9 months home...
An Attitude of Gratitude.
I was going to write about these two subjects separately, but they are so closely related today that you are getting a double feature.
Today our semon at church was on being blessed and being grateful. I am always amazed that God always knows what I need to hear most.
Here's what I heard:
1) God knows your situation.
2) God is with you in your situation.
3) God can help change your situation.
God knows what is going on in our lives. He knows our situations with family, career, finances, health. He is standing in those situations right beside us.
We need to be grateful for all of our imperfect gifts. We are all imperfect gifts. My kids are imperfect gifts. My spouse is an imperfect gift. And yes, I am an imperfect gift. I was reminded that I need to be grateful for these kids... these kids I prayed for... these kids I would have given my right arm for.... all 6 of these kids God has blessed me with. I need to be grateful for them in their imperfect state. I need to replace the anxiety and frustration I feel with gratitude. When God brings me through another day, another "situation," I need to worship him and give him thanks.
The kids service was about gratitude as well. Family theatre is as much fun as educational for the kids. Today they had a video clip about a kid who realized how much his mother did for him and how ungrateful he had been. I sat in kids church with silent tears rolling down my face, as I realize that gratitude or lack thereof is one of the things that is really gnawing on me. Josh did come home and take out the trash (one of his assigned chores this week) without being told to. This is a first.... ever. So maybe I'm not the only one who heard something useful at church today. I can only pray that everyone took something home with them from that sermon.
Tomorrow marks 9 months home for Josh and Jameson. Wow.
We continue to deal with the little things. The little things that I hope are just normal for people who were strangers 9 months ago and are now living in close quarters. There are days when things are perfect. There are still those days when all of us are struggling. Sorry to those of you who were thinking 9 months might be that perfect time for things to fall into place.
Jameson is doing great in school. Her reading has improved so much! I have never seen a child who tries harder. She is so eager and willing to learn. I believe Jameson has some real learning disabilities and has a much harder time grasping new concepts. It took her 30 minutes to figure out what number came between 209 and 211 last week, and we have been working on this for 12 weeks now. But she tries so hard and she wants to learn.
Josh remains a huge mystery to me. He continues to be SO disconnected from all of us. There are days when Josh just exists, and then there are days when he seems to be awake and interacts with us. I'm sure that things are better with Josh than they were months ago, but it gets harder to see that. The longer they are home, in some ways, it becomes more difficult. It becomes more difficult and annoying to have to tell him again that sweatpants and a button up shirt and flip flops in November are not appropriate for church. It becomes more difficult and annoying to have to tell him again to speak in sentences instead of one word caveman commands. It becomes more difficult and annoying to see him spaced out and not paying attention again. Unfortunately I can sense that we are all losing our patience with him more often now. I think this is a collective family UGH. We are all tired.
School is going well. We have considered putting Jameson in third grade at Gloria Deo next year with the other kids, but I don't think Josh will ever be able to do that. The social anxiety and lack of motivation will hold him back from this very difficult school. He just officially finished first grade and we are skipping second grade, but I would say he's probably more like a third grade level. We are going to try to get through fourth grade this year. He is a very smart boy. He just does not apply himself. He does the least amount to get by and still thinks that I won't notice if he skips pages in his work. We motivate him through soccer. If he wants to play soccer, he has to do well at home and in school. Unfortunately this is the only way to motivate him to do anything.
It is so easy to get caught up in the stuff that is making me crazy that it sometimes is difficult to appreciate the kids for the wonderful, imperfect gifts that they are. I am trying to see them for who they are. Who God made them. And I am trying to be grateful for who God made them.
I seriously feel like some sort of wicked person because I am always correcting, always telling no, always getting on to, and seemingly always remembering only the negative. It really isn't all negative. It really isn't all bad. It just isn't all good either. And so we just continue on our goal of becoming a united, engaged family. Here's to month 10.