Friday, June 27, 2008

If I Paid You What You're Worth

We are very blessed with an in-home daycare provider who has become a close friend. She's a big part of why Dakota is doing so well with letters, numbers and colors, not to mention socially. I thought this week about how grateful I am that Emily is a part of our lives. I thought if I paid her what she was worth, what she deserves every week, I wouldn't be able to afford her. And it's so true......I can't put a pricetag on my daughter being in a loving home being taught values and skills when I can't be with her. Where when she's there, she becomes one of her own.

God must have had a specific lesson in mind this week, because I've been thinking about this concept for a few days now. How does Emily's value to Dakota and I translate to a bigger picture? Well, it hit me.....the way I feel about Emily - not being able to pay her what she's worth - is how God feels about me. When I try and grasp the enormity of it all, it's overwhelming. God knows my value, every day, and it's beyond measure.

The real lesson part comes when I take it one step further. He feels this way about everyone. So that means the person who drives me nuts at work, or the jerk who cut me off in traffic, has the same value as an individual to God. Even though I may not be able to see the good, He can see it perfectly clear. He knows what we're all worth.

It's beyond our comprehension and imagination that someone could value us this much. It gives me hope, pride, and peace knowing that I'm worth that much to Him. To be able to see that value in another, the way God sees them, begins to connect us all. We are all His. We are all a part of Him. We are all priceless.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Driving Time

I still drive Dakota around on the weekends so she can take a nap. Granted, it's once a day instead of twice a day with the gas prices, but we still do it. Today I realized those drives are not just for her, they're for me too. I talked to God for an hour. I prayed, I cried, I hoped. I prayed for family and friends. I prayed for my husband. I prayed for strength for myself.

I set myself on a new path today. It's somewhat still to be determined, but I could tell God was with me in the car. I have a good friend (Em) who is going through similar things right now. I felt God tell me that we have each other and we both have Him. Together, we would all get through.

The biggest feeling I got was that I needed to live. Not by other people's expectations or standards, but to do what I want. To do what Dakota needs. I want to become the best person I can so that I can be the best Mom I can be for her. If that means going places and doing things just the two of us, then so be it.

As I drove through the empty space of Stanfield to Casa Grande I teared up at the thought of living in the slower paced country. At first I couldn't tell if it was actually appealing to me or if I was just trying to escape. But what appealed to me, to the point of tears, was the simplicity of it all. A simple house, minimal "things", and a yard to play in. Sounds like heaven.

But heaven is wherever my little girl is. And I can work on making my existing life more simple. I finished the drive feeling hopeful and peaceful and connected to something. I was surprised at how fast reality slapped me in the face when I got home. But I need to learn to keep my own reality around me and not let others' get in the way.

My post may seem rather cryptic, but I'm sure there's a few that understand. The knowledge that I can create something with God's support is an amazing feeling. Keeping this at the forefront, making choices based on this, spending time with friends who understand, raising my daughter to appreciate it.....these are things worth the drive.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Baby Mine

I dropped off a baby at the sitter's yesterday and picked up a little girl. I'm not sure when it happened, but the change felt like it just took a few hours. Maybe it was the pigtails that she looked oh so adorable in. She walked out to the car with me jabbering and telling me stories. Then she sang to me on the way home. After dinner, she played all by herself for a while with the Little People farm. The bottle I gave her to get to sleep reminded me there's still a little baby-ness left yet. It's definitely a different feeling though. I remember the day when I didn't think I would ever get out of colic, or teething (still working on that one). And here we are starting to fight big girl battles of temper tantrums and kicking the door after I've said "no" 20 times. The Lord has carried us this far...and thankfully without too many battle scars. I'm reminded that everything is a phase and He will carry us through the next stage as well. How wonderful to know in advance that He will get us through!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The 201st Time

I feel like I'm finally making some progress in little tiny baby steps. After having weeds in the back yard over four feet tall, I called a landscape service. Within 3 hours they were working and finished after 3 hours. (Gee Honey, that only took a 2 minute phone call!) I made it through Wednesday, always a challenge for some reason, without going off program (I'm doing Weight Watchers). Thursday was a different story, but at least I made it through Wednesday this week. We're starting to get the dinner thing down. Penny makes the menu for the week, Tony cooks it. :) Dakota's finally in a routine of bath every other night barring any nasty emergencies. Which sadly is something for me to be excited about because there were many weeks when I just didn't feel like it and her bath nights were farther and fewer inbetween. I'm trying to do something to relax every night for just a few minutes. Usually computer time or reading. Of course I fall asleep halfway through a magazine....but it's a start. I've started taking showers in the morning -- woo hooo! For so long I told myself I HAD to take them at night because Dakota might get up too early. Well, she's been sleeping later...AND daddy's home this summer and just helps out (with a little arm twisting) if needed.

Sure, there's still more things that need work. The kitchen light that's been out for over 8 months. The files that need to be shredded from the last 3 years. Exercising....ewwww....the E-word. And I think I'll get there. As long as I give myself time. That seems to be the key. Allowing myself time to get there. Dare I say "allowing myself not to be perfect?" Eeekkk! Don't tell anyone. I might not get it right the first 200 times, but 201 might just be it.