Monday, May 9, 2016

this is Father's day.


Harrison,

This Mother's Day was sweet. We enjoyed a fun, beautiful Sunday together and, at this age, I know that's just about all you really knew about the day. There is, however, so much more I want you to know about mother's day. It's also Father's day. 

Let me explain:

Before I had you, I dreamed about all of the wonderful adventures we would share together. I could really imagine your little baby waddle with stubby feet coming towards me excitedly. I could just picture moments of watching you grow and learn, and it was all beautiful. I selfishly dreamed about what I would get from the blessing of having you.

Despite being coached by those whom had walked the parenthood path before me, I lacked the capacity to understand the non-stop needs, the smells, the antics, the sin nature to the extent that I do today - and you're only one and a half. The selfishness I had about what I'd gain from having you was definitely muted by some of the many challenges that parenting brings. 

In my elementary stage of parenthood,
I have taken steps of bravery I never thought possible. 
[Killed a spider or two that I thought might get to you.]
I have searched scripture more fervently than ever.
[To hopefully shed light on how to train you up right.]
I have cried more tears - of joy, fear, anger, exhaustion, anxiety, insecurity, and laugher.
[Only to find that I'm helpless and often just a mess.]
I have smiled and laughed at mundane moments that normally would not catch my eye.
[The way 'you do you', if only I'd had a clue...

that while parenthood can sometimes be nothing of what I wanted, it is every time, every thing that I want. In the most imperfectly perfect way, your existence brings me to the ultimate place of humility, and to finding that I am desperate for Christ on a minute-by-minute basis. I can do nothing good. I am nothing good. Thankfully, among other things for your sake, He lives in me. The times you see the best mama is the times He is moving through me to get to you. 

So pay attention, sweet boy. When your mama is failing, please give me grace. 
I will try to remember to apologize and do better. 

One thing I do know is this: Christ is in me and, because of that, I know that some days I will get out of the way just enough that His light will shine through to you. My prayer is that you see those times, know it is Him, and learn to trust in the only One who will never leave you or let you down. I ask that I may be pushed aside often, reflecting His light to you as much as I can. Lean in. Watch closely. 

Inside your broken mama is  the King  worthy of your worship and praise. 

He is calling you, Harrison, by name. 

He longs to be in relationship with you.

At the end of my time here, with all of my parenting successes and failures, my only hope is that you've seen Him, and that you remember that the good days with mama were because Jesus lived in her heart. The invitation is open to you, and Lord willing, you'll RSVP with a big "YES"!

My role as your mama is to reflect Him. 

So happy mother's day to me... and may you have a happy Father's day every day of your life.

I love you,

Mama





Friday, May 6, 2016

the one about the elephant.

I would not describe myself as a perfectionist.

To be honest, I think my closest friends would laugh if you asked if I was a perfectionist.

I am, however, discovering something about myself that for some reason I have chosen the word perfectionist to describe - perhaps for lack of a better word. Maybe that something fits better under the description of an 'all-or-nothing' personality.

In so many areas of my life, if I am going to do something, I want to do it fully, do it well. I'd argue that's many people's M.O. The problem comes in with my 'or-nothing' side. If I cannot do it fully and well, I tend to not be motivated to do anything.

[Which, as a funny side note, I looked up what M.O. means because, I'll admit, I did not know - and what if we used the latin words instead of the abbreviation in casual talk?... "I'd argue that's most people's modus operandi." HA! No.]

Anyways.

I'll give some examples:

- If I'm going to clean my house (besides your normal 'straightening up' that just must be done on a regular basis) - and I mean really clean my house - I always want to wait until there is the perfect environment. Ideally, I put on my 'work' clothes, I clear the house of distractions (and distracting persons..), and I have hours upon hours to really strip the house and clean every crevice. Otherwise (subconsciously) I believe that there's really no use in beginning a 'deep' clean, only to be interrupted. 

- If I'm going to study for school (praise Jesus that I'm almost done with this sort of example..), I tend to not even begin if I cannot have complete silence, a large clean space on which to work, and a few hours of quiet to really 'get in there' and learn.

- If I'm going to work out, ideally, I would have my cute workout outfit on, a block of time to drive to the gym, get a really solid workout in, shower immediately afterwards, and feel really accomplished at the end of it. 


I could go on, but you get the picture.

If there are only a few minutes to spare or the day is full, I tend to avoid the things that I want to do 'more fully' or 'better' if I cannot create the perfect environment for them in my day.

My quiet time - if I cannot have soft music playing on Pandora ("Classical for Studying Radio", I highly recommend), my cup of coffee, and a warm blanket while I read and pray for an hour, then I may as well just not even try, right?

[Firstly, sorry for yet another example when I told you I was done. ]

[Secondly, I know that people are laughing at the trendy 'coffee quiet times' that so many Christian women enjoy - but if it is truly something you enjoy, just as you would a spa day, or night out with the girls - why should we discourage enjoyable, special time with the Lord?  Ok, off soapbox.]

A quick prayer in the car while my child is whining in the back seat will more than suffice for some 'quiet time' with the Lord. Some crunches and push ups in my living room in between laundry loads will suffice for keeping my body healthy and in shape until I can get in a good run. Reading notecards  in order to prepare for an exam as I am cooking dinner for my family  will really help me to review some of the topics I'm trying to learn for school. Windex-ing (verb) the windows while my boy naps in the other room will ultimately help me get one step closer to having a clean home.

You cannot eat a whole elephant all at once. 
You can only do so a bite at a time. 



[My sister can vouch for me that this phrase, while one I use often, is one I have 
butchered a number of times no thanks to my hectic brain - something 
about eating elephants typically comes out, and I sound morbid.]

Give what you have, when you can, and you'll find that you're more motivated, more successful, and more energetic than if you wait for the perfect setting before you accomplish anything.

One.

Small.

Bite.

At.

A.

Time.

Whatever goal you've set for yourself, the reason it may seem daunting is that it is something unreached at present. If it is unreached, that means you have to 'reach' to obtain it; then it will have become 'reached'. Sometimes reaching is a struggle - especially if the goal is lofty. So reach as far as you are able for today, for this hour, for this minute. That's all you can do.

Ultimately, you'll be that one small step closer to whatever it is you've been trying to do.

Pretty obvious, I suppose.

I guess I just had to actually take that small step this week to realize that I was in a closer position to my goal than I had been.

So yay!