Telling Your Story

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She worried about telling her story,

She worried it would not inspire.

She worried about sharing so much of herself,

And the honesty that it would require.


Others had gone before her

With stories so moving and fierce.

And though she knew knew better than to compare

Still she worried with eyes full of tears.


Why should I tell my story? She pleaded.

What does it have to add?

A story without a brave heroine;

A story, not moving or sad.


She thought of stories she’d heard all her life

Of characters so brave and true:

Testimonies of God’s faithfulness

And all that He’d brought them through.


All stories have a main character

The One who directs the plot.

Was she the one who guided her story?

And then she realized, she was not.


She was simply an instrument

To play His beautiful song.

He was the one to write her story,

She just had to sing along.


So she told others of her story

And though she still felt small,

She finally learned to embrace her story

Because it wasn’t her story, after all.

Texting is my Love Language

 

I didn’t grow up texting, but I feel like it was invented just for me. I remember sending my first text in college and feeling guilty because I knew I just cost my friend 50 cents. But since then, as the popularity of texting grew, so has my affinity for it. 

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I usually claim that if you call me, I will text you back (which is a problem when someone calls from a landline!). I will pin memes to my “so me” Pinterest board that say, “I’d appreciate if you’d stop calling me, but I’d probably respond if you decide to text instead.” It’s all just funny, and mostly tongue-in-cheek. And yes, occasionally, if I love you and know you love the phone, I will give you a call. But texting just suits me and all my introvert needs!

The text message takes a lot of flack, however. I’ve heard complaints about how kids never look at each other in the eyes, or never enjoy the present, because they are always texting someone else! I’ve heard that it is leading to the destruction of language and proper grammar, because no one cares about those thing when writing a text. I think these arguments have merit, but like most things in life, a balance must be sought. Text messaging is just a tool, and as with any tool, it’s how we use them that matters. 

I’m in a stage of life that is mostly dictated by my children’s schedules. And even for an introvert with some hermit-tendencies, it can get a little lonely! Even though I enjoy the occasional coffee and play dates with friends, I don’t need people around me all the time, or even that often. I don’t need endless phone conversations or a packed-full schedule. But I do need to know that I’m not alone, that I’m not forgotten, even as I putter around the house with only my three-year-old as company. I need to know that I matter to someone in the outside world and that they are thinking of me.

And then I get a text from someone saying hi and checking in or asking for a play date. Or maybe it’s just an informational text or a question about something, but it feels like a lifeline to an outside world that I may not need to be in all the time, but definitely want to know that I am a part of.  

So every once in a while, I take the time to just send out texts. Sometimes it’s just to one person who has come to my mind, and I want them to know I am thinking about them and love them. Sometimes I send out several. Because isn’t that what we all want, whether introvert or extrovert, whether texter or caller: don’t we just want to know that we aren’t alone, that we aren’t forgotten, that we matter to someone, and that they are thinking of us?

So if you get a text from me, whether just a random hi, asking a question, or giving you some sort of information, let it be a reminder to you that you are not alone. You are remembered and matter to me and I’m thinking of you. Because I am sitting alone at home or in my car, and after all, texting is my love language.

My Prayers for Las Vegas

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This is my view as I sit cross-legged and arms outstretched in prayer for a city that has been host to such a terrible atrocity. And I am struck that two days ago, in a hotel less than a mile away, another looked down on this city, and, so filled with evil was he, that he took the lives of so many, including his own. And here I am, little old me, looking down on this city and trying to combat the darkness in my own way.

We planned this trip months ago when we learned that my husband’s promotion required him to attend a series of conferences in Las Vegas, and spouses were encouraged to attend as well. When we heard about the shooting, I thought possibly the conference would be cancelled (and secretly hoped), but no, it was still on, with increased security. So here we came to Las Vegas.

At the airport was the juxtaposition of the blaring signs and colorful advertisements, promoting anything you could possibly desire, with large black screens saying “We’ve been there for you in the good times. Thank you for standing with us in the bad. #VegasStrong” And that is the hashtag I almost used in my photo above, but something in me balked at the idea. Vegas Strong? No, the only help for Vegas, for any city, for our country, and for our world, can be found through prayer.

I do not believe it was a coincidence that brought me here, with a burning desire in my heart to pray. And not just pray, but to sit at the window and stretch out my arms, not out of the hate and evil of the man two days ago, but out of sadness and love.

Tears pour down my face as I pray for the people of this city, both visitors and residents, who have been broken by this act of evil. I pray that they will seek Jesus, the Savior and Ultimate Comforter, for healing and renewal. I pray for the people who are here that have not been broken, because they have built up such walls of hate and fear or even indifference, that God will break down those walls so that His love and transforming power can seep into their souls. I pray for the families of those who died, that they will seek and find comfort in Jesus; I pray for the wounded that they will be healed and give God the glory! I pray that the churches would rise up in love and be welcoming of every single sinner (and by that, I mean EVERYONE, including and especially myself) and say, “Come and gather with us, because we love you. Here you will find redemption and renewal through our Savior, Jesus Christ.” And finally, I have been praying for this city, that it will be transformed by this heinous act, and not by responding evil with evil, but by becoming a city that LOVES, as Christ loves his people. That people would feel the love of God like a broken dam, that floods through every seedy ally and small corners of every heart, and the city would be renewed and transformed by this love, by His power, and by His Grace.

Because I am dealing with my own insecurities while I am here, I feel an inadequate vessel to be pouring out such enormous prayers for this city. But for some reason I am here and feel this burden that I can’t seem to ignore, so I continue to pray things that I may never see answered, or may never see the impact of until I get to heaven. But for some reason, God chooses inadequate vessels, so maybe he did indeed choose me to be here for such a time as this.

AirBnb: Our Own Mission Field

This is a guest post by the very talented Lois Barker, who also happens to be my mother and who I wrote this post about in 2007.

Two weeks ago, my husband and I traveled from our home in Fairfield, Connecticut to Williamsburg, Virginia in order to attend the wedding of a lovely young woman who stayed with us through Airbnb. She stayed with us all last summer, and every day after work, we would spend time together as she told us about her day. As we took our seats at her wedding, we both had tears in our eyes thinking of the blessings God has given us in getting to know this lovely woman and now, her husband. As I told her, she will always be remembered in our prayers. 

Who would have thought when we started AirBnb that we would form such precious relationships with our guests? And that we would be invited to share in their families' momentous occasions? And that we would be able to share our faith with people from all over the world, without ever leaving our home? But that's just a small part of the joys of hosting through Airbnb. 

And what an amazing time we had this past weekend! Again, through Airbnb, we have been honored to host two separate Chinese families over the past several years. They now consider our home their home-away-from-home. These two families had never met in China, but became friends when they were staying in our house at the same time. Both of these families had children in private schools in Connecticut. Both of these young people were the valedictorians of the respective classes and now will be attending the same university in the United States. Imagine our joy when they proudly invited us to the two separate graduations and then two graduation parties afterwards. We felt so honored and privileged to be included in such an intimate gathering. And again, as we said good-bye, we told them they would always be in our hearts and prayers. 

For many years we have been giving to missions but never felt led to go ourselves. At times, we even felt guilty as family members and friends left their homes to be missionaries around the world. Then the Lord brought us to a period of financial instability, so we decided to open our home to Airbnb. What a surprise to find that God used a time of uncertainty in our lives to bring the mission field right to us!

We put Bibles in different languages in all the rooms. We pray for opportunities to share Christ with our guests. We simply become friends and join in their lives, and through this, we have our own little mission field. We pray that we can be a blessing to our guests. And we find great joy in the blessing that they have been to us.

Deeper Magic

"Oh, you're real, you're real! Oh, Aslan!" cried Lucy and both girls flung themselves upon him and covered him with kisses.

"But what does it all mean?" asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.

"It means," said Aslan, "that thought the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards." (emphasis added)

C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

An Invitation to His Plan

Last week I wrote about my sometimes bad attitude. I've been thinking a lot about it and I wish I could say I've conquered it forever and absolutely! But instead, it will probably continue in those hard days. So for now, I will work to contemplate God's grace. 

If I think of my obligations as just that - obligations - then that's what they always will be. But instead, I am trying to remember that God has a plan that will be accomplished, whether I am a part of it or not! But because of His love and grace to me, he gently invites me to be a part of accomplishing His perfect plan. He uses my flawed attitude, my faithless hands, to carry out his Perfect Plan. 

And what a beautiful gift!

I don't have to do anything to earn His love.
I get to do His work because of His love. 

Yesterday I spent some time looking at my hands and I offer them to Him. They are His hands, to use on this earth, to accomplish His Will. "Not my will but yours," Jesus says in the garden before His death, and I try to echo that in my fallen, imperfect way.

I hesitate to even write these thoughts, because it sound so pious, so put-together. But in fact, it is the exact opposite. These are the thoughts in my head as I feel worn down and just trying to keep my head above water. 

And my bad attitude will come and go as the days roll in and out. But His love for me will continue, and His plan will continue, and I get to be a part of it.

The Bad Attitude and the Blessing

I have a confession to make.

Many, many times throughout the day, I have a bad attitude. I'm working on it, I really am. But seriously, I'm a mom. I'm tired. I have more to do than I can get done, and none of it is what I want to be doing. Hence the bad attitude.

But recently I've noticed an amazing phenomenon: 

God uses me despite my bad attitude. 

 

It has happened time and time again in the past months (and probably years, if I really look back far enough). Here is the common situation:

An obligation is approaching, usually one that I myself signed up for many weeks earlier. But as the day approaches that I need to fulfill the obligation, I start to whine. Then the day arrives, and I get on my phone and complain to my friends about the obligation. I wonder why I signed up for the obligation in the first place! 

Then comes the amazing part. Once the obligation is done, I realize that God used me and my bad attitude and made something beautiful come out of it. I look back on the obligation and realize it was an act of beauty, it was received with love, and my life was blessed by it. And in looking back on what was once thought of as an obligation, but now I realize was a blessing, I am humbled. 

What kind of God uses me to bless others when I am a whiner, complainer, and a bad-attitude haver? And not only uses me, but blesses me through it? It is a God of love, kindness, mercy, and forgiveness. The kind of God who wants to pour out his blessings, if we would only open our eyes and see them. 

And it makes me think.

What kind of blessing would I be (and therefore receive) if I could just knock-off that bad attitude? Would the blessings to others be multiplied if I truly did these things out of love instead of obligation?

Am I as bad as Joseph's brothers? "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good." (Genesis 50:20)

(To be fair, I never intend harm! A bad attitude can't be as bad as that, right?) 

Only an all-powerful and gracious God can make all these things come out for the good.

So I continue to work on it. Those busy days come and go and so do the bad attitudes (a lot of times it depends on the amount of sleep I get, to which I think most mothers can attest!).

And even in those times, in all times, God is faithful and I am blessed.

Look at the Stars and Remember

So everyone knows I love October. I would say up there with chocolate and Harry Potter, October is one of the things I mention most on this blog! I love the leaves in the streets, the cool weather, the pumpkins and scarecrows. But something I haven't thought about much are October nights. I love them just as much as October days! The chill in the air when we crack the window, the lights on the porches as the days grow shorter, the warm pjs and slippers (to be fair , that's an all day thing in my house...). And the stars. With the earlier nights, it's easier to step outside and look up before you would normally tumble into bed. And maybe I should start taking the time to notice.

Because for some reason, a stars theme keeps popping up in my life.

A few nights ago,I received a beautiful voice message of my niece singing "Consider the Stars" (by Keith and Kristyn Getty) and I just started crying. Hearing her sing "Consider the stars in the sky; When it is darkest they shine out the brightest, Consider the stars in the sky, In every anguish, Oh, child take courage." Something about the juxtaposition of her sweet childish voice and the great truths of Heaven spoke to me at the very heart of my being.

Then in my small group, we talked about Abraham. In Genesis 15:5, God says, "Look up at the sky and count the stars" and Abraham will be reminded of God's amazing - and seemingly impossible! - promise to him. But whenever Abraham doubts or forgets, all he has to do is look up and be reminded!

Even in the Mops theme for the year: We are the Starry Eyed! I love this picture of motherhood, because too often I feel like my eyes just look tired. But there's more to life than that, even a stay-at-home mom's life! Their website says, "Starry Eyed means looking for the light even when darkness is enveloping. It is an opportunity to hope recklessly and to witness God’s presence guiding things seen and unseen, comfortable and uncomfortable." Looking up at the sky and sensing the wonder, even in the ordinary. I love this theme because it reminds me that life is never just ordinary, never just mundane, never just hard. There is beauty and wonder and hope amidst it all!

Finally, I have been memorizing Psalm 8, "When I consider the heavens, the moon and the stars that you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him?" God is so majestic and beautiful and magnificent, why does He even bother with me? But he does. He sees me. Truly sees me, more than anyone ever has.

And isn't that what we all really want? Just to be truly seen. As an introvert and a person who will always choose being home over going out, sometimes I don't feel seen. People notice the fun people, the outgoing people, the beautiful people (or at least it feels that way to me). And I feel invisible.

But I can look at the stars and know the the Creator is actually looking back at me. And as I gaze out, I can remember these beautiful messages from Him: that He keeps His promises, that He has given me life and wants me to live it in wonder and awe, that He sees me.

So this October, don't just enjoy the days. Enjoy the nights. Look up and remember:

Do not be afraid

He who made all of this,

says “You're worth more than this,”

And holds you in his hands.*

 

 

 

*If you haven't listened to this song, go listen now! So sweet and poignant. Then teach a nearby child, because hearing a child sing it makes it all the more powerful. Consider the Stars, by Keith and Kristyn Getty.

This Old House

Ryan has mentioned moving again, and I feel his pain. His commute is over an hour each way and I know that's two hours a day that he is away from me and the kids. But I struggle with the thought of moving because I've grown to love our little house. I tell him if it weren't for his commute, I'd live in this house forever. You see, I look at it and see it's potential. Yes, it's sweet and comfortable and even attractive in some ways as it is now. But there are so many possibilities as to what this house could become! We could dormer out the upstairs back and/or front. We could add to the back. We could convert the garage to a great room and move the driveway behind the house. It could be roomier, cozier, and even more attractive with just a little work.

I was explaining all this to my dear friend, and telling her how grateful to God I am for the contentment I find in this house. It's so easy to see bigger and more beautiful houses and wish they were mine, but instead, I am grateful for what I have.

And then I had a flash of analogy: this is how God loves us! He sees our imperfections and our potential. He looks at us and sees what we could be with a little work. And He isn't going to move on to another project before finishing the work He has put into us. There are some things that need fixing or a little coat of paint and there are some things that need to be completely gutted and rebuilt. And He will do it all, lovingly, one step at a time. As long as we let Him.

Of course, the analogy is imperfect because while I whine and moan when I have to move the oldest dishwasher in the world to the sink to plug in the water or when I have to trudge down into the darkest parts of the basement with piles and piles of laundry, God doesn't complain about all the work He has to do in us when we are so stubborn. But it still gave me pause, and helped me to remember His great love for me.

And His continual work in me, especially in learning to stop whining about dishes and laundry.

To the woman who says she's not beautiful

I am on a journey. As a woman who has been on a diet her entire adult life (ie. been cheating on a diet my entire adult life), I now say I am done. I am done looking in the mirror and seeing what is wrong with my body and deciding to try dieting. Instead, I am going to look in the mirror at this amazing, beautiful body that God has given me, and decide to treat it right: healthy foods, activity, and respect.

I call this a journey because an entire lifetime of a certain way of thinking cannot be changed overnight. It is a journey of respecting myself, of being an example to my daughter, and of honoring my Lord God and Creator. He gave me this body, gave me my health, allowed me to carry babies, etc. etc. etc. The list could go on and on! And that is the list I want to focus on.

And yet, do you know when my resolve waivers along this journey? When I hear you, you lovely, beautiful, talented, smart, amazing woman, talk down about yourself. I start to think if this lovely, beautiful, talented smart, amazing woman thinks badly about herself, how much worse must I be? How much worse must she think of me? (Now I know you're not thinking worse of me, because everyone is hardest on themselves, but that is how I interpret your words.)

So please, let's just stop. I know... I do it, too. But for the sake of my journey, and even more importantly, for the sake of my daughter's young and pure journey, please stop the negative self-talk.

I could say when we have conversations, start telling me wonderful things about yourself. But let's face it, we're women... that's not going to happen. So instead, look at me and tell me something you admire. And I will do the same to you. I can pull up every woman that I know in my mind and think of dozens of positive things I could genuinely say about them.

You, woman who is reading this blog post, I promise you, I think you are beautiful.

So for my sake, for your sake, and for the sake of our daughters', stop talking negatively about yourselves, and truly believe that you are a beautiful creature of God.

Will you join me on this journey?

Take my life

A friend recently asked me why I had the music and lyrics to the song "Take My Life and Let It Be" (Frances R. Havergal) up on my fridge. I hadn't ever really thought about it before, but I immediately said, "I feel like it's my prayer as a housewife, homemaker, and mother." (Actually, I wasn't quite that eloquent, but that's what I meant.) And the more I've thought about it, the more I realize how true that is! In fact, tonight as I was washing and cutting up strawberries (my new favorite dessert, thanks to my new, sugarless lifestyle - yes, I'm now one of those people who eats FRUIT like DESSERT!), I was singing it to myself and imagining how the words pertained to the stay-at-home mom. So here is what I came up with: Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee. My life may look mundane, in all the routine little things that I do (will the dishes ever end??) but it is the life the Lord has laid out for me, and it is sacred. I have dedicated it to Him, so even in doing the never-ending dishes, I am worshipping Him.

Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in endless praise. I want my children to see me worshipping the Lord in everything I do. If I can live out a life of praise in front of them, how much easier will it be for them to do it, too!

Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of Thy love. Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee. So many times I want to just lose my temper. "How many times do I need to tell you to put your toys away???" But instead of condemning and acting out in anger, I pray that I will act out in love. I love these children so much. May my hands and my actions show them so.

Take my voice and let me sing, Always, only for my King. Do you know how often I've sung the song "Let it go" from Frozen??? Well, if you're a mother of a young girl, you probably know... it's a LOT! But how often am I singing praise choruses, or even this hymn? I want to be worshipful, even/especially in my singing. (Nothing wrong with singing a little "Let it go", though! How much longer will my daughter want to be singing those songs with me? But even those precious moments with our children can be worshipful.)

Take my lips and let them be Filled with messages from Thee. I pray that I would be more bold in my faith. It's not something I'm ashamed of, but something I cherish. Why do I withhold that precious gift from my non-believer friends? And I want to take every opportunity with my children to tell them about Jesus.

Take my silver and my gold, Not a mite would I withhold. I pray that I would be more generous and think less of myself when it comes to physical belongings. Don't I want my children to understand generosity? Do I want them to be spoiled? Or see me be spoiled?

Take my intellect and use Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose. So many people think that becoming a stay-at-home mom means that our minds/education has gone to waste. I pray that would not be so. I pray that I can use my intellect, my education, my knowledge to help my children understand more of life.

Take my will and make it Thine, It shall be no longer mine. Yes, I am a control-freak. (Actually, sometimes singing "Let it go" to myself helps me remember to do just that!) I pray that I would honor God's calling in my life. Even if it means I have to give up control.

Take my heart, it is Thine own, It shall be Thy royal throne. Take my love, my Lord, I pour At Thy feet its treasure store. More than anything, I want to love Jesus. I want Him to reign in my life. I want my children to see that in me, and I want love Him, too.

Take myself and I will be Ever, only, all for Thee. And that speaks for itself. That is my prayer. In every aspect of my life, may I live it for the Lord.

Dear David

I am so happy that you are here with me! I love to hold you and cuddle you and you are just precious to me. I wondered how a mother could love more that one child, but now it’s so obvious to me! You are a joy to have around and have been such a wonderful experience for us! I am excited to watch you grow and find out who you will turn out to be. I pray that you will love Jesus, like your namesake David in the Bible. He didn’t care what other people thought of him, he just loved God! He danced in the streets and made a fool of himself because he loved the Lord so much. I love to look at David and see his troubled heart be soothed by contemplating the love of the Lord. What an amazing lesson, and one I hope you will treasure in your heart as well. I also pray for your purity, both of mind and body, because I know how hard it is for a man in the society that we live in today.

You are also named after your grandfathers and your daddy, all good men who love the Lord and their families. All have such good work ethics and the desire to take care of the ones they love. I pray that you will take after their examples and be a good man, husband, and father someday.

And finally, David means beloved, just like Amy, so you are also named after me. You are already our beloved, but first you were God’s beloved. I love to think of God calling me his beloved and knowing me and yet still loving me so much. It is the same with you. He loves you because you are his beautiful creation. And I love you, too, not because of who you are yet, although I’m sure that will come, but because you are a part of me. Nothing you can ever do will stop me from loving you like that.

Love,

Your Mommy

Loving God

In working my way through the Bible in one year, as part of my resolutions, I'm currently working through Ezekiel and Psalms. An interesting combination, and not one originally designed by the plan I am reading. To be honest, I got behind in reading Isaiah and Jeremiah, so I skipped ahead and read through the minor prophets, which consequently led me to Psalms. So now in an effort to catch up, I'm working through Ezekiel as well.

I've always been fascinated by Psalms, because there aren't many people in the Bible to be called a man after God's own heart, like David was. David loved God without restraint, even in the hard times, even when it might be embarrassing (his wife, Michal, hated his singing and dancing and praising God in the streets, but David didn't care! He had to let it out! 2 Samuel 6:16). But you know what else is interesting about David? He didn't have the New Testament, all he knew was the God of the Old Testament.

Yes, I know, He is the same God. But so often we take the qualities of Jesus and reflect on those as to why we love God. He is gentle, kind, loving, accepting of any kind of people, even if he rebuked their sinfulness. The God we see in the Old Testament is fierce, just, angry and full of wrath. How can we harmonize these two pictures?

Well, David did. He was able to see God's loving traits even through the sometimes terrifying picture we have in the Old Testament. And he loved God for every aspect of who He was, not just the parts that are easy.

Reading Ezekiel has put me face-to-face with this terrifying God. The visions that Ezekiel sees are enough to make anyone feel weak in the knees! His body is made of fire, for goodness sake! (Ezekiel 8:2)

But David says that God is our Fortress, He is our Refuge (Psalms 59:16). David is helping me understand how to love the terrifying God, as well as the merciful and loving God. The God that scares me so much is ON MY SIDE! I can run and hide behind his strength and power, and he will protect me, comfort me, and give me peace.

I feel very inadequate at trying to explain what I'm learning here. So I'll go to CS Lewis for a different analogy. In his Narnia series, Jesus is portrayed by a lion, about whom Mr. Beaver says, "Safe? Who said anything about safe? Course he isn't safe! But he's good. He's the King, I tell you." (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)

This God, who is all powerful and fearsome, is also good and loving, and on my side. Like David says, "In God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?" (Psalms 56:11) I should never fear.

So it must have been Providence that led me to read Ezekiel and Psalms at the same time, and not just my laziness at reading certain, more difficult, books! I'm learning to love God for all of who He is, and in doing so, I am able to trust Him more.

A Letter

Hi friends! If you hadn't noticed, I just made my April blogging quota by the skin of my teeth! In fact, why am I posting again, when I could just save this until tomorrow and have May's done as well? I guess I just felt like writing. This is going to be one of those stream-of-consciousness posts, because I don't really have anything to say. But my last post like this got a lot of feedback, so maybe it's the only post I'm good at? (I expect to see a lot of "Oh no, that's not true"s in my comments section!)

My neck hurts today, which is weird because I just left the choir-practor yesterday (thanks, Aunt Dottie, for getting that pronunciation in my head!). Audrey is up past 30 pounds, but still believes she's my baby (that's OK, she is!) and wants me to hold her a lot. So my neck, shoulders, and back are always in pain. The choir-practor had really been helping up until now, and the appointment I had yesterday was a bit too new-agey for my taste (what does "You have unlimited life-force" mean?) (No, don't tell me, not really interested.).

Hugo is driving me crazy! When he has to go out, he prances around the room like a maniac, and his long nails click click click on the floor until I want to kick him. Hmmm... should I not admit that? I'd never do it! *click click click* But I don't want to take him out right now because Audrey is asleep (for once! she rarely naps anymore) and any movement *click click click* outside this back room might wake her up!

Sometimes I think her light day-sleeping is just an excuse for me to sit and watch TV with my computer or ipad on my lap, but no really, it's true. I remember telling my cousin not even to open the door, because she'd wake up screaming. She didn't believe me, opened the door, and Audrey woke up screaming! And now Hugo is pawing at the door, so I have a dilemma on my hands... Wake up the screaming toddler or clean up a pile of poop? What would you do?

*click click click*

Weirdly, I think I'd rather clean up the poop. Having a baby changes your priorities, believe me. And what you can stand... For example, my squeamish husband has cleaned poop out of the bathtub while in the middle of giving my daughter a bath. That is something I never could have possibly imagined him doing pre-daughter!

I'm addicted to dragon games on my iPad. Or castle games. I'm reading Wheel of Time still, and we started watching Game of Thrones. I used to play World of Warcraft, and I fall asleep every night listening to Harry Potter or LOTR. Sensing a pattern here? I didn't until the other night, while watching Game of Thrones, I was playing Dragonvale, Dragon Story, Castle Story, Lil' Kingdom, The Sims Medieval, and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth. It's getting excessive.

I'm also watching How I Met Your Mother reruns. I'm not sure why. I just like sitcoms, even though this show went seriously downhill after about season 3. I also like to have something on in the background while I work at night. Barney is starting to remind me of one of my friends who reads this blog, too. Not sure why, his sense of humor I guess? Not his womanizing!

The leaves are coming out and the flowers have bloomed and it's just a gorgeous time of year. Do you know I hated spring during my school years? It always signaled change to me, and that scared me. But now I feel like I'm finally appreciating its beauty. I feel bad for Ryan with his horrible allergies.

*click click click*

OK, Audrey is awake and it's now safe to take out the dog. The urge to kick has not stopped, but the writing has kept it at bay. At least now I don't have to make that unpleasant choice!

Amy

P.S. Nevermind.

MOPs and Pinterest

About a year ago, I got it into my head that I'd like to join a MOPs group. But there wasn't a single group nearby! So I spoke to the leadership at my church about starting our own, and we did! We've been meeting once a month (with discussion and craft time), with a scattering of play groups and special events. I've enjoyed it so much, and love that it is a way that I can use my love for crafting! Pinterest has been a huge source of those crafts, but I also am very fortunate that I have a fully functioning pottery studio at my fingertips! So several of our meetings have offered pottery painting. We've also had a couple events at the pottery studio, where the moms can get in touch with their artistic side, while their children are cared for and lunch is provided afterwards.

Here are some of the other crafts we've tried:

Honey-Brown-Sugar-Scrub-Recipe

This was one of my favorites! We did these for our Easter meetings, and after the meeting, I made a bunch more to hang on my pussy willows.

Magnets - We did button magnets, but also picture frame magnets, Bible verse magnets, and more! Another fun, easy one.

Lip Gloss - we did this one with the scrub (the meeting was on self-care as a mom), and it was a good thing. I don't think it came out great, but it was fun to try!

We did bored jars and conversation starter jars.

This one is so cute! We had it on the wall for the Christmas season, and Audrey had fun with it for about a minute. But still worth it!

That's a few of them! And oh! I have so many more fun ideas! Thankfully, we will be doing our MOPs group for another year starting in September. If you're a mom in the area, come and join us!