Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Family is Weird

So don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. {Colossians 2:15-17}

Is it just me or are y'all criticized for making certain life decisions? I know I can't be the only one, right?

Before I get any messages about the irony or the hypocrisy of this particular post, let me say that I'm very aware how this MIGHT come across to some. I'm very aware that it's my opinion that no one else's opinion should matter, but Jesus's.

Are we all on the same page? Good!! Let's dive in, shall we?

On a daily basis, each and every one of us are bombarded with questions about our life style choices. Will you stay home once the baby comes? Are you going to breast feed? Cloth vs disposable? When should you start solids? Will your child start a Mother's Day Out or will they be home? Will you go back to work or will you devote your life to serve your family? Will they attend public, private, or homeschool?

How often will your family be involved in church? How will you celebrate certain holidays? Will your child be involved in sports or will academics take center stage?

You want to know what makes my family weird? We fiercely love Jesus. I only allow Praise and Worship in my home and in my car {jamming out with their dad on the way to soccer is a different story}. We homeschool. My husband and I treat ourselves to an adult beverage after the kids go to bed quite often. My husband is the head of our household. You will find us at the soccer field on any given night. My husband is responsible for the laundry. I've got dibs on yard work. I make my husband's plate for dinner as a sign of respect for him. We rarely agree on anything, but we love each other enough to support any and all our crazy ideas.

I have a deep desire to honor and respect my husband as best as I can. I realized a long time ago that being "just" a wife and mother is what the Lord called me to do in this season. I don't know how long this season will last, but you better believe that I'm relishing every moment. I have dreams of owning a business one day, going on missions, and giving as much as I can. Right now, my husband and my children need me. There is no doubt in my mind that I was made specifically for them and I'm so humbled that the Lord has entrusted their care to me.

The ability to encourage those around you, being humble, dressing modestly, blessing those around you, and respecting authority are paramount in our household. Our girls WILL be raised to know their strength in the Lord. In a world where so many women are being taught that they are equal to men, our girls will be raised to complete their husband, not compete with him.

 Don't allow anyone to make you feel depreciated for making a decision that you've prayed over. You've made your life decisions for a reason. You've been called by the Lord Almighty to raise your family to glorify Him. You've been convicted over any given topic for a reason. You've prayed and sought out reliable counsel. Be confident in your ability to raise your family the way the Lord has called you to.

 Your personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and interests are completely different from mine. AND THAT'S OKAY!!! The Lord knows what each and everyone of you needs on a daily basis. You might need more time away from your children during the day. You might need more adult interaction than I do. Your children might flourish in a classroom setting with other children their age.

As long as you are doing the best that you can to fulfill the needs of your family {whether you think you are succeeding or not} I salute you mama! You are my hero! In the spirit of the Olympics going on at the moment, remember one thing : Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on the winners. Don't compare yourself to others, keep your focus on Jesus, and follow the plan He has set out for your life. You can do this! Whatever it is - you can do it! With everyone being as busy as they are, its going to be hard, but find a few mamas in your area that will encourage you and cling to her {not in a creepy way, though}.

So there you have it - my opinion on the fact the other's opinions shouldn't matter! I hope this little rant has blesses, encourages and invigorates you today. You are the wife and the mama you need to be your family. Be confident in the abilities the Lord has blessed you with.

In the Meantime - Love God Greatly,
Whitney



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tornadoes and the Lord

I think that title perfectly describes this past week.   I think the title perfectly describes every week, but particularly describes the events in our household this past week. Either that or filling a blender with flour, turning it on and neglecting to the place the lid on AT ALL!

I've been praying on a few things that God has laid on my heart, taking a few small notes, planning some small projects for our first week of school, preparing my house for a birthday party, and striving to find the time to craft a few custom orders. All that while, searching for the grace I know is deep inside my heart, even though I hear sharp words whipping from my tongue.

Our oldest had a birthday party on Saturday, in which we spent weeks budgeting for all the little trinkets, decorations, and items used to entertain her friends for just a few hours out of the day. Water balloons, slip n slides, baby pools, chalkboards to announce "THE DESTINATION IS ON YOUR LEFT - YOU HAVE ARRIVED". Not to mention the food... oh, the food. It was a joyous occasion having the laughter of our family and friends fill our sanctuary. But can I be honest for a moment? {or at least get a "Bless Your Heart"?} I was a mad woman for an entire week - purging the house of all its suffocating clutter, moving it to the master closet {naturally}, and then placing it back to its rightful throne so it could actually function for the family.. Five days, people.. FIVE!!!


We've always filled our home with worship in the morning. After breakfast, the praises of the Lord spill from our speakers life a life giving flow. The children are ushered into their wing of the house to wash their freckle-kissed faces, throw the dust off their covers, and clean up laundry off the floor so I can wash it {since I'm obviously too lazy sort through it myself}.

In the back of my mind I hope that this life giving flow will subconsciously induce them into obedience and hard work. {Please tell me I'm not the only one} Sometimes it works and my house transforms into a living breathing rendition of Snow White. In my mind's eye, I picture my children as cute little woodland creatures washing the dishes, gathering cob webs, and fending off dust bunnies. Other times I'm desperate to get through this house-cleaning charade without them losing respect for me, or crawling into the fetal position in a corner, praying for my husband to rescue me for the fire-breathing dragon I've learned to call my home. Most often times I just wish the hubs would tell me he thinks all the toys and blanket forts in the living room add to the charm of our family.

This morning's worship was brought straight from the Lord's heart to my ears. I hear the crescendo of the beat building throughout the house. I've heard these words so many times before... They've touched my heart and soul in so many ways that I can't recollect them all. I stopped for a moment, in my desperation, I think to hear something worthwhile instead of the clamouring of children and construction. I closed my eyes as tears started to pour down my cheeks in complete awe of this Holy Spirit that I fondly refer to as my Heavenly Father. With hands raised high and swaying back and forth like only a mother does I heard the gentle whispers of love:


You give life, you give love 
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, you restore
Every heart that is broken
GREAT ARE YOU LORD

...

All the Earth will shout your praise
Our hearts will cry these bones will sing
Great are You, Lord

~ All Sons and Daughters

Those were the first words I heard from the Lord this morning. Give Life. Give Love. Which is the greatest commandment of all. 

Give. 

Whatever is going on in your life, your example is needed. You have children that literally depend on you for their every need. Whether it be to change a diaper, feed a hungry tummy, lending a gentle word when they are feeling anxious. Their father needs a comforting meal and an embrace after a long day's work. Your children need to see that embrace. They need to see that loyalty. They need to see the physical love that you have for one another through mutual service.

Our children need to see love through action. Will you pray for me this week that I can give that kind of love to my husband and my children? Pray that I can be a light in this world, not just in my house. Pray that love becomes so infectious that it pours from our backyard, into our neighborhood and into our communities.


Loving God Greatly today,
Whitney

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I Once Was Lost But Now I'm Found


The last three years of our lives have been a beautiful organized mass of chaos. Definitely not an adventure that can be covered in just one semi-inaugural post. 

In those missing years, I've had time to grow my spiritual walk with my Heavenly Father. 

He's placed some of the strongest, God-fearing women I could possibly get my hands on, I've jotted down every snippet of life giving truth and locked it away in my heart that I could possibly get my hands on. These beautiful women have given me so much to think about. I find myself questioning the relationship I have with my sweet Jesus - in a good way, of course. It's caused me to dig deeper into His Word, and given me the intestinal fortitude to turn away from that which can't encourage me or bring me joy. 

I am human, after all. I'm still navigating the burden of sin in my heart, and around those in my life. Isn't it amazing how we can be so full of Christ's love and yet, still give in to the temptation of the flesh? I know I do every single day, give in to this temptation of sin, whether it be fleeting, or compounding. 

I promise that I will share this new voyage into motherhood with transparency and authenticity. 

So there you have it, friends. Grab a coffee, sweet tea, or Arnold Palmer, perhaps. I welcome you on this journey of motherhood. The craziness. The confusion. The poop. Oh so much poop! 

I have no idea where this little blog might go. I have no idea what MY soul wants to express. I just pray that every time I sit down to my quiet little corner, and express the desires of my heart to each of you, that I can also express Christ's love for you. 

You are so much more than "just a mom"! As I tell my girls daily: You are the daughter of a King. You are the daughter of our Lord Jesus. You are the daughter of our God, Most High! You are Cherished, Loved, Covered, and Redeemed! His love for you is immeasurable! There is nothing you can do to halt that love!