The reality of mothers day.

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Walking from my bedroom into the kitchen I find this:

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Curious to what the surprise may be–I grabbed the bell.

I walked the hallway ringing the bell.

Smiling big.

From the closed bedroom door peeks my oldest daughter.

“Don’t come yet- mom. Triston peed his bed and he’s in the shower.”

This.

This is Mother’s Day reality folks.

Happy day!

🙂 Kati

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There are hundreds of reasons why I’m not a good mom.

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Throughout my day- I hear them.

I hear them all.day.long

The voices.

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Among the toys strewn out– all over the yard. The mower that man of mine still leaves parked right in front of the house.

The voices tell me.

“You’re such a failure.”

Any mom could do better than you.”

“What were you thinking? Six kids? Half of a dozen? Maybe more one day? They would be better off — only children.”

“You.yelled.again.”

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It happened all of a sudden. My body decided to go against me. Go against my to-do list. Go against my plans, my work, my mothering, my everything. And I wound up lying empty in the hospital on my sons eighth birthday needing an emergency surgery.

Right there, written on my arm– the words of strength. “She is clothed with strength and dignity– she laughs with no fear of the future…”  You know. That Proverbs 31 Woman.

Well. This momma worries about the future every single day. And finding myself broken down, sick, and empty was just another easy target for the enemies lies to sink deep within my mind. Fighting for my heart.

You see, those words written on my arm don’t do a very good job at keeping the lies away or the hospital bands away– they don’t even keep the ugly hospital gown away. ; )

My savior has to do all of that.

There are hundreds of different reasons I am the worst mom in the world.

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But from very moment I became a momma, thirteen years ago, those voices have been telling me that.

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And every day since I surrendered my life to that sweet Jesus; HIS voice keeps telling me,  “I’ll trust you with more.”

“I know you can do it.”

“Slow down. Speak soft.”

“You’re lovely”

“You’re beautiful.”

“They.love.you.”

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And when the voices say,

“I don’t even know why you keep that scripture in the window? It’s not like you practice it everyday…”

My savior says, “You think those verses are only for you?”

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And when the voices say, “You’re just the same girl you once were.”

My savior says, “No, my dear. You’re not.”

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And when I think, nobody ever even notices-– He simply reminds me:

“Six little souls are watching you closely.”

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“And someday? Someday they will say…”

“You were perfect- flaws and all.”

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For the mom who thinks she’s never good enough. For the mom, like me, who thinks there are hundreds of reasons someone else could be doing this job better…

THIS is for you:

God made you, you. And he doesn’t make mistakes.

You, my sweet one, are loved.

Happy Mothers Day. 

Kati

Teaching love through the muddiness of life. [how God uses broken people like you and me]

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I’m not sure when it hit me.

The reality. He’s not mine and what in the world am I going to do with this teenager? Besides, what in the world were his parents thinking? Sending him to live with two 28 year olds raising four children of their own in a tiny little town called Chelsea?

I wonder, was it the first time I had to use the phrase– “If you don’t fix your attitude, I’m going to have to take your ipod and cell phone” or was it the first time he raised his voice at me– raised it louder than any child ever had.

Perhaps it was when I raised mine in reply.

I remember feeling very scared. Scared we were going to ruin him for sure and he would never know Jesus.


“Hello Gibson’s-

How are you guys?? Doing well??

I miss you all like crazy when I got back to my Taiwan’s home. 

Remember we used to riding bikes, planting garden, swimming together, cleaning house, also traveling? Do all the things together as a family… and you guys took your free time, come to my school games, I’m really thankful and love you guys sooooo much, more than I can say and write. 

Gibson’s shone the glory, mercy, peaceful around people, let people feel how gorgeous and wonderful this family could be…

I’m glad I could meet you guys, I have learned a lot from you all, learn how to babysitting, how to use the mower cutting the grass without using scissors… also learn how to be independent without parents around, learn how to work hard as a man, the most important is loving people like God does!!!

I miss Gibson’s and love them…, hope we can get together again like we used to be… 

Pray for Gibson’s to do well on everything… “

Ting.

Because he knew us best. He lived every moment, saw our good and bad. And appearance only lasts so long, right?

Sound familiar?

It only makes sense that my eyes fill with tears and I’m full of emotion when I read his words. Words sent from across the world– words handwritten and sent right to our little place we call home.When I opened the package and saw his writing, my heart leaped and I cried just a bit. Even now, as I type– my eyes fill with tears, at just the simple thought of his words written on paper for us.

There’s no obligation now. He doesn’t live here, eat here, rely on our transportation. He’s home– free to live his life. Yet, each morning– we talk. It’s his night, our morning and always– there’s Ting.

 

When he writes to tell us he finally attended church for the first time in Taiwan, along side his Dad— my heart leaped again.


 

 

 

Then he says, “I was the only teenager there and the crowd was small.” And I think,

he went.

He continues, “It felt good-like being back with the church in America- I could feel Jesus close. We sang songs and worshiped our God”

I wanted to wrap my arms around his tiny self and whisper, “He is always close.” I wanted to look into his eyes and tell him, “You are not alone in this scary journey. God is there. He is real, can’t you feel Him?”

 

And I think to myself, is this it? Is this what it is like, sending them out– our little children, out to the wolves? How will my heart take this ever again? How can I do this not once but four more times and possibly even more? How do I let go?

 

How do I trust that God is God and He is Good. How can I Trust that my children listen to God, not me. How do I trust that He is the Lord of their life and I’m not just lording over them. 

After we’ve spent years raising our voices louder than anyone else ever has– threatening to take away everything under the sun, for whatever reason irritates us that day; said, what feels like, one million I’m sorry’s, cried over math problems, worried over reading and relationships– then blistered our knees in prayer–

How do we know they will be alright?

How do we trust they will seek Him? How do we know we haven’t ruined them for life? How do we know this everyday thing we call, life– hasn’t left it’s ugly mark all over their souls?

We know, because we’ve loved.

We know, because He loved.

We know, because we fell.

Time and time again, we fell.

We muddied our knees once more, wiped up our mess and tried again.

Just like they will one day do.

We loved through spit up, spilled milk and mis-spelled words. We loved when it was hard and they were ugly. We loved just a bit harder when we felt like giving up. We went to games and cleaned the house. We rode bikes and said, no. We showed glory, mercy, and peace to people — so they could see Jesus. We lived. Together. Every moment.

And they watched.

He watched.

and now he says, “I know the most important thing is loving people like God does.”

He doesn’t say, “Why did you take my ipod that time, or yell back at me when I was rude.” Not, “Why did you make me go to bed early some nights and tell me I couldn’t have everything I wanted.”

He says, you taught me love. 

And I think, really? Us?

Us, with our crazy bed hair, messy house; and crying baby? Us, with the five year old who’s always in your business and the sometimes moody 11 year old? Us? Married, with our “discussions” that can sometimes become heated or long and drawn out?

Us, with our constant talk of that crazy love for this person you’ve never heard of– this person called Jesus. Us? Messy, desperate for grace, constantly in the mud of life… We taught you love?

He simply says, yes.

And that great big God of ours, so full of good, simply reminds me– it’s not about what you do, Kati. It’s about what I’m doing.

Because I Am. And I Am good. And I Am always there, can’t you feel me?

 

May you trust– they are watching you, He is using you, and He is always good.

Much love, friends.

Jude 1:2,

Kati

 

Um, yeah… is there 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. Sorry about that.

Fellowship with daughters: the very best thing I do with my girls.

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Remember when you were young and passed notes to your best girlfriends?

I do that with my girls. =)

Those girls of mine, all crazy four of them– they need love. They all need loved in different ways too, and that can be tricky.

I have one who speaks the least but feels the most. She loves words like me. We talk about everything from Jesus to dresses. Another of mine, she’s one for attention– she always wants to know when we’re going somewhere again. Then there’s this one who is new to the whole mom thing and she’s just happy to write. Then Emmyn, my littlest, little? Well, she makes pretty drawings. =)

In order to keep up with all of their girly goodness, we have momma journals. Each one have a decorated journal that is between just she and I. When they feel they need to talk, they pass the journal my way.

Sometimes, it’s on the stand next to my bed– other times, it’s lying on my desk. I’ve even found it next to the kitchen sink.

A cutie-pie picture from when my little Jordi pie started her journal a few years back?

It’s a place where we can be total cheese heads, encourage each other, love each other with our words, and it’s all right there, in the book– a book we can keep forever.

{ ok, ok, and it helps with handwriting practice ; ) }

Simple & silly love, today and always~

Kati 

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Um, yeah… is there 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. Sorry about that. 

a story of addiction and sweet love for the toll guy.

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Feeling silly, a few days ago– after a crazy day of everything seeming to run behind schedule and then several hours of open road with those crazy kids of mine, I met the toll man.

I smiled and said, “Hello!” In my totally annoying, high pitch way.

He was all frownie.

He was crabby.

And it made me all gloomy.

So, I set out to change the world in the the most effective way of our day…

Facebook.

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A friend replied:

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And I replied…. Why haven’t I ever thought of that??

And then it hit me: Because I don’t think of every single great idea.

Even though this Friday for Valentine’s Day we will celebrate as we always do- walking around our little town handing out treats. Even though we left cocoa for the mail lady last week- even though my eight year old told the produce guy the other day “Excuse me, sir but you are doing a great job at stacking that lettuce…”

I had never thought about cheering up the toll booth guy.

Because believe it or not- we would be silly to think we can’t all learn a bit from the ideas of others. 😉

So, of course.. I stopped at SAM’s during our road trip and bought a little bit of love in a box.

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And after eating two Kit- Kat bars on my own… (that is a sad truth) we saw the toll man again.

And we gave him a little bar of love.

He smiled.

Well, as you know— when you find what makes people smile, you sort of get addicted to making it happen.

And when you have a gigantic box of goodness tempting you to eat.just.one.more you can’t help but want to share more love so the candy is gone ; )

Yup, we gave the car wash man one too.

Do you know what that car wash guy did? He stopped in the middle of washing someone’s windshield and JUMPED UP AND DOWN. Then he gave my 12 year old a fist pump, and even said, “Oh my, Oh my, God Bless You”

Now my 12 year old is addicted too.

Of course, It got me thinking… maybe you would like to join our addiction? Hey! You can get 52 of those bars of love for only $28 at SAM’s Club. Or stop this morning and get one at your local convenient store and share some love with the grocery clerk, drive through man, bank clerk or even the toll guy.

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Grab this picture and share it? Yup, spread the idea of simple love today.   #14daysofsimplelove

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Happy Monday (tuesday,wednesday,thursday and beyond)!

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.

Everyone’s view is different than mine. #14daysofsimplelove

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“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:18

Each Saturday morning we visit granny.

My sweet mans 86 year old grandma, the one who does art with our oldest daughter Alli each week. The most precious soul in the world.

We’ve been having breakfast with granny for the past three years- since we moved back to my hometown.

Over the course of three years, we’ve noticed a few changes. She sort of forgets things, and sometimes breakfast is a little funky because she added a few of the wrong ingredients. ; ) Some mornings, we hear the same story we heard last week because she forgot she already shared it with us. She’ll say-

“I’m sure I’ve already told you this, hun. But did you know…”

I know, it’s super cute.

Over the past six months or so, we’ve noticed she doesn’t hear us quite as well as she use to. Unless she knows the story involves her, she sort of tunes it out because she knows she can’t really hear the story fully.

Yesterday at breakfast, my sweet man was talking to me about some silly thing he had seen somewhere. I noticed granny was toned out. She was just watching the kids (our kids) playing in the living room. I thought to myself- Her view is totally different than mine. I wonder what it’s like to sit and hear only pieces of conversation- knowing you use to hear everything perfect.

Then I realized, we all see things from different views. Granny sees things through her eyes. Aged eyes, years of experience and memories.  My children’s views are all different- their life stories are all different. Alli, the oldest of six has changed lots of diapers, seen lots of little toddlers throw fits. She’s also had more conversations with me and experienced more “life” than the other children. Then there’s Emmyn, who is only four. She can’t even see the kitchen counter.

The hurtful mother, the fun friend. The cranky neighbor, the snobby co-worker. They’re all living life from their view. What has life dealt them? What challenges have they had? How have they arrived at this ‘view’?

Has the mother been scarred by a life of hurt? Has the neighbor had bad neighbors in the past so they’re not even interested in giving you a fair chance? Has the snobby co-worker always had to be appear better than everyone else because she’s actually lonely and dying inside?

What if we all took time to intentionally get down on other peoples levels. What if I sat in silence with granny doing a puzzle, or sat and played with Emmyn today. What if I bent low to make the shot with Judah to see how hard it is to make a three point basketball shot at the age of six (well, I’ve actually never been able to do that). What if I could have a glimpse into the past lives of Ashely and Triston, recently adopted. I wonder if that view would give me the occasional nightmare too.

I bet it would.

Are you apart 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!

For instance. Yesterday’s love was: take someone special on a date. The post was about dating your children. But you might not have children! Don’t have children? Take your mom, grandma, nephew, best friend. Call someone far away and share a conversation- call it a date!! Share a picture of your simple love. Share the hashtag #14daysofsimplelove. Tell someone what you’re doing- give them a great idea!

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: See the world through their eyes.

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“How can I be useful, of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be?” Vincent Van Gogh

A few ideas?
Have kids? Sit and play today.

Have grandparents? Give them a phone call, I bet they would love someone to chat with.

Have a parent who struggles with medical problems and can’t do all they use to? Play a game of cards with them!

Have a little sister or brother? Sit and play with them- try 10 min! I’m sure it will turn into 30 before you know it. =)

Know a widow? They’re probably lonely- give them a visit?

Have a teenager? Laugh loud with them today, make silly videos with them, take goofy pictures- speak their language.

Have a sweet man who wants to watch the Super Bowl but you totally don’t get football and wonder why all those grown men run around in all that armor chasing a silly ball all day? Yeah, me too.  Simply love that man today and watch that game! ; )

Total crazy love- not just these 14 days but always~
Kati

Have a picture of your simple love? Send me a picture by clicking HERE and I’ll post it for all to see or link up to me on twitter: @kati_gibson  #14daysofsimplelove Lets spread the joy of love in a really simple way!

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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 = /

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

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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?”

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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. ; )

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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

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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 = /