Monday, March 25, 2013

A case of the...

Oh, my. Has your Monday been monday-ing it up all over the place today? The baby is sick-- yes, again-- and refusing to take a nap. My toddler screamed for five minutes before taking his nap. I'm knee deep in laundry and crumbs and laundry. The clincher? I started the chili we're having for dinner, and I realized (after assembling the rest of the chili) that the frozen cooked turkey I was going to use for it has freezer burn all over it. Sigh.

The upside?
Dinner, albeit a vegetarian one, is finished.
Both boys (as of just right now) are napping, and it's a quiet house, except for the intermittent cycles of the washer and dryer and the bubbling chili on the stove top.
It's snowing outside, and it's beautiful. How is it that frozen rain swirling in the cold breeze speaks so much beauty and wonder to our hearts? E and I got out in it earlier and had a great and, yes-- cold, time together.
We had a good weekend together as a family, and I'm still buoyed by how sweet the Lord has been to me lately. His presence has been so near, and I couldn't be more grateful.

I hope your Monday is as good to you as it has been to me ;-)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Feed yo'self, Mama

I've written lately about rest, and being aware, and nourishing ourselves. You know a great way to start doing this? Actually feeding yourself. I know. This is an idea that's mind-blowing in its complexity.

There are days when I literally eat out of the pan I used to cook lunch, hovering over the stove with a fork, while I make sure to get E fed before his nap. There are days when I eat peas and hot dogs for lunch, and nothing else. There have even been days where I'm not hungry come lunch time because I have -- get this -- been eating the scraps off numerous plates of Elias' food that morning. I obviously do not have to tell you that this is not good for me, physically or emotionally.

I've been trying to change that up lately. I buy the expensive hot dogs, grass-fed, nitrite free, etc. And still, I cannot have another hot dog for lunch. Ever. Ever, never, ever. So if that's what E wants, that's fine. I'll open a can of tuna or salmon and put it on some greens for me. Whip up a quick viniagrette. And I sit down with him, and made a point of eating myself. It's just as important for Mama to get fed as it is the toddler.

And can I say, for you carnivores out there, that perhaps your lunch should include meat? It's made a world of difference for me. I certainly don't mind not eating meat at every meal, but when I eat it at lunch, I find it very fortifying. It also reminds me that I'm worth a real meal in the middle of the day. I make sure Jeremy gets what he needs, and I'd never send him various scraps from E's various meals/ snacks of the morning. Why would I think that would be okay for me?

The above (badly photographed) picture is a meal I had last week that I would repeat daily if I could. Chili with butternut squash, sweet potato chips with guacamole. That's right: I made myself guacamole at 11 am. And it was awesome.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Waking up.

In the last few months, I've felt myself coming out of the baby "fog". I did that with Elias but almost immediately after feeling that clarity-- of feeling like myself again-- I got pregnant with Josiah. Pregnancy is nothing BUT fog, and then the newborn time, etc., etc. So right now is a good time. A time where my mind, if not necessarily my body, is my own again. Josiah has started crawling, and Elias is, kind of, more hands off, and... I don't know. I feel like I can think again. The pains of pregnancy are far behind. The boys have a set bedtime. We have a routine. Our life is becoming the new normal.

This is a good thing. But coming out of this time, I'm realizing how far behind I feel, in my faith. I think it's safe to say that Jeremy feels the same. We've been so distracted with the kids, and before that it was construction on the house, and before that, we were newlyweds. And, now... It's like-- what happened? We wake up and go to work and take care of the kids and put them to bed and then sit for an hour and go to bed and it all starts again. Where is the time to be ourselves? To be disciples? To live out our faith outside of our little circle of family?

I can't speak for my childhood-- I really have little memory of last week, much less that many years ago. But in my adolescence and early (and single) adulthood, I was a pretty passionate person. If I believed something, I really lived it out. I was kind of fearless and very honest. When I became a married woman, I think I let some of those tendencies go. Or at least muffled them. I was worried about fitting in with Jeremy's family, what they might think of me. I tried to fit in more at the church I started attending when I moved back to Illinois. The people attending there tended to be more modest, more humble, more reserved. I didn't feel like I fit-- and I often needed to apologize for being outspoken in a way that made others feel embarrassed or hurt.

I don't think these are inherently bad things. I did need some rough edges worn off. But in doing so, I learned how to "act" like a wife, a Christian. I was a little too good at shaving off pieces of myself. It became hard to gauge my spiritual life when acting [no matter how little] became part of how I lived my physical life.

So, I've felt foggy for a very long time. It started when Jeremy and I got married. I thought, it's ok-- it'll get better. Then we had Elias, and then Josiah. It's been years since I've felt really, really intimate with Jesus. Where I felt strong in my faith as an individual. Before I got married, I really depended on Jesus for so many things; when Jeremy took over a few of those needs, as he should have, I got disoriented. I didn't know how to relate to God as a married woman.

And here I am, five years later, still struggling with that idea. I know, it's kind of ridiculous. It isn't that hard on paper, but in my spirit, I'm still that confused new bride. As a new Christian, I was taught to let Jesus be my husband. And then when I got married, I was like, Wait-- now what?

Does this make sense? I'm a little wary of writing this down... of getting some criticism... but I'm wanting to be honest, about myself, about my faith. And I'm wanting it to get BETTER. I don't want to shrivel up as a wife and a mommy-- I want to be alive, and I want to bring life to my family. The only person I know who can make things alive again is God.

And He's been nudging me on this. He's been so kind to me, you guys, in the midst of all this confusion, all of these babies. I have felt swallowed up in his kindness, in his compassion for me these last years. And now, in His kindness, He's trying to hoist me up, trying to breathe new life into me. To help me SEE again, all the things that aren't a part of this physical world. For mothers of babies, sometimes it seems like it is only the physical that matters. We sit down at the end of the day, hair full of baby vomit, kid poop under our fingernails, next to piles and piles of laundry,  and in our minds eye seeing the load of dirty dishes in the sink. Our work is so physical in the beginning. The Lord understands that. And He understands, too, that our eyes have to be lifted up. That we forget that there's so much more to this life, and the next. That as much as our hands are submerged in the physical, our hearts have to be reminded that we are spirit, too.

He's reminding me of that now. I'm so thankful for that reminder. I'm so sorry that I forgot. I'm so hopeful for what's next.

Monday, March 4, 2013

with a whimper

-- mine. My whimper. Man, these kids don't give us much opportunity for sleep!

My week may have started with a whimper, but it seems like it will have plenty of opportunities for a bang. Now that Spring seems so close, activities (both social and work-related) seemed to have picked up. Usually, I'm thankful for a quiet week after a busy weekend, but instead, I'm looking forward to having more things going on. This winter has seemed very sleepy, which was awesome, but I'm ready to both get outside and see more people. Of course, that may just be the coffee talking. Ask me again in about 35 minutes ;-)