Friday, June 21, 2013

Longing for Attachment Parenting

It wasn't too long ago that I struggled with my instinct to coddle my babies versus what all the strict, baby-wise lovers preached. It seems like yesterday when I'd feel guilty for rocking my first baby to sleep, or nursing on demand, or skipping the church nursery for several months so he wouldn't cry. And letting them sleep in my bed whenever they needed that extra security? Oh, dear. How much my brain was consumed with doing the "right" thing and doing what felt right according to my nurturing ability.

And now?

He's almost 11 years old. And he refuses a hug in public...he barely speaks to me when I greet him in front of his friends. And he never wakes me up in the middle of the night, never asks to be rocked to sleep, doesn't sleep in our bed when he's scared, doesn't have a hard time self-soothing. He's almost ALL-GROWN-UP...and I promise you I have no regrets about not letting him cry it out, I have no doctor's appointments set up because my child is too dependent on me. Most of the typical parenting decisions that you struggle with when they're infants are so temporary, and made in such fleeting moments of being needed or being persuaded by the experts.

When they grow up in a blink, and don't NEED you anymore, that's when the struggle begins. I am reminded to enjoy every moment with my children. To not care so much what the new trend is in mothering...mothering has happened for thousands of years, and I am pretty certain that God has crafted a keen sense of nurture inside me. Not that all that expert advice out there is just shouldn't stop us from doing what is right for us...the unique parent and child relationship each of us has with our kids.

Because one day, he'll leave me. And I will only have memories of that small time when I was his world. I don't want to look forward to regret, but rejoice in knowing I loved my child exactly like I was meant to, without holding back.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

When The Blog Doesn't Match The Blogger

Do you ever scroll through mom blogs or writer blogs or craft blogs or whatever-is-your-passion blogs and think, "wow, I SOOOOO don't have it together like THEY do." It occurred to me the other day that, while bloggers (including myself) can type up a scenario or emotional outpour in a neat  three paragraph post with a pretty little nugget of wisdom to top it off, then display it for all of Blogger to see, it really is just a glimpse into a life that has just as many insecurities, strengths, weaknesses, and struggles as everyone else.

I am convicted when my daily-life flaws don't line up with my inspiring blog posts. But the truth is that this imperfect, striving-at-times, uncertain-at-times mama who really, REALLY L-O-V-E-S her kids, her husband, and especially her God, blogs not because I hope to be a shiny little inspirational idol for my readers, but because writing and sharing give me a nudge to continue trying, to process my thoughts, and set me on a course toward something better...

I am a work-in-progress.

Not perfected yet. I can discover truth through my circumstances, blog about it, find God's inspiration amidst the thoughts which flow into typed words. And with all my heart, I have every intention to try harder. To step away from the virtual enlightenment and make it my new reality. Yet, I am flawed. I will admit, I might type a blog post one minute, and the next minute I catch myself in the same miserable cycle that I vowed to break in that particular blog post.

I am a work-in progress, for sure.

And in her book, Unglued, Lysa Terkeurst uses that exact phrase, "a work-in-progress", to describe herself. If you ever feel run down by your emotions, ashamed, over-ruled, Lysa's insight will help walk you through it and break away from it, without striving for an unattainable perfection. Lysa gives a bunch personal examples which have to do with motherhood, and seeing that she is an AMAZING Proverbs 31 Woman who admits her own shortcomings, brings me to one sure thing:

This life isn't about US being perfect, but CHRIST'S perfection nudging us toward something better on this journey.

I'm shedding the old and embracing the new...even if the old takes a while to lose its static cling. That new is ahead, waiting, just like God promises. And while I'm still a few steps away from the new, He's right beside me with grace to catch me when I stumble, and His perfection to inspire me to keep on walking...and blogging.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

CBA One Sheet Design Service

I am so excited to announce that I will be spending the next couple of weeks setting up my very own side biz as a one sheet designer for all those CBA authors out there! It's something I've thought about for a couple of years now, and I am finally taking the plunge! Check out my post over at the Alley to understand more about what I am going to offer!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Letting Go of My Baby

One day my little toddler, with his superman cape and Nemo fruit snacks, became an almost eleven year old, hitting line drives and anxiously awaiting his first day of middle school.

Now, we have a little over a week to go and he'll be trekking off to camp, for a whole week, with no "how was your day" or "goodnight" from Mom or Dad. Just the thought of it makes me want to weep in my pillow where I should be sleeping at this late hour.

I almost can NOT bear the thought, and you probably think I am crazy, over-protective Mama. And maybe I am. And I don't care. I want to have a sit-in at his bedroom door and stay there until he's, eighteen, when the law says I have to let him go.

Five nights away. Boo. I know.... it's going to be a blast...after all, he's going with his best friend, and he'll be getting some good ol' Bible teaching. And I pray for peace, and God's protection over him...but I just keep fretting, and imagining, and thinking....

And that's when I came upon this verse in James 1:

But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a [double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Aaaargh!!! If I feel's UNSTABLE. My insides quiver at having to let go. I just don't wanna.

One day of scrolling through the news will make any mama want to strap her children to her back, no matter how grown they are. We just want to protect.

But there's Someone who can do it so much better.


Yes, I know. And I certainly would rather not be considered like "the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind". 

So while I type this with a lump in my throat the size of my dear home-state of Texas, I will begin to trust, to have faith, that while my little boy is not so little anymore, my God is just as big as He's always been...and He loves my son in a BIG way, even when he's not close to home.