Confessions from the ‘Hood…

The motherhood, that is.

In the interest of lightening things up around here, I thought I would share some glimpses of what goes on in my day-to-day as well as some completely random thoughts.

Is it just me, or am I the only momma who breathes an immense sigh of relief when bedroom doors close and all is quiet at night? I confess that there are so few silent moments during my day that I will begin our bedtime routine a good half hour earlier than normal some nights just so I can get to the quiet quicker.

The boys don’t nap anymore (more’s the pity), but I do keep a firm “quiet time” every day. In order to maximize my “free” time, I unashamedly change their clock every. single. day. so that I get an extra hour. When Levi asks me why I have to fix his clock, I just tell him, “Because.” Yup, I’m that kind of momma.

Lunch for me some days is a bowl of ice cream and whatever toppings I can find. I highly recommend swirling raspberry jam into vanilla ice cream and mixing in chocolate chips. And who on earth really only eats a half cup of ice cream? That’s like, what, five bites?

Seth and Ellie have been really sweet to one another lately. Actually, Seth has been super sweet for about two weeks now. That’s the longest stretch in his short three years on earth. But he and Ellie really have been adorable. He’s been “protecting” her and voluntarily bringing her toys and holding her hand, and playing with her. As the closest of our 4 kidlets in age, I’m not terribly surprised, but the tenderness he shows her (and Clara, too), has been a delight.

On the flip side, Ellie has been showing, shall we say….a unique personality. Girl has a temper on her, let me tell you. Gee, wonder where she gets that from?

A recent conversation between the 3 big kidlets, at lunch time:

Levi: “Oh noooo!!! Stop, Sethie, stop!!!” (Seth is eating, and Levi has not prayed yet.)

Seth: shoots Levi a look that’s basically like, “Whatever, dude, you’re missing out on this tasty pizza. I’m chowing down.”

Ellie, pointing at Levi emphatically: “Pray! Pray! Pray! Pray! Pray! Pray!”

Levi: “Okay, guys, stop. ‘Dear Jesus, thank you for this food. Amen.'”

……..later during the meal………

Something happened that I missed, and this is what I heard…

Ellie: “NO SETHIE. You don’t *completely indecipherable*. NO.”

And just for emphasis, she SLAMMED her hand down as hard as she could on the table.

That told him.

 

I am ashamed to admit this, but I have watched a few episodes of ‘The Bachelor’ this season. Apparently the dude went to college here in Rochester. From what I’ve seen, I’m not impressed. But it’s like a trainwreck. I can’t stop watching.

If you haven’t heard, I’ve been asked to be the speaker at a women’s gathering next weekend and I am terrified. No, seriously. I don’t have a lot of experience in public speaking. I’m already sweating and shaking and it’s not even till March 8th.

The other day, I drank so much coffee I thought I was going to jump out of my skin. I don’t know the last time I ever felt that jittery.

And my final confession for the night….

I’m just not certain we’re done having babies. I know. I’m crazy. But there you have it.

 

Blessings and love,

Erin

*Just to state for the record, I am not pregnant and we are not trying to have a baby. Just in case you were curious.*

My Sacred Scared

Glennon over at Momastery has been running a series of posts that ended today called “Sacred Scared.” These posts were written by women, who by all appearances, have it “together.” But they weren’t sharing on how you and I can have our lives together, but the places that they are afraid. Deep down afraid. One author wrote about her fear of never being thin enough. Another about how she’s afraid her work is going to affect her kids negatively. Yet another about her fear that she isn’t smart enough. One is afraid she’s a fraud. And there were more. But the whole point wasn’t to say, “See? We know how you feel,” it was to say, “See? We know how you feel AND YET you can live and have a fully joyous life.” Stop being afraid to step up and be someone to make a difference because of those fears.

It was incredibly powerful to read through these individuals fears. And it packed a solid punch to my gut because, if I am being completely open and honest, I have been holding on to some of my own sacred scared places.

So, though very few of you will read this, I’m going to post my own ‘Sacred Scared’. (I don’t have a recent make-up free picture of me to share, but I do have one from before Clara was born, so that will have to suffice.)

What is your sacred scared?

 

My biggest fear is that I’m not enough. When I first asked myself the question, I thought of many different things. That I will ruin my children. That I’m not worthy of my husband. That I don’t have as many friends as I think. That I’m not pretty enough, doing enough, thin enough, smart enough, or that I’m too much. Too clingy. Too needy. Too obviously desperate for verbal affirmation.

But all that boils down to, in my mind at least, that I’m not enough and that I will never be enough.

I can remind myself of God’s truth and what He has to say about me all I want. And I don’t always struggle with this feeling of complete inadequacy, but when it hits, man, does it hit hard. At the grocery store, where I see a perfectly fit (and super skinny) mom pushing a cart with one child in it perfectly groomed while I’m wrangling 4 kids and feeling pudgy because my coat is too big for my frame, but it covers the muffin top and jelly to spare from having said 4 kids so I wear it despite feeling frumpy.

At my mom’s group, where beloved friends share in their activities they do with their kids and I wonder why I can’t get my act together to do something like that with mine.

In friendships, when I haven’t heard from someone in awhile and I turn into my 8th grade self wondering if my friend “doesn’t like me anymore” or if I “did something.”

In my marriage. That I’m not a good enough wife for my husband, who rarely makes a demand on me or makes me feel like I’m not enough.

I doubt my worth and my capability in just about every single area of my life. Not always, and not for long periods of time, but it does happen. More often than I would like or care to admit. Deeper than I ever thought possible. It whispers, lingers, tries to convince me….“Erin, you are just not enough.”

 

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I Came in Like a Wrecking Ball

So, this weekend was pretty stellar. And by stellar, I mean gut-wrenching. But in a good way. I know, it sounds crazy to me, too.

A few months ago, there was some buzz going around my little spot of the world about a new gathering coming called, IF:Gathering. Basically, no one knew what it was going to be, what was going to be happening and what it all meant. But those of us who had heard about it felt like it was going to be something good. And boy, was it ever.

I still can’t answer the question I’ve been getting the most about this weekend, which is, “What is it?” But I can tell you what has happened because of it.

I am wrecked. Completely, utterly, wholly wrecked, shattered, broken, a mess. God took a gathering of like-minded women who love him, that come from every denomination you can possibly name, from every walk of life and poured out truth over all of us and I am undone. Places I didn’t even realize were broken have been put under a spotlight with every fissure and crack glaringly obvious. The things I held onto deep down in the places I didn’t even allow my husband admission? Yeah, those things were brought forth and I cried an ugly cry like you have never seen.

Can I confess to you? Can I be completely honest?

I have been living my life as though I do not count. As though I do not matter and I have been trying so incredibly hard to count. To matter. Never mind I have an amazing husband who is gorgeous and talented and devoted to me and our children, and who, get this, LOVES me. Me. Not someone else. Me. I have felt isolated, alone, afraid, depressed, purposeless, talentless, useless and it goes on and on.

People, God spoke to me this weekend. I am convinced that the reason for this whole gathering, conference, whatever you want to call it was for me. And guess what?

I am none of those things I thought. By God’s infinite, undefinable and yes, amazing, grace, I am holy. Redeemed. Righteous. A co-heir with Christ. Pure. Friend and Beloved to Jesus. Things I always knew in my head, but never allowed to penetrate my heart because come on now, there has to be a catch. It can’t really be as simple as letting God make me new by believing his son died for me. But it is. And I am still crying every time I think about what he showed me this weekend. (This isn’t to say that I wasn’t saved or a Christian before this weekend. I have been a Christian for a very long time. But this weekend, God opened my eyes fully to the miracle and undoubtedly undeserved truth about what his grace really is and does for me.)

I was blessed to be able to share this experience with four very special friends. We sat in one of their living rooms and watched this gathering unfold online (um, let me tell you, technology is amazing. This was happening in Austin, Texas and here in Rochester we could see it live and participate via a TV. Awesome.). We talked, we encouraged, we spoke truth to each other, we cried and we comforted. And we ate. We ate some delicious food, everybody. Just being honest.

I wish I could speak more eloquently to exactly what has changed and exactly what has happened, but I just can’t. I am still trying to wrap my head around everything and process and it’s just so much. Nothing has changed really, and yet, everything has changed at the same time. I still had smelly diapers to change and small people to feed and beds to make and dishes to do that are still piled high in the sink, but I just keep thinking (and crying, again, being honest) about the whole experience. Jesus is real, y’all. He is real and he loves you and even more astounding, he loves me. The rape survivor, the post-partum depression survivor, the momma who loses her temper too often, the insecure friend, the wife who isn’t always very nice to her husband, the one who thinks she doesn’t matter. He loves me.

Yeah, I’m wrecked. But I kind of like it.

Fly on the Wall

If you were a fly on the wall, you would have heard the following conversations at various points during the last few days. I promise, I am not making this up.

Enjoy, and stay warm! We’re supposed to be getting up to 10 inches when all is said and done.

(I apologize in advance for all the potty talk. The small boy has finally embraced potty training and a lot of his conversation centers around that topic lately. It’s my life.)

 

Biggest boy: “Momma, I’m all done pooping!”

Me: “Okay, make sure you wash your hand.”

Biggest boy: “Yup! And rinse my face.”

Me: “Your face?”

Biggest boy: “Yeah! That’s what you have to do to make sure your face stays clean when you’re a man. And I’m a man.”

Me: “Yes, you are a man, buddy.”

 

Me, upon entering the girl’s room:

The girl: “HHIIIIIIIIIIII!!”

Me: “Hey, sweets! What happened to your pants?”

The girl: “Pants!”

Me: “Yeah, your pants. Do you want to put them on?”

The girl: “No.”

Me: “Do you want to put your pants back on?”

The girl: “Oh *pause* kay.”

The girl: “SOCKS!”

 

Small boy: “Momma, you’re so beautiful.”

Me: “Ohhh, thank you S. That is such a nice thing to say!”

Small boy: “And I’m handsome.”

Me: “Yes, you are very handsome.”

Small boy: “And E is beautiful. And C is beautiful, too.”

Me: “Yes, they are.”

Small boy: “And I’m brave.”

 

Biggest boy: “So! (He calls small boy “So”. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea.) Let’s build a house for E!”

Small boy: “Okay, L!”

Biggest boy: “Remember, So, you need to be kind to E. We’re building a house for her. You finish building the door and I will build the rest.”

Small boy: “Yes! It’s a plan!”

 

Small boy: “MOMMA! I WENT POTTY IN THE BIG BOY POTTY!”

Me: “Wow, great job, buddy! I’m so proud of you! Did you remember to wash your hands?”

Small boy: “Yup! I went potty, I flushed, I washed my hands, I put my unders back on….”

Me: “Awesome! Great job, S!”

Small boy: “Yeah, I’m brave.”