Leaning on Grace

Mommy Fail

This is the kind of night it’s been, and I feel so defeated. After almost two solid years of being a working mom, I just can’t get the hang of it. I’m mentally and emotionally drained at the end of the day, and I’ve got very little to offer the two most important people in my life. By 5 p.m. I have heard and said my limit of words for the day, but Josiah wants to SAY ALL THE WORDS.

In the midst of this season, I can’t ignore that every time I turn on Pandora, Hillsong’s “Oceans” comes on. “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders”…I’m not sure if God is leading me to a giant leap of faith or if Jesus is just reminding me to trust Him in my everyday mess.

When it comes to parenting, my mom always says you do your best and then you pray for God to fill in the gaps. In a time when I feel like my gaps have turned into gaping canyons, I need to trust that God will hold Josiah and give me grace for all the ways I fail my child.

At the end of this gloomy day, Josiah still wanted to hold my hand until he fell asleep. God’s grace is sufficient for me.

Advertisements

It Won’t Always Be This Way

A few weeks ago, I was able to mark off #16 on my #30Before30 list…that is, “See a great concert.” I’m not an expert on musical greatness, but in my opinion, The Rend Collective did not disappoint.

IMG_0004

(Driving to The Underground – Fall 2014)

As I stood there with my arms raised, singing my heart out, I couldn’t help but reflect on the last time I’d found myself at The Underground in Cincinnati. Standing in that same venue merely a year before, the condition of my heart and my life were very different.

Mom and the Girls

(The Underground – Summer 2013)

I had bought a ticket to see a concert with my mom and sisters. I was determined to go along with the fun, even if I wasn’t feeling it. Dustin and I were freshly separated, and I was more broken than I even realized at the time. I found myself surrounded by music and hundreds of singing voices. It was the perfect moment to lose myself in the pain. I think I cried through half of the concert. I cried out to God, but I was completely unsure when or if He would make a change in our lives.

IMG_0028

Fast forward to a year(ish) later, and I’m singing out to the LORD, thanking Him that He did indeed change us. He gave us far greater things than we could have ever imagined or prayed for. He completely rewrote our love story. Our family is whole, unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before.

Through all the heartache and trials, my mom said to me continually, “You wake up today, and you do what you know God wants you to do TODAY.” In a time that felt so terrifying and unsure, that was the best advice I could have been given.

IMG_0008

I sang the chorus to “Trust and Obey” so many times through our separation, and I will always cherish that hymn. Had Dustin or I thrown in the towel and walked away from God’s commands about our union, we would have never gotten to experience the redemption and glory of a marriage restored.

I’ve learned that no matter what you are experiencing in this very moment, it won’t always be this way. Whether it be happiness or gloom, it will come to pass. Learn from the pain. Cherish the good times. Savor the joy in every passing moment.

If someone would have told me where I’d be today back at that first concert, I would have never believed it. A years time can make all the difference. So hold fast, trust and obey even if it hurts, and “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).

How I Handle Things as a “Grown Up”

As a teen/young adult, I was super serious. My friends called me “Mom” way more times than I should say. I mean, not that being a mom is uncool (I am one now, and I think I’m pretty fly at it), but they usually meant I was overprotective and domestic…Translation: Not fun.

Something about the craziness that has been my life for the last ten years has definitely helped me take myself, and life, a whole lot less serious. I got to thinking about this today when everyone at work was melting down about the state audit we’re going through, and my response was to call the auditor the “Tax Gangsta” who would “bust a cap if people don’t pay their taxes”…yes, I said that to his face. Admittedly not my proudest moment.

My other instinct was to tap dance on my desk to distract and cheer up my grumbly coworkers. I filtered that out and took a few walks around the building. I mean, I’m more fun now, but I still try to be somewhat professional at work. Somewhat.

Jess from New Girl is a kindred spirit. I’ve never related more to a fictional character in terms of awkwardness and spunk. This video came to mind more than once today…this is how I handle things as an adult.

20131009-223604.jpg

This is the face I make when people at work are super grumpy and won’t join me in singing. Or appreciate my auditor jokes.

Seriously, though, I don’t miss the stress that comes from taking life too seriously. Jesus has set me free. I don’t have to stress or carry the weight of the world anymore. His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). That makes dancing a lot easier 🙂

New Favorite Song

This may come as a shock, but I’m pretty sure no one feels brave during a marital separation. I know I don’t. I feel tired and worn. But I’m riding on the strength of the LORD and trying to forge on to a better life. I guess that does make me brave.

One of my dearest friends, a kindred spirit, sent me this song. It’s a new favorite. Gonna let it be my anthem while I ride this thing out…

20131008-224737.jpg