Monday, May 6, 2013

Love where you are

I had a fantastic week spending time with so many people I love. The kids and I got to enjoy four crazy, fun days at my cousins beach condo in Galveston with my sweet aunts and my mom. I love our late night chats, lazy days (as lazy as it gets with two littles) and spending quality time with family. Addy loved making crafts for everyone and playing in the sand. We also went to San Antonio for the weekend and spent Saturday night with the Wood family sharing delicious food, watching the kids run around and the adults played dominoes until one in the morning! Sunday we went to Ryan and Aubra's for their huge, fun Cinco de Mayo celebration and were surrounded by old and new friends.

Nick and I got in the car Sunday to head back to Kyle and my heart ached to leave the people and places I love. We have been in Kyle for 6 months and I doubt we have spent more than two weekends in a row here. I have made a few acquaintances and one friend in that time. We live in the sticks without neighbors with kids so I don't have the daily interaction with friends I loved and cherished in MN. We lived next to other wonderful moms with littles and all sat outside every afternoon and chatted about little things and big things while the kids drew with chalk, rode power-wheels and bikes and fought over who got the orange jump rope. I love the women I shared my days with and miss that here.

So this one is for me- advice I need to heed. Love where you are. Someday this will be where our memories are so I need to be building them.  I need to plant myself in the community and create the friendships I miss. I need to treasure the quiet time with my kids- walks to the river, playing in our little home, cooking dinner with more helpers than free hands. I need to remember that this season of my life where I am never alone will still feel lonely sometimes because free time for other adults is scarce and that's ok.

We all go through challenges and changes and its important to step back and remember who led you where you are. I PRAYED to be here and God said yes. I need to make the most of my time in this place- the physical place where I live and this place in life as a busy stay at home mom. My goal for now is to stay put. To dig in our heals and be here to make our life here because God put us here for a reason and to be in prayer that it will be a fruitful, precious time in our life.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Verse of the Day

One of Nick's Facebook friends is a very outspoken atheist.  Since I do not have a personal relationship with him I have no wish to talk to him or really about him except to bring up his "verse of the day".

Recently this man posted some verses of the day intended to make the Bible look foolish and to make God look uncaring. One that struck me was from Genisis 22:2 'Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, who you love-Issac- and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on the mountain I will show you."' Try to think of this verse from the eyes of a non believer. Who is this crazy God that would ask that of his servant? What a terrible, uncaring thing to say. Where is the loving, kind, just, merciful God Christians claim to follow? The good news is, the story doesn't end there.

Abraham obeys and takes Issac to the mountain. God was pretty specific about who to bring. Remember Abraham didn't techinally have only one son. Ishmael, born of a servant Haggar was older than Issac but he was not the son God planned for Abraham and he was not the beloved son and he was not who God asked for. God asked for Abraham's legitimate son who he loved. He asked a lot of Abraham.  Walking out the door with your child knowing God asked you to kill them would take a lot. But Abraham knew who God was. God called Abraham (then Abram) OUT LOUD in Gen 12 promising to make him a great nation if he would follow God and leave his father's household behind. God made a covalent with Abraham in Gen 15 to give him offspring as numerous as the stars. God gave Abraham and Sarah a child despite their very old age. Abraham knew he could trust this God who had been faithful to him and had walked with him for years and years.

When Abraham and Issac got to the mountain, Issac asked where the offering was and Abraham answered that God would provide. That sounds like a man who knows who God is and that he expects God to keep his covanent. How could his offspring be like the stars of the night sky if he had no heir?

God did provide an offering, a ram. Issac was spared, it was a test for Abraham. God keeps his promises and doesn't ask us to do anything he wouldn't do himself. Genisis 22:2  is hard to explain if you read only this verse. If you read on though, you will see the beautiful story of faith and faithfulness only God could write. Christians- We need to know why we love God. We need to seek knowledge of his character. Non-Christians- God is so much better than we know or can explain and he shows himself throughout His Word. I am sorry we fail at showing his goodness so that you would want to know Him. We need to be the most loving, giving and faithful people to do justice to the character of our Lord.

Oh Lord, You have been good. You have been faithful, to all generations. I am striving to know the Word to better know my God. I am working to work it into my days and to be able to truely say I live out what I profess to believe.

I continue sharing despite the fact that it is hard for me every time. It is so easy to share funny stories about my kids but hard to share my very personal faith. i share because I think there is a need for people to hear honesty about Christianity and struggles and growth. I hope to be an encouragement to others as they challenge their beliefs and desire to grow in God.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

And then I realized, I'm a real mom

My life as a grown up- I graduated college, started my first job and got married. I loved moving in with the hubby and setting up house. We saved up and bought a home together, did a terrible job painting, changed jobs, bought furniture and got pregnant.

 Having one baby is cute. People tell you you are a precious pregnant lady, you decorate a precious nursery and buy precious clothes. You lose your pregnancy weight by the time baby is 6 weeks old and look adorable toting around this little bundle of joy in your gender specific stroller.

Having two babies is less cute. My sweet, funny wonderful daughter is all of those things but she is no longer a baby. She picks out her own clothes (usually leggings or sweats) , pulls the ponytail out of her hair leaving it looking messy and unkept, and talks ALL the time. My cute baby son this afternoon was sitting crying in a purple Bumbo waiting for me to finish feeding him while I was helping his sister go potty. God, please help second children. And firsts. And parents too.

Also moms of two are less cute. I reflected on this though this afternoon as my cool skinny jeans from Ann Taylor #notactuallycool #idontevenhavetwitter are covered in sidewalk chalk and I have my phone in my back pocket and tennis shoes on. There are a lot of problems with that sentence. 1) Why do all my clothes have baby food/ play dough/ chalk on them? 2) Since when do I wear pants with pockets big enough to hold a phone. Can these possibly be both mom jeans and dad jeans? 3) I wear tennis shoes every day. Today I was wearing cute boots because flats and skinny jeans is not something I do but when we got home Addy wanted to play hopscotch and hula hoop and run down to the river so the boots were out and the sneakers were on. Wow. And this is totally normal for me.

Also this conversation happened today. I asked my best friend Aubra to lunch.
Aubra: Where do you want to meet for lunch?
Me: Well, I was thinking we could grab food from Jason's Deli and then go eat at the Jumpy Place so we can talk instead of me having to try to keep everyone calm in a restaurant. They have picnic tables there.

Sweet Aubra who loves my kids went with it like that was a normal request. When did this happen? I say this laughing because I adore my kids and love being a mom but I never knew how much work it would end up being to get everyone out the door with brushed teeth and hair in the morning. I manage to pull it together most days and I haven't become yoga pants mom (yet, but a third would probably drive me to it) but what happened to the well rested and well dressed girl I used to know? I guess she will come back in a few years but she won't be me, she will be my daughter. And when she does I hope I will be my mother, giving up things for myself so that she can have the cute new clothes and fun ski trips and naps on a Sunday afternoons. Actually I sincerely hope we can both have the naps.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Keeping it Real

I mentioned in my last post that things have really changed for me in the last year. I want to elaborate on that and give a little background. I grew up in a Christian home with parents who faithfully took my brothers and me to church, taught Sunday school, sent us to camps and prayed for us. I am blessed to have spent my life knowing about God and hearing scriptures.

 Growing up I was great at rule following and I knew the list about what Christians do not do and stuck to it. No drinking, no drugs, no sex, no gossiping. Well I never was great at the last one but it isn't even a commandment and I certainly wasn't stealing or murdering so I figured God wouldn't be too worried about me. I write this knowing it sounds so ridiculous and arrogant but I figured since I followed the list of what to avoid I was a pretty great Christian. I mean, ya we all sin but mine just weren't that big. Like I said, I know how bad this sounds but I'm trying to keep it real.

After college I married my favorite person and moved back to San Antonio. We went to the same church I grew up at where I knew people, worshiped God, taught Sunday school, was involved with VBS and was on a shower team. The trouble was, I still thought I was good. I didn't see myself as a lost sinner, I saw myself as someone who had it figured out. I was blind to my selfishness, lack of compassion for those less fortunate, and judgemental nature. I am not posting a list of personal struggles to hear things like "I don't think you are selfish" or "You are too hard on yourself. No one is perfect." I am putting it out there to let you know that I am a sinner in need of a savior. I am grateful for grace and I am called to change.

Nick got a new job, I quit teaching and we moved to small town Minnesota for a 9month training program. I will share more about that another time because it was a beautiful and simple time in my life that I will always treasure but I bring it up now to say that moving away from everyone and everything that I knew and loved prepared my heart for God to tear it up. If you get the chance to go on a scary, distant adventure, take it!

We are now living in Kyle, TX just south of  Austin and I have been blessed by the Bible study at Hays Hills Church in Buda. We just finished 7 (Jen Hatmaker is truly an instrument for destroying lives... in a good way though). I will never look at my closet or pantry the same way! I am learning to see my sin and how much work needs to be done in my life to be the Christian I have always wanted to be. I am learning to love people that I wouldn't otherwise see. I am learning to look for ways to answer when God calls instead of saying, "Jesus, I'm a little busy with Vacation Bible School in July so I really can't serve you in March. Maybe talk to me in early December." If you are reading this, friend and there is a way I can show you love, don't hesitate to ask. I want to be the hands and feet!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter for a tiny two

I have had so much on my heart that I want to share as God works to change it. This last year has been an adventure for me taking me far away from my comfort zone, shredding my ideas about myself and giving me a faith so different I would call it new. Everything I share will come from a place of love- for Jesus and for others. Friends I know and friends I haven't met yet. Christian or not, republican or democrat, someone I have always loved or someone I have come across as hypocritical to in the past. I want a chance to share the work that is going on in my heart and the love that Jesus has shared with me.

As we come into the week of Easter I have tried to be intentional when I talk to Adalynn, my two and a half year old. I grew up with a new Easter dress every year from my mom (until I was literally 25, thanks mom!), egg hunts and baskets of goodies. My husband Nick grew up following a chocolate bunny trail to his basket of treats. His mom and dad still throw the best Easter party around! Addy and Charlie (my sweet 5 month old) will do an egg hunt too, but I try not to talk about the Easter bunny. Somehow Addy still picks it up and asks questions that I gladly answer but I really want, even at this age, for her to know what this Holy time is truly about.

Tonight on the way home from the gym Addy was asking about the Easter bunny and if he has a phone (um... probably an iPhone 5, duh) and I asked her "Addy, can we talk about Jesus?" I told her about how tonight he would have been praying in the garden. (Matt 26:36-56) We talked about how Jesus died which is pretty heavy to try to give to a two year old and the great news that on Sunday morning his tomb was empty and he was alive again. She asked me "Why him died?"  I told her how the scripture was proved true by the way he died. She told me "Someday I will go to Heaven and Jesus will be there and God too but that will be bad because God killed him". We clearly still have some work to do. The nice thing is that Christ's story doesn't have to be seasonal. I have a lot of time to answer questions.

The Easter bunny is fun, easy and who doesn't love a little magic and some chocolate but I want so much more than that for my kids. Jesus is harder to talk about and messy and not really what I would always consider an "age appropriate story". Addy and Charlie have the whole world to teach them about a bunny and getting candy but it is only my job to teach them about Jesus. And just saying that weighs heavily on my heart because what a monumental task The Lord has trusted me with placing these two sweet souls in my keeping.