Thursday, March 19, 2015

Blogging and Cold Turkey

It's been two+ weeks since I last blogged.

The crickets around here might not be bothering anyone else, but they are kind of
bugging me. Pun intended. I'll be here with mom jokes all day, people. Ha.

Life is happening so quickly right now; the drama splintering off in half a dozen
different directions at a time. As soon as I feel like I've got it all reeled in and
under control, my line slips and something is getting away from me... again.

I just can't do it all. And that is hard as stale gumballs to admit. I mean, I CAN do it all.
I know I can. I've done it before. But I guess I'm choosing NOT to in this season of life. I'm choosing PAUSE and chucking FAST-FORWARD. Because I'm good at running and doing and delivering all
the things, for all the people, all the time, but sometimes, something has got to give.

Thus, I give you cold turkey.

Without going into terrible detail, I admit, you've caught me, I AM EXHAUSTED.
Like, "Whoa, I have 3 children under the age of 5" exhausted. You know it's bad when...

6:27A.M. I rolled over in bed to find my 3 year old standing next to me staring at my face.
Never ceases to freak me out. And do you want to know what he asks?

Judah: "Mom, do you want me to turn on Netflix so you can keep sleeping?"

P.S. That is a BALLOON taped to his face as a mustache.
This is exactly what I'm talking about.
Reasons why I can't blog right now. Ha.

Someday they are going to bring me breakfast in bed too! Ha! Just kidding. Maybe cold turkey?
It just flows out of me! My kids are going to luuu-uv me when they grow up.

Really though, I was hoping to tie in the cold turkey thing to walking away from my blog
here to give me some time to gather myself. Hopefully my blog's crisis won't last long.
But you never know with these things. I want to come back with new, bright, and shiny
things to share with you all!!! Because my heart is here. I think God is here.

I've seen Him work through The Lily Field in crazy ways. For that: *praise hands*.
No kidding. He is good. All the time. So I'm going to retreat for a little while with Him
and let Him do His thing with me. Always have Your way with me, and this field, Lord.

7:44PM. Checking out at Whole Foods.

Cashier: "Two kids, huh?!"
Me: "Believe it or not, there's a third in this stroller."
Cashier: "Got any big plans for after this?"
Me: ** laughing out loud ** "Yes. After we have a meltdown in the parking lot,
we are going home to have another meltdown, and then go to bed."

Cashier: "Gotcha!"

And Bella is all like, "WHO?! WHAT?! BRB, peeps."

I'm sure you all can relate, right?
Until we meet again.


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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I Have to Earn My Husband's Love

Marriage is funny. It's like you think you know someone well enough to go and marry
them, vowing to spend the rest of your God-given life by their side, and then you wake up,
oh every other morning, like, "WHO ARE YOU?!"

Don't get me wrong. It's pretty fantastic. The quirkier the better, right?
Change, habits, old jokes that are getting reeeeally old, and the whole new level
of "I just farted under the covers and I don't care" comfort -- are gold.

Marriage is basically an Ivy League level education in EVERY department.
For example: after my husband successfully switched my old phone to a new one...

Nathan: "Did you get my texts?"
Me: "Yes."
Nathan: "Are you sure?"
Me: "Yea, you said, 'That will be $75. In kisses!'"
Nathan: "The next time you send me a flirtatious text I am go to read it back
to you like an Encyclopedia article."


They don't teach THAT in Marriage and Family where I went to school.
You got to learn those ropes in the trenches, people.

Mental note: respond better to flirtatious texts in the future.

This morning I woke up and found a very damp hand towel hanging by the shower in
our master bathroom. I felt bad as I chuckled at the thought of my husband drying
himself off with such meager material. And then I thought, "he didn't say a word."

We have TEN regular bath towels, all of which were dirty (which is saying a lot since we reuse towels) and he didn't mention it. Like he doesn't care that I'm not a laundry goddess or something. He also kissed my sleeping face goodbye around 7:30AM and didn't mention THAT either.
The whole I was sleeping, and he was going to work deal.

But in my defense, I didn't get to go to bed early like he did. It's like we have a 4 month
old and episodes of Fixer Upper to watch or something. Just sayin'. Ha.

I recently asked my husband to tell me all the ways that he felt loved by me.
I definitely was naïve in thinking that "all the ways" would be the same for "all the years".
Rookie wives. I tell ya.

After we both took some notes, Ivy League level notes, Nathan looked at me and asked if
I knew that I didn't have to earn his love.
That things like clean bath towels, dinner,
and an orderly home are nice, but not needed for him to love me.

I shot him the squinty eye and was like, "Um we should experiment with that. Pretty sure
you'd be fed up after a couple weeks of eating cereal for dinner and dousing yourself in
cologne to mask the dirty laundry fact."


Call me wounded I guess. My brain doesn't register that well, and it makes my heart hurt.
Work hard, get rewarded. Family of origin? Country of birth? Oldest child syndrome?
You just DO things and people are happy, right? Get it out of my head.

The other day my counselor asked me what I would say if my child came up to me and said,
"Mommy, I'm going to do everything I can to make you love me." WHOA.

"Stop," I sighed. I would say, "Stop. There's not ANYTHING you can do to add or take
away one ounce of my love for you."
It's complete. Whole. Unconditional.

And yes, I think that God maybe loves me like that; that my husband loves me like that.
It's mind blowing. A holy and humbling experience. Jesus' love is one thing, but to be
vulnerable to a human? To trust that I am enough and all the other things are nice,
but not needed? WHOA. Jesus, are you sure? Nathan, are you sure?

Whoever the Jesus, mother, father, child, husband, etc. figure is in your life...
are you sure?

Just rest in that.

"Come to Me, all you who are weary
and burdened, and I will give you rest."

- Matthew 11:28

Now I'm not saying things are perfect or anything, but it's nice to peel back another
layer, go one level deeper, take two steps forward and trust and feel and love in that
space of new vulnerability. All bath towels aside. It's warm and fuzzy until...

My husband walks in the door from work, still chatting away on that irritating little
earpiece I went and *rolls eyes* bought him for Christmas... "Who was that, hun?"

We'll call his pal, John.

Nathan: "Yea John set a wedding date with his fiancé. August 14th of this year!"
Me: "That's CRAZY!" I said, eyes lighting up with serendipity.
Me: "Do you know what August 14th is?"
Me: "Wow. Only took 5 years to forget our anniversary."
Nathan: "Well, what is August 9th then?"

Well, that must have been the day you married the other girl. I don't know! Are you
kidding me? I see a lot of drying off with hand towels in your near future, buddy.
Jk. Jk.

COME AS YOU ARE, oh forgetful one.
I love you.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blanqi Girl || answering FAQ

I would be lying if I told you that I feel so totally normal and content in my skin from pregnancy to postpartum. I think I'm like most gals out there. At least I hope I'm not alone! We know the incredible privilege and honor of carrying and bearing life, but also feel a little scared at times; unsure of ourselves, stretched, tired, given up for the tiny beautiful people who crown us:


I do love my body! And it has taken 3 pregnancies to arrive at that level of enthusiasm. All the weird aches and pains, stretch marks, and changes! Ricky Ricardo would say "ay-yi-yi." I kid you not, after Bella was born, I had 3 moles FALL OFF. Strange. But she is my third. Just another walk in the park. Nothing to see here. But I am more in love with the "new me" than I ever was with the "old me" because all the lines (and there are many under my one piece swimming suit) tell the greatest story of my life.
It's a trilogy called: Isaiah, Judah, and Bella.

In the ever-changing climate of motherhood, there has been one constant for me; a company that has delivered the one thing that I honestly feel like I can't do pregnancy or postpartum without: BLANQI.

If I was a tattoo kind of girl, I'd have (( BLANQI )) in ink over my heart.

I've raved about this company, the owners and designers, Valerie and Sabina, before.
And if you know me in real life, you know that I lose no opportunity to share the little
secret behind my maternity and postpartum clothing that is "holding it all together"!!!

// currently wearing this support tank

::: FAQ :::

can you wear it postpartum?
YES! I use the maternity underbust support tank postpartum the same way, and with as much frequency,
as I do when I am pregnant. I, unlike some lucky ducks I know, don't bounce back to pre-baby body very
quickly. The tank helps smooth everything out and hold up those pants that don't exactly fit just yet.
The fabric is tight enough that you can literally wear your pants unbuttoned and not worry about
anything showing. Makes me feel more like "me".

can you breastfeed in the tank?
Due to the underbust design, it truly is IDEAL for breastfeeding. The fabric keeps your tummy
and all covered; leaving momma and baby easy access to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
And the six other meals they need. Ha.

what is your favorite color?
I use the winter white, teal (limited edition) and deepest black. My favorite color is the
black because it works best with the colors in my wardrobe. I would buy the color that you most frequently prefer to wear in a camisole or layering tank top.

does it get stretched out?
I have gained 50-60 pounds with each pregnancy and I can testify that my BLANQI bodystylers
are as good today as they were the day I bought them. If you properly wash and care for your tanks,
you should never have a complaint. And NO - you do not have to dry it to make it shrink back to
preferred tightness/support. It's magical. Like a unicorn.

how does it compare to a belly band?
BLANQI offers ALL OVER support. This is not just about holding up your pants or taking some
pressure off your hips. The unique design literally helps spread out the weight, tension leaving
you in better posture and comfort. During my third trimester, I SLEEP in my BLANQI because it
helps THAT much. Also, unlike a belly band, the bodystyler helps smooth out EVERYTHING --
from your bust to your thighs. Can I get an "amen"?!

can you see it under your clothing?
You cannot see any funny lines. Not bulky. Not awkward looking.

is it worth the money?
Absolutely. You get what you pay for. Quality. Satisfaction. This is like the Cadillac of
bodystylers. Period. My sister and I have shared four different tanks (of various colors and
lengths) back and forth through SIX pregnancies (both gaining 50-60 pounds each time) over the
past 5 years and they are still functioning 100%. There you go.

what size do YOU wear?
I know the charting and all can be confusing. I am 5'7" - ranging from 130-190 pounds (pregnant
to postpartum.) I wear a MEDIUM. Hope that helps!

Want to try BLANQI?
Use my personal discount code: B117 at checkout to get 20% OFF your first purchase!!!
Feel free to ask me any questions if you need help! #blanqigirl #forever

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Yoga Pants and the Promised Land

Last weekend the husband and I were hashing out some details and dreams while
driving home from visiting my sister's family in Michigan. There was a lot of "YES!"
"TOTALLY!" and "DO IT!" thrown around. We were like a Nike commercial -
flying down the interstate. Put it on a list and shred it up, baby.

Speaking of babies, that reminds me...

When I DO have any "free" time - I tell you what! I am taking a shower, eating my
breakfast for lunch, and running a load of laundry for the sake of God bless clean underwear. Occasionally I'll get half my toenails painted and maybe run to the mailbox. It's like Christmas
came early on the days I make it to the grocery store with all three in tow.

Define "IN TOW": Always running in front of me, asking all the Costco employees if they
have gluten-free samples, and falling over, laughing hysterically in the check-out because
saying "desitin birthday" is basically the spoken form of a fart in their world.

I can't even wrap my mind around that. Boys.

And at night, when they all fall asleep, I am either penning love notes to my readers
here in the field or watching episode after episode of Property Brothers on Netflix.
Because my midnight snack is called "fried brain", my friends. Fried.

I wanted to be a nun at one point in my life. Cloistered sounded romantic.
And after all the marriage and babies, I woke up one morning to find that I actually took
a habit after all. It consists of black yoga pants and hoodies. *angelic choir sings*

My order allows me to wear make-up on special occasions, and take naps. But ONLY when
the entire community wants to take a nap. Which happens... um never. You don't even have
to think about fasting or feasting. It just happens! Starving, starving, feeding everyone
else --- and then PRAISE THE LORD you get to eat cake for lunch because it's way easier
than making a salad. Are you called?

It is the most silly, wonderful -- beautifully blessed - calling, my friends.
Yes, it busts and breaks me, but in the best ways. "How is having 3 kids?" people ask.
I'm not one to sugar coat reality, so I honestly admit that HAVING them is awesome!
Taking care of them now?! That's where it gets tricky. Wink.

But it is here in the cloister of my home that hearts and souls are being
loved, formed, raised to go out and meet the world some day. My quiver has three arrows.
Three arrows that can help pierce the darkness and make a difference for the Kingdom.

Call me Katniss Everdeen. For real. Do it. Ha.

"Every mother is like Moses. She does not enter the Promised Land.
She prepares a world she will never see."
- Pope Paul VI

All those dreams and details? I'm living it. In my cloister. With my children.
Yes, I do not have all the time in the world to "shred it up", but I am given ENOUGH
time every day to take care of what GOD wants me to accomplish - and that's ok.

Yesterday I read a beautiful reflection over at Blessed Is She. All about Noah and his ark.
God's instructions, His plans, His desires for Noah and his family sounded ridiculous.
"Here, just build a ginormous ark in your front yard and gather animals and their mates -
load 'em up - bon voyage!"
Noah was called. He answered. He did ENOUGH with what time
was given to accomplish God's will -- and it SAVED THEM.

For me, motherhood is redeeming. It is my ark; complete with all the ridiculous
requests and adequate time to save them. To save me.

Diapers need to be changed, because we're going to the Promised Land.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bacon Sweet Potato Soup

I am interrupting the usually scheduled "heart-on-her-sleeve" post to bring you THIS.
Because I love you and want you to be happy in this life and the next.

Next week I am embarking on a 21 day allergen cleanse, and the very thought of having
all traces of dairy stripped from my gut makes me a tad weepy. But I know that the challenge
will shed more light on which foods are directly contributing to my issues. So carry on.

I've been experimenting in the kitchen with all the foods I CAN eat so that come next
week I don't break down and swing through the nearest drive-thru and order something,
anything, to eat my cares away. Because food is addicting. Withdrawal is no fun.

This recipe isn't technically paleo since it has kidney beans in it. But they are organic
and full of fiber -- so tone down, my cave people, tone down. I really find the whole term
"paleo" a bit funny myself. I feel like everyone acts like it's the diet from the dark ages,
but really, I think people were eating more "raw, fresh, gathered, unprocessed" just 3-4
generations ago. Like great-great grandma wasn't tempted by Twinkies, ya know?

I digress.

Please love this recipe tenderly as it is like a tropical island oasis to me here in Chiberia.
Also, please be patient. It is INVOLVED. But beginner chefs can totally apply. If you can
chop, follow a timer, and turn on a crockpot you're in business.

I should also mention that this soup is like a high-maintenance girlfriend. The kind that you
just don't want to quit. Because after all the crazy gets out, she's really a beautiful thing
in your life. Hold on to that. Hour 4 gets rough.

(Please note that bacon comes before sweet potato because I think more people
will want to eat this soup if it's worded that way. Am I right?!)

Use 5 qt. crockpot // turn heat on HIGH

2 large sweet potatoes, diced
4 C. of chopped cauliflower
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbls. of sea salt
Add enough water to cover and float veggies.
Let cook for about 2 hours or until veggies are soft, but not falling apart.


In separate skillet, fry 1/2 pd. of bacon - crumble when cooled + save grease (yea)
3 C. cooked + shredded pork roast (put leftovers to great use!)
6 C. of green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 leeks, thinly sliced
Add this, including bacon grease (channel your inner Pioneer Woman) to crockpot.
Pour in more water to cover everything if needed. Let cook for 1 more hour.

2 cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 bag of frozen green beans
Add this to crockpot, stir, and continue to let cook for about another hour.

Taste and see the goodness of the crockpot. You will most likely need to add salt.
Add 1/2 tsp. at a time and see where you are at. It's tricky when using bacon and
pork roast -- so much saltiness there. Don't overdue or underdo. Be perfect. Like me.

Ha. That's a joke.

Get your bowls out, my friend!!! You just made bacon sweet potato soup and you
need to eat it. You could always leave it in the crockpot on "warm" for another
hour or two, but then we cannot be friends. And get this. DAY 2 of this stuff is
even BETTER. Because the longer those flavors mingle, the happier it all becomes!!!

Shut the front door.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

We're Getting a Dolphin

While driving down the interstate recently, Isaiah piped up:

"Mom, when we do school and you're my teacher,
can you get me a dolphin so I can swim with it?"

So there I was, looking in the rearview mirror at my son - looking back at the road -
looking in the rearview mirror - looking back at the road...

He's for real. And I don't think Petco carries dolphins. Shoot.

But all I can think of is how can I give this GOOD THING to my child.
How can I bring this happiness to his life? How can I answer his... prayer?
Where in the world am I going to find a dolphin?

We pray with our kids every night. It's a lot of "God bless the door knob and the rocking
chair and the curtains"
and "thank you for my elbow and the mailman and the light switch."
It's funny, but beautiful at the same time. EVERYTHING they usually name is an indication
that we live in a first world country. So yes. God bless and thank you.

Lately I've been sneaking back into their room at night, after they've finally had enough
sips of water and trips to the bathroom, and say my own prayers. The prayers I pray by
myself suddenly seem so much stronger as a I rock in the rocking chair and let the tears
slide down my cheeks.

I pray down good things on them -- for our family --
hopes and needs as big as a mother's heart can imagine.

God loves you a lot, you know?

I know that when the valley gets low or the night grows long that I sometimes forget.
When the lights go out and the to-do list never ends and the babies still need - need -
need me I lose sight of Him.

Call me the Apostle Peter, walking on the water, "I've got this, Lord - look at me,"
as the water trickles over my feet, inching up to my knees, engulfing my entire body.
And I look up, trying to breathe, "JESUS!?"

Call me Thomas, the doubter, who wants to see and feel the very proof of the love given
and received in so great a sacrifice. The kind of love that I know is there, but so often
covered up by a little thing called skepticism.

Call me Martha, as in the sister of Mary, "Lord, I will bend over backwards to make sure
You are comfortable, but I'll let my sister look You in the eyes and receive the greater gift."

Because I'm pretty sure I'm not worthy. I imagine I have a whole life of unopened gifts from
God thanks to that lie.

But Jesus doesn't hand out dolphins.

And mothers do?

Because there I was, racking my brain, planning a whole vacation to Florida just so my
beloved son can swim with the dolphins... and I just stopped.

"Thank you, God, for loving ME, your beloved daughter, like this."
Thank you for all the 'dolphins' You've sent my way."

It's the same. But so much bigger.

Here I am in my sinful, human state trying my best and hardest to make sure
that not only are the "needs", the bare necessities, of my son's heart met, but I'm
working on the "hopes", the "dreams", the "extras", the "over-the-tops" as well.

Because I love him.
And God loves ALL -- so much more than any of that.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Jesus doesn't say "hot mess"

"Who are YOU?"

I just blinked back tears and shook my head, "I can't answer that."

It was the kind of interview that one should ace. The most elementary of questions, and I'm scanning
the room with jetty eyes hoping the answer will suddenly pop out of the wallpaper or something. I mean
I could have given the rote litany of my achievements, college GPA, all the titles associated with my
life: child of God, wife, momma, blogger, ministry director, missionary, blah blah blah. A resume that
can stand on it's own. But me? I'm just falling over. Because I can't answer that question.

I've spent most of my life running. Literally. I'm not a runner, but on a bad day I can break out my
tennis shoes and run a mile flat to feel pain, to feel alive, to feel like I'm getting away from whatever it is that haunts me. And then there are all the less actual parts of my life that keep me waking up every morning, putting on "my face" whether I have somewhere to be or not, going and doing A, B, C...
D, E, F, G... because if I can just keep up this fugitive act!

I will not become that.
Whatever it is that I'm so afraid of.

And in the process I've lost sight of who I really am.

Is this midlife crisis material or what? Because I don't know. It's scary as heck, but also exciting.
It's so easy to spend all the time giving and giving in the name of Jesus -- taking care of my family,
husband, children, my people -- but when you run me through a scanner? You'll see the façade.

You'll see that it's easier to DO than to be. It's easier to RUN than to stay. It's easier to IGNORE
than address. It's easier to PRETEND than admit. I'm fine. Oh I'm fine. I'm really fine.

I AM NOT FINE. And that's ok.

Growing up is amazing. Can't wait to see what another ten years does for me!
It's humbling. I am not invincible. You all knew that, but I didn't.

I mean, I went to Target the other day commando. I was wearing sweats of course, but not being
"totally put together" is a big step for me. And let me tell you, it was FREEING! I also haven't
vacuumed my house in over a week, and I quit apologizing for still being in bed when my husband
comes to kiss me goodbye before work. Beds get made if they get made. Laundry gets done if it gets
done. And I have a hair appointment next week...

Hahaha. It's not THAT bad of a midlife crisis.

Running has done the complete opposite of what I imagined it could do for me. Instead of liberating
me from all my problems, it has literally chained me in a room with all the issues piled up because
I'm a professional when it comes to pretending everything is ok. But I'm done. SO done.

I've stood and I've fought and I've let this whole wide world break against me.
Let me say that again, against ME. I know what you're thinking. Doesn't she know Jesus?!
Why yes, I do, but I like to put Him out of a job a lot -- and for that I'm truly sorry.

If you run into me in public, you have the right to wonder if I'm wearing any underwear at all.
I'd say it's safe to assume that if you come over for a visit it's no longer ok to eat anything
off my floors. It's not about GIVING UP -- it's about giving it all up to the God who made me and
knows me and loves me and wants me to be happy in this life and the next.

I'm surrendering my orange fugitive kicks and laying down my arms.

I just want to be able to answer the question.

"Who are you?"

Not what is expected. Not what is to be avoided.

If you stood before Jesus today what would He speak over you?
Who would He say you are? I don't think "hot mess" is part of His vocabulary.
Could be wrong. But I'm thinking He would have praises to sing -- ones that you and I can't even
see ourselves. Let THAT be our song today as we dance IN our underwear.

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Rookie Parents

Last week our 3 year old had the croup. I wouldn't wish that sort of crazy on my
worst enemy-parent. Ever. I told my mom that I'm pretty sure I could pass military
training without shedding a tear now. I mean it doesn't get more intense than not sleeping,
barely eating because you are feeding everyone else all the freaking time, spending your
free time rotating air purifiers, cool air vaporizers, and wiping down every touchable
surface with soap and water. And THEN going for walks at 3 in the blessed morning in a
brisk 10 degrees... thanking God because the cold air helps.

"Make sure you put a shirt on him before you go outside," I helpfully reminded my husband.
He didn't say anything, but I could feel the "I'm not stupid, woman!" laser beams from his
eyes burning in my direction. My bad. Captain Obvious here, reporting for duty.

But you guys, men and women raise babies differently. I reminded him of the obvious because
he does things like, "two pees" or sometimes even "three pees". Do you know what that means?
Let me tell you. "Two pees" equals two toddlers peeing into a very small oval target in the
bathroom. "Three pees" equals two toddlers and A MAN peeing into a very small oval target
in the bathroom. Hold me.

And the other day? I turned around at Whole Foods to see my little guys eating ice chips
out of the beverage display in the prepared foods department. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"

"Daddy said we can eat them."

Excuse me while I hold the eyeballs that just fell out of my head. I stood in awe as Nathan
argued that there were more germs at the library play center than in the beverage display.
Oh good. Let's make sno-cones.

5 years a parent and I still feel like we are such newbies.

In many ways I find this whole parenthood thing harder to adjust to than getting married.
I mean it was one thing to merge the hearts of two people in love. Quite another to let
those two, different, strongly opinionated, "I can raise babies with my eyes closed"
attitude, people have children together.

I mean we definitely discussed the whole thing before we even walked down the aisle.
We talked about faith, discipline, responsibility, allowance, baby names before a child
was ever even conceived. Totally thought we were the Toyota Sienna swag van couple:
"I'm an awesome parent. True!" Ha. Humility is good for the soul.

One Easter, a few years back, we BOTH made dinner plates for the kids.
We got to the table, turned and saw what the other had already done, and sighed. My uncle,
who has 8 children of his own, saw the whole thing and laughed, "ROOKIE PARENTS."

I probably punched him in the shoulder and told him to shut up, but the truth of the
matter is we NEED it. We need the forgiveness that humor often brings. We need the
"You're doing a great job!" or "Have you tried this?" from the next parent over.

They say, "it takes a village." They tell no lies.

I'd say I'm a fairly confident, perhaps even to a fault, person in general. But with
parenting? I crave the affirmation, opinion, guidance of others who have gone before me.

Because y'all, parenthood is no joke.

Not too long ago I asked my husband what he would do if I was taken hostage. I'm a planner.
It's nice to hash these things out. Just in case. Ha! Without missing a beat, he just said,
"I'd do anything, but give up one of our children for you."

There it is. The truth that every parent knows so well. We love our children, as mom or dad,
in a fiercely passionate, radically beautiful way. Even though on the day-to-day level it
comes out as extraordinarily different. I'm over here building play-doh villages to fire up
the motor skills and stimulate their little minds, and daddy is telling them that they can
have pocket knives when they turn EIGHT.

I'll probably veto all over that.

But who knows. I'll be a little less "rookie" by then.

I cannot encourage you enough to reach out today and share whatever wisdom or grace
you've received in your years of parenting with the next parent over. Let's make it a habit?
This "we're all ok" culture is failing. We need each other, we need community.
We all need to be mothered and fathered again and again -- spiritually and biologically.
Find the nearest rookie parent near you!!! Help save a mother from "two pees". XO

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Done

I thought learning to ride a bike was frightening.
Sleeping in a shack in the middle of nowhere, Mexico? Put me on edge.
I was nervous every single time I had to speak in front of hundreds of people,
and I kept my parents on speed dial every time they left the house.

Starting relationships, ending relationships, going to college, getting in car accidents,
giving up my job, hospitalized for pneumonia, being a missionary, leaving my family...
shook me.

But the scariest thing I have ever done?

These tiny little hearts, minds, bodies entrusted to my care don't come with manuals.
There's no auto-pilot, return policy, or warranty. It feels so risky; all too dangerous
to let the DNA masterpieces of yourself, your spouse, run around in this big, wide world.

The sirens go off.
A tornado of "what ifs" blows straight through the very core of my being.

The other day a doctor was explaining to me how as mothers we uniquely store the DNA of
all the children we bear within our liver (so whimsical) and in our brains. Perhaps shedding
light on that connection, that intuition, we feel towards our kids: "I just KNOW they
are sad, happy, hungry, upset, sick, at peace..."
We just know what they need.

So my liver, or possibly my brain, tells me that I don't want to mess it up.
I don't want to miss something or make a mistake.
In a nutshell, I want to be Jesus to my children.

I run, non-stop, doing all the things, all day long. I pad their lives with all the good
I can possibly muster to fit into a 24 hour day and then beat myself up as I fall asleep
at night for not BEING more. Who wouldn't wanna be me? I cry because I'm scared I'm
failing. I panic because if I really am failing -- then who in the world is going to pick up
where I leave off? Because I've made myself Jesus for my children, and we all know that
Jesus is the last stop.

I'd like to say that I've come around, been reformed, got baptized in the Church of
Surrender all to Jesus, but I can't. I am, however, TRYING. Because the "Hi, my name is
Brittany and I have a degree in Theology"
side knows that playing with fire is safer
than playing God. But my heart? My heart is freaking out and praying, "are you sure?"

WHAT IF I screw it all up? WHAT IF something goes wrong? WHAT IF I sin and
fall and bleed this ugly humanity all over these tiny lives I'd die to protect?

And then there's WHAT IF I LET GO?

WHAT IF I do my very best? WHAT IF I do less and be more? WHAT IF I
open up my clenched fists and hand it all over? WHAT IF I quit masquerading as Jesus for my kids and let Him do His job?

And just be me?

I can hear the "all clear" siren ringing now. The tornado is passing.
I've checked myself into that Church of Surrender all to Jesus and the very rain that has
pelted down, bruising my skin, my heart, my soul, is what is going to baptize me anew --

because I don't have time for motherhood to be scary.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

I Struggle With Anxiety

His cheeks were red, his brilliant, hazel eyes were laughing, and the chill of the
snow was radiating from his entire being. He was wearing winter from head to toe.

"Hurry! Put on your shoes and coat! It's glorious!
Go stand out there in the falling snow and talk to God!"

I just blinked at my husband, "are you for real?"

Child-like excitement buzzed in my chest as I slipped on my boots, mittens, scarf
to go play in the snow with it's Maker; to go BE, to go EXPERIENCE, something other than


I am my own worst enemy. Have been for as long as I can remember. The voices spin webs
of confusion, fear - and before I know it I've worked myself into an imaginary, sometimes not,
crisis situation. Panic. A struggle to breathe. Just breathe.

I romped through the snow, softly singing, "let it rain down... open the flood gates of heaven,"
as fluffy white flurries rushed to kiss away the tear drops frosting on my cheeks. Sometimes you can
just feel God. Sometimes He just shows up in radiant glory and says, "Hey, I've got you."

Those are crushing words to someone who tells herself, "I've got myself". Day after day, month
after month, year after year; thousands of minutes spent on a messed up theology. "Bless me, Father,
for I have sinned..."
I've been holding it together all my life because I bought the lie from a dirty
dealing demon that if I fall apart, my world will go up in a puff of smoke. To hell with it.

"Do you pray?" someone asked me this week.
"Yes," I replied - a little confused as to how this applied to my visit with the allergist.
"Fox hole prayers. In and out. Lip service. Never long enough to let Him change you," he chimed.
I could feel my eyebrows begin to furrow and a lump of "he's right" come up into my throat.

The next day I walked into a counselor's office for the first time in my life.
"Why don't you trust God?" "What happens if YOU let go?" "Things are out of YOUR control and
THAT freaks you out."
I just stared back at him, trying to keep eye contact in my guilt, feeling
overwhelmed by the truth of the matter, the core of my heart.

And I feel God pull back another layer, stoke the fire, and order a deeper refinement this time.
Gold. We are all meant to be pure gold.

I told my husband that I've been read like a book twice this week.
I thought I was more mysterious than that, but apparently not. Must work on that.

"I am anxious and worried," has fallen from my lips one too many times in the past few months.
Today I was challenged to say instead, "I am prayerful and active." Anxiety, has no place here.
Children of God are not children of darkness, but of light. Even in the darkest night, the enemy has no
place unless we give it to him.

This is a process. Life in general, I suppose. We all have "things".
But I think the trick to surviving this valley of tears is to truly realize once and for all
that there is a God and all of "it" - all the "things" - is the great RESCUE plan to pull us into Eternity.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms;
if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going.”
- John 14:1-4

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