Posted in Favorites

Flashback: The REAL Reasons my Toddler is Crying

Hey, Y’all!  Over the summer I’m going to be re-sharing some old blog posts as part of the weekly rotation.  Here’s why:

  1. Because my readership has GROWN (squeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!) and it’ll give new folks a chance to see some stuff they might have missed.
  2. Because I am working on A PROJECT (squeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!) and recycling some old material will give me space to write for the PROJECT (squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!)

I’m kicking off the summer of Flashback Favorites with “The Real Reasons my Toddler is Crying.”  It has been far and away my most-read post ever, more than FOUR TIMES THE HITS of any other post and HALF of my blog hits from 2016 were for this post.

It’s a year and a half later and I still have to re-read it occasionally myself when my patience fails because WE AE STILL CRYING ALL THE TIME OVER HERE.

Seriously.  At the end of the preschool field trip on Thursday, she burst into tears because she didn’t want to go back to school but she wanted to go back to her classroom and she didn’t want to go with me but she didn’t want me to leave her and WHY WAS I GOING TO LEAVE HER!  This one little dude in her class just sat there staring with this expression on his face that was ALL OF US.  Like, “What in heaven’s name is even going on right now?!?!?”

So anyway, here ’tis.  The Real Reasons My Toddler is Crying. (click the link to go to the original post:

https://awingandaprayer.blog/2016/09/05/the-real-reasons-my-toddler-is-crying/

Posted in Faith, Family

On Surrender: A Kitchen Epiphany

Do you ever have those moments where God uses your kids (or anything else for that matter) to smack you upside the head with an object lesson?  Well, this morning that happened to me, right there at the kitchen island after breakfast.

Cam and Kenzie had finished their Cheerios and were doodling in coloring books and dry erase boards while I puttered around the kitchen, still trying to render  myself fully awake (I may have mentioned before that I’m not a morning person. If you missed it, here that is.)

I wheeled around at the sound of an instantaneous cry of desperation from Kenzie.

“Can you fix it, my board?”  She said tearily.

I walked over to the counter to find that her dry erase board had shed its pink plastic border, which didn’t impede the functionality at all but still feels like a crisis when you’re two and you think you’ve broken something.

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“Sure, honey! I’ll bet I can fix that!” I replied reassuringly, as I walked over to where she was seated to take the board from her and commence the motherly magic that would restore her board to its glory and basically save her morning from the clutches of disaster. You know, like the superhero she still thinks I am.

Apparently Kenzie’s plan for getting the board fixed and mine did not jive.

“NONONONONONONO!  No teekee board!”  She objected as I tried to take the board out of her hand to fix it.

OK, I thought to myself, sometimes we can fix things while they are still in the kids’ hands.

A quick assessment of the jigsaw puzzle of 8 separate pieces that made up the plastic border to this board led me to the conclusion that this was NOT one of those times.

“Honey,” I replied in exasperation, “I can’t fix it if you don’t let me have it.”

As soon as the words left my mouth, here came God with nudge and a chuckle, “YOU SEE?!?!?! DO YOU SEE HOW IT WORKS? I can’t fix it unless you let me have it #boomgoesthedynamite.”  (I totally think God can use hashtags, by the way.  I mean, why wouldn’t He?   He abides in all things that are, have been, and are to come.  #NoExceptions)

He also drew my mind to the DOZENS of times that similar things have happened with Mister Cameron, aka Clutch McGrabbyhands.  Cam has always been insanely handsy and has to touch ALLTHETHINGS and learn everything about them.   He wants to know how everything works, fix things himself, and it can be physically hard for him to let things go, even when it’s clear it needs a grownup’s touch, because he wants so badly to figure it out himself.

I wish I could say that this interaction with God yielded a broad-stroked epiphany, that I am forever changed, and I descended from the mountaintop with a stone tablet-worthy list of “Top Ten Failproof Ways to Surrender It All to God.” Wouldn’t that be nice?  Unfortunately that is not so much the case. Not even a little bit.

What it did give me was yet another reminder of the importance of surrender- and also a loving and perfect acknowledgement that my Father in Heaven knows how hard that can be for me.  He is infinitely more perfect and loving than we are, so as tender as I can feel toward Kenzie as she sat heartbroken over her fractured dry erase board, and toward Cam who just DESPERATELY wants to figure things out for himself, I can multiply that times infinity when I picture Him seeing me holding fractured and broken pieces that I just want to put back together somehow.  As always, when God convicts me, it felt like a warm breeze that lifted me up on its wings even has it opened my eyes to a way I can do better in my walk with Him.

But it also came with what felt like the heavenly equivalent of that look I give Cam when I need him to know that I mean business.  Like, “I love you so much, but SRSLY,  you need to get on this.”  I hadn’t figured on “surrender” as my word for this week- I’ve been much more focused on things like “diligence” and “perseverance” lately. But isn’t it just like God to sharpen my focus to something that is less about me and more about Him?

So, I’m going to go forth into this week focusing on surrender.  Surrrrrrrrennnnnnnderrrrr. Let it roll off the tongue and sink into my heart.  Relax. Sit back.  Make like Elsa and let it go, knowing that as I let things pass out of my hands, they rise to infinitely more capable hands, hands that can make sense of things that to me are a jumble, hands that can bring order out of chaos and beauty from ashes, and hands that can tenderly and lovingly minister to my wounds and my needs as only a parent can. If I come up with any stone tablet-worthy epiphanies, I promise y’all will be the first to know- but don’t hold your breath 😉

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

The Post in Which I Admit Out Loud What I Want to be When I Grow Up

Mood music for this post:

Have you ever had a dream, something that you want to do more than life itself, and the idea of admitting it out loud is terrifying? I can honestly say that has never happened to me in my life until now.  When I have big dreams and big ideas and I’m excited about them, normally you can’t get me to shut up about them, bless my heart.  But this dream I have right now, this dream I’m about to put out there with this post,  I find myself SCARED of speaking it out loud.

But I have to talk about it. I need to admit to it, give voice to it, and put it out there.  First of all, because speaking it gives me something to chase and it gives my journey shape.  Also because i’m going to need other people on this journey, people to get behind me, people to lead me and HOPEFULLY at some point in the future, people to give me opportunities and nobody is going to know I need or want any of those things if I’m sitting on the sidelines with my hands quietly folded in my lap, trying not to stare or look too interested.

So here it is, my big dream:  What I want more than anything else on this planet is to have a platform to encourage and empower other moms.  

There. I said it. Out loud. Or at least wrote it down. I want to encourage and empower other moms.  And I’m not just talking about your quintessential minivan-driving American soccer mom, I am talking about ALL! KINDS! OF! MOMS!

Being a mom is a uniquely and universally heart-riving experience.  That is NOT a typo, I promise. “Riving,” or the verb “to rive,” is an actual thing. I have mostly heard it in dramatic, old-fashioned writing…, “And the stone was riven in two under the weight of Mjolnir, the mighty hammer of Thor” type of thing. It means to splinter, split open, crack- and that’s exactly what motherhood does to our hearts, doesn’t it? Cracks the suckers wide open AND LEAVES THEM THAT WAY! I mean, it comes and goes and some moments are more vulnerable than others, but they are ALWAYS cracked wide open. It leaves each of us so vulnerable to things we encounter. For those of us in middle class America, that can mean being criticized for our parenting choices, ostracized by mean girl moms, lying awake at night worrying that our perceived shortcomings are somehow going to ruin our kids’ lives.  For moms in other parts of the world (and some here at home), though, that means worrying whether or not you will be able to feed your kids or even keep them with you.  But it’s all just uniquely heavy on a heart split wide open. And it’s those hearts I want to minister to.

So what does that look like?  Heck if I know.  Right now it means writing to other moms here on my blog and selling the crap out of some Noonday Collection to ensure that the mamas who are connected with our artisan partners can keep food on the table for their kids, keep those kids at home with them, and that our artisan partners can broaden their reach and affect the lives of even more mommies and daddies and kiddos.

My hope and my prayer is that going forward, it will mean much, much more. when I say that I want a PLATFORM, I mean that I want a PLATFORM. Which means I’m going to need readership and followers and people who will partner with me and believe in me and share what they are doing with me so that I can get behind them.  Because I want to do this. I cannot even TELL you how much I want to do this. I want to make the lives of other moms better so that they can make their kids’ lives better and together, we can make the world just a little bit easier of a place to walk around with your heart cracked wide open.

That is all.