Oh, there you are…

For the past maybe…… 24 months, my life has been consumed with two little people who are completely epic. They are amazing and they become more and more lovable with every passing day. I miss them when they’re gone, can’t wait to wake them in the morning, & look forward to all of the new daily somethings.

Motherhood is my jaaaaaaaam. 

But, I’ve hidden behind it, afraid. It’s easily consumed me because I have two small people to keep fed and clean on my own for most day….. there isn’t a whole lot of time to do my own thing. Motherhood and swamped has been an iceberg of an excuse to not ‘have time’ to feel and it’s cost me. Writing has taken a back burner, writing with transparency has almost become a thing of the past… the idea of not writing at all anymore has crossed my mind more than once. Relationships have suffered and my own heart hasn’t been given the opportunity to heal as well it could have by now.

You’ve got to put your oxygen mask on first.

Words of wisdom sent from one of my girlfriends that seems so logical, but can also feel so selfish at times. Yet, to be the mama parent my girls need, I have to be authentically me and whole. We’ve all heard that you can’t pour out of an empty glass – and it makes sense. While I don’t feel that my cup needs to be overflowing and full, it needs to be at a level where there is something to give and some left over for myself. There needs to be time allotted for me to refill my cup, as well. I believe that the levels can vary depending on circumstances and that there are more than a few ways to have your cup refilled. The most important thing for me has been to find different ways to fill myself up and to learn how to operate/love/mother well no matter how much there is to give.

A couple of weeks ago, I scrolled through my social media and calendar to realize that Alaina was not present; she only had a half hour space allotted in my planner, & my phone was pretty much dead. Everything revolved around the girls and having ‘all my ducks in a row’. I literally just saw a meme that pretty much said, ‘My ducks aren’t all in a row but they’re in the same pond’ and for me that’s pretty much the something. A spotless house isn’t happening over here. Toys are everywhere and I kinda like it like that. Now, there’s organization but you can tell children live here and they’re allowed to live in their house………. and, that there mama has plenty other things to do than perfectly put away toys. Away-ish good enough. Perfection has been escorted off of the premises as I’d much rather just be. Life’s junk, my own insecurities/judgments, and a much too large concern over what people think won’t rule my thoughts.

I’ve pulled my head out of the sand and although I’m terrified to feel and deal with emotions I’ve successfully ignored and dodged, for my own healing, it’s got to be done. Part of that healing, for me, is taking time for myself to be Alaina as well as a mother.

Healing is taking place and this season of my life is so good…. it’s been hard for a long time, and single motherhood is not a breeze nor is it glamorous, it’s been such a great experience where I’ve grown a lot personally. I’m thankful. God has definitely been gracious to me and I’m clinging to him….. for peace, comfort, direction, and provision…… of all things.

My girls are only as happy and healthy as I am and there’s nothing that would make me more glad than to see my daughters grow up well loved and guided, courageous, happy & joyful, and strong with a heart for the Lord. While the Lord can and will use others to impact my children’s lives, I’m an enormous and great piece of their lives…….. I want to honor the Lord well in this role and that requires mental and emotional health, them seeing me have and maintain friendships, balance various responsibilities, and taking risks.  Everything we go through in life is a process and I’ve learned that if you’re thankful for the process in the circumstance you’re in, you can be a little bit more patient in it, more respectful of it, and more joyful as you go through it. These girls have got to see a joyful mama who has been through a lot but is still standing with peace in her heart and intact relationships  surrounding and supporting her. I want them to see a happy and joyful mama who does things she enjoys both with them and without them….. it’s good and healthy for us both. It’s struggle but the Lord is good and will show each of us how we should be manage these roles and self care…..every mama is different, each mama needs something different, and her children have varying needs as well. We can’t judge another mama, lest we are in her shoes.

Mamas, how are some of the ways you recharge?

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a little bit

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Sweet Rhyann.

You know, my girls and I are really starting to get each other. The girls are communicating with much more intention, they know how to get my attention and how to get me to do what they want. They’ve learned our routine and as much as they’re learning me and about the world around them, I’m learning them as well. We play, we laugh, we are building the sweetest relationship and I love it. I never thought about how we don’t just wake up at 7 years old and know how our parents are going to respond this way or that way…. we don’t come into this world knowing that our parents will let us get away with this or kill us if we do that. you know? The trust, love, comfort, the satisfaction of being known and accepted begins far before we’re able to even understand what is happening…. I’d literally never thought about that until now & my hope is that I am creating consistent, positive, and warm truths for my babes.

As much as I thought each kid would need about the same amount of this, this, and that from me…. I’m learning that these kiddos each need a lot from me in different ways, thankfully. One needs a few more cuddles, one a few more minutes after bedtime in order to go to sleep. They’re needing a little more guidance and discipline, my voice needs to be a bit more stern more often now. They just need more.

Over the last two weeks or so, the girls’ molars have begun to break through the gum line. Of course, with molars we’re also battling running noses and fevers which means crankiness, loss of appetite – they’re basically having a tough time but they’re such troopers and are handling it really well. One of the many joys of this teething process has been the sleep schedule. It’s off…. completely out of whack. They’ve reverted, they aren’t sleeping through the night, I’m having to rock babies and get up pretty much every hour to soothe a kiddo back to sleep.

That isn’t fun. In fact, it’s quite frustrating.
I’m sleep deprived & exhausted.

But, as I was rocking one of the girls to sleep, I realized how long it had been since the girls needed me in that way…. how much less they’ve needed me because they’re becoming so much more independent. It’s been forever and I didn’t realize how much I missed that time of cuddling, their breathe on my neck, them snuggling against me and (now) hugging me as they fall asleep. This time in their life requires so much more of me but I also know that this is time that will never come again. This is time the Lord is using to create more patience in me, I’m learning different ways to communicate, connect, and accomplish goals. That thick and wide boundary that protects my comfort zone is thinning out and expanding. And, I like it. It’s uncomfortable but so good at the same time.

Most of all I’m thankful for how much more I have to lean on Jesus. The more that’s pulled from me, the more I require of the Lord. And, y’all he’s showing up everytime I need him and revealing more & more of who he is and who he can be to me. He’s giving me a deeper confidence in my ability to parent the girls, the energy, the wisdom in know how to manage my time and how to prioritize tasks. I’m becoming more okay comfortable with being unable to do certain things, and picking them back up when I can. The more at peace I am with what can be done, the happier I am as a mother because the stress of being pulled in so many directions is gone.This parenting solo thing is hard work but it’s good work. I love being the mama to these sweet girls. They bring me so much joy and focus when it feels like the world is spinning in a blur around me. They push me closer to the Lord because I want to be able to respond to to them peacefully, with patience, kindness, encouraging words, and words that are necessary, honest, and important no matter what is going on.

Truthfully, the girls aren’t the only ones who are growing and experiencing so much newness. The Lord is really challenging me in some areas and he’s being so patient and gentle with me, I love it. It’s the gentleness and compassion that makes me so much more content with how things are going. Reminds me of Proverbs 15:1…. a gentle answer turns away wrath. The Lord teaches us how to interact with each other by example, right? So, if the Lord was impatient with me and showed frustration because of life’s circumstances or when I showed mistrust and fear in what he’s calling me to do (again), how likely would I follow him? Would that irritation make me want to obey and say, “Yes, Lord” with honor, excitement, and integrity? Probably not. The good Father teaching us how to be good….. Hmmmm… pretty sure I’m convicted by that. (Does wine pair well with conviction?)  SO, I’m following the nudge to write more or to do “small” things or act on those thoughts the Spirit gives me with more and more confidence. Things tend to go a lot smoother & I’m encouraged to trust a little bit more with each ask. Discipling myself and training myself to ignore distractions has been so good, too. When you’re used to having time and being able to get things done when you wanted to, is so nice. But, when free moments are hard to come by and have to be carved in your schedule…. Lawd, that takes a lot of effort and adjusting. But, I want to have the time to do the work the Lord is asking me to do.

You know that one student in your class that was pumped about extra work?
That’s me right now.
Excited about opportunities to grow, enjoying the ways the Lord is shaping me, &  feeling hopeful & joyful about the future….
It’s life giving.

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The Lord is fighting for you 

  I don’t know about you guys but it just dawned on me that there are no limits to the Lord. 
Of course, right? 

But, when scripture says that the Lord will fight for us, until my drive into work this morning I only considered him fighting against others on my behalf. This morning, I was praying through a few issues that have become very clear to say the least and in the attempt to leave those with Jesus to take care of them, I realized that the Lord fights for me, too. For me against the enemy type of way. For me for the sake of the future he has planned for me & the work he has for me to do. For me for the sake of my peace, strength, & rest. If he provides a resting place, if he hides me in his wings, if he is diligent in his commitments to provide for me & protect me, wouldn’t he also keep me from spiritual & emotional issues, too? I need to be still – not try to self soothe with outside sources. I need to be still & allow the word to give me peace and rest, rather than allowing my circumstances to dictate where I am emotionally. Whether I’m happy or sad, joyful, frustrated, afraid, content, or peaceful. 

I’ll let the Lord fight those battles and handle that while I focus on what I can do – stay near to Christ, speak well & positive of myself & situations when I talk to myself, & be kind and patient. Just be still. Which I’m not very good at – I’m proactive, I like to work to make things right, & do something about whatever the situation is. But, when relying on God, being still is never unproductive. 

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