Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Photos

We spent most of Saturday morning fishing through old photos of my biggest boy in hopes of locating something interesting to submit to the jr. high brunch slide show at school.

We sat around laughing at the moments captured through the toddler years with fingers up noses and the infamous naked child covered in bath time bubbles. We commented on the awkward pre-teen stages immersed with bad wardrobe choices and goofy faces, along with the photos rendering forced smiles with siblings locked arm in arm pretending that they never fight or argue.

We joked about which snapshots would be shown at graduation parties and wedding receptions and which had such bad quality that they should be destroyed. Good times.

I noticed a shear drop in photos as the children got older. My photo took, and has continued to take, a serious decline. I no longer load film through the back door of my Cannon Rebel and deliver the used cartridge to Costco in order to receive glossy pictures. I rely on the camera from my phone and a digital camera which mostly sits at home. Admittedly, I often rely on other people and family members to capture moments, and because of my inconsistency, my children have grown tired of faking smiles for photo moments. My photo box lies sparse. I am pathetic, and lazy.

It's true what they say about the youngest getting the least amount of photos taken, but it isn't right. I need to man up, get rid of my lazy pants, get out the camera, and start shooting an insane amount of pictures. Perhaps then, I can at least feel better about myself regardless of whether or not the photos that I take turn out well.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Encourage Me

The other night my 14 year old boy came into the kitchen where I was putting away the last bit of clean dishes from the dishwasher. He surprised me with these words, "Thanks for all you do Mom. Thanks for taking care of us and working full time too. I don't say that enough." I was so appreciative of his words. Did I mention that he is 14? Did I also mention that he gave me a hug and a kiss? I wish that I could put that moment into an envelope and save it forever.

Those words from my son help me every day. I need those words. Encouraging words keep me going. My husband is very encouraging too. He often tells me that he is crazy about me and often lets me know that I am appreciated. I need to know that what I do matters. We need to raise kids who are encouraging. This is important.

I try to make a point to say what I am thinking. By that I mean, after the social filter kicks in and something kind comes to my mind like, "That lady has cute shoes" I make sure to tell the person. If I walk into the room where my daughter is doing homework and think, "Wow, Maddi's room looks clean," I make a point to say it out loud to her instead of keeping it inside my mind.

If I notice that one of the boys put did well on a school paper or a teacher sends me an e-mail regarding their good behavior, I like to make a huge deal about it and remind them that they are smart and capable. I text my big boy and tell him that I am proud of his good choices.

When I remember, I tell my husband how much I appreciate his taking the boys to school each morning or how nice the yard looks after he grooms and mows the grass. I also like to thank him for working hard for our family.

Our children, spouses, co-workers, friends, neighbors, family members, and even strangers, need encouraging words from us. A great way to know if someone needs encouragement is to check to see if they are breathing. If they are breathing, they need encouragement. Although I don't always remember to say encouraging things to people, I try. I know that the simplest words and get people though the worst of days.

Who can you encourage today?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Disconnected

Lately, my computer has been having issues. In addition to being sluggish after it boots up I discovered that my e-mail cannot update because there is no connection to the Internet when first powered up. I realize this quickly since a warning shows up in the bottom bar which read "Disconnected" next to a red circle with an "X" in the middle.

After a few frustrating moments, I restart my computer and suddenly the connection to the Internet is restored. There is no rhyme or reason for the onset disconnection, and I would never attempt to understand the mind of my computer. That would entail math-ish skills to which I have never been accustomed.

I wish there was a warning sign when I was becoming disconnected in my relationships. Perhaps a red circle with a black "X" in the middle could appear above a persons head warning me that I haven't make a significant connection with them lately. Instead of too much time passing between date night with my husband or one on one time with one of our children, the red circle or the word "disconnected" could float around reminding me to connect.

I know the repercussions of my being disconnected from God. I am irritable, snappy, and have an all around bad attitude. I'm not very nice. A warning would be helpful since often times the disconnection is clouded over with busyness and the bad attitude sneaks up on me.

I also know the repercussions of my being disconnected from those I love. I feel distant, insecure, and edgy. Again, a prior warning would be helpful.

In order for relationships to grow and sustain there needs to be a connection. I need to spend time with God through reading His Word if I want my relationship with Him to grow.

If I want my marriage to grow and sustain, I need to make a connection with my husband. I need to talk with him often, spend time with him, and schedule date nights.

The rules apply to the relationship with my children, family members, and friends. Those with whom I spend time, are the ones with whom I feel most connected.

I love feeling connected to those I love.

Since disconnection in relationships comes without warning it is up to me to habitually connect. And when I don't, I know that all I need to "restart" with a phone call, text, e-mail, or quiet time.