Tag Archives: confession

good-year

goodyear

[photo by Katie Mulder • Michigan, 2013]

She is a good-year house.

Her rooflines are irregular. They jump and and skip and drop with every addition.  She stretches and breathes into new hallways, new bedrooms, new pantries as Providence allows. A new baby is coming. The crop was good this year. The old barn came down and there’s free lumber to build the pantry, the bedroom, the back porch.

She is still through the hard times, and plans are made. Needs are obvious. Dreams are prayed out loud with shoulders touching at the dinner table and shoes piling up at the door. Next year… next year, Baby will move out of the basement and into her own room. Next season, that root cellar will be dug. In a good year. In a good year, she grows. But for now, she learns. She rests and she plans.

All in good time.

She is uncontainable in good years, laying more foundation claiming new ground. Adding onto the old. Complimenting the family, the needs, and the blessing.  In a good year, she grows. There is always room for more. The siding doesn’t match and the floor is uneven, but she is strong. There is room.

When, exactly, did you realize that you didn’t have to be built perfectly- whole- to be useful? Or even, FULL. When did you breathe that sigh of relief after understanding you are a work in progress? Maybe just now? We do not start this life ready for the parade. We start with the framing and we add as we go. As we learn. As we pray. As we live.

I am a good-year house.

I am still in the hard times and wild in plenty.

Lord, may I be a student of both… but may I be a JOYFUL house in-progress.

I am built for life, with life, as it changes and allows.

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I should tell you, I should tell you.

[That’s a line from Rent, folks.]

[If you got that reference, we are bffs forever.]

Oh, Missy. The day is quickly approaching when all will be right with the world and we will finally eat chips and salsa together before going to bed at 8pm and sleeping like we have nought a care in the world under hotel sheets with continental breakfast dreams. I cannot wait to be at the Allume conference with you in October.

Can. Not. Wait.

Following Logan‘s lead, it is perhaps best if I let you know a few things about me up front. We’ve been friends for a year now… a deep and fast friendship anchored by the Dayspring (in)courage group we both breathe through as moms of kids with special-needs… but we have never shared a room together. It’s the next level for girls, really: roomies. And it’s an important step that demands respect, cable tv, and knowledge of morning rituals. SO. In an effort to make the most of our weekend together, here are a few things you should know about me:

1. I snore. Actually this is a flat-out lie, but Curt said I had to tell you. I am neither pregnant nor hay-feverish at the moment, so I don’t think the snoring will be an issue.

2. If there’s a football game on, I will watch it. As you are Alabama alumni and I am Aggie alumni, I trust our football loyalty genes are quite similar… down to the color-coding, even. We will put aside our rivalry instincts and be the true Southern Women that we are: kind and loud.

3. If there is a Cosby Show rerun on, I will watch it. We get very limited cable at TexasNorth, so hotels and their encyclopedia of channels is like Disneyland to me. I love a little Heathcliff Huxtable while I’m not doing my hair in the morning.

4. I panic in large groups of women. I either make small talk like a champ and then sleep for 48 hours out of exhaustion or I freeze in a Mean Girls anxiety attack and hide in corners. There’s no rhyme or reason to which Katie will show up. I’m hoping the constant flow of chips and salsa plus your effervescence will be the comet I ride on. Consider me your sidekick.

5. I may attempt to cut your food into smaller portions and remind you to eat everything you’ve been served. I am sorry. You get it, but I am sorry.

6. While I have a healthy respect for personal hygiene, my morning and evening rituals leave much to be desired. I will sleep until the last second, having planned my wardrobe and hairstyle around this lifestyle. I shower at night, if Cosby’s not on. I do always brush my teeth and sometimes I floss. That’s not true. I never floss. I don’t. Please still love me.

7. I read. Everything. I read everything fast and furiously. If given the option of sleeping uninterrupted or reading uninterrupted, I honestly can’t tell you which I’ll pick. But I promise you I have had to relocate to the hallway on more than one occasion because the Husband is trying to SLEEP FOR PETE’S SAKE. Have no fear. I will not let me reading interfere with your slumber.

Really, what’s not to love?

Excited. That’s me: excited. Four days of fellowship with a dear friend, extended cable, and conference goodie bags? I may never come home.

I may never GET THERE if I don’t buy some plane tickets and soon.

Look out, South Carolina. Katie and Missy are comin’.

If we were roommates for the weekend, what would I need to know?


crash landing

[This is an open letter, certainly, but also a way to process for me… to write out the steps I’ve taken to see where I started and how far I’ve come. It will be too much and too little, depending on where you stand with me. Simply consider this a page from my diary. Thanks for walking with me.]
pasture

For a good while now, I have been on the verge. On the verge of a breakthrough or a breakdown… it could go either way. For months I processed a little out loud and a lot quietly – but I was just inching forward. I was on the right track, certainly, and pointed in the right direction… but I was farther back than I anticipated. It was going to take more.

MORE of something.

Then I read this:

I have to fight against voices that tell me I’m wasting time, especially mine.

When God gave instructions to build the tabernacle where He would dwell, He gave people the gift of artistic design “in all kinds of crafts” — “to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship” to adorn, decorate and make everything. (Ex.31:11)

Now that Jesus is here, you and I have become the tabernacle where God dwells.

We are the living temples, where Jesus lives.  (2 Cor.6:16)

Each of us is created with beauty in mind, to reflect God’s artistic imprint.

[from Bonnie, over at (in)courage]

and sweet Megan’s confession yesterday…

We are over our heads right now. Like, we have to look up to see Survival Mode.

And I thought,

Yes.

YES.

THIS is what I need to see. Moms, real moms, who struggle with their inner voices. Who don’t always match their blog titles. Who find themselves in the basement wondering where the last 4 months went. Who are afraid, sometimes, to take that first step. Moms who are on a similar journey and are speaking about it out loud.

I was afraid to speak it out loud.

The last few years have been bruising to both my body (GIDEON JAMES) and my spirit. Suddenly I found myself sitting at the beginning of June and completely terrified of the months ahead. No school, no schedule, no help. There were LOTS of potholes that had built up over time… some due to the exhaustion of having Littles, some from a crazy-busy work schedule for the husband, a lot from letting simple care go down the tubes.

I wasn’t reading. I wasn’t singing. I wasn’t eating well. I wasn’t MOVING. I was just… surviving.

Which, and hear me here, is real and good and honest for a time… but at some point you must make an effort to move if the scenery is going to change, amen? So I sat down with Curt over email and in person and we made some plans. Specifically, some plans for me.

And with less of a mighty roar and more of tentative creep, I began to crawl out of the hole.

Again.

Because I have done it before and i will surely have to do it again.

There are some new boundaries in place.

  1. No gluten for 6 weeks, but it’s pretty obvious we’ll be going beyond that. Your brain is clear and you are waking up not mad at the world. Let’s stick with good, eh?
  2. Daily supplements (AdreneVive and NeuroCalm), which are just that: supplements to your regular medication that keeps base camp at a normal level and not in the dungeon. And I do take regular medication… let’s be clear about that.
  3. Regular appointments with a counselor who has objective eyes and no personal claim on my life. This started as a twice-a-month visit and has moved to once-a-month recently. Soon and very soon, this will taper off but with an open-door policy to come back and re-evaluate the tool bag if and when needed.
  4. Regular chiropractic appointments to fight the severe TMJ, creeping arthritis, and headaches that complicate daily life.
  5. A good old-fashioned check of the hormone levels to see if everything is still clicking correctly in there after three (equally beautiful and insane) children. The results of this test will help modify the supplements in #2, but the test takes a month to complete.
  6. Help once a week. This, perhaps, is worth more than everything listed above. Once a week, for a couple hours DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS, I get to leave the house with no children and write, grocery shop, fight with phone companies, go to my regular doctor appointments, and eat. Alone.
  7. I asked a friend to mentor me in the fall. We have no idea what that means… either one of us… but I have loved her for years and always look forward to church softball season knowing I will see her in the bleachers. I was challenged in April to actually ask… like, verbally SPEAK [*freaking out*]… to someone about meeting and walking together for a bit. They said to consider your life at the moment and think of a woman a little older, just one or two life steps ahead that might walk alongside me (and me alongside her) for a little while.  Maybe a class together or a book together and certainly food together… we haven’t figured it out yet. But I did it. I DID IT. She laughed at me, and then she said yes.

All of this?

Completely out of character for me. Do you know how many checks I’ve written this summer? A lot. Do you know how hard it is for me to say out loud that a babysitter comes once a week for me? Ridiculously hard. Because I know there are moms out there with more kids and more special-needs and more animals and more everything and yet function just fine.  The reality is- I was not functioning fine. I was not healthy and I was spinning my wheels.

Thank goodness for a spreadsheet husband (Right, Megan?!) who can step into those chaotic moments and say, “Ok. Here’s what we’re going to try.” This approach doesn’t always fly with me (stop laughing), but when you are on the deep side of a hole, a sturdy, evenly-spaced ladder is exactly what you need.

What I need.

Yeah for marrying well. Go, God.

No, seriously. How amazing is it to have and know a God who begs you to have a full life?

I say all of this to simply acknowledge that I am not above or beyond help.

And, neither are you.

It is not a waste of time.

It is never a waste of time to try to make things better.

If you could change one thing right now… one little thing that might make a world of difference, what would you change?

Come on over. Let’s talk about it.

*pats picnic table*

I’ve got lemonade and brownies to help us figure it out.