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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.



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,


Rach






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.
HA.







Thanks friends.

Honestly with love,
Rach

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,
Rachel

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





June 19, 2015

His Eyes: A Father's Day Post

There will be 23,347 blog posts today about dads.
Great dads, mediocre ones, single moms, absent dads, alcoholic dads, workaholic ones and so on.
You may read one or two if you feel the title is intriguing.
You will get all the feels for fatherhood. Good or bad.
For your husband. For your dad.
For the role itself and it's immense responsibility.

I have a really great dad. He is an even better Pappy to my boys.
I have a brilliant father to my children. Truly, he is a better parent than me.

When I wanted to get pregnant when we were first married, Paul was scared and unready.  Through the draining infertility treatments and difficult twin pregnancy he was the steady. But you know what? He felt it too. 

The disappointment in the negative pregnancy tests.
The deep sorrow of sticking needles in my belly and seeing me cry on the couch.
The bright, joyful elation of the positive pregnancy test.

Dads feel it too moms. They do. The same stuff we do.  I could see in his eyes. I still can.
They may not use as many words or big emotions. It's there. In those eyes. Look.

When he held each of our four tiny babes in his hands for the very first time.
When he looked in my eyes as he showed them to me behind the c-section drape.
I could see it in his eyes.

When he snuggles a fuzzy headed, freshly bathed baby on his big chest.
When he reaches out his hands to talk to the baby about her day.
I see it.

When he rocks her to sleep so I can rest after nursing all night.
When he plays Legos on the floor.
When he takes his boys out to ride bikes.
When he gently reads them The Storybook Bible.
That look in his eyes, it says:

My cup overflows.
Joy. Love. Amazement.
I'm a dad. 
I'm a dad.

I can see the love of Jesus is those eyes. I can see that love being poured out onto my children. Covering them. Like a soothing balm. Sometimes with words, sometimes with actions, sometimes just by being present. Being a Father is a gift to him. A heavy responsibility, but a gift. He feels God fathering him within fatherhood and he pours that out into our kids. 

Granted, he has taught them to fart on each other and be too rough and does not hold the same safety standards I do, but he is still a gift to us. To see him parent teaches me. I do the same for him I am sure. No one teaches you how to parent. You do what was modeled to you, adjust as you go, and pray for the best. We mess up. Our kids are far, far from perfect. We get mad. They get wild. They are dirty. We are a family of sinners. On days like Father's Day we just take a step back to look at the big picture of this parenting, fathering, mothering whirlwind and celebrate. Remembering the joys and loves and reasons we keep pushing and loving for our kids. Reasons we become better. Through the heartache, the fatherlessness for some, the brokenness for some. Through it all- He reaches out His hands, asks us about our day and He fathers us. 

That love in our eyes, in our hearts, it is directly from Jesus, our Father. He wants us to remember how much He loves us and He shows us through how we love on our kids. I can see it in my husbands eyes. He can in mine too, I hope. Look for it today. Remember where it comes from. Foster it, stir it up and drink it in. Let Jesus be a soothing balm to your soul today wherever your heart is at with this whole Father's Day thing. Your Abba Father is holding you a little closer today. Just look in His eyes. 

Honestly with love,
Rachel xoxo