Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Because Mother's Day...

Not my favorite.

Don't get me wrong.  I love my mother.  I'm extremely grateful for her.  For her unconditional love.  For her love for the Lord.  For her commitment to truth.  For her meticulous record keeping.  (Ha!)  She's truly a fabulous grandmother - who not only loves her grand kids but pours her prayers and life out for them.

But when I read all of the sweet mother's day sentiments, something in me cringes.  Maybe I'm just uncomfortable with the attention it brings to me as a mom?  Maybe I just see myself more realistically?

Either way, I thought a list was in order.

I've been a list maker all of my life.  I have my calendar, to-do list, and grocery list on my phone.  But when I get really overwhelmed? I grab paper and pen and write it all out.  I make lists for the day, the week, my kids (some of them aren't too fond of lists - go figure!), the house.

On the other hand, I really HATE those lists you see on Facebook all of the time.  10 things not to say to someone who. . . 12 things never to do. . . 8 things never to eat. . .


As if life isn't stressful enough, I'm supposed to remember all of that?  How about giving me some grace?  I may say or do the wrong thing.  OK.  I probably will.  But it's not malicious.  I'm just tired.  And if you say the "wrong" thing to me?  I'll give you grace, as well.  Deal?

But this list is different.  No guilt here.  Just (hopefully) a laugh and a deep exhale if you're anything like me and feeling the pressure of being that perfect mom.

11 Things My Kids Will Never Say About Their Mother

1.  She is so patient.
(They probably won't remember that I have grown in my ability to be patient.  I guess they can discuss that with Son #1, poor guy.)

2.  She doesn't lose her temper with me.
(See #1.)

3.  She responds so graciously when I make stupid mistakes.
(I'm learning.  Beginning to understand that they need to be able to tell me anything and know that I won't lose it.  But I'm still losing it inside, just FYI.)

4.  I see her read her Bible every day.
(Oh wow.  Just wow.  I read these stories about moms who do this.  I'm not sure how?  I love my Daily Audio Bible, but the consistency in quiet times award goes to my Coach.  I'm OK with that.)

5.  She makes Sunday lunch for us every week.
(They WANT me to.  But I probably get this done once a month.  The other Sundays get leftovers or the Coach makes pancakes.  It is what it is.)

6.  She and my dad don't ever disagree in front of us.
(I hope I'm always respectful, but we LIVE life here.  Our kids see it.  I LOVE my Coach, but we have the freedom to disagree, which I appreciate so much.)

7.  She never says bad words.
(You know this is a problem when your 8 year old hurts himself and says, "Oh Crap!"  I'm not proud of this, just being honest.)

8.  She is disciplined in every area of her life.
(I do some things very consistently.  Workout.  Run.  But those cookies get me every time.  Sigh.)

9.  She keeps our house perfectly clean.
(You know. . . on second thought. . . they might actually say this.  But their definition of "perfectly clean"?  Lacking.)

10.  She doesn't mind when our rooms are messy.
(See #9.  Yikes.  Even though I've let a LOT go over the last 20 years, this one still stumps me.  HOW HARD IS IT?? See #2.)

11.  She is always cheerful and encouraging.
(Some days there just isn't enough coffee.  And I'm sorry, but if you are upset that you got a 98 instead of a 100 on your English test, you don't need to be encouraged, you're just goofy.)

So there you go.  A guilt-free Mother's Day courtesy of Mrs. Troop.  Pretty sure no matter what your short-comings, you are doing better than I am.  And I'm OK with that.

I'm learning that being authentic and living out my faith WITH my Coach and my kids. . . being honest about my failures, being quick to ask forgiveness, loving the amazing people that my troops are, and trusting that God is faithful in spite of it all. . .

Well.  That's what I really hope they'll say about me.


Today?  I just want them to clean their rooms.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the dear Mommas in my life.  Each of you bless me.  I learn from you, laugh with you, and share life with so many of you and my life is richer because of it.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Little Indulgence

Last night I really wanted to write about our weekend, but one kid needed a hair cut, one needed their pioneer costume ironed so it could go back to school, two needed checks written for the senior Boston trip and the Sophomore retreat next week, Little Man had to read, and honestly I was just so tired.

Son #1 came home for a visit this weekend.  It was kind of a last minute decision on our part.  He will miss Daughter #2's graduation later this month so we wanted him to be here for some part of this celebration.  Baccalaureate was yesterday.  I'm so glad he could be here.  We've missed him horribly.  He will finish up at Impact 360, have his commissioning service next week, and head to Colorado to be a wrangler this Summer.

So indulge me for just a few minutes this morning.  The laundry needs folded, the house needs to be gotten order, and after this morning's bootcamp, I need a shower!  Ha!  But I'll get to that in a bit.  Sometimes I worry that these days are passing - so full and so busy - that we are missing out in really enjoying them.

But the truth is. . . we ARE enjoying these days.  Loving every bit of them.  Having all eight kids here this weekend was DIVINE.  My heart feels all settled and peaceful with them here.  Even if I'm exhausted.

On Thursday, Daughter (#6) and I got back from 9 days in Williamsburg, Washington DC, and Philadelphia.  Such an amazing, learning, fun, non-stop trip.  It was my third time to go with our girls and Grandmother got to go with us.  We had a wonderful time.  The troops missed me, but they did just great.  It's always good to know that my kids CAN take care of themselves, even though I still really enjoy spoiling them.

I've thought a lot, lately, about some of the most impactful, helpful lessons I've been taught over the years.  Things like:

You have either just come through a trial, you are in a trial, or a trial is coming.  It's part of the Christian life. (BSF leader, Jodi)

That in spite of my failures, God did NOT make a mistake in giving me these kids OR in giving them ME for their mom.  (sister-in-law)

And lately the most helpful has been:

That the fact that we are busy, tired, and constantly stretched beyond what we think we can bear does NOT mean we are doing something wrong.

We are struggling against our own weaknesses, our extremely varying personalities, the constant change and growth that occurs not only in kids, but in us as well, and honestly just the exhaustion of life.

I suppose we could just all stay home and not be involved in activities, sports, friends' lives, church, jobs, and school.  But the truth is, my job is to raise these kids up so I can send them out.  I want them to be fully equipped - as much as possible - for whatever the Lord calls them to do in their lives.  To value learning to work HARD, serve others, and love God.  Which means not just keeping them home with us all of the time.  Especially as they get older.

Maybe, by God's grace, we are having some success.  But we are also failing.  Every day.  And it's God's grace that sustains us.  Our kids are learning to depend on the Lord for themselves.  To trust Him.  To seek Him.

Lessons I'm still learning, myself.

So if you woke up today, facing trials that seem insurmountable...  be reminded today that God's grace in your life not only covers your own weakness, but His glory is actually magnified in your weakness.  How amazing is that??

Join me in resting in that truth.  Trusting.  Breathing it in.  And pouring it out to my people.  How I love them.

Happy Monday.