Tuesday, July 31, 2012

lemonade and chocolate milk

i have done this as an object lesson several times with kids and youth.  i wish i could remember where i got the idea...it is usually pretty effective.  it does take one brave participant...one that's willing to take one for the team.

lemonade is refreshing and quenches your thirst.
chocolate milk is really yummy but often coats your throat and makes you even more thirsty. 

spiritually speaking lemonade is like Jesus and chocolate milk represents the world. 
unfortunately we often mix the two.

we pray for someone that is hurting and take a swig of lemonade

we tell off the driver that just cut us off and sip the chocolate milk

we go to church and worship Jesus - taking a big swallow of lemonade

we go home and lose our temper with our family - gulping the chocolate milk

we blog about Jesus and how wonderful He is to us - chugging the lemonade

then...once the blog is written...we gossip about people on facebook - chugging the chocolate milk

                                   ...chocolate milk
                      ...chocolate milk

lemonade chocolate milk

eventually our stomach starts to feel icky
and we get really sick.

honestly...you can choose either...
          but just like drinking tons of chocolate milk will make you fat, living a worldly life leads to hell.  hell wasn't made for you.  don't go to hell.

Deuteronomy 30:19
...I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse.
Choose life so that you and your children will live...

Monday, July 30, 2012

nose sucker

all 4 of my kids have allergies.  and during certain seasons their noses run like crazy.  it is really gross.

that is when the nose sucker comes out. 

i was surprised when one of my girls started asking for it and standing calmly with her little nose in the air for me to take care of business.

i had to use it on the baby for the first time this week and he predictably kicked and screamed and howled and cried and fought it...just like all the other kids did.

...interesting.  will there come a day that i will calmly let God take care of business or will i always fight Him as He gets the ugly stuff out of my life?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

'la la la la...i just didn't want to hear it.'

my 3 year old was watching a veggietales movie about lying (something he is experimenting with lately) well about 1/3 of the way thru he covered his ears because he 'just didn't want to hear it'.

i asked myself...do i ever cover my ears when God is trying to teach me about something before it grows into a problem?  do i purposely ignore His gentle voice as He tries to lead me in the right direction because i 'just didn't want to hear it'? 

unfortunately...i answered myself...or God answered me...
i ignore Him.  all. the. time.

i am so ashamed to post this...but promised i would be naked (metaphorically ;) ) here...even if it's ugly...so as long as He gets glory in the end it will be worth it.  but it is still hard to see.  i have written about my effectiveness as a Christian witness and feeling small and ignored.  what a shame that i might make my Creator feel the same way. 

it's time to pull my hands from my ears and listen more closely for God's words to me.  (i am great at listening for God's words for other people...not so great at receiving words for myself.)

sigh.  thanks God...for your grace and mercy.  that even when i am obviously ignoring Your words...You never stop speaking to me.  thanks for giving me the choice to listen or not to listen.

Jesus.  i choose You.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

baby monitor

my sons' room is under constant surveillance. 

since we moved the baby we decided to put our video monitor up in the boys' room in order to keep an eye on them.  (my 3 year old is awesome...but i don't entirely trust him alone with his little brother...yet).

the baby cries sometimes...and i plant myself in front of the screen watching his every move to make sure he isn't in serious distress.  when he gets too worked up i pick him up and snuggle him until everything is okay.

do you think God has a giant monitor?  maybe He sits watching us as we are feeling lonely and upset.  when we aren't strong enough to get what we need and we start crying out. 

He leaves us alone for a little bit...lets us work it out...work our trust muscles and become stronger in the faith.  then...just when we think we can't take anymore...he comes in, scoops us up and snuggles us until everything is okay.

when you're going thru trials...know that Daddy is right there...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

run free

Psalm 35:9-10
But let me run loose and free, 
celebrating God's great work,
  Every bone in my body laughing, singing,
"God, there's no one like you. 
You put the down-and-out on their feet 
and protect the unprotected from bullies!"

what has He done for you lately?

lost coffee

this morning i am writing this as i enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee...but that's usually not the case.

most mornings go more like this:

i pour some delicious hot coffee into my favorite beatrix potter cup.  just as i sit down to enjoy it the phone rings in the bedroom...and the day starts.  after setting up play dates, talking to my mother and getting updates on my husband's workday all the while dealing with interruptions from the kids i find my now cold coffee on my nightstand.  sigh.  into the microwave it goes.  then i hear a scream from the girls' bedroom and put on my referee whistle.  after dealing with sibling squabbles i remember my coffee in the microwave...i guess another 30 seconds won't hurt.  so i sit down to enjoy it...even if it isn't quite as fresh as i would like.  that is usually when the baby wakes up from his nap and decides that he needs a bottle and he needs it RIGHT NOW...so i make a bottle and feed and change the poor starving child and put him down to play.  i start putting clothes away...hopefully making a dent in laundry mountain and what do i find on my boys' dresser?  yep...my cold coffee.  sigh.  by this time it it is not even worth reheating...sigh...  depending on how i am feeling i either down it quick for the caffeine boost or i dump it in the sink (...a moment of silence for all coffee lovers...)

sometimes i don't find my coffee until days later and sometimes i find it in strange places such as on the back of the back bathroom toilet, on top of the dryer, or in my desk drawer (don't even ask).

you know how they make beer helmets?  where the beer cans are attached to the sides of the helmet and straws go from the cans to the mouth of the wearer?  well...this mommy needs a coffee helmet.  that would be awesome. any engineers that read this...feel free to steal the idea...i just want the first prototype. 

in that same way...Jesus is always with me.  He never gets lost.

He is right by my side giving me words to say during phone conversations and grace to deal with my kids' interruptions.  He is still here with more wisdom than soloman showing me how to handle my children's bickering.  and He infuses my soul with peace and joy as i take care of the baby and reminds me that i am also completely helpless without Him.  then He sits with me and puts a song in my heart as i fold my laundry.  He accompanies me to every corner of my home.  i am never alone.

Psalm 139

 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
I'm an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I'm never out of your sight.
You know everything I'm going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you're there,
then up ahead and you're there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can't take it all in!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

good grief.

grief doesn't have an expiration date.

my grandfather passed away in january.  i'm not one to get super emotional...but i cried.  and every time a man walks by wearing old spice i get a little nostalgic.

a cousin that i hadn't seen in years ended his life a few years ago.  i am still so angry with him.  we had just gotten in touch again.  and now he's gone.  because he wasn't a part of my life for so long i will go days at a time without thinking of him...and then every once in awhile i am reminded and i am broken hearted all over again.

my husband's father died over 20 years ago...he doesn't go a day without missing his dad...and because i love my husband...i sometimes grieve over the father-in-law that i never got to meet.

we grieve over other losses too.  when friendships end...when things change...even when things change for the better...sometimes we find ourselves longing for what was comfortable.  for instance...we just got new living room furniture.  it is really beautiful.  but i found myself a little sad that we were going to be losing the 15 year old hand-me-down couch that i had spent so much time on thru my rough pregnancies.  ...i know...i'm pathetic.

grief is healthy...natural...it is good to allow ourselves to feel these waves of emotion as they ebb and flow. but it isn't something i would put in the 'fun' category.

in the book of isaiah (25th chapter) it says '...he'll banish death forever. And God will wipe the tears from every face.'  that's refreshing...and encouraging. 

no matter how much we have lost...and how bitterly we have wept in mourning...He will get out His all-absorbant...never soggy hanky and wipe the tears.  and we will never have anything to grieve over...ever again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

well...my little boy is doing well...after cardiologist, dermitologist, and endocrinologist appointments...we don't think anything is seriously wrong.  praise the Lord :)
thanks for your prayers

Sunday, July 22, 2012

silly string

you know...the colored foam in a spray can that makes a festive mess that rivals even the best paper confetti. 

my childhood memories include silly string in many instances.  battles with my dad...suprise parties for friends...pranks on camp counselors.

the military uses silly string in a more practical way.  when they are about to enter an area that may be booby trapped with trip wires...they spray the silly string first.  the lightweight, brightly colored foam gets caught up on any wires, revealing the plan of the enemy.

so...it's time to get out your spiritual silly string.

you're headed somewhere...whether it is into a new season of your life or a new grade in school...so ask God to reveal where the enemy has plans to trip you up.  then either avoid those areas altogether or come up with a plan do disarm the weapons of the enemy (prayer and accountability come to mind).  and do it often.  if the men and women in war zones searched for triplines on the outside of a building but never on the inside...they'd never make it home...so don't just prepare for attacks in the morning...you have got to be prepared all day long.

where are you headed?  what tripwires could the enemy have waiting for you?  what are you going to do about it?

Friday, July 20, 2012

brand name integrity

i splurged on some really cute summery diapers this month.  i had visions of my little man all ready for a luau in just his bright colored diapers.  exactly what we needed for a happy baby (and mommy) during this hot summer.  they were more expensive than i usually buy...but because of their brand name...i trusted they would be worthwhile.  and...they were so stinkin cute.

i am so bummed...they don't do their job at all.  he'd really be better off diaper-less.  what a let down.

as Christ-followers let's make sure that we don't do that to people.  it's not enough to look really good and wear the brand name...'Christian'...we also have to do our jobs.

we must live lives of integrity...because when we look good and wear the brand name...we win people's trust.  and when we win people's trust...we don't want to let them down. 

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel - Philippians 1:27

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Daddy's arms

my brother and his sweet little girl

do you remember having nightmares when you were little?  and crawling up into your parent's bed where everything was okay?  a little kid is never safer than when they are in their daddy's arms.

but sometimes even as an adult life is like a nightmare.  bills are due, the house is a mess, husbands are grumpy, kids are chaotic, dishes and laundry are dirty, dinner isn't going to make itself...
people get sick.  relationships end.  hearts get broken.  people die.

take a second and look at this picture. 

you know...my husband and i joke about how our bed is really the kids' bed.  we always end up with someone in bed with us.  the baby needs to eat.  a 2 year old had an accident.  or the 3 year old just wants to join the party...we half-heartedly complain...but really...deep down...we love it.
i absolutely love waking up with little stinky feet in my face or little arms around my neck.  it reminds me how good it is to be alive.

my dad isn't perfect.  my brother isn't perfect.  my husband and i are not perfect.
but God is...and He delights in holding you when times get rough (or even when you just want to join the party)...

Zephaniah 3:17
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

He is always there...He promised He would be.  His arms are strong enough to hold you and keep you safe.  and as you crawl into His arms and press your ear to His chest...you'll hear Him humming a lullaby of His peace, love, joy, plans and desires for you.  you can rest in Daddy's arms.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

pride and oreos

today my kids were really well behaved at the mall.  so...i decided to bless them with cookies.  it is extremely rare for me to buy something and let them eat it as we walk the aisles of the store ...(i think it's that moment when you sheepishly put the empty container on the conveyor belt and the cashier looks at you like you're nuts)... but i was so proud of them and pleased with them and honestly was trying to buy a few more minutes to get my shopping done...so they had oreos in the stroller...

several people commented on
     how cute they are...
               what a great mom i was...
                         how well behaved they are...
                                   what a great mom i was...
                                              what nice little children they are...
                                                        what a great mom i was...
                                                                  oh my!  you have your hands full!
                                                                            what a great mom...

yeah...i was feeling pretty good about myself.  i really was an amazing mom.  in fact...i am such a good mom...they should make a tv show featuring yours truly and her 4 beautiful children...i could write parenting books.  i would travel the world and be on talk shows and the whole world would be a better place because everyone would heed my suggestions and parent 'my way'.  my kids are so lucky to have me for a mom...i'm sure they will know that when they are 16...and i kept on dreaming...

Proverbs 16:18
First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

then i stepped in front of the stroller to peruse a shelf and looked back at my sweet children.
i really should have taken a picture...but i could insert any picture of 3 adorably filthy children and you'd get the picture.  one of my twins had oreo smudged all over her face and into her eyebrows...my son had it all over his hands and chin...the other twin was pretty clean (until i found the oreo cream in her hair).  even the baby took part in the delicious filth (he had a little hand print on his belly from one of his helpful siblings trying to comfort him).

i was so embarrassed.  and i crashed hard into reality...not self-pity...just reality.

the fact is...i am a good mom.  i love my kids.  i am doing everything in my power to let them know that Jesus loves them fiercely.  i am allowing them to make mistakes and messes but i am also teaching them how to set things right.  they may have to go the therapy when they are older...but it won't be for anything i've done on purpose.

the fact is also...my oldest child is 3.  i still have a lot to learn and experience as a mother.  i will have good days and bad days.  my kids will also have good days and bad days.  and that just has to be okay. 

as long as i remember that God is God and i am me...then whether the day is good or bad...we'll all be just fine.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


we are trying to choose new light fixtures for our kitchen.  and when i use the term 'we' i use it in a very general sense.  my husband is already asleep next to me.  on the site that google directed me to there are 15,519 choices.  and that's just narrowed down to mini pendant lights. 

i am overwhelmed.

may you be overwhelmed by our Father...for all He is

Jehovah-Jireh - our provider
Jehovah-Shalom - our peace
Jehovah-Tsidkenu - our righteousness
Jehovah-Rapha - our healer
El-Shaddai - God Almighty
El-Elyon - The most high God

and His Son...

Emmanuel - God with us
Resurrection and Life
Alpha and Omega - Beginning and the End
The Word
Lion of the tribe of Judah
Lamb of God
The Shepherd
The Door
The Way
The True Vine
The Bread of God
The Rose of Sharon
The Light
the Bright and Morning Star
The Rock
the Cornerstone
The High Priest
the Truth
King of Kings
Lord of Lords
The Messiah
Soon coming King

...are you overwhelmed yet?


i was reading in Titus 2 today...it reminded me of highschool.

i learned a lot in school.  but not so much in english class.

my teacher was a very nice lady...but she had horrible grammar.  it made me crazy when the woman who was supposed to be preparing me for college would say 'you is going to write this essay' or 'he don't care about his grade' and worse yet...she would often mix up their, they're and there.

...like nails on a chalkboard...

she was an english teacher for pete's sake!

as we are encouraging people to follow Jesus how is our credibility?  are we trying to live in the real world dealing with real stuff in a Christlike way?  are we asking people for forgiveness when we provide a poor example of Jesus's love and grace? 

Titus 2
...but mostly, show them all this by doing it yourself,
incorruptible in your teaching, your words solid and sane.
Then anyone who is dead set against us,
when he finds nothing weird or misguided, might eventually come around...

Monday, July 16, 2012


 i must do a lot of country driving because yes...this is yet another post inspired by roadkill.  i am sincerely sorry.

when a possum is scared by a oncoming car what does it do?  it hits the pavement and plays dead.  this is a great strategy when dealing with certain predators.  but cars don't care if the possum is dead or not...and there is always another car coming.

so...don't be like the possum.  in times of trials don't lay down and play dead.  don't give in to temptation.  don't give up and lie there waiting for the predator to go away.  because our enemy doesn't care if you are dead or not...and i'm not trying to discourage you...but there is always another trial coming.  if it's not your finances, it's your health.  if it's not your marriage, it's your parenting.  if it's not your job than it's your ministry or your home.  always another trial off in the distance.  so...don't lay down and play dead...


Psalm 16:1-2
 Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


i have identical twins.  as i am finding that 5th grade health class failed the average american...let me explain.

identical twins do not run in families.  identical twins have nothing to do with fertility treatments or anything like that.  technically...'scientifically speaking' identical twins are a bit of an 'oopsie'.

one egg is fertilized by one sperm to make one baby.  and then a few days into this baby's cushy womb life BAM! the zygote splits in two and all of a sudden they have a roommate!

science has no explanation for why or how this happens. 

it's like God said, 'it's time for this couple to have a baby...eh...let's give 'em two.'

now, although my girls are identical twins...they share the same dna...that's about where the similarities stop. 

baby A - as she was named in the womb - is my nurturer.  she is one that will sit on my lap and hold me when i'm having a bad day.  she is paradoxically stubborn as a mule...but really eager to please.  the girl could hold a grudge for days...but is very even tempered and it takes a lot to actually make her angry. she has a very warm, loving, sweet spirit.  in the womb...she spent the entire time perched on my left hip.  it was like she was saying, 'i'm in here mom...and even though it's kinda crowded...i don't want to make you too uncomfortable'.  now she is nearly always the first to share her toys or give up the 'good seat'.  her name means 'strong, buoyant reed'.  she will withstand the storms of her life and rise above the wreckage around her.  and Jesus will receive all the glory.

baby B - is my fireball.  she goes from 0-60 in any given direction in about 30 seconds.  everything she feels is with great intensity.  she will be laughing and smiling and then screaming and crying and then dancing and cheering before i can even figure out what was funny in the first place.  she gets overwhelmed easily.  she is stubborn and sometimes a bit of a drama queen and i'm already praying that God gives me wisdom to train her up so she doesn't become my contrary teenager.  in the womb she was always bouncing around and never the same way twice during my bimonthly ultrasounds.  her name means 'good friend, consecrated to God'.  people are drawn to her vivacious spirit.  and even at her young age, she loves Jesus.

my classy ladies...ahem...window lickers...

they play, they fight, they are sisters and best friends.

anyway...i said all of that to say this...

if God...who created my beautiful little girls at the same time...in the same womb...from the same egg...with the same dna and physical features...also created them to be so different and wonderful as individuals...then certainly God created you to be unique.  He formed you specifically for the purpose He has for you.  so there is no need to look at others and yearn for their qualities.  there is not need to compare yourself to anyone around you.  don't be ashamed of the qualities God has included in your design.  be proud of the things that make you unique...He is.

Friday, July 13, 2012

i got nuthin'

anyone else ever have a dry spell?

i go thru these deep, inspiring, insightful times where i just can't write fast enough for my mind and then the next day i sit down to write aaaaand...


...'there once was a man from nantucket'...

...'oiahg;e a;h viae fjikh fa;a hvoi ahkf'...

...'my mind is a vapid wasteland'...

...'my kids have sucked me completely dry'...

'...hmm...okay then...'
...closes laptop...
...maybe i need a sandwich.

i can find all kinds of cool images or really awesome verses but can't write anything worthwhile.

God is still there.  i know He is because He promised He would be (it's not like He has to get up to pee or anything...) but those times can be so frustrating.  i like this verse...

Lamentations 3:22-24
God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
  his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
 They're created new every morning.
  How great your faithfulness!
 I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
 He's all I've got left.

He's all i've got left.  man...that line is so me right now.  when stripped of wit, wisdom, eloquence, and inspiration...all i have is Him.  i am okay with that.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

zombie bride

ever since i was a little girl pastors talked about Christians being the 'bride of Christ'...

well i think the bride of Christ needs serious counseling!

searching for a picture for this post i couldn't find one that had the desired effect that wasn't too graphic for my kids to see...so you'll have to imagine...or search for yourself.  give 'zombie bride' a try.

i was thinking as i was writing this of all the ways that we hurt each other intentionally thru gossip or unfair judgement and unintentionally thru insensitivity or simple ignorance...and how that must make Christ...the groom feel.  how it must break his heart to see his bride trip and fall because her feet can't agree on their destination and then purposely slice her own arm off because it wasn't exactly how she wanted it to be...

you know what is awesome though?  the groom has this habit...He brings the dead back to life and makes the blind see.  so He looks at His zombie bride and doesn't just see all the damage.  He sees how beautiful she will be once He gets His hands on her. 

...and that is happily ever after...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


you know what bugs me?

toothpaste.  it seems like some is always wasted.  you can never get all the toothpaste out of the tube.  i even got one of those clothespinny things that helps pinch it and squeeze out more...but there was still some in there...i just know it.

God's love is like that...

Psalms 107
Oh, thank God—He's so good! His love never runs out.

His love never runs out.  you can squeeze and pinch and scoop and twist and wring...but there is still some in there...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

more is better?

my girls were helping to clean up a mess on the floor...

i was grateful for the help but they used waaay too many napkins.

we do that sometimes.

our lives are a mess because we live in the garbage world around us and it's screwed up...there's nothing we can do about that. if we don't cause our own messes than we are undoubtedly subjected to a mess that someone else has made.

so we get out napkins to clean it up. 
          self-help books
                    friendly advice
                              diet programs
                                        talk shows

and we end up with a big unnecessary pile of used napkins on the floor

...the whole mess could be cleaned up much more efficiently if we would just use Jesus.

He did all that He needed to do a long time ago.

Monday, July 9, 2012

keep your mouth closed...

when i saw this picture of our awesome youth pastor my first thought was...

'oh gosh...i hope he brought a toothbrush.'

Jesus spent time knee-deep in the world's muck...
greedy, lustful, sick, sinful people were all around Him...and He liked it that way!

in Matthew 9:12 Jesus asks 'who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick?'  my answer to that is well...we all do...but the sick need a really good doctor and a whole lot more of his time.  but anyway...

the thing is...Jesus was maybe surrounded by muck...but He didn't take it in.  He kept His mouth closed. 

some Christians, in an effort to relate to the people around them...choose to dive into the muck with a spoon and fork shoveling in as much as they can...just like the unbelievers...and it just doesn't make sense.

when they are surrounded by gossips they gossip.  when they are surrounded by cynics they fill their bellies with negative opinions and end up belching up skepticism.  when they are surrounded by lust they forget to close their mouths and end up devouring poison.

after all...they don't want those around them that haven't been changed by the blood of Jesus to feel awkward.


what do we as Christ-followers have to offer anyone other than a different life?

please...by all means...dive into the muck of the world.  spend time investing in the people around you.  Jesus didn't call us to sequester ourselves in steam cleaned sanctuaries with stained glass windows...but remember to keep your mouth closed.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

should - a dirty word

...a counselor friend of mine once told me,

'don't should on yourself, sweetheart...
and don't let others should on you either.'

i just wanted to share that with you... 

Friday, July 6, 2012

postpartum depression

i am a generally laid back, happy person.

i have always been this way.  things just don't usually frazzle me... (or maybe i am in a constant state of frazzle-ness so i don't notice). someone once said i had a 'forehead of flint' and a joyful stubbornness - i am going to honor God with my attitude and nothing will stop me.

until i had my first child.

my pregnancy was beautiful.  he was healthy and growing well.  i was in good shape and feeling amazing as my body did what it was created to do.  my job was incredible - i worked in creative arts ministry and did a lot of secretary work at my church - it was wonderful.  my husband and i were joyously waiting for our little bundle of giggles to join us in our journey.

and when the little man came...so did the postpartum depression.

postpartum depression is something i skimmed over in the baby books.  i didn't even glance at the postpartum depression papers at the hospital.  i couldn't imagine dealing with it myself.

looking back, i can see early signs of postpartum depression all the way back to my time in the hospital.  looking at my handsome little boy i just didn't feel that intense 'i will kill anyone that hurts this child' love.  so i faked it.  i smiled and coo'd and kissed and fed and snuggled...but didn't really feel much.

when it was time to come home i thought to myself 'are they really going to send this baby home with me?  what am i going to do with him?'. 

thankfully my husband was able to spend 2 whole weeks at home with us and then my mother and mother-in-law were around constantly.  but eventually i was alone with the baby.  i stared at him.  i fed him.  i changed him.  that was about it and i was so ashamed.  i drove under a railroad bridge almost every day...every time i drove under it...i had to fight to keep my car on the road because i wanted to die.

as i am writing this, my now 3 year old boy is sitting on my feet watching tv.  he is so amazing.  his joy for life is contagious and he has the sweetest heart.  he loves me and he knows i love him (i just asked him and he said yes with a smile).  he also knows that Jesus loves him which is even more important. i can't imagine not loving him like i do now...but when i look at his baby pictures and see me in the background it is really obvious.  i was completely numb.

God did 3 awesome things to help pull me thru my postpartum depression.

1 - He gave me relief with a good friend.  our friendship developed out of marriage mentoring.  she has older kids so she's been thru it all before.  and she had this trick.  when she'd hold my baby boy he'd stop crying.  it was like magic...or more like God's grace.  she also focused more on me than on my baby.  she'd bring me little gifts, spend time talking with me about non-baby things and make me feel like a real person.

2 - He forced me into reality.  i went back to work thinking it would help and my pastors all realized that i was miserable.  almost every day they would check on me and wouldn't accept 'i'm fine' as an answer.  they also helped me cast away a lot of my guilt and shame for not being the joyful new mommy i was expecting to be.

3 - He started speaking thru my son.  one day in particular, my son was crying and i was miraculously able to comfort him.  he snuggled into my chest and i remembered the scripture -

Isaiah 49:15
Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, 
walk away from the baby she bore? 
But even if mothers forget,  I'd never forget you—never.

it was like God was saying.  'I am the same no matter what.  no matter how you feel about your baby, I still love him and My grace will cover where your love is lacking for now.' and also 'daughter, I'll never forget you.  I'm still here with you as you go thru this.'

this scripture had a new impact on me.  and that was a good thing.  i needed impact.

so i started to embrace my postpartum depression (i know...sounds crazy...right?) i started asking for help.  i started crying.  i started telling my husband and others how miserable i was.  i started trying to learn to love my baby boy thru someone else's eyes by taking pictures of him as if he were someone else's baby.

eventually the cloud of postpartum depression dissipated.  it wasn't an instantaneous healing but by the time my little man was walking...i was able to enjoy him...for real.

i was prepared for postpartum depression when i had the twins...but it never came.  sure i had stress...but i was never numb...never miserable.  and with my youngest i was also prepared but didn't have a hint of depression until recently when he started having health issues.

my best friend from college just had a nearly identical situation...joyful pregnancy, healthy baby, miserable introduction to motherhood.  and God has been able to use all of my expertise in surviving with postpartum depression to help her thru it.

because of my experience, when any of my friends have a baby i let everyone else fuss over the baby.  i don't give baby clothes or cute bibs.  i give body lotion, mommy hair clips and chocolate.  it is fun to fuss over the mommys.

so i guess, now i can thank God for the gift of postpartum depression

James 1:2-8
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

this look is what we call 'the smoulder' ...hehehe...

if you are struggling with postpartum depression, or any depression...i pray you will find relief thru a good friend, be able to accept or even embrace your reality, learn to hear God speak to you thru your circumstances and eventually even thank Him for the gift He's given you. 

*if you're going thru it...it's okay to roll your eyes at me...
i've been there and i'm here if you want to talk about it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

you can touch!

we went swimming today in an unfamiliar pool and i forgot the kids' life jackets (they are too skinny for floaties).

my 3 year old son wanted to swim so badly and i realized that the entire shallow end was less than 3 feet deep so i carried him out into the water and pried his white knucked fingers off of my arms and unknotted his legs from my waist.  i said, 'don't worry, you can touch.'

he looked at me like i had betrayed him and splashed around in a panic until he realized that he could touch the bottom.  then he had an amazing time in the pool...all...day...long.

...my big boy in his life jacket...

isn't it like that sometimes?  God pulls us into unfamiliar territory knowing something we don't know.  he says, 'don't worry, you can touch.' and then He gets kinda quiet (although He's there the whole time...just like i was right there if my son had trouble i would have grabbed him).  we get upset with God's silence and feel betrayed.  we splash around in a panic.  then we realize...we were made for this.  we can do it.  and God is right there to enjoy it with us.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


happy independance day!

Galatians 5:1
Christ has set us free to live a free life.
So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.

Romans 6:12-14
...throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you've been raised from the dead!—into God's way of doing things. Sin can't tell you how to live. After all, you're not living under that old tyranny any longer. You're living in the freedom of God.

now that is freedom
worth celebrating!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

flinging anvils

Matthew 12:37
Words are powerful; take them seriously.
Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.

words can really hurt. 

they are like the anvil that falls from the sky in looney tunes...

and we walk around flinging anvils willy nilly...like they are nothing.  when will we realize that our words...all of our words...have incredible power? 

...lets stop flinging anvils...

Monday, July 2, 2012

...and you came to me...

one of my girls was in time out for hitting her brother. 

after a few minutes i realized that her sister had brought her toys to play with.  i was about to correct her for getting involved in her sister's punishment but then Matthew 25:36 came to mind...

Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.

we give food to our local foodbank...
we give clothes to the mission...
we bring meals to the sick...
we send letters to people in prison...

we have intentionally provided these examples for our kids...and my daughter was following them...how could i correct her for doing exactly what i do?  even if the timing was off?

so...i pulled her aside and talked to her about a more appropriate time to share...and told her how much i loved her beautiful heart...

Sunday, July 1, 2012


my kids love to sing 'Jesus loves me' and they believe every word of it...
when my girls wear a dress they spin and twirl because they know they are beautiful...
my son knows that he is strong enough to slay any dragon and that God is even bigger...

they are children.  they have incredible faith.  they are immature.  i love it.
they don't doubt or even question why Jesus loves them.

we used to be like that...then we grew up.

we became 'mature' and started to say 'Jesus loves you' to other people...but started to doubt 'Jesus loves me'.  after all, we know all the thoughts and words and actions that are a part of our lives...there is no way Jesus could love me with all my garbage...
we started to doubt our beauty and to carry ourselves differently when we wear dresses...it just wouldn't be dignified to spin and twirl.
we start to look at the dragons around us and to build walls to protect ourselves because we certainly aren't strong enough to handle them and we aren't really sure if God is big enough either...and even if He is big enough...He might be too busy.

Mark 10
...unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in...


so...i choose to be immature.
i will dance in the rain singing
Jesus loves me...and believe every word.
i will twirl and spin when i wear dresses
because i know that i am beautiful.
and i will believe that my creator
made me to be strong and even when i am weak my
rescuer is strong enough to slay these dragons.

how 'bout you?