This weekend was about 3,000 hours long. I’m no smarty-pants, but I’m pretty sure weekends supposed to go by faster than that.
Josh left early Friday morning for a “quick” mission trip to Iowa. He and few other fellas went to work with a sweet Congolese community that has settled and established a church there.
I’m glad he could go, but, darn it, if he couldn’t have taken a few of these kids with him. I’m sure they would have been very helpful in the setting up of thousands of dollars of musical equipment.
It wasn’t an easy time for me while he was gone. I cried more than once. I got myself through by remembering that it I only had to hold out until Sunday evening. He would be back then, and I wouldn’t have to start the week without him.
And then Sunday came, and God gave Iowa its biggest snowstorm in years. He wouldn’t be coming home that day after all.
I might have driven us all off a cliff, but the van’s battery was dead.
God is merciful, friends.
In all fairness, it was difficult here before he left.
Despite options that include dinosaurs, tractors, and sharks wearing eye patches, Christian finds big boy underwear deplorable. He would rather poop on himself. Logically.
Potty training stinks.
And Edy, my darling Edy, is a 6-year-old version of my 16-year-old self. (I’m so sorry, Mom and Dad.) Who is this child and where did this attitude come from? How have I failed her so?
Her disobedience makes me sad, but I am praying for wisdom.
And God is merciful.
I read a blog a few weeks ago (I cannot remember its source or I would post a link) written by another mom like me. She was struggling through hard days with multiple children at home. She had prayed for relief, but it didn’t seem to be coming.
Finally, recognizing that difficulties are par for the course for stay-at-home moms (and anyone else sucking oxygen), she switched tactics.
She began praying for more laughter in her life. More moments of funny. More giggles with and about her children.
And, as always, God was merciful.
So harking back to the days in Mrs. Faulkenberry’s 3rd grade class when Josh and I cheated on our multiplication tests together (God is merciful!), I copied her.
Why not? I thought.
A little more laughter wouldn’t hurt anything around here.
Christian and his cute little diapered rear-end (which will likely be diapered until someone makes fun of him in a junior-high locker room somewhere) have developed a little jig that makes me happy.
It tried to post a video, but, again, I’m no smarty-pants. You’ll just have to believe me. It was cute. Kinda like this:
I had a good solid chuckle behind her back on Monday when Hattie asked me whether or not the beaver had seen his shadow that morning, and my sweet (and sour) Edy has suddenly turned into a Loud-Laugher.
Loud Laughers used to annoy Cranky-Hannah, but the new Hannah Who-Wants-To-Laugh-More-Often-Hannah will suffer through the cat videos and Kindergartner-appropriate slapstick if necessary. Her laughter makes me laugh, even if it is loud.
Lesson learned: God is merciful, and he loves when we pray to him. Especially when we pray specifically.
Most of the time our prayers are generic. Rote. “Dear Lord, bless so-and-so,” or “God, please be with my husband today.” But God is already in the business of both “blessing” and “being with.” His very nature would not allow him to be or do otherwise.
Rather, if we really believe prayer is communicating with the Lord of the universe, why not give him a chance to show off a little? Pray for big things. Pray for small things. Pray for specific things. He doesn’t always answer with the “yes” we’re looking for, but we won’t know until we ask, will we?
I have laughed with (and at) my kids a lot these last few weeks, and I would have never recognized it as coming from God if I hadn’t been praying for that very thing. He gives good gifts, this God of ours. Gifts that he has tailored just for us, specifically. But we often need to ask, specifically.
He knew I needed laughter because potty training and child rearing are certainly not getting any easier.
So what do you need, friend?
God is merciful. Just ask.
Because, goodness, if “every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17a), we’re surely missing out if we don’t.
Speaking of gifts (I write about gifts often, don’t I?!?), how about a giveaway?
My new book, God Bless My Boo Boo, released this week and I’ve got a copy ready to hand over to one of my lovely readers. Perhaps it’s you??
To enter to win, leave a comment below. You can just say “hi” if you want, or I’d love to hear your favorite children’s book, the funnier the better. (We love to laugh around here, you know.)
You can also double your chance to win if you sign up as a new subscriber to the blog (sign up is to the right, in the sidebar).
Also, anyone with potty training tips for a 2 year-old boy that actually work will receive $1,000,000,000.
Ready, friends? Go!
I’m sorry about the potty training–my son is two and a half, the age I thought I’d start, but I refuse. He doesn’t seem excited about it, so I’m not even going to try until he’s closer to three, or even past three! I hated it the first two times, so I’ll be praying like you, that this time around will be filled with more laughter than the other two times!
It’s pretty hard to pick a favorite children’s book, but Chronicles of Narnia are definitely at the top of my list! They’re not hilarious, but they definitely have their humor, and I love their wisdom!!
I love the Chronicles of Narnia too. I recently re-read them (I don’t think I had read them since middle school) and I was surprised at the wit the Lewis stuck in there. You definitely miss some good stuff when you’re reading them as a 6th grader. And thanks for the prayers. I need them. 🙂
I would love to win this book…I also love your blog! Keep up the good work 🙂
Thank you, Sarah!
I think my favorite is Good Night Gorilla or Good Night Moon. Although Liam got Pout Pout Fish last week, and it’s pretty cute when he sings the little pout pout fish chant. As for potty training, yuck. We didn’t even start until 3 weeks ago, and he’ll be 3 in April. I’m happy to report its smooth sailing and has worked beautifully. I’m afraid these boys just want to poop their pants longer than we’d like. Keep at it my friend…or just put it on the shelf for a few months from now. 🙂
I love both of those too, although I have read Pout Pout Fish yet.
And I think I am going to shelve it for a while. No sense in driving myself mad when I could just wait a few months. Thanks for commenting, friend!
Oh my, potty training is the pits–especially with boys! Praying for your sanity and more laughter to come your way! Favorite children’s book is probably “King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub.” So cute!!!
Ooh, I’ve not read that one but it sounds cute. Thanks, Laura!
I don’t have any experience on potty training a boy yet lol. So in a few years I will be hitting you up for tips! But I have heard that boys are harder than girls. Praying for you friend!
Thank you, dear!! I need all the prayers I can get (in general and for potty training) so keep ’em coming!
Love your blog and your books! I don’t know if it is my favorite, but I stood and sobbed in LifeWay reading “Let Me Hold You Longer”.
I’ve not read that one yet, but you know it’s good when it makes you cry in the store. 🙂 Thanks, Lynda!
I would love to win a copy of your new book! Just gave all the others as a gift at a baby shower…they are my go to “special not on the registry gift” 😉
Thank you, Mallory! That makes me happy to hear. 🙂
My favorite funny kids book is :
The Real True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf. I may be a little off on the title. The account is written from the wolf’s point of view. I think the adult enjoys is as much or more as the kiddos. Very clever!
For little ones, I like Sandra Boynton’s Doggies. The kids memorize the book after only a couple of reads.
I love Sandra Boynton stuff too. I always come away afterwards thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?!?” She’s so clever and simple. Thanks for the Little Pigs recommendation too. Sounds like one the girls would like!
Would love to have this book to complete our set of your other God Bless books.
Thank you, Lauren. I’ll pick a winner (randomly, of course) next Tuesday. I would say good luck, but I don’t believe in luck. 😉 So…I hope God blesses your desire to win the book. 😉 Does that work instead?!?
Great insight Hannah. Always enjoy reading your work.
I’m a fan of Goodnight iPad, but my girls seem to like a more princess themed storyline.
Yep. We read a lot of princesses around here too. There’s no escaping it. Unless you have another one and get a boy. So try, try again. 😉
I LOVE “Oh The Places You Will Go” by Dr.Seus and I Love your blog. It makes me laugh at the things that just are about being a mommy! I will pray that C finds it terribly uncomfortable to do #2 in his pants. Love Love Love
Thank you! You would certainly think it wouldn’t be comfortable to have that sitting in your britches. But he’s a strong-minded fella, I tell you. Thanks for the prayers. 🙂
Hannah, in reading your story above you touched my heart with your words…pure open honesty and laughter, as well as the hurt and added responsibility from Josh leaving to help others. The two of you have truly grown up to be amazing! I mean that. I also, Really Really enjoy the two books I have looked at so far….I need a list, as my kids have became your biggest fan. I can’t wait to visit, and see you, give you a hug and have you sign a copy for them. I’m very happy I clicked on here, it is a treat to see others really living their lives right. It’s admirable, and you are doing a great job, keep being awesome! And for potty training tips, only one, pray!! They sure can be stubborn huh!
Thank you, Arron! I’d love to sign your books!
The books so far are:
God Bless You and Goodnight
God Bless My Easter
God Bless My Christmas
God Bless My Boo Boo
God Bless my Fall (coming out this fall!)
Thanks for sharing! Encouraged to pray more specifically and to do so with my children. My daughter pooped in her panties for a while and it just about drive me bonkers. Looking back, I want to tell the frustrated me that as my mom said, she wouldn’t indeed go to college in diapers. At the time it felt like she was doing it just to make my life more difficult! And as awful as cleaning up poo off of panties is…at the end if the day, everyone poops…now there is a funny kid’s book 😉
Haha! Yes, you’re right. If only it seemed funny now. 😉 Thanks for the insight. He probably won’t be in junior high (or college)…probably. 🙂
Well…I have trained 2 1/2 boys and it has been VERY different for all of them. A bubble gum machine (from the dollar store that you put pennies in) was all the motivation that E needed and jude gets a Rolo every time he poops in the potty. Probably not the best or healthiest…but I didn’t care:-) im sorry that your week was hard. When husband/daddy is away, all that can go wrong usually does :-/ it is Gods way of reminding us how thankful we should be for our husbands:-)
Hope I win the book! We have lots of boo-boos around here! 🙂
I’ve tried to lure him with gum and m&m’s too…not healthy, but who cares! I guess we’ll wait. I was thinking about what you said the other day about training Eli, and I’ve decided to put it off for a while. We were both miserable with it. I shall just clean up poo a bit longer and, perhaps, have two in diapers at once. Worse things have happened, right??
I love your books and so do my grandchildren. My favorite book is The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens.
Thank you, Linda. I’ll have to check out the book- I’m not familiar with it. Thank you for reading and commenting!
Robert Munch books. My kindergarten class loves his books too. During snack they will request to hear Robert Munch read his books. The kids really enjoy them and laugh. When I first found the website I thought it would be a video of the books but it’s not. It is just Robert Munch reading. I was really surprised and excited that the children loved just hearing the stories.
As for potty training just know that it will happen.
Would love to win your new book, and I enjoy your blog.
Edy has told me about the Robert Munch books. I’ll have to look into them because I don’t think I’ve read them. She reports on them frequently though. They are HILARIOUS, apparently. 🙂
Thank you for reading and commenting. It means a lot. 🙂
Love You Forever is my favorite Robert Munch book.
LOVE, LOVE your blog and would love to win the book. Thanks.
Thank you, Sherrie! I was good to see you this week!
My advice for potty training 2-yr old boys is to wait until they are almost three…but I’m not expert. I’ve STILL got one that doesn’t really like to go #2. Ha!!
Thanks for the reminder. I’m sure I’m missing out on some very perfect gifts. My favorite children’s books have always been Dr. Seuss books.
You’re definitely more of an expert than me! At least I know you survived. 😉 That’s encouraging in itself! Thanks for commenting!
My family absolutely loves your books! Especially my toddler. When it come to reading books”Good bless you and goodnight”is always her first choice. And then we read it two or there Times :-). Can’t wait to own your newest book!
Thank you! I’m so glad your kiddos like them. 🙂
Also, you came through as Anonymous…can you reply with at least your first name so I can include you in the drawing? I’d hate for you to be left out!
My advice on potty training is wait. Since there are about to be a lot of changes take place in the next few months. Wait. He will do much better, if you don’t push him. I would wait until he is closer to 3 . I have finally got 3 kids in my class at daycare potty trained. Yay! They just turned three. Just know that boys take a little longer.
I have potty training a lot of kids, there has been times parents think there kids are ready and there not which makes for a very poopy day. Everyone poops is a pretty funny children’s book.
I’m so impressed with you! Potty training other people’s kids! Now that is love!
Thanks for the advice. I will wait. 🙂
Love this. Bless you for surviving a long, snowy weekend without your hubby! We aren’t near getting ready to potty train yet, but I’m sure it’s all the fun I imagine it will be! 😛
Ha! Yes, enjoy these lovely months before you even have to start thinking about potty training. Those days will be here soon enough. 🙂
God IS merciful and I’m not quite sure how people (moms especially) make it without having a relationship with Him. He is sometimes my only sense of sanity, my only friend I can talk to some days, my only place of comfort in that moment of exhaustion when my kids don’t sleep at night and then refuse to take naps too.
I only have experience potty training one child and a girl at that, so anything I say most likely will not be of much help. But I do know the frustration of it all. If only I had gone with her clues earlier, we might have saved 7 months of diaper vs underwear episodes. She was ‘ready’ at 20 months, but with a brother due before she turned two, I decided to hold off. They say reverting can be more frustrating and is very likely after a new baby arrives, stealing much of mommy’s precious attention. So we waited for a few more months before bringing out the bribes and praises. I wasn’t a big fan of bribing, but it seemed to work well for awhile. One penny for potty and two pennies for #2. It was fun to see them fill up her little “potty jar” that she decorated with stickers and markers. Then I started taking breaks before/during something fun – “you can’t watch Daniel Tigeruntil you go potty” or “you have to try before we can eat lunch” or “let’s go and then we can go outside to play”. It was off and on by that time, usually being her wanting to go once we were in the back of the store and always with a half-filled basket of food. The big step came when we told her that they don’t make diapers for 3year olds. It was like a light went on and she had a timeline goal that was hers to own. We’re not perfect and we still have accidents on occasion, and we have to wear pull-ups at night (those are “big girl pants to help while training the bladder”)’, but it’s coming along. It’s a hard disgusting part of being a parent. God is merciful! 🙂
Absolutely He is, Danae!
And thanks for the potty tips. I like the potty jar idea. Bribing is completely acceptable in this situation in my opinion. 🙂
Thanks for reading and commenting!