Saturday, March 8, 2014

This ones for you.

As far as being a Mom, I have done about every combination of Mommy-hood.  Well, except for the "Have a nanny so I can lunch with my friends and be part of the Junior League" version.  Yeah, that I haven't done...hmm...maybe I need to pursue that one! SO, besides the latter statement, I've hit most combinations

  • Stay at Home mom with infants
  • Work from home mom with infants
  • Stay at home Mom with school age kids
  • Work from home mom with school age kids
  • Stay at home mom with both Infant and School age kids
  • Work part time with kids in preschool
  • Should I go on?
  • I think you get it.

But these past 2 years I have been humbled, in awe of and honored to be part of the elite group of Working Moms.  By that, I mean, "Monday - Friday 30+ hours a week" working moms.  Before you get your...ahem, all worked up (I see that eye roll)...let me remind you that I have sat in the shoes of being IRRATE when people asked me "What do you do all day?" as a stay at home mom.  BUT, this, is a whole new level.

SO, Here's to you...working moms!  Because I have learned the following things:

When You are a Full Time Working Mom:


  • Mommy Guilt has a whole new meaning
  • There are still 18 loads of laundry waiting for you after work
  • Housework has to be done in a matter of 3 hours a day
    • At the same time Homework, cooking, grocery shopping, nail painting, shaving, haircuts,extra-curricular, bonding and relaxing
  • You have to wake up a whole hour earlier so that YOU can get a shower and dressed before your kids do (this is so that there is enough hot water!)
  • You have no idea about current events, because the days of watching the Today show are over
  • When your son calls and tells you he forgot his lunch-trombone-project-money-etc. It's not a simple as "running it up there"
  • Did I mention the Mommy Guilt, especially for not being able to attend EVERY program, etc. (why does it seem there are 3 EVERY week?!)
  • Crock Pot meals are a staple (Yuck...yuck I say)
  • Your Pintrest boards area  combination of a Fantasy World and Freezer Meals and Weekly Planners
  • You have learned to turn the 5 minute drive to the CarPool line into a Complete Costume Change!
  • Your bar for cleanliness in your home has been lowered...quite a bit.
  • Your closets are NEVER to be looked in...ever...by no one
  • You are a warrior
  • You are amazing
  • You are the perfect Mom for you children
  • You Don't have to do it all
  • You don't have to be perfect
  • You WILL make it
  • You are not alone
  • You are not "Sub-Par"


I am HONORED to be counted among the ranks.  I had no idea what kind of brain space it would take to think about not only what my kids wear each day, but what I wear each day!  (Did I wear this yesterday?) Why oh why, did I take for granted the days I wore sweats until 2 pm?

I am HUMBED by the women who went before me, who were working moms before it was "acceptable".  Before childcare existed or was affordable (I know, it's not affordable, but it's better).

Stay at Home moms, you don't have it easy either, I know that.

But working moms...this one's for you.

You are loved.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Something I have never written about...

Before I had Millie, I used to tell people that My College Fantasy had become My Current Reality...but it was more of a nightmare.  I lived in a Boys Dormitory.  Noisy, chaotic, pranks constantly, running around in underwear, and of course...the smells.  Those smells that come from sweat, showering without using shampoo or soap, body changes and of course...excretion.

Excretion...yep, that's what this post is about.  Hang with me, I promise it will be worth it.

One of the tools that We teach people to asses the health of their spiritual life is affectionately called MRS.GREN.  It is the simple stages of life for any living organism.

  • Movement-Respiration-Sensitivity-Growth-Reproduction-Excretion-Nutrition

If it's good enough for 8th Grade Biology, it's surely good enough for me!
It's funny, having a room of grown men and women, many with advanced degrees, still snickering when we say the word Excretion...all the mom's usually roll their eyes!

What do we mean by Excretion?
Glad you asked. Simply this: The act of Lament and Repent

Simple?  HOW exact does one do this, well?

VERY GOOD QUESTION!  Here is my conclusion.  Lamenting is the act of grieving what we die to and Repentance is literally a change of mind, which changes the course of our actions.  Let's Break it down (yes, you may beat box if you'd like...ok, that's enough)

Lament
If lamenting would have been a course in College, I would have taken it.  A few times.  And then, I would've taught it.  I am, what some may call, an intense person.  I test as a Base Prophet on the Five Fold and am an INTP on the Meyers-Briggs.  {If that is all jibberish to you, then just believe me when I say I can be intense.}  Lamenting, is a learned art, it truly is.  I think I did it accidentally, or naturally for my whole life.  But it wasn't until I was 30 that I learned how to and the importance of Lamenting.  It is literally the act of Grieving.  Giving something it's due respect and the space to mourn that is required.  We do this for people, for animals, for tv shows!  Why then, do most of us not do it for relationships, dreams, personal desires, our hopes for our children?  Christ told us to "Pick up our cross daily and follow him".  Where do we think he's going with that cross?  The Mall?  Church? Bible Study?  He's going to DIE!  It is a daily call to die.  To our relationships, our dreams, our personal desires, our hopes for our children.  It is not up to us, nor about us, and we live in the tension of the in-between where bad things happen to all of us. And that, is painful.  You are lying, if you say it isn't.  You are delusional if you continually say it will only make you stronger ( which is true, but stop saying it...all the time...please).  We need to grieve the things that we die to.  They don't die, they aren't on that cross, we are.  We are choosing to die to those things.  Give yourself time to Grieve, I don't believe that God intended for us to ignore those feelings that he put inside of us.  I think it's a gift, so that we know how much it means to Him!

Repent
Now what?  Am I just supposed to Lament forever, become one of THOSE people?! (tempting) No, we are supposed to Repent.  Metanoia - a change of mind.  Before the Spine could be explained, physicians referred to the Noose Man.  Literally they pictured that there was a Noose around your neck with the knot at the base of the head and your body "hung" from it.  (Think more puppet that hanging death).  As the Knot was turned (by the decisions of the mind) the body had know choice to but to follow.  That is where the word Metanoia comes into play.  A changing of the mind, is not simply just that, it means that the body (life) will follow.  You change your direction, trajectory, way of life.  If that seems to be something that is easier said than done, we have another tool called the Learning Circle that we use to help people do just that, Hear from the Lord and Do something about it.  Repent and Believe.

You see, that is the Beauty and Joy of this whole process.  We are called to follow Christ into his death, which means that we get the resurrection too!  It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  Yes, you may be called to die to your own personal dreams, but He will raise into a dream that is more than you can imagine or hope for.  Yes, you may have to die what you hoped your children would become, but He has greater things for them, and He has what they need to bring those to reality.  We are called to die to ourselves and live a resurrected life in Him!  It's a beautiful exchange.

So here's the challenge:
-Do you need to lament an area in your life you have had to die to?  It may be something recent or something a long time ago?
-Do you need to repent?  Have you been lamenting long enough and need to have a change of mind, and hear where the Lord wants to lead you next?
-Do you need to make a choice to trust what He has for you, is better than anything we could want for ourselves?
-Do you need to Trust that if He started a Good Work in you, He will be Faithful to complete it?

You are loved.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Temptation of Loneliness

  I could start by writing about why I'm writing...how I've tried to start this thing back up SEVERAL times over the past year...how the Lord currently speaks to me in Blog Post Titles...or ...I could just start.

Life is not easy.  We have all heard it, most of us somewhat believe it, all of us have experienced it.  It is a statement that is not contextualized, dependent on environment or circumstance; it touches all of us. Somehow, I feel as though I am entitled to a "pass", at least a little bit every now and then, can I get an
"Amen"?!
If you've read the "about me" section, then you know that I have 4 children, ranging from ages 13-7.  3 boys at the front, and one caboose named Millie.  What you may not know about me, is that I, am an introvert.  That's right, a socializing, conversation carrying, sometimes first to speak, Introvert.  Although I'm pretty extroverted, with 4 children and a chatty husband, exhaustion comes often.  I have discovered that there is at no point in the day, a MOMENT when someone isn't either moving or talking.  Even whilst sleeping, there is ALWAYS noise! {Insert Snoring sound effect here}

"Where are you going with this Court?"
Sorry, I'm working back up to my Blog writing...deep breath

Ok, where I'm going is...
Life is not easy...and when it gets hard, I've noticed I have a temptation to run to loneliness.  I have written it off as the following:
-I'm a private person.
-I don't want to bother people.
-It's not all about me
-I'm an Introvert and keep things to myself
-It's for me to work out with Jesus
-It's just a problem that I have within myself
-I will work on myself

But here is what I really am saying:
I don't want anyone in on this with me.  Inviting people into my life equates to High Accountability, death of pride and laying down what is best for me alone.  Other people can win, when I refuse to go it alone.

So that's it.  That's the 3AM for all you speakers out there.

I have grown accustomed to, and somewhat comfortable with, the slow, easy hum of loneliness.  It lulls me to sleep some nights, the masquerade of strength becomes cemented on my face, the furrow in my brow conveys that I can handle a lot and my capacity is quite large.

I have bought in to the lie...you are can and are meant to handle this on your own.  No one else will get it and I know what is best.

Lies.  Meant to Kill, steal and destroy my joy and my influence in The Kingdom.

Recently Mike Breen put out a blog post referencing the Missio Trinitatis.  Yeah, I know Latin isn't my thing either.  This is an AMAZING read and a profound truth.  And it all boils down to this.
If I'm to live as Jesus did, then I am designed to live in family.  Not just friendship, not just community, but, life giving - die to my own dreams - you have no choice but to deal with us - family.

Loneliness is not just a bi-product, it's a temptation.  It feeds a lie that we are meant to be independent to remain special.  To matter.  To be the winner.

I don't know how far this rabbit hole leads within my own life, but I know that My Family walks beside me the whole way.  I have a shepherd who leads me, with love and discipline (rod and staff) and a calling that is bigger than my wants.

I know that this life is not easy, but I NOW know that it doesn't have to be lonely.

So, I ask you the questions that keeps me in check with the Temptation of Loneliness:
If you win, who else wins?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Overwhelmed

Well, I'm off to a great start!  I meant to write twice a week, but let's just say, I'm glad I'm getting one up! ( Added disclaimer...I've been writing this post since Monday...)

This past week marked the official start to "Spring Travel" season for our family.  Having one parent travel, hits families in many different ways.  I actually enjoy looking around and seeing how "single parenting" works for other people.  I feel that I'm in the blessed stage, of kids who are, for the most part, self-sustaining.  By that I mean, no diapers, they feed and dress themselves, they can be left home alone for short amounts of time, etc.  However, along with those amazing gifts, comes the...shall we say  DRAMA of not having toddlers anymore.  Body Odor, Acne, hormonal fluxes, Questioning who I am, wanting people to like me...fun fun!
One thing I have noticed in this season, is the fact that my children don't necessarily need more or less of me, but rather they need something different from me.  They don't depend on me for basic needs.  If they're thirsty they get a drink, if they need to go to the bathroom they go, if they need time by themselves, they go to their room.  But, what they are depending on me for is MUCH more emotional connection.  It's not enough to just sit and watch a movie or read a book together...they want to have a ...gasp CONVERSATION!  They ask me question, deep meaningful questions.  They look me in the eye intently, that in and of itself a question of sorts.  They want to know "Why".  And not the "Why" of a 3 year old, but an honest, "Tell me how to understand" Why.
It's exhausting.  It's frustrating. It is OH SO time consuming. And it fills me with fear.  This is the moment, the moment I knew would come, the moment that my mistakes aren't covered by the knowledge that they're Too Young, to remember what I say, or how I mess up.  These conversations will be remembered.  These actions will be modeled.  These words will be repeated.

I'm Overwhelmed.

But it's not what you think.  Or, I guess I should say, it's not what I usually expect of myself.  I'm overwhelmed in a good way.  Overwhelmed by peoples kindness and sincere prayers for my family.  Overwhelmed by reminders that I am not in this alone.  And I was never intended to be in the alone. (See Genesis 1)  Overwhelmed by the family I've been given, a place in and responsibility for.  Overwhelmed by the faith the Lord has in me to be good stewards of His children, that with Him, I am able to love them, as He loves me.  Overwhelmed, that all I need to succeed, I have, in Him, who is able to complete the Good Work He started when He formed these beautiful children.

I am Overwhelmed.

Love, Joy, Grace, Hope, Courage...all of those things have overwhelmed me this past week. And I know, that it is not fleeting.  It is not a promise that I better hold onto , because who knows when it will come again!  It is a promise that endures forever.  Why?  Because My God is faithful, even when I am not, He is faithful.  He is: Faithful.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

(Gulp)

Ahem...TESTING...TESTING...Is this thing on?

Yes, I'm here.  I'm a little shaky, a little nervous, a little anxious...a little new.  But I'm here.  And I'm going to jump right in!

Yesterday my friend Megan, asked how I satisfy my creative side. Hmmm.  That was a good question.  I don't perform anymore, I haven't in about a year.  I haven't written anything in a LONG time, and well...I don't know how I satisfy that side.  I guess I ignore it!  But I mentioned to her that I used to Blog, and that really enabled me to not only put things in writing that I'm learning and loving, but also in somewhat of a creative manner.
That right there did it.  That was the confirmation, to the stirring that has been in my heart since Christmas.  It's time to write again.  Even if no one reads, it's writing and in some small (very small) sense, publishing what I have swirling around in this eccentric brain of mine!
So, last Sunday I began to put on paper posts that I feel inclined to write.  Some are serious, some are funny (in my own head), but all will be authentically me.  The new me that I'm just starting to get to know, the old me that just won't go away, the me that I'm letting God redeem, in order to leave people better than I found them.
Short and sweet, that's how it's starting.  Let's get this thing going.

Love.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm not...

...
was going to write dead, but I'm really not...however if you're around me right now, that is questionable...walking dead. 
(For the record it is going to take a good 30 minutes and tons or re-writes to do this post...why?  Brennan has The Rescuers on...my ALL TIME FAVORITE kids movie...besides pippi longstockings...and Robin Hood...oh heck, where was I?)

My sincerest apologies...I've been a blog delinquent...tsk,tsk...I know.

So, coming back today I thought of all the blog posts I have running around my head (I think in blog posts you know).  My real review of Love Wins, my tales of the goings on in this crazy exciting family, my excited recap of Spring Break (let's just say it ended well) or my thoughts on running in my Five Fingers (yes I have them and Yes, I love them) but to be honest, I just don't have it in me (refer to first sentence)

So as I was cooking dinner tonight, I thought that I'd start back in on a lighter note...what are the MUST HAVES in my kitchen.  Exciting!
-Kitchen Aid Mixer...you don't have to soften cream cheese or butter with this puppy!
-My pots and pans...I am the proud owner of more All Clad than I deserve, but everyone deserves All Clad, cooking with anything else is a travesty...I mean it...ask me more if you want to get some CHEAP!!
-French Press...I sway time to time, but on a whole this is the ONLY way to make coffee. Easy, quick and the best...mmm, going to make some in a minute.
-Cookbooks-My Favorites-ANY church cookbook is awesome, or Junior League for that matter...tested and true recipes, The Pioneer Woman Cookbook (so fun to look at), and Cooks Illustrated (this is a magazine, but the absolute whole package, I cook more from that than anything else  LOVE LOVE LOVE)
-Good Season Italian Dressing- Yes, I make the dressing, but this is a staple ingredient in so much. Especially my Mom's Spaghetti sauce ( a good Scottish version) which I'm making right now for my husbands very Italian family...oh well.
-Yeast, Flour and Sugar- When groceries and money are low, these three can get you through any meal...pancakes, waffles, bread, etc.
-Good...I mean GREAT olive oil!- I get mine at Penn Mac in Pittsburgh and bring it down...so very good and you'll never miss butter
-Greek Yogurt, Honey and Granola-This actually stays at the office, but is such a treat
-Oatmeal and Natural Peanut Butter- How David and I celebrate breakfast after working out each day (well him each day, me every other (ish) day)
-Hummus-My kids first step to healthy eating...they fight over it!  With veggies or Wheat Thins.

That's about it...Curious...what's your kitchen must haves?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Prayer part 2

So many thoughts in my soul...I get so IRRITATED every time I see a facebook post of Rob Bell in an interview...READ THE BOOK!  &*(%$$#  Yes, I said it...it ticks me off.  I've got about 20 pages left, and no I don't agree with everything, but I don't disagree with it either.  I'm irritated at him too for being so much in the Gray, but I understand that, I have a certain friend that shall remain nameless that likes to not land on the black and white of issues...ask more questions than give answers...it's annoying, but in no way do I question his stance on Christ, or salvation or the scriptures, because I know him...oh wait, these people must no Rob Bell to condemn him on his BOOK TOUR!!!!  Ok, ok, I'm done...grow up...ok, I'm done, I promise...for now.

So what was I writing about...oh yeah, Prayer!  So, on my last post I tried to make 2 points,
1-Prayer is a conversation and we should pray the way God has designed us to communicate, in our own way, easily, effortlessly and uniquely.
2-The more we hang around someone, we have a tendency to pick up their mannerisms, so by continuously "hanging out" with God, we may actually tend to look more like Him...strange, but it obviously worked for Jesus.

Side note- I have to say that I disagree when people make a statement like "Be Jesus to them" or "you may be the only Jesus people see"  Although I think we carry the weight of that responsibility, it isn't totally true.  I think the correct statement or way of thinking is to be the us that Jesus redeemed.  God made us to be us...not us to be Jesus...we are to be us with Jesus in us....does that make any sense?  We cannot be Jesus, but we can be ourselves, completely made new by Christ and completely able to share our story made righteous by His blood.  So even though by hanging with Him we may begin to look like Him, hopefully, we are still very much ourselves...which is a good thing.

So, my second point that I want to touch on tonight is what are you praying for?  I feel like there are two types of prayers....Redemption and Deliverance, both forms of healing.  And one of those is always given.
As we think on this and next time I'll break each one of these down, I want to share an illustration that I heard Crawford Lorits give once.
Sometimes when we pray we ask God to deliver us from a situation...and sometimes He does...and other times it plays out more like this...
A father is outside playing with his son, and the son falls on the ground and splits his chin open. (As a mother of 3 boys, this happens more often than not) He quickly scoops him up and takes him to the Dr., where it is declared that the boy needs stitches.  Now, this happened in the 70's when numbing agents weren't as widely used as they are today...in fact they weren't used in these situations at all.  So the Dr. informs the dad that he will have to hold the young boy in his lap and keep his arms pinned to his side, so the Dr. can complete the stitches.  The dad, with tears in his eyes, scoops up his son, and tightly wraps his arms around him.  The boy, scared and nervous, asks his dad if it will hurt..."yes" he says, "but I have to hold your arms down so the Dr. can do his job.  And if I didn't do that, it would be a lot worse."
Sit in this for a bit...think on this as you consider your own prayer life.  How often do we get mad at our Father, as it seems he is assisting in a painful process, let alone, not making it stop.  And it make take a lifetime to see it, but He wants what's best for us...and His redemption is promised to bring healing to situations that were not intended...but redemption can hurt, and sometimes He has to hold our arms down, so the Spirit, can put back what was broken...and there will be scars, but with scars come stories...good stories.
Be blessed today, as you converse with your Father and ask Him to reveal times of redemption in your life.