Thursday, June 20, 2013

I am a Child

So, this might not be very long or deep, but it's what's on my heart now. And since I rarely have time or motivation to write about all the fun, silly, possibly deep and thoughtful feelings I have, I'm taking this time to run with it. One of my friends posted a link to a tumblr blog on reasons why their son is crying. I laughed SO hard at this. The child who cries because they want more cinnamon roll when they have a whole plate in front of them. Or the one that cries because you won't walk on them as a human bridge. And it makes me think of Karis. As she is rapidly approaching two, and since she still amazingly and stubbornly refuses to verbalize a sentence, we are having all kinds of crying fits over things that are so simple. She cries when I leave the room, instead of just asking where I am. (Mind you, she knows what "mommy's room", "kitchen", "Karis' room", and "garage" mean, she just would rather cry out instead of look to find me). She cries when I don't get her what she wants when she wants it NOW. She cries if she does not understand what I'm doing, when what I'm doing is what she wants, it's just a process. And the more she cries, the more I fall in love with her, cause the more she puts me in my place when it comes to God.

I am that child.

On a daily basis it's like, "Why haven't you done what I want you to do God!?" "Where are you and why aren't you coming to meet me where I want you!?" "I said I wanted _______ NOW!" "Fix him/her/ ALL OF THEM!" "Why won't you just give me what I pray fooooooooorrrrrrr!? (extra whiny voice).

Tears, yelling, definitely pouting, and then when I'm really tired of looking up at the sky, I just, you know, give God the cold shoulder. Right? I mean, totally giving God the cold shoulder helps me in MY life, and makes what I want come to fruition. Correct? No. I will say it again, just so you know that I know my heart needs a serious transplant. NO. Do you know that the last part of the love chapter in I Cor. 13 states, "When I was a child, I thought like a child, I acted like a child, I spoke like a child, when I became a man, I put away my childish ways." I did not copy that word for word from the Bible, that is my paraphrase. And would you believe it, this verse has been one that has been echoing in recesses of my mind, whispered in my ear by my Heavenly Father for quite some time now. 

Maybe I should start a tumblr on reasons why I am crying?

I hope you don't think I'm like walking around all the time whining like a child. I don't do it in the day hours, I promise. Thank you for loving me right where I am y'all!

Love you lots,

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Our church just finished it's DNow weekend, and as I was trying to hurry Tim to the sanctuary because I knew there would be less seats, it never occurred to me that there are just as many kids out there who have no idea what DNow is as there are that do. He thought it was so strange that a bunch of highschoolers get together over a weekend to sleep in other people's home and then all go to church together on Sunday. I love having Tim in my life because he brings me out of my church bubble. I mean, we try to make a church bubble now for Karis, but there are definitely things that I accept growing up in the South, in a family that goes to church regularly, that is very involved with the church, that I just don't think about the other side of that. So I don't know if it's because it hit so close to home because Orlando had DNow, they just called it something different, or because our new church is a little smaller and I sat closer to the highschoolers, I just started thinking about all those great times growing up in church.

I don't think I've ever told anyone this, but on the last day of church camp my Senior year, I balled like a baby. Not because I'd necessarily miss that camp, or the people at the came. (Just to be clear, I do love me some Camp Cherokee, and I do love and miss my close high school friends). But I knew that never again would I be a camper at a camp. They have no church camps for college kids, singles, marrieds, or marrieds with children. The closest thing you get when you are older are retreats, and marriage retreats. All are nice, and seriously needed when you go on them. But none are church camp. A camp where you go for the week where activities are planned for you, meals are prepared with you in mind, speakers are flown in, bands play amazing music, and counselors are literally there to pray for you, talk to you, and teach you about Jesus and His Word. (Now that I think about it, really the closest thing to that is a marriage retreat, but I could never afford to go on one for a FULL week, like church camp, so I'm saying there really is nothing out there like that). No, it's like when you graduate high school, you are cut off from being a camper. No one sat down and told me that, we didn't have full conversations about the gravity of that situation, that I would never be a camper again. It just happened, and really in such a way because my last camp as a Senior was followed immediately by middle school camp where I was a counselor. Like, BOOM, transition, done. And then as I was mourning the loss of that part of my life, and just wishing, maybe for a second that I could be a camper again, God whispered this lovely verse into my head:

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man (or woman, to those who need that), I put childish ways behind me."

God reminded me that it's no longer that stage of my life anymore. That while being a camper, being ministered to was a sweet and special time in my life, I had to become the camp counselor because we can't drink spiritual milk forever. I have to digest the more hearty truths of the Word because I have others in my life I have to care for, because (and this is super hard to believe for me) others (somewhere out there, maybe...) are looking at me, at my life and thinking about whether or not I am a good example of someone they want to be like. That Karis does not need a camper for a mother, but a counselor. And I need to minister to her, and to others. I need to honor the time, efforts, prayers, and sacrifices of those who invested in me as a camper, in order that I may grow up to replace them or help them in this circle of ministry. Don't get me wrong, being a camper, is not being childish, it's just, I did think differently, as a camper, I was self-absorbed because when I needed to talk to someone, divulge my problems or fears, I expected someone to be there for me, asap. To listen, and care, and pray, and hug. That is the example that was set, so that I may grow, put the self-absorption behind me, and be there for others. 

We've got a bit of a road ahead of us ladies and gentlemen, right? But then again, God also says this:

"...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

God specifically did some things in my life within the past six months or so, namely moving me away from some very solid friends who where amazing Christian mentors to me, that had been my "camp counselors", and it has been an extremely hard process to move away from my camper mentality to the counselor mentality, but I'm convinced it was the right time, and God always knows what He is doing, and it is always good.

So, while moving was and is extremely painful, it has produced some small, steady growth in my heart, and I look forward to seeing where God leads in that. So, now I'll lead you with the last verse He just laid on my heart:

"See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland."

Grateful that God is not content with leaving my heart a wasteland, I love you all,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Practicing Intervention

2013 is going to be such a fun year for a lot of people. Mainly because what feels like half of my friends had kids at the end of last year, or are having them at the beginning of this one. This means that they will experience the first year of parenting a child. And I have such sweet friends that ask for my advice. And on the inside all I'm thinking is, "Have you seen my life, my kid? Do you really think I've done anything right? Really? You're just being nice right now, it's sweet." But on the outside, I stammer something like, always make a decision you are comfortable with. I never give specific advice, for a specific reason: No human is specific. That's why when you go off to college and decide to major in something crazy stupid like, oh, Sociology (I did:)) and then people tell you, why don't you get a REAL major. It's because the Humanities aren't considered REAL science, because you can't put humans into an equation. Ever. Trust me, as a social worker for almost three years, and a mom for a little over a year now. Your little human you are growing, will never follow the same equation as any other human. That means that, according to the human population, there is over six billion ways to grow a human. At this point in time, I'm thinking high level calculus is easier than the human equation.

But ever the human race, we still try to quantify (or is is qualify?) ourselves into a neat package. Dr. Spock wrote a book in the 60's, a million people have been writing them since. We read Babywise or we take on philosophies of breast feeding until the child can talk, or have a family bed, or we do the exact opposite of all of that. All in the ever-present desire to grow a human the "right" way. You know, we want them to become smart, or to play an instrument well, or to impact the world for something! We don't want them to sit at home and waste their life. We want them to be happy and to reach their potential. And all of that energy boils down to whether or not we are going to breast feed them or not? Why yes, yes it does. Oh my gosh, is it any wonder why mom's are so stressed out these days about all these different things? Well, maybe I'll address more of that in another blog, but today, to answer my sweet friends who ask if I have any advice, I'll tell you the one thing I am trying to learn, and will probably be trying to learn everyday for the rest of Karis' life. You ready?

When should I step in and intervene?

I struggled with this when K was doing tummy time, then when she was learning to crawl, (I actually never intervened when she was learning to walk, because, to be honest, I did not want her to walk soon, but she took care of learning to walk all by herself, on her own... so...) when to intervene if she is learning a new thing, like climbing. Do I help her climb? Do I discourage her from climbing? When I know she's about to bust it trying to climb on the chair, do I let her bust it, or prevent an accident? There are pro's and con's for each argument. When do I step in my daughter's life and teach her? Do I do it before she is about to hurt herself, or after? When is she the most teachable? I honestly have struggled with this all the time. As a parent, I never want my daughter to feel pain, but sometimes if feels like she is bent on feeling it no matter how many warnings I give her. Do I step aside and watch in pain as she busts it for the 1000th time, or once again step in to prevent an accident and have her attempt to hurt herself again? Does this sound familiar to older mothers? I mean, am I not incorrect in saying that for the rest of my life I will be wondering "when should I step in on this?". 

But I want to learn this early, she is not an equation. There is no exact same way I should step in all the time. I want to learn fast to lean into the Holy Spirit. To head the direction of the One who knows all. I think if I could practice this step early, in little things, in baby steps. Maybe, I'll won't be caught off guard when she's a pre-teen coming home from school with all kinds of new problems that I am just not ready to think about right now. I want to practice learning when intervention is best. 

So, do I have any advice? Not really, the first year of parenting is so hard. Because you are learning when to practice intervention all the time. Whether is letting her cry it out at night, to going in and soothing her, all the way to when it's time to start baby food, and on up to where to go to college. We make what we feel are little decisions at the child's beginning, but what we don't realize is we are practicing for the big stage, when the decisions have a greater risk and reward. So, my advice is to practice now listening to God, and seeking His advice on the little things, and being at confidently at Peace with your decisions. Because I so agree with the scripture with the Lord says, "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones." I 100% believe that verse applies not only to our gifts, but our parenting as well. I hope you have a wonderful year learning more about your beautiful babies and how to grow a human. Keep letting me know how it goes! Love you all.