Motherhood

Dear Joey, (A Post Script)

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Dear Joey,  

 

Today is the day you left this world, one year ago.  

 

I've thought of you all day long, as have countless others who still follow your story. Because, people are still following your story. And while your story was supposed to end last March 4th as you drew in your last breath, it's still being written one year later. 

 

And thats how it should be. 

 

We should live our lives so tremendously effectively that the Writer of our lives keeps writing for us after we've gone. 

 

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He seems to have many more chapters to fill for you. Chapters that will continue to inspire and motivate others to savor the goodness of these lives we live.  

 

I still struggle, Joey. I struggle a lot still with fear and anxiety and existing instead of living. But, I've come a long way since I first wrote you. In fact, I'm on hour seven of a road trip I was scared to take five days ago.  

 

Almost home.  

 

I finished my book that you inspired. I've made harder goals, more meaningful goals, and remembered to enjoy doing the tiny little things that you reminded me to start enjoying. 

 

I started smiling a bit while making dinner, and those requests for more water or singing at night don't feel like fingernails on a chalkboard anymore. 

 

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I've found myself on the floor tickling and laughing more than I used to. Remembering a time when my own parents would do the same.  

 

I tried your eggshell gardening trick and it worked for a few weeks. Those sprouts made me think of you and gave me hope for a color-changing thumb.  

 

I carry you with me, Joey. Every day. Every not-so-pretty mothering moment, I think about how you just did your best to breathe in the sour with the sweet. In fact, I'd like to believe that you thought it was all sweet.  

 

It's where I want to be.  

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An example to others that embracing it all makes the perfect freshly-squeezed lemonade people crave on a warm summer day. 

 

Irresistibly, irresistible. Unquenchable life.  

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More eager to meet you than ever before,  

Alicia  

 

 

 

How a Mom Fights for Joy- A personal reflection: part one.

This past week I sat down to spend some time relaxing while Ellie took a nap. I tuned into one of my favorite podcasts Revive Our Hearts. I needed a break and just wanted to rest.  I was feeling tired, overwhelmed and just exhausted as a mom and wife. As I searched for a podcast to listen to, I came upon this one. I sat on my bed and listened; suddenly the tears began to flow.

My heart had been so heavy with guilt about not spending time with Christ, I was struggling to find five minutes of my day to spend in His word. I was so weary. I also struggled with my identity…I often thought, “Gosh, am I just a mom? A wife? Who am I?” I felt like I was in a never ending cycle of these thoughts and this continual feeling of guilt.

However, the Lord really spoke to my heart through this message. He showed me my need for change and gave me peace and joy while listening to Jani Ortlund, the guest speaker on the series. So today I want to present part 1 of my reflection to this message. Maybe you too have felt the same way and the Lord can speak truth and love into your heart today. 

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(Please if you get the time listen to this podcast series. It is entitled Missional Mothering. It is a five part series that speaks to young mothers and grandmothers alike.)

 

1. Who you are as a Christian is more important than who you are as a mom.

This has been something the Lord has revealed to me in the last couple of weeks and rang true again when I heard Jani (the guest speaker) talk about it on the podcast. I am a mom and a wife, but that is not who I find my identity in.  Motherhood is my ministry, not my identity. Being a wife to my husband is my ministry, not my identity. It's so freeing to know that's not all I am.

When my relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in my life, everything else falls into place. He has blessed me with a husband and daughter, but nothing takes the place of being a follower of Christ. The reason I am here on this earth is to bring glory to His name, to show other's the love and salvation He offers and to continue to seek after Him. 

(I love this list that describes who we are in Christ, it's so encouraging to see who I am in Him.)

 

2. If you're putting in here [your heart] worry, fatigue, resentment, fears, that's what's going to come out, But if every morning you're meeting with the grace-giver, you'll have more grace to pass on to your kids.

In Matthew 15:18 it says that the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart. I know in my own life I spend countless hours worrying and giving into fears which causes me to be exhausted and overwhelmed. These are the things I dwell upon. I am putting them in my heart and am constantly seeking and thinking about them whether it's conscious or not. That's why it is so important to go to the grace-giver each day. I need that grace in my own life. I need His grace to be what I focus on. Jesus needs to be the focus. I need Christ's compassion, gentleness, patience, humbleness and humility to flow from my life to my husband, daughter, family and friends. Through my life others can see the beauty of the gospel.

3. It will cost you something to be in the Word: It will cost you sleep, it will cost you time, it will cost you energy, but it will cost you so much more not to be in the Word."

It's gonna cost ya. I never thought about it that way. For me to have time with Christ it is going to cost me something. Something has to be given up. My first instinct is to hoard my own time; the free moments that I rarely get. When I get time alone I want to go to Target, read a book, take a shower, sleep! However, to spend time with Jesus means I may have to give up some of that alone time doing the things I find relaxing. But just as Jani said, it will cost me so much more not to have that time sitting with Jesus, meditating and learning from Him and about Him, allowing Him to work in my life and change me for the better. Those anxious thoughts, the worrisome spirit, the weakness it will all come barreling down on me if I don't take the time to be strengthened by Christ and His word. My need for Him is too great. 

I love this quote by Nancy Leigh Demoss:

“As we walk through each day, responding to the needs of those around us, we can become physically, emotionally, and spiritually depleted. God has a never-ending supply of grace, strength, and wisdom available that He wants to flow through us to others. And we need to keep coming back into His presence to get our supply replenished.” 

Remember as you go throughout this week, moms, that you are more than just a mom, you are loved so much by our Jesus and He wants to spend time with you. He wants to give you strength, grace, love and help you focus on things above. Seek Him. :) 

Have a great week. Part two is next week!

-Sarah

 

A Beatrix Potter Nursery

When the time came for us to plan and organize a nursery for our little girl I knew I wanted something classic and full of clean colors, also something I could use for our next little one, whether it be a girl or boy. I played around with many different ideas but my mind kept coming back to one of my favorite children's authors, Beatrix Potter. 

It took me forever to find a comforter for Ellie's nursery. There were so many expensive blankets and I just couldn't justify spending over $100 for a blanket. Thankfully we found this one at Barnes and Noble. Quite unexpected but it was exactly what I wanted. (p.s. the blankets and stuffed animals in the crib are just for the picture.) Ellie's crib was a baby shower gift. It was purchased from Target.

One of the last things we purchased for Eleanor's room was this dresser/changing table. I wanted something that could be used as a changing table and dresser since we don't have lots of space in her room. It is also a piece of furniture that can be used later on when we no longer need a changing table. The dresser/changing table is from IKEA. ( I couldn't find this exact model online. However, this is a link to IKEA's current changing table/dresser products.)

We were able to find the small Peter Rabbit Collection books at a local children's consignment store and the Peter Rabbit prints were a gift from family. You can find similar prints of Peter Rabbit or other Beatrix Potter characters on Etsy. The shelf was from Ellie's grammy and the hats were also gifts from family members and friends.  The Jemima Puddle duck was from amazon.

I loved these bookends I got as a present from my cousin. These too were from Barnes and Noble

Eleanor's room was a bit cramped so thankfully we were able to have a little nook in our house for these extra items and awesome shelf we got as a gift.

This is just a little glance into how to make a simple, yet classic nursery for you little one. Today on Instagram I will give a new tour of Ellie's room. We added some new things and figure out new ways to work with the space we have, so if you don't already follow us on Instagram hop on over and find us and follow along! (@honestlymotherhood)

Have a great week everyone!

-Sincerely, Sarah.