The Wild & Free I’ve Always Needed

She falls asleep on top of her covers, with books beside and below her.

The warm glow of her princess tent lights make even the most awake person cozy and ready to dream. The soft rhythm of her breathing is a sound I could listen to forever.

As I stare at her sweet sleeping face, surrounded by ginger waves of hair, my heart skips a beat and I think…

Blessed. I am truly blessed.

To be the mother of a daughter is something I dreamed of my entire life, and to know that my amazing Father knew that my heart needed her in my life is always a delight (even when we don’t see eye to eye because, well, she is her mother’s daughter).

And even though we have our moments, and she’s at the stage where she “picks out her own clothes,” and constantly says, “I do it myself,” there’s no other way I can imagine living this life with this beautiful little one.

My Aubrey Anne, you simply are the wild and free I’ve always needed in my life.

Advertisements

Friday is for…

Fridays around here have a different pace.

They’re the beginning of our weekend. They are the day we try hard to turn our email off, to do something different, to take a deep breath.

We use it as a day for just us…which, I’ll be honest, I used to feel really guilty about. I used to think, “Am I a bad parent for having my kids at preschool/childcare when I’m sitting at home or traveling around town? Is it wrong that I’m sitting at our local diner eating pancakes with my husband and the kids aren’t with us?”

But then the more I thought about it, and honestly, prayed about it, I realized, having this day allows us to recharge. To spend time together, or with other friends, so that we can have that time to grow together. Because, let’s be honest, parenting is hard, exhausting, and the most beautiful mess ever! And if we don’t allow ourselves to take a deep breath, to take a little break from it all (which, yes, sometimes the only break we may get is just locking ourselves in the bathroom for 5 minutes to keep from going crazy), then I think we’re doing our children (and ourselves) a bit of an injustice.

Because, Fridays for me, are not a day to just pretend I’m not a parent or forget I have responsibilities.

No, Fridays for me are an opportunity to grow a little closer to the Lord because it causes me to take off those heavy burdens I’ve put on myself during the week.

Fridays for me are an opportunity to have a longer conversation with my husband, which grows our marriage.

Fridays for me are an opportunity to plan our Friday night pizza and movie family time.

Fridays for me are a day of rest, that God has commanded me to take so that I can be a better follower of Him, a better wife to my husband, a better mom to my children, and a better friend to those I care about…to ultimately continue to follow the calling He has for me so that I can be the woman He has designed me to be.

Because we were made to glorify Him and I believe that when we enjoy every moment He’s given us, that we bring Him glory.

So, here’s to Fridays…or Saturdays…or Mondays…or whatever day you have in your week that allows you to breathe a little deeper.

This Calling

golden lilacs

At the end of the day,
when your eyes are heavy
when the laundry is still not put away
when the silence has arrived
when the couch never felt so good
when you finally exhale
when you pick up that last toy
when you find that missing sock
when you wipe the crumbs off the table…

Remember,
you are His
you are beautiful
you are able
you are His beloved
you are encouraged
you are loved
you are his masterpiece
you are enough
you are His daughter
you are equipped

you are…

…everything you have been called to be as a mom.

Happy Mother’s Day, from this mom, to every other mom.

Is It Worth It?

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

There goes another tantrum.
Is it worth it?

There goes another bath time fight.
Is it worth it?

There goes another privilege revoked.
Is it worth it?

There goes another broken feeling in my oh so tender mommy heart.
Is it worth it?

So, is it worth it?

Is it worth it to endure the tears and frustration, knowing that discipline is not comfortable but yields an abundant crop?

Is it worth to feel like throwing my hands up every morning we wrestle over putting his shoes on?

Is it worth it to fall flat on my face, crying out to Jesus, begging him to guide us in this insane calling of parenthood?

Is it worth it to not know where to turn when we’re given 18 million parenting suggestions and not a single one seems to work?

Is it worth it to see the sadness in his eyes when I have to take Bear and Bunny yet again for his disobedience?

Yes.

A thousand times yes.

Because, as painful as it is right now, this moment will pass. The easy thing would be to just keep wishing each day away until he finally gets it. But then where does that put me? It puts me in the future where I’m longing for the days when he was still 3 because while he was 3 all I did was wish he was 4. Or 5. Or 6.

In the midst of experiencing one of the biggest fights I’ve ever encountered as an adult, I’m finding myself relying harder and harder on the strength that only comes from the Lord.

I find myself seeing more and more what we put our Heavenly Father through when we fight Him and decide to go our own way instead of the way He’s guiding us.

I’m finding that I’m just like the Israelites who moaned and complained about not getting their way, when God’s way was so much better than their’s.

And I’m reminded of this truth:

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

It is worth it. Only because He makes it worth it and He gives me the joy and peace and hope to live through this crazy calling of mommyhood.

Five Minute Moments

I’ve seen this done before. Set the timer for 5 minutes, then write.

Nothing has to fit together. And since my eye is on the clock while I feed my baby girl, why not do it now.

K. Go.

I could listen to Bryan and Katie Torwalt all day long. I mean, their voices, they’re passion for The Lord…it just makes me love Jesus more. Why doesn’t Spotify have their album.

My workout had a 15 minute run today. Oye! It kicked my butt. And it was a chilly run. But the leaves were pretty and the sky was bright blue.

I ate 4 pieces (yes 4) of pumpkin butter-smothered toast today for brunch. Pretty sure I could eat pumpkin butter with a spoon if it had a nice dollop of whip cream on it.

Miss Aubrey turned 4 months old yesterday. When did that happen?

10463819134_2d96478667

Ethan turned 3 years old last Friday. My little man is not a baby anymore. We had an indoor camping party. Complete with s’mores and flannel. Indoor because it rained. Camping because it’s fall, and who doesn’t love camping in the fall?

10365554234_b2c081d365

Ok. There’s the timer. 5 minutes of ramble.

Let’s do it again next Friday! Wanna join me?

Rain On My Parade

Do you ever have those days when you really want to do something, but all signs point to no?

The past two days have been that way for me.

Yesterday, I wanted to go running. Had my shoes on; got my playlist ready, looked outside, and it started to rain.

Today, while Dustin was at a guys’ event at church, I wanted to take the kids to the local Fall Festival. Had the diaper bag packed; kids in the car; was one turn away from the festival, when, again, it started to rain.

It’s funny how God uses whatever is necessary to tell us to rest and calm down. There I was, wanting to do, do, do, and He was beckoning me in to just breathe and be.

So, yesterday, instead of running, I relaxed and enjoyed some cuddle time with this lovely.

10087032615_ee295ed96a_o

Today, I turned the car around, came back home, and allowed this little man to dive into his creative side and then enjoyed a lovely lunch of soup and grilled cheese with him.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Even though my plans didn’t work out the way I originally planned, I was still blessed by the time and events that were placed before me. My run didn’t happen yesterday, but it happened early this morning (which meant I was able to enjoy a beautiful sunrise). The kiddos and I didn’t get a chance to enjoy a creative community event, but we were able to enjoy some creative time together in the comfort of our home.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

And now, as I sit here on the couch, enjoying a cup of warm coffee and listening to the soft pitter-patter of rain outside, I am reminded of how beyond blessed I am when I really soak up and breathe in every moment.

In the Stillness

9837281305_1918c78ed9_o

I love quiet moments. And as a busy momma, I don’t get many. But when they happen, I’m forever grateful.

Last evening was one of those moments. As I cuddled and fed our baby girl, the only sounds I could hear were the fan in her room and the faint sound of my husband and son reading books.

Now you might be thinking, “that doesn’t sound like quiet.” And you’re right. It’s not the true definition of quiet–where everything is devoid of sound. But I’m not talking about the type of quiet that has to do with the lack of sound.

I’m talking about the type of quietness that happens in the heart. When God says to be still and to soak up the blessings all around you. When you turn off that obnoxious and overwhelming to-do list that is running non-stop in your brain. (Oh how hard that is!)

I’m pretty sure it’s the hardest quiet to get to, but I’m also sure it’s one of the most necessary times of solitude.

We need that time to breathe and to listen to the quiet. To let God penetrate our hearts and whisper His loving-kindness to us.

I once read or heard that it’s in the quiet moments that God’s voice is the loudest, and I believe it’s true.

This morning, as I was preparing for the day, the house was completely silent. It was very tempting to dive straight into what felt like a hundred tasks, but instead, God reminded me of that quiet from last night. He asked me to get away with him (even if for a brief minute). And I’m so glad I did.

Because, friends, my mind has been a battleground these past few days. Loud shouts coming from all sides and not a single one ringing in clear enough to really understand. The only thing I can understand is the negativity that keeps swooshing around in my head. (I probably sound like a crazy person at this point).

But, thankfully, God’s voice has proved to be the strongest. In the midst of the cluttered sounds, he shared this with me this morning:

Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love Him and obey His commands.
(Deut. 7:9; emphasis mine)

That’s the type of verse that just makes me want to do cartwheels. It’s the type of truth that reminds me that no lie is too powerful to overcome me.

Really pay attention to those words. It’s His unfailing love... Not His “gonna be there only when he feels like it” love. Or His “unsure, not strong enough to handle my problems” love.

His unfailing love.

[Insert heavy sigh here]

I pray that this word encourages you the same way it encouraged me. I pray that whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, that you are able to soak up a few moments of quiet…even if it’s while your kids are screaming in the background.