Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Free-For-All ~ I Love A Good Swiffer Cleaning and Other Confessions

I remember when I got my first Swiffer.  I'm pretty sure my mom actually bought it for me and I'm not quite sure if my friend, Jenn, had one first or if I did, but we both ended up with one around the exact same time.  We had an instant love affair with our new cleaning companions.  I loved the smell, how light they were, the instant gratification of a mess so nicely cleaned up.  (yes I'm a nerd.)  One day while talking about our new swiffers (hey, we didn't have pets or kids yet, we had to talk about SOMEthing!), we both realized that we had this ridiculous habit of "allowing" things to fall on the floor and make a mess just so we could get our handy dandy little swiffer out and clean up the mess.
OK, so I couldn't find a picture of me and Jenn (I promise she's my best friend!), but this is our girls, and Cana.
Rainy's two best friends about to be in two totally different parts of the world.
It's not every day that you can find a friend that shares such a tight bond.

Now every time I pull out my trusty swiffer to wipe up a spill (that I may or may not have purposefully left on the floor) just to mop up on a sad day (cleaning is therapy. yes I'm a nerd), I think of my sweet friend.  This sweet friend of mine is moving to Haiti in a couple of weeks.  I'm almost positive she won't be able to take her swiffer with her.  It's gonna be a sad, sad day when she has to leave me it behind.  But rest assured Jenn, I will think of you every time I wipe up the sticky apple juice residue and leftover pasta sauce off of the kitchen floor.  (PS-if you have any swiffer juice left over would you mind bringing it on by?;)

Speaking of cleaning...

...does anyone else ever do "the smell test"?  You know, when you find a shirt on the floor and aren't quite sure if it is in need of a washing or not?  You give it the ol' smell test.  Or the baby butt because you keep getting a whiff of something raunchy, or the food in the refrigerator (expiration dates LIE, I tell ya!), the boys undies which have a tendency to get strewn all over the house (Don't ask.  Zeke has an undie fetish) or the jeans that you don't have any recollection of washing any time in the past month (or 3).  No?  Me either, ha!

And since we are into confessions today...

Sometimes when Josh gets home I cry.  Not because he's home, but because he's home.'s like, I've kept my big girl undies on all day, and it's been a ROUGH day, and then in walks my backup and the floodgates have been lifted.  Relief has arrived.  It's pure exhaustion and gratefulness all balled up into one massive ugly cry exhale.  I really DO love you coming home baby!  I love it to tears!

And so I'm off to cry some happy tears because this weary mama has her relief here ALL WEEKEND!!!!!

Bring on the family togetherness!

Happy Friday ya'll:)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cai on Shark Food and Cute Fish Nibbles

Cai:"Mom, do sharks eat us?"
Me:"Well, yes they can."
Cai:"So is shark food, people?"
Me:"I mean, I guess, kind of.  But they eat other fish too."
Cai:"But fishies just nibble."
Cai:"But we feed sharks people?"
Me:"No baby. We don't FEED people to sharks.  We feed them fish, but they CAN eat people if they think people are going to hurt them."
Cai:"But fishies are cute.  Sharks eat fishies? Why? That is not very nice."
Me:"Well, that's just the way God made them.  They have to eat something and God gave them little fishies to fill up the big fishy bellies."
Cai:"Will the sharks bite our hands when we feed them the cute fishies?"
Me:"Not if we move our hands away really quickly."
Cai:"Yeah! We just have to move them R.E.A.L.L.Y. soft."
Me:"ummm, yes."
Cai:"Can I have lots of more food please?"

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

For Good

This morning I was in Genesis.

I admit that sometimes as I'm reading these Bible "stories" it seems like just another fairytale.  I have to remind myself that these words are true and real!  They actually DID happen.

This man, named Jesus, literally walked these streets.
That boy named David really did gather some rocks and kill a huge giant (WHAT?!).
That brother named Joseph was terribly deceived by his brothers and sold as a slave.

So when I read this passage in Genesis 50 it carries a lot more weight than just the evil step-mother locking her step-daughter up in the top of a creepy castle.

Joseph was stripped and thrown into a well.
Then sold by his brothers into slavery.

Like, no more family.
No rights.
No familiarity.
No hope.
No safety.

I cannot even imagine the bitterness and resentment and anger that could well up over the years.
The hard heart that could forever turn to stone against these men who call themselves your brothers.

After Joseph's father died, Joseph's brothers were terrified that these typical reactions were about to haunt them for the rest of their lives and this is what happened:

"When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, 'It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.' So they sent a message to Joseph saying 'Your father gave this command before he died: 'Say to Joseph, 'Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.' Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, 'Behold, we are your servants.'"

Joseph had every right to be angry, to enslave his brothers, to pay back for the YEARS of heartache and hurt they caused Joseph.

But Joseph saw the bigger picture and replied:
"Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.' Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them."

That, my friends, is a reaction that only God can do in a heart that has been battered and bruised, but radically changed by Christ.

Allow God to turn the things that were meant for evil in your life, to mold your heart and character into alignment with Christ, so that it can turn into the good that God has planned for your life as a result of the pain.

Pain can yield beautiful fruit if you allow God to let it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

When Obeying Isn't So Easy

Our kids have been learning obedience this month at Journey.

Sometimes obeying is easy.
"Okay Zeke, you need to go open your birthday presents!"
"Cai, come on in for dinner."

Sometimes obeying isn't so easy.
"Alethia, yes that IS your baby, but Jude has it right now so you need to share."
"Rainy, it's time to unload the dishwasher again."

Often times, when the kids are given the arduous task of cleaning up and getting ready for bed I have to sporadically yell out "Obedience Check!" to help keep them focused on the task they have been given.  If, at that point, they have been caught disobeying (rolling around on the floor trying to give each other wedgies or throwing Jude's Legos off the top bunk as bombs, ahem) then they get a little "reminder" to keep them on track.  Rapid high-fives are handed out for obedience.

It's not a coincidence that this has been our family focus this month.

Josh and I, well our whole family actually, is in the middle of an obedience check.

The Lord has called us to do something out of the ordinary.  It has literally turned our lives upside down over the past week.  Not in a bad way, but in a different way. 

But just because God has called us to something doesn't mean it's going to be easy.  And it's not going to guarantee the support of everyone around us, even if they are believers.  

God has continually had to give us obedience checks throughout this process.  Sometimes I'm caught serving with a happy heart, yet other times I'm caught on the top bunk throwing Lego bombs.

Stepping out of your comfort zone, and actually living out "everything is God's anyway" and "bless others with what you have been blessed with", are two totally different things.

But as soon as those feelings of entitlement come rushing in, or the selfish need for "normalcy" flood over me I have to remind myself that everything I have has been given to me by God and we will be held accountable for how we manage it.

If God is calling you to something, obey, even if it is difficult.
Don't wait for the obedience check "reminder".

Okay, maybe it does feel good to throw Lego bombs for a few minutes, just don't stay there.  Get back up and keep going.

"Never tire of doing what is right."
II Thessalonians 3:13

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Free-For-All

I finished the 35 mile challenge on Monday!  Wow, what a feeling.  I never thought I'd EVER run this much in my life.  I even had 12 days left.  Bring on the next challenge!

It.Is.HOT outside.  And you can totally tell that my kids have had little outside play time.  All 3 boys have been running around the house like complete maniacs for 3 days!  I'm SO ready for the cooler weather that is supposed to blow in this weekend.

My kids have their Boosterthon this week at school.  I remember bringing home the pamphlet of prizes and dreaming of all the magic that could happen if I could possess all those fun "things" when I was little.  They have been ALL ABOUT it, ha!

My brain is tired today.
I'm glad it's Friday today.
I'm glad it's family day today.
And that is all I've got today:)

Have a great weekend ya'll!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pity Party

Sometimes I get in a funk.

I can't get out.

No matter what I do or how hard I try.
Or how hard I pray for a perspective change.
Or think that if "I can just put my finger on the 'trigger'" I will magically be lifted from the funk.

But sometimes it takes a REAL dose of perspective.

Like hearing of a homeless mom and daughter who were going to have to sleep in their car because they had no place to stay.  Who once had a family and a home and everything they could possibly need...and then in a moment it was all taken away.

And then my messy house, and piles of laundry, and the lunches I have to pack with my abundance of food all seem like a selfish pity party.

That, my friend, will refresh your perspective like none other.

Pray for the homeless.
Pray that they can find the hope in Christ when all else seems to be crumbling around them.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Words Worth Remembering

Cai:"Lethia, you wanna be Wonderwoman and you can be my wife?"


Rainy:"That one really cracked us out!


Cai and Alethia:"Daddy, I want you to put your hair on again."


Cai:"Alethia, please close your ears." // then whispers: "you're cute"


Cai:"Zekey, do you have to go to school tomorrow tonight?"


Me:"So Cai, what do you wanna be when you grow up?"
Cai:"I'm still gonna be Cai-bo mom."


Cai:"Mom, I feel a little like Christmas lights and candy today."


Cai: (right after breakfast, and recurring the rest of the afternoon) "Mom, when you go to girls night and daddy gets home, and after dinno I am going to tell daddy to see if he can make some cookies."

Monday, August 19, 2013

Not Me Monday ~ Espanol

I am extremely outgoing.

Also, languages come very easily for me.
(I don't know WHAT the Uganda's were talking about when they would respond to my broken Lugandan, chuckling, and say "Mama, you need to work of your Lugandan".)

So the fact that I have been trying to cultivate a friendship with another mom at the crosswalk while waiting for our kids to walk down from school, is no biggie.


And the fact that she knows NO English poses no problem.


Our relationship, based on a plethora of simple smiles and facial exchanges is enough to blossom any relationship, right?

But, I DID take Spanish in high school, so I've got plenty of espanol under my belt.

But apparently not enough to understand my newest friends' name.
At home I refer to her as Marisol, seeing as it closely resembles those sounds and Josh knows who I'm speaking of when I call her by that name.

Anyway, last year I noticed that Marisol was pregnant.  Since Jude was getting older, and we had a new bed for him, I wanted to see if she needed our pack-n-play as a bed for their new baby.   And since I am so good with languages, specifically Spanish, I would never need to pull together all my best interpretive movement moves to try to communicate this proposition.


I mean seriously, who rubs their belly and cradles an air baby and gives the ol' head-laying-on-the-hands-to-sleep motion at a crosswalk?

For some reason she didn't get what I was trying to say.


So, being the computer savvy, language professional that I am,  I got on the Internet and printed out a translation of what I was trying to tell her with a picture of the bed.

The next day I handed it to her and she was THRILLED!

It was exhilarating.

She and her husband came and picked up the bed later that afternoon.
Our friendship began growing stronger.

So, we're best friends now and I tell her "Hola" everyday and she smiles, thrilled that I am trying learning.

She brings her 7-week old little bundle of the-cutest-little-boy-whose-name-I-can't-pronouce-either-so-I'll-call-him-Mike with her to the crosswalk now and we smile, ooh and ahh, "hola", "como esta" and "muy bien" to each other every day.  I'm really getting the hang of it now.

So on one of those days when we were all dripping with sweat standing there waiting for the kids to meet us, I look over at her and pull out one of my trusty Spanish phrases from high school.

Me: "Oooohhh, hace muy caliente!!!"
Marisol: sweetly smiling and exuberated by my knack for the Spanish language, I'm SURE!) she responds, "Oh yes!"

When I got home I was boasting my success to Josh.
I waited for him to lavish his praise on me, but instead I got a husband who laughed out loud and informed me that I had, in fact, communicated to Marisol that it was "very spicy" outside, ha!

But, seeing as I'm so good at Spanish, this type of amateur mistake would NEVER happen to me.


But even if it did happen, it wouldn't thwart this relationship that has cultivated over the year(s)!
PS. I did NOT almost trip over my own feet on stage last Sunday which would have resulted in me face planting in front of hundreds of people.  That goes without saying.

Nope, not me!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday-Free-For-All ~ Productive Days

I'm pretty sure the weather couldn't be more perfect.

70 degree days
low humidity
erfect combination of overcast and sunny

we've turned the air off
opened up all the windows
line dried all our clothes
had picnics outside
done school on the front porch

lots of running trails in the park
sipping tea on the back porch
skipped naps
playing and swimming in the rain

plenty of unmade beds
piles of line dried clothes waiting to be folded
dishes waiting to go in the dishwasher
because I just couldn't bring myself to implement chore time
due to the beautiful, imagination-motivation atmosphere

And it's supposed to be like this ALL WEEKEND!

Happy Friday ya'll!
Enjoy your weekend:-)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Dreaded Removal Of Gluten Products

I've known for a while that we were going to eventually have to go this route for Zeke, but man was I procrastinating!  I just want to eat normal food without having to think about what is in it and the effects it is going to have on us.

But alas, the time has come.

We are diving in, head-first, into the gluten-free land of taste-free food. Meh.

We did a thermal scan on Zeke's spine, since he has been showing significant signs of ADHD and are not ready to even entertain the medication approach, and it very clearly showed signs of gut irritation from food allergies.  (Which might explain his record breaking snot bubbles!)  His special resources teacher told me that she is pretty sure he'll make it through 1st grade without medication, but was very doubtful about getting him completely through elementary school without some form of "help".

And if that weren't already enough, he has a little brother plagued with skin and sinus issues as well!

We are already going to the chiropractor and he is more than happy to work with us.

And since we've already formed a relationship with our much-loved psychologist we will probably inform her of the new findings in this complex specimen we call Zeke.

We're realizing that the cozy couch not only helps with his anxiety, but with his ADHD as well and we've got a few other tricks up our sleeve that we are going to try as well.

That leaves the diet.

We've already been working on eliminating the majority of dairy:(  We still do yogurt and cheese on pizza, but at least we're trying here!  Lucky for me, I have a sister who is a pro at dairy free eating!

Next on the list is the dreaded elimination of gluten products.  Lucky for me I have a dad who eats (and a mom who fantastically prepares) gluten free yumminess.

I admit, I have selfishly put this off for far too long, but I am realizing that we should at least give it a try (mainly for Zeke and Jude).

So here goes nothin'.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

...Because I'm 4 Now

I still love to watch him sleep
Usually when we think of the BIG birthdays we tend to think of "Sweet 16", 18, 21, 30, 40, 50 and so on.

But for Cai, turning 4 has brought a whole new zeal for life!

All of a sudden he is trying new things and insisting that he does things on his own that he would typically want someone else to do for him.

Now he walks with me to go pick up Areyna and Zeke.  Before he would stay behind and play with his cars because the field grass was too itchy and the walk was too rigorous (ha!) for his little legs and the heat was just too much for him to bear.  Now when it's time to go get them he scurries around to get his shoes on saying,
     "I'm gonna walk with you to get Rainy and Zeke...because I'm 4 now."

I couldn't get him to even TRY and buckle himself in the car for the life of me, until now!  Now he insists on doing it on his own, and if for some reason he can't get it he'll calmly ask for help.
     "I can buckle myself...because I'm 4 now."

     "Mom, I like rice and beans now...because I'm 4!"

     "Mom, I'm gonna lie down at Dr. Joe's to get adjusted...because I'm 4 now."

But do NOT be fooled, there are just some things that being 4 cannot change, like his need to ask for food every 10 minutes or his heart-melting little lisp:)

I can tell 4 is gonna be a BIG year for this boy!

Monday, August 12, 2013

First Impressions

There is something to be said about the way women used to greet their husbands on those old TV shows.  You know the cliche scenario where the wife sees her husband pull into the driveway while baking a pie for dinner.  She joyfully walks to the front door and greets him with a kiss.  She leads him to his chair to prop his feet up as she hands him the newspaper and the remote.

Ahhh, how picture perfect life appeared in those shows.

You never saw the kids running around half-naked, throwing boogers at each other while you are frantically running through the mine-field of Legos strewn all over the living room floor toward the toddler shoveling guinea pig poop into his mouth.  (Yeah, I've never seen such things either;)

But that second scenario is real life.
It just is, and that is okay.

But I still have this thing for the TV show greeting.

Here is what I DON'T want Josh to witness upon his arrival:
* a frazzled mom running out the front door yelling to the kids over her shoulder that she is running away to the nut house (again, something I have NEVER seen;)
*a house full of busy people, none of which even acknowledge his arrival
*a house in total chaos with a mom who is completely out of control
*a wife who immediately begins spouting off all the things that went wrong that day

This time of day is one of the hardest times of the day for me.  Mentally I am spent.  I was ready for Josh to be home 3 hours ago.  I am frazzled.  The kids are beginning to get out of control.  Dinner isn't ready.  The baby is fussy.

But these aren't the FIRST things I want Josh to see when he enters back into the family unit.

My goal is NOT to paint a false picture of the day here, ladies.  It also is NOT to stress yourself to get everyone and everything looking and acting perfect!  But rather to put a halt on the happenings of the day to refocus and regroup.

Here is how the Colony does it:
  • Typically Josh texts me right before he leaves Journey.  That gives me 20+ min. to get to work.
  • First things first, "simmer" music is turned on.  Oh how I love Spotify and Pandora
  • Next, rally the troops.  Communicate that daddy is on his way and that we want him to hear a family that loves each other.
  • Now, put them to work.  Assign simple, age appropriate tasks to get the house in order(ish).
  • Walk around and light some candles (it's hard to stay grumpy or anxious with Gardenia and Magnolia wafting from the corners of the house) 
Now you can get back to stirring the stew or flipping the chicken in the oven.
  • Finally, for goodness sakes, stop peeling the potatoes and kiss your man when he walks in the door.  Making eye contact and physically showing him that he is more important than the tasks we are all working on will shout your love to him, even if only for a moment to acknowledge his arrival.
There are days when this just does NOT happen.  Josh gets home and I am a wreck, the house is a wreck and the kids, well, we don't need to talk about them right now...

But, by doing this, it not only allows for a quick-cleanup of the house and the scent of Magnolia to rise above the stench of diapers, it also promotes team work and thinking of others while we anticipate daddy coming home. It also removes the kids from their bickering matches and me from my feelings of being completely overwhelmed just long enough to dissipate those fires.

Now when daddy enters back into the family unit he will see a family that he enjoys coming home to.
I want him to feel safe when he walks in those doors, never a feeling of dread, not knowing what he is going to walk into.
I want him to be glad (excited, even) to be home with us.

We'll have time to get to the highs and lows of the day around the dinner table or at a more appropriate time, but the first impression I want my husband to see is that this is his family, that we love and appreciate him, and that we are trying to work together, even if it's been a rough day.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Free-For-All

Well, another week has come and gone.  It's so crazy to me how life just keeps on going and going.  You have good days, bad days...busy days, relaxed days...but no matter what season you are in, it just keeps going.  It may feel like time is inching by but at the same time others may feel as though it is flying away.

Speaking of time.  I was trying to explain the concept of time to Zeke, who was absolutely beside himself disheartened over the fact that he had waited so long to do his homework that he had to spend his "extra time" at night to complete it.  I drew a timeline starting at the time he gets home from school and ending at the time he goes to bed.  I tried to explain that the amount of time in between was the exact same, but the stuff he does within that time will look different everyday, so in all actuality he DID get to play just as long that day, even though he felt like he was getting shafted during his "extra time".

Here is his response to my clever presentation: "Uhhhh, mom, can we just keep working on my homework?"

Maybe I'll just give it some time to sink in;)

We are taking cupcakes to Zeke's class during lunch today to celebrate his birthday.  YES, I am very well aware that Zeke's birthday was on July 6th and that this is actually Cai's birthday weekend, but have you not learned anything yet?!  Everything birthday gives me anxiety!  So Zeke, bless his little heart, is a very lucky little boy to get cupcakes AND a birthday party after school consisting of fun-filled games (ie. pizza eating and ice cream topping choosing).  Good thing he is young and resilient.  Hopefully he will make it out of Elementary school without being scarred too badly.

Josh challenged me (conveniently AFTER I executed a 4.5 mile run, ahem) to a running competition.  We have 26 days to run 35 miles.  I am only .8 miles ahead of him today, but have no fear, I am a pretty determined girl, and I WILL WIN this challenge!  I've never run this much in my life, even during soccer season, I'm pretty sure!

I have been so ready for today.  You know why?  It's Josh's day off!  He hasn't been home before 10pm in days working hard to get everything in order for our Saturday night services that launch this weekend.  I'm excited for this next season.  I love having a husband that works so hard!  (Just don't ask me how much I mind those late nights at 8:30pm when I'm STILL working on getting the Colony in bed, ha!)  It helps knowing that these late nights only last for a season:-)

So here I go.  Off to enjoy a much-needed family day...and cupcakes at school...and a month-late birthday party with a bunch of stinky little boys running around in Batman costumes and handmade bows and arrows.  I love my life!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Remember That Time I Told That Girl That She Was Wrong?

Remember that time, when I saw one of my friends doing something that I thought was inappropriate and confronted her?

Yeah, that didn't go over so well.

Has that ever happened to you?

You meet a new girlfriend for coffee, one time, you get the "yes, ANYTIME you see anything in my life that doesn't measure up to Christ's standards, you have my blessing to tell me", speech and then it's ON!

You've noticed some not-so-appropriate things that could cause future temptation and you feel obligated to tell her about it.

I mean, isn't that what God tells us to do?  Confront our brothers and sisters in Christ?  Someone needs to keep them accountable, right?!

So you pray about it, you seek council from a trusted friend or two and make sure your intentions are right.  You have that overwhelming heaviness to get it out and in the open that you don't agree with what they are doing, and then you go for it.

In the bathroom of a restaurant, during a birthday party, none-the-less, because you simply cannot hold your tongue for another minute.

They NEED you to tell them that they are headed for destruction!

Oh the things I've learned (and AM learning) along the way!

First of all, just because I finally had the time to meet up with this new "friend" ONE TIME for coffee doesn't mean that we have created the kind of relationship that gives me that kind of freedom to speak so openly and accusingly.

Sure, my motives were right, but it wasn't my place.

Secondly, even if I DID have that right, in the bathroom of a restaurant during another friend's birthday party is HARDLY the place and time to bring up this conversation.

Sure, my motives were right, but I had NO self-control over my own tongue to wait until the right time to speak those words.

Thirdly, I had just entered her outer circle of "people".  Hardly the inner circle where I have gained the respect to be able to speak those words in love, and have them received in grace.

Sure, my motives were right, but I had no right to speak condemnation to someone whom I had just begun a surface friendship with.

So what can you do when you feel the overwhelming urge to tell someone that they are about to make a big mistake?

1 - Become their friend.  I mean a REAL friend.  The type of friend who has gained mutual respect to be able to speak those kinds of things into each others lives.

2 - Check yourself.  If you feel like you have to say something or else you are going to burst, then maybe that is something inside yourself that needs to be checked! If we feel like this person is going to fail solely because we kept our mouths shut, then we obviously have some issues, believing that we have more power than the Holy Spirit.

3 - Pray for them!  I cannot stress this enough.  It is not YOU who are going to change this person's heart anyway.  It is the Lord, through the softening of the Holy Spirit.

4 - If you have made the same mistake that I did, and confronted this person, at the wrong place and the wrong time, when I had no right, then ask forgiveness of them, and of the Lord, for being so self-righteous.  Try to reconcile that relationship and move forward.

It's not easy to be in a situation when you see someone doing something that you don't think is a good idea, but you have to earn that right to be able to speak that truth into their lives, or else it will most likely do more harm than good.

And there is another lesson learned from my mistakes:-)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tribute To Four

Despite our instruction and his resistance, Cai turned another year older yesterday.
Where has the time gone?
But I believe that is just part of the territory when you pray that this child will only speak truth!
He simply CANNOT hide his feelings and emotions.
Still an avid lover of Mickey Mouse
Bob the Builder and superhero costumes, and sometimes a combination of the two
...and food, of course:-)

The smallest to be born to me,
but quickly making up for it, passing up his sibling's stats within 2 weeks!

He has had to grow into his strength.
having always been so rough, (and stealing poor Cousin Karis' snacks)
but then he smiles that great big smile that lights up his entire being.

I'd do it all over again.
Happy Birthday sweet Cai-bo!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Secret To Every Mom's Freedom

Sometimes playing the "what if" game is strictly of the devil himself, and brings pity, resentment, feelings of negative self-worth, depression and so much more.

But sometimes it can lead to complete and total freedom.

For instance...

"What if" every mom thought for themselves?!

I's shocking.
But, surprisingly VERY difficult.

We have friends, mentors, books and social media full of great advice!  Don't get me wrong, I am in knee deep with most of these and each one of them can all be VERY good, but just because a tactic works for one family doesn't mean it will work for your family.  Just because a certain lifestyle works for our family doesn't mean it will work for your family.

But, really, "what if" every mom could look to her OWN family's dynamics, characteristics, needs and talents and strategized what was best for her own family?

"What if" she sought council from wise moms and mentors around her to see what worked for their families, but didn't feel as though they were a failure, themselves, if it didn't work for their own family.

"What if" she kept up with all the latest parenting books but read it through Christ's filter for her OWN life and family dynamics?  Maybe she would feel less like she had a gazillion more things to work on and more like she had a few more extra ideas to pull out in case she needed it.

"What if" the working mom, who has no choice but to work, or even feels called to work, stopped caring about the few who thought less of her for doing so, and just embraced the roll she was in and did it with joy and pride, making no apologies along the way!

"What if" the mom who is home alone for long hours while her husband works the less-than desired 9-5 hour job stopped complaining about all the time her husband has to put in and rejoiced in the fact that God had provided a job exactly when it was needed and if she felt like this wasn't the right fit for her family decided to speak to her husband about getting a different job and praying toward a different direction, while embracing the season she has found herself in the midst of.

"What if" the mom who had absolutely no conviction about organic, whole grain, no grain, or WHATEVER, just stopped listening to the other voices about this being the ONLY way to eat if you cared anything at all about your kid's health.  If you choose to eat organic, awesome!  If not, awesome!

Easier said than done, I know.

But I PROMISE you can do it and here is how:

Make the choices for your family based on YOUR family, not someone else's.  Seek God's council and wisdom.  Ask for conviction if something needs to change. Get in the word daily.  Ask God for the humble confidence you need to embrace the direction He has for YOUR family and let go of whatever you think (or know) others might say about you.

Did you catch that?


Remember who you are trying to please.

But whatever you do (homeschool/public school, organic/processed, stay at home/work, spank/reprimand, extra curricular activities/lots of white space for family time, eat out/ home cooked, consigned/clearance/full price) do it as unto the Lord.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Before We Even Knew That She'd Be Ours

I just had a friend email me saying she had found this picture 
while going through photos of our trip to Uganda in 2010.

This is our sweet Alethia looking into her soon-to-be daddy's eyes.


Thank you, Katy, for this sweet moment captured and for passing this on to me today!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

At This Very Moment

At this very moment...

Bon Iver's remix is playing in the background

Jude is taking his morning nap

a load of laundry is drying that had been sitting in the dryer , undried, for who knows how long, but at least they don't stink yet

I am making mental notes of all the things I need to get done before we head up to VA this afternoon to play for a friend's wedding

a load of wet laundry is sitting in the washer, just waiting for its turn to dry

a thought of yesterday's whirlwind of watching 9 little ones all day just raced through my mind

Alethia is yelling, "Is this ilarious? Is this ilarious?" over and over while banging two cars on the metal side table

my right calf is screaming in protest from my 10 mile run the other day.  Yes, you read that right...10 MILES!

Cai is singing theme music while he lines his superheroes up on the fireplace

I'm thinking that I really need to get my mental to-do list on paper so I don't forget anything

a brief thank you was whispered to God for allowing us to live so close to our school for mornings like this, when Zeke realizes, right before hopping out of the car in the drop-off line with 8 cars waiting patiently behind us, that everything hasn't been done "JUST SO", resulting in a quick trip back home, to complete everything "JUST SO", in order to take him back to school, feeling reassured and confident that everything was done to his approval...*sigh*

a quick reminder to a certain little colony member to be thankful for what we DO have

the thought that one of my best friends lives in Uganda, and another is quickly on her way to all the nations...

a wave of urgency to get started on that to-do list, but my body being unwilling to put a single thing into action

the dryer just stopped, which means that I really could get moving in the direction of packing up all the little clothes that need to be put into a suitcase...but maybe just one more minute

listening to Alethia and Cai conversing about Riddler and Batman's birthday party that is about to take place in the Barbie house

...and so my life goes...and I smile...and maybe, just maybe those clothes will miraculously pack themselves this time:)

Happy August Everyone!