Take a knee. Or two.

Today sucks. Little sleep, cranky baby, whiny toddler. The drama started before I could finish my coffee and it wasn’t even new drama it was the same stuff from the day before and the day before and the…  well, you get the picture.
My mind is bogged down. I feel heavy. I want to fix things, heal things, clean things, organize things. I want to dance and sew and play and teach and be good and smart and funny.
All I could do was growl from the couch.
So I sent the kids outside. All of them. Even the baby.
And I took a knee.
I took two actually, in front of my couch. I laid my head in my hands on the cushion.
I cried. I stayed quiet for a while. I knew God could see what was in my heart, even if I had no words.
I prayed for everyone I could think of that had been asking/seeking/needing prayer. I left their needs at His feet.
I prayed for everyone else I could think of just because a little prayer love never hurt. I left their unspoken needs at His feet.
My laundry isn’t done. Dinner is only half ready. The kids are fighting over who gets to pull the baby in the wagon.
But I feel lighter. My to do list isn’t any shorter, but I don’t feel like I’m drowning anymore.
So I guess I’ll go make lunch, and move the clothes to the dryer. I’ll fold laundry and watch Team Umizoomi with Bubbagirl until she falls asleep. Then I’ll help Doodlebug pick out something pretty to wear for her violin recital.
I’m not equipped, physically, emotionally or intellectually to help fix everything for everyone around me. The best I can do is take a knee, or two, and leave at His feet. The feet of the One.
 

(Not so) Alone in the Dark

I was a woman possessed and blessed today! My kitchen is CLEAN. I don’t just mean the dishes are done. I mean three bags went in the trash, two went out for freecycle and I have labels on my cabinet so I don’t have to listen to Mr. Daddy Man whine that he can’t find his water jugs. open a cabinet and LOOK INSIDE is apparently DIFFICULT
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I know I did a great job when he walked in and asked who’s house this was. I actually predicted that reaction on twitter a few hours earlier!  I tossed old bottles and nipples and sippy cups that were missing pieces. I junked “toss n go” cups well passed their expected life span. I matched up bottles and tops and sippies and valves and what was left was… TOSSED.
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I got rid of all those cups from Applebee’s and all the sectioned kiddie plates that cause fights at the table. My large collection of Tupperware collapsing bowl-freecycled. Old snacks long forgotten and gone stale….tossed. The set of Playtex converter and caps for my breastpump-freecycled. Window sill cleared to make way for the dandelions and wild daisies, sweet gifts from my girls stuffed into baby food jar vases.
It wasn’t what I had planned on doing today, it just happened. I would feel bad that the kids watched tv almost all day but I don’t. They kept coming in to tell me something new they learned. I heard Taderbug reading to Bubbagirl. Doodlebug spent an hour playing a quite complicated strategy game online. Normally I have to clean while constantly being interrupted by little people fighting over what to watch, what to do, who touched who or “hey mom, I have to pee”.
Not today.
Today they behaved. They shared. They laughed. I got things clean.
(okay, before you get all “she thinks she’s all that” on my.. I did NOT clean my fridge nor did I mop the floors. I ain’t THAT good)
Mr. Daddy Man came home early, we shared some coffee, and I fixed the girls fresh spaghetti noodles to go with the leftover sauce I had frozen from a few weeks ago (total Mom WIN). I had these dinners for two from Schwan’s I was going to cook up for us after the kids ate dinner. It didn’t happen.
The kids ate.
It’s currently 8:05 pm. We have not eaten. He is at karate with Doodlebug. I am at the kitchen table wearing out the battery on my laptop typing this while Peanut plays with my almost-dead phone and the other girls read the Nook in Daddy’s chair. I have two scented candles and one tea light candle and it’s getting dark.
Scented candles to not put off much light. *the more you know*
Somewhere around 6pm, as the girls were heading out to play before karate, there was a loud BOOM and our electricity went out. It seems the transformer that runs just our street thought this particular Tuesday was a fine time to go KaBlooooey!
The neighbor said the electricity doesn’t go out here very often.
They also said that when it does go out, it takes our electric company for-flipping-ever to fix it.
Yea.
So what do you do when there’s no electricity?
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Let there be cake.

I’m not sure what the heck happened to today. I woke up early, happy, and had coffee with Mr. Daddy Man. He had to leave super early for work and I wanted to see him before he left. The two year old woke up and then quickly dozed back off while laying on the couch. Even the baby woke up and then we back to sleep for me. I had almost and entire hour of pure quiet! UNHEARD OF I TELL YOU!
I had lessons ready, dishes washed, laundry going. I let them sleep in a bit. As the babies started to stir I started feeling the day was not going to be what I had planned so I prayed and told God I would give Him the day, I would do what He had planned. Not that I really have a choice, it was more like “okay I’m not going to fight you on it”.
Sitting on my couch now, with two kids asleep and two playing nicely, I can honestly say the day wasn’t that bad. I cut out pieces to two twirly skirts, I made a yummy dinner, hubby came home on time and was able to pick Doodlebug up from violin class. I got a shower all by myself. I had enough gas to get me home (on fumes!) but I made it to violin and to the post off to mail off some cutie things to two of my twitter friends and my sister.
Still, I spent most of the day feeling annoyed at everything. I gave up on school and let them play outside. The neighbor behind us is a single dad, he was trying to mow his grass and his four year old daughter wanted the girls to play. It got out of hand and I ended up fixing lunch for her too (no biggie… Ramen… ) and she started just walking in the house like she lived there. I’m not really upset. She’s FOUR. However, she walked in on my nursing Peanut. I thought she was my kid coming in so I didn’t think to cover up. I just don’t like feeling “invaded”. Apparently for the past few days I’ve been unusually sensitive to people getting near me, sounds, temperature. GAH! Everything has annoyed me.
I hate it. I can’t wrap my head around finishing anything either. I have articles to write. A book to read. A bible study to work on. I had plans to declutter, fold laundry, meal plan. I can’t even cut coupons!
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We installed a cable box over the weekend- first time in five years that we’ve had cable or satellite.  Mr. Daddy Man returned home from work and getting Doodlebug, plopped down in the recliner and flipped through his 500 channels. My Mommy Helper pointed out that “Cake Boss” was on and I couldn’t resist asking him to watch it. I’ve never seen it before. OMG the cakes that man makes!!
Anywhoooo, after the first episode Mr. Daddy Man started talking about wanting cake. I ignored him. Then I reminded him there were brownies.
He ate the last of the brownies while he watched another episode.
We ate dinner, and he still wanted cake.
So I did what any smart deal making momma would do- I offered the man a deal.
I had my helper there entertaining the kids. I was going to shower- alone. IF the kitchen “magically” became clean before I got out of the shower then I would make cake. That meant unloading the dishwasher- and reloading. That meant finishing feeding the kids and putting away leftovers.
We had cake for desert. Just sayin’.
 

Uh, you forgot a couple things

**another one for my children**
There are moments in your Christian walk when you will feel so overwhelmingly filled with the Holy Spirit. You cup will runneth over and then run over again. Your excitement will be obvious and some might even say you shine a bit brighter.

Matthew 5:6-8 (New King James Version)
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.

Your enthusiasm for sharing your faith and saving power of Jesus Christ will be evident in every conversation you share. Maybe you are a new believer. Maybe you finished a Bible Study at church that renewed and refreshed you.  Whatever happened, the warm full feeling of igniting the fire between yourself and God is an amazing sensation that should be shared with everyone you meet.

When you go and start sharing and talking and quoting please remember these two words:
Grace and Mercy
Yes, you should be telling people of the Saving Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. No, you do NOT need to be in their face telling them daily that they are going to hell. They heard you the first time.
Yes, when asked for your advice on a subject you should share how your faith helped you through a similar time of trouble. No, you should not harp on and on and on and on about how “if you’d just go to church and pray and *insert long tiresome list of things*” then it would all get better. It doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes they are going through a trial that God planned on them going through. Sometimes the outcome HE has planned isn’t as simple as getting their body in a church. Sometimes it is much bigger than that and when you fail to share God’s Word and His Love with Grace and Mercy and instead you preach it from a judgment seat you serve no purpose but to waste your breath.

Psalm 119:105 (New King James Version)
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

If God is the light upon your path, shouldn’t you be the light for someone else? A street light, not an interrogation lamp.
 

Why are we all so insecure? (Guest Blogger)

When Lisa put out a call for guest posters I wanted to help but I struggled with what I could offer her readers. My youngest child is 7 and we’re (happily) through with that whole contributing to the gene pool thing. I don’t home school. I’m not a SAHM. I am NOT at ALL crafty. I stand in awe of Lisa and all the other women who pull off this full time mommy job — well — full time. Like REALLY full time.
But I just recently started a study of Beth Moore’s “So Long Insecurity” with some women in my church. You know a study is going to be good when you’re sobbing just a few pages into the first chapter.
“Good”? It’s completely subjective.
Moore uses a definition of insecurity taken from “The Tender Heart: Conquering Your Insecurity” by Joseph Nowinski.
Insecurity refers to a profound sense of self-doubt – a feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. Insecurity is associate with chronic self – consciousness, along with a chronic lack of confidence in ourselves and anxiety about our relationships. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate.
Highlights are mine. Because yes. Yes. And oh dear lord yes.
Oh. My. Goodness. I probably could have highlighted the “constant fear of rejection” too. I have this fear that I will drive someone away. That they’ll have this realization that they screwed up by befriending/loving me. That they’ll, well, yeah, reject me. But I wouldn’t say it’s constant. Not even close. Still – it whispers sibilantly through the back of my mind more often than I like. Which is to say any at all.
What have I learned from the study so far? One – I’m insecure. Oh wait…I already knew that. No – what has really jumped out at me is the fact that I’m not the only one. Moore says that this is a universal struggle though with different areas and intensities. If you meet (or are) a woman who does NOT fight this particular battle, then it’s because you have put a lot of effort into it. I tend to believe her. Primarily because it makes me feel better. In fact – I was absolutely shocked by one of the woman who strolled into our first group session. She’s young, cute, outgoing and bubbly. She seems to have it all together. And yet she was in tears because she was tired and frustrated. Tired of doubting herself, of disliking herself. Frustrated with the fears and anxiety and the bonds she felt in her life.
I’m not alone. And guess what? Neither are you. It will interesting to see what this study yields.
 
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Rhoni is God fearing wife and mother of 3 boys who manages to work full time, mom full time, wife full time and co-lead a lifegroup at her church. She blogs at Not Living In Vain and is active on twitter as @Rhoni_renee. She is also a great player on Word With Friends and unlike me she doesn’t take 20 hours to spell a word.

I'm going. I'm STILL shocked.

The Relevant Conference: I'm Going!
I am going to a blogging conference.
Not just ANY conference.
I’m going to Relevant 11!
It all happened so fast.  I woke up, saw tweets about it and for the most part ignored them.  See, I couldn’t afford to go so I hadn’t really bothered to pay attention to any of the conferences going on this year. Besides, going to a blogging conference would either confirm that I’m nuts or it would force people to see that I take blogging seriously.  Or Both.
But then my friends were going. Then they were going and staying together and giggling and tweeting and it was going to be so.much.fun.
So I got a little jealous. I didn’t say it, but I was.
Then Cassie asked me if I’d go if I had a sponsor. Uhhh,  yea, maybe, I dunno.
Like I could or would get a sponsor.  I’m a LITTLE blog. I’m just a mom. I’m nothing special. I’m just a girl, a girl in the body of a woman, doing her best to love her husband, her God, her children, and finding solace in sharing her life with a handful of readers.
At 1 am, nursing the baby, I saw her text message. It was Cassie, asking me again if I would go if I had a sponsor for my ticket.
The next 15 hours or so are a blur. Lots of crying. Hugging. Praying.
See, Cassie wanted to sponsor me. Herself.
And she did. She sponsored my ticket to Relevant 11. She said I was important, and special and that I did deserve to be there.
I’m still crying about it.
And I want to pay it forward. So I’ve decided to try and raise funds for my sister to go with us.
Anything from my Artfire shop or Design sales go towards her ticket. I sold my changing table which gives us $35.  My friend Laurie is donating the proceeds from the sale of The Red Thread.
I can remember praying after Cassie asked me the first time “would you go if”. I remember asking God to just let me know if I was supposed to go, if He wanted me there, and I would do whatever needed to be done to get there.
I’m not sure how we’re going to make it actually happen. Peanut would have to be done with nursing or he’d have to come.  That would mean Mr. B would have to come.  I’m not going to sweat about it.
Seems I’m supposed to go. So I’m sure the details will work out just fine.
I still just can’t believe it.
Thank you Cassie. Thank you.
 

Am I really supposed to feel failure before my morning coffee?

I totally understand and LOVE and APPRECIATE that God gives us things that we CAN handle…with Him and that it is important for us to reach for Him and seek His strength.
I get it. I go to Him. Often.
Lately, it’s before I’m even out of the bed.
I want God to be involved in every aspect of our day.  I try to remember to pray before meals. We say our bedtime prayers. I pray while I sip my coffee. When events happen, especially events that confuse or worry my children, I try to explain it to them from a Biblical perspective.
Am I really supposed to spend my entire life feeling totally incapable of making it through breakfast without an infusion of strength from the Holy Spirit?  Aren’t I allowed to feel capable of doing AT LEAST a mundane task on my own without failing?  Am I being selfish to think such things?
I lay in bed in the morning lost as to how I am supposed to get all this done.  I hate feeling like I’m just waiting for them to grow up enough for this to not be so hard anymore.
Does any of this make sense?
 

Today's To Do List

1. Wake up
2. Drop to my knees
3. Thank God
4. Pray for my husband, who let me sleep in while he went off to work.
5. Pray for my children, that they will be great despite my all-too-often poor parenting choices.
6. Pray for my friends and my extended family.
7. Pray for those that need my forgiveness, even if I don’t feel they deserve it, do it any way
8. Ask for forgiveness, especially for the things I don’t deserve to be forgiven for.
9. Thank God
10. Listen

Feminine Appeal: Chapter 3, Children

Last week was rough.  60 percent of it was directly related to my crappy self esteem, my own overcritical nature and general belief that nothing I do will ever be good enough.  Intellectually I know that is not right, but that is how it is right now.  The other 40 percent had to do with the chapter we will be discussing this week: “The Delight in Loving Your Children”.
Seven VirtuesThis weeks chapter will be eye opening for me. Rereading it after having two more children. Please join me at the Blog Frog Community to discuss the questions in the back of the book.