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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prayers and blessings

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May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

The weekend before my first doctor’s appointment/ultrasound, I went to a sweet retreat, Flourish,  where everyday we had quiet time with the Lord. We could read our Bibles, pray, journal… whatever. During one of those moments, I journaled prayers and wrote lists of characteristics “they” would have. Not “knowing” that there were two sweet baby girls were growing in my belly, yet I consistently used this plural pronoun. Even when I felt so stupid and would scratch it out to write he/she, it felt wrong. So, I kept writing “they” and moved it along. I spent that weekend pouring myself out to the Lord and praying for my daughters.

Most mornings and/or nights, when their heads are on my shoulders and their breath is on my neck, I can’t help but to thank God for these two little miracles. I’m thanking the Lord that they’re finally asleep and I survived another tag team, the best kisses, food spilled on the floor, the sweet sister moments, and the laughter. And, I pray for them…. for every aspect of their lives from their temperaments, personalities, work ethic, goals, friends, boyfriends, husband (one for each! no lol), their relationship with each other, the relationship we would share together and then myself with each individually…… I soak their lives in prayer.

It is up to me to pray for and bless my children…. to trust God with their lives, their hopes, and their dreams. To trust that he has created me capable and is molding and shaping me to be even more capable, more wise, more discerning, and ever loving to raise these girls to have a heart for him and a love for his people. Which means, there’s a lot of praying about who I am, a lot of focusing on the different things I feel the Lord pressing on my heart to better, and intentionally drawing closer to Him.

We don’t pray with our fingers and toes crossed, wishing the stars align and the universe responds to our good behavior. Do we? Or are our hands lifted in surrender, hearts poured out, and declarations spoken of God’s faithfulness, love, and grace? I hope and against hope, I pour out my heart, and ask the Lord for my heart’s desires. Trusting and believing that he will deliver, that his will certainly will be done, and that I will glorify him as we benefit from all things working together.

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The days are long, the years are short…. and, so are the nights… but our babies lives, but most importantly their souls, depend on our faith in Christ and how we lead them to the Lord. A question that has rolled around in my mind is: Am I taking my babies’ souls seriously? Are we? We take their fashion seriously, their hair, and other materialistic, outward beauty very seriously. But, what effort are we putting into their character and souls? Who are we teaching them to please and obey – us or Christ? If we are disciplining and training to make ourselves comfortable and easier for ourselves during the day (which I get!!!), they aren’t learning to look any further than the imperfect, taller person in their lives. But, when we teach them that there is a Father who loves us deeply and desires for us to serve others and love him, they obey us as parents out of respect for their God…the creator of the universe and the redeemer of the world.

Wouldn’t that perspective help foster a relationship between them and the Lord?
Respect for Him first and me second?
… considering they are His before they are mine?

I don’t know, ya’ll…. I’m just 15 months in and there’s more than plenty to learn on parenting children…..but, I’m praying that if I teach them to focus more on the Lord than on me, they’ll be better for it. If we’re a house full of people focused on honoring and serving the Lord, I’m faithfully praying that it will result in a home where fullness of joy, peace, forgiveness, love, service, grace, patience, and all of the goodness that flows from Christ reign…. rather than the pull and force that comes with training someone to please you… oh a house full of offenses, impatience, frustration, anger, disappointment and hurt and sadness is in control. Same people, same sin issues, same disobedience, same mistakes, same frustrations but a different perspective about the ones you share your walls with and your response to them because of who you’re ultimately trying to please.

Lord, be with us as we raise these little images of you. 
Cover us with your grace and love as we walk this tough and exhausting road.
Energize us, equip us, and bless us with your wisdom and peace.
Amen.

In what ways are you praying for your children? Do you have specific areas of their life you focus your prayers on at certain points of their life….  Ministry? Gifts? Character? Faith? Relationships??

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whoosh….

whoosh goes the time.life It’s fast. Unforgiving. Borderline rude in how it just steals moments and gives you no notice of what’s to come.
And, if we aren’t careful, we’ll miss everything.

Am I the only one who tries to squeeze in a bit “more” in an already packed space of time? I always feel like there is something else that should have, could have, or would have been done if I wasn’t doing this….  Even if the this is legit. I’m always multi-tasking… cleaning the microwave while my dinner is sautéing… sneaking a moment to respond to an email while I’m waiting for the girls breakfast/lunch/dinner to warm clearly warrants the Guilt Fairy to sprinkle all kinds of guilt dust over my head. There’s nothing wrong with that but I guess it looks very un-awesome mother-like to be on your phone … during downtime?!?!?!
Can I get a “Me, too, sister’? What is the deal?!?!

I told you guys way over here who I was…  no sneak attacks. I’m a perfectionist, I hate to make mistakes, and I’m constantly looking for better ways to do/be/speak/communicate/write (literally pen to paper write)/____ better. And, it’s stealing my time. It’s siphoning moments that should be used to soak and etc forever in my memory all the 14month old twin savory sweetness because everything has to be just so or else I’m frustrated.
Then, I negatively self talk which causes me to lose even more time.
Que : Let It Go

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I’m learning that we all have some many questions about life… about  motherhood… our relationships… careers… passions and purposes in life that we want answers to right now. We are so pressed by the clock and that we can’t see the freedom in it. Our lives and perspectives are so dictated by culture, lists (how many words is a 14 mo supposed to say??), and Pinterest perfect expectations that we are losing time to do what really matters: love. We don’t realize that in time, all things will be answered. Either here on Earth or in Glory. So, why stress and get all ugh over an answer when there is so much joy, peace, and laughter offered in the moment?

We’re (I’m) busy rushing a baby off my hip, rushing to get to the next stage in life, impatiently waiting for this or that to happen and I’m missing it… I’m missing opportunities to love inaction.
Opportunities are to serve pass me by because I am far too easily distracted.joyful
I don’t want to look back on my day and realize that I used a lot of rushing words (Hurry! Let’s go! We have to go! Finish up! etc) and not nearly as many loving/life giving/encouraging ones (You’re holding your spoon so well! Thanks for helping me take your shoe off! Do you  like your fruit?)…. One builds relationships, the other builds stress. One causes another to smile, one causes feelings of inadequacy, as if they aren’t doing enough. One teaches impatience, while the other is teaching embracing the moment while being productive.
(There will be plenty of times we will have to legit to rush… let’s not do it all the time!)

In our moments of busy-ness, we cannot let what needs to be done overshadow our role. Right now, my most important job is to be loving and lead my little people to Christ… yes, I have to cook, clean, wash, fold, comb hair, grocery shop, pick up toys, and complete a never ending list of tasks. BUT, my priority is to first love.. guide in love, discipline in love, redirect in love, enforce boundaries in love. I need to encourage, I need to mold and shape more than I need to do laundry. I can’t honor God in my role if my first priority to sweep the floor. Everything is in vain if I’m not loving. A sparkling clean house means nothing if love is not filling those four walls. We have to use wisdom in when and how to do what our kiddos and households need and stages of life are different, but we should know that it’s when our priorities are out of order stress rears it’s ugly head. Am I right? Have you noticed that when we’re too focused on our list before our kids, we’re short tempered?

In order to be productive, we  need a game plan, some Slim, and prayer, but
when we center our to do list around our life,
we’re happier mamas who raise happier families
.

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