in the beginning

"If women aren’t empowered to cultivate their uniqueness, we all suffer the loss of beauty, creativity, and resourcefulness they were meant to inject into the world.” Freefall to Fly, Rebekah Lyons

At this time, 33 years ago, my mother was nearing her due date with what she had been told would be another boy. Chasing a two year old around all day while pregnant with a good sized baby, she would have been devastated to know she still had a couple more weeks to wait.

Finally, on April 28, 1981 in West Virginia (they had to drive over and around mountains to get to the hospital in Maryland where I was born. My poor mom needed a mountain midwife!), my mom went into real labor. I would be the fastest to arrive of all her babies. I gave her a four hour labor, spent with leather cuffs to hold her wrists to the bed (to ensure she was in the most convenient position for the doctor) with no pain meds, even when it wasn’t popular to do so. My parents took a cassette recorder into the delivery room, so I know well the doctor’s exclamations of, “Big girl! BIG girl!!” And comments about how my mom nearly launched me across the room as I came out. My mom wept in unbelief that she’d finally gotten a dark haired baby girl. Never mind I was the size of a two month old at 9 lb, 15 ounces and two feet long!

My older brother tried to run away he day they brought me home from the hospital. I slept so well that they put me in a crib in my own room that very night.

I have vague memories as a two year old at Christmas, and toys that now would be considered “vintage”.

Shortly after that we moved to the Myrtle Beach area as my parents graduated to the Senior Pastor position at an Assemblies of God church.

I had surgery to remove my tonsils and adenoids and put tubes in my ears, after an early childhood of ear infection after ear infection, with antibiotics failing at every turn.

We moved two or three times around that town, always going from small rental house to small rental house. No matter where we went my mom made it pretty. No matter where we went, we played in neighbor’s yards in a safe little world, where children could go down the street and you could count on the kindness of others to look after them. People weren’t distracted so much then that they didn’t noticed the small people.

When it was time for me to start four year old kindergarten, my parents started a private school at our church, and my mom was my teacher. I didn’t much like having to share her with all those other kids, so I performed many antics which frequently landed me I the principal’s office for a spanking. (Guess who the principal was. Yep. My dad.) I would lay out prostrate during the middle of class, or dramatically prop my feet up on the desk or make as much humming noise as I could while mom tried to teach. Sorry, Mom!

It was sometime after this that I sat in time out and felt conviction of sin for the first time. Silently, and all alone, I prayed for God’s forgiveness and committed my life to serving the One who could free me from sin.

I remember always having other kids follow me around. I was always the boss when we played, handing out imaginary roles and they dutifully followed my lead.

My birthday parties were always crowded because my mom had many people to consider when she made the guest list. Everyone wanted to come to the pastor’s kid’s parties. So there was usually a separate party for immediate family and real friends.

Halfway through my second grade year, my parents went away to Florida to interview for a church there. I got the mumps while they were gone and it was terribly painful and miserable without my mamma. They came back with announcements that we were moving.

to be continued….

start here

I’m going to try to sneak back to this space where I write things.

Hold on. Let me get some milk for Titus.

Okay, I’m back, and I just bought myself at least ten minutes.

You know I used to write, like, a lot? I enjoyed it. Making lists, writing poems, thinking thoughts. But I don’t get the opportunity to think very often, so when I do, it comes out like an overflowing torrent like the, ahem, last post.

I woke up thinking so many things this morning, but life got in the way and there was a possum to kill (I’m pretty sure it ate all the eggs I was going to cook today), and now Sesame Street rings out from the living room and there are people, real people with real needs, that need me so very much.

I’ve been in a funk. The good kind of funk where you just get fed up and stand up for yourself, sometimes against your very own self, and put to death what needs to die so that new life can spring forth grow. (Seriously, I might die if I hear the phrase “spring forth” ever again. Y’all feel me?)

Anyway, my mamma has been faithfully watching over me and worrying herself, and cautiously starting conversations with me during this funk. And the other day she reminded me of how I use to write. I use to think things.

Mothers are frustrated. Some of us are angry. Most of us are depressed. We are carrying heavy burdens of what the world says mothers should do (everything), what the church says mothers should do (only be mothers), and what our hearts say they want to do (if we can remember).

I reject the notion that mother’s have to relegate themselves to a life of brain inactivity. Sure, for a time we are so sleep deprived, so food and water deprived, so time deprived, that we may have trouble remembering what day it is. And for the love, no one can spout out seven individual’s birth dates at the drop of a hat. But, we are smart, and we are strong, and by golly, we think things.

So let’s stop joking that we are stupid or crazy or brain dead. And if you feel that way about yourself, wake up! Drink some coffee, read a book/magazine/blog while your kid’s watch tv (I give you permission), turn your brains on.

Recently I asked myself, “Who is Missi?” The name felt foreign on my “lips”. I realized that I didn’t know. Listening too long to the traditions of man, the opinions of others, my own guilt, I have lost Missi. Missi! The girl who changed her name in fourth grade to Lisa. Missi! The girl who finally decided to keep her real name, but only if she could spell it her own way. Missi! The girl knit together by the very mind of God, the creator of the universe!

Find yourself. Beyond diapers, beyond vaccine debates, beyond second grade math or seventh grade history. Why? Because you are uniquely created to bring glory to God. Mamma, you are as beautiful and deep as the ocean! You are smart! You are strong! How do I know? Because you are made in the image of God!

Now that I have begun to give myself permission to think, to have ideas, and thoughts…. I am finding freedom to enjoy the restrictions placed on me by my brood of little people. My guilt is lifting. In an ironic sort of way, knowing that I was made for more has set me free to enjoy where I am right now. (And you know good and well that I am not talking about enjoying explosive diapers or getting throw up in my ear at 2 am. I’m talkin’ ’bout enjoying the season.)

Find yourself. Who were you when you were 8? What were your dreams and plans? What about when you were 12,15,20?? What major turning points have happened in your life, besides having babies? Can you remember? I almost can’t, but I’m going to try. Why? Because your story is important. It’s part of His story. It’s what our children and grandchildren will want to hear one day. But mostly, because it’s part of what makes you uniquely you.

I’m going to start at the beginning of me. I’d love it if you’d join me! Start your story, from the beginning. In a journal, on a blog, wherever. In the process, I suspect we will face fears, let go, find forgiveness, remember our gifts, reignite our passions, and be free to be who God made us to be.

Sesame Street is over now, but I got way more than ten minutes anyway. 

If I am singing your song, I highly suggest you read Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons.

IF we can be free

This is my attempt to regurgitate what I learned at the IF: Gathering a couple weeks ago. I quoted directly when I could, but most of these truths came from the mouths of the likes of Ann Voskamp, Jen Hatmaker, Jennie Allen, Shellie Giglio, etc. I see the same movement, the same call being put out there in many circles. Which was, in fact, the goal of the IF:Gathering- to pull in all people from all denominations and get real.

Can we get real with one another? It feels a bit like asking y’all to get naked with me. But please do keep your clothes on. 

Can I ask you something?

Are you free?

What does that even mean?

Do you cost anything? Does your life cost something?

Or

Are you available? Not tied up?

Or

Are you not enslaved?

Close your eyes and imagine, what does your free self look like? What does a free life look like? If God is real, then what? What does that mean in your life, in my life?

Contrast that with your life now. Really, stop and think about it.

Are you free? Or are you weighted down, in bondage, your life isn’t costing anything, tied up, unavailable, enslaved.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galations 5:1

It’s possible to be delivered, and not free. It’s possible to continually go back to what previously enslaved us.

It’s possible to continue sticking our feet back in the mire that God pulled us from. It’s possible to shackle ourselves back up. After all, didn’t the Israelites beg to go back into captivity? We do the same.

I want to be free. Weightless, aware of what my life costs- a payment I did not have to make, available, untied, unbound.

Christine Cain said, “If hurt people hurt people, free people free people.” I couldn’t help but think about the movie, The Matrix. And I see that in the church. Like fish that don’t know we are wet, we are walking around bound because we are still.not.free. We don’t live like we’re free. We get stuck, tied down by the same sins continually, when the victory has been won. We trifle through silly debates, we defend the gospel like its a sweet little kitten and we are bound in fear like we don’t know that we belong to an indestructible kingdom. We don’t live like we believe God is real, that heaven is real.

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” Hebrew 12:12-13

Rebekah Lyons pointed out that we struggle to be free because we struggle with healing, and we struggle with healing because we struggle with confession.

On this path to freedom in Christ, what do you need to confess? What strongholds in your life need to be brought into submission to Christ Jesus? (Is it an addiction? Is it pure unadulterated selfishness? Is it loving this world more than you love Him? Is it anger? Is it fear? Is it refusal to fully surrender? Is it not believing the truth of who you are in Christ? Is it unbelief? What is holding you back from peace with God? From living in total joy and peace through Him, despite your circumstances? )

Ps 84 describes the life of those who are free, who have peace with God:

- they are dwelling in the presence of God, and enjoying the heck out of it. (V 1-2)

- they are being useful and doing their work in His presence. And Mammas, how precious is verse three? “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.” Build your nest in His presence. Because of Christ’s work on the cross, we are all free to be in His presence.

- their strength is in God (v5)

- they go through dry places (there is no promise of an easy life here), and they make it a place of fresh springs (v6) {How do they do that? I want to know!}

- they are doorkeepers to God’s presence (v 10)

What does your life invite people to? Are you a free person freeing people?

Are you broken by sin or are you being broken and poured out for others? Do you want to be free? Are you ready to love God and be loved by God? Like really, for real? In a way that liberates you to freely love and serve others. Is this world your home? Is it all you’ve got? Then what?

I don’t have all the answers. But I have tasted and seen. I know there is freedom to be had. I know that overcoming is a possibility.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I know that this overcoming is possible, because it is not by my hand or through anything I can do.

Come with me on this journey?

grace to remember

Do you know how the Lord chose for this day to start off for me?

The clanging of dishes outside my door. That’s the very first noise I heard. Shortly after I opened my eyes and my sweet Arwen girl had prepared the very best breakfast in bed that she could muster up: extremely buttered bread, a banana, a nectarine, and an apple. On a tray and everything.

“Do you see those sparkles on top, Mamma?” her sweet voice asked. “I added something special.”

Oh, my heart. 

I realized that it was about 5 minutes before Brent was to interview and quickly texted him to check his fly. I’m such a good helpmeet.

What I really wanted was to dramatically sit by the phone waiting on news of how the interview went. But the baby was screaming, four other kids needed breakfast, the chickens kept escaping to the front yard, and well…. you get the picture. Before I knew it, Brent called to tell me the interview was over and he felt like it had gone really well.

And then about an hour later he texted that he didn’t get the job.

Cue the confusion. Was this a joke? You went to the interview for the job that they practically begged you to apply for, right?

Cue the anger. They picked the other guy? The lateral move guy? The guy who doesn’t even work in this department?

Cue the confusion. What about all our stuff in storage?

Cue the anger. You mean I did all that work for nothing?

Cue the confusion. Well, wait. Where are we going to live? Are we still going to sell the house?

Cue the anger. You mean we are stuck in this house ? You mean I have to move all that crap back into the house?

Cue the confusion. Wait. What about school stuff for kids? I can sign up for stuff now?

Cue the anger. You mean I did all that work for nothing?

Cue the confusion. So, I need to make more soap? I’m not cutting back on soap work?

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Then I tried to give Hard Hallelujahs. They don’t call them hard for nothing.

I added buckets to the tears that the soap room carpet has seen, today.

I’m not really ready to talk about how I feel. It’s like two rhinoceruses are battling it out inside me and I’ve got the bruises to prove it. It hurts.

And did I mention I’m confused and angry?

But the reason I am typing this out right now is because there are a couple of things I want to remember.

I want to remember the sweet way that the Lord graced my morning. He was padding the fall. Such a faithful God!!

And when the kids found me crying on the floor in the soap room, their responses floored me. They were disappointed, sure. But the grace and compassion that poured out of them was astounding. They left me quietly at my request and settled themselves at the table and created page after page after page of sweet drawings. Masterpieces, really.  God’s grace, expressed through a crayon medium.

And halfway through the morning my midwife, who lives so far off the grid it’s crazy, texted me. She said she couldn’t stop thinking of me and hoped I was okay. Now that’s some midwife intuition right there. Lots of friends checking in and praying today. So so so grateful. Y’all are a big chocolate covered piece of God’s grace too. Unless it’s weird to tell your friends they are covered in chocolate. (But my real friends would totally appreciate being covered in chocolate, I think.)

I had been thinking, worrying really, about how to tell the kids the news, whether Brent got the job or not. This entire  process has been so disruptive to our lives and the kids have been troopers. How could I make it easier on them? After weeks and weeks of, “Well…we might not sign up for art this year…” or “Hey, in the new house, maybe we can have room for…” or “I’m sorry I’m so tired guys, life will get back to normal when…” And if I had $1 for every time I said “IF WE MOVE” in the last month or two…

After a restless naptime I came downstairs to see that Arwen had created an entire party scene.

Y’all. There was a banner, and she made a party hat for everyone. And some party wands made from pipe cleaners and pom poms.

I half-bitterly questioned what she was celebrating.

She didn’t know, I could tell. She just knew there needed to be a party.

“It’s a cheer us up celebration, Mamma!” she proclaimed. And then proceeded to do a puppet show in her home made theater with the seven or so puppets she had created.

So, there it is. A lot of processing left to do. A lot of humming and hawing. And it doesn’t help that I just finished reading some Francis Chan, am currently reading Hatmaker, and pastor preached on Revelation 2-3 on Sunday.

Oh, and I’ve been watching way too much of The Office with a dash of Hunger Games.

Oh, my brain.

S is for Secure

After we made it home from our adventure, Brent immediately came home to supervise me and bring me and the babies to the Promised Land to meet up with the rest of the family, on their way to a family reunion/vacation in the mountains.

Look at the scenery here, will ya?

We took a stroll to the lake nearby and listened to a sermon while a weird guy did yoga. Ezra wanted to know why he was naked. The next day we went to a little man made beach on the lake and it was the perfect destination for our little family. Arwen proclaimed it was “the best water experience ever”.

This was shortly followed by the second third fifth one of the top ten most stupid things I’ve ever done. (Okay, so I’ve done a lot of stupid things.)

The next day we had our “worst water experience ever.” Admittedly, it was by choice. We took the whole family tubing on the Chattahoochee river. See previous statement about caution and wind.

Uh. Whoops.

In our defense, we were assured by other family members that it was totally baby friendly and more like a “lazy river” than tubing. The water was no more than two feet deep, and the “rapids” simply spun your tube a little down a 6″ drop. I would agree that this river was quite lazy. It did barely ANYTHING to move us along. So there I was, in a giant inner-tube with a seven month old, floating along and “bbbbbvvvvvvvvppppppttttt” , the vinyl of my tube slid to a stop. Stuck on the tip of an algae covered boulder. Now, what do you do when you are in a river, on an inner-tube, with a baby in your arms, and stuck on a rock? Any bright ideas? Because this happened repeatedly. As in, every fifteen feet or so. I was STRANDED with a baby with no transportation, that’s for sure.

Our trip down this “lazy river” was supposed to be an hour long. I began to despair approximately 1 and a half hours into it after listening to Titus scream for 45 minutes. I couldn’t ignore the nagging feeling of being STRANDED again, just like in Tuscaloosa. I don’t do “helpless” very well. I tried to be thankful for the smooth stones I walked on as I tried to just let Titus ride in the tube (it had a bottom in it) while I pushed it along. But mostly I was just really mad about being stuck by myself in this stupid river with my baby. Brent had a couple kids somewhere down stream, my dad had a kid somewhere up stream, and my mom stuck close with Ezra. Until she got pummeled off her tube and run over several times by a gaggle of jerks. We were in two feet of water for crying out loud. Finally I convinced a strange man to rescue my mother and son and we waited on the bank for my dad to appear. Bless his heart, he now had the task of herding an injured Grammy, a four year old, a 7 year old, and a grumpy Mamma and her screaming baby about another mile down the river. It was ridiculous and miserable. He deserves a medal.

And I don’t ever want to talk about it again. Just know, that if anyone ever tries to convince you that it’s a good idea to take your baby tubing, you can slap them in the face and tell them that your idiot friend Missi did it and you know better now.

Just when we were recovering from the trauma Brent got a call that his grandpa was in life threatening condition in the hospital and no one was with him. Brent rushed to be by his side, leaving me STRANDED on the side of a mountain. Again, with kids and no transportation. What’s with the theme?

After he got to the hospital it was discovered that his grandpa’s life was not threatened and he did have a couple of family members near by checking on him. We were still glad that Brent was able to get to him quickly because we love Grandpa Farmer dearly. Brent got a hotel and I spent the entire night keeping everyone settled in strange beds. I was mad because the rest of the family had been going off doing fun things all day and me and the kids (and my parents by proxy) were stuck at the cabin.

I struggled to be content. I’m just being honest here, because I know that we all have these struggles and somehow convince ourselves that no one else does.  I wanted to dwell on “S” is for STRANDED. Because here I was AGAIN stuck with kids and nowhere to go. Our basic needs were completely met. We had family with us. We had WIFI. Shoot, I even brought along my favorite pickles. And I still couldn’t be happy.

And this made me even more mad. At myself. I need Jesus so bad. 

At the other end of a restless night a text from a friend awaited me. She felt like her storm shelter from life was about to collapse. In praying for her, I got the resolution I needed. The Lord brought my mind to Psalm 139.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me!

You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

You search out my path and my lying down

and are acquainted with all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue,

behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

You hem me in, behind and before,

and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?

Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there!

If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

If I take the wings of the morning

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me,

and your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,

and the light about me be night,”

even the darkness is not dark to you;

the night is bright as the day,

for darkness is as light with you.

For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

(Psalm 139:1-14 ESV)

I encouraged her that her storm shelter was the Lord and He never faints or grows weary. He is a sure protector and she was free and SECURE to praise Him in the storm.

THUNK!

I could very easily read this passage to state:

You know when I am stranded in Tuscaloosa and when I am safe at home.

You search out my path and my lying down.

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me, even when I’m being a grumpy jerk. 

If I am stupid enough to go tubing with my baby and get stranded on a river, you are there!

If my husband gets called away during our only vacation of the year and I am stuck on the side of a mountain, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

God is so gracious to free us! So faithful to love us when we act as though we have been abandoned. I realized I was free to be secure, in the midst of a life that is changing and uncertain right now. I longed for solid, familiar ground to stand on and I found it in His Word.

Evie and I wandered outside and played bubbles and then treated ourselves to a lunch of hot dogs, pickles, and green Naked juice.

And just like that, all was right with the world again. All was right all along. It was me that was wrong.

“S” is for Secure. We are always secure with Jesus. Always. 

But I am never leaving my house again. 

choosing to see

I devoured One Thousand Gifts about as quickly as anyone can consume soul changing words I suppose.

I happened to have a super awesome hand made leather bound journal that some super awesome man bought me, and went to recording my own one thousand gifts. But it has been a struggle. I wanted it to feel right. To feel genuine. And to be easy. Even the easy “eucharisteo” was not easy for me.

Because I am ungrateful.

If the easy eucharisteo is hard for me, how could the hard eucharisteo even be manageable and when is it going to come and will I be ready?

((I realize you have no idea what I’m talking about if you haven’t read the book. And if you haven’t- what in the world is wrong with you? Read the book.))

I decided that surely with practice, it would come. With practice (and prayer) I would see God’s grace in the crumbs under the table, the screaming baby, and the spilled milk. And so I started to jot things down.

My gifts:

girls in striped tights, space!, God’s grace in a honey-drizzled heart, chocolate eyes, enthusiastic grandparents, warm air, daffodils green…

You know, those beautiful things that anyone could appreciate. I’ve made it to 27 gifts so far. Days go by, and I forget and record nothing. I turn ungrateful and ugly overnight it seems.

I’ve recently gotten into the habit of watching House Hunters or Property Virgins before bed. I DVR old episodes and gawk at people’s wish lists and house budgets. Almost every single episode involves a DINK (Double Income No Kids) couple (and their frickin dog) who are looking for a three bedroom all brick with a large fenced in back yard and a big garage (to put their stuff in) with lots of storage space (for all their stuff) and big kitchens with large pantries (because they  need space for all their food). And they snob houses that I would be so thrilled to live in!

((As an aside, why do they call it their “office” when they don’t work from home? Shouldn’t it just be called “the room that I go into to check my facebook” so that we can realize the absurdity of having an extra room just because?))

I don’t want to sound like I am standing in judgement of these house hunting people. I’m more trying to find a good example of how I am- how all of us are. We are so focused on what we don’t have, what we could have, what we want, that we miss all of this life happening right in front of us. We look without seeing what is really there.

Today I was out with a friend and accompanied her to run an errand. She had gathered some clothes for a family whose house just burned down the other night. They were staying with someone else and as we drove up to their house I felt like I was visiting a third world country. Five miles from my own home. My house with the hard wood floors and the crown molding and the back yard that floods and the rooms that are too small and the tiny coat closet converted into a pantry that explodes with food to feed my family. Dogs chased the van, trash was piled everywhere, and here this family had taken in another family. I watched as my friend listened intently to the woman as she shared the details. She gave her information on where they could get even more free household items and clothing and offered food. She was not there because her church had organized it or anything like that. She was just there because she cared. She was there to serve. People who have the love of Jesus in their heart do that sort of thing, and I’m only just now beginning to learn to do it.

I had been gone all morning. I came home to a messy house and my heart wanted to complain. WAAAAAAH! Where is my maid? Where is my nanny?

But I saw a glimpses of grace. Crumbs on the floor- we have food! Toys everywhere- I have four wonderful blessings! And oh-my-gosh I have doors hanging in the door frames and a husband who loves me and my kids are healthy and energetic and we have everything we need and then some. And why can’t that ever be enough?

I have to choose to see. I have to be purposeful. Hunt out the things to be thankful for, even though they are right in front of me, plain as day.

Today, I choose to see. What do you see today?

a bunch of random

I know I am treading on dangerous territory, as I have just sat down to write with nothing in particular on my mind.

But, I haven’t blogged in a while and I know my tens of readers are dying to know what we’ve been up to all this time. 

  • First of all, we’ve been sick. Call-for-your-mamma-and-cry-like-a-baby kinda sick. Yuck. It’s almost over with. Of course, I was the last one to go, so I’m still trying to recover. We also had a house guest in the middle of it. I put on my game face and tried not to look like I was dying. I think I did alright.  Thankfully, it was a bona fide Doula staying with us. Doulas, in case you don’t know, are magical little fairies that do things like wash your dishes after you go to bed, read your kids a story for you, and shrink wrap and label hundreds of bars of soap for you. Oh, and they attend births to offer labor support and all that good stuff too. Worth their weight in gold, those Doulas! Sigh. 
  • Our garden is growing in leaps and bounds. We have lots and lots of foliage and flowers…. and just a little fruit. I haven’t seen very many bees this year, so I’m wondering if my plants are not getting pollinated very well. We are about to have some cucumbers (finally), 1 (one) red bell pepper, and our pole beans are about 10 feet tall, so I’m assuming any day now they will be bursting with beans. We’ve been getting plenty of grape tomatoes and strawberries, but the kids pick them and eat them before they ever make it into the house. And okra. Plenty of okra. At least I know I’m good at growing one thing. 
  • Soap room is finished. I’m going to video it soon and share, I promise. It’s a wonderful, inspiring space to work in and I L O V E it!
  • I’m pretty sure that Charis has such a low pain tolerance that she will have medicated child birth. I’m a little worried about this, but I think that if I start brushing her tangles out a little harder, she’ll start to develop and by the time she’s old enough to have babies she be strong- “like bull.” 
  • Arwen is ready for kindergarten (”tender-garden” as Charis calls it) and I’m trying not to freak out at the idea of adding “social studies” into our jam packed days.
  • I am really finding out that I have no tolerance for drama. My entire world seems to operate as a “drama free zone” and I find it deeply offensive when someone tries to interfere with that space. I wonder why? 
  • I’ve also realized that there is one thing I do that greatly simplifies my life with little people, and I’m surprised to find that lots of Mammas have not discovered this truth, so I’ll enlighten you all: YOU ARE NOT A SHORT ORDER COOK. Cook one thing and make everyone eat it right then. If they don’t want it they can be hungry until the next time you offer them something. When we have breakfast we ALL have eggs, or we ALL have pancakes, or we ALL have oatmeal. No one gets to choose. I might let them choose what I put on their bagels on a really good day when I’ve had a lot of rest, but usually they just eat what I put in front of them. If they complain, I take it away. Period. End of story. At snack time we have… trail mix. They don’t get to pick which nuts they get more of, or just eat the raisins. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to eat it, but they aren’t getting anything else until we eat again. This is fundamental to having a peaceful and sane home.  
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  • {Due to recent events I have to include a disclaimer with this one: I’m totally not speaking to anyone that I know here, I’m just throwing this out there. Please don’t hear what I’m not saying} Really, what is the point of having a natural birth in the hospital? Isn’t the whole point of being in the hospital to be checked, monitored, interfered with, and medicated? If you don’t want/need any of those things, why be there? I feel so badly for Mammas who just have to lay there and be poked and checked and struggle through it. That must be really tremendously uncomfortable. Anyone who has had an unmedicated hospital birth of any sort is a hero in my book. 
  • Oh yeah, I’m pregnant still. 28 weeks currently, and I’ve outgrown all of my clothes. In my head, I have secretly nick named myself “Behemoth”. It’s okay, I know you are laughing. =D Normally, I find the last 10 weeks to be the most difficult, but it seems to have set in early this time. I cry very easily, I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m uncomfortable, and somehow usually manage to mumble “It’s totally worth it” at the end of every day. I just love having babies. There is nothing better than a baby, as my Mimi says. We are all getting very excited about meeting this new little person. Who, I’m sure by the way is totally not cooperating with a good fetal position. It’s okay. I’m certain that my hips are wide enough that I could have a baby sideways and live to tell about it. Really, I’d prefer head first, but I’m not worried. Thankfully, my midwife is one of the few who are capable and skilled at breech births. Those midwives- worth their weight in gold AND silver, they are. Sigh.
  • Luckily for you, it’s time for my {second} dinner. I promise that next time I sit to write it will be with purpose and clarity.
  • Yeah right. Umm. I promise that next time I sit to write I will turn off the chatter in my mind and have one cohesive thought. Okay. No promises, but I will try.