Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Green Monster

A lot has changed in the past year. We're finally out of Virginia and back in Texas near family again. Virginia was nice, but it was never "home"...

We've been busy unpacking our stuff and trying to make our rental house feel like a home. My in-laws have been kind enough to let us crash at their place while the dust settles. But as I sit reading Facebook, surrounded by my heathen children screaming all around me, I'm struck by an emotion I did not expect - ENVY.

Don't get me wrong - I feel very blessed by all that the Lord has done for me. But sometimes, I read the blogs and status updates or look at pictures of other young moms and I get angry and jealous. I feel like these women have it all together. Half of them don't even look like they've ever even been pregnant, even in a bikini. They do everything right - they're ecologically conscious and use cloth diapers, they nurse for at least a year, they homeschool, what-have-you. And here I am - a hot freaking mess who can't even find the energy to shower everyday. My hair is always up in a bun, I wear t-shirts and ratty old jeans, and I have to freaking tuck my saggy belly into my pants every morning. It's disgusting. Nursing made me want to beat my head against the wall, something I still feel guilty about, and cloth diapers?? Yeah - that experiment lasted all of a day. I can't stand the thought of trying to teach my children anything for longer than 5 minutes because I know I'd end up bald from ripping my hair out in frustration. And NOW, I'm in the land of store-bought beauty, where women go to pick up their kids at school in skirts and heels - and not business skirts and heels, like "I just left work to come get you," but casual "Oh, I look this put together all the time! Why don't you??" Ugh. I could go on and on with this pity party.

But really, how dumb is it to feel angry with other people because God has blessed them?? That's actually the most absurd thing I've ever heard. But I want what they have, I want to be "perfect" like them and that's where the sin lies. They're not perfect, that's just my perception of things. If I were privy to their everyday lives, I'd see that they're probably just as big of a hot mess as I am (they're just better actresses than me :P) God created me to be me - not every other woman on the block. I don't have to be like everyone else, I just have to do the job that God has called me to - as imperfectly as that may be.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Playing the Fool

Wow - I can't believe it's been a year and a half since I wrote last. What does that say about my life?? Or what does it say about me - maybe I'm just lazy. Either way, I'm not good at the blogging thing, so I'll probably just be adding as something comes up. Frankly, I put most of my interesting stuff on Facebook, so...yeah.

I went to work out this morning and walked by my neighbor's car. I walk/drive by this car all the time, and always spend some time looking over their bumper stickers. I've seen them all and I know what they say...things like "Protect our children - kill a Pedophile" and "Coexist" written in all the different religious symbols. Then there's this gem: "Don't pray in my school and I won't think in your church". Wow. Again, I've read it before, but this morning, it really irked me.

Is this person implying that because I profess faith in Jesus Christ, I am somehow unintelligent and unthinking? Really?? Because I'm pretty sure you can't graduate Summa Cum Laude from college without thinking about stuff, or without being somewhat intelligent. Just sayin'. And then there's my husband. The guy has a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry, for crying out loud! He's brilliant! About this point, my feathers were really getting ruffled, and then the Holy Spirit gently whispered in my ear and reminded's not about me. Oh. Right. I forgot. I do that from time to time. Sorry!

But it didn't get whispered like "It's not about you" got whispered via a bible verse.

I pride myself on being intelligent. I highly value intelligence in people, probably more than most other traits, and have a hard time putting up with people who I deem to be on the lower end of the IQ range. I'm not proud of it and I fight against it every time I realize what I'm doing, but it's always there. Pride - one of the many thorns in my flesh that I struggle with daily.

A few weeks ago, I was blessed to sit through some teaching by my wonderfully gifted friend, Marian. She asked a question that I had never heard before in my entire life as a Christian. "Are you willing to be a fool for Christ?" I say I'm willing to walk through all kinds of trials, but at soon as someone questions my intelligence, I'm up in arms. "How dare you question my IQ based on my beliefs?!" And yet, it's what we've been promised. The Holy Spirit reminded me of that this morning:

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.'

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Am I willing to play the fool for Christ? Are you?

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Things are finally starting to settle into place, and it has taken my parents being in town for me to see that. Brian is out of town on a fishing trip with his family for the week, and my parents have graciously come here to VA to help me with the three kiddos. Today, when we were all getting lunch ready for the kiddos, I realized how quick my pace of life is. I'm so used to rushing around - filling up one cup and tossing it to Em, then quickly making a bottle and handing it to Drew, etc., etc... - that I think I had my parents' heads spinning this afternoon!! And I'm now used to having to let one kid cry while I get the other 2 taken care of, simply because what that one child needs will take more time to do. For example, giving the girls lunch and then sitting down to give Drew a bottle - he will cry while I fix their food, but I have to feed them first, otherwise they'd be waiting for much longer than Drew would be to get his bottle. You have to make split-second decisions on priorities - whose crying is more urgent, whose needs are more necessary to meet at that exact moment in time? These are things my parents haven't had to deal with in a long time, and they just aren't used to the crying and activity of our daily routine. I feel kind of bad about it! But at the same time, it reaffirmed to me that I am surviving and thriving, and that's a great feeling :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Get Over Yourself

It is SO easy sometimes to fall into the ridiculousness of vanity. Vanity is not just focusing on "Hey, I look good." Vanity is also "Dang, I look like crap" and then obsessing over it. After giving birth to three children in less than 4 years, there was just about no chance that I was going to emerge with no scars (I'm not Heidi Klum, after all). One c-section scar and innumerable stretch marks later, I look at my stomach and wonder what happened to my cute, flat belly. I know I will never see it again without some sort of surgical intervention, which hardly seems worth it. But before I allow myself to get too depressed about how I look, I remind myself of 2 things:

1.) For every stretch mark, new wrinkle, and gray hair, there are a thousand baby giggles and toothless grins. Each stretch mark is a reminder that I have grown and brought three new lives into the world, three lives that I wouldn't trade for anything.

2.) When we stand before the throne of Christ on that last day, it's not going to matter how many zits we had, or how flabby our belly was, or whether we fit into our pre-pregnancy jeans ever again. No, we won't even be thinking about that. We'll be too focused on how wretched we are standing before a perfect and glorious and all-powerful King. The only thing that will matter is whether or not we're covered by the blood of Jesus and can therefore say "I am not worthy of Heaven but by His grace and mercy in having chosen me to be His child."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mentally Challenged

So, I'm pretty sure that all the people at Em's preschool think I'm completely inept. Ever since I had Drew, getting out of the house and doing ANYTHING is a challenge. Em's preschool likes to do special little events for the kids, especially now since it's the end of the year. These events have not gone particularly well for me:
Last Friday, they had a "summer birthdays" party at the park. This particular park has what they call a "Spray Ground" looks like a big mushroom and pours water everywhere. For some reason, in my brain, I thought it was more like a little sprinkler, so I thought "Oh, we don't need to bring anything!" WRONG! Em and Charlie were the only kids without bathing suits, towels, or sunscreen. Awesome.
While there, Em managed to walk off looking for me and I went looking for her all panicked, and the preschool teacher and other parents were helping me look for her. Cool - I'm the mom who lost her kid at a school function. (Things were made more difficult by the fact that the front wheel of the double stroller was locked, which I didn't know, so I thought it was broken and didn't use it, thereby making containing Charlie that much more difficult.)
Fast forward to today. There was an ice cream party for a few of the classes. Em doesn't normally have school on Mondays, so I went there specifically for this party. We got there, and it wasn't where it was supposed to be because of the rain, so I went to the front office to find out where it was. They told me it was downstairs...with the only ramp being all the way around the building. (Having to push a double stroller has made me much more aware of handicap access and its general lack in public facilities...) Anyway, we walk around the building, get to the set of doors and they're locked. There is no one there to open the doors, and frankly, I had no idea what to do. So, I left all three kids right outside the door and beat cheeks up the stairs, down the hallway, down the stairs, and down another hallway, just to get back to the door and have a couple of preschool teachers giving me nasty looks for abandoning my children. When I tried to explain that the doors were locked, they looked at me and said "Oh yeah, we don't unlock them until 11:30"...which is super awesome because the ice cream party started at 11:15.
Inside, the room was CRAMMED full of people, so the stroller naturally didn't fit in the room. I had to get Drew and Charlie out, and then try and get them maneuvered over to a table in the back. Charlie managed to run away while I was focused on Drew and one of the other moms caught her and brought her back (which is fortunate, or else I would have been the mom that lost 2 of her kids at a school function!). Em's teacher got her settled, which I really appreciated, and the mom who brought Charlie back was really helpful, but still...I felt like a moron.
So, to recap - pretty much everyone at Em's preschool thinks I'm a complete moron (which I'm starting to believe, too)...and I'm just a little bit discouraged about it. Sometimes, I don't know why I even bother. But I don't want Em to miss out on all the fun stuff just because it'd be easier for me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Charlotte's antics

Just thought I'd share how NOT cool it is when Charlotte decides to use my newly increased stomach rolls as a ladder to the counter behind my chair when she's sitting on my lap. Yeah, love it.

On a happier note, she has learned how to tickle, and loves to go up to Drew and say "icka, icka, icka!" She also is learning how to say more things...we think. The other morning, she said "I want banana", and she asks "What's that?" all the time. She'll bring a book to you saying "Bah" and wants you to read it to her. I truly can't believe how big she's getting and how much she changes from week to week.

Wild Card

Well, the last few weeks have been...horrific, to be honest. Between giving birth, trying to adjust to having three kids, and getting the stomach flu, I have not been having a whole lot of fun. But even in the midst of it, I have to admit that God is good. I had a safe and healthy delivery, and I have three safe and healthy children. Yes, Em, Charlie, and I got the stomach flu, but PRAISE GOD that Brian and Drew did not! I was so terrified that my 3 week old son would get sick and have to be admitted to the hospital. Fortunately, my sisters were in town the day after everyone got really ill and were able to help, in more ways than one. My eldest sister, Beth, is a nurse, so that gave me comfort knowing that if anything did happen, she was there. In addition to being a nurse, her son got RSV when he was 4 weeks old and was hospitalized for 8 days. I knew that even if Drew did get sick, she could talk me through it. Again, I am so thankful that we didn't have to deal with any of that!
Now, you're probably wondering why I've titled this "wildcard"...I'll tell you. The longer I am alone with my three children during the day, I realize that at any given time, I have to assess which one of them is going to be my wildcard. At pretty much every moment, two of my children cooperate, while one could go either way. For example, in the afternoon, both my girls usually sleep for a couple of hours. Drew could either sleep or be fussy - therefore, he is my wildcard. Of course, there are those times when all three decide that they need me at once and cannot possibly wait for anything. Those times are NOT cool. But I'm learning that I can survive them when they come and just keep telling myself "This too shall pass". I'm even getting to the point where I can get through them without crying :P So in conclusion, I'll leave you with my sister's words :"God ABSOLUTELY gives us more than we can handle...otherwise, we wouldn't need Him."