Tuesday, February 9, 2016


I haven't blogged in so long.

I have so much going on, homeschooling, teaching preschool out of my home once a week, we joined a home-school co-op, I lead Bible Study, I have three kids and one on the way, my Husband works hard so I wanna work hard too right alongside him, and the list goes on.

But everyone gets busy. 

I also feel like this type of "writing" might be a little prideful and come across as arrogant. I often write about parenting and so I guess I fear that I'm giving off this impression that I think I have tons of wisdom to offer other moms and that I've somehow figured all this out. {I haven't}

But everyone has room to grow. 

The truth is, I haven't sat down to write out my messy thoughts and feelings, it usually is very healing for me and a way I find the Lord drawing me closer to Himself, because I've found myself in a "wintery" sort of season in life...

{I can honestly say, I'm not depressed, unable to get up out of bed or resentful of things I've once loved, but those are valid and do often happen and I encourage women to take their feelings to Jesus and be willing to get some help if you think you are depressed of any kind} 

 No, I'm more "heavy" {and not just in my physical weight}

Heavy in my heart. So much is swirling about me, needing me, pushing me, pulling me and I'm tired.

Presidential elections loom. Isis kills and destroys. Children still starving in this world, while my own, whine and fuss at the smell of home-cooked food I'm spending my time to prepare for them to eat. Kids track mud in on a clean floor. There's 7 loads of laundry to be folded. There's budgets to stick too if we're gunna pay off this debt. There's volunteering to be done. I am 3 days behind in my Bible reading. I haven't showered, worked out or brushed my teeth today and its 9pm. The house is "clean" but needs painted and scrubbed and the windows have summer's hand prints on them still. The dogs needs more food, but that envelope {thanks Dave Ramsey} of money is gone til pay day. The house has all 1000 toys in the living room and people are about to come over. The kids are sick, coughing, fever and up all hours of the night. I'm not sure when I mopped last. I'm feeding my family processed foods out of convenience but we're trying to be healthier. I have friends I haven't invested in in a while. People are hurting and need some encouragement. New babies have been born and need proper welcoming and gifts and meals delivered. I've snapped at my kids more than I care to admit today. Grandparents are aging. I'm desperate to be relieved from all this.

I want rest and yet I spend my days running on an invisible treadmill that never stops. If only I could stick to my house cleaning routine. If only I could be better at healthy meal plans. If only I could have more time with Jesus to prepare myself for the daily battle. If only I could stay on top of the laundry. If only I could have more patience when my kids don't listen to me and refuse to do what I ask, even after asking 8 times, "in a kind voice". If only....

So night after night, it seems I fall into bed saying to myself that God has new mercies for me in the morning. So I silently and prayerfully vow to do better, be better, tomorrow and fall asleep....then comes the next day.

When do those new mercies run out? And is it bed time yet? Because its only 8am and I've already lost it after the milk got poured on the floor while I finished making the lunch my husband came around the corner to announce he doesn't need today. Awesome.

This following Jesus thing, isn't easy. 

But, He didn't say it would be either. When I read the Bible it seems like the people out on the mission field or the ones experiencing true persecution, were gunna be the ones that would be hit hard, not the mommies in yoga pants and messy buns.

I live on my own mission field though, of witnessing to my children and myself. Trying to raise little ones to live for Jesus while I shame His name in my own sinfulness right there in front of them on a daily basis. How can they take me seriously when I say they should ask Jesus for help when they're mad, but turn around and yell when I am? How can they believe me when I say God always and fully loves them, but when they mess up, their own mother seems more disappointed than loving in that moment?

I sense that I long for my days to have ease, speed and comfort. I want my children to easily obey me. I want the laundry and dishes and cooking and cleaning and shopping to be done quickly and I want to stay comfortable, nice clothes, fit body, good hair...you get the idea.

"Be patient, therefore, brothers,until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another...." James 5:7-9

I think the Lord cares a lot less about my life being easy, quick and comfy and desires it to be more marked by patience, dang it.

Its why He lovingly allows for the dryer to unexpectedly break, for kids to ride your last nerve, for headaches to linger, for barking dogs to wake up sleeping children, for friends to hurt your feelings, for spouses to let you down...because its in those moments we can gain enduring patience, or flip out that we were imposed on, how dare them.

Its enduring patience and joy and faith in Jesus that I want to be marked by, but a short fuse is more my anthem. 

Patience is what shapes and brings us into a deeper faith and trust of Jesus, but I thrash around and fight it so hard.

I don't want to endure, fight, and work hard, in tough, patient testing moments, to get to where I'm going, I just wanna be there and be done. And these last few months, I think I've just given up and gone into survival mode, excusing my impatience and throwing a tiny pity party in my head.

If I calm down and quit trying to run away from the difficult, its Jesus who will establish my heart in patience. While I have so far to go, I'm feeling a bit renewed in my daily grind of slow days and fast years, and that all this struggle is inviting me into a life marked a faith that can patiently wait for Jesus. Wait for Jesus to steer children's hearts to obey, wait for Jesus to give me the humility to wipe up spilled milk with a smile, wait for Jesus to give me the endurance to fold 7 loads of laundry, wait for Jesus to make a way for the dryer to get fixed, wait for Jesus to heal sick and grumpy children and eventually, praise The Lord, wait for Jesus to come, Lord Jesus, come and ultimately, forever, rescue me from my "winter".


Friday, July 17, 2015


I recently had this epiphany, or if you're more of an Oprah fan, an "ah-ha moment". It was right after my daughter's threenager birthday, where she realized she could do everything on her own and became even more stubborn than before. And during the time we were also experiencing the blessing of our sweet baby taking off his baby pants and slipping on the toddler shorts we all know and "love" so well.

The other morning, I was trying to "rock" the said toddler to nap. Its oddly inspiring to me the way toddlers can be so strong willed. If I had the will of a toddler, I might be ruling the world, but my will is only as strong as the distance between me and a donut, while on a diet.  How can someone literally be asleep, with eyes closed, while still kicking me like a banshee? Obviously no amount of rocking and gently singing "Jesus Loves Me" was going to convince him it was ok to just relax. No, he's been convinced somewhere in his life time that when going to sleep, you must fight against it with all that is within you. He's lived through bed time with his siblings long enough to know, this is how things are done. So there I was, mentally tallying the hours I've spent fighting children to sleep, as I got a few round house kicks to the face and stiffed armed in the neck. There's no way I was gunna lay him in his bed to fuss, because 3 years ago, I had the audacity to speak against "crying-it-out" on Facebook. So, stuck between my toddler and a Facebook post, my gentle songs started to sound a little more agitated, but sleep was inevitable and the kicking was starting to get less intense. I laid him down in his bed with every fiber in my being on edge, wondering if he would stay asleep and wishing he would just let me rock him to sleep like the Pampers commercials on TV.

Then it hit me, I spend more time longing for presents, rather than Presence.

Allow me to explain...

Time. I wish I had the gift, the present, of more time. All through my day as the clock ticks and my to-do list grows, I long for more time. I wish my babies would be babies longer. I wish I had more time to cook, to clean, to teach, to play, to sleep, to relax, to date. I find myself frustrated and stressed out, all too often. Always late, yelling at my kids to find their shoes. Aggravated exhales and irritated glances in the rear view mirror, as we finally pull out of the garage to get to our destination, 5 mins behind, again. If the Lord would just give me more time. If I could just figure out the right equation and way to do things, life could be so much better.

Sleep. OH sweet, sweet sleep. Kids hate it, but I love it. I ache for more sleep. What a gift that would be! Sometimes I honestly think I could sleep for 12 hours but somehow still be tired. If I go to bed early, the dishes dont get done, or the laundry lives in the dryer. If I fold the laundry, its 11pm by the time I tap out for the day and my alarm will go off in 6 hours. If the Lord would only bless me with more rest, I could maybe actually "rise and shine" for once.

Ease. Surely there is a printable calendar on Pinterest that would give me more ease in life? I just have yet to find it. Or if my husband would come home on his white horse, dinner in hand, with plans to watch a chick-flick, hire a maid and put the kids to bed himself, I could maybe breathe long enough to enjoy this life. If the Lord would just lighten my load, including the bills, a little bit, things could be so much better.

Possessions. I say I don't like getting presents as much as I love to give. Buuuuuut I often hide behind the idea that a bigger home would be better to host more people and would be a great way to minister to others. Ha! New appliances and fancy cars are always in my radar. Better clothes. A bathroom renovation Chip and Joanna Gaines would be proud of. The list is long. If God would only choose to "bless" us a little more.

Health. I woke up with goopey eyes and a stuffy nose today, a present from my children. But I find myself always longing for a life with no colds and no vomit, whoa is me the mom who has to wash a barf car-seat. What a gift it would be to have kids who didn't get sick so often. Sick children always take the front seat and in a home with multiple kiddos, the length of time it takes to make its rounds could be weeks, or just in time to catch another cold from Cubby Bear at church.

All these treasures I lay up and long for. The clock might move slower, but the bills get bigger and someone's head hurts. My husband is a true hero and does the dishes, but the baby wakes up 7 times in the night and the tire got popped and now we need a new one. Everyone has been healthy for weeks, and things are relatively easy but my husband has to work late and the dishwasher is flooding the kitchen.

This side of heaven, nothing will ever be all good, all the time. Yet I vainly and pointlessly spend my time longing more for presents than I do Presence.

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

When I spend my time wishing babies slept longer and dinners cooked them self, I spend my time in futility.  When I spend my time, longing for and seeking the presence of God, children could be throwing up on me and the place I call home could be a little less than "pinteresting" but truth is, the peace that Jesus offers is better than any present I could get.

Psalm 73:28 says "But for me it is good to be near God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may tell of all your works." Jesus doesn't promise, more time, ease of life, good sleep, possessions, or stable health. He promises joy in His presence not presents. So today while I sweep my kitchen and avoid the fact that it actually needs mopped, I will breathe deep and realize that what I really long for is the peace only the presence of Christ could offer, not a maid. In the good moments and the bad, I'm learning to quit saying "why God?" and say "How God?" instead. In His presence the good is sweeter and the bad is bearable. Rather than spending my time bemoaning the laundry, I will think on the truths of God, read my Bible and this time joyfully sing "Jesus Loves Me" to the toddler who will punch me in the face anyway.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Its Getting Hot in Here.

"...For our God is a devouring fire..." Hebrews 12:29

When things get heated at our house, tempers flare, fits are thrown, hot tears fall, feet stamped into the ground, unwilling to budge. I'm so done-in, I'll just wave my flag and join right in the fight. My glares, slash across the room, intended to cut the same hearts I've vowed to, bled for and prayed would keep beating past that first trimester. Words are uttered and sting the ears around them. Its all a mess.

Its incredible to me that the Lord chose fire to refine us. Heat that hurts sometimes and feels about to take away the very breath He gave. Its so hot, it gets to be suffocating. But in the fire, you can be the charred, black bits or the glowing center of it all. But to glow, you have to get to the hottest part, the very center of the flame.

Why do I push away the struggle? Roll my eyes and become exasperated when it starts to get hot here. I say I would love for the raw edges to be sanded smooth, but when the rubbing and friction begin, I flinch. I want to be pure as gold, but the heat is too much and I fight and yell and resist. I push, push it so hard away, that very struggle that would enable me to really come alive, to glow. 

The Lord has blessed me with these three treasures, all who have a role in my refinement. One rubs the impatience edge while the other smooths the controlling part. They're here to help sancitify me and yet some-days this fire feels like its going to burn all day, and my children have enough fuel to feed the flame tirelessly. 

But when I find myself in these could-be sanctifying moments of chaos and struggle, I instantly respond to it through my flesh. I fight wild, just as hard as that thrashing two-year old and we all end up burned and charred and I cry hot tears at night, asking for mercy, yet again. Failing to see the beauty of allowing my hard heart to be sanded soft, warmed from the heat and molded like hot clay. Failing to see the product of the fire. 

Those treasures rise earlier than planned, cutting in on my "me time" and when the flint hits the tinder, and the flames arise, I have a choice, I'll fight hard and be charred or I'll let go, let the consuming fire come, burn up all the black inside me and enable me to glow, hot but bright.

Tonight, my girl, about to be three, tired from the week and weak from a virus, she kept her fight hard and pushed limits, broke rules, bucked against our love. And tonight, I did something I don't normally do, I let it go. I finally let that fire burn hot and all I can say is its Jesus in those moments. When your habits disappear and you respond like you've hoped you would for days, years. I didn't join in her destructive flame, but chose to go heart first into the refiner's fire. Sure this moment is hard, and I'm so tired of all her crazy right now, but thanks be to the Lord, I can feel the edges softening and the rough parts smoothing. Maybe, in these tense moments, my children will look at me and see Jesus. After all, if they can't see the real Jesus in their mommy, how can they trust He's real in others? There's power in seeing a hard heart softened, a rough edge smoothed and a typically annoyed and frustrated response turned authentically kind, patient and sweet.

Grace, my daughter was a hard struggle today, constant battle to obey. I felt ready for bed time and she resisted us until the end, but tonight, as I rubbed her back to sleep, I've finally come to understand its not her that's needed so much of His fire in the hard moments, its me.