Most read posts from 2017 (allllll about marriage)

When I look back at 2017, I see growth. I see humility. I see conviction.

I see grace.

When I look at the ten most read posts from 2017, I see that I am not alone in the challenges and frustrations I faced as a wife. Not only challenges as a wife, but as a believer in Jesus Christ. I see that I’m not the only one who struggles to remember her identity is found in the One who created her character and I am in dire need of a Savior. In need on the daily.

When I forget his truth, my marriage suffers. My mothering suffers and many of my relationships feel the brunt. So it was no shock to me when I saw that this past year was filled with posts written from a place of growth in my marriage.

Here is a list of the ten most read posts from 2017. I will save the most read post for last but the rest are in no particular order.

1. To the husband with a controlling wife

“You didn’t realize I was a controller in the beginning. My trait seemed admirable. At first. You saw my drive to push forward even when life around me was falling apart. You saw my persistence to succeed in what I did as determination and focus. You saw the good in me when all I felt was tainted.

Fast forward over ten years later and that persistence and determination torpedoed through our marriage and into my motherhood.” Read more...

 

2. Three ways NOT to date your husband

“I had been looking forward to the date all week. It had been quite some time since we went out while someone else put the kids to bed for us. We talked about going out to eat, maybe watching a movie or seeing what events might be happening around us. Nothing solidly set other than we knew we were getting out of the house without the kids, by ourselves, as a couple.

What a precious opportunity for us to reconnect as we let the busyness of life distance us.

And there I was in the bathroom giving myself a pep talk like a teenage girl.” Read more…

 

3. When Love Languages Collide

“So why did I find myself getting stuck in the same rut over and over with my husband?

I felt like we kept running into the same problems. Sure, maybe there were new arguments developing between us like dirty diapers and disciplining the toddler; whereas, five years ago we’d fight about our conflicting hobbies and guys night out.

But the fire behind the fights were essentially the same: we were not meeting each other’s expectations. I realized he wasn’t enough for me.

I felt stuck. I felt alone.” Read more…

 

4. How I realized we weren’t really fighting about where to eat

“But in that moment in our car, voices raise and I’m not sure what we’re arguing about. We’re not yelling about my change of mind or his irritation. Not really. What we’re yelling about is the unresolved arguments from months ago.” Read more…

 

5. Marriage/Archives

Most readers ended up clicking the marriage archives to read more than just one essay. I was surprised this showed up in the top ten stats! But here they are for your perusing.

 

 

6. When your spouse starts to feel like a roommate

“It starts when we each settle into our routines in the evening, after a long day of working and parenting, that we slowly start the change. I grab my phone. He grabs his. We think we’re watching TV together as the sound of the commercials fall on deaf ears…I then have to ask myself, how did we get here? How did we become the model marriage of robotic intimacy?” Read more…

7. Why I thank my husband for doing the dishes (and so should you)

“Having different love languages can create a lot of tension in a home if not approached with grace. For one, acts of service is NOT my main love language and two, he lives here also and I’m all about that equal partnering stuff in the home so why should I be expected to do all these acts of service just because it’s his main love language?!” Read more…

 

8. A love letter to my husband

“Was it after our first year of marriage when we realized that saying “I’m sorry” was one of the hardest lessons we’d have to learn as a young couple? Or was it learning to say “I forgive you”?

Was it when some of the lies we had told tried tearing through our vows to love each other for better or worst?

Was it when I desperately longed for you to change? For us to change?

I think of the many nights I laid in bed, crying, wishing for things to be different. I think of the days filled with anger and selfishness. I think of all the times when all I did was think of myself.

I think of when I would pull away from you, full of myself and you never strayed. You always moved towards me as I tried to move away from you.” Read more…

 

9. When I realized my past was controlling my present

“And then I was crying. Crying because I knew where this was going. I knew that I was still carrying the weight of my past and turning a blind eye to triggers that were eating away at my heart.

How could I enjoy motherhood with this kind of weight? How could I ever find peace and grace with my husband when He never seemed like enough?” Read more…

And the most read post of 2017…!!!!

10. When I realized my husband wasn’t enough

“See how quickly I got there? I went from diaper to date nights.

And that’s when I realized my husband isn’t enough.

My husband isn’t enough.

He’s not supposed to be.” Read more…

To the husband with a controlling wife

Do you struggling with being a controlling wife? Read more from this wife's perspective on being a controlling wife.

“I found us a babysitter for next weekend,” I say as we begin winding down for the night.
“That’s great! What do you want to do?” you ask while taking off your socks.
“Maybe you could plan something for us? Anything is better than just eating out,” I mumble as I exit the room to brush my teeth.

You hear these words from my mouth, but you sense there is more in my heart. You feel pressured as my husband to rise high to date night standards. This feeling only makes you want to pull away from my desire to be romantic.

This scenario probably sounds pretty similar to our married friends. Arguments about what to do on date night may sound trivial to other couples (most are happy to even get a night away from the kids!), but there is more to our story than an indecisive night out as husband and wife.

Underneath my passive aggressive tone was this need to change you. I wanted you to change so I could be happier. I felt if you could just change one or two things about yourself, then I would feel more fulfilled. And it was my job to show you the way.

My persistent perfectionism pushed into the boundaries of our day to day lives, leaving you to fight for your simple preferences in our household. Comments like “leave the thermostat alone” or “we’ll just eat without you if you aren’t here on time” became an insidious poison in our home. For us, these fights were a disguise, existing only on the surface and masking roots of fear underneath.

You found yourself throwing your hands in the air in defeat many times because I needed to have the last word as a controller. 

You didn’t realize I was a controller in the beginning. My trait seemed admirable. At first. You saw my drive to push forward even when life around me was falling apart. You saw my persistence to succeed in what I did as determination and focus. You saw the good in me when all I felt was tainted.

Fast forward over ten years later and that persistence and determination torpedoed through our marriage and into my motherhood.

It’s the little things I needed to control that added up to big chunks of your heart being stomped on by my messy, fearful feet.

All these things floated on the surface in our marriage and they seemed like no big deal on the outside. So she likes to keep the house cool? Big deal. She hates being late? Punctuality is a good quality.

But these trivial fights were the tip of the iceberg. Below was a mass of rock-hard challenges we faced in our marriage.

The hardest of these challenges churned within the pit of your gut. The lie that spewed forth with my condescending criticisms that Satan tried to push further into your heart to steal your identity.

The lie that says you are never enough.

photo credit: Emily Nystrom Photography

Our winding road of arguments and conflicts centered around this lie. The lie that told me you were not enough by my standards. The lie that said if you would just change, then things would be better.

It took you time to realize my need for control came from a past of uncertainty. It wasn’t until I finally gave up trying to make my world perfect, to make you perfect for me, and sought therapy for myself, when you saw a small spark of change in me.

And when that small spark of change started to course through our marriage, then you knew who I really was.

You saw me as the thirteen-year-old girl standing in the driveway of her childhood home, watching her parents end their marriage, walking around as a woman in a thirty-year old body, trying to make sure that kind of fear didn’t happen again.

You saw my false sense of control as a mask for all my fears.

You saw me. You really saw me.

And then we had to start a new journey together.

We had to learn what healthy fighting looked like. I realized my controlling criticisms cut you down to the knees, leaving little room for grace to grow. I am learning what it looks like to glean the positive from a controlling mindset to a healthy structured lifestyle. I’m learning to be who I am in Christ. And I see more clearly each day who you are in Christ also.

It took me time to realize that “you are never enough” was a lie when it oozed from my heart of fear. But, there is truth in thought that you are not enough for me, husband.

I am learning that you are never enough because only Christ is enough.

I am learning that while you may never be enough to fill the uncertain fears I have in my heart, you are enough because you are my partner in walking this path the Lord has before us.

 

Because you choose me. Every day. And I choose you.
Because you come alongside me and hold my hand, even when our anger screams otherwise.
Because you stay close to me even when I push you away.

Because you see my need for control and perfectionism for what it really is, and you see me with grace eyes.

 

Your choice to see me with grace eyes reflects in my eyes. When we look at each other, we see each other for who we really are: flawed humans walking in the grace of God.

And for that, I am forever grateful.

A Love Letter to My Husband

Early in the morning, rolling in bed, fluffing the covers, your soapy husband scent tickles my nose and wakes me. I inhale the familiarity and think to myself, “home.” Comfort. My home is where my heart is and you hold my heart. You’ve held my heart since I was a teenage girl.

 

Sure we’ve had our movie romance moments with flower-filled gestures, candle-lit nights and poetic star gazing. Those are moments I have journaled about since we started dating during those innocent, simple times. Back when being a teenager and being in love meant putting our best foot forward.

And now, years later, I look at our son and my growing belly with our daughter. I look at myself and see a disheveled wife who is not the teenage girl you chose. I think to myself “when did I stop putting my best foot forward for you? When did I let the fire die down?”

 

I wonder when the flame faded and life became more real.

Was it when date night became a distant memory?

Was it after our first year of marriage when we realized that saying “I’m sorry” was one of the hardest lessons we’d have to learn as a young couple? Or was it learning to say “I forgive you”?

Was it when some of the lies we had told tried tearing through our vows to love each other for better or worst?

Was it when I desperately longed for you to change? For us to change?

I think of the many nights I laid in bed, crying, wishing for things to be different. I think of the days filled with anger and selfishness. I think of all the times when all I did was think of myself.

I think of when I would pull away from you, full of myself and you never strayed. You always moved towards me as I tried to move away from you.

 

A love letter to my husband

Sometimes I worry about the comfortableness that comes in a marriage. Sometimes I worry that when you feel like my roommate, we’ve lost something.

And then I see you wrestle with our son after a long day at work and I see a love so full and pure, that I can’t even remember what I was worried about.

I see you wrap your arms around me when grief hit me like a freight train.

I see your commitment to work and partner with me as we provide for our family and all doubt I had is lost in my new breath.

Instead of a list of all I want to change, all that is wrong, I have a list of all I hold dear and take for granted. A list of all you do that is right.

When I stop looking at my own selfish self and look to the One who created our union, I begin to see.

I begin to see love as more than just a flame we try to keep burning. Our efforts to keep something going are all in vain as we long for a selfish return.

It was when God shook my world and removed my earthly lens to see what love really is.

I saw love as a sacrifice. A sacrifice when the Creator extended his arms to this world and gave His son to die for me so he could have a pure relationship with me. So we could have a pure relationship together.

What a great calling God asks of us in our marriages: to give up ourselves and live a life that serves your spouse in love. A life that reflects God’s love for each one of us is to be captured in our marriages.

It was when my heart wrestled with this truth and realized it was I who needed to change. I needed to surrender my heart to the One who truly held it.

It was when I started seeing our marriage as a true partnership and not a “meship.”

It was when I started seeing you with God’s eyes.

It was when I started seeing myself with God’s eyes.

I don’t want us to have a marriage that thrives on a flame we are perpetually running in circles to keep burning.

I want us to have a marriage that stays the course, and moves towards the fire of truth, reminding us of where we’ve been and where we are going.

I remember the times when fighting over the dishes seemed so perilous. I think of the fights over who should do laundry. I think of the fights over when to start a family or when to buy a house. The sleepless nights filled with tossing and turning about our finances.

Conflicts that diminish as I start to look at you for who you really are. I see you as a flawed, forgiven child of the King and then I look in the mirror and see that our true identities are the same.

We are messy, sinful humans who live daily by the grace of God and we are on this journey called marriage together.

Things are not perfect and never will be but that’s OK. With each season comes hard times and challenges and what ifs, but with each season comes a step forward that we make together, side by side, holding hands. And on the other side of those challenges comes something that is sweeter than the aroma of a sacrifice.

On the other side comes a love that is real, raw, messy, and beautiful.

Peace,

Glo

 

That Time I Started Crying in Chik-Fil-A

What a busy day. First the bank. Then Wal-Mart, followed by the grocery store. Before I knew it, we were ready for lunch. We ended up at my favorite spot, Chik Fil A. My husband always wonders what’s so great about Chik Fil A. Why do people love to go there? Why do I love to go there?

I love their spicy chicken sandwich.

Bustling and chatting greeted us at the door as we went to stand in line. Teenage girls on their phones. A mother chasing her toddler, his squeals of delight echo.Kids running around in the play area. Another mom yelling over a group of kids trying to get their orders placed. Rushing and quickness behind the counter. Orders come out like a well-oiled machine. Smooth.

The teenage girls burst out laughing, pausing from their phones. My attention is drawn to them as they quickly go back to scrolling through their social media feeds, ignoring the lady with them who scolds them for who knows what. My son sits in his chair, impatiently waiting for our food to be delivered.

That’s when I see it. A woman pushed inside the front doors in a wheel chair.

Her wrinkled hands and creased smile show her age. Her young son pushes her gently inside to the tables. He asked mom what she wanted and she smiled, saying “The usual. And if they can make it extra spicy, I’ll take it.”

And as I was sitting at the table with my son, opening his milk, tears started trickling down my cheek.

I couldn’t help but smile at the mother and son as they rolled past our table, nodding my head with a quiet hello.

I couldn’t help but let the quietest cry escape me.

Images of my mother played in my mind. Images of trips to the closest mall growing up where mom and I made our traditional stop at Chik Fil A.

Images of  me pushing her inside the restaurant in her wheel chair, asking her what she’d want to eat.

Hearing her say a spicy chicken sandwich. Granted she would ask for something unusual, like no salt on the sandwich. Who asks for that at a fast food restaurant? I can see me rolling my eyes and shuffling to the counter with her odd request.

I remember when those moments used to embarrass me. That’s the thing about my mother. She wanted things the way she wanted them. One time she made me drive back to Dairy Queen because they didn’t give her extra fudge like she asked and she was going to make sure she got it. As we pulled back up to the window and they said they would charge us for extra fudge, mom just told them to keep her ice cream and we drove off.

I laugh out loud thinking about the times she asked for the manager while checking out at the grocery store, accusing them of “false advertising” on sale ads.  My lips quiver with reminiscent sadness, hearing her ask managers for a discount on our meal since it took so long to deliver.

All these little moments threaded together, creating my teenage experience with my mother.

These threaded moments woven together, supporting me as the strong woman I am today.

Sometimes I see Grief as my enemy. Sometimes I see Grief as my challenger. But that day, I saw Grief as a sweet friend, reminding me that those moments with my mother are times I’ll have for the rest of my life.

For a brief moment, I was expecting my mom to come rollin’ through those doors asking for a spicy chicken sandwich. Then I looked down at my meal, and smiled, realizing.

I love their spicy chicken sandwiches. I love the feeling of a small, warm tradition that comes with a busy day and a stop at Chik Fil A. As if Mom and I had been shopping and needed our waffle fries.

When Grief comes in those moments and all of the sudden you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with emotion, bursting out of your very soul, forget about those around you. Explore those feelings and where they’re coming from.

Let Grief be a friend to you in that moment and laugh at the unexpected memory in an unexpected place with the reminder of the most familiar feelings you can feel.

As I let Grief pulse through my heart that day, quietly laughing at the memories I have stored away of my mother, I can’t help but find myself feeling pursued by my Father. My heavenly Father who knows every essence of my being and every fiber of my sorrow.

I feel him in that moment. Laughing and crying with me. I see Him nod with approval at Grief for the gentleness that came upon me that day as I allowed myself cry in Chik Fil A.

Peace,
Glo

What do you do when Grief hits you unexpectedly? How I handled grief when it hit me  unexpectedly.

To Those Grieving This Holiday

This morning I woke at about  3:30 and just couldn’t go back to sleep. I didn’t wake thinking about food getting cooked, family gathering and laughing. I didn’t think about Black Friday shopping or the crazy chaos of the day.

I didn’t think about anything other than my mother.

My heart was so heavy I could hardly contain myself. I realized that I was starting to dread the start of the day. When Grief starts knocking, I find myself with one of two choices. Fling open the door and have some kind of party (which could be an ugly party, let me tell yah) or lean against that door with all my might, grunting and sweating, keeping my visitor out.

I have learned that Grief likes to especially whisper lies. Lies that I am learning come from the Father of Lies. He likes to whisper that you’re alone in what you’re feeling. He likes to make you think you’re the only who has felt this way. He tells you over and over that this holiday season without your mama will suck.

Honestly, I find myself believing these lies. I find myself wandering back to that empty grief where I push God out and fill up on nothing.

BUT today I just couldn’t. I couldn’t lay there in bed grieving over my family’s first round of holidays without our mom. My heart wasn’t just heavy for my loss.

My heart was heavy for the so many out there who have to go through this time of year without someone they love.

My heart IS heavy for all of us.

The biggest challenge I find for myself when I am wrestling with grief is the memories. Sometimes I want to walk through memory lane, stop and look at the intricacies of the whens and wheres I laughed with mom, cried with mom, and argued with mom. Sometimes I want to just stuff it all down and not deal with it on that particular day. It’s a constant pendulum that swings with my emotions and I just ride it whichever way it sways.

But through the swaying of emotions I have learned that I cannot allow myself to think God is void in these specific emotions.

And I cannot allow myself to think that I am alone in these emotions.

I just want to remind those of you today who have lost someone that you’re not alone today.

As your family gathers around their table and you get that pinch in your heart because there’s one less seat, know you are not alone.

As you load your children up in the car and think you should have one more car seat this year as the heart wrenching miscarriage you had a couple of years ago replays in your mind, know you are not alone.

If your heart is feeling heavy with grief, let me muster hope for you today. 

I don’t pretend to walk high on some mountain of faith. I’m not here to make you feel like your faith is slipped beyond reach.

I just want to come alongside you today and hold your hand with this gentle reminder:

God is with you in your grief. You are not alone today. You are not ever alone.

This morning at 3:30 when I couldn’t go back to sleep, I heard that Voice that rattles me awake. I heard the One who reminded we are not alone as we go through the times of such bittersweet emotions as we celebrate a joyous time of year with the holidays, yet feel the burden of our lost loved ones.

I kept hearing the word brokenhearted. I felt brokenhearted. I started mourning not just my mom, but the moms of many I know who are gone this year.

But then He came close and gently tugged on my heart reminding me that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He sang a love song to me of the healing He brings to the brokenhearted and the binding up of their wounds (Psalm 147:3).

He picked up my broken heart this morning and we wrestled with the pieces for a bit. I thrashed in my bed not ready to receive my broken pieces, but He is faithful. He stayed with me. He told me it was OK. I didn’t have to take them yet if I wasn’t ready.

And you know, that act alone of reminding me of the choice I have opened the flood gates. I ran to Him with the most open heart, nodding my head with tears streaming down my face, ready for the pieces to come back together.

I saw the pieces of my ratted heart, the pieces of tape and glue from the times I tried putting it back. I saw the pieces in his hands, fully mended, with no traces of my shoddy handiwork.

I saw a heart that was whole in His hands. I saw a broken heart that was healed.

Not only did I see my heart being healed, I saw many grief-stricken hearts that have been healed. I saw the promise of healing to come for many hearts. I saw hearts still not ready, but needing more time.

I saw the hope of healing.

And that my friends is what I want you to remember this holiday season.

The Hope that comes.

The real, in your gut, deep in our hearts Hope.

Peace to you,
Glo

 

To Those Grieving This Holiday Season

 

 

 

 

When I Realized I Was Teaching my Son to be Sexist

Twelve years old, I was riding my bike down our neighborhood hill as fast as I could. I remember beating my neighbor friend to the bottom of the hill and enjoying the thrill of winning against him. He was one of the “wild” kids in our little tribe and my girlfriends and I never really went over to his house to play. Unless he asked us to jump on the trampoline.

But he hated to lose and let me know about it too. To restore his manliness, he wanted to race down another hill not too far from our spot. The hill was far enough away on a busy road and I remember not being comfortable competing against him anymore. That’s when I heard it for the first time. Pussy.

I cringe as I write it now. I remember the feeling it gave me. I felt like I got punched in the gut. I felt bad for being a girl. I didn’t know anything about sexism and feminism but what he said never left me.

Why is it as a society we find satisfaction in insulting others by using feminine vulgarity? You’re a bitch if you’re in a bad mood. Your ex-girlfriend is a cunt because she broke up with you. You play ball like a girl. You’re a pussy for not racing that boy down the hill.

Why does it matter? Using these kinds of terms perpetuates a weaker view of women and skews upcoming generation’s view of the female sex. Calling someone a “pussy” instantly denotes a weak feminine counterpart. As if you’ve been called a girl and that’s somehow incredibly insulting.

Not just a girl, but a girl’s vagina which, I don’t know about you, but our vaginas are pretty amazing. I mean, my son came out of there. And for some reason, a teenage kid thought calling me a pussy was a good insult. Hmmm. Wonder where he got that idea.

While many worry about what celebrities and politicians say, you don’t see a lot of people talk about how their favorite popular teen movie had sexism in it. You don’t hear many talk about how their grandparent is a blue collar racist. No one wants to take that hard of a look at themselves.

I don’t really remember my parents running around spouting off gender degrading comments, but I’m sure they did. I do not doubt that most of my gender stereotypes came from TV and friends, especially growing up.

Unfortunately, there was a time when I had never thought too much about these degrading terms until I had a son of my own. I remember we had been playing in the front room and my husband made a comment about someone on TV  “crying like a girl.” For the first time I saw that I might be contributing to the problem.

Taking a hard look in the mirror, I realized that what I do and say could have my son imitating that twelve year old neighborhood jerk. I about threw up.

When my husband made that comment around our son, I knew we weren’t going to be talking like that in this house. Not anymore.

How do we break the cycle? The simple answer: within our homes.

I want to educate my son on respecting ourselves and the opposite sex. I want to live an honest life in front of him that shows integrity towards the male and female sex. As a family, we have to decide what that will look like and how we will cultivate an atmosphere of respect towards others. I want to empower my daughter to stand up against those that would slander her using feminine vulgarity.

In my home we won’t need to tear down each other by degrading their gender and using stereotypes.

And if my son gets beat by a girl in a bike competition, I hope he’ll tell her congrats and not “take it like a man” but authentically respond like a child should. Tell her she cheated.

What about you? Have any memories like this? How will you approach this with your children?

Do you ever wonder how sexism gets perpetuated? I realized I was teaching my son to be sexist and knew I needed to stop. Feminism. Sexism. Parenting.

 

 

Why I Don’t Shop at Gap Anymore

I was a teacher for six years in the same building, same room, teaching the same content to the same grade during that entire time. Yes, being an eighth grade reading teaching is awesome. Middle school teachers are pretty rad (although I feel like elementary teachers are superheroes in disguise and us middle school teachers want to stay kids forever. OK, digression over).

Some might say that’s a decent amount of time to stick with something so specific. Veteran teachers might chuckle at “six years” as they approach retirement after being in the field for 25+ years. Either way, six years was long enough for me to feel like I had developed a major part of my identity.

When we decided to start a family and I would transition to being a SAHM, I was definitely inundated with the questions: “How long will you take off work? When do you think you’ll go back? Do you think you’ll always teach? Are you nervous about this big of a change?”

Uh, well, let’s see. I have no idea how long I will decide to stay home to care for our family, so I don’t know when I’ll get back to teaching, and I don’t know if I’ll always teach. Was I nervous? Nervous was to say the least!

I had read that most women go through some sort of identity crisis when they go from having a career to embracing the new career of being a SAHM. I don’t know about crisis, but there were lots of emotions. I wasn’t sending off flare SOS signals, but I definitely started evaluating who I really was as an individual.

Why I don't shop at Gap anymore: when I became a mother, things changed. I had to figure out this identity and reconcile it with my oldself before I became a mom.

I gotta say, I felt like I started my “identity” worries when Mike and I were trying to get pregnant. We were due June 2nd, so I had a whole school year to say goodbye to my passion, at the time. Timing wise, our pregnancy worked out perfectly. I didn’t have to worry about missing a bunch of work. I was easily able to pack up my room and finish out all my units. Everything worked out pretty well.

I remember my last day driving in to my job as a teacher. Talk about mixed emotions and lots of prayers. It’s not that I was regretting our decision. I was just worried about how it would all turn out. Would I enjoy this change? Would Mike? Would I be able to make the transition to a SAHM?

The cool thing about making a big decision such as starting a family and leaving your job, some folks, myself included, start to talk with God a lot about the process. I remember waking in the night worrying if Mike and I were ready. If it was time.

 

I have come to embrace my night wakings. Sometimes I get the best ideas when I wake at 3:00 AM. Most times, I get the best revelations from God, whispering his peace to my heart. As I was lying in bed I was reminded of a verse God had been weaving into my heart. I was using this verse as a basis for some lessons with my youth group at the time.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

When people started asking me would I go back to teaching, or did I know how long I would be home, my simple answer was that I didn’t know. I didn’t know when I’d be back or if I’d go back to teaching. What’s awesome about being God’s masterpiece is that the painting isn’t ever finished until we meet him face to face.

 

His masterpiece in me while teaching was an amazing experience. I will forever be a teacher at heart. And I have NO IDEA where or what I’ll be doing in five years or whobody knows when! What a liberating feeling to say that I trust God and know that whatever I’ll be doing down the road, it will be because I felt the Lord leading me in that direction and continue to pursue His peace in my life.

This past week I started cleaning out my closet, getting ready for spring. Trying on clothes to see what still fit. Getting rid of clothes I never ever wore or will wear. As I started going through the bright flower prints, the pastel stripes and soft cotton, I realized many of my clothes that were gaining dust, I wore as a teacher.

These days I much prefer leggings , but I have always been a lover of loose khaki pants with a soft, pastel shirt and a good o’l cardigan. Enter the Gap. The Gap was my go-to store for any sort of teacher-wear. I hardly ever spent full price on anything there, but man when they have sales, they are great. I mean, why else would I have three pairs of tan khaki colored pants? I decided to keep about half of my clothes because I love them and see no reason to get rid of everything I used to wear, but I definitely did the “love it” vs “like it” test. Anything that wasn’t a “love” was packed up for Goodwill.

 

If you’ve ever cleaned out your closet like this before, then you know that once it’s all nice and clean and organized, you get this sick feeling to go buy something new. OK, at least I do. The temperature outside was a loverly 70 degrees with sunshine and our downtown Gap was calling me.

I loaded Asher up and we went for a stroll downtown and happened to stumble upon our Gap. We certainly don’t have the money for me to shop at the Gap like I used to since I stay home but I figured if I found a nice top that was on sale, I might buy it. Ha. Said the woman who walks out 10 bags later.

As I started perusing the fun flower prints and and must-have scarves to wear in the spring (whoever thought of scarves for the spring was an evil genius), I began to realize that those loose lovely khakis that I wore all the time, just didn’t quite have the appeal like they used to.

Buying adorable peach colored flats became “meh.” I was taken back and reminded of being God’s masterpiece. While I still love the Gap, it is just not my go-to store anymore. I get more of a kick going to the Aldi store and finding a good deal on fruit than a good deal on a flowered skirt.

 

I have found that quite a few moms who go through a similar transition are embarrassed to say so. Embarrassed to say their identities have changed. As if they lost part of themselves instead of gaining a new part of themselves. We get so focused on what we do as a means of who we are that we forget we are His masterpiece. Constantly changing and evolving.

We get so focused on what we do as a means of who we are that we forget we are His masterpiece.

I don’t know if I’ll be teaching again in a few years or if I’ll be taking pilot lessons or planning to sky dive (OK, that probably won’t happen) but I have found comfort in knowing that no matter what I do, I am a child of God. I am His masterpiece. I am His. And if that means I care less about shopping for clothes, then I guess I just might start wearing khakis around the house more often. I mean, the leggings have got to get a break at some point, right?

Peace,
Glo

I Love my Kid Just as Much as You Love Yours

I didn’t realize I had to pick a parenting philosophy when we got pregnant. Like any new mom, I googled everything I could think of, any question, any idea. Everything parent-related. When you start reading other pregnancy forums in a similar situation as you, you start to notice a trend. I started seeing threads pop up with titles like “Should I do AP or CIO?” or “I can’t decide if we should co-sleep or not.” Many were things I hadn’t really thought of to tell you the truth. I just wanted to get through the pregnancy and labor as safely as possible. But of course, when you keep seeing topics show up about being a “crunchy mom” or “to vaccinate or not to vaccinate” you sort of get sucked in and want to know what it all means.

I knew there were certain things I wanted to avoid when we had our baby (i.e. co-sleeping) and things I wanted to strive for (i.e. baby wearing). I planned on cloth diapering. I planned on vaccinating and circumcising Asher. I wanted him to sleep in our room for a little while, just not in our bed. I didn’t want to nurse him to sleep. I wanted to try and put him down to sleep drowsy, but awake, and the list could go on and on. I found that there was this sort of invisible line drawn that said “if you’re this kind of parent, you should join this mom’s online group.” A voice that said “pick which philosophy you will parent by.” Honestly, this stressed me out. As a first-time parent, you are already worried about soooo many things (which I’m learning doesn’t really go away) and getting sucked into the debate of co-sleeping or not can swallow you up!ashersleeping

What’s funny about all this, is that I’m not so sure it was always quite this way. When I asked my mom (almost 70 years old) if she knew what Attachment Parenting was, she laughed and thought it meant you were a stay at home parent who was with your children all the time. When I asked her if she knew what parents meant when they referred to CIO, she wasn’t really sure. Of course every generation has their labels and my mom said there was always the lady down the road who let her kids run the house and stay up late and the mom who was known to always be home for nap time, but that was it. Everyone just chose their path and as long as the kids were loved and fed and taken care of, you minded your own business.

In one of the online groups I’m in, I came across a mom who had read an article and the author said that a mom who vaccinates loves her child just as much as a mom who doesn’t vaccinate. (If you know that article, please let me know!) What an amazing idea. Understanding this and applying it to your life takes great maturity. To say “I disagree with your choices but can still respect your choice” and then to really live by that is tough. We’re human, so of course we easily go into judgmental mode and say, “tisk tisk, they let their baby cry when he goes down for bed ” or “I can’t believe they don’t let their baby sleep with them.” I know as my child gets older it will soon turn into age appropriate judgments. But you know what? I want to be less judgmental. I want to be judged less. If that means leaving online mom groups, then that’s what I’m doing. If it means checking Facebook less, (eeek) then so be it! I really do believe that the parent down the road loves their child just as much as I do. I have to believe this. Otherwise, I’ll waste so much energy. I want to focus my energy on my little guy and how exciting it is to watch him try to crawl. How excited he gets when he can throw applesauce on the floor for our dogs to lick up.

I don’t know which “philosophy” is the best method. I only know what works for me and my husband and our little family. I could do all sorts of research out there and find theories and science that supports whatever I want to believe, really. I’m tired of the labels. I’m tired of labeling. I am officially the kinda crunchy, sorta AP, vaccinating, cloth diapering, let-my-child cry sometimes, 5 month solid feeding, baby wearing, and the list could on, momma who loves her little guy just as much as the next momma. That’s what really matters people.

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I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom and I wear leggings every day

Wahh. Wahh. No time to pee. No time to eat. Must. Get. Up. Must. Feed. Asher. Good morning.

The sweetest face. Ever. Big smile. Raspberry kisses. Crusty hand from sucking all night.
Hmm. Crusty mattress. Spit up?

My night gown is damp. Yep. Thought so. Leaked some milk. What am I doing? You’re hungry. Right.

Huh? I don’t know where your pants are. I’m feeding the baby. Wear your work pants from yesterday. Yes, I’ll be doing laundry today. You’ll have clean clothes for work tomorrow. Bye, love you too.

Don’t bite Momma. I know. Two new teeth. Burp. Spit up on night gown. Switch sides. Repeat. Burp.
Big smile. Raspberry kisses. The sweetest face.

What is that smell? Yummy. The stinkiest diaper in the West. You’re pretty good at grabbing those toes. Pretty good at missing those toes and grabbing your poop. No, not in your mouth. Sure, why not, wipe it on mom’s arm. Better yet, my night gown. Big smile. Raspberry kisses. The sweetest face.

I’m the fastest changer in the west. My clothes included. Why? Easy. I wear leggings every day. Black. Matches everything. Cheap. Thank you, Wal-Mart. There’s lots of stains hiding under there. Spit up with prunes mixed in. The boy loves prunes.

There’s lots of love hiding under there. Tear stains from a teething baby. Slobber stains from a teething baby. Sweat from, well, everything. I’m hot all the all time. Can I get an amen? Running up and down the stairs to check on baby. Running to the mailbox and back to check on baby. Running across the room to stop baby. Running across the room to tickle baby. Big smile. Raspberry kisses. The sweetest face.

No time to worry about my wardrobe. No time to worry about tomorrow. Shoot. I wore my dirty leggings from yesterday. Smell test. They can go another day.

Wahh. Wahh. No time to worry. Love this. Staying home with my baby. What an opportunity. A Blessing. Big smile. Raspberry kisses. The sweetest face.

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