Monday, 20 May 2013

Today

Today was that day. You know the one. The one where if there was a grading scale for parenting you would give yourself an F in mothering (or life in general.) And for those of you that are hollering at your computer, "Oh, Kari you're always too hard on yourself!" well, today that is just not true. Today, it just is the plain, ugly truth.

And these days? We all have them don't we?

There were many a time where I thought, "you know they are not going to be here forever...." and then just went on being an F parent. And here is the thing that I have found to be most true when this happens. My focus is myself. My focus is my circumstances. My focus is on what others are doing or not doing. My focus is on what others may think of me. My focus certainly is not Christ. And the brutal, honest truth is that today...this very day... I didn't want it to be.

There must be a reason that many times, I find in the Word, (as I told my daughter today...again) that faith is a fight for joy. It is an ugly battle and that is why we must be armed well according to Ephesians 6. And today, sadly, I just chose not to be.

The very same battle that wages war against my children rages inside of me and you know what? I am thankful for days like today because perhaps I would (or maybe I know I would) go get a big head and such about how easy this all is and forget that the struggle that they are having is just as real in them as it is in me....it's just I'm a little more practised at it.... and yet, I still fail.

Thank you Father that when days like today come, and they will again, that I can come to you because there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus our Lord. Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you that I can confess that I was an F parent, and ask you to fill me up again for the thousandth time today...and you will. Thank you for your Word. Thank you that I am not left to myself...that I don't have to figure this all our myself, but you have given me a guide in your Word...in your Spirit written Word. Thank you Lord for these blessings too:

866. hard days, good hard days
867. a daughter who says sorry, who desires forgiveness and a mom who needs it too
868. an honest son with a kind heart
869. a visit from my mother and father...soon and very soon
870. a God who places us just where we need to be to get done what we need to get done in the place it needs to get done
871. a tired husband who gives one last kiss goodnight
872. the quiet house, finally quiet....
873. being reminded what a good teacher really is
874. this wonderfully, hard thing called motherhood

Thank you friends, for being patient with me as we are in a busy season of our lives. I do want to let you know that I am putting aside the Fighter Verses for now because I am memorising Eph. 6: 10-18 over the next 16 weeks in the summer with our Sunday School class. Join me if you want. If not I will hunt you down, er I mean that's ok too. ;0) We are starting with Eph. 6:10 and will be memorizing this one for the next 2 weeks. Yes, 2 weeks...totally doable right????

Sunday, 12 May 2013

She is Called Mother

Sometimes all you can do is open your hands, receive the gift....and say thank you.
Sometimes thank you is all you have to give...and not even in the form of a card.
Just a hug, a meagre smile and a thank you.

A thank you to the friend that showed up weeks before the move.
Told you what to organise where and when.
And then showed up those weeks and packed like a maniac.
And unloaded and unpacked and positioned couches and worked it all out lovely in her mind.
Oh, and she's teaching you to garden.
Oh, and she's homeschooling one...and teaching art too.
But there she is helping you...still.
She is called mother.
And all you have is thank you.

A thank you to the dear one who brought you meals the two days it took you to move in.
And enough to eat later for left overs.
She has been on her knees and prayed for you.
She took your fire and ice boy for a night and kept the littlest one too though she had 3 at home too.
She teaches with her life and her lips.
She is a wonder.
She is called mother.
And all you have is thank you.

A thank you to the one still bringing meals.
Who is a women who knows your inmost battles.
And is after the Lord with her whole heart.
She calls, e-mails, encourages, prays and prays and prays.
Hers are grown.
She has grands.
She is called mother.
And all I have is thank you.

A thank you to those friends and family that check in.
They call though you don't have the time now to call or back.
Those ones that you know pray though you don't talk every single day or often even.
They love.
They support.
They are called mother too, well most of them.
And all you have is thank you.

Oh, and the one who gave you life.
Who remembered that you were life.
And though circumstances were not all that she wanted them to be...
She gave you life anyway.
And she trusted that you were His.
That He would save you in His time.
She waited.
She watched.
She trusted.
She's your mother.
And you can never repay her. Ever.
And thank you just will never be enough.


The weight of grace can be heavy when you believe it must be paid back.
The freedom of grace is humbling when you realise that you never can, nor will, nor even want to.
It is given.
And it is taken.
It is a gift.
Never to be repaid.
 
So today, mother-friends of mine.
Know that I see you.
Your struggle.
Your pain.
Your laughing eyes.
Your love for our Savior.
And though a million thank yous can never be enough.
Jesus is.
He surly is.
 
 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Motherhood and Slippery Fish

Describing motherhood is a bit like catching a slippery fish don't you think? I mean it's hard to get a hold of and certainly hard to describe in words that are adequate. It is a job that I always thought that I was fit for...that is until #1 made her grand entrance and well then it was soon after I realised that changing diapers and holding crying babies at my mom's daycare all those years didn't add up to wisdom. Preparation? Yes. Wisdom? Nope.

And so as we celebrated our fourth turning three at the circus and all that entails, I realise that it is in the letting go of expectations (you know those silly ones we keep hidden in our hearts) that has helped this unprepared girl along the way. Babies cry. They don't sleep. Toddlers whine because they don't get the $15 light up toy. Big ones moan because they have to wait and well, "we NEVER get cotton candy!!"

 And there was a day when I couldn't really enjoy being with them because they were not meeting my expectations of perfection in my head...and maybe my heart a little. Ok, a lot. Yes, those. The ones where we expect babies not the melt down. And to sleep. And not to whine about not getting the outrageous toy that will break in 1.0 sec. flat. Oh, and those biggs....they SHOULD KNOW not to whine too. Yes, those.

Oh, and those expectations? They really are more about me aren't they? When the baby whines and the mother's stare, I think I feel the judgement (or a least that is how it feels doesn't it?)  And no, I'm not saying not to teach, or admonish, or discipline...please hear me because those are most important. Most important! Yes, they are. I am not saying that to enjoy your kids you just need to endure whining and tolerate disobedience. What I am saying is that all too often, I make motherhood about me...instead about Christ. Because truly to enjoy my kids I have to say to myself at least 20 migillion, gazillion (yes, it's a number...Koen says so) times that "but for the Lord, Kari Jo...but for the Lord there go I whining about that new skirt that I want but can't buy right now....etc."

So as this fourth grows up into our mighty warrior, this Momma is too...albeit slower than even he...fighting her way through this battle of faith, clinging to the One who fills her up with his Spirit to walk this wondering, wispy life with these 4 and enjoy it all along the way....

 
859. this gift: our Mighty Warrior
860. 3 years with him
861. waiting for spring. still.
862. 60 degree weather and sunshine. no snow!
863. the peace the passes all understanding. knowing this is just what God has for us now.
864. windy days at the park
865. grace, upon grace, upon grace, upon grace...friends of mine...

And as the weeks have come in gone since the move, as some other changes in our home too, I regretfully confess to you that I am wwwaaayyy behind in our fighter verses, but am committed to picking it up again this week. It is necessary....not just a have to, but necessary. Will you join me this week? Find the verse here, friends and have a lovely week!