To All The Moms

You are amazing.

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Last week I watched Beck for a few hours and I almost died.

I’ve babysat several times now, but usually during a nap/ nighttime. My sister is kind to plan things around baby sleeps for me. 🙂 Last week was different. NO NAPS (EVEN THOUGH THE PICTURE ABOVE SHOWS ONE. IT’S A LIE SOCIAL MEDIA TELLS)!

Gayle had to go to a mid-day appointment last week, so I offered to watch Beck during my lunch. Easy peasy, right? Wrong. Sick Beck is a different baby. He is a grumpy, monster, who needs to be held. This kid is like over 20 pounds. I held him for over an hour…. but not just holding him worked. No, he needed to be bounced. Then he needed to be held, bounced, and fed. He didn’t want to stay in one spot and be bounced, but walked and bounced. Man.

Literally I could not pick up my phone that night. (1. I’m totally out of shape. 2. HE IS HEAVY!)

Eventually after an hour and some minutes he fell asleep in my arms (and then cried when I put him down). I melted. This kid. Oh man. I’d do it all over again for those sweet cuddles. Literally, not even 5 minutes after this, the parents came home.

This isn’t a post to talk about how awesome of an aunt I am. I already know that. 😉 This is one to say I didn’t realize how awesome of a mom my sister is, and all you moms out there who do this on the daily! And a lot of moms do this with more than one kid! HOW!?

You all probably have amazing arm muscles (or back problems). You probably can feed a baby in one arm, pick up the dropped banana, and text on the phone all at the same time. You probably can put a baby down without waking them up, or wipe their nose without making them cry.  You probably have learned to eat when you can, or share a gross smooshy apple and not care. You are magic. You are mom.

Your patience is such an example of God’s patience. Your love, so sweetly illustrates Christ’s. Just an hour with a grumpy baby… how do you do it on the daily? How does Christ do it for all of time? I would, in a second, watch grumpy gills again and again; and I think that’s how the Lord is with us. He’s not happy during our disobedience, but when we are obedient and walking with Him it must be so sweet.

To all my mom’s- you are amazing. You are appreciated. You are loved.

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Sick & Tired

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Not only have I literally been sick & tired (almost) all year, I’m also completely sick & tired emotionally regarding singleness. (*definitely picked this picture so I can look like I’m a crazy cat lady!)

Let me be very clear though- I am not tired or sick of being single. I AM completely over being treated as a lesser than sister-in- Christ because of my relationship status. Anyone else feel this way?

Married people are not more complete than I am. There is sanctification in singleness, just as there is in marriage. Whenever a married couple starts saying how santifying marriage is, I nod, but I also want to shout, “SO IS SINGLENESS!”

Having a spouse does not, automatically, mean you are closer to Christ. Being in a relationship, engaged, or married is not a signifier that you must be ‘good with God.’ So many people have told me grow closer to Christ, and he will provide you a man. GUESS WHAT WEIRDOS, HE ALREADY DID! He provided Himself! CHRIST! Growing closer to Christ is the reward! That should be your goal when reading the Bible, praying, singing His praise- to grow your relationship with Him, not to pretend to want to know Him more in order to get a dude.

Being single does not mean we are second class citizens (even though sometimes it feels that way).

I have a super, sweet, recently married friend who came to church in a long-distance engagement. After her wedding, and when her groom moved to New Mexico and started attending church with her, she revealed to me that people at church started talking to her and inviting them for dinner. She was shocked that most of these church members asked if she was new to the church, even though she had been attending for almost a year, and joined the church months prior to her wedding. They never saw her before, in her (and my) opinion because she was single. It never crossed their minds to invite a single brother or sister to their home for dinner, or out for coffee. She was invisible until married. This dear friend really appreciates experiencing this because she now has a larger, more genuine heart, for the singles in our church– she’s the first to invite them to traditionally ‘couples only’ events.  ❤

Leaders can be single. Leaders in the church can be single (*cough*cough* Paul? anyone?). Why don’t we see more single people in leadership positions? Are they not stepping up? Are they not being asked? Are they even being seen?

This is just a rant. I love my church with every molecule of my single-being. I love my friends. I love my community. I’m just tired over people assuming I’m desperate to be married… there is nothing wrong with being single.

33 Days Strong

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I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. I just feel like resolutions are so rigid and almost legalistic. They don’t get to the heart of the issue really (unless yours does.. then that’s awesome!). Like what’s the point of setting a resolution to not eat sugar for the year? That’s ridiculous sounding! Unless it’s because you want to live healthier (but then that should be your goal). Or you would like to grow your willpower/ resistance…. like I could maybe get behind that.

I’m one of those weirdos that set intentions for the year… and with that said… my intention this year is to live a year with less focus on materialism. I could just say I’m not buying any new clothes (because really, my closet has grown so much and has moved to the living room)… but it’s so much more than that to me. It’s about being able to go to my favorite stores, and recognize that new clothes won’t fulfill anything. They might bring me joy, but no more joy than a sweet walk in the Bosque with a friend.

If I was dogmatic, I wouldn’t allow myself any new, unnecessary item, but that’s just rules. I want legit change of desire. I’ve recently been at Anthro with a fitting room full of clothes that I wanted sooooo much, and then just left (I put everything back), because I couldn’t justify spending THAT much money on clothes. Literally, only to leave the store, go to Target, and put a bunch of clothes in my cart…. WHAT THE WHAT? I was walking through the store arguing with myself (anyone else do this?).

“You don’t need these.” “It’s so much cheaper than Anthro…” “Buy it.” “Don’t buy it.” “Don’t buy it.” “You need dog food.” “This sweater is sooooo perfect.” “You’re saving money here.” “You said you wouldn’t buy new clothes…” “No I said I would try to live a less materialistic life… and wouldn’t dispose of as much stuff.” “Ugh, just buy it all or don’t buy anything.” “Why do you need new clothes?” “I don’t.” “Do you have something like this that serves the same purpose?” “Yes, I have several items that are similar to this.” “Answer made.”

Honestly, fighting with yourself is exhausting. But I’m so happy to say I’m 33 days in 2018, and have not bought any new clothes!

Also there is a difference between intention and resolutions (I just haven’t described it well), but there also isn’t reallllly. So if you’ve made one or the other, and it’s helping you become happier and/or healthier: YOU CAN DO IT! YOU’VE GOT THIS! Don’t be a slave to it, allow yourself some grace, and here’s to a great 2018!

Psalm 25

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I’m trying to follow along as my church does the Bible in a year via the ‘ReadScripture’ app. It’s been difficult, but also super sweet. Difficult because we literally just spend 6 months going over Genesis so I really was just skimming over it and not actually take time to meditate upon the Word. Sweet because His truth is everywhere throughout the Bible. Right now we’re in Exodus…. so that’s been fun (not). I appreciate that through some of the not as….ummm… life applicable Scripture, the daily reading is paired with a Psalm (actually all the readings are paired with a Psalm!).

To be honest, I’m probably spending more time reflecting on the Psalm than I am on any of the chapters of Exodus. The description of how to build the sanctuary and all the details are very precise, and that’s cool… but also makes me so happy that the old is over, and Jesus is the new.

the 25th, was the 25th Psalm.

25 To you, O LORD, I olift up my soul.

O my God, in you I ptrust;

qlet me not be put to shame;

rlet not my enemies exult over me.

Indeed, snone who wait for you shall be put to shame;

they shall be ashamed who are twantonly utreacherous.

vMake me to know your ways, O LORD;

teach me your paths.

Lead me in your wtruth and teach me,

for you are the God of my salvation;

for you I wait all the day long.

Remember your xmercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love,

yfor they have been from of old.

Remember not zthe sins of my youth or my transgressions;

according to your asteadfast love remember me,

for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

bGood and upright is the LORD;

therefore he cinstructs sinners in the way.

He leads the humble in what is right,

and teaches the humble his way.

10  All the paths of the LORD are dsteadfast love and faithfulness,

for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11  For your ename’s sake, O LORD,

pardon my guilt, for it is fgreat.

12  Who is the man who fears the LORD?

Him cwill he instruct in the way that he should choose.

13  His soul shall gabide in well-being,

and his hoffspring ishall inherit the land.

14  jThe friendship2 of the LORD is for those who fear him,

and he makes known to them his covenant.

15  My keyes are ever toward the LORD,

for he will lpluck my feet out of the net.

16  mTurn to me and be gracious to me,

for I am lonely and afflicted.

17  The troubles of my heart are enlarged;

bring me out of my distresses.

18  nConsider my affliction and my trouble,

and forgive all my sins.

19  Consider how many are my foes,

and with what violent hatred they hate me.

20  Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!

oLet me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

21  May integrity and uprightness preserve me,

for I wait for you.

22  pRedeem Israel, O God,

out of all his troubles.

I Will Bless the Lord

Of David.

“Make me to know your ways, O LORDteach me your paths. Lead me in your truth 

and teach mefor you are the God of my salvationfor you I wait all the day long.”

As we wait on the Lord, I pray we are joyous in Him always, that we trust Him, that we are eager to learn more about Him, and grow our relationship with Him. I ask that He comforts us in the pains of this world, and that through our waiting, we are being the light He commands us to be.

These reminders have served me so importantly these past few days. My mind has been in a slight state of delirium (men. hmphf. crushes. argh.) and trying to remind myself that my purpose for eternity is not to be married, or not…. my purpose isn’t to to dwell on my troubles, because these next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years on this earth are literally the worst years of my eternity, why dwell on them? I get a trillion years after to praise Jesus at His feet, and the next trillion after that will be glorifying Him too, and the next trillion? Painless, worryless, doubtless…. so good.

Bullying

An 8-year-old girl sits alone on the swingset at recess, looking down at what you’ve just thrown at her. Her tears hit the rocks, they hit the swing, they hit papers now fluttering by the her that say 1-800- Jenny (aka Jenny Craig). At 8, she’s already sensitive to her height (she’s the tallest kid in class), and her weight. At 8. No child should be worried about being teased about this. And why should you care to point this out, you’re only 8 too? This was a girl you once played with. She came to your birthday party. Why the change? Why are you mean to her now?

If you had the chance to apologize to someone you were mean to would you take it? Or would you want a bully to reach out to acknowledge their wrong-doings to you?

20 years.

20 years ago I was a real jerk. I was the girl that threw the papers. I went home the day before to type it up. A few days before that, I hatched the planned with a couple other mean 8-year olds. Weeks before I probably realized the fact that it was a bully or be-bullied world; not recognizing that their are indeed, more than those two options.

For the past 10-12 years (thanks social media) I’ve tried to looked that little 8-year-old girl up. To make sure she’s doing ok. To apologize for that day…and for so many other times. To let her know that I AM NOT A MEAN GIRL ANYMORE. Her hurt resonated with me so much, that because of her, I have vowed to never be mean to another person. To never treat anyone as less than. To be kind, and a friend to all. (Sorry that I’m also a little shy, so that comes off as mean at first!) I haven’t been able to find her, until today.

Today I googled it all. Her name. Her name plus her oooooold dog’s name (pretty sure her dog still isn’t alive). Her name plus her dad’s job. Her name plus…. everything. TODAY HER SISTER’S NAME popped up in my head! 20 years.

After a lot of stalking; I found her. And I’ve practice my note to her so many times…. but now I can send it and I find myself wondering: Is this for her, or is this for me?

Will this open up hurt that she’s over? Will it be cathartic for her that her pain has been acknowledged? Will she even care?

The note has been written. Tonight I pray over it. Tomorrow… I send it?

She Reads Truth | Matthew 17 & 18

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Do you ever read the Bible and think that the disciples were scaredy-cats or just plain dumb? I do. LOL. But then when I re-read and really think about how I would react, I realize that’s probably exactly how I would react! Ummm yes, if I was hiking and a bright, cloud started talking to me, NO MATTER WHAT IT SAID, I would be freaking out in fear/ confusion. FREAKING OUT. But also, how sweet to have the comfort of Jesus saying to not have fear and to get up. I just imagine being pee-your-pants afraid, and at the sound of his voice just being enveloped in warmth, and safety. I have to remember this (a lot) when I’m nervous- and you know what? Sometimes I actually feel the warmth.

Also when you think of the disciples, it’s like… they had a lot of faith (AND got to witness the signs of Christ… so I mean, they should have been ballin’ in the trusting the Lord department). They were doing a lot in the name of the Lord. A lot. BUT yet still, their faith wasn’t the comparable to the mustard seed. DANG. What’s mine comparable to? Like a speck of sand?

When I read the stories of Jesus, I’m encouraged that we, truly are made in the image of God. And also the freedom that THERE IS NO WAY WE WILL EVER BE GOD. We may have the mercy capacity to forgive a friend, a co-worker, a sibling 7 times for the same grievance, but 77? Oh no way- there is no way. I can’t do 77 without the Spirit. I can’t move mountains without God. I can’t get to heaven without Jesus.

As much as a control freak as I can be, there is such peace knowing that God’s love and unending forgiveness is free- and because of  this I am no longer a slave to the “can’ts” in life.

Also, if you haven’t checked out She Reads Truth… do it. Such a great resource.

 

 

#auntlifeisthebestlife

guys, aunt life is the best life. for real.

I never, ever thought I would say this or feel this way, but these two boys are my heart- I’ve never prayed more for two humans in my life. For them to love God, to never know a life apart from the grace of Jesus… that they’re motivated, healthy, smart, funny, seen, loved and loving, … I pray for their present, for their future, for any hurt they ever experience to be given to the Lord. Ugh, these two.

And honestly, as obsessed as I am: children are exhausting. As much as I love them, hanging out with them reeeeealllly wears a person out. THEY HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY. THEY MOVE SO MUCH. How do parents do this 24/7? TRUE HEROS.

That’s probably the best part of aunt life. 😉 I can go home; reenergize and come back when I want to. (#selfishbuthappy) It’s been such a gift from God to be an aunt. He knows my hurt from not being at a place in life to have a child of my own, so He’s given me so many opportunities to love on the kids in my life.

 

What a blessing it is to see these two crazies grow up. I don’t love that they’re going to grow up in different states/ countries, but that’s only because I want them to both be near me always and forever. ❤