I thought the biggest step would be learning not to quit. I am an expert quitter - always have been. I have this bad habit of over-achieving or over-committing or overreaching (with plenty of self-criticism shmeared on for motivation) until I burn out and then cry and throw up my hands and make sweeping declarations about quitting and laying down and sleeping for a week. This has been my pattern for a long time, but most especially since I became a mom and lost a lot of my precious, previously-taken-for-granted alone time.
"You can't control your emotions, but you can control your behavior."
Aidah is a girl with Big Feelings. She gets that from me, along with her freckles and aversion to strangers. But Aidah has the added sparkle of her dad’s Big Responses. Drew’s booming voice and animated reactions and heightened performer persona all play out on a grand scale when they mix with my Big Feelings in her tiny little body. We see a lot of meltdowns and tears and wailing and SWEEPING DECLARATIONS from our girl. Which is usually pretty funny and fairly harmless…but it’s still our responsibility to help her navigate that and grow up to be a functioning human.
And it’s really complex to help a three-year-old to see the distinction between her feelings and her behavior. To help her see that we are ONLY disapproving of the behavior. I always feel kind of hypocritical when we have these chats because these are lessons I'm still learning.
You with the tired smile and the callus of expectation on her heart. It's been a while in this season, hasn't it? It's okay to feel raggedy and forlorn. You've been a trooper.
Feel all of those blue feelings. Let them break over you and let them be what they are: evidence of hope. Of a soul turned toward the sun. You want something. You're passionate about it - enough so that you nudged your tender little heart out there on the front lines.
Take a minute and honor the courage that takes. Vulnerability is a choice, even if it's only made silently, amidst your private petitions tossed Heavenward.
Now, Braveheart, let's weed out the truths from the lies.
I’ve been reading Exodus and lately, I’m trudging through God’s detailed instructions to Moses on how to build the tabernacle – the place where He would come and dwell with His people. Usually, I skim through these descriptions
Mhm- a cubit of acacia and an...ephod?... Yes, I’m perfectly familiar with these terms.
But this time around, I’m hung up on the luxurious detail God wants poured into this tent. I mean, the instructions for the tabernacle go beyond the sort of respectful Sunday best that I’m familiar with. Way beyond. This thing is LAVISH. It is decked out. Versailles-level extravagance.
Holy Week is a study in paradox. The somber and the celebratory.
I know many people politely pay their respects to Good Friday, impatient to get to the explosion of praise on Sunday. These people want to celebrate and give thanks for the life and abundance they are experiencing in their season. I get that and I think it’s wonderful – I’ve been there. I am there, in a way.
Last year, I visited a different camp. I spent last Good Friday as a Mourner. (I suppose I always will, in a way.) And to the people in that group who resonate terribly with this ‘holiday’, who recognize all-too-well the specter of death, the hope extinguished, the DARKNESS…I am so sorry you’re in that place. I know (I’ve felt) that He promises to be near to the brokenhearted and crushed in Spirit. But that doesn’t make it much easier, does it?
But there’s a third group. The Saturday people, often overlooked in the church. I think it’s because we make projects out of the Friday people and leaders out of the Sunday people. But what about the people in that bleak and weary middle. Who have heard the repeated promises of redemption and are just…waiting. Who commiserate with the Mourners and can’t help but grin at the Sunday celebrators, but go home to their threadbare resolve.
This is the story of my very best Saturday. But I won’t ever forget the time I spent in that waiting place.
Several of you have asked if there is a story behind Noah's name.
Oh, guys - you know me so well. OF COURSE THERE IS.
I've told you before that grief is exhausting. In the early days, it ate up SO MUCH of my emotional bandwidth, leaving me with this strange feeling of scarcity. I would acknowledge that my threshold was necessarily low, and end up doling out my emotions with pinching thriftiness.
A little for you, a little for that. Whoops, I anticipate a tough weekend coming up, so I can't have this conversation right now.
So when my best friend Danielle asked me if we were trying to have another baby, it took me a while to come up with the words to text back.
I....don't...can't...no know how to words I think about that...
**I feel the need to clarify that the majority of this post was written when we first moved to Nashville and I was not nursing a newborn...
"Let's drink tequila and talk about the universe."
This is how I wish I could make friends in my new city. When I see that girl with sick dreadlocks making amazing watercolors in the corner of the cafe or pass the cool moms at the farmer's market whose kids dress better than I do...I wish I could skip the whole introduction/small talk/feel each other out and get right to the point.
So what do you think about God's interaction with the space time continuum?
I like to think that I am not typically a bandwagoner. I resisted the acid wash revival trend and I don't like pumpkin flavored drinks and I still don't think Seinfeld is funny.
But on the occasion that I do jump on a bandwagon, I make sure to try and drag everyone on with me. (I'm not #basic, you're just dumb). YOU'RE NOT WEARING HIGH WAISTED PANTS!? WHAT, DO YOU HATE YOUR INTESTINES OR DO YOU SIMPLY ENJOY THE SMALL MORTIFYING EXERCISE OF TUCKING YOUR BELLY INTO YOUR WAISTBAND BEFORE YOU SIT DOWN?
That being said, I am ready to announce my #wordfor2018. Yes, thank you for waiting on the edge of your seat.
I know you feel stuck and bleak and frustrated. I know being in the bleary, grinding middle is exhausting. The days run together and you feel like life is passing as you tread water.
Hear me when I say that hard is relative. Hard is just hard, regardless of where the weary comes from. Yes, there are the orphans with the distended bellies and the war widows and the homeless and the whole broken weight of humanity. But you are still allowed to say "this is hard." Because everyone is fighting a battle and it's important to be kind - especially to yourself. So look at your fight and your Fear and acknowledge that yes, it is hard. This is your hard. Be in it and don't run from it or numb from it or hide from it. Be in it.
“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.” - Amy Poehler.
Cheers to my bossiest of boss pals, Brandi-lin, (@ebersoletribe) who - somehow, in between being a mom and business owner- recently launched her community site for nontraditional families. (Ebersoletribe.com)
If you know anyone involved in the world of foster care or adoption, you know it is the definition of brutiful : that aching fusion of brutal and beautiful. Highest of highs and lowest of lows. Nobody understands this world better than Brandi, whose beautiful family tells the story from so many angles. (Adoptee, Adoptive, Open-Adoptive...read their story!)
Brandi is that lady who is really walking the walk and I could fangirl her all day long. I get weepy every time I think about how thankful I am that she exists in the exact corner of God's kingdom that she does. .
If you or someone you love is looking for support, resources or ways to contribute in the adoption/foster care world, ebersoletribe.com is a must-follow. .
If you love beautiful photographs and stories, these are two photographers doing amazing work - you won't be disappointed. .
B, I love you and I couldn't be more proud to call you a friend and inspiration
AND FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS FOREVER IF THE LORD'S THE LORD OF THEM. AND A FRIEND WILL NOT SAY NEVER 'CAUSE THE WELCOME WILL NOT END.
This song and 'Breath of Heaven' by Amy Grant are tied for Best Moodily-stare-out-the-window-and-pretend-I'm-in-a-music-video Song of my Christian* childhood. Honorable Mention to Flower in the Rain by Jaci Velasquez.
Point of Grace? SCC? Newsboys? What's your #1? Hit me with the feels. .
*not trying to be exclusive...just letting you know I won't catch any of your references to mainstream 90s music 😬
"You need to trust marrimom.com"
This is the best piece of advice I got as a new mom. I was having trouble breastfeeding and feeling overwhelmed by the contradicting views from THE SEETHING LAVAPOOL OF JUDGMENT THAT IS ONLINE PARENTING FORUMS. My gut told me what Aidah needed, but it went against everything the experts at Kellymom.com (my go-to site) suggested.
@ebersoletribe stepped in and offered up that tidbit that I've clung to ever since.
I'm an extremely sensitive and intuitive person. (INFJ! Enneagram 4!) I have a really good read on people, but as much as I trust my gut in social and professional situations, I've really had to train myself to tune in when it comes to motherhood.
I'm grateful to live in such a time and place that I have access to experts on birth, lactation, sleep cycles and nutrition. I am not one to scoff at the extensive research that has been done to create best practices that are suggested with the very best of intentions. .
But I have learned over the years to season that advice with my own intuition. To trust the fact that with all of the advances in these fields, there is still the simple fact that my babies are mine. My responsibility, my understanding, my joy. .
Motherhood is a really powerful force- one that I've seen extend beyond shared DNA. Whether your kids are biological, fostered or adopted -- I believe that God prepares us uniquely and specifically for our exact children. I'm learning to trust that on a cellular level.
I'm not an expert on parenting. But I'm THE expert on Aidah and Noah.
Sometimes I feel intimidated by doctors, teachers and KELLYMOM...but at the end of the day, nobody knows these girls better than I do and it's my job to remember that.
Couch? 90 miles.
Apple? 3 hours.
Toilet? About 38 lobtees.
Baby Noah? 25 plondrins.
We measured all the things and none of us knows the metric system.
New post on the blog this week. (Link in bio.)
Tag a quitter! Just kidding.
Or am I?
❤️I'LL EAT YOU UP I LOVE YOU SO ❤️
If you follow my stories, you know I've been assigned a new role in Aidah's land of make believe. I am now Kevin the Dad.
So far, Kevin has been a fairly simple role to play. I had a tea party with my new wife and then rocked my creepy twin daughters - Arayda and Adidda - to sleep in a mesh strainer (as one does). .
The real challenge came at the grocery store when my lovely princess bride shouted across the aisle KEVIN! KEVIN! I THINK WE SHOULD TAKE THE GIRLS TO GO SEE THE FIREWORKS THIS WEEKEND!!!!
What's a pretend dad to do? My mind raced and I seriously considered ignoring her but then I figured "who is more important? These grocery randos or my own daughter (wife)?" .
So I responded in my lowest timbre, "great idea, honey!"
Parenthood is weird.
The One With The Phrase "Deplorable Meat Sack"
(link in bio)
"Some years question and other years answer." - @lindscretia
Some years dig holes in you. They scoop you out and riddle you with a million wounds until you feel porous and flimsy. But then other years come along and fill you up until you realize that those holes were actually wells. And now that they're full, you contain a nourishment and abundance that you never could have imagined. You can return to your wells again and again to sustain yourself and your people.
They say that time heals all things. That's a myth. The hard years stay with you. But that whole rumor about God redeeming all things? It's the deepest truth I've lived.
Today I turned 31. I am so grateful and full. ❤️❤️❤️
🍕🚤👶= MY PERFECT DAY.
Not pictured: Noah, passed out on the other seat. These babies are adjusting well to their parents' dream life.