Thursday, May 26, 2022

Five Minute Friday: VISION

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday series. Five minutes of free-flow writing shared with whoever wants to read it. This week’s prompt is: VISION.  

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I make sure their pjs are very different and pay attention when I get them dressed.  They have to be wearing something that is distinguishable.  Either in color or bold pattern. 


The are on me all night long.  Eating, cuddling, just being close.  I like to know who is who, even in the dark.  Even without my glasses on.  I need the patterns, or colors, to be able to whisper "I love you, Lucy" or "I'm right here, Ellie" correctly.  


In the light of day, with the correct prescription on my eyes, when they are looking my way, I can tell. But from behind, and across the room, I have no clue.  When I get them dressed, I typically put Lucy in Hearts, or the world LOVE (because of "I love Lucy") and Eleanor in Polka-Dots (because of the polka dot hemangioma on her back).  It just makes life easier.  And we will take any amount of easy we can get these days.




Sometimes we don't have hearts and dots, so then Lucy get stripes (cause once E got dots and stripes was the only other option, so it just stuck).  But then we also have a dress of polka-dot hearts, so things can get kind of jumbled up.  Sometimes we match them just to mix it up, so I have to pay attention to the socks or shoes they wear. 


Oh the things I never had to worry about before these two identical little ladies of mine.  Twins are fun!

Friday, May 13, 2022

Five Minute Friday: BOTH

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday series. Five minutes of free-flow writing shared with whoever wants to read it. This week’s prompt is: BOTH.  

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I'm starting to learn that life is not either/or but it's both/and.  Had I learned this truth earlier, it would have saved me immense inner turmoil.  Here are some things that this newfound realization has brought clarity to.

1- Mother hood is BOTH beautiful AND exhausting.

2- My parents are BOTH my favorite supporters AND my biggest frustrations. 

3- I love my job AND want to quit almost every day.

4- I love being pregnant because it brings about my greatest treasures, AND hate it because of what it does to my body.

5- I love my children so much I could cry AND they frustrate me with their constant whining.

6- I was so excited when Lucy was coming home from the NICU, AND absolutely wrecked that we were leaving Eleanor behind. 

7- I am so thankful that the babies are healthy AND I am traumatized and grieve the early days that were so hard to walk through. 

8- My children bring me so much joy and pride that I feel like my heart is going to explode AND they embarrass the heck out of me when they blatantly disobey me, especially in front of others.  

I think the both/and duality in life is what keeps us going.  It's what helps us make it to the end of the day and want to wake up for another.  It's feeling like I've yelled all day long but not wanting to leave their bedside as we talk about our day, they drift off to sleep, and I spend an extra hour staring at how marvelous they are. 

I'm so grateful that the Lord lets me live in the Both/And. 

STOP.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Five Minute Friday: FAST

 This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday series. Five minutes of free-flow writing shared with whoever wants to read it. This week’s prompt is: FAST.  

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My intern graduates this weekend.  This was her last week with us at the Hope House.  She has been with us since the Fall of 2020.  An after school ministry is not exactly an easy job for a college student during a pandemic, with a boss about to pop with twins at any given moment, but she did awesome.

Jeff works at the same University, our alma mater, The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, so we are constantly inundated with college students. Each year we prepare for and attend all of the same events that we used to enjoy as students ourselves. 

Being around college students always remind me of what my own college experience was like.  How fun it was.  How dumb some of the things we did were.  How fast it all went by.  I think back to those adults I was surrounded with as a student.  The ones in their 30s with little kids in tow.  I remember how important they were to me in helping me find my way in the world.  

It is always humbling to realize that I am now that person.  The 'old' married couple with kids, living life, running homes, and working jobs.  Something that seemed so far away, but something I looked forward to, all the same.


It isn't often my interns (mostly females) get to see a woman running a ministry.  Let alone one with kids in tow. They get a front row seat to the good, the bad, and the ugly.  



They get to see me show up late, probably frazzled, dragging a stroller, with a bag of donated pb&js, and doing 3rd grade homework with my own before the 40 other kids filter into our facility. 



They see me with a baby under the table at a missions fair, or running off to a third world country to lead a VBS with either a breast pump, or suitcase of diapers and snacks, depending on the trip.




The gravity of my job is not lost on me.  Maybe I can't see it in the midst of the chaos, but when I stop, and I'm able to take stock at the end of the year, I realize that showing up every day, living my ordinary life, doing what the Lord has called me to do, were truly holy moments I have shared with my students.  


What a privilege to get to model the possibilities to young ministry-minded ladies who are well on their way to changing the world.  Love you all, ladies!  I'm so proud of each of you!



Friday, April 22, 2022

Five Minute Friday: RUN

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday series. Five minutes of free-flow writing shared with whoever wants to read it. This week’s prompt is: RUN.  

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Sometimes it's like I can't turn my brain off.  And by sometimes, I mean all the time.  My thoughts are constant.  I don't even notice how intense it is until I am attempting some 'me' time.  Massages are the worst.  {But also the best}

I'll catch myself in the middle of a thought tangent, with no clue how I got there, and get frustrated that I have wasted a portion of my relaxation time thinking about how monkeys would look if they didn't have hair. 

Sometimes, I will have entire conversations in my head and then blurt out the final sentence and leave my husband scratching his head as to why I don't understand that he doesn't understand what I'm saying.  However, after 12+ years, he can typically guess what I'm talking about, even from a short sentence.  

A game I like to play with myself is 'where did this come from', sort of like a backwards math equation.

Example:

We're driving down the road and I see a billboard for the zoo.  
We should take the kids to the zoo next weekend.  
We can't this weekend, because I have to work.
I should put a meal in the crockpot since I have to work.
We have a ton of tortillas because I forgot they were on the list and added them again, after we bought some last week.
I should make enchilada soup with all the tortillas, but it's too hot today.  I'll put it on the list for this week.
We also have a lot of potatoes, I want potato soup.  But it's too hot. 
I can't believe it's already 90 in April.  We should go to the pool soon. 
It's open now.
So is Frosti Cone, we should get a snow cone. 
There's a new food truck next to Frosti Cone that sounded good.  I think it has different kinds of tacos.  Chicken, beef, shrimp, and goat.
"How about Goat Tacos?!"

Poor Jeff.



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Friday, April 15, 2022

Five Minute Friday: DENY

 This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday series. Five minutes of free-flow writing shared with whoever wants to read it. This week’s prompt is: DENY.  I am incredibly behind, but I made the goal to do every prompt this year, so I am writing a few today. Here's #3 and I'm finally caught up!


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He walks up to the plate. I can feel the lump in his throat growing with every step he takes. I know the pressure he puts on himself to do well. I see the frustration when he’s not perfect. I can feel his tears when he strikes out or gets tagged at the base. I know what he’s thinking when the ball slips out of his glove. I can predict all the feels that come from disappointing the team.  He glances my way and I give him a deep breath of “it’s ok, baby”. He is me. 

But. 

I know the smiles that come when he makes the play. I can feel the pride radiating off of him as he rounds third base and crosses home plate. I know exactly when the look is coming my way to make sure I’m watching and seeing him thrive in the hard things.

There’s no denying he’s my boy, through and through. And I’m so grateful he’s all mine. 




—STOP—

Five Minute Friday: EXPLORE

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday series. Five minutes of free-flow writing shared with whoever wants to read it. This week’s prompt is: EXPLORE.  I am incredibly behind, but I made the goal to do every prompt this year, so I am writing a few today. Here's #2

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We are going to the park.  Today, we decide to walk.  No bikes or scooters.  We're going to take our time and get there when we get there.  Truth be told, we always go slower than I would like.  Every flower we pass needs picking.  Every worm needs inspecting.  Every piece of dog poop needs to be loudly commented on. The only time the pace is increased is if there is a flying bug in the vicinity.  A phobia that is well validated due to the sheer amount of times she has been stung.

We get to the park and it's time to play.  We swing, go down slides, cheer on each other on the monkey bars, and climb the rock wall.  Giggles galore as momma hoists herself up on the ladders and down the slides as we race our ninja obstacle course, something my own momma used to do with us girls. 

Before we leave, we have to visit the cows at the front of the neighborhood.  Will they be close?  Will we be too loud for them?  Do we think they'd like to eat grass from our hands?  Where are the babies?

Once we discover they are in fact unimpressed with us, we head back home.  Past the bugs, poop, and other walkers on the path.  But we stop for the flowers.  Every single one, a beautiful gift just for me, from my biggest girl, my favorite treasure in the whole wide world.



Five Minute Friday: COFFEE

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday series. Five minutes of free-flow writing shared with whoever wants to read it. This week’s prompt is: COFFEE.  I am incredibly behind, but I made the goal to do every prompt this year, so I am writing a few today. 

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The question is often asked, "If you could have coffee with anyone, from any time, who would you choose?"  I'm sure I should say Jesus, or some other character from the Bible, but in honesty, I would choose myself.  However, I'm not sure if I would pick the younger me or the older me.

If I were to visit my younger self, I would say:  Stop Striving.  Stop planning.  Our life is going to be way better than anything you can even imagine, or plan for.  You will be surrounded with more love, hugs, and slobbery kisses than you thought possible.  All of the pain, heartbreak and struggles will make you into someone who can empathize to people who have gone through the same.  The unknown isn't quite as scary on this side of things.

If I were to visit my older self, I would say:  What in the hell is going on in my life?  How does this stage turn out?  Will I ever get back to myself outside of babies?  I get it.  I know I will miss it.  I already do, even in the thick of it.  But.  Do I come out on the other side?  What does the new me look like?  Am I happy?  Am I serving?  Do I feel like me again?

It turns out the younger me needed the same reassurance the now me is searching for.  I hope I find the answers. 


---Stop---