Just be….

Okay. So, our newest girl is nearly six whole weeks old!! A formal into & birth story is on its way, but in the meantime…. My favorite place is with them.

My favorite role is their mama.

My favorite faces to put a smile on.

My favorite people to experience new things with.

Watching them grow + being their mama has been an honor & privilege.

A blessed gift.

The best, most humbling compliments are surrounding how well I “mom”, how I seem to enjoy being a mother & with my girls, & how happy + peaceful I look. All of this is so true.(Photo by Rhyann!)

I’m told quite a bit that I make single motherhood look easy. It’s not. It’s lonely, it’s hard, it’s exhausting, & difficult. But, I love it. & thanks to an incredible God, their supportive dads, a solid support system, & a few supplements, I have the energy, emotional/mood balance, & health to enjoy raising these girls on all the days that make me both laugh & cry.

Do I want to be a single mama forever? Heck no, not even a little bit. Not only for my sake, but my girls’ benefit, too. There’s something powerful about having a solid, God fearing, loving & additional male role model not only in their lives, but in their home. An example of how well they should be loved by the way their mama is loved & how they should show respect by how their mama shows respect. How they both honor, serve, & communicate. Prioritize, laugh, play, disagree, forgive, etc. (photo by Logan!)

Until then, I am going to continue learning + practicing serving, loving, engaging, communicating with, & relating to each of the girls as they need. Skills that will help me to be a great mama, friend, sister, daughter, leader, teammate, team partner, ministry partner, etc and eventually a (gulp) wife.

Right now. Today.

I’m honored to “just” be a mama.

(Photo by Rhyann!)

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… the unknown

hey y’all!!

Summer is HERE, and I am SO glad I’ve had the time to spend with the big girls before little sister arrives!! They have grown up so much over the past couple of months and I’m loving it! Lots of new words, phrases, their little conversations are HILARIOUS, and they’re doing much better with recalling their day & experiences! They’re a complete joy!

After this week, they’ll spend the next few with their dad & while I’m going to miss them so much, I’m thankful they get that time with their daddy and I get to bond and adjust to our new little sister! Love how that worked out so well!!! 🙂I have no doubts that these girls are going to be the most incredible helpers & most loving big sisters! They already pretend to get baby sister out of her car seat EVERYtime we get out of the car! I had to remind them “Who gets baby sister out of the car??” Lol. Hopefully they turn on those listening ears as we practice being cautious and careful with her!! They also only call her ‘Baby Sister’, they don’t call her by her name at all. And, if you ask what her name is they’ll say….. Baby Sister!!!! I’ll be 39w on Wednesday and we are trucking right on along!! I feel FANTASTIC…… aside from contractions….. and things are going really well!! I haven’t quite hit 20 lbs gained and baby’s weight is about half of what I gained! So that’s exciting!!! (And, no! I was not going to gain less than 20 lbs!!) yet, I’m healthy! Blood pressure has been fantastic this entire pregnancy, minimal swelling, no poop issues, great digestion….. no puffiness which is my favorite part! This face has remained slim!! My friends hosted two incredible showers for me!! A small Sprinkle for family and close friends and then a diaper + wipe party at school!!! So incredible and super blessed to have received so many wipes, diapers, gift cards, and LOVE for our sweet girl!!! In just a few short days (YES!!!! D A Y S!) this little girl will be here!! I simultaneously cannot wait and could definitely wait another couple of months!! I’m thankful I get to adjust to her one on one while the girls are away and get back in the swing of newborn life, looking forward to seeing her and loving her…….. but, I’m also a bit nervous about how all of this is going to work!! Absolutely, everything will work itself out and we will have a routine that works for all of us. Absolutely, the girls may go through a bit of regression and adjustment when they realize they have to share their mama with another person…… knowing all of that. It’s still the uncertainty of the unknown.

Isn’t that how it works though?? The unknown usually freaks us out so much so that we don’t do anything or we try to control everything. I’ve learned that neither of those approaches work very well and you usually end up isolated and missing out or losing quite a bit!

My goal is to just embrace each and every moment…… to remember that none of it will last forever…. and that the most important thing I can do for all of my girls is to be the example I want and will need for them to follow. Positive. Optimistic. Patient. Enduring. Kind. Gentle. Loving. Understanding.

…. and to be gentle with myself. A new chapter in our journey and it’s going to be incredible!!!

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it’s all for his glory

One of the most beautiful things about the love of Christ is how he transforms our lives.
It’s beautiful how he will literally breathe life into a broken, dead situation.
How he puts joy and songs of praise in our hearts in the midst of and after great loss.
We value and celebrate that growth… count on it and expect it.
….. while at the same time, we’re ashamed of the need to grow.

WHY?

I have to admit that when my girls received the Most Improved award at their end of the year program last year, I was embarrassed. Even though I knew they’d matured so much over the year, knew that there was no doubt that they’d grown, and truly improved in so many areas from not losing their shit during drop off to potty training to using more words…. they blossomed! But, what I wanted was for them to be the best from the beginning. The foolish and judgmental stigma of “most improved” that I had was that they literally sucked and they’ve gotten better……… as if growth wasn’t something to be proud of, that it should be expected, and that it should be a goal to attain. Truth is, I was very proud of how they matured, I just didn’t “like” that they received an award for it. So silly.  Their hard work should be been celebrated instead of something to be ashamed of. Lord knows if it was up to me to get them potty trained, they’d still be in diapers. lol. Their teachers for the past two years have been incredible and I’m truly grateful for the leaps and bounds they’ve accomplished since they’ve started their preschool program.

How is my perfectionism and shame of their growth teaching them?
Is it pushing them to cover their struggles?
Am I teaching them to be insecure about their weaknesses?
Or that I will only be proud of them if they are “there” instead of celebrating them and enjoying the journey of becoming?
lol… I am more ashamed of myself and what my actions (even though I never told them or showed them how I felt) communicated than their growth. Clearly it revealed multiple areas I needed to grow in.

A friend of mine recently posted about the beauty of golf courses and how, in all of their well thought out beauty, they are man made. That space, those acres of plush grass, sand dunes, lakes, trees, and pathways, was not natural. But, the awe we feel doesn’t decrease and we don’t look down on them because they needed work.

But, we do this to ourselves daily. Or….. I know I can beat myself up about not having a certain trait or not quite yet getting control over that flaw not realizing that growing into that trait and becoming better over time is still something to be grateful for.

The disappointment, frustration,  or shame comes from comparison…. from looking at another person and thinking that the way the Lord naturally created someone makes them better than how he naturally created us. It minimizes the sin issues they have (whether you’re aware of them or not) and maximizes ours. It compares what could be the later chapter in their book to the earlier chapters in ours that are still being written. It ignores how the Lord is molding, shaping, improving, and creating you to be.

Lord knows there are days I wish the issues and flaws that I have didn’t exist…… that I could have come into this world as the person I’d like to be. But, that’s boring. That doesn’t tell a story of how great our God is and how he truly works things out for our good. Beauty is beauty…. formed by the words of our God or thought up in the imaginations and created with the gifts that the Lord has given us. It’s all from him. All for his glory. All of it tells of how the natural things the Lord created come together to honor him.

It’s the same. 

Over the last few years, I’ve learned how important it is to not allow a flaw to cause us shame. That sin issue may truly be a hard one to swallow, it may seem worse than any other, and it may have caused you some serious consequences and broken relationships….. But, guess what? When Christ died on the cross, he gave you victory over that sin. He forgave you of that sin. He gave you access to a relationship with a God who wants you to get that Most Improved award and tell you “Good job, my good and faithful servant!” when he greets you in heaven. He gave, he gave, he gave…. so that he could take away the hard and ugly and (again) give you something beautiful in return. A life free of guilt, a life full of hope, of salvation, of opportunity, or wisdom, and growth. He gives you a story your life will tell that will cause everyone around you to see that something about you different and wonder how it was possible.

And, you get to say “Jesus”.

Remember when I would post songs that I had on repeat?? Let’s bring that back!
Hillsong United – So Will I (100 Billion X)

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