Thursday, September 19, 2013

Five Minute Friday: She

I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker's Five Minute Friday, writing for five minutes with no extreme editing or overthinking (quite a feat for me!) This week's prompt is "She."


She grabs my hand in her little chubby one and grips hard. We sit and rock while I give her a “baba.” I worry she is too old for this habit at 15 months and then I remember all the other things I thought she would never outgrow, and I choose to cherish the snuggles.

She releases her grasp and I move my hand away. She makes a small noise of protest, reaches for me, moves my hand to her face. She has loved having her head and face stroked since she was tiny. Someday these will be her tiny days to me and I will remember her newborn days even more faintly than I do now.

I stroke her sweet little head, her smooth cheek. She drinks in milk and comfort. I lay my head on hers.

Someday she won’t need me like this, and as exhausted as I am, that thought breaks my heart. And I can’t believe I’m saying things so cliché that I once rolled my eyes at, but they’re true.

Because of her.


Five Minute Friday

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Reflections on a Year of Working Motherhood

This week marks one year of working motherhood. It is not an experience that can be explained (or even summed up) neatly. (Bonus points if you caught that reference.)

I have felt judged, defensive, embarrassed, proud, jealous, guilty, competent, wildly incompetent, and exhausted beyond belief.

I worked through not enough sleep, too much caffeine, and postpartum depression.

I pumped three times a day for five months and cried big ugly tears in the bathroom at work.

I felt relief at being with adults instead of a colicky infant, able to drink a hot cup of coffee and eat my lunch sitting down and then promptly felt guilty for even thinking that.

I felt like working made me a better mother and a worse mother.

I felt alone.

I Googled “support for Christian working moms” and felt even more alone (and angry).

And then. The biggest, most wonderful surprise of the year.

I learned that I am not alone.

I am part of an amazing, strong, mighty community of moms who love God, their families, and their jobs. These women are an answer to fervent prayer, my soul sisters in sleepless nights, coffee, deadlines, and messy houses. I love them and look forward to serving and growing with them.

God has taken me on an unexpected journey this year. I am nervous, grateful, and excited to see what comes next.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Story

I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker's Five Minute Friday when I should be taking a shower and going to bed. I really want to preface this with all sorts of qualifiers about how it's the end of a long day and I'm tired so it really isn't my best work, but I think that defeats the purpose. So here you go.

This week's prompt is: Story


I thought I knew my story.

It was straightforward: survivor of abuse. Rebuilt my life. Found my way back to God. The end.

Except it wasn’t the end, because life keeps going.

It brings new struggles, new joys. The story keeps unfolding.

I fought it for a long time. Sometimes I still do. I want that to have been “the end,” except I don’t. Not really. Because then I wouldn’t have my husband or our amazing daughter, or this house or these animals. I wouldn’t have these friends or these emerging passions.

I would love for my story to be nice and neat and tied up in a bow: I survived. The end. Happily ever after.

Happily, yes. Sometimes. Not always. But always good, even in the new struggles.

Because God is always true and always good. He is the End. It’s hard to remember that sometimes.

I’m grateful I get to partner with Him in the telling of my story, even when I wish I could peek ahead, just a bit.

I thought I knew my story.


Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Ah, the tension of working motherhood. It is a constant and unwelcome companion. It goes something like this:

I like my job. I like working. I would love to work fewer hours, but that isn’t realistic at the moment.

I adore my daughter. She has excellent caregivers. I don’t have to worry about her when I’m at work. She is a happy, well-adjusted child. She has many special people in her life and is having wonderful experiences.

And yet.

She does this thing now where before she eats, she folds her little hands to pray. She did not learn this from me. Not because we don’t pray, but because it’s rare for the three of us to eat together and I don’t stop to pray with her when I give her dinner because I’m usually unloading the dishwasher or making lunches while she eats. She learned it from her babysitter. It’s sweet and darling and so lovely that she has learned this and I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE ONE TO TEACH HER THAT.

That’s how it goes. The sorrow and guilt and fear lurk beneath the surface and rear up when I least expect it. The next thing I know, I’m battling a downward spiral of “her babysitters are better parents than I am.”

Logically, I know this is untrue. I know that it is okay and good for her to learn things from people besides her parents. I know the people teaching and caring for her are godly and loving.

I know that I am always her mother and she does not doubt that. I know I am doing the best I can and making the most of my time with her. I know this is my path and my calling right now. I can use my gifts in the work world AND be a good mother. Maybe, somehow, the two roles can complement each other.

But that doesn’t mean it is simple. As a friend said, it’s a constant evolution and acceptance. It’s that constant part that gets me.

I would like to wrap this post up neat and tidy-like, but I’m not quite sure how to do that. What I have are these words, drummed into my head by my counselor and friend:

God loves me. God is in control. God does not make mistakes.

God loves my daughter. God is in control. God does not make mistakes.

God loves you. God is in control. God does not make mistakes.

What blessed constant assurance.