Why the only fight worth fighting is the fight for love: A daughters story of her fighting dad.

20140606-102951-37791632.jpg
Standard

As I type- someone I love fights to breathe.

Gone are the days of important phone calls, junk mail to read.

The phone calls missed, the birthdays forgotten.

All matter not.

This is the truth of life friends.

We will all fight. We will fight over dirty laundry, dishes, and kids who have places to go.

We will fight with neighbors over property lines, cooks over food served cold. The phone company over high bills and insurance companies over unpaid promises.

But when the time comes to fight for life: those moments will not matter.

What will matter is, did you love.

Did you love when it was hard. When it wasn’t deserved? Did you love after years of absence and neglect?

Were you Jesus to someone?

20140606-103054-37854738.jpg

My dad left. He was fighting hard for custody of me and didn’t win. And when he lost, he left. And I never saw him again.

It wasn’t until a dozen years later that he called out of the blue to meet.

We’ve seen each other every year – once or twice, sometimes more for the past several years.

And the reason of absence doesn’t matter- the loss for words. The birthdays forgotten and the books never read.

What matters is now. What matters are the years after the dozen lonely ones. The years of having babies and those babies calling him, grandpa. Years of random phone calls from him- sometimes an email.

What matters is today. That when a fight ends- either his or mine, we will have loved no matter what.

May you choose, friends. To fight the battle that matters. The battle to love others- no matter what.

1 john 1:19

“We love because he [jesus] first loved us.”

And that dad of mine?

Well he’s pretty great after all.

Loves today and always friends,

Kati

Making sweet love on a bad day

IMG_1584
Standard

“Finding myself, this morning struggling with the beginning of my day, I was reminded of a story from a few years back. From a time when my littlest one was usually naked, and my oldest one was still learning multiplication and I did the usual thing  I do when I’m struggling. 

Lost it. In one way or another.

If you are finding yourself like me this morning, or any time at all, really… struggling to get yourself together – perhaps my broken life can lend a little hope to yours, and help your day shine bright.”

February 2011~

Today was a bad day. I was a very cranky momma.

Oh, it’s hard to pin point the exact reason. I started the day out “by the book,” up early, before the kids. Time in the word, time with my man, I made a sweet little homemade breakfast, read to the kids. It should have just worked out right; right?

Wrong.

And looking back, I can’t quite figure out what finally made me snap. Oh, it could have had something to do with the three hours it took one of my children to be ready for her day and start school; just too many rabbit trails to find herself on. Or, it could have something to do with the extensive handwriting lesson one of my other children had to do because her brother almost suffered a concussion when he hit his head on the coffee table during a fun pushing game.

Or it could be the 100th phone call I knew I had to make to AT&T because they can’t seem to bill us correctly and they like to make me sit on hold for 20 plus minutes each time. Maybe it was because I am crazy and allowed my children to get three kittens for Christmas?

Perhaps, the wonderful cold snow isn’t so wonderful anymore; or maybe it’s because we just moved to the town I grew up in and I’m secretly afraid someone will knock at our door and see that it is absolute chaos, and I’ll have to use the line… “Hey, at least we’re learning.”

But then again, It might just have been one. of. those. days. But, perhaps I could just chalk it all up to a girl thing and blame it on my psycho thyroid and the fact that I have yet to find a doctor down here to get it under control.

Whatever the reason may be, I lost my temper, yelled at the kids. Felt the sweet momma in me run dry and went into my room and cried.

So then, I dried my eyes, gave myself a little pep talk, realized that I’m a total worthless parent without God and continued on with my day, teaching Judah the letter X, helping Jordan read the word, frog; again, talked to Alli about how Italy is shaped like a boot, and put Emmyn on her sweet “big girl time blanket” to play with blocks.

At lunch, we talked about Making Sweet Love.

As the children ate, I put before them, four little cups.

One overflowing, three empty.

We talked about the marshmallows, how yummy and sweet they are. They resembled our sweet love. The love we have to share with others. I asked the kids, how can “Mommy share this love with each of you?” They said things like,

“snuggle us”

“kiss us”

“read to us”

“take us places”

with each thing they said, I gave them some of my “love.”

Eventually, their little cups were full of love and mine was empty.

I said, “Oh, no… look! Where is mommy’s love?” (Of course, Judah reaches into the bag of marshmallows, grabs a big handful and says, “Right here, mommy!” But the girls understood. “You’ve given it all out to us.”

Then I told them about how a mothers love is like Jesus, it never runs out. But unlike Jesus, mommas get tired and need some love.

I perked up, “SO! Who has some love for momma?”

“I do!”

“I do!”

“Here is a kiss”

“Here is a thank you”

… the list went on and on, they were racing to see who could fill it up quickest. All of a sudden we all had plenty of love, to equally share. And we were all happy.


And Jesus Said, 

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  John 15: 12-13

Oh, The day carried on like normal, we got on a good track, the house was a complete disaster, we learned, played, laughed, got in more trouble, made really delicious chicken and noodles, and after we were all finished,  sat and rested a while during tea time.

We sipped on coffee, nibbled on egg whites, and enjoyed a glimpse of summer with delicious juicy oranges while we listened to a story, my very favorite story of all.

I haven’t read it since March. Unable to handle the truth of it all, afraid I would come unglued. Each time I read it, silly I know; but I feel like it was written just for me.

And I was right, my eyes filled with tears, my mind filled with thoughts and it was almost more than I could handle.

I. read.very.slowly.

Breathed.very.deeply.

Max Lucado writes:

“He deserves lots of dots,” the wooden people would agree with one another. “He’s not a good wooden person.” After a while Punchinello believed them. “I’m not a good Wemmick”, He would say.

Judah asked, “Momma, those real tears?”

I paused, “Yes, Judah they are real tears.”

I continued the book. Reading about Eli, the Maker.

Eli explains, “The stickers only stick if they matter to you. The more you trust my love, the less you care about their stickers.


“I’m not sure I understand”, Punchinello says.

I understood today.

I asked the kids, like I always do, “Do you ever feel like you have a lot of grey dots?” I continued, “Mommy does.”

I said, “Like when momma yelled today…” “You see,” I said; “When momma does that kind of stuff, I spend the whole day feeling terrible,  like I am not a good mom, like I’ve let God down in the job he has trusted me with.”

I continued, “But, that isn’t the truth is it? That isn’t trusting God’s love, is it?”

Oh mommas, it is a hard day sometimes. Always wondering if we’ve made the right choice, always regretting something we’ve done or said. Battling things from the past, hiding emotions we are having and putting on smiles for our little ones. It isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t always happen. And when our little cups run dry of marshmallows and we cover ourselves with gray dots… all we can do is fall back into the arms of our Maker and let him stand us back up straight ready to right the good fight for one more round.

Eli smiled. “You will understand, but it will take some time you’ve got a lot of marks. For now, just come to see me every day and let me remind you how much I care.” 

-Max Lucado

Alli whispers to me afterward, “Mom… thanks.”

And she gives me a wink.

sometimes dreams just don’t come true.

P1070951
Standard

I wrote this story a few years back after a trip to town with my littles. Today, while a repair man was here at the house– he overheard the lesson I was teaching the kids during homeschooling. Each day, I give the kids a “quote to ponder”;  the quote to ponder today was:

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” – Confucius

The repair man, in the other room, calls out “Amen to that! I’m in the middle of that lesson right now.”

His remark reminded me of this story- May it be an encouragement to you today as you chase those great big dreams of yours.

************

We’ve always liked to pack up and head somewhere “special” to learn little things– create a memory.

In Missouri, it was books and cookies at the library coffee shop {yes, it was a.m.a.z.i.n.g} sometimes, it was books and donuts early in the morning at the local donut shop. Then of course, there’s always the park.

I think school at the park is Chapter One in The “Typical Homeschool Trends” handbook; along with baby carriers and long skirts, ha!  (That book doesn’t really exist)  :)

Typical or not, it’s what we do.  Sometimes it’s history, sometimes is devotion, sometimes it’s just a silly book that makes us all laugh loud and heads turn. This week, it was The Tale of Three Trees.

It starts with loading cups into bags and books into hands. Yes, always take your own cup, refills are around 59cents compared to $1.40 for a drink in their plain ‘ol not special at all  their cup.  We’re mug people around here, everyone has their favorite.

Then we head out. No big deal right?

Today, I walked into our towns little grocery store with no kiddos, a rare thing indeed (ooh, maybe Daniel is my secret servant this week?) I was all alone, in my own little world, price comparing and trying to get the best deal on chicken.

Greeting the clerk a friendly, “Hi how are you today”, then moving my stare past her onto my items,  watching those sought after good deals move across the scanner, wondering if the clerk would see the $2 off instant coupon on my smart chicken… the check out girl, a senior in high school, says to me–

“I saw you the other day, are those your kids?”

Totally confused, I ask “You saw me? Where?”

“At the store, reading to your kids.”

“Oh, yeah” I reply,  “Those are my kids. Wait, Unless they were bad then they aren’t mine” I said, with a silly smile.

She continues, “Yeah, I heard you reading to them.” 

Sliding my chicken across the scanner, removing my coupon, she goes on to tell me how she heard me asking the kids what their dreams were for when they were grown and she listened as Judah told me he wanted to be an NBA Player. Continuing to listen, she heard me bring it back to the book, where the three trees had big dreams but God used them to fulfill those dreams in His way, not looking exactly the way they had planned.

She says, “I heard you ask him,

What if God has a different plan for you?”

Then she heard his reply,

“Oh, he would never do that to me, it’s my dream and he’s given me the skills to do it.” 

Telling me my total and reaching her hand out for the money, her eyes tear up and she turns her elbow towards me to see her scar.

“That was my dream too and it seemed so reachable, until I fell and broke my arm just this year before my senior year of high school. I can’t play like I use to and now no schools will choose me.”

She smiles real big, tears still welling and says,

“I don’t know why it wasn’t His plan but I know somehow, it’s all going to be used to give Him glory–  I know he has a plan.”
 

Slipping into my van, chicken loaded carefully in the trunk, I see the book there on my dash. I walk back in and say, “I still had the book, why don’t you read it.” 

She smiles that real big Jesus smile and says–

“Oh wow, thanks!”  

For everything there is a season,
      a time for every activity under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT

Oh, NBA seems like a big unreachable dream, doesn’t it? Well, I’ve had dreams both big and small that never happened. Hopes, dreams, goals, and wonders that at this time in my life, God just didn’t answer.

No matter the size of your dream- it’s yours. And if it doesn’t happen– it hurts.

My prayer for us is this: May we find grace and give glory in each season, my friend. May we live today with the crazy peace and comfort that only our great big God can give.

May you find comfort today in knowing- God’s really big and He’s got this.


May Mercy, Peace, and love be yours in abundance. Jude 1:2

Dreaming Big, 

Kati

 

yeah… if there’s an ad below here—> a creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = / And I didn’t choose what it will advertise.

When it cuts you to the heart and the coffee sits cold #14daysofsimplelove

IMG_2755
Standard

At the time this story was written- I only had four children and we were hosting a foreign exchange student. I had been, as I had always been, trying to love my mom in simple ways.

I spent several years trying to love her.

 This is a story of just one of the failed attempts. There have been many. Since this story, our family has grown by two, and there have been many times when I’ve needed a mom.

It’s been almost a year now since my last attempt at loving her, we haven’t spoken since. And even though she lives right down the road. We never speak or see each other.

There finally came a point where I had to be honest with myself, “Maybe, she doesn’t want to be loved.” So I stopped inviting, stopped calling, stopped putting myself out there to be hurt. And she just never called or visited again.

This is a story from a few years back, but it encourages me still today-

to love fully.

P1070427-1

I should have known better. After all, she had told me no thanks the first three times I asked. I should have known not to ask again.

But the yard looked so nice, and the flowers were in bloom. My green thumb, she told me I would one day have, had come and the fruit of it was bursting forth in beauty. I thought she’d be so proud.

We set the table nice, outside and put on a big pot of fresh coffee, expecting an evening of walking through the garden and around back to the bushes I wanted to cut down, asking her opinion.

I can’t recall when exactly I could tell it was going to get bad.

She was running late, the eggs were getting cold. Trying hard to keep omelets warm, knowing she hadn’t had one in years, nerves were began to start, and my fingers working quickly.

“Grandma’s here” Judah comes in to say. She’d never come in and say hello, oh no.

Time for dinner.

We all sit outside enjoying a meal, letting Grandma talk mostly, that way is best. Afterwards, I pour us both a cup of coffee– ready to sit and try this “chatting thing” I hear works for some moms and daughters. Then it hits her.

“Where are the plants I gave you last year?” she asks.

“Well, mom I told you I wasn’t really a ‘dig up plants’ kind of girl– you told me it was OK, you didn’t expect them back.”

“Yes”, she says… “But I gave you the pots to put them in last fall.”

“Well, mom I just didn’t get around to it and then the first frost came and they died, where was I going to put four big, dug up, elephant ear plants anyway?”

“Could you at least give me back my pots?” She says.

I reply, “Yes, In fact, they are already in the back of Daniel’s truck, I keep meaning to give them to you.”

I go get the pots.

“Where’s the big green one?” she asks.

“Actually” I say, “The kids accidentally broke it a while back.”

“WHAT? She says, Kati you should be more responsible.”

“I’m sorry, mom. I’m busy, I have five children I’m raising right now. They play. They break things.”

“Don’t give me that.” she says. “I raised four children.”  (I came along so late that I was raised all alone though)

I said, “I’m sorry mom, I’m just not as good of a mom as you.”

She says, “Oh no, you just have don’t any discipline in your home.

She goes on to tell me about how she had just spend $2.50 on that new green pot from wal-mart last year and never got to use it. Tearing me down with little sarcasms. All the while, I’m sitting there, quiet. Thinking,

do you even know me?

Me.

The one — the only one of your children — who remembers holidays and birthdays, the only one whose presents sit under your tree at Christmas. The only one who calls, who checks, who seems to care?

Me.

The only one who invites you to dinner.

Me.

The only one who says, “I love you” to you.

Me.

Do you even know me? Really? $2.50, that’s your breaking point? That’s where grace ends and bitterness begins? I’ve never broken anything you’ve given me.  It’s not some crazy bad habit I have.

Finally, I say: “OK, mom, I need to hear something nice from you, please.”

She laughs at me and says, “Well, the eggs were good.”

The eggs? The cold eggs were good? That’s all you can say, I thought?

“Oh, my” I said, “I can’t take anymore.” and I left silently crying.

With the front door open, I could her her laugh, “Well, party’s over… your mom’s upset. Daniel, I guess I made your wife mad.”

I just sat. Sat there on my bed and cried.

Returning outside, seeing my little family playing in the yard. My mom gone. I just sat there, watching them; letting her coffee just sit there. In fact that cup sat there all night.

That cold cup of coffee–representing her cold, mean heart.

I suppose it starts now, doesn’t it? As much as I’m not like my mom, in some ways I am. Tell me, how much do you think that spilled glass of milk cost? I bet it’s less than $2.50. How about that muddy foot? How much does that cleaner set me back?

Are those the moments where my grace ends and bitterness begins?

You see, It’s not about the money. Anyone would agree treating me like a piece trash over a $2.50 pot from a department store is crazy. It’s more than the money, deep down it’s all about the relationship.

It’s not about the math homework, or the broken picture frame. It’s not about the chore done wrong, or the tattle tale told once again. It’s about the relationship.

Grace must cover all things, both big and small, for there to be relationship. 

 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3: 12-14 NIV

Playing a game with my Alli a few weeks back at a bridal shower the question was asked, “What is some advise you would give the mother of the bride?”

Alli, in her girlish way, just wrote a simple question.

When I get married, will you help me with my situations?

My heart swelled and I breathed deep.

I will help you with all of your situations.

I will know you.

Because my Jesus is so good and He makes all things new — I will stumble often, but by His grace, I will stand tall, dust off my knees, and try again.

It’s all about the beauty of being made new, friends.

It’s all about getting up and trying again.

—————————————–

Are you a part of the 14 days of simple love challenge? Where we love simply, in some way — each day? Knowing our little bit of love can make a big difference. But wait! It gets even better! The great news——>> When the person we loved goes and loves someone else, all because of the love we showed them? Well, that could change the world.

Leading up to Valentine’s Day why not love, simply each of the 14 days? Besides, why save big love for only one day, right? Here is how it works:

Everyday there will be a new simple way to love posted here. Each day you use that simple love idea and run with it. However that way is possible for you- do it!

Everyone is looking for someone to love them. And the more we love, the happier our little hearts are.

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread” – Mother Teresa.

Today’s simple love: Don’t let the ‘small stuff’ make you a monster.

Image

May our grace build relationship today as we breathe deep before choosing hurting those around us.

I am right there with you,

Kati

#14daysofsimplelove guide:
Day One: Who said grown men can’t date boys
Day Two: Everyone’s view is different than mine
Day Three: That stinkin Proverbs 31 woman

Some of you have asked how to receive posts in your email: it’s simple. On the lower right hand side of the screen there should be a “follow” button. Click and enter your email. It’s totally safe.

photo

…..

yeah… if there’s an ad below here—> a creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = / And I didn’t choose what it will advertise.

So, you think everyone is better than you huh? Think again.

20140131-092210.jpg
Standard

THIS is what I look like when the little things I write matter to people and they actually read it and I’m left feeling like a little Minion on the movie Despicable Me saying,  “whaaatttt?”

20140131-092045.jpg

That, my friends- is a thirty year old woman taking a planned ‘selfie’. =)

Cue next picture of me climbing into my turtle shell- bound for hiding because I think maybe people have it all wrong? Maybe they don’t really understand I’m just a mess trying to figure it all out and it just so happens, my heart pitter-patters for words? Maybe they don’t know I’m just a silly girl who loves sharing words on a screen- hoping one day they’ll spill over onto real sheets of paper and sit next to peoples bedposts. Do people even know that I really don’t know what I’m doing? Like for real- I may love words, stories, and sharing brokenness with the story of Gods redemption, but I don’t even know where the commas go and spell check is my best friend.

So, yeah. I know. It’s a scary impossible,  you just know everyone can’t wait to see you fail sort of dream.

But it gets me thinking just a bit- makes me wonder:“Do people reading my silly words understand they’re amazing? No, seriously. Do they realize they’re created to be unique, different, and totally not like anyone else?”

Then I realize, the truth is: probably not.

Most of us spend a lot of our time comparing screens. Your screen is much cooler than mine. Your facebook or twitter page gets way more likes than mine and you have way more friends than me. Your kids are perfect, and you read your bible every day. Your husband takes you away for mini-vacations three times a year and he even buys you a new dress to celebrate. You’ve adopted three kids, I’ve only adopted two- you drive a new mini-van, I drive a beat up SUV with a broken heater. Your house is bigger, your family is much cooler, and you even have a dog that does tricks.

*sigh* I’m such a major loser.

20140131-092148.jpg

See I told you. Major.

If you are someone who is a major loser like me but you think you’re the only one– I’d like to share with you this simple truth:

psssst, it’s a secret. guess what?

Everyone’s kids have cranky, bad days. We all feel lonely and misunderstood from time to time. Not all of us go on vacations all of the time and I know I never get new dresses. We all spend too much money on something, and we all have our things we “just can’t live without”. We all have seasons where our spiritual walk seems dry, and we all sometimes want to walk away from a screaming child of ours at Walmart and pretend they aren’t really ours. There are days when we all want to give up or  just sit in a corner and cry. I know I’m the only one who sometimes lets a bad word fly out of frustration though- right?

Here’s the truth. Nobody’s life is picture perfect. If our lives were perfect, we wouldn’t need the cross.

There is a false reality that comes along with reading about other peoples lives day in and day out. I can get all wrapped up in what others are doing that it becomes very damaging to me as a wife, a momma, and a daughter of the King. I start to compare my life, actions, and activities, with other mommas instead of how I measure up to the calling placed on my own life; The calling of Jesus.

“Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6

If I claim to follow Jesus, I must try to live as He did. It’s not a choice- rather a reaction. It is an overflow of who I am. I am loved by the King. Oh my goodness, I get goosebumps just thinking of His love and favor!!

Isn’t it exciting? As Christ followers, we get to share with the world the beauty of being unique!

You may be like the widow who fed Elijah; or perhaps you have a faith like the Canaanite Woman whom Jesus called a dog. Perhaps you need grace, like the  the woman caught in adultery who Jesus saved from stoning. Or perhaps, you’re someone who needs to just.quit.throwing.stones. No matter what point we are in our walk with Jesus, we have only one person to imitate, Him.

I remember when I first became a stay at home momma. It all happened at once. I had just had our third kiddo, Judah. Only days out from c-section (i know you have home-births, you’re so much cooler than me) I became a stay at home, homeschooling momma. Also a full time ministers wife all in a new town, surrounded by all new people. One night, I was crying, talking to that sweet man of mine about how I just didn’t know how to juggle it all. In response, he looked at me and said something I will never forget.

He said:

“As long as you are being the best daughter you can be; then how can you not be the best mother, wife, and friend.”

I still think of that every day. “Father, I’m doing the best I can; you’ll have to fill in where I lack.” And trust me, I lack a lot. So, the truth is simple. We’re all always falling, and He’s always picking us up, dusting us off and helping us start again. In the world of computer screens, blogs, facebook, pinterest, twitter– we hardly see the falls, we only see the beauty of His help.

For instance, see my little Emmyn making a cutie-pie snow man in this picture?

20140131-092109.jpg

Well, what you don’t see is the fight she gave me when I made her wear boots instead of flip-flops only minutes before. =)

Oh and… remember the post about my crazy past of drug addiction and God’s saving grace? What you don’t realize is… i didn’t even realize my sweet man (aka HUSBAND) didn’t even know the ‘date story’ from that post.  ha, ha… oops = /  I thought he knew every little detail of my life.

How about this random pig we saw walking down the road a few weeks back? Yeah- that was strange and my kids wanted to take him home. I almost did.

20140131-092135.jpg

See this cutie pie picture from our adoption day? Yeah, the picture of my boys? Isn’t it nice of Triston to be giving Judah a piggy-back ride? Well, what you don’t see is Judah running over in between picture shots to get a huge drink of lemonade and then spilling it all down his shirt. So, we had to hide the evidence. Hence, their sweet, on screen, brotherly love. ; )

6

The truth is, there is no one good- accept the Father. Including people with cutsie little blogs or pictures on Facebook. Our days are filled with challenges, temptations, sin, wrong choices, harsh tones in our voices, and bad judgment calls. That’s the beauty of grace.

He is so good to give such good gifts.

Titus 3: 4-7 NIV
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

May we be seeking Him each and every moment of our days, friends. May He fill our every thought. May we compare ourselves to that sweet Jesus of the cross. Who took on flesh to live a life of example and sacrifice. Let us not compare ourselves to the broken brother or sister sitting next to us in the pew, showing up in our newsfeed, or walking beside us at Walmart.

While you slap your little babies hand, while you wipe your little guys runny nose… again. While you have yet another hard discussion with your teenager; while you show grace to your nagging mother just one more time. While you serve at that job you hate just one more day, or help that person just.one.more.time.  May you remember to be the best Daughter of the King you can be.

“As long as you are being the best daughter you can be; then how can you not be the best mother, wife, and friend.”
The rest will fall into place, my friend.

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”  Ephesians 5:1-2

No better than the next guy,
Kati

.
yeah… if there’s an ad below here—> don’t click the creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = /

How to become a weak parent

emmyn
Standard

All my children have played in the water. Emmyn’s the only one who ever crawled in.

Oh, this girl. She keeps me on my toes.

It’s a great thing to do when you’re busy in the kitchen, cleaning up or preparing dinner. I’m sure you’ve done it too; filled the sink up and let them play. Your children stand there on their stool all cute. Sometimes wearing just a diaper; other times totally naked, cute as can be, saying things like, “lookie momma” and “woooow.”

Not my Emmyn.

She throws the water. She turns on the hot water. She gets in feet first. She lives life to it’s very fullest. She is lively.

Oh, lively to say the least. She will look me straight in the eyes and say, “No.”

I’ll say, “Let’s go brush our teeth.” She’ll say, “I already did.”

She totally did not.

Do you have an Emmyn? Are her feet always wet or dirty? Her diaper always off and naked bun-buns exposed? And why is she still in a diaper anyway? Does she have a favorite shirt she wants to wear every day and she doesn’t care if it’s two sizes too small? Did you hide the shirt last night and this morning you are anticipating the daily melt down for the shirt? Oh, and of course it doesn’t matter what store you’re in or if you’re at the library; perhaps even just on the phone, she is loud.

Oh, momma. I am right there with you.

How do we handle these lively little ones, living life to it’s fullest, pressing each and every button us mommas have?

Are there days when you just want the elevator to stop so you can get off? She can just keep pressing buttons–but let you off at the 1,243 rd floor because you’ve had enough.

Yeah, me too.

I think it was after the tenth Emmyn episode, subtracting 92 from 68 for the one-hundredth time with my eight year old, telling my five year old, once again, to pick up the legos before I cut my foot on them; helping my eleven year old with entry level geometry (can you tell I hate math?) all while needing to head out the door to pick up the teenager, when I asked myself the question, a.g.a.i.n…

“LORD, am I doing anything right?”

He simply whispered, “My grace is enough” and my face couldn’t help but smile big and I thought,

Yes, it is.

The Apostle Paul shares,

“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 2-10

Am I saying my little Emmyn is a thorn of my flesh? A messenger of Satan? No. But she sure isn’t an angel and I always know she is there. She challenges me, keeps me humble, reminds me daily of the struggle between good and bad. She tells me no, she hits, she kicks, she scowls. Some would think, she hates me at times but then, she turns sweetly and kisses me.

I am weak in many ways- but weak in parenting? I can’t do that! After all, that is where this momma needs to be the strongest, right?

Maybe not.

Parenting–It’s the one thing I want to pick up and handle all on my own.

In fear, I worry.

Sometimes, I get so caught up in trying to “fix” one of my children, I forget to pray about it! (okay, most times) and then the even more humbling thing? When I do pray about it… I still sit and make my plan of attack. “I have to handle this with strength and an iron fist– I have to be ready to head into battle.” 

I don’t want to be weak.

I want to fix it. Fix her.

 


How do I truly surrender my weakness? And after surrender, what about boasting? How do I boast about that weakness–and gladly at that?

How do we then boast in our weakness so that Christ’s power can rest on us? After all, that’s what we need most in times like this, right? How do we rejoice time.and.time.again?

By His grace. His grace is enough. 

It’s like– “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” It’s like the King who came to rule, but ruled in love.  It’s almost incomprehensible. We must become weak to become strong.


We have to come to grips with having a child, wild child at that, different than our other cookie cutter children. [or other peoples cookie cutter children] She is given to us, for this moment, from God.“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him…” Psalm 127:3

We have to pray for wisdom. Pray God will show us how to love her. How to love her best. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3: 17-18

We have to have limits, she can’t run all over us. We have to pray God will help us keep to those limits, without giving in. Besides, that’s the only way we will be able to keep those limits because we both know, those limits haven’t worked in the past. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

We have to do good. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:9-12

When they are good, no matter what they might have done before, we have to praise them– that’s how they know we love and notice them. That’s how they see Jesus in us. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. Luke 15: 21-24

We have to smile, even when it’s hard. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

We have to clothe ourselves.  “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

We have to forgive them. Sometimes, the children who hurt us most, are old enough to know better. “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22

We have to become a servant of all-- and sometimes, this means serving our children. Even when it’s hard. Even after they’ve told you no, hit you, kicked, and screamed. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

We must be strong in our weakness. We must understand this simple truth: By becoming weak and surrendering our joys, our failures, and all the in-betweens of parenting to the One who makes us strong, we will grow in strength. [Like the really good, "super hero Jesus" kind of strength.] “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 2-10

That is the only strength I honestly need, right? the strength that comes from the One clothed in grace. [OK- that, and a really great time out spot.] ;)

Ah! It’s a crazy life! This life of “mom” So crazy, but beautifully blessed.

Becoming weak time and time again,

Kati

yeah… if there’s an ad below here—> don’t click the creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = /

It’s monday, again. And things aren’t going so great.

photo 5
Standard

The baby didn’t sleep and the toilet didn’t work. The friend didn’t call and the raise didn’t come. The car didn’t start and the bills didn’t get paid. The church didn’t work out and the kids fought all day. The school work didn’t get planned, the lunches didn’t get made.

The weather wasn’t agreeable, the grocery store- too full. The oil didn’t get changed and the trees didn’t get planted. The sun didn’t shine on winters chill and the toys are still strewn all over the yard. The mother didn’t care and the son didn’t call. The little one felt hot to the touch and you don’t feel so good. The chemo didn’t work, the big break didn’t come, the prayer wasn’t answered.

The laundry’s still waiting and it wasn’t even your day to put it all away.

The letter didn’t get written, the book didn’t get read. The cake wasn’t baked and the memory wasn’t made. The grocery list was never started and the coupons never clipped. The jog never happened and the cupcake tasted so good. The husband didn’t say sorry; in fact he didn’t even care.

But you know what? The Father, yeah that one they call King, Savior, Adonai? The I Am, the Alpha the Omega the one who touched the dirty and loved the crippled? He saw it all. He sees it all.

And He is always there.

photo 2

Of this I am reminded once again~

It isn’t what happens to me that defines who I am — it is how I react to it that determines whose I am.


Hebrews 12: 1-2 NLT “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne…

[... watching you, smiling at you, finding joy in you sweet friend.]

Monday, Tuesday- whatever day. May your heart be full of faith as you conquer the darkness that tries to capture the joy from our days. May your mind be focused on the I Am because we know we cannot conquer this day without the One who created it. May you lean solely on The One and Only. May the creator of the universe, the painter of the sky; the designer of the honey bee and the intricate flower it draws its strength from- may THIS God be ever evident in your day as you trust in him. As the honey bee must have the beautiful flower to begin it’s journey to honey- may you start your everything by the strength of our father.

Loves,

Kati