Just Listen

One struggle for me in my daily walk is mornings. I am not a morning person in any sense. I am trying to do better, but it’s definitely hard work for me. The more time I spend in his presence and in prayer in the mornings, the better my day will go. But one of my other short comings that is much more of a handicap for me spiritually is watching and waiting for the Lord to speak to my heart in response to my prayers. So many times I am guilty of petitioning the Lord, and then just expecting him to do all of it, and going on about my business. It has always been a prayer of mine to be “a man (or woman) after Gods own heart” like David. As I have studied his life, his greatest accomplishments and most horrendous failures, there is one constant. David is a pro at carrying on a conversation with the Lord. This verse is proof of that, along with countless others throughout his writings. I am reminded today that in the chaos that is my life, through the ups and downs, I must take time to have that same constant. I must never let myself get too busy or too distant to carry on a true conversation with the Lord day and night. Not to just hurry out a quick prayer, or sit and pour out my heart and then run on to the next. But to really listen. To wait if I have to, in order to hear the Lords response. It’s a hard habit to pick up, but an easy one to break with the fast paced world we live in. So as I am listening for the Lord to speak to my heart tonight, I hear his voice loud and clear. He is telling me that seeking him early, and waiting on his response will be the key to breaking the strongholds of unnecessary anxiety in my life. And boy do I have a lot of it. I don’t necessarily like to share my faults and shortcomings. I would much rather tell you I’ve got it all together. But I only have one life to live, and in this life it is my desire to help someone else along the way. Maybe this hits home with you. Maybe you’ve been bound by the strongholds of anxiety like me. Maybe you know how debilitating it can be. If so, I know this word is for you too. Hang in there friends! The Lord has great things for you. He cares about you, your heart, your mind, your entire being. He is a good good father, let’s let him help us this year like never before. ❤️

Cray Cray

Cray Cray is a phrase we use around my house a lot these days. I started saying it with my 2 year old in a valley girl voice to get a good laugh when we didn’t know quite how to react to something. It’s now our go-to phrase for much of what we experience during our daily lives together. While I haven’t really adopted a “hip” phrase since my middle school years, it’s a lot of fun while she thinks I’m still cool. (It means Crazy for you non-hipsters).

As I have wanted to make my first post on this blog for nearly a decade now, deciding what in the world to write on this first one has been terrifying. So why start with a post entitled Cray Cray for goodness sake? Mostly because its the term that most accurately describes my life currently.

As soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning (which is a very slow process for this non-morning person) I know I will be full blast until I get to close my eyes late that night. I will head off to work, navigate the madness which is my job for a few hours, and then transition quickly into a mom again. I come home for lunch (if you can call it that), immediately start taking care of the endless needs of my 2 year old. I make sure my husband has all that he needs to get out the door, listen to both of their complaints of what needs to be done, making mental notes, and verbal promises to make it happen. I beg my 2 year old to eat lunch, all while cramming something down my self, so I can transition back into work. I answer phone calls, and voicemails, and text messages, and emails, and instant messages to meet the demands of my day job.

My focus is often broken by the need to help my tot get on “the big potty” because she doesn’t want to use her toddler one. Or to open a snack, or get a drink, or find a blankey or lost piece of a tiny toy that should be in the trash. I pray for my tot to take a good long nap, so I can have a moment of sanity in the chaos. I beg and plead and finally insist until she’s asleep. I do all of this while a million things in my house are screaming at me. The laundry needs to be done, the dishes washed, the floors vacuumed. So many demands my head wants to explode. Any of you “work at home parents” will totally understand. But then it is finally five o’clock. Work is over! Right?! Not hardly..

After five is time to make up for being a “crappy” Mom while I was working from home. It is time to be engaged with my daughter, be attentive, and just have fun. I’m already exhausted, but I owe her that much. But then theres all the stuff I should be doing around the house. Maybe I can at least get the dishwasher loaded. Or the business we started after my husband invented the coolest baby product around (www.babybottlenightlight.com), that needs attention too. Time to make a social media post and keep promoting our product. Oh but wait, I can’t, because my tot insists on my full on attention, and will rip the phone from my hands at any attempt to take my eyes off of her. I’ll create one tonight after everyones in bed to post the next day. That is if I don’t fall asleep first. Building a business is overwhelming.

And did I mention for the last five years, I have also been working to achieve a Doctorate in Theology? With the weight of the course work, and writing basically a book this past year in particular to achieve that degree, I have been completely smothered with anxiety about being able to keep up, much less finish. But I am happy to announce (ecstatic really) that I did achieve that degree in June of this year. So there’s now one thing off my plate!

Ahhh but I forgot about church. I have to prepare for the middle and high school kids I am responsible for teaching every Wednesday night. I have to have something engaging, fun, and relevant for them. I want to make an impact, and lead them to Jesus on every level of their lives. So. Much. Pressure. And then, I must Pinterest, and Google and compile the greatest ever Children’s church lessons for Sunday Morning, because those babies need Jesus too! Oh and wait! Its time to do a new ladies ministry calendar, and find something that will feed their souls, and help them thrive. Jesus take the wheel.

Did I mention I have a 2 year old? She’s wild and crazy, and sweet and sensitive, and wants all of my love and attention. Don’t get me wrong. I love that girl with all of my being, but its hard. Being a mother is hard. Just. Plain. Hard. From conception until now, its all been hard. We tried for around 5 years to have a baby. We have two babies in heaven that we never got to hold, and have spent thousands of dollars on fertility treatments and counseling surrounding it all. My pregnancy was hard, lots of scares, and so much worry I couldn’t even accurately describe it. But here she is. This bundle of everything I could have ever imagined she would be. Worth the wait is an understatement. I would live that five years over a million times to get to her. But momming is still hard.

Then theres my husband. God bless him. He is usually last in all of the chaos, when he definitely shouldn’t be. He gripes and complains about my overflowing plate, that I seem to find a place on for “just one more thing”, but ultimately he gives me the freedom to do it all. He works hard, and makes sure we are taken care of. I never once have worried about if we would be able to find a way to pay for something, because I knew no matter what, he would do whatever it took to make it happen. He takes car of the cars, the lawn, the bills, and EVEN the laundry. He even cleans up around the house. Before you think he’s a saint, I must tell you that he definitely lets me know about all he does around here most of the time. We’ve been in some rough places. Forgiveness is hard to live out with the same person every single day. Marriage is hard work. I would say that my biggest and hardest work as a wife however is to work hard to understand that he is an imperfect person, and that he needs grace every day just like I do. We’ve been through a lot, and marriage is just plain hard too.

I probably left out a few things, like being a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and friend. But its all of this “cray cray” chaos that makes up my life. It is in these daily interactions that I succeed, or fail miserably, and sometimes do both simultaneously. I’m not perfect. I try really hard, and I still mess up. I don’t have it all figured out. I am not in any way “put together”, and I may not wash my hair for days. I ultimately love my life, although some days I don’t remember that. I try hard to ooze Jesus from my very being, but sometimes I’m grumpy, and sarcastic, and even down right mean. Im tired. And I mean really exhausted most all the time (even with my fancy new sleep apnea get up). I don’t always handle things the way I should, and I need lots and lots and lots of grace to make it through the day. But this is it. This is my real life, and this is the only one I get. So here I am living it out the best I can in hopes that I do the most important parts right.

I don’t write this post to have you feel sorry for me, or impressed or whatever it is you may have deduced. I don’t write this for any other reason than to just let you in on my cray cray life so that just maybe, you can find something you need here. Even if its just a good laugh at someone who is way more cray cray than you. 1