Sunday, May 22, 2016


One of Lucy's school assignments this week was to write out a list filled with imperative statements (commands.) You may or may not know this about me, but I love a list! Lists keep me organized and scheduled, and my type A self loves that kind of control! (Just being honest.) Lists give us an opportunity to be the most productive with our time, being sure that we stay "on task." Something I pray often is that the Lord would help me to prioritize my time and use it wisely. But I think I often miss the point with that--I think the answer is accomplishing lots of stuff, so that means moving quickly from one task to the next. But maybe that's not what God always has in store for my days, and I fear I have missed out on many important moments because of my hurried spirit.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is from Daniel chapter 10. He had prayed over something for 3 weeks before receiving an answer. In reality, the Lord had immediately answered his request, but the answer was delayed because of a battle going on in the spiritual realm. It would have been easy for Daniel to give up and think God wasn't listening, but instead, Daniel persevered through his prayer and grew in his faith as a result. It was time used wisely, sitting in the presence of God. As I reflected on this story, I found myself asking, "So what is the purpose of waiting?" These are the things that came to my mind: 

1) Waiting instills patience or impatience
2) Waiting instills perseverance or defeat
3) Waiting instills anticipation or frustration 
4) Waiting gives us time to prepare or time to waste 
5) Waiting gives us time to reflect or to wish away the present 
6) Waiting gives us a chance to rest or a chance to stress. 

As we wait, we have a choice to make: will we hurry ourselves on to what is next, or will we sit and learn from what has been? Waiting gives us the opportunity to prepare and to grow and, yes, even just to REST. Unfortunately, I'm often so hurried to check everything off my to do list that I miss out on those moments. 

The question I need to ask myself is not how I can get everything done each day, but how I can glorify God in every moment I'm presented with each day. The Lord is not concerned with how much I can accomplish each day--He longs to see how much my heart is transformed through the ways I spend my time. I may have an impressive list to show at the end of each day when I hurry through my to-do's, but the Lord does not delight in sacrifice, but in a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:16-17.) It's not so much about what I DO as it's about what it does to ME. So whether I'm waiting for my kids to find their shoes, or for the traffic to clear on the interstate, may the Lord find me ever looking to Him through each task at hand, soaking up all He has for me in each and every moment. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 2016: The Greatest Show on Earth!

This was supposed to be my Mother's Day post, but I obviously didn't quite get it pulled together in time. (Pretty true to life with kids though, don't you think? ;-) But, as the say, the show must go on, even if it has to start a bit late...

My Mother's Day started off waking up next to the tiniest of Tollers and hearing  the sounds of 6 sweet feet trampling down the stairs. I overheard Lucy whispering to her brother something along the lines of, "Today is Mother's Day--so we want to make mommy feel special!" There were dark circles under my eyes from lost sleep, but there were also sweet homemade cards to read with those tired eyes; there were loud quarrels to break up throughout the day, but there were also sweet "I love you's" to be heard. There were showers of spitups to clean, but there were also the sweetest of snuggles to be had. But hey, I'm a momma, and
projectile spit up is like a rite of passage!;-)

Seriously, this whole mom-thing is no joke. It's an exhausting job full of messes and mishaps and a LOT of second-guessing. I spend a good portion of my day asking for my kids' forgiveness, texting my DH in desperation, and drinking coffee...lots and lots of coffee!;-)

But in the midst of the difficulties of being a momma, I try to remember the difficulties of BECOMING a momma. I remember the days my empty arms ached, so I strive to never take for granted the fact that the Lord has filled them in abundance. It may not look like it from our current family photos, but infertility is a part of our family's story, and I'm so thankful for how God used it to shape us into the family He wanted us to be.
The comedian Jim Gaffigan jokes that having a fourth child is like drowning and someone handing you a baby! I'll admit that most days I feel like I'm just struggling to keep everyone else's heads above the water while I'm sinking only with an occasional gulp of air at the surface. The house is never totally clean, there is always laundry in a pile, and dinner is usually sandwiches or cheap takeout. BUT, I'm doing my best to take care of the home God has given to us and the family He has blessed me with. Everyone is dressed and fed (even if that just means clean, mis-matched pj's some days). There are lots of tantrums and fights echoing down the halls, but there's also a lot of laughter and joyful squeals bouncing off of each wall. 

I'll never forget coming home with Evangeline from the hospital. DH and I were greeted by three very excited kiddos. (Well, maybe two very excited siblings and one somewhat-confused-but-equally-as-loud sibling!) To reference  "Spinal Tap," adding one more child to the mix has got to be like adding one more notch to the volume control: it's definitely "one louder" in our home now!;-) And as we walked into the chaos, I was reminded of the saying "Not my circus; not my monkeys," except I realized that this was TOTALLY my circus, and these were definitely MY monkeys! The thought was at first overwhelming, but I decided in that moment to just grab a hold of it and try my best to embrace it. After all, what child doesn't want to run away to the circus at some point, and here I am with a front row seat to the best show in town!

So, to all my fellow mommas out there--we may be sleep-deprived and feeling desperate, but we've been given the role of a lifetime, so let's all just take a seat and enjoy the show! (And maybe buy some cotton candy, too!;-)

Happy Mother's Day!