living

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.

When You've Got It All Wrong

I've got it all wrong. 

Chances are, you do too. 

I was sitting in the quiet, sleepy, wishing I could be like my husband who just dozes off quickly once he becomes still. Not me. Never me. 

Maybe it's the mother in me that always wants to keep one eye open just in case something goes down, unexpectedly. 

So while I was sitting there I realized that I expect the impossible to occur. I have this "garden-growth" expectation with a "fast-food" mentality. 

How many of us really and truly want to do the hard work to change? 

Anyone? 

Bueller?....Bueller?....

Exactly. 

I was just a bundle of nerves this morning. No particular reason. Just was. I felt that awful vibrating feeling go thru my body. Up and down. Down and up. Over and over and over again. Which makes me feel like I'm falling over, which I'm not. Which makes me ultra nervous. Which makes me more buzzy and flighty feeling. Which makes me more anxious. Which makes my heart race. Which makes me feel like I can't breathe. 

And I'm like, "What the hell!???! When will this crap just stop, already?!??"

Then, I came across this podcast about the amazingness of our minds. It was a bit of a refresher course for me, as I had heard it all once before. And then it dawned on me. I've been making stupid thought choices for years now. Completely idiotic choices. Which has made my body to respond appropriately. My mind always thinks, (I'd say ballpark 85% of the time), that life resides in Doomsville. 

I just want to change. I want to wake up and tackle life with energy and a smile and do the things I love. And all those things are admirable and attainable, but not so quickly. Not when I've been doing life the opposite way for so long. Not when I've chosen to live in fear and anxiety for the time that I have. But, yet, I'm still expecting this garden full of growth after two seconds of hard work. And life just doesn't work that way. (Unfortunately).

What are you noticing, this week/month/year, that needs some changing?

I'm no expert on change, although, after I tackle this mess of a thoughtlife that I have, I venture to say there may be another book on the horizon. What I do know is that we have to start thinking like a gardener. We have to plant the seeds, water them daily, give them proper sun and oxygen, and then patiently wait for them to bloom. But even after signs of life, we still must wait for the harvest. Days and weeks must pass before we can pick the fruits of our labor. 

And so it is with change. We just can't expect fast-food results, because that's unheard of with change. We have to stay at it. Keep watering. We may miss a day or two, but thankfully, plants dont die after one missed watering. They die if we forget they are even there. Starve those weeds that you are trying to rid your garden of, and watch the beauty overtake the surroundings. 

We have to keep tending. Keep planning for harvest. Keep looking forward to the moment when the harvest will be plenty and we have overcome. 

 

Love, Alicia 

The Disobedient Mama: How I Gave Myself a Fatal Diagnosis

IMG_0032.JPG I'm not going to mince words here. I've been completely disobedient as of late. The picture above describes my fatal diagnosis perfectly.

Dry, barren land surrounds my heart. The well spring in my heart (representing Christ) doesn't even penetrate the surrounding wasteland.

Ineffective. Capable, but selfish. Hoarder.

I've been keeping all of this life-giving water to myself. I am essentially an unused well.

Anything beyond my heart is suffering. It's choking. It's starving for nourishment and beyond thirsty for something to quench.

Motherhood, is all encompassing. I've allowed it to swallow me whole.

My spiritual core has been given a fatal diagnosis. I've starved it to the point where I've left myself dry as bones.

I've become too busy, too involved in the day to day, and too exhausted in the evenings to even care about including the nourishment that my soul constantly craves.

It's too easy, in fact, to overlook this part of me. Just like waiting until tomorrow, or the next tomorrow, or maybe next week sometime to fold that basket of clothes. It'll get done eventually.

But, the problem with this is that there may not be an "eventually". We are never guaranteed our tomorrow's. We are also not guaranteed the rest of now.

Whew. How much time I have truly wasted. So much rubbish.

For this, I am grossly ashamed. I'm being honest. Completely transparent. I can't recall the last time I purposely sat in awe of my God. Nor can I recall the last time I spent more than a few seconds in His Word, save for the times I needed a quick reference.

My Bible shouldn't be my dictionary, my thesaurus, my "Google".

My relationship with my Creator should be as effortless as my next breath. It should be radiant, life-giving, contagious, and producing gardens upon gardens of fresh, succulent food.

I am in critical condition. By all appearances, I play the part well, but I am in need of much in the way of medicine. I have grown very weary of hoarding the joy I am supposed to share.

My hope is that I, and those mothers who can completely identify with this mumbling of a post, allow the Living Waters of my heart to seep into every crack and crevice of my life. May we pass it through to our husbands, our children, our daily encounters. May the walls of our homes echo JOY! Pure, ultra-contagious, God-giving LIFE! Real life. Where FREEDOM! HOPE! GOODNESS! and MERCY! abounds.

May everything else be put in its proper place after we put THE ONE back in His proper place.

We can't change our corner of the world by being calloused and selfish. We can't do much when we're dying. We certainly can't do much when we are living in disobedience having dammed up the water that should constantly flow.

Obey. Live.

***Do me a favor, and don't overlook the following verses. Please, I beg you to read them, chew them up and SWALLOW them. Then be humbled, encouraged, and reach out to the One who saves. Yahweh. A life without Him in the center is no life at all.

Philippians 3

10-11 I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.

12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.