Saturday, May 12, 2018

Karis' Birth

This weekend is mother's day weekend, and for the first time in what feels like a long time I am taking a day off, completely off, of mothering.  This also means for the first time I have had extended silence and hours to MYSELF, to do as I please.  It was through this I started digging back into my old blog and realized I NEVER wrote down Karis' birth story (#fourthkidprobs).  So without further ado, here it is.

Towards the end of this pregnancy I was of course uncomfortable and hot, but that is to be expected being 8 months pregnant at the end of July.  I had been consistently contacting for weeks like I did with Halle Kate, but I knew this time not to fret about it.  I went to my 36 week appointment on Thursday and asked to be examined because I had a feeling something might happen over the weekend and if I needed to go into the hospital I would know what I had been verses what I was there.  I go home, still contacting, and waiting, basically feeling like a ticking time bomb.  I remember Mark and I just laying on the couch in the living room watching our kids go nuts playing in the sprinklers outside, and me being too exhausted to do anything else. 

The last weekend in July in our little Texas town also happens to be the weekend of the hot air balloon races.  This is a super fun event where hot air balloon pilots from all over converge on our city and race! It is so neat to see 10-20 balloons flying in the sky over that weekend.  Sometimes you can catch them taking off if you get up very early and track them down.  That's what my precious husband tried to do with our kids while I attempted to relax in the tub, the only real form of relief for a majorly pregnant woman.  He even brought me breakfast in there before he left.  He's a true hero guys! I honestly don't remember much more of that day other than I really didn't do a whole lot.  I do remember telling Mark she wouldn't be our earliest baby, that HK had beat her by a day.  Finally I went to get in the shower, followed by the bed, with Mark staying up to finish a project he was working on for my mom. I had a few consistent contractions, some of which were moan worthy but nothing too horrible.

 I get in the bed and fall asleep, only to be awoken around 2 or 3 or so contracting again.  I decided to get back in the shower and labor some in there. This is the first time I have ever made a labor playlist, and had been listening to it the last few days.  That night was no different.  I had decided to use whatever time I was up and uncomfortable to worship with and that was the best decision.  Songs became more powerful and meaningful as I worked through contractions.  After the shower I got out and got back into bed and labored there (around 4:30 or so).  I remember thinking "If I can just make it to an appropriate waking time then I wont have to cause anyone any inconvenience."  Finally I think around 7 or so Mark woke up and I told him I was pretty sure today was the day.  We waiting until about 8 or so and started calling people and getting plans in place.  Mom and dad showed up a little later and we headed to the hospital. 

At the hospital I had to wait in the L&D triage area until they were sure they were going to admit me. They sent in a girl to check me and let's just say it was MORE THAN uncomfortable.  Those things aren't fun to begin with, but when she left I looked in a panic at Mark and said "She went WAY too fast!" I told him if she came back to do that again I was going to request a different nurse because wow! Luckily she didn't.  I only had a small bit of change so they really didn't want to admit me despite the every 2-4 minute contractions.  All I knew is I didn't want to go home.  They then said they were going to do a "slow admitting" where they left me be in a room and wait and see basically.  I wasn't given an IV or anything yet.  I asked if I could walk around, and they said yes.  The way the building is set up is you can walk around in a circle but part of it takes you around to windows that look into the waiting room.  I did NOT want anyone to see me and it be like a fishbowl effect so we would just turn around and walk the other way when we got to a certain point.  At one point we walked in front of the nurses station to the same "too fast" girl saying "I CAN'T find this patient on the monitor.  I can't find her ANYWHERE!" To which the other nurses said "That's because she's right there."  They then told us to excuse her, it was her first day.  Needless to say I am thankful for the nurse had who was super sweet.

I never made significant change past a centimeter (went from 3.5 to 4 or so ) and the doctor told me if I didn't change they would not admit me.  The sweet nurse also talked me into some pain meds they could give via a shot.  I wish now I hadn't done that because it made me feel so so so strange.  Funny story with that is she administered it and said "Ok, stick. . . and a burn."  Which it absolutely did.  It also caused a reaction between my skin and the bandaid.  I howled hahaha.  I said to Mark through sobs "I (sob sob) feel like (sob sob) OOOWWWEEENNN!"  Mark died laughing and then had to explain to the nurse how I felt like I was acting like our 4 year old.  Those meds did help me sleep, but also made it to where I COULD NOT focus.  Literally I was trying so hard and was barely able to keep eye contact.  I just kept saying "Mark I don't like this" over and over again.  Finally at about 3 or 4 they check me and I've progressed enough to where the doctor said I could stay, only for her to come back and say he changed his mind, there wasn't enough change and if I didn't change more in an hour we would have to leave.  I saw Mark get his fighting pants on when she came back an hour later and I was quite to that next centimeter yet. 

Our doctor comes in eventually and I see Mark get ready to make a huge case for us staying.  Luckily the doctor says "Ok, you have 3 options, 1 I send you home and you come back here probably later on tonight, you can go rest and eat. 2, I tell you to leave, get something to eat, and come back in 2-3 hours, and if you weren't such a bad IV stick this would be what I would go with (they had to stick me 4-5 different times, as always). 3 We get you an epidural, break your water, and have a baby."
Marks said his only concern with us leaving is that we would leave, only to return without enough time for an epidural, to which Dr. Newlin replied "I'm not sure you would make it back here in time at all." So we went with option 3.  There was also a shift change and the next nurse I got I was so glad to see was Lindy, who is a mom to a girl in Reid's class!  I felt like I was in good hands. 

Finally around 10 or so things start happening and it is time to HAVE A BABY! My epidural is amazing, I literally cannot feel anything.  I didn't super like that though, I feel like I need pressure to know what is going on. Especially because I literally pushed twice and she was OUT, and I had NO CLUE!  I remember being legit surprised when they said she was born.  I also remember how quiet the room was, she didn't really cry a lot, just laid there looking up at us.  No one really said much to be honest.  Of course I cried, completely overwhelmed by God's grace to us with this sweet girl!

To be continued. . .

Sunday, May 14, 2017

What Gives You Life

I recently have gotten "back" into blogging.  To be truthful, I tried my hand at "professional blogging" (meaning I tried to make my blog look all fancy and do a bunch of different things, write a certain way, etc but never monetized it), but that was all about 5 years and three kids ago.  However, one exhausted night after everyone in my house had already gone to bed I remembered a far off corner of enjoyment for me that I had laid aside for years.  In fact I was remembering a simpler time of life, especially in my attitude when it came to mothering and trying to think back as to what had such a profound impact.  
Then it hit me, I remembered what a huge impact different blogs had on me as I navigated the uncharted waters of being a stay at home mom  The Lord used different blogs throughout at couple of years to affirm, challenge, and educate me in this vast world of being a SAHM.  My attitude went from one of not wanting to stay at home with my baby to one of seeing what a beautiful gift it was and this was in large part because of the blogs and sermons I sought out.  They really shaped my attitude into a love for being at home and to seeing the importance and holiness it brings. 
Fast forward a few years and a few kids later and here I am sitting down discouraged and I remember a treasure from years past and wonder if it even still exists.  Do stay at home moms blog anymore?  Like they used to? Can I even remember the websites I used to go to for encouragement?  It turns out "yes" was the answer to all those questions, and I am so thankful it has been!  I have been so encouraged by the posts I have read the last couple of weeks and the reminders to find my rest, hope, strength, beauty, and whatever else in Jesus, and how to do that in the middle of this busy season.  
This has also made me reevaluate and be thankful for the ways God has made each person different.  I desperately want to be that person that "gets life" by going to the gym and working out for an hour.  My husband is that person, and while yes I feel better after  do just that, it isn't what I look forward to by any means, and therefore isn't something I do consistently.  And honestly for years this has bothered me.  That I am not a "fit person" by nature, that I don't enjoy something I know I should and is good for me.  No what gives me life is writing and reading.  Those little moments where I am doing the very opposite of moving and staying in shape physically, but when I am sitting down doing exactly what I am doing this very moment.  This is what I look forward to, this is what I enjoy, this reenergizes me to face whatever might be waiting for me as I teach and train my children.  For the longest time I was not ok with this, and it still bothers me, I wish I could do this and work out at the same time.  But today I am choosing to see it as a blessing, as a way God has made me different, and it is all part of His plan and design.  
So I guess my message for today is, don't beat yourself up because of something you wish you were and just aren't.  Instead remember those things that are important to you, that bring you satisfaction and joy and celebrate the fact God has given you an outlet that is uniquely you.  Is it ok to try to better yourself, to do new things, even things that aren't fun? Absolutely, we all should do just that, but some days it is good to sit down and bask in the beauty of being exactly the way God made you. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Just Random Things

So past month has been a little nutso in our home, for starters we sold and bought a house all on the same day, and in that regard it meant we were basically charged with getting two homes ready.  One had to be ready to have the next family living in it, and the other had to be able to be inhabited by our family.  Can I just tell you this is no small feat.  In fact it is awful and hard and I don't want to ever do it again, though I know we will have to at some point, though hopefully no time soon! I have more on this later but only had time to upload a few phone photos for this post so for now it will have to wait. 

After we had been in the house about a week one morning we were surprised to find very warm water coming up from underneath the bathroom.  So we called the home warranty people who sent plumbers out to fix the problem.  They thought they had discovered the solution to the issue when they saw the previous owner had never put a wax ring back on the toilet after he reinstalled it.  So they did so for me and I think were going to be content but Mark made me press them on why the water was warm, like warmer than room temp warm coming out of the bottom of the toilet.  After some time, and turning on all faucets in the house simultaneously they made not only the toilet leak again but also noticed water coming up from underneath the floor in the hallway in between the two bathrooms in the house.  Long story a bit shorter they had to cut the wall and ended up finding a pipe with a huge hole ON THE TOP of it (something both guys and their dad, who has been a plumber 32 years, had never seen before!) that had apparently been there a while judging by all the mold on the bottom half of the wall.  They ended up taking all the sheetrock out and right now that room and hole is covered with plastic.  Did I mentioned it had just gotten done being painted 2 days earlier, because it had.  

Moving on to other things, I have a pregnant picture at some point with all of our kids on this blog and I didn't want sweet Karis to feel left out, so here we are at 19 weeks.

This was what felt like the first legitimate home school day in the new house.  Between moving in and getting everything out of the other house and then having it painted this was honestly the first time were able to see our kitchen table to use it for school work in a couple of weeks.  Right now the playroom is still stacked high with boxes so we are working on school here.  I have to say I don't hate it, I am able to do laundry or be in the kitchen without ever having them out of my sight which is nice for staying on top of work.

And then there is this little georgia peach right here who acts like she is literally dying if I make her stay in my eye sight during Reid's teeball games.  I swear this little Miss Independent is gonna make her mama go mad before she's 10.  However if we can make it through these little formative years I know she will change the world and I pray it is great and mighty things for God's kingdom.  Until then if anyone wanted to come and be the designated Halle Kate watcher so I could actually see Reid make a play that would be great.  

I know this is not great blogging, heck it isn't even good blogging, but it IS still getting on here and doing it.  For me right now that is what it is going to take until I figure out a new system of uploading pictures quickly.  And you know what, that is ok.  So what if nothing really goes together in a post, so what if I have random pictures that are out of order from what has actually been happening, so what?  This is our life and it is such a good one, so if it is documented, then I call it a success.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dusting Off the Ol' Blog

It has been quite a long time since I last posted.  In fact it has been quite a long time since I even attempted to open my blog and do a single thing with it.  I actually do not know what spurned me on to the rabbit trail that led here tonight, but alas here I am.

So much has happened since my last update. . . Too much to even begin to put in to words or sentences or paragraphs.  One thing I can say is God has been steadily at work from then until now, something I am forever grateful for.  I cannot possibly begin to recap what all has happened in the last two years so I will attempt to hit the high points.

  • Our kids are older now
    • I know that is a little obvious but it doesn't make it any less true.   Reid is now 6(and a half he would say), Owen is 4, and Halle Kate is 2.  Some of the biggest changes in our daily routine is that Reid is now school age! I really am still having a hard time understanding the fact I have kindergartener who is almost done with kindergarten.  To me that is just a little crazy.  He started a program at a local Christian School called the Collaborative Education Program where he attends school Tuesday through Thursday and then he is homeschooled on Mondays and Fridays.  We have LOVED this method, and while there has been a learning curve as to how to schedule/handle school plus everything else in our lives, it has been totally worth it.  Owen and Halle Kate currently attend Mother's Day Out 2 times a week, and LOVE their teachers and classmates so much.  Owen has the biggest crush on "Miss Jennifer" and HK adores her "my Kristen" as she calls her.  I have many Halle Kate stories from MDO that I need to record lest I forget them.  
    • Each kid is coming into their own personality more and more.  Reid with his more serious/literal side that STILL loves anything to do with a ball or any sport.  He also has found a love for creating books, mostly about animals, which is fun to watch him explore.  Owen is still our lovie, caring kiddo, but his year 4 has been quite a doozy of dealing with new attitudes that are surfacing.  He is a "worker man" and loves to build, make, create, and imagine with toys.  He loves to help his daddy or me and is the only kid we have that will play alone. Halle Kate is well, Halle Kate, there really are no other words.  I have never met a kid quite like her.  She is SPUNKY to say the least, with energy that rivals Reid's.  She has been fluently speaking in full sentences since about 18 months, knows what she wants and can tell (demand) it from you with all the right words.  She is always talking, always busy, sneaky, always in trouble, pulls down all the things, and yet loves to sing and give sugars, play with her babies, and do all things girly.  I love her to death, she has broken every mold I had in my head of what having a baby girl would be and I am thankful to her for that. 
  • We are currently expecting kid #4
    • Yes you read that right, Clifton baby number 4 is on the way.  And before anyone need silently wonder to themselves "was this a surprise?" you can rest assured that we were not surprised, but this baby was prayed over and for for months before we attempted getting pregnant.  The further along we go in this parenting journey of having a raising littles we know there is no guarantee that we can get pregnant or that we will stay pregnant.  We feel so blessed by this sweet gift and are so thankful to God that He saw fit to grace us with this sweet baby. 
    • We also know what we are having! Another little. . .  GIRL! There are no words to describe how excited I am by this.  I adore my two boys' precious brother relationship and after having always wanted a sister I was thrilled Halle Kate would be able to have a same gender of sibling as well.  This is the tail end of our "having kids" years so I am cherishing every last bit of this pregnancy.  I say that now at 19 weeks as I can sit her comfortably with my laptop able to be on my lap.  Give me about 12 more weeks and I will probably be singing a different tune.  
    • We also have her first name picked out which makes me excited.  We chose Karis because it means "grace" in greek.  Mark actually wanted to name her Grace, but I wanted something that started with a K, so Karis was a perfect fit.  I am totally in love with the name and with her and I cannot wait to meet her.   
All in all our family is doing well.  We are busy with Reid beginning schoola nd sports, but we are enjoying this new season we are in.  Mark and I are also doing well too.  God has bestowed so much grace and love and peace on us, especially in these last two years and we don't take that for granted for a second. This is a far cry from an indepth update, but I am HOPING, really really hoping I can actually keep this thing up again.  I forget how much I enjoy coming back and reading what we were doing at different stages in life, and I don't want to forget or miss it for a second more.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What a "Normal" Week Looks Like

The last few months of this year seem to have just flown right by.  The last time I wrote on this blog was September 8, and the post before that was in July.  It always is so amazing to me how fast time goes by, and the more children we have the faster it seems to go.  Here's a run down of what we are doing on most "normal" weeks.  I put normal in quotations because between 3 children, you learn to expect anything and anyone can come down with some illness or whatever out of nowhere.

    Sundays are usually pretty quiet around here.  Mark has to be at the church around 7-7:30 to set up the stage, lights, and sound equipment each week.  We currently are renting out the Convention Center in Marshall, which means during the week all the things church related must be down and stored away and then on put back up again on Sunday mornings.  So no one really sees daddy until we get to church later that morning.
    Usually I get the kids up and going around 7:30-8 and they get to watch one show or so while they eat their breakfast.  This is a special treat, because normally they aren't allowed to watch television while they eat, instead they eat together at the table.  However, daddy says during the weekends the rules relax a little and it gives them something to look forward to and enjoy.  While they are preoccupied with the show and eating I finish up whatever is left for me to do to finish getting myself ready, which means hair and make-up, but I wait to put on my clothes.  I also try to pick out and get everyone's clothes ready too.  After the show it is on to the bath (if we hadn't taken one the night before) so everyone smells good and clean.  Then I get the boys dressed, then I get Halle Kate dressed, and then I put everyone in the car with whatever items are needed (diaper bag, bible, drinks, etc).  Then I come back into the house to put on my outfit for church.  This prevents anything spilling on it or getting spit up upon before we get there and I don't have to worry about how is getting into what while I change since they are all strapped in ready to go.  We go to church, then come back for lunch, nap (Mark usually has a soccer game he plays on Sunday afternoons), then some play outside time, dinner, and more play time.  Very relaxed and not a whole lot pressing us this day.

    Monday is a day we have nothing "scheduled" so it is also the day I do "school" with Reid. We start school around 9:00ish or so after everyone has woken up, eaten breakfast, and done their morning chores.   We work on whatever letter they will be working on at his school that week.  I usually pull various worksheets from pinterest, including one where he makes a book.  I want to do more and make more little crafts and all, but between the letter work, a math sheet, calendar time, and bible lesson, that is all the sitting still we have in us, and that is ok with me.  One day I will get it all together and do the neat things.  Halle Kate is hopefully napping during this time, though I don't let her sleep very long, because I would rather her sleep later on when everyone else does.  She is the worst napper out of the three, but she is also the one who gets toted around the most during the morning, so her morning nap is never at a real consistent time, except for on Mondays and Thursdays.
    Once we have done school I usually give them free time to play, hopefully outside if the weather permits.  I try to take that time to do housework that needs to get done, like laundry, dishes, vacuuming and mopping, cleaning bathrooms, etc.  Anything that is generally too loud or has me moving around too much during the afternoon nap time.  We then come in for some inside play time or I go out with them to the driveway in the front yard and watch them as they ride bikes or scooters.  Then it is time to make the kids lunch and let them eat around 12 or so.  After they eat, they can play, or we sometimes draw, or paint, or do playdough, depending on where they are emotionally.  At 1 they get to watch one show before going down for nap at 1:30.  After everyone is put in their beds I go and get myself lunch and sit down to eat that and watch one show of whatever I choose. I try to make sure I am up and doing something from at least 3-4, whether that is laundry, or working on my bedroom, which happens to be the catchall for stuff.  My kids then sleep until 4 or so when they wake up and go to play again.  This usually means going out to the front yard to get out their energy.  A snack is usually given about this time.  Then it is time to fix supper if it isn't a crock pot meal, or get it prepared.  Sometimes this is crazy town because there isn't a "set" thing for them to be doing at that time, and I am preoccupied with dinner before daddy gets home.
    Finally daddy makes it home and we are able to eat together as a family, clear  the table, and head back outside one final time before our bedtime routine begins.  Around 7, we put the kids in the bath, clear up whatever is left in the kitchen that didn't get cleared before, then they are out and in PJs and ready for bible time around 7:20.  We do bible time together, then it is either one more show (this is usually what happens) or sometimes daddy gets out his guitar and we sing before bed.  I try to also read a book here, but that doesn't always get accomplished.  I need to get better at that aspect.  8 o'clock, all children are in bed, and Mark and I fall out on the couch and chill for a bit.  We usually watch netflix until around 10, then head to bed ourselves because seriously it is exhausting, and get get ready to do it all again in the morning.

    Tuesdays are mother's day out days for all three children, so the morning is a little rushed with breakfast, chores, and clothes on to prepare for "school".  They get dropped off at 9 AM and I get to do whatever I have planned for that day.  I really thought I would be home a lot more, but usually these days I am gone from the house for almost the entire time.  This is where I get those random things done that need to be done but is too hard to do with 3 under 5 with you.  They get home at 2:30 and then we weather the storm until bed, which the routine is the same as above.

  Wednesdays are great days because we go to Bible Study Fellowship, which I adore.  It is an absolutely free class where women gather together to learn more about the bible by going through specific books or themes.  For instance last year they spent the entire year on the life of Moses, and this year they are doing the book of revelation.  It is truly like a college course with reading and homework to do every week and I just love it.  There is also a children's program which is AMAZING.  The kids learn what you are learning each week, as well as many other songs and verses.  Their teachers also pray for them by name weekly, which is such a neat thing to know someone else is praying for your baby right along with you.  I go to an hour small group meeting and then an hour lecture, and then usually me and 3 friends and all our children eat lunch outside on the playground at the church.  It is a great time to just be together.
   We come home from that, watch our pre-nap show, then head to nap.  This day I really have to push to get certain things done so our house stays afloat, and I try to do those during the show so I am not making too much noise at nap time.  Once nap time is over it is a fast and furious race to get dinner cooked, eaten, and everyone ready and out the door to Wednesday night church.  We absolutely adore our small group and the kids love getting to see their friends.  We also get home rather late, so once we are home around 8:30 it is usually a  fast bath (at my request, I want those sick germs off, Mark doesn't care) and bed.

  Thursdays are essentially the same as a Monday.  Some days we have somewhere to go, an errand to run, or a play date with a friend.  I try to stick around the house as much as possible so the kids are at home with me more than they are away.

   During the week, Mark work around the clock and tries to see all his patients, which will leave Fridays open to spend with us.  Those are "special days" because the boys get to watch a show while they eat and then they go somewhere with daddy while I either work on things around the house that need more intensive attention (closets, eesh those aren't fun). We usually  meet up for lunch and then come home, show, nap, wake up and play, repeat.

   Everyone is home all together and those days are fun and slow, spent with everyone all together,  We adore these days and are thankful for the time we get as a family.  It gets kind of hard trying to keep 3 littles entertained and having enough to do to pass the day but we make it work for us.  God has been so gracious and I know I will one day look back on this and wonder "what all did I do" or "how in the world did we survive?" So I am writing it down. . . Instead of folding the three piles of laundry while listening to HK cry because she woke herself up an hour early from her nap (sorry sugar find your paci and get on it, I am not coming in until nap is done).

So  yes, this is what we have been doing lately and some as the weeks have passed.  Every week looks different, but they basically have this skeleton to go off of.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sometimes Childhood Is...

In the world of social media it is so easy to make it look like we have it all together.  Perfectly staged photos of clean smiling children, eating their incredibly healthy-looks-like-an-octopus-sandwich-sculpture, peacefully together, at the table you handcrafted yourself out of reclaimed barn wood, while listening to instrumental hymns playing softly in the background is the ideal idea I had in my head of what raising 3 children would be.  Um, eeerrrrkkk, can we just put on the brakes on that one and realize it will never happen!  It just isn't reality.  And no matter what I think life with littles should look like in my head, it just doesn't look like that in real life.  Not only am I too exhausted to create anything, including handmade tables and octopus sculpture lunches, I am sometimes too exhausted to be in the same dirty messy room as my kids.  Sometimes I just want to close my eyes and wish it clean and POOF, that is what would happen.

However today as I sit watching my boys play in a massive lawn mower box giggling their heads off as they play together (which in turn makes their sister laugh), I can't help but realize just how blessed I am, and that these are just some of the things that sometimes childhood is.

Sometimes childhood is messy rooms, like incredibly messy rooms, because when you're a kid, you don't get anxiety over how many things are on the floor (or what your 9 month old sister may eat).

Real life, of our real game room, on any given day.

Sometimes childhood is laughing uncontrollably as you and your kid brother are playing with a huge ball in a small box together.  The logic doesn't make sense, but that doesn't matter.

Sometimes childhood is your mom just sitting in the room being present, not even participating, but just being there enjoying you.

Sometimes childhood is watching the same episode of Barney over and over and over again.  You have no concept of the term "overuse" and "my-ears-are-going-to-fall-off-my-head-if-I-have-to-listen-to-this-one-more-time.

Sometimes childhood is comprised of iphone photos, or unedited and poorly taken "real camera pictures, because that is how memories are captured.

Sometimes childhood is running up and down the only hallway in the house and jumping on any and all furniture, because you have just that much energy.

Sometimes childhood is rolling around on the ground for no reason, because you know, why not?

Sometimes childhood is messy hair, unbrushed teeth (gasp), potty training woes, pop-tarts in the car, peanut butter and jelly hands, snotty noses, and so much more that comprise of your days.

However childhood is where the memories are and I hope oh so much that you Reid, and you Owen, and you Halle Kate make wonderful memories while you are under this roof.  Life is crazy, and man kids, this parenting thing is hard, like ridiculously hard, and so many times I feel like I am failing you miserably.  I DON'T have it all together, some days it is just a miracle we are up and dressed.  But the mantra that I hear in my head oh so often is "the days are long, but the years are short".  Sometimes I wish away these days in the "trenches" but I know I will miss it (well ok, maybe not all of it, you being able to make your own drinks and breakfast sounds pretty stinkin' amazing and I am sure always will be).

Please know more than anything you guys I pray for you.  I pray over you, I pray for you.  I pray above all else, above anything I could teach you academically or athletically (ok maybe your daddy for that one really), above all I hope for these years I have you here with me you learn to love God and you learn how to have a life lived for Him.  I hope you see it displayed, I hope you see it taught, I hope you see it expected.  I pray I lead well by example, that I don't expect anything out of you that I am not currently doing myself.  Y'all are some of my biggest blessings and I am thankful to be your mommy, even if on some days I need to be fired.  You are loved, deeply, completely, and by a human and broken mama.  Give me grace as I figure out how my vision of what I think your childhood should be differs from what is reality.  Sometimes childhood is an ebb and flow of grace upon grace between me and the 3 of you, you know what, that is ok.  It's ok. . .

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Drawing Close To God

I hesitate to even write this post because I definitely do not feel like I have it all together, have figured out some amazing secret to being uber spiritual or anything like that, but I need to document this time in life.  This crazy season we are in, when life seems to be one big clean up blur, going by in a flash and yet the hours just crawl by.  A time when you can feel like super mom one day and then lose it an hour later when you yell at your kids for doing something you've asked them 40 million times not to do.  A time when sleeping through the night completely is never a guarentee, in fact you proabably guaranteed to wake up at least once each night more often than not.

All that to say we are tired, I am tired, exhausted, falling out any time I sit down kind of tired.  Mothering littles is not for the faint of heart that is for sure, it makes you weary, tests you in every possible way, and is relentless.  Which is why I knew I needed to be plugging into God's word and what He had for me each day, but I wasn't.  I had so many excuses, albeit good ones, "I am waking up every 2-3 hours to feed a baby" was at the very top of the list.  Now before I go any further let me say here and now I believe there is grace in all things.  I don't think God is sitting there with a timer ticking off when you do or don't do your quiet time.  I don't think He is mad at the exhausted mother who is getting every ounce of sleep she can, especially in those early months, however we should not stay there.  I was using the excuse even when I was only getting up once or twice.  Finally once my dear Halle Kate started sleeping through the night I knew I had run out of valid things to blame my lack of time spent with the Lord on.  It came down to my own motivation, lack of desire, and laziness.

As I type those words I cringe.  I cringe to think about how I felt towards the Maker of the world, how I thought, how I acted.  I don't know if I also felt like I didn't know how to get back to a place of closeness to God so that made the task kind of more daunting or what.  However this was me 3 weeks ago.  then a friend let me borrow a book called "Shopping for Time" and even though I only got part of the way through it, it totally changed my persepective and gave me the motivation to get up and meet with God before my day started.  Now let me tell you I have NEVER nor will I ever be a morning person.  I always thought those people or studies that said you should do your quiet time in the morning were saying it merely out of opinion (and they are to some extent) but that it would really never apply to me.  Arrogant I know, but it is what I thought.  This book somehow covinced me that getting up early is actually so much more beneficial and I don't even really remember how.  I do know they made a 5 AM club where they all would call or text to make sure each other was up and reading the word so they had motivation and accountability.  Maybe it was knowing I wasn't alone with getting up and going that finally did it, but I began getting up to read my bible.

And wouldn't you know it, God honored it.  He honored the "sacrifice" (and I use that term VERY loosely) of a few more minutes of shut eye and the choice to come sit at His feet and get my day started by mediating on Him.  I actually began to look forward to being up, to praying, to reading, to listening.  It has been so refreshing to my soul.  I don't know why I am so surprised by this, I should have done this a long time ago, God has been waiting to pour out this blessing on me, I have been the one to refuse it in a way.  Am I perfect? No way!  HK had a week in there where she had a UTI, and was up every 2-3 hours screaming  at night and there were mornings I just couldn't get up.  However, more often than not I am up.  I sometimes fall asleep again while praying (I try really hard not to do this, but its happened a few times) but I am doing it.  I have been praying scripture over myself and Mark, another passage over my children, and then reading whatever I happen to read that day whether its the proverb for the day, a psalm or the study I am currently doing with Mark.  

So yes, if this encourages anyone I hope it encourages you to know you can get up, you don't have to be a morning person, but you can start your day off at a mediating slow pace instead of running 2 steps behind your children from the moment you wake up.  I wish I could adequately describe how much better it makes you spiritually, but I think it is just something you may have to discover for yourself.  Do it, for a couple of weeks, and I guarantee you won't regret it.