First, I need to say that after my post the other day, I read a Scripture in my quiet time the next morning that convicted me:
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (emphasis mine)
I cannot lose heart in this daily battle with pain. I am so fortunate to have the Holy Spirit in me, renewing my heart each day. I need to be reminded all the time that this pain is momentary and it is LIGHT compared to what so many others endure (and as I said before, compared to Christ's sufferings!). I must DAILY look at the things which are eternal, instead of the temporal things I get so uptight about. So, I am feeling much better about everything today and continue to put my hope in that future day when I will get to shed this old skin for a brand new body! Sometimes, I just long for heaven, don't you?
Ok, now back to the reason I came to post today. I had a VBS meeting today at church and last Sunday, one of the girls that works in Ella's Sunday school class overheard me talking about it. She offered to keep Ella at her house (she's in high school, so she still lives with her parents) and let her swim (more on that in a minute!) and play a bit during the meeting. So, Ella stayed for about 2 & 1/2 hours and she had a great time. I offered to pay her today, but she said I didn't need to since she had volunteered and it was fine. I told her I'd like to hire her in the future and she told me she charges a whopping $8 an hour!! After I picked my jaw off the floor, I left. Now I feel bad about not paying her anything today and would like to give her something for her time. Do you think a $10 movie rental card would suffice? Also, I want some feedback on babysitting rates in your area. I know it probably depends on income levels in different cities, etc., but around here, $8 is a lot more than most high schoolers can make at a summer job. I used to make $3-$4/hr., but that was (oh, I don't want to say this...) 17 years ago. Times have changed, huh? Anyway, just wanted to get your input!
Now I will attempt to briefly describe how swim lessons have worked out for us the past 2 weeks. First, I need to say that Ella has been afraid of the water since she was old enough to know what water was. She went through a phase when she was around 2 when she didn't even want to take a bath. We have slowly worked through this fear, but she still has a tough time. Last year's swim lessons were a complete bust. I was really hoping that this year would be different and it was for the most part. She started out last week, very timid. She didn't even want to sit on the edge for the lesson. We worked out a little "bargaining" system with her. She's all about money right now - especially dollars. In fact, the way we finally nixed the finger-sucking was with a $5 bribe from my mother (which she had to pay up on yesterday - yay!!). Paul decided that if she couldn't do what we wanted her to do each day in swim lessons, we'd take a dollar out of her piggy bank. Each day, I added something new she had to do and it worked so well! She did freak out a lot on Wed. when they had to put on life jackets and get in the deep end. It was very difficult to convince her to go back for her last day yesterday! But, she made it. I think she's doing so much better. She's trying so hard to conquer her fear. We're going to make a deliberate effort to get her in the water a lot this summer and she will repeat her swim lessons in August. Hopefully I'll be able to report a ton of progress by then! Here are a couple of pictures. You can see the sheer terror in this one shot (sorry for the graininess - it was dark in there):
We are gearing up for VBS next week. That should be fun. I am helping with the music for the 4-year-olds. Then, we will begin our "stay-cation" on July 4 (through the 13th). I don't know if you've heard that term yet, but it's been tossed around in our local newspaper a lot lately. This year with the horrible economy, more people are just opting to take off work and stay home. We are not going to completely go that route. We will go to some of the nearby cities that have fun things to do and get in the pool a bunch! We are all very excited about it, as it will be fun just to get to enjoy our new house now that we're in it!
I'll have to post again tomorrow since I wanted to tell you about the circus last night and this post has turned into a short story. Have a great weekend!