Be Your Own Adventure

Creating Everyday Adventures


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Words on Wednesday – It’s a Mom’s Life

There are things that you expect when you become a Mom, things people tell you about. The love, the worry, the tiredness (though nothing really prepares you for the sheer exhaustion that is your constant companion for the first few months, or years!)

People talk about mothering as being a great calling. So vital and important and world-changing. When I step back from my life, I can sort of see that, but in the day-to-day, in the nitty-gritty, it’s easy to lose sight of. Being a mom is hard.

As a stay at home mom, I struggle almost daily with feeling like I’m not doing anything of great import. I clean up messes, make meals, do laundry, answer lots of questions, do a lot of child negotiation, clean up messes, get frustrated with my boys, play games, feel guilty about the amount of television that they watch, clean up messes.

Worth It

As with many things and as a self-centered human being, I tend to think that I am the only one who feels this way. I was talking to a friend the other day, a woman I respect and who I see as being very involved – in the lives of her children, in the church, in a mom’s group. You know what, she feels the same way! She had recently spent time with some people who seemed to have these exciting, full lives. People who had so much to talk about. As moms, when people ask us what is happening in our lives, we feel like we don’t have a lot to say. Take the kids to swim class, have a play date, tidy the house, read a book. We often get glimpses into the lives of others and think that they must have it more together than we do – they have more going on, they have more focus, more energy, more exciting activities.

We moms are all different. Some work, some minister, some have more energy, some are older, some are younger, some stay at home, some seem to have twenty things going on and are doing them all well, some do less.

I know in a philosophical way that “the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world”, but as I look around my messy house, unable to pick all the messes up one more time today, I don’t feel like I’m ruling anything.

I am so grateful that I get to be at home with my boys, so grateful. I know that these years will fly by and I wouldn’t trade them, but it’s hard sometimes.

Worth It

I miss being involved in leadership, in the church, in grown up endeavors. I wonder if and when I will be involved in missions again. Want to hear a true confession? I know you do. I avoid meetings, talks, and groups where I know they will talk about missions and passion and getting involved. It is heartbreaking to listen to people talk about things that you are passionate about and feel impotent to get involved, to wonder if you’ll ever go to Africa again, to wonder if your potential has passed you by and now your dreams reside in your children (which is a really bad idea, both for them and for you.) Besides, I really dislike crying in public.

I do try to make sure that I am doing grown up things – this blog (though there is a lot of kid-talk), personal creativity (making things, writing). Still it’s hard, at times, not to feel like I lack purpose, focus and respect. And to be quite honest, the day-to-day stuff feels just plain boring sometimes.

Then it hits me, this too shall pass. It will pass too quickly, my children won’t always be dependent on me and then what? Then there will be something else. I will have more energy, more strength, more time and I will invest those things somewhere else. I pray that I will be ready. In the meantime, I must encourage myself daily that this life, this time I have with my boys is a worthy calling, it’s a tough gig, it’s a mission.

Worth It

I don’t want to rule the world, but I do pray that I am making a difference.

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Words on Wednesday – Questions, Questions, Questions

My status update on Facebook recently went like this:

Jude: Why isn’t God a million, or a google, or a googolplex (in age)? Are the clouds above the sky or under the sky? When everyone dies, will there still be a heaven and an earth? What makes the bubbles in pop? This boy keeps me on my toes & running to Google, God, Daddy & Grandpa for answers! (Not necessarily in that order.)

These were questions that came up during a short car ride.  Jude is four years old. He is working hard at figuring out the universe.  My husband and I are, for the moment, the ones that he asks these questions to the most. He wants answers. So do I. I still have so many questions, there are so many things that I don’t understand. I try to answer him as honestly as I can, to say “I don’t know” when I don’t know, to say let’s Google it, to say let’s ask Daddy or Grandpa or Grandma. But I know that some of the questions he asks simply don’t have clear answers. Questions about the nature of God and of Man.

I think about my own journey of faith. I look back on how I viewed things as a teenager, as a young adult – I could be so rigid, everything was black and white and it was safe and it was comfortable. I don’t see things that way anymore, life is much more grey than I once thought. This grey landscape can be scary and uncomfortable, there are many more unanswered and unanswerable questions than I ever thought there could be. It’s also a place of great love and freedom. I’ve found a God of grace and forgiveness. I’ve found fellow pilgrims disguised as vagabonds. I’ve found truth in rated R movies.  I’ve found love where I thought there was only judgement.

I want my sons to discover that love for themselves. I will be part of their journey, I hope that I can impart wisdom, and that they can avoid some of the mistakes that I made. I also know that they have to find their own way. They will make mistakes, they will judge, they will be blinded to things. Their questions will probably scare me and I will fear for the roads they might take, but I pray that they keep asking the questions because there are often, but not always, answers. Sometimes the answers aren’t what we expected, but there is always love.

Then there are those questions I love, the ones that have easy answers that I can Google! What sound does a rhinoceros make? (It sounds like a donkey.) How many people are there in the whole world? (Seven billion.) How many kinds of animals are there in the world? (There are an estimated three million different kinds of animals.)

My favourite thing is when Jude or Zane reminds me of the truth that we know, but sometimes forget. That we can pray and God hears. That God heals us. That Jesus loves everyone. Jude’s memory verse for Awana this week was, “Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. He accidentally said “scissors” instead of “sinners” the first time he said it, so that has been his joke all week. I have a picture in my head now of Jesus gathering up all the scissors in the world and rescuing them from certain doom. Anyway, on our way to Awana tonight, Jude was saying the scripture, but he was saying, “Jesus came into the world to save all sinners.” I was about to correct him, when he told me that he knows it just says “sinners”, but he knows that Jesus wants to save “all sinners.” I wasn’t about to argue with that because it’s the truth.

Keeping asking, keep seeking, find truth, find love. That’s the best thing I can wish for my boys.


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Tis the Season…

…to head outdoors & into the garden. Hard to believe since we had snow last week, but that’s Central Oregon for you. Last year I planted my garden mid-June & still lost everything & had to start over! Arg! It was an incredibly odd year for gardening even by Central Oregon standards.

For me, gardening & having children have kind of gone hand in hand. My first son, Jude, was about to turn one when, with the help of some friends, we put in our raised beds. This will be our fourth year of having a vegetable garden. The first year was wildly successful – I put it down to beginners luck. The following two years have been good & I’ve learned new things every year.

Our First Year Garden

I’ve never been as aware of the seasons as when I began gardening. I had no idea that Central Oregon had such a short growing season. I just figured that it gets quite hot here, lots of sunshine – it must be easy to grow stuff. I didn’t know about the frosts in the middle of June!

Harvesting the First Tomato of the Season

I’m also so much more aware of life seasons now that I have kids. We had a speaker at MOPS this year who said something that has stuck with me. She said, “When you’re a Mom, the days are long & the years are short.” For me, that has been true. Most days are great, but there are those days that drag on & on & we all just seem to be waiting for Daddy to come home.  At the same time, my boys are growing up so fast & I want to put it all in slow motion so I don’t forget or mess up or miss something.

So what are some others ways that having kids & having a garden are alike?

  • It’s important to have a plan! Whatever your parenting style, you really need to have an idea of what you want to achieve & how you’re going to make it happen.
  • You suddenly become part of a super cool club! When you garden & when you have kids, you find yourself relating to a new set of people – you have more in common with people than you did before.
  • You can talk about your kids or your garden for hours! With friends, with strangers in the supermarket – you’re always on the lookout for encouragement, stories, good advice. (You’ll also get lots of unwanted advice.)
  • They’re both hard work! Weeding in the heat of summer or disciplining in the midst of a tantrum, being a gardener or a parent takes time, energy & patience.
  • They both have a great payoff! It’s called fruit. When you pick that first zucchini of the season or you see your child voluntarily share with another child – it’s an amazing feeling. It’s this sense of “I did this”, but at the same time it’s “I didn’t have much to do with this at all – it’s a miracle.”

Whether you have a full vegetable garden or grow herbs on your window sill, try a bit of gardening. You’ll learn a lot & your kids will love it.

Who Can Resist a Dandelion from a Dirt-Covered Boy?

This is an article I wrote for our MOPS newsletter.