Monday, May 9, 2016

Being 'Mommy'

I got extra rest and extra hugs and extra special coffee. They gave me handmade cards and hand-drawn pictures and hand-crafted books. I was let off the hook for meal planning and diaper duty and housework.

It was all I wanted for Mother’s Day. I am so spoiled and blessed by my amazing husband and wonderful little rascals.

This morning I got to thinking about what it means to be ‘Mommy.’ We all laugh about how this role means we no longer sleep, we have no privacy and we are on duty at all hours. All those things are true, but I’m adding to the list.

Being ‘Mommy’ means I can’t take a day off because I would miss them growing. Even if that growth is a quivering ball of tears because they’re having trouble at school. I can’t miss that. That’s what I’m here for.

Being ‘Mommy’ means that sometimes I want to drop everything and cry because I’m so very aware of my shortcomings.

Being ‘Mommy’ means remembering that Adaleine doesn’t like macaroni & cheese, Judah doesn’t like hot dogs, and Eden doesn’t like milk in her cereal. These are important things to them, and if I forget that I’ve forgotten something that matters.

Being ‘Mommy’ means being ‘Brittany’ first to my husband. I have made it clear to my kids that they are not at the top of my list. As shocking as it was for them to hear at first, there is a security in knowing that of all the people on this earth, I love their daddy the best.

Being ‘Mommy’ means that I have a voice in the lives of four little people that can never be replaced or replicated. These children have been entrusted to me for such a short time, and I must pray to God that He will guide my steps and use me so that these amazing little humans might one day call Him ‘Lord.’

It’s knowing that I will still get irritated and frustrated and angry and I’ll be selfish. I will forget to pick up my mess and I will neglect the dishes and I will ignore the laundry. I will continue to fail. They need to see me fail so that they can see me ask for forgiveness, lean on God, and learn to love Him better.

It’s snuggles on the sofa even though their hands are sticky and picking up used tissues. It’s clearing the cereal bowls time and again and wondering why they can’t remember. It’s letting little hands crack the eggs even though it takes so much longer.

It’s giving up on my pictures of ideal, and delighting in the ministry of being ‘Mommy.’

This is not where I thought I’d be. This is where God has me. It’s not perfect, and I’m not perfect in it, but I am learning so much from all of it.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

               Psalm 127:3

Monday, April 11, 2016

Trusting Like Adaleine

I haven’t felt like I had too much to write about for a while now, but Sissy Belle said something the other day that I just had to share. But first, a little background.

Adaleine broke her wrist last week :( It was a complete accident and really nobody’s fault, but the poor thing rode a zip-line straight into a tree. Both bones in her wrist/arm are broken.

As heartbreaking as it was to see my little girl in pain and distress, I could not have been more proud of this girl. The x-ray tech, the nurses, the receptionists, the doctors…everyone was so impressed with this little seven-year-old girl walking around holding her mangled wrist and bearing the pain without complaint.

Now don’t get me wrong—she cried. She was in a great amount of pain and if she had let herself she could have screamed and wailed with the best of them. But this girl is the toughest kid I have ever encountered when it comes to handling pain. Her resilience and strength the whole afternoon and evening after it happened took me back four years to when she got burned and never complained about the pain. Seriously.

But what was more striking to me was not her toughness, it was her composure. Like I said, she didn’t wail and moan. She was calm when they were looking her over, quiet even in the pain of moving her arm around for x-rays, and relaxed even when the anesthesiologist inserted the IV in the back of her little hand (complete with chippy sparkle nail polish.) Even when they wheeled her off in her bed to put her to sleep so they could set the bones, she smiled back at us. Time and again there were comments, “I have adults that don’t handle this as well as you!” and “I wish all my patients were this calm” and “My kids would be having a FIT right now!”

 There was a brief window in there where pride started to rear its ugly head and I thought, That’s right, she’s tough! We’re raising such a strong girl! Go us‼ How silly of me.

We asked her the day after it happened why she was able to be so calm. Her response without hesitation was, “Because I knew God could take care of me.”

Wow. My little Adaleine has such a grasp of God’s sovereignty that even when her little bones are snapped and she’s scared in a hospital, she can still cling to God’s peace and power. It brought tears to my eyes to know that in the moments when I couldn’t be with her—in the OR when they started the meds that would put her to sleep—in those moments she was relying on her heavenly Father to protect and comfort her.

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”
               Psalm 105:4

Every once in a while, my kids teach me a lesson or two. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Clean Room Checklist for Kiddos

I don't know if this is a fight for anyone else, but the girls and I have really been struggling with keeping their room clean. I put together a list that I'm hoping will help and I thought I'd share :) I did a boy one and a girl one; let me know if they help you!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Enough Beautiful, I'll Take Funny

Social media can be a wonderful thing. I enjoy seeing what different people have to say on Instagram and the little insights some of them offer into my day.

But at some point the ‘ideal and beautiful’ posts turn my stomach. Posts like “Find the good. Notice what catches the light and let the rest get blurry” make me want to scream. Sometimes I want to comment that those words are lovely and all, but the rest of us live in the real world where the muggy air is less about the promise of beautiful rain and more about the fact that my hair is going to frizz like crazy.

It’s like those old ladies who say to cherish every moment with your baby. I’m really sorry, y’all, but the only way us sucker moms have more than one kid is to forget about the screaming/crying/throwing up/biting of the first one. Those memories are skipping the ‘cherish and remember’ file and hopping right on back to the ‘shred then set on fire then bury in the middle of nowhere’ file.

All this to say—I’m taking some time off from the ‘grasping every bit of time’ stuff and indulging in the ‘name that movie quote’ stuff. That’s about all I have the energy for.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Skipping Showers

We skipped showers tonight. We try to have the kids shower every night—the girls are getting to an age where it’s just a good idea. But tonight Mr. Bug was gone and I had a headache and it simply wasn’t going to happen.

We shoot for 8:00 for bedtime on school nights, and tonight after dinner I just told them to put on their pajamas, get in their beds and read. The girls each had books they’re in the middle of and Buddy just grabbed a yearbook to look through. They all sat in their beds and read and I enjoyed about 30 minutes of quiet. 

I didn’t do what I was ‘supposed to do’ tonight. Heck, I didn’t even do the dishes after dinner. But some nights are just that way. It’s not ‘survival’ mode necessarily; at times it’s just good to remember that some things really aren’t that big of a deal. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Songs I'm Singing: Need You Now

I've written about music before (here and here) and the impact it has on my heart. I think that's a very human thing--to be moved by beautiful music. This one is speaking to me very deeply right now and I thought I'd share. 

Here's the link to the song. Take a listen.

We live our lives in seasons. Some seasons are for rejoicing, and some are for mourning. Some we feel like we sail through on a cloud. Then there are those seasons where the only way we get to the other side is to crawl through on our hands and knees.
"I want to believe there's beauty here." Even in the darkest of times, we have Someone with us. Even Jesus in the garden asked that the cup be taken from him (Mt 26:39.) We don't have to want the suffering, but we can trust that God can do beautiful things with our broken pieces.

Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)
“To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

The term ‘beauty for ashes’ isn’t talking about just replacing something that’s been burned. I thought that for a long time. What it’s referring to is replacing the ashes of mourning with a ‘garland’ or beauty. That thought is a balm to me. That means instead of mourning and weeping for what was, God can adorn us with a new beauty only He can create!
"How many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing?" During the darkest times, I just need to get through one moment at a time. I don't need to finish the marathon. I need to take one more step, and that step is all I can manage.

Psalm 18:32 (NIV)
“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.”
Last one. "Standing on a road I didn't plan. Wondering how I got to where I am." I don't think any of us aim for those dark times. Sometimes we're not even there because of us. Sometimes we've been dragged there by someone else's choices. The long and the short of it is that there is darkness in this world. There is an evil one (whether you believe he's real or not doesn't matter), and he'd like nothing more than for us to drag one another down to the blackest holes there are.

John 10:10 (NIV)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Standing on that road and bleeding. Wondering where the strength for that next breath is coming from. Wanting to believe that our Creator can bring beauty and light out of something dark and ugly.
There really is beauty here. We may have to dig for it. But I'll dig until my fingers bleed to find His purpose for this and He can help clean us up on the other side.