life

Because the Sh*t Will (Eventually) Hit the Fan

I'm so worn out by the way we do motherhood. 

And I'm realizing that there should've been a tenth chapter in my book (I already published). 

If I could go back, I would call it "Embracing One Another".

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You see, there's this huge burden on my heart lately. An old elementary school friend of mine has been in the hospital for the entirety of 2017. With her son. Who has only ever known hospital walls. 

And this son of hers, precious, beautiful, perfect child, has an extremely rare form of epilepsy that could, honestly, be terminal for this little guy. 

And yet, all around me, I see mothers go about bashing and critiquing and correcting and chastising and beating one another down. 

Oh, not so much in person, but "cowardly-style", behind our thumbs and screens. 

(There's probably some of you that are still hung up over my almost use of the "s" word in my title. Some "hypocrite Christian she is".)

We're cruel. We're brutal. We're about making sure that everyone knows that this motherhood thing can't be done any better than the way we're doing it. 

(I should know. I used to be one of them. But with experience, comes wisdom.)

And then this world has women, mothers that are literally going through hell on earth, and they'd do just about anything to get out of it. 

We seem to be so consumed about one-upping those Pinterest Darlings, that we forget that we are all human beings, with real trials, and challenges, and, yes, even feelings. 

There aren't any "safe spaces" for motherhood. (Although, a lot of you may say that Target counts).

Because aren't we all trying here? 

Isn't this gig hard enough? 

I mean, maybe we aren't trying our best all of the time. Maybe, in fact, we are barely ever trying our best. I know I don't.

Maybe our best is just in the trying. And maybe that mother that feels completely guilty for not being as blog-worthy as the next mom, just needs you to say to her that it's just right. She's doing motherhood just right. 

The sh*t always will hit the fan. It just will. There's an endless supply, if you haven't noticed yet. (Story of your life, eh?)

And maybe the walls are covered in the room you're standing in. Maybe you feel like you're the only one that can clean this mess up, but in reality, it's too much for one person. 

We need to be cleaning one another's walls. Lifting each other up. Embracing one another. Showing up and doing. Encouraging. Loving. Being. Looking. 

Looking for opportunities to pray for, come alongside, give breaks, love on, and listen to other mothers. 

Just think of one thing. 

Just one. 

And do it. Words. Deeds. Living and Breathing together. 

Because it's all hard. It's so hard by itself. Life adds the extra. 

So, be the extra-takers. 

Love, ae.

Don't Make Resolutions

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How are you doing with those resolutions?! Probably already a failure, huh?  

Here are five things to do to be a better goal setter:

1. Don't make resolutions... write down your dreams for the year! 

2. Make weekly and monthly goals instead of yearly goals. Sit down on every Sunday and write down what you have to get done for that week. You'll feel so much more organized and ready for the week! 

3. Be realistic 

4. Watch your progress! Post your goals on your mirror, fridge, anywhere you can see them daily. Write down your progress. This will keep you motivated!  

5. Give yourself grace. Listen, life gets messy and no matter how much we plan, surprises will happen. At the end of the year, I sit down with my husband and we talk about the goals we didn't accomplish. We don't let the disappointment well up inside of us. Instead, we laugh about it. We challenge ourselves to get them done the next year and add them to our New Years' list!

 

Trying to accomplish your dreams and making goals isn't about watching yourself fail, it's all about growing and becoming a better more disciplined person! 

 

So go write your dreams down! Make some goals for this next week, and remember to give yourself grace. Live life to the fullest! You only get one shot at this!   

 

My Apology to The World

Today, I'm just solemn.  

It's hard not to look around, each day this earth keeps spinning, and to not be more overcome with grief and confusion than the day before.

We are just downright cruel to each other. For no good reason, too.  

Christ-followers are no exception. Mostly, you can't even distinguish the light amongst the darkness anymore. If, indeed, we are to be light to this chaotic world, then why must we all squint so hard to detect it at all?

On behalf of nearly a billion people who claim "Christian" as their label for themselves, I want to sincerely apologize to the other six billion of you.  

Christians, or those who truly follow Christ (these days, there is a difference), are not immuned to sin, heartache, and trial. In fact, we are told in God's Word that we will most certainly face trials of many kinds "...but greater is He who is in (us)..." .

So, we'll still fail you, ourselves, and our God. The difference is, our God has showered us with immense amounts of grace and mercy because we simply accepted that enormously generous gift. That's it.  We didn't do anything to deserve it. Nobody does. Nobody ever will. 

If we are to be walking testimonies to those who don't believe in Christ, then what grade should we give ourselves based on our performance?  

Do we love unconditionally? Do we reach out to serve, expecting nothing in return? Do we abstain from sexual immorality and see those who are immoral through the eyes of Christ? Do we nurture our marriages? Seek no accolades? Amend JOY (Jesus, Others, Yourself)? Are generous givers? Speakers of truth and love? Encouragers? Leaders? Sharers? Faith-filled? Hope-filled? Joyful? Hard-working? Neighbor-loving? Mission-minded people? 

We've failed those who have kept their eyes on us for so long. We've been more concerned about blending in than standing out? Why should Christianity seem appealing to the world?! We've turned it into rubbish. Made a mockery out of our own! Shame on us!  

 

How many more people will we snub, shun, and turn away from Christ because of our behavior?!? 

Huh?...I mean, really. How many will be enough?!?  Is 500 million enough? No? How about 2 or 3 billion?!? Does that number upset you enough?!

These are souls, not just bodies. Just because you possess life eternal doesn't mean the game is over. Yea, you may have reached "Candy Land" but you always keep playing until everyone gets there, right?! At least, that's the way I've always played it.  

So stop acting too good, too tired, too busy to actually recognize the fact that while this world rapidly goes up in flames, the lives that are burning with it, still hold a death sentence. An eternal death sentence.  

Yeah, the teams are extremely uneven. They are overwhelmingly more in numbers. The task at hand seems incredibly arduous, at best. But, we can't cry "Come Quickly, Lord Jesus!!" each morning, noon, and night and just sit and wait to be rescued with a pina colada in hand and our feet up.

God's waiting for us to continue His Will that no one "should perish, but that all should come to repentance". I'm quite frightened to see how many missed opportunities their were, completely squandered opportunities, and how many lives were lost because of our actions "in the moment". 

I pray we do better. The world needs us. They need to SEE that light. They are waiting for it. And they shouldn't have to wait.