Monday, June 30, 2014

You're Mean, Mom

You're mean...(pause), Mom.

I have been pondering over what to write about these girls. I wanted to share their new pictures, but I figured I had to say at least something. And I've been thinking over what it means to have daughters, to be a daughter and finally to be a daughter of God. Thinking I could in some way end this post with some grand inspirational challenge to myself or to the world wide web.

Instead, Leila comes in my room and out of nowhere says "You're mean...(pause), Mom.
What on earth? 

This happened right after Jada came in and asked me to tickle her edge of her thumb. She didn't so much ask as she just stuck it in front of my face, but I knew what she wanted. (She ripped her thumb nail and it hurts so she has been asking me to tickle it.)

So this is what being a mom is all about? Thumb tickling and being told your mean for no reason.
Good times.

This past weekend a few friends and I were sitting at the park with my mom, feeding off her wisdom. 
I love my mom. She is hilarious. And it's usually on accident. She was raised on an indian reservation and she talks very "up northy." She pronounces things funny sometimes,  says things that come out wrong and sort of blunt,  but it's hilarious and does things like wears two shoes from two separate pairs in a shoe store... on accident.

Ok, that shoe thing happened before I was born, but it's a good example of the kind of things that make us kids laugh all the time. If I gave a recent example,I would probably be the 38 year daughter getting scolded.

I'm convinced parents never stop instructing and redirecting their kids no matter how old they are.
And it should be that way. To some degree. Because they are always making efforts to help them in every other area of life.

Anyways, so my friends, mom and I are at the park just talking and we are kind of in a circle around my mom and she is just simply being "Mom" and giving her input. She cuts to the chase when she is talking and out of her mouth comes a fountain of profound wisdom. I'm so glad I'm not even joking. My mom and I are different in the way we present our thoughts, I guess. But I value her advice and wisdom so much because I know it comes from a place of sound experience and intimate prayer and time spent with God.

And I know that I want my daughters (and sons) to think the same way of me. I'm not just the mean mom who is good for tickling thumbs, but I am the mother they can laugh with (and laugh at), learn from and lean on when they need me, no matter how old they are.

My sister was laughing so hard when she noticed how we were all sitting around her gleaning from her vast river of knowledge and insight. But it's so not taken for granted. I hope she knows that.

I'm watching Jada quickly approach her pre-teen years and it shows in her attitude (not to mention Wesley) and I listen to them and I remember myself at that age. I remember how sassy I was. How disrespectful I was. I was obedient, but had a sassy mouth. Standing on the outside, sitting on the inside I guess you could say. But when I hear my kids talk to me, it makes me nervous some days, because I think back to my relationship with my mom when I was a teenager and I think "Oh brother, they sound just like me..."

I never ever want to hear my kids tell me I'm a mean mom or they hate me.
It's not cute now...and it definitely won't be cute when they are teenagers.

Before I had kids, there was a big part of me that hesitated on even having them simply because I remembered how horrible I was and I see what my parents had to deal with as us kids were all going through our stages of life. It scared me. I didn't want my feelings hurt by my own children, nor did I want the responsibility of making sure they turned out happy and successful once they were grown.

Let's face it, that is a HUGE undertaking. One I am learning now.
And I hope I am doing it right.
What if I'm not?

I am here for my kids. My life is a service to my family. That is who God made me to be. But in return, for the most part, they are adoring me. And I treasure it. They want me, want to be with me, want to sit in my bed with me while I type, want to go to the store with me, want me to snuggle them,  want me to lay with them until they fall asleep. They adore me. And I'm glad they do. Because I adore them.

As much as I love these girls adoring me now and hanging on my every word (even when I'm not talking to them)... my ultimate goal is for them to love and respect me enough to continue to listen to me and adore me when they are grown women. I want to be to them, who my mom is to me. So in turn, they look at my life and the example I set...and want to be that person in their own families.
Does that make sense?

Maybe we will go through some rough spots. Maybe they will sass me now or think they know it all when they are teenagers. But when they become young adult women (and young men) I want them to be able to come to me without being scared. I want them to know I pray for them. I want them to be able ask me things confident I have their best interest at heart. I want them to see me putting God first. I want to set the example of who they want to be like.

That is what I want for my daughters.
They sure are cute now. All my kids are.
And my sister can make them look like little rockstars. And I love it.
But I want them to be happy. Really happy. Temporary happy is fun. And it's fun to surprise my kids with things they want. But as all us grown ups know, what we value now is quite different than what we thought was important as kids.

Photos taken by Joanna Photography.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I've Been Meaning To...

Isn't this picture fun? As much work as it is attempting to get the kiddos to do what I want them to do in a photo, the end is always worth it. Somebody's eyes are at least half closed, but that is what makes real photos real.

I wanted to take a little break from my busy & slightly selfish mom life attitude because obviously more is on my heart than I sometimes let on. It just takes a lot of effort for me to break away from the daily routine of family to say what I'm thinking.

I'm just going to say it. I've seen a lot of heartache lately. A lot of brokenness. And while things in my life have been going well, I look around to my people... the ones I love and care for, people I know and people I wish I knew better and I see tears and struggles. I've seen hurts far bigger than any person should ever have to bare. Unimaginable pain.

And it's affected me. I've cried tears for others. Wept as they wept. Wishing I could do more...
or would have done more before it was too late. It has given me a chance to reflect on how real this world is. How real troubles are. How real pain is. Even if sometimes in our mind, "their" struggle isn't as big as 'our' struggle is or was, it is still worth our time to reach out because you never know unless you look a little deeper. 

Unless you love a little bigger.
Because you just never know...
unless you do.

We need to look beyond the smiling facebook or instagram photo and see people for who they are.
People that need you...or me. People that need your friendship. People that need your love.

I don't want this to come across the wrong way, because in the end of all ends and the beginnings of all beginnings, Jesus is our hope. He is the ultimate answer to life's problems. His word truly does provide a solution to every question we ask.

But sometimes people need more than to know "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for you life." Let's just be honest. People need more than just a smile and a 'Jesus loves you' as we walk on by. We pass by doing our christian service to others with a simple pat on the back and a "It will be ok. You know why? Because Jesus loves you."
As if we put in our time with people for the week,
like we put in our hour on Sunday mornings with God each week.

People need more. People need people.
Even God saw that when he made a companion for Adam.

Looking back a few years ago, remembering the pain I felt and the mental anguish I struggled with every single day, living with depression. It was so real to me. It consumed me. Yet very few people knew how intense the burden was that I felt I was baring. The vast majority never tried to reach in and break through the walls I had built. I felt whispers and wonders as to how I 'got there' but you know what... it doesn't matter how someone got to that 'breaking point.' 
They could have made all the poor choices in the world, but that's what makes them the perfect candidate for love. 
The perfect candidate for hope.

Hope that you were meant to deliver 
...from the ultimate source of comfort and purpose and life.

There is a whole world of people who 'know' Jesus loves them. Yet they somehow feel alone.
They feel hopeless and lost and stuck in their troubles. Why is that?

Could it be because we, as the hands and feet of Jesus, aren't always doing our part? 
We aren't being obedient when we feel that tug on our heart to call someone or write someone. 
Or we are looking at people's cry for attention on facebook as them being 'needy' and get annoyed with them instead of loving them the truest of ways.  
Well maybe they are needy. Maybe they do need something real. A real friend. Someone who will really talk to them...or better yet listen to them. Someone who will step up and pray for them right then and there. Not just someone to 'like' their status.

I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago about a situation and we both were crying and she said "I just feel bad because I've been meaning dot dot.... for like over a year." 

And I totally got it. I've been that same way too. I've been meaning to...
Someone crosses our thoughts or is on our heart... and sure our intentions are good...
We mean to, but we just never get around to it...
We all have things in our lives~ our families, our jobs, our churches, etc that take up our time and deserve our attention. Believe me, I know. But how is it that I can't come up with 2 hours in an entire year to hang out with this friend or write to that person I have been thinking about?

I just feel that this world is such a broken place. And I'm not just talking about broken in the general sense
It's broken in the very near and dear sense. People we know and love are breaking and falling to pieces, and yes, feeling hopeless.  And sometimes we don't even know it because we haven't spoken to them in six months. We think their happy profile picture tells the whole story.

Let's stop. 
Let's stop for a minute. For an hour... and call that person you have been meaning to call. 
Write them and ask them out for coffee. Do something. Be intentional with people. Be real.
Dig a little deeper than social media and love people a little bigger and a little better.

I really want to strive to be a better friend, even a better family member, a better people person.

I want to know more. Be there more. Love more.
And this goes just as much on the inside of my home with my husband and four little noisy people I am with every single day as it does to others...

I want to turn my 'I've been meaning to' into 'I did.'
Not even just that, but to 'Today, I am...'


Sunday, June 8, 2014

I Try To Pretend I Care... But I Don't

I am desperately trying to pretend that I care. 
That I care what my house looks like.
What my unwashed hair looks like.
What I will see if I walk to down the basement 
as mountains of dirty laundry screaming at me "Wash me!"
I'm trying to pretend that anything matters in this moment 
but being who I am called to be right here, right now.. 
What is it that I am known most for by those that need and love me the most?
Easy. Mommy. Mom. Madre, if they are feeling "spanish"...
or M.O.M. if they are feeling sassy.

I'm trying to pretend that when I look at these freckles
all I want to do is make sure my home looks like a Pinterest perfect home.
All I want to do is blog. Or stare at my phone. Right?
I'm trying to pretend when he tells me about the next gadget he wants,
that all I really want to do is go out and buy myself something cute instead.
I'm pretend that anything else matters.
That looking cute matters.
But his excitement over his never ending research of electronics or games,
his enthusiasm for creating new videos or writing plays keeps me more than entertained.
He says he is not talented, but he is beyond talented and creative. 
I keep trying to make him see it.
I keep trying. I pray one day he recognizes that this eagerness to create is a gift.
And it's simple for me, he is what matters.

As if there is anything in the world that can make me laugh more than she does.
As if anything can possibly annoy me more than her drab sense of style,
as she slips on her giant tshirts and sweatpants every day...
and some days I swear she does it just to annoy me.
Because she knows. Oh she knows. 
I beg her every day to put on something cute (as I'm digging rocks out of her pockets)
Even something cute and comfy will do.
But no. She wants baggy and drab. And she walks away laughing at me.
She walks away confident in her style...and just laughs at me.
And of course, I can't help but laugh. 
As if anything could make me laugh more than she does.
How could anything else possibly matter?
I'm tempted to throw away the "ugly" clothes,
but I know she would be digging in her brother's closet then.

And this one. She is my bright eyes. I don't even need to find ways to make my world 
(or pictures for that matter)
look beautiful & perfect when she is in my presence.
Her bright blue eyes and rosy red lips light up pretty much every room. 
That's a given.
Just watching her dress herself up in anything pretty
and stare at herself in the mirror with her giant flower headband 
and plenty of added necklaces and bracelets
to make up for her big sisters lack of style pizazz 
is what adds a simple elegance to my very normal days.

And those moments where I am not listening intently (and sometimes distractedly) to Wesley...
Or those moments where I am not arguing with Jada about her clothes, and sometimes laughing...
And when I am not helping Leila primp or fix her hair or change her clothes for the 12th time that day...
The moments when I am not doing those things,
I am staring at this kid. Or feeding him. 
Or changing his diaper more times than Leila changes clothes.
Brand new to the world. 
I am still trying to make him smile even though I know it's too early.
But he just looks at me, then looks around. 
He grunts, poops, cries, eats and goes back to sleep.
I'm simply loving him at this point in time. 
No fights. No discipline. Nothing too intense.
Just letting him know that I am still his Mommy.

So, if I seem a little quiet.
Perhaps a little preoccupied.
A little distant.
A little consumed.
Maybe a little unmotivated, even.
It's because I am. All of these things.
And as much as I try to pretend I care than I may be coming off that way.
I just don't care. Because right now, I'm just a little distracted.
Too distracted to blog or look pretty or clean my house.
I'm distracted with being the "M.O.M" that these guys need me to be
at any given moment.

And I'm loving every minute of it.
No, seriously. I am.

.....and that's all for me for now. 
the little one is awake...and needs mommy.
he seems pretty angry about it.

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