The 2nd Birthday of Our 2nd Son

Two years ago today I woke up at 2am with a contraction. After confidently laboring at home for awhile we arrived at the birth center at 6am. Moses arrived after two (or was it 3?) pushes and was placed in my arms at 7:03am. A fast and furious labor, this boy has changed my life in more ways than one.
We call him passionate. Passionate in his joy and passionate in his grief. If he is upset, everyone in a 2 mile radius will know it (kidding, sort of). But his zest for life lights up the room and you can’t help but smile alongside him. Living up to his name, at age 2 he is already a great leader and encourages his older brother to follow after him. This usually results in both of them having more fun, albeit more dangerously than I prefer… We like to call him Mo, Mosey-bear, Mo-Mack, or Mo Mo.
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Self potty-trained before 23 months of age, this not-so-baby-of-mine is fiercely independent, but a great snuggler when he wants to be. Moses is very different from his brother in almost every way. They both have white hair and are named after prophets though, so there’s that. Two years have indeed flown by, and it’s been so fun, but also SO HARD.
It took me awhile to figure out how to have two kids as opposed to one, and it took me awhile to figure out that I don’t (and will never) know everything about parenting. This job on the day/night (parenthood) shift is no joke. Social media makes it look like all fun and games, sunshine and roses, cuddles and first words, but there are some incredibly frustrating moments where I am critical of myself and doubtful of my abilities to accomplish this difficult task. It took me awhile to learn how to extend grace to myself, and it took me awhile to forgive myself for things that were not my fault. Other people offer me grace all the time, why can’t I receive it from myself? I’ve learned a big lesson in this: the only person requiring perfection out of me is ME. My family doesn’t expect me to be perfect, and neither do my friends, and God definitely doesn’t require me to be perfect, He loves me in spite of all my failures.
But, this isn’t about me.
Happy Birthday to my dearest Moses. Birthing you made me aware of a strength I didn’t know I possessed, and parenting you has truly made me enjoy life more than I did before. It’s a blessing to be loved by you <3

Sunday Confessional Oct. 25

I confess that I’m not slowing down.

I’m a stay at home parent. I’m also a full time student, and I work at a church where I am being mentored by the pastor (as part of the degree program). You know that scene in Star Wars, the one where the Millenium Falcon goes into warp speed? I often feel like that is what is happening to my life. Sometimes I get to the end of the day, and I feel like it’s been super long. I’m tired from having chased my three year old around or held my one year old all day. When I do get them down for nap/quiet time, I either work on a sermon or a paper for school, or if I am super good I get a craft ready to do with the boys when they get up. When I experience those days and bed time finally rolls around, I look back on the past 24 hours and I am speechless (and breathless). The days seem long when I’m living them, but the months are falling away like a tree shedding its leaves for winter. I want to slow down life. I want to, but I just need to figure out how. Recently I was reading a text for one of my classes and came across a really good concept that I want to share.

Author Tracy Balzer, writes about finding rest from all the noise in our lives;

“Perhaps we should consider when we last experienced true silence. It may be difficult for us to say with any accuracy, because we’ve gotten so used to the hum of electricity around us that we don’t even realize that we live with a constant level of noise…When did I last drive my car without the stereo playing? When was the last time my family and I sat around the dinner table with phones, dishwasher, and television turned off? None of these things are evil. But could it be that the many layers of noise we dwell in have numbed our sensitivity to the still small voice of God?”

As I write this I let myself listen for all the levels of noise that exist all around me. I can hear the hum of the refrigerator, the electricity of the lights, the WIFI modem, the computer fan, levels and levels of noise that I never really notice, all working in harmony to numb to the presence of God in my every day existence.

I think maybe I can slow down by being intentional with what I allow myself to take in. By taking a day of rest, where our family turns off our cell phones, and powers down the computers, and really listens for God. I think this could become a weekly event. Does it make you uncomfortable to think about turning off your cell phone for a full day? I know, I know, how would you be able to check facebook, your email, craigslist, gumtree, or the scores of that sporting event? Do you know that theres actually a word for what I am describing? It’s called a Sabbath. Not just a weekend day where we go to church, but a day completely plugged into God. Would you like to join me in carving out time to celebrate this day? To turn off and unplug electronics, to refresh our spirits, rekindle our passions, renew our minds and bodies, and reconnect with God and those we love.

Sunday Confessional- 18 Oct 2015

I confess that I have an imperfect marriage.

A few months ago our mentor spoke with us about facilitating a marriage course at our church. The course would run for 6 weeks, there would be dinner available, and creche for the kids. Couples would be able to sit and chat with each other while doing exercises alongside the course manual and DVD. Of course, John and I were more than willing, because our marriage is PERFECT and we have LOADS to teach these other couples! Oh wait, just kidding, nothing in our lives is perfect, especially our marriage (except for maybe our kids, but even they get snotty sometimes….)!

But truthfully, we were excited to start this course because we are passionate about marriage and the covenant shared between two people.

We chose a Sunday evening to run the course which makes our Sundays extra long, especially if I’m singing in the Praise Band or John is preaching (both of which we did today, by the way). We do our church thang, and then we come home to cook for 20 people (eating lunch somewhere in there) and doing a bunch of dishes, then we go back to church and set up. After everyone eats and I hear encouraging comments like, “That food was gorgeous/lovely/to die for/amazing!” (<<This is so fun for me, I really enjoy cooking for people!), I do a bunch more dishes. Thankfully, our boys both go to creche so that I can do all this!

Turns out, amidst all this work, I LOVE Sundays.

As I have said before, Sundays are my jam! After a long day, I still treasure these evenings to allow couples the time to invest in their marriages. My favorite part is watching people interact with each other, taking turns talking and listening, and hearing laughter. From the kitchen in the back, I can’t tell what exactly each couple is talking about but it’s nice to see them enjoying each other’s company. What an important relationship. It’s so easy to get caught up in, well, LIFE, and forget about truly investing in the one we’ve chosen to “do” this life with.

No one’s marriage is perfect, especially mine. John and I weren’t “chosen” to facilitate this marriage course because we have the best marriage ever. We were just willing. We hope to encourage the couples we interact with every day and remind them (and ourselves) that God is the author of our stories! He created us, brought us together, and delights in seeing us live in harmony with one another.

Peace.

And, Happy Sunday!