Friday, December 12, 2014

He Wll Finds Us In the Mess and Make Our Mess His Home

These guys....
They are my charmers.  My little ones.  The people who use perpetual giggling and spit up to help me forget that I'm also mom to one who will be in high school (I'm choking over those words) in eight short months.  I remember when Benedict and Andrew were this age. I had so much time to just sit on the floor and play with them, to watch them grown and learn and live right in front of me.  Those were such glorious days.

I feel a great longing in my heart to be able to give these guys the very same time and attention.
I could write a thousand captions for these photos. They fill my heart with such great joy.  Baby bro on the left keeping upright thanks to the skillful placement of one chubby finger on the carpet and a steady right hand on big bro's back.
 The jammie huddle.  Let's put our heads together, and think up a genius plan to overwhelm mother with our adorableness today!
Uh, oh, Chubs McCrackers is lookin' a lil' wobbly. Joey earned the nickname when the boys, who often snack while holding him, discovered that his little belly shelf catches their cracker crumbs.
 Easy does it, Chubs. Steady now, steaeaeaeaea-dee.
Next to Lego mini figures and BBQ tater chips, pajamas are Charlie's world.  I think there was once a movie called Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Well, Charlie is going to start the Brotherhood of the Traveling Jammies. I can see it now:  One pair of fleece footie pajamas, six boys and a bag of chips.
The older boys might not be up for it, but Chubs McCrackers will be in fo sho!

Today after lunch I gave myself permission to read a few of my favorite blogs while the boys finished their quiet reading.  Two of my favorites from Kathryn and Stephanie included sentiments about slowing down, simplifying and stepping back a bit from life, all of which resonated deeply with me.  

To my own personal disappointment, I have found the opportunities to blog (thoughtfully), to spend quality time with friends, run in weekend races, or to do something as simple as geting a hair cut to be very few and far between since Joseph's birth.  He is still in "I can survive on virtually zero sleep" mode and will not be comforted by a pacifier or anyone's arms but mine.

I really cannot seem to find my footing these past few months.  Since Steve's health has been a great concern to both of us and has required significant adjustments for me personally, caring for him as well as the majority of the children's needs is a calling that, most days, leaves me feeling inadequate as I wrestle constantly with everything that's not getting done. 

That's a pretty uncomfortable place for me to be.
But, isn't it true that discomfort is also a merciful gift from God?
I believe so....I really do.

Thankfully, this Advent, despite the desperation I so often feel internally, grace has come.  It comes as a steady stream of arrows piercing holes in all my best arguments for how I think things should be, how they should go according to my plans, desires and even according to my capabilities.

Grace has helped me accept all of the things that I cannot control and given me the fortitude to settle in to the present moment, trusting in all that God desires to give me right then and there. You guys, this is so hard for me, I mean if only you could see how messy life is around here right now!

Although my nature desires to tidy the home, create more exciting school projects for the boys, bake holiday treats for the neighbors or even to read something more stimulating than  Dick and Jane, those aspirations are just not possible right now.  God is using my limitations so that I may SEE his generosity - generosity expressed through the excitement in the eyes of a child who is thrilled to share an idea or a story with me, or a hug from a son that I hold for an extra second just so his post-basketball practice scent of hard work might imprint upon my memory forever, or the supreme view of two little guys playing together on the floor in their pj's.

Surely I would have missed these things, or at least not appreciated them to the depth that I should, had I been allowed the opportunity to carry on about the day's business according to my own desires for a well groomed family nested inside of a perfectly ordered home with time dedicated to blog about it all.

Above all, this Advent, I am learning to truly grasp the truth that what the Lord seeks from us is our very best in all circumstances.  If this season of your life allows you time to bake and decorate and craft then, for the love of Jesus, you should do just that.  And, if this season of life means that you must offer up the mess, another infant feeding, another sleepless night, another burned dinner, another denial of any self-comfort or opportunity to do what you want so that others may be blessed by your sacrifices then, for the love of Jesus, you should do just that.
For many years I have loved the Chris Rice song Make Yourself at Home.  It is the perfect meditation for me this Advent.
Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home

The the Lord's manger is our soul.  It is the place He longs to rest, to reside within us every day.  I am learning, day by day, that the soul's most supreme furnishings and decorations are not our own ambitions and accomplishments but the words "Yes, Lord" that we speak, the ascents of the will, great and small, moment-to-moment each and every day to whatever God may be asking of us.

So wrap our injured flesh around YOu
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world


  1. Prayers for your season. I wonder if I'll ever grow out of my messy-mama self. Since having little ones I feel like I'm always catching up. The boys are 3 and 1 so if it's messy now, the future kind of freaks me out, but I try not to let it! :)

    1. Super cute photos of your youngest boys though!!

    2. Don't freak out!! :) You can totally handle more - more is SO MUCH FUN!! If you home is a mess then I have feeling you have some happy boys at your ranch! :)

  2. Beautiful post and great reminder on accepting our limitations and finding peace in that. We moms really need to remind ourselves that we cannot always do it all, ...and that is okay, and things will be alright. =) And oh my goodness, your boys are soooo CUTE!!! Love the pics!

  3. What adorable boys...I love the jammie huddle picture! :)
    Thanks for sharing your heart with us!

  4. Thank you so much for your beautiful post. I wish I had more time to reply & let you know how much in touched me, but know how it is! I have a house full of boys too :)

  5. You are an amazing wife and mom and I know that your family loves every second of your time!!! I know that you don't always give yourself credit but you are great at making all the little things special! I hope that you have peace about the things you have to let go of right now:)

  6. Thank you for writing this. Life has definite been overwhelming for us lately, and I really appreciate your encouragement. Hang in there. :)

  7. I wish I had read this during Advent, but it's a good read for anytime! That song has been one of my favorites for a long time... it was the first I sang in front of an audience during HS. What a wonderful meditation!


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