My best buddies

So much for sleeping in. The kids have this crazy way of not being tired at 7am on the weekends but being dog tired during the week at 7am. Funny how that works. After breakfast, showers, getting dressed, and teeth brushing, we loaded into the van for a day of running errands. Our first stop, the eye doctor to pick up Zane’s nifty new glasses.

10632033_277204135810296_1617906006_n

He looks so handsome and grown up in them, don’t you think? Glasses suit him well. I love this kid, he makes me so happy inside my heart. I love his inquisitive mind and silly personality.

After picking up his glasses we drove to Petsmart to pick up some things for the bunny. While there, they were doing an adotpathon for pupper dogs. One of them was being adopted. I told the woman she picked a cute one, and as we were conversing, he peed on my dress. I couldn’t stop laughing. I have had dogs pretty much all of my life. I am used to their funny ways. She was quite embarrassed. Ah well, stuff happens.

10601929_288016338056711_442808293_n

Because Dash has not had any accidents at night and has been using the bathroom really well I decided to buy him a toy. And of course, the way I roll, the other two got to choose a toy also. So we went to Target, which was right down the road from the other stores we’d been at this morning. Dash chose a little phone and fire truck. Zane and Nick chose Minecraft toys – dontchaknowit. They are happily playing together in the living room as I write this. I’m so happy they are using their imagination and not playing video games.

10632341_512057842263784_792079105_n

We swung by Applebee’s on the way home, splitting a couple appetizers, and playing with our new toys. The boys were very well behaved. In fact, all day they were pretty well behaved. It can sometimes be quite the experience taking three kids out by yourself, at least my three kids, but they were respectful, quiet, and didn’t bug each other too awful much.

10554174_572729489505493_1012314364_n

We’re headed to church in a few minutes. I really like that my new church has Saturday afternoon services. It’s much easier for us to do and, hey, we don’t have to get up super early in the morning, like a Sunday service. The kids asked me a lot of questions about Jesus and God as we rode through Frisco and Little Elm Texas today. I appreciate their honest questions and their curious minds. Already searching for the truth, at such a young age. I also found out earlier in the week that Zane accepted Jesus in his heart at church last week. It was his choice and he made it and heaven rejoiced!

I know I say it a lot, but I sure am happy, and sure am blessed!

Run To Me.

There’s a bunch of us standing around in the heat of Texas waiting for our littles to be released from school. I feel so out of place there. I mostly people watch while playing on my phone. I notice all of the clicks but don’t look down on them, really, because, sadly, clicks are very common in groups of people.

017

I’m reminded of how uncomfortable I am in large groups of people I don’t know. And how crazy shy I am, also a total loner. Not ashamed to say that. Don’t get me wrong, I smile at people, I make a comment in passing about their cute kids, but when we all stand around waiting, I’m silent, just watching, and waiting for my people to come to me.

This afternoon I spied Dash from a mile away. He’s the cutest one, of course. Seriously though, I could find his face in a crowd full of littles any day. When he noticed me noticing him he exclaimed, MOMMY, and ran fast and hard, and right into my waiting arms, and we twisted around and around. I kissed all over his face while we twirled and hugged and he told me how good of a day he had.

023

We held hands as we picked up Zane and Nick and small talked as we walked back to our home. It’s a long walk in the heat. It’s really not that far but with the 100 degree Texas heat, it sure feels like it. His little sweaty-sticky hand inside mine the whole way home. In bed, we read his favorite book about Biscuit the dog. In the book, Biscuit the dog didn’t want to go to bed. He was stalling with all his requests, like snacks and stories, hugs and kisses. Every time Biscuit asked for a kiss and hug Dash giggled and requested the same from me. We hugged and kissed for what seemed like a thousand times. I am blessed.

(Update: he crawled into bed with me, with all of his brightly colored bears, and blue blanket. He’s sleeping peacefully next to me. Ah, this is the life.)

Boy, do you have your hands full.

On the way to picking up my children from school I got stuck behind another mother pushing her double stroller while her toddler walked behind her. Her toddler turned around, noticed me, and ran to his mother. She stopped to cram him into the stroller, as I passed her I said that she had her hands full, with a smile on my face, and a giggle in my voice. She nervously laughed and that was that. I was hoping it would open up more conversation. It didn’t.

Today as my children and I ate at a local bar and grill for dinner, the waitress, older than me, I would guess if she had children they were much older than mine, told me I had my hands full. In that moment I felt judged. I felt judged as a mother. I felt annoyed that she must think my children were rowdy or more than I could happily handle. And also in that moment I understood why the mother I was behind earlier walking to school didn’t have any desire to talk with me after I smiled and said she had her hands full.

10597327_458231564314893_1415219207_n

I didn’t mean anything by it, it was just my way to say, wow you’re blessed to have all those children, and wow, what a good mommy you are. Instead of saying those words though, I just said what most people say when they see a mom juggling children; you have your hands full. I also realized that the waitress didn’t mean to offend me at all. The offense dripped away and I smiled and said thanks, I sure do, I am blessed.

I am blessed. I have three amazing young men. They keep me on my toes. They do and say things in public that make me wanna bury my head in the sand sometimes. They mostly make me proud and happy to be a mommy and to have this scared kingdom work I’ve been called to. And yes, yes I do have my hands full and I love it. I can’t imagine my life any other way. Instead of being offended at the next person who tells me my hands are full and gives me that pity look, I’ll just smile and know they mean no offense by their words.

Maybe next time I’ll tell that sweet mother pushing her three children, on her way to picking up her fourth child at school, what a joy it must be to have her hands full of little blessings. Because that’s what children are, little blessings.

The Ministry of Motherhood

This mothering thing we do is a ministry, our ultimate calling, sacred and holy.

But, it can be hard. Real hard.

Some days we might feel like throwing in the towel. Breaking up fights, wiping bums, throwing our own temper tantrums, pure exhaustion, feeling like no one appreciates us. It’s hard.

Just because we’ve been called to the ultimate ministry doesn’t mean it’ll come easy to us, or always be a delight.

But it’s when we’re in the trenches, the days when we fight tooth and nail to be kind to our talking-back-to-us-children, that heaven rejoices the most. The days when we change multiple diapers, and get spit up on, and console a crying baby, that God smiles upon us hard and big. We’re raising the future, one day at a time. Sometimes, one moment at a time. And every single in-the-heat-of-the-moment-win is a win for our children’s futures.

Oh friend, beloved of God, I pray that you know what you’re doing is God’s work. Do you know what you’re doing is of utmost importance? Do you know that every mundane day, every sleepless night, every angry child lashing out at you, builds the ministry that you’ve been called to? And do you also know that on the days you feel like quitting this thing called motherhood, running to your bathroom, and locking the door, but resist those feelings, and stay in the moment with your child, you’re building a legacy for your children? And did you know that the days you give into your tired flesh, and do lock the bathroom door and cry, grace steps in where you stepped out?

10598271_681591778592670_2021479473_n

I remember the early years of parenting my three boys. Man were they difficult. These middle years feel like absolute bliss. Not that its an easy road to walk. I break up fights and beg them to share and be nice to one another and pray hard for their futures and worry about them when they are in school all day and homework sucks… but these middle years are quite wonderful. And easy compared to the early years of infancy, and toddlerhood, and the preschool stage.

I didn’t sleep much, baby on hip, toddler running around getting into everything. Nursing, preparing meals, changing diapers, sleepless nights, crying, constantly with my children, feeling like I should be doing more in life, missing my friends, and wanting more than anything to just have five minutes of quiet time, alone. It was hard work and never ever felt like it was going to end, but oh beloved, how many seeds I sowed in those early years. Seeds that were planted and watered and will grow into fruit as they age.

Motherhood is the ultimate ministry. You may want more, you may be in the place I was in years ago, where I thought my life counted for more than “just motherhood“. If you are, just know that, yes, you could very well have another calling on your life in addition to mothering, but mothering is your most important calling, the calling that will sow the most seeds. You’re legacy building, you’re shaping lives, and have the potential of changing the world with your mothering. I give you permission to let go of the world’s notions of what you should be doing in your life, and to embrace God’s calling on your life of mothering your babies, kids, and teens. It’s your most important, ground shaking, life changing work.

What you do matters. Every day, every moment you’re in the trenches with your babies, matters. Matters deeply, and truly, and forever. The weight, the gravity of your daily choices in your parenting, impact the future, your children’s futures, wow, what an immense responsibility God gifted to us as mothers. What a gift.

So stand tall, head held high, baby spit up on your t-shirt, this is your life’s calling, your full time career, your best job ever.

Don’t Be A Nervous Nelly

I was so nervous this morning for my children as they walked into their new school, transplants from Missouri. I was on edge all day as I waited to hear how their first day back to school went. Even though I’d prayed for them earlier in the morning, and spoke blessings over their day, I was still nervous. Nervous that kids would be mean, or just ignore them. Nervous about their behavior, nervous about them being nervous. Just plain nervous about everything and anything.

10387892_280136798857597_1909801139_n

Nick has a very soft soul, easily crushed. This causes my mama heart to worry. Instead of my fears coming true that he’d be shy and nervous all day, God heard my prayer, and answered it. Nick had a wonderful first day, loves his teacher, and made a friend that lives on our street.

Zane is a very sweet boy, energetic, and social – this makes sitting still and learning difficult for him. I worry about him getting into trouble because he wouldn’t stop talking, like happened over and over and over again at our old school. Instead, he told me he made friends, had fun, and didn’t get into trouble, yet. “yet” – that made me giggle.

Dash had the hardest day, but it was still a good day over all. I heard from his teacher that he got upset when somebody threw his cuttings away. And he hurt his knee at recess causing him to cry. This boy, this boy I worry for the most. He has Lyme disease which causes fatigue and emotional outbursts. I will keep praying for this sweet boy and his schooling experience.

Seems that the first day back to school was harder on me than it was on any of my children. Thank God for that. My kids are blessed and happy and I’m so thrilled they had a good first day.

How were your kids first days back?

#everydaysacred #kingdomwork

 

My Kingdom Work


This.

This is my kingdom work.

This is what heaven sings praises over.

This sacred time in our lives where we get the supreme honor of shaping souls.

This is what life is all about.

423760_3291159674364_1805665044_n

For the longest time I wrestled with “just being a mom“. You know, that title that we put on ourselves, “just mom“. Sometimes it’s the world that puts that label on us. As if being a mother makes you less than the young woman working her way up the ladder busting through the glass ceiling in corporate America.

I think about how many times I’ve felt that I should be doing more with my life and it now makes me feel sorrow in my heart for that young mother I once was. See, I love God with all of my heart and soul and long to do His will. I crave making a difference in this world for God. It’s my hearts cry to enter heavens gates and be praised for all the noble work I did on earth. Not because I want to be praised, rather because I long to make my Father happy.

It wasn’t until this year that I finally had the awakening that I wish I could have experienced years ago when my children were younger: every single day of my life I have the ability to do God’s work, kingdom work, sacred and holy work, in raising my children up. I have the opportunity daily to touch their lives and shape their souls into the young men of God, warrior men, that He has called them to be. Every day. No matter what else I could be doing in this life for God, I likely wouldn’t be touching people every single day for the kingdom. But in this ministry, this mom ministry, I have that supreme honor and opportunity, daily.

419998_3291162754441_1590856415_n

Nothing else I could do in my life will matter as much as raising my boys. Nothing. This is truly my kingdom work, my full time ministry, what the Lord first called me to, and what the angels rejoice over. This, this power of God in my being to shape them, grow them, mold them, love them, hold them, forgive them, raise them up in the way God has called me to raise them up is my ultimate purpose.

Kingdom work.

My work.

My calling.

This is what my purpose is on this earth.

Sure, I will do other things for God in my life. I will have the opportunity to touch lives outside of my boys. I will have the great honor to pray for others, to teach others, love others, forgive others, show others the light of grace and truth found in Christ. And who knows where my life will lead me as my children grow up, grow older, and leave my nest.

But for now.

This moment.

This precious moment in time.

This here is what I’ve been called to. This is my full time ministry. And I want to remind myself daily that this matters. This raising up three boys in a world of unrest and sadness and darkness. This matters the most. I’m raising up God warriors, kingdom warriors, little grace radicals, believers and men that will make their own families and carry on the legacy that is started here with me.  They will walk into a darkened world and be the light. And I will look back when I’m at the end of my life and I will know that I helped shape my little men into the warrior men they are surely to become.

424162_3291161874419_2018347698_n

Oh Lord, my God, my heavenly Father, my protector, the lover of my soul; may I always remember that this is first and foremost what You’ve called me to – this raising up of boys to men is my kingdom work. May I never forget how important my children are to You and how vital it is to be a godly mother, a kind mother, a soft place for them to land. And Father God, would that you would use Your grace as the ultimate eraser and erase from their souls any wounds I may have placed there with my ignorance and fleshy ways. Thank You for this purpose, this calling on my life. I pray that I never forget how this here is the most important calling You’ve placed in my heart.

This is my kingdom work.

everyday sacred stories

I’m recording the ramblings of my everyday sacred stories, putting them together in a weekly podcast. Mostly because I want to have another medium, besides just the written word, to remember my children’s lives growing up. I also thought it might be fun for my readers who would rather listen than read. So here we go… episode number one of Everyday Sacred Stories.

Thanks for listening!

Sitting Boldly In The Front.

10540259_533767403391751_2005789821_nNick walked quietly into his new classroom, taking in the surroundings, through the noise and hustle-bustle of the kids and parents around him, he walked to the very front of the classroom, placing a sticky note on the desk he wanted, perfectly writing his name to claim that desk. The desk, at the very front of the classroom, right there where his teacher would easily see him, call him out -  I was in awe in his quiet confidence.

Had I gone to public school as a child, I’m sure I would have chosen the desk at the very back of the room. Heck, I choose the seats at the very back of church most days. I was so proud of him. This young man growing before my eyes, leaving childhood behind, moving ever so quickly into young adulthood. I cry inside thinking about what a sacred gift this is, raising young men in today’s society. And how ten years ago I held his newly-birthed-body in my 25 year old new-mama-arms and cried looking into his eyes and now he’s walking boldly into fifth grade, out in the world, where good and bad happen, where I can’t protect him, or guide his surroundings as easily as when he was two toddling along.

What a joy he is. What a blessing. What a gift. What a man I’m raising.

 

Dancing with Willows

I talked with the ducks and watched the turtles.

928669_818077381577014_51164914_n

I sat beneath the willow tree, swaying branching danced upon my skin.

917194_844807748887570_1733775857_n

The setting sun painted me orange and pink. Sprinklers washed refreshing upon my body. Smiles from strangers felt like hugs from friends.

10601795_413519408786786_1517203885_n

This is my everyday sacred. This is the Holy God showing up with me in the cool of the evening.