Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mask removed

There I was 9:30 am. at the library when it opened to return our books before I had to pay another $12 late fee. The double stroller is on its lt leg, as we bought it second hand. And Knox ready to get some water after the mile long walk down the hill. And it hit me, I was about to walk in a public place and had never even looked in the mirror since I woke up. Wow you say. I couldn't imagine doing that. That's extreme. Joy you say, you are taking this stay at home mom thing a little to serious, you need to take care of YOU.
I admit I struggle between self sacrifice and self preservation. But you may not have looked in the mirror either if only I could paint you the picture of literal blood, sweat and tears that took place from breakfast to getting library books and three kids ready to walk.
I will spare you.
 God is gently helping me remove millions of layers of sin and pride. And just like without my make up its not that pretty. But it is beautiful on a deep level. Just like when your husband kisses you after hours of labor to get that 8 pound infant out of your body and he tells you  how much he loves you-it's not beause of your gorgeous looks, it's a much deeper beauty. Thats how this is. 
Joy. What do yo uthink when you hear  that word? Smiles, walmarts yellow happy face, daisies, balloons lots of ice cream.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Superwoman

Superwoman dictionary.com defines a super woman as woman who copes successfully with the simultaneous demands of career, marriage and motherhood. It started early. The pressure to perform, the pressure to " cope successfully with simultaneous demands." I can remember our first year of marriage crying over not knowing what to cook for dinner, not knowing what to even buy for ingredients, not knowing how to stock the pantry. My husband was working and going to school full time and I was student teaching. I did not cope well with the new demands of laundry and ironing for two, housekeeping, food preparation, lesson preparation and emotional involvement with a new husband. It came again when I started my job as a sixth grade teacher. I was asked to tutor after school, to coach the junior high cheerleaders and be at all their games, on top of all the above listed responsibilities. Dinner needed to go beyond spaghetti and tacos as we were beginning to tire of the same options. Money was tight so I heard about couponing. Again, coping with simultaneous demands was overwhelming, but everyone kept saying that it was doable that I was capable. I was not. It hit its worst when I had three little ones in thirty nine months. I had to do all things for them. No one could wipe themselves, pour their own drink, and at least one of them needed to be held to get from place to place. That is on top of all the above listed responsibilities. And I FAILED. I could not successfully cope with all the simultaneous demands. Praise God because THAT is when I learned of grace. We all have our own ideas of what superwoman looks like. Maybe she has a vest with a big S on a perfectly sculpted body and rescues people. Maybe she cooks gourmet meals or saves millions with couponing. Maybe she uses cloth diapers and makes homemade bread. Maybe she has as clean house and helps her husband with his business. Maybe her kids are always obedient and generous. Maybe she appears to have successfully coped with all life has thrown at her. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak then I am strong." God's superwoman looks different than yours or mine. She is aware of her weakness. In fact she delights in it. For she has learned that every time she tries to "cope successfully" with life's demands ALONE she will most likely fail and God will allow her to. Just like he allowed Peter to fall in the water when he took his eyes off the Lord (Matthew 14), just like he allowed Peter to fail in his claims to devotion to the Lord(John 13) to the point of denying the Lord (John 18). Then he will point out that failure just like he did to Peter in John 21. Peter was trying to succeed without the Lord. He was self reliant. Just like me in my efforts to be superwoman. If you study Peter you will find he is very passionate, he loves Jesus, and Jesus COMPLETELY redeemed all failure in Peter. As He will with you and me. That is the amazing thing about his grace. It IS sufficient for each failed attempt at superwoman. And we can delight in our failure, our weakness, allowing it to reveal our need for a perfect superman-JESUS- who CAN cope PERFECTLY with the simultaneous demands of my life. Not only that but who covered all my mistakes with his perfect work on the cross and by his wounds I have been healed (1 peter 1:24). I can cast all my cares on him because he cares for me (1 Peter 5:7) and he has provided me with everything I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Don't you just love that those last few verses come from the very heart of Peter inspired by the Holy Spirit?! He learned the value of Christ's work on the cross, he learned to rely on Jesus in his weakness. He learned of God's sufficient grace. He learned of God's care for him. And that is what is waiting you and I when we give up our self sufficiency and superwoman status- a new awareness of God's grace, awareness of God's care, and reliance on someone who CAN take all the simultaneous demands.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Back porch swing

I love sharing my life with others. In the world of motherhood, it is quite difficult to have a conversation with adults. Most conversations are interrupted at least 5 times. This blog is more than anything, a place for me to go back to and see what has happened in my own life. A place to record little happenings in our family, to place pictures, to put my thoughts into the abyss. I think I began to look at this blog as more than that and so it overwhelmed me, plus as I found out people that had read my-soul-poured-out on here I was afraid of their opinions. So I am starting back with a different goal. I am laying here listening to our third born child babble- its hard to believe we actually have kids, but three WHOA! Today we celebrate EIGHT years of marriage. And I think my verdict is that this year, specifically, has been the one of the most difficult. Our precious ones given us our most challenging year as parents yet. Maybe that's one reason I haven't been blogging....My head has been too cluttered to process and absorb what is going on, much less record it. But I have this renewed refreshed feeling that we are in a new season. I read Deuteronomy 8 today which is always the passage that God seems to give me to introduce to a new season. I was reminded of an incredible sermon by one of our pastors that talks about when God says you shall you shall and when God says HE will...He WILL. So I will once again, record his faithfulness here on this blog. And if you want to come in and sit a while, I am inviting you to my back porch swing in your pjs to cry together, giggle together and to listen to my rambling heart. "17 "If you say in your heart, 'These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?' (i.e. 'this job of motherhood is too difficult for me, this job is greater than my strength') 18 you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, 19 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the LORD your God brought you out. So will the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.... 21 You shall not be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. 22 The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little." Deuteronomy 7:17-22 ...little by little... The Lord my God WILL...help me Love my husband and raise these kids..

Friday, January 27, 2012

The end

I will be ending this blog. After a year of considering it I have decided not to blog like this anymore.

Maybe you remember the days before the backspace button when if you typed or wrote something you could throw it in the trash and start over. Don't get me wrong I am a huge fan of the backspace button, but there have been many times that I have posted something and then after a day or two and after everyone's had read it, I wished I hadn't posted it. If that happens in conversation you can go back to the person and clarify or ask what they thought of what you said, but in the blog world you have no idea how many have read it.

I began blogging to have a sort of record of these days of life so that I remember. At times I would however write knowing the reader would be reading...does that make sense? I will be creating an online journal at a different address.

I am sort of sad about it because blogging has been a way of escape and a fulfillment of the desire to be known, but it is good. It is time.

Stay tuned for an address, and please be patient it may be a while.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 2012

a FACE a mother could LOVE:


My sweet baby Molly Lou


Knoxie doodle ....what a little stinker








And Super Brennan in his 'super' cape..his shirt says "I'm definitely up to something"


Dress up boy style...





It has rained entirely tooooooo much lately so the sun broke through the clouds and we dawned our rain boots and splashed in the puddles..I was okay with this because it was like 60 degrees outside..I LOVE this expression on knox's face!








And then inside or some homemade brownies...


Licking the bowl....


And caring for sis


Oh and art...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

now and then..

i am not going to apologize for it being so long since i updated this blog. it is part of my new years resolution to live with no worries, to consider less the thoughts others have of me and think of others more.
i am so VERY thankful to God for all of my precious friends. Some of you i keep up with on here, some through occasional phone dates, some through my mother. Still all of you are so amazing. REALLY. God has allowed me to meet and be a part of some truly amazing people. I have spent (wasted) time trying to make people who are in my life now, like some of you (bosom friends), but have come to the realization that i have been blessed beyond words with girls of outstanding character and depth. thank you for loving me despite my lack of both.
some of you are so good at writing or communicating that i feel like i am somewhat aware of the huge things God is doing or has done in your life, and i am not good at puting those things on paper (or type :). For now, i want to reflect back on the goodness of God in 2011:
1. Of course, he blessed us with a new addition to our family- a lively, perky, responsive little girl named MOLLY.
2. He gave us wise and quick acting doctors who found a way to relieve our family from 5 hours a day of crying and me of the weight of feeding a baby alone.
3. He gave us a way to connect to our church family and give us Christian fellowship IN ATHENS by providing a caregroup that meets right here in our home! (F.Y.I our church is 45 minutes away in Knoxville, we love it and benefit from it enough to make the drive)
4. He gave Ben a new office space, and the kids and i free reign of the house from 8-5! no more VP of universities being greeted by a half dressed todler!
5. He provided an amazing group of sisters to serve me and our children (and ultimately Ben too as i am not as desperate) one day a week.
6. He faithfully paid the bills and fed our children with hearty appetites EVERY MONTH, despite my lack of monetary contribution and Ben's unpredictable salary.
7. He got me out of my slump of post-babies-are all- i- do. I have been SO discouraged since Knox's birth that i found a strand of bitterness in my soul about pretty much all things. He is filling my heart with a new song and new found joy.
8. He got me running again. Seriously, i ENJOY exercise. I am not one that has to be dragged to the gym. I literally put on my sports bra everyday when i dress in hopes that at some point i will get to go for a quick run..and we are now members at our local YMCA that has childcare for $1.00 per hour. i have gotten to do a 10K three times a week since November. woo hoo. maybe i will get to do a half marathon next year after a 5 year wait!
9. He has given us water pressure in our shower (funny i know but a crummy way to start your day with a trickle of lukewarm water..especailly in winter!) We have no way of explaining the sudden burst other than answer to prayer!
10. We have begun family devotions of sort. (with a 2 year old its limited!)
11. Ben has had opportunity to lead worship as a volunteer for our family nights at church. It is such a blessing to have him leading me in worship to our God together once again. He is my favorite worship leader and i think has a special anointing form God in that area.
So 2011 in hindsight for you?