Wednesday, December 16, 2015

On the wonderful, marvelous, night you were born...

The light in me sees the light in you. 

I've been anxious about this post for a while now. When Mollie turned 9 months old, I felt the walls closing in. She was closer to one than she was a newborn. And here it is... Like a thief in the night, my newborn came and went.

I. Have. A. One. Year. Old. 

My littlest and greatest accomplishment is becoming a tiny human. She has a mind of her own like her mama and a sense of humor of her daddy. She's a major over achiever with her 2T clothes, working on 16 teeth, and walking by 11 months. I think that's why I am so sad. There is minimal "baby" left in my baby. 

Thinking back, much like her birth, I remember this year like a vivid dream. Almost like I was watching it all happen. 
I've now felt a love for someone else that I didn't know could exist, much less know I was capable of.  

Mollie Kate, you truly are the light of our lives. We are a thousand times better just because we get to see your smiles and hear your laughs. You make us proud every minute of every day. You alone are responsible for so many of our own smiles.  We love you to the moon and back.

"For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
has the world ever known a you, my friend,
and it never will, not ever again…

Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn
on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Stormy mommy.

I'm knocking, but I think I'm at the wrong door. I'm praying but I think my words are getting lost in translation. Hello?? Is this thing on? Maybe my ears are clogged. I honestly do think that I am hearing His voice but the words and answers seem jumbled...similar to that of the teacher on Charlie Brown.

Am I the only one? Surely not. Right? He knows my heart. He knows what I am capable of and what I can handle. I know this. But sometimes, I am tempted to say, "Hey there big guy, are you sure?" 

I wish this post was about the stormy season of Mollie's leap. Its not. It's so much more about the stormy season of mommy. I am full of confusion and blessings, love and frustration. My trust is in God. But my brain wants me to know His plan. I have no wise words.

I am forever grateful to have a supportive and caring family that I can lean on and a hilarious, beautiful, baby girl to make me smile even when I really don't want to. 

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

—Luke 11:9–10

From the bottom of my heart, all stormy seasons of life, whether long or short, are worth going through just to see you smile.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The selfish side of being called "mama"

I don't remember the last time I had a good, long, no reason cry... I guess that's a good thing. I have very little in my life to cry about. Tonight, sitting at our best friends house with a child who thought two 30 min naps was enough for her today, so sleepy she couldn't keep her eyes open, and too sleepy to actually stay asleep, I felt defeated. I felt the weight of the entire world on my shoulders and all I wanted to do was sit next to my sister wife and drink a glass of wine...or 5. 

It's been a tough week. Not the toughest, trust me, I know others have it worse than me. But in general, it's been tougher than the average week.

It's football season so I see my husband less than I would like. It's almost over though, and it's been a good one. For that, I am grateful. 

My job is challenging, as most teachers jobs are, although my challenge doesn't come from stress of grades, scores, tests, and all the's  challenging in a way I honestly can't even explain. I'm sure everyone in the building just thinks we are all nuts up in room 23... Walking around all wide eyed and silent and whatnot. 

This week I felt the heartbreak of the city that lost a girl that was much too young to lose. Someone I called a friend...someone that I hadn't seen in quite some time.

The adult duties of home ownership and well...just being a clean person in general, seemed to pile on all while my precious, smart, beautiful daughter is trying to learn to walk and her ever learning mind is keeping her from falling asleep. She gets it honestly... I mean instead of sleeping right now, I'm blogging. (Do as I say, not as I do.) 

In summary...This mama is tired. The frustration came like a wildfire and the tears were the water that put it out. I was scared to admit that the devil was winning for the day. I am actually not a super human and I need to sit, nap, sleep, eat an actual meal... 

Through the tired and defeated tears I opened my Jesus Calling app and as always it didn't disappoint. 

"Lie down in green pastures of Peace. Learn to unwind whenever possible, resting in the Presence of your Shepherd. This electronic age keeps My children “wired” much of the time, too tense to find Me in the midst of their moments. I built into your very being the need for rest." 

Mind. Blown. I am thankful for the small reminders of His presence. The reminders that show up when you need them most... when your doubt and shame is casting a shadow over the truly colorful and crazy life that He has so graciously laid out ahead for us.

"By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done."
—Genesis 2:2–3

Being an adult isn't always fun, but atleast I get to love on this cute kid! 
Also a throwback shout out to these pretty girls! May you cherish every moment...Even the ones that make you cry for no reason... 
Cheers to you, Ashlyn. 😘

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

In the face of defeat...

Defeated: overcome by adversity

I am aware of the negativity of the word. And yet, on many a day, it is the way I feel. I feel it at my job, I feel it as a mom, I feel it as a Christian. On paper, I have very little to feel defeated about. But the feeling can still be a little black rain cloud. Let's call it a bad day. Heck, a bad week. (I know, it's only Tuesday.) Today was one of those days. My job got the best of me. I usually pride myself on not being a teacher that brings home work.  As a PreK teacher, I don't bring home papers to grade or anything of that physical nature. But the emotional baggage of the day can be a heavy load. Often, I come home from work, exhausted both physically and emotionally. I oversee the learning process of 20 four year olds. Emotions run wild (as do germs) in room 23. Sometimes, I am too tired and too defeated to fully enjoy the 3 hours of family time that I get. Make that 1.5 hours by the time Ben gets home from football. 

Today was one of those days. I couldn't shake my work baggage. I brought it home with me. And guess what, that leads to feeling defeated as a mom. I'm always in need. But when I lay my head on the pillow, the questions and doubt run crazy. "Did I make her smile enough?" "I should get down on the floor with her more.." "She wasn't happy when I cut her bath short. I hope she doesn't remember." 

Defeat. It's a mind game. I decided to turn to scripture to find out what the Word has to say about the feeling. The first verse I read was: 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

All I could say was, "Amen." 

As a working mom, I'm bound to have days where I am exhausted and question my energy. I'm bound to feel helpless and defeated. In my profession, far too often, the feeling of defeat is much too familiar. But in both worlds...I am afflicted, not crushed. I may get struck down time and time again, but I am not destroyed. My God has my back. My God will show me the right path. The path He laid for me before I ever took a breath. My God does all of that and more. Thank goodness He was not defeated. Thank goodness He makes each day new with the sun. 

Hebrews 10:35-36 Therefore do not throw away your confidence,which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Laughing is so fun... Except I'm tired and don't want to do it anymore...


Monday, September 14, 2015

275 days.

BAM! And just like that, she is NINE months old. My Mollie Kate is a mere 13 weeks away from being ONE! I think I just threw up a little bit. I have no words. I have thoughts, but they seem jumbled. She is a perfect mix of her daddy and I. She looks just like him and is opinionated and moody just like me. That smile... You've seen it. It could change the world. It will change the world. I've struggled lately, as some of you may have seen. I've struggled with separation from this awesome creature that I personally grew. It's always been hard to leave her. But now, she's too much fun. We have our days mostly down to an art. I've finally reached that part of motherhood where I know what she needs before she needs it. It took a full 9 months, but I'm there. And it's awesome. It's awesome (and scary) to be fully aware of someone like that. To be needed like that. If ever I didn't know my role in this world, I know it now. 

Let me clarify before people go all off about how I'm bragging about my perfect kid and my perfect this that and the other. It's been a HARD nine months. Even when she sleeps through the night, I don't. I'll wake up and be like "oh shoot, she hasn't made a noise in 4 hours, that's cool.. But before I close my eyes, let me go make sure her chest is going up and down." I remember the last time my mom kept her for the night, we went out after a game for a few drinks. I wanted to "enjoy my night off." I woke up at 6 that morning in a straight up panic. 

I'm not bragging. I am so blessed to have the many gifts that I have. I have a husband that has put up with and loved me for 8 years. Dogs that love and deal with us. Family that helps out with anything we need. And this awesome, amazing, beautifully chunky offspring. I'm unworthy. I should fall to my knees more. God has blessed my life. God has expanded my heart these past nine months. My biggest prayer is that Mollie can and will see God through me. And that I can see the world through her. She is my gateway to Heaven. She is my glimpse of a life by His side until I am permanently in His amazing Courts. My soul aches for more of Him because His love is shown to me daily through the child that He created. I am not perfect. My family is not perfect. This world, our life, is so far from perfect. But perfection does exist in my life for now, and her name is Mollie. And she is only perfect because God washes away any imperfections. May He be her light all of her days. And may I be the map that leads her to Him. 

Happy 9 months sweet girl. You have no idea how much you are loved. 

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
—Psalm 139:13–16

Friday, August 28, 2015

My 21 children...

Yes, you read it correctly.  21 children.  No, they aren’t all biological.  In fact, I just met 20 of them.  Only one shares my DNA.  But all of them are mine, at least for the majority of the day.  This was my first full week with all 20 kiddos.  20 four year olds.  All day.  And then I get to come home to snuggle with my anti snuggling, teething, cut out her 3rd nap, no sleep for mommy, 8.5 month old.  I have to be honest.  I feel more exhausted at this moment, than I did when Mollie was a newborn. 

I knew this week would be challenging.  Rules week always is.  One may think that rules week while pregnant would be tough.  This one seems a bit tougher.  Maybe it is because I have a child of my own when I come home.  Last year, I could take ALL of the naps.  This year, not so much. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I do love my job.  And I love these 20 children.  And the one that is actually mine… I love her more than I could ever explain.   That’s what is so hard.  They crack me up.  (Not when they are being crazy in the hall.) But when I get the chance to have a conversation with them.  They are hilarious.   Today, I was informed that one answers to being called baby (we tested it out), one has a dog named Teddy that eats poo, one is going to teach me how to swim better (I am a terrible swimmer), and one can pretend to be a zombie monster with some seriousness.  Like, his eyes went scary. 

This entire year for me is all about the word "patience."  It keeps replaying in my mind.  It is all over this blog that I started.  Patience with Mollie.  Patience with these 20 children that just entered my life.  Patience with the parents that may or may not trust me with their child.  Patience with time. 

Time... As far as school is concerned, I would love to fast forward to the end of September.  By the end of September, these kids will know the rules of the school like none other! But, if I fast forward time, then that means I would have a 9 month old.  And I am not ready for that.  9 months old is too close to a year.  I can’t have a one year old any time soon because she was born yesterday...right?

Patience.  Good thing God is in control of my life.  Lord knows I couldn't handle a day without Him.  There is probably a special reward for teachers up in Heaven, don't you think?  Just kidding...

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Ephesians 4:2

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. 

Aren't they cute with they sleep?