It’s Moving Day. {On the blog}. Please come with me!

This has been my home for the past five months and it’s been a great start. I’ve come to know myself better and know a lot of you better through the sharing of these words. All of these words!

It’s time for a change. Time to merge the two passions God has given me between my pen and my lens.

From this point on, I will be posting HERE and would really love to have you follow along.

You can subscribe to my new blog through the link at the bottom left of the page…see here:

 

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My new home isn’t completely finished…there are still boxes to be unpacked…but it’s ready for visitors, as long as you don’t mind the mess. I’m perfectly imperfect, remember?

This isn’t an end at all, but the beginning of a new chapter. On to bigger and better…only and always FOR HIS GLORY.

Blessings…see you over there,

Meredith

 

Sometimes mom needs a night out.

Silence is golden, I’ve heard. This week that rang true for me.

In the clamor of life and responsibilities, whether those put on me by others or those I wear from my own choosing, I was feeling trapped. Claustrophobic. Overwhelmed.

In the space of this safe place I’ve grown so accustomed to on my screen, I was finding the words harder to come by in the chaos surrounding me and the chaos inside me. I needed a break. I still do.

But in a few days of silence, I’ve had time to reflect. If I can’t hear what my heart is trying to tell me, I have nothing to offer. Nothing to give.

If my thoughts are being held captive by fear, failure, or just being too busy to listen, then the words can’t and won’t come.

It’s true for all of us…

If we don’t take the time to listen to our heart, we will never hear what it has to say.

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If we don’t take time to hear what God wants to tell us, we will never know what direction to go or be equipped to get there in the first place.

At the end of another too-full week, I had the opportunity to do something I haven’t done since college…maybe…I can’t even remember. I had a girls night out. A “Mom’s Night Out” to see the movie of the same name.

And can I just say right here, right now, it was awesome? It. Was. Awesome.

I literally belly-ached laughed, with a few snorts on the side, from the first ten seconds until the end. Minus the two minutes I cried the ugly cry as Trace Adkins biker-tattooed-up character sat on a bench in a jail and explained how Jesus has all of us mamas wrapped in His arms and that’s all that really matters, not all the chaos we get so wrapped up in.

This mom’s night out reminded me that sometimes when we take time to just be and be with others sharing the same struggles or that have been there and done that, we learn things about ourselves we didn’t know.

I learned from a new friend that my favorite snack is an entire box of reeses pieces mixed in the same bowl with greasy movie popcorn (I am still here. I did not have a heart attack.) Try it. You can thank me later.

I also learned that time with other women may be bad for my hips, but oh-so-good for my soul.

Time spent laughing and crying together is time. well. spent. 

A week short on words ended in a week long on laughs and thirteen new friends. Yep, I went to this gig only knowing a few and I’m glad I didn’t let that stop me.

We are all in this together. Life. Motherhood. Wifehood. Sisterhood.

It’s not about her and them. It’s about us. Together. The sooner we embrace that, the better off we will be. And maybe we will find someone to walk off the reeses pieces with.

Now go plan your own GNO and come back and tell me how wonderful it was and what you ate. I really want to know what you ate.

For His Glory,
Meredith

{Grateful} Even when Mother’s Day is not all it’s cracked up to be.

 

{This is a late link-up to Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. Prompt “grateful.”}

I tried not to go into Mother’s Day this year with high expectations this year. I’ve learned not to.

I was resolved that I would be receiving a card and chocolate from my husband and have become genuinely grateful for my farmer man’s indulgence to my Lindt LINDOR addiction and the fact he braved a CVS to hand pick out a card with sentiments he can’t always get out any other way.

He did this and more this year. I’m grateful for my man.

I was resolved to most likely receive a card and a gift from my children that my step-mother would choose for them to give me. And she did and they did and it was beautiful. A book of prayers for us to say together at bedtime.

That is more than enough to be grateful for.

In addition to my Lindt addiction being satisfied from my man, my parents satisfied another addiction and gave me a cookbook that I’ve secretly longed for and would never buy for myself. My love-affair with the Pioneer Woman now has life through actual pages I can devour along with the food.

I’m so grateful for parents that remembered their daughter who is a mother today.

I’m grateful for a dad that is always looking out for his “little girl” even though she’s thirty-five and oh. so. needs. to be looked out for. Because somewhere in-between my thirties and two littles of my own, I seem to have lost the ability to take care of the small things.

And small things when combined add up to big things and big things change people.

I’m grateful for time with my brother’s family that I don’t get to see as often as I would like and a niece and nephew that I want to smother with kisses and love and never seem to have the time or ability to do enough.

I’m grateful for words about nothing shared over a cup of coffee in the backyard with kids swinging and a baby babbling, because nothing is something when you are with your blood kin.

I’m grateful to have survived three temper tantrums from my daughter in one day devoted to mother’s and maybe because the weekend was full and my belly was full I let the last one go until she gave out of steam and then just wanted to be held.

And I’m grateful she did and grateful I could.

I started writing this thinking I had come through a day with low expectations and would be saying even at that, they were still unmet. But that’s not the case after all.

After all the counting of blessings and things to be grateful for today, I have nothing to be ungrateful for.

Just love and family and fellowship. And that’s the best Mother’s Day gift one could get.

Maybe if your Mother’s Day wasn’t all you thought it was going to be, you can go back and count a few blessings, too?

I think you will find them if you take some time to look. I’m glad I did.

For His Glory,
Meredith

“I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.”

Psalm 86:12

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For anyone letting the past define them today.

I had given up on being a mother.

Not for the same reasons so many do.

There was no infertility.
There was no obstinate choice.
There was nothing inherently wrong, but I had resigned to the fact that I never would be.

And I didn’t dwell on it, because there was no use.

I had made choices in my life that left me barren and broken.

A broken marriage.
Broken families.
A broken self.
A barren soul.

And I found myself in a relationship I didn’t want to end, but I wasn’t sure how I could stay. It was wrong.

I turned to wine and “good times” to numb the pain inside from all the pain I had caused.

And a week after a gluttonous Christmas party, sitting alone but now not alone, my life shifted focus. Forever.

Those three sticks with baby blue lines were telling me I would be a mother. And it would turn out it was a baby boy.

Ready or not. Right or wrong. And of course it was right, because God doesn’t make mistakes and of course, I wasn’t ready, because I do.

I shook in fear.
And I cried.
Tears of unbelief.
And tears of joy.

And in the nine months between the delivery of the news and the delivery of my son, his father and I got married. Together we started a new life as the new life inside me formed.

And in those nine months God awakened my soul to my need for a Savior and I found Him through His son and my own.

I was brought up in church and I was baptized at the age of twelve, but when I was baptized again at the age of twenty-nine and eight months pregnant, I was truly washed and free. Oh. So. Free.

For so long I had lived letting my past define me. Now I was ready to live letting my God define me.

Then grace. 

Grace covered what I had been trying to cover so I could finally let it go. And in the aftermath, God began to work good through all the pain and hurt and sin that had once defined me. Because that’s what He does for those who love him.

He works it all out for good. ALL of it. 

As my doctor delivered my crying, helpless new life into my arms, my Savior delivered my crying, helpless self into His.

My life now had purpose.
My life now had direction.
My life was now whole.

A tiny human that was half me was in my arms and even though I did not have a clue what to do with him, I knew we would be okay.

Even in the fear of the unknown, I knew that there was now Hope.

I was a mother.

I was a mother and I was going to be okay.
We were going to be okay.

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I had often wondered how my mother would have responded to the sinful choices I had made and had even uttered the words in my soul, and maybe even out loud, that I was glad she wasn’t here to see me make them.

Now I took those words back.

Oh, how I wished she was here to meet her grandson.
How I wished she was here to tell me what in the world to do with him.
How I wished she was here to tell me that everything I was feeling and experiencing was normal and that she had been the exact. same. way.

But she wasn’t here.

She wasn’t here for my son’s birth and she wasn’t here for my daughter’s birth three years later.

And I didn’t know at the age of twenty-two that I needed to ask her the things that I so wish I could ask her now.

Things that my dad doesn’t remember or know because he’s my dad. And only a mother can relate to a mother.

I say none of this to belittle any woman’s agony of not being able to have children for whatever reason and wanting them so desperately. I cannot relate to that agony because I have not been there. But I can and I do grieve with you. For the void of a life that you so desperately want to bear.

And I have no words of empathy, because I have not walked your same path. But I do believe that God is sovereign and that in His time and His will and His way He is making all things new. Even your broken heart.

I can only truly relate to the motherless mother. Because that is who I am.

And thirteen years later it hurts as much as it did the day I became a motherless daughter.

The day I sat alone in a crowd, hunched over rocking back and forth on my sofa repeating, “Not my mom. Not my mom. Not my mom.”

But it was my mom. And there will always be unanswered questions. Until we are in Glory together and then they won’t matter anymore.

Mothers…today you matter. Whether you feel like it or not. You matter.

Your life matters to your children and your husband and your families. Your life matters to your Father. He made you to matter.

You matter. For His Glory. You matter.

And if I could just take you right now and hug you the way my grandmother would wrap me with her whole sweet southern being, I would whisper that in your ear.

Listen to me…You matter…

And whatever that thing is in your past that is telling you that don’t matter and you can’t move forward and you can’t be loved and you can’t be forgiven…that is just. plain. wrong.

I’m living proof. And it’s a good place to be. On the other side of forgiveness.

I am now defined by my identity in Christ, not my identity in the world.

There is a beautiful difference there. The difference grace makes.

For His Glory,
Meredith

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

 

To the woman who doesn’t feel very “blessed.” {Woman2Woman}

I know how I’m supposed to act. How I’m supposed to feel. How I’m supposed to “be” as a mother and a wife. It’s all laid out very clearly and succinctly in God’s word. And the more I read, I realize how very far I miss the mark.  I read these words and they stir my heart this week before Mother’s Day…

“Her children will rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her.”
Proverbs 31:28

I’m fairly certain my son was not rising up and calling me blessed this morning as I forced him to brush his teeth,
leading to him spitting it out all over his shirt, leading to a change and almost being late for school,
leading to me pulling over on the side of the road to apologize,
leading to him covering his head with his backpack all the way to his classroom and not telling me goodbye (for the first time in his three years of school drop off),
leading to me crying heading back to car,
leading to this…another mother friend holding me crying in the parking lot and praying over me.

Yes, that’s a lot more like who I am. What I’ve become. Who I am somedays…how I feel a lot of days. 

Not very blessed, huh? But oh, so very real.

And I know there’s grace for that. For those moments. For these hard days of mothering that can be oh. so. glorious…and yet oh. so. hard. Lisa-Jo Baker got that exactly right.

And in the grace that we have to often pour out on our children and families, maybe it’s time we turned around and gave some back to ourselves.

Would that be so wrong? To actually grace ourselves for a change?

To stop beating ourselves up for being so perfectly imperfect?

When my friend was letting me snotty-nose-ugly-cry on her shoulder in the school parking lot, she was whispering these words into my ear…”Lord, let your child give herself grace today…”

And I believe He did. And He does. And He will.

Through His grace, we can grace ourselves.

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Of course I want my children and my husband to have a mother and a wife they consider a blessing. And I pray when it’s all said and done, they will be able to see that I was…somedays. But it’s not even plausible to think that I will be on most.

I do know that the closer I get to Jesus, the more my sin and faults are blindly obvious. And the harder Satan fights to draw them out.

I’m determined to stay the course. To draw near to Jesus so He will draw near to me. That’s what He promises.

He also promises that if we submit to Him and resist satan that satan will flee… Yes, I cling to that promise often. Very often.

This week as we think about the mothers we had or have and the mothers we are or want to be or wish we could be…remember this. You matter. Whether you have your own children or are like a mother to someone else’s. You matter. We all matter.

And we are not going to be perfect, because we don’t have to be.

I’m here to say it’s possible to be a blessing and not be perfect. If that wasn’t the case, who did Jesus come to save?

It’s completely possible to be an imperfect blessing giver.

There’s a lot of comfort in someone coming alongside you and saying they’ve been where you are and it’s ok to not be perfect. It’s ok to not be a blessing everyday. There’s grace for that.

And I’d like to think I can be a blessing to someone else, even these littles and this man in my own home, through my imperfect offerings and with a measure of self-given grace.

Take your own measure of grace today if you need it. You won’t be alone. And then go and bless someone with it…and find yourself blessed more than them.

In His Grace,
Meredith

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See below for more information about Wednesday’s on the blog. For the next five weeks, we will open the floor for posts on any verse or combination of verses from Proverbs 31:12-31. Let’s see what God speaks to you and in turn speaks to us all through these well-known verses in a new light. Thank you so much in advance for linking-up Woman 2 Woman! 

On Wednesday’s we have started a tradition of speaking “Woman to Woman.” Find us on twitter or Facebook with #w2w. I’ve asked other sisters to join in the discussion by adding their own links below or by adding their thoughts in the comments. If you have a blog and would like to link your post, please link directly to your permalink (ie. https://4hisgloryblog.com/2014/04/02/woman-to-woman-patiently-impatient/) and not your homepage URL (ie. http://4hisgloryblog.com) by clicking on the little blue frog. If you would also be so kind as to link back to this page in some form or fashion, I would greatly appreciate it. 😀

You can go back to the beginning to see the foundation for this community here. We would be humbled beyond belief to have you join in. The more voices speaking to one another, the more chance we will be heard and the more opportunity for healing and growing as sisters. And to spur one another on in love, we ask that you visit the person linked before you and comment to encourage. Our words matter. In giving and receiving, they matter. You matter. More than you know. We matter. xoxo- Meredith

 

 

 

For the hard days that end in “why?”

I see you.

The wife who sees no hope for change.
The mama at her wits end.
The friend with nothing left to give.

I see you.
I know you.
I’ve worn your skin.

What happened to the fairy tale endings and God-sized dreamer ready to take on the world?

Where did those go?
Where did she go?

Sometimes in living life, we lose ourselves.

We lose site of who we were in becoming who we are.
We lose site of the dreams we once had in view of the here and now and doubt of ever achieving what seems impossible anyway.

But this.

 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf.”
Hebrews 6:19

He’s already been there and done that so we don’t have to fret over what we think we can’t do.

Whether that’s writing a book, or leading a ministry, or changing the 1, 532,893 diaper or making the 4,234,912 meal. again.

A sure and steadfast anchor of our soul in the storm-tossed waves of life that tempt to drown our dreams and drown our soul.

A God-sized dream takes God-sized faith to see it through.

Our God is big enough and strong enough to see us through.

We aren’t hoping in something that has no hope, we are hoping in Someone that is Hope. 

The sun doesn’t set on God-sized dreams when we seek hard after the God that gives them and can fulfill them.

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When the days get hard and the dreams seem lost and we just want to know “why…,” we can rest assured He hears our pleas.

The answers may come fast or slow and the answer may be “yes” or it may be “no.”

In Gods sovereignty he has the Power and ability to do anything He wishes.

In God’s humanity he will hold and comfort us when he says no or not now.

God’s humanity always comforts us in the sovereignty of His will.

And always, always He is with us in the storm. Holding fast as an anchor in our sea of doubt.

Does He see me?
Does He really know what’s going on in my life?
Does He know what I’m dealing with?
Does He really care?

Yes, He does. He is the I am. He is everywhere, in and through everything.

His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.

The dreams we have for ourselves are nothing as compared to those our God has for us. And in His power He will see them through.

If we let Him. If we get out of the boat in faith and let Him lead us through the storms and the calm. He wants it all. All of us. Every bit of you and every bit of me. Wholly His.

There are no fifty shades of grey with our God. There is “yes, I’m yours” or “no, I’m the worlds.”

In Him is the only place we will ever know peace even when every day is hard that ends in “why.”

Take heart, friend. Today I want you to know that you. matter. You matter to me and you matter to Him. For His Glory. You. Matter.

And in Him, those dreams you once dared to dream that He gave you to dream are worth taking back up. One glorious day at a time, they are worth digging into. For His Glory.

In Him,
Meredith

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I’m linking up today to a haven for all God-sized dreamers.
Come here to find friendship and love to spur you on to your own God-sized dreams!

When ordinary is its own kind of brave. {Guest Post and a Giveaway}

It’s an exciting day on this little blog of mine…and a day to remind you that you are brave and glorious even in your ordinary and that you matter. My theme this week for every woman, wife and mother is YOU MATTER. So for the next few minutes be our guest and pull up a sofa, chair or toilet seat (if it’s the only quiet place you can find), grab a cup of coffee or tea or chocolate with milk (that’s what my girl calls it and I happen to like it) and let Lisa-Jo’s words settle in your soul today. You’ll be so glad you did…then check out the end for a special giveaway. 😉

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Most of my days look the same as the day before.

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And I wonder what to write about because, really, there’s nothing new.

The alarm goes off at 7:20 and I go into Micah’s room to rub his back and try to bring him awake on the right side of the bed. Jackson gropes for his glasses and walks through to use to the bathroom, never ever heeding my shrieks to, for goodness sakes close the door!

Zoe wakes up bright and chipper and her hair all standing haywire on end, straight up from her head.

Breakfast is bagels and cream cheese or toast or cereal or sometimes fried eggs and bacon if we have enough time.

And I have practiced, months and months of practice, of keeping my voice calm despite what my blood pressure is doing as the clock ticks toward the inevitable arrival of the school bus and the boys still don’t have their shoes and socks on.

But it’s ordinary. So very ordinary.

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I have meetings and deadlines and I write blog posts if I’ve got one that climbs up out of my head and demands to be written down.

I wear make up even when I’m working from home because it helps me feel awake; present in my life. I sit at the kitchen table in the pool of sunlight that streams in through the huge windows and I’m grateful for these small moment of ordinary glory.

But 8 hours tick by like that. Zoe goes to preschool every other morning and I’m left with my house and the dishes I don’t feel like unloading from the dishwasher and so many moments are simply the choice to keep showing up.

Meeting the kids as they get off the bus, figuring out snacks and math homework and new ways to trick Jackson into finding his reading assignments interesting.

The world spins by so slowly outside our windows.

I wonder what I got done and I stay up too late because I don’t feel like doing it all over again tomorrow.

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I wish for weekends away with just Peter.

I wish for movie nights out.

I wish for quiet conversations that don’t require kid-inserted subtitles.

That’s just the truth of it. That this season is very very slow and ordinary and I have to remind myself that this is what brave looks like for me. For us.

It doesn’t involve platforms or pulpits or speaking tours or social justice or passports.

It’s counting how many mornings this week I’ve held onto my temper and chosen to love my six-year-old toward a day of meaning for him. It’s showing up today and today and again today.

Because every day is building a lifetime of what they will remember about their mother and right now and here it’s OK to have late afternoons of lying under the grey blanket and simply stroking the hair of a boy who has outgrown his baby-skin by far. And still I pet his hair because he loves it. And me too.

And this? This is beautiful too. This is significant and necessary and real and I am loved not by the size of what I do but by the God who watches me do it. Today and today and again later today.

He makes all the things I do beautiful.

The ordinary glorious beautiful things.

{To see the video reminder of why all mothers are braver than they know, click here}.

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This guest post comes with love from Lisa-Jo Baker to our community in celebration of Mother’s Day. If you haven’t already – treat yourself, your mom, your sister, your BFF or your grandma to a copy of her new book, Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom.

No matter what stage you’re in when it comes to motherhood, we promise it will encourage. And remind you that you are braver than you think.

Now for the FUN STUFF…enter a comment below for a chance to WIN a copy of Lisa-Jo’s life-changing-meet-you-in-the-middle-of-your-glorious-ordinary-book, Surprised by Motherhood, courtesy of me, winner to be announced on Mother’s Day. And also be in the drawing for one of three signed book plates compliments of Lisa-Jo! Get. Out. Of. Town. How generous is that?! I’m beyond humbled at her generosity and support for all of us weary mothers, whether you are a mother of biological children or not…so many of us are mothers in so many ways and all of us share the same bond.

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This is delightful book plate that Lisa-Jo will sign and mail to three lucky winners. 😀

Give her some love back and tell every mother you know about this book, after you get your own copy and one for the most important women in your life. And a copy for every baby shower in your future. And a copy for a weary mom you don’t know in the grocery store line. This book is that good. And you need it in your hands. We all do.

Blessings to you and stay tuned for a busy week here on the blog and a post later this week telling you more of my own story…Lisa-Jo has helped me find my own brave and I’m excited to share with you.

xoxo,
Meredith

 

Five Minute Friday | {mess}

If ever the term “mess” fit me…today was that day.

From the early morning “words” with the cattleman at the breakfast table.

To the tears welling up as I tried to answer small talk with the cashier at the “Pig.”

To the tantrums I threw in response to my child’s. That’s plural. It happened more than once.

Yep, I was a mess today. And every day in a lot of ways.

One big heaping pile of perfectly imperfect mess in need of Perfect help.

And after time on my knees scrubbing the toilet and scrubbing out my soul, God eased the mess a bit.

I felt some relief knowing He knew. He saw it all happen. He knew my heart all along. But He wanted me to tell Him.

I needed me to tell Him. To plead for help just like David did. And know He would answer. Just like He did for David and has done so often for me.

There is solace in this mess of life only through His love and grace to cover it.

No other way. Not even one.

I know there are a lot of people living in darkness today. That can’t see the light. I went there today. And it scared me.

No matter how messy life gets, there is One bigger and One brighter than the mess. Always. Perfectly.

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He’s in it with us and he’s ready to see us out. In His time. His will. His way. Until we get it.

Until we get that this life ain’t about us after all. And no matter what mess we find ourself in and no matter what caused it, we have Hope.

Hope in the One who put Himself in the biggest mess the world could offer only to save us from our own. Daily. From one glorious mess to another.

Your perfectly imperfect mess tonight,
Meredith

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and the gang for Five Minute Friday and tonight’s prompt was {mess}…if you couldn’t already guess. 😉

Five Minute Friday

Letters to my Littles | {april}

I posted this blog yesterday on my other site and thought I would share it with my writing blog readers, as well…it’s more words than photos and it’s my heart this month about my children. Enjoy!

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March…in like a lion, out like a lamb. April showers, bring May flowers.

Nursery rhymes we used to sing. Memories faint, but oh, so sweet.

Wesley, you now read to me and I wonder how and when you moved from toddler to boy to almost Kindergarten grad.

And Austin, you will all-too-soon move from daddy’s girl on his toes to daddy’s girl down the aisle.

I’m not rushing you both. You are rushing me. Time goes too fast and I forget.

Forget the smell of baby.
Forget the swell of pride as your first steps teeter-totter across the room.
Forget the way you pronounced your first vowels or lack there of and how it always made me smile. Still does even trying to remember.

And this month, this April of this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about the past. How fast it’s gone and how much faster it gets.

We said goodbye to your Great-Granny Austin and you both took it in stride, while I cried. She meant more to me than you because I had her longer. Much longer.

The memories I have with her and Granddaddy in that old house on the river shore are mine alone. Together we are making new ones there even though the house is gone. And that is good. Very, very good.

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I’m reminded this month how important family is and has always been to me and I pray will always be to you.

We have something not everyone has. We have each other.

You will learn that is not everyone’s truth. And not a blessing to be dismissed, but held tightly to.

Austin, you continue to be the life of this party we are raising on this farm. This month your two favorite words are “ticklish-y” and “trap.” Meaning you like to have your “trap” (aka armpit) rubbed because it feels so “ticklish-y.” Yes, that’s worth remembering.

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Wesley, you continue to amaze me with your wisdom beyond your young years. You have also taking a liking to video games about indians and hunting and racing and mama’s having to put limits on the iPad…which you are usually good to obey.

You both continue to play well together, as tonight when you were screaming through the house. Until someone gets hurt, then the screams take on a different tone…and so do mine. Being the perfectly imperfect mother that I am.

And Austin, you are becoming a master of avoiding bedtime. Oh, you get in the bed after we read.

But then you want your back rubbed (and possibly your “trap”),
and then you want more chocolate milk (yes, I give you chocolate milk, don’t judge me),
and then you need to use the bathroom,
and then you want your sheet put on you,
and then you want your sheet taken off of you,
and then you want to change into your other gown,
and then you want to take the gown off and put on your other pajamas,
and then you want your fan on,
and then you want your fan off,
and then you want your little plastic dollar store lantern to put in the bed with you,
and then you need me to take it away.

These are not exaggerations. They happen every. single. night. I’m as tired writing them as I get doing them.

And Wesley, you tolerate so well, as I go back and forth from his room upstairs to get you situated downstairs.

And I lose my patience. And you love me still.

And then you give me super-duper tight hugs and big kisses with your little hands cupping my face. And I melt.

And then get you your third cup of chocolate milk. And I wait for you to drink it and then we say good night. For good.

Until you wake up at 3am and come get in bed with me and your father. Yes, that’s our nightly ritual. And I want you to know it because maybe you’ll have a child just like you and it will be a great reminder.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and evidently you are a lot like me…says your Pop, my Dad.

I continue to be amazed how much your two little souls have enveloped my own. My life-breath. My babies.

I am still in awe I get to be your mother and God trusted me with you. I don’t take that for granted, or at least I try not to.

We are still working our way into the new skin of stay-at-home-mom, but it’s starting to fit better than before.

Together we will sort it all out and work it all in. I look forward to a summer with you both full of creek time and horse play.

Love always and forever,
Mama

**I’m doing this project as part of a blog circle of mothers wanting to document this year in prose and photo for their children. It would so wonderful if you would please take a moment to visit wonderful Kristin as she writes to her children this month…many thanks. 😉

 

Surprised by Motherhood. {Yeah, me too.}

I have a new soul-sister-soul-mama friend I’ve never met. Sounds odd, I suppose. She has put into words what I’ve felt in so many ways on so many days as both a motherless mother and a new mama. Her book “Surprised by Motherhood” is speaking to me. From the inside out. In a oh-so-good kind of way that has me wanting the pages to go on and on. And that says a lot for me.

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As much as I like to read, I find very little time and motivation to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I have a stack of books a mile high. Toppling over bedside my reading-praying-God-chair in the living room…spilling over next to my bed and onto my bed and onto my head some nights, books that were started and never finished. Not so with this book. I devoured it. And it left me hungry for more. That’s some good eats right there.

Lisa-Jo Baker is more than likable, she’s relatable in a way that feels as if she’s reading and writing your own story, not just hers. As a daughter. As a mother. Even if your life story is completely different than hers, it is also completely the same.

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The words on these pages have breathed life into my desperate soul as a mother learning to be a mother after leaving the corporate world. I knew how to be a working mom, but learning to be an ever-present mom has been challenging. Lisa-Jo’s way of describing her own experiences as a mother through several life-transitions have been comforting for this mama in transition. And we can all say amen to another sister sharing our struggles. Eh? That’s what Lisa-Jo would say. I believe it must be a saying from her native, South Africa, and I like it. I believe our northern friends do that in Canada, too…eh? I digress.

SurprisedByMotherhood_Pin_07_OptThere are too many hi-lited words and paragraphs and even pages to mention. I really just wanted to hi-lite the entire book, but though that may be a bit redundant. And over zealous. But if it made any of the words sink in enough that I would go back and let them give me life again when I was ready to turn in my resignation letter as full-time mom, then it may be worth it. There’s your warning…buy this book along with a pack of hi-liters. They will both be your new best friends, along with Lisa-Jo.

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I’ve always tried to keep it real here in my piece of blog land. I love the transparency I find on the other side of this computer screen and may clam up if you talk to me about my blog in real life. Maybe because it’s the realest real me and it’s a lot easier to unleash the real me here than there in front of you, face-to-face. Either way, there were a couple of chapters in this book that dug into my core. Like as a knife digs into that jar of peanut butter and comes out sweeter than when it entered. It’s still sharp, but sweet and spreadable.

I came away realizing I have my own anger issues to deal with. As Lisa-Jo said, ”Sometimes you don’t realize you have a temper until you have kids.” Ahem, yeah, that may be an understatement for me some days. And this, “There is no rage like the exhausted rage of motherhood.” Ouch. But misery is certainly better with company, so it was like a breath of fresh air to know I am not alone on those exhausted days when I lose my temper. And I lose it more than once. And then Lisa-Jo tells about becoming determined to mother deliberately and she began to write a new story about her son in her heart and in his life and God graced her and him with a peace and relationship she couldn’t have imagined in those early days. The words from that chapter of her book and life gave me a renewed hope as I fight for these children God gave me and am learning to mother intentionally. It’s a battle for their souls and  mine. A war against impatience and endless bottom wiping. A fight against a hunger for your alone time and their hunger for you. And it’s a fight worth fighting and letting God help you win together.

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If it’s not obvious, I’m a fan of both Lisa-Jo and these pages that I’m so glad she was brave enough to write. She says we are all brave as mothers. She is correct, isn’t she? This woman that grew up in South Africa and swore off motherhood after her mother died is now speaking to mother’s hearts all over the world about the glory and guts involved in being a mother. It’s not all good, but it’s not all bad, either. Eh? Yeah, I’ve been surprised by motherhood in a lot of ways, too. And the best is yet to come, I’m sure.

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You can get your own copy of this pretty little book right here or in your favorite bookstore this week. I promise it will be worth giving up a cup or two of coffee this week if that’s what it takes to get it in your hands. The aroma will be stronger and last longer than that cup of coffee and will awaken your soul in the most beautiful way. Enjoy your reading! Come back and let me know what you think and make sure to leave a review of your own on Amazon. It’s time to take make our voice known. The brave ones.

Graciously,
Meredith