Wednesday, August 29, 2012

in ALL things...

i don't know what to say...
but i feel like God is doing a number on my heart lately.
in a good way, because it's making me rely on Him so much more.
there's a lot of people in my life going thru some tough stuff right now.
i don't want to say that these things are good...
but i do know that God works for the good of those that love Him.
and so i will trust in Him with all of these situations.
and i will keep bringing my requests to Him.
i will rest in the knowledge that He knows what He is doing.
i just need to have faith in the process.
it might feel raw... especially for those deep in the midst of their chaos.
but standing closer to Him means getting down hard on your knees.
and i know this to be true.
this verse is just speaking to me so much lately... and i have to share:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28 (NIV)

do you see what it says?
"in ALL things".
not just in the good times.
not just in the so-so mediocre times.
but in the shitty times.
pardon my language, but it's completely true.
and it's probably especially in these times that this verse holds true.
the bible calls us out.
it tells us the things we need to know to draw us closer to Him.
to make us more Christlike.
that's what's so awesome about it!
we need to read it...
we need to ingest it!
i need to read it...
i need to ingest it!
it's what will bring us through those valleys... through the highs and the lows.
and i will keep hoping... keep praying and laying my burdens down at His feet.
He is writing each and every one of our stories.
for His glory.
always for His glory.

to end i will share the message's version of the above verse.
it sums up this post perfectly!

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along.  If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter.  He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.  He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God.  That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."
Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

motherhood for me... right in this moment...

let me preface this post by saying i just got back from camping for 5 days...
3 of those were spent alone with my 3 kids and with another friend and her 3 kids.
8 of us in a confined, small space.
don't get me wrong... there were some awesome, awesome times.
but i'm tired... i'm spent.
i'm feeling sorta like a failure at motherhood lately.
let me get this straight...
i'm really good at putting on an act.
i'm really good at pretending i have it all together.
when, in reality, that's the furthest thing from the truth.
i worry that my kids are going to grow up and be menaces to society.
i worry that they're the kids that every mom at the playground/school/playgroup is talking about.
i worry that they will grow up being spoiled and won't know how to work hard.
i feel i'm too strict when my kids are crying and yelling at me about something.
i feel i'm too lenient when my kids are crying and yelling at me about something.
i know, that doesn't make much sense.
but in my mind, it does.
i feel like all i ever do is yell at them.
and when i'm doing it i know it's wrong...
but my patience is so thin with them.
can i love them well?
right now... well, i don't think so.
confession... as i was driving home alone from the lake tonight (big m was driving with our kids in the pilot hauling the camper... i was driving the pick-up truck with our bikes and other stuff),
i had visions of me driving off the road and crashing.
and i thought to myself, "hmmm... i think my kids will be ok. in fact, maybe they're better off without me."
pathetic, i know.
don't go thinking that i'm gonna do something stupid... i won't.
i just feel like my job at mothering my children isn't going so hot right now.
i'm sure if my kids could fire me, they would.
it's tough when i feel like i'm always the main disciplinarian in the house because i'm always with them.
they don't get "fun" mommy.
they always get "brush your teeth already", "clean up your clothes", "stop bugging your sister" mommy.
i'm just a little confused on how to remedy the situation.
maybe it's just summer break...
they're home a.l.l. t.h.e. t.i.m.e.
i'm with them a.l.l. t.h.e. t.i.m.e.
i guess what i'm wishing is that it'll get better.
that there'll be little nuggets of goodness that i can see coming out of my kids at some point.
to show me that i must be doing something right.
as of now, i'm not seeing it.
that, or i'm not looking hard enough.
and that's why i feel like i'm failing.
it's such a hard job.
i don't think i'll ever feel like i'm doing a good enough job.
the guilt can be all consuming.
will my kids look back on their childhood and see a ragged, mean mom that's upset all the time?
i sure hope not.
but i guess that's up to me.
maybe i have to stop pretending that i have it all together?
or stop trying to have it all together.
i don't know what that even means, to tell you the truth.
only that this is my thought process at this moment in time.
some people would say that this kind of stuff shouldn't be written down.
but if i'm trying to capture my life, this is the truth.
and this is real struggle.
and sometimes, it just feels really good to write things out.
the good... and the bad.
what i am learning is that i'm the one that needs to change... not my kids.
i need to show them how to love well.
how to be a good person.
how to have patience with others.
and how to love and live for Jesus.
and i'll keep going forward because i know this much is true...
i have a Father in heaven that loves me...
through the good... and through the bad.
and that, my friends, is what keeps me going.

"But I'm not abandoned. The Father is with me.  I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakeable and assured, deeply at peace.  In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties.  But take heart!  I've conquered the world."
John 16:32-33 (MSG)

(i realize these are "happy" photos and don't really fit with the nature of this post... but i wanted to share them anyway.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

il duomo pics...

my favorite sight to behold in florence?
hands down... the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore!
oh, il duomo!
how i fell in love with thee!
each time i would catch glimpse of your majestical dome, i would have to remind myself to breathe.
you were everything i hoped you would be.
consecrated in the year 1436, this structure was then and still is today, a modern marvel in physics.
these front doors... massive in size!
and the inside, of course, is just as gorgeous as the exterior!
the proportions are incredibly expansive.
vast amounts of space... every square inch, full of beauty.

the fresco under the dome... fascinating.
it depicts the last judgement.
it was so intricately detailed.
the men painted near the top looked like they were about to jump out.

the view from the top?
well, let's just say it was well worth the tired calves!
we walked up 452 steps to reach it.
our legs were shaky!
i didn't know if it was because i'm scared of heights... or that my legs were just really tired.
i think it was probably a combination of both!

no matter... the view still took our breath away.
far as the eye can see... the hills of tuscany!
i couldn't get enough!
we probably spent at least a half hour up there, taking in the 360 degree views.
it was wonderful.
at the end of a very, very long day, we even saw il duomo all lit up!
no matter what time of day, i'm telling you, this church was spectacular!
i look at all these pics and i need to pinch myself to remind me that i was actually there... and took these photographs!

thank you, il duomo, for being one of the most beautiful structures i have ever had the privilege of viewing!
and thank you, florence, for sharing her with me!