Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Being a mommy is the hardest, most frustratingly beautiful thing I will ever do with my life. It's about knowing my shortcomings, knowing theirs too, and loving one another despite those things. To all of the ladies who are mommies, who miss a mom, who are craving motherhood... I hope you feel loved and know that being real is a million times more beautiful than being perfect. So embrace those ponytails, long nights, dirty feet, and those hard days filled with tears or empty arms like you mean it. 

I know I will never be this loved again at any other point in my life. My children love me in a way that I can only imagine God loves me. They see my faults, they see when I'm weak, and nothing could talk them out of still loving me completely. However, my children's love is different than God's because one day, it will turn into a choice. One day, it will be conditional. My son and daughter will assess what we've shared and get to decide if a true and honest love still exists between us. In order for that to happen, I must love them in a way that teaches them to love. I must protect their hearts so they stay soft. I must convince them that there's enough love in the world to keep going, even when the uglier, desperate times visit. I must point them in a direction that keeps them believing that they don't have to ever be alone. 

My purpose is turn their purpose into loving God and other people. 
But, raising these babies day to day, minute to minute is hurried, and impatient, and thoughtless sometimes. I forget about Him, them, or what I'm trying to do with both of those things. I focus on where we need to be, what I need to accomplish, and all of the things that are waiting on me. But the real deal is, they are waiting because they can. My babies can't. Their childhood is today. Their hearts are open today. They crave me and want me to be their Mommy this very minute. I am in charge of those things and how they will translate the messages I send, the words I speak, and the real, real love I give. 
Today, and every day after that, I must slow down, be intentional, invite God into the job of parenting, remember to show grace just as I've been shown, and speak and love tenderly, for they are small and could break easily.

Regan and Tyler- My greatest moments are because of you. You are desperately, unconditionally loved today and every day that will ever follow. 

Happy Mother's Day... 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I see you.

Yesterday, I cleaned out my refrigerator. As I was cleaning, I wrestled with the idea that no one, absolutely not another soul, would notice my work. I began thinking about how many of my efforts seemed this way. Often times, no one sees what I do throughout the day. There are no pats on the back, no medals, not even a thank you. I have always assumed that my efforts seem to go unnoticed, until my heart realized that He sees them. He sees me working on speech therapy with my son, He sees me organize the craft bins so the kids can find their glue sticks when it's time to create, He sees me sweep up crumbs that will only reappear an hour later, and He sees me clean the refrigerator. He cares about these tasks. and He wants me to care about these (seemingly monotonous) tasks because they all add up to my ministry: making a home and raising a family. 
He whispers to the mama who folds laundry late at night, I see you. 
He whispers to the mama who rocks her baby in the early morning, I see you. 
He whispers to the mama who spends hours waiting in pick up lines, cheering on the sidelines, and mopping up milk, I see you. 
And you know what mamas? I see you too. I see you. I see you in me. I see you in my friends. I see that sometimes you wonder how you got here. I see you  practicing spelling words, listening to slow and steady piano keys, and packing lunches. But more importantly, the MOST important, is the fact that He sees you. He wants you to know that you aren't alone. He wants you to feel that your work is beautiful. He wants you to know that the time you spend worrying if their coats were warm enough at recess, worrying when you leave them so that you can provide even though it hurts, worrying what day the school pictures are on, worrying if you've taught them enough about compassion, and worrying about the refrigerator is not wasted. He understands you. He knows your worried heart. He wants you to know that we are moved as mamas to do these things because they DO matter. They add up to honoring Him in a way that says thank you. We worry and do and cheer and clean and practice and wait as a thank you. We say thank you for the babies or the man or the home and this life by taking care of the tasks that would otherwise go undone, unnoticed, and unappreciated. He sees you, all of you... And so do I. I know you worry and work and love in a way that hurts. So, today, as you carry on, know that He and I... We feel you. We know it's sometimes no fun, not very glamorous, and exhaustingly lonely, but so, so worth it. He is honored in your work. He understands. And so do I......You didn't think I was NOT going to show you the fridge right? Now where's my medal? :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Snow and desperation.

Perhaps you've heard about the "Polar Vortex"..."Blizzard of 2014"....or we can just call it what it really is... "Giant Crap-Ton of Snow that trapped us in the house for a zillion days." It really was like nothing I've seen. I hope the kids remember the 13 inches of snow and negative 40 temperatures that forced us to slow down and be together. The storm gave us some wonderful memories together. 

As the days wore on, we watched movies, played with new Christmas toys, and certainly loved being in the snow with friends. That is, until we officially went bat- sh!t crazy. We did some of the dumbest, most desperate things ever, proving we needed out. 

Case in point....

"Hey, Tyler. I need you to feed the cat. There's a measuring cup in the cat food. Just fill it up, and put it in her dish."

And that's EXACTLY what he did. 

I tried to clean behind and under my range yesterday. Check! Nice and clean... Only problem was that honker would NOT go back in. Once again, my antics had to remain unsolved until Mike got home. 

In a desperate attempt to actually use my brain, Regan and I took up sewing with her new machine. (I made that bracelet which made me feel like Einstein Stewart.) 

We painted snow. I mean, who does that? Here kids, I saw this on Pinterest. Looks fun, right?!? Blank stare... It took some convincing.

We tried to throw boiling water in the air to make snow. Instead, it looked like we killed someone because a) It didn't work and b) I decided to add food coloring to make it "extra cool." 

We made snow ice cream because nothing screams "I'm having a blast" like eating a bunch of pollution. 

We pretended to buy a bunch of fake groceries because we couldn't go to the real store. 

Today we are venturing out with a bunch of other desperate and weird moms/kids to go to Chuck E Cheese for a play date so that we can all roll around in some strep throat and listen to a mouse sing "Put a Ring on It." This actually sounds fun, so I KNOW I've officially lost it. 

The moral of the stir crazy story is "snow storms that cancel school for 4+days after being on break for 2 weeks can make you both thankful and a little weird.