Thank You, Moms, for Understanding

momreality

 This is mom reality. There is nothing sacred. No time that is just mine. There are these precious little things that follow me wherever I go that want to be a part of every moment of my life. Nothing could take away their constant enthusiasm to be ever present in even my mundane activities of daily living. They want to witness every breath and be in arms reach with every movement. Although it drives me crazy at times, I can’t help but be thankful for the little stinkers that just love me so much. Continue reading

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Fitness: A Modesty Loophole

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Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. – Proverbs 11:22

(post edited: censored images removed due to readers’ unanimous support of post content)

I am a former marathoner and currently maintain a healthy activity schedule. I follow fitness boards. I prepare real food for my family. I exercise along with instruction videos. I value wellness and applaud those who desire to be fit and truly healthy. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to condone the allowances made for the sake of “fitness.” Continue reading

Why We Iced Frozen

Let me start by suggesting any Disney movie ban would be fairly easy to justify. This post will focus on Frozen, the highest-grossing animated picture ever. When I watched Frozen for the first time I was appalled mostly by how lame the plot was. My 3-year-old flat out said, “I don’t like this movie” and that made me happy. I was bored. I will not waste any space in this post with detailing the inconsistencies or even my own opinion. Continue reading

Moment of Weakness and Gratitude

Here it is. My “moment of weakness” post. I finished sobbing about 2.3 minutes ago. But trust me, I’d carry on if nap time weren’t coming to an end. I can hear rustling, which means it’s grown up time again.

My day started off marvelously. My kids were wonderfully behaved. I steam cleaned 3 bedrooms and a hallway. I had laundry folded AND put away. We played outside, went for a walk and both children actually fell asleep at nap time. I was feeling awesome. (But don’t start to think I’m some super mom. My daughter also fell out of her hi-chair -unharmed- and you wouldn’t eat off my kitchen floor to save your life). So, aside from the fall and dirty floor, I was feeling pretty darn good.

I’ve got a craft fair tomorrow night where I will be selling my laundry soap. The ingredients are coming tonight. That gives me a whole entire day to make all the laundry soap. A whole day! Oh, let me fill you in- I’m also expecting baby number three. So yes, I’m exhausted, nauseous, cranky, and I just want to lay in a pile on the couch all day is that too much to ask? My two darling children think so. Anyways, back to the awesome soap I feel obligated to share with the world.

I felt like I’d ride the momentum wave of achievement and whip up a batch of soap with my last available ingredients. And then my blender started to leak. And then my blender exploded. And soap went everywhere. Oh, and then I tried to clean it up, and I was electrocuted by the stupid blender. Remember I’m pregnant? So, then the sobbing started. Angry, scared sobs. Stupid blender. Stupid soap everywhere.

So, the internet has reassured me that everything inside is A-OK. Thank you internet. I have an upcoming ultrasound scheduled. And really, it was just a quick shock to my hand. I’m better now. I’m so grateful for women who share their ridiculously embarrassing and WTH moments with us. I like to be reminded I’m not the only doofus out there, and I’m definitely not the largest. I guess that is the point of this post – to share an embarrassing piece of my life. Maybe you’ll feel more awesome now.

(Inner monologue: Really? Eh, it’s already written. Might as well publish. Momentum.

I seriously need a Kit Kat)

Better Than You is Good Enough

There is someone in this world who is better than you at something, or everything. For those who deny this, thank the sanes (wonderful Baby Hannah English) that you are so beautifully wrong. If it were not for those people you might be proud, you could be content, or even fulfilled. What a sadly blasphemous life that would be. It is the glorious nature of blessings individualized and talents diversified that we can truly appreciate struggle and growth, labor and reward.

I am so grateful for the awesome people of this world, past and present. Even more so for those of the future to spur my children on. There is so much to be learned, so much to explore and discover. What a precious adventure this life is.

One of my awesome people is my brother. He has a beautiful, hard-working wife and three amazing and very talented (read “busy”) children. While maintaining his Monday through Friday, 8-5 he has managed to earn his Bachelor’s Degree, advance at work, engage in church, maintain a close social circle and enjoy his wonderful family. Wow. Also, in his “spare” time, he develops apps. Whoa. His first is great for any well-meaning husband, “Husband Hero” and his second is just so much fun. Grid Rush. If you haven’t played it yet, well, read the first sentence and catch up!

It is a wonderful thing to strive. It is our purpose to set a goal and reach. It is a true blessing that so many others have paved a beautiful route. I encourage you to embrace the awesomeness in others as fuel to drive you further.

Grown-Up Time

I’ve been encouraged to expand my most recent post, Without a Goal You’ll Never Score. Here goes:

I’m somewhat an expert on the struggle to judge not. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’d be out fingers and toes when counting the things we think mom’s might be doing a teensy bit… not the way we’d do it. It’s a fact of mom life. We’re all continually learning from mistakes and raising children who change one day to the next. Or from one nap to the next (but at least they’ve slept. Hallelujah). It’s part of mommy R&D. What’s working, not working, etc.

It’s a very separate issue to receive endless criticism from “dear” friends. We can often tell what is constructive and what is plain vindictive. My husband often calls this “grown up time,” when real decisions that affect real life must be made.

First, find your own convictions. Put yourself under scrutiny and seek out your true motives. Shed your pride and move forward in grace, with prayer.  “Accept, forgive and love” (thank you, Jesus and Jerry Cook).  If friendly fire continues, then scrape ’em off.  Life is too short and our children are too important to put up with the malicious endeavors of bitter people. (I’m also becoming an expert in learning to handle this).

That’s all I’ve got. God is love and if you’re a vessel of his Holy Spirit, you’ve got to be love too. You are also allowed to choose who you spend your time with. It’s scary and it’s wonderful. The end.

Mom's Morning Coffee

Without a Goal You’ll Never Score

There’s a tense rivalry between stay/work-at-home-moms and mother’s who work outside of the home. I’ve been a member of both elitist clubs and can attest to the opposing challenges. What’s lacking in our efforts to prove devotion is real validation that should be connecting sisters. Mommy business, taken seriously, is never a thing to scoff at. Circumstantial differences that impose labels (stay-at-home, work-from-home, single, self-employed, full-time, etc.) are inherently biased. The only factor enabling tension is every mother’s primal drive to reinforce the importance of her role. The role of mother.

Being alive and being a human being are two challenges we face daily. Then there’s the struggle to raise other living, human beings which is, without a doubt, worlds harder. There should be no energy lost in trying to keep pace with another woman caring for her completely different humans. There should only be love and encouragement and motivation and prayer. These mothers, me and my sisters, should pour into each other. We should lift each other up and acknowledge that although we may be superficially different and incompatibly wired our good Lord made no mistake in giving his sweet babies the mommies He did.

Our focus as continually evolving adults should be our own progression. We need to focus on where God is calling us and where our children will thrive and where our hearts can serve. We need to offer encouragement and truth where we can, but we are only accountable for ourselves.

My newest form of growth has presented itself in the form of song writing. I’ve always loved music. I love to sing. Like belt it out, would-have-done-it-for-a-living-if-anyone-would-pay-me singing. My family unit is 5/6ths musical, unless you count “knives” as a real talent, sorry, Ry. But there’s rarely an opportunity to hit the last notch on the stereo volume or even keep up with radio. So, I set a goal to write one song per day for one week minimum (my husband said not to put a cap on my “creativity”). It’s been two days. I’ve written two “songs.” Honestly, they probably suck. But I’m loving it.

Make a goal or goals for yourself. Stop yourself from focusing on other moms and focus on you and your beautiful children (and your husband too, don’t forget about all that good stuff). Don’t give anyone else the power to say what you should do or who you should be. That is why we pray. Be who you are when it’s not up to every other mom you think is watching.  (Warning, gigantic MOPS plug ahead) Be you, bravely.

Shared On: Satisfaction Through Christ, Missional Call