Gossip

I keep finding myself wanting to vent.  Just to have another person validate my feelings.  I want to share and talk and share some more all over one simple issue.  And yet, I feel perhaps the tug of wisdom say to me, “Yes Rebekah, you have been wronged.  Yes.  Forgive and leave it.”  But that’s not enough, for some reason I want to call at least ten of my friends and have them all stand next to me and say, “Yes, that is crappy, I can’t believe so-and-so DID that!”  I especially want to contact a number of my twin-friend moms, because it’s over a twin thing and sometimes moms of other twins just get it.  Twin moms understand twin stuff like we are of one mind.  There is a silent bond of mutual, precise understanding among twin moms that’s incredible.  And I SOOO bad want to call five of my twin mom friends and tell them all about it.  To have them empathize with me, to console me, to tell me it was unfair and unjust.

But I haven’t.  I only called one friend.  And that was probably unnecessary, but I forwarded our conversation with, “Please talk me down to rationality.”

She did, and it wasn’t a gossip fest, it was more of a plan to set in motion for working things out, and I felt slightly better after we spoke, but I still have this desire to call more people, until I feel better – until I hear what?

What I want to hear?

I want someone to validate everything I’m feeling, and tell me I’m right.

That I’ve never failed, never missed something and I’m not, not getting it right.

I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me, and the person pulling it, I think just got their foot stuck in the rug and has continued walking, with NO IDEA about what they’ve just done to my little world.  Yes, MY little world.  I really believe they have no clue, and they have just unintentionally hurt me.

But we don’t live in MY little world do we?  We live in God’s BIG, expansive, all forgiving, grace filled world.

And in that reality, there is no room for condemnation, or even offense.  In His world there is only loving others and forgiving others for their mistakes or misunderstandings.

In his world, I go to the person and say, “Hey, you just pulled the rug out from under me.  I’m sure the rug was just stuck to your shoe somehow, and it was an honest mistake.  Can we talk about it?  I’m kinda in pain here on the floor.”

And I will, and I want to, but I can’t until a certain number of days for various complicated reasons, so until then I what?

I wait.

Aggggggghhhhhh.

I HATE waiting.  I want it all fixed now so I don’t have to further resist the temptation to seek validation for my feelings from others who have NOTHING to do with this situation.

Is this where the character of Christ is built?  I’m not sure, but it FEELS painful.

Also, ignoring all the devil’s taunts is like super aggravating.  I know I should just tell him to shut it, but sometimes the stuff sounds so close to the truth.  I know it’s a lie, and if it were a point-blank clear lie, it would be so much easier to swat away, but no, the enemy knows my weak spots, the places where it hurts.  When he shoots, he doesn’t aimlessly fire, no, he sniper styles right in on my weak points, trying to take me down to the ground of misery and despair, instead of standing on the rock of hope.

“Maybe you did fail as a mother, no one’s perfect.”

“You have too many children, that’s why this happened.  If you’d just had one at a time like normal people, maybe ALL your kids needs would be met, all the time and they would never have any difficulties in life, ever.”  – to which I argue, “THAT wasn’t even my choice!  I asked God for ONE kid the first go around, it’s not my fault he thought we could handle TWO!  At least they are best friends!  Maybe I should trust him?”

“How can you be having ANOTHER baby, when you haven’t even figured out what you’re doing with these three?  Are you insane?  Are you trying to ruin more people’s lives by bad mothering?”

I can say these arguments are foolish, but that doesn’t take away from the doubt in my mind that I didn’t miss something somewhere.  That I’m worried I’ve been blind somewhere in my parenting and now my kids will suffer in some way just because I didn’t have my act together.

Some days I feel proud that there is food on the table and no one is fighting.  Success!!

Other days, like today I am proud of my kids, but not because of anything Davin and I have done.  All three of my kids by their own free will decided to help me clean up after dinner.  I think they could tell I was stressing about something and wanted to help.  Dani had a broom, Eli had a sponge and squirt bottle, and Ellie was putting things away.  What did I do to deserve such thoughtful kids?

Earlier this morning, when Eli was too sick to go to school, Dani responded, “But Eli HAS to go to school!  He’s my best friend in the whole WORLD!”  She even prayed on the car ride to class for Eli to feel better and for daddy to drive him to school.  She was devastated not to have her, “best friend in the whole wide world”, right by her side.

I didn’t form that bond.  They did.  They love each other, play together and look out for one another.  They also tattle on each other and try to compete against each other, but I take the good with the not-my-favorite.

As I finish this post, all has been resolved.  The person accidentally sending me to the floor never did it intentionally, and I didn’t even end up telling the person what was done to hurt me.  I just prayed, (A TON) and then forgave, and left the details at Jesus’ feet.  Then before I met with the person, I prayed some more asking Jesus to keep me from bringing up any of my hurt, and to be able to have a genuine no-offense conversation.

Guys, it totally worked.  Jesus is SUPER good at taking care of offenses, and when he says to forgive, he’s not doing it for his own benefit, he’s requiring it for ours.  Can I just tell you how nice it feels to truly forgive someone even when they don’t even know what they’ve done wrong?  I’m not saying this is going to be my life theme, sometimes grievances need to be shared; you know the whole “go to the person who has hurt you” kind of thing.  BUT, in this case, after I prayed, I really did feel like the Lord led me to just leave it.  And I did by his grace and it TOTALLY worked!

I feel so un-offended, so free and so happy.

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I feel like this.

AND, I feel like the Lord gave me insight and freedom from some of the enemie’s sneaky lies.  I can’t believe the night and day difference that forgiveness makes.

Also, I think this little exercise in forgiveness is working because just the other day, I was checking out at “Bed, Bath and Beyond” (buying sheets, so exciting) and the sweet high school girl at the register said to me (with my whole family around), “WOW!  you’re SO BIG!!!  Are you pregnant?”  I’m serious.  I was thinking in my mind, this little dear has never been pregnant, and since I’m only 22 weeks, she must not see many full term pregnant women, because, yes, there’s a baby in my tummy, but we’re nowhere close to BIG yet honey!  I also considered sharing the little social nugget that it’s not polite to tell any woman, ever, that she looks “SO BIG”, but I refrained, and decided I’d let her stay in her sweet bubble of high school observations and attempts at personal register conversation by smiling and saying, “Oh yes, I’m 22 weeks.”  She really did mean well if you can believe me.

Either way, I’m hoping all this will be a reminder to me the next time I am offended, and hopefully I will be instant-quick to forgive.  Because let’s be honest, offenses ARE going to happen, it’s what I do with them that will determine my character and probably my level of contentment in life.  If I would just trust Jesus enough to actually do what he says, there’s a strong possibility that my life may be a lot easier.

So if you’ve been wronged and you want to join me in my forgiveness campaign, you can just pray these super spiritual words ;-), “Lord, I’m SUPER offended, so-and-so did such-and-such!  Can you believe it?  The WORST!  Please help me to forgive, to let it go and give me wisdom on how to move forward, as well as the self-control and discipline to actually follow through with your advice.  Amen”.  Then, wait.  He will TOTALLY show up and blast your grouchy feelings away… in his timing of course, because some offenses can be more involved than others, but I am always pleasantly surprised at his grace, sweetness and gentleness to move me from where I am at (miserable) and unable to help myself to where he says I can be, in his perfect peace.  It’s not just a bunch of words on some paper; it’s like real and true life.

Good luck my friends!!!

And since I needed at least ONE photo for this post so it wasn’t boring… I give you, twin mom life: a photo collage of twin memories;-)

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Tots. I titled this one, “risky business”.IMG_1483 IMG_6569

Who needs wrapping paper when we can just put bags over there heads?  Happy 3rd Birthday!IMG_4936 IMG_8377 IMG_5583 IMG_5939

Dressin’ ourselfs.IMG_6193

Helping mom in the kitchen.IMG_6662 TheAnthonyFamily (169 of 330) IMG_6121 IMG_6360Best Friends. (they like each other most of the time;-)

As always, thanks for reading.

childhood

Maybe it’s because I’m feeling maternal and pregnant and all, but I’ve been thinking a lot about parenting which has led me to reflect a decent amount on my own childhood. I’ve discovered that while no one has a perfect childhood, mine was actually pretty good. Sure, I got my feelings hurt, my brother and I occasionally yelled at each other, some of my friends were scared to come over to my house because my mom was so strict that if I was grounded at home, she would follow me around at church (the only outing I was permitted to attend), telling other people not to speak to me because I was grounded… yes, those days also contained a small amount of embarrassment, but overall it was not a bad experience.

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9th grade glory

My mom let us play non-violent videogames, eat Dorito’s (full of msg) drink soda and run around the neighborhood unattended. We were allowed to climb high trees, catch frogs and shoot bb guns. She only made me wear a dress on Christmas, Easter and if we were flying. We always had a family dinner at home each night, even IF it WAS beef stroganoff (so gross! at the time), but often it was something yummy like chicken tacos or breakfast for dinner. I still LOVE breakfast for dinner, I keep trying to get Davin on board, he thinks it’s lazy (pshhaa, it’s amazing). As kids, my dad had an air horn he’d blow off that we could hear almost a mile away. We were supposto come home when the streetlights came on, but in the summer, when the sun stayed up late, we’d listen for the dinner air horn. Can you imagine if your neighbor blew off an air horn each night around dinner time? Ha! Despite what I’d think today, I genuinely believe our neighbors appreciated it, because then all their kids came home too.  I think I’m going to need an airhorn in a few years.

We used to have a homemade go-kart. It was wooden with tires and real breaks. The steering was a rope, and the engine was all us kids giving it a good push until whatever lucky kid was in the drivers seat soared down the hill we lived on. We always had a lookout to make sure no cars were coming, we’d wave them on and then shout to BREAK if we saw anyone coming around the corner. No one ever got run over.

When I think back to my childhood, I realize how lucky I was. My parents didn’t yell all the time like the kids parents a few doors down. Our dad was nice and smiled, and played games with us. My mom let us have GIANT sleepovers and make messes and eat all the food. I always had a special birthday party with my friends and felt important.

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For my 10th birthday I requested a Huckleberry Finn themed birthday party in the fields. We got to have a mud fight at the end. #bestbirthdayever #Englishmajorinthemaking
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My 12th birthday was a formal dress up birthday party. That is PINK satin with lace… yes it is.

I did have to memorize boring spelling words each week, and I was miserable at cursive. And I once got locked out of the house after school.  I told both my parents in all seriousness that I knew what it was like to be homeless and not well cared for.  Clearly they were entertained and took my picture.

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Fake Homeless (and very annoyed) pre-teen Bek. I can just see myself saying, “HowCouldYou!”

I still print to this day. I refuse to leave my pen stuck to my paper and make hideous curls with my letters. My brother and I have almost the exact same handwriting. Occasionally, I’ll see something he’s written, and I’ll have to examine it more closely to see who’s handwriting it really is. It’s usually some sticky note with directions or a label on it, either way, it reminds me how much we can be like our family without even trying.

My brother is four years younger than I am. Most of my memories are of us playing and going places together.

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On vacation in Hawaii, an extra fancy dinner.

We got along fairly well for a brother and sister.  He’s pretty mellow, so it made it easy. I feel like siblings are a gift. I know at the time they can drive you nuts, but the experience is worth it. I remember my brother getting his monster truck stuck in my hair, booby-trapping my room so I couldn’t come out my door in the morning and “accidentally” chucking a spicy chicken wing INTO my eye. But all in all, totally worth the hassle of a sibling.

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I buried my brother in sand at Lake Tahoe. I asked him to make an “I’m scared” face. At least that’s how I remember the story… Nailed it.

We made up so many games as kids. We used to play this game called, fishing, where one of us would get a bunch of toys and put them at on the bottom level of the house. Then the other kid would sit upstairs in the loft with the fishing pole we had made out of a yardstick and some rope and we’d fish for toys. The other kid would tie on a special toy to catch. We would get so excited by whatever toy we caught! How that game never got old I don’t know. I feel like we used to play it for hours.

Once, in 7th grade my parents arranged for us to visit the State Capitol and meet some person of political influence.  My mom dressed me, as you can see below… a giant straw hat and a Flags of the Universe sweater.  Thank goodness she let me dress myself the rest of my life.

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I’m pretty sure that outfit would have given me street cred’ around the White House.

My brother obviously took this event to heart and treated it with great reverence and respect.  I think that face was in protest of my outfit.  Thanks Aaron!

Another game we used to play, much more dangerous was, Burrito! Burrito! I still can’t believe our parents even let us play it. We’d put one kid on my brothers bed, on the middle of the comforter, then we’d FILL the thing with pillows, stuffed animals, whatever soft items we could find. Then we’d wrap them up, and SHOVE them off the bed yelling, “BURRITO! BURRITO!”. Then they’d hit the ground on their face with a thump and all the soft stuff around them. No one ever got hurt in that game either, which is surprising because my brother had a captains bed and that thing was high. We also used to climb to the top of our closets and drop toys on each other when we walked in, pretending to be ambushed by surprise. Amazing. One time we rigged another booby-trap (we were obsessed with booby-traps) to chuck a ketchup hot dog onto the sad kid who walked into our backyard after we’d called them into the back. I’m not saying we were nice to everyone. I once put a kid into a decent headlock and punched him in the head. Right on the top of his head. I did not know how to fight, just that if someone messed with my little brother, I was going to try my darnedest to kick his butt if he didn’t knock it off after being sufficiently warned. For the record, he ran off crying, and we were in the same grade, so I’d call that a success.

My dad used to make me mow the lawn with our electric mower.  I always thought how sorry they’d feel if I actually mowed over the cord and electrocuted myself to death, but I never did.  Here’s my best friend Luke and I having a go at the back yard.  He was a good buddy.  I think I must have Tom Sawyer’d him into helping me;-)

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Headband? Check. Retainer? Check. High waisted floral shorts? Double Check!

Tonight, I drove to Taco Bell for my own family. We’ve actually never had it for dinner in our house because it’s technically not that healthy and the idea would normally stress me out but I’m pregnant and if the pregnant lady wants two bean burritos, the pregnant lady gets two bean burritos and then some for the kids. Guess who loves Taco Bell? All of my kids. We are related. Davin was even a sport and had some, even though his Taco Bell dinner table memories take him to a different, say smaller room in the house;-) As I was driving, I reflected back on how many times I’d driven to Taco Bell with my mom in our Toyota Tercel Hatchback to get some dinner. Since we weren’t exactly the richest family on the block, my dad being a minister and all, Taco Bell was a treat! We’d feel so special getting to pick two things on the 59 cent menu. Those were the days.

And as I reflect, I think about my own parenting and just how much I worry that I’m getting it wrong. And, I probably am in some ways, but hopefully I’m getting it MOSTLY right. I know my kids are still little, and easily forgive me, but if I think about my imperfect, perfect childhood, and that even in the messed up stuff how God was still there, and took care of me – then I can trust that very same God to parent and take care of my kids too.

We never did an organized family bible study growing up. Christmas was mostly about presents, I had to wait till I was ten to get baptized because my parents wanted to be sure I knew what I was doing. I remember my mom was so mad at me over it, she thought I should wait till I was older, but dad gave me the go and my best friend, Luke and I got baptized on the same day. I remember it vividly because I totally peed in the pool. I never said I was a responsible ten year old, just ten and very nervous… apparently.

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Davin’s only question after he read this, “Who had to get baptized AFTER you?” Hopefully no one. But I’m sure someone did.

You’re welcome internet for that little gem.

I knew what I was doing with the whole baptism idea, I already was serving in my church as the official overhead song mover during worship;-) And I definitely knew who Jesus was because I saw him in my house growing up in my parents. I was raised in church but my mom and dad were the exact same people they were on Sunday that they were on any other day of the week. My parents never pretended anything. That’s how I knew christianity could be real. It was never some performance. My parents trusted God enough to trust us to him, and not pretend to be perfect. I remember if my dad ever messed up somehow, he’d come in and apologize to us, saying, it wasn’t right for him to get upset or whatever and he’d ask myself or my brother and I for forgiveness. I always respected that about my dad, he was the real deal, not perfect, but kinda perfect in my eyes. If I think about it, my parents seemed like they were just themselves, not attempting to be the most-pinterest-ee-blog-ee-facebook-ee best parents on the block. They were just dad and mom and didn’t seem too stressed about getting everything perfect.

When I actually sat down and wrote out my goals as a mother, I was a little surprised they weren’t more spiritual. I guess I expected them to sound more serious and fancy, like “teach the children about God in all the little moments by pointing out that God made the sun to warm our hands annnnd our hearts;-)” Instead we just go on family bike rides and I’ll point to the field full of evening chirping birds and say, “this is my favorite spot, because I like to hear all the birds.” At night we tuck them in, and we say prayers, taking turns sharing our favorite moments of the day and thanking God.  When they get scared or feel sick, we pray together, but it’s not a constant bible study all up in here. It’s more like Taco Bell for dinner and Eli and Davin kicking the ball in the house while the girls play dress up. It even includes like threats, “if you get out of bed one more time to go potty, you’re going to loose your favorite blanket!” – stern voice!

Here were my goals when I quick wrote them out:

-To be the mom who encourages her kids dreams, to fully become who God destined them to be, not who I think they should be. (Even if it’s a career in Motocross!)
-To provide a safe, loving peaceful memory-making environment that when my children reflect back on, they have fond memories of home.
-Create memories and traditions, especially outdoors (hiking, beaches, day trips in the woods – we live in a cool place, so this is totally possible.)

Basically I want the home that when my kids come visit from college or life, they come through the door, smell the yummy food in the kitchen and all the peaceful, hilarious and fun memories come back to them from their childhood. That when they lay down on the couch waiting for dinner to be done (because they are so tired from studying in school or riding motocross;), they remember that they are loved, important and valuable in our family and always will be. I want our home to be the number one place where our kids feel encouraged with truth and supported with love (and apparently delicious food). Where they feel safe enough to be honest with their struggles and come to us with questions about life, knowing we will love them no matter what they say, who they are or what they have done.

I guess those are HUGE goals, but I felt that way when I would go home, so maybe it’s possible my kids will feel the same.

All of your pieces.

I have some embarrassing news.

I’ve been doing this thing, (well up until God revealed it to me this weekend while praying with Davin), that when things were getting stressful, I’d imagine I was somewhere else.  I did this for like, weeks.

Now, I know that sounds harmless enough, but assure you, it’s not.

It was killing my life.  Like, my real one.  Because when my real one was getting to stressful I’d imagine I was just… somewhere else.  Anywhere.  A beach, a spa.  A desert.  I didn’t care, as long as in my imagination, I was alone.  And it was silent.  And no one needed anything from me in my imaginary world.  It could be a foreign country where I don’t even know the language and that seemed easier in my mind than wherever I was at the moment.  I was just gone in my mind.  Because it seemed easier than facing my real emotions on what was really happening.  It seemed safer.

Sometimes I hate that I have emotions at all.  I just wish I didn’t feel stressed or angry or anything.  I’ve told God more than once, “why did you give me emotions if I can’t even handle them properly?”  I know, what a whiner.

Instead of praying, I’d just sigh a sigh of discontentment and then imagine myself away.  It didn’t really make me happy, it just seemed easier than really accepting that I completely fail and that I still need God.  I don’t like that I still need God.  I wan’t to be perfect on my own.

Here is a first world problem example from last Thursday of a time when I mentally tried to escape, if you don’t feel like hearing a negative parenting experience, read on past the italics. Here’s the scene: Last week, we arrived to swim lessons 20 minutes early because we had to pay for lessons on new credit card because the old one was hacked.  Swim is stressful because everyone has to go potty before they swim, and there is a fine line between on time and too early.  Too much time sitting and waiting with three small persons in bathing suits can create mutiny.  So, I took the kids potty and had something like fourteen minuets left.  More than enough time to handle the payment, I am such a responsible mother who has her act together.  Not so. We waited in line behind ONE person for like over twelve minutes because they had a thousand good questions and were brand new, but didn’t want to be on a schedule, just pick a day once in a while and come… so they are looking at calendars and I am trying not to say negative things in my mind about people who can’t just make a decision and pick a day!  After this person who has no lessons scheduled gets a full tour of the facility, the receptionist comes back in a leisurely manner.  I then attempt to pay as quickly as possible and it still takes over five minutes to figure it out because computers are confusing and her’s was unfortunately from the 1990’s, then… wait for it, Ellie poops her swim diaper.  Perfect.  Once we finish, I rush the kids to pick up the mess on the floor, rush them back to the bathroom, attempt to put Ellie in a new swim diaper (at least I had an extra), and we are now LATE for swim.  I accept absurd defeat.  We are now wasting money on swim lessons that aren’t happening.  This should not have happened like this.  I tried so hard to be responsible. And now the older two kids are looking under the stall at some other woman and her child (I’ve told them NOT to do this a million times), then they are touching bathroom floor, Ellie’s poop falls onto a bench and I’ve about lost it.  We are late to lessons even though we were here TWENTY minuets early!  There is poop on a bench, a toddler is laughing, and my kids faces are near the bathroom floors!!! AGGGGHHH!  All I said was, “SIT DOWN NOW.” and then point my finger to a space on a bench.  It not only put fear into my children, who quickly acquiesced, but I believe also into the poor woman and her daughter who probably thought I was the most stressed, frazzled and grumpy woman to ever parent children.  She cowered out of the stall and went on her way.  When we finally made it to the pool, we were late and I was not smiling.

As I hashed and rehashed how in twenty short minutes I went from relaxed and happy to stress-case, I told God all about how all satan has to do is get me in a bathroom alone with three small children and I will loose my mind all up in he-ah! But that doesn’t matter.  God is bigger than bathrooms, and late swim lessons.  But in my mind, I wasn’t even giving him the chance to be.

I just sighed, told God again that I obviously wasn’t fit for this job and he should just retire me and send me somewhere that doesn’t involve me being perfect.

I didn’t take the time to hear him tell me that he hasn’t called me to perfection.

I was already gone.  In my mind I was just in some trees, staring.  It was quiet and I was alone.  And at least there I wasn’t ruining little peoples lives by not being able to handle my emotions in public bathrooms.

My kids were happy swimming.  I was watching them and wishing I was a perfect parent who never made mistakes.  I was disqualifying myself again, telling myself how I should have done better.

So, this is bad for a number of reasons, I get that.  And giving myself a mental lobotomy/vacation is not the answer.  Going away in my mind didn’t even make me feel any better, it just made me feel nothing, which is the gateway to apathy.  Scary.

Over the last few weeks, I had been slowly detaching myself, and my emotions from my own life.  From my children, from my marriage, from anything that made me feel something negative.  And it was beginning to affect my actual life, at least on my end.  Fortunately, it quickly caught up to me and God revealed the problem.

I would never in a million years actually leave my family, not physically.  But I was doing it.  In my mind.  In my spirit, I was basically checking out.  They were all there, yelling, touching bathroom floors, doing whatever was too much, and I was just like, “I can’t even handle this anymore, I want an imaginary life where I don’t feel frustrated.”

After a weekend of feeling down and restless, the Lord revealed in prayer to both Davin and I that mentally checking out was not helping us.  It was detaching us from our family.  From each other.  After we prayed, we committed to holding each other accountable, by texting or calling when we felt like mentally escaping, and instead just asking for prayer and then waiting for God to show up.

Here’s how my week has been.  Besides amazing.

And here’s a song for you to listen while you read, if you’re into that kind of thing.  It’s called Pieces by Andrew Belle.

So, I currently have a horrific cold, the kind where your entire face is leaking.  I took medicine to help and I haven’t taken cold medicine in like over three years, because normally I just deal.  So, I felt pretty hideous, but here is Dani.  I spent some one-on-one time with her in her room.  She put her crown on me and said,

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“You look like a beautiful mommy.

You look better than anything.” 

I had to stop and take a picture, and then type out what she said, because I wanted to remember that moment forever, and share it with her when she was grown, to remind her of who she is.

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Here’s Ellie this morning during our date (the twins were in preschool) and she’s wearing my old baby bonnet.

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Here is Dani kissing my leg this afternoon because I don’t feel good.

We read this in a book last week and started saving our boxes for a town…

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We made the town today

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It was messy and chaotic, but we all enjoyed ourselves.

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I asked Ellie what she wanted her store to be called, she said, “green.”

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I made a streetlamp.

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My church slogan was inspired by Kid President’s post, An Open Letter to Moms.

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I feel it’s also necessary to share that I made a hair boutique with a drawing of a poodle and an glorious old woman with big white hair, and a slogan that says, “the higher the hair, the closer to God.”  I plan to have very big hair when I am older.  It will be the biggest.

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When I asked Dani what her store was called, she said, “a hand store, where if your hand is hurting, they make it better.”  I feel like she might be in a nurse or a surgeon when she grows up.

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This firehouse is an ode to my Grandpa Jack.  He was a fireman in Alameda, CA.  He once did a safety demonstration of how to jump off a building onto one of those fireman catcher things.

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It’s called a life net.  He jumped down three stories and landed wrong, breaking his leg.  He never let the crowd know, he just jumped up smiled and walked off on a broken leg, everyone left feeling safe thinking that life nets were probably a good option and not to be afraid of them.

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“Home of the Famous Jumping Jack Reason”

I saw the film, The Giver a few weekends ago.  It was perfect timing.  I was really down and not sure why I was so despondent over life.  It wasn’t until the end of a day by myself that I realized I was still mourning the loss of our baby.  I was driving home in the car, and I started singing.  It was a love song.  I started crying, singing it to my baby in heaven.  Then I knew.  I knew why I was feeling everything I was.

I came home to an empty house and cried over and over to God,

“I just wanted that baby.”

“I just wanted that baby.”

“I just want MY baby.”

I accused God of taking him or her because I wasn’t a good enough mom. That if I had just made better dinners and didn’t get angry, then maybe he would have let me keep this precious, precious baby.  I knew it wasn’t really true when I said it all out loud.  But that didn’t keep me from feeling it.

I told him everything I felt, even though I knew it wasn’t all quite true.

Then I felt his peace wash over me.  A peace that maybe this baby wasn’t healthy and whole enough to be born.  A peace that maybe it wasn’t all my fault.  A peace that this baby was in heaven and that every time I kissed one of my babies on earth, maybe this baby in heaven could know and feel how loved he or she was too.

Watching The Giver reminded me why God gives us emotions in the first place.  So many times, I’d rather do without them.  Or at least that’s what I think.  Because it’s no fun to feel these types of emotions.  They are like a storm at sea.

A wise friend recently told me to ride the waves.  Not to stand there and fight them, letting them overtake me and drown me, but to ride them out and know that they will take me somewhere.

So, it’s okay to mourn.

It’s okay that I feel sad.

It’s okay to feel angry.

It doesn’t mean I make all of my decisions on my emotions, or justify acting in anger.  It just means that I’m human, and I can ask God to meet me there, in the middle of my storm, and calm my seas.  And wait for him to say, “It’s okay about all the mess ups.”

And know that I don’t have to be perfect.

And it’s better that I need him.

Anyway, this film reminded me of the beautiful messiness of life.  And how sometimes it’s a perfect mess.  I recommend it.  You should see it.

As always, thank you for reading.

Don’t Underestimate the God you Follow

So I’ve been hearing the same message lately these past few weeks.

Some might chalk it up to coincidence, others like myself might say, “Hmmmm, I think perhaps God is trying to tell me something, and apparently I’m NOT listening, because he feels the need to keep telling me.”

By the way, each time I hear this message, I start to tear up.

Guys, I’m not the cryer in my family.  I won’t say who is, but it’s not usually me.

Each time, this message hits me like a brick right to the center of my soul, to the core of who I am, and then it sends resonating waves of truth throughout my whole body.

The last version of this message came to me in the car this morning, as I was pondering my life and if it mattered that I try to be a mom and ALL that entails while balancing what I really want to do for myself; invest in friendships, write, spend time with the Lord, pray,  row, paint my nails and pick out outfits, organize my closet and put on makeup, try to do my hair, and snuggle kids past bedtime, and make top-knots in my oldest daughters hair, and put piggies in my youngest even though she pulls them out five minuets later and make a home and have healthy dinner on the table and smile at my husband when he looks at me.

I feel it all pull in each different direction, and I can’t do it all at once.

I haven’t worn makeup in two three days, I’m wearing the same clothes I wore YESTERDAY (it was a decent outfit actually).  I did however make an entirely plant strong delicious menu, grocery shop with three children, get all the laundry done and serve dinner.  I even played a little bit with my kids and gave each one a bath, and snuggled one of them well past her bedtime.

Last night I was so tired by 9pm that I finally decided to stop working and just do my nails.

If I just stop, and let God direct me, like a sailboat in the wind – it’s not so hard.  But when I try and start my engine and get somewhere, I find that even though I’ve gotten somewhere, it’s not the twenty other places I wanted to be as well.  And I keep trying to get somewhere.

So in the car, as I was sweeping up all my frustrations into a big pile of grouchy leaves, God blew them all away with this same message, again.

I was listening to K-Love and Josh Wilson’s song, Pushing Back the Dark came on:

    One million reasons why, you shouldn’t even try.

    After all you’re just one heart, a single candle in the dark.

    And there are shadows here, feeding on your fears,

    That you don’t have what it takes – who are you to make a change?

  But oh, oh, don’t underestimate the God you follow.

     Whatever you do, just don’t look back.

     Oh somebody needs the light you have.

     Whatever you do, just don’t lose heart.

     Keep on pushing back the dark,

     Keep on pushing back the dark.

How can that make anyone NOT want to tear up just a little bit?

Saturday I heard the message during worship when God spoke to my heart and said he wanted to use me to speak to others even though I think I’m unqualified, afraid and not very eloquent, and lacking in pretty much every other way.

And then it was there again in the sermon, when our pastor shared how all the apostles were regular guys, ordinary people in whom GOD did extraordinary things.

I keep thinking that if God is going to use me, I’m going to feel different.  I’m never going to doubt myself or my abilities, my thoughts will always be organized and clever, I will have more than enough time to write and share my inspirations.  I will never get grouchy at my kids and yell, “NO!  NO YOU MAY NOT PLAY BUBBLES OUTSIDE because I am still cleaning up your mess INSIDE!  I am still sweeping up all your crumbs from lunch and I don’t want to clean up ANY more of your MESSES!  ALL I DO IS CLEAN UP YOUR MESSES!  NO MORE MESSES.”  <insert very sad toddler eyes>.  This comes from a mother who has wiped an excessive amount of bottoms and noses and what-not the past four years of her life… and she is tired, and God says in spite of herself, he still wants to use her.

And that makes me want to cry.

Because I am so very, very, very imperfect.

And I’ve believed that God would REALLY, REALLY be able to use me… ONCE I was perfect.

That is not what is actually happening.

Before that it was Wednesday night when I was questioning if anything I was doing in life really mattered and I got a text from a good friend and I felt like Jesus said, this message of encouragement is a reminder from me.  You ARE serving me, what you do matters.  I AM using you.

I feel like God is saying, I am going to use you in the grocery store as a stay-at-home mom, in the preschool drop off’s and pick ups, in the sweeping of the crumbs and the wiping of the noses, in the phone call with a friend and the everyday, ordinary stuff.  

I struggle with the desire to be a REAL writer, and like, full time write.  How dreamy does this sound to me?  VERY.  I see people leaving for work with a briefcase in hand as I drive my kids to preschool and I think, “Wow, what must it BE like to get to wake up and know you get to go work ALL day at something you love?”  Now, that person may have a job they hate, but they get to drive in the car – in silence, if they like, ALL the way to work.  #mycarisneversilent. They get a REAL lunch break #igetup20timespermealtohelpsomeonelittle, and maybe they even have a job they love.  My dream is to someday become a writer, and have that be my REAL job.  To fill out my productivity schedule that I downloaded from the storylineblog.com and actually GET TO DO IT.  I fill it out now, and I’m lucky if no one interrupts me during the 45 minutes I woke up super early for just have time to myself.  I’m trying to get somewhere and go after my goals but I get stymied at 7:45 in the morning until about 8:30 at night.  And if that little genius schedule is right, my brain should only work about 30% to it’s creative capacity by then:-(  But God doesn’t care about brain capacity.

I am a mother and I know I want to be home with my kids, and besides, no one has hired me yet to be a writer, so that also makes things complicated.

So today, my goal for the rest of the day is just to try and serve Jesus in everything I do.  Even though it seems like a job that is not important, and no one says, “hey, I noticed you just spent the last two hours in the kitchen prepping food, giving handouts to little kids, serving a meal and cleaning it all up while kissing boo-boos and refereeing the plasma car race in the backyard, even though you’d rather be writing, putting on makeup, taking a nap, doing pretty much anything else for yourself and not others…”  Well, actually, my husband thanks me ALL the time, but I digress…

Trying to have a good attitude by serving Jesus in smoothie prep

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Serving Jesus in playing trains

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Serving Jesus in cleaning dishes

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Serving Jesus in being an audience to my little girls performances

Look out youtube, this duo sensation is coming to your hit list soon!

And, serving Jesus in writing, currently one of my most favorite ways to serve him.

All I can give him is myself, and although it’s not much, he made man out of dirt, so he’s obviously good at working with what I would see as an general lack of adequate supplies.

Thanks for reading.

banana bread crumbs

(You’ll have to excuse my writing if it sounds funny.  I’ve been reading one of G.K. Chesterson’s fictional novels, and it’s absolutely convoluting my writing style, but I care not, he’s amazing. Try to bear through it, my apologies.)

Earlier this morning, as I was spending my short quiet time reading an article my husband sent me which was explaining in depth a subject in the bible I had earlier in the week asked him about, I had a thought.  The thought was this: why does this read so choppy to me?  Why am I still wanting more breath and depth then this extremely articulate article is providing me?  What am I still missing?  Something feels missing.

This was after at least three interruptions from my son who tiptoed into my room and asked, “Mommy, can I snuggle you?” To which I replied, “in a little bit, when mommy is done reading her bible.”  Then off he went to play trains in his room.

So when I finished off my attempt at quiet time by reading a psalm and the last chapter of 1 John, I prayed and asked the Lord about why that article felt like it was missing something deeper.

And here is unfortunately what he said.  I say unfortunately because it paints me, in my mind as somewhat of a dolt, which I am for obvious reasons, not fond of.

Here’s the word picture.

At first I see crumbs, they are banana bread crumbs, on the ground, under my kitchen table. Now, I have a small toddler living in my home who OFTEN finds in-between meal snacks from the ground, and being that she and the twins are not the cleanest of eaters just yet, it’s not hard for her to do so, so this is a very relatable word picture to me.  So there are crumbs under the table, and in this word picture, when I find a yummy banana bread crumb I eat it and think to myself, “Mmmmm, that’s so good”.  So then I search for another one, and find it and eat it. Sometimes they are small, sometimes they are a bigger type of crumb, but always they are crumbs.  Then, I see lots of people eating at a table, but I am still under it, so it’s just lots of legs and feet, and crumbs falling here and there.  Every time a crumb falls, I am super quick to grab it and eat it.  In a way, scamper about on all fours, waiting for crumbs to fall and gobbling them up.

So I asked Jesus, “What?!  I know that I’m a Gentile and all that and crumbs are for the dogs ect… but we’re in the New Testament times, like all of us have access to God, so why the crumbs analogy?  How come I’m not sitting at the table like the other people eating a WHOLE piece of banana bread, in a restful and peaceful, relaxed state?  Like one of your kids?  Why do I have to hustle for all the crumbs that fall?”

And here we go…

He showed me that I am accustomed to filing myself up with other peoples crumbs.  I have become very good at it.  So, I’m not hungry, but I have to dart from here to there to get enough to eat, scampering about on all fours (Glollum style).  I am definitely not sitting, nor at rest enjoying a meal or snack at the table as was intended.

And do you know what the crumbs are?  God’s truth, his word, from other people.  Here is what I tend to do in real life: I hop from this author to the next, to this blog to the next, from that sermon to this bible study, to that encouraging word posted on fb.  Then onto the inspiration video and back into a book on how God loves us.  I jump.  I jump from here to there to everywhere to hear all about God, his truth, his word and having someone else illuminate scripture FOR ME.  I’m eating their God inspired crumbs and they are delicious, but they are only a crumb of what I could have.

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Why?  Because it’s easier to read an inspirational blog full of truth in five minuets while I stand in the hallway waiting for the laundry to be done washing, while intermittently making sure the kids aren’t getting into something they shouldn’t, breaking something, or breaking each other.

I know it takes time to read God’s word and have it illuminated.  Because until this word picture, I thought I’d done it a few times.  And perhaps I have, but that’s not my habit that is for sure.  My habit is to be filled up on Saturday by the worship and message, then read this book on Sunday, that blog on a Tuesday when I’m feeling down about motherhood or busyness or whatever and top it off with a chapter on Friday about holiness.  All in between are brief moments in scripture where I actually read the bible myself and then move right along onto the next thing.  Not often taking time to ponder, to pray to seek God and actually ASK for insight regarding what I’ve read.

And like I said, all those things are good, but they don’t make a meal.  None of those things are bad in themselves, but collectively, if they begin to override my quiet time with God, if I am so accustomed to quickly hearing God’s truth from a scripture that someone else has shared, then I am indeed in a not-so-good place.

Perhaps I am wearing myself out hopping from one thing to the next, seeking deep and meaningful truth (AND a RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD) from other peoples relationship from God, in five minute segments.

Which is why I say it does not paint me in the brightest of lights.

I don’t stand up and sit at the table because that is work.  Apparently I think it’s easier to stay on the ground and spot crumbs.  I’m quick, it’s fast and and I’m good at it.  But here’s the thing. If I’d just stand up on my big girl legs and go to the table, and then SIT STILL, I might get a whole piece to myself, to enjoy slowly over time and really appreciate it for what it is, and in turn, get to enjoy being at the table like one of God’s kids.

But I’m rarely sitting still physically, and now I’ve grown accustomed to not sitting still spiritually.  In my energetic quest to move onto the next insight, I’ve lost the real idea, which is to sit and ponder and seek God, on my own, one-on-one with him.  Not to find the next book, or the next blog to fill me up.

I get that these are all excuses, but somehow I’ve allowed how most of my day is: full of interruptions, bursts of activity, making meals, breaking up fights and teaching kindness, selflessness and love all filtered through tired eyes just wanting a moment of quiet and peace. All of that I’ve allowed to change how I interact with God.  I’m interacting with him the same way I interact with myself, always searching for a crumb of quiet time to myself, or a crumb of sitting down, or a crumb of writing or even a crumb of a hot meal eaten all in one sitting.

That may sound like complaining and it totally is.  The fact is, my life is different.  Often times my son comes sneaking into my room WELL before my natural clock wants to be awake and well before my brain is awake enough to have a thought or moment with God.

Sitting down with my bible and a pen in the late morning over coffee is a distant fond memory from the past.  And although I say I don’t have time, maybe if I even tried just turning to the bible in all those little moments, instead of turning to insightful blogs, books or sermons, I might learn to tune into God even in the hectic.

God’s not surprised that I do one-thousand little things all day, never sitting down.  He’s not surprised that I don’t wake up and have leisurely coffee with him in the morning, because we both full well know that means him waking me up at 4 in the morning, something I only do when it happens to happen.  I never intentionally wake at 4 am.

However, that doesn’t mean that I need to get my fill through other peoples crumbs about him.

Sometimes I’m tempted to think about how nice it will be when the kids are off and away at college, and I’ll get to wake up on my own when the sun rises and drink coffee and read my bible in peace and quiet.  I start to think about how nice it will be to have time to iron something and then wear it, without worrying someone will snot on it and then all my time (which is currently so precious) was wasted on one hour of ironed shirt wearing glory only to be taken out by 9am and switched for a sweatshirt.

But then I remember, THIS is where God has called me.  Right here in the middle of twenty-two thousand interruptions, in the middle of wearing leggings and long sweaters everyday because they are black and wash easy.  In the middle of half-eaten meals interrupted by “I’m done or more please!”  In the middle of being so exhausted by 8:30pm that I gladly crawl into my bed if only to forget about the long day and relish the sweet parts as I drift off to sleep.

What I’m saying is that if I have the energy to scamper and jump to each crumb, then I can muster the self discipline to SIT STILL before him and trust that he will bring me a big warm slice of banana bread if I just sit at the table and wait.  Other peoples crumbs are nice, delicious even, but they always leave me pining for the real thing.  A whole piece to myself, enjoyed at the table like one of his kids.

So, although there are many good things to be read out there, and I’ve already downloaded 12 free Beth Moore books on my Kindle, I’m going to take a bit of a break, and start to let some of what I’ve read in the bible, during my own “quiet time” begin to sink in.  And in all those little moments when I’m searching for a crumb throughout my day, I’m instead going to let my mind rest, and think about what God is already teaching me, in his word.

As always, thanks for reading!

an actual example of grace, like… in real life

Here’s an interesting story. The other day, I sat outside in our beautiful backyard, enjoying the sunshine as my older daughter swam in the pool, and my youngest daughter jumped in the trampoline.

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Notice the trampoline in the background.  Mind blowing photography.

My son and husband had just left to get semi-matching father/son haircuts (which I think is adorable).

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When styled, it looks like his dad’s. But that only happens on church days 😉
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Thanks for posing for me babe!

Back to the yard.  As I’m flipping through a magazine, I glance over at my youngest who was moments ago was happily bouncing on the trampoline in just a diaper.

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Pre-jump attire, boots and all!

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And here is where the story goes from happy everyday to miraculous.  But it’s a rough go, so give it a chance.

As I look now, to my horror, I watch my 18 month old bounce high in the trampoline, somehow, right through the open zipper part of the netting, and land DIRECTLY on her head (no hands, no feet to “help” in this fall) and then make a second BOUNCE right into the pool, face down, straight into the shallow (18 inch shelf) part of the water.

She missed the stair.

My heart leaps out of my throat.

She is face down, arms out, legs out in the shallow water.

At this point I am already running across the shelf to get to her. She’s been facedown in the water for maybe three to four seconds.  I knew as I was about to grab her that it wasn’t too long to be facedown in the water.  I knew when she gasped for air as I picked up her body that she wasn’t drowning.

As her wet, shaky body soaked my shirt, I just held her while she cried.  I held her against my body and began to pray.  I prayed fervently, in the Spirit, I prayed and prayed.  I didn’t have real words.  I just said things out loud in a hurried whisper to the Lord, asking Him to intervene.

She stopped crying after maybe 12 seconds.  She’s cried longer over us not letting her put on her shoes.

My older daughter decides she ready to get out of the pool.  I pull back my youngest to examine her head.  I notice a purple bump starting to form.  I am familiar with this type of bump that shoots out immediately, my son had one awhile back and it was shocking how fast that part of his head could make a mini black and blue golf ball appear out of his skull.

I realize I need to get something cold on her head immediately.  I get my older daughter into a towel and head inside, hoping I have some frozen vegetables in the freezer.

That was a huge fall. Not only did she fall OUT of the trampoline (at least a good two feet), she then took a second and bounced off the concrete INTO the pool hard enough to miss the stair.

HOW does that happen?  WHY does this happen?

I get a bag of peas.  I try to lay her down and put the peas on her head.  She starts to scream, she is not having any of it. I get a second frozen bag of vegetables, and let her play with the cold corn while she sits in my lap.  She lets me put the peas on her head for maybe five or ten seconds before swatting the away.  I continue to pray.

I send my oldest upstairs to go play trains by herself.  She protests a bit.  It is only at this point she realizes I’m serious, and her eyes get big for a second.  It registers.  Mom is not joking.

I give the baby a few more minuets of frozen peas intervals until she decides she’s done with that.  I take her upstairs to get dressed, at least she needs some clothes.  As I lay her down to examine her head again, the bump looks smaller, and less purple, and more pink.  I question if I’m imagining things.  I decide I’m not and continue praying.

I check her pupil dilation, I look for any sign of distress, anything that is not normal.  She decides she wants to play with her older sister.  I let her, and continue to keep a hand on her (as much as she will let me) and pray.  I pray and pray.

I ask God to please make up for my huge failings as a mother, to intervene on my behalf, for my baby.  I remind the Lord that He loves her.  That He loves her more than I do.  I begin to calm down internally, a bit.  I remember that He loves her more then I do.

The scriptures in Matthew about sparrows and the number of hairs on our head rush through my mind.  I mix them into one in confusion:

Matthew 10:29-31″What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

So, God knows when the sparrow falls, He knows when my youngest falls.  He knows the hairs on my daughters head… she is valuable.

6:26-27 “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

She is valuable to God.  He will intercede for her if it is in accordance with His will.  I beg Him that it is His will.

We go downstairs.

She eats a huge dinner.

She belches loudly with satisfaction after throwing some food on the ground.

This is my typical youngest. I sigh a momentarily sigh of relief.

I keep checking her head.  The bump resembles a bump you’d have after a fall a few days prior.  It looks light, and although there is still a bit of blue hue to the center, there is a tinge of green and then pink around that.  It is almost completely flat.  I am in wonder and still a bit of confusion.

My husband comes home.  He looks at me like I’ve seen a ghost.  I am emotionally unavailable. I’m still in shock that the entire thing happened.  He looks at Ellie and can’t even find the bump the first time he checks.  I make him look again and point it out.  He’s too relaxed about the whole incident.  I recount all the details, with “CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED?”

He can.  He said kids fall all the time.  He said I prayed and God listened, and healed her. Simple enough.

I am still in shock.  I want to hold my baby, but she will have none of it.  She wants to run around and play.  After awhile, we put her to bed.  I check on her hourly.

In all fairness, I feel like we deserve to be in an emergency room.  I feel like I live in some other reality where things are not as they should be. I am confused and am trying to find myself in a place of extreme grace.  A place of close calls.  A place with sighs of relief.

I’m trying to get a grip on what actually happened.

What actually happened is that my youngest hit her head very hard, she then went under water.  What happened is I was right there to grab her out of the water.  What happened is that her head did not swell up, like it probably should have.  What happened is that was almost a week ago, and she is still her complete self, her small bruise is gone.

The laws of physics say my daughter should have had a serious head injury.  Possibly something worse.  The laws of physics say a lot of things that don’t match up with the bible. Sometimes God operates outside of the laws of physics.  Outside the laws of man. Sometimes He does things through us that we cannot do on our own.

All of this occurred a few days before the end of our 40 day fast.  A few days before the worship, prayer and healing night at our church.  Both my husband and I had volunteered to go and pray for others that night, to pray for healing; the spiritual, emotional and even physical kind. I was a firm believer of the first two, but a little bit skeptical of the last.  I knew God could heal people with Jesus in the old times bible days, but today?  In America?  Maaaaaybe.

I witnessed a miracle right before my very own eyes. When I prayed, I did believe He could heal her.  I had been talking to God so much during the fast, that I knew He could hear me, I didn’t doubt that.  I also knew that He could heal her if it was in His will, so I prayed very much that it would be.

I say all of this to remind myself, that sometimes God does miracles.  He does them in the suburbs of America, with a stay at home mom and baby, and a crappy (my fault) set up of trampoline next to pool catastrophe.

He gives us miracles we don’t deserve because He loves us, and doing so will bring us closer to knowing more of Him.  Doing so will tell another beautiful part of the Greater Story going on.

Sometimes He allows us to go through difficult times, and says no, or not yet to a miracle, because He loves us and doing so will benefit us in the long run and will be another beautiful detail in Greater Story going on.

All of this reminds me that although I am but a very, very, very small piece of sand in this huge coastline of life, my requests are still important.

I am still important.

I am still important to the One who is the MOST Important.

And you are too.

He loves you.

Thanks for reading.

Hot Dog Stand

So occasionally the Lord speaks to me.  It’s not an audible voice.  It’s almost always a picture in my mind, followed (usually) an explanation of what it means and clarification for whom the Word is for.  That may sound crazy-timez to you.  But that’s okay.

In 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, the Aposotle Paul gives the deets on the different kinds of spiritual gifts.  He lists off quite a few, some of them being the, “the message of wisdom, message of knowledge, faith, and prophecy.”

Anyways, like I said, occasionally God speaks to me.  He will totally speak to you too if you ask Him.  For reals.

When I was in fourth grade, I started reading the bible.  I would read four chapters a day, because that’s what my mom did, so I thought that’s what all christians did.  I don’t even do this now, but how cool was my fourth grade year?  In fact I read four chapters a day for about ten years.  In fourth grade I learned that King Solomon was the richest dude in all the land.  I thought that sounded nice.  Plus he saved babies by not cutting them in half (1 Kings 3:16-28 for that CAH-Razy story).  I thought he was pretty legit, so I decided to do what he did so I could become like him.  So, I asked God for wisdom.  I think I prayed this every day for over a year.  I wanted to be awesome too.  What I really wanted was God’s blessing on my life, in in my fourth grade mind that meant riches and saving babies.

All I’m saying is that if you ask God for something that He wants to give you, He’s going to follow through on it.  I believe He gave me wisdom because I asked for it, and He continues to give me info that is wise, because I keep asking for it and believing that He will tell me what I need to know.

(super side note: right now my children are suppos-to be sleeping for naps, my son currently is mimicking a howler monkey from his bed… but I digress)

Like I was saying, sometimes when I ask God about something, He gives me a word picture answer in prayer.  Like instantly.

Today he gave me a hot dog stand.  I thought it applicable to anyone who is an attempted overachiever, type A, or grasper of control in any form (be it sock organization or world domination, either way)

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So, I can’t guarantee that this word is for you, since I was asking Him about me, but you can pray on it and decide for yo-self.  There just might be truth in it for you.

Here’s the word:

Picture a hot dog stand in some chill city (like Seattle or San Diego), with a lady running the stand.  Everyone that comes up to the stand is on vacation or lunch break, so they are feeling pretty chill.  They are here to get their tasty food, and then walk on to enjoy the sights or whatever.  There’s even a section on the stand for mustard, ketsup, relish and napkins.  KUH-Lassie.

The weird part is, the lady running the hot dog stand thinks she is running a restaurant, like – be seated by the host, sit down and order, pay a tip kind of place.  With chairs.

She keeps trying to get relaxed vacationers to sit in lawn chairs in an organized fashion on the street.  She can’t imagine why they won’t listen and are so chill about just moving on.  She’s stressin’ about details that aren’t even real!  And people are sorta wondering what her deal is.

I am totally that hot dog stand lady.

Perhaps my poor husband and kids are my customers in crazy town, confused by why I won’t just serve them a dog with a smile, keep the ketchup dispenser clean and chill out to enjoy my easy job.

Compared to running a restaurant, a hot dog stand (I would imagine) is a cinch!  Hot dog stand lady is making her life way more work then it needs to be, she should just chill out, serve some tasty dogs and read a magazine, or listen to music while she waits out the lull between customers.  Then close up shop around 2pm and head on home.  No floors to sweep or anything!

Here is how this word applies to me, and perhaps has some relevance for you (or hopefully not and you’ve already got this):

God keeps reminding me, when I get stressed in my mom/wife/homemaker world to just chill.  I tell Him I will chill once everything is done.  Everything being: laundry, clean house, budget organized, all house projects completed, not a spec of dust anywhere – not even in the garage, everything in it’s place, children are now perfect and do not scream like howler monkeys during their nap time, et-cetera…)

So, that will never happen.  But I try to make it happen.  Every day.  And I get NO WHERE.  Actually, that’s not true, I VISIT CRAZY TOWN.  And I totally drive myself there, probably with a gps and printed directions and a best time to beat with no traffic and stoplights.  It’s insane.  And expensive.  It cost me my joy.  It makes me grouchy.  Like public restroom with twin toddlers grouchy (post coming on that soon to even out this seriousness).

Someone help me.

God is helping me.  I need to let Him.

You know what’s super sad?  This is my fast.  Our church is doing a 40 day fast in preparation for a Prayer and Healing Night in September and I felt like the Lord asked me to fast my agenda, and the idea that I can or should accomplish everything under the sun in one day, when I’m responsible for three little humans all day.  And when I don’t I feel like a HUGE fail.  So it’s like a fail fast.

The fast He put before me has no boxes to check either, and you know how much that bothers me?  SO MUCH.  How will I know I did it if there isn’t a box to check off at the end of the day?  Ahhhh!!!  I will have to check-in with Him instead.  In fact, I’ll have to be checking in with Him all throughout the day as I surrender over all the little moments I try to run a restaurant from a hot dog stand.

So, I am fasting “being a crazy hot dog stand lady”.  At least now it’s clear and has a catchy title.

I will update you on how awesome my life becomes when I start serving hot dogs  and stop trying to run a restaurant on the street.

Thanks for reading.