Friday, January 20, 2017

WANTED

-Magical pill to ease Mom Guilt at the end of a rough day

-Responsible teenage girl who appears in my passenger seat at the snap of my fingers, forever enabling me to run into a store for one single item without unloading and then re-loading three small children out of and into car seats.

-30 guaranteed minutes of peace each day

-30 guaranteed minutes to clean each day a housekeeper

-Three all-organic, completely nutritious, completely delicious meals delivered right at mealtimes

-The ability to relive any sweet moment I want to, any time I want to

-An unending supply of patience

-The ability to always be totally and completely present for my family


-A life I can be proud of

Monday, January 16, 2017

Reckless



There are four people I see every day who are reckless, reckless with my heart.
They smile at me in that special way, say a meaningful little something, hold my hand. They pick me a dandelion or come home from work with chocolate. They color me a picture or they write me a love note.
They pour into my heart until it is full to bursting, stretched to capacity, positively overflowing. They are downright reckless with it.
They get hurt. They get mistreated. Their feelings get hurt and their dreams get crushed so my heart breaks for them.
They look up at me with wide, loving eyes. They hold my face in their hands and kiss the top of my forehead or the tip of my nose. They fall asleep on my shoulder. They hug me tight. They are reckless, so reckless, with my heart.
They are tired or hungry or frustrated with something and they snap at me. They roll their eyes, sigh in exasperation, whine and bat me away. They say they love Daddy better. They hang out in the garage finishing a project though I feel needy and emotionally fragile. They hurt my feelings. They are reckless with my heart.
They call me pretty, thank me for cooking dinner, tell me I’m a good wife or mom. They share a bite of their snack with me. They ask how my day was. They thank God for me, out loud so I can hear them.
Loving imperfect mortals is a risky gamble. It is downright reckless. Maybe that makes it all sweeter. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Internet-Free Challenge

We noticed very early on in our marriage that TV and the Internet were not good for us. We were newlyweds, which used to mean that you were spending all of your time holding hands and starry-eyed, but instead we were staring at screens and saying in a zombie-like trance, “Let’s do something together in… 20 minutes?” every 20 minutes.

We got rid of TV and Internet—mostly because we are cheap—and it revolutionized our marriage, y’all.
My older readers might be rolling their eyes but those of you who are my age and younger, seriously, take heed. Our parents and grandparents had completely different marriages than we do today.

You know what happens when you can’t turn away and scroll mindlessly through Pinterest or when your husband can’t turn up the sound of a basketball game? You finish the argument, you make up, and then you hang out with each other. You talk. You memorize the pattern in the gold in the green of his eyes, and then recognize that same gold pattern in your son’s bright blue eyes, because you are always looking at faces and never looking at screens. 
You have fewer headaches.
You read more books.
Your house is cleaner (unless you have kids. Then it’s messier, but in a good way).

I am often met with blank stares or rude comments when I explain that I don’t have Internet at my house. When I call the bank or library I am usually asked by someone with an impatient tone, “Have you tried mobile banking?” or “Did you try placing a hold online?” I recently called a dance studio because I wanted to give them my money and watch a performance, and instead of just telling me the date of the show I was met with a huffy, “It’s on the website.” I once attempted to join a moms’ group and was told I probably wouldn’t be able to since it was run primarily through Facebook. A group of moms, who all lived in the same city and attended the same church, met over Facebook instead of in-person.

It was for this reason that I found myself cracking up at some of the not-that-funny parts of Esther Emery’s book, What Falls from the Sky.


Esther Emery was doing her best to mend a broken heart and a broken marriage and decided to try a little experiment, one year without Internet or TV. She found God during this time… and learned to cook, garden, play guitar, and juggle. She read book after book. She traveled to Nicaragua and learned more about the world.
Detoxing from the Internet completely changed her life and she wrote all about it in her book.

I so highly recommend it. I think it’s a really interesting story about her personal life and her marriage, but it’s also a really beautiful depiction of a very hurt, introverted person growing and changing into someone who deeply values human connection over the kind of “connection” found on the Internet.

If you’ve ever thought about your dependence on (or addiction to) the Internet, and what life might be like if you gave it up, I very highly recommend this book.

Also, because so many people in this generation find it very difficult to imagine functioning normally outside of the Internet, I am happy to help with any logistics questions you might have. =]

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, January 14, 2017

365 Love Letters

I’ve been working on a 365 project this year: 365 love letters. They can be actual letters or short-but-sweet notes, to the people I love or to complete strangers, but they absolutely must be handwritten. I’ve gotten some really great love letters from God this week (a wonderful report from the ultrasound I had on a breast lump, hope that maybe God is using me to encourage others to do a self breast exam and maybe save a life, and so much beautiful support from family, friends, and a husband I am immensely blessed to have) and I’ve had fun writing a different letter or note every day for the past 14 days…



January 1st: wrote a little inside three birthday cards for family members with birthdays on January 6th, 7th, and 8th!
January 2nd: Thank you note to my brother and his fiancé for the sweet Christmas movie they sent to my monkeys
January 3rd: Card for a friend who got married over the weekend! I had an extra copy of Love Unending to give away and was thrilled to have somebody to give it to =]
January 4th: Left an encouraging note on the bathroom mirror at the church where my son attends Awana.
January 5th: Took notes for the friend who leads my moms’ group meetings and left a sweet note at the bottom to thank her for all she does. =]
January 6th: Love letter in Baby C’s journal, which she’ll read someday when she’s 25 or pregnant, whichever comes first.
January 7th: Mailed out a note of encouragement to a friend who is in one of those weird places where she has to endure a shred of “misery” that’s on the horizon right before something awesome. You know the kind! A nerve-wracking finals week before you’ve finally graduated, the loooooong last two weeks of pregnancy before you finally meet your baby, standing in line in airport security but knowing you’ll be seeing your loved ones in a few hours. You know.
January 8th: Left a short-but-sweet love note for my husband on our fridge! The kids lost the “R” magnet so I had to put “Love my hubs” instead of “I love u Ryan” but it worked out any ways. =]
January 9th: short letter for my Brother Bear
January 10th: Short-but-sweet note accompanying two precious quotes from The Lifegiving Home in each of my children’s journals
January 11th: post-it note inside my LifegivingHome library book, reminding other mamas they were made to be their babies’ mamas.  
January 12th: Note of encouragement on the wall of health books at the health food store.
January 13th: “I <3 you” in shower crayon, so my family can see it while they shower/take a bath.

January 14th: letter to Kirabo, our sponsor child who is going through a rough time. Pray for him please, y’all. On top of losing all of their crops to drought, his father just passed away. His mother is now living with her parents, his siblings have been split up to live with other relatives, and he is living on his own right now. It’s a bit of a miserable situation so please pray that things will start to turn around for him and his family soon. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Today

My kids are all asleep in their car seats right now! I had already pulled into the driveway when I noticed so I ran in to grab my book but then decided to get online instead. So. Some things I am up to today…

Drinking: juice at Natural Grocers. Fresh-pressed and Whole30-approved! My Natural Grocers offers a couple of cooking demonstrations each week and the kids and I occasionally plan our grocery trip to coincide with one. They like the snack, I like the information, and we get N-Power points for attending classes which give us an eventual discount on our groceries if we go =]
Reading: What Falls from the Sky on Kindle (a Christian nonfiction about giving up the Internet for a year… super interesting from my perspective because even though I still USE the Internet, I haven’t had it in my home for several years) and The Reckoning, the third in one of Beverly Lewis’ Amish series. Have you read/heard of either of them?
Humming: Rock on, Larryboy… a Shux (Styx) (look them up on YouTube or something. 80s hair on corn cobs, hilarious) performance at the end of Larryboyand the Bad Apple, which we rented from the library, along with Super Why!, to show that superheroes can be kind and not just all about punching people in the face.
Praying: about a small lump in one of my breasts! I have to have an ultrasound appointment to get it checked out tomorrow. One minute I basically know it’s a plugged milk duct, but the next minute I am kind of freaking out. I’m trying not to think about it, but that’s easier said than done! Would you be so kind as to pray for me tomorrow please?
Playing: Super Heroes! I am Super Mom and I actually intentionally planned a Super Hero-themed workout in my planner today. It went well. Lots of lifting heavy little people to help them “fly,” jumping over cities to save the world, etc.


Okay, I think that’s enough. Someone is bound to wake up soon and I’d still like to attempt to squeeze in a little Googling if I can help it ;]