My granddaughter wrote the following article and has given me permission to post it on WordPress. Leighton James makes great-grand-baby number eight. We thank God for our healthy, growing family.
When Lucas was born, we had no idea what the first several years of our lives would look like. Doctor appointment after doctor appointment, we were left wondering why. Why did our son have all these medical issues? Why can’t l have a seamless breastfeeding journey like all the other new moms? Why does every appointment have to bring new heartache?
It’s hard not to carry those same fears and burdens into this new journey with Leighton. It’s hard to not be on the edge of our seats, waiting for some diagnosis that we aren’t prepared for. It’s hard not to compare our story to someone else’s.
But today . . .
Today was a breath of fresh air. Today was a sigh of relief to know our boy is healthy and perfect. Today is a reminder that God is faithful.
I will always be grateful for Lucas’ journey, that continues to teach us and shape us in more ways than one. But today . . . Today l am thankful for the reminder of God’s love and especially for our healthy baby boy.
Psalms 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him.
With my granddaughter-in-law’s permission, I am posting what she shared on Facebook:
My best piece of advice to stay-at-home moms who are stressed out because you feel like you can’t get anything done . . . Put the phone down!
You will be amazed by how much you can get done when you’re not picking up your phone every five minutes to scroll. You’ll also be amazed by how much better you feel when you’re not being interrupted from scrolling by your kids who want something.
As a mom who has literally built her career on social media, this has been one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn. But my anxiety is so much less when I have less things distracting me.
Find a safe spot where your phone is not always right next to you. For me I like to keep it in the kitchen so I can still hear it ring but it’s not at my fingertips to be scrolled on.
With that said, back to the kitchen it goes till nap time.
Lucas is one of our six great-grandchildren. In spite of his rough start in life and being diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, he is our sunshine on a rainy day. And to prove the doctors wrong concerning his learning disabilities, he can talk, write his name, draw and name shapes, recite the ABC’s, and mesmerize an audience strumming his play guitar and singing “You Are My Sunshine”. He is truly a God-send to our growing family and teaches us to look on the bright side of life.
I finally got my butt in gear and actually did some yard work. The air was cool, just the way I like it. And the sun was shining and the wind was blowing and the birds were singing and the butterflies were fluttering. Corona was not in my world yesterday.
Winter does a number on most yards. The trees are naked, the grass is brown, and everything seems more dead than alive. It’s depressing.
So, it was great being outside giving my flowerbeds a much-needed facelift pulling weeds, and trimming bushes and trees. My back didn’t like it. But I did what I set out to do and I’m proud of myself for that. Usually, I try doing half a dozen things at once creating more work for me and my husband. So, he was proud of me, too.
I’m far from being finished, but I’m making headway, at least. A few weeks ago, when I was feeling depressed and fed up with it all, I told my husband that I’d like to do away with the big natural area in the front yard. Then, the sun came out again and I saw things differently and decided that we put too much work into it to tear it all down. It took hours just to line it with the field rocks we collected. It still isn’t the way I want it, and it’s still a lot of upkeep, but I would miss it if it were gone.
I’ve posted a few pictures of the front yard after I finally gave it a little TLC. We still need to pull a few more weeds and put out pine needles. I haven’t done anything down the driveway, yet. I’m waiting for the Azaleas to quit blooming so hubby can cut them all back. They’ve gotten too big for their britches and I have to trim them constantly.
We were young when we created all these natural areas and more able to take care of them. Now, we’re old and hurt in places we never knew we had. So, it’s rough. But, we’re still hanging in there and doing the best we can till we just can’t do it anymore. And if we decide to stay here, we’ll hire someone else to take care of what we can’t. It’ll probably break the bank but that’s better than breaking our backs.
Lucas, our great-grandson, had a rough start in this world, from being born with an enlarged head, a hole in his heart, and respiratory and swallowing problems. Later he developed muscular weakness, preventing him from walking. Just weeks following his birth came a battery of tests ruling out fluid on the brain, autism, and downs syndrome. He’s had physical therapists, speech therapists, and chewing and swallowing therapists. And through it all, he has never lost his beautiful, contagious smile. Lucas will be three next month. He is walking and talking and knows how to spell his name. He may be delayed in some things, but smiling isn’t one of them. He is truly a ray of sunshine wherever he goes and teaches us many, many things about life. We love you, Lucas!
I love trees. And when we moved here, there were none except for a mighty few. So we planted trees. Lots of trees. Everywhere.
Thirty years ago they were just little twigs. Today, they are monsters . . . especially the one planted right beside the house. A Bradford. With giant limbs stretching across our roof and the neighbor’s house and driveway. It’s a nuisance to us and to them. It’s got to come down. In the meantime, Buck is going to cut off as many limbs as he can. But it’s going to take a skilled professional to take it all the way down.
We didn’t plant trees to cut them down. But we were young and dumb and thought all trees were created equal. They’re not. Some trees are better left in the forest, like the Bradford. It may or may not grow in the forest but if it does, that’s where it should stay.
So, my advice to anyone wanting to plant trees, do your research and find out what to plant and what not to plant. and trust me, a Bradford is one tree you do not want to plant!
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? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:26, 27
Hear the birds chirping? See them fluttering from the trees? Can you Sense their happiness and peace of mind?
Birds don’t worry about stuff like coronavirus or running out of toilet paper. They don’t fret over empty shelves at Walmart or starving to death. And they certainly don’t get their feathers ruffled over clutter on the back porch.
Jesus knows what a bunch of worrywarts we humans are. That’s why He tells us to look at the birds of the air and observe how lighthearted and carefree they are. They don’t work for anything. They don’t store up anything. Yet, God takes care of them. (Matthew 6:26)
God reminded me of that again this morning as I sat fretting amongst the clutter on my back porch and wondering what the heck I’m going to do with it. How quickly I forget that God is in control of every little detail of my pitiful life. Nothing happens to me that He doesn’t know and care about. I don’t have to pace the floor biting my nails to the quick. I don’t have to beg and plead. I just have to trust Him.
Yep! That’s what a little birdie told me this beautiful sunny morning while sitting on my cluttered back porch.
I captured a few pictures while sitting with hubby and our two girls on the back porch. Pepper doesn’t mind posing for a snapshot. Bella, on the other hand, refuses to cooperate!
Hubby and I worked our butts off yesterday finishing the master bath. He went to bed at four this morning and I went to bed at six. Crazy, I know. But we got it done without killing each other . . . our tortured bodies are doing it for us.
Call our method slap-hazard, poor planning,totally disorganized and I will have to agree with you. Wholeheartedly. Right now I would win the Nobel Prize for worst house keeper of the year. The dogs are confused, I’ve done lost my mind, and hubby’s ready to leave me for the beach. Where he can sit and fish all day. In peace and quiet. Without a dragon lady breathing fire down his back every second.
It’s been tough on us both. My crack-the-whip, get-er-done temperament clashes with his laid back-what’s-the-rush temperament. He likes procrastinating. I like getting things done. NOW!
So our worlds clash.
No. They collide. They blow up and disintegrate.
I think he’s from Mars. He wishes I’d go there.
He thinks we’re going to live forever. I think we could drop dead any minute.
Seriously. This renovation has brought the devil out in both of us. If we didn’t have a solid forty-seven-year, happy relationship it would be ending in divorce.
Thank goodness, we only have one more room to go, and we’re finished. But, first, we are going to clean up the messes we made and create some sense of order before we tackle that room. The beginning of next month is the plan. In the year 2020. Not 2021. Not 2022. But 2020.
You got that hubby?
Here are some before and after photos of the bathroom we just completed along with the messes we have yet to clean up. Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride . . .
We thought it would be cool to line both sides of our driveway with Bradford Pears. They’re beautiful, right? And fast growing and create lots of shade, too.
When we moved here thirty-plus years ago, it was a fairly new development. Farm land, to be exact. Hilly and treeless except for a few cedar trees the developer didn’t bulldoze down. Oh, and several Honey Locust trees with long, sharp thorns. Messy, too. Every time the wind blows, limbs fall all over the ground. But they bloom in the spring and create some shade, so we like them okay. We just have to be careful when we prune them. Those stickers hurt!
But the Bradford is a real beauty and laden with white flowers like cotton balls in the early spring. One of the first to sprout new leaves and one of the last to lose them. Perfect for any yard.
Until rain turns to ice.
Now, we want to have them all cut down, but that will cost a small fortune. No worries, though. From the looks of things, we can just wait and let nature take them down for free.
We’ve planted many trees in the yard over the years: Pin Oaks, Maples, Hybrid Poplars (big mistake. The Poplars grow fast but die young), but the Crepe Myrtles are my favorite. They’re not messy, their leaves are small, they’re easy to prune, and they bloom from early summer to late fall. Very friendly trees. Beautiful, too.
Our plan today is to get the second bathroom finished. That was our plan yesterday. And the day before. But, today we really are going to get the new floor installed. However, hubby did install the new drop in sink and faucets yesterday. Yay!
Today, we have to take out the really old, really low toilet and install the new one after laying the vinyl plank flooring and quarter round. It’s just a small job. We should be done before sundown. But, with this whole renovation thing those small jobs have been more like trying to build a city in one day. So rather than sit and cry, which doesn’t do a bit of good, I create. And dream. And hope for the day when we are finally finished rebuilding our house.
In the meantime, here is a before and after photo of our back yard. The before is what it really is. The after is just a dream.
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