expect the Lord.

26 Feb

“Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.” Ps.27.14

We’re always waiting for something, aren’t we? At this time of year, in this part of the world, no matter what else we’re waiting for, we’re at least wondering when spring will finally arrive. If that’s the only thing, it can still feel like a lot, with this thick, heavy blanket of snow covering all signs of life and hope.

But it’s not very often the only thing. I think winter perfectly amplifies this sense in all of us that we’re supposed to be waiting on something. We are. In everything, we’re supposed to be waiting on God–and we’re even called to be hopeful and expectant in that waiting. This can be SO very hard. I know it. I know the feeling deeply, especially as of late, when it seems like I am leaning on God in all of the waiting for all of the things.

It’s a beautiful, vulnerable, trying place to be.

I’m feeling so stripped down right now. Like God is doing something waaaaay down deep, at the core of who I am, in the most cathartic, challenging, put-your-whole-trust-and-self-into-your-faith-in-me kind of ways. I honestly feel so bare that I keep turning to God as my default because nothing else even makes sense. Yikes. Nothing else even makes sense? No. Nothing else is an even remotely attractive option. Is it possible that this was the way things were supposed to be, for this reason, all along?

I need God so intensely that everything else pales…there’s no other good solution. No quick fix. No miracle bandaid. Nope. Just me and God, sifting through it all, and me, trying to be open enough to the process to be refined and formed and made more like Him, for His glory.

It’s all so very raw and incredible. God’s plan is perfect–in hardship and in suffering, in celebration and in joy. In joy in the midst of suffering. Perfect. And there is unspeakable peace when become people of invitation to God, trusting that we can wait for Him. Hope for Him. Expect Him to show up.

He is showing up, people. I’m putting all of my eggs in one basket on that one. I can’t even fathom why I ever thought there was a better place for those crazy, fragile, hopeful eggs to be. Except that I’m broken like the rest. Totally and completely broken without Christ, before Christ.

I have never needed Jesus more than I need Him right now. None of us have. We need Him every moment of every hour of every day. I’ve had moments when I thought I didn’t need Him. When I figured I could handle things on my own. Not a whole lot changed for me in those seasons. It was fairly hopeless, me trying to make a go of life in my know-it-all way. But things are changing mightily now. I believe it wholeheartedly, even when I can’t see it.

Once you tell the Lord you’re ready for Him to move, get ready. He’s gonna move. Wait for it. Hope for it. Expect it with all you have in you. And know that there is life springing up under all that bitter cold, that tired ground.

mm

 

 

 

when your heart is troubled.

17 Feb

Henry and Eloise,

Like so many grown ups around you, my heart is heavy with the news of things happening around the world over the past few days, weeks and months. You are still so small, and it brings me peace to know that, for now, your hearts and minds are shielded from the harsh realities of evil and hatred that the grown ups around you are grappling to process. Thank goodness for your innocence and naivety at this age–it is so hopeful to look at you both and see the way that you approach life with such freedom and enthusiasm. As your mama, it is so beautiful to get lost in your world with you and tuck away from the darkness that tries so hard to weigh down the days otherwise. You are reminders of our faithful God and His urging to us to have childlike faith.

I need a good dose of childlike faith when I read the news and see modern day persecution blasted all over its pages. I need to cling to the very basic Truths you are beginning to understand as children of God–His love and our ability to totally rest in His plans, His joy, His peace. I need to show you through my own life just how much I put my faith in Him and His sovereignty, and I hope I can set a great example of this for you, if even a little bit at a time.

You don’t need to know what’s happening in the world around you just yet. You will be plenty aware of it in time. Goodness knows, I wouldn’t do you any favors to teach you to fear the things of this world, and I pray that as much as is possible, you won’t. I also pray that you will grow mightily in your faith. Put your trust in God and CLING to His Word and His Truth. Dive into Psalm 91 and REST in his promise that you need not fear terror in the night, or flying arrows in the day. If you choose Him, God will remain your place of safety; His promises will arm you and protect you.

Be wise and vigilant, little ones. Put your energies into knowing God more and more. LIVE in his Word. Hide His Truth in your hearts. Do not be troubled when trouble comes, because Christ has overcome the world and all trouble in it!

I love you more than I can tell you, sweet babies. And as much as it’s my inclination to want to guard you and protect you fiercely when evil shows its face, I know that the safest place for you is in the care of our Mighty and Fearless and Trustworthy God. When your heart is troubled, run to me, absolutely. But run to Him as well. Claim His peace and His sovereignty as you make your way. And be fearless for the Kingdom. It is ever so much more clearly at hand, and the world needs you to arm yourselves with Truth as it makes its way.

Remember the Cross and what it means for your freedom. When you carry it’s beautiful weight with you, when you lift it up as Truth in a broken world, God will use you in ways you can only imagine. Your story has only just begun!

loving you fiercely and boldly today, Hanker and Ella-bee, and praying you up.

mama

co-travelers and bumpy roads.

31 Jan

I woke up at 10:20am today. First let me say, this is not normal. And (quite) thankfully, I’m not ill. A late start wasn’t exactly what I’d planned for today, but when you fall asleep on the couch in an awful position for six hours, you pour yourself into your actual bed in hopes that the kiddos will sleep one more precious hour in the morning. 10:20am with two young kiddos is basically a dream.

It’s also evidence of sacrifice–in this case, on the part of my husband, who has been through plenty in these past few weeks to justify needing the extra hours of rest. Instead though, he got up and tended to the kiddos’ needs for a long while before I ever came around. And when I did wake up? He asked whether he could make me breakfast or get me coffee. Not coffee out of the pot in the kitchen, but coffee from the sweet little shop down the street. I didn’t take him up on his offer, but I was blown away and filled with gratitude.

Because you know what?

We spent last night hashing out big life things. Hard things. We both fell asleep super late, mid-conversation, and we didn’t go to bed on great terms. We don’t like to make a habit of doing that, but our exhaustion got the best of us last night and it’s how things ended up.

And this morning?

Jason could have chosen anger or frustration, selfishness or justification, and our day would have gone an entirely different way. Instead, he woke up and chose service, love, forgiveness, and thoughtfulness. He chose Christ over sin and our marriage and family over himself. The result is a beautiful ripple effect that equals love and grace in our home today. A ripple that models what doing life together can look like. To our kiddos, to me, to whoever reads this humble blog. I’m SO thankful.

This afternoon, I’m sitting at that sweet little coffee shop down the road, spending a handful of hours writing, praying, dreaming, planning. Because Jason offered up this time, too, staying home with H and E and giving me space to rest and be. And the rewards are gigantic, let me tell you.

-Because my kiddos get to have their daddy to themselves this afternoon, which is beautiful.

-Because I will go home refreshed and ready to face the rest of the weekend, and the week ahead.

-Because I’m looking to forward dating my husband over cards or a movie or a conversation once the kiddos are in bed tonight.

-Because when we work as a team, we can accomplish far more than we’re able to on our own.

-Because choosing reconciliation and peace is always better than choosing unforgiveness.

-Because when men model the love of Christ in their homes, God honors their faithfulness.

-Because we are called to love each other more than ourselves, and Jason doing so today leads me to love him even more.

Marriage is hard work indeed. And at its finest, it is teamwork and Kingdom building work. The very closest example of God’s love and commitment to us. What a glorious gift! The road is not smooth, but bumpy and adventurous. And we are imperfect co-travelers, far better for the journey when we look down the path together, in the same direction.

mm

 

guilt is a five letter word.

24 Jan

I’m a stay at home mom. I’m a lot of other things, too, but when a new acquaintance asks, “So what do you do?” this is now my reply. It hasn’t always been. I used to work outside of our home, and even when I stepped back from outside job responsibilities, I felt some kind of need or desire to pad my answer. For a while, “stay at home mom” felt like it had to come with a preface. A “just” or an “I’m only.” Slowly but surely I’m learning not to cut myself short for this significant role, but it’s hard.

A stay at home mom. The guilt can start right there, can’t it? Even for moms who want to stay at home and love to stay at home, somehow guilt attaches itself to this title. If I stay at home full time and other moms can’t (but want to), there’s guilt in the freedom I have to be at home with my littles. If I stay at home full time and other moms don’t, and they have great peace about balancing two roles, there’s guilt in not contributing to the world in some other way outside of being a wife and mom. If I stay at home with two children I’ve carried in utero, and other moms with beautiful mama hearts are still waiting for answered prayers and babies of their own, there is guilt in knowing that I didn’t bear the same struggle. I’m telling you, in this comparison game we play as mamas, guilt seems to think it can sneak in all around.

Guilt isn’t just for the stay at home mom, though. It darkens days for the mama who wants so badly to stay at home but isn’t able for any number of reasons. It’s painfully tangible for the mama who desperately desires to carry her own babies, and for the one who waits with hope and expectation for the day that God makes her a mother through adoption. There’s guilt for the mama who has babies of her own, but who has also lost babies of her own. In motherhood, as in other areas of life, the good we do and the prayers we pray and the hopes we have still do not always drown out the voices in our heads that we aren’t good enough. We aren’t productive enough. Our bodies aren’t capable enough. We aren’t enough.

But here’s the thing.

This guilt and those voices and the feelings of not being enough–for any host of valid and challenging and very real reasons–each come from a place that is not of God, in an effort to thwart our passions and determination to do the very (important!) things that He has called us to do. God is not mean, and He is not poor. The deepest desires of our hearts come from the overflow of His heart into our lives…the outpouring of His spirit over us, so that we are drawn to the tasks and adventures He has planned for us here on earth. He doesn’t promise which way He will take us to get to the very things He has for us. He promises, if we trust Him and open our hands to what He has in mind, that He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. He promises that we are His, and that He calls us as His own.

My microscopic view of the call God has placed on my life is insignificant, compared to what He has for me…for my family, my marriage, my future. And it’s not likely to look exactly how I thought it would, or how I thought it should. It hasn’t already. I would never have invited pain into my own life the way that God has allowed it in. And I would never have imagined how He could use that pain for good in any way. Starting out marriage in a scary place, halfway around the world. Trying to gain traction in our marriage–at a cost, afterwards. Facing the death of someone incredibly close. Miscarriage. Five months of worry and sleepless nights and emotion after our second baby was born. Trying to rewrite the trajectory of our family and build a legacy of covenant and commitment for our children. Jason’s accident and our subsequent grappling with the brevity of life, the lasting impact of split second moments, and the sovereignty of God that creates perspective and wonder about the future and His plans for our lives.

This side of eternity, we just can’t see all of the things. It isn’t possible. And unless we allow ourselves to be brought to a place where we lean so hard on God that His peace and joy break through, we feel the weight of this world, no matter our position. We carry guilt that God never intended us to carry. We remain prisoners of our own circumstances, convinced we are the ones who have to find every answer, convinced we have to be miserable or lonely or without hope. I’m here to tell you that we don’t. We can’t possibly. And there is more peace than we could ever need or ask for when we seek God, who is generous and attentive and tangible and real.

I am a stay at home mom because this is the call that God has placed on my life for this moment, in this season. He has other things for me, too, and He’s revealing them all the more as I try to rest in His presence in my current role and circumstance. Life is not peaceful, and the world is certainly waiting to steal away our joy if we let it. So is guilt. LET’S NOT LET THEM. We are warriors, and whatever it is that we are called to in the here and now, it’s our job to do it and to do it well. God empowers us in our calling, and He gives us what we need for each day, offering a fresh start every single morning. We can’t feel guilty about any of that, and we sure can’t afford to waste it.

I will intentionally say NO to guilt in 2015. I will make the days count. I will own my stay-at-home motherhood and thank God for what He has called me to, even when it feels crazy-hard.

i’m praying peace over the contents of your day today, and asking God for joy on your behalf. i pray you find it in the greatest and smallest things as you say NO to guilt and YES to your highest calling.

mm

well hello, 2015.

3 Jan

I’m not much one for surprises, really, but I do like change. So I like that the new year comes, as expected, every 365 (or 366) days, and I also love that it brings about new beginnings and fresh starts and the sense for everyone that we’re on the cusp of possibility. Sitting around a dinner table for eight with a beautifully radiant group of women a few weeks back, I shared what I most looked forward to in 2015–the fact that we (our little family) didn’t really know what good was in store, and the fact that I’m committed to diving into book writing this year (whoa). It felt great to put myself out there to friends new and old, to actually SAY I’d be writing a book, and to think about the year to come in a glinty, sort of romanticized kind of way. 2015 was attractive to me at the dinner table that night, and it still is (and maybe more so). But the very next morning, my husband Jason got hit by a truck and lived to tell about it, and that phone call and these past few weeks have ushered in 2015 a bit differently than I’d imagined.

In the midst of J’s crazy (and miraculous) accident and recovery, we’ve had moments of immense gratitude, a magnificent array of emotions, a new and different kind of juggling with our house/days/kiddos/life, the holidays(!), lessons in grace and humility, and a fresh experience with the depth of love between two people in covenantal marriage. I am thankful for nearly all of these things, despite the fact that many have been harder than we could have imagined. I will hope to unpack more of the accident and our experience somewhere down the road, but for now (and hopefully to quell concern), J is home, walking on his own two feet, and improving daily. If you saw him out and about, you wouldn’t know his body faced a truck head on two weeks ago, but he is certainly still healing. It will be something, to look back together in a year, or ten years, and to see what has come of one split second moment on an icy December morning. For now we are just so grateful–that he is here, that God has more for J to do on this earth, that our littles still have their daddy, that I’m not trying to forage a path into the new year without him.

Today I was able to sneak away to a nearby coffee shop during nap time, and to soak in God’s word and spend time in prayer and reflection over the year ahead. I’ve been aching to define a word for 2015 as I’ve done previously in 2011, 2012 and 2014, and I’m confident I’ve landed on the perfect fit for these next twelve months: intention.

Intention: In Latin, intentio, defined as ‘stretching or purpose’. Derived from the Latin intendere, which, translated involves a host of definitions that sync beautifully with what I feel God has placed on my heart:

…to have a course of action as one’s purpose or objective…design for a particular purpose or end…to have in mind as something to be done or brought about…to direct the mind on…directed with strained or eager attention…concentrated…

As I prayed this afternoon, digging into one scripture verse I’d heard over and over since asking God to take charge of my 2015, I landed firmly on “intention” as the guide and filter for my steps in the coming year. I have such peace, settling on a focal point that I’m trusting God will honor in the days ahead.

Eph 4.1, 15-16: Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God…15 we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

These words will be my lamplight in 2015, in the midst of the good and the bad, the expected and unexpected, the scary and the crazy-beautiful. We forage a path with God or without God, but with Him, He gives us grace for the journey. He generously offers us boldness and courage in the smallness of the daily, in the magnitude of loss and love and life change, in the heart-stopping phone call on a random Thursday morning, in the book whose unwritten pages have a purpose yet unseen.

cheers to a year of living with intention in every way possible. and love.

mm

loud in here.

20 Nov

Every time I turn around lately I am reminded of one thing: God’s grace is sufficient. He is MORE than enough.

We don’t need to bridge the gap, because HE does. Every time we ask Him, and so many times when we’re too clouded by a given moment to make the request, He does. There is nothing–not any one thing, that is too big (or too small) for Him. And what we see, from our vantage point in any situation, is such a microscopic, limited view of a much, much, much bigger picture. This is such a hard truth, but a good one to tuck in our back pockets.

In these past few weeks (months?) I’ve worked diligently at getting quiet. If you know me, you know that I don’t have a history of being good at this. I am not a quiet person (what?!), and I’ve never been a “no” person. As a result of this dynamic duo, my life has rarely been quiet. For a long time, I’ve kept a schedule that is louder than loud. Too many directions and too many commitments at the expense of too many things. The heart behind it was never bad (at least intentionally), but conviction has merit, and in my case, the conviction to strip down my life has finally grown louder than the way I’ve been living. Imagine this: God can get louder than the lives we’re living, and if we ask Him for input and give Him a little room, He’s going to get right down to it. He’s going to call us to things, and call us out on things, and love us mercilessly through the hard and the stripped down and the brokenness of the process.

I have a love/hate relationship with this reality, but mostly love. Why? Because I’m not in control anyway, and when I’m not listening for God, I’m just pretending that I am in control and trying to figure out how to run my own life from my very limited point of view. It’s fairly exhausting.

In some seasons I’m better at remembering that I function better with God’s help. But I’m stubborn. I like to have the answers. I want to be able to make everything just right, and on top of it all, I’m human. I’m also learning. The more I make room for God in my life, the more He makes room in my life for the things that should have been there in the first place. It’s not always the type of room I expected, but it’s the best kind of room.

And sometimes the packaging is strange…

I wake up in the morning, and all I want to do is go back to sleep. I went to bed too late (again), but I know that if I don’t get up, I won’t get a shower in before all of the crazy begins (and I’m not a very nice person if I haven’t had a shower before all of the crazy begins). So I talk myself out of sleeping longer by weighing my options. And I ask God for help. Since I’ve started making more room for God again, I crave my time with Him. Akin to my need for a shower to make my day right, I need some time with God, too. And I’m not very productive in that time if I haven’t showered. You get the picture: I wake up in the morning and I ask God for the time I need to take a shower. Then I ask Him for more time to spend with Him, in the quiet. Before the kiddos wake up. On my part, I just have to get out of bed.

The packaging is strange, because the time I’m getting rarely looks like I expected. This morning, it was Henry and me, side by side on the couch, reading Psalms and 1 Corinthians together. Strange, because my three year old is obligingly listening to an NLT translation of the Bible aloud, and I’m finding time for God even after the littles have entered into the mix. Beautiful for the exact same reasons.

I don’t share this so anyone reading feels guilty about the time they did or didn’t spend with God today. I share this to say I wasn’t doing it, and now I am doing it, and it’s only by the grace of God that that’s happening. I play a very little part, truly.

This is apparent all over my life right now, and it’s catching and glorious and scary and wildly attractive. God is giving me space for the quiet. Not only that, but He is cultivating an even greater desire in me for solitude. I drove 30 minutes home tonight in the car by myself, and I didn’t once think to turn on the radio or call someone. I can’t remember the last time that happened. I say “no” to things all of the time these days, and that power isn’t my own–not at all. And it’s not to offend or isolate or exclude. It’s just the thing that God is calling me to right now, and He’s giving me the ability to do it.

In my life, in this season when things should otherwise seem quite loud and busy and maddening, I feel peace. It’s not my own. But God can use it. And I know He will.

Please be encouraged by this and not discouraged. We are reminded as Christ offers His peace, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So many people I love are hurting right now, for reasons grand and small. When you’re in the trenches, it can all feel insurmountable, no matter the scale. I understand this deeply. I am getting quiet on your behalf, friends. Please let me know how I can pray for you. Email me, call me, drop a note in the mail. I really, really mean it.

take heart, dear ones.

mm

ground work.

11 Nov

Planted. Rooted. Grounded. These words keep pushing up through brown, ruddy earth in the deep, deep parts of me. God is ever faithful to join us in tilling plots of land He’s offered up.

Three weeks ago today, I could not push rawness down. I could not see past packing and last feedings with our littlest and arrangements around the house to make things easier while I’d be gone. I waded through fears (irrational and founded), folded clothing into piles, checked off lists. I’d been out of the practice of doing, for anything outside of family and children and home, for a long, long time.

All of this–the worry and the adrenaline and the vulnerability of things was messy, but crazy-encouraging. Whenever God is up to something big, I feel it. I sense it in the opposition and the emotion, the irrational moments and the over-thinking and the way I’m suddenly a battle ground for good. When Aslan is on the move, everything in the air changes. Just as in this season, with the November sky beckoning winter and the last cascading leaves turned to gold, the whole earth waits and so do I. God was going to make a move, and soon. I just had to get on the plane.

I love what happens next, because it’s so gigantic and beautiful that I can’t possibly contain it in a blog post, although I’ll try. My dear friend and I arrived in South Carolina for four days of breathing God in and breathing Him out at Allume–a conference and experience He’d been edging into our lives graciously for months. We sat under the teaching of wise, wise women and men, gleaning from their obedience and desire to bring forth light in the world through Truth. We met beautiful soul after beautiful soul–all women with the same longing in their hearts to know God and make Him known through communication and the written word. We worshipped all day long, gained inspiration, got to know each other far more deeply, and opened ourselves up to what God would have for both of us–not just in that weekend but in the days to come.

Three weeks later, it’s the first time I’ve written about it because I’ve been processing so much good and wanting not to miss one bit of what God is doing within. Because I want to share it well with you. Because I believe the things that God is doing are Kingdom things. Big things. Life changing, community changing, heart changing things.

I was feeling a little washed up before all of this. I’d not done a very good job of giving God my first fruits for a long time. I’d not been a very good steward in so many areas, catching myself up on just a few I thought were most important…at the expense of much. Despite my efforts to be open, welcoming, invitational, honest and real, my interactions have lacked a dimension I long for–one I think we all do.

I’m not getting down on myself for missing a boat or wasting time, although I could. What I am doing is putting a stake in the ground as God promised He’d show me when 2014 began. In the days and weeks ahead, I’ll be unpacking Allume and the nuggets of wisdom I gained that feel so important to share with you. I hope you’ll be along for the journey, and patient with me while I lean into God and listen. I think the changes to come are worth the process.

love to you, my faithful friends. God has big plans for us…so big we can hardly imagine!

mm

making room.

23 Oct

Give God an inch and He’ll take I mile, I tell ya. Man, He’s good like that. Seven months after purchasing our tickets, my dear friend Lindsey and I are attending Allume this weekend in Greenville, South Carolina. I’d be lying if I said we just hopped on planes and landed here without a hitch, but I like the real story better, anyway. Getting to Allume wasn’t half a day’s journey, or even a seven month journey. For me, I think it’s a nearly-five-hundred-blog-posts-later journey that God put me on far before I knew Allume existed. And in the past few months, everything He’s done in my heart has been about making room and creating space for Him to do His work in me.

His work in me. Isn’t it crazy that we serve a God who is willing enough and attentive enough to ask us to make room in our own, very small, very humble little lives, for Him?

If tonight is any indication, my world is going to be rocked a bit this weekend, and I’m going to jump out of my comfort zone on purpose with the intent of praying hard, listening harder and writing like I mean it.

God put Allume on our hearts and a little bug in my ear about getting back–truly back–to the thing He created me to do, and then He made a way for us to be here. All I really did was whisper, “Yes, please.” I do love it when God takes a mile ;)

lighter already,

mm

 

THAT mom.

14 Oct

Today was the day. In a terribly stressful parenting moment, surrounded by other moms, I said something I’ve probably said a thousand times. And it didn’t strike me right then as the words left my mouth, but it hit me like a brick between the eyes an hour later.

“I’m sorry…I totally feel like THAT mom right now.” There it is. The weight that I drop every time it comes out.

Of course, there are variations on the theme, and I’ve said them all: “I just feel like THAT mom right now,” or “I don’t want to be THAT mom.”

Regardless of how I’ve said it, I’m thinking the phrase “THAT mom” over this afternoon, and realizing it’s one I need to scratch from my vocabulary.

For one thing, I’m not even sure who “she” is. You know, that mom I only ever feel like in a harried or stressful or embarrassing situation? And whoever she is, I’m sure she’d be offended to hear me say it, and rightly so. I only ever give her credit when my ugly side is on the verge, or when I’ve exposed some part of my mothering self that I wasn’t quite ready for the world to see. So these words come out, and we moms laugh together, or the mom standing across from me is encouraging and insists that I’m surely not that mom after all.

But what message am I sending?

I’m communicating that I’m suddenly insecure about what’s happening with my children or my parenting skills or my inability to always hold it all together. That’s exactly what I’m doing. And I’m saying to anyone within earshot that I don’t want to be THAT mom because she’s not acceptable to me. Because I don’t want to be perceived as the mom who doesn’t have a handle on her kids…or her house…or her life in general.

Does any mom wake up in the morning and aim low for the day?

I’m pretty sure not. But life happens. Schedules get hairy. Messes are made faster than we can clean them up. Kids have meltdowns in very public places. I know this, and yet I somehow forget it’s true in the midst of a broken down minute or day or week. Instead, I belittle myself, and without even trying, I belittle moms everywhere each time I refer to THAT mom–that imperfect woman I really don’t want to be. Only pride and human nature possess me to attempt at perfection in the first place.

It goes without saying that I’m absolutely imperfect. Like most every mom, I painstakingly attempt to get it right for my kids and family, and I meet roadblocks (quite regularly) along the way. Our children are *mostly* happy and well adjusted. The house is passable most days, and it looks lived in, which it should. My day to day is reflective of the journey all mothers are on while parenting young kiddos, who are themselves just trying to figure things out in a world that is largely new to them, too.

THAT mom needs me to give her a little grace. As it turns out, I am she. And she is steadfast and strong, committed and loyal, spurred on to love tirelessly, even when it’s incredibly hard. She is also exhausted at times, challenged by external factors, entitled to have a bad day. Still the only one in the world who happens to be the right mom for her own kids.

Maybe if I stopped working so hard to have it all together, I’d have a little more room for myself when I make mistakes. I’d have more room for that OTHER mom who’s wearing herself out trying, too. It could be so beautiful if we were all doing it together. Shall we?

xo,

that mom

firsts for everything.

8 Sep

Tomorrow morning, we’ll wake up as we do most weekdays–me, rushing to fit a shower in before Eloise begins calling, Henry, slowly but surely as he warms up to the day (and everyone and everything in it). We’ll meander downstairs for breakfast, and I’ll entertain E in the high chair while Henry plays cars and Legos in the living room as I prep the table for our weekday trio. Tomorrow will look a lot like every other day, right up until we wipe faces and hands and push our chairs in after bowls of cereal, yogurt, one cup of tea.

Then, it’s not on to playtime in the playroom and sleepy-eyed Eloise asking for more milk and a morning nap. Instead, the order of the day is pulling on school clothes, combing hair, double checking a packed back pack. I’ve not arrived at embracing this yet, and I can’t decide if I’m in some weird state of denial, or if I just feel like three school is kind of a chill deal.

Jason reminded me tonight that this might be the last time Henry is home “all of the time.” That from tomorrow until forever, Henry will leave the house at increasing intervals and be away from here, in some capacity, every school year. Maybe this is true. And maybe I should be making a bigger deal of it in so many ways, but I haven’t. I do like our little man right where he is, and right where I know how he’s doing, so it’s possible that this is me being naive. We get to go to school with him for the *entire* one hour intro-to-three-school day tomorrow, which probably (no, definitely) softens the reality of the first day of school a bit. I mean, I’ll walk into his classroom with him and will stay there the whole time, and then we’ll drive home sharing about the hour and his teacher and his cubby and all of his new great friends…together. Check back with me on Friday. Friday I might be one big ball of a mess.

In these early years, there are so many firsts–and they happen one after another after another, so very quickly. Eloise, for example, has learned to stand up on her own, to take a handful of steps, and to say about 20 words, all in the matter of less than a month. Talking and walking? Those are crazy-big firsts! At three, you likely potty train and wear undies successfully for the first time, and then maybe you ride a bike for the first time, and suddenly? Suddenly you’re a grown human being who meanders off to school on his own and gets accepted to college on scholarship to become a doctor/engineer/fireman/writer/hero over night. I will blink and they’ll both be married adults with children and professions of their own, right? How many parents have felt this way in these past several weeks as yellow buses roll on down the road for yet another beginning of another school year? Normal, normal stuff, I’m sure of it.

For some reason, though, I’m not excitable on this one. I’m excited for Henry, don’t get me wrong. I know he’s going to love school and everything (ok, mostly everything) in it. I know he’s going to grow wings this year as he learns Spanish and makes new friends and becomes even more independent. I also know that when I walk into that building I feel present in it, and when I walk away from it, I don’t. It’s like I’m standing in my own yard, and I know that the future is just on the other side of that fence. But I won’t look over. I’ll accept and acknowledge that it’s there, but I haven’t greeted it or said hello or baked it a pie and welcomed it to the neighborhood.

Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. Maybe Henry and I will do that together. Kind of like holding hands and jumping off the side of the deep end of the pool together on the count of three, only he’ll learn how to swim on his own this time, and I’m going to have to let go of his hand.

there’s a first for everything. (spanish immersion) three school included. you’re going to be so great, buddy–i just know it!

El Señor te bendiga y te guarde, henry. te quiero un montón loco!

tu mama

 

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