A Tuesday miracle 


This sweet looking girl is growing more in strength every day. What you don’t see in this photo are the crayons she’s quickly chucking onto the floor or the next 24 hours where she majorly injured herself.

This weekend she pulled a French press of coffee onto herself and burned her leg. We took care of it best we could and when we went to change the bandage discovered one piece that wouldn’t come off. After seeing our pediatrician, we were sent to the burn clinic because it was looking like they would need to remove a layer of the skin with the bandage.

It’s funny. All this happened the weekend of Be Brave, our church’s women’s conference, where I had the honor to share about being brave in vulnerability. Not only did all of this require bravery in Him, it also made me feel so incredibly vulnerable. Today at the burn clinic the bandage just fell off and they said everything was healing amazingly. The doctor said it should be completely healed in three weeks with no scarring.

Thank you Jesus for healing, strength, and courage in everything, especially the moments when we feel most vulnerable.

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Keep her strong and confident

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Edie, today is International Women’s Day. I still remember the moment the ultrasound technician proudly announced, “you’re having a diva!” Your dad and I were so shocked we had her repeat herself, to which she said, “it’s a girl!”

“It’s a girl” was thrilling to me in every sense of the word. It was exhilarating, exciting, delightful, inspiring. It was scary, nerve-wracking, and mind-blowing. We expected a boy. We prepared for a boy. Now, a girl?

I desperately wanted a girl for so many reasons. I was also afraid. I was afraid to bring a girl into the world because of how the world has long mistreated women. Hear me right, when I say, “the world.” It’s just that for thousands of years we, women, were regarded as property or were relegated to a very specific role without choice or freedom.

International Women’s Day is one of those days full of meaning for some and empty for many. It’s a day fraught with political and social significance. I hope when you are my age it is less contentious and more embraced.

I want so much for you as a woman. From the moment you entered the world you had to fight for your first breath and first heartbeat. I desperately wanted to hold you, but had to let your hand holding my finger be enough while you were in the NICU incubator. Then I wanted to bring you home when I went home, but you had to be strong without me and I had to be strong without you. When you finally did come home, you fought for me. Fought so hard I gave in and wore you all-day, every-day for the first 6 months. You still fight for the things that matter to you. I hope you always do. My prayer is that you always fight for things that actually matter, not petty problems.

I want you to be strong in who you are, to be confident in your gifts, talents, strengths, and calling. I want you to be one of those girls and teenagers and women who strengthen and encourage other girls, teenagers, and women. That you are someone who helps everyone you meet to feel comfortable in their own skin. A woman who doesn’t judge or criticize, but empowers and encourages.

Every day I ask God for grace and wisdom to help you harness your strengths. Because every day, it feels like my strength and your strength could easily collide and combust. What I want is my strength and your strength to build something beautiful, something meaningful. When I watch your passion it inspires me to be passionate. When I see you dance and run and play it thrills my heart and I never want you to stop so I join in.

I’ve had my fair share of frustration and exhaustion because of your strength and you’re just shy of  2 years old. Someday, you will be the one frustrated and exhausted with me. So if I can selfishly ask one thing from you, please, have patience and pray for me when that day comes.

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What’s a weekend, again?

Depending on your personality and the personality of your kids, everyone has different levels of adjustment when becoming a parent for the first or second or third time. One of the biggest adjustments I didn’t realize I would make after having kids was the change of life pace.  I assumed and thought I knew what it would mean to be a parent 24/7. After the initial 3 month daze wore off with my first born, it really began to sink in: “I am never going to be able to sleep in on the weekend and do whatever I want ever again.” I may have been a bit exaggerated in my thoughts, but when you first have kids everything feels exaggerated!

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Helping me make the guest bed. It may have taken 20 minutes, but it was worth it because we made it fun.

I worked part-time until my second was 6 months old, and for my personality this really helped me structure my day and feel productive in and outside the home. Once I decided to resign from my job and stay home full-time, it took a few months to figure out a rhythm of life that worked.

What I learned was that it was okay for me to do chores around the house while the kids were awake – even if it took five times longer because they were “helping” with the dishes or laundry or cleaning up.

I learned that if I didn’t get at least 45 minutes of uninterrupted “me” time during the day, I REALLY felt it emotionally, physically, and mentally by the time dinner rolled around. This became intensely obvious when my daughter refused to sleep for longer than 20 minutes for naps the first four months of her life unless she was in a baby wrap or carrier. This forced my husband and I to get creative with ensuring I did get some regularly scheduled down time.

I learned that playdates and library times and routine outings are SO important. It’s important for my kids. They need to see the world and engage with other kids and adults. It’s important for me. I need to talk or at least be in the presence of other parents. I found that all the energy, effort, and sometimes seemingly impossible strength just to get out the door was SO worth it even if I was just out for an hour.

I learned that I needed to embrace the time that I did get to myself while my kids napped doing something rejuvenating. Sometimes that meant taking a nap; sometimes it meant reading or taking a shower. And sometimes it meant watching a TV show on Netflix on my laptop while I cleaned the kitchen.

Sometimes eating chocolate chips and drinking coffee for 20 minutes refreshes the soul.
Sometimes eating chocolate chips and drinking coffee for 20 minutes refreshes the soul.

I once found myself in an intense debate with someone about living a lifestyle of rest and intentional relaxation. They argued that one should live life in such a way that vacations and times away from your everyday routine would not be necessary if we truly maximized our reflective and relax time and minimized the busy. I saw his point, but I had to argue that once you have kids, sometimes the ONLY way to fully reflect and take a break is to break out of the routine and your environment to see things from a fresh and new perspective.

Whatever your season of life, with or without kids, take some time to step back once in a while to reflect and gain a new outlook. Happy weekend, everyone!