Remember that time when you were excited to send your first child to Kindergarten? To take a picture of your chubby-cheeked five-year old standing with a backpack hanging past his knee caps, grinning like the Cheshire cat and standing at your front door? When you imagined the hot tears streaming down your cheeks as you waved to him getting on the bus, or standing at her classroom door?
Remember that time you were excited to send your LAST child to kindergarten? When you dreamt about all the time you were going to have while your beloved offspring ate at laminated lunch tables and learned their multiplication ones? About the wreaths you were going to make, the bread you were going to bake, and about the life you were going to catch up on?
Yeah. About those.
Lots of dreams have died this year. And this is yet another one.
And while we have no doubt lost quite a few things in 2020, I see something we have gained: a time like this. A crisis. An unexpected opportunity. One that has potential to have some unexpected blessings too.
As we venture into this uncharted territory of schooling at home, maybe we can begin to see it as a gift, whether we like it, love it, or neither. Whether it messes up our plans, or confirms them.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination. I am in this with you. I am going to be schooling five children this year.
Lord, help us all.
Most of us were probably not planning on homeschooling our kids this year. We were planning on free time. On working. On normal routines and after-school activities. But I can’t help but think of all the unforeseen gifts in the things were weren’t planning on. The things that will be grateful for when we cast our glance backwards at the end of 2021.
Winston Churchill famously said, “never let a good crisis go to waste.”
Moms, we have a crisis before us. And we also have opportunity. We have the chance to rethink how we do things. Why we do things. To ask tough questions of ourselves and others. We have been given the gift of forcibly rearranging our schedules, our plans, our life, and centering it more around home, family, and being teachers.
No, we’re not fifth grade math teachers by trade, (well most of us aren’t anyway) but we are all teachers. And this year, we get the chance to not only teach them how to wipe the seat and shut the cupboards, but teach them about the world around them. About history and science and stinking common core math. About persevering through difficult things and how to flex when plans change.
And maybe in these new rhythms there will be more freedom. Freedom to try new things. To let go of perfection. To live in the moment and cherish the small things. Freedom to sleep in. To let our kids wear fairy wings and pajamas while they do math at the breakfast table. Freedom to take a hike in the middle of the day. Freedom to make new memories doing a new thing, something we never imagined.
Friends, it’s not going to be easy. I know that. But may we grab ahold of this once in a lifetime (let’s hope) opportunity that feels a lot like a lemon, and squeeze every last drop of juice we can from it so we can make one refreshing glass of lemonade.
For the betterment of ourselves, for our children, for our world and for the glory of the Kingdom of God.
Here I am. My name is my blog. And there is a picture of my face all smiling and sweet, looking like life is perfect and I have all the answers. Who am I?
Let me just get this off my chest, friends, because I have struggled, struggled, struggled through this. Why am I writing? Why do I think anyone would listen to me?
I don’t have to tell you dear reader, that I am nobody special. You already know that, because you have no idea who I am. 🙂 (Or you’re my mom.) But, I am just a woman like you. A mother like you. A sinner like you. One who struggles to put an outfit together and brush my teeth in the morning. One who gets frustrated when my kids can’t find their shoes. I yell at my kids more than I would like, harbor jealousy in the dark places of my heart, and cry over the exponential amount of cellulite I have accumulated over the past five years. I am just your average American stay at home mom.
So what do I have to say? What can I tell you that you do not already know? The reality is, probably nothing. And yet, here I sit, typing away on a computer like it’s my job: a job that no one is asking me to do.
And then it hit me one day as I read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. Oddly enough, the word “talents” here is another term for money, but immediately we see the word and read the Webster’s definition: “a special natural ability or aptitude.” And when you read it like that, it gets a little more real. While we have been given money to be good stewards of, we have also been given talents, abilities, gifts.
Honestly, reading through the parable is a little scary. Three servants, two choose to invest wisely, and one gets kicked out. There’s a lot going on in this parable that I don’t have time to unpack here, but it shows more of the “judgement” side of God, one that we aren’t very comfortable with. He gives us things, and expects us to do something with it. It’s not just for safe keeping but investing. Investing in others for the glory of God and the expansion of His Kingdom.
Reading through this passage again I was struck by the fact that I have been given talents from God. We all have. Not one of us can say we haven’t been given anything. Maybe some of us have been given a lot, some of us a little. Either way, we’ve all been given to. And as I read and processed this, I saw myself a lot like the one servant nobody wants to be, the one who was scared to invest the gifts God had given him and buried a hole instead.
God wants me use my “talents” for Him, not cover them up because I am scared. And although no human being was asking me to write, He was. He has a job for me to do. Do I have the guts to take a risk and invest? Or would I bury a hole out of fear instead?
You see, I had been looking at it upside down or outside in. It isn’t about who I am or what I have to say or not say. It isn’t about me at all. It is about Jesus. It was always and only ever about Him. This is His world, His story, and I am His child using His money, His talents, His gifts.
God isn’t calling me to write because I am the world’s best writer or His gift to moms everywhere. He called me to write–so I am. And I figure He knows what He is doing, even if I don’t. I trust that He will be glorified in some way, big or small, by my obedience to Him.
Because I am 100% convinced that when we do what we love, we glorify Him. Even if it’s the beauty of one life lived to Him. One life lived for the glory of God may seem slightly insignificant to us, but to the God who performed individual miracles and radically changed lives one person at a time, there is no greater thing.
So I am not writing because I have all the answers, but because He does. And when He says, “jump!” I’m gonna jump.
Over the past two years I have been slowly learning that “calling” is really pretty simple. It looks a lot like obedience to God. It’s that’s simple and it’s that hard. It’s simple because it isn’t complicated. You just follow God’s lead. You say “yes, Lord” when He tells you the thing it is He wants you to do.
But it’s hard because sometimes He can ask us to do crazy things. Things that don’t make a lot of sense. Things have uncertainty written all over them. Things that are risky. When I say yes to God, I’m not really sure what I’m getting myself into. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I have to trust that it is there.
Most times, obedience to God requires straight up blind faith. But I’m pretty certain there is no better place to be than standing in obedience to God.
It doesn’t mean that things will come easy, or even that what I thought would come to pass will. But I will no doubt get front row seats to something wonderful–something special: watching God work and seeing Him reap a harvest, whatever that looks like. That’s worth all the obedience in the world to me.
So the question I now ask is…what is God calling you to do? I bet you already know. Now here comes the hard part. Obey. Just do it. Just show up. Invest. Begin. Just say “yes, Lord, here I am, send me.” If we are daring enough to take him at His word, I think it will be the best thing we’ve ever done.
I wore a dress today I had been saving. That was a mistake. The buttons are nearly bursting. I should have worn it earlier. It’s a super cute denim shirt dress, and it will only get worn about 2 weeks, if that. It’s a shame to waste a cute maternity dress. Especially when it’s your last pregnancy.
I’ve been saying I want to savor this pregnancy because it is my last. But that is quite a difficult thing to do when TWINS are your FOURTH pregnancy and you have three other active boys to take care of. Savor? Pregnancy? With twins?
After this one, LORD willing and the tubal ligation works, we will be done having children.
This is my last rodeo.
After this pregnancy, I will never again experience heart burn in the middle of the night (hopefully), or wake up to tingly fingers and a full bladder several times at night. I won’t see a basketball protruding through everything I wear. I won’t have problems bending over, and I’ll be able to comfortably wear my wedding rings again.
But I will also never feel a baby move within my body again. I won’t see the flicker or wave of an elbow just beneath the skin of my abdomen. I will never again have the amazing awesome responsibility of growing a life (or two).
So ladies, I am trying. Trying to squeeze my eyelids shut, pause, and make mental note of my last adventure in the most miraculous, mysterious, and fascinating event in the annals of motherhood: pregnancy.
So whether my buttons are bursting from joy or from an enlarged abdomen, may I be grateful and pause to remember this season of my life. For just like everything in life, it will pass. And like that cute maternity dress, it will never come around again.
At times like these it is good to know there are a few certainties in life.
Death, taxes…and cellulite.
Thankfully, no matter what is going on in our lives, our long time companion can always be counted on to show up. She never misses a get-together, nor a stage of life. Whether we are a blushing bride, pregnant with sextuplets, or training for a half-marathon, she will always be there right beside us cheering us on.
Poolside, bedside, on the couch and at the playground, she will stick to us like glue. There is none closer than her. Nor one who knows us more intimately. She is our forever friend…until the day we die.
It sure is good to know.