Grab a Snickers

“Unless we make it a habit to give thanks, we habitually give our family grief”

Ann Voskamp

 

I hate when something is my fault, unless it is a good thing, but we tend to only throw blame for the bad.

 

Part of the reason this year has been so messy is my fault. I’ve given my family, my husband, my parents, a lot of grief in the form of madness.

 

Of exhausted irritation coupled with not eating well (think snickers commercial).

I have skewed visions of myself and unrealistic expectations and crazy food guilt, thrown into an emotional roller coaster of a year. Of a life .

Part of living a life of faith is believing I am a daughter of God, dearly beloved and that my body is His dwelling place; an earthly vessel, an earthly temple to carry His love around.

I criticize His craftsmanship a lot, I’m not happy with His home hardly ever. It can’t be pleasing to His ears or heart. And it certainly isn’t beneficial for any of my relationships. Yet it’s a continual struggle that creeps in me… being unhappy with myself and taking it out on others. Those closest, who can handle it.

But I’m accepting the blame, and choosing joy, choosing the snickers.

Choosing to be the happy mom over the uber fit mom, and even the confession scares me.

It will be a daily struggle, the perspective is key, their smiles motivation.

-J

My Soul Waits

My soul is quiet and waits for God alone. He is the One Who saves me. – Psalms 62:1 

My soul is quiet and waits for God alone. My hope comes from Him. – Psalm 62:5 

I have been in fixer mode, in saver mode – it’s just my nature.  However, I have been trying desperately to focus on the truth that this is an impossible task.  I am not the fixer or the saver.  That doesn’t mean I don’t help,  assist, and support, but I am not responsible for fixing and I am not capable of it.

So, my soul is quiet and waits for God alone.  This doesn’t mean I am alone, but that God alone is the one who can save us.  God alone is the one with whom all of our hope dwells.  

I love the poetry of this Psalm in the repetition.  These two sentences are just a few verses apart, but I like them together.  My soul is quiet and waits for God alone.  My hope comes from Him because he is ONLY One who saves me…repeatedly, daily, when I don’t deserve it (and He is the only one who will save those I love).
Sometimes I forget my inadequacies somehow and try to do more than I am able.  So, this was a good and timely reminder of where hope and salavation truly lies.

  • S

I’m sitting in the pitch black drinking coffee. Feeling like some sort of Wonder Woman for sneaking down and back without waking the kids on squeaky stairs.

Wondering how honest to be.

I’m in a spot. A hormonal spot yes, a chemically imbalanced spot. And it’s fairly new territory for me. The exhaustion is familiar; the tears I could do without. Feeling like I just can’t get a grip. Like I just need to get out from under it; yet I can’t. The anxiety, the unreasonable sadness.

This baby I’m scared I won’t have time for. With two already very emotionally high maintenance children; I only have two arms.

All the guilt. Flooding me until it doesn’t feel like swimming. The ocean I love is just waves and I’m barely treading.

My Chris is away after months home. I’m in a new, unpacked, unfinished home. And Shauna isn’t down here yet. The loneliness of a big old house haunts me. And my kids yearn for Mimi and Papa’s. For the familiar and it breaks me every time.

And I don’t know what to do. I’m still barely treading. The unshowered, food wearing momma breaking down in walmart.

And I’m reminded and remind myself, this too shall pass.

“God has set before each of us our own race of faith that we must run. It’s not a quick sprint or an easy jog to the finish line. It is more like a marathon. And it will require intense strength, commitment, sacrifice, and discipline. Our lives of faith and mine will require real endurance.

Endurance is the ability to bear prolonged hardship. It is the determination to keep moving forward at a steady, unyielding pace.” (first five)

And this rings true. I must keep feeding my soul with what feeds it. I must keep treading until the waves subside, and when I grow faint take the hand that’s holding me already.

I get to decide what’s holy and what’s mundane living. If Legos and hotwheels and ants and box shuffling is my mind numbing, soul churning, lonely life while Chris is away. Or Gods pre designed plan for my life. My loving ability to pour into my kids God-love in a language they know, to pour into Chris God-love via a holy wife and mother while he’s away.

While pregnant I can’t start new meds to help balance. To take away the daily breakdowns. I barely take Tylenol despite doctors ‘okay.’ So I must find coping skills for these hormones I’m drowning in. And even if my pace is slow, peanut butter turtle slow, I’ll keep moving. Keep smiling at the babes I adore. And take comfort in the God who gave me this blessed and sometimes burden-filled life.

The God who knows me inside and out and will see me through it. Even if that means taking my hand to my parents’ for the night.

And this too shall pass. And it’s ok to feel all these things. And it’s ok to talk about it. Maybe it’s pregnancy. Maybe it’s depression. Maybe it’s both and I’m bad at transitions and being alone.

But I’m not alone. Not ever. And if I’m feeling that way, I’m not rooted where I ought to be.

Be it God or family.

  • J

So You Had a Bad Day

Life is hard a lot, but that doesn’t mean it is bad.  Sometimes we subscribe to the false illusion that life should be easy, and, if it’s not, then it is bad and/or unfair.

Life isn’t going to be easy or fair.  If God promises anything besides our salvation through Jesus Christ, it is that we will face (at least) hardship and frustration  in this life – but that’s part of what makes His grace and salvation so much sweeter.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. – James 1:2-3

This easy to say, but hard to remember in the moment.

IMG_4044Monday, I blew a tire – like you hear a noise and check to see if a piece of your car fell off on the road because it was so loud blew a tire.  I didn’t have a spare and it was pouring rain. I sat in Lowe’s parking lot for about 2 hours waiting for a tow truck.

During that wait, I did what any mature, self-respecting 29 year old professional would…I talked to my mom on the phone while crying uncontrollably.

I am self-admittedly pulled really tight right now when it comes to emotion, stress, and tension.  This one unexpected thing happening while my main support team is about 150 miles away was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

the-straw-that-broke-the-camels-back
found at https://clairehendyuk.wordpress.com/

So, 1 totally shot tire, 1 tow, 30 hours, 1 blue rental car, 2 new tires, several hundred dollars later, and the Holy Spirit calling me to task…

I can recognize that this wasn’t bad – it was just life.  God blessed me in several ways throughout the process.  It happened in an area I knew well and was safe.  Every single person I interacted with in the process was so friendly and pleasant.  All the professionals I dealt with talked to me with respect (too often I find I am talked to condescendingly  as if I can’t handle technical terms because I am a woman).  I had been building up savings ~ so I didn’t have to worry about paying it.

It was a temporary 1st world problem. God’s blessings abound in the midst of this.  Every challenge offers an opportunity to grow and trust God.  I just find this harder for some reason in the small, seemingly mundane problems of life.

This world is temporary, just like the problems of the is world.  That doesn’t make it easier in the moment, but hopefully it helps give us more perspective and helps us keep our eyes and spirit upward.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but – what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:18

And hopefully next time, I can handle the next “life” problem (not bad) with a little more grace.

-S

News Flash

I’m not always thrilled about being pregnant. I don’t glow; I don’t love it; I don’t revel in staying up late to baby kicks, or being up 3x a night to pee. I don’t enjoy the utter exhaustion or nausea all day.

I do respect the miraculous things happening inside. And I do think it’s awesome that an entire human can grow in me. And I’m thrilled to be able to carry and deliver my babies.

But I hate pregnancy. And this one wasn’t planned. I wanted 3-4 kids, then wrapped my head firmly around two. Donated basically ALL our baby gear, then found out God had a different plan.

One including a pregnancy in the middle of moving. With a very high maintenance toddler and infant.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this baby already. It takes one blue line and my maternal instincts are in over drive. I am momma bear and not ashamed to have them be my life.

photo.PNGBut I am tired. And I dislike pregnancy. I hate the hormones. The acne. The mood swings. The food aversions. The body swelling. The weight issues. I even dislike other pregnant woman who glow and go on and on about the wonders and magic of pregnancy. Who think some of us are just complainers.

News flash. It’s not like that for all of us. Pregnancy sucks for some.

Some of us are just miserable for 9 months, and we don’t have to pretend otherwise. We don’t have to appease your views of how we should feel or express those feelings.

And that doesn’t make us weak or less female or ungrateful. It’s makes us a hungry, tired, swollen momma. Who isn’t afraid to express it.

  • J

X Marks the Spot

“and the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reasons os many cannot see the red x that marks the spot is because we are standing on it…All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need.  The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.” – Barbara Brown Taylor in An Altar in the World

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from http://www.timvandevall.com/

Wow.  I have been so guilty of this – assuming God’s plan to use me fully must require distance.  I have operated on the idea that the treasure map of faith was leading to an X far away – surely it couldn’t be here.

However, the truth of the matter is that the X that marks the spot of God’s mission field is ALWAYS right beneath our feet.

“The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.”

Oh, how I struggle with this- in almost every possible connotation.  I struggle with being just me, just where I am.  I am always looking forward, planning, hoping, fearing.  It is something I really need to work  – consent to being where I am.  There is a balance in finding this consent (and contentedness) and stagnation.  I always try so hard to avoid the stagnation, I sometimes forget just to exist where I am, when I am.

So, here’s to trying to just be.  God loves us where we are and for who we are.  He wants to use us now as we are and where we are…We just have to pull on our pirate gear and get to work being His hands and feet…right now, right where are.

-S

Earth: what if some bad people, some terrorists even, are hiding among the good, down trodden refugees?

Heaven: yes, but what if some are good?

 

Isaiah 65:8  “But I will not destroy them all,” says the Lord. “For just as good grapes are found among a cluster of bad ones (and someone will say don’t throw them all away –some of those grapes are good) so I will not destroy all Israel”

It’s funny how quickly we, as Americans, turn to gloom and doom and fear and evil. Us, who have been given every advancement the first world has to offer.

And I’m singing an old Disney song to calm my bug down and I can’t help but wonder how many refugee moms are doing the same (maybe not Disney).

But under totally different circumstances.earthly logic

“many nights we’ve prayed with no proof anyone could hear, in our hearts a hopeful song we barely understood. But we are not afraid although we know there’s much to fear…”

And I find it impossible to believe there aren’t good people among the refugees… Among the children, among the women, among the men.

 

And repeatedly Jesus tells us if His entire flock is safe but one is in danger, He will and does actively pursue that one.

One is worth it to him.

  • J