we survived (if you can call it that)

Feeling a bit discouraged. The dryer guy just left. He’ll be back tomorrow with the part we need to keep the dryer from making a hideous squeaking noise. For a few weeks now, I’ve started the dryer and run out of  the laundry room with my hands covering my ears. There is physical pain if I don’t. It would kill a dog instantly. I’m not kidding.

This is the 3rd repairman we’ve had fix our dryer in the past year. The last one put in a new motor. With all the money we spent, we could have bought 1.5 new dryers. I thought we were being good stewards to get things fixed instead of rushing out to get something new at the first sign of trouble. I was wrong.

I just feel kind of sick to my stomach. It might have something to do with the USF Holland SEMI TRUCK that is delivering 2398 books to my house sometime today. I’m questioning the wisdom of using so much of my next book advance to buy all these books. How will I ever get rid of them? With shipping, they ended up costing $1.08 per book. I just couldn’t pass it up. But maybe I should have…

Okay, so Ava started school yesterday. Well, I sure am glad I asked you all to pray. Who knows what would have happened if you didn’t? It was bad enough as it is. I’m trying to show her some grace as she makes all these new transitions, but she seems to have adopted the attitude that she is the star of the family right now and the rules no longer apply to her. She will say what she wants, do what she wants, be as mean as she wants. I’m doing a lot of disciplining at a time when I want things to be a little more…special. And the discipline doesn’t really seem to be working. We did play “baby” for quite awhile this morning. That usually helps.

She had a meltdown at the bus stop when I tried to take a picture of her and Alex with their backpacks. Crying and all that. Poor Alex. Gabe wasn’t happy and gave her a talking-to. Not sure it helped.

The bus came, and I felt a twinge of sadness that she was getting on under such yucky circumstances. She looked so small and nervous. She did smile and wave though. We drove to school to see her get off the bus, and she seemed fine. She had a great day. And when I watched Livi and Ava get off the bus together, then saw Ava take her sister’s hand while they walked down the sidewalk…wow. I about started bawling. It was so precious. Pics to come.

Then the fighting ensued. Ava shared about her day. They fought some more. Got supper ready, packed snacks and drinks for the soccer game. Livi’s team got spanked pretty badly. Baths. Read Pippi Longstocking. Bed. Collapsed. Wrote. Really collapsed.

Our doorbell just rang. It was our neighbor boy. He’s Nina’s age, lol! Cutest little thing you’ve ever seen. In a t-shirt and a diaper. His dad came running, so he must have escaped. He’s from the Bahamas, and I can’t wait until he starts talking. I wonder if he’ll have an adorable accent like his papa or if he’ll sound all Ohioan. He just ran into the street and wiped out. Oh dear.

Okay, I need to go. There are little tears running down my cheeks, thanks to Ava. And they’re not the good kind. Please pray that God will give me the wisdom and strength to deal with her, that this will just be a short phase, and that we’ll all survive. I can’t do this on my own–not for a second. How thankful I am for a heavenly Father who is always here to help. And for friends who understand–and know that prayer is a miraculous gift.

20 thoughts on “we survived (if you can call it that)

  1. ladymiss3739

    Praying for you as you have lots on your plate…been there with the dryer. Very frustrating…and the book thing? I think God’s going to use those books in a big way that you just can’t see yet. Don’t worry about it.

    And Ava. I really can’t say much. I thought for sure before I had kids that if I was a “good mom” and taught my kids right, they’d be little angels. Go ahead, laugh at me. I sooooo learned that isn’t true, and that I can’t control my daughter’s attitudes – which is hard to accept. But what I can do is know that God cares about her heart more than I do…and the same is true with Ava. Praying God gives you wisdom and lots of patience!

  2. jbnygaard

    Amen sister Amanda! I don’t have much to say after reading all what she wrote (maybe she should write a book!! 🙂 ) But I am praying for you, Gabe and Ava.

    If it counts for anything, I’d still take her as my daughter-in-law in 15 years! 🙂

  3. ctorlone

    Marla,  You are transparent and real and you allow yourself to be vulnerable…in a world where it’s all about appearances…I LOVE you for that!  I”m right there with you on the whole expectation thing with the girls…I wonder if God ever feels like that about me when I don’t do or react like He’s wanting me to…UGH…

  4. Anonymous

    I knew typing ‘I promise’ was a mistake.  Forgive me, but…

    I just have to share with you the thought I just had.  I was putting away dishes and praying for Ava and you, and then I pictured her… nealt down, wiping greatful tears off the feet of Jesus with her beautiful blond hair.  Thanking Him for her forgiveness.  Not caring about the dirt in her hair or the humility it took to do it.  That was so precious a thought I could hardly stand it.  And she will, Marla.  She will be so thankful of your forgivess and guidence through this time.  Just like your mom commented about you on you last blog.

    Really, we are all that woman.  I’ve got chills thinking about that.  Thanks for sharing your life with us, Marla.

  5. Anonymous

    Last one, I promise.

    Edit to two comments up… Jesus is saying the woman loved so much, because she was forgiven of so much.  (We are forgiven because we repent and ASK for forgiveness.)

    (Just wanted to clearify what didn’t seem to read quite right… after the fact.  Arg.)

    Yuk.  I can’t imagine writing a WHOLE book and having to correct a WHOLE LOTTA WORDS.  Eeek.  You rock girl!

  6. Anonymous

    Marla, I love to read your site.  And I love to read all the comments people post on your site.  Your transparency and ability to put raw emotion into words is so ‘edible’.  Very relateable.   (Your mom’s comment on your last post made me tear up… and I borrowed it for my own encouragement.  Hope you don’t mind.)

    Something really struck me reading your blog today.  I just looked this up yesterday for myself, because I needed the reminder.  At the end of Luke chapter 7, there’s an account of the woman who washed Jesus’s feet with her own hair and tears.  She had sinned much, and therefore was all the more thankful to Him for her forgiveness.   Jesus said her sins where forgiven because she loved much.  (I cling to that story when Satan attacks me with my past orneriness.)

    I think little Ava will knock your socks off someday.  You’ll watch your little ‘character’ turn into a lady OF character.  It takes effort to mold children OF character.  And the greatest of these is Love.  Her love will grow so much during this trying time.  I hope that’s encouraging to you.  Hang in there, keep loving and disciplining.  Whom God loves he chastens, right?  And then Eccl. 7:3 says, “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.”  And later in verse 8 it says, “Better is the end of a thing that the beginning…”  That’s encouraging!  Right?  But in the mean time… I am SO praying for you!  Your stationed in the front lines, honey!

    I hope that doesn’t sound all preachy.  It’s just what God has shown to me about when things were seemingly too horrible to bear over this past year.  He really is good, in ALL of life.  Whether we choose to believe it or not, is what turns our emotional rip tides into calm lapping beaches.  Here’s praying for a more calm walk during this part of your journey.  Love to you all.

  7. luvmynoah

    Ok…now I have time to write more about your blog today.  Disciplining our kiddos is so hard.  Noah is our challenge.  He’s strong willed, stubborn and rotten at times.  He also then has that sappy sweet side to him that is irresistable.  Some days it feels like all I do is send him to his room, spank him or sit and talk about what God thinks on how he’s behaving.  I wonder why it doesn’t click and he gets it!!!  Consistency is the key.  That is what I’m told from mom’s who must have it all under control…:)  Praying for you and your little ones.  I’m sure as we are parenting God is saying..”yeah..that is how I feel about you sometimes.”  Hugs to you today! 

  8. tonialynn59

    Prayed for you and for Ava dear friend!  I’ve been there.  I remember times sending kids out the door and then crying inside the house for a bit because of what happened right before they left.  Knowing that they were fine and yet hated sending them out the door like that.  Being a mom is a hard job and anyone that says otherwise is wrong.  And yes, times like seeing the two of them holding hands and heading home make it all worth it!  Love you!

  9. kkakwright

    It is so sad to look forward to things that you are just certain are going to be super special and all you do is end up disciplining.  I’m sorry Marla.  We have all felt the total disapointment you felt in your heart as your big lovey moment with Ava didn’t go so well. 

    I prayed for you as I read and will continue.  I love you bunches and your honesty and transparency are inspirational to us all.  thanking God for you. 

  10. Marketer319

    Sigh.  Isn’t it disappointing when what we thought was going to be such a special moment turns out drastically different than we thought?  Must be how God feels when we pass up opportunity after opportunity to do the great things he has planned for us.  But then there are those little moments when sisters grab hands that redeem it all.  It sounds like though your heart is bruised, wishing for a more peaceful transition, you’re still able to find the redeemable in that precious, if exasparating at times, girlie of yours.  Hang in there.  You know we’ll all be praying for you.

  11. luvmynoah

    Love the new layout marla! That picture is awesome. 

    FYI- I was on facebook the other day and under someone’s favorite quotes was one of yours from your first book!!  I was excited to see it.  I had recommended it to this girl a year ago and she told me she learned so much from reading it!  I thought you may want to know the impact you are having for the Lord!

  12. gsowell

    Praying for you as a parent, as an author, as a witness to the neighbors, as a steward of your resources, as an entrepreneur, as a laundry lady, as a friend! Love you!

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