Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Finding my Anything

Taking a break from the water

What a beautiful day: 80° and sunny, just enough of a breeze to cool you from the heat. My kids are loving life in the pool, and playing nicely. Together. (God does perform miracles every day!) Bennett's heart is doing well and we don't need to get him checked for another year. My dad is starting to feel better. My daughter told me I look amazing in my swimsuit before we got to the pool (which was an ego boost to this momma since I was feeling a little self conscious today; I mean, having 3 kids in 4 years will not do nice things to your body...). God continues to show me His faithfulness through the little things in each day. And finally, finally, I'm starting to notice...

  I recently started reading the book "Anything" by Jennie Allen. There's been an online study, which has been helping to open my eyes as well. I've always known that I believed in God and loved Jesus and what He did for me. But even through all of that, I never felt especially close to him. I hear all of these amazing stories of how Jesus has changed people and how they are now "all in" for him. I have to admit, I have salvation envy.

 I should just be grateful- I grew up in a very happy home, knowing nothing but love and support from my parents and not wanting in anything. We went to church regularly, at least when I was younger (before the church we went to soured my family, but that's another story). Even when we didn't go to church, my parents demonstrated Jesus every day by helping and loving others. They made me strive to be better, and reeled me back when I got too arrogant. They taught me to keep my mind and heart open to others, something I've tried to bring with me throughout my life. However, it wasn't until college that I learned about having a relationship with Jesus. Since then, (so for 14 years now... ugh) I've been trying to figure out what this means to me. This led me to "Anything."

I've only finished week 5, but I've learned that going all in for God doesn't mean I have to sell all of my possessions and move to Africa- though that is one way to do it.  For me, it could mean going into each day thankful and praising Him, and living for His glory in all I do. Even the "mundane" things. Being thankful for the season I'm in- endless piles of dishes and clothes that need to be cleaned; taxiing my kids to and from activities; working at night so I can see my family during the day. I wanted my "Anything" to be a big, life-changing event,  but what if it isn't supposed to be?

I'm working on being content in my life, and what a better way to start than to accept my Jesus story and to be proud of it? No more salvation envy. No more wanting the American dream. I'm going to wake up every morning thankful for this ridiculously blessed life I have and live that thankfulness out in every part of my life. I'm going to keep striving for a stronger relationship with God and Jesus, and determining what else my "Anything" means. I'm going to start talking to my husband to see what our "Anything" is together. I'm going to help my kids find out what it means to them. I'm going to be okay with giving things up in this world so I can focus on my forever future in heaven. Maybe my life-changing event is simply finally being thankful for what I have and strengthening my relationship  with God. And that is okay.
Decorating some cookies after a swim- STILL getting along!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

What I want for my kids...




So- I joined the TODAY show Parenting team, and they're asking regular moms like me for parenting advice. Seriously??? The only thing I know for sure is that, after eight years and three children, I still feel like I have NO idea what I'm doing. I consider the day successful if my kids go to bed clean and fed and mostly happy (and sometimes, clean is optional!). I married a wonderful man, and though we don't always agree on everything, we agree on the beliefs we want to instill in our children:

1) Our children will be respectful- to everyone; adults, peers, all of God's people.
2) Our children will be held accountable for their actions and learn that every decision made in life has a consequence, whether it be good or bad.
3) Our children will know that they are loved, regardless of where their lives may lead them. I frequently tell them that they can never do anything that will make me love them any less. No matter how mad I may get at them, nothing will diminish my love. Furthermore, as much as I love them, God loves them that much more. There's a game that my kids and I play. We call it "I love you to...." I will say "I love you to the stop sign." The kids will say "I love you to the street light" or anything that might be in our line of sight. The game always ends with us both saying "I love you to the heavens." We don't say "I love you to the moon" because that can be measured, and the love between parents and their children is immeasurable. (My 4-year-old, Bennett, has now started randomly started saying to me, "Mommy, I love you all the way to God." Such joy to my heart!)
4) Our children will know how to fail gracefully in life. Parents always want the best for their kids, and we are no different. However, I refuse to raise children who think life should be handed to them on a silver platter and that they will get their way in everything. We have been very blessed in life, and my children thankfully do not want for anything; this is a fact I do not want them to take for granted. I firmly believe one of the best things a parent can do for their children is to teach them that they will lose in life, and they need to know how to do it with grace. Whether it be in sports, board games, or later in life in school or at a job. Life does not often go as we plan, and we need to know how to roll with the punches and rely on God to help them through.

There are so many more things, and the list changes from day to day, but these are the things that always remain. I have a list for each of my children that I pray over often (though never enough); it's a list of characteristics that I hope to see in them when they are adults. In addition to those listed above, we strive to teach them kindness and compassion for others and a strong love for their God. As one of my favorite authors, Jen Hatmaker, says, "If they don't love Jesus and people, it matters zero if they remain virgins and don't say the F-word. We must shepherd their hearts, not just their hemlines."We need to focus more on our children's hearts than on their actions, because it is their hearts that LEAD their actions.

I am so grateful for these little humans that have been entrusted into my care. They have taught me more than I ever imagined I could learn, and I want to give them the world. But more than that, I want to teach them how to make the most of this world- and show this world how much God loves it through how they treat others. Every night, I remind my children that God has big plans for them. To me, this doesn't mean that they will cure cancer or be sports starts or movie stars (though my 8-year-old has some big plans for herself in those regards). It means that whatever the plan is for their lives, they will make a difference to someone. Just like you do for your kids every day. So my advice- instill in your children now the qualities you want to see in them in the future. Model those qualities. Talk about why they're important. Mold those precious souls. You will be so glad that you did!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What the what?!?!?!

 Let's see if I can figure out this whole blog thing again...

  Last week, I was scrolling through Facebook quickly while the kids were playing and noticed a post from Jen Hatmaker. If you don't know who she is, I suggest you immediately Google her and get on her blog. She is funny, down-to-earth, and on fire for Jesus! Anyway- I knew she had a new book coming out this summer. On her page, she posted a link to join her launch team for her book "For the Love" (one of my favorite sayings!), so I thought "why not?" I never win anything. I mean never. Well- I may have hit the jackpot in the husband and kid department, but contests... no way. I filled in all of the blanks and pressed submit. And nearly forgot about it. Until, in my email...

Knock, knock. Who's there? YOU, because YOU are on my Launch Team for 'For the Love'!! Yeah baby!! We only had room for 10% of all applicants (what the??), and we think you got the stuff. 

What the what?? Excitement flooded over me- she picked ME! Out of 5000 people, I, Me, Erin Wevers, made the cut. Then.... reality. What do I possibly know about launching a book??? I'm a labor and delivery nurse/vampire that rarely sees the light of day (i.e. I work straight nights). Plus, I just got a new title at work that comes with a ton more responsibility. Plus, my kids are starting sports soon. Plus, I haven't slept in a week... Do I have time for this... no. Will I logistically EVER have time for this... no. Will this opportunity ever present itself to me again... no. The answer is easy. So, here I am. Attached to a team of 499 of the coolest people I've never met, helping to launch this book. And let me tell you, these people are already turning my world upside down. With every interaction, I find myself again asking "why me?" These people are incredible, and supportive, and so.... normal. Thank you, Jesus, for this opportunity!!!

P.S. You need to pre-order this book on Amazon. Like right now. It comes out August 18th!! For the Love!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Worst mom ever? Or just human....

Have you ever had a "bad mom moment?" One of those times when logically, you know it's not really a big deal, but you still feel like the worst mother in the world? I had one of those yesterday...

I feel like every possible thing that could be scheduled was supposed to happen on October 14th this year. We had our annual validation day at work, where I was supposed to help out throughout the day. It also happened to be a RED day at the kids' school, where parents come and read with their kids for 20 minutes during the day. My plan was to leave work for a bit and hang out with the kiddos at 10 am. The last time I had looked at the clock, it was 8:55 am. As I finished the stations, I looked at the clock again and it was 10:45. I immediately had a feeling of dread wash over me... I hadn't missed an event in three years! I knew it wasn't really something to get upset about, but I was just so sad that I had disappointed my kids...like it's the first time, or it will be the last.

I lost it. I just turned into a puddle. I don't know if it was the lack of sleep or what, but I honestly felt like my kids would never forgive me for this- for missing ONE 20-minute reading event, something that's held every month. My wonderful co-workers/friends assured me that it would be fine, and that I WAS a great mother. Bennett, who was at work with me that day, gave me hugs and told me not to cry. My husband thought we should use it as a lesson, and then get them some ice cream later. At first, I thought (and asked B) "What lesson? That their mom sucks? What could they possibly learn from this?" Then, I realized he was right. This WAS a good lesson for them: people will disappoint us. Even the ones we love the most. Even those who love us the most. Sometimes on accident, like yesterday. Sometimes, unfortunately, people hurt and disappoint us on purpose.

But- we have a choice to make. Thankfully, we are the ones who get to decide how to react to these situations. After I lost it for a bit, I pulled myself together and headed to the school. By this time, both of my kids were at lunch. So, I signed in and found Noah in the lunch room. I asked his forgiveness, telling him time got away from me and that I was so sorry to disappoint him. He replied "that's okay, Mommy. I only cried a little." Talk about turning the knife! We hugged it out, and I found Sophia and apologized to her as well. She was very understanding and life was good again. I had a good lunch period with both of them, and sent them off to recess with all of us feeling better. At school, there were two other moms who reminded me that as moms, we make mistakes and we need to forgive ourselves. The fact is, the kids will likely forget this ever happened (my mom told me she forgot to pick me up at school once, only for a few minutes, and I didn't remember that at all!).

Deuteronomy 31:8 says "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” The truth is, God is the only one who won't ever disappoint us. I was able to talk with the kids after school again and remind them of this fact. As their mother, I try my best every day, but I am human and will make mistakes. Every day, I have to die to myself and intentionally follow what God requires of us. Every day, I'm reminded of how much I need Him in my life. I'm so thankful to have friends and family who are supportive, and I'm truly thankful for a loving God who forgives my wrongs and always welcomes me back with open arms. Wishing you all a blessed day!

Erin

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

There's always a silver lining...

 Today was a pretty rough day... Well, let's preface that with my weekend. I worked nights from Thursday to Sunday. I often don't sleep well during the day, but this weekend was the worst in a while as I was only able to sleep 3 1/2-4 hours each day. Sunday night shift ended up being pretty busy and Monday morning was awful- three nurses from nights ended up staying for part of the day shift and I didn't get done until about 1pm (I went in a 7pm the night before).

  I got a little nap on Monday afternoon. Brandon noticed on Monday evening that Bennett's left ear was draining.  I went to look at it and it was DRAINING- I mean sticky, yellowish-clear fluid dripping down his ear. One of my doctor friends said if it bugged him (or me) I could take him in but he was okay so I figured I'd get up and take him to early morning clinic at the hospital. Sophia woke up at 1230 crying because she had to go to the bathroom, so I helped her go and get back to bed. Brandon's alarm woke me up around 530 or so, then Bennett got up at 545 so out of bed I got. His ear wasn't draining as much, but he had a rash on his left cheek now and he was pulling at both ears. I took him downstairs for some breakfast hoping to get him to go back to sleep for a bit when I heard Noah calling me, asking for "bwekfast." After pouring Noah a bowl of cereal, I let go of my hope for more sleep and got dressed so once the daycare girls got to my house I could take Bennett to the doctor. I put my workout clothes on, planning to go to the gym after Bennett's check-up.

 At 7:03am my phone rang- it was my dad. He doesn't call me frequently, and NEVER calls me early in the morning. He let me know that my Grandma Ollie, who has been suffering with Alzheimer's for the last 12 years, passed away around 1:00 am. I was both very saddened and very relieved, it was bittersweet news. I was happy that she was now free from the awful disease that stole a woman who was so independent and full of life, but saddened that my children would not know her (and more saddened that they would never know the Grandma that I knew). My dad told me he would call me back with details on the funeral and we hung up. I prayed that God would keep me and my family strong and thanked Him for ending Grandma's suffering.

 Once Ashli got to my house, I got Noah watching a movie and loaded up Bennett and headed to the doctor. He ran around the waiting room, playing like nothing was wrong. Finally, his name was called and we went back to see Pam, the NP. She asked about his ear and I told her the left ear had been draining some fluid. She asked if he had tubes, to which I replied "no."

"Oh," she said, "normally ears only drain like that if they have tubes in or if the eardrum is perforated."

Great.

She looked in both ears and sure enough- perforated left eardrum from infection. The right ear was also infected and he had impetigo on his left cheek from the bacteria-filled drainage from his ear. Yikes! So we left with scripts for Amoxicillin, antibiotic ear drops and an antibiotic cream for his cheek. Good grief! Of course, the retail pharmacy where the prescriptions were sent didn't open until 9am, so Bennett and I went up to the OB floor to hang out for the half hour we had to wait. It was hopping! My poor coworkers and I have been working really hard for what seems like a really long time now. Luckily, we have a great family up there and the people I work with make the busyness more bearable.

I took Bennett home after getting his meds and dosed him up, then put him down for a nap. I was going to go to the gym, but instead passed out on my bed for three hours! I woke up feeling much better. The rest of the day was spent playing with my kids and replanting my seedlings for my garden. I feel like I've been dealt a hard hand sometimes and on days like this wonder how much more I can take. Then I realize that things could be much worse- as sick as Bennett gets sometimes, I still have him with me and that's more than I could ask for in itself. I have two other beautiful, happy, healthy children. I have a husband who loves me very much (as I do him). We have a great support system. We don't have to live paycheck to paycheck. We both have jobs we love. We have a wonderful church family. Most importantly- we have God in our corner fighting for us every step of the way- and remembering that helps me most days. One day at a time- it can only get better, right?? AND- only 262(ish) days until Jamaica! There's that silver lining I've been waiting for- its not too far away.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Living the Dream...

  Lately I've been feeling like I'm in a rat race- there's always something I HAVE to get done right away; I want to play with the kids, but I really should get "such-and-such" done. My temper has also been flaring a bit more as of late, which is something I neither like nor am proud of. So I've decided to make a change! The first step was to get that sweet baby of mine to sleep through the night: at 15 months old, that shouldn't be such a task. Getting up twice a night was getting to be ridiculous- especially since he stops crying as soon as he sees me and lays back down- and it was making for a VERY tired momma. Last Monday night, he got up twice and cried for about 30 minutes and went back to sleep by himself. Then I went to bed on Tuesday night expecting to get up at least once and woke up... to my alarm on Wednesday morning! Seven whole hours of sleep- I don't even remember what that's like! And now today is Sunday- and he's slept all night every night since! I'm starting to think I should have a "my baby is FINALLY sleeping" party!

Bennett enjoying our spaghetti supper!
 So, with all this extra sleep I've been getting, I'm trying to be more productive- starting with my children. Today, I looked around the house and noticed the dishes on the counter and the toys on the floor and thought "who cares?" The best thing I did the whole night was spent it on the floor wrestling and playing with all my kids. I'm pretty sure I had more fun than they did! What a great feeling- making great memories with my sweet babies instead of doing something I'll just have to do again tomorrow or the next day. I love being a mommy!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Anyone know where I can buy a big bubble?

    So, if you know me well at all, you know that I am and have always been a complete klutz. I trip over everything! Apparently, I have a couple of children that follow in my footsteps. The most obvious is my sweet baby boy Bennett. He has been having trouble sleeping as of late, and Sunday night was no exception. I got a total of three hours of sleep in between calming Bennett down and trying to fall back asleep (working nights has been taking its toll on my body). The last time he woke up was around 5am Monday morning, and by 6:30am, I was done trying to fall back asleep and just got up and exercised. I figured I could take a nap with the kids in the afternoon before having to work that night. Once the kids got up, I threw all the sheets in the wash and took a shower and was folding clothes. By 10am, I was feeling super-productive!

  Sophia was "helping" me fold and put away laundry when I heard Amanda yell from downstairs,

"Umm... Erin..."
  
     I went to investigate (being the resident daycare nurse and all). I go to the kitchen to discover my baby bleeding profusely from his forehead and screaming his face off.

"He was walking around downstairs and tripped and hit the fireplace," Amanda informed me.

      Yep, sounds like one of my kids! So I get the bleeding to stop and Sophia goes upstairs and gets me a bandaid- Ironman of all things!

"You are definitely NOT Ironman," I said to him with a smile as I put it on his poor head.

 I then called the clinic to see if they could do stitches since his laceration was pretty big and I really didn't feel like spending my afternoon in the ER waiting room.
   
 I sent Bennett to the basement to play while I continued my laundry duty and waited for the doc to call me back. About 40 minutes later, I hear again,

 "Ummm... Erin....."
      
     NOW which one of the kids got hurt? I had a feeling my laundry was not going to get put away today... I go to the kitchen to see... BENNETT bleeding profusely again, this time from his upper lip!

"He was playing by the stairs and fell against the banister."
  
      Poor Amanda. This one definitely needed stitches as well.

 "Well," I say, "now I HAVE to go in."
      
       Right after I got Bennett buckled into his carseat, the clinic called back.

  "We can get you in at 2:15 today."
    
  "Well, Bennett just fell AGAIN and cut his lip, so I don't think that we can wait until then. Thank you though."
Bear's bandaids on the way to the hospital
  
  And so we were off to the ER. We got there around 11am and apparently the ER is a rocking place to be on a Monday morning, so there we waited for a few hours. BTW- it is VERY hard to keep a 14-month-old entertained in an ER waiting room for ANY period of time. We did a lot of walking in the hallway outside the ER waiting room, playing with the blocks, walking some more in the hallway, back and forth, back and forth for what seemed like forever. One of the nurses came out every so often to assure us they were getting us in as soon as they could. Being a nurse myself, I understand how busy things get and I was just thankful that Bennett's condition was not life-threatening and that we were able to wait as long as we did. I saw a friend of mine while we were waiting and she looke at us and said,
 
   "Wow, you guys look tough!"

   RIGHT! I had TOTALLY forgotten that the evening before, I was wrestling on the floor with the kids and noticed at bedtime that I had a significant shiner under my left eye. Now, here I am the next morning at the ER with a black eye and a child with not one but TWO facial lacerations that need stitches! At that point, I was sure a social worker was on his or her way down to file a 960 and take my kids away! I even asked one of my social worker friends to come to my house and interview my kids so that there would be a positive review at social services (I was only partly kidding about the request)!

   Finally, after what seemed like days (and right after Bennett had finally fallen asleep for about 20 minutes), they called his name. And the time now was.... 2:15pm. Yep, I guess I could've made that clinic appointment!

"I can help you with your stuff, Erin," the nurse said.

  That was nice, but how did she know my name? I looked at her nametag. Abbie. Right- she had followed me for a few days as a nursing student last fall. At least it was a familiar face to me! They got him into the suture room and a couple nurses looked at his face and put some numbing cream on both lacerations.

"This will have to set up for about 30 minutes. Can I get some crackers and juice for him?"

  Absolutely! It was so nice, since both he and I had missed lunch as well. Bennett was loving the graham crackers and juice and was starting to perk up a bit when Dr. McKinnon came in. It took three of us to hold Bennett down, but the doctor got all eight stitches in- four on the forehead and four on his lip. I just keep reminding myself that chicks dig scars. My poor little boy! The running stitch count at our house is now 13. We got home around 3:30pm and Bennett ate some lunch. I was able to sleep for about 20 minutes once Brandon got home, then I headed off to work at 7pm for my night shift. These kids sure keep my on my toes, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm just so thankful he's here, I'll take every ER visit and stitch he's willing to give me! Here's to being a mom of boys!
All done with stitches!