"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Monday, February 17, 2014

Stream of Consciousness

Valentines day.  The jury is still out on this topic for me.  It's a fun holiday and I know there's history behind it, the chance to show love to others and be loved in return, and it's a great excuse for date night.  I love the school parties, the heart shaped everything...but really what it is seems more like is a repeat of Halloween minus the costumes.  The kids come home with sacks of candy and little toys that I trip over.  Not to mention the dozens of sucker sticks immersed in the floor boards of my car.
Happy valentines day.

And then there's the olympics.  I love the olympics, be it winter or summer, no matter the event I just love the whole thing.  For some reason this year I'm extra sappy and emotional, the commercials that show the journey to this moment of greatness in pursuit of gold with the world watching.  The success and face of victory in achievement, the best of the best in the whole world.  And when they don't make the cut, they fall short and watch others take podiums and every so graciously participate in media interviews only to say today wasn't the day.
I cry like a baby.  What's wrong with me?  I have no idea.

In fact I'd say overall the older I get the more of a sap I've become.  I can't handle the usual Ridley Scott films, no longer is Braveheart my all time favorite movie, and when I catch these babies actually being kind to each other when they think I'm not looking, I tear up.
So last week was the whirlwind of such sugar high festivities and events, including a date with my man.  My mama came for a visit and no matter how old I get, my heart still needs and hopes for little things I'm capable of but would much rather receive from her.

No one makes a bed like her, a sandwich like she does.  You can smell her perfume once she's gone, she little traces of her that were there from organized cabinets to neatly folded laundry.
She's a gem.  All the more reason why last week was wonderful and the weekend followed suit.

Sugar Cookies is our new favorite book.  A sweet read about lessons in love and relationship.  We read it every day.

I saw a movie this fall and we watched it again this weekend and I was reminded how much I loved it.
At the end, the main character has met his true love, married her, buried a parent, had a few kids all the while living a life where he can travel back in time.  So if he messes up throughout his day, he runs to the closet to shut his eyes and travel back in time to repeat the same encounter yet with a better or different response.  No mess ups but still with authenticity and honesty.  Near the end of the film, he rolls out of bed for yet again the routines and rhythms of life and he says...

"And in the end I think I've learned the final lesson from my travels in time;
and I've even gone one step further than my father did:
The truth is I now don't travel back at all, not even for the day,
I just try to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day,
to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life."

I love this.  I love the way it makes me feel, how it sounds, how the character in the movie walks it out while making toast and taking kids to school.  And yes I know it's a movie and only in the movies is this utopian perfect atmosphere possible.  But I love the piece of intentional living, being present, being conscious of not letting things drain you and cause you to be distant and rush.  

So onward, to this weekend of lovelies.  I have to practice this thing I want in my heart and deep down want to value and quiet the parts of me that place it further down on the list of priority.

This weekend, enjoying...
Toys at the breakfast table
My girls always have toys at the table, they pull them out of nowhere and sometimes it irritates me but this weekend it didn't and tomorrow I hope it doesn't.  And speaking of the breakfast table, it doubles as my girls' project table and it usually covered in glue and markers.

Some day it won't look like this and I'll be sad.

Outside play
We played outside all weekend long.  A few errands but mostly choosing to be home around the nest for whatever sport they wanted to play.

                              With the lovely Alicia Brown

We ate meals outside, read books outside, went for walks.

Sunday lunch
We met some friends after church for lunch on campus, more outside, more time together.
More of this sweet darling who was a little fussy from some new teeth but nevertheless a cuddle bug of joy and sweetness.
I sat next to my girl, my oldest lovely.  She's so big, she's getting so much older.  She amazes me every day with dreams and thoughts and ideas.  The other night we got her up like we did when she was a baby, just to hold and cuddle her.  She's so big she wraps all the way around me and I can hardly carry her back up the stairs to her bed.
Beautiful Kelly

                         With Josh

I loved this weekend for so many reasons and no reason at all.  I love the idea of intentional living and creating space for nothingness and just being present.  Sometimes it's hard for me but at the end of the day I want them to look back and know, believe that I always chose them over checklists.  That I was fully okay with a messy room and hours of Uno and Candy Land and that bed times were better unrushed.
I'll start there for now and work my way up the list.

...to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day...
to enjoy it.

Happy Monday!

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Little Late

These days I'm a little late to everything, with everything, for everything.  It's mostly minute things that in the grand scheme of things don't matter.  And I'm sure in previous seasons I was tempted that prompt was best no matter the cost.  I look back at a girl who was once collected and had things somewhat together.  I laugh because I'm certain that girl was a mirage and never was.  In addition to this late factor that now accompanies my every day is the lovely added bonus of a scattered brain.  My emotions, my thoughts, my grocery list.  You name it my brain is scattered.

Example, Christmas.  It's February and I'm just now looking through Christmas pictures.  Oh happy day.  I will repeat this offense for the years to come.  I will marvel, laugh and cry and look back on a sweet holiday months later.

But back to being completely scattered.

I've been doing a lot of reading, books and blogs, articles.  A book on instilling gratitude in kids for doing chores, how to raise strong women, articles on women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The latter wrecked me for a bit.  Doing some light research on neurological issues for my girl, although I'm certain one day my Bella is going to walk out of all of this.  Sister has been working hard now in therapy twice a week and my girl rocks it.  Doing some more testing on her, ruling out things and teaching her the every day little things I once took for granted.  How to sit up, how to pull up, how to squat, how to walk.  She amazes me.  There's enough real emotion and things going on, as with all of us, to pull you right back down to reality.  The moments when you realize the laundry piles don't matter, life is precious and there's 4 little treasures sleeping upstairs who need to know who they are, who He's called them to be, and what it looks like to chase after their destiny fiercely.

But then the other ball drops and the laundry really does need to be folded because they need clean pajamas and socks for school.  See what I mean?  Scattered.

So for today, in this hour the things I'm thinking about are my lack of grace and patience this week as a mom.  Well let's just go ahead and throw in the last month.  I feel like being a mom carries weight and responsibility differently than most jobs do.  I'm certain there are harder jobs, jobs where lives are at stake, jobs that determine the course of time and shape history.

But for the moment, I want to throw the role of a mom into that category.  Because those little sausages as my friend Daena calls them, those little ones are high currency.  I've heard it said we have Timothy's, Deborah's, and David's sleeping under our roofs.  A different pressure of my mistakes although covered in grace and forgiven, the stakes are high.

Lately, I've slipped into this quick irritation and frustration when my girls, particularly my oldest daughter makes mistakes.  She doesn't always know her place, she's the oldest so expectation is placed on her subconsciously, by me, by her, by others.  But then again that 3 year old crazy lady of mine is a repeat offender.  She can disobey, have consequences, and before I've even had a second to sip the cup of coffee now cold from sitting on the counter too long, she's back at the same thing again.  I feel like parenting in their failures is repetitive to the point that I think I could record myself saying the same 100 things over and over, just press play and they'd hear it no differently.

Lovely place of parenting I've been operating from.  Sheesh.  And how sweet and faithful He is to meet me in my weakness.  Over and over again.
For me, my life is the repeated failures of the same things I choose to do over and over.
What is the Lord's response?
And what is my response in her failure communicate?  Does it articulate an alignment with His character or does my irritated, weak, tired flesh rule from a quickly tapped place of frustration?

My time in the secret place meant for receiving His affection and equipping for yet another day with entrusted treasure is crucial.  It's the only place I can find rest for my soul and catch a glimpse, some days a taste of the waters and pastures the caverns of my heart need most.

And so today we press on.  We braid hair while they eat breakfast, we make lunches, change diapers, run carpools, settle arguments.  We clap in dance lobbies and soon, soccer fields.  We prepare dinner, wipe noses, help with homework.  Bathe little grimy bodies, sing songs, read books, kiss tired foreheads and tuck them in tight.  Asking for forgiveness along the way and laying down at night only to receive our own grace to rise again the next day and do it all over again.

Because the calling is worth it.
They are worth it.
And I'll be a little late for all of it.  And scattered.  And holding a cup of cold coffee.

Happy Monday.