Saturday, 25 January 2014

What We All Need.

A certain dear Christmas-loving, English teaching, Mexico living, sister-in-Christ friend, Melody tells me it's time for another post. And since I have some of the best, most wonderful family-friends in the world who took our children for the weekend I have some "extra" time to plunk around here.

And dear ones, you must know that that handsome man I call love is snoozing on the couch and so it is sort of a sacrifice to be typing here and not cuddled right up next to him. Nap or type? It was a hard call, but the computer won...just this once. You can thank me later...or not, depending on how much of your time you wasted, er, I mean spent reading in this place.

Ok, enough rambling.

The thoughts in my brain have been a bit scrambled lately. I find myself repeating myself a lot. And not just to people shorter than myself (AKA children.)  Pregnancy brain, I could blame it on, I guess. So that is just what I will do!

 But there has been this one constant flow of thoughts that (hold on to your pants friends) might just become a series here.

As I seek to be a faithful mother and wife, I find myself comparing and striving. A lot. And that might just be the understatement of the year. I also find myself spending an unfortunate amount of time caring way too much what other people think, instead of knowing that it is the Lord alone who I am held accountable.

It is in the beauty of our diversity of lives as believers that we can see the majesty and power of the Cross. I mean, not everyone is going to have more than two kids or foster children or home school or eat gluten free or not watch TV etc. etc. etc. are they? We each seek to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling" don't we? So why am I comparing?

I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be that Pintrest woman that has a Christmas tree that deserves to be in the oval office of the White House. And if you saw our tree this year, you would know this to be the truest thing you have read all week.

But there is a part of me that wants that.

I know you can relate. (unless you are that Pintrest which I say God bless you!)

There is a part of me that is not satisfied with what the Lord has given or not given to me (one of which is 7 children right now who knock over Christmas trees. Yup, knock them right over.)

And some of this is because much of who we become or what our lives become stems from this idea that we will follow the paths laid out before us and that we will mirror much of what we were brought up in. But then we grow up don't we?

We move away.
We make decisions.
 We change.

 Much of which is painful but necessary. And so much of it all is unexpected. Our plans fail and we eventually, sometimes, see what the Lord is and was doing. And a lot of the time we don't or can't.

When I look at the beautiful mess of a life that we have lived together the past 11 years, it does not look anything like what I thought it would during the beginning. And you know what? I am ever so thankful that it doesn't!

Because my life does not need more Pintrest or comparing or lists of "shoulds." You know that list: "I really should be doing this because so-n-so raises her own sheep to knit her family woolen socks."

What my life needs...what my kids friends and family....all of us. What we need is more of Jesus. Of Who He is. Of what He has done. And what He continues to do.

He is so much more beautiful than all of that comparing or worry over other's approval isn't He? And at the end of the day we want to seek to delight in Him and saturate our home and lives with the love of the gospel knowing we will fail and praising Him for the grace and mercy of forgiveness and the perseverance He gives to get through the next day....moment even.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year News

There she goes. Saying it again, better than I would ever dare. Yup, Ann says about this 2014 New Year:

"She preached the Gospel to herself:

Sure Mount Everest might loom in front of you, that mountain you have to climb in the next 364 days.

But the deal is: Every mountain that every Christin ever faces, the Lord levels with sufficient grace: The Lord Will Provide.

You don't have to climb mountains named I Will Perform.

You don't have to climb mountains named I Will Produce.

Jesus flattens that mountain before you with His Grace: The Lord will Provide. With enough strength. With enough wisdom. With More Than Enough of Himself.

More important than you trying to muster up sufficient grit and determination for the new year -- is that you simply accept His sufficient grace and liberation every day." ~Ann Voscamp (writing at A Holy Experience. Posted 1/1/2014)

So when a dear friend asks, "HOW in the WORLD do you do that??!! How WILL you do that???"

I reply honestly, "I won't." "I will fail...we will fail."

Because it is only, truly by His grace that any of us are able to face anything that comes our way.

I don't think I believe this all the time. Though my mouth says it is so.

My heart tells on me.

The fact is I know I don't live it.

Not all the time, or some days or not even most of the time.

Never in a kazillion (yes, it's an actual number...just ask any of the 5 year olds living in my home) if we would be walking through right now, in this new year, what we are walking through, I probably would have told you to "check yourself before you wreck yourself...cuz that is CrAzY talk!!"

So a list of resolutions this girl will not make. No more "to do lists," but to know and to trust the One all the more who will provide. Always. In every. single. way. as I walk hand in hand with the one I call, Love.

So here is a little Happy New Year Update from all us 6 Popes.

And can I just say, before you read on, that we are just. SO. EXCITED!

Dearest Ones,

For our Christmas letter this year we’ve decided

To keep it light and have some fun


Cuz one thing is for sure

Most of this past year

Has flown by like a blur


With 6 in the crib

And one little monster running about

There have been some rough times, we ain’t gonna fib


At least they can all buckle themselves

With only two exceptions

This all makes for only occasional yells


The buckle test, it’s a big one in our crib

And no more bottles, no more diapers

And certainly not one single bib


Those bibs, bottles, diapers and more

All belonging to babies

We were done for sure!


Certainty can be a slippery slope

So when Kari got sick for 12 weeks

We knew it was no joke


The date of arrival is early in June

So lets get excited

For this little life is already in bloom


Now, don’t worry, fret or frown

Yes, we can see it

Some of your mouths are turned right upside down L


We ask you, yes, to be excited with us

To be thoughtful with words, and prayerful and kind

And to not make a big fuss


Unless of course you wanted to make

A big donation to their college funds

For the children’s sake


Ok not really

That’s merely a joke

It’s good to laugh at ourselves not just other odd folk


So now that you know our BIG news

Also know that we love you all

And please have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year too!