Conquering the Rain!

A few weeks ago, I watched one of the most beautiful sights unfold before my eyes.

It was a dark and stormy night.  Well, not really, but it was a rainy afternoon, which in our house can turn into a dark and stormy night pretty quick!  If you are new to my blog, you can catch up on the rain posts here and here.

On this rainy afternoon though, Sketch blew me away... and it wasn't even windy!  I had to meet him at the bus at the end of our long driveway.  So he had much farther to travel to get into the house, than when I was homeschooling him.  Plus, now I am expecting our fourth child (a surprise treasure from God, for sure!), and I simply am not able to carry him all the way in, as I had before.

So I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how to make this work.  I decided to walk up to the bus with Sketch's frog umbrella.  He loves that frog umbrella when it is dry, and he's inside!  Not once has he used it in the rain. He always rejects it and while terrified of getting wet, he asks, "Carry?".  So I thought if he saw me use it in the rain, he'd understand that it will keep him dry too.

When he stepped off the bus, he looked at the umbrella with a smile.  I handed it to him but he didn't reach for it so I took his two hands and had him hold it.  When he seemed steady with it, I slowly released my hands.

Bigger Smile!

And he was soooo proud of himself!  He held it very tightly, and just seemed amazed at how it was keeping him dry.  He didn't go in the house when we got to our door, he kept walking around in the backyard, cute as can be...soaking up his victory!

From our back window, this is what I saw:

Isn't it beautiful?  There he is holding that umbrella as if it were the Flag, as if he were marching!  Maybe it was his victory march for conquering his rain fears :)  When I saw him walking around like that, tears came to my eyes...and granted, I am pregnant so maybe it was just the horrormones (as my friend, Kay, would call them), but really, what I was thinking about that made this picture so beautiful to me is what has happened to to get him to this place.

After the post Short, Sweet, and Silly was written, I had to take Sketch in the rain to OT.  He surprisingly didn't object to leaving the house!  He didn't want to get wet or deal with rain, but he didn't let his fears stop him! (Lesson #1) and he asked to "Carry?" which I did.  He didn't just have me simply carry him though.  When I picked him up, he wrapped his little long legs all around my waist and his little long arms all the way around my neck (almost twice!) and he clinged to me so tightly that I didn't even have to hold him!  If I let go, he was just there, unbudged!  (Lesson #2)

The next time it rained, he did the same thing. Just accepted the rain and clung to me as if his life depended on it.

And the next time, it was a Sunday and we were at church.  Mr. Incredible got to carry him this time and I got to watch Sketch cling to him in the same adorable way.

It's just intensely beautiful...because this is just what God wants us to do with our fears.  He does not want us to be held back by them, but to cling to Him through them!

Isaiah 41:10 says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Joshua 1:9 says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

God must have been holding up Sketch under that umbrella, making the safety of His presence known to him.

And he'll do it for you too!  Do not be afraid!  And as my favorite potty training card says, "You go girl!"

Merry Christmas everyone!

Misplaced Car Seats

On Saturday we went to a really cool kids-carnival at our really cool church.  There were bounce houses and volcanoes exploding with candy.  There was mini-golf, pony rides, face painting, food, etc.  It was really fun!

There is no way I would go to something like this alone with the three kids, but Sketch's pre-school teacher just really missed Sketch and so she wanted to come that day and help.

Rachel, the teacher  (not her real name) happens to drive a silver car.

Daddy, or Mr. Incredible, also drives a silver car.  Mr. Incredible used to drive Sketch to school in the "silver car" every day and Sketch would sit in his car seat behind the drivers seat.

On this day, Rachel drove all 3 kids in her car to the kids carnival at the church, and I drove the empty Red Van (yes, I'm smiling and remembering the silence of that drive!)

Mr. Incredible was planning to meet us at the carnival (he had to work.  The "smile" is now upside down) and help with the kids but it turned out he had to stay at work (note the tears streaming down my face!)

So, we had fun at the carnival for about an hour & a half (pretty good, considering!), and the only reason we made it that long was because of  Rachel's help and the help of the awesome people at our awesome church!  One person took Princess Buttercup on the pony ride, that she desperately wanted, another helped watch Dash, and I am sure there were countless eyes watching out for my reputable run-aways.

But, about 90 minutes into it, Sketch seemed a bit "edgy".  The tell-tale signs of  a melt down were appearing...such as wanting to go to the Red Van, wanting me to enter all the bounce-houses with him, wanting to lay down on the floor of the bounce house instead of jumping around, and wanted to go to "church" or wanting to go to "sunday school", etc.  Pretty much wanting to do anything but what we actually were doing. So, I gave the 5 minute warning that we would be going to the Red Van to go home.

"In 5 more minutes, we are going to go to the Red Van, and we are going home!" I make sure each child hears and acknowledges they understand.

I thought that was pretty clear.

Once the 5 minutes were up, Mr. "Wanting To Do Something Different" decided he didn't want to leave after all.  (I smell a power struggle brewing!) and down he flops to the ground.  "All done, No Thanks!"

"Sketch, it is time to go to the Red Van, it is time to go home" (Note the sweat starting to drop on my forehead as I imagine Sketch digging in his heels and letting loose one of his incredible high-pitched screams that I am sure would even be heard over the sound of the airplanes taking off and arriving next door to us.)

But, thankfully, Sketch just got up and walked out with us.  Phew!  (note the premature relief in my "phew"!)

We walk by the church building, and Sketch again says "Church? Sunday School?"  and I tell him there is no church, that it is Saturday, and church is tomorrow, on Sunday.  Sketch attempts to pull me to the building in the off-chance that maybe that would sway my decision.

But no, we went to the typically beloved Red Van, just like I said.

"Silver car!" Sketch screams as he sees the car seats being moved from Rachel's car to the Red Van.

"Sketch, we are going home in the Red Van.  Rachel is driving the silver car."

"Daddy?  Silver car?  All done Red Van, no thanks!" He cries.

We take Sketch to the Red Van in hopes to persuade him to sit in his car seat. All attempts fail!

"Sketch doesn't want to go in the Red Van" Dash starts fussing.  "Sketch is too loud! Sketch is screaming!"

Princess Buttercup starts complaining too, and pretty much we have 3 meltdowns instead of one, all winding eachother up a little bit more.

It seemed like several never-ending hours, but it was really only about 30 minutes, that Sketch threw his tantrum and refused to get in the van or car seat.  He kept asking for Daddy, and silver car, and sometimes even white car, which I think was the car on the other side of the van.  I tried explaining that Sunday School is tomorrow, and today is Saturday, and Daddy's at work, etc.  Finally, I called Mr. Incredible and told him what was going on, and that I think he's waiting for him to come to church and he won't get in the van.

He talks to Sketch on the phone and Sketch relaxed a little.  (This is the appropriate time for that "PHEW!")  He hadn't seen his Daddy in a while because he had to work Friday night late, and left early Saturday morning.  Sketch agreed to get in the van and to go see Daddy at his office.

Now, we have another problem.  Mr. Incredible's office JUST moved, which is why he was working all weekend!  So I get Sketch in the car and try to explain that we are going to his NEW office.  The poor kid just can't get a break.

But, we make it, with only a little confusion and when Mr. Incredible walked out of the New Office, Sketch painted his face with a big flappy smile!

Once we got home and started unloading the Red Van, I look back and notice that Sketch's car seat is in the WRONG spot!  In the Red Van he sits to the right of the drivers seat. In the Silver Car he sits on the drivers side!  Probably reminding him of  his confusion of where Daddy has been.

"Oh my goodness, look at that!  I bet Sketch was upset because his car seat was on the wong side of the van!"

Princess Buttercup replies with words of wisdom of a child of God, "Really?  Sketch just worries about things he doesn't even need to worry about!" (Notice the surprised and proud look on my face for my 7 year old daughter!)

And there we have it... the tie in to the scriptures yet again.  I mean, is there really anything that we need to worry about?  I know that we will worry about many things, but I am thinking that ultimately, they either won't matter, won't happen or will be taken care of (as always) by our ever-loving, all knowing, always there, Provider.

1 Peter 5:7  "Cast all your anxiety on him, for he cares for you"

Matt 6:25-26  "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?"