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October 1, 2011

moved

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September 9, 2011

Married (part two)

I am a ball of wonder and incomplete thoughts. Still. I am head over heels in love with… my life. Truly.

Ha- if you had asked me, oh let’s say- ever, if I wanted to live in a perfectly nice house in the suburbs with a really brilliant, solid, strong and kind theologian who worked m-f, 9-5… if you had asked if I pictured myself packing lunches every morning and having dinner on the table at the same time every night… if you’d asked if I wanted a normal life… I would’ve laughed. And said no thank you. Because I thought it would be boring. Because I think I thought being a rebel, being unconventional, living a crazy life was part of my identity, and you can’t be a rebel if you live in a cookie cutter house. A crazy life though? Not for me (anymore). And my identity- surely does not lie in my circumstances.

Goodness, you guys- This life? It is freaking bliss. It is steady and calm and peaceful even when it is not. It is make me cry wonderful. It is amazing. To have this husband… this man, who supports me in every sense of the word… to send him off in the morning with a kiss (or five) and lay my head on his chest when he gets home… to listen to him read to my kids… our kids… and love them.  

This life? I would not have dreamed it up ever. But I adore it. I adore our weekends, five kids, craziness, laziness, all of it. I just… can’t even explain how good it is.  Because there are at least a thousand things a day that I love about my life. And that is the truth. I love walking to the park with my babygirl. I love folding towels in a quiet house. I love having a glass of wine on the patio with my husband at night. I love the way my Bonus Boy smiles bigger every time I hug him. I love arguing over little things, and I love brushing my teeth with someone else. I love Emmy sitting and reading on any and every surface, and Gabe right beside her always. I love Griff upside down on the couch, or anywhere, diligently thinking and building. I love the sprinklers coming on at six in the morning. I love the light, oh do I love the light. I love satisfied stomachs after a hearty meal. I love each days own noise and silence. I love friends, just down the street, so close in every direction. I love coffee, made for me. I love bike rides, “all the way to the stop sign”. I love neighborhood games of hide and seek that land brand new friends under my bed. I love his hands… well, I do. I love falling asleep so easy. I love waking up. I love. All of it. It is grace. All of it.

Yes. Sigh.

Love.

August 24, 2011

Married (part one)

So I am married. We are. Yes already. And I… I will write about it soon. And there will be pictures. But it’s still… so ridiculously fresh and wonderful words fail me. And so, for now, this:

June 9, 2011

Lesson Learned

This I know- and this I am trying to teach my children: People fail. I fail. And also- I am a lot. And I am too much. For any living, breathing human.

I want my Loves to know- I am doing my best.  I am striving to be a good reflection of Him, oh but I am imperfect, and as obvious as that might seem- I was once a child, and I remember my childish tendency to see perfection, want perfection, need perfection from the adults around me. I have looked too often at my Perfect Father through the blurry lens that some well-meaning grownup made for me.

Nothing in me wants to be the specs of dirt, the warped glass that changes their view of the Greatest Love there is. And so I tell them, in case they don’t catch the hint in moments when my flaws are all too obvious- “I lovelovelove you, as best I can, most all of the time. But He is better, a thousand times. Where I fail you, He won’t, I promise.” And I hope and pray, that they will know, now and forever, my love for them, reflection though it may be, is merely a shadow of the Amazing Love He is.

This lesson was hard learned for me. If I have regret it is in this: Expecting perfection. It has ruined too many, (and only one would be too many), a friendship. My heart has been broken more than once because my hope was that a person would be my All in All. My expectation for so long, and my request, unspoken only sometimes, (oh hindsight you are so twenty-twenty), was that some flesh and bone person would take all of my wrongs and make them right, with words and hugs and kisses and tears and laughter. My hope was cast on people time and again- to redeem me.  I threw out a lifeline to wrong place and wrong arms, begging for something no human could ever give me. And I almost drowned. Almost.

But God. Oh yes. And patient friends, unwilling to be my savior, did show me the truth– If some willing soul were able to rescue me, be my savior- where would that leave me? With an unnecessary God. With an unwanted Savior. With a Jesus who died for no reason at all. With an even more confusing desire to be saved again. With a heart full of the wrong thing, fleshly desires fulfilled and a crushing yearning for an unexplainable more. With a friend weighted down with all my stuff. And heartbreak certain time and again.  Lesson learned the hard way maybe, but I am grateful to have learned it nonetheless.

This I know- He will not fail. Ever. He can’t. And I am not too much for Him. And He is all I need. And Love. And Love.

June 3, 2011

Where I’m At (Headed)

“Hmm, nobody’s beating me up. That’s weird. Guess I’ll have to do it myself.” Welcome to my brain ladies and gentlemen. I struggle with normal like nobody’s business. But also- I am getting better. And so sometimes the struggle is to let myself be where I’m at and not- A) drag myself back to where I was with “You haven’t changed a bit, you fool” or B) beat myself up with “What is wrong with you dummy, you should be better than this.”

I’m a pretty positive kid most of the time. Hopelessly optimistic some would say. A good trait maybe, but sometimes as I’m skipping along my merry path all head in the clouds and humming- issues, hard stuff, challenges, old stuff- totally blindside me.  And if I’m not careful I will tear myself apart.

If I’m not careful, normal will bore me, good will confuse me and I will abuse me.  Sound silly? It is. And the silliness of it drives me mad.  Know what else drives me mad? Getting congratulated for being normal. ‘Cause- know what I’m terrible at? Having grace for myself and getting over myself.  But! Lucky for me I have Amazing Friends who help me realize there is nothing helpful about beating myself up and not having grace for me.  They are fantastic and wise enough to both push and call me towards where I want to be, and love me where I’m at. Lucky for me they are okay with reminding me that getting over myself is a brilliant idea.

And lucky for me, they are pretty stinkin’ awesome at pointing me towards the One who holds all the Love and grace in the world.  Jesus is at work in my life, fa sheezy. Redemption has been poured on me by the bucketful. And so today and many days before it and for many to come, I am climbing out of my own head. I am refusing to beat myself up or listen to any unkind words, mine or the enemies. I am choosing to be here, listen to His voice, breathe Him in, and take one step at a time towards where I want to be. Love, love.

May 26, 2011

This Decision

Because nobody talks about this. Because I wish I had been here two years ago. Because I wish I had known more people who were.

And because I have been asked more than a few times since this new relationship started, one way or another, if I am sticking to my “goal”. (And for those of you who aren’t interested in clicking on that link, the “goal” is to not have sex outside of marriage.) I guess some people thought my mind would change once there was a guy around. This is the thing though- It is not a goal. It is a decision.To be very Yoda about it, it is not something I am trying not to do. It is something I am not doing. And I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy. It isn’t. But also, it’s not not doable. (And for those of you who knew me a year ago, you can go ahead and chuckle. Laugh it up. I was wrong. Whatdoyaknow? )

So it is certainly not the easiest decision ever. But I am quite certain it is right.

One night I was discussing this issue with a friend, well we were mostly just complaining and venting about the practicalities. But at one point, this story got told and it was in fact very helpful…

The other night as I went to kiss my amazing ten year old son who is very much like a fifty year old man on the forehead, I noticed a tiny little red pimple.  And I said “Ohmygosh Griff! How cute! You have your first zit! You’re growing up!!” And my very old ten year old grunted and sighed. “Ugghh. It’s so hard being extra mature!”

And that’s pretty much where I’m at. This is part of being a grown up. This will be worth it. And I am not going to go all preachy about the “why’s” (right now) and I am certainly not going to talk about the “how’s”.  I will give you no philosophical nor theological things to chew on. I’m not gonna wax poetic about how difficult and rewarding it is.

Just wanted to let you know- Yes. I am not. And ugghh. It’s so hard being extra mature.

Oh and stay tuned for the scoop on the New Guy…  For now I will just say- He’s gooooooood.

May 11, 2011

Crazygood

Someday I will figure out how to put all of this crazygood stuff into words. Can’t figure it out right now.  But! There is this beautiful irony that I love though- Crazygood stuff keeps happening. And because I’m not used to good, I keep getting freaked out by all of these totally awesome non-coincidences. I can’t even being to describe the amount of Love and grace being poured out. Immeasurable. So Much More. Gosh. So I keep asking God to make everything more real, more tangible. And then when He does show me something or confirm something or make something more real- I just get more freaked out. But like, in a good way.  I know that’s all pretty vague, sorry. Just trust me when I say GOD IS TOTALLY REAL AND ALIVE AND CARING AND LOVING AND GIVING AND SEEING AND BEING HIS AWESOME SELF.

April 25, 2011

Normalizing Normal

‘Normalize those awkward feelings that are about normal things’   That’s what I’ve been told to do. You must know by now that I am a little bit feisty and somewhat argumentative. And holy cow there is a lot of (really great!) stuff going on. But well, I’m not used to really great. And as a matter of fact, I am not used to normal. And so, there is some wrestling going on over here as I try to calm my nerves and be at peace with normal. Also going on over here, these 3 stories on replay:

A few months ago, I had a little conversation with Nancy that went something like this:
Nancy: I love you.
Me: Why?
Nancy: Because you’re special.
Me: Aww, I bet you say that to all the girls you take to the ER
Nancy: You’re especially special. He told me so.
And for some reason I just stopped arguing and received it.  She’s pretty convincing I guess, so that’s good.

Also a few months ago at the end of Kairos, I was standing at the back amidst a crowd of peeps waiting to talk to Bob Hamp, after a minute or so I decided to give up and head out. And then. He grabbed my arm right above the elbow and said “Hold on. Don’t move.” And. I. Froze. And internally all kinds of alarms went off. Because, you guys- Nothing good has ever happened when a guy grabbed me and said don’t move. But this time. He just looked me in the eye, all tall and Gandalf-y and said nice, encouraging things. And I breathed a giant sigh of relief that flipped a little switch in me. And now, I freak out a little bit less when men talk to me. Well, I don’t run at least. So that’s good.

Annnd, a few weeks ago, I did a photo session with One of My Favorite Families.
And an extremely large and very threatening, maybe even malicious butterfly flew at me. And I kinda freaked out. I mean, I ducked and maybe squealed. At a butterfly.

And that’s what I feel like I’m doing now. There is actually nothing threatening or malicious. This (really great!) stuff is like a butterfly.

And so I’m working on receiving Love, and not being terrified of men, or butterflies.

::deep breath big sigh::

To be continued…

January 12, 2011

My Weekends

Confession: I feel a little guilty writing this.  It seems a little self centered, but I prayed about writing today, (maybe this is a succesful defeat, thanks Donald Miller), and this is what I got.  Maybe there are other moms out there who need to feel okay about taking time for themselves and making time for Him, so I’m getting over it.

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I am so in love with my weekends off, (and here’s where I defend myself a little) I love, love, love my kids. I love being a mom, no doubt.  I love the good and the hard and everything in between.  And I never ever would have chosen in a million years to have this two weeks on/ two days off deal that we have now, but it is in fact what we have now.  And so, I have learned to love those two days off. 

When I first started having these two days off I went a little nuts, I’m not gonna lie.  I mean not crazy nuts, just “Let’s go dance all night at a club” nuts.  When I first got these two days I would stack them full to keep from feeling alone.  I would fill up every second with people! and things! and stuff to do! Initially I would spend at least half of my time pouting about not having my kids and the other half anxious about how I was going to make it through the next two weeks taking care of them by myself.  Which is ok to do I think if you are just figuring out how to not be married, but I have for the most part, worked out how to not be married now, thank goodness.  With Help, I have for the most part figured out how to be Me- hurray!

In the beginning a friend of mine suggested that I just “enjoy my own company” (and she totally meant it in the regular way, get your mind outta the gutter).  Anyway, I had no flippin’ clue what that meant.  “Enjoy time alone?  With myself?  What?!  No thanks, I might miss something super fun!”  But then, I finally figured out that He was there all the time and thoroughly apologized for ignoring Him so often.  Thank God, He helped me figure out how to be at peace, in my home, by myself- well, with Him.   

I rediscovered the sweetness of sleeping in on Saturday mornings and taking an hour, (or two) to get ready for my day while listening to whatever music I wanted to.  I learned how to make a meal for one and sit at a quiet table and enjoy each bite.  I learned how to daydream and not just run through the days to-do list and think about what else I might be able to fit in.  It became not just okay, but appealing to sit at home by myself with an enormous bowl of popcorn and m&ms watching Amelie for the hundredth time and then get in bed and read for two whole hours.  (I’m sure that makes me sound old and boring but oh well, that was one of my favorite nights ever.) 

Certainly I still stack lots of grown up outings into my weekends, but those have changed too.  No more night clubs or bars, (ugh thank goodness, sorry about that Bridge).  I hit up bookstores and coffee shops on the regular, with or without friends.  I shop, nothing new there except I savor every second of it.  I linger on aisles that I know full well have nothing I’m even interested in, just because I can.  And occasionally I go on dates, mostly because I find it fully entertaining.  Occasionally I end up eating blueberry pancakes at IHOP with a twenty five year old Jersey Shore looking guy from East Texas, or at some music studio listening to a rap album get recorded.  (See what I mean, fully entertaining.) 

The sweetest thing has happened in my weekends though, He has helped me work out time and space for me and Him.  And I love it, even though sometimes I have to literally force myself to get over the guilt I feel for indulging myself in rest and tranquility.  And there are times when I have to make myself keep the appointments that I make with Him on Sunday afternoons when something potentially “more exciting” comes up.  And sure, some weekends I spend way too much effort trying to slow time down and at the end of it I still feel drained. 

But most of the time on my weekends, I am enjoying my own company.  Most of the time I am overwhelmed with gratefulness that He has led me to this place, helped me get here, shown me that the path I am on now is good, hard sometimes but good.  Most of the time I am swimming in grace, grace that is ever present for all of my hiccups and screwups, and ever waiting to both catch me when I fall and dance with me when I stand.  Most of the time on my weekends, I am ecstatic that I can stop being busy with mom stuff and work stuff long enough to be captivated by the Love that He keeps on pouring into me, happy that it more than sustains me and overjoyed to rest in His arms

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November 23, 2010

Testimony (woohoo God is good)

First let me just say, this is not a story about something I did.  This is a story about something my Father did because He is awesome and generous and faithful and Love. 

Ok, so get this~

A few weeks ago I attended a class at Gateway where I was given a book called The Blessed Life.  Now I’m one of those people who reads pretty constantly, but I already had three books going at the time, so I was planning on starting it in a few weeks.  And then I was ten minutes early for church, (which is honestly a miracle in and of itself), the kiddos weren’t with me and the book was still sitting in my car seat, so I popped it open and started reading.  I highly recommend the book, it’s funny, honest, encouraging and biblical.  Anyway, the first chapter has a story about how the author, Robert Morris takes a big leap of faith and hands over money that he feels like the Lord told Him to give only to be almost immediately blessed with exactly ten times that amount. 

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Follow me please…

A couple of months ago I was gifted some money, only to find out that the person who gave it to me was to be going on a mission trip to help out a cause that I hold particularly dear.  In talking to the Lord about this one evening I said “If I had my finances more together, she could have taken this money to this organization and it would have made a huge difference.”  And then, ever the encourager, the Father said “Why don’t you give that amount to that organization over the next year?”  Brilliant, I thought.  Done and done.

And then I was going to have coffee with my friend before she left and He said “Make the first payment today.” To which I replied  “Oh.  Umm… look I’m not exactly in a place to be giving money right now.”  And then He said (totally ignoring my response I might add) “Stop and get it out at this ATM.”  And so I did stop and the amount I was planning on getting changed because I had to get an even amount at the ATM.  Cut to the coffee with my friend.  I sat and talked to her and we had a lovely time and not once did I even come close to reaching my hand in my purse and handing her the envelope.  We went to church, sat next to each other for the whole service and I continued to talk (whine) to the Lord about giving.  “Look, this is a lot for me right now ok.  Are you sure?” (Yes, I did ask Him if He was sure.  Sorry, it's just the way I roll.)   Finally I apologized for having such a bad attitude about giving and asked if I could at least have that much replaced in my bank account sometime soon.  I nervously walked up and handed her the money and tried to scoot off, but not before she and her husband prayed over it, tiny amount that it was. 

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You guys, and then, I’m not even kidding.  I got home from church.  Sat down to check my email and had an order that was exactly, EXACTLY ten times what I had given.  And I laughed.  And I cried.  I mean, good grief.  He is just so good.  And also, had I not been early to church a few days earlier  or left that book in the car, had I not just read that story, had I not gotten the “wrong” amount from the ATM, had I not given her the money at all, I would have totally missed out on what God was doing.  He was, is building my faith.  He is just being who He says He is really.  Never once did He say to me that whole time that I would receive ten times what I gave back.  And really, I felt blessed the moment I handed it over; the giving was, is the blessing.  Him showing me His awesomeness was totally bonus.  And again I’m left in awe and in love.  Jesus loves me this I know and all that jazz.

 

 

 

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