Thank you for visiting, I hope you stick around! This is a blog dedicated to encouraging women to rest in God's grace and righteousness. I pray that nothing you read or see here leaves you feeling discouraged or inadequate. The last thing I want is to contribute to the "I don't measure up to this blog" epidemic that is plaguing so many moms today! My prayer is that this blog helps any readers (and myself) be comfortable with the eternal and secure identity in Christ that is there for the taking. Here's to walking in His liberty!


Friday, October 4, 2013

holiday humility...

Every year. Every single year, we all stress about the holidays and which side of the family we will be with on which day, which side gets Thanksgiving, which side gets Christmas Eve....do we even go to our family holiday dinners at all this year? If you aren't familiar with this stress, well...this blog post might not be for you, but please feel free to keep reading.

A few years ago (and as recent as last holiday season), my husband and I decided we were going to take a stand and "start our own holiday traditions." We decided we weren't going to be guilted into going to family holiday things...that we'd only go if we wanted to. I almost can't bear to read that as I'm typing it (Know that I just deleted and retyped this several times). The thought of my family reading this--and I know some of you will--just makes me want to cry. I'd like to take the time to publicly apologize for this attitude.

Let me hurry and say something real quick like before a bunch of people stop reading. This concept, in and of itself, is not bad at all. I think it is a wonderful idea to start traditions with your spouse and children...wonderful! I also understand that a lot of people have to travel to be with family over the holidays. Choosing not to cough up the expense to do so...well, that is definitely a choice we would have to make quite frequently if our families lived far away. 

What I am referring to, and attempting to repent of, is the attitude that often goes with these decisions; the attitude I have been guilty of acting with many times. I've shared before that I wrestle daily with not making my husband and children the gods of my life. That being said, as icky as this sounds, I don't want to share them with anyone. I want them to love me the most and the best, I want all of their special memories to include me and my husband....and no one else. ick. I hate admitting that, but in the hope of helping someone else realize the danger of this, I'm powering through! I'm also attempting to repent of being inconvenienced by my parents being amazing grandparents. How dare I?! How dare I have the nerve to be anything less than overwhelmed with thankfulness for their generosity and love?

Don't get me wrong. I'm right there with you, moms who read 7 and books n' blogs like it that talk about how spoiled our kids are. I think we should take steps to prevent this, however, being ungrateful and bossing our parents around is NOT the way to go about it. Dishonoring our parents by ordering them to only get our kids one present? Yep, I've done it, and I'm just going to come out and say it...it's disrespectful and ungrateful. On top of that, remember that your kids are watching you relate to your parents. I know. It's frightening.

If you want to set some kind of limit on the presents (which is a good thing, IMO), I implore you to try and come from a place of humility and respect. This is the kind of thing that requires a discussion, not an punctuation-less text saying "only 1 present for little johnny this year plz." I speak from experience. Yep, daughter of the century, right here.

If you read my post, "who do we think we are?", you might remember my talking about my conviction over not continuing to honor my mother and my in-laws as my adult life progresses. So let me pose the question, am I honoring my parents by secretly wanting to leave them out of my kids' special holiday memories and traditions? Personally (and I think this has to be a personal thing), I feel that I'm not. If I say "thanks for raising me, lending me money, helping me figure out how to be a parent (including at 3 in the morning when I am crying to you saying I can't do it), and trying your best to make the holidays special for me my whole life...but...I think we've got it from here. It's time for us to start "our" traditions now," what message is that sending to not only my children, but siblings and other young parents who are watching these actions?

I don't mean to wag my finger at anyone who makes that tough decision to keep the holidays within your new, precious family unit. It is so precious to have that time alone with your husband and kids! This is a conviction that God has heavily placed on my heart, and I don't have the audacity to believe everyone should follow suit. All I know is, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my mom. My husband wouldn't be here if it wasn't for his parents. Our incredible, breathtaking babies wouldn't be here if it weren't for these precious people. In light of this, I feel that including them in the new traditions we hope to build, and continuing to embrace the established traditions is a very practical way we can honor our parents. Honestly, is it that hard to do your own thing and show up at your family events? I promise, it's not as stressful as you might think!

Lastly, I won't tell you how long I sat and wept a while ago over the thought of my kids not wanting to include me in their holidays after they are grown....it's embarrassing. Let's just say you'd think someone died. I can't expect my kids to honor me into adulthood if I don't set that example; and I hope that--by God's grace--my example might resemble someone who is blessed and privileged  by the opportunity to honor my fantastic parents, someone who doesn't let apathy take over in how they relate to and love on those who made my family possible.

I realize there are some out there who will read this and meet it with bitterness toward parents who they feel failed them. All I can say is that if you've ever seen a holiday movie from the 80s or 90s, you know that the holiday season is prime reconciliation material. Give it a go, I think I will...but that's a story for another time.

Here's to creating a culture of honor in Him,


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

{allow yourself grace} mealtime...

Something sad happened as I was creating this post. I was looking for an image of a fancy, elaborate table setting (to use ironically in this post, mind you), and I would say that about two thirds of the images were from blogs that were encouraging other women to set their tables this way in everyday life. I don't mean to point the finger at anyone else, but I will admit that it almost stopped me from writing this post. In that moment, I felt inadequate...not only as a homemaker (I can count on one hand the times I've done an elaborate tablescape, even for holidays), but as a blogger. "No one is going to want to read this. Look at all these other blogs that help women be fancy. That's what people really want, to be told how they should and can improve." This is what was going through my mind as I scrolled through these photos, with this post in mind.

I'm hoping that since insecurity resonated like a giant gong (sorry, my kids are watching Mulan), it means I definitely need to write this post. Every time that has happened in the past, God has been able to use said post to encourage someone. So...do your thang, Jesus. Encourage someone with what follows...please!

Meal time in our household. Where do I begin? I LOVE to cook . Love it. I promise I'm not saying that to sound all domesticated...frankly it re-he-he-heally bothers me that it's now trendy to cook because it's trendy to be vintage and vintage means June Cleaver meets Julia Child. Pardon me for a moment while I gag. If you genuinely love to cook, own it...by all means. If cooking isn't a passion or hobby for you, but you do it anyway...OWN.IT!! That's awesome! Anyway, I digress...Oh yeah, I like to cook.

My gram and mom were and are fantastic cooks. I grew up eating some great food, and I am so blessed to have learned to cook from these women. That being said, last time I checked I had at least 4 kids...maybe more. Sometimes it feels like more. I ADORE that we are blessed with a large family, and I adore this adventure with my husband. I see the gospel everyday in my life, in my home, in my children. What a tremendous blessing! That doesn't mean that it isn't excruciatingly hard sometimes. It.Is.Excruciatingly.Hard.Some.Times. Sometimes I am just completely burnt out and done-zo. When these days/stretches of days come, you can place a safe bet on the fact that I don't feel like making dinner. Heck, sometimes it feels like an enormous chore to feed them cereal for breakfast and PB&J for lunch.

So, do I make dinner anyway, you ask? Um...sometimes. Sometimes my wonderful husband will make us a pot of pasta or pancakes, and sometimes we (bum BUM BUMMMMM)--gasp--eat fast food or grab a 5 dollar pizza. When this happens, I will admit that I don't feel as great about how I am providing for my family, but God faithfully allows me to see that while I may be lacking in the "providing sustenance" department, I am filling my cup in the peace and rest department...things that will overflow on to my family as we eat our Taco Bell. I know fast food/frozen pizza/sandwiches might not puff us up as much as we write them in those little boxes on our meal planning forms, but couldn't that be a good thing? I'm much more equipped to show my children the enveloping grace and sufficiency of Christ in my life if I have recently been humbled by admitting that I can't do it all!

Let me say, for the record, my husband takes the family table pretty seriously. I am blessed to be married to a man who longs to sit around our table and make much of Jesus as a family as much as possible. I don't always share this same longing, but it sure is a fun little way to practice that submissive spirit! ;) Even on those nights when our dinner might not be the most nutritious, and may not have been prepared with love in our own kitchen; rather than wallowing in guilt and feeling like a failure, I try to rest in my Jesus' unchanging love for me, and sit around the table with my better half and my 4 gorgeous babies and consume together, with love, the food God has so graciously provided...even if it doesn't include homemade bread or anything organic.

One more quick thing. I know some families are crazy busy, and can't always eat around the table together. While I would encourage everyone to try and make that a priority, please don't feel like there is any judgement here. For us, it's really only been the last couple years that we've, by the grace of God, been able to make it a pretty steady tradition in our home. Also, there are still plenty of nights this doesn't happen for whatever reason...we just try. That's good enough for us.

Oh, and sometimes we use paper plates and stuff. errmahgerrsh. I know.

Here's to being thankful, rather than egotistical, when it comes to our meals!


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