Enough, Already.

Linking up with my favorite people over at Five Minute Friday. The theme?

It’s a good one.

Totally fitting.

Kinda scary accurate, actually.

It’s like Kate Motaung totally knows me. That poor woman.

 

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Ok, so this week I explained to you my Congo fast, right? I think we’re at almost half way, and so far it’s been a piece of cake.

Cake. I miss you.

And, if you know me at all, you realize that all this glib talk of pastry is just a call for help. This is tough, people.

This Congo fast? There’s not really a truly hungry element here. I am not starving. In fact, the author of the book we’re using, Chris Seay, makes it very clear that quantity is fine. It’s just WHAT we’re eating makes me kinda… itchy for cake. It’s not a hunger we’re dealing with here. It’s a restlessness.

So, also: I cheated.

Last Saturday, something snapped and that night I found myself scarfing graham crackers, off-brand cheezits from Dollar General, and marshmallows.

Y’ALL. I DON’T EVEN LIKE MARSHMALLOWS.

Also, my husband was in the other room, and I found myself SHOVING FOOD IN MAH MOUTH as silently as possible, like a stealthy chipmunk.

A very guilty chipmunk.

So, way back, long ago, when this whole thing started (that was thirteen days ago, my friends. It seems like it was 2014), my friend Kate (Aka the master manipulator who totally bamboozled me into this whole thing) told me it was ok to write about all this. Wow, that is a humdinger of a sentence.

I asked her if the Congo fast had a place in my blog. Would writing about it be too “HEY LOOK AT ME I AM FASTING HOW COOL AM I? SUPER CHRISTIAN WOMAN IN DA HOUUUUUUUSE.” Because whenever I blog about anything I like to channel 80’s hip hop diction. It’s how I roll, yo.

Kate said it would be fine. It might help others and there’s always accountability.

Sigh. Accountability Shmacountability.

So, I had two choices today. I could tell you how marvelous the whole Lenten Congo Fastapalozza is a spiritual walk in the park. And… therefore…

This would be me:c4ecc05d66ba61b6ce0a2590f6efd0e8_well-isnt-that-special-feb-19-well-isnt-that-special-meme_736-649.jpg

Instead, I am gonna fess up and tell you how a graham cracker and some stale marshmallows broke me like a twig.

Oh my goodness. GUYS. I just realized. I  coulda at least made a S’MORE with my rebellion. WHAT is wrong with me? If I’m gonna screw up I should make it COUNT.

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MY PRESHUS.

 

See? Isn’t it a good thing I’m being accountable here? Because then you are welcome to watch me unravel before your eyes. I’m a cautionary tale, in human form.

I’ll keep you posted. Hopefully there will be no more marshmallow shenanigans.

THE POINT:

I have Enough. We all have more than Enough. We don’t even know. I was so used to always having MORE than Enough that I lost sight of Who is Enough.

Enough is enough.

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40 Days of More

Hey, did you hear?

I gave up alcohol for Lent.

Yep. Also, I gave it up for December. And rainy days. And birthdays.

So, also, you know, the rest of the year. And forever. That sort of thing.

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So. Moving on.

It’s just a teensy bit possible that I have not really given up anything else for Lent in a long while. Unless, of course, you count last minute trips to Paris, or goat farming or walking gracefully. I totally gave those up ages ago.

You see, I am just so horribly bad at Lent. I do not get A’s in Lent. This bothers me. I would plan something for it, and journal about it, and chirp about it to my so-good-at-doing Lent friends, and then, BAMMO, in about four days I would have totally forgotten.

Maybe I could give up memory for Lent?

I have made my peace with it. Jesus forgave me a long time ago for my inability to half-heartedly give up chocolate for four days. But, Jesus wasn’t done with me on this subject yet. That’s just His way. You have obstacles in life? He is there. But He also says things like, “Here, let me work with you on this… for a really long while…”

Sometimes I just wish He would say, “Here. Let me COMPLETELY FIX THIS THING FOR YOU. ALL DONE! PRESTO WHAMMO!”

It would be so cool, if that were His way. And, I have heard that sometimes it is. For some reason, I never get to have the “presto whammo” version of fixing things with Jesus. I wonder why? Just once, I’d like to get the PRESTO WHAMMO. It would be so cool.

Anyhow, this year Jesus and I had a little talk about Lent. It went like this:

Jesus: No, I am not talking to you in an audible voice. I know some of your readers are gonna think I showed up in your living room, all glowy and talking.

Me: THAT WOULD BE SO COOL WHY DON’T YOU DO THAT?

Jesus: We’ve discussed this before. I think you might get distracted by the glow. I’ll stick with still small voice today, okay?

Me: Sigh.

Jesus: It doesn’t work, the grumpy thing. I’m too holy. Just bounces right off. Let’s talk.

Me: Ok, Lent? I don’t like it? It kinda feels like 40 days of gritting my teeth over not drinking Pepsi, when You fasted for 40 days in a desert with Satan bugging you, and then, AFTER that You went and died for us. I dunno. Pepsie? It seems a bit… underwhelming.

Jesus: Ok, for the readers here who did give up Pepsi, I totally think that’s awesome. She’ll get on track here. Stay with us.

Me: Oh. Yes. Sorry. Sorry, Pepsi people.

Jesus: Look, if you don’t think your fast is legit enough, then why not totally fast for 40 days?

Me: Uh… totally? Like no food? Did you have water? No water? Again, you’re sure? No food???  That’s impossible. I mean, true, YOU’RE JESUS, so YOU could handle it, but…

Jesus: Yes. I am Jesus. But it wasn’t all fun and games for me either. Ok, well let’s dial it down then. I could provide some locusts and honey?

Me: Ew.

Jesus: So… the Lent thing. It has to be under your control, huh?

Me: *crickets*

Jesus: How about this? How about you add to your life? For 40 days, you study what Lent is about.

Me: Hey. Yea. I like that! I could ADD to my life, for 40 days. You are so SMART, Jesus.

Jesus: I get that a lot. So, you’re not officially fasting, but I’ll take it. Maybe we can think of it as “fasting from distraction and adding focus.” And then, maybe, one day you can really give up chocolate for 40 days and not overthink it so much.

Me: Still doesn’t seem very comparable…

Jesus: LOCUSTS AND HONEY. I WILL SEND THEM. DON’T TEST ME.

Me: OK. Bible Study. Every day, for 40 days. I’m in. Call off the locusts!

So, this year, I found myself mired in some bad habits that had me stuck. And I realized, as one who just SPOKE AT A CONFERENCE ABOUT OVERCOMING BAD HABITS that irony was going to come up and smack me upside the head if I didn’t get my mind right.

So here is my 40 Days of More Lenten Package for you:

  1. Up at 5:30 am.
  2. Study the bible
  3. Run
  4. Eat an egg for breakfast*

* I know. The egg seems totally random, but it matters. I need something to help with my blood sugar. Like, lately, I have found myself eating Frosted Flakes and cheese. If there was a restaurant called Cereal and Cheese, I would be there. Every day. This does not make Momsie’s brain or body happy. And each time I try to make sure I make a protein shake with more than two ingredients, I want to curl up on the floor with coffee and a Ring Ding, and cry. Ingredients are HARD at seven in the morning.

I am allowing myself to run a minimum of one measly mile. If I want to go longer, so be it. I usually do because after one mile I’m all warmed up and singing along with Toby Mac and ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Or not.

That’s the plan. I’ll keep you posted. If you walk past my house and see a FedEx box labelled LOCUSTS AND HONEY you’ll know.

I’m still hoping that some day Jesus asks me to give up tightrope walking for Lent. I’d be so in.

Presto whammo.

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Weak

Linking up with my favorite people today!!

It’s Five Minute Friiiiiiiiiiiday!!!!

The theme?

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Ok, the so obvious route to go here would be the plague-sickness that had descended on our family since what feels like Christmas. The weakness, you know. Wee tired cherubs, and one taller version (the husband) weakly asking for juice and popsicles and Tylenol all around.

But for some reason I am tired of writing about… being tired.

So, instead, I am going to write about my cat, Steve.

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Steve has serious swag.

Steve is a large. Like, if he was a car, Steve would have passed comfortable mid-sized sedan a long time ago. Steve is a Hummer. With fur.

In the morning, when I head downstairs to some coffee and quiet, I hear Steve get up. What I mean by this is: He is upstairs and I CAN HEAR HIM WALKING DOWN THE HALL.

This is no delicate flower, this cat.

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He’s holding my hand.

But, there is something about Steve that is a bit… lacking in natural cat-ness.

He can’t purr.

Somehow, Steve totally missed the bus on the purring thing. He emits this sad whispy sort of wheeze, instead of a purr, when he is petted (which is often). It makes me feel like I should offer him an inhaler, or at least some Vicks Vapo Rub or something.

Here he is, the king of the house cats, but when he purrs he just loses all credibility. He sounds like a squeaky toy.

Ok, so my point here…

What looks strong can sometimes have a really weak end game.

But also this: weakness is SO not the point. It’s what we DO with the weakness that matters. Steve does not seem to care two claws about his death-rattle purr thing. He still struts around like he owns all the kibble in this house. Also, he lives his life like this:img_6120

Steve is a cat of love.

He is giving his human a hug in this picture. I mean, just look at him. His whole body is purring. Pathetically, but you know.

I think I have a pathetic purr too, in many areas of my life. Like, my wimpy attempts at keeping the house clean. And my parenting skills after 8:30 at night. Or my battle with my squishy tummy.

That sort of thing.

We don’t honor weakness.We should. We get to give it to God, after all. He WANTS the weakness. And anything that He wants, I am more than happy to give.

If he wants our weakness, he must want us. We are pretty weak on some days. It’s ok.

At least you don’t sound like a squeaky toy when you purr. That’s just silly.Grumpy-Cat-Purring-Meme.jpg

I Just Wub You.

My kids. They used to be so cute. Allow me to show you:

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I  mean, that is some good genes right there. They have my looks and also, my adorable ability to make paper Valentines Hearts.

The cleft chins come from their papa.

All in all, my kids’ insane ability to blow the cuteness meter all out of the stratosphere is MOSTLY DUE TO ME. IT’S ALL ME PEOPLE. I MAKETH GOOD BABIES.

Yes. I know. Back away from the coffee, Momsie.

IT’S VALENTINES DAY. DID YOU KNOW? IT’S THE DAY OF LOOOOOOVE.

But, did you know? I used to kinda hate this holiday. As a bit of backstory:

I didn’t get married until I was 36. I know. I was so old I could barely make it down the aisle. They had to set me up with some oxygen and one of those scooter thingies. Also, I don’t think Brian remembers the event at all because HE WAS A WHOLE YEAR OLDER THAN ME AND I WAS ALREADY REALLY OLD so… you know. For him, dementia had set in.

But anyhow. We were married. And it was freaking awesome. Even though we were so old.

Also, though? Kind of not. Kind of not awesome all the time. In fact, today, even, as I tried to make conversation with two wee cherubs at 6:30 in the morning about whether or not they can have chocolate for breakfast… And I’m there in my robe and praying for the coffee to perk faster so it can catch up with the nutball children who TALK SO MUCH IN THE MORNING… I thought, “The awesomeness is not strong today. But hopefully the coffee will be.”

I ask you. How DO they talk so much in the morning? How? It’s a medical mystery.

Here’s my point (The lawyer, who has been absent a lot from my posts lately because of paycuts, gets to finally, FINALLY, add his “WELL IT’S ABOUT TIME.” to this post):

Valentines Day is a day to express love. The apex of love is NOT marriage. It’s not even kids although we all know they can be rather consuming in that department. I mean, did you SEE the picture above? Who could NOT love that? But also, might I add? The blonde one just spent a better part of this morning, walking around the house in aimless circles singing the Star Wars theme but with the word “Poop” interjected as lyrics. So… not so cute, huh? This moment was also accessorized by Red bending over and adding sound effects and you will thank me for not going into any more detail than that.

I’ll just let your imagination fly.

Ok, so back to my point. Valentines Day.

Love is not about sex or making babies (also sex ) or getting married or even, dare I say, the passionate weirdness I feel for my cats that means that every time I pass them I must grab them and hold them close, to check their furry status and all that. This is harder to do with Bob, the small nervous one who tenses up so much when I pick her up that I think she might break into a million tense and furry pieces.

ANYHOW. What I’m TRYING  to say, is that Valentines Day is about recognizing where all that love comes from. God created us to be like Him, after all.Which means…

He loves us like crazy. And, as I had observed this morning with the Poop Musical going on in my foyer, His crazy love is very apt for what He has to deal with on a daily basis.

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Also this: When my boys were little they used to come up and hug me and say, “I just wub you, mommah.” It’s one of those sweet things I remember, as a well-folded, frayed at the edges Valentine that I keep tucked away in my memory. All moms do this. We store them up, a memory box of adorable reminders.

I wanted you to know that I wub you too, my readers. You have been such a blessing to me.

And a tiny extra shout out to:

My dad. Who reads each and every post.

My mom. Who reads each and every one and then writes me letters and comments back. 🙂

Christy. Super Friend. Super Editor. Super Everything.

Julia Putzke. Super Friend Who I Have Not Actually Met Yet But Thank You Internet for Introducing Us.

 

I just wub you!

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Banish Worry and Anxiety in Five Easy Steps!

Gotcha.

I hate to say it, but worry doesn’t go down that easy. It doesn’t do “steps.” Sometimes, it doesn’t even do logical.

And it doesn’t play fair. Does it?

Some of you know my whole story – the one that digs back behind the funny parenting posts and tells you that I am an alcoholic, in recovery. And here is the rub:

Worry was my THING.

And sometimes, it still is. The holidays are a time of festivity and lights and our Savior’s birth, but did you also know? For a lot of us, the holidays are fraught with fear, anxious thoughts, worry. Sadness. Depression. A whole cocktail of tangled thinking stirred with a cute little swizzle stick of “We SHOULD be totally happy right now! It’s Christmas! NO ONE can be sad at Christmas! It’s un-American!”

In some ways, worry is an addiction all its own. It can be picked up and put on, like one of those big puffy coats that make you look like the Michelin Man – it buffers you from all else. It wraps and constricts and, at the same time? It might just be what we think keeps us warm and safe. If we worry, that means we just might have a shot at fixing whatever worries us.

We think we can fix, with worry.

Instead? We only damage more.

Lately I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing this:

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Here is a bit of wisdom (in the form of a list! You KNOW how I love lists!) from the author, D. C. Berkel, CPA:

Worrying has never:

  • Paid a bill
  • Turned around a failing relationship
  • Made a sick person well
  • Improved anyone’s physique
  • Changed anyone’s mood to one more positive
  • Made a job more fun or secure
  • Taken out the trash
  • Mowed the grass
  • Painted the house
  • Or kept the mother-in-law away

Now, not all mother in laws are worry-inducing. But, this list? It makes sense. We worry. We worry about all sorts of things. And Christmas? Sometimes, in all this joy and celebration, it crashes up against us and makes the worry hit back. This workbook? It has a lot of help to offer. It defines anxiety, and worry, and tells us why we sink under it. It gives us some very practical advice, in a written workbook format, step by step. It takes it slow.

And that’s how we deal. We need to take a breath, do some writing, some thinking about our past, some work. Maybe because we owe it to our future.

I still worry. But, I don’t let it control me. And I don’t suffer from it, like I used to. It doesn’t cloak me, and my life, like it once did.

Did you know? About six years ago, every time I got in a car with my family to go on a road trip, I would envision our little vehicle ending up in a terrible crash. I would see it, the metal on the road, the ambulances, the terror. I would breathe deep and clench my fists and pray like crazy, but that, my friends, is some palpable, evil anxiety to deal with. So, today? I do every thing I can to work on it. I gather my tools and I keep them close. God asks us pursue wisdom, and knowledge, and live right.

This book is one of those tools to live right. I highly recommend it.

If you are interested in getting a copy, click here.

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LIFT and drag.

Linking up with my happy place,Five Minute Friday today.

The theme,

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Ok, bear with me. It’s gonna be a bumpy flight.

I have had insomnia for the past, well, seems like forever now. On and off all summer. But the last week has been the worst. I have tried all sorts of remedies: melatonin, sleepytime tea, so much sleepytime that I am SLOSHING before bed. Lots of soft music. No screen time. Copious reading of things all soft and lovely… And the bible. I hate to say it, but a good read of Leviticus and I am usually nodding off all over the place. I know. That makes me sound rather unspiritual, and shallow. But good heck. I am TIRED so we’re keeping it real.

What better time, when so tired you are starting to see spots, to be real?

Lack of sleep has a variety of results. Let me share them with you.

  1. Momsie become unnaturally ferocious. Like, really, really cranky.
  2. She forgets things. Like where her keys are and how to feed her children lunch.
  3. She also feels dreadful and achy. Like her whole body just is UP and QUITTING this nonsense.
  4. Then, the wonderfullness that is MomGuilt comes up and pokes at her, hissing things like, “Feed your children, woman! And, for Pete’s sake, get a bra on! And what is UP with the laundry room situation? It looks like a college dorm room in there! DOOM and GLOOM, Momsie! You are a MESS!”

I remember once, my husband, Mr. Smartie Engineer, telling me about flight. He has actually flown a plane before, which gives him total street cred in this situation. He said something like this:

“For the plane to fly, it needs LIFT true. Of course. That is a given. But it also has to have DRAG. Without DRAG, the plane would just go all willy nilly all over the place.”

Ok, it’s possible he didn’t use the actual words “willy nilly.” But you get my point.

This non sleeping thing? It’s a total pain and I do need to work on it. But yet, it has done something good.

It has sat me down. Last night it kept me still and staring out at a tree and some stars and guess what I did?

I prayed. For like a long time.

I know. This TOTALLY  makes up for the Leviticus comment, right? So spiritual, that Momsie!

But really, prayer for me is a tricky thing. I keep doing it, yes, but a lot of times it ends up being All About Me, and also, God Why Aren’t You Fixing This Right Now?, and you know how that goes. So last night I just went through every possible person I could think of, and I prayed for them.

And people, if you don’t know, you better believe Hillary and Donald were in there. Along with our veterinarian (no idea why, but he was in my head so there you go) and our church, and a lot of people IN our church, and our weird neighbors and that one lady that doesn’t seem to like me much and my husband and my husband’s HUGE family and so on.

We need the drag to experience the lift. That’s what I learned at three am last night.

You’re welcome.

Also this: the FIRST thing I thought when I saw “Lift” as the theme? A bra. Yep. Aren’t you glad I went with option two?

 

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Lift and separate, ladies!

 

LIFT AND SEPARATE!

Save Haven

“Wait… don’t you mean ‘Safe‘?”

No. It’s not a typo. Saving haven is what I want to talk about today.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday, and today’s theme?

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We all talk about “safe haven.” Taking it, I mean. We like to make sure we have one in our homes and our hearts, where we can hide out and get away and be, well, SAFE.

I wonder. How do we carve out those places? How do we create them? And what are they centered around? Mine orbits around books, a bed, my computer, and Reese’s peanut butter cups. The peanut butter cups are optional, as sometimes they get lost in the bedcovers and then later you find what looks like poo in your sheets and freak out, and then realize, it’s just melted chocolate. And then you stand there, weighing the options, that you might just lick melted chocolate poo off your sheets and THEN you realize you have finally hit your bottom and it’s time for counseling. Really makes you think about your life choices, that whole licking the bedsheets thing.

Anyhow. I digress. Chocolate can do that to a Momsie.

The other day, I was going to do some editing of a blog post but I accidentally typed in “momx.”

Sigh. Oh internet.

Now, let me state here: Oh the places you can GO on the internet! It can be so awesome! I find myself drawn to you when I’m tired and I think, “I’ll just poke around here for a minute and find a recipe for cheesy corn because I so need that right now!” And 45 minutes later I’m watching videos of cats. It always ends up with the cats.

Unless, of course, you google the wrong thing and your computer barfs porn all over you.

I know. I KNOW. I do know it’s there and it’s bad and I guess… I guess I just didn’t really want to think about that special category of ill that involves the words “Mom” and porn. You get the idea.

This post is icky. Sorry.

I just think… our world has so many OPTIONS for everything now. And we don’t realize, sometimes, that all those options don’t have Safe Havens as part of their package deal. Like, did you know? Bad stuff is pretty much spread all OVER these options, like germs.

So, here’s what I decided:  I’m just going to take my boys and move into the basement and eat rations and read the bible, and when we long for entertainment we will sit around and hold hands, strum the guitar and sing hymns.

Of course… It’s possible this plan is not going to work because I can’t play the guitar and the husband won’t come down into the basement with us because ESPN.

We need to save the havens. Somehow. I don’t really KNOW how, but we do. My job is basically directed and led and festooned all OVER the place with the internet, so I do get the irony here. If I moved to the basement, how would my beloved readers get access to the exquisite-ness that is Momsie?

It’s a double edged sword. We seek haven. But sometimes we need to run, no SPRINT away from what we rely on as comforting and safe.

What is the Haven that you are willing to fight for? To do battle for? To save? Because, in this world, those places are going away.

Unless we fight for them.

We must fight for them.

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