For Your “What Is My Life?” Moments

I’ve had a few What is my life? moments lately.

I shared that thought with my husband a few nights ago before bed. Sometimes life just doesn’t work out like we thought or expected. Often we are surprised, shocked, even resentful of what we face in life.

The next morning I read more of the story of Noah. When Genesis 8 starts, Noah had been in the Ark at least 150 days, maybe longer. I would have felt forgotten and slightly claustrophobic and tired of those people on the Ark with me. Then Genesis 8:1 says, “But God remembered Noah.”

So rescue, right? Noah got off that Ark then? Nope. Noah sat on that Ark for months longer. Now, if I were Noah, I would want God remembering me to be synonymous with God getting me out of that Ark. Move, change things, come fix this. But Noah was right where God wanted Him and he was not forgotten.

When Life Reveals You’re a Liar

How’s life with a new baby really going, you ask?

Honestly? Everything I thought would be hard with a new baby and three older boys is hard. Not bad- there’s no need to stage an intervention unless that intervention involves naps, coffee, and pretzels. It’s just hard. I was apparently under no illusions about what having a baby is like; this is fully what I expected.

I don’t want any of it to change. I love my boys. I love this opportunity to mother them. I just want to be better at it. And you can’t skip steps like that. The only way I’m going to get better at it is by doing it.

It’s just like starting a workout program. Even the basics are hard in the beginning. You’re going to puff and huff trying to jog half a mile. You’re going to find that your muscles are shaking after five pushups. Even if you’ve done it before, if you haven’t done it in a while you have to start over. The only difference is that you know how to do it and that you can do it.

When you start a workout and you complain to a friend that your muscles are sore and you hate getting up to go run and everyone else is doing a more intense/exciting workout than you, they don’t say, “Poor thing. Sorry your life is so bad.” They say, “That’s ok. Keep going. You’re going to get better. You’re going to get stronger and faster and you’ll be doing those things soon too.”

Just Carry Today

I’ll be 35 weeks pregnant tomorrow. It’s very easy for me to look at the next four months and feel extremely overwhelmed. I know I’ll have to journey through these last weeks of being pregnant and I’m tired. And then there’s the great mental debate: When will this baby come? Will the baby have IVA? How will labor and delivery go?

Then there’s a whole new set of emotions with a new baby and three children and hormones and a post-baby body and acclimating to a new rhythm and being exhausted. When I consider all of that as a whole, I feel like I’m slowly sinking in a quicksand that might kill me this time.

(Being pregnant after the first time is great because you have some idea of what’s coming and that it does eventually go away. Being pregnant after the first time is horrible because you know what’s coming.)

When I look at the next four months, I can easily dread the whole time. It can seem that not one good thing will come out of it except the baby and life can look a little grim, to be honest.

Last week I realized a truth that I keep forgetting. I only have to do today. 

It’s God’s Voice: From Kitchen Sink to Church Platform

I love to sing. Springtime is the season where I serenade our neighbors from our kitchen with Disney songs and the Sound of Music soundtrack while my boys play on the back porch. But singing in front of people by myself is a little more nerve-wracking.

A few months ago our worship pastor asked me to sing a small solo in a song in our Easter program. I have a policy (especially at church) that if I’m asked to do something that I can do and I’m already going to be there, I’ll say yes. So I said yes. And then a few weeks later I realized I was actually going to have to sing by myself in front of people.

I was talking to God about this when I realized it was His voice anyway. (That realization is also what prompted me to publish the piece on motherhood and start doing Facebook lives.) Who am I to decide what to do with it? Do I really think He won’t be with me? God just calls me to obey and sometimes that takes courage.

The Motherhood Game-Changer

Ever stumble on something that kinda changes your life? You don’t know that it’s going to- you start something because it’s the right thing to do- and before you know it’s happening  you have a completely different perspective.

I’ve been reading through Psalms before bed and I kept coming across this phrase “sacrifices of thanksgiving.” Then last week I heard a sermon that also mentioned this phrase and I felt convicted about my level of gratitude. Especially when I read the part that said that the sacrifices of thanksgiving glorified God. Isn’t that my goal in life? And here, in black and white, is exactly what I need to do.

Motherhood has felt heavy lately. We’ve been working through some attitude problems (theirs and mine). I’m almost to the third trimester of this pregnancy and starting to recognize the reality of another child joining our family. Ball season is over and I’ve felt a little cooped up, especially since we were all sick for two weeks. Now in some ways motherhood should feel heavy because it’s a responsibility that I want to carry well. But seriousness is not grouchiness.

What Anxiety Teaches Me about Marriage

I rolled over in bed and saw my husband pulling on his shirt. He leaned over to kiss me goodbye and I wished him luck at his ball tournament. We normally go with him but since he was leaving early, traveling several hours, and coming back after bedtime, I opted to stay home with the boys. As I heard the door shut behind him, I was overcome with fear that something would happen to him as he was traveling.

My overactive imagination is sometimes a blessing but more often a curse. Dan Zadra said, “Worry is a misuse of the imagination” and that misuse has colored my life. Justin was traveling with his assistant coach, a parent, and four of his athletes and I didn’t just imagine a car wreck. I could see the headlines: “Homeschool Athletes and Coaches Die on Trip to Tournament.” I pictured myself having to tell our boys that their daddy was dead. I imagined myself having to give birth to this fourth baby that would never know his father without Justin’s steadying presence. I saw myself trying to figure out all the things in our life that Justin takes care of.

This fear has been present my whole life. I remember being terrified that our house would burn down while we were away when I was growing up. I remember thinking, “But if I leave and go to this event, something might happen.” Once a pastor said that the story of Job comforted him in the worst of life’s problem.  My reaction to Job? He just makes me afraid that my whole family will die.

How To Approach the New Year: Happy 2017

Sometime in November I mentioned to a friend that I was breaking up with 2016. It’s been an interesting, in many ways difficult, year. And yet, when I stopped a few evenings ago and really thought back over the year, all I saw was the goodness of God blanketing every hard thing. I’m learning this year to hold two opposing emotions about the same event. I’m glad to close the door on 2016 for many reasons but as I thought this through I realized something.

Nothing really changes when that ball drops at midnight on January 1st. It’s not magic. Life isn’t suddenly different. I’m not even suddenly different. Some of the difficult parts of 2016 won’t cease to be when the calendar changes to 2017; they will continue and new hard things will arise.

Now I love a new year as much as anyone. I’ve been working on goals for 2017 and I’m excited for what’s upcoming. But it doesn’t mean that suddenly everything will be rosy and all-worked-out like I would prefer.