Sunday, December 22, 2013

Brady: Santa 2013

Last Thursday, I took B to see the big man in red.  Our church had Breakfast with Santa the weekend before and he willingly sat on his lap, but I think more for the candy cane than anything.  He will do anything for food, ha!

So I wasn't real sure how he would do with Santa at the mall.  Figured it would be a take it or leave it kind of deal.


He was obsessed, even whined for Santa when we left.  As you can tell from the video.  So we are two for two on Santa pictures.  I just adore this photo.  Such a sweeeeet boy!

Brady 2 Years

Last Monday, December 16th 2013 our sweet Brady turned TWO years old.  Cue the tears.  We have officially entered into the toddler stage and completely out of the baby stage.  Even though, he will always be my baby!

I feel like I haven't done a great job this past year keeping the blog up to date and keeping up to date what how he has changed, milestones, etc.  But such as life and I am going to let that go, because we have simply just been trying to survive life.  Hopefully, 2014 will allow for more blogging time, if not...there's always 2015! ;)

So here's a little update on our little man...

Weight 24lbs 8oz
Height ?????
Shoe size 7 or 8 (yes!)
Diaper size 4
Teeth a mouth full, I think he's 2yr molar are trying to come in - we'll go to the dentist soon
Clothes wears anywhere from 12M to 24M depending the brand
Still only drink water and milk

Food - he pretty much eats anything we eat, not really a fan of chicken.  Loves rice, pasta, and ice cream!  He isn't much of a bread eater.  For instance, when he eats a cheeseburger he only eat the meat, pizza only eats the toppings, not the crust.  Or for breakfast, he won't eat the toast/biscuit but eats the sausage.  We try to limit breads any in our house so I am a-okay with it.  Fruit depends on his mood - goes through phases where he eats grapes all the time, then won't, etc.  He is still a great eater, which I am so thankful for.  I do limit his intake of pasta, simply because he wants it for single meal. :)

You also put anything AND everything in your mouth!  Drives me crazy!!!!
Talking - his vocabulary has just changed so much over the last month or so.  He is pretty much a parrot and will repeat anything you say.  Of course, tractor is still his favorite word and says it all day long.

Which only confirms he is tractor obsessed.  Loves tractors!  As far as toys, he loves to play with his tractors, tools (hammer), choo choo trains, and any little thing he can tinker with.  All boy!  Would be/play outside all day if I'd let him.  He recently started taking a liking to Calliou, Bob the Builder, and Mickey Mouse "mouse".  But put on a real tractor show and he is in heaven.  I probably let him watch wayyyy too much tv, but there are worse things I could do as a parent. Right??
He loves to help and is a really great helper.  If I ask him to help clean up his mess, he does.  And says "pick up!" while doing so.  I give him little tasks like feeding the dogs, putting something away, or throwing something in the trash and he does it so well.  He loves to help!  He even helped me baked cookies a while back.

He definitely loves his people.  He is the most happiest when mommy, daddy, and "B" are all together.  Yes, he even refers to himself has "B" ha!  We will say something like "daddy is going to do the store..." and he will reply with "B."  Like B goes too!!  Or he will do roll-call as like to call it and call out for daddy, momma, and B.  Just double-checking we are all there.  He also started to tell us that he loves us in reply to when we tell him.  Talk about melt my heart!!!!!!
He also is really liking Reno and Coco these days.  Wants to love on them and recently has requested Coco nap with him.  I can't resist and I don't think they are minding that they get to sleep in a comfy bed, for a change.

His little personality is just darling!  Such a sweet little spirit and so loving.  He is still momma's boy and I'm not sure that will be changing anytime soon ;)  He has great manners, says "key key" for thank you and says it most of the without prompting.  He has a memory like a steel trap.  Doesn't forget a thing.  We can go somewhere one time and he will remember it next time we go and will say who we were with the time before.  If he asks to go outside or play with tractors before nap-time and I tell him, "after your nap..." as soon as he wakes up he will remind me.  His little mind amazes me!  I love watching his mind work.

He also has started requesting we go to church.  There for a while we were at church 3 days during the week and then on Sundays.  He loves "Debbie" at church!  They sure do spoil him!  Teachers pet.  He also has gotten really good at saying his prayers.  Daddy normally works him on this before dinner and before bed.  He has gotten the dinner prayer down.  "Thank you Jesus for food." Is what he normally says or some times substitutes "pasta" in there.  Ha!  He loves his pasta!  He almost always says momma every single time you ask him for you want to pray for.  Ha, yes son momma needs a lot of prayer! :)

Thanksgiving day 2013

In November, we went to hibachi for my birthday and I think he had the most fun out of all of us.  Loved every single minute of it.

You've also had your first kiss........

He has changed soooo much over the last year.  It is seriously in a blink of an eye they go from newborns to toddlers.  I feel like our days are just a big blur.  This year has been a blur.  I wish I could just bottle this sweet, sweet time up - even when it is challenging.  I am just so proud to be his momma.  I couldn't have asked for a more amazing Christmas present, two short years ago.

Brady, we love you so very much!  You are such a ray of sunshine in our lives.  You bring us so much joy.  Unspeakable joy.  We love watching you grow and shaped into a little person.  You are make us laugh every single day.  Your sweet spirit is contagious and I hope you never lose it.  I hope God "Jesus" uses you for big things for His kingdom.  We love you so very much and hope the next two years are just as sweet as the first year have been.

Life is rough being two...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

You call me out upon the waters.  

Coming up for air, taking a deep breath, then being pulled back underneath is the exact way I recently described how I felt in regards to my spiritual walk.

The great unknown where my feet my fail.

Each time I come up for air, it is the most beautiful image I have ever seen.  As a light flickers throughout the water, whispering my name, I swim up towards the light.  Feeling the warmth of the light, as I reach the surface and gasp for air.   Grasp for what is true.  Grasp for purpose.  His purpose.

And there I found You in the mystery.

In the middle of an ocean.  Just me and the most beautiful water I've ever seen.  No shore in sight.  Yet for a moment I wade in peace and His embrace.

In oceans deep, my faith will stand.

And there is nothing like it.  These roads I have been walking for the last months have been scenic in the most polite way.  Scenic in the way there has been lots to look at, wonder about, and lots of roads I may have never thought I would travel.  Roads with dead ends.  Roads with u-turns.  Roads with deep rushing water over them. 

Your grace abounds in deepest waters.

So deep.  I was unsure if I would make it to other side.  But I can tell you, I not only made it to the other side.  I conquered them.  I raised above the waters.  Bound in grace.

Your sovereign hand will be my guide.

Fear has gripped me my whole life.  Fear crippled me to the point of straight brokenness.  Insecurities lurked throughout my mind and soul.  I believed the lies that the enemy has told me.  That I will never been anything but who I am now.  Which according to him is not much.

Where feet my fail and fear surrounds me. 

But through the peaks and valleys of this journey I find myself almost not even recognizing my own heart.  "For when proven faithful, you will not even recognize who He turns you into."  I have come to realize I am none of what the enemy says I am.  Rather the total opposite.  I am loved.  I am beautiful.  I am a good mother.  I am a good friend.  I am worthy of His grace and unfailing love.  For I am His...made in His image.  I am healed because He came to heal me. 

You've never failed, and You won't start now.

This is what it looks like I guess when we allow ourselves to break down walls and chains that have bound us for so long.  Our on personal prison.  When we are living a life that is a lie.  A lie we didn't even realize was a lie.  Much less trapped, physically crippling us.  Once we realize that lie and chains start to fall, there is no way you could recognize what is underneath.  For the enemy doesn't want us to see the truth, and certainly doesn't want us to be set free.  To see all the ways His unfailing love has carried us through.  Time and time again.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without boundaries.

From my vantage point in the deep, wide ocean there are no boundaries.  There is nothing there that can save me.  No man, no thing, not even myself.  Except the One and only One who can love me to wholeness.  The One that is whispering my name to the surface.  The one that breaths breathe into my life.  The One whom I can trust.  To lead me out of the water onto the rock of victory.  To freedom.  Freedom in Christ.  No longer bound by the chains of Hell.

Let me walk upon the waters.

These roads I've been traveling, the seas I've been wading in (depression, anger, hurt over miscarriages and other losses) are essentially for His purpose in my life.  Those are the very things of which my pain births passion.  He can not deliver me, if He has nothing to deliver me from.  I cannot overcome, if there is nothing to overcome.  He cannot set me free, if I don't allow Him to set me free.  I cannot walk where I have never been.  I can't tell my story without those things.  Those things are my story.  Those are the very things He is using to refine me.  To burn off my impurities, turning ashes into beauty.  Bestowing a crown of beauty on me.  Leaving the old behind.

To call me to a greater purpose/plan. 

Wherever you would call me.

His plan, not Nancy's.  Just as Jesus would have maybe chosen a different way to show us His love, other than the Cross.  But that was the Lord's will and Jesus said if you can't take this cup from me, then may the Lord's will be done.  So while my flesh and failing feet may have hoped for a different outcome in many situations or while I hoped not to suffer, I did and will if that's His purpose.  I have to hold fast to Him knowing that He knows what is best for me.  After all, He is the Potter and I, the clay.  Without the Potter, clay is just dirt.

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.

In the depth of my despairs is where I have to learn to trust Him.  Trust Him as if He is my only life preserver.  True trust.  True belief.  Trusting and believing He will do what His words tells me it will do.  If hope is the anchor of our soul, then why do I find myself drowning in the depths of the raging seas?  Because I can't fully trust until I fully believe.   

And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

God's word is truth and so much greater than our truth.  He is still faithful even in our raging seas.  Even when I may or may not feel Him or His love.  Or when I feel the current taking me under.  He is still good.  His love never failing.  He never loses His grip on me.  He holds me when oceans rise.  He binds up my heart and opens the floodgates to where grace abounds.

I will call upon my name.
Keep my eyes above the waves.
My soul will rest in your embrace.


His purpose.  Not Nancy's.

Where my feet may fail...I will call upon your name.

 Song and lyrics by Hillsong UNITED Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Brady:22 Months

I've had good intentions of updating this blog regarding Brady.  I thought about it at 18 months, 20 months, then 21 months...just goes to show how quickly time is fleeting.

Blink and it's gone.

So before he turns TWO (gulp), here's a little update on how the little man is doing.  Two???  How can that be possible??

Speaking of two, we are definitely entering into the land of two's.  We speak our mind and we let you know when we don't approve of the ridiculous rules or boundaries set by said parents.  But we are also growing by leaps & bounds every single day.

This is such a fun age, but oh so trying.

I'm guessing he weighs 22 pounds.  Size 4 diapers.  Size 7 (yes SEVEN) shoe.  He can still wear some 5/6 shoes.  We just moved into the 7's.  Clothes range anywhere from 12 months to 18 months.  Most bottoms are to short since he keeps growing up and up!

Teeth - a lot of them.  Almost a full mouth.

Talking - all day long.  Mostly words and a few phrases: momma, mommy, daddy, Reno, Coco, Mimi, Papa, Nenna (nina), D, meow, kitty, bug kill, pee-ple (people), hit, tractor, choo choo, whoo-woo, Aggies, ball, B (he calls himself B, ha!), outside, side, beep beep, puhkin (pumpkin), pas-toe (pasta)...and that's all I can think of right now.
You still love bath time and now prefer a bath over a shower.  You went through a shower phase there for a while.  Night time routine could be so better, but mommy & daddy just go with it.  That's just where we are in life.  You still get a bath every night around 8ish, daddy normally does this and then gets you ready for bed (lotion-ed up, pjs on, books read, prayers said, and then he normally lets you watch "choo choo" or "tractor" until you get relaxed.  Then it's lights out.  You sleep in your own crib (most nights) and wake up around 7:15-7:30am.  Normally then it's milk & "tractor" in "the big bed" while mommy catches a few more zzzzz's or tries to convince herself to wake up! :)

It seems like once school started, our days are gotten extremely busy.  Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays we go to church.  Mondays & Thursdays are for Bible study and Fridays Preschool Praisers (music class).  Which you aren't a fan of this year.  But we go anyway :)  The other days it's either time spent around the house (cleaning) or spent over at Neena & D's while I work/sew.

First time to the church's pumpkin patch.  You actually went with Mrs. Belinda (the nursery worker) while I was in Bible study, so I had to get a picture of you and your pumpkin.
You (B.) can work the phone like a pro.  I guess what child/kid doesn't know how to work on these days.  You can unlock daddy's phone and emergency call Neena or D.

Your favorite shows are anything that involves a tractor (Mighty Machines on Netflix), All About John Deere dvd, Tec the Tractor, and Thomas the Train.

You also still love music!  We often have dance parties in the living room because we love watching you dance. It's the cutest.ever.  Plus it's just plain fun.  Your favorite song is "Wagon Wheel" sung by Darius Rucker.  You recognize it the moment it comes on.

To say you love tractors would be an understand.  You are straight obsessed.  Can't get enough of them.

You are also pretty partial to trains or "choo choos" and you love to play outside.

Food:  your favorite foods are black olives, pizza and pasta!  You request "pas-toe" for every single meal.  You aren't much of a meat eater unless it's sausage or bacon.  You also aren't much into breads.  You'll eat the top of the pizza off but leave the whole crust.  You are still a fairly good eater.  You eat just about anything and everything I make/cook.  Other than chicken.  Can't say that I blame you!  You still only drink milk (raw milk) and water!

I mean oh my goodness.  I love you to pieces.  You definitely keep me and your daddy on our toes.  You are always on the go and always getting into something.  But the joy you bring us is unbelievable.  So often we stop and think to ourselves - is he really ours?  Ours forever?  You are the light of our life!  We can't imagine our life before you and we don't want to go back to that - even if we are insanely tired.  The newborn stage was a piece of cake to now.  You are amaze us daily with the things you say and do.  You are a precious gift and we are so thankful for you.  But I would be lying if I wasn't in denial about having a soon two-year old.  I'm going to look up one day and you'll be 18, heading off to Aggieland. ;)  Which is why I don't want to blink and miss a thing.  We love you B and we are so incredibly proud of you!  You are our sunshine on a cloudy day!!!

Arrghh matey!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Boxing the enemy

Disappointment as an adult in a hard pill to swallow.  Just when I feel myself coming up for air and breathing a sigh of relief.  The enemy rears his ugly head.

Last week, we attended a benefit for our local Ronald McDonald House.  George Foreman was the guest speaker.  He was wonderful and funny, but he love for Jesus Christ stood out the most.  He told his life story of how he was a street-fighter turned boxer.  How he hated school and skipped often.  How his cousin told him he'd never grow up to be anything anyway.  How he would just close his eyes and knock people out.  And how it was more than just the boxing gloves he wore, but all that went into those gloves.

Passion.  Determination.  Sweat.  Blood.  Tears.

He also said he didn't want to keep fighting, but he did to support his family and his church.

He told how the very few times he did get knocked down, he could hear the ref counting and him thinking to himself that he better get back up!

Goodness.  I may not be a world champion boxer in the ring with Cassius Clay but that doesn't mean I cannot totally relate.  Anybody with me??

As God continues to reveal Himself to me, I am in awe of His wonder and love.  But then I am suddenly reminded he is not done with me yet.  He meaning satan.

I woke up feeling on top of the world.  Feeling I was finally making head way in this season of life, only to find myself sitting in disappointment and despair this afternoon.


Job 4:5 says, "But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed." 

The devil isn't going to back down without a fight.  Obviously.  I'm confident he would love for me to stay down, to feel discouraged, or dismayed.  Likely all of the above.

And that's exactly how I feel.  In the last round, trying to catch my breath.  Finding strength to stand up and keep fighting.  Even when I don't want to.

The enemy doesn't play fair, well, or nice.  Especially when we start to unveil his schemes and ways.  Which is why I think our fight has to get harder and more difficult, before getting easier.  Thankfully, God shows us glimpses of His glory in between rounds to help us to keep fighting.  Putting on the armor and shield of what we know is true - the armor of God.  Ephesians 6:10-15.

That He is faithful and good.  Even when we don't understand or don't know the WHY???

There is also purpose in this.  Whether we like it or not.

I may not be in the ring with a heavy weight boxer, but there's no doubt I'm not waging a heavy weight war against an enemy who wants nothing more than for me not to fulfill that purpose.  To not be refined by God's grace and mercy.  To not get back up once the final bell rings...while I want nothing more for him to look back and wish he never, ever missed me.

"But I know where you stay and when you come and go and how you rage against me.  Because you rage against me and because your insolnece has reached my ears, I will put  my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you come.
By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city." declares the Lord.
"I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!" 
Isaiah 37:28-29,34-35

There is purpose in refinement.  And this battle I'm waging has already been won.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The healing has begun.... (part 1)

*warning - this is a deep post written mostly for myself so feel free to skip over it ;) it is definitely where my heart is and I don't want to forget this season in my life.

"You have carried the weight of your secret for way too long...but freedom can never be found behind those walls.  So just let 'em fall."

There are so many things in this life that robs me of my joy.  Robs me of who I am.  Robs me of who God says I am.

Yet, I still continue to allow myself to fall victim to those things.  Allowing my heart to hemorrhage, while looking for things to make it stop.

Earthly things.




"Misplaced worship is at the heart of all bondage."
Beth Moore, Breaking Free

Jesus said I died so you could get well.  He died to heal us from our transgressions.  So why don't we allow Him to do just that?

"He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted." 
Isaiah 61:1

So here I am laying it down.  Giving it to the only one who can heal my broken-heart.  The only one who can truly fulfill me.  Fulfill my heart.  Fulfill my soul. 

And bind up my heart.

Breaking me free what holds me in bondage.  Depression.  From miscarriages, from financial loss, and from just the weight of this world.

The need to feel accepted by others, the need to have more money or things, the need to look a certain way, the need to be something I'm not.

I'm not organized.  I'm not the best at keeping up the with laundry.  I'm not 130 pounds and probably never will be.  I'm not a size 6.  I'm not a very good housekeeper.  And I certainly can't do it all.

But those things don't define who I am.

"My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."
Jeremiah 2:13

I have told myself SO many lies.  Time and time again.  So many times that I have believed them.  I believed I would always battle depression.  I would probably never have any more kids because of the not-so-great mother I am.  And I'll always struggle with money, whether I have to much or to little.

Yet, at the same time trying to save face that I have it all together.  That I live a life without struggle.  All those things are lies.  Lies from the enemy who wants nothing more than to drag my soul into the depths of hell.

My own cistern is a broken one.  One falling to pieces at the seams, filled with so many things.  Some that are wonderful and some that bind me to my fears and struggles.  Dug down deep.  Some things buried so deep I didn't even realize they were there.  Ouch.
I struggle daily.  Some days the struggle is so much it takes my breath away, and it literally makes me ill. 

But Christ tells us that He will uphold us.  Uphold our case.  And fight for us.

Oh sweet Jesus, what liberty is there in knowing that!

What if we would allow Him to be the depths of our well?  Instead of all the above.  Instead of chasing things in life that will never, ever truly fulfill us.  For me, it's almost too much to even comprehend.  But that is the amazing thing about Him.  We don't have to understand in order for Him to heal us.  Or even love us.  He does that regardless of our brokenness.

"Child, lift up your eyes 'cause mercy remembers your name and those tears you've been holding back, let 'em fall down like rain"

I am done fighting.  I am done trying to uphold myself and my case.  I am done chasing after things that will not fulfill my life or purpose.

I am done being quiet.  Acting has if Satan hasn't grabbed a hold of me and tried to destroy me like a thief in the night.  Robbing of my joy.

Christ didn't die so I could live a life of suffering.  Of course, He knew I would have sufferings in this life.  His word tells me that.  But without suffering, I wouldn't be able to draw near to Him.  Or He wouldn't be able to lift me from the living dead.

He desires to raise me from the living dead.  He desires to fulfill my life.  And He is fulfilled when I allow Him to fill me.

"The continued search for something earthly to fill our empty places is costly."
-Breaking Free, Beth Moore

Filling my life with earthly things just robs me of what He desires for me.  All the excessive things in my life (social media, entertainment, food) robs me of my time with Him.  Shame robs me of who I really am in Him.  Guilt robs me of His peace.

Depression robs my soul, my life, and my family.

But no longer's the day!

The healing has begun...

I am breaking free of those chains.  Lifting my eyes and laying it down.

Because what was lost, has now been found.

I am taking my tattered, worn, battered, and broken cistern to the Living Well and leaving it there.  I don't want to carry it around anymore.  I want to be His bucket.  I want Him to fulfill me and sustain me.  Not earthly things, not stuff, not hurts, disappointments, losses, or struggles.  Just Him.  Sweet loving, merciful Jesus.

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a wiling spirit, to sustain me.
Psalm 51:10,12

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Facebook Rant

So I've had Facebook wayyy before it became "the thing" to have or do.  Back when the only way you could get an account was if you had a college email address.  You know the days before your parents could join...bless it.

It was a great way to connect with others.  It was a great way to find long lost friends and catch up with them.

Fast forward eh 11 years.

Now it is nothing but people cramming their political views, as well as their stances on issues honestly I could care less about.

It's not that I don't care about things like:
- gun control
- vaccines
- abortion
- GMO's
- breastfeeding vs. formula feeding
- high fructose corn syrup

Or whatever else controversial issues there may be...

Let's be honest.  I'm human.  I'm a woman.  And I have my opinions.

Lots of them, actually.

But that doesn't mean I have to bore people with them.


It's not that I don't believe these are important issues, because they are.  But goodness...does one really care what I think about these issues?  More than likely not.

Not to mention, no one wants to hear about the same thing over and over.  Kind of like flooding your newsfeed with photos of my child - sorry.  Rookie parent move.  You'll understand when you have children... ;)

Back to my rant...

Since when did Facebook become such a breeding grounds for such nonsense.  Or better yet, when did it become a place to solve our government and social issues?  Where everyone is smarter than the other, more informed (misinformed is probably more the case, but hey no one ever likes to be wrong!), and know politics, science, and medicine better than those who actually work in these fields. 

Back in circa 2003, it was a place to post photos of daily musings or update us on what you were doing?
Now it's just a landmine choked full of nonsense.

I realize I could just delete my account.  Or un-friend lots of people.  Don't get me wrong it has crossed my mind many of times...

But I guess I just keep hoping one day it will be back to the "good ol' days" of simpleness.  I realize things have to change and evolve but goodness - why do people feel the need to blast us with their views.


So you believe in the right to bear arms.  Bravo!  So you think high fructose corn syrup is the best thing since sliced bread.  Bravo!  Oh heavens, don't bring up bread.  Wheat is sure enough to kill us all.  I mean I am pretty sure I understood your view on the President the night of re-election.  I don't need to eight fifteen more posts to get the point. 
Life is already complicated enough.  There is no need to add fuel to it.  Also, it's hard to understand each other if we can't see past each others' beliefs or differences.

Just because you believe a certain way, doesn't mean it's the only way.  Thank goodness.

So for the love of Christmas...stop using Facebook as your sounding board on issues such as these.

Because let's be honest...your rants are not going to change those issues or change the minds of whom read them.  Or change the President.  Or change who vaccines and whom doesn't.  Or change gun laws.  Or change the world.
Not to sound harsh - but most of us don't care!

If you want to make a change or difference, use your energy serving others.  Listening to others.  Being with others.  Learning from others.  Whom are different from you.

Life is messy enough without rants over issues that are never, ever going to go away.  Also, there are people fighting real life issues like cancer, loneliness due to their husband/wife fighting for our country - your freedom, a sick child, unemployment, or whatever kind of battles life throws at us.  We are all battling something.

So be kind.  Count your blessings, look around for the good things in life, and lay off all those silly e-cards.

Too much of anything is never a good thing! ;)

rant over.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Homecoming - Small Town USA

Last Friday was Homecoming in our small little town.  Homecoming in Texas is a pretty big deal.  Early release, parades, bonfires, and of course mums the sizes of Texas.

And I'm not referring to mums, as in the plant.

Image courtesy of Texas Barbee Doll
B isn't old enough to participate in the homecoming mum phenomenon but he is to old enough for the parade.  It had been raining off & on all day and I was hoping it would not be cancelled.  As soon, we parked it started raining but it only lasted a few minutes.  We hurried to get a spot to watch the the sweltering humid after-rain air.

It was hard to get a good picture of him since I was having to hold him - in fear he'd ran out into the street.  He loved waving to everyone that came by!  But he's favorites were the floats with music, a tractor pulling a float, and the sucker he got as they threw out candy.  My phone froze up when the tractor came by :-/ so sadly I wasn't able to capture that moment.

I don't think Brady really knew what to think at first but he LOVED it!  Skipping nap-time was real worth it!  Welcome to small town USA!

Oh how I love that boy!!!  And parades!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Give 'em Grace

With my eyes still closed, praying under my breath "please Lord, just 30 more minutes of sleep!"  Okay...I give up!

Because let's be real - sleeping in is a thing of the past.

This is how I spend almost every morning, all while a 21 month old little boy (how in the world is he almost 2???) flips and tosses around in our bed as a little fish.  Clearly, ready to start the day.  While I feel like I'm still dragging for the day before.

And the day before that.

And the day before that.

Wondering why it seems like there is always dishes piled up in the sink.  Why I'm the only mother who can't seem to get it together.  Who clearly needs help in the cleaning department as I start the same load of laundry for the third time.  Or who needs therapy  since I feel like I'm a crazy train that just won't stop.  All the while, I'm the one driving this train.

Motherhood is non-stop.  Life is non-stop.  The days are non-stop.

Then all of a sudden you look up and you are wondering where in the world the time has gone.

Not only is motherhood non-stop.  It can also be so discouraging.  Almost on a daily basis.

I think it has to do with our own expectations.  Of what kind of mother we should be -whatever that means, what kind of mother we thought we would be (organized, have it all together, skinny & hip - for the record I am none of those), and just what we "think" motherhood should look like based on what others look like or have. 

I fall into this trap so often.
Social media can be wonderful, but it can also rob us of the very things that bring us joy.
It allows doubt, insecurity, and bitterness to creep in.  It only allows us to see the "best" in people's lives.  The glimpses of what people want us to see.  The perfect home.  The perfectly dressed or behaved toddler.  The perfect vacation.  The perfect life.

Don't get me wrong, I'd rather that than negative Nancy all day long.  I am all for these things and love seeing them, but I think it also allows the enemy to attack us.  To attack our sweet souls that are already thirsting for something this world can not give.

Perfect homes, perfectly dressed, well-behaved toddlers, the perfect vacation, or perfect life is just not real life.  We all have messes in our lives.  We all have struggles.

Yet, we still allow ourselves to compare each other.  In almost ever facet of our lives.

And all through the lens of a computer or phone screen.

There are days I just want to throw my phone in the trash.  All because I covet worldly things.

After talking to other sweet mommas, I realize it is not just me.  I am not alone in trying to navigate the waters of motherhood, social media, and the struggles that come with it.  Whether they be in the flesh or in the spirit.

While we often see "highlight reels" on social media - what about the things people don't see.  The struggles us as moms face.  The struggles us as wives face.  The struggles our kids face.

Those things are real.  So why do we not openly discuss those things?  Why do we not encourage each other?

It's much easier to protray a life of "all is good", than brokenness or struggles.  None of us want others to see or know our brokenness.  For if they do, we might be seen as weak, or not having it all together.

Well, let's be honest.  No one has it "all together!"  No one.  We are all broken.  In some way, shape or form.
Motherhood can be such a lonely world.  We feel like we have to do it alone.  We have to face each day with our best foot forward, regardless if we are falling apart inside.

We feel we have to do it all.  Because if we don't, then who will?

We carry the burdens of our families.  The feelings of our husbands and children.  The laundry basket to the washer, the dishes to the sink, the socks to the laundry basket, our sweet children everywhere we go -even when they aren't with us, and we carry our dreams for ourselves, our husband, and our children.  We even carry fake smiles for when we just aren't feeling it that day.

We carry it all.

So while we often feel alone, we really we aren't alone.

There are so many other mommas struggling.  Just like myself.  Praying under their breath for just a few more minutes of rest.  Praying for strength for the day.  Praying for patience.  Praying for peace.  Praying for the storm to pass.  Praying for her marriage.  Praying for a break-through.  Praying for grace.

Again.  And again.

If I've learned anything in my longest days of my life short 21 months of motherhood, is grace.

"Give 'em grace..."

God whispers that to me on a daily basis.  He knows I am going to screw up.  He knows I'm going to fall short.  He knows it allAll of it.  He sees me struggling.  He sees me carrying that fake smile into Wal-Mart.  He sees me at my worst.  Even when no one else does.  He sees my brokenness.  He sees and knows it all.

Yet, He still decided to entrust with me with a little person.

So go and give 'em grace.  Give your children grace.  Give other mommas grace.  But most importantly, give yourself grace.

Every single day.

You are the best momma your child has.  You are the momma your child needs.  As scary as this sounds (to me anyway), you are the exact mother God knew your child needed.

Nothing more.  Nothing less.

So instead of showing only the highlights of our lives, show your brokenness.  For in our brokenness is where His light shines the brightest.  And because through the hard times, through the cracks, and through our struggles is where He gives us grace.

And His grace is enough.