How do you make it "yours"?
How do you make it feel like "home"?
Some people throw parties.
Some people paint it their favorite colors.
Some people clean it with "their" cleaner so it has "their" smell.
I fill it with kids.
THAT'S what makes it fell "homey" to me.
So....after almost 6 weeks
it was time.
Yesterday Ethan and Bennett had some buddies over. While RH took the puppy and Carolyn to Duck Camp, the 5 boys and I hit the pool for a few hours, then came home to change.
Carolyn left with her cousin for the night and RH and I took the boys to dinner and to see Green Lantern.
Then the 5 of them settled down in the boys' room and talked
It was a good night.
It was a GREAT night.
It was a familiar night....if that makes sense.
We all got up bright and
RH left for a meeting at church and I got the boys fed, the dogs fed and put out, the laundry folded, the kitchen cleaned and the yard watered.
As I was upstairs cleaning up the blankets I heard the boys all giggling.
Man....I hadn't realized how much I missed that sound.
Then I heard a couple of thumps and a loud CRASH SHATTER BANG.
No more giggling.
A little panicky whispering....but definitely no more giggling.
I climbed down off of the top bunk and in my calm collected kool-aid mother voice asked the boys what had happened.
Seems the three 11-year olds had decided that it would be a fun idea to bounce a ball off of the walls and play catch in the living room.
Seems they accidentally bounced the ball off of one of the 8 funky-70's-style sconces built-in to the wall.
Seems that aforesaid sconce shattered ALL OVER the floor, the rug, the new couch (which had come in Thursday after 4 weeks of waiting and 6 weeks of no couch at all) the carpeted built-in couch, the puppy and his padded kennel and the 7 year olds trying to calmly play Star Wars.
I must tell the truth.
Kool-aid mom began to turn into Red Bull on a bad trip mom.
As I felt the steam begin to build behind my eyes I told ALL OF them to GET OUTSIDE before I said something I shouldn't.
Then they went super quickly outside and I said MANY things I shouldn't.
I was mad.
Mad MAD MAD MAD mad.
It took me almost 45 minutes to clean the entire area (and I STILL got a piece of glass in my foot later that afternoon) before I sent the boys in to get dressed for church.
You see...it wasn't just the broken light...that's happened before and it'll happen again(worse things will break too....I have sons and I get how this works!)...
It wasn't so much that they knew better (although they ALL are like my own kids and they DID)....
And it wasn't so much that they'd disobeyed or disrespected a normal obvious household rule...
All of those things....while not great.....are just part of being kids and being a mom and life.
I know those things will happen...and we can ALL learn from them and move on and no use crying over spilt milk (or broken glass) or whatever.
In retrospect....I think the reason I got SO SO SO furious is this:
That previous night and that morning....I'd started to really feel.....well.....
Dare I say.....normal?
Having the kids there...
Doing what we'd always done PT....
Having an actual couch and coffee table (which I know is SO STUPID but really made me feel like a was in a real home and not some weird period-hotel)......
Bringing a gang of boys into church with us.....
Feeding a bunch of kids and smiling while I grumbled at them about how much they ate....
That was how I rolled.
That was what I used to do.
That was the same feeling as the home I'd had and made for my family.
That was the base I used as my springboard for my life.
And then a stupid light shattered.
Then there were stupid exposed wires hanging off of the wall.
Then there was glass all over our only 2 pieces of new furniture.
Then there was the knowledge that I'd have to find time to find 8 new matching lights.
Then things were starting to slightly unravel again.
And I snapped.
I just snapped.
The "normal" I had started to feel was now hanging off of my new main wall and spilled all over the living room.
So...when the boys were
I began to lecture them on many things.
They were silent as mice and good as gold on the ride to church...and as my anger fizzled out and their faces showed real repentance things cooled down.
I cooled down.
We had hugs all around before going into the building....and we were all ok, I guess.
But....as I should have predicted would happen....our pastor opened with a little chat about how now....6-8 weeks post tornado....is when people would begin to experience a different kind of stress. He quoted a newspaper that explained it as (and I paraphrase liberally here) the idea that the shock has worn off and everybody is in the "Holy crud this is the new forever" mode.
Apparently this will be characterized by flaring tempers....among other things.
The pastor also said that this was the time when those in our community who did not have faith in Christ...who put their faith and hope in things of this world instead of things OUT of this world would begin to crumble as they see their world STILL crumbled around them.
Well now....I know I have that hope.
I do truly have that faith.
I think I am just having some not-so-occasional setbacks here and there.
But I tell you....the "here and there"s are coming less frequently.
Thank you, God for that.
So then I did what I probably should have done after I sent the boys outside that morning.
I thanked God for the broken light.
I thanked Him for the reminder to QUIT TRYING TO BASE MY STABILITY IN MY SURROUNDINGS.
Apparently I need frequent reminders of that.
Apparently I'm a slow learner.
One of my friends and I discussed the other day how we both felt like as we grew in Him, we were learning to lay more and more things at His feet.
We also discussed how we're apt to pick those same things back up and take them for ourselves again.
Hence the many reminders.
I DO want my "homey" home back.
I DO want that comfort level.
I DO want that coziness.
But....I don't want to NEED that in order to feel "stable".
One of the songs this morning in church said:
"Sweet Jesus Christ, my sanity....
Sweet Jesus Christ my clarity..."
THAT'S what I need to feel stable.
That's what I WANT to need.
Sure would be nice if I could take His corrections and reminders with just a little more grace and gratitude than I did today.
Proverbs tells me to not hate His corrections, because He corrects those whom He loves as a parent corrects a child.
I'm quite an impressive specimen of "child", if you ask me.
So....goals of the week for this child:
Learn not to cry over spilled milk.
AND remember not to bounce balls on walls in the living room.