I’ve Got a Case of the Mondays


Today has been one of those Mondays. You know, the ones where you fight with your spouse, your kids stopped listening to you as soon as they woke up, you slept funny and have a horrible pain in your neck, your to-do list has 20 things on it, you keep remembering more things to put on the list that HAVE to be done today and honestly can’t wait til tomorrow, and your dog emptied her bladder all over the carpet while you were at the grocery store picking up yet another thing you forgot. 

It’s been a day of hurried phone calls and feeling anxious and getting my feelings hurt. It’s been a day of feeling defeated and overwhelmed. 

BUT (don’t you love it when there’s a “but” on these days) it’s also been a day where my kids put on a ridiculous play for us involving the Star Wars theme song, a knight, a pirate, some dragons, and a hilarious fight between the pirate and knight. It’s been a day of pausing and remembering how faithful God is. (I may or may not have listened to “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” four times in a row to remind myself of this fact.) It’s been a day of hot chocolate and Yahtzee. 

At church yesterday, my pastor read the story of the woman at the well. She’s a Samaritan, she’s a woman, she’s had five husbands, and the guy she’s currently living with isn’t her husband at all. And when the disciples saw Jesus speaking to her, they “marveled” at it. I’m thinking “marveled” is a nice biblical way to say they freaked out. Next thing you know, they’re telling Jesus it’s time to leave and get something to eat. Jesus replied by telling them that while they have a saying about the harvest coming in four months, in fact the harvest is ready and waiting. In other words, they’re so wrapped up in their idea of what’s right that they’ve missed this beautiful chance to speak truth and love into the Samaritan woman they scorn. 

Man I have identified with those disciples today. I have brushed off my husband and my kids and put my to-do list first. I have allowed myself to get worked up and man have I “marveled” at the demands of this day. 

I had to run by a coffee shop to pick up some gift cards today. I was hurrying the kids into the car, we were all miserable, and my focus was on all the stuff I had to do. And then I felt like God was telling me what an opportunity this was to slow down and let Him in. To focus on what He wanted to do, not what my to-do list said. So while we were there, I bought the kids some hot chocolate and a wedge of some incredible cinnamon roll concoction that was bigger than Noah’s head. 

We sat down and played Yahtzee. It was beautiful. I’m a stay at home mom, and you’d think all my time is devoted to spending time with my kids and developing our relationship. That’s what I thought it would look like before I became a stay at home mom, anyway. But so very often I’m focused on things that just aren’t as important, and I’m grateful for the times when I stop, take a deep breath, and say, “God what do you want right now?”

I still have a lot of things to do today. I’ll probably be up late getting it all done. But I’m not feeling ragged and angry anymore, my kids are happier, and I’ve let God put things into perspective. 

Here’s to hot chocolate and Jesus. ❤ May I always take the time to let Him still my heart and show me what I’m missing. 

Advertisements

Find Me Grateful

There’s always a lot of joking about why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. In case you don’t know me that well, I’m totally in love with food. I adore the comfort food of Thanksgiving day. I adore the idea of eating multiple pieces of pie and it not being frowned upon. I adore turkey and ham and casseroles.

More than that, though, I love the conversation and laughter around the table. I love the hospitality of good people who open their home to me. I love the noise and the chaos and the mess. There’s such beauty in it.

thanksgiving-table

Far above all the little treasures of Thanksgiving day, I love Jesus. I love his grace. I love the gospel. I love his adoption of me and my brothers and sisters in the faith. I love that he doesn’t change with my circumstance. I love that he meets me right in the middle of my circumstance. I love his purpose and the fact that his ways are so much higher than mine and that his thoughts are not mine. I love that all things hold together in him and that he’s able to do all I can ask and far more than I can imagine. I love that he is my hope.

My prayer is that when Jesus finds me in any moment, whether it’s in joy or sorrow or hardship or uncertainty or that moment when he finally comes for me, that he will find me grateful and thankful. That I will stay humble and bow to his majesty and his will with thankfulness in my heart, even when that is not an easy thing.

Friends, I love Thanksgiving because I can’t ever thank him enough. I want to live every day like it’s Thanksgiving day.

Come & Listen To What He Has Done

Eight years ago we exchanged rings and vowed our vows. We washed each other’s feet while our friend played this song.

We wanted to remind ourselves & our friends and family of what God had done in our lives. Of how He brought us together. Of the grace and the love He had shown through our relationship.

How much more He has done in these eight years since that day.

He has given us joy. The sense of humor we share has been a precious gift through the years. The laughter and the choice to be positive has made the good times beautiful and the hard times even more beautiful.

He has given us grace. When we have chosen anger and yelling and bitterness, His grace has given healing to our marriage. When we have failed each other and fallen short, His grace has enabled us to love each other with selflessness and forgiveness.

He has given us faith. Oh how He has given us faith. Faith that we will still have a roof over our heads tomorrow. Faith that we will have food in our bellies. Faith that our circumstance does not define the character of our God. Faith that there is hope for our relationship despite our weaknesses and failures. Faith that allows us to humble ourselves and thank God for the many difficulties we have faced, knowing that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

He has given us strength. We have had more than our share of hard times. And I thank God for each hard road we have walked. Through it all, as we learned the hard lessons and found what is truly important, as we struggled and cried and complained, as we chose to praise instead of curse, as we chose the road of faith and trust instead of fear and anger, He has given us His strength. He has developed our character and grown us into better people than we were eight years ago.

He has given us beauty. We see it in the faces of our kids. In the laughter in our home. In the antics of our silly pets over the years. In our tear filled eyes as we say the hard “sorries.” In the dance parties we are constantly having. In the story He is writing for us. We see it in the daily bread He never fails to provide. In the friends and family and church He has given. In the comfort of sleeping side by side. In every thread that is weaved into this rich tapestry that is our marriage. The better. The worse. The sickness. The health. The richer. The poorer. Til death do we part.

I’m so glad it’s you by my side. I’m so thankful for what He has done for me. What He has done for you. He has done for us.

Happy Anniversary, Anthony.

You’re the best song

In the wee hours of Mother’s Day, it happened again. My four year old had another accident. This time he slept through it, but his entire body and pjs were soaked and I needed to wake him so we could clean him up and change his sheets and pjs.

Which created a dilemma.

He’s not your average four year old. He’s strong willed. He’s difficult. He’s the most hard headed person on the planet. He’s a champion tantrumer, a professional screamer, a hard hitter. Things that are simple with other kids just aren’t with him. We saw a play therapist once, trying to get him all the help we can. She said she couldn’t help us because parenting-wise we were doing it right. Strangely, that broke my momma heart. Of course we all want to hear we are doing it right. But when doing it right means our child’s life is still so much harder than it should be, I think we’d rather hear, “You’re doing it all wrong. Here’s the right way. It will improve so fast if you do this.” We now see a counselor as a family to help us be proactive and deliberate with behavior modification and learning to work through emotions. It helps. But it’s a painfully slow help.

And now, two weeks after the emotional turmoil of a miter saw accident and my husband nearly amputating his thumb, two weeks after emergency surgery to reconstruct and reattach it, two weeks after finding out he hasn’t worked at his employer long enough to receive disability, two weeks after the church and family and my tribe of mama friends lavished love and support and groceries and prayers on my family, now this.

He’s having accidents every night after no night accidents for months and every single time they trigger a tantrum. Every time they wake his little sister in the next room. Every time his sleep deprived daddy and I do everything we can to be there for him and calm him down during the hour of screaming. We try to talk to him. We try to sit silently with him. We try to sing to him. We try to draw tic-tac-toe on the windows with dry erase markers with him. We pray and we cry and we struggle. We struggle with the questions and the fears and the anger and the mind-numbing exhaustion. And eventually, the screams turn into sobs and we know he’s no longer stuck in the turmoil of his anger and sadness. And we get to hold him and rock him and love on him. And we tell him it’s okay to be upset. But he can’t hit us. And we want to help him find a better way than the screaming. And we love him to the moon and back and that will never change.

And that night, in the wee hours of Mother’s Day after the screams melted into sobs and as tears ran down both our cheeks, I held my boy and I played him this song.

And my prayer was this,

“I am not enough for this beautiful boy who struggles. The song says ‘ready or not, you need me, so here I am.’ And it’s true. I’m not ready. I’m not ready to wonder if it’s time for the child psychiatrist and the Zoloft. I’m not ready or equipped to help a boy I don’t understand. I’m not ready for the sleepless nights and the worry that threatens to eat up every piece of me and the fear that God gave this kid to the wrong mom who isn’t strong enough to be a fortress of peace for her child.

But I know who is.

When I am weak, Jesus tells me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Corinthians 12:9)

When I am afraid, Jesus says, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’ (Mark 5:36)

When I am weary, Jesus gives me strength. (Isaiah 40:29)

When my child’s screams are too loud and I want to give into my anger, He Himself is my peace. (Ephesians 2:14)

When I want to give in to my worry and my fears about the future, I hear Him remind me, ‘don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.’ (Matthew 6:34)

So I pray that Jesus will fill my holes. That the rests in between the notes of the song my son and I are writing will be heavy with the presence of Jesus. That He will be what I cannot. That the God who created every piece of his body and brain, who knit him together so perfectly in the mystery and dark quiet of my womb, that He will give me wisdom beyond human comprehension to know how to help my son. That when I am too tired and too numb and too confused to know what to pray, that the Spirit would pray for me in my tears and groans. That as I surrender control to God, He will be the fortress I can run into when I’m not enough – so the holes in my roof and walls will be covered by the rock that is higher than I. That the wind and rain will never reach my child because his mama hides in Jesus.”

Noah bear, I pray when you are older that you will hear Jesus in this achingly beautiful song we are writing together.

You are the one who made me a mommy. Neither of us had any idea what we were getting into with each other.

But I would not trade one note of the song that is you.