In the Boring Stuff

“Motherhood is the hardest assignment I’ve ever been given and the most extraordinary life that exists.” Brooke McGothlin

 

extraordinary: very unusable or remarkable

 

exceptional, amazing, astonishing, astounding, stunning, incredible, unbelievable…

 

This journey I am on.

 

I find it highly interesting that the word best used to describe my life (motherhood) is extraordinary.

 

Extra + ordinary.

 

And so many of my days are so incredibly extra (super) ordinary, and mundane and repetitive.

 

So ordinary that if you blink you miss the magic, and another same day with the same shows has repeated itself.

 

It’s a work, a discipline in training the mind to see the magic. To see Christ in the dishes. To see the holy work in the laundry, and the kisses, and the spilled messes.

 

If you blink too long, you miss the EXTRAordinary parts –

 

The extra cuddles after long naps or crankies,

 

The extra help cleaning up,

 

The extra minutes of water play,

 

The extra I love yous, followed with extra puppy kisses.,

 

The extra warmth in your bed, only noticed by its absence,

 

The extra nudge to slow down and look down and notice the ordinary in a new lens,

 

The extra nudge to notice the flutterby (butterfly) on the flowers,

 

And the extra cake and snacks,

boring-stuff

And syrup forever being associated with chubby baby Nici hands.

 

These are the moments of an extraordinary life. They aren’t flashy and well groomed and held in high esteem by society. They are what make a life worth living though.

 

And they are what make memories, the big things come and go; we are left with the day to day. The days make a life.

  • J

 

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Another Left Turn

left_turn_only_by_awetumjoygasmI have been praying faithful for God’s will.  Over the past five years, I have learned over and over again that God’s will is always the step I don’t see coming.

God blesses us in ways we don’t see coming when we act in faithfulness and give up the reins of control.  His plan is deeper and better than mine can ever be.  His contains wisdom and longterm vision that I don’t possess.

So, I keep taking each step with the comfort in the knowledge and belief that He knows better than I.  After all He has said..

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

The key is to be patient and not get in the way of God’s plan.  Don’t think I know better or think what God is asking is impossible or ridiculous and try to make my own path or solution.  (For a warning on how that can turn out, check out Sarai’s story in Genesis 16)

This still rings true.  In the last week, God has taken me on a major left turn that I didn’t see coming.  You know what?  It is yet again proof that His hand in my life is way better than when my hands are in control.

His blessings (especially the ones that come out of left field) are so humbling and continue to remind me that I have  a Father who loves me, a Father who goes before me, a Father who has a plan for me, and a Father to whom I owe my soul.

  • S

Light in the Dark

If you are walking in darkness without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.- Isaiah 50:10

Perhaps this sounds a bit melodramatic, especially since spring has sprung here. Birds are chirping, daffodils blooming, and trees budding.

And I have no earthly clue where I will be living in a week or even a month. I have no clue what to tell my two year old when he says he wants to go to HIS house. And that’s a big deal.

Yet, I do know where we are welcome and safe and loved. And that’s a big deal as well.

light in darkAnd so there are rays of
light-  when walking in faith there is always light.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it. John 1:5

So I walk on, keep faith, and fear not.
And count my blessings- the rays of light, everyday.

Because everyday, even amongst the unknown, there are rays of light, and that is the Easter story.

Light- despite darkness.

  • J

Blessings Accumulation

“ Every time we feel satisfied with what we have, we can be counted as rich, however little we may actually possess” Alain De Botton

I have a slight obsession these days with de cluttering, organizing, reorganizing, decorating, redecorating, donating, simplifying…

Some would call it nesting, but there’s no denying I also do this when I’m not pregnant and grasping for more order, more control in my life. Surely moving the sofa across the room and adding a bookshelf with some baskets will bring internal peace, right?!

I guess in many ways this correlation between rearranging my home and control is a good thing because turning to controlling my eating is second nature.

I like order. I also enjoy controlled chaos. I like it woven together to my liking in bold color chunks, well designed for optimal use.

blessing accumulation1I’m supremely good at cleaning out cupboards, boxes, shelves, closets…I place very little emotional value on objects. And I am a highly emotional person. Which is why I love that quote by Alain de Botton.

I can easily de clutter my living space because the real, the hard, work is done internally. I have deep meaningful relationships with numerous people that fill me up. I have a deep rooted faith that reassures me in quiet confidence that my battles, my daily struggles, my lack of control, are already pre-determined and won (even if the war is ugly).

I don’t need trinkets (and yes I do have a few I adore) because no visual reminders are necessary when I have flesh and blood companions to carry on life with. And so, daily I try to remind myself just how rich, just how blessed I truly am.

When life gets crazy I will continue to simplify (so if you visit and it appears I’ve gone minimalist you’ll know its been a stressful season). I will purge externally because internally I am so fully aware of the growing accumulation of blessings I have somehow been deemed worthy of.

-J

Change the Way I Think

“ Change the way I think”

Roman 12:2

That has been a continuous battle/prayer for me, since as long as I can remember truth be told.

Recently a new bend in my way of thinking has occurred… letting ‘what if’s’ ruin my day and attitude.

I’ve never really been the person to over think a situation or decision. I’m the one who just acts and later realizes some details probably should have been considered.

Being a mom changes that.

AS moms we have to plan out everything: do we have enough snacks (for us all), enough diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, the good binky, the right silky, a blanket, a stroller, Tylenol (because my child never stops teething and never gets new teeth), toys for distraction… the list is endless…

photo 1“Am I working this errand around naptime? What if he sleeps in the car, then I’ll get nothing accomplished this afternoon, what if he’s cranky, and won’t sit in the cart and screams the whole time wile throwing my groceries out of the basket for fun” and that’s how I’ve changed.

Instead of doing my outing and enjoying myself and my child, confident in my abilities to handle whatever life or Nici (figuratively and literally) throws at me; I worry 10 steps past necessary.

Funny thing is, I didn’t realize how much energy I was putting into hypothetical situations (that, ok, happened too frequently, but I always managed to get my errands done regardless of our attitudes).

I’m trying to change this way of thinking, and honestly have improved a lot since its been pointed out.  Then again Nici is in a new stage of life –  so maybe we both just out grew it.

I do know that God didn’t create me with a spirit of fear and that’s how I had been operating.

I need to lean into God and less on myself. No matter how much planning ahead I do, life gives me curve balls every week, if not every day! And my one year old has his own agenda anyways!

I need to focus my thoughts on things that will build up my soul, not tear down my attitude.

I need to focus on enjoying the daily blessings God lets me be a part of instead of trying to micro manage everything.

I need to change the way I think so I can better grasp and enjoy this wonderful journey of motherhood.

photo 2I can’t control it all, and most likely people aren’t judging my abilities…they’re enjoying watching a 1 year old NOT in their cart laughing as he throws items out!

Nici is now past that fun stage and is happy sitting with his popcorn or helping my (slowly) push the cart. We both enjoy this phase much more!

-J