Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Perspective

"What you take for granted, someone else is praying for."

I saw it, and pressed "pause." Just stopped my busy brain and focussed on those words.

What I take for granted.

I hadn't been feeling terribly ungrateful - not ungrateful at all, really, but it was a challenging evening.

The kitchen waited for cleaning, along with several other unfinished chores. The house needed picked up again, Haven was fussy, I had a huge amount of paperwork to do still, and BOY DID I ITCH!! (Poison oak. Huge, welting patches of it. For days.). 

So much to do, so little time. The story of mothers everywhere. 

But: "What I take for granted."

I looked down at my little girl and let her reality sink in. My baby; to snuggle...to tickle...to laugh over...to be "everything" to. When her world is upside down, she lays her head on my shoulder and quiets. When she's afraid, she clings to me. When she's happy, her smile warms up the day. 

And the kitchen? I'm so glad I have one. A year ago we were still house searching, and didn't know if we would EVER find something cozy like this to call home. It's full of dirty dishes - and I'm blessed to have a husband and little girl to cook for. We're blessed to have food. 

Altogether, I looked at the big, swirling list of things to do, resisted the urge to rake the top layer off of my welted skin, and settled. Breathed. 

This is still my dream come true - and not only are these blessings what someone else is praying for, but they are what I prayed for; what I pleaded with God to let me have; what I begged Him to please let me be - a wife, and a mother. 

In the middle of the schedules that crumble over on top of each other, and the times when I would really just LOVE TO CUT MY TOENAILS but don't have time, and the nights of sleeplessness - I am so happy to be this. So completely happy. 

I tucked my sleepy baby in her crib, and turned to my waiting "to-do" list. Not with drudgery, but with a thankful heart. 

"For insomuch  as ye have done this to the least of these my little ones, ye have done it to me."

Don't think He doesn't see your labor of Love. He knows, and He cares - what you do for His children (remember, they came from Him) will never be unnoticed.

This busy ol' world my skim over your dishwashing, and comforting, and "being there" for your husband and children with a look of confusion and disdain - but never forget how important this is in His eyes.

He called you for this, chose you for this - and has equipped you to overcome, every day. And if He's for you ...

You know the rest.

So rest.

And get busy.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Momma | Going Home

"Its my turn to hold Haven..."

"No its my turn. You've had her for the last twuny minutes..."

This is the sound of family vacation in Wisconsin.

The argument generally ends with Grandma telling Uncle Isaac and Auntie Becca not to fuss, and triumphantly settling into the rocker with the root of contention.

Haven is loving this.

And so is me.

It's been so awesome to break away from the routine and chill. For realsies. It's cold - but that means steaming cups of hot tea and throw blankets on the couch. Which is how every day ends - long conversations about nothing in particular on the couch. All together.

I miss this. Sometimes its hard to think of them all so far away.

But then my thoughts turn to the little house in Shingle Hollow; the baby who snuggles close and smiles in the early mornings. The husband who walks through the door, covered in grease and dust and mud from a long day "at the office", grinning. My mind goes back to all the aspirations for turning our house further into "home." It remembers the challenges that wait for me; and my heart reminds me that this is my calling.

It's not wrong to miss your family. It is wrong not to bloom where you're planted.

In so many scenarios it's easy to see the misery of little girls who move away from Momma. 'Cause That's what they are: Little girls. Women of character rise to meet the challenge. Little girls shrink back from "The New" and tearfully plead for the familiar.. They refuse to embrace their new surroundings, culture and place. Misery is a choice.

Unfortunate, at best.

This is something Mom drilled into our heads long before we were old enough to even have a boyfriend: Bloom. Where. You. Are. Planted.

By God.

Not by choice. Not by your husband.

By God --

To make a place of refuge for your husband to come home to. To hold your children and teach them to be strong in the Lord.

To be a servant.

Unpopular? Extremely. Politically correct? The opposite. But God-thought, approved and vindicated? Of course; it's in His Word.

Selfishness is popular today. But not with God, and not with His people.

Today, choose peace. Choose to thrive. Choose to exalt in every living, breathing second you have on this new adventure. Be a wife, a mother, a child of the King. You're not alone; you'll never be alone, because long before you were given to your Mom and Dad, your loving heavenly Father chose you for a purpose. This purpose. Now go, fulfill your destiny; for great is your reward in heaven.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Midnight | The Lone Tooth

Hullo 12:03. It's been awhile since I've seen you here; in front of the fireplace with me.

My wittuw dumplin' has sprouted the beginnings of her first tooth. We've rocked, and snuggled. And chewed on Raspberry teethers, and taken the midget dose of baby Tylenol...

And I nestled her into her favorite blankie...

...and gently tucked her in bed...

And she's been talking to herself, in there for a while.

I know I can never sleep, knowing she's miserable and not asleep...so here is me.

What do I think about life, you ask?

Not much. At 12:11 in the morning.

How do I feel?

Not much. It's 12:11 in the morning.

Except for the warmth of the woodstove, and the heaviness of my eyes, and, mmm. Yeah. The ache of my back against the unfriendly hallway door jamb.

So what is there to talk about?

Much. But so little. It's 12:15 in the morning.

But I squirm to move the door jamb from one muscle to the other, and feel a warm thankfulness. Some people never get to do this. To FEEL this. The kind of mother's-love that cares so much for someone so small. Someone who needs her. Irreplaceably her.

And I finally slide away from the door jamb, away from the fire.

10% battery left.

And it's 12:21 in the morning.

And I think she's asleep.

Mama loves you Haven Grace.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Good Momma | Perfect Housewife

"I do spot mopping," I  thought.

It felt like a horrible confession. I finished wiping the dried spit up off of the piano room floor while guilt sunk in hard.

I've cleaned whole houses for extra money before. And now I do spot mopping in my own.

Turning to pick up my six month old, who was just D O N E with cleaning day, my brain puzzled itself over other houses. Houses with four and five children inside them. Spotless, and mopped every night after supper.

And I held my squirming little girl to my heart and laid down my dusting spray.

What in the world was I doing wrong?

Instead of keeping my house in line, it seemed to be chasing me. Picked up? Yes. But the baseboards. And the cupboards. And the spiders that keep weaving webs. And the dust bunnies that show up under beds. AND THE GUEST BEDROOM THATS WAYS FULL OF 10 HUNDRED UNORGANIZED PROJECTS.

"How is it done with four and five, when I can't do it with one....?"

And then I had one of those SuperWomen over for coffee, and I asked her. "Your house always looks spic and span. How were you able to clean with your first one?"

Her answer shocked me.

"Pick up," she corrected, with a dry chuckle. "As long as you keep your bathrooms and kitchen clean... really, you've got it covered. Dust when you can."

All of a sudden I felt like I might be doing an okay job again.

"But..." I was almost too happy to believe it, "You're the woman who mops every night..."

She corrected me again. "Heh. I try. It doesn't always happen."

And I was just like..."Wow.  Please have another helping of dessert. In fact, here's two. And would you like me to pay you for this freedom that has suddenly broken through the clouds and is blessing my life with warmth and sunshine and rainbows and sparkles and sprinkles and every other imaginable happy thing in the universe?!"

Not really. But I was tickled pink.

Again: Reality trumps unrealistic ideals.

The world is full of them. Mine is. Yours is. Perfect Mommas who are always on time, and always know what to do, and never have anybody tell them they're not doing it right - are unrealistic. Get real. Forget the weekly cleaning schedule and perfect homeschool scholars as well.

What matters is that you try your hardest, and you love your babies. When your head hits the pillow at night, then again at 1:00 in the morning, and again at 3:00 in the morning - whatever your case may be - you can breathe your heart up to God and say, "Lord, you know I did my best." And be okay with that.

As long as your husband and kiddies are satisfied and feel secure in your love, your mission is accomplished. So go on - you're free to be Mommy. They're more important.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

You might be a Mamma IF::



You have a special kind of alarm clock. My child doesn't believe in sleeping in. But that's okay - she loves to snuggle close in the mornings. Occasionally. She'd much prefer to wiggle and be held. And stand up. And not stand up. And stare out the window. And stick out her tongue. And smiiiile at the beautiful new day. And the world.

You know how to crack an egg with only your left hand. You can also blow your nose with only your left hand. These two talents belong to supermoms everywhere, I think.

You do your everyday workout with a thirteen pound child in your arms. Because, apparently, 30 minutes is waaaay to long for you to be apart. ❤️ Hey. It burns extra calories.

You play the piano with nine fingers instead of ten. She needs to hold one.

You try to be a good mommy and leave her on the floor to learn how to crawl. But she stares with wide-open blue eyes for a long moment. She stares, then out comes the bottom lip, and a soft mournful wail slips out while her whole being slowly sinks to the floor.

She needs you.

Mean ol' Mom.

You become fluent in "Preschool." The day she was born, was the day my grammar and pronunciation died. I didn't know I had a lisp and couldn't speak with my "W" sound. You learn something new every day....

You actually catch yourself wishing the baby would wake up sometimes. Her delighted smile when she sees you, the warm little arms around your neck - so worth every "inconvenient" moment.

You get way more excited about her clothes than your own. ((I wore one of her hairbows once. Couldn't resist.))

You love her to death, and can't imagine your life without her. Kida are put in a bad light nowadays, but in my book, and the Bible, at that, "The fruit of the womb is His (God's) reward."

I love you Haven Grace.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Date Night | Please Snow


My husband actually requested hot chocolate. He actually did.

After I picked myself up off of the kitchen floor, I happily finished cleaning up the kitchen counters and made us a cup. So warm...so relaxing...so reminiscent of growing up.

Ethan dislikes hot drinks, so anything inside a mug - no matter how cute -, is generally out; but not tonight.

He did ask me to make it sweet. Very, very sweet. "Bitterly sweet", actually.

And when I had him test it, he said "even sweeter."

There was probably a quarter cup of sugar in his one cup of hot chocolate, but I was just overjoyed that he and me would be sipping  something warm at the same time. ❤️

While I finished whisking the whole bag of sugar into his chocolate, there was a considerable amount of banging coming from the living room ceiling, and a mystical white haze that drifted through the house.

We're putting in a woodstove. I haven't seen him this excited about something since Haven was born. We both have always loved wood stoves, and now that THE FIRST SNOW OF THE YEAR is due this weekend, we were inspired to go ahead and put it in. Together. With hot chocolate.

Sounds like a date to me!



How in the world we didn't wake Haven up, I have no idea. But we were having fun.

I love spontaneous. It's always so much more fun to revel in the moment than to stick strictly to tradition and schedule. Live it up! I say, and put in the woodstove!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Grumpy Greetings | Homemade

2017 is upon us already, (yikes, but that's nuts)... And with it come all the homemade candies and cookies and gatherings of the season. One of my favoritest things about this time of year is all the ::happy mail:: (as opposed to sad mail. You know; bills and never ending credit card offers.) Last year I didn't send a card, since it was just the two of us + I was swamped with wedding thank you notes.

But this year we has Gwabie.

HANDY HINT: Don't bother asking how we come up with such weird nicknames. They evolve slowly, and in the most complicated way possible.

So I set about to order a picture postcard from one of those online thingies. I laughed. No way was I spending that much an a picture that would only hang on somebody's 'fridge for a week.

So, with the help of hot glue, a few snips of ribbon, and my collection of scrapbook paper: this happened.




Nothing like a grumpy baby to spread the joy of the season - but this pic was too cute to pass up. ;)

It takes a long time to make one-a these, so I couldn't make them for my whole list of friends and family. I felt so mean. But at least my long lost family in Wisconsin will know that I still exist.



Oh, right. The front - that was a free printable. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! I've always wanted to be that artsy, but the handwriting gene totally skipped me and --

Oh, wow. Um...it's almost 1:00 and I need to go finish my cookies. Making them, that is.

A Jolly-Most Thursday To Thee and Thine;