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Dirty toes and sticky fingers

These past couple of weeks have felt different. I have found myself waking up with an excitement that I haven’t had in a while. An excitement that whispered “I get to wake up Bubby this morning. I get to read with him this morning. I get to snuggle with Sissy this morning. I get to feed her.”

See it’s the get to that’s changed me. It’s not a have to. It’s a get to.

Taking photos these past couple weeks has kept that get to on the forefront of my heart. And it’s aroma has been oh so sweet.

To learn more about this series, read my introduction here.

This means all the photos for this post are mainly of Bubby. Seeing the day to day with him with a different set of lens has been wholesome and endearing.

Recently it’s all been about sticky fingers and dirty feet. We’re in full swing kicking off summer around here. And jumping. Lots of jumping. And the red wagon. Every where we go we GET to take the wagon with us. See what I did there? 😉

If you want to join in on finding grace in the shifting seasons of motherhood, join me over on Instagram with #onlyaseason.

Enjoy the little things. Really really do it.
Peace,
Glo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That one time I left the house with diapers in my back pocket

If I got on my phone right now and scrolled through Facebook or Instagram, I would surely see a handful of posts about motherhood. They would be posts that talk about it being “wine-oclock” already or wearing leggings everyday. Or maybe there would be a funny post about how chasing a toddler is like preparing for a marathon. Those are great and I am definitely on board for not taking myself too seriously in this momlife.

But you know what else I see a lot of AND THINK a lot of? I see a lot of posts about PPD or frustration in motherhood. I see a lot of overwhelming posts about the tough stuff. And I think a lot about how hard it is being a mom. I think about how hard it must be for work away from home moms. How hard it is as a mom at home. I think about how I screw up all the time and worry about how my kids will turn out if I let them eat too much macaroni or watch too much TV.

I get it. We all get it. And I know it’s so so so important for us to keep talking about those things. So please keep talking about them. I know I will.

But as of late God has been working in my little heart with big fears and worries. He’s been opening my eyes to the joy I experience from the day to day instead of constantly thinking about the hard stuff. It’s not about trying to make the hard stuff go away by ignoring it. It’s about seeing the good stuff more and more so the hard stuff gets smaller and smaller in my head.

As someone who had her share of PPD with her first born and is now navigating two under two, I need those worries and visions to get smaller and smaller.

And it all started when I walked out of the house with two different diapers stuck in my back pockets. Yep. One for Sis and one for Bubby. Didn’t have enough hands so I stuck them back there to put in the diaper bag and forgot about them.

 

And you know what I realized? I laugh more in a day than I ever used to.

 

I do some of the wildest things (no not sky diving wild) but wild like going pee, while breastfeeding a newborn AND reading to my toddler at the same time.

I am the master multitasker.

You moms out there, we are some of the funnest people around. My toddler laughs every time I make fart sounds. My husband might laugh at this too but that’s besides the point.

I’ve got the best audience on a daily basis that brings me the most laughs.

Of course there are rough days. I wrote a post once to the weary mom. But not this post. This post is to the crazy and fun things I’ve done as a mom that I plan to remember on the rough days. It’s as cliche as I’ll get out. I’m talking about choosing to see the positive in my day to day and these are just to name a few.

It can be hard to be joyful as a mom. Today I'm talking about choosing joy as a mom and enjoying the positive on a daily basis. Read for more. That time I left with two diapers in my back pocket.

 

I’ve changed 4 diapers within 30 minutes. That’s got to be like a pound of poop or something. Some kind of record, right? Right?!?! And let me tell yah, my audience was not happy about all the poopy diapers. One was miserable because she was poopy while the other was horrified at having to change the poop. It was hilarious–all the crying, all the poop. Seriously. Laughing was the best response. Feel me?

I’ve made homemade brownie batter just to eat by myself when the tiny people were napping at the same time. I like to call my batter creation “Heaven in a Bowl.” It’s so good. And eating while they’re napping is an incredible little treat. I can’t do it all the time but it happens every once in a while when I need a chocolate fix.

I have crawled in the crib with my son and let him watch Elmo so I could take a 20 min power nap. I am a genius. And oh the snuggles I get while we do this. It really is something I wish I could bottle up and save for the tough days.

 

 

It’s when I buy 12 pairs of cute PJs for my son so 1) I don’t have to wash them as often and 2) they double as his clothes for the day. And then I wear my PJ’s all day too. See how that works? Although you gotta watch the PJ one. It can backfire. Being in my PJ’s all day can bring about some depression.

I totally let my dogs eat the toddler’s spilled food off the floor. Bwahahaha! I think the positive from this is pretty obvious.

Hygiene care has become hysterical. Dry shampoo is my BFF. I can’t even remember the last time I shaved with a razor and water. If my husband only knew what has become of his electric shaver… If you add up the time I would normally spend shaving my legs with water and soap vs the quick way with an electric one, well I just know I got back many more days in my life.

I’ve eaten leftover macaroni from lunch. I ate it at night. After my son was in bed. From the pan. The pan that got left on the stove all day. It was so so good. Not gonna lie. Having a toddler gives me an excuse to eat macaroni.

Speaking of yummy food, I’ve eaten more puffs than I’d care to admit. Those sweet potato ones are YUM.

I’ve used my toddler’s diaper as a pad before. That’s all I’m gonna say.

I don’t think I need to explain the positive in this situation. It saved me is all.

 

 

I know all the words to Elmo’s Song. Which means I can sing it whenever I need to cheer up my son or get him to quit squirming while I’m changing his diaper. I’m thinking the positive in this is that he could be in love with a much more annoying song. 

Speaking of Elmo, one time it was like I was outside my body and saw my current situation. Elmo and a human foot were waving bye to me from the tv while I was breastfeeding and writing on my phone with one hand.

 

Like I said, master multitasker.

The thing is some of this stuff seems crazy to people but when you get with another mom and start talking about this fun weird stuff you do as a mom, it all makes sense.

It’s easy to go down the negative weary path and I absolutely believe there is a season to explore those hard moments as a mom (hello? have you read my motherhood posts before?) but for me, for right now, I’m looking at the positive. I’m choosing the positive. Especially when I totally forget about those diapers in my back pocket. You gotta laugh at that. 😉

Won’t you join me?

Peace,

Glo

What I’ve Learned from Spring 2017

This spring was full of a lot of new for me. A newborn. A new season of writing. A new understanding of myself.

Here are ten things I’ve learned this spring. The list is in no particular order. Let’s just say it’s an ongoing list… 🙂 I got the idea from Emily P. Freeman as she and other writers are writing about what they’ve learned this spring.

I like being reflective and sometimes it’s good to look back without being super evaluative too. This list is just what I needed.

1| Being Present with a Newborn and Toddler is incredibly hard.

Eleanor has brought a light into our home that feels so complete and right. Having a newborn has forced me to slow down as much as one can with a toddler running around. The transition was hard before she even arrived actually. Saying goodbye to being a parent of one was a challenge for me. BUT I’ve appreciated the quiet moments I get to have with her (rare as they are!) and seriously, these hands. Oh. My. Heart.

2| Facebook Fasting is good for the soul. Or how about Facebook Feasting is hard for the soul.

This is obvious to most of us but Facebook is such a drain for me. I can waste sooooo much time on it. I’ve discovered a few ways to fast from Facebook. I’ll write about it soon but right now know I have had to separate myself from my phone a lot in order to accomplish this. Like upstairs in bedroom while I’m downstairs separate.

3| Taking pictures of the mundane can produce gratitude and contentment.

A new practice I’ve been trying is taking more photos with my camera and my phone (when I have it). Not staged photos, but photos of the everyday. I talk more about why I’m choosing this practice here. The result has been overwhelmingly positive. There’s something about seeing my son’s toes up close that reminds me of how fleeting his boyhood will be. I just want to bask in the mundane so I can fill up on gratitude and contentment.

4| I need to prepare salads ahead of time to actually eat them.

This isn’t some food fix. This is just me realizing that if I want to progress with losing my baby weight and I need to do a little bit of preparing. I like planning and seeing something through anyways, so putting my salads in containers so I can just pull them out of the fridge has been a life saver. Especially with that toddler running around me while I’m holding my newborn. 😉

5| Giving myself grace is hard. Giving my husband grace is hard.

Speaking of losing weight, giving myself grace about losing the weight is a daily decision. Yes, I want to look like my old self, but I do want to be healthy. I definitely got into some unhealthy habits while pregnant with Sister so getting over that has been hard. And since we’re talking about grace, realizing that this is the first time my husband has had a toddler and newborn too is a daily decision also. We had a groove going so well with just one kid that at times we felt like roommates, but having the two under two years old has been a new grace journey for sure. Enough said.

 

6| Sabbath rest is vital to keeping balance in my relationship with Christ.

I really need to just write a post on this. I absolutely LOVE Shelly Miller’s book Rhythms of Rest. It’s not about rules or should do’s. It’s about real relationship and what that looks like in forms of rest. And it most likely wont look like what you think it should.

Check out other writers over on Emily’s site as they talk more about this spring!
Peace,
Glo

Can taking pictures with my phone bring gratitude?

I seriously tend to cringe when I hear about “themed” days for bloggers. I think part of it is because I always struggled finding one I liked and could stick with. And honestly, I’m not even sure “Thankful Thursdays” is a thing but it’s going to be my thing.

I got the idea from Ann Voskamp actually. In her book One Thousand Gifts, she talks about how taking everyday, mundane, nothing new photos changed her perspective on gratitude and opened her eyes to all she had to be grateful for.

Sister turned two months. Oh those toes.

It’s not about sharing it on social media all the time (though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing) but it’s about perspective and focus in my day to day.

I’m not saying every moment needs to be remembered with a photo because I’m a strong believer in being present in the moment. But I also believe that contentment starts with gratitude and my daily attitude can change with being thankful more often.

Plus, I felt the Lord laying this on my heart for my own benefit. Who knows if anyone will be paying attention as this doesn’t seem like a post series that will grab a lot of attention but it’s really about me.

Writing and taking photos just for me.

Speaking of toes, here’s Bubby’s toes at 10 months. Oh my heart.

I wont be doing it every Thursday. I don’t know how many photos will be in each post. I don’t know how long I’ll do it for.

I do know this is a small journey God has called me to and maybe it will encourage someone along the way to open their eyes to the daily mundane that reminds us of what we have and the contentment that only comes from the Lord.

I have some photos for the introduction because I started taking them daily a month ago.

Part of our daily ritual is snack time at Bubby’s table. That photo in the background was from my mom to my husband a few years back. It hung in our kitchen growing up.

 

Because cooking with Mama is the best.

 

My mother’s mother, aunt, and grandma grew peonies. They had a big section that was essentially a peony field. I always think of them when I see or smell peonies.

 

The past, present and future all in one.

We’ll see you next time folks.

Peace,
Glo

Keep My Eyes to Serve, My Hands to Learn

Keep the earth below my feet

For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve and my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve and my hands to learn”
                –Mumford and Sons “Below My Feet”

Rolling over in bed, my eyes squinting open, I can see it’s still dark out. I inhale my husband’s soapy, snuggly morning scent, leftover from his shower the night before. I lightly kiss his shoulder and lean to turn off his alarm. I slide out of bed and a new smell dances along my upper lip as my coffee brewing downstairs beckons me. I’m careful not to step on any toys my carefree toddler has left strewn about our house. A chill runs down my spine as I mindlessly turn our air back up. Without a second thought, I search our fridge, bursting with food, and grab the eggs, juice, butter, and fresh fruit to make an easy, bountiful breakfast.

While pouring my cup of coffee, I can’t help but think of the events from the night before. It was after 10:00 at night and I could hear the little girl crying. The frustrated mother trying to console her as not to wake her teenage son who needed to go to school the next day. Five other families were trying to sleep that night as well.  I slept on a cot that night. A cot I was quick to curse for being incredibly uncomfortable. Oblivious to what was surely running through the minds of the conjoining families. I imagine they had thoughts I have never had to think about in my life. Worries about keeping their job to feed their family. Wondering if their youngest was starting to get sick, causing a trip to the doctor’s office that they couldn’t afford. I was cursing my bed that night while they were finding comfort in sleeping in a safe place. That frustrated mother of her two year old had never been more thankful to be rocking her little to sleep in a room with air conditioning. Knowing that she would be able to have a cup of coffee the next day and a guaranteed way to get her kids to school the next morning. That night waned on in a slow trudge for me, while going too fast for those families. I could hear the little girl’s cries carry down the hall.

And I kept hearing that little girl cry. I could hear her this morning as I am back in my home, carelessly pouring my cup of coffee, with more than enough food, not worried at all about doctor’s visits. Passing the day, without a worry about the general stability of a life filled with a husband and a blessed job, a healthy toddler, electricity, food, water, and a home I call my own.

You see a couple of weeks ago I signed up to be an overnight host at my church for our local Family Promise (FP). A few days ago, I had the privilege of just existing for these people. They didn’t need anything from me really. Just my presence so they could all stay in our church for a night of safety.

If you don’t know anything about FP, then I highly encourage you to check out your community to see if they have facilities there so you can get involved. These families that were staying at my church for the week are homeless, struggling to hold a job, struggling to feed their families, struggling to live a life I have lived so carelessly. Even now as I type this, I can’t help but heave a heavy heart for the people who need help in this life. People right in my own town. People I surely pass on the street while I’m yelling at my iPod in my car as they are walking down the street with their kids, hoping to catch the bus on time to make it to their temporary home for the week they have found through Family Promise.

I keep hearing that little girl cry as she calls to me. I see the young man’s smile again, grateful for a hot cup of coffee to start his day. I keep replaying the teenage boy’s story about how his mom and sister are never back before 10:00 at night because his mom finally found a job. All their fears behind their eyes, reaching out to me, calling for help.

And as I take my coffee in my own cozy home the next day, their eyes remind me of what I am grateful for. I am grateful for my home. I am grateful for a husband who warms my bed at night. I am grateful that I have a car to take my son to his doctor’s appointment. I am grateful for a fridge full of food.

I am grateful for these daily necessities that I so easily take for granted.

I am grateful for these daily necessities that I so easily take for granted.

I am grateful for these daily necessities that I so easily take for granted.

Everyone has a story. Things are not always what they seem. We have so many trials and tests in this life that bring to the surface who we really are deep down. But who am I when I am walking at the top of the trial? Who am I when I am walking through life on a high? Who am I when I can go to bed at night generally content?

I want to be grateful. I want to be grateful during the times I so easily forget to be.

I want to remember that God is a God of a woman with a roof over her head and the God of a woman who needs a roof for her family.

I need to remember that God sees that little girl crying in the night and God is holding her alongside her mother because of His incomprehensible love. God is holding her because a girl down the hallway volunteered to spend the night in a building, just to be present, so this family could have a night of safety.

What about you? What are you grateful for?

 

keep-my-eyes-to-servepin2

 

 

Mommy’s Little Hero

I’m huffing and puffing, walking up the stairs, trying to carry this squirmy little dude on my hip while balancing a basket of laundry on the other. Asher is laughing and giggling while trying to see how hard he can kick his legs around before mommy drops the basket. Socks are toppling over the edge of heaping clothes, oozing out the sides of my basket. Oozing because Mike’s socks stink people. If you want to see a fun balancing act, watch a mom carrying her kid and a huge basket through a baby gate at the top of the stars, all the while a 70 lb freight train we call our dog, charging up the stairs. I sort of feel like this is my life lately. I am constantly going up and down. Overloading myself. Trying to get everything done.

I’ve come to realize that if I don’t watch myself, I can pretty much feel like this Every. Stinking. Day. The frazzled feelings. The not enough shaming. The mom judging. The days that get foggy.

Asher is all sorts of pre-toddler these days and I can see the challenges arising.

I worry that I won’t be enough.

Days can be hard as a mom. 

bestisenough

As I’m sitting there trying to fold our laundry, Asher cruises on over to see what this is all about. Laundry has become his favorite new entertainment. Take the clothes out. Put them back in. Laugh about it. Take the clothes out. Shake them all about. Giggle. Hand mommy her clothes. Yank them back out of mommy’s hand. Laugh about it.

No joke. I had been sitting there working myself into what could have been a good o’l pity party, that would have ended with some comfort eating I’m sure, because that’s what I do sometimes, BUT as many times before, this little guy brings me back.

He brings me back to focus.

What can seem so mundane becomes an adventure.

 

We laugh together.

I remember how lucky I am.

I’m sure the worry will come back. The nag never seems to go away.

But it’s moments like these I need to keep her at bay.

I hear parents say a lot about how they can’t believe they are parents. The unbelief in the privilege they have of raising a family. I can’t say that comment always resonates with me until I start to worry about not being enough for my family. Then it all starts to make sense.

I choose happiness. I choose gratitude. I trust I am enough. I trust that God will continue to guide my heart as I hold my son’s hand. Really, he is leading me. Leading me deeper into my relationship with God. Growing my heart in ways I never knew.

I trust that he will know someday when he looks back that his mama loved him and in the midst of doing laundry, my heart was overflowing with gratitude for the joy he has brought to my life.

mommyhero

 

Gratitude: Disarming the Lies We Tell Ourselves

It starts when I lay in bed for the night. I don’t know what it is about elusive sleep, but I seem to get most of my revelations when I can’t sleep. I started going through the ongoing list I like to title “ME.”

No one does the laundry for me.

No one cooks me dinner.

No one takes care of me, I mean right?

Clearly I do everything. I remember to feed the dogs. I remember to book the appointments. I am the brains behind family vacations. I am the one who bakes for the group fundraiser. I am the one who makes plans for date night. Am I the only one who likes romance?

Me. Me. Me. What about me? What about me?

We live in a culture that is constantly telling us that we need to love ourselves, take care of ourselves. Keep ourselves first. While I believe that taking time for myself and putting some of my needs at the top of my priority list is important, because if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, but I struggle balancing this.

I tell myself I am neglected. I tell myself it’s someone else’s fault I lose my joy. I convince myself that others are responsible for my happiness and peace.

But if I am being brutally honest with myself. These are lies. 

Joy is a choice. Happiness is a choice. A choice that says I trust you God with all my heart. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Not if my husband decides to cook dinner one night (although I”m not saying he shouldn’t ever do that, you know 😉 ).

I can’t look past the two greatest commandments Jesus gave his followers. I find I am at a constant battle with one of these commandments.  A battle I am always fighting, with gloves held high. The commandments that say “Love the Lord with all your heart and soul” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

OK, God. I love you with all my heart and soul. Sure. No problem. At least it’s no problem today. It’s that “simple” second one that holds me up. 

How do you love others but still feel like you aren’t running on empty?

Feeling like I am the one who is always doing everything makes it hard for me to sometimes love others as myself, particularly those close to me, like family members or my husband.

I want to be intentional in my life. Intentional in loving others. I want to be intentional in giving thanks for God’s love in my life. I want to be intentional in strengthening myself in the Lord.  I want to choose the Lord to fill me up when I feel like I am running on empty. I want to make positive choices to try and prevent that feeling of being empty.

I want to be intentional while I am doing laundry.


I want to take the focus off of myself and focus on Him.


To help me stay focused on Him and the strength I get from Him, I plan to spend the next month being intentionally thankful each day. Taking my eyes off of me and looking to Him. Focusing on others. I’ve got this nifty little dry-erase board on my mirror in my bathroom where I brush my teeth. I have this here so each morning, as I get ready, I am reminded to start the day with gratitude.

GratitudeBoard

 

What about you?

I challenge you to choose to be intentionally grateful each day this month. There is no time like the present. This isn’t about some rules to try and please God. This is about striving to trust God with your hurts or worries or maybe, just maybe, those feelings of feeling neglected, and bring peace and joy into your life.

I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day, I can easily convince myself out of anything because I am exhausted. I’d like to still reflect at the end of the day, but I also want to try and start my day with being grateful because I know I am more likely to have a refreshed mind then.

For you, maybe that means the drive to work. Maybe it’s during your lunch or a quick coffee break at the office. Maybe it’s during nap time for your littles. It doesn’t matter when it is! Think about a time that lends itself to you being able to be intentional.

As I was lying in bed, throwing myself a pity party, I heard Him. I hear him. I hear Him call my name. I hear Him say “Gloryanna, you are mine. You are doing that laundry for me. You are remembering and taking care of others for me.” He encourages me to focus on what I am grateful for in this life. That the constant renewal of my mind is a process that begins with thanksgiving. I think of how many times Jesus started to pray by giving thanks. How many times prophets and servants of God in the Bible began their missions, their letters, their prayers, with giving thanks.


Gratitude doesn’t leave room for the lies I tell myself.

Gratitude leaves room for Grace. And we all know we need that. We just have to accept it.


I know, I know. I’m jumping around a little bit here. But bear with me. Join me.

Join me in being intentional in gratitude and disarming the lies we tell ourselves. Join me in choosing to trust God each day with our fears, our angers, ur worries, and remember who He is and be grateful for what He has done and what He will do.

Prayer for Today:
Thank you, God for reminding me that I am walking this life to serve you and bring Glory to your Name. Thank you for wiping out the spirit of self-pity and replacing it with your love for me. By trusting you with my fears and anger, I am releasing them to you. Trusting that you will work it out.
What else can you thank God for today to start out on an attitude of gratitude?

 

disarmingliesgrat

Enjoy the Little Things: Bubby’s Almost 8 Months!

He laughs pretty much every time I toot.

We’re almost 8 months old. Yikes.

He laughs when he drops things. Repeatedly. On purpose.

Splashing is a good thing in the tub.

bubbyshandsNaps are craptastic right now.

I never knew someone could be so impatient when eating peas.

Clinginess comes in spurts. Sometimes it’s like a tidal wave.

I want to just eat up his hands. So sweet.

I wish the top teeth would just come in already.

He’s a pro at grabbing his food these days. Except for those peas.

The boy has never chewed on anything except his hands. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the mystery of the wooden spoon. Chew toy #1 in our house.

Usborne touchy feely books, you are awesome.

Clinginess equals extra snuggles before nap time. Thank you.

 

bubby8mos