Day 15: Doing life

31dayssquareaddressSo life.  It’s a funny thing.  As I think back over my life, especially the early years as a young wife and then mother, I wonder how I survived.  Especially the mom thing.  Shew.  It still amazes me that you have a baby and the doctors and nurses clean her up and send you on your way without a single clue in the world.

Talk about real life.  Taking that baby home is about as real as it gets.

At that time, I was really wrapped up in being essentially the perfect wife and mother.  I don’t mean that I tried to uphold the Proverbs 31 standard of a godly woman.  No.  I was striving for perfect.  As if that might heal me.

I was constantly knocking myself out to try and attain some imaginary standard.  Obviously I wanted to do right by my husband and baby daughter.  But I was a bit obsessive about it at times.

I may or may not have kept a spreadsheet of every calorie my daughter ingested as she began solid foods.

A spreadsheet, people!

Now look, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a spreadsheet of your kiddo’s food intake if that’s your thing.  But anyone who knows me well knows that spreadsheets make me break out in hives and lists give me a stomachache.  My brain isn’t organized to think in those terms….which I know is upsetting to those with logical thought processes, but yeah, it doesn’t work for me.

It got to the place where I realized life was slowly killing me.  It wasn’t a joyful life well-lived.  It felt more like a life sentence. And not in a good way.

And that’s when I got on my face and gave it over to Jesus.  Because as we all find out eventually, we simply can’t do it all on our own.  And that’s what I was trying to do.  Life on my own.   Kind of near Jesus, but not WITH Jesus.

The beauty of His promise is that he calls us to open ourselves up to him.  Fully. Completely.  Because he wants to do life with us.  Through us.  In us.

And that opens us up to just be ourselves in His presence.


In many ways these babies saved my lives…..they taught me so much about Jesus in ways I never expected.  We do life together in pretty amazing ways.  And I’ve given up on perfection, choosing to just embrace my imperfectness, knowing Jesus has got it.  I can just relax and be who He’s always wanted me to be.

This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.

Day 8: Say


The words come to me often. Song lyrics.  John Mayer croons, “Say what you wanna say….say what you wanna say.”

I think of my daughters.  So much of their lives are lived with unfiltered speech.  If they think it, they feel it.  If they feel it, they feel entitled to say it.  Sometimes, the words they say are designed to cut the other sister to the quick.  They know each others’ triggers and they delight at pushing the buttons, it seems.

Other times, it’s not the words exactly.  It’s not what you say, but how you say it.  Passive aggressive.  Riding the edge of what is okay to say.  And what is not.

And really, how and what we say, choosing to say it the right way or the wrong way, that’s something we all struggle with, isn’t it?

My kids frustrate me and suddenly I find myself being snarky to my husband over something that is nothing at all.

The driver in front of me does something dumb and I call him an unpleasant name.  He doesn’t hear it but my daughters sure do.

Someone I respect at church hurts my feelings and I choose our words from a place of hurt, so they may know exactly how their words cut me to the quick.

But that’s not Jesus’s way, is it?  That’s not what He has in store for Jesus girls.  He must increase and I must decrease.  In every aspect of my life.  More of Him and less of me.  And in this case, I’m called to choose what I say carefully.  My words should reflect His words.

I’m preaching to myself here because this is not easy for me.  Maybe you feel the same?

Say what you wanna say?  No way.  Say what’s best or say nothing at all.  You never know what a difference that might make in someone’s life.  Especially your own.


This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.

This is all I have to give…

When I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was be a mom.  I had copious baby dolls whom I loved and nurtured.  I mothered my younger brother.  And when my BFF was blessed with a new baby brother, I was super excited.

As I grew, I babysat and just generally enjoyed small children.  And then I began my short lived career as a music educator.  And my three and four year old students were the absolute joy of each day.

So it was logical that when I became pregnant with my first child I was in seventh heaven.  And I had some very definite ideas as to how my life would change.  I had visions of what motherhood looked like.  I’m not going to lie.  I thought it would involve lots of sunshine and roses and bunny hugs.  Puffy clouds and picnics and dandelion fluff.  And long afternoon naps and lazy Saturday mornings.


As.  If.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to any mom out there that my experience looked not at all like that.  And honestly, that’s probably the understatement of the century.  Because I was absolutely unprepared for a baby who didn’t read my birth plan and a lack of sleep that messed me up for years.  For c-sections and thrush and baby’s allergy that caused me to give up dairy for  more than  a year.  For post partum depression and utter despair.  But also a love that I couldn’t explain and a joy in things so small, I’m not sure others noticed them.  But oh, the work. The drama.  The laundry.   There were days where I wondered how I’d get through the small things.  Where I simply gave every single thing I had to give and found myself lacking.

I’m not going to apologize for this but I’ve found an utter freedom in my days now that my girls are older.  I’m simply not a good baby mom.  Crisis parenting for wee ones is not my forte.  And who am I kidding, when my beloved daughters say the word “butt” for the 957th time today and fight about everything including the paint on the wall, well that’s hard too.  I’m not sure if I want to sell them to the circus or run away and join it myself.

But it is in the midst of those days when that still small voice enters in.  And He reminds me of His love, love that is simply imperative, especially as I must impart that love to my daughters.  Both as a mom and as a daughter of Christ myself.

“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.  See!  The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.  Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come….”  (Song of Solomon 2:11-12)

When I’m empty, He fills me up.  When I have not another thing to give to my family, He goes ahead of me.  He reminds me that I’m His cherished possession even when my daughters don’t do what I think they should and I feel like a failure.  Because He is my everything and He meets me in the middle of my deepest need.

My God meets my deepest need.  Sometimes I forget that He both asks me to cast my cares on Him and to allow Him to bear my burdens.  I try to do it all.  To be the best mom I can.  But on my own, I’m unable.  I fail and I feel small.  With God, I can do all things.  That’s His promise.  I take comfort in that.

And let me tell you, I’m clinging to it.  Because either these girls are going to stop saying “butt” or I’m going to lose my mind!

This is all I have to give.  My best.  Handed over to my Father.  With his blessing over us.

I’m His dear one and so are they.  And that is my peace.