Monday, August 25, 2014

Morning Seasons



I have a confession.
I've been morning seasons. 

No, not the changing of weather, but the seasons in life from our past. 
Seasons where Saturday mornings where for sleeping in, income was "disposable", and life was centered around serving. The season when our house was clean. When we were so busy with dinners, nights out with friends, and being able to just up and go just because we could.  The pre-little people season.  I'm not wishing away my kids or not beyond grateful for all these messy little faces. But there was something sweet about that season of being child free. 

The problem with day dreaming about past season is your current season begins to loss its sparkle. 

Could of, would of, should of's, choke our joys. It makes trying to count all things as joys harder. We start to compare of past season with current season. Past season that all we remember are the pretty moments, not the hard ones. Past season are beautiful because we see them through hindsight. 

I can't help but wonder, in hindsight, what will I see as beautiful in this season? What moments that take me to a break point, will be moments that I think back on with tears of joy or longing? 

It is hard for me in sleep deprivation, toddler battles, and screaming kids to count joys. It just is. I've tried counting gifts, smiling through clenched teeth while cleaning poop off the floor (sorry tmi), or telling my self its so joyfully to break up another toddler fist fight. It just doesn't stick. 

But what I can do, while my mind starts back peddling to times of silence, is remembered the answered prayers. 

Remember the prayers for children, while being told I would have none. 
The 24 hour a day prayers that my little guy would live. 
I can remember the prayers for messy houses (yes I prayed for that), and a family. 

I can joyfully count all the ways God showed up and realize this season, is a gift I begged for. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Everybody Get Up



I am far from a morning person, so very far. I've always had this desperation to be a morning person. Those early bird gets the worm people always seemed to know this little secret I didn't. This little secret that I just didn't posses. Those who, by time Im grumbling and getting out of bed, have already posted their sunrise runs, morning cups of coffee, and devotionals, all before I even wiped the sleep out of my eyes. Ok, all before I even have both eyes open.

The early morning always seems blissful and perfect. Like, God is easier found, simply heard, and a heart is completely filled.

And I've missed it all.

My early morning are filled with screaming kids, fights to the death over which boy gets the blue bowl, and a sweet little girl that still thinks sleep is over rated. My early mornings do not come blissfully in, they attack. Attack like a two year old throwing a sippy cup at your head.  I've tried, oh how I've tried to get up before them. But they know. They can sense that mommy is up. These boys, that can't hear me yelling from three feet away to break up their newest battle, can hear the flutter of my eye lids as I try to get a few minutes of time in the morning. 

But our afternoons...
Oh the afternoon, when the two littles are sleeping, the oldest is busy hunched over his workbooks, the house is still. The gorgeous morning light, that I so desperately crave, has now moved to the living room, cracking through the blinds. So I move too.

I move my heart to the afternoon. I stretch my body and flow while children are sleeping. I read, journal, sit, and have a cup of tea and just listen. Instead of the first chirping of birds, there is a gentle hum of the ac unit, the sounds of our postman, and children getting off the bus. But its okay.

Actually its better then okay. Its my little secret time, and I love it. My little break in the middle of the day to realign, to re-tune, and adjust a generally crazy life. Afternoons are a gift. Instead of wishing my gift was the morning, I had to accept and love the afternoons.

Every gift from God is specific to the person receiving it. In this "little people" season, He knows my heart needed the afternoon, more then it needed the mornings. Life is easier when we accept where we are in our season. Every season has it's own gifts, we just have to see them. In all our seasons, we need to not look at other peoples season in crippling jealousy. We need to see the beauty of it all.

My afternoon is beautiful and your morning is beautiful.

It all can be beautiful at the same time. 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Drive

It's been a while. A long, long while, since I've sat down with my little laptop. Honestly, I haven't wanted too. I haven't wanted to hear the strokes of the keys, or process through a though long enough to make any sense at all. The drive hasn't been there so I let it sit.

Drive is funny. For me it comes and goes as it pleases. One moment driving me crazy at 2 am, checking list for the next day over and over in my head. By 8 when something can be done with all that drive, its gone. Instead, I'm curled up on the couch thanking God that Netflix now automatically starts the next episode. (seriously, greatest thing ever) Drive flies in and out of our home, leaving a mess of unfinished projects, half checked to-do list, and a few frazzled parents.

I want to capture drive and make it work for us, not us against it.
I want to turn drive into something that equals productivity and grace.
A gracefully drive.

So, how? How do we make drive into something productive but not choking?

Grace and a routine.

Now most people would say a schedule but honestly, schedules make me panic. All those little lines, filled in with todo after todo, makes me choke. I always pushed away schedules. My "rules and regulations" self can not handle it with out feeling like a failure. So a few years ago when I heard about replacing a schedule with a routine, I jumped for you.

Now a routine, is just that. A routine. No time constrants, just daily habits that work for your family. No from 8:00-8:45am- Breakfast type lives but a :Wake, Breakfast, Get dressed, Tv/Play time, Morning nap, Lunch, quite time/ afternoon naps/ school, kind of life.

See doesn't that so much less over whelming.
It also gives you a chance to be FLEXABLE.
It gives you a chance to have grace.

We are such a culture of go here, do this, read this, learn that, do eat this, only eat that, get it all done women, that it is choking so many of us. The mommy wars arent really mommy wars, people. They are just over whelmed, under rested women, that are struggling to do it all because some where down the line we were taught that we had too.

Why cant we grab that drive to do it all, and drive it to do what is just needed?

Take that drive, gracefully say no to what isn't good for us, and do what is good for our own families. Even if it looks nothing like how our neighbors, friends, other family members run their own lives. Have a graceful drive.

A graceful drive that says "its ok if you cant do it today, do it tomorrow."
A drive that says "women, that is not what you need to be doing, so stop."

Drive that makes sense for each of us. That kind of drive, doesn't kill us, it really makes a stronger.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mommy Grace



I had the amazing opportunity to speak to a local MOPS group last week. For those who don't know, MOPS stands for Mothers Of Pre Schoolers, it's an amazing organization that meets all over the globe, yes globe. Please if your a mom of young ones, or a mom with children who have grown, check them out. (Older moms, we need you. They have an amazing Mentor Moms program.)
 
I was so excited to be speaking about Mommy Grace, accepting grace in motherhood. Its a topic that is huge for me, and something that I have had a lot of struggles in. So getting to share to this group of moms was such a blessing. But can I tell you it was hard.

Really hard.

Not only was the psychical act of getting there some what of a feat, that involved getting up early, driving my husband to work across town, then getting stuck in traffic on the way back, rushing to get everyone ready (my two hour window to get ready was suddenly less then an hour) all while remembering.....

I'm speaking on grace.
But, remembering to accept grace, while getting ready was more of a battle.

I was speaking about grace, but getting shampoo in my eyes.
I was speaking about grace, but maybe a little louder then I should, was "asking" my children to STOP TAKING OFF THEIR CLOTHES.
I was speaking about grace while I ran out the door, threw the kids in the car, and pulled out on to the street only to notice my coffee cup and ipad where still sitting on the hood of my car...



That was grace right there. Pure grace that kept that coffee cup on the hood. Because lets be honest, I would have been more devastated by losing my coffee cup.....

Mammas gotta have her coffee...

By the time we got to the church I was about 20 minutes late with a half naked four year old, a two year old that was screaming no, and 6 month old that finally fell asleep.... All I could do was laugh.


Laugh that no matter what, all day, every day I need to accept grace. The grace has already been given. Perfection was never the expectation, but we believe the lie that it is.  If we can just accept that things are not going to work out the way we would love, then life gets easier. It is easier because we let go of the control, and let God write this story. We accept the gifts He gives us, the beautifully mess, crazy life, and move on to being joyful with the late nights, early morning, and coffee stained two day old yoga pants...



Ok, maybe 3 day old yoga pants, whatever.... 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

When Mother's Day Hurts



This week is always hard, and I know I'm not the only one that finds Mothers Day, painful. 
For me, it's a reminder of years ago when I discovered I was pregnant for the first time. Only to miscarry a few weeks later.
Every year, it happens the same way. I start of strong, few weeks before, knowing it will be okay. No matter what I do, Mothers Day is going to roll around and I wont know how I will react to it till it happens. Then the pit in my stomach starts to grow, I get weepy, quite, and then I hide. 
Every year all I want to do is hide. 

I want to bury my head in the sand, stick my fingers in my ears and yell "la la la la" till it is all over. 
Now, I know how incredibly blessed I am with my little people. I know how much other peoples hearts are breaking, too. That make's my heart break even more.

Mothers that morn never being able to get pregnant.
Mothers waiting for LOA's.
Mothers that gave their child the biggest gift they could by letting them go. 
Mothers who are walking into this weekend for the first time, after losing a child.
Children who are morning their Mothers. 
See this time of year, hurts a lot of us. Many of us cant express the pain that comes with this weekend. Many of us don't know where to start, fearful of not being understood, or get blind sided by the emotions that Mothers Day brings. 
There's hope. Oh there is so much hope, I'm just finding. 

The other day, a friend and I were chatting back and forth and reminded me of the verse. 


I will be the first to admit, I have STRUGGLED with this verse for years. I always read "hiding" as a negative act.

Hiding = being scared, and not going after life. Not facing things head on.

That wasn't how I wanted to live my life. I wanted freedom, and freedom doesn't come with fear. 
Neither does hiding. Hiding in Christ is safe, its letting Him fight your battles, wipe your tears, and understand the word of your heart that your mouth can't form. 

2 Corinthians say "My grace is all you need, my power works best in weakness". I can go into this weekend, hiding, and be okay this time. Not hiding in my own power, my own fears, my own pain. I can go in hiding in His Grace, His love, His power. That is more sustaining then anything I can ever do on my own.

So yes, I might cry. 
I might morn. 
Morn both of the babies we lost, morn that life doesn't look the way I expected.

But, I will hide in His grace, and wait. 
Wait to see His power, His love, and that comfort that passes all understand.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Five

I am a mom of five. It feels strange saying, but I am. I walk around most days, sleep deprived, slightly smelly, in yoga pants, wearing my most precious possession, a simple wire nest with five little pearl beads. Five little beads for five little babies. You can watch people do the math as they look at my necklace, at me, then at my little people gathered around me, trying to make the math work. I know exactly how they feel, I desperately want the math to work too. 

I want the math to work on Monday mornings, when I'm sitting with a hot cup of coffee watching my two boys laugh over cartoons as their sister sleeps in the swing. I want the math to work while we are buckling our three into the van for a family outing. I long for the math to add up on Christmas morning, birthdays, and most of all mothers day. I'm desperate for the math to work when we line up for a family photo. Three little smiling faces, unknowing that two are missing. 

I try to make the math work while missing two little faces. Two little faces that I never got to see, two little faces that I never got to know. My two missing little people that I never got to hold.


There's a desperate grief in miscarriage. A desperation to have something, anything to hold on too, something to remember, something for others to remember. It leaves a hole in your family that others don't see, but that you feel. It settles into you, becomes a part of you, soaking into your essence, like unfinished business. A part of you stays in waiting, waiting for what is missing. Your heart knows the cycle wasn't complete, and you being to live in it.  You being to live in not quite complete, but not completely broken.

There are moments, moments where the boys are fighting, because one wants play ninja so natural he picks the fight with the other, just so he'll play too. Moments where the washer is going, the baby is crying needing to be feed, someone is running around naked, you realize that smell is actually you, as you slide cold coffee into the microwave for the 4th time, and the power goes off, because you forgot to pay the bill, again.

Those moments, you don't forget, you just don't remember. Life floods over the pain, the loss. Your mind becomes filled with all the task of motherhood, the dishes, the laundry, dinner, diaper changes, bedtime routines, and for a moment you are so focused on the here and now that you forget the wishes. The wishes that come in the quite, the wishes of having all five little people in my nest.

Sometimes you sit straining to make the math work, wondering how all your little people would fit together, how personalities would mesh, what would be the same, what would be different.

Would our missing little people have the wild mowak that our baby girl has, would they be fiery independence and slightly stubbornness like our oldest. A calm, hysterical, nudist like our middlest? Or two other totally different balls of personality, unknown to our family dynamic? Would we have four boys, and one girl? Two boys, and three girls? Or one more of each? Would or life be completely different, or absolutely the same?

Life feels split between these two extremes. You never know what side you will fall on. One moment life is flooding over you, the next your heart flooding on to the floor. Day by day, moment by moment, you never know where your going to fall. You watch people try to do the math, and answer the questions people are scared to ask. 

Yes, I am a mother of five.
Yes, we had two miscarriages.
Yes, the math doesn't work, its hard, its sad, it hurts, but its okay.


Because I'm a mom and that's all I ever wanted to be.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I am bipolar


Today is Bipolar Awareness Day. 
When I was first diagnosed, I ran. Ran hard from this label. I was terrified of what it meant, of what it said about me, that it meant I was weak. 

If I was strong enough, I could buck up and move on. 

You can't buck up.

This disorder is powerful, it kicks your tail in ways that most can't imagine. The mania is spastic and out of control, while the depression cripples and phyiscally hurts. All mixed with anger and frustration, all in one 24 hour span. The cycling leaves you questioning. Questioning your identity, which side of the cycle is really you? Questioning if you can keep going. Are you hurting others, your family, you kids? Is it fair that they are dealing with this? When are they going to give up and leave?

Questions, tons of hard, painful questions. 

I don't have all the answers, heck I have very few answers. But I do know this. I am not bi polar, I have bipolar. Just like I have dark hair, blue eyes, or my second toe is longer then my big toe, it is apart of me, not me. Not my identity. 

My identity is in God. I am who He says I am. I am His child, who He has trusted these children to, this marriage to, these friends to, I live through His power. Not through my bipolar. 

Even in my darkest, scarest days, while I  spinning like a top, He's there. 

He's bigger than me.
He's bigger than my bipolar.