Thursday, November 29, 2007

Painfully Real

I know that this world is full of sin. I know that since the very beginning things have been messed up and distorted and so incredibly NOT the way God intended them to be. I KNOW that. But man if it doesn't feel like a gigantic sucker punch to the gut when reminded that all that destruction and pain lies right inside your tiny little world.

I don't know why I continue to cling to the notion that once a christian you are safe from the hurt and lies and total chaos of sin; okay maybe not totally safe, but perhaps like a mini force field is protecting you just a tad? Like we are not quite as susceptable to temptation as the rest of the vulnerable world. Latley I have been reminded a couple times over just how close to home sin can creep it's little claws and my heart has just been aching as I survey the aftermath.

If I can draw one itty bitty good from all the pain I've been witnessing, it's this slow and steady development of compassion in my own heart. Like little petals being peeled back I have noticed this protective layering I have hidden behind being torn away as I begin to truly understand that these 'horrific' committers of these 'unimaginable' sins are PEOPLE, just like me. They are caught up in something they never intended, they are victims of the fall and they no more woke up one morning thinking they were going to destroy all that was good and happy in their families and lives, than I woke up this morning deciding today would be a good day to puke my guts out. (Yeah, the flu has hit us hard, bluck!)

I just don't usually allow myself to acknowledge how possible it would be for me to fall victim to certain temptaions and sins that I find unbelievable and so 'out there'. I don't allow myself to see that the people caught up in such webs are not always monsters, but often just one stupid choice away from exactly like me. Like I said, lately I have not been given the option of squeezing my eyes quite so tightly shut and it has been good for me. Painful; but good.

Because it hasn't made me soft on the idea that these horribly hurtful and wrong choices are contrary to God's design and heart and plan for us. It hasn't made me question whether I should stop calling these certain things sinful and wrong and unacceptable. It just makes me realize I better stay waaay down off that high horse in thinking I'm not just as capable of falling just as far; in the blink of an eye. It makes me hurt for ALL people involved in messy sin. It makes me want to fall on my knees and beg Jesus to forgive us for making such a terrific mess of His creation and sacrifice. Latley my heart has been overflowing with compassion and grief; and as painful as it is... I guess it's probably alot closer to the state of Christ's heart than my pre - reality check, pride soaked one. So if there is something to be thankful for; I suppose it's that.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Always Trusts, Always Hopes

On the inside on my wedding ring there is a ridiculously cramped, tiny inscription with the words always trusts, always hopes. Ryan's ring (in much prettier, more legible script - because of the difference in widths) says always protects, always perseveres.

We chose these four words because they are at the end of the love chapter; and we, engaged and clearly experts in the art of love, knew just how important and key they would be in our marriage. For me to trust Ryan's leadership and remain hopeful despite any circumstances, for him to protect the health of our family and fight for it at all costs.

Oh, for the long lost wisdom of engagement.

*Incase you didn't pick up on the sheer irony of that statement let me assure you it was there. Because it doesn't matter that we actually were right back then; I could have been right all week long and twice on Sundays about marriage and spirituality and communication (infact I'm pretty sure in my mind I WAS); and it wouldn't change the fact that I simply HAD NO IDEA HOW HARD IT ALL WOULD BE.*

Well I was reminded of my tiny inscription this morning in our women's bible study as we convieniently studied L..O..V..E. Funny how in Jr High and highschool AND college, the 'love' series' we went through were always best attended and met with this silly inward giggle of hope and excitement and expectancy; like I was about to hear some secret code to a life of pure bliss and sugary sweets. Someone should have knocked me upside the head, "We're not talking about EROS people!" the bible barely addresses Eros, and even just 5 years into marriage, I can tell you point blank that love, is CLEARLY not just about Eros! ... but anyway...

As we again dove into the Love Chapter, I began to look at my ring and think about all the very obvious, purposeful, stubborn ways that I have been refusing to really love my husband anymore. And specifically even in the ways that at one time I felt so passionate and 'soap box-ish' about that I chose them to lay permanently pressed against my finger.

I have been failing to trust him. Not really as much in the ways and places he leads us, although that is often somewhere I poke and prod my ever so innocent opinions. But moreso in that I have slowly stopped trusting him with my insides, with my vulnerability, with my unplanned, unthought through rawness. I don't award him the credit that if I do not have my exact point and argument and 5 point list all prepared, he will still hear me and be soft towards me and stll allow me those feelings. If I do not clearly know what I am thinking or feeling (which let's face it, I hardly ever do) then I will be quiet and not tell him a thing about it. I don't trust him to be a part of my process anymore and so many things have suffered because of it.

And I have been failing to be hopeful. I have been failing miserably and not even noticing.

I am melancholy, I am sad, I am tired and frusterated and I have given up... at least he has every right to think I have. I give no indication that I believe our communiaction can get better again, I give no glimpse of understanding that this time of life, with small children around our ankles, might play into the difficulty and it is not that we, as a couple, are just hopelessly broken and beyond repair. I have resolved that things are hard and my attitude is to suck it up and deal with it; you won't find the sparkling eyes of anticipation at our house unless you look at our wedding album. I promised 5 years ago that I would be the voice of hope and positivity in our marriage and I have not been. Not even close; I haven't even been trying.

I think I have lost my ability to be silly, which requires both trust and hopefullness. I reserve my silliness for my children and then effectively turn it off and hand the responsability over to my husband the minute he gets home from work. It's now his turn to be silly with them and I need to finally be serious. What a fun home he must live in.

So here I am this afternoon, feeling like a little bit of fog has lifted from my eyes and knowing some of the steps I must take to begin re-living my vows. I am going to try, I will purpose to move forward with this conviction and clarity. But, this... this is hard friends, so much harder than I could have ever guessed. Because I can write this all, I can think it and say it to friends, but I feel like the claws of habit have sunk deep deep down and have this grasp I can't really get out of. Why, when he walks in the door can it feel like a touch of softness towards him, if not returned, just might actually rob me of my last breath of air?


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Daylight Savings... Friend or Foe?

I love 8 o'clock. Lately it has been a really fun time for me. It used to be that I watched and waited and begged for 7 o'clock (bedtime) and then when the kids were finally in bed, the rest of the night just kinda slipped away in a state of relaxation, recovery and avoidance of actually going to bed myself because that meant defeat. It meant the next time I would be conscience again the craziness would have started all over and it would be twleve or so more hours before the next 7pm!
Well, I still anxiously await the beloved 7pm, but things have changed sightly in the MacDiarmid routine. You see, I love summer dearly, even in 100 degree heat, it's still my favorite time of year. But along with warm weather and swimming and frappacinos, summer also brings something else into our lives; more daylight. which means 7:00pm might as well be noon when your considering how light it is outside. This is a very confusing concept for my inquisitive two year old who makes a point to note whether the sun or the moon is up every single time we're on a car ride and then adds to her observation the conclusion "That means it's nighttime" (or get the idea). Anyway, 7 o'clock was no longer translating as sleepytime.
We decided this was somewhat fair since most parents I tell that my kids go to bed at 7 look at me like Im Hitler anyway. But Ryan and I simply were not willing to part with our glorious alone time that begun promptly at 7 each night and allowed us to regroup, look at eachother and actually TALK...
Thus was birthed, a new plan! Macy now gets all ready for bed at the same time but when Carter goes down she just has her quiet time. She stays on her bed but she can read books or play with a toy quietly or sing (one of her favorites...)for the next hour as long as she doesnt get out of bed. Then at 8 Ryan or I go in and do our little night routine, turn out the light and it's off to dreamland!
This has been WONDERFUL! Macy thinks it's a special treat cuz she's up later than Carter, and I have enjoyed the "tucking her in" time soooo much more lately I actually WANT to be the one to go in at 8. At 7 I was rushing through, but that hour gives me just enough time to unwind and enjoy the silence, by 8 I am always in the best mood! I am so up for snuggling and singing and praying and breathing in these precious moments with my baby girl that I know will be gone too quickly.
Sooo.. in conclusion, 8 o'clock has now become my favorite time of day, and daylight savings is no longer my enemy.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I just got home from a bridal shower. It was for a girl that I had the pleasure of kind of 'big sistering' through her high school and some college years and it was neat to sit back and watch her as she embraced her new role as 'bride' and soon to be 'wife'.
It's funny to me that this particular night and this particular shower seems to have really drawn some deep waters up in me. I have been around alot of soon to be brides and showers etc in the past five years since it was my turn at the magical merry go round of presents and plans and smiles and bliss and dreams and optomism. My sister in law is even engaged and wedding planning as we speak. But being here tonight affected me deeply and I don't really know why.
The shower was 'Kitchen' themed and to go with it we each brought one food recipe and one 'Recipe for Life' sharing advice for the couple about marriage. Whew. Since my relationship with this girl has pretty much centered around advice and imparting wisdom and 'going before' her in this life to then look back and offer a hand up... I really wanted to offer some encouraging, thrilling, fool proof nuggets for her to keep and cling to. But as I sat and thought I knew, just knew that everything and anything I could possibly truthfully offer her of what I've found to be true of marriage and actually practically helpful 5 years in, she at this moment, sitting in that chair with her beaming smile and giggly tapping toes, will not think she needs or already think she knows it. I know because I did too. I actually don't remember a ton of 'advice' people handed to me when I was engaged, probably for that very reason that at the time I was receiving it I did not view it as advice but rather 'obvious' information that my fiance and I had already discussed, dealt with and perfected. We were good to go and I was too busy telling everybody how incredibly amazing we worked together to hear much of anything else.
So tonight, as I listened to the stories and watched her eyes sparkle in anticipation of all that was to come for her and her love, I felt so many heart heavy emotions bubbling up. I didn't really feel the need to warn her of all the practicalities and realities that come with the hum drum of everyday life, instead I kind of felt like grabbing some of that sparkle from her eyes (don't worry, she had plently to share) and putting it back into my tired ones. And as I watched her nod in somber agreement at the marriage advice she won't remember, I actually tuned in for myself. Cuz 5 years in; I have to be wise enough to admit the sparkle dust has settled a little around my eyes and it's made me see that some of these women who've been married 20,25,30,50 years... they got some stories to tell and some wisdom to drink in.
Maybe we should all have 5 yr anniversary bridal showers... they might be a whole lot more affective.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Every Sunday lately I have found myself moved by something our pastor says in his sermon or something in the words we happen to worship to that morning. I guess that says some good things about the church we're at.
I often intend to write on the things I feel the Holy Spirit impressing on me in that moment, but the quietness of that hour and a half vanishes with the chattering crowds just outside the double doors of the sanctuary. And it carries with it the strength of the conviction I felt just moments ago. This past week though, I was moved a second time by the same words as the week before, and so before we hit Wed. I am going to sit and think on them... thanks for joining.
We sang a grouping of choruses lumped into one song during worship. One part stated over and over "Lord, I wanna yearn for You, I wanna burn with passion over You, Only You." As I was singing this part of the song I was having a really hard time. These words are so true in my heart, I desperatley long to yearn for the Lord. I remember the days when I felt pure passion and motivation to go and be and do all for the Lord. I was truly enamored by Him, knowing Him, being with Him, just HIM. I know what life driven by that is like and I thirst for it. But as I was singing that morning I was coming before the Lord wondering honestly if I was asking something unrealistic. I have come to believe, whether true or not, that there are times of passion in life and times of mundane obedience and duty. I don't know if Ive been sold a lie or not. I guess I have begun to see our walks with the Lord as a wooing of children. Maybe when we were younger and more fragile; as I most definitely was in my first college years, maybe the Lord wooed me more with emotion, maybe I felt those passions and yearnings so tangibly because that was a phase of my walk I was to go through at that time...Christ sought me, won me, assured my heart and soul of His truths and goodness and received my absolute dedication. But now we have moved on from that, the Lord and I...and I am here in a place of calmed down...normalcy? A more relaxed, level headed version of myself? Time to buck up and walk this thing.
I don't mean to sound discouraged, or maybe I do, I don't really know. There is a part of me that misses the excitement of those days with the Lord, but the other side doesn't really believe it's fair or neccessary to expect them to have continued forever, because this life with the Lord is not about me or how great it feels to be a believer. And so went my wandering mind while my lips continued on...
But then the next chorus in this medley we sang rang out, "And I wanna be found faithful, I wanna be found steady, I wanna be found worthy, worthy for you." It's the steady part that got me. As I reflect on it right now I guess I'm not as wounded by the word 'steady' as I was in the moment. But at the time it really jabbed me. I felt like the conversation I was having with the Lord explaining all the reasons why I just "wasn't as excited as I have been in the past, and how that's okay" was brought to a harsh hault as I recited over and over to my Jesus that I want to be found STEADY. Like I said, right now Im feeling that means more of what I actually was talking about, holding steady with my walk and dedication despite the waning emotions and excitement. But that morning, man, that morning... and then again the following sunday, that word just hurt. Saying it literally ached in my heart, as though I have not been steady. I have not been true and firm and steadfast for my Lord. I have weakend and compromised and explained away my true Love. I have traded a love story for an acceptance of truth, reckless abandonment for duty and relatability. Instead of meeting with Him, I talk about Him and learn about Him and do things for Him.
See, my problem is that the alternative isn't even wrong or bad... but that sunday morning, I felt clearly convicted that I ought to be steady in my passion for the Lord. Thing is, I can't get anything but emotional passion to FEEL passionate.
Any thoughts out there?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Knocked Up

So here's my deal with the movie Knocked Up.

I've heard alot of reviews about it now and thoughts from friends and I've been really surprised by the reaction. Because I expected to like it and to laugh alot. I expected to have to defend the fact that as a 'christian' I found such a 'controversial' topic to be so funny and enjoyable. So I was all ready for that...

What I wasn't ready for was the fact that I didn't like it, and I didn't think it was that great of a movie. I actually was pretty disapointed because I think Katherine Heigel is an extremely talented actress and comedian. So I was so bummed to find alot of the timing off and the jokes so... easy, so obvious. I guess I'm just a fan of alot more clever humor. My drama teacher and director in high school had a big policy he pushed. It had nothing to do with rules of 'appropriatness', he didn't really care how 'taboo' it got, as long as it was smart and not just going for the easy laugh. I felt like alot of the script could be reduced to Jr. High boys taking turns screaming out the word 'penis!' while rolling on the floor in histerics because they are just so dang funny.

Now, I did enjoy and laugh VERY hard at certain points. I thought the story line of the sister and brother-in-law's marriage etc was witty and... true :-) and I thought the co-worker at the TV studio was flat out hilarious. So it's not like I hated it and didn't have some really good laughs, they were just spotty. And they were interupted by awkwardness and frusteration at the forced, obvious, for lack of a better word, bathroom humor, that it feels like they used to ensure a shock value and laugh from an audience they don't consider clever enough to catch on to anything but blatant dirty words, jokes and gestures.

Anyway, all to say, I feel like if I tell people I didn't really enjoy the movie, they will automatically assume it is because I am playing some sort of 'christian' card and I was just offended by the content. Sometimes I feel like our gneration is moving so much in the direction of this emerging thought, this mind set that it is all about Jesus and following Him and not judging or getting caught up in the pharasitical rules of 'right and wrong', that we turn off our brains and embrace anything and everything, just to prove that WE are not the kind of christians that can't have fun and enjoy a good joke.

I'm not saying everyone who liked this movie is saying that for those reasons, I'm just surprised at my own hesitancy to admit that I didn't...seems some things have flipped a 180. When I was in my 'God Squad' youth group in High School, we were careful not to admit that we watched and loved and quoted Billy Madison and 90210 (Im blanking on examples), now I feel a slight pressure to say I DID like a movie that in actually, I thought was pretty poor comedically, just so I don't appear too 'high and mighty'.

Just some food for thought.

*** Kudos to the maternity fashion though! You're right on Melis :-)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Serenity in a bottle

I just had a really long day. I drove back from a two day stint at my parents house, with the kids and no husband, we had late dinner, no naps and scant attempts at meals all day today, couple that with a marathon swim session earlier today (courtesy of my die hard mom) and you get two tired kids and a wiped out mom.

BUT I am sitting here right now smelling my hands in a kind of tranquil serenity of contenedness. Why? You ask.

Oh, because I gave the kids baths before bed. Didn't matter how late it was tonight because church is in the morning and so Saturday night is the one night (honestly sometimes the ONLY) night of the week that bathtime is guarenteed...( I really am a good mom, don't call protective services). And it is completley amazing to me how even after the craziest days, when all I want is to get the kids in to bed and relax, if I give them a bath... I end up sitting around after they're tucked in, sweetly thinking about how precious they are and even sometimes in a moment of sheer insanity... maybe I could just sneak in a cuddle with them a little longer.

The adorably drenched, tiny naked bodies and playful splashing giggles help set the mood, but really... it is the scent left on my hands that sends me into this swirling state of bliss. They really should make a car air freshener with this baby shampoo scent... it would put an immediate end to road rage I swear. Cuz I know other moms agree, I've heard countless ones gushing the same words as me, it's seriously universal.

So even though it's unoriginal, I can't help it, I just love it and I have to share. The way my heart actually reacts to the smell with a tiny little surge of love, it's kinda like a drug the way it can literally alter your state of mind. And hey, it's not like just cuz thousands of people get epidurals women stop gushing about how great modern medicine is as soon as THAT form of sweet serenity kicks in.

So there ya go... baby shampoo is like an epidural.... without the gigantic needle that has to be stuck directly into your spine.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Passion and Conviction

We dedicated Carter today. I love baby dedications and for some reason always get really emotional. I know nothing is spiritualy happening with my son just because I 'dedicate' him in front of our church, but for me it is a very spiritual moment between me and the Lord.
I know that I will struggle all my life with this gripping fear that seemed to root in me the minute I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Since that thrilling, undescribably moment when I saw the second pink line I have become an expert at creating worst-case scenarios. I have not been able to watch a movie about parents and children since then without blubbering like a baby. I've said a number of times that I feel like my kids will be the undoing of me because just thinking about not being able to protect them or about what I would do if I lost one of them, makes me feel like a crazy person. I literally don't know what I'd do.
But on the other hand, I have worked in too many youth groups and dealt with too many of 'those parents' that can NOT let go of their children and let us do our jobs, they don't trust us and most importantly, they do not trust the Lord, or atleast they're not modeling it for their children.
ANYWAY... when I stand before the congregation to dedicate my children back to the Lord, God and I are having a little coversation and I am willing myself to promise surrender of them into His perfect sovereign hands. I WILL model trust in the Lord to my children. They WILL see that I BELIEVE He is in control and I will not live in fear. (By the way since my daughter's dedication at 4 mo. old - she's now 2 1/2, the Lord and I have had this conversation many more times, but I'm still determined!)
Again, ANYWAY... dedicating Carter was also a little different because at this church the parents get to share with the church one word or trait that they pray for their child. There have been some good ones over the past few months, but the one Ryan and I shared today was Passion and Conviction. I thought I'd write a little about my heart and hopes for Carter.
If you know Ryan and I, you know that Carter comes from very passionate parents. That might even be an understatement, so chances are, he is going to wind up passionate about something (Macy too). Oh, if I could possibly explain in words how my heart pleads with the ever baffling and awesome mystery of predestination vs. free will, that my children will be passionate about knowing and following their Jesus. I don't want them to do the right things and stay out of trouble, I don't want them to give the right answers and get straight A's. I want them to 'get' their God and be enthralled with His ways.
When a person is passionate about something it usually taints their whole skew and direction of life, and they typically spend a great deal of their time and life focused on pursuing that one thing. As the song goes, I pray that my children will have "one pure and holy passion, one magnificient obsession, one glorious ambition for their lives, to know and follow hard after Christ."
I especially long for this for Carter because I think this world we live in is increasingly unfriendly to men who are passionate about God. It continues to be painted more and more as a 'girly' emotional thing to be 'religious' and 'into' God. Oh the battle He will have to face to become a godly man, passionate about His Jesus.
But none the less, that is my prayer for him. My sweet boy. My heart just surges with thoughts of the young man he will become and it aches for all the trials he will go through to become that very man. What challenges lie ahead for our precious little ones... whoops, there I go...see gotta go have that whole 'trust' in the Lord conversation again!
For fun I'll leave you with my 'runner' up words that I deeply hope are produced in my little man.
Kind (oh I want him to be a kind boy- they can be so mean!):-), a leader, fear of the Lord, compassionate, joyful, submissive, confident... and so many no particular order!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Precious community

I am a GAG girl. The name GAG stands for Girls Accountability Group and it was created by silly boys in college to tease us, but it stuck before anyone had a chance to change it. Now, almost 9 years post 'GAG branding'; I am returning from an amazing reunion weekend and am simply overwhelmed by the lessons God has taught me through these girls.

Let me start by telling you that being with them, is like being with comfort itself. When I'm with them, I become such a fuller version of myself, each one of the 10 bring a different aspect of me up and out of hibernation. I find renewed passion, challenge, joy and conviction packaged neatly with total rest and acceptance. Seriously, it's like snuggling in a pile of freshly cleaned laundry, still warm.

And I bring all of this up because these girls, they have taught me what I believe to be one of the most significant practices of my life. Vulnerability. Honesty. Intentional sharing of your truest heart and self. Until college and these girls I remained safely in the facade of my life, and the funny thing is I didn't even know it! But over the years the Lord took this group of young women and He slowly molded, tore away, replaced and pushed us in the direction of intimacy with eachother and miraculously we found ourselves willing to risk and go for it! I don't think any of us knew what God was doing in and amongst us until we were already neck deep in eachother's lives. By then, it was too late to try denying how incredibly refreshing real community is, no matter how much work and intentionality it took.

There is a song by Jennifer Knapp that has always tugged deep at my heartstrings. It's called Martyrs and Theives. In the song J. Knapp speaks of how,
"In the absence of martyrs there's a presence of theives that only want to rob you blind. They steal away any sense of peace, though I'm a king I'm a king on my knees. And I know they are wrong when they say I am strong, as the darkness covers me. So turn on the light and reveal all the glory, I am not afraid, to bare all my weakness, knowing in meekness, I have a kingdom to gain."
These words are so incredibly powerful to me and I feel so deeply passionate about the truth behind them. In the absence of people willing to bare all, to look stupid, to risk vulnerability with the chance that no one will follow... there is this false sense of peace that can render an entire group of friendships totally blind. Even our Bible studies, church groups, best friends and accountability groups can become an absolute sham as we all pretend to be 'kings' and impress eachother with our minor issues and struggles...the ones we've measured and feel are safe enough to share. Too often the very groups designed to create community amongst churches become to the tools keeping us at a distance from eachother as we 'yes' eachother to death, afraid to challenege, speak up, admit or correct.... and so we end up in darkness thinking everyone around us is so strong, and feeling desperate to maintain our own image we've so carefully constructed.

Even though I have not lived by or with these girls now for 5 years and our connection time has been significantly lessened, there is a lump lodged so far down in the core of me now that 'taints' every new friendship I've come across since. It screams in conviction to 'turn on the light that actually lets people into my life -let God's glory be the only thing revealed - bare all of my weaknesses', because I do know, there is such a kingdom to gain. Truly, being with the GAG girls this weekend, was a tiny glimpse of Heaven.

Love you girls.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Good Question

"So my question is, do we attempt to minimize the ocurance or severity of these swings (only, the ones in the negative direction of course)? Or, do we learn to live with them and hope that everyone around us does too?......okay, the latter option doesnt sound so good. What I meant was more of learning to deal with the fact that this is part of life in this season and while still trying to keep from getting too crazy in the bad times, knowing that things just wont always be so smooth and we should try to adapt.......sometimes I think what I just wrote is sufficient, other times Im convinced I need therapy. What do you think?" - Erica

Hmmm, what do I think? Well I guess I would be tempted to say (and definitely reassure myself often) that this phase of crazy life is one that inevitably comes with having babies and toddlers and it will pass. I do believe that and I know that so much of the very physical demands that drive alot of my exhaustion and therefore short temperedness these days will eventually be over. The thing that concerns me though is that although the type of things that frusterate me may change over time, I'm pretty sure there will continue to be things about mothering my children that will send my head spinning and my temper flarring. Now, it's the constant "why's", lack of sleep and tedious disobedience correction. Later it will be the sassy attitudes, worrisome crowds and blatant disobedience. I guess the thing that I see in myself that worrys me the most is my tendancy to respond to my children emotionally. I let them get to me, (my kids and my emotions) and it drives my behavior towards my children. The way I talk to them, the way I handle them, whether I say 'Yes' or 'No' to a fair request. I can see myself punishing them when I am tired, I do not smile as much, I do not laugh with them; if Macy is annoying me, I feel this ingrained gut reaction to let her know Im bothered by withdrawing affection (at the least!). It's not far from my petty high school girl days! I came from an emotionally driven family and now I see it manifesting full force in my parenting. This is not something I am proud of about my own character, my inability to control emotional responses and actions in favor of wisdom and godly direction. So naturally it is not one I want to teach my children. I desperatley want to provide stability for them, predictability, dependability. I am the adult and they are the children, naturally they will be emotional; throw tantrums, cry etc etc, how confused they must be when I join in! Where else will they learn to reign in those emotions and choose maturity and Christ-like wisdom over them, if not from me?

I struggle so much with what I am modeling to my kids. I could write you out a list of all the ways I'd like my children to function, the things I believe comprise a healthy, well-adjusted, kind and God fearing adult. The problem is, at any-given time, there's atleast one of those things that I, am definitely not. What pressure I feel; knowing that so much of how my children will relate to this world and the people around them, and to God... they will learn from watching me. It makes me want to cry, it makes me want to hide and it makes me want to fall flat on my face begging the Lord for some sort of intervention in this process.

So I guess, what I'm hearing whispered in my ear right now is that I need to give myself grace, and I need to trust the Lord way more than I do, that He is ultimatley and sovereignly watching over my children and the people they will become. But I think for me, I will always maintain in this battle against my fleshly response towards my children, not because I think I will overcome it, but because the battle of refinement is one I want my children to grow up learning to fight as well.

And having said all that... I still have no idea how all those lofty "I wants" translate into my day of naps and spills and tears and diaper changes. G'Night :-)

Friday, May 18, 2007


I want to write right now because it is the only thing I can think of that might allow me to unwind, I am a ball of emotions... frusteration and guilt being two of the strongest. I am shocked at the swings I can go through in a day... and not only do they leave me feeling like a crazy schitzophrenic, but worse, a horrible mother.

I had a post planned out this morning. I was thinking through what I was going to write because I was in the middle of feeding my son his breakfast and I had just composed an entire song out of the words "poopy" and "stinker". Im serious.
I was having so much fun with him and my daughter was playing beautifully by herself and I was mentally sharing with you all through my intended blog entry how I didn't mean alot of what I wrote last entry, I was just emotional. Sure, these years may not be the most eloquent or philisophically stimulating of my life, but that's okay because somehow making spoons into airplanes and watching my daughter finally master the thread through the giant plastic bead equates to sheer joy in my book right now. I dont know how God did it, but in some crazy, outside of this world way, He managed to make THAT fufilling and fun for me.

And then the afternoon hit. I had plans to hang out with my sister-in-law, I've so been desiring good time with her. To talk and laugh and hear her heart. But the kids barely ate, which led to bad naps, which translated into whining and restless pushing of limits the rest of the evening. I felt frusterated, fed-up, short-tempered and angry. I didnt want to be around my kids, didn't care that they were doing cute things amongst the annoying and I just couldn't wait for 7:00. I must have checked the clock on the oven a million times. 6:23 ... 6:31...6:38...oh come on!... 7:00 YES! BEDTIME!!!

I finally sat down to eat with my sisters (the other had now joined) and Macy was up having to go "potty". I was mad...until I came in to check on her and my sweet baby girl was crying on the toilet sick with much more than "potty" if you know what I mean. And then I hear Carter scream out of a dead sleep and I run up to his gargling and coughing and and rubbing his eyes because he's so stinkin' tired but just can't breathe. ... Did I forget to mention both my kids are sick? That's because I didn't care... when I was frusterated and just plain 'done' this afternoon, it didn't matter to me that they were not eating, sleeping or playing happily because they didn't feel good... I was just annoyed and tired and didn't want to award sympathy to anyone but myself. And now? Now, that they're asleep and I've calmed down and am just remembering the misery on their faces and tears on their cheeks... Now I'm feeling guilty and sad and like a kind of secret failure.

And I kind of want to laugh because this, THIS blog was NOT supposed to be about my kids...I wanted this place to be my safe haven to prove that I had other intellectual things to think and write about. Other things to contemplate and share.
But my heart is wrapped up in these two litte ones and the way they swing me daily. I hate that every instance that I love being a mom, gets coupled with a moment of absolute disgust at the 'unfairness' of my life. I hate that I sound that way and think that way. I want to shout that it isn't really me or how I feel because there are an eternity of heart-bursting-from-my-chest wonderful moments... but doesn't it have to be me as well because of how many lose-my-mind-in-frusteration, can't-do-this-anymore moments I find myself in as well? I want to believe I'm not as selfish as I probably sound in this, but right now I'm feeling pretty low down on the "super mom" meter. So I'm just gonna leave it at that...anyone else experience the mood swings that can NOT be blamed on hormones?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Where did I go?

Every once in a while I'll find myself in the middle of feeding, or changing diapers, or disciplining or washing clothes or doing dishes or holding a crying baby or a feverish one... or even smack in the middle of the most delightful tickle fest with my giggling babies... and I'll stop (which is a rare occurence for me at best) and this bewildered voice from deep inside will ask, "How in the world did I get here?". Literally in the blink of a second a full fledged conversation ensues;

"How is this my life? I don't even recognize myself"
"Well that isn't so bad, you love your life"
"Yeah but it doesn't contain any of who I use to be"
"You're being dramatic, you like the ways you've grown up, you wouldn't trade it"
"But I'm nothing but a mom now, nothing special or spectacular or deep about me even exists anymore"
"Okay, now you're dramatic AND selfish, stop it and go wipe Macy's nose"

And so goes this battle within me between the girl I knew back in college who loved to sit and ponder and share and get into the thick of the lives around her. The girl who had her whole life ahead of her to do amazing and incredibly meaningful things and who had time to curl up with her thoughts of God and life and after pondering, to pour them before the Lord, authentically seeking refinement; change. This girl seems to have been clobbered by the daily life of a wife and mother. One who intensely loves her husband and children and the place this 'adult life' has brought her; but simultaneously feels stifled by the roles and responsabilities that come with them. How can a person feel 'stifled' by the very lives she'd give her own for? My thought life feels like one gigantic contradiction these days. I will passionately long for the ways and heart of God, for vulnerability and relationship with Him like I swear I used to feel... and in the same breath I'll then cynically roll my eyes at the drama of it all, resolving to 'get real' and just DO the things God calls us to, forgetting any emotional or even spiritual tie to any of it.

So here I am, this is me. As said before, my thought life these days is a jumbled mess of contradictions...but can you blame me? It's been almost three years since I have had quietness in which to train and track my mind. I will begin to embark down a thoughtful path, pondering some question or emotion I feel deeply and then BAM; a cry, a call for "MOMMY", dinner, smelly diaper, the phone, the buzzer... who knows...but it's back to reality and the immediate-ness of my current life. I think that is the main reason I've decided to attempt this new blog journal; I crave contemplation, consolidation and (oh the glory!) actual conclusion of my ponderings.

So after all that... as my sweet friend Erica put it... Here's to it!