Courage + Grace

MY COURAGE KEY

I remember the day I received my MOPS packet and saw the Courage key. Honestly, my first thought was that it was weird, really weird. The key came with two notes. The first note described the idea behind The Giving Keys – to hold onto your key, to embrace and own that word, and then give it to someone else to encourage them. It sounds beautiful, and it truly is. But when I first read the note, I honestly thought it was strange. I was pretty certain I would not be giving this key to anyone. And looking back, I wasn’t in the same place I am now. I hadn’t yet embraced this new life since our move. I hadn’t yet understood all that God had in store for me. (And really, I still don’t. But I am trusting Him more.)

The second note was this one:

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Ummm, let’s hold on for a second. I’m a stay at home mom. My day consists of making lunches/snacks, getting everyone up, getting the littles ready, making sure everyone is dressed/went to the bathroom/ate breakfast…, driving to 3 different schools, going back to 2 of the schools, making lunches, getting littles down for naps, some homework time with the older 2, making dinner, running errands, doing laundry, cleaning the house…you get the picture. There’s not much in there that requires courage or bravery. Sanity – yes. Patience – yes. Courage and Bravery – not so much, right?
However, I do, and always have, believed motherhood is changing the world. It is impactful and important. I tear up thinking about the ways I KNOW God will use my children. I know that with each word I speak, I am making an influence on them. I did not realize just how much of an impact it makes on me, as well.

After reading this “telegram,” with the courage key tucked inside, I quickly stuffed it in a little used drawer. You know, that principle – if I don’t see something, it no longer exists? My 1 year old fully lives by this principle. For example, in this picture, he is now 100% invisible.

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Truth

 FEAR ANXIETY WORRY
Last week, I attended my church’s MOPS night. My friend, Dr. Zach Sikora spoke on anxiety, fear, and worry. I like to think that I don’t worry very much. I don’t deal with anxiety or fear. But as he spoke, I took my notes. I thought about how I have seen worry and anxiety in others and even in my life…before. Not now. As our table discussed how fear impacts our lives, I continued to think that I have this area covered. Perhaps not perfectly casting aside worry and fear, but it is not a habit.
Still, I decided to reflect. I got quiet. I knew God had something for me in this. I knew because, one of Zach’s points was on remembering God’s past faithfulness as a way of combating worry. Whenever I hear something repeatedly, I know God is asking me to keep listening, He’s telling me there’s still more. I just wrote about thankfulness and the act of remembering on my last post, I read about it in a book, and heard a sermon discussing this. So I knew I needed to stop and reflect. To really listen. To be still. 
NOT ENOUGH
I slowly started to realized that there is something in my life. I fight the tension of being a ‘good enough mom.’ I fear that my ‘not enough,’ my humanness is the cause of my sweet boy-child’s delays. I wrote about this a few weeks ago, here. I honestly thought I had moved past this, onto a new lesson. I understand it. I KNOW the truth. I KNOW I am chosen to be Sweet Boy-Child’s mom. I KNOW that I did not cause his delays. I KNOW that he is perfectly and wonderfully made. I do. Truly, I do.

But somewhere, I don’t. Somewhere, in the dark corners, truth gets lost. Lies seep in. They whisper to me. And somewhere the truth gets crowded out. And I forget. And I wonder. I give the lies time and space. I give them life. I have to choose to confront those lies. To speak truth back to them. To remember the truth that I have learned. And instead of pushing them back to a dark corner, I need to actually confront them, fight them, and win.

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The Journey

I had today’s post all figured out. My husband and I surprised my 2 eldest children with a Winter Weekend Road Trip! There is something about the freedom of a road trip that just speaks to my heart. My soul sang; my heart ran free with arms wide open as I drove my family up north. It was what we were designed to do, to be. FREE, full of JOY. No wonder my heart and soul longed for it so! And rejoiced when I found it – I was FREE!

But then today, I re-entered life. And my soul got bogged down. My heart grew heavy. And I realize, now, that I cannot write about the freedom in the open road. Not right now. It wouldn’t be honest. Or real. It would be planned.

Instead, I am going to share a piece of my heart. A glimpse into my journey with my sweet boy-child. This journey is difficult and beautiful all at once and I pray that it finds you, that it speaks to you, and that you find encouragement from it.

MY SWEET BOY-CHILD

Today I had an appointment for my sweet boy-child. His role in our family is: child 3, lego-lover, sister’s friend, cuddle-giver, and screamer. He is a sign of GRACE to me each and every day. His beautiful smile can make anyone’s heart melt, and it frequently does mine. He also is a special needs child. At the age of 2, he was diagnosed with Developmental Delay. (Early intervention began our assistance for Sweet Boy-Child. The growth he had in the year of EI, was amazing. Please, if you live in Illinois, please take a few minutes to write to your state representative to save Early Intervention!)

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