Friday, March 14, 2014

A Letter To My Boy

Dear Jonah,

Today, as I write this, you're only three but it feels like you've been in my life forever. Truthfully, I really don't remember much about myself before you arrived on the scene. You, your sisters, and your daddy make my heart beat and so there are a few things that I would like to share with you.

Sex. Dude, it will trip you up. I know you probably won't be satisfied with the advice your dad and I have to give on the subject, but nonetheless, I have to give my two cents. I'm going to do my best to raise you in a house that respects the sanctity of marriage. When you give your body to someone, you give a piece of yourself away that you will never get back. And in return, you are given something that you will never be able to shake off. This can be an awesome exchange if two partners can rest easy knowing that the other will have their best interests at heart for the rest of their lives. It could be indescribable if you knew that you had a safe place to fall that never shifted. But if you allow yourself to be blown around like the wind, you'll find that you're picking up more baggage than you can safely carry. It spills over into everything. Your dad can share more on that topic.

Being a man. I've noticed recently that there seems to be an epidemic of men refusing to grow up. I'll be honest, it makes me sick. Our world is dripping with men leaving their families destitute and lonely to make themselves happy. There are men allowing the trash to pile up and the grass to grow knee high in the yard because they are playing video games. I'd like it to stop with you. With your strong will, you have the enormous potential to teach the next generation of men what it looks like to stand tall. Just remember that nothing is sexier than a man who fights for, protects, and loves his family fiercely.

Finally, I'd like you to pick up a lesson from King David. The bible says he was a man after God's own heart. But, the bible also tells us that he slept with another man's wife, got her pregnant, and then had the man killed to cover it up. What's my point? Well, why would the bible give such high esteem to a man like that? I'll tell you why. Because it's not about perfection. It's about persistence. King David was no more perfect than you, but He consistently dusted himself off after every fall and looked to his God for correction, redemption, and restoration.

I love you so much it hurts J-man. I'm going to loathe letting you go when it is time, but I know that you are a child of God and have been dedicated for a purpose. Bring him glory baby!


A letter to my girls

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Enough Already

Take heart! For I have overcome the world!

I think mothers sometimes mistake this sentiment as one they should claim as their own.  Let me just clarify for you.

You're not Jesus.

And neither is any other mother out there. I love facebook and pinterest just as much as the next chick, but social media can and will choke out your self worth if you don't guard your heart. When you read that mama's status update about baking 250 perfectly packaged brownies for the preschool bake sale, you feel trashed that the most productive thing you did today was get a shower.

What she didn't reveal is that she burned every one of those brownies and the smoke detector turned her sleeping angel into a snarling zombie.

Grace has to be one of the finest gifts you can give yourself, and yet, one of the most difficult to procure. I struggle with this as often as the sun rises. My strain to do more and be more drives me and drives me until it drives me right into the ground. Then, I'm the one with zombie status.

You know what brings me back to life? The reminder that I am enough simply because God chose me and lives in me. Before the healthy, balanced meal you made for your family, before the homeschooling, before all of the laundry you did, you were enough. Enough already.

This grace is so hard to grasp, but I won't let go of it until it becomes a part of who I am and changes everything. What if I started each day, not with the intention of overcoming the world, but with the posture of already being enough?

Friday, March 7, 2014

An Unholy System

Tonight I gave four baths: one for each of my three children, and then I did the dishes. Which is really starting to bother me because those dishes are old enough now that they should really be bathing themselves.

I don't know about you, but I've been doing dishes for so long that I have a system. I should mention that we don't own a dishwasher...I am the dishwasher in our house. So I have a particular way that I stack, sort, fill the sink, wash, dry, etc. Every now and again, someone comes along and messes with my system. I won't name any names, but he is tall, dark, handsome, and obnoxiously puts knives at the bottom of a sink of cold, dirty dishwater.

As I tackled a particularly overwhelming pile of tableware last night, I was reminded of other times that my system has been messed with.

A system is really just a means of control. And sometimes that's a good thing. I couldn't imagine traveling without speed limits, solid and dotted lines, and road signs. It would be chaotic and dangerous. But too often in my world, my systems demonstrate a lack of trust in my creator. They are more about tight-fisted control than anything else.

Anxiety is a system I operate by. If I can't see the outcome or circumstances aren't ideal, I worry. It seems legitimate, right? Shouldn't I be able to manipulate the world around me if I think it over and over and over? If I care enough, shouldn't I be able to turn things around so that they are ideal? And yet, God stands beside me with a smile saying, "You're not accomplishing much are you? Ready to do it my way?" (Matthew 6:26-27)

It's a tough one for me. Letting go of that control. Surrendering to his way. Thank God, he won't leave me alone until it sinks in. Sometimes his lessons come as a shock and they hurt, like sticking my hand in a sink of cold dishwater and discovering something sharp at the bottom. But, I am rejoicing in the appreciation that I am a work in progress, and looking forward to the day that I am complete.