losing my life

Joining Five Minute Friday, where we write freely for 5 minutes without second guesses and encourage one another. This week’s prompt: “lose.”

GO

“I don’t want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,” sings Toby Mac, the old song reverberating through my head.

But I do want SOME of the world. Can I keep some of the world without losing my soul?

I want to take hold of all God wants for my life. All he wants for me. But that is scary, because it means surrendering everything. All my will. All my desires. Emptying myself of the things that I think will fill me up – and trusting that he will instead.

As I grow older, I discover there are layers to my surrender. I use to think that as I grew older as a Christian, I would become stronger, “better,” more faithful, perhaps finally reaching the next “level” of maturity in my faith. Because of course I want to be the best, excellent in all things, especially my faith!

But as God calls me, as he leads me forward, as he gives me hints as to what surrendering to him might really mean for my life, I am terrified.

What if I lose it?

What if I lose what I want? What if I am not happy? What if it’s hard? What if it’s painful? What if it means financial insecurity? What if it means personal insecurity? What if it means sacrifice? Brokenness? Exposure?

Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. ~Matthew 10:39

It’s such an upside down kingdom. God leads me by the hand, beckoning forward, asking him to trust him yet again for just the next step ahead. I trust him. He’s led me this far. His dreams for me thus far have been greater than I have imagined. Rather than being a “giant” I am now just more aware of my self-righteous pride and deep need for my Savior. Feeling so inadequate, he calls me forward, to lose my life.

So I might find it. In Him.

STOP

this stage

Yeah, I’m making time to write a Five Minute Friday post today! If you need a few minutes to process your week, I highly recommend joining us for this encouraging, fun exercise!

This week’s prompt: “miss”

Disclaimer: If you don’t want to read about a momma venting/boasting/processing life regarding her 2 year old, stop reading now.


I miss ordinary tasks taking an ordinary amount of time, without interruption. Holy cow.

In the process of just sitting down to write this (in which I THOUGHT my toddler was occupied with Curious George), he politely asked me for the fifth time this morning if he could have more raspberries. I cut him off at breakfast, hoping to prevent stomach cramps and diaper rash. But I finally said yes, and before I could get to the fridge to help him, he had taken the half-full gallon of milk out of the fridge and dropped it, in a valiant effort to be independent and reach the raspberries that I had “hidden” behind said milk. SO. He calmly grabbed a towel (I grabbed 3), and we sopped up the milk and he proceeded to delight in some fresh raspberries. Once we started Curious George again with raspberries in hand, I went back and wiped up the sticky mess with a soapy rag, and then started a laundry load of kitchen towels, because low and behold they have all gotten dirty in the past 3 days cleaning up liquid spills of some sort!

So, 10 minutes later, let’s get back to what I was trying to do, which was… I don’t remember…. Thinking….

“Mom! More raspberries please?” We get more raspberries.

Thinking again… oh yes, I should do some writing… Go to my computer…

“Mom! More raspberries please?” Oh for heaven’s sake. We negotiate for crackers and cheese this time. Another Curious George episode.

And yeah, I’m writing! So yes, I miss ordinary tasks taking an ordinary amount of time, without interruption.

But I am also going to miss this stage, I know I am. Everyone tells me so. You know what I’ll miss? Our conversation at lunch yesterday, a rare moment when it was just him and me chowing down on our grilled cheese together.

“God changed my heart!”

“He did?”

“Yeah, he gave me a new one. A small one!”

“Yes, God can change our hearts, can’t he?” (Context: I recently made up a song about how Jesus changed Saul’s heart and he became Paul. So he’s on a Saul-became-Paul kick.)

“God is big!” (in a voice of wonderment.)

“Yes, buddy, God is big.”

“I love God, Mom.” (insert heart-melt-all-this-parenting-stuff-is-worth-it-the-mind-of-a-child-rocks moment)

Yep. I will miss this.

My friend Rachel shared a great reminder on Facebook yesterday… that as parents it’s so easy to fall into the trap of wishing for the next stage. I easily think, “Oh, I can’t wait until he’s potty trained,” or “I can’t wait until the baby can walk.” And doing that, I fail to see how they have grown, what they have accomplished, realizing that not too long ago, I was wishing for THIS stage. So my resolve for the near future is to be content with THIS stage. When they leave this nest I want to say (like the wise Angie Schmitt commented once) – EVERY stage was my favorite. 🙂

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Levi snapped this portrait of me writing during Curious George.

 

Mommy’s first day of Lent

Sigh. Oh my. Today! Yikes, today. Today was ordinary and yet extraordinary in its own ways and I’m going to go bananas if I don’t sit down and spew some words at ya. Whew.

Today included:

Repeated lessons to Levi about why we don’t hit. No hitting. Stop hitting. Don’t throw things at Henry. Don’t tackle him. Stop, Levi. Be gentle, Levi. If you do that again you’re going in timeout. If you don’t stay in time out, you are getting a spanking. Timeout. Spanking. Levi. LEVI. LEVI JOSEPH HATTING……

Contrast that scene with ¾ of the way through lunch….. “Mama! Pray first!” “Okay, Levi, go ahead, you can pray. You say the words.” (We bow our heads and fold hands.) “Dear Jesus… Thank you. Thank you for food. For food on table. Thank you, milk. Sandwich. Thank you (for) baby Esther, Henry, Mommy. Dear Jesus. Thank you. Daddy… safe… house. Amen.” And my heart is melting. That is the first time I’ve heard him pray. Usually we prompt him and he repeats after us, or refuses to pray at all and asks us to pray. But here he was. Reminding me to pray and be thankful. Praying at the beginning of lunch wouldn’t have worked, since I had three little ones on my hands who were “hangry”, two of them literally doing a constant cry/whine until they had a piece of food in their mouth, and the other who was “helping” make his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for the sandwich.

Today also included my 9 month old (9!) getting into everything. And asking to nurse every 30 minutes, then barely eating at all… because she’s congested? Teething? So distracted by the toys in the living room she just wants to get down as soon as she’s on my lap? Who knows.

Contrast that with her huge, 2-tooth smile that breaks out as soon as she sees the camera and knows it’s awesome if she turns on the charm. 🙂

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Levi’s portrait of his sister

And hallelujah, I did get an hour nap today! Bliss. I woke up as Levi quietly entered my bedroom with his blond bed head and paci’s. He joined me in bed to snuggle- “rub my back Mom?” – and watch Thomas. Sigh. I love him.

It is now 5:02 pm, and I just changed out of my sweats 15 minutes ago so I won’t feel like an unsexy slob when Chad comes home. (He wouldn’t necessarily care, but I do). The mess from lunch is still on the table and the counter, the washer and dryer are full and need to be switched, and there are 3 baskets of wrinkly clean laundry that need attention. My living room is full of today’s toy disaster behind me, with Curious George on the TV so I can vent some sanity into my day.

This is hard. This is so hard. But it is so good. Is this how God feels? ALL THE TIME?

“My children are so difficult, but damn, I love them so much! They are so wonderful!”

The thing with God, though…. Pretty sure his patience lasts a little longer than mine. His love is fiercer than mine. His compassion hits “refresh” instantaneously. His wisdom in fatherhood is perfect. His being, wholly holy. His lap, always open and welcoming. His anger, always righteous. His jealousy, full of passionate love for his own. I am so glad he is infinite. That he carries me. Always. Because man, his job. Running the whole world. Being creator of everything. Loving everything. Judging everything, just in all his ways. That is mighty. Do you think it’s a crazy hard job? Or easy, because he is God, and so powerful, that everything in his nature comes freely, like breathing?

Today is the first day of Lent. Jesus, wash my soul. Father, make me like you. Spirit, bear me up so I might carry my cross. And maybe a baby on my hip while I’m at it.

Pizza Ranch for supper it is.

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Levi’s portrait of Mommy

Weary…

I don’t feel like writing. I am weary. But five minutes. Five minutes will help. (Because self care is soul care.) Ready. GO.

weary
Written as part of the Five Minute Friday online community

I am weary. I am weary of the world and the crappy things in it. I am tired of it being broken, groaning as in childbirth, and in pain. Are we really not to the last days yet?

Being a mother is hard. I am finally realizing it’s hard just because it is; not because I’m doing it wrong, as one friend recently realized herself. How right she is. There is nothing like motherhood to help you realize what a hot mess you really are. I think I always was…. It’s just that being a mom strips you down to what really lies underneath all the stuff of fluff you live with on top of your deep down soul, and low and behold… we are sinners. Uck.

I am weary of life being full of hard things. Tomorrow is a hard thing. Tomorrow our church family buries a beloved baby girl, who met Jesus after being on this earth for only three weeks. She didn’t even get to go home and see the beautiful place and people that were supposed to be hers. Today I picked out what my own baby girl would wear to another baby’s girl funeral. They should have grown up to be friends. I know one is with Jesus and she is oh so happy about that. But we are not. That was not supposed to happen yet.

I am weary of the tears and hard days. The hard days that are dark, and you know the darkness will lift, and you know your kids and husband love you and are not trying to get on your nerves, but they just are because it’s a dark day. And guilt comes because you know it’s not them, it’s you. It’s you who are broken, just like the rest of this weary world.

STOP.

Thankfully, I don’t have the last word.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – Jesus, John 16:33