Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Of Late...

The blog world is crying for a new post, so I'll just put some random ramblings of my life lately.

1. I have discovered a local coffee company that sells organic, free-trade beans & grounds. Makes a delightful cup of coffee - specifically, I'm enjoying "Nutty Blonde" - and it's just $10.50 per pound. Aduro Bean is the name and coffee is their game. They were at the Farmer's Market hosted by TCU last week (and perhaps monthly...). Please join me in supporting our locals with your business. I'm enjoying a hot cup now...

2. I have a renewed love for literature...fiction & non-fiction. I just finished reading Crichton's Jurassic Park and thoroughly enjoyed it. Last month, I read Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, who is the author of Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, two of my favorite novels & movies. I'm also learning to utilize the FW Library's audio book service and just checked out The Curious Case of Benjamin Button & Other Jazz Age Tale by Fitzgerald. This will surely come in handy while working on #3...

3. I have decided to learn how to knit! I want more hobbies than diaper changing & dishwasher loading so I'm looking for activities that are productive. I checked out a heap of books from our library and, next stop: JenningStreet Yarns. I haven't bought a single item (i.e. needles or yarn) but that will be happening promptly. I'm excited to start with scarves & hats for the family and follow up with some baby blankets...

4. Brad and I are pretty big fans of ABC series...Grey's Anatomy, Brother's & Sisters mostly - but we have just become fans of NBC's The Office. We have seen bits & pieces of the show over the past couple of years but didn't see the humor for two reasons. 1. We didn't know the characters or history well enough to get most jokes, and 2. Steve Carell's character, Michael Scott, is so inappropriate, disillusioned, and shocking that we found ourselves too irritated to be entertained. BUT, after watching the first season...and second, third, and fourth...we are laughing out loud every episode. We made it through the first four seasons in just a few weeks. I commented to Brad the other night that the show is surprisingly clean - the language is tame followed by even tamer sexual innuendos. Definitely refreshing.

4. And, finally, I am helping to plan my ten-year high school reunion. I graduated in 1999 and this past May marked a full decade of adulthood. Whatever that means. The reunion weekend will take place in October, with events including evening cocktails, a family picnic, and the big reunion on Lake Lewisville. Check out the website if you'd like!

That's all for now, folks!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Confession of a Real Mom

I’ve had a really hard time being a mom lately.

There are all kinds of moments and reasons that have added up to a really frustrated woman who has two kids. It’s even more difficult, however, because there isn’t a wealth of discussion (or admission) from other moms who have more than just “moments” and venture into seasons of struggling in motherhood. I guess that’s why I’m writing this blog.

Anger has usually been a very comfortable thing for me. Put two toddlers in my life who are learning to obey, respect, love, etc. and it becomes more common. I’m not writing this because I’m proud of that weakness, but more to encourage other moms who might have struggles like mine. And confession is like cool rain on blistering embers. I need a thunderstorm.

Zoë and I hit some hard times just before she turned two, and our anger & attitudes fueled our developing relationship. She and I are both strong-willed, first-born girls who tend to think that everything in the universe must cater to our wants, ideas, and especially our emotions. Put two women like that together, add transition of life, other stresses and out emerges a very volatile situation. God, however, in His great mercy and divine providence, landed us in a “Love & Logic” class on parenting. The senior pastor of McKinney Bible Church was willing to share his struggle in anger and then gave some practical advice that allowed Zoë and I to turn a corner. But the past few months, I find myself in a whole new season with Zoë approaching her fourth birthday and frustrated that this issue is resurfacing.

Of late I have come to realize something quite overwhelming. One can want to have children while not wanting to become a mother. There is a big difference between the two. “Wanting to have children” feeds on the cuteness, the newness, and the basic thrill of babies, toddlers, etc. Have you noticed that we ask newly married couples “When are you guys going to have kids?” and not “When are you guys going to become parents?” Probably because it’s easier think of sweet babies then question the preparedness of someone’s heart. Newsflash! Both questions are important.

Motherhood is controlling fury while spanking a flailing child. Motherhood is engaging in floor games & play-dough when email & Facebook provide a better escape. Motherhood is restraining tongue when the most blasphemous statements emerge from a three-year-old’s mouth. Motherhood is realizing that this job is not glamorous, is only occasionally “fun,” and most of the time – when really displaying itself – pushes in the opposite direction of our nature. It’s downright exhausting, draining, and demanding.

I started sobbing the other night in bed, deep & heavy tears. I was shaking and can’t remember another time I’ve been so upset. A sentence started circling my thoughts and it took every ounce of capacity to utter the words: I hate being a mother. I said it twice and I meant it both times. The weight was so unbearable that even in a pitch-black room, the darkness seemed darker. After a box of Kleenex, glass of water, and husband-comfort, I could breath again and started saying this, over and over:

“And the Truth shall set you free. And the Truth shall set you free. And the Truth shall set you free."

Jesus is setting me free as a mother, something I never knew I needed. He’s revealing the very ugly places in my heart that battle against this reality. He’s aligning my thoughts, attitudes, and emotions towards my children. And He is gently reminding me that my life is not my own. It belongs to my King, my husband and my children.

I repented to Zoë tonight for all the anger I’ve been carrying around. She seemed mostly oblivious to the weight of confession but she professed her love for me, kissed me wet on the lips, and insisted on painting the rest of her nails watermelon pink. I like to believe that we were able to hit reset tonight in a lot of ways.

I’m praying that the Lord would change my heart and allow me to love being a mother. I’m closer today than last week and I believe there will be a million steps before the journey turns into an empty nest. I hope these words don’t put fear in your heart or cause concern for my mental health. But if you can relate in anyway, or if there comes a day when you find yourself in similar tar, please know you are not alone. My prayer for you is that you would have a great measure of faith – not just for your children’s lives – but for the life of your mothering heart.

Friday, July 10, 2009

100 Things I Love About My Husband!

Today marks exactly five years of marriage to the most amazing man I know! On July 10th, 2004, I got to marry my best friend, my hero, and the greatest leader I could have asked for. In honor of the past five years, here is a list of 100 Things I Love About Brad Thompson:

1. 1. 1. He fixes our car problems by himself, saving us hundreds.
2. He doesn’t mind changing dirty diapers.
3. His hazel green eyes.
4. The way he teaches our kids about nature.
5. His willingness to lay in bed and listen to me talk at night.
6. How he often sends me text messages of his love for me.
7. His bravery at trying new things.
8. His love for Chinese food.
9. The way he holds my hand.
10. He can’t get enough of snuggling with our kids.
11. His crazy desire for a lot…and I mean a lot…of kids.
12. He insists I never mow the grass.
13. He loves home improvement.
14. How much he’s grown in communication since we met.
15. His deep and irrational love for people.
16. His commitment to the Lord, especially when things are tough.
17. He quit his job when the future was totally unknown.
18. He excels at his job.
19. His obsession with music.
20. He doesn’t mind driving the whole time on road trips.
21. The random bouquets of flowers “just because”
22. He protects me when our kids show any disrespect.
23. How he trusts me with spending money.
24. His brilliant ideas.
25. He has our “month-iversary” set on his calendar every month.
26. His huge dreams for our future.
27. He plays “tiger” every night with our kids after dinner.
28. He spills coffee on himself EVERY time he drinks it.
29. He talks in his sleep.
30. How he’s willing to take advice from my dad.
31. His wisdom in purchasing cars.
32. His ability to forgive people who don’t deserve to be forgiven.
33. He eats ice cream with a plastic spoon.
34. How he holds me when I cry.
35. The way he puts his hand on my knee when he drives.
36. His laugh. OH, he has the best laugh!
37. His commitment to me when I don’t deserve it.
38. His relationship with his mom – he really loves her.
39. His addiction to candy.
40. He sings really loud when he worships.
41. He drives a really old car so I can have a great minivan.
42. He pays our bills on time.
43. *password protected*
44. His favorite shows – Brothers & Sisters and 30Rock.
45. He takes amazing pictures of our kids.
46. He dances when listening to rock music in the car.
47. He rarely complains about being sick.
48. He always gets frozen vanilla yogurt.
49. He’s a really good friend.
50. He’s always looking for an opportunity to serve.
51. He likes to watch The Bachelorette.
52. He is an undercover ninja.
53. He wants to collect VW Beetles when he gets old.
54. He loves starting new things…AND,
55. He is so good at finishing the things he starts.
56. He has all necessary characteristics for being a dad:
57. His tender but firm love for our kids.
58. He disciplines when it’s not convenient or easy.
59. He’s willing to wear princess crowns when playing with Zoë.
60. And gets on all fours when teaching Colby how to push cars.
61. He makes Zoë scrambled eggs for breakfast.
62. He snuggles with Zoë before she gets out of bed.
63. He frequently verbally affirms Colby!
64. He knows a LOT about the Bible but always wants to know more.
65. He would give me anything I ask for.
66. He’s not given up on ministry.
67. *password protected*
68. He finishes my food at restaurants.
69. He doesn’t mind being wrong about stuff. ;-)
70. He picked out the engagement ring of my dreams.
71. He drinks boxed wine…in a plastic tumbler…with ice…and a straw.
72. His long-term plan involves living on the coast.
73. He insists on me pursuing my dreams.
74. He has super hot athletic legs.
75. He lets me have a mommy’s night out anytime I need it.
76. He takes the trash out every week.
77. His nickname is B-Rad Shizzle.
78. He has a burden for the sex-slaves around the world.
79. He believes in the impossible and hopes for it.
80. He eats anything I put in front of him. And I mean anything.
81. He’s obsessed with vacuuming & bought an Oreck to prove it.
82. He has never yelled at me or our kids.
83. He is really good at back rubs.
84. He’s willing to take risks with our lives.
85. He was so serene during our at-home childbirths.
86. He asks good questions when I’m processing something.
87. He has never had to replace his wedding band.
88. He grooms his fingernails (no buffing) on the front porch. Ha.
89. I love him because we’ll both be in the same place for eternity.
90. He likes supporting independent movies & musicians.
91. He’s been a better friend to me than I could imagine in a husband.
92. He likes Macs instead of PCs.
93. I think he’s going to look cute with grey hair.
94. He’s really good at picking out baby names for our kids.
95. He is super skilled at making posters & other advertisements.
96. He reads the Drudge Report instead of CNN.com
97. He would prefer a salad over a bacon cheeseburger.
98. *password protected*
99. He’s usually the first one to apologize and ask for forgiveness.
100. And the thing I love most about him: he loves me extravagantly.