ABCs of Me

My time to write any post for this little blog of mine has been diminished by packing. Moving is no joke, YO! My brain is no longer functional. So, I am totally and unashamedly stealing this fun idea from Jana over at JanaSays. It’s cool. We’re friends… and she “borrowed” the idea too so there.

A- Age: 39. That means I will be 40 in 198, not that I’m counting or anything!

B- Biggest Fear: Leaving my children motherless before they grow up.

C- Current Time: 9:39 p.m.

DDrink you last had: Water. It’s 109 degrees hot outside and we are moving. Water is a must.

E- Easiest Person To Talk to: Mr. C and my brother and sisters because they get me.

F– Favorite Song: That’s like asking me who my favorite child is so I will go with whatever song on the radio I let play is my Jam.

G– Grossest Memory: Let me start by saying being a mom has supplied me with endless amounts of gross. The grossest has been having two sick toddlers cradled in my arms. One puked all down my back and chest as the other exploded with crap in my arms and all over my lap. I didn’t even move. I just sat there until they were done and cried. Oddly enough it was in that moment that I felt like a “real” mom.

H- Hometown: South Phoenix, Arizona.

I- In love with: Mr. C. Yesterday I found a box of letters and cards he gave me during the first few years of our relationship/marriage. We had some trying times but somehow someway he has stayed true to his words and his promises. He’s my lobster!

J- Jealous of: Morning people. Even if I get up early I’m not remotely functionally until mid morning.

K- Killed Someone: A billion times in my head, never in real life.

L- Longest Relationship: 15 years and counting with Mr. C.

M- Middle Name: Um- technically my middle name was my mother’s maiden name but when I married I changed it to my maiden name and I will not reveal either for safety and all that jazz.

N- Number of Siblings: 2 sisters, 2 brothers….and 2 half brothers and 1 half-sister.

O- One Wish: To visit every single MLB ball park… and for World Peace.

P- Person who you last called: Mr. C.

Q- Question you’re always asked: What do you do all day? I’m a SAHM so obviously I watch TV and eat bonbons all day!

R- Reason to live: to fulfill my purpose…

S- Song you last sang: The Humpty Dance because I was watching Step Up 2 and it came on. Mr. C and I sang it word for word because we cool like that!

T– Time you woke up: 9:30a.m. See letter J…and it’s Summer break.

U– Underwear Color: Hot Pink. Don’t judge everything is packed.

V- Vacation Destination: We go to Palm Springs, CA every year at the end of July.

W– Worst Habit: Self doubt!

X- X-rays you’ve had: 2 CAT scans, a chest x-ray, dental x-rays and a billion ultra sounds.

Y- Your favorite food: Food? Yes, please! Mexican. Cheese. Bread – even better.

Z- Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

…next time won’t you sing with me?

Life Interrupted

New House

Short Story: Surprise! The Cisneros Family is moving. We are actually in possession of the keys to our new home as I type this and are in the process of transferring whatever possessions survived an epic purge from this house to our new home. Good times!

Long Story: Grab some popcorn and settle in friends. I have been trying to put into words how this move came about since we put in our application to move on June 5th but the story just keeps getting longer.

The fact of the matter is in retrospect I can clearly see God pruning my heart and preparing our family for this adventure. I became a Bible study teacher for the first time last August. I don’t believe it is a coincidence the studies I have taught thus far (Beth Moore: Children of the Day, Priscilla Shirer Jonah and Breathe) have required me to process the ideas of mobilized ministry, pursuing my personal Nineveh and adding the margin in our life necessary to not only observe a Sabbath but to head the call on our life.

In addition to the studies, I was chosen to be on the launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s upcoming book For the Love being released on August 18th. I encourage you to pre-order it now. It is life changing, as you will soon see.

I have highlighted so much truth from this book but not one single statement sums up the stirring in my heart it caused. It was the collective message of grace, hope, love, standing firm, using our gifts, knowing truth, raising kids, being a neighbor and for the love, laughter. The stirring was accelerated by the private face book group consisting of the 500 members of the launch team.

This group lives out the message of For The Love on a daily basis. I have never been a part of an online community that is as authentic as this one but more importantly accepting through love. Opposing ideas and views have been shared and discussed in such a civilized way it makes my heart yearn for this kind of world. We may have all drank the Jen Hatmaker Kool-Aid but the flavors vary!

I then went out and bought Interrupted also by Jen Hatmaker. I was sitting in the softball stands as usual reading the book and watching my daughter play. It’s a gift only an experienced baseball mom could pull off!! Tears started to run down my face. Let me back up. I have a tendency to always cry. Sometimes I look at my kids and I just burst out into tears because they look older, showed character, smiled at me or just because.I’m an emotional wreck, whatever.  It happens all the time so tears streaming my face in the stands is normal. What wasn’t normal was the words on the page and the scene playing out in front of me intersecting so perfectly the it was causing an uncontrollable tidal wave of tears and the convulsing of my body.

My daughter was playing in a less than affluent neighborhood. The team she was playing against had so much potential but it was clear this may be the first year they picked up a ball, whereas the girls on our team have been playing for eight years (since they were five). Why? Because the opportunity is available and the high cost is afforded in our neighborhood. That is not the case in the area she was playing in.

I remembered this feeling from when my daughter was playing Junior High ball against other areas of our city. It was the same thing. Our girls would dominate because it was clear the opposing team may have just recently started playing and they were using school issued gear. It is a contrast to the tee ball kids showing up with hundreds of dollars worth of gear they will out grow in less than a year in our league. No joke!

I went home that night and prayed through tears. I didn’t even know what I was praying about but I knew I was being convicted about something. I clearly heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “Stay unsettled, keep your eyes open and wait.”

I continued to pray for clearer answers because at this point I was just so confused. I wanted to serve, be a neighbor, be a better steward of not just our money but our gifts and talents. I wanted to stop blessing the blessed! At the same time I knew that the Holy Spirit would never contradict the Word of God. Never. So I prayed that whatever was happening would be made clear by Mr. C and I being on the same page. I couldn’t go and do this calling without Mr. C.

I shared my feelings with Mr. C and we started to have some great conversations. We were not always in agreement but we talked in great depth while sharing each others perspective. I still didn’t have any idea what was going on inside me.

Waiting is not exactly one of my qualities. I started to look at houses in the area I shed my tears and sent them to Mr. C. He started to drive me to look at said houses and the blithe of the neighborhood with a firm, “No.” Then right before we left on a five-day camping trip he sent me the picture of a house in the downtown area that neighbors my target area. As in we would share schools but be adjacent to the historic area and within walking distance to Main St. and the future light rail. However it was hundreds of dollars outside of our price range. A no-go even in our imaginary world.

We left on our camping trip and unplugged from the world. I spent my time praying and reading God’s word and begging for Him to lead us. All the while twice I told Mr. C I couldn’t get the house he sent me out of my head. I couldn’t. We just laughed. It’s a new build with modern upgrades and sure to go quick.

We bailed on our camping trip a day early.  It wasn’t even planned. Mr. C came back from fishing with the kids and asked how I felt about packing up and leaving.  I responded by packing everything up.  On our way home, Mr. C looked up the house on his phone. It was still available and they dropped the price to within our price range. We went to straight from camping to go look at  it. We all fell in love. Our family joined hands and prayed at the house for doors to be flung open or slammed shut because we are prone to impulses.

That night Mr. C had a heart to heart talk with the kids. He discussed what moving means including moving schools and sports. Our kids have built their own community here and have been steeply opposed to moving out of our boundaries in the past. All three of them were adamant about wanting to move and acknowledged the changes to come. Mr. C was beside himself.

He is a practical man and doesn’t make decisions lightly. He is a man of facts and reasons. A move didn’t make sense. We were comfortable living under the idea that we are supposed to give our kids a better life than we had. Our kids were in an excellent school district, with phenomenal sports programs in our area and in a safe neighborhood. We agreed to sleep on it.

The next day we went to visit the property again. We walked around the neighborhood and ate lunch at a local establishment. As it turns out Mr. C knew the family who owned the restaurant. We had a great conversation about the area and we felt like we were already home. We went back to the house and Mr. C wandered around alone and then we prayed, again. We went home and submitted our application.

On June 8th our application was accepted and we made a good faith payment. Since then we have been on a whirlwind adventure of purging (the new house is significantly smaller), packing, giving our 30 day notice and freaking out.

We have told very few people about our move but we have been bombarded with more questions than support. The biggest concern has been about our kids. Why?

Their Current School:
8 out of 10 Rating, an A+ school.
61% White Vs. State Average of 42%
22% Hispanic Vs. State Average of 43%
01% Black Vs. State Average of 5%
38% Participating in Free/Reduce School Lunch Vs. State Average of 47%

New School:
1 out of 10 Rating
03% White Vs. State Average of 42%
92% Hispanic Vs. State Average of 43%
02% Black Vs. State Average of 5%
97% Participating in Free/Reduce School Lunch Vs. State Average of 47%

I get it. Why would we give up the comfort of what the world is striving for? The only thing that comes to mind is Mark 8:36. “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

In full disclosure I have freaked out more times than I can count. I’m talking about grasping for a paper bag because I am either going to hyperventilate or puke type freak outs. I woke up one day crying because I was so scared and questioning my sanity. At one point I was completely okay with the idea of losing our $700 non-refundable good faith deposit because we could use the rest of the deposit money we had in savings for a fun Summer vacation. The struggle and Satan is real, YO!

Then I cried more because we have the privilege of walking away from $700 without it interfering with our lifestyle. The majority of the people in the community we are moving to do not have that choice. Most live where they live out of necessity. There is not an option to send their kids to fancy schools (we live in an open enrollment area so technically they could enroll them in another school but transportation would make it impossible for many reason) and the equivalent of a rent payment for competitive sports.

In the midst of my break down I read Wrecked by Jeff Goins and I thanked God for the extra support and validation this book gave me in this journey.  It is a phenomenal, transforming book.

Please hear this. This move is not some sort of pat on the back type of sacrifice our family is making for the greater good. I mean if anything we are gaining so many more perks than we have here. We are moving into a newer house in a sought after area. I will be within walking distance to three, THREE coffee shops and less than a mile away from great friends who we consider family. AND we are only moving 8 miles south of our house now, For.The.Love!

There are still so many unknowns. I still don’t know how/what/where serving will actually look like. All I know is we are moving and will have the benefit of becoming neighbors to a community in need.

I believe without a doubt this a God ordained journey led by the Holy Spirit. I mean so many unlikely little and big details had to fall exactly into place for this move to happen and they did in less than month!

I am filled with excitement and Holy fear as we start and share this new journey with you.

~Jenniemarie

 

In Defense of Dads

fathers day

I have spent my entire childhood defending dads. That happens when you are raised by a single father of five. I was the child who always raised their hand in class and said, “and dads too, right?” whenever someone with authority sang the praises of mothers.

It was a defense mechanism. The mention of the glorious wonders of mothers only caused me pain and hurt because it was a reminder that my mom left. She was not this super human who made us meals, comforted us when needed and did all the typical things that would cause others to remind us children that our moms deserve to be acknowledged. Nope, not even close. Instead of admitting that hurt I built walls and focused on the awesomeness of my dad, minus the whole alcoholism thing.

daddy of five

Sometime between my dad’s death and becoming a mom I stopped defending fatherhood and started to bask in the glory of being a mom. Wait. That sounds wrong. I still continued a healthy respect for the role of a father and selflessly encouraged it in our own home. I just stopped raising my hand and declaring it.

What I really meant was it felt good as a mom to relate to all the propaganda about how great moms are. Even if you didn’t watch the Olympics you saw the commercials right? I mean come on, I cried every time they aired. I am raising athletes and I could totally relate.

Moms are universally celebrated by the world. Anytime anyone succeeds in life the mom gets all the credit. It may be fair considering us moms are also the reason therapist exist but that’s not the point I am making.

What I am trying to do is raise my hand and ask, “What about the dads?” What are they chop liver? Did I just age myself with that question? Moving on.

Everything I am, I am because of my dad. It pains me to know that I did not fully appreciate his love and sacrifices until I was blessed with my own children. Children born after his death. We eat as a family nearly every night, spend the majority of our time as a family, our children are expected to treat others with respect and have a love for baseball that would make him proud all because he instilled these things in his own children.

The truth is as much as I would love to take all the credit for all the goodness of my children Mr. C plays a huge part in raising them. He is an amazing father who deserves to be celebrated. Mr. C is the leader of our family, spiritually and otherwise. It is he who will be held accountable for our family. He works his ass off everyday as the sole provider for our family. He endures the stress of balancing work and family time.

dads arms

He often leaves work and heads straight to whatever practice or game is going on. Our children squeal and run into his arms when they spot him walking up and the kid on the field flashes a huge smile because just being there matters. Because of this dinner gets served late but we still eat as a family and he listens to all the chatter about the rest of the day even though he hasn’t had a second to relax.

He is the kind of dad who paints his daughters nails, knows every girly hand cheer clapping game and plays them in public with his little girl. He is the kind of dad who makes the time to take his daughters and his sons on dates to spend one on one time with all four of them.

He is the kind of dad who clears the living room furniture to wrestle, practice grounders, play catch or have a Nerf gun war. He is the kind of dad who encourages, disciplines and loves. He is the kind of dad who knows because of his work schedule his time with his kids is limited. Therefore he makes it a point to be the one who tucks them in at night in order to make sure he is able to talk to them and prays for them before they go to sleep.

He is the kind of dad this momma is comforted in knowing he has set the bar high for the kind of man our daughters will seek in marriage and the kind of men our son’s will strive to be. He is not a perfect man but he is the best kind of man he knows how to be today.

My daddy and Mr. C are not the exception to the rule. I have had the privilege of being surrounded by great men . My grandfather’s raised my dad and aunt on his own after their mom died when they were teenagers. He allowed my dad and us five kids to live with him. He is the one who gave me strength to chase my dreams. My brother is an amazing father and I see so much of my dad in him. My brother-in-law has two beautiful girls who he makes his world.

Yet because of the bad rap of the overwhelming number of deadbeat dads their role gets minimized and uncelebrated. However, not every mom is the epitome of a Hallmark card and that doesn’t stop the world from celebrating us (rightfully so). So this Father’s Day my gift to dads everywhere is to celebrate you year round.

It’s time I start raising my hand again and saying, “and dads too, right?”

In the end when my children look back on their upbringing they will have memories of both a mom and a dad who were actively involved in shaping their legacy and not a two-minute highlight reel focused on the plight of just a mom because they will know it was because of their dad too.

On a side note: I  miss my daddy…

 

Happy 23rd Birthday

Kaleb1 23

On Sunday, June 7th we celebrated our son Kaleb’s 23rd birthday. Give me a minute to wipe away my tears. He came into my life fifteen years ago as a little freckled-faced, flat top wearing little boy and today he has grown into an amazing young man, son and brother. It has been an honor to play a small part in raising him.

Both sides of our family came together to give praise for the impact Kaleb has had in our lives and to pray for his future. Then we did what we do best, eat. In an effort to embrace my new keep it simple mantra, I served pulled pork sandwiches(made in the crock pot) with ranch style beans and cut up watermelon plus salad brought by my brother-in-law. Dessert was a homemade, straight from the box, birthday cake.

At Kaleb’s request we bought him a handful of games to play with his roommates. I guess making family game night a priority is a legacy he is continuing. As soon as he opened his gifts he gathered his very loud and competitive siblings and cousins to play Catchphrase. To say my cup runneth over is an understatement.

After all our guest left and the kids were tucked into bed, Mr. C looked over at me and said, “Thank you for making this happen for Kaleb, you have always made him feel loved.” Being a step-mom mom is hard but the reward is great.

Kaleb 23

Happy Happy Birthday Kaleb. We love you.

A Week in the Woods

camping 1

Last week we packed up an RV and headed for a week unplugged in the woods. Guess what? No one died!

I had written a beautiful recap of our adventure in my mind complete with sentimental memories and laugh out loud wit. As I sit here trying to put those words on paper I got nothing! So, plan B.

They say a picture is worth a million words. Therefore in lieu of  many words I offer you a recap of pictures with few words.

Upon arrival we quickly set up camp and decided to explore. We went hiking through the forest until it connected to the path to the lake. We were delighted to discover it was less than a mile away.

camping 15

camping 16

 

As I snapped this picture I could hear the theme song to the Andy Griffith show playing in my mind.The simplicity was enough to make my heart bust. Hours and I mean hours were spent fishing.

camping 2

Kailey, the baby of the family, was the first and only child to catch a fish. She may have gloated all weekend.

camping 7

The middle kids, Kaiden and Karisa, while determined, came up empty.

camping 13

Mr. C rented a boat on our last day and made a catch of his own.

camping 10

Like the true bookworms that we are we brought all the books. I read two books cover to cover and read Beezus and Ramona out loud to our family. This was the third and last time I would read that book to one of our kids. I loved hearing the middle kids get excited about their favorite parts and recall when and where I had read it to them. Unbeknownst to me, Mr. C snapped a picture to capture the moment.

 

camping 20

I have been dreaming of writing a book for most of my life. The baby knocked out two books, one fiction and one non fiction, in one afternoon. She beamed with pride as she read them aloud to the entire family.

camping 3
The middle kids were in charge of collecting the wood for our nightly fire. They were impressed with the fruit of their labor and were rewarded with S‘mores.

camping 4

camping 5

We were well fed on this trip. Mr. C loves to grill therefore he cooks all of our meals while we camp. It is as glorious as it sounds. We ate chicken tacos, steak, burgers, brats and hot dogs. However, our highlight was the Menudo he warmed up straight from a can. Don’t judge us. It was delicious!

camping 14

We decided to be brave this trip and take on a new adventure, kayaking. We had a fantabulous time. I watched the middle kids work together in their shared kayak and the baby thoroughly enjoy being daddy’s girl. It was a memory that would be talked about for years to come.

camping 9 camping 18 camping 19 camping 17

I loved being surrounded by God’s creation, digging into His word. With the absence of our oldest son who was on his own traveling journey in Chicago with friends, this trip reminded me we only have four more years with our Karisa before she graduates high school. I. Can’t. Even.

camping 6

We lived out the purpose of this blog of mine by leaving a legacy one memory at a time….

Summer, Summer, Summertime

Summertime

It’s officially summertime in the Cisneros household. It’s 11:30am on a Thursday and we are still in our pajamas. One kid is reading a book, the other is playing with her imaginary friends and another kid is still sleeping. I think we are winning at Summer so far.

When the kids were little it was necessary to plan activities to keep them busy. We went on play dates, splash pads, the zoo, movies, library and museums. We played school at home, did arts and crafts and used our imaginations as much as possible.

That was then, this is now. These kids have juggled school, sports and church activities for the last eight months. What they need during the Summer is rest.

We still enjoy plenty of Summer activities we just do them at a leisurely, unplanned pace. It’s wonderful.

Our Summer mornings begin at varying times. Because of this everyone is responsible for their own breakfast and entertainment. It’s a genius concept I wish I implemented sooner.

The remainder of our day is filled with complete randomness. We still frequent the library, channel our inner artist, zone out with technology, have movie night, play games, make daily trips to the local pool, and find a way to live out our chosen theme verse from the Bible.

To be honest most days I have no idea how the kids have spent their day because they are spending their Summer being kids. Kids who build forts, put on shows, and create new games using a beach ball, twin beds and pool noodles. They get bored. They are always hungry. They toggle between bickering and laughter. They are kids creating a legacy one memory at a time…

This may be the best Summer ever.

 

What are your plans for the Summer?

What are your favorite Summer activities?

 

In Celebration of Average

It’s the end of the school year and with that comes the obligatory bombardment of social media pictures and post about all genius children receiving every award under the sun. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating their accolades because I know first hand how hard they work to achieve them, I can’t help but wonder about the average kids.

I’m not advocating for them to be awarded. Don’t even get me started on the give every kid an award society we have become. No. Just no. What I am getting at is as a parent to kids who fall all over the spectrum when it comes to academic success, I often find myself comparing my kids. I also get that it is totally my issues to deal with it. However, I don’t think I am the only one.

I often wonder why more parents don’t publicly celebrate the fact that their kid worked their butt off to get a straight C’s. As I sit here brainstorming about the reasons why, I realized I’m part of the problem. I’m quick to post that picture of my kid getting an award or making a great play at the plate but I’m all crickets otherwise.

At the end of this school year all of our kids were promoted to the next grade without any hoopla or us attending a single special ceremony.

photo (3)

 

My 13-year-old daughter Karisa, received her first B this year. The truth is after the first semester she was disappointed in herself. As parents we could have either helped her understand it was not the end of the world and if she was truly doing her best it was okay or we could have aided in her disappointment. She tried so hard but a B was the best she could do. I am more proud of that B than I am the rest of the A’s that came easy to her. She finished 8th grade with a 3.83 GPA and a high school credit.

My 11-year-old son Kaiden was lucky to pass 5th grade. Okay not really but it felt that way. 5th grade is hard, Yo! This is our third bout with it and it makes me cringe that we have we will have another go round. This kid just doesn’t care all that much for school. He is beyond smart. Like intelligent kind of smart but school is just not his jam. He received his first C this year and I hit the ceiling. Why? Because I know this kid could do better. He one upped me though by bringing home three C’s on his final report card. For the love, people! On the flip side he was praised endlessly for his character, kindness and willingness to always help.

My 7-year-old daughter Kailey views school as a social gathering. She probably is the smartest of them all but isn’t interested in school for the sake of learning. She retains everything, everything. She can re-tell you anything she has learned with great depth and understanding but she doesn’t do well to sit and test. She gets bored and finds it more interesting to people watch than to do her own work. Math is her nemesis but she is totally cool with it. She’s the one who wears an “outfit” to school everyday, has a million friends and is a magnet for girl drama. Help me!

It is my promise to you that at the end of this school year I stand in solidarity with every parent and give praise for the fact that our kids are still alive! That my friends deserves the award!

For The Love Of Motherhood

As we approach Mother’s Day, a day that is traditionally wrought with angst for me, I feel like, for the first time, I am coming into my own as a mom. You guys, as I type that sentence tears have streamed my face. These tears are a mixture of pain and joy and for that I am blessed.

For so long I have struggled with trying to be the kind of mom I pictured in my mind. A picture influenced by the world because of my own motherless childhood. I was more concerned with getting things right, following rules, and being the best. In doing so I completely rid myself of the things that make me, me. I hid my personality, my quirks, my talents, my dreams. I was not being who God created me to be because I didn’t feel worthy.

So hear this my fellow mommas: God uniquely created you. He knows every fiber of your being. And still, He chose you, he chose me, to be the mother of our children. He didn’t choose that mom you wished you could be, he chose you, he chose me, knowing fully who we are.

Is that not an amazingly freeing truth? Well… To be honest it has taken some time to accept that truth. However living out that truth has proven to be even more difficult. Now that I was free to be me, I had to figure out who the heck that was.

In Jen Hatmaker’s new book For The Love, released on August 18th, she writes:

"Do we want our kids to reflect on their mothers and have absolutely no idea what we loved? What we were good at? What got our pulses racing and minds spinning? Don’t we want them to see us doing what we do best?"

I was gut punched when I read those words. I have lived a separate life. I was being a mom to my kids and a woman to the world. It never occurred to me that it was okay to be both.

And so, as I travel on this journey of living life as a worthy mom I have been freed to allow my children to know my heart. They get to see me not only as their mommy who cooks, cleans, disciplines, supports and loves but also as a child of God who is trying to live the life He created me to live. That my friends is the true legacy we as mothers should be leaving our children.

*************************************

It’s your turn. Link your Mother’s Day inspired post below and spread the word.


I’m Sick of Being Sick

sick

Spring Break! That is how long I have been sick. I just can’t seem to get healthy and I am so over it. It started out as strep throat and progressed to a mild form of walking pneumonia. After two rounds of different antibiotics I thought I was on the mend and then wham sick again! Although I think this time around it may be allergies. My eyes hurt, my throat is scratchy and my nose is filled with snot. Jealous?

I am so exhausted from being able to do nothing. I feel like I am completely failing at life right now and it is totally out of my control. Ah, control. The thing I cling to most.

I can’t read because my eyes burn. I can’t talk because my throat hurts and I start coughing up a lung anytime I get out more than two words. Whenever I bend down snot drips from my nose but if I lie down I end up choking on it. Not to mention my intermittent ear and head aches. I. Can’t. Even! with my constant chapped lips right now. In other words I am a hot mess.

You know what is worse than being sick? Setting my pride aside and asking for help. Why is that?

So I out of complete humility I let the kids make their own after school snack and fend for themselves until Mr. C gets home. I have even allowed Mr. C. to come home after a long hard day of work and pick up snot filled tissue and cook dinner. That’s life and life is not fair, plus the whole in sickness and health thing.

Life is not slowing down people. I am a month behind at work, have a leadership retreat this weekend and the end of the school year shenanigans are upon us. Which begs the question, when will this sickness go away?

Wrecked: For The Love Friday Link-Up

FTL Link Up

I have to tell you friends, my world is being wrecked in such a good way. There is a stirring deep in my bones that is happening. I’m not sure what God is up to but I have a feeling my life as I know it is about to be flipped upside down. Not in a sell all our possessions and move away kind of way, or any way that looks different. It’s a the kind of open my ears, eyes and heart kind of way that will no longer allow us to view the world the same. You know? I’m scared in an excited kind of way, I think. Holy fear? Not sure.

As a family we are examining our life. We can longer suppress the fact our daughter will be starting high school next year despite my constant pleading to repeat 8th grade! We have ten short years left in this season of raising kids. Hold me!

It is causing us to pause and ask ourselves hard questions. Are we living a Christ like life? Are we using our time and talents to honor God? Should we be doing more? Should we be doing less? What are our priorities? Where are our boundaries? Will our kids ever stop bickering?

However, I was pretty confident I was being obedient to God. You know being a reluctant Bible study teacher and all. When my introverted, socially awkward self said yes to teaching I knew I would have to depend solely on the Holy Spirit to lead me and I have.

With three classes under my belt, I have gained so much wisdom not only from the studies but from the woman in my class. I have come to adore these woman who have granted me so much grace and encouragement as I find my footing. They have filled my love tank with words of affirmation that feed my soul. More importantly I have grown closer to God as I seek his wisdom and courage to teach under his authority.

…and still I continue to push aside my own desire to write. It’s not a secret. I have even declared several times in this blog I was done talking about it and ready to put words on the page yada yada yada. I am tortured by own self-doubt and fear.

I was recently gut punched when I read these words from Jen Hatmaker’s book For The Love: Fighting for Grace in a world of Impossible Standards:

“Do we want our kids to reflect on their mothers and have absolutely no idea what we loved? What we were good at? What got our pulses racing and minds spinning? Don’t we want them to see us doing what we do best?… Stop minimizing what you are good at and throw yourself into it with no apologizes…The timing is never right. Forget that.”

You guys I have read all the books. I have created the space. I have marked out the time. I have gone over the words in my mind countless times. I know the story. I lived the story. I questioned it. I have prayed about. I have heard the Holy Spirit’s whisper turn into a scream, “WRITE THE BOOK!”

What message am I sending my kids when I tell them to pursue their God-given passions and I sit on the side lines never pursuing mine?

So I started to put real words on the page. Words that hurt. Words that speak truth. Words that have pierced my soul so deeply they have been waiting to be set free. I have finally allowed my self to implement Ann Lamott’s Shitty First Draft method. It’s a difficult task for a reformed perfectionist like me but I am finding freedom in writing with reckless abandon. In doing so I am being wrecked, wrecked I tell you!

Are you being wrecked?

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Fellow Launch Team and #4500 Members it’s your turn. Link your For The Love inspired post below and spread the word.