My Cup……

You know, some moments in life are fantastic and refreshing to the soul but then other moments, well they can be life DRAINING.  I’ve been thinking alot about my symbolic cup and what fills it up and what makes it POP a gasket, as my nanny would say. In the spirit of honestly let me share with you some cup emptying moments that have happened to me recently.

So, I’m usually full of ridiculous antics but I’m like 99% sure tonight I reached a new low.  As you may or may not know, my house has been stricken with illness.  Like seriously.  Every member of my family probably could have qualified for quarantine at some point.  It’s been a rough few weeks on this ole gal.  And (yes, I know I just started a perfectly good sentence with the word and.  At some point in life, you reach an age that you get to start a sentence with whatever word you want.  I’m that age.) and anyway, to top it all off, my precious husband has been working out in the middle of the ocean so he has been spared the infectious- yet loving- snotting, sneezing, vomitting, coughing, gagging, crying kids.  Lucky dog.  I usually don’t get sick but a couple weekends ago, my body gave in to the sickness.  I went to see the doctor first thing Monday morning and he gave me a shot of antibiotics, a prescription for more antibiotics and bam!  I thought I would be better.  Well, truthfully, I did get better for a minute but then, because I am a crazy lunatic, I quit taking the antibiotics. They were making my heart have palpitations.  Judge if you want.  Whatever.  I ain’t even gonna lie; I am a self-diagnosing hypochondriac.  So yeah.  This week rolls around and i’m sicker than I’ve ever been.  Those little guys in the mucinex commercials have set up shop in my face and chest but are refusing to pack up and leave.  Never having time to be sick, I packed up my little ones and we made it through Christmas yesterday even though it was hard.  I had a crying 10 year old who is old enough to understand that his daddy works hard to give us the life we have but yet is still not old enough to understand why daddy had to miss Christmas.  The other two were grouchy all day; I’m guessing because they couldn’t articulate what Jack was expressing through tears.  I did all the things in my mom “hat” and comforted their little spirits as best as I could all whilst sneezing, coughing, peeing on myself from said coughing and basically, you know, just dying.  Jack fell onto a basketball goal and busted up his elbow pretty bad, my youngest child was screaming like someone in a scene from the Exorcist and then someone at a family dinner made me want to break out the crazy and open-handed smack her for talking ill of my screaming child (what?  Christians want to smack people too.  He knows my heart so I might as well say it.  I didn’t actually do it so see, he’s working in me!)  All of these moments, as each one of them went down, were draining my cup.  Little by little, my fighting spirit was being drained.  I was replacing it with an overwhelmed, tired, sickly woman who wanted nothing more than a nap and to be left alone.  Fast forward to tonight…to my new low.  I wound up taking Jack to the ER for his banged up elbow because of the lingering thought, and consequent momma guilt, of a broken bone.  I let him lay in my lap while we waited on X-rays and I tried not to cough and sneeze all over him.  I did anyway.  I coughed, once again, until I peed my pants.  Let me just say this: if you are a dude and are reading this, you better thank the women in your life who have birthed your children.  Peeing ones self is most definitely the least awesome thing for a grown woman to do.  Ah. I digress.  Anyway, after my coughing fit I got up and was walking around the room and then I saw it.  It was the oxygen thing that nurses use.  I decided I didn’t have time to be sick, but since I was pretty sure I was dying, I would just put it on for a minute and check my oxygen levels.  That would surely give me the reassurance that I needed to press through the illness.  Welp, I put it on and then kept it on, hysterical over how my heart rate would get crazy high each time I coughed.  In my fleeting panic over my impending heart attack from such a high heart rate, I realized, ever so painfully, that my cup was officially dry.  I knew I needed some time alone with my Jesus because the only thing that fills a dry cup is a drink from the spring of living water!

Tonight, as I prayed and wrote in my journal, I began to think back on the past few days and look specifically for the good.  The moments that replenished my soul, even if it was just a little.  I thought I would share the top 4 things that I have found to be cup-filling, just in case other momma’s out there run a little dry sometimes, too.  And also because I have had way to much cough medicine and want to type. 🙂

  1.  Just a little talk with Jesus.  That old hymn was right, “let us have a little talk with Jesus, tell him all about our troubles…” Talking to Jesus like he is my best friend is what keeps me sane.  I don’t know how non-believers do it without a true, life-giving, merciful friend to carry the weight of their problems.  I’ve come to realize that I make my own life far to difficult by worry.  It only gives me premature wrinkles.  God says he will bear our burdens and I believe him.  Hebrews 13:6 So we will say with confidence, “the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
  2. Uninterrupted time in his word.  I hate to get up early but I will stay up all night just to have time to read, and think, about God’s word.  The bible is my ace-in-the-hole for life.  It always tells me just what my desperate, and often failing, soul needs to hear.  It’s crazy the way the Lord works.  No matter what issues I’m having, when I open his word, it always meets my needs.  Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
  3. My precious husband.  This one can be tricky because if you aren’t careful, marriage can drain your cup.  It’s kind of hilarious they way it works actually.  You find this person you are madly in love with and then you make little people who puke on you, poop on you, cry nonstop and that’s just the beginning.  Of course life gets a little stressful!!  When my husband fills my cup, it’s because I have made a choice to ask him how he is, and then really listen, or to watch him in awe while he plays with our kids, sometimes I think about what a selfless man he truly is by sacrificing so much and asking nothing in return and sometimes it’s just noticing how cute his butt really is in those Levi’s.  When I approach Nick with an open heart and attitude, I never, ever leave empty.  He is, afterall, the man I chose to spend forever with and I think he is pretty incredible.  I’ve just got to hush all the noise and focus on the one my soul loves. Proverbs 18:22 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.  
  4. The awe and wonder of our three babies.  Yes, they drain me at times and are most definitely the reason I have gray hair.  But, when I hear them say something about how much they love Jesus, make a funny little joke or learn something new and complex, my heart could just burst.  When I’m not playing my role of super-crazed, vegetable slingin’, tooth brushin, homework pushing mom and I just listen to them, I am truly amazed.  We created some fantastically interesting and wildy intelligent little people and that is amazing.  Why wouldn’t your cup be filled if you have little people who are incredibly entertaining and still love you unconditionally even when they’ve seen you yell and foam at the mouth over some spilled juice/missing homework/markers on the wall?  Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate.


The Marshmallow Test

This week I have been rather disgusting; a truly ugly version of myself.  I have snarled, complained, felt sorry for myself, and have been downright despicable.  My kids have all been sick with some crazy virus that has made them have crazy amounts of diarrhea, we are all sleep-deprived because of said virus, I’ve bleached my house until my hands feel like they could crack open, my precious husband is working and won’t be home for Christmas, the dog is missing and I’m worried about him and now I’m getting a cold.  So basically, its just another day at the office but this time, for some reason, it’s hitting me hard.  If we are being totally honest, I’ve known how ugly I’ve been but haven’t particularly had the desire to change it.  How awful is that?    I’m usually a just-keep-swimming kind of girl but with all the horrifying news that has come pouring in faster than I can process it coupled with aforementioned issues at my house, I have managed to get myself all out of sorts.  And just so we are perfectly clear, I’m as self-reflective and analytical as they come.  With each huff and puff that I exhale I am analyzing.  I give myself pep talks, I tell myself to pray, I tell myself to fast through the problem.  I know what to do but sometimes I just can’t.  Or don’t.  I’m not sure which one it is really.  I chastise myself and get angry because I feel like a first-world brat.  I sit in my nice, big house, with my healthy kids and great husband who has graciously allowed me some time off from work and yet I still get the occasional bout of sadness.  To make matters worse, I begin to criticize myself for being so unthankful. I get furiously mad at myself and initiate my self-destructive habits.  I push people away, I lose my temper when I shouldn’t and it’s just gross.  This is why I NEED Jesus.  I don’t just use him on Sunday mornings or for general conversation to make myself look like I have a perfectly adorned halo.  I need him to rescue me from myself.  I need him to pull me up and remind me that I am a child of God.  It’s always amazing to me to see the vicious cycle that I keep finding myself in.  It’s never Jesus who walks away from me. I always, albeit inadvertently, open the door to let the spirit of sadness in.  Maybe I don’t pray when I hear God gently nudging my spirit, I’ve been known to put off reading my bible just to get a little extra sleep and sometimes I get so overwhelmed with my life that I flat out forget to pray to the only one who can make even the most violent storm be still.  Other times I just get stubborn and don’t ask for help, even from God.  I am a sinner and imperfectly human.  Maybe you can relate to what I am talking about.

I could lie to you and tell you that everyday of my life I am joyful and over the moon happy but who would I be kidding?  Life is sometimes just not that way, even when we know it should be.  Emotions are weird, man.  The one thing I have learned during my journey with Christ is that no matter how i may feel at the time, I never let go of Jesus.  I press in.  Sometimes I have to pray that he will help me have the desire to pray and sometimes I just pray for him to give me faith and meet me where my faith ends.  I know that while emotions are fleeting, Jesus never fails me.  This morning I was thinking about what a total jerk I have been lately and I heard something on K-Love that spoke right to my heart.  The man was talking about kids who were given a “marshmallow test”.  The people conducting the experiment offered one marshmallow  to each child for immediate consumption or, if they waited 20 minutes, they promised them they could have two.  The experimenters followed the kids as they grew and found that the children who chose to wait for the two marshmallows trusted adults and had faith that they would do what they said they would do.  The kids who took the immediate marshmallow were not as trusting of adults.  The man then asked if we were trusting in God to do what he said he would?  Boom.  God cracked my hard shell and drew me right back in.  Just like he ALWAYS does, he rescued me.  Again.  Like seriously, for the millionth time.  I was quickly reminded of all the times God has done just what his word promises he will.  His love never, ever fails.  I may fail him, over and over again, but he is the one constant in my life that I can count on.  He is my savior and I am so in love with him.  I’m so glad he saw fit to die on that old rugged cross for my sins, and yours, because God knew I’d surely need saving.  He loves us.  He really, really does.  Even when I’m a horrible wife, even when I’m just an okay mom, and even when I am an ungrateful girl who turns away from him, he loves me.  I’m waiting on my proverbial marshmallows because no matter what may happen from day to day, I trust God to do just what he says he will do.  I hope that if you are like me and need rescued from yourself, that you will trust Jesus, too.  If he promises you marshmallows, you are going to have the best marshmallows ever.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.  Proverbs 3: 5-6

The Somewhere In-Between

Irony is ironic.  Weird.

In May of this year, I paced around my classroom anxiously administering state mandated testing to my 6th grade kiddos.  With every glance at those little tiny bubbles I could feel an ever increasing need for blood pressure medication.  My thoughts would race to moments of teaching failures throughout the year and I’d sigh.  I’d look at the little faces filling in those bubbles, watch them look at my face for any sign of approval, and I’d sigh again.  Their sweet faces would remind me of my own three babies and I’d think of how I was going to manage to leave work, pull into daycare on two wheels and practically jog into the building just to kiss those sweet cheeks I’d missed all day.  *More sighing*  I knew I was just going to rush them out the door, drive to fast to get home just so I could yell at them to get homework done, eat, bath and go to BED ALREADY.  Bed already?!  Yes, I knew, standing there in my classroom that my night at home would be miserable and I would be counting down the minutes until it was bedtime, already. And I cringed because I HATED that about myself. This time my sighs almost turned to tears.  I refocused myself, continued monitoring those precious babies in my classroom (don’t go getting yourself all offended, no testing infractions could have possibly incurred during my train wreck of thoughts.  All of those thoughts happened in about 30 seconds, thanks to my little helper, ADHD) It was in those moments of disparaging thoughts that I reached a breaking point.  I grabbed my big yellow legal pad off my desk and the words just flowed.  They were effortless, perhaps because they’d been hushed and pushed down for so long.  I penned this poem called, “The SomeWhere In Betweens” and pondered on it for days. Ultimately, it would be the driving force behind my desire to quit my teaching job to be a full time mom and wife.  So now, no judgment allowed, here is a look into what my heart felt but couldn’t articulate until that day.

The Somewhere In Between

I live in the hallelujahs, the sighs and the somewhere in-betweens,

where love always lives and can be felt,

but occasionally isn’t seen.

Where the praises and the struggles

are whispered in the same breath.

Where we are raising three little ones

and it scares us to death.

I live in-between the



and the “I’m going to kiss you all over,

you’ve got sugars dripping off of your cheeks!”

My mind is in a dead sprint

of ‘rush, rush, rush, we’ve got to be fast,’

but my heart says, ‘slow down..make these moments last.’

I live with self-inflicted noise

that can only be drowned out with prayer,

to my God who never leaves me and is always right there.

I cry out to him in whispers, tears and groans,

he is my faithful rock, never leaving me alone.

Without fail he calms my often tormented spirit,

and gently reminds me his voice can be heard

when I’m still enough to hear it.

Give me courage Lord to walk away

from the expectations of this life,

and be a Godly mother and an ever present wife.

I live in the


the sighs and the somewhere in-betweens,

where I thank God he is my deliverance

and the rock upon which I lean.

And so, here I am.  I quit my job and I am a full time mom and wife.  And let me just say, wow.  It’s alot.  Like really.  I never even knew how hard it was because I was only doing it half way and in zombie mode.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still failing miserably most days but I’m trying.  And the thing is, and where the irony comes in, is that I still feel like I’m living in the in-between.  In between moments of quiet desperation where I want to curl up in the fetal position and silently cry myself to sleep and moments of immeasurable joy because I can be 100% present for those who love and need me most.  I imagined that my sweet husband would never have to search for matching socks on Sunday morning anymore, that my children would have behavior rivaling that of Jane and Michael Banks, post Mary Poppins and that I would finally get the rock hard body that I always wanted (okay, even I laughed out loud at that one).  The truth is, everyday is still a struggle.  Laundry doesn’t always get done, I have worn the same sweatshirt and jeans for like two weeks in a row and my poor husband doesn’t even ask about socks anymore.  But I love this new place I’m in and I give thanks to God for allowing me this life filled with lots of in-betweens.  I hope you’ll join me as I attempt, albeit humbly, to uplift you and your family as I blog all our little in-betweens.

Our family verse for this school year:

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.