs we all shared. Since I haven’t written much on the funny side of my life (and goodness knows there’s LOTS of it), I thought my super serious blog earlier needed a lighter side to accompany it for today.

Grocery shopping. Two words that can strike fear, anxiety and dread into a Mother of three little ones. Tantrums, screaming, crying…wait….that’s my reaction when I have to go the store. Sorry, back to the story. Grocery store trips with young ones are best made in the morning AFTER breakfast (and store is less crowded) so that they are not hungry and not too cranky. Just my take…yours might work different. Since I had three in car seats and back in the yonder days there were no FANCY RACE CAR baskets with 3 kiddy seats (which I guess is fine because when I watch women now maneuver those things it looks like someone trying to steer a whale down the swim lanes of a pool). When we get our basket I would put Jake in the seat and tighten the strap as tight as it would go (cutting off his oxygen wasn’t a stresser…more worried about what he could REACH) because he would stretch as far as he could, first to one side of the basket then to the other…fingers and arms extended in search of touching SOMETHING on the shelf. Giving little whines because he couldn’t reach anything (or because he couldn’t breathe)…because I would keep the cart in the MIDDLE of the aisle. Next time you see a Momma doing this, have a little compassion and understanding…she is NOT trying to make it hard on you just trying to keep her sanity.

Then for Jessie. Jessie wanted to sit in the seat that Jake sat in…except that he couldn’t sit up extremely well and was very tiny for his age…so he was cart seat whether he liked it or not and she was IN the basket whether she liked it or not. I promise you she DID NOT like it. She complained the whole time. I tried to make it a game. Count the items Momma puts in the cart. Stack the items and make something. Put cans in one place, boxes in another place. And whatever other things I could think of to keep her mind occupied on the groceries or songs or anything but being where she DIDN’T want to be. This worked for about ¾ of the shopping trip and then all CHAOS would break loose (which I will get to in a minute).

Then for Josh. Josh would walk next to the basket, hold on to the basket and frequently pick up an item I needed off the shelf and place it in the cart. Then he would return to holding onto the basket.

So this was my adventure. Walking down the middle of the aisle. After a period of time (about ¾ of the way done with my list) the cart would begin to get too full for Jessie to sit in comfortably any longer. Her wish had come true. FREEDOM. I would have no choice but to pick her up out of the basket and let her walk. I would instruct her to hold onto the cart so she could stay with us and help Mommy get groceries. This worked for about ½ an aisle. Then it sunk in. Like a prisoner that was in chains for years and the chains are removed…at first the prisoner doesn’t realize they are truly FREE, no longer tied to anything. YEPPERS. All of a sudden she would let go of the cart, turn around and look at me with this mischievous look in her eyes, smile, laugh and then take off RUNNING as fast as her little legs could carry her. She would reach the end of the aisle and turn with amazing track-like strides similar to running a curve and she’d be gone! I’m standing with a baby in the basket (that’s barely breathing) and a toddler that’s holding on to the basket. DILEMMA! I think so! Here’s the issue: 1. Run after her WITH the basket (in which I proceed to run OVER my toddler who can’t keep up with my break-neck speed and get arrested for trampling a child underfoot and with a shopping cart). 2. Run after her WITHOUT the basket (which means I abandon my other two children and get arrested for child abandonment in the middle of the grocery store…AND child endangerment for spanking the little track star). YAY! Motherhood is full of these dilemmas! :D

What’s a Mom to do?? What any Momma that’s a coach would do…SPRINT! I turn to my toddler, Josh and instruct him to stand with the basket next to his baby brother and NOT MOVE! Then I move the cart next to the shelves so it’s not in the middle while I’m gone. Then I RUN! I begin running down the end aisle and looking down each intersecting aisle for a crazed escapee. Then, three aisle over I spot her! She is in the middle of the aisle, giggling loudly, especially after she spots ME! Laughing at me! Haha! You silly Momma! You spotted me. You MIGHT catch me. But I will win this game. ☺ So here I come at her. ZIP! I’m there and grab her by the arm. She laughs for a second then IMMEDIATELY goes limp…whole body limp. Please know that all this is with people watching. This type of thing tends to draw a crowd. As soon as she goes limp, the laughing turns to tears and screaming. She says, “Don’t SPANK ME, MOMMY! Don’t hurt me!” Yes. She says this. People stare. Dirty looks. One lady proceeds to follow me around the store the remainder of the time and WATCH me. I still swat Jess on the behind and carry her back to the cart…mad and screaming. She now stands in the cart after she calms down. Shopping is done. Now on to the check out. Only three lanes open. One express. Two with candy ALL over each side. My little mischievous grins again.

HaHa!! Hope you enjoyed the trip with me down memory lane. I could write a story about the candy aisle…the unloading of the groceries and the woman that followed me and wanted to call CPS because I spanked my child and didn’t buy them candy. Yes. So many stories. Going to the store is much easier now but I still smile when I see Mommas and think back. :D

LOVE LOUD!


shameLESS

Posted on

shameLESS!!

GOOD MORNING, friends! Heard the Billy Joel song, Shameless yesterday and that started me thinking about my life. I know that what I’m writing about today doesn’t necessarily correlate to the song but the title is what moved my mind that direction.

SHAMELESS. Sit and soak on that one for a minute. What DOES it mean to live WITHOUT SHAME? I can tell you this….I’m NOT positive. I mean, I KNOW that when we cast ALL our anxiety, cares, worries, past, uglies, mistakes, BIG mistakes, regrets and SO ON onto Jesus…that He heals them ALL…WASHES them ALL CLEAN! I can also tell you I have LOTS of things I regret. Some small and some HEAVY. In fact, so heavy that I don’t have font HEAVY ENOUGH to use to emphasize HOW HEAVY those regrets are. But while I tell you all this, and can also tell you that God has been moving in me to let GO of those past regrets. To ask FORGIVENESS from those I need to seek their forgiveness. To let GO of some bitterness that’s lurking in deep dark corners. (Friends, that’s where bitterness LURKS..it doesn’t WANT to be in the LIGHT…because like fungus it needs dark places to live…light makes it shrivel and die.)

So today, I am sharing a SHAME. It is one that has heavied my heart for many years. At the time I was walking through the midst of it…it almost swallowed me. The dear one I needed to ask their forgiveness…I did that at the beginning of this summer. As SOON as my youngest, Jake, came home from college, he and I sat down and talked. I opened myself to him about the past and he was peaceful and loving and AMAZING. God is truly GOOD because this has been a black place for me all these years.

I have three beautiful children…Josh, who turns 24 today, Jess, who is 22 and Jake, who is 21. So as you can SEE, they are VERY close in age. Josh and Jess are 15 months apart…Jess and Jake are 17 months apart. For a season in my life I was either pregnant, just gave birth or near pregnant. ☺ I stayed home with the kiddos and Mark’s job was NOT a well-paying job at that time. We struggled with money, although we were quite happy with our little family.

When I had Jess, many people would comment…”Poor Josh, he isn’t getting to be a baby!”…and many other comments along those lines. So we managed as well as we could trying to let Josh have his time as a baby and yet be a big brother, too. He stepped into the role quite well (and has been a GREAT big brother his whole life). So wouldn’t you know it…just as SOON as I think I’m kinda getting a little handle on this Momma role, here comes a knuckeball.

☺ We are leaving for a short little vacation to Colorado with Josh and Jess and I haven’t been feeling good. I take a pregnancy test and it is positive. And here begins the darkness…the ATTACK from the enemy. He immediately IMMEDIATELY hits me. Question after question…”What HAVE YOU DONE? POOR MARK, he can barely make enough money for the family NOW. What a BURDEN you are to HIM! What a burden you are putting on the family! Those POOR kids! They won’t get to be BABIES! You aren’t EVEN GOOD at this MOMMA thing and NOW you’re going to have ANOTHER BABY!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? You are SO INADEQUATE! YOU ARE OVERWHELMED!!” And on and on and on and ON he kept coming at me!! I was believing all the lies he spoke! Friends, the enemy comes to STEAL, KILL AND DESTROY! Don’t forget that! Don’t fall victim to it!! He is a THIEF! And he was on the fast track to crushing me!!

I began talking to Mark (my husband) about having another baby. He was a gem the whole time. He never waivered about the kids or money or anything. He was supportive. But I was hearing the enemy sitting on my shoulder and yelling in my ear….lie after lie…hurt after hurt. So I questioned. I began to think…MAYBE I SHOULDN’T HAVE THIS BABY?? MAYBE I REALLY DO SUCK AT BEING A MAMA? MAYBE THIS BABY WOULD BRING TOO MUCH BURDEN ON OUR FAMILY AS A WHOLE? GOOD LORD, WHAT am I thinking??? But I thought it. It was gaining strength in me. CRAZY, right??? I’m married and THINKING about having an abortion!! WHAT?! Sadly, it is true. But with big regrets come BIGGER moves of GOD.

So we left for vacation(I was 6 wks pregnant) and on the trip, as I slept one night, the Lord spoke to me. He KNEW what was going on inside me. He SPOKE to me as CLEAR as someone sitting at the table and talking with you. The Lord spoke, “Suzanne, you are pregnant with a little boy. You will name him Jacob and he is MINE. He will be a strong warrior and do many mighty works for me. He will be a leader and I will lift him up because he will draw people to me. He will be FULL of life and joy!” WOW!! I woke straight UP…sat up and bed and woke Mark up!! I told him what the Lord had spoken to me about the baby. Mark was half asleep and I think a got a, “That’s great, Honey,” out of him before he rolled over and was snoring again.

So the Lord took this BROKEN, messed up, woman and gave me a gift!! I will let you know that we DID have a little boy and his name IS Jacob. If the Lord names your child, you don’t argue. :D And I have carried around YEARS of guilt and shame that I even CONSIDERED having an abortion …a life that GOD created and wanted here…has a purpose…and I thought I could “choose.” It was never my choice.

So I don’t live with this GUILT any more! I am shameLESS when it comes to my past regarding Jacob. God is using him in big and mighty ways and I am just BLESSED to sit back and watch. He is God’s, not mine.  You may sit back and judge me..if so, go ahead, but God has redeemed me. We ALL have hidden shame and I am sharing mine because it has proven to help my healing. So friends, LET GO of all the JUNK! God is a REDEEMER! Let Him WASH that SHAME off of you!! Praying that in some small way, this story of MY SHAME will help YOU get to a place to let GO of yours!

LOVE LOUD!