Friday, March 14, 2014

pray for your pastor... really.

I grew up in church.  my dad has worked in the church although it never was in the role  of  'head pastor' and so I never knew some of the differences that brings, especially on preaching day.

When I met my husband {then boyfriend} and I got to know his family I began to learn about that 'head pastor role.'  In high school i can vividly remember the times we would go to his house for lunch on fridays his dad was always studying in his home office.  if you know his dad, he was always up for a joke and a hug but i remember seeing even then the pressure in his spirit as he worked and prepared and studied to share his sermon that weekend.

Fast forward many years to this one, 2014.  In the last couple of months Luke has gotten the opportunity to preach at a campus of our church and I've learned quickly.. once i hear the date i must start praying {like STAT}.  It's a big responsibility to 'feed the sheep' and to be accountable for every word preached.

With any job comes pressure, comes unexpected moments or circumstances, come {you name it} but being a pastor that is preaching the Word of God there is a pressure that's hard to compare.  In Ephesians, Paul speaks of the battle we fight, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."

Last weekend I was ever so aware of this 'wrestling match' prior to his preaching, i'll set the stage for you {so to speak}.

We woke up early Saturday morning to the sound of our one year old, when he's ready to get up, well the house knows it.  We drug ourselves out of bed as we were tired from the night before, Luke had hosted the 20's ministry gathering & we had eaten at 10:30 at our stomachs were in rare form.  Within minutes the whole house was bustling with noise and sippy cups full of milk and saturday morning cartoons.  I had asked Luke earlier in the week if we could drop over to a relative's house to grab a piece of furniture I could paint and I thought it would fit in the van so it seemed like a simple ask.  Once the littlest man woke up from his nap we headed out and we had promised donuts, post successful furniture pick up.  I was feeling pretty good once I had carried that bad-boy {dresser} up basement stairs and to the van & was feeling even better when it was in the van.

deep breath.

until i ran up to lock the door and turned around to the sound of smashing shattered little bits of glass... yep, when the mister shut the van door ... the rest was history.  back window shattered.  oh yea, did i mention or other vehicle was in the 'shop' because a few weeks prior his car was sitting at the church on saturday before service and someone slammed into it {during a snow storm} and drove away.  so, we now have one car with a shattered back window all three kids in the car, not to mention the three children who are ticked that the trip didn't land them donuts.

yes, i understand that the mister shouldn't have slammed the door, but this event didn't happen on a monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday or friday, nope it happened on a saturday just hours before he had to get up and preach.  ask any pastor, ask him what his weekends are like.
be it
sin coming out in the church,
fight with their spouse,
children acting out,
car problems,

i say all this to say... satan knows your pastor is getting up to preach the Word of God, the good news of Jesus Christ.  as the pastor's family, can we get over these temporary problems? of course.  Can our cars be fixed?  of course.

your pastor needs to be prayed for.  and you need to be one of the people praying.
pray for him and his preparation.
pray for his family.
pray for protection for him.
pray for peace.
pray as you are led... but pray.

Post shattered window, I texted a bunch of prayer warriors.  They prayed and God preached through Luke and as we know but was ever so clear last weekend... it was ALL the Lord.

Prayerful {even more} for my pastor,

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

having it 'all together.' (the much aspired mom award)

i don't have an impressive book list this year, mainly my goal was to start {being the main word} because it's something i really do enjoy...

based on the two books i've read you can kind of get a glimpse into what i'm going for in life...
1. no more perfect moms {i don't know if that means that i'm down with perfection or just that i've realized that i'm no where near perfect :)}
2. balancing it all {now, if i had this down life would dramatically change.}

and after reading both of these books, i think more than anything i've realized no one totally has it ALL together and it's even more freeing to admit that.  After all there's no trophy I get on Friday if A + B = C this week.  If only I had a week that followed A + B... but that's just reality.  I wouldn't say that either of these books had gobs of information that i've never heard before, rather gracious reminders that i'm not the only one walking in these shoes called motherhood.  I think depending on the season you find yourself in... you are led to different takeaways.

one of the many things that i gleaned from the book no more perfect moms was this:
"Pride sneaks in, and sometimes we mistake it for confidence.  However, pride is comparing ourselves , knowingly or unknowingly, to others with the result that we come out looking better than they do.  Pride is a thief.  It robs us of our joy because we become obsessed with believing we deserve something better than what we have."

I want to do this job of motherhood well... so badly i do.  I don't want to wish I was walking in someone else's shoes {even if they are cute} because then i will miss the lessons i should be learning in my own..this is what i'll say:  I'm a work in progress: that is for sure, oh & just wanted to announce through the loud speaker of this blog: i don't have it all together.  Ahhhhhhhhh.....I can feel the freedom already.  

If you're a mom, check these books out, they may be an encouragement to you also!
happy reading,

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

a day in the life...

the other day there was a 'friend' on facebook saying that 'today was an i wish i was a stay at home mom day.'  i realize that a post on being a stay at home mom stirs a controversy I don't want to stir, trust me.  Instead with this post I intend for you to laugh at my circumstances today because for me it's all still too soon.  

i woke up today thank God without a headache and at least a hope that we were moving toward wellness since my three year old hadn't puked in the night.  When I walked out my door and saw him in the family room, his face coloring was a bit gray but a smile was on his face.  folks, i feel as though we are making progress.  As I went to his room to make sure I hadn't altogether missed a puking episode in the night (as i did on Saturday night) i indeed found his 'puking bowl' with throw-up inside.  The hope just turned although i was enthusiastically excited that the puke seemed to have magically all entered the bowl rather than his sheets and {yes} the beach towels I had so elegantly laid out around his bed to protect the white carpet.  flu:1 me:.5 {i'm feeling generous}

thank the good Lord my five year old who threw up this weekend seemed well so that he could go to school after all he DID puke this weekend so i really hope we are in the clear:)  I send him off to school while attempting to fix my three year old three options for breakfast of which he chose a slice of apple.  odd but it stayed down, so we'll take one for the win.  My third born went down for his morning nap and stayed down while i managed to clean up the kitchen, take a shower {did i mention it feels amazing}, and throw the three year old's sheets in the wash because i forgot that i hadn't put a diaper on him and he peed in his sheets last night.

Did I mention it's frigid outside, but i have to go out because there was two errands that were MUSTS.  We bundled up and I psyched us all up and we went out.  We made it through the errands until we were just about to enter our subdivision when i looked back to see my 1 year old sleeping.  I found that especially odd seeing as he took a great nap but so be it.  until 2.3 seconds later when he started puking all over himself.  flu:2 me: 0 THANK GOD it was mostly all over him and not the car.  Call me vain, but I was so sad in the moment that my car was going to wreak of vomit.

Thank God for the kindness of my mother in law who brought us lunch on this bitterly cold day and held the baby for a few minutes so that I could actually eat my lunch.

Fast forward to naptime where I was throwing in more puke wash, trying to replace a battery of a chirping smoke alarm and calling my bank company who i spent 41 minutes 46 seconds on the phone with because my card had been compromised and the new card that they sent me refuses to work.  After communicating that to three or four people who were kind but yet couldn't help me, I got off the phone in tears from frustration.

I get that being a stay at home mom sounds so glamourous.... and on some days (like once in a grand while) my days are filled with delights.  However, today the above six paragraphs ARE my reality.  This is what I do know.  This is what we've chosen for me and for that I am grateful (minus the picking up puke part) and God has told each of us to be faithful right where we are.  So today that means to be faithful even though a few or most of the things in my day stink {somewhat literally}.  But it also means that the days that are filled with sunshine and roses that I get to be faithful too.  God gives us grace in our circumstances; for that I'm so thankful.

my day can only go up from here,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

motherhood. the trenches. & five years in.

Tomorrow, I will have been a mom for five years! Lets face those of you veteran moms, that's a small start but to me it seems like quite a large feat.

My heart & mind have found themselves in places that no other venture has taken them near.. not.even.close.

From the beginning I went from pain {cue contractions in the middle of the night} to the most immense joy {meeting carter jude} to more pain{the glorious epidural wearing off}.

Once we made it home, enter many new emotions including: how the heck do I take care of this child, "where's the manual????!!!!", why is he screaming and why do my 'feeding tools' hurt so stinking bad. {no one told me that part}

Over the past few years my emotions have run the spectrum... from how could a human being bring me so much joy to frustration [even anger] when I can't have what I want (most selfishly) or when I can't get a child to obey for the life of me, I guess {after many years of babysitting} I thought that part would be easier.  wrong.

But.... there have been a few things that have kept me going, I couldn't {never in a thousand x a thousand years} have done it had I not had these supports in place. This job is hard but it's a gift and one that {in my right mind} i wouldn't trade.
props to....

1. My husband.
When I look back at the pictures taken pre-pregnancy Carter, I can't help but laugh. Who are those rested & impossibly cute love birds who don't have a clue what they are getting into. But each step of the way Luke has been there. If it was holding the screaming baby just after we sat down for dinner or it was him telling me I looked amazing when I looked like an unshowered disaster with puke on my shoulder. He has loved me well as I have rookied through these first five years.

2. Our family.
They have loved our babies & us so graciously... They have helped us in the newborn stages, so that i can get out to buy groceries & do ministry & stay sane. They love our kids fiercely & our kids are thrilled by the thought of mommy & daddy going away because that means they get to have fun with family. What a gift.

3. Gods Word.
I think you gain so much understanding in the significance of God sending his son for you when you become a parent. When you put yourself in Mary's sandals for all of five minutes and imagine what she went through... Yep, no words. Gods Word has been a lamp unto my feet, refreshment for a weary soul, truth when I was giving into self pity or discontentment.

4. Friends.
Thank God for people sharing in this season of life with us {unshowered, puke-wearing, lack of sleep understanding to name a few commonalities}. Women who listened to me and loved me right where I was at. Friendship is a bit, no I mean a lot messy because it's life. but, its good for the soul. Whenever I have had day of 'isolation' I recognize my need for the people God has put right beside me, we get to help & bless & love one another. we can't do it alone, that's for sure.

5. Grace.
Over five years i have learned that i need grace more than i ever knew that i needed it. perfection isn't attainable, perfection is instead impossible.  That i need grace upon grace upon grace everyday, because without it, i am just a mess of a mom. 

The truth is I crave time when my name is Kristen rather than Mommy.   but then once I'm in Kristen mode I just can't stop talking about the little fellas who call me Mommy. I need to grow immensely as a mom, news flash to anyone and everyone i have not arrived.  the short list includes:yell less, be more patient, teach more through life experience, feed them healthier, give more grace...

The truth also is: I wouldn't trade these last five years, for anything. More money, identity in something the world values more than a stay at home mom, less dark circles under my eyes.  Nothing would cut it.  I know that at the end the day these children will be a lot of the sanctification process for my spiritual life {that is if these first five years are any indication of the next many}. And you know what? i'll take it.
Cheers from a tired, happy, desperate for a shower, crazy for my little men,