As it progressed I found myself feeling more and more sorry for myself.
I had a whole house to clean for LifeGroup.
I had a dinner to make for 25 people.
I had just completed my 22nd load of laundry this week and still had 6 to go. (This may sound like an exaggeration to make my point funnier, but it's oh so true. I haven't been able to keep up remotely since I started to work on the day I usually attempt this feat)
We are having our Fall Youth Retreat this weekend, and there are a million things to do. (Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration to make you laugh)
I'm still not feeling well.
I am EXHAUSTED.
#3 wants to potty train... which in turn, makes #4 want to as well... it's a mess.
My parents and sister are out of the country doing amazing things.
My other sister has been extremely sick and is having a hard time carrying on a decent conversation.
etc, etc, etc.
I knew I needed to change my outlook.
I've been challenged this week in the area of gratitude.
The reality is that I have a community of people that come to my house every week and build me up... they challenge me... they accept me, crazy house and all... they keep me on track.... and having dinner together is one of the highlights of my week.
I have massive amounts of clothing for my children and have hardly purchased any of them. Hand-me-downs have been a lifesaver and I am so indebted to the people who have outfitted my children since their birth.
I have the amazing opportunity to go away for a weekend and have a blast with teenagers... my husband will be loving on our kids and supporting me in all ways possible.
Part of my family is on the mission field loving on kids who need it most and my sister who isn't feeling well, still came to church last night and watched my kids so I could be in the prayer meeting.
I'm still not feeling well.. and utterly exhuasted
We've been hyping this surprise for awhile.... the kids knew something exciting was coming, but they had no clue. Guesses included going out for ice cream, going to Red Robin and going for a walk. They finally figured it out when they saw everyone wearing Red Wing jerseys and walking into The Joe. We had such a fun night!
Lij, how can you possibly be 3 years old already? You bring so much joy to our home and you are always the 1st person to give me a hug and make sure I am alright. You love being home and being with your family more than anything else, and it really disturbs you when one of us is missing. You love to play hockey in the backyard with your brothers, your alias is spiderman and you give the best kisses. Your laugh makes me laugh and I love the way you want to know "why" everything is done the way it is. You love playing with your Lego sets, watching Wild Kratts, and most of all rolling around on the ground with Jakey. You keep us grounded, little man, and it always brings a smile to our face that you love being in our family more than anyone. You are our gatherer. You are full of compassion, even at a young age. You love without measure.
I have been reading a lot of letters to young girls lately. They are everywhere.... pinterest, facebook, blogs, etc... and it started my heart and brain on a journey to decide what I would want to say to you. Don't get me wrong, a lot of these letters are inspiring and very forthcoming, but what I have to say to you was birthed 20 years ago when I was a "Christian" teenager. I knew early on that I was set apart. I guess that's just a fancy way to say that you aren't going to be able to do things the way others do them. I was always ok with that. I never had a problem standing out. The problem creeped in when people started to explain to me why I needed to stand out. It started to become very confusing. I am so grateful that my parents stepped in and made things very clear... and I hope to do that for you, as well.
Here is the one thing I want you to know: You exist to give glory to God. Everything you do, say and choose should be birthed from that knowledge.
Please don't dress modestly to "not turn guys on" or to be "the kind of lady a good guy would want to marry." Dress modestly because you desire to honor God. You see, I dressed modestly and still had guys say perverted things to me. I had to learn early on that choosing to do things God's way doesn't automatically launch you into a world where you will be treated the way God intended. I want you to understand that you were created to bring God fame, whether people respect that or not. Your decision to be a disciple of Christ shouldn't take others into effect at all, only the call of a God who is unwavering, unchanging and unfailing.
Please don't choose to do the right thing because people are upset that Miley Cyrus chose the wrong thing, or because choosing the right thing will "bring the right guy." Do what is right because you want to become more like Jesus... to change the world, to shine your light, to see the power of God displayed before your eyes in a way you never thought imaginable. Please be less concerned about what a guy is looking for in a mate and more concerned about what Christ is looking for in His bride.
And lastly, and most importantly, please don't allow the idea of being a "Christian girl" take your attention away from knowing Christ. The story is about him... never about us. You were created for a specific reason, with amazing gifts and talents, and the ability to love the lonely, the hurting and the confused...whose sole purpose is to be Jesus to a generation who don't know Him. The world doesn't need another nice girl who wears skirts to her knee... they need a young woman of God who is unashamed to be synced with Jesus Christ in everything she does and with a voice of surrender to the One who created her in the 1st place.
Oh, and just for the record... that amazing girl will most likely be wearing skirts to her knee.
- Your Mom-
We had a wonderful day celebrating Zoey's 5th birthday and Elijah's 3rd birthday with an art party. Thanks to everyone who came out and braved the chaos to love on our kids! They had so much fun and are going nuts over all their wonderful presents.
***Special thanks to everyone who helped me out.... and to Nina for always making the cakes for the kids... you are a lifesaver!***