Friday, September 6, 2013

Dear Mom,

I don't blog anymore and I'm honestly not planning on coming back to it.  I don't have time for it.  I'm busy being Mommy to 5 cute little people and wife to a really neat guy.  But there's just this one thing I need to share.

You, Mom, I need to talk to you.  Your job is hard.  Boy do I know your job is hard.  You've got a thousand things to do all day long, and that might be close to the literal count.  You get interrupted constantly by people who need something from you, people who spilled things, broke things, pooped in or on things, or attempted to go Cain on your little Abel.  People don't get you unless they ARE you, unless they do what you do every day.  And plenty of people get really worn out after lasting an hour or two doing what you do 24/7.

I get all of that.  I REALLY get all of that.  I live it everyday too.

And while you are doing all of this stuff, going a little crazy on the inside from time to time...or maybe more often than that... you start to feel like you can't compete, like you can't do this as well as everyone else.  You want to be more, do more, spread more good things.  You want to see fruit on your spiritual tree, and goodness knows you aren't sure what the fruit you are growing with these little people is going to turn out like.  The you in you starts to fade.  You get lost and you aren't sure where to find you.  Your thoughts drift to what you aren't doing and who you aren't anymore and all the things that are wrong with you.

Enter that voice.  Be it from a person in your life, articles or posts on the internet, or something you watch.  That voice starts to tell you that you're great the way you are, you don't need to change anything about you, we all ROCK in our own way, and it's judging yourself or others to want more than that.  That voice promotes that we expect mediocrity.  That voice tells us we are crazy to think we can do any more than get by.  People spread it and then we soak it up.

We can be more.  I don't agree with the people who give all kinds of excuses for why you can't be the Proverbs 31 woman.  She didn't have a name, so she never existed.  She had servants.  She was ... insert excuse here.

I am not in competition with you and you are not in competition with me.  And we can do so much more if we encourage each other instead of making excuses for one another.  Check the voices that are pouring into your mind.  All of the voices.  TV, music, friends, family, church.  Which voices speak life, and which voices speak negativity?  Step one, cut out the negative voices.  " Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

Step two, stop trying to be ALL of it all at one time.  Prioritize.  Let God shape the image you are going for. When I start to get overwhelmed, I know that something I'm doing is not what God intended for me to do.  What you were made for and what I was made for are different things, so I can't give you a formula.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, you may want to look at scaling back and slowly adding in as God shows you what you should be doing.

People often ask me how I do it with 5 small children.  I explain that it's acclimation.  When you add one at a time, you acclimate to each one.  I had a season where we added a little quickly and it was really hard.  It took longer to acclimate because there was a lot of work added in at the same time.  I think it's the same with being transformed into a better wife and mother.  It is a process that we learn a little at a time.  If we try to change it all at one time, we make no progress.  When we add one thing at a time and master it, then we progress.

My point is, be okay with where you are and that you have stuff to work through.  Be okay when other people aren't where you are.  Judgement is worthless, it's poison and it grows nothing.  But consider having the goal of improving.  Consider having people in your life who draw you up into those better things, rather than making excuses for why you aren't who you would like to be.  Be prayerful in your decisions about what to focus on first and then feel good about the one area that you are improving.

Your job is so important.  You are the administrator in your home.  When you function at full capacity it allows the rest of your family to go and do their jobs better.  Mom, you are performing a job.  Treat it as the career it is.  Have goals for your future.  Desire to be a stronger asset to your family.  And as you grow, as you learn to function in your job at higher capacity, you will find you again.  Those who give up their lives will find them.  Don't look for more me time, but instead be about others, be about God.  Then, God will be about you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Location

The blog will be up and going again, but in a new location.

Visit to follow our family on our new adventures.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Submission and Complaining (otherwise known as "venting")

I'm not quite sure how to write this post.  And I know it isn't going to come out perfect.  And I know that I will have lots of people all offended at it... But it's heavy on my heart and it's important to me to share it.

I will start by saying that this post is directed to my sisters in Christ.  Those that have not placed their lives at the feet of God, professed to live for Him and die to self- you are not who this post is directed toward.  You may grow from the things I am going to share as well, but it is directed toward those who have placed their faith in the One who paid for their imperfection.

My husband was recently on a men's retreat with the men of our church.  During the time he was gone, I spent time in prayer for the men who lead us, and the women they serve.  I prayed for our men, but I also prayed for their wives.  I asked the Lord what things were out of balance, what things I, as a wife, could do to help my husband.  I have heard plenty of concern from wives about their husbands not being strong leaders in the home, especially by way of spiritual leadership.  I believe that if we go about this in a mature direction, in hopes of actually solving the problem, we must seek the Lord about what our part in this is.  What have I done that has helped this problem exist?  And what can I do to help change it?

Well, the Lord gave me some answers to this question for me.  While they may be directed toward me, I believe that they carry over for many women, thus the reason for this post.

First, He showed me that my perspective was, backwards in fact.  I've been living with my own set of dreams for our family, seeking our path from the Lord, seeking where He wants to take us as a family.   Does this sound a little backward to anyone?  For some, it may seem about right...but well, that's not exactly my job.  I am to pray for our family and seek the Lord on what I should be doing, but that should fit within the bounds of my husband's dreams and goals.  You see, woman was created for man.  I was created to be his helper, not the other way around.  But my culture has caused me to believe that is settling and living under a man's oppression, when in fact, it is not.  I wasn't leaving my husband out of those dreams and goals, I wasn't directing him...but I have had vision of where we would go as a family.  And I feel like this part is coming out wrong, but I don't know how else to say it.

I was created to help my husband in his dreams.  I was made for him.  For him.  To help him.  Does that mean I am not my own person?  Not at all.  I don't have to ask his permission for every little thing.  But my main focus should be seeking the ways that I can help further my husband's calling.  That IS my calling.  Can I have other calls on top of that?  Of course.  But they cannot scratch out the first one.  I am wife.  I am mother.

There are situations where a man is not living within the dreams and goals of the Lord.  That is why it is so important for a young lady to choose a man who is living the direction she wants to be going.  But God is not outside of redeeming those who have made an unwise choice.  There is just much more work and discomfort in the process.  But that is not my point for this post.  If a husband is not dreaming with Godly perspective, then we reach point number two. 

The second thing I was convicted in is complaining.  This is often referred to as venting, though there are other things we call complaining as well.  All of which are talking about the one we should respect in a negative way without the intention of resolution.  That means resolution through that conversation.  There are times when I think it is important to discuss issues with our mentor or a counselor, but to vent to friends is normally not done in a way that is directed at solving the problem.  It is not done to self examine, nor to ask for Godly advice.  "Venting", as I am talking about it, is for the purpose of "getting it off my chest".

God spoke to me clearly regarding this.  He said, "Don't complain.  Contend."

Those words have been through my brain time and time again since I heard them.  Don't complain.  Contend.  I am still amazed at every prayer the Lord answers for me, even though He answers my every prayer.  I don't understand that, but that doesn't change the fact that I was brought to tears today by a prayer so specifically answered.  Tears and a desire to jump up and down and hug Jesus.  Literally.  I wished I could.  So, to contend on my knees will get me much farther than I will go if I complain.  And I want change!  I don't want people to feel sorry for me  (though sometimes I must admit, in the moment I do), I want actual change.

The Bible talks many times about our words and taming the tongue, refraining from speaking.  Check out Proverbs and you will get plenty right there, though that's not your only proof.  So, I need to take care in the things that I say about my husband, and really anyone.  I feel that this carries over to other relationships as well.  Don't complain, contend!

Every time I am frustrated, every time I want to complain, or just "vent" about my husband, my prayer is that I would stop and contend for him on the level of prayer.  To complain is a disservice to my husband and to God, but to contend is a great blessing.  To have a spouse that battles in prayer for me when he sees something that I am falling short in would be the greatest gift I could ever receive (notice I didn't say he points it out every time).  For I believe in the power of prayer.  I believe that whatever I ask in my savior's name, he will give me. 

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24 (and read the story before about the fig tree starting at verse 12...when I read that I was thinking- what the heck?  Why did Jesus curse the tree?  It wasn't fig season, the tree was doing what it was supposed to.  It seems silly...what is your opinion of why?  (I'd just like to know on that one...) 

If you say, "Yes, but I have many things I have asked for and not received..." then check those prayers against James 4:2,3 "...You do not have, because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

My sisters in the Lord, I ask that you look at these things I have been convicted of and see if they match up with any sin in your own lives as well.  I believe that we would grow much in the body if our men would rise up and we, as women, would step aside and allow them to do it.

O Lord, soften our hearts and transform the way we interact with our husbands.  Bring change to our lives that we may better reflect You and bring You glory.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Things They Can Check Off Their Lists...

Be really cute.

Be silly with Mom.

Snuggle cute baby sister.

Watch a few movies from the library.

 Dance on the mattress that Curly brought out to the dining room while singing into a toy nail.

Be "cheesy" while baking.

Lick a knife...just to make Gramps proud.

"Cook" on the couch and be really cute while doing it.

Sneak in a bite of the cookies we are decorating WHILE SITTING ON GRANDMA'S LAP!  Way to stop him Grandma!

All have a try at Grandma's glasses.

Be stealth and sneaky on Curly's top bunk. (With Mommy and Daddy right there.)

 Play with the new fire truck from Christmas in the hall.

 Play with the baby Grandma knitted for me.

Win Mommy's heart again and again.

Learn to sit alone.

Decide that cars should be played with in the window sill and do it every. single. day.

Keep on rockin the drool.

Play with sister. (big or little depending on who you are)

Sort colors and stuff...oh wait, I'm only 8 months old.

Learn to crawl.

I. Have. No. Clue.

Be the coolest thing to hit Grandma's coffee table since sliced bread.

 Feed the baby with your bare hands.

...then proceed to run away like you just did something life threatening.

Yep.  They've been checking lots of stuff off their to do lists.  I hope you are all being as productive.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

 From our family to yours.

(Click to view larger)

Friday, December 17, 2010

And the Birthday Cookie

Handsome had his birthday yesterday as well.  I, apparently not thinking, made him a cake with Curly.  HE made this for himself.

...which would be a giant molasses cookie.  He also thought up the tree with the star "embossing" himself.  I love my silly husband!

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall...

Who is the drooliest baby of all?

...I think the jury has it easy this time.


Monday, December 13, 2010

You Can Thank Gramps...

You can thank my Gramps for the photos.  He's got your back...and after the phone call yesterday, pestering me for photos of the kids, I figured I could take a minute to upload a few from the last few months.  Who knows, perhaps I will go ahead and do some more for him every once in awhile.  So...enjoy some eye pleasure if you choose.

And just for kicks, I'll share with you that as Curly was sitting with me here on the couch she stuck her toe up to her mouth and said, "Mom, look at this!" and started sucking her toe.  I promptly told her to take it out because that is GROSS and she added, "It actually tastes kinda good.  It tastes fruit or something!"  The stories sure haven't stopped around here =).