Archive for January, 2012

Renaissance Man

My posts usually revolve around the children, since they make up the majority of my experiences these days (and their pictures are cute), but the focus of this post is my amazing husband.  I am writing this because I want to remember this rather momentous occasion.  Our morning worship at Redemption OPC a couple of weeks ago was accompanied solely by husband on the piano.  He played the prelude, all the hymns, the offertory, and the doxology!  It was so great!

If you play the piano but have never accompanied a group of people, you may not know how daunting it can be.  It’s not the same as playing solo pieces.  It’s a strange combination of leading and following.  You have to be steady and consistent in your rhythm and the accuracy of your notes, and be able to keep going even when you flub notes..and not lose your place.  You have to take the songs slowly enough that the congregation can follow, but also be strong enough to lead them when they start to drag.  And those are just the mechanics.

Then there are the heart issues.  You have to play in worship to God, doing everything for His glory and not your own. You have to practice towards excellence without losing focus and wondering what people are thinking about your playing.  You have to give your nerves over to God and pray that any mess-ups will not be a distraction to others’ worship.  It’s a lot to think about.

Well, my darling husband, if you ever get around to reading this, I would like to let you know how much I admire you for your efforts in practicing and then your courage during the worship service.  The Lord has surely grown you in His grace.  You rendered an awesome service to Him and to our church, and I’m thankful for your willingness to do it.

The title of this post is a little nickname I (secretly) have for my husband.  I am always amazed by the many gifts that God has given him.  First of all, he loves the Lord.  He is a faithful and loving husband and father and a hardworking software developer.  But he is also extremely handy (he does wood-working and fixes things around the house).  He is an artist (he wouldn’t say so, but his drawing is really good).  He’s an athlete and naturally good at sports.  AND he’s musical!  You really do amaze me, honey!

I didn’t take a picture of him playing during the service, of course, but here’s one I snapped of him working hard in his little home office. 🙂  Note the small humidor filled with cigars in the background, and Lucy’s latest art for Daddy.

The bread winner

Ice Cream Sunday

A couple of weeks ago, we let the kids have ice cream cones at home after evening church as a special treat.  They were a big hit! 🙂

Little Lu

C-mac

Mini-man

Overflowing

Little plumbers

I wish that the title of this post referred to my heart…(it sort of does–read on and you’ll see what I mean)

Sunday night one of our bathrooms got backed up and we were unable to plunge it down.  (Let me just say that since we’ve been in this house, I have become an expert plunger.  Our house is old and it has old drain pipes.  We actually recently got our entire house re-piped but that didn’t include the drain pipes that run to the city sewer.  Of course, that re-pipe adventure also ended in flooding, but that’s a whole other tale of woe.) In the morning, we realized that as we were plunging the one toilet, the other toilet was silently overflowing into the other bathroom.  Also, water was coming up into the shower and bath.  Oh dear…time to call the plumber.

The plumber came promptly and snaked out the pipe from the roof: problem solved.  Hmm…not exactly.  That same (Monday) afternoon, the toilets began to overflow again…just as I was finished washing the last load of towels I had used to dry it up before.  Oh dear…time to call the plumber…again.

The water from the toilet covered the bathroom tile and flowed into the hall

A different plumber (same company) came at about 5:30PM.  He snaked the pipe from the roof and found a big blockage of wet wipes.  My children use the “moist towelettes.”  Well, the plumber sternly warned us that our old pipes could not handle anything other than toilet paper.  Sorry, kids, dry paper from now on: problem solved.  Well…not quite.

Tuesday afternoon, while taking a shower, I looked down to discover that the water wasn’t really draining.  Is there anything as disconcerting not to mention disgusting as standing in a puddle of used soap suds and dirt, especially after you’ve already seen the plumber twice the day before?!  Oh dear…time to call the plumber…again.

The nastiness left from the water that came up the drain

The first plumber from Monday morning came.  He found a ton of soap scum and hair in the shower drain, which he said was to blame for the slow draining.  Oops–the curse of long hair.  Oh well.  Problem finally solved, right?  Not so much.

Last night as I was running a bath for my mini-man and kneeling by the tub, I noticed that my socks were feeling wet.  I turned around to find that water was coming up through the tile surrounding the toilet.  To say I was seriously displeased would be a gross understatement.  I was overwhelmingly frustrated and to be quite honest hopping mad.  I know we have old pipes, but after a plumber has visited one’s home three times in two days, one hopes to be able to use the facilities without further incident.

Tim has been in Atlanta all day on business, so the children and I have been alone.  Did I mention that my two youngest are sick with ugly asthma-causing viral infections?  Ty is especially puny and clingy and sad.  Even now I can hear him coughing from his bed and I’m hoping he won’t wake up (again).  All that and we haven’t been able to use our toilets today.  That’s right.  We have been traipsing over to our neighbors’ to use the bathroom.  Connor has been making use of the backyard since he’s a boy.

The plumber returned this afternoon and took “major” action, running a line all the way out to the sewer.  He said everything should work now, but if it doesn’t that we should pay for them to run a camera through the pipes under the house.  That would only be an extra $250.  Haha!  So I’m hoping that the efforts made today by poor Ryan (I feel like I know this man, since he’s been in my house nearly every day this week.) will be lasting.

This morning as I was praying and feeling frustrated about the plumbing situation and worried about Tyler’s illness, the Lord poured out His grace and peace on me.  I sat there in tears, thanking Him for my sick child and my sometimes spotty indoor plumbing.  So I guess because of my overflowing toilets, the Lord led me to an overflowing heart after all.  I asked the Spirit to remind me all throughout the day that every interruption is of the Lord as part of His plan to bring me closer into fellowship with him.  That is so hard to remember in the midst of our upsetting circumstances.  But when I consider that God is purposefully disturbing my life for my good and greater holiness, it changes my perspective.  Wiping a snotty nose ten times in the midst of a diaper change is part of a greater process whereby God is burning off the dross.  And there is a lot of it.

My toilets are (apparently) fixed and my children are in bed.  Thank you, Lord, for this day.  This is the day that the Lord has made.  I will be glad and rejoice in it.  Now I have to go mop the bathroom floor where the toilet water was and fold the pile of laundry on my bed.  But maybe I’ll have time to read a little of my book before bed.  Below I have shared the words to a favorite hymn that the Lord brought to my mind today.  I actually stopped what I was doing, sat down at my piano and played and sang it, just to keep my eyes fixed upon Whom they should be.  Wish I did that more often.

I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art

I greet Thee, who my sure Redeemer art,
My only trust and Savior of my heart,
Who pain didst undergo for my poor sake;
I pray Thee from our hearts all cares to take.

Thou art the King of mercy and of grace,
Reigning omnipotent in every place;
So come, O King, and our whole being sway;
Shine on us with the light of Thy pure day.

Thou art the life, by which alone we live,
And all our substance and our strength receive;
Sustain us by Thy faith and by Thy power,
And give us strength in every trying hour.

Thou hast the true and perfect gentleness,
No harshness hast Thou and no bitterness;
O grant to us the grace we find in Thee,
That we may dwell in perfect unity.

Our hope is in no other save in Thee;
Our faith is built upon Thy promise free;
Lord, give us peace, and make us calm and sure,
That in Thy strength we evermore endure.

While the cat’s away…

Tonight Tim had pool league.  Yes, he is on a team of guys that play billiards against other teams every Wednesday night.  For some reason, I usually forget that this is supposed to happen on Wednesday nights.  Usually at about three or four in the afternoon on Wednesday, my darling husband reminds me that he will not be around in the evening, and I usually react with surprise quickly followed by dismay.  It’s not that I don’t want him to go out and have fun…it’s that I don’t want to be left alone to do all the nightly tasks by myself.  Girls, I know you know what I mean.  Getting dinner on the table, cleaning the kitchen, overseeing baths and showers, and going through the entire bedtime routine of brushing teeth, reading stories, pottying, diaper-changing, p-jamming, singing, and praying is a daunting prospect when the parent to kid ratio is 1:3.  However, I really am happy for the hub to get a night off (Did I mention he’s the best player in the league?!) and therefore try to keep it all in proper perspective…I usually succeed.

Tonight while I cleaned up the kitchen from dinner, the kids turned on Pandora to our new favorite Disney station.  Don’t ask me why it never occurred to me before today to find a Disney song station…chalk it up to perpetual mommy brain.  What happened next was one of those spontaneous, fun mommy-kid moments.  We had the Disney songs blasting, and we all started dancing.  I do-si-doed with each child until the room was spinning around me, and then we all held hands and danced in a circle, laughing our heads off.  Somehow the dancing deteriorated into my collapsing onto the floor, while Lucy tickled me, Tyler jumped on me, and Connor tried to bean me with a plush Mickey Mouse in a Santa suit.  We were all shrieking with laughter.  I can’t really describe it, except to say I was totally in the moment, and I was so thankful to enjoy my children that way.  I wish the video fairy had been recording those moments, so that I could have them for always and share them with you.  After 6 weeks of debilitating morning sickness and then my miscarriage, it has been quite a while since I had the energy or the desire to laugh…not that there wasn’t joy in my heart during that time, just not merriment.  It is such a blessing to have the gift of uproarious laughter and giggling restored.

All that to say, I hope that my husband is enjoying his night away, because the children and I enjoyed our night at home together.  Only Lucy ended up getting bathed though…oh well. 🙂