Saturday, September 18, 2010

Surviving & Thriving Mode

So here it is September--mid-September at that--and the words and thoughts continue to flood my brain, but rarely make it to the page. Sigh! Must be motherhood or something. Maybe it's personality. I have great aspirations of writing, but when the rubber meets the road, I'm more likely to get caught up in the daily business of life (or escape into a book). Not horrible, so long as I'm doing what God wants me to be doing....

Much of this summer has been prep for REAL moms. Yesterday morning we "finished" our prep with our first meeting of the year and now we plunge into the fall. It was an awesome morning with our moms, and I'm so excited about this year, and so thankful for my team. At the beginning of the summer we weren't sure if we'd have a team or a group this year, but God pulled the people together and we're ready to roll. This process has been one of my ongoing lessons in trust. I found myself praying, "So, Lord, I know that your plan is the best plan, but could you let me know if it includes REAL moms?" Apparently REAL moms was in the plan, so now I'm waiting to see what His plan is for additional childcare workers who we desperately need!

One of my "jobs" as Coordinator is to write a monthly note for our newsletter, so in a way I'm "forced" to write something :) . Our theme this year is "Survivor: Thoroughly equipped for every good work," and with that in mind I wrote about one of our summer survivor experiences. I've found that the more I go through various adventures in life, if I step back and think, "When this is over, it'll be an awesome story to share," the more I'm able to laugh in the midst of the situations as well, and handle them better.

So since I don't seem to be getting much else up in this blog, I though I'd include a version of the letter and experience here :) :

Last year, our first year as REAL moms, we focused our theme on just that—how we are each “real moms” and what that means in life. This year our theme takes another angle of being a real mom: surviving. And not just surviving, but also thriving by being well-equipped with the tools and support we moms desperately need. 

I’m sure each of us has multiple mom-survivor stories. While there are definitely experiences that are tragic and tough, there are many that might seem that way in the moment, but make for hilarious stories after the fact. My summer has had a number of these. The biggest event revolved around Kraig putting a new roof over our heads (you know, one of those “little” projects that takes on gargantuan proportions). It’s been crazy, but I’m very thankful he’s the one who’s been doing it.

The funniest survivor story of my summer, though, was the blistering hot day the kids and I planned to meet friends at a pool, only to find that the car battery was dead. And of course, that was after my kids were all buckled in and we were running late. A quick call to friend L confirmed they were running late, too (phew!), but now she knew we might or might not get there. 

My first thought was to charge the battery with a charger we had for that purpose (yes, we have an old van, and yes, the battery had been acting up for a few days so we'd borrowed the charger from family "just in case"). I called Kraig and got the 411 on hook-up and procedure. It didn't work. (That night Kraig looked at the charger and said, "Well that's why! You turned it to 6-blah-blah, not 6-blah-blah." Okay, so he didn't say "blah-blah" but that's about all I understood!)

Despite this set-back I was determined we would get to the pool! It struck me that I could walk over to my in-laws’ house (you can do it in about fifteen minutes without kids)—Kris and Katrina were out of town, so I figured I’d just borrow their van. Our neighbor hadn’t headed to work yet and could watch the kids while I ran. Yay! I booked it to Katrina’s, called them as I went and left messages to let them know their van was going for an unplanned ride. When I got there, I opened the garage door...and found that the person taking care of their home had locked the door to the house inside the garage…. I had no key.

Story over? Sad, hot walk back to kids to let them know we weren’t going swimming? No way! I was a survivor mom! Katrina’s neighbors who are family friends were home and I thought for sure they’d have a key, so I trotted over…and found out they didn’t. Just then Kris called to let me know that their van’s battery was dead, but I was welcome to use their smaller car…and no, he didn’t have extra house keys lying around. At this point, our neighbor’s son volunteered his lock-picking kit. Seriously! No, really, he is above board! Eagle Scout. He just has friends who give interesting birthday gifts. He set to work on the lock, and within a few minutes we had the pleasure and surprise of a wide open door! (By the way, I’m known in that neighborhood, so don’t think you can get away with pulling the same stunt :) . Besides, I was on the phone with Kris at the time, so it’s all legal!).

So, the keys were got, the car was driven home, the carseats were switched over (and all three fit!), the children re-buckled…and we made it to the pool only an hour-and-a-half after we had planned. We still got to hang out with L and kids for a bit, and the water had never felt so good!

May this year be a year of wonderful survivor stories!