Do the Hard Work

WHERE I WAS

This is our last week of school and the week before we leave for vacation…so naturally my to-do list is gigantic. I was excited to actually shower this morning and thought the day was off to an amazing start. I envisioned excess time, smiles as we worked, and even the wildlife helping out. You know. Cinderella style.

Work Hard

Seriously, I was delirious.

Instead, I got nothing accomplished and had to put myself in a time-out. As I sat thinking about my heart, I was feeling terrible. I had been scolding my daughter. The one that wants to help me clean and prep for our trip. Why?  Because she wouldn’t stop talking so I could think. I get it. I’m the same way. But now the tables had turned and I was annoyed.

Instead, I sat. Accomplished nothing. Too overwhelmed to move forward.

TODAY

Today, it’s crunch time. Seriously. I have a lot of work to do. And instead of feeling overwhelmed, I feel motivated. Excited to begin. I can see the future, what is coming, what I am preparing for. And it looks wonderful!

Do you have those days, too? The days that seem like there is too much work. Too much mess. And you can’t see the glory in it. The wonder. The beauty that will come from it.

If you do (because you are a human!), I want to encourage you. Press on, dear friend. Keep moving forward. Seek where God is moving and follow. Walk on. Do the hard work. Sow the seeds. And then be prepared to rejoice.

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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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Rejoice

Today has been a hard day. A long day. And still somewhere in there, a beautiful day.

We had my sweet boy-child’s third appointment. It was a hard appointment. He didn’t want to do the testing anymore. He didn’t want the rewards. He just wanted to go home.

At the end of the appointment, the neuropsychologist did some free play with Sweet Boy-Child. It was sweet and he loved it. The hard part came when I was asked how often we free play. With 4 littles and especially, Baby Boy, around, it’s almost impossible to play without being interrupted or the play destroyed. All ending with Boy-Child screaming.

I Am Not Enough

Realizing, or rather, remembering my human-ness was hard. Is hard. I cannot and never will be able to be everything for my children, my family. While that is usually okay, today it was hard. Did my human-ness somehow fail my son? I know it didn’t, deep down, I do. I know he is beautifully and wonderfully made. But in the stillness, in the quiet corners of my mind, my heart, I wonder. I cry.

I am thankful that in those moments, I have a community of women that lift me up. That pray for me. That talk with me. That remind me, that I am Sweet Boy-Child’s mom. I was CHOSEN. They remind me that I am a good mom. But most importantly, they pick me up and point me back to the One who is enough.

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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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