Monday, March 3, 2014

The Daddy Tackle: Loving Arms

For the first half of last week I had the stomach flu.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I had a severe migraine.  I had a lovely weekend  helping at a women's conference called, "Time Out for Women," but nobody knew I had a migraine.  I just smiled and hugged the sisters when I felt like my brain was too dead to make sense. :-)  Those hugs strengthened me.

I remember at one point somebody asked me to perform a simple task.  Since it felt as if my migraine was squeezing out all my brain cells, I had to replay the question in my mind about 10 times as I walked away because I did not fully understand the simple task.  By the time I arrived at the next location, I just restated the words which were told to me.  My brain was still trying to make sense of the words.  I tell you- my brain is scattered when it's healthy!!  Migraines zap whatever else is remaining!! :-)

By the time I came home from church yesterday, I collapsed for several hours trying to get rid of the migraine.  Abe was out of town, so my sweet Jackson put baby Jayden in a stroller and walked him up and down the sidewalk while I slept.

I was later informed that while I napped, Jordan and Tyson scaled this palm tree at the edge of our woods.  What??? Who climbs palm trees??  There are no branches!!!  The little pieces that stick out of the tree, break off when you step on them.  That's definitely not safe!

As Tyson told me the story, he said,  "Don't worry, Mom!  We took a vine, and we put it on the highest branches- a really good and tight one.  Then we threw the rest of the vine down the tree, so we could climb up the vine up the tree...  If we were ever about to fall, we could climb up that vine."  He continued, "Jordan was trying to jump from tree to tree… but then he fell off."

Oh what a good mom am I!?!?!  I slept while my children frolicked in the treetops of the jungles!!!

This morning, I woke up to Mariah, Juliana, and Jayden piling on top of me.  Each of them squealing, "MY Mommy!!!!"  I hugged them for quite some time, and then I warily climbed out of bed wondering if the migraine would return… thank goodness… no pounding sensations returned.

I called Abe, but we only talked for a moment.  He said he was in New York.  Before he hung up the phone, he told me he had a surprise for me.  He knows I hate it when he tells me he has a surprise.  I would rather just be surprised because then I have to wait ALL that time wondering what the surprise is.  I grumbled at him, "You know I hate that!!  Just tell me what it is!!!"  He insisted he couldn't tell me but that he had to go.

A few minutes later, I stood in front of my bathroom mirror looking at my tired eyes when baby Jayden walked in and grabbed my hand.  He tugged me towards the hallway to show me what he had done...

My little Jayden is always up to something. :-)

Jayden had pooped his diaper, dug out some of it, threw it on the floor, and then made poopy footprints across the floor for me.  (He wanted me to clean it up for him of course.)  I tried really hard to remain cool.  As I went to the other bathroom to wash his hands, I found Juliana ringing out her underwear.  The floor was soaking wet- but not from water.  She had been wiping up her "accident" with her urine soiled underwear and ringing it out in the sink to wipe again.  Urine on urine is NOT a good cleaning solution.

How did all that happen in 10 minutes???

I disinfected their messes- grateful my migraine had not yet returned- and made breakfast.  We all sat outside ready to eat and study the scriptures.   Right then, Jackson, in an attempt to help the little ones get settled, held his own plate of eggs and potatoes in a vertical position.   Yep!  -potatoes and eggs all over the patio ground.

I gave no expression- just stared.  Abe wouldn't be home until late afternoon, and I was beat!

Right then… at the absolute perfect moment… Abe burst around the corner of the house with open arms, and he yelled, "Oh my gosh guys!  Daddy's home!!"

Joy erupted!  What a surprise!!  He wasn't supposed to come home for another 5 or 6 hours.  He was the greatest surprise but he also carried with him a box of donuts for all of us and chocolates for me.

Every time he comes home, Juliana cries because she can't squeeze into "The Daddy Tackle."  This time I cried because I needed to be front and center of "The Daddy Tackle." I didn't want to let go of him.  His arms felt so comforting.

After so many things seemed to go wrong, it all felt better the moment I felt that hug.  Even Jackson said, "Everything was better once daddy came."

We studied the scriptures and ate donuts together.

Abe leaves again on Wednesday, and he'll be gone for 2 weeks!  I'm so grateful he has such a great job to pay the bills, but what a joy to have him home!  What a joy to feel his loving arms.  What a joy to know that God is placing people in our lives who love us and want to help ease our burdens.  I believe it really is about giving love in abundance.  I'm grateful for my husband's abundant love.

Over the weekend at Time Out for Women, I talked to so many teenage girls and grown women who expressed the same thing… a need to feel and be accepted and sincerely loved.  I can't tell you how many hugs we exchanged!  We become strengthened when we open our hearts to receive the loving arms offered to us.  We are also strengthened when we open our hearts to offer our loving arms to others.

I've heard a lot of people say it's just not their "thing" to give love and hugs so openly… I believe God can use us as HIS instruments when we choose to make it our "thing" to open our arms to bless others.