"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.