31 Days of Living Local · MOPS

Being Brave and Leaving Local {31 Days: Day 17}

Because sometimes you have to pack four days worth of cute clothes, including that top you don’t dare wear around the baby with peanut butter hands, into a carry on bag that meets FDA requirements for height and weight.

You have to fill the travel size toiletry bottles with your favorite shampoo and debate on taking the curling iron tucked in next to the ipad charger and your favorite pajamas that hopefully aren’t too ratty for sharing a room with three other women.

You have to arrange and rearrange for the childcare and the school pick ups and the lunchboxes to be packed with the correct sandwiches for each child and then you have to load yourself on a van and sit back and breathe and trust that someone else can handle your life for the next 72 hours.

You have to be brave and bold and bear the burden of guilt that comes with anytime you step out in faith to do something that is really just for the betterment of yourself–

and for the ministry for which you are the helm.

Better moms make a better world.

Sometimes you have to leave that little slice of local behind to find what makes you worthy of being a leader.

Pray for me as the Steering Team for our local MOPS group travels to #momcon2013 in Kansas City this week!

For all my posts in this 31 Days series on Living Local click here.
Friday Five · giveaways · MOPS

She {Five Minute Friday}

IFive Minute Fridayt’s Friday and that means it’s time to write for five minutes, no editing, no backtracking, no overthinking (I broke all these rules last week). Lisa-Jo provides a prompt and in this community, we write, and then we encourage one another. So link it up, friends, and share the love because “Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.” E.B White via Lisa Jo.

This week’s prompt is….

She’ll come in with her arms full of bags casseroles and sippy cups and the extra paci hanging from her pinky. She might have yelled this morning and rushed and fought her way out the door and wondered if the ends will justify the means.

She might come in alone, her few precious hours when they are all in school or at Nana’s chosen to spend with others who rock the night with babies in swings and the mornings with tall cups of hazelnut caffeine. She might be timid or just plain afraid or too overwhelmed to know if she belongs or not.

She might be cute in her chevron print.  She might be secretly wearing the only pair of pants that zip. She might be hating the tall blonde who looks like a model and sighing in secret relief to see someone else who just is happy to have on a clean tshirt.

She might laugh. She might cry. She might connect. She might be glad she came.

I know I will be.

It’s MOPS Friday for my group and we’re filling our fellowship hall and every room in the preschool wing. Pray for us please?

Have you entered my giveaway?  Speaking of she...Marcy’s book is for all of you who have struggled with infertility and felt alone or for those of us who have been on the outside of a friend’s struggle and wondered how to help.  Click here to enter!

Friday Five · MOPS

Five Minute Friday: Dive

It’s Five Minute Friday!

“Let go, I’m diving in…”

Isn’t that some Christian song that gets overplayed on my local station?  I think so.  In fact, now I’m thinking it’s Steven Curtis Chapman, who I do love, so maybe it’s not so overplayed, but rather a repetition I need to hear.

Let go.  You have to let go to dive.  To get there.

I am struggling with the letting go.  With the final release of toes and head and heart and accepting what I am learning about myself each and every day.

I can’t please everyone.  I can’t agree with everyone.  I can’t make nice in every situation and in every social circle and in every political arena.

Not that I’m surrounded my many of those.

But I can’t.  I have to let that go if I’m going to truly dive in to what could be an amazing, beautiful, incredible, surrendered life.

I need to dive deeper into the Word, into the reflection, into the quiet.

I need to let go of insecurity and perfection and the idea that anything that comes to me is something that I deserve, that I have earned.

I’m taking a plunge today at my local MOPS group.  I’m telling some of my story, some the most raw parts that I’ve published here, but they’ll probably get an even deeper admission.  A true dive into where I’ve really been.

Plunge is our MOPS theme this year….going deeper….letting go.  Dive.

marriage · monday · MOPS

13 Miscellaneous Monday Facts

I love Miscellany Monday.
I don’t have to have a theme for my post except Random and that’s really what this is all about.
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

I’m supposed to be writing an article for the MOPS magazine.  The theme is confident mothering.  The deadline is Wednesday.  Who knows if they would publish it?  Who thinks I know anything about confident mothering?  I’ve decided to write about organization.  But maybe that’s mundane?  I’m clearly overthinking it.
I’m also supposed to be writing an adolescent lit novel.  I started it last spring, shared a few pages with my students, who loved it and are constantly asking when I’ll be done.  They have no idea what a non-confident procrastinator writer I am.  But they make me feel good everytime they ask, so I’m going to work on it some more.  Don’t ask what it’s about.  I can’t talk about these things without thinking that you might think I’m silly.
I cleaned out the fridge today.  It was gross.  FYI: when someone spills a half-drunk cup of grape juice in the fridge don’t assume you got it all cleaned up until you’ve actually emptied the fridge and surveyed the stickiness.  Ick.  But I get to cross another attempt at organization off my 32 by 32 list.  yay, me!
I’ll be 32 next Tuesday.  As a gift to me, the school system is planning to be closed for an emergency day unless we get a winter storm in the next six days.  Come on snow….
I downloaded this printable from this blog today.


Enjoy the message.
Amelia didn’t want to be a baby today because it was naptime.  Instead she said, “Gus baby!”  This was after she told me she was my only baby and that baby in my tummy was not coming out.  “Uh-uh!”
Now she has a flashlight and hole punch. Should I be concerned?
We had a family Valentine Banquet at church on Sunday.  It was sweet fun and showcased the amazing talent of a local family whose seven and nine year olds play cello and violin and have all of Psalm 1 memorized.  We also took silly pictures.  As you can tell, Joshua was really into it.
I used that pic in my 365+1 project that is missing a few days because while everyday may be camera worthy, this mommy is not always memory-worthy.
Barnes and Noble via the nice UPS man (NHMS folks know which one) just delivered Joshua’s Valentine present.  I’m super excited because I know he wants this.  He told me.
The Financial Stewardship Bible CEV
He’s also getting 
The Old Farmer's Almanac 2012
from the girls so they can start planning their wild garden that’s going to feed us all summer.  and hopefully someone is going to teach me to can tomatoes because when you make pizza once a week you need a lot of tomatoes.
I used a gift card from Christmas for the gifts and still had enough to get myself a little something AND most importantly, I earned free shipping.  I got a book that’s a recommendation from a book we’re reading at MOPS that I’m not talking about here because Joshua reads my blog and I’ll tell him about it later.  Valentine’s secret.
Speaking of gift cards, I found an Old Navy card in our bill box when I cleaned it out the other day and guess what? It has $10 on it! I’m thinking of splurging on this cute dress for my maternity pictures.
What do you think?
Head over to lowercase letters and link up.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
MOPS · motherhood · perfectly imperfect

My Done List

A couple of weeks ago I was thrown in a church van and carted off to Nashville and suckered into being on the leadership team for my local MOPS group.  Really, that’s how it happened.

Or rather, my good friend ML knew exactly which of my gifts to appeal to when she asked me to consider taking a last minute opening on the Steering Team, and then she dangled the notion of FOUR DAYS in a fancy hotel in a faraway city WITHOUT my kids.

So, we all know I said yes.  And I learned a lot in those four days about myself, about my friends, about my mothering. Some of it I’m going to be sharing over the next few weeks as I begin to make peace with myself about who I am and who I want to be.  Some of it I’m saving for when I get my new blog up and running.

That’s right.  In a few weeks, Random Acts is going private and I’m going to try something new about this new life I’ve been given.  So, anyway, all that is to say that the speaker of my session on relieving our mommy stress suggested the very simple task of NOT creating to-do lists.

I don’t know about you, but I love lists.  The satisfaction of crossing something off is cheaper than a therapist and less caloric than a mocha frappe.  But she was right.  If I don’t cross everything off, I feel like a failure.  Hello, perfectionist pleaser in me that needs to be eradicated.  Or at least toned down.  Instead, she suggested that if we mothers need a list full of check marks to feel successful, why not create a list of that day’s accomplishments.  So simple.  So exactly what I need to remember some days.  So now you’ve read all my rambling so you can get to a list of why exactly I have been blog absent and blessedly busy the past week.

I’ve done….
packed suitcases and backpacks and picnics for family vacation
and this time I remembered the pack and play.
trekked my girls all over downtown Asheville and indulged them in cupcakes and suckers and paint your own pottery.
cried at the news story of Joplin, Missouri who despite the obstacles opened their schools on time for the 2011-2012 school year so that those students could experience normalcy.  And they took in every student no matter where they’ve been displaced to, because when you’ve lost your home or your parents or your routine, the last thing kids need is teachers who don’t remember their names.
learned to work the GPS on Joshua’s new Droid phone so we can join the 21st century.
taken over 200 pictures that no one but me probably cares to see but they make me smile.
cautioned the girls not to squeeze the baby chickens.
resisted the urge to refold all the dishtowels Belle folded for me.
fielded dozens of phone calls about our elementary school situation.
opted NOT to talk to the media about it.
thought about a dozen blog ideas.
picked a dozen roma tomatoes.  We actually grew something!
cleaned the bathroom within 30 minutes of arriving home because the toilet overflowed.
cleaned the house in anticipation of a showing that didn’t show.  
attended two MOPS steering team meetings and heading back tonight.
missed an important rehearsal but learned my lines for the first four pages.
visited my friends at North and confessed to myself that I miss those Bobcats.
I’ll stop now because that’s enough.  But isn’t it sad that we beat ourselves up over feeling like we’ve done nothing all day when in reality we’ve done so much to make the world a better place for us and for those little ones whose eyes are already on us?