Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm THAT Mom...

Before Julie, our exchange student, arrived I was quite confident I'd be the cool mom. I mean, the math alone is in my favor. With my own children, I'm 23, 24 and 27 years older than them which likely destines me to uncoolness in their eyes...eventually. But with Julie, being that she's not really mine, I get to be 14 years older, making the generation gap just small enough to keep me cool, right?

Wrong. Turns out, the age difference doesn't matter, when you're a mom, you're a mom. And to add to it...when you're me, you're me. :)

It doesn't matter that she is technically not mine.
It doesn't matter that she is smart, and seventeen years old.
It doesn't matter that she is brave enough to leave her family and country to live with strangers...

I still...
  • ask a million questions.
  • ask around to find out the reputations of her new friends.
  • feel the need to protect her from making any choices she might regret.
  • feel the need to dislike and question the intentions of any and all teenage boys, except for the ones where I personally know their mothers, because for some reason that makes a difference.
  • ask what happened during the day...with the who, what, when, where, why, and how following.
  • tell her not to stay up too late.
One day, I even asked her to change clothes. Yeah...way, way uncool. The benefit to her not being my "real" daughter is that A - she wasn't purposely trying to push the limit and B - she didn't baulk or complain, but simply changed clothes. It may have been harder on me than her, because it sealed the deal: I'm officially THAT mom ;)





Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nailed It

Sometimes I come across another bloggers post and think to myself...Dang, they nailed it.

Go visit my friend, who is also named Sarah (seriously, there's millions of us) and you'll know what I mean.

Good stuff. Hard stuff. True Stuff.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Life

Life in the Parsonage...

  • Ben's car started on fire as he pulled up in front of our house last night. We had to use the fire extinguisher from the kitchen. I am not even kidding.
  • School has been an adjustment for all of us this year. Mainly, the "going to bed very early so that all of us can function the next day"...it's tricky after late Summer nights and lazy Summer mornings. I miss you Summer.
  • But I do love cool crisp mornings and evenings...especially for running. Bring it on.
  • Julie is doing well. It is totally different to have a teenager in the house. I don't mean that in a bad way...it's just all of a sudden there are curfews and lots and lots of activities. It changes the dynamics of the family, yet all seem to be adjusting well. We joke that it seems like she's lived here longer than three weeks, because she's just part of the family now.
  • Currently there are several men outside our office window building a garage. It's for the parsonage, which means we get to park in it. It's ginormous. I'm looking forward to NOT scraping the windshield this winter.
  • Odie has a tumor. They give him 6 months to a year to live. We've decided not to treat it because of his age. Instead, Odie continues to live the life of luxury...napping all day. We also no longer worry about his weight problem...instead we give him bacon and hamburger...he may as well live it up.
  • God is blowing me away with His timing lately. I'll share more later, in the mean time, I'm still trying to process all He's set into motion...it's a little dizzying.
  • Have to go pick Jake up from his 2nd day of preschool. Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Nine

I ran 9 miles today.

And I didn't die.

It didn't even feel terrible.

I feel like that fact alone deserves it's own post.

1/2 mary is in 3 weeks.

I think I can...I think I can...I think I can...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Now I Get It...

I first heard the song below a few weeks ago.

I didn't like it. I'm not sure why. It just didn't seem "catchy" as I listened to it.

But then it grew on me a little. And then I added it to my ipod. And last Friday night I added it to my new playlist called "Humid Running" because, well, it's been humid and it makes running even less fun. I figured a playlist for it would help.

It did.

And during the 8 miles last Saturday I fell in love with this song...because I sang it (in my head and not out loud) as a worship song. And then I got it...it's a worship song.

God of this city. God of this tiny-town. Same difference. He's made it the cry of my heart.

There is no one like our God.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Enjoy the Ride


When I was in 3rd or 4th grade I went to an amusement park with my best friend and her mom. They tried desperately to get me to ride the small 4-person roller coaster. It looked ridiculously dangerous to me, and I was content being the wuss who wouldn't ride the coaster. Big deal. Eventually they somehow talked me into it. They promised I just had to do it once. And I did. Turned out...I loved it. They knew I would, if I'd just agree to get on the ride.

I feel like....God has picked me up with His huge arms and placed my body onto the seat of a giant roller coaster. He fastened the safety bar and assured me He's along for the ride and I will survive. I may get scared, and I may feel like barfing occasionally from the fear, but I will indeed survive.

There's two ways I can look at this ride He's placed me on. I can resist enjoying it. I can cover my eyes and scream in fear. I can resent the fact He put me on this particular ride in the first place...wishing he'd chosen a calmer one...that was boring and safe. I can live in fear of what the next hill, or loop or downward spiral is going to look like. I can endure it till it's finally over.

Or...

I can be thrilled that He chose such a crazy, exciting ride for me. I can enjoy the fact that I have no control over where the ride is going...what hill, drop or loop is next...I can find it exciting. I can rest in knowing that although it might be scary sometimes, it's also thrilling...because I'm safe. The safety bar is secure. I can throw my hands in the air and scream with joy. I can laugh.

There are many, MANY times where I find myself resisting the ride. Trying desperately to undo the safety harness and make someone stop the roller coaster. God has spoken some clear truths to my heart lately. I can fight all I want to in order to get off the ride...but I'm not getting off. I can embrace it, or I can resent it, but I don't get to choose a different ride.

And it turns out...I really kinda like this crazy ride. I just need an occasional kick in the butt reminding of it.:)


*image courtesy of www.ultimaterollercoaster.com*

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

True Story

*Picture Julie, Ben, and myself sitting at Bubba Gumps trying to find something on the menu (for Julie) that is not spicy*

Turns out, Norwegians do not eat much spicy food. Even our "mild" tastes spicy to Julie. Note to self: Americans are spicy.

Ben: Points (discretely) to the man sitting in the booth behind Julie and tells her that maybe she would like something like the shrimp meal that the man is eating.

Julie: Turns around to see, and is a little uncertain because it looks so different than Norwegian shrimp. Asks me if she could ask if they think it's good.

Me: Assumes she means ask the waitress and gives a hearty head nod that of course she can ask.

Julie: Turns around and taps the man's shoulder in the booth behind her.

Me: Realizes Julie meant "ask the man" not "the waitress" Oops.

The man in the booth sitting with his 3 kids and wife: Answers yes, then asks her if she wants TO TRY ONE!

Ben & me: Sit with mouths open because there is no stopping the scenario now...

Waitress: Comes by and mouth drops open because she's never seen someone share their food with a total stranger. I mean really...Ben and I barely share our shrimp with one another, it's a high commodity around these parts.

Julie: Tries it, but then finds out it's the Cajun shrimp. Yeah...spicy.

Moral of the story: Americans are nice and might even share their food....and we are spicy.

The End.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm Busy...Read My Blog

I found this t-shirt at the Mall of America this weekend.
I thought it was perfect, until I remembered that reading my blog would not actually fill anyone in on life here because that would require me actually blogging. So I just did the next best thing...made Ben take a picture of it and then put the t-shirt back on the shelf. It works. Kinda.

There's an overwhelming amount to tell you... Here's a few highlights:

  • There's a store at the MOA called American Apparel. It has nothing to do with America. It should be called If You Live in the movie Flashdance Shop Here. We like to call this outfit: What Not to Wear on Your First Day of School in America:

I did resist these socks...but it was hard. They would have gone so well with my sweatband I wear while running. Maybe I'll put them on my Christmas list.

I'll jump back on the blogging wagon soon...when all 4 kiddos head back to school.

No worries, I'm keeping track of the good stories ;)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Breaking the Pattern...

There's a pattern here....

The more I run...the more I want to run.
The less I run...the less I want to run.

The more caffeine I consume...the more I want.
The less I consume...well, let's face it the raging headache wants it, but eventually I don't crave it.

The more sugar I consume....the more I need it.
The less sugar...the less the cravings.

The more pop I buy...the more I find myself heading to the fridge for another.
The less pop I buy....the less I drink.

The more I shop...the more I feel dissatisfied with what is in my closet.
The more I stay away from the mall....the cuter my closet seems.

The more I'm in God's Word...the more I feel I need it, the more I want it.
The less I'm in God's Word....the less I think I need it...and the Sarah who I don't particularly care for, emerges.

The more I love others...the more my selfishness diminishes.
The less I love others....the more the me-monster emerges.

Catching a pattern here? Other than the pattern that I have an addictive personality? *smile*

I've been reading through the book of 1 John in the Bible (thanks to my hubby.) It's a short 5 chapter book. Don't let its size fool you...it packs a punch. I have some internal bruises to prove it. The above list surfaced in my heart after reading it...I can't explain the connection exactly, but I know that God's not gonna let me run from it until I really, really get it.

I may be in 1 John awhile...

And...for your viewing pleasure (and because I have the uncanny ability to think of a DC Talk song for just about every subject) I give you one of my all time favorites which happens to also be a big theme of 1 John.









Monday, August 3, 2009

Julie's Here!


She's here!

I took a video of her getting off of the plane, but as soon as she got closer I stopped so I could hug her. The video is...well...you'll see...

We made her cry. I think it was a good cry...at least that's what we tell ourselves ;)

She had a 36 hour stretch of no sleep from Friday to Saturday so we tried not to overwhelm her too much. I'm not sure we succeeded, but I just keep telling myself she's young and she'll bounce back...without even needing excessive amounts of caffeine. Oh to be 17 again...

Blogging about a teenager is a weird thing. I have a new empathy for all you bloggers with kids who can actually read your blog...or better yet, your kids friends who can read your blog. It's tricky...figuring out what you can share without embarrassing them. Chances are I'll be embarrassing her enough in real life without broadcasting it all over the Internet.

Here's what I've learned from being a mom of a teenager for less than 48 hours:
  • Going shopping with them will make you feel old. Really old. And you may go into the store and grab the same jeans, even the same size, but they will look approximately one-zillion times better on her than you. You will then go back into the fitting room and reassure yourself that you've earned those stretched out hips, thighs, and stomach the hard way, their names happen to be, in my case, Noah, Eli, and Jake.
  • Dropping her off at volleyball camp today with a bunch of girls she didn't know felt the same way as dropping my boys off at school on the first day. A mixture of excitement and nervousness followed with pleading prayers that God makes everyone be nice to her...and that she finds those friends that are gonna make this next school year unforgettably great.
  • You will have to resist the urge to "hover" (I learned that from the Twilight movie ;)
  • It will be endlessly entertaining to ask her how to say things in Norwegian. And every Norwegian name that I've read through facebook for the past 6 months, I have been pronouncing wrong...very wrong...and no matter how many times I try, I can't get it right. Apparently this Iowa girl who never thought she has an accent actually has one...it's called American. It's very thick.
We like her. We like her a lot. God ordained her for us, and us for her for the next 10 months...how fun is that?!?