Monday, June 23, 2014

Butterfly Wings

These precious girls, they come.  Fragile.  Precious.  Pure Beauty.  Our butterflies.

Opening our home wide, our family.  They soar straight to my momma heart.   They have weathered hard journeys and foster care brings them to our garden.

In the past year, I have written less.  Lived more.  Adding four precious butterflies to our garden, time dwindles.  Floors get dingy.  Dust gathers.  Laundry multiplies.  Joy explodes.

Anne Voskamp grabbed the syllables lingering in my heart and penned them "How we open up our calendars and our doors and our schedules and our agendas and make room for people, because it is how we make room for God."

I long to make more room for my God.  Til he fills every nook of our home and every cranny of my heart.

My perfectly clean house has vanished.  Homeschool lesson plans have lost a bit of luster.  Meals have simplified beyond belief.  Toys have declared war.  But in the midst of the evident chaos, giggles erupt.  Lil princesses wrapped up in God's love, sing Jesus loves me to each other.  They twirl.  They worship.  They smile down deep.

Our butterflies.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Formula Hunting

Today's formula ... Phenomenal Friends + Encouragement = Happy Momma.  And this momma is crazy blessed with Alanda for a friend.  She's one of those ladies who exudes encouragement and has spurred me on to be a better me just by being around her.  Delighted to share her with you today.  
I love formulas. I love 2 + 2 = 4 and if I do This + This = I will always get That. I remember reading a few parenting books while pregnant with my oldest and thinking that I would end with an excellent child if I did all the right things. My child would never cry, because I had the right tools, and never disobey because I knew how to discipline.  It was going to be wonderful. That bubble took about... three hours of actually being a parent, to burst.

As it turns out, our oldest came into this world having never read the parenting books. The books were not written about my children, nor had they factored in my flaws as a parent. They were good, they were written by wise people, and there were certainly gems to be gleaned.  However, they had never actually met my child. It turns out, no one can, or should, parent just like a book.

I cried out to God a lot as a new parent. I was tired and felt like an utter failure. I learned quickly, I had no idea what I was doing and I was in way over my head.  It was during this time of brokenness that I learned to listen, trust and walk with God during my parenting adventure. When you fully realize that you can’t, that’s when God can step in and say “But I can.” Over the years I've learned more and more to rely on Jesus to help me as a parent. I've learned:

He made me, He made my kids, He has the answers that no one else does.

There are no absolutes in parenting. There are no sure fire ways to have the perfect kid. Breathe easy, it’s ok; no one was meant to be the perfect parent. After all, if we were perfect, they wouldn't need a savior. So after all these years, what I have learned to realize is: I don’t know, and then I pray.  No one has all the answers, we aren't meant to. We were made to walk with God all the time. We were created to spend time with our creator. Parenting is no exception.

So Mom or Dad, pray for your kids! Pray for them to love the Lord. Pray that you would have wisdom as a parent. When you are at the end of your rope and need a solution, the Lord will meet you right where you are. He brings beautiful solutions in a million different ways. Sometimes an idea will come to me while I am praying. Sometimes it will be a wise friend who says just the words I needed to hear. Sometimes He speaks directly to my kids, and they will come to me with the answer… and sometimes I will read it on a blog :)

And as always, I would be crazy honored to have you link up with momma notes.  I jot some on Mondays, but you can link up any day of the week (I get the momma, filled to to the brim, schedules)   Just mom.  Sharing our notes.  Creating a melody.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Momma For Today

I used to worry.  Kind of like a pig stuck in the mud, I wallowed around in the muck of worry and anxiety.  I can say that.  I lived it.  It stunk.

Then something crazy amazing happened in my life.  Four precious princesses walked through the door of our home straight into my heart.  13, 5, 5 and almost 1 (tomorrow).  My life turned upside down, right side up.

As foster momma to these precious girls, I have no idea what tomorrow may hold.  "How long will they be with our family?"  People ask all the time, meaning well, and I have no answer.  Maybe another day, a few more months, a year, this momma heart has no way of knowing.

Straight up in the midst of a year of battling to know.  of dealing with the uncertainty of it all.  of worry trying to hold tight to my heart.  God washed it all away with this ...

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."  - Matthew 6:34

In all honesty, I knew this verse, highlighted like a rainbow, knew this verse.  I could quote it. sing it.  talk about it.  But when I read it in the midst of our foster adventure this year, it took root and I began to live it.

My girls need a momma for today.

A momma for today, to change diapers, fold laundry, and scrub pots.

A momma for today, to hug them, sing with them, and tuck them in at night.

A momma for today, to wipe runny noses, kiss skinned knees, and give extra snuggles.

Tomorrow will come.  I'll be ready for that day.  But my home simply needs a momma for today.  And that I can do.

And as always, I would be crazy honored to have you link up with momma notes.  I jot some on Mondays, but you can link up any day of the week (I get the momma, filled to to the brim, schedules)   Just mom.  Sharing our notes.  Creating a melody.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Thank Goodness

Thank goodness for friends, amazing moms, like Jamie.  She captures real life at One Blessed Lady and makes you laugh out loud while you read, sometimes even snort.  And she stopped by today to splash us moms with some encouragement.   
I was on the phone the other day with a friend talking about a recent diagnosis that my younger daughter needs vision therapy.  My friend asked how we realized that there was an issue and I described some of the signs that led me to make an appointment with our optometrist.  In the middle of this conversation, my friend says, “Thank goodness for mamas.”

I thought, “Well, that’s kinda weird.  I’m just doing what any other mother in this situation would do.”

And then it hit me. 

Yes!  Thank goodness for mamas everywhere!

Without mamas, the toilet paper would still sit on top of the empty roll, the milk jug would always be empty and people would be dropping like flies from the scurvy due to a lack of fruit in their diets.

Thank goodness for mamas!

Your job, my job, our job is so incredibly important, especially when it doesn’t feel like it.  The days go on endlessly and, at times, without the all important recognition that we crave.

English muffin pizzas are consumed, laundry magically appears clean and ready to go, grocery shopping done, doctor’s appointments made and rides to and from events are taken care of, all without a thought from anyone else.  Field trip forms are filled out, movies censored, stories read.  Cuddles are given, diapers changed and prayers heard, lessons taught, children trained.

Yes, thank goodness for mamas.

You are doing a job that is bigger than you are.  And yet, you’re doing it.  Day in and day out through the murky trenches of  laundry, chauffeuring, kissing, washing, loving.

Can you hear me applauding you?

This job might seem little, insignificant, exhausting, uninspiring.

But it’s a rather lovely thing, this momentous, heart-wrenching, heart-soaring thing you’re doing.

They will look back and call you blessed.

And as always, I would be crazy honored to have you link up with momma notes.  I jot some on Mondays, but you can link up any day of the week (I get the momma, filled to to the brim, schedules)   Just mom.  Sharing our notes.  Creating a melody.

Monday, September 2, 2013

When You Meet Mrs. Grump

We all know the feeling ... standing in line at the grocery store, kids in tow, and the lady in front of you has a hissy fit at the register. In times such as these, you double up kindness, thankful the kids are in sweetness mode as well.

We can whisper a breath blessing over them as they storm out of the store. And the same at the car speeding down the highway in a race no one can see. But what do I do when I look in the mirror and see her staring back at me? When I meet Mrs. Grump.

The mirror doesn't lie. Honest reflection reveals that I allow far too often the circumstances that surround to dictate my day, my emotions, my me. And Mrs. Grump snarls in my home.

I've decided I'm done with her. I am learning to be led by the Holy Spirit and not my emotions. After all, the fruit He produces, love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness ... leaves no room for grump. That's just it. The secret hidden for us to find, hidden in a living book that changes lives, changes mine letter by letter.

Each day, my choice. To be led by my emotions or to align them with His Word. True, I live in an emotion packed world. Yet I will no longer allow them to dictate my daily life. Mrs. Grump, Mrs. Frustrated, Mrs. (insert your own adjective) is emotional driven momma. No, I prefer the spirit led momma ...

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such thing there is no law." - Galatians 5:22-23

Spirit fruit tastes much better, just ask my family. It's the sweet stuff, dripping with goodness and giggles, filling my pantry, better yet ... filling my home.

And as always, I would be crazy honored to have you link up with momma notes.  I jot some on Mondays, but you can link up any day of the week (I get the momma, filled to to the brim, schedules)   Just mom.  Sharing our notes.  Creating a melody.