Women Who Move Mountains

I ask you, do you have any mountains you’d like moved?

I have a few.

Last month I kept a manila file in the office for far too long. It sat there and sat there, sullen and unopened, for far, far too long.

I’d really like to provide a gut-wrenching suspenseful scene here with something fascinating IN the folder, but well, it was our taxes. Receipts, forms, all sorts of paperwork, signifying money.

I let that file sit there because I was afraid of dealing with money. I cannot help but feel that as I file through all the papers and forms… that somewhere, a paper will flitter out, fall to the ground, and on it a statement:

“This is your bank statement. You are totally out of money. This means you will end up in a van down by the river and all is doomed.”

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Ok, I realize there are a few flaws in my thinking. Let me provide a short list:

  1. We have money.
  2. If we didn’t have as much money we’d still be okay.

This money thing is because money = stability. And, did you know? Stability means that

Everything Must Be All Right All of the Time No Matter What.

Catchy, right? I’m going to needlepoint that on a pillow.

Making sure that Everything Must Be All Right All of the Time No Matter What is rather tiring, did you know? Also? It’s impossible, so there’s that.

I recently had the honor of reviewing this book, and I would like to recommend it to you here:

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You guys. This book is super. There are so many things I like about it, but to be brief:

IT IS JUST WHAT I NEEDED.

Ok, the book addresses the issue of prayer – something I have always struggled with and for good reason. By this, I mean I tend to pray a lot like this:

Dear God – WHYYYYYYYYY CANNNNN’T YOUUUUUUUUU…. (fill in the blank) AND ANOTHERRR THING….

And so on.

Now, this is NOT bad. Praying + whining is acceptable to God. God knows. He made us after all, and if he made some of us, ahem, a bit more pessimistic and screechy than others? So be it. But when I whine/pray (Prine? Whray??) it just ends up with me feeling sad and twisty when I hang up with Him.

Detweiler’s book offers clear, practical advice on how to pray in solid, joyful FAITH. Yep. FAITH with BIG CAPITAL LETTERS. The kind of faith, that, well,  you know.

It moves mountains.

I highly recommend this book if your prayer life needs a little sprucing up. If you’re feeling like every prayer is uttered with all the verve of Eeyore. If maybe, just maybe, you have some mountains to attend to.

If you’d like to know more, or take a closer look at Sue Detweiler’s book click here, and get moving. 17903556_10155247020512206_6837944691568322308_n.jpg

 

 

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This is a test. This is only a test.

Parenting. Y’all.

It is not for the faint of heart.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today, and the them

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Let me explain:

I a tendency to be rather, uh, impatient. Like, just a tidge. Teensy bit.

Like, if I was gonna say… my impatience is one of the smaller states, it’s New Hampshire. It’s the New Hampshire of impatience.

Granted. New Hampshire is still about 10,000 square miles in size. Thank you, Wikipedia. So, there’s that.

Impatience is one of my issues. I’ll admit it. I am working on it, but it’s tough because working on myself takes AGES, and my gosh who has time for that? Ridiculous.

And here is the other thing:

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Yes, I know. Thing is blurry and in a shepherd’s costume, but I didn’t want to take the time to look for a better picture. Because impatient. Anyhow. This is Red. And he… well… he is not interested in the passage of time. At all. Like, he stops and smells the roses in every nook and cranny of his life all the time every second whenever wherever and HOLY BIG BEN WHAT IS HIS PROBLEMMMMM.

Yes. I am time-shaming my sweet child. I know. This is not my finer moment. I don’t CARE because TIME. TIME IS OUT THERE JUST SMACKING US AROUND ALL THE, WELL, TIME AND IT’S REALLY HARD TO DEAL WITH THAT.

The red. He makes me deal with time. I have gritted-teeth conversations with time, and with Red on a daily basis. Daily.

A daily test.

It’s only a test. Tests are not to be feared. They are just events that make us stronger. I have to remind myself that, also, on a daily basis.

The test-taking is daily because God loves us enough to not let us alone. And I remind myself of that too, on a daily basis.

This is only a test. If it was a real emergency, we need pray. But, the best part is that we can pray, anyway, anytime, anywhere.

Prayer. Our automatic answer key.

 

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!

Brave Red Lipstick and Faith.

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I keep trying to wear the red lipstick, y’all.

It’s a daily battle. Some days, I have to go to something outside, with real clothes on (always a bonus, actual clothes) and the Red Lipstick beckons.

“Come on…” it purrs.  “You know you wanna.”

It’s a slippery slope, the red lipstick.

Actually, it IS slippery and that’s the whole problem. Because, ultimately, as I stare t myself in the mirror, my M.A.C. Brave Red all loaded up and ready, I sigh and think, “I dunno. Do I feel lucky?”

Because, as sexy as Brave Red sounds, it comes down to this:

I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO DRAW WITHIN THE LINES.

And so, inevitably, I end up looking like Courtney Love.  And with Courtney? It’s ok. It’s her thing. It’s kinda part of the package. Me? Not so much. Courtney Love, with smeary lipstick and mascara in a ripped slip dress just does NOT go pick up her kids at school and then take ’em to the park. Nope.

Well, maybe she does. I dunno. I never really asked her. But, if I was a betting woman, and let’s face it, I totally am because I still hollar “Watch your AIM!” when my boys head to the bathroom and hope I get lucky…

Anyhow, IF I was a betting woman, I am thinking Courtney Love is not all about playdates and packing lunches, and, you know, being dull.

I can’t get the lipstick to stay put. The other day, I had encountered at least three people in which actual real and lengthy conversations had happened and my lipstick had done this:

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Now, to be clear, this is not me. This is a model. She is standing in for me, a sort of body double, if you will.  The poor dear can’t see a thing and that has got to be annoying.

My lipstick, y’all. It had traveled.

At some point in the morning I had decided to go all Brave Red all over my face. And chin. I looked like a Kool-Aided toddler.

(Also, I did not look a thing like Miss Skinny Asymmetrical as above but she’s there for dramatic effect.)

My love for red lipstick really took off about a year ago when I woke up one morning and found out I was old. Red lipstick helped, my friends. It understood. It made me feel, well, a bit sassy.

I think Richard Simmons when I think ‘sassy.’ And in this case, I am totally fine with that.

And, I told you that story to tell you this: the other morning I was walking my dog, and praying. I had passed my boys’ elementary school and was praying over it, the teachers, the kids, the kids who don’t know Jesus, the one that eats his buggers and taught my sweet, angelic, innocent little Red what a “weiner is” beside something you put in a bun and eat with ketchup. That kid got a whole block’s worth of prayer. I prayed over the deadly merry-go-round as I passed their recess area. I walked the perimeter, and I prayed.

And as I walked past the front of the building I realized I might look a little crazy. I was holding one hand toward the school, muttering as I walked, looking kinda, well, weird. Like, just plain crazy lady weird or crazy Christian lady weird. Either way, weird.

I stuffed my hand in my pocket and immediately stopped praying. But at that moment I was walking past the cafeteria, and for Pete’s sake those poor lunch ladies need PRAYER. It’s like the Thunderdome in there.

And here is how I pull this weird post all together and make you applaud my writing prowess:

Faith. It’s the Red Lipstick.

Put it on. Every morning. Head out with it. Don’t be shy.

The weird lady with the frenetic little dog will continue walking around your little elementary every Tuesday morning. I don’t CARE. We need prayer. Those kids in that school are all broken up and the teachers have to put them back together every day, and my God, I will pray. I will stay put.

And I purchase get a lipstick that does the same.

Betcha didn’t think I could tie ’em together, lipstick and faith? Well, neither did I. This post was just going to be about red lipstick and wrinkles, y’all. I didn’t really see the prayer thing coming. I am just so very spiritual.

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Revlon Colorstay, y’all. It STAYS. Granted, you need a chisel and some small explosives to get it off, but I’m worth it. (See what I did there???)

 

 

 

 

 

First born.

Linking up with my beloved Five Minute Friday today.

The theme?

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This morning I prayed for my boy, my first born.

This is because I am super spiritual.

Most days I am so spiritual, if I was a baseball team, I would be in the World Series of Spiritual. #TeamJesus! All the way!

Ok… Um. This is not the truth.

#TeamJesus has it in His contract that we are to attempt honesty in all our affairs, but most of you know me enough to realize… I am being a bit sarcastic. Just a bit.

Sarcasm helps me process. It is my way to butter the dry toast of life.

Anyhow, here was my prayer:

“Lord. I cannot. I just don’t know. I am at a total loss. My kid. We are not WORKING. Help me. Please.”

Ok, I am on a slippery slope here. I love to write about my boys, my family, but also: one day, you know? He’s gonna read this post and just sigh at me. “MOM, cut that out.”

So, I’m just gonna say this: I  think this parenting thing is too hard. And I can’t do it very well. And I am confused, and I feel like I have to go to the library and check out a bunch of parenting books. Like, ALL of them. Books like: “So,  Your Children, Huh? Driving You Nuts?” And, “What To Expect When They Are Nuts,” And, “Kids: No Matter What You Try They Will Make You Nuts.”

I know. After I carry all these books (Keyword: “nuts”), so many that the librarian will look at me with pity,  I’ll read them all and take notes, use post its, maybe fill up a notebook or two, and still, STILL not do it right.

Nuts.

My first born. He came into my life right on time, right on his due date. He slams up against my personality lately. He does so because, well…

He is exactly like me. We are nuts.

And first thing, in the morning, I pray: “Don’t let me screw this up. He is precious. He is driving me crazy. I have to get this right.

But you know? I don’t think that’s a #TeamJesus prayer, really.  It’s more like terrified scatter shot, all panicked and hoping  for a direct hit. These are more like a prayers… to me. To take this all over. And fix it. Because that’s how we operate, my first born and me. We are in control.

Except when we’re not.

My prayers, first thing, need to life my hands up to the One who has got this all. He is my Father, after all. He knows best. I can go ahead and read the fifteen parenting books next to my bed, but at the end of the day, I need to read the bible too. And realize who the Great Author is, recognize that He wants us to parent as He does. And go from there.

By the way, ask a  seven year old to give up control, and watch his little brain start shooting out sparks.

Ask a 40 something year old momma to do the same? She should NOT be sparking. She has age on her side. A lot of age. If she starts sparking she might just set herself on fire, and she’s too old for that nonsense.

I got a lot to learn. I love my boy. But my prayers should be this:

“Lord, change me. Use me. And, I give you ME. Also, I give you my boy. My first born. He is precious to me. And he is Yours.”

“Help. Please. And thank You.”

Can I hear an amen?

Parenting is so hard. It is SO hard. And control freaks find it so mind boggling that often times? We rev up to nutball to FIX it all. Today? I’m going to fix my heart on Jesus, who is my first love.

And I’m gonna love on the idea that in my weakness, my LACK of “firstness” I make more room for His strength.

Oh, thank You. team-jesus

 

Weary

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today.

As I literally have just about FIVE minutes to write this, I am totally and completely following the rules. This is usually hard for me.

The theme for today is:

Weary.

I couldn’t get my computer to download the cool graphic. Thus, the theme is so much more fitting, don’t you think?

I lost it on my son this morning. Lost. It.

We are driving to school, which seems like a crime against every P.E. teacher out there because we live TWO BLOCKS away, but yes, we are driving.

I bet you can’t guess why?

Yep. So. We’re rushing and getting hats and gloves and sanity and stuffing it in our backpacks with healthy lunches and lots of well wishes and then, Sweet Red, my dear baby, starts to whine because his hat is itchy.

So we trade the hat out for another hat. Our winter stash drawer is full on into that weird level of nookie where it is fairly bursting with hats and gloves and socks (socks?) and lo, in about two weeks we will be down to one hat and two mismatched socks and some cheese sticks. Because.

So, anyhow, NOW I triumphantly have a hat to give him and I am all, Here ya go sweetie! Put this on! and he’s all:

It makes my hair hurt.

And I look up at the sky and say, Lord give me patience. PLEASE.

It was one of those prayers that was not so much a prayer, but more like a nice spiritual snowball, lobbed AT someone to make them get it in gear get out the door get it together get GOING.

It was not a prayer at all, really. And then as I realized this and grumpily stuffed my child into another hat because he is shivering like there are polar ice caps floating by and I really can’t wait to see how he deals with December for pete’s sake, I got all set into my grump and I yelled and we were all subjected to The Lecture About Being Not Late once again and even I was sick of it.

Weary.

This blog post is probably like a million other mom blog posts out there today. We are tired out and we mess up and I know we are supposed to be gentle and forgive ourselves and yep.

Kinda weary.

Here’s the only part of it that I can offer as a bit of a plot twist:

We get to school and I am helping Red with the hats and the gloves and the coat and the lunchbox full of Guilt and Healthy Choices, and I get down on my knees, put my hands on Red’s shoulders and look him in the eye and say,

Sorry. I am so sorry. I yelled at you and I was a total grump. Do you forgive me?

And he says yes because of course he does (what is he gonna say? No?)

But then he leans in with those impossible eyelashes and such a soft kiss and gives me three kisses and THREE hugs and as I walk to the door he hugs me again, and tells his friends,

This is my mom.

And I understand how Jesus operates, really get it, in those two seconds and 6 hugs and kisses. And the math of it is astounding.

My attempts + my weariness – my failings / God’s forgiveness and grace = infinite love

Or something like that. I don’t really want to do math here. That’s not my thing. But I know you get it, because you are a mom. And we get those little moments. And then we write about them in our millions of mom posts.

A million mom march.

Even though we are so weary.

March on, mommas.

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This is the post in which I sing at you.

Lots of deep thoughts here… mainly about my ego and my crushing inability to sing.

Bottled is ready for order! Click here to take a look.

Blessings, my peoples!