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.

listen to your heart

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

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{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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The mule is blowing her lips.

My husband is full of one-liners. Spend more than a few minutes with him and you are sure to hear one. There is one I hear pointed towards me quite often and this time I said it before he could…”Yes, the mule is blowing her lips.”

And she was. That was me. The mule. Blowing her lips.

I was frustrated. Nothing really new for me, but my kitchen endeavors can bring it out in full force. This night was no exception. I have tried several times to make bread, but not often because I always end up failing. Miserably. Why I thought this time would be any different is beyond me.  I came across a recipe for the “Best Texas Roadhouse Rolls” and decided an hour before supper I could do this. I’m a woman. I should be able to make bread. Shouldn’t I?

I just happened to have a packet of “dry active yeast” (whatever that is) and I had one tbsp of butter even though it called for two, but surely that wouldn’t be a big deal. Butter and sugar had been on the grocery list, but on the way home from town the kids BOTH fell asleep, so I didn’t dare spoil a nap to stop by the grocery store for butter and sugar. It’s not like those are staples in my house or anything. I only make a gallon of sweet tea a day and cook everything in butter…with butter on top. And butter inside if it will fit. I’m southern. Don’t judge me.

I digress.  Back to the rolls. I will try to get on with the point, once I figure out what it really is.

It all started well. The yeasty-watery concoction started to “bubble” as it said it should. I warmed the milk and pat of butter on the stove to 115° using my dairy thermometer. I felt sure Martha Stewart would be proud of that little maneuver. Or Paula Deen or whoever is the latest and greatest tv chef star. I don’t have cable or satellite, so if they aren’t on PBS or Ion Life…I don’t know ‘em. I digress again.

I’m having a hard time focusing. Now we are probably getting to the point.

I’m sure the recipe I was reading was perfectly fine for anyone who has made rolls or bread or anything with yeast before. What else do you make with yeast? But I was not sure if I was supposed to “mix” and “stir” ingredients by hand or with my Kitchen Aid, which doesn’t get nearly as much use as it would like. Or my husband would like. So I used it.

The first 2 minutes of “fast mixing” were perfect. It’s when I went to “stir” the extra two cups of flour (Better for Bread flour, mind you…the expensive stuff…that’s probably 2 years old, but it’s been in the refrigerator, so that’s ok, right?) into the mix that things got a little “sticky.” I assumed to “stir” the ingredients I should use the “hook” attachment. I think that’s what it’s called. Anyway, I proceeded to do that at which time the flour exploded out of the bowl all over the counter and cabinet doors and me and down that black hole between my stove and counter, which is where that flour will stay for quite a while, I’m sure. And what was left in the bowl was a sticky, boogery mess. I think I just made up the word boogery, but it is the best word to describe it. The stuff looked and felt like a big bowl of boogers. My son agreed. And then I wondered why he didn’t want to try one after they were cooked…bless his heart.

The aftermath.

The aftermath.

Note the abyss between the stove and counter…that flour will rot there.

Note the abyss between the stove and counter…that flour will rot there.

At this point, I tried hard not to say a bad word. I don’t think I did. But I wouldn’t bet my life on it. What’s in the well does come up in the bucket, and I’m pretty sure my well was a little dirty at this point. I was this far in it and had wasted four cups of expensive (all be it old) flour, so I was going to see these little boogers through to the end. Pardon the very sad pun.

I finished up with the instructions as best I could and ended up with some sad looking rolls. The dough did rise, much to my amazement. The rolls did bake and sort of resembled rolls. Sort of. And they sort of tasted like rolls. Sort of. My kind husband said they “weren’t that bad, but seemed to be missing something.” Well, that was the understatement of the year. But what? What were they missing? I followed the directions as best I could. I only skimped a little on the butter and my flour was only a couple of years old and I’m not sure if I was supposed to use the mixer or not and really didn’t know how to roll the dough out, but other than that, I followed the recipe to a “T.”

Boogers rising.

Boogers rising.

And in the middle of my mishap, my kindergartener decided to continue his reading practice.  A small booklet on the kitchen table caught his eye and he asked, “Mom, is the title of this book, “God. Will. Use. This. For. Good.”? Yes, son, that’s the title of that book. And yes, son, He probably will.

God will teach me something from this “Merdie Mishap” tonight. He will teach me that a recipe is not just a list of ingredients for you to pick and choose what you want to use and how much and how you want to use them. If you don’t know what you are doing, you follow a recipe to teach you. Maybe one day you can tweak the recipe to make it better and give it your own flavor. But when you are a hopeless fool, as I,  and have no idea what you are doing, YOU FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS.

How often do I do that with God? Take just what I want from the Bible and apply it just how I want just when I want and just as I want? More often than I would like to admit.

God gave us His Word so we would know his thoughts. His ways.

Psalm 119:105 
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

His instructions are for our good and His good pleasure.

Proverbs 4:13
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;

    guard her, for she is your life.

Since the beginning of time nobody has been able to get this right. I wonder if Eve or Sarah or Rachel ever blew their lips like a mule? I endeavor to believe they did. And that makes me smile a little. Surely I’m in some like company…can I get an Amen?

God knew we were not going to get it. He knew we were not going to listen. And He knew that in our sins and struggles we would HAVE to come looking to Him for help or we would never find it. In the pit, the only place to look is up. Been there. Done that.

I’m thankful that I did accept His answer to my plea for help. And that He still answers me every time I call. And I can trust that He always will.

I will probably give up on bread making. For now anyway. They make really good rolls in the freezer section that take very little time and as my son pointed out, taste much better than my homemade version.

That being said, I will not be giving up on following God’s plan of instruction for my life. Being in His word daily, I’m finding wonderful insight and truths that I’ve never taken the time to see before. I can’t imagine how getting through the entire Bible will affect my daily walk. It can only be GOOD. And surely I will mess up. Again. Tomorrow. But, He will always be there to get me back on track.

God will always get me back on track, just like my husband does when teaching our children how to ride a horse.

Sometimes he has to take the reins and show them what to do.

Then they can take the reins themselves and mirror their father’s instruction.

The Bible is God’s mirror for us into His very soul. As His children, we should know it.

To know the Bible is to know God. To know God is to the know the Bible.

To know God is to have True Life. 

Moments of blowing our mule lips will come and go. (That doesn’t sound right, but it is what it is.)

God will always be our guide, waiting for us to ask for the Lead and waiting for him to Answer.

Sometimes the biggest lessons learned come in the waiting. And then the biggest rewards come after the wait.

To any other mule lip blowers…take heart. You are not alone. Maybe we could have a contest sometime? And then again, maybe not. 😉

Graciously,

Meredith

I knew I would be able to use this photo one day. Little man is not a mule, but he’s not little either.

I knew I would be able to use this photo one day. Little man is not a mule, but he’s not little either.