Early Mornings

When it comes to sleep, I want as much as possible. Even before “adulting”, I would typically be in bed early so that I could get 8 to 9 hours of sleep at night. I am not a night-owl, nor am I am morning person. Ha…meaning I need my sleep so that I’m not unpleasant to be around.

Of course, having kids changed my sleeping habits. I can’t remember the last time I had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Somehow, I’ve managed to adapt to still be a functioning member of society during the day! But I’ll admit that I still have my struggles.

As a mom, I have been created to be the nurturer, the caretaker, the comforter. Even during times when I’d rather be sleeping. I must confess that at 3 AM I have not been the most “loving” mother to my children.

Especially this past week.

For 4 nights in a row, Anna woke up multiple times, which would then wake her older sister up as well. Looking back, I should have handled those nights way better. I allowed myself to become frustrated immediately for one simple reason – I just wanted to sleep.

So selfish.

Anna needed me. She wanted me. Why else would she cry out in the middle of the night? Shouldn’t she know that her mom will be there for her at any time, no matter what? These are things I pray for both of my girls – that they would find comfort, safety and love in their Daddy and I for their whole life. That they will never hesitate to reach out to us, no matter what the situation. I’ve been making the mistake of only applying those prayers to their future and not in the present.

When Anna cries during the night, she is looking for me. She’s wanting to know that she is safe and that I’m available. That I’m there.

It’s just how the Father is with us. He’s always available. He keeps us safe. He comforts. When we cry out to Him, He is there no matter what the situation. He just says, “Come to me. I’m all you need. I’m your everything. I’m here.”

That is what He spoke to me during that fourth morning of early wake-up calls. I had a choice that morning. To lack in love or to be full of love. I prayed for grace and His presence and this is the lesson He taught me as I was rocking my baby back to sleep.

I’m always praying to be a better parent and daily interceding for my girls. He used those dreaded wake-up calls as a teaching moment for me. His love for me allows me to model that same type of love to my girls. Finally, after 4 long nights, I listened.

Such grace.

Last night, Anna woke up once during the night and my approach was different. But so was her response. 2 minutes later, we were both back to sleep for the rest of the night. 🙂

Will those early mornings still happen? Yes. Will I still be sleepy? Absolutely. Is it worth it?

Definitely.

In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

There’s just something different about meeting with the Father in the morning. How has your life been impacted by choosing to meet with Him in the morning?

DIY Mirror Vase

Fall is in the air and it feels gorgeous!
Today was a perfect day for some DIY fun. I’ve been meaning to do this project for a while! I saw this type of spraypaint featured on one of those random sponsored Facebook ads a couple of months ago. It’s called “Looking Glass Mirror-Like” spraypaint and I’ve seen some awesome results pictures from it.

I got a cheap 97 cent vase to test it out.


The results were amazing!

It took about 3 coats, which unfortunately was the whole can. That’s kind of a downside – the can was about $8. Haha. But on the plus side you can make matching sets out of anything! So I think the cost is fair. I was just a little spraypaint happy this time. 😬 

Here’s the final result – I added a couple of cheap fake florals from Wal-Mart (less than $2!).


Of course, after I was finished, I was like this…


Haha. 

DIY success! The girls got to join in on the fun too, but from a distance since I used spraypaint. Abby was absorbed in sidewalk chalk world and Anna watched from her walker.


While it dried, we walked all over our mountain. Abby is quite the explorer…Anna just went along for the ride.


To sum this up, we had a wonderful day! I love the idea of repurposing and I especially love involving my girls. 

Oh…and I picked up some paint swatches while I was out today, so stay tuned! 😉

I’m obsessed with fall! I never really experienced it in Florida so now I look forward to it with much anticipation! What are some of your favorite fall activities?

Lost And Found

Today was quite traumatic.

I had taken the girls to the mall for the afternoon so Kaleb could work on his online classes. After I let them play in the kids play area, we ate lunch in the food court and they quickly let me know that they were over this outing. Crying, whining, breaking out of the straps to the stroller….you get the idea. I all but sprinted to the car and got them loaded up, only to find that the worst possible thing in the world had happened.
Abby’s blue puppy was missing! 

The puppy she carries with her everywhere. The puppy she sleeps with every night. Puppy, that can be seen in more than half of the pictures we take of her. 

I was instantly panicked. I didn’t dare try the stroller again, but knew we had to go back in and find puppy. I threw Anna in the Tula carrier on my back and carried Abby on my hip.

I looked like a crazy person. I was on the verge of tears and out of breath as I was literally speed walking through the mall retracing my steps. Abby was tired and screaming and I was frustrated so we had to end our search early. 

I loaded them up again, sat in the driver’s seat and sobbed. I’m talking ugly cry, moaning, you’d think someone just died kind of sobbing. I started praying and begging that God would lead Kaleb to puppy. At this point, I’d already called him and he volunteered to come back and search. I even said, “Lord, there’s nothing I’ve ever needed more!” 

Then God spoke to me in that moment and convicted me in the most loving way.

He asked, “When is the last time you have contended for something with such passion and drive as you are now about puppy?”

Wow. Ouch. Thank you, Lord.

He’s right. Why am I not on my face, crying out….sobbing…for salvation. For healings. For His presence. For the nations. For our country. For abortion to end. 

My excuses have to stop. “I just can’t get alone time away from the kids long enough.” Well today, I sobbed and prayed for puppy to be found with both girls in the backseat! Why shouldn’t they see me praying with such passion?

God is good and gets even better. Kaleb went back to the mall to search for puppy. About an hour later he called me to video chat. When I answered, who was on the screen?

Puppy 🙂

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7


Little Girl Giggles

My two girls were sitting on the floor in the living room, playing contently together. I needed to walk into the kitchen to refresh my coffee so I took the opportunity while I didn’t have a tiny person needing their Mama. I was gone for about 2 seconds when I heard the most precious sound.
Little girl giggles.

Sister giggles.

I snuck back in to see what the giggling was all about. I didn’t want them to see me and stop doing whatever it was that was causing their laughter.

I managed to get a picture of the scene and it was the cutest. Abby had gotten ahold of her sister’s puffs and poured them out all over Anna’s lap. It was the most hilarious thing in the world to both of them. By this point Anna had a belly laugh going on!


While I could have gotten upset over the mess, I chose to embrace the memory. But it wasn’t my memory…it was theirs. One of many that they will make together. 

When we found out we were pregnant with Anna, I’ll admit that I was more overwhelmed than excited at first. Abby was only 5 months old and I was still figuring her out. But God knew what He was doing. He wasn’t just blessing me with two daughters…He was blessing Abby and Anna with a sister and a best friend. They will always have each other. What a joy it is to have them so close in age. 

My prayer as their mom is that they are always close. That they continue to make memories together. That they don’t find themselves in petty fights. That they will always be best friends. That they will challenge each other, lift each other up and grow in God together.

And that they never stop giggling.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
My children are always teaching me more about the love of the Father. What have you learned from having children?

Am I Getting This Parenting Thing Right, Lord?

As a mom of two children under the age of 2, I often wonder,

“Am I getting this right?”

I am constantly seeking the Lord for guidance on raising my girls. He leads me to scriptures, He leads me to other couples with children, to books, and best of all, He uses the Holy Spirit to speak to me. 

A few days ago, the Lord showed me that YES…yes, I am doing it right. To not be anxious and to seek His righteousness and all would fall in order. 

I had a livestream feed of our revival services playing through the computer beside the recliner. The worship leader was singing while I was giving Anna, my youngest, her bottle. Abby walked up to the screen and without being prompted, started worshipping.

My 20 month old. Praying (in her own babble, but in my heart I knew it was fire!) and worshipping God with her hands raised!

What does this mean for me as a parent?

Everything.

She has been paying attention to her daddy and I. She sees us engaged in worship both at church and at home. She hears us praying. She is following our example. 

Thank you Lord for this confirmation! It is my desire to raise her and Anna to have hearts that burn for the Lord. I long to see them take the vow of a Nazarite, crying out for His glory with nothing else satisfying their hunger for God.

I know that I get some things wrong and am constantly growing and learning this whole parenting thing. BUT I also know that I am doing a lot of things right!

Start off children the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

What “aha” or confirmations have you received as a parent?

Nearness

Last week, I wrote this post and put it on Facebook. It was birthed from a place of urgency from the Lord. It was also a timely word and for me, one of the greatest revelation moments I have ever had. I’d like to share it here.

I have never written such a long post but I felt the Lord pressing me to share this.

This morning has been exhausting and frustrating. I had 5 hours of interrupted sleep last night, Abby has been throwing tantrums and Anna has been extremely fussy. After being up for an hour, I already felt like a failure. 

We went about our morning and loaded the girls up for a youth event. As soon as we arrived, things kept going downhill. Abby started throwing the fit of her life and I became overwhelmed with not knowing what to do. It is so out of the norm for her. Meanwhile, Anna was becoming increasingly agitated in my absence as I was dealing with Abby. I finally looked at Kaleb and told him he would just have to drop us back off at the house and I would just have to miss out. As we walked out to the van with two crying children, I felt so low. Kaleb was awesome, as always. He affirmed me to the point where I was actually believing him – haha. I agreed to drive the van around the parking lot to get our tired, cranky girls to sleep while he finished a meeting. 

And there God met with me.

He whispered one word to me: “Nearness”. Then I lost it.

He showed me a picture of Anna – how she is not content with just being in the same room with me. If she knows that I am there, she does whatever it takes to get my attention. She cries out, reaches for me and stays persistent. The moment I pick her up, she grips me with all of her strength and brings her body and face in as close as possible. She showers me with affection. It is a violent love.

And that is how our Father is with us. He is always present, but it’s not enough for Him. He is violently pursuing us and persistently getting our attention. He longs to be near us and intimate with us. Many times, I feel like Jesus is in the room with us when we feel “alone”, yet we sabotage ourselves and feel distant because we won’t accept His love. We’re not answering. So let Him love on you! Let Him grip you tight and saturate you with affection and grace. He is a Father and that’s what a father does.

So as I’m circling the parking lot in a big red van, just feeling overwhelmed with my Father’s love, I look back and make eye contact with Abby. She smiles at me, sighs and drifts off to sleep in contentment. She is near me and her world is back in order.

The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways. I allowed Him to use a temper tantrum for the history books as an opportunity for Him to teach me more about His character. He certainly is a good Father. I’ll bring this long post to a close with this scripture:

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8

Shots, Snuggles, and Sing-A-Longs

Today was my “official” first day as a stay at home mama. And let me tell you…

It was perfect.

If things were still the same and I were still in the classroom, today would have been the first day of school. I would’ve met my new students, spent the day “laying down the law” and setting the tone for the year, only to come home exhausted and already thinking about tomorrow. Working full time really drained me, especially last year. I’d come  home to two babies and would go through the same routine night after night. We’d play for an hour, eat dinner, do baths and then it was bedtime. Yet, I still couldn’t shut my teacher-brain off and was always stressing about my job. I just felt like I was never giving them 100% of me at any given time and it took a toll on me. And because of that, I felt like I had little patience with my children. I was so exhausted and stressed that it truly was difficult for me to stop, slow down and understand them. 

But today was different.

Our day started off with check-ups at the doctor that included those dreaded shots for both ladies. It’s almost as if Abby knew what was coming. Haha. She hid behind my legs while we were in the room. Anna though, she has no idea what was coming! She was laughing and babbling so much that it broke my heart to know that her joyful demeanor was about to be rudely interrupted. They both took it like champs though! And they both cried when the other was getting shots. They just love each other.

Abby with her “brave girl” lollipop!

Both girls fell asleep on the way home and stayed asleep when we got there. I started preparing for a lethargic day…again, those darn shots are a doozy. The low fevers started setting in and I guessed right – today was going to be a sing-a-long day. Neither girl was interested in playing. At any given point during the day, I was rocking one or both girls. 

I’ll never turn down snuggle time.

By 7:00, both girls were asleep. They were so relaxed from both the side effects of their shots and Tylenol. 

So how was today different?

For the first time, I felt 100% there for them. I was completely invested in them with nothing else on my mind. When they got fussy, my first reaction wasn’t annoyance. It was understanding. When Abby got pushy with me at one point, I was able to prevent a tantrum. 

And here’s the best part:

My girls needed their mommy for snuggles and love today and I was there to give it. It’s such a big deal to me. I know that I am nowhere near being a perfect mom, but for me, making this transition has made me a better one. 

I’m so thankful that the Lord has called me back into my home for this season. He doesn’t forget or ignore the desires of our heart, especially when those desires are aligned with His.

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

How has the Lord fulfilled the desires of your heart?