9.23.2014

Silas, C-Section, and Letting Go

Events and circumstances are often used as catalysts for the freedom, change, wholeness, or transformation God is trying to work out in our lives.  I’ve been learning all year about how I cannot and do not hold everything together.  God has been showing me so clearly this year that I cannot even hold myself together, I cannot get everything right and perfected every time.  I cannot hold my children’s world together.  I cannot hold my husband’s world together.  I cannot control or determine their feelings or actions. 

I have been learning freedom in the truth that while I cannot and do not hold all things together, I do follow the only One who does.  I know that in Jesus all things are held together (Colossians 1:17), and as I follow Him and listen to His Spirit, I am able to be held together.  As I listen to Him for how I parent, how I run my home, how I love my husband, then I can step into His freedom and peace and rest in my every day life…because He is the one holding it all together…not me. 

I thought I had been learning all of this pretty well.  And maybe I had.  This pregnancy was definitely the hardest of any of my pregnancies, and through the exhaustion in it, I had already been learning to let go of so many things.  However, it seems that there are even deeper levels to this release and rest that God wanted me to know. 

Over two weeks ago now, I was already getting a sense that something was “off” with the end of Silas’ pregnancy.  Labor wasn’t coming the way it had with my other two.  Five days past my due date, I woke up in the middle of the night with a sense that something just wasn’t right.  After being induced later that next day, things didn’t progress the way they had in my previous births.  Thankfully, because of all of this…because of what I had sensed…I was not exactly surprised when the surgeon and my doctor walked in to tell me that I would need to have a C-section.  We had already exhausted every other option.  While nervous, I had peace.  This was right.

It was very apparent to me that not only had God allowed the C-section as an act of grace to get my sweet Baby Silas out into the world with me, He had also allowed it for me to learn deeper levels of letting go of all of my efforts to hold things together.  Nothing quite “stills” you like being on pain medication, not being able to lift anything heavier than your 8 lb. newborn, and not being able to drive for two full weeks.  Everything weighs more than 8 lbs.  These new restrictions brought to the surface how much I still try to hold things together.  For the first time since becoming a wife and a mom, I literally could not hold anything together. 

That first day home, I didn’t even leave my bedroom.  Just Baby Silas and I hanging out all day in my bed up in the master suite. My super amazing stud of a husband did not even bat an eye at the new weight he would be carrying.  From the moment we came home, he has been committed to giving me a solid recovery time so that I would heal well.  He has done everything for our little family…literally everything.  As I observe him, I see God giving him the energy and the heart to care for me, our home, our big boys, to go grocery shopping, to plan and cook meals…to carry us right now.  It is humbling to be cared for like this.  The love my husband has for me is so full and amazing.

Yet, twice now, I’ve already overdone it.  It’s like I won’t learn.  It’s like I can’t accept grace, love, and rest.  I find so much satisfaction and worth in doing and accomplishing…in holding things together, that already at least twice in the last week, I’ve found myself pushing ahead of where I am right now.  Instead of trusting my husband to run the plan, I’ve stuck my hands in his plan, trying to also accomplish my agenda…and ultimately find satisfaction in accomplishing things.  Last night, in tears I was sharing with my husband that I’ve really got some issues when I have been given every resource and reason to rest and I still won’t rest.

My father-in-law has been hear since last Friday and is staying until my mom gets here this Friday.  We have help and support.  And yet, I push past the very obvious gift of being able to rest.  I push past the work God wants to do in my soul in regard to rest.  I push past the truth that I don’t actually hold everything together, but He does.  It is time take a good hard look at how much I tie my value and worth to accomplishing and achieving.  This is the moment to ask Jesus to transform my very heart to these deeper levels of trust, freedom, rest, and peace. 

How all this will look past this season is still unknown to me.  I will have to return to carrying some family responsibilities again very soon.  But I am hopeful that this time is on purpose to solidify deeper realities of peace in my soul.  I am hopeful that when returning to everyday life, I will be able to integrate a new understanding of peace and rest into my roles and responsibilities. 

So, I am surrendering myself to rest.  I am surrendering myself to this gift.  I am incredibly grateful for a husband who is working hard to let me rest…a husband who wants me to rest right now.  I am beyond thankful to have parents and in-laws who are incredibly willing to help us, to be involved in our lives and love on our kids. 

I am slowly learning to be at rest in my very spirit as I let go of all attempts to hold my little world together.  Because the truth is…I don’t actually hold it together anyway. 


9.05.2014

Still Pregnant

Okay, so while I am definitely not in any way overdue and should totally be able to accept that my not giving birth at this point is completely normal, the last few days of pregnancy are always some of the hardest and really seem like they shouldn’t even be possible.  At this point, just days away from my due date, I always begin to feel like pregnancy might just become a permanent condition.  Like I will never have this baby and will just have to accept living as a “nine-months pregnant” woman forever. 

That said, I am trying to enjoy these days as much as possible…and finding humor helps.  The first ten seconds of this video are awesome and make me feel not so alone in all of this:




Seriously, though.  I do really struggle with waiting.  It’s just something that is hard for me.  I like being on top of things, having life in order, and being ahead of schedule if at all possible.  Some of the things that energize me most in life are completing tasks and maximizing time.  I love efficiency and effectiveness, especially when those two can be combined.  And while those are all great things to love and be about, they don’t exactly help me when it comes to seasons of needing to patiently wait.   I find myself often frustrated in the waiting.

Until.

I come to a place of release.  A place of surrender.  In this particular season of waiting, it is releasing my timeline and my agenda for the birth of this baby.  I won’t be pregnant forever.  That just isn’t possible.  There will be a day when Baby Silas will be born.  I just don’t know yet which day that will be. 

Amazingly, when I actually surrender myself to the “waiting”…truly surrender myself to wait…to allow a Divine plan to take place, I discover an almost eerie peace.  A peace where I can be fully present even in the midst of major unknowns.  Everything on my calendar becomes “possible” instead of “definite,” and I find myself engaging more in the moment because that is all that is certain.  It’s a really great place to be, to live peacefully present in the moment released to whatever happens next. 


So, for now, that’s where you’ll [mostly] find me: released to this present moment and God’s plan for it. 

8.29.2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

I rarely write posts like this.  But.  I am just about 39 weeks pregnant.  And well, there just isn’t much serious, deep, or heavy space in my head and heart.  So.  Just for fun, I thought I share some of my favorite things.  And not one of these brands, stores, artists, writers or organizations have asked me to do this nor am I getting any “kick backs” from any of these products.  These are just things I absolutely love.

Hazelnut Coffee

Every time I grab a mug of hazelnut coffee at Panera, I find myself transported back to a trip my best friend and I took to Texas when I was fifteen.  Her grandma made us hazelnut coffee every morning, and I felt so grown up having a cup of coffee every morning.  Thank you, Panera, for bringing me back to my fifteen year old self every time I drink your hazelnut!






Pretty $2 Composition Books from Pink Light Design

At the speed that I write through a journal, I had to switch to notebooks as journals a long, long time ago.  This past year, I discovered these beautiful composition books that cost about two bucks each and have become my most favorite journal option.  Cheap and beautiful.  Love these.

Anything by Jennie Allen


This is by far my most favorite book that I have read in years.  It came into my hands at a time that I desperately needed not only to re-surrender everything once again to Jesus, but it also came at a time that I was desperate to know that women were writing about more than just being a wife and mom.  This book was the beginning of discovering a whole wave of women who are passionately following Jesus in everything that they are from wife to mom to writer to speaker to artist to friend to counselor to teacher to physician and everything in between.  This book marked a powerful shift in my spiritual life this past year.

Ice Water

Okay.  I know that’s pretty plain.  But seriously.  I cannot seem to get enough ice water this summer.  It is like a momentary vacation every time I drink cold, cold sip of ice water.  This might just be a weird pregnant thing that will quickly pass.  But seriously.  Ice water is amazing!

Phish Food

This has become my other food obsession this summer.  I have been known to run to the gas station down the street at 9 p.m. on multiple occasions to grab a pint of this ice cream.  My love of this item is so extreme that  a good friend got me a gift card to said neighborhood gas station so that I could continue my late night Phish Food runs. 






Ben Howard Pandora Station


You know about Pandora right?  If not, click here.  Okay, now we all know about Pandora.  Do yourself a favor and create a Ben Howard station right now.  So mellow, so melodic, so beautiful.  Some of the most heart-exposing lyrics from the artists who show up on this station.  Just listening to this station puts me in a better mood.



Reef Flip Flops

These are by far the most comfortable flip flops ever.  Every February, I start checking out the flip flop section at Ross, where if I keep my eyes open, I can snag a pair or two for half their cost.  Then I wear them all summer long.  Actually, I wear them as soon as it is reasonably warm enough to wear flip flops and continue to wear them on into the fall.  I love these shoes!






IF: Gathering



I am a total groupie.  I know.  But I seriously love what these ladies are doing.  I have an IF: Table.  I am planning an IF: Pray event.  And am already looking forward to the actually IF: Gathering this coming February.  I know, I know…my obsession with this movement is quite dramatic.  But that’s just it.  This movement is not about being a movement, but about gathering, equipping, and unleashing women to live out their God-given callings right where they are.  Is there anything more amazing than being encouraged to live fully for Jesus right here, right now? 

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Could there be anything more helpful to a mom than a show full of helpful ten second songs that equip her preschool-aged kids to process life in a simple way?!?!  Every single one of us in my little family sings these life-coping songs on a regular basis.  Short little tunes like: “Grown-ups come back” and “There’s time for you and baby, too” and “When you feel so mad that you’re gonna roar, take a deep breath and count to four.”  Seriously, thank you creators of Daniel Tiger. 

Okay, your turn.  What are a few of your favorite things?  Please do share.  I can’t wait to read!  You’ll be helping me keep my mind off the fact that I am still waiting for baby! 



8.27.2014

Discovering My Highly Sensitive Child

Only just recently, years into parenting a child that could be deemed “highly sensitive,” have I discovered the book that for the first time made me feel understood.  I had thought that my years working with children of all ages, stages and difficulties…plus my degree in education had me set me up for mothering just about any child.  I was wrong.  I quickly learned that the child I was entrusted with was beyond my degree and experience…this was only the beginning of revolutionizing what kind of mom I have become. 

After he was born, I found myself at a loss to figure out all that seemed to be so hard for him.  Sleep.  Eating.  Extreme separation anxiety.  Extreme stranger anxiety.  Noise.  Lights.  Crowds.  Busy-ness.  Changes…even small changes.  All of it seemed more than he could handle.  My other “mom friends” would comment about how they just “knew” what to do for their babies or about how soon their babies slept through the night or feelings of motherhood that were foreign to my experience.   I felt like a failure as a mom. 

Trying to explain what I didn’t even understand to family and friends was nearly impossible.  People kept telling me he’d “grow out of it.”  Other well-meaning people offered input and advice, suggesting how I could “fix” my kid’s struggles and resolve his issues.  New well-meaning people continue to offer input without knowing the whole story…the years of prayer and how I have spent my heart everyday to learn my kid.

Sometimes I just want to tell them…

you.  have.  no.  idea. 

We spent years not sleeping through the night.  Sometimes we still don’t.  For a long time, even the slightest shift in bedtime would throw our little guy’s sleeping off for weeks.  He hasn’t worn jeans in over a year because the material is just not soft enough.  Tags in clothing need to be cut out.  Regular rhythms are vital.  Even common environments can be too overwhelming for him.  And pulling him out of a specific plan he has created in his mind can be like re-routing the Amazon River.  These are just a few of the things I have learned over the years.   Things that I can’t explain to every person we come into contact with. 

Of course, there have been the trusted few who love me and my son and our whole family no matter what struggles we face.  To these I have opened myself up and have asked for help, input, and advice.  My husband and I have a continual conversation going about what we see, what we’re learning, and where to go next in regard to parenting.  There have been moments of consulting even professional sources for input. 

Only when I picked up Dr. Aron’s book The Highly Sensitive Child did I feel fully understood.  I cried through the first couple chapters.  Someone knew.  Someone knew about my kid.  Someone knew about my experience. I cried tears of relief, too, because so much of what she suggested, we have already put into effect in our family…even as unconventional as some of these strategies might be.  It was so affirming. I felt like someone was patting me on the back and telling me that I had been doing a good job “reading” my son and responding to his specific needs.  Dr. Aron suggests that rather than looking at sensitivity primarily as a “struggle,” sensitivity could be seen as a “gift”…a gift that when moderated well can actually benefit others and the world around us. 

As I read, I also discovered that I, too, could be classified as a “highly sensitive” person.  This discovery shed a whole other layer of understanding on my life.  I had a whole new lens through which to see so many of my stories and experiences.  This new understanding gave increased insight as to why I perceive, act, and respond the way I do in life.  It also gave me new tools to process and handle life.

This book has unlocked a newfound sense of understanding and insight in my heart.  About my son.  About being his mom.  About myself.  And where to go from here.

If you even slightly suspect you may have a “sensitive child” or if you feel that you yourself might even be considered a little more sensitive than the norm, I highly recommend going out and grabbing a copy of one of Dr. Aron’s books.  It could be one of the best reads of your life. 

Click here for a link to the book The Highly Sensitive Child.

Click here for a link to the book The Highly Sensitive Person.

As an additional resource, I found the article, “Survival Guide for the Highly Sensitive Parent” helpful for me as I learn how to navigate the world of busy, loud, energetic little boys as a highly sensitive mama (click here to read that article).