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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firsties

parkSo y’all know I like to make up words…. firsties is one of my newer favorites.
I literally just made it up as I was titling this post.

Today, was one of the girls’ firsts. We (my daughter, nieces, and I) got out of the house and burned some cals at a jogging trail and playground. The park had the baby swings so the the little girls were able to play along- it was big, silly deal for me. It was soooo stinking cute to hear them laugh out loud and squeal as Aliya and Ari pushed them back and forth. park4 park3My nieces have spent a month every summer with us for the past 5 years and it is a dream come true to finally watch my girls play with my sister’s girls. This whole mothering experience has been so special and each of their firsts are so incredibly special to me.

Mothering is fun for me. It’s enjoyable and exciting…. there’s a lot of learning on the fly, trusting your gut, and doing more than you thought you ever could. There are so many opportunities for togetherness on so many different levels along this journey of motherhood.This space is full of beautiful, strong women who are creative, versatile, brilliant, and witty. Women who are courageous, thoughtful, kind, compassionate. Women who are all able to do at least one thing that another cannot. This space has the propensity to become a breeding ground for envy, jealously, malice, and hate but the more and more I come in contact with women with pure hearts, the more I believe that we women mama well together. We understand each other better than our men can, we experience many of the same things, and we are each other’s biggest support systems. While we stand shoulder to shoulder with women who we look up to and are inspired by, we have to remember that not one of us is perfect. Not one of us should judge our capabilities to mother our children by how another mama mothers. Not one of us should strive to mother perfectly, just very, very well. Using our gifts and talents and leaning on the gifts of others when we need to, while sharing our gifts with another we needed. Mothering as uniquely as we were created, without all of the comparisons and jealousies, we’re able to live much more graciously and enjoy our children with much more freedom.tmgraphicI write over at ThriveMoms.com twice a month and when you click here, you can read a bit about how I’m learning to  mother graciously rather than perfectly. Let me know what you think!

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augieandlola5The floor has become my new spot… a forced favorite because when you have little ones that’s where they spend a lot of time. Not the most comfortable spot, but definitely the sweetest.

These girls have grown up on me and I almost don’t understand how there’s so much more growing up to do. I always feels like they’ll be this size for a while.

But, everyday they’re doing a bit more.augieandlola7Rhy loves her teether!!!
Right on time too because I’m pretty sure I see a little tooth in each other their mouths peeking through their gums.

Blowing raspberries.

Leaning in to be picked up or snuggled.

Working to put their pack’s in their mouths.

Kicking.

Sleeping through the night for real. Like, every night.

Big girl bottles (10 oz. bottle, eating 6 & 8 0z.)

Squealing and jumping in excitement. (Wait…. What? They’re too small to show excitement!!!)augieandlola3

It’s never ending.

They’re also starting to hold onto objects and put them in their mouths. One of the things I was waiting for…. along with rotating their hips and laying with their legs in the air. And, now that they’re able to do these things I’m wanting to pause time. Partially because it’s so cute but also because as much as I want to see them sitting up and putting those toes in their mouths, I can wait.augieandlolaThey’re starting to really become fun…. Not because they’re so cute and snuggling, but also because they’re reacting to you, music, and each other. It’s exciting. Soon, we’ll be talking to each other deepening our relationship through our thoughts, jokes, and stories.

These girls are perfect. I stare&snuggle everyday. Just thanking God for them and for the opportunity to be a Mom. To experience motherhood and this love that is unreal.

** bibs, teether, and paci clips are Augie & Lola. The softest most bibs and teethers thanks to the minky backing!! The best part – they’re super absorbent. No wet clothing with these bibs – nothing like pulling off a bib only to find a wet dress. Yuck. Check them out, if you want your babe’s necessities to be both trendy & functional – they’re your go to!

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