Friday, December 19, 2014

lessons from a two year old.

I watched her this morning as she climbed onto the chest to look in the mirror.

"Hi Eden" she said to her reflection. She smiled and waved . She flipped her hair and was satisfied with what she saw. She laughed and was pleased with her beauty.

I watched her and it struck me how she has not yet learned to compare herself to others around her and those she sees on social media. She does not scrunch up her nose at her reflection and the flaws she believes are there. She does not pinch and squeeze body parts wishing them to be smaller or bigger or more something or other. She does not scrutinize the reflection staring back at her.

She simply looks in the mirror and smiles.
I can learn a lot from watching her.

just call me "ma"

The other morning I was driving around running errands with Hope and Eden and we got to talking about what we want for Christmas. Hope recited her list and then turned to me with excitement and exclaimed, "I know what you want for Christmas Mommy!!"
"Oh really, What?"
"A rocking chair!" She answered. "So you can sit by the fire and sew like they did in the olden days!"

I laughed out loud. I don't even know how to sew... (although i did get a sewing machine for my birthday and am learning!) and the thought of me sitting in the rocker sewing just struck me funny!

I love Hope and her humor. 

Just call me "ma"...

Friday, December 12, 2014

laugh or break?

So I hardly ever clean the bathroom, like really clean it and give the shower and floors a good scrub. Sure wiping toothpaste off the bathroom mirror and pee off the seats is a daily occurrence and I occasionally give the toilet a swish with the wand but that's about it. So it had been a couple months since I really gave it a good cleaning. So Wednesday I scrubbed both bathrooms and did some other cleaning around the house.
And like one of the those unspoken laws of motherhood, 24 hours later two bathroom floors puked on and a kitchen floor covered in throw up. Two beds with vomit. A daddy and three kids sick. And did I mention I am also watching an extra kid? And it is almost laughable. 

I just tucked everyone in and showered off the lingering smell of vomit. I was feeling really grumpy this evening taking care of everybody and cleaning up messes and was thinking "God don't let anyone else throw up" and I turn around and Hope throws up at my feet.  Kids come running into the kitchen and all I could think of was the scene from Cheaper by the Dozen where the kid slips in throw up. It's not really funny at all. But it is so ridiculous that it is almost comical.
Fast forward to this morning and I am having trouble seeing any humor in all this sickness. 
Mark is lying in bed sick and I am running around doing the umpteenth load of laundry and being bedside nurse, a role I don't always do graciously. But in the midst of going through the motions, getting another glass of sprite, cleaning up a diaper of diarrhea and patting another back I felt God whisper " you are doing it". 
This is where the rubber meets the road. There is a call to rise to the task at hand. And even though I feel tired and a bit grumpy... I am doing better than I think

And if I can keep this perspective than half the battle is already won.

"I truly believe that one of the greatest skills a mother can have is a sense of humor. Laughter heals. A broken spirit makes things worse. There are lots of times in the life of a mother when these could easily be your two choices---laugh or break. 
You know the day that you wash all the bedding, even the comforters?
Probably causing a traffic jam of other loads that needed to go through? You know what will happen, right? Almost guaranteed puke in the middle of the night, or at least an accident, possibly a bloody nose. If you wash it, it will be the victim of some kind of catastrophe. What is this kind of thing other than funny? It is slapstick level comedy with the clean sheets playing the role of the pane of glass. Can you laugh? Or do you let it dry you out just a little bit more?"

-Rachel Jankovic, Fit to Burst

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

this is my story. this is my song.

This weekend we got a way with our church family for a couple days of fellowship, worship and perspective. This annual weekend is always one of the highlights of my year and this year proved no different. I love how on these weekends away God has a way of putting his finger on stuff in our lives that when we are in our everyday lives we are too close to see. But in these settings he is free to dust things off and awaken things in our hearts forgotten in the business of ordinary day to day life.
The whole theme of the weekend was about getting rid of shame and living a good story. 

We need to let go of shame in order to see clearly the story we are telling. 

Friday night as I stood in worship my heart felt free and alive. I was just Heather. Not a wife or a mom or anything else and it In this season of life God is showing me more and more of who I am. At times I almost feel as if I have been under water for years and just now coming up for air and learning to swim. 
I can breathe. I feel free and alive.

I can be hard on myself and can look back and feel like I lost so much of myself in those early years of birthing babies. Marriage and motherhood are two of the greatest things that ever happened to me. But at times I have felt like I was in an identity crisis not really knowing who I am anymore because I was constatnly changing.  But God is showing me that surrender was necessary and part of the process. 

There was things I needed to let go of to become more of who I was called to be.

 Motherhood is a life changing procces that involves a lot of surrender. Surrendering our bodies, our lives and our dreams is part of the process. The surrender can be hard and painful at times and you feel as if you are lost never to be found again. But now in this season parts of my heart are slowing coming back...and I am better for the things I have walked trhough and learned along the way. 
But when I allow shame to cloud my story I am not seeing the beauty of the process and celebrating how far I have come. 

This weekend God touched deep places of my heart and pulled away a shadow of shame that has lingered over the past. It was as if I was looking back with foggy glasses and he tenderly came and wiped them off so I could see more clearly. I wept and He whispered his truth over my heart and I felt clean and whole. 

That is the Father's heart for us. 

And when I talk about shame I am not talking about huge regrets but just an overarching feeling that I often had about parts of our story. It was like a shadow. It wasn't real.  I read a quote today by Brene Brown that sums it up perfectly, "Where perfectionism exists, shame is always lurking." Bulls eye. I am a recovering perfectionist and have super high expecations for myself. It is learning proccess to be graceful and loving with myself.

And coming home I could start to see things differently. Almost as if I was watching a slideshow of my life. God was showing me the story we are writing and it is good. And when shame is removed the hard parts, the messy parts and parts that were unpleasant just become part of the what makes it a good story. Because all good stories have conflict and tension and some battle to overcome. 

I am celebrating how far I have come. And looking forward with expectation for the things yet to come. 
I am filled with a thankful heart for the journey we are on and the story we are telling.