Glitter Advisory

One week from today starts advent season. The things I don’t do at Christmas have earned me more than one finger wag or head shake. “But what about the magic?!” people exclaim to me.

Listen, I may not be one for pushing the status quo, but let’s talk about that one thing I do manage to do.

Crafts.

Every day for advent I let my kids do crafts for our tree. We aren’t talking your run of the mill paper, tape, maybe-even-markers-if-you-won’t-color-your-face crafts. We are talking scissors, glue, paint, and, yes, even glitter kind of crafts.

Which, of course, is magical around here because the other eleven months out of the year I send them outside and tell them to use the mud if they want to paint, but don’t bring it in this house. I love advent crafts because it gives us time to get focused, in what is quite possibly the most distracted season of the year.

But that glitter. I’m already praying for my sanity for the next month, and even at that I’m only praying that God will restore it when it’s all over, because I feel sure there is no hope of maintaining it during the making of those Prince of Peace crowns. Because those little jars of glitter? Should come with warning labels…

Glitter Advisory

The glitter contained in this jar may multiply at a rate of 1 to 100 and spontaneously erupt. Use caution with children. Possible side effects include sparkles in the eyes, hands flailing wildly about, the shedding of glitter for up to two months, bodily orifices clogged with glitter, and the inability to hear or follow instructions while under the influence of glitter.

All that glitters may not be gold, but it probably did get glitter on it, can I get an Amen?

‘Tis the season to be sparkly.

Prison Break

I have a new favorite song:

When I heard Christine Caine speak, she said that free people, free people.

I loved that. Talk about a word aptly spoken.

I find myself in a season of recovery that leaves me passionate and aggressive about being loved up and freed up.

I have been through dark days and now I am sitting on the other side. I have never felt so loved and adored by my Creator in my entire life.

It turns out that feeling intensely loved makes me feel intense in general. It lights a fire in me that cannot be quenched by the pricks of daily life. It makes me feel passionately and aggressively peaceful.

Yeah. I know. That seems like a weird sentence, huh?

But it does.

And as a result of the wild love affair? I’m feeling wildly free. I’m feeling fiercely ardent about freeing people up. It is making me bold. It is making me move.

What are you feeling passionate about these days?

Bingle Bells

So last week Russ headed out of town for a few days and I took that opportunity to break the rules.

Because you know, cats away and all that and also, because I am so rebellious like that.

We listened to Christmas music all day. All day. Every day.

For all of you out there that are like, “It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, you can’t dive into Christmas!”

You know what I’m thankful for? Christmas music. Boom. Like a boss.

What you need to know is that sometimes it is devastating as an adoptive parent to remember all that you missed. All the milestones you didn’t get to witness.

But sometimes? Getting to experience a first with kids that can walk and talk, and for that matter yell and dance?

Is amazing.

Cue Jingle Bells.

Who knew it was such a game changer right? But with the the snow falling down and instruments in hands my kids have become some crazy “Bingle Bell” singing machines.(When daddy isn’t home, of course, because some people around here aren’t into breaking rules ;))

Lily is usually the conductor, Alex on percussion, Eli does the choreography, and Ava does lead vocals. (Jane just bounces in her seat.)

It brings back an awe and wonder that is easy to forget about when you have lived you whole life with something.

So as for me and my house…we will go sing Jingle Bells and thank the Lord for His Awe-someness.

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The Best Parenting Advice I’ve Got

I know lots of new little people in the world. Now that I’m not partaking in baby season I feel like I have fresh eyes. And also? Lots of texts that end in question marks.

Because, apparently, three babies in three years makes people think I might know something. Gigs up. I don’t.

Well, not much.

But I remember what it felt like to just want some ANSWERS. To take the sum of all the advice and know that half of it was ridiculous and the other half was  disheartening.

There is nothing like being sleep deprived, feeling unqualified, and holding a screaming baby that refuses to be comforted to make you want to gut check the next person that tells you to enjoy these days, insists that you must do this or that, or implies that your child’s future will clearly be threatened if you don’t do such and such.

And then you want to scream because the two people who just gave you advice? Said the exact opposite thing.

So here is my ring toss:

Love them.

LOVE THEM.

Love them. 

That’s it.

If that means putting them in your bed. Great.

If it means putting them in a crib. Spectacular.

If it means homemaking all their baby food. Go for it.

Let’s face it, if you are barely getting your baby food, REJOICE! Your baby is getting food. Amazing.

Formula, Breastmilk, Cloth, Disposable.

Seriously?

Love them. 

Don’t drown in guilt if you need to put your baby down while she is crying for a little bit. Don’t drown in guilt if you don’t enjoy middle of the night feeding. The fact that you care enough to ask what is best for them proves your worthiness as a parent. 

Don’t buy the lie that you can do it just right. You can’t. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it well. More often than not, for me, loving well means looking a two year old in the eye and apologizing because I got it wrong, not running down the list of parenting theories until I find the perfect answer.

Because when you love them well, you show them grace.

You show you grace.

But maybe most importantly of all…

You teach them grace.

We fall away from perfectionism to sufficiency.

We fall away from self-absorption to humility.

And it’s beautiful.

Just like your precious baby.

When Your Theology Doesn’t Match Your Reality

Otherwise entitled: Happy Anniversary Hubs!

This weekend Russ and I will have been married for six years. Six crazy intense years of pressing into Jesus. Which means I have read a whole lot of scripture about being married.

What scripture tells me is primarily how to be married. It tells me how to behave in a myriad of situations. Scripture also reminds me often of the goodness of marriage. How it is good to be married. It mentions a few times finding an appropriate mate and the extent of it is finding someone that follows Jesus.

That’s it.

No soulmates mentioned. No “finding the one.” No long list of “wait for the guy who…”

Just Jesus.

Which leads me to believe in my heart of hearts that if two believers are truly following Jesus, pretty much any two could successfully make a marriage work to the Glory of God.

That’s my theology.

And perhaps it is out of necessity. Because I’m not really that easy to live with. I’m moody and emotional. I’m hyperactive and I have so much fire in me I could burn down a city block. I hate cleaning house and cooking and, unfortunately, bathing isn’t just real high on my priority list.

I’m cannot be the most fun to be married to.

And Russ? Well, he is a perfectionist. Disciplined and steady to a fault. He is a thinker and reasoner. And not a communicator of the feelings.

I’m sure you can imagine.

And sometimes for days. weeks. months. years? We are just looking toward heaven and walking in the same direction. Because the Bible says thats what marriage is. We cling to the rules. Hold each others hand and we do the work of marriage. We work it out.

But sometimes. Sometimes day. weeks. months. years.

We challenge each other. We push each other. We laugh and dream together. He steadies my run and I put the fire under his. He cleans up my messes and force his feelings to get messy. And it’s beautiful.

It’s so beautiful that it messes up my theology.

My belief that there isn’t some “one right person.”

Because times like these, I look across our (very long) dinning room table and I see God’s sovereignty.

I see the one whom my soul loves.

And somehow, I know it all works.

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Mom Life and a Fall Fix

Y’all today was Stitch Fix day!!!! Yayy!

Unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone to take pics. Here is what happened when Alex tried…

How is you vision?
How is you vision?

Anyway

Are you done? Great!
Are you done? Great!

Anyway, I just snapped some pictures in my bedroom and so the colors are atrocious. Sorry ’bout that.

The good news? I have an iPhone and my fix was awesome!

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I feel like story of my Stich Fix dresses is “almost, but not quite.” I adored this dress, the cut, the fit, everything. But it was a little pricy and navy polka dots, which I just got a navy polka dot skirt last time.

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This one is for the jacket and the jeans. Both of which I loved. But budget would only let me keep one and the jeans won, since, if you know me at all, you know I have a sordid relationship with jean shopping. That moto jacket was smokin’ hot though. In another life I totally would have kept it.

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The shirt above and below were both kind of fails for me. I loved the fabrics and the prints, but they were too flowy and I don’t own enough shape to make up for that. Also they hit me right at the hips. After three babies? Not so much.

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Due to budget I only kept the jeans this time, but I feel like my stylist is really starting to get me. Which is seriously something, because you know. Weird.

Hook a sister up with a referral credit if you are interested.

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Earthquakes, Ripples and Meaning It

So yesterday I cried.

I actually had a great day. But my friend Beth? Wrote something about me and it made me cry.

Because when she looks at me, she thinks I live live like God means what He says.

Oh sweet mercy.

Every once in awhile that happens. Every once in awhile I stare bravely in to the face of scripture and I believe what God says. 

But it’s nothing close to every day. I would even, sadly, say it’s rare that I take God a face value.

But I’m not saying Beth is wrong. 

Because every once in awhile it happens. And I live like a believe God means what he says. And I know it happens because it causes an earthquake.

It shakes my whole world. It shakes the world around me until everyone teeth are chattering that are within reach of the epicenter.

Know how I know that happens?

Because my teeth chatter when other people do it. When Beth does it. When she lives her live with a bold and fearless vulnerability that  overwhelmingly aromatic of Jesus inviting His disciples to come and see where he lives. To fling the doors wide open with all the beauty and all the mess and show them Jesus. I feel it in my bones every time my friend Jessica does it to me. She is the most joyful person I know out of sheer gratefulness to God. Not only do I think Ann Voskamp would be proud of her, I think she might even want a little of what Jess has got. Joy when no one would mind if you complained. I know it happens when my friend Suzanne does it. When she absolutely and actually prays without ceasing. She takes God at His word and storms His gates constantly.

Oh. Y’all.

What if we did this? What if we lived like God meant what He said the other 99.5% of the time. What if we were all earthquaking so much that we turned this world flat inside out for a Jesus that did the same for us?

Let’s do that shall we sisters? And let’s start here, by inspiring. And loving. And encouraging. And aspiring. To the perfection of the gospel. That is love.