Thursday, August 27, 2015

New Blog!

Hello!  Just letting all of you lovely followers know that I have moved to a new and improved blog!

visit to keep up with me!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

God, do you hear me?

"No TV today."  

I said it in a voice that tried to convey how serious I was.  The looks on their little faces were priceless.  First world problems mixed with the stubbornness of toddlers and preschoolers... they weren't buying it.  I handed my two oldest (a 4 year old and an almost 3 year old) each a paper towel and began squirting the windows with cleaner.

"Let's work on helping Mom clean today."

They looked down at the paper towel, looked at me, looked at each other, smirked, and started rubbing the windows.

So far.. so good.

As they quietly worked on the task at hand, I knew I needed to explain why it's important to get quiet during the day.  Have you ever tried to explain quietness to a wiggly toddler?  Especially a BOY toddler?  I want them so badly to understand that we get quiet so that we can listen.  Listen to Mom, listen to each other, and most importantly listen to God.  In my book, someones character becomes evident in the simple fact of how well they listen.

I then began to explain how quietness helps us listen to God.  Knowing (as an adult) that this fact of life is crucial, I want to instill it in my children.  But honestly trying to explain it to a little toddler is hard.  I resign myself to the fact that about 20% of what I am already fumbling to say is being absorbed.  Hopeful that the truth they heard will one day stick, I send them off to go and play without any television.

As the minutes go by I begin to hear a conversation between my two oldest through the baby monitor.

Sterling: I wants to watch TV.
Selah: No bub, Mom said we have to listen to God.
Sterling: No.
Selah: Yes.
Sterling: Puz (cause), Why?
Selah: Because He wants us to listen.  Remember, she said that He wants to talk to us.

A little flicker of pride swells up in my heart.  20% absorption, folks.  My kids may turn out alright after all!!

After some time I hear little feet run up behind me.  I turn around and a concerned Selah hands me a walkie talkie.

Mom: What's wrong?
Selah: It needs batteries.
Mom: No, it seems to be working fine.  See!  The light is on.  That means the batteries are working.
Selah: But why is God not answering me?  (yelling into it) GOD?!?  Do you hear me?

I could not help but burst out laughing as I hugged my sweet girl, affirming and encouraging her.  I want and need her to know how much I love her heart.  I can only imagine the deep belly laugh that took place in heaven when God himself saw what took place.  He has the utmost compassion for me as I fumble my way through explaining things to my kids.

Life can be challenging these days.  I know I am not alone because I see the millions of "mommy" articles out there that try and encourage women just like you and me.  Tired and desperately clinging to the hope that we are making a difference.  As I get quiet at night, my mind races.  Quietness is often hard for adults.  Not because we are wiggly but because our reality is glaringly obvious in those moments.  When we aren't distracted by television, our jobs, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and the natural hustle and bustle of our culture, we are left with who we truly are and what our life looks like.  That very thing can engulf a person if they aren't then seeking out God in the quietness.  If my thirst for God doesn't drown out the world, then often times I fall asleep feeling defeated because I didn't do this or that or whatever the circumstance may be.

Prayer and reading God's word is a sweet and simple concoction that fuels my soul when the depths of me feel like a desert.  We all need quiet.  Are you being quiet with God?  Or are you running to and fro with a walkie talkie in hand desperately yelling at God to respond?  Take a moment and take your finger off of the button and listen.  Put down the enlightening articles on Facebook and pick up the most important book ever written.  He has something to tell us.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Selah turns 4!

We had a great time celebrating Selah Grace turning 4 years old!  I cannot believe how fast the time has flown on by!  The menu included: Banana cream cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, hand painted sugar cookies, caramel apples, potato soup, sante fe soup and all the fixins, peach tea, lemonade, smores, and last but not least... a popcorn machine!   I absolutely adore throwing birthday parties for my kids.  The party included pumpkin decorating, a bon fire, and a fun photo booth.  This party was jammed packed with autumn decor and touches of shimmery gold in honor of the little princess in our life.  Selah Grace was cinderella, Sterling was a cowboy, and Scout was Charlie Brown!  What a fun time we had.  A big thank you to everyone who came.  Happy Birthday, sweet Selah :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September Sentiments

With one swift movement, he launched himself face first into the smooth concrete floor of the grocery store.  I stood there.  Partly stunned by his bold act of defiance and partly due to the fact that I had run out of parenting options and I had only been in the store for 5 minutes.  He then smirked at me.  I almost lost it.  I almost launched him into the old fashioned oats bin 10 feet away.  My mind was racing as I watched the sneaky glances of those walking by.

WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS KID??  I can't let him win.  Show him who's boss.  What would Jesus do?  You don't want CPS called.  Be sweet, gentle, and kind but loving, firm and determined.  

I walked away.  Actually, I almost took out granny checking out the ginger root I was moving so fast. It was about that moment that I heard a frantic cry behind me.  "Ma'am, MA'AM!  You dropped your child??"  

I then proceeded to let her in on the secret that he is a baby actor stunt man in training and to not worry, it happens all the time.  She looked at me.  Eyes as big as saucers.  Her mouth wrinkled up on one side as she pondered on whether to laugh or be horrified.  At that very moment, the child in question, gently peeled himself off of the floor and walked over and climbed back into the bus that I was steering.

There are many moments in my day when sarcasm gets the best of me.  Today this one of them.

As we exited the store, and the hour long process of getting kids in carseats and groceries placed properly came to an end... I found myself staring into empty space.  Replaying the scene that just took place in my mind almost made me afraid that I would run into "concerned mom" at church.

As I drove home, I prayed.

God, what are doing with me?  What is your plan for these kids?  Am I really the best one for the job?  I feel inadequate most of the time, if I'm being honest with you.   But hello!  You are God, I'm sure you knew that already.  Why do I feel crazy?  Did you make me crazy?  It's probably the gluten....

As I drove, and as my manic prayers seem to fade off into the distance, I remembered.  September is a month of remembrance for me.  The month that we lost our very first baby that made us hunger for parenthood in a way we didn't understand and couldn't explain.  One September I spent preparing the way for Selah Grace to arrive.  What an amazing month that was.  And then that recent September when God told us to move to Texas and we obeyed and then the government shut down and lack of finances ruled our life and we almost lost our minds.  September.  Half of the month you are sweating so much it looks like just jumped into the pool and the other half you obnoxiously wear leggings when it is still only 75 degrees outside!

Remembering where God brought you from will always make you look at the present and future differently.  It makes me hug my babies tighter and not get so flustered at the moments.  The moments that I feel like I may just lose my mind right there next to frozen chicken in the grocery store.  One day I will look back at this and laugh.  Heck, I'm laughing now.  It takes talent to face plant concrete and hold onto your composure just to prove a point.  He's going to be President one day.

It's also good to remember these things so that we can remember to encourage each other.  Older Moms, encourage the younger Moms.  The are going crazy.  They need a smile and some love.

To the Mom who almost swerves in my lane, as you try and reach the leg fat of the child throwing toy cars at your head from the backseat, I will fist pump you and drive on.

Keep praying.  Keep smiling.  Keep seeking God.  Because in the end, I want to remember more of who I ran to and not who I ran away from :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The first two hours of our day!

I haven't blogged about our life in a while!  Probably because I have been trying to hang on for dear life :).  Until I have time to catch you all up on our new life in Texas, watch this little video I made of the first two hours of our day.  It will just warm your heart!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

panty liners and growing a french fry...

"Can I have a tour of your home?"  I cringed.  Boxes still tucked in corners and that morning's cereal bowls still on the counter.  My house was a hot mess.  And of course being the people pleaser and sayer of yes and never no (I'm working on it folks)... I invited my new neighbor in who was kind enough to bring me my misplaced mail.  As I whizzed through the main areas, hitting all the high points, I then began to distract her as I peppered her with life questions.  As she talked about her life, Selah came waltzing into the living room with a rather accomplished look on her face.   That little smirking face told me that she and Sterling were playing with stickers.  I hushed her and told her to go and keep playing, that I was trying to get this over with talking with our neighbor.  As the minutes went on, I began to get nervous.  It was too quiet in the house.  Quietness in my home means one thing, destruction is happening in a corner or closet somewhere.  

My neighbor began to slow the conversation and pointed to my room.  Is that your room?  I gently nodded yes but didn't budge in movement toward it.  "Can I see what you did with your room?  I'm needing some inspiration for mine."  "Why, yes, lets go."  I'm working on it folks.

As the door swung open I heard laughter from the bathroom.  And there they were.  "Look Mom, stickers!!"  Panty liners.  Panty liners lined the cabinets, walls, shower, toilet seat, & clothes in the closet.  My neighbor busted out laughing and Selah watched for my reaction.  There was nothing to say but frantically rip the freshly scented stickers off of.. well.. everything.  My neighbor then decided to chime in, "You look like you have your hands full, I'll let you go."  I certainly didn't argue.  As we walked to the front door we both laughed and laughed.  Her comment was, "That was the most real thing I have seen in a while."  I almost sarcastically invited her to dinner but then was afraid she would actually come to witness another mess.  

Life is wild and beautiful all at the same time these days.  December 4th 2013 we drove (and officially moved) from Nashville to Texas.  Once we hit Texarkana and the Texas border.. I knew.  Scout was on his way.  I was in a state of delirious pain and was a giggling mess.  Unfortunately I giggle when I am nervous.  It's confusing for others.  One time I backed out of the garage and completely smashed the rear view mirror on the passenger side of the car... I have never giggled so uncontrollably in my life.  Andrew witnessed the entire incident outside of the vehicle.  His look of utter confusion will forever be in my brain.  Bless his heart for marrying me.  Back on subject... We arrived into town at 1:30pm.  I arrived at the docs office at 3:30pm.  I was sent to the hospital at 4:30pm.  I had Scout at 3:30am December 5th, 2013.  There are A LOT of details in between all of those time stamps that I will have to share in the future.  It's comical, terrifying, and really wonderful.    

The gist is that since December 5th God has been teaching me lots of things.  Lots of little things that all fall under one category.  What is my identity?  I am trying to make friends, appear normal to my neighbors, nurse a newborn, maintain a photography business and wrangle a WILD almost two year old and three year old.  Those are all things that are going on in my life but they shouldn't be my complete identity.  If you haven't done the Jennie Allen study, Chase, then you should.  Go get it. Hurry!  It will rock your world.  I'm slowly learning that I need to wake up at 4:30am just to have some quiet time to do my bible study and that going to the grocery store by myself with all three children is really hard but doable.. but really hard.  All you mamas that do it without having help or your own Mom around to help, I commend you.  You go girl!  

The hardest thing thus far is just getting my kids all in and out of the car by myself.  This may sound like a task that wouldn't be that difficult but let me let you in on a little secret... IT IS!  With freezing temperatures, car seats designed as impossible spy gadgets, and a boy that feels the need to wear every single accessory out the door... it's a process going places.  In order to help buckle Selah in and not have to crawl completely in the backseat, I just stand and lean over Sterling.  A freak out moment happens that ends with me Mommy-growling at him as he jams his head into my "I've just had a baby" belly.  

Last Tuesday as we were headed out of my new mom's bible study across town, Selah comes out of childcare squealing about what she made in "school".  As I gaze down, I see a cup of dirt.  An open cup of dirt.  We made our way (with the help of my beloved spunky redheaded mom) to the car and my thoughts were not on the cup o dirt... they were on the task at hand - No one getting hit by a car on the way to our destination across the parking lot.  My Mom kindly lifted Selah into the car and as she made her way into the third row of seats we hear, "oh no, my dirt!"  My head flings back and an eye roll is instant.  Trying to save the day my Mom informs me that the dirt fell on an empty chick-fil-a bag in the backseat.  Embarrassing.  Selah is mourning the loss of her bean that she was supposed to grow and in an effort to save the bean my Mom then pours the dirt from the bag back into the little cup.  She pushes the "bean" back down into the dirt and then hands me the cup.  She then pauses and says, "I'm not sure if that is a bean or a french fry... I don't have my glasses on."  We both busted out laughing.  Selah is now growing a french fry.  

Circumstances in my life make it messy.  Moving the day you have your third child is really messy.  Trust me.  Making friends when you have three kids instead of being spunky, single, and in college is a whole new world.  Trust me.  But in all of this God has been so good to us.  He is slowly revealing why he moved us.  Why we were asked to put our feet into the water before he parted them in order for us to cross.  Every single thing I have prayed for at 4:30am he has quickly answered and he has come to my rescue.  He is showing me that if I make him my identity he will then give me beautiful circumstances that fill my life and make it rich.  Showing people your dirty closets at times gives others the opportunity to feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable with you.  God uses those moments.  

I'm totally OK with not identifying myself with a messy car or the fact that there may or may not be panty liners still on some of my clothes in the closet.  It's overwhelming to think about handling life when that is what you have as your identity.  Chasing him makes it easier to chase my kids.  It's a happier and more peace filled process.  What is your identity in?  The praise of others, an emotion, a really tough past experience, your job, your spouse...  Who are you?  Start with him, the one who created you.  He'll help you deal with the panty liners on the shower and week old french fries in the dirt.  He makes beauty from ashes.  And girlfriend, you are beautiful.  

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Three kids in Christmas pjs

I have three kids.  Holy cow.  I have three kids.  Three years AND younger.  Holy cow.  I have three kids.

It hasn't still quite set in yet that I am a Mom to three little ones but I am VERY sure that it will happen sooner rather than later.  We are still getting settled here in Texas.  There will be boxes for a few months and lots of sleepless nights, but God has already let me in on the fact that I am going to survive.  Glory hallelujah.

Let's do this.