I wait for bedtime for so many reasons.
To rest, sit down, to breathe but most importantly to meet with Jesus and reflect, refresh and restore my soul.
Sweatpants and honesty required.
Come sit with me momma.

August 18, 2015

Love Anyway

"Ugh, Dad, we have to say it again?"
Each of my three little boys mutter this each school morning from the back of our crumb laden mini van. My husband, ever so sweetly, shuttles them to day care or school every single morning while I bring the baby to work. God bless him. The morning commute is nuts with three loud tinies in tow. Nuts!!
You know what he did? He took it as a chance to open up my blue eyed boys world to Jesus in their every day, walking around life. Oh how I love that man. 
He says to them, "okay boys- what does the Jesus creed say?" and they at first, roll their eyes, but eventually glady say, 
"Love God with all your heart and love others as you love yourself." Similar to how Luke 10:27 says it and how the Shema in Deuteronomy 6 tells more of the story. 
Wow. Two simple truths. Love God, love people. 
What a perfect thing to focus on each and every day. For kids and grown ups.
When a boy snatches a toy, hits, or is being selfish we say "what does the Jesus creed say?" 
I should ask myself this question more often too. 

You know what though? It ain't easy lovin other people is it? Not easy at all.
Other people disappoint. They are selfish. 
They flake out. They speak hurtful things. 
They don't call, text or visit when you are in the hospital.
They make plans to hang out only to have something better to do at the last minute.
They hurt you. They disappoint you. They forget about you.
They cut you off in traffic. They talk about you behind your back.
They get mad. They are disrespectful. They don't tell the full truth.
They don't share toys. They push you on the playground. You get it.
They are human. So are you.

That 'love other people as you love yourself' part is hard. Hard.
Especially when you have these expectations for how other people should act. How they should love.
You can't control them though can you? You can only control how you react. 
I choose to react in love. Love anyway. Sure, at first I may be disappointed they chose not to love me. But I want to love others as I love myself. It's sort of this cycle that draws us closer to Jesus. Love God and love imperfect people like yourself. It restores us to live in grace. To forgive. To grow. To love. God more. A God who loved us, imperfect people, and died on the cross for us despite how hard it must be to love us.

I want to bring them a meal after they just went through the groans of labor with a tiny babe.
I want to offer a word of encouragement when they seem to be having a hard time.
I want to send them a text or call them when they are sick or hurt or have lost someone.
I want to let them skip in line when they have a crying baby.
I want to ask them about themselves and truly listen.
I want to be quiet and listen to my son throwing a tantrum.
I want these things for others because I want them for myself. 
I want to be a glimmer of Jesus when I'm sure lots of other people have flaked out on them during a tough time. I won't be perfect at it, in fact will mess up often and so will you, so don't expect everyone else to love you as Jesus does. Forgive and move on. Just love them anyway.

Focus on loving your Holy Father above all else. He is perfect love. From that, loving others as you love yourself will flow out of your heart naturally. An overflow. Overflow of compassion, of concern, of genuine love. Even that whiny toddler having a meltdown in Target. Even that baby who is crying to nurse for the third time tonight. Even your husband who snores while you are exhausted. 

You know what Jesus said next, He said "do this and you will live." Live
Live abundantly, joyfully, and brightly. Like you are dancing kind of living. 
Love God, love people.
Love God, love people.

Honestly with love,

July 29, 2015

Back to Yourself After Baby

You just had a baby 5 months ago. You back to yourself yet?  

No. Heck no. 

So why does everyone expect this?  

Maternity leave is over. Lose that weight, go back to work, do all the laundry and dishes while you nurse that babe every two hours on the treadmill with siblings hanging off you. Come on- get back to it girl. 

New motherhood should be a much gentler, calmer transition don't you think?

Surrounded in grace, support and peacefulness. It should be slow and calm. 

I want to reject society's pull for me to jump back into my old self when I'm not the same. 

The transition to life with a new baby is joyfully traumatic--like driving in a new place, in a new car, with no directions and you have a crying baby in the car. You are both learning the road, adjusting mirrors, getting to know each other and how to make it through the day without crashing. In my case, I also have three loud tinies farting and throwing fits in the back seat.  It is physically exhausting, mentally draining, hormonally challenging, and anxiety ridden all wrapped up in beauty the first year or so after a baby is born. Most days I am just surviving the day. I know it's just a season. I know I won't be so very tired, weary, stressed and overwhelmed soon. I know.  

Until then, you and I are here. 

Until then, bask in the glory of those lovey eyes and chunky thighs that require every moment of your attention.

Until then, encourage the mommas of not just newborns. 

Give them a pass on calling you, going out past dark, or having the energy to be a great friend.  I give you a pass momma. I give you grace.

I know you want to call, you want to go, you think about your friends all the time. You want to be back to your old walking around without a baby on your hip, milk leaking, or the sound of crying. You want just 3 minutes alone in silence. I know.

Take care of yourself.  Hang out with Jesus and let Him restore your weary heart tonight. It is messy but you are growing into a beautiful momma. Just beautiful. It is a slow, gentle process refinement.  Don't let others blind expectations of you overwhelm you. You are not failing. The beginning is just a time where you feel like you are because this love is so new and bright and all-consuming. The schedules are unending. You cannot be everything to everyone all the time. It's okay to say no to others when you are overwhelmed. Be gentle on yourself momma. Grace upon grace. You just had a baby 5 or 9 or 15 months ago. The truth is, you and I will never be the same. I'm okay with that. 

Until then, whisper Jesus.

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Number 6:24-26 A Priestly Blessing

Honestly with love,


July 20, 2015

Morning Meltdowns: A Back to School Story

To say I am excited about being featured in Multiplicity Magazine is an understatement. I AM GIDDY. I am a child, I know.  But people, this is my first ever published magazine article.
Of course I have written many articles for the lovely Twiniversity (see here) but this is a new level. I am humbled and amazed quite honestly.

Would you check it out? Sharing is caring ;)

Click here to see the magazine article on page 33.

It is a funny little piece about morning meltdowns. Something I know NOTHING about.

Thanks friends.

Honestly with love,

July 2, 2015

I'm So Jealous of My Husband Over Here

Can you see me?
Can you hear me?
I'm over here.
Ya know, the greasy haired mom in sweats who hasn't showered today. The one one with baby puke on both shoulders, leaky boobs and chipped toenails. The one who hasn't left the house in two days and is laying in a pile of clean laundry on the bed. 
I'm over here.
Can you hear me through the cries and whines of all these babies?
I'm the one sitting on the couch with one crusty eye open as my husband whisks by freshly showered. He leaves the house alone and drives to work in peace and quiet. He reads books and talks to grown ups and has lunch meetings at Chipotle. He goes to the gym and takes care of himself. He makes lists and crosses things off as he gets stuff done. He drives home and maybe listens to Andy Mineo and sings along with the windows down. When he walks in the door all the children think the rock star of the universe has just arrived and they all wrestle and laugh and have a great time. 

I'm over here.

Sitting on the couch where you left me. Sitting down for the first time since you left.
I haven't showered in two days or left the house. I haven't spoken to a grown up today and have refereed 28 brother fights, changed 5 diapers, 3 onesies, and picked up all the toys twice. I have made/cleaned up breakfast, lunch and two snacks all while pleading for them to eat something healthy and nursing a baby. Dinner is in the oven. I have not even looked in the mirror today let alone pee but once. I have crossed things off my list only to have them undone again. The only music I have heard is Rescue Bots (roll to the rescue) and that curious monkeys non talking voice. I was headed to church tomorrow but a kid is sick so I will be home again all day. When I arrive home from the grocery store, no one notices but just asks for a cookie. Oh, and did I mention I barely sleep while my husband snores?

Can you hear me, oh glamorous rock star pastor husband of mine?

I'm jealous. I'm all kinds of jealous.

I feel like I sacrifice more than you.
I feel like I have more responsibilities than you.
I feel like they like you more than me.
I feel like I give and give and give until I am on empty and then you want a piece of me too.
I feel like you have freedom and I have none.
I feel like you get to be yourself and dream and achieve.
I feel like I am lost in this mothering role while you are out "partying."
There you have it. Honesty. 

So where do I go from here? What do I do with this jealousy?
Well, I started this post in the midst of the maternity leave jungle. When the adjustment to a new baby and self sacrifice was at an all time high. Now, four months post partum after experiencing this jealousy after each of my three births, I have gained some perspective. Some. I've prayed and prayed about this- trying to kick it out of my life. I don't like the feeling it gives me toward the man I deeply love, cherish and who gives so much.

Here is what I feel like God is whispering to me about all of this:

I see you over there.
I hear you.
I see you with that look in your eye, you feel unseen and on the edge.
I hear you with that tone in your voice, you feel unheard and alone.
I'm here.

Why is mothering so hard?

I just want you to be like me.
Relax daughter. This jealousy is rotting your bones and stealing your joy.

Motherhood is sanctification. A holy refining process. Growing. What if this painful giving of ourselves over and over is, in the end, a true gift? With each boo boo we kiss, each freedom we long for, each diaper we change we become more like Jesus. A gift. We grow. Our soul grows deeper and wider, our hearts softer, our laughs more genuine. He gives us His eyes for our kids and the world. Jesus says in losing our life we find it. I can honestly say, five years in, motherhood has shaped me and grown me into a more patient person with wider, more resilient eyes. It has also exposed my selfishness, my impatience, and my lack of self control. Sanctification.

This jealousy we feel towards our husbands, it is rotting our bones friend. Rotting our marriages, our passion, our motherhood. Real slow like. Are the scales of responsibility all fair? No, not really. Our husbands sacrifice too. They give and love and have servants hearts when they are home.  I don't know if I'll ever understand why mothering seems more dig down deep difficult and heavy laden, but God knows this sanctification draws us closer to Him so we can raise kids more like Him. 

You see, all this angst and jealousy has nothing to do with your sweet husband. Sorry. It is you and me resisting this sanctification. Fighting it. We want him to go through it, not us. So we are gonna make sure he feels it too. It is too hard and too painful and I don't like it. I am mad about it. This giving up of myself.  I want my life back, my freedom back like him. It is you and me misdirecting our angst to our husbands. It is not him. Maybe, just maybe if we give in to this holy sanctification, we can experience deep joy again. We can end some of this jealousy. No promises of ease in mothering. No promises of no more jealousy. Only promises of becoming better, stronger, wiser, more filled with love and all things good. I thought I wanted my self back- but I really don't want my old self. I want the more patient, less selfish girl I have become over the past few years.

Practically speaking, our husbands ought to ask how they can help us in our day. We ought to trade places with our husbands once in a while to each gain perspective. We ought to date each other. We ought to look for good in our role like Daniel Tiger says, "if something seems bad, turn it around and find something good." The good, the good is your are growing sister. The good is you get to be your kids soft place to fall. Their confidant. You cannot be replaced as their momma. The good is, you have a sweet husband on your team. So as painful and jealousy inducing it may be, let the sanctification happen. Relax. Enjoy the small moments and let Jesus be the vitamin D for your bones- growing you and strengthening you into more, into better. There, as you lose your old, jealous life, you will find your new one.

Honestly with love,

PS- Husbands-- I hope you read this, feel heartfelt compassion for your wife's servants heart and act in service to her in any way you possibly can.  :)

I know this is a long post, but would you just take 5 more minutes and read what the message says about sacrifice, transforming our thoughts, and loving deeply? Think about this motherhood thing as you read:

Romans 12