Thursday, March 28, 2013

small confession...actually, it's kind of a big deal

yesterday was hard.

the thought of crying came to me-i really want to go on vacation.
it sounded silly + there was no time to cry.
i had to finish chapter 2 in my book, 7.

i am so glad that i did. 

chapter 2:  clothes
choosing 7 items to wear for 2 weeks.

and, here is my outfit-that i have been wearing
every single day...
black cardi, green tee + jeans
my second outfit: yoga pants and long sleeve tee
have turned into my pjs.

will rhymes + i after sunday school

black cardi, green tee + jeans

my mom, liv + i enjoying a fun game of fibber!!
[these two...i can't trust them]

black cardi, green tee + jeans

2 of my sistas-at a hockey game with our families.
i really wanted to wear something fun this night...but, 

black cardi, green tee + jeans

oh know what they say...
second verse, same as the first.
a little bit louder and a little bit worse!

this clothes fast was much harder than the food fast was for me.

this is a post that i had written to the girls in my book club on day 5 of this fast:

 I wish I could say that this fast has been easy. 
I have struggled every day.
and everyday I wake up and feel edgy...
because I want variety. 
I want to wear a hat or a headband...
a clip would even be acceptable.
  I was processing with Ben and was explaining my edginess.
 It came down to 2 things: I am entitled and I am discontent.
 Ugh. How humbling.
 I thought I would love not having options,
that it would take a lot of the guess work out for me 
of what I was going to wear.
 I miss fun scarves, accessorizing, 
switching out shoes with boots and boots with shoes...
ball caps, sunglasses, rings, layering clothes, fun coats.
 These are ALL such luxuries. None of them fit into an essentials list.
 After pouting and having mini melt downs last week...
i'm ready to see what this week holds.

i'm not sure if it has been harder, 
because we are going on week 4 of giving up excess...
or, if it's because i care that much about how i look..
or both. :/

back to my mini melt-down tantrum about not "having"
options for variety...whether in clothing, accessorizing,

as i picked up my book to finish ch. 2,
 this sentence was waiting for me:

and i my melt-down tracks.

"I spend more just on clothes in one year than the average
 Ethiopian family earns in almost five."

i want to etch this sentence in my heart forever.
who am i to be so entitled?

on clothes alone...i spend more than they make in 5 years.
what am i doing with my money?
with my time?

here is a small, small confession:
i was searching on a garage sale site a couple days ago...
olivia needs new shoes for spring and summer.
She has a pair of flip flops right now. 

meanwhile, i sure did find this pair of awesomeness!

and, i purchased them...knowing that i am ridding myself of excess...
i purchased them.  
guilty as charged.  
i didn't even hesitate.  

i justified it by telling myself,
self...they are $5.  you love a good wedge.
throw in the fact that they "happen" to be just your size.
it's a deal. forget ch. 2...
your council of women would approve-
they wouldn't want you to pass up such an amazing deal.
do it. these lovelies will dress up a really dull outfit. 
type interested.
so, i did.  
i listened to my bad self-the next thing i knew-
i was setting up a time to meet with the seller 
and bring these babies home!

mama needs new shooooes!

the day after this little hiccup happened,
my dear friend, of the sexy 7-10 girls,
posted this pic.

yep...she wasn't purchasing new shoes.
she was giving away half her closet.

oh, sweet Jesus...i am undeserving of 
your grace that covers me.  
i am consciously receiving it-and grateful
that your mercies are new every morning.

here is my hope.
that something inside me is done resisting my Jesus.

there is nothing wrong with buying a new pair of whatevers...
there is something in my heart though, 
that is not satisfied, not content with what i already own.  

because i can't wear variety in these 2 weeks...
i seek to be distracted by it.
by what i can't have.

am i drawn more to beauty and style
 above substance, contentment & integrity?
my hope is that i will be able to say no.
not sure i am there yet. :/

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

be aware of your polarity

day five of reading the book 7

ben and olivia came home from my favorite
restaurant sunday night and brought me this fortune.

i'm pretty sure they decided this fortune was for me as
 they licked their plates clean of sushi + crab wontons.

how thoughtful.
how very and completely thoughtful you two!
i had to laugh because
that last "be aware" portion fits perfectly for how i've been handling this week.
 last night, in particular was insanity!
my sweet girl was up all night itching and scratching.
i was up all night trying to get her focus off of the itch and scratch.
it was disastrously impossible.

so, after 1 hour of beauty sleep,
i woke up to the realization of a long day
with one itching and scratching and one wound up toddler...

and my fuel for the day was black coffee and a plain egg-

i almost cried.

why does cereal and my comfort {cream + coffee}
make me feel like i can tackle mount windwood?
so, in my rebellious state, 
i did it.  i cheated.
i poured cream into the blackness of my mug.
and somehow, i felt good.
like, i had earned it.
i mean, i had been up all night with my child.

go ahead...judge me.
that is pathetic.

because when your child needs you,
that's what parents do.
they pull all-nighters.
this is what i signed up for.

and, my super-hot-supamodel friend, heather...
do you know that she stayed up for a gajillion nights
with her sweet bailey?  and, not just nights...all day too.
 cuddling her, snuggling...trying to adjust
her so that she could breath better.  making sure that her meds were
not a minute off. she and matt both.  
they did not miss one appointment...
not one of her smiles or sounds.  they were present for her.  
they gave her everything they had.


 i know i am comparing extreme situations.  
but, my point is this...
i learned how to be a better parent 
because of bailey.  
i saw her parents be parents. 
they were present.

they still are. 
 i am growing up in this parenting world...
wanting to be just like them.

their fuel - our Faithful God-
who they still call Faithful.

my fuel today...cream + coffee?

enough. already. enough.

adding cream to my day,
doesn't make it any easier to be present with my
children.  it only allows me 
to feel more entitled and deserving.

thank you black coffee.
thank you for being plain + plainer.
simplifying my perspective.

and my heart pours out to our precious friends.
thank you for sharing your sweets with us.
bailey is always near our hearts and continues
to bring perspective to our lives
and point us to the One.

For I am His,
and He is Mine.
that is where true fuel is found.

**if you want to know more about can find her story here at seven sparrows.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

my list of SEVEN (8)

i keep praying...
because i've never even done a fast for longer than a day,
 or at least stuck with it to do it well.
last year, for lent, i said i would fast from sugar.  
i lasted a whole 2 days.  my own daughter, 
who was 6 at the time, asked
 if i was sure i wanted to give up sugar for lent.  
she suggested i try something a little easier that i could give up-
like vegetables?  uh, yea.  that was humbling.

 praying over this is where i am at.  
i really want to see what God shows me through this 
and where He will lead.
and, at the end, i don't want to regret not finishing. 
i desire be disgusted with my excess.
because i know myself...the more i have-the more- my life
is about me.  less of me and more of you Jesus.

here we go...
 Chapter 1:  Food

doing this book with 35 other girls is so fascinating!!
it is incredible to hear how each girl is praying over
this...truly pouring over it making it their own.

there are so many different ways to fast.

some are using their lunch time to fast,
pray and connect with their kiddos.
others are eating only "clean" food.
some are only making meal selections based on
what they currently have in the refrigerator and pantry.
a few are giving up eating out, extra snacks & starbucks
and some are choosing from 7 food items to eat.

i chose the latter.  choosing 7 foods. 
this is what i came up with:

my fab 5:  spinach, chicken, apples, egg + ww bread
my 3 luxury items:  avocado, greek yogurt + coffee
so, i know...i have 8 right?  well, that's where my
3 luxury items come in on rotation.  i am allowing
myself 2 luxuries a day, along with my 5 essentials.

**side note**
and you know what's great...
my kind of luxury coffee is a caramel macchiato from starbucks.
bring in the hallelujah chorus and little cherubs waving wands.

but, luxury is taking on a whole new meaning to this girl with her 7.
luxury coffee for the next 2 weeks is black.  black as in PLAIN-coffee black. 

it's hot...i'll give it that.  

okay...sorry for the diversion...
my experience in the grocery store:

 i'm walking aisle to aisle searching for my 7 (8) items
 and i stopped at the waffles and just stared at them.
i mean, was i a little bit thinking that waffles could fit into my essentials?  
well, maybe.. but more than that, i am struck with this thought of how
immensely lucky i am that i can go to any store i want and buy food.
and not only do i get to buy food...
i have 7 different kinds of waffles-from the same brand to choose from.
i know...i'm such a genius.
these things probably come to most people as they shop through the grocery.
but, it hasn't hit me like that before.
i didn't realize how much i would see on day 1 alone.

 {jumping back to leftovers for a second from my earlier post}

on day two,
 i had plain chicken in my refrigerator
just sitting there.  i didn't let myself think about
it too long.  i got it out, warmed it up
and had it for lunch.
and, there were cheers.
crowds roared in amazement.  
well, my crowd of 3 sure did some clapping for me. ;)

and, i'm still alive today.  i didn't waste what i normally would have...
and, for the most part, i stuck to my 7.
with the exception of 4 peanut m&ms that were sitting in a 
bag in my pantry begging for me to eat them.

so, my friends...
this is happening.
an experimental mutiny against excess.

the 2 places where i think God is leading me...

we started March 1. 
I'll let you know how it goes.


i vowed, like the taylor swift kind of vow,
that i would never, ever, e v e r 
get  back together...
with leftovers.

ugh to leftovers.
the worst kind of feeling
comes over me when i even say the word 
l e f t o v e r s.
like i just swallowed an entire spoonful of bacteria 
and washed it down with a jar of mold.

i am not down with leftovers.
i could care less that i throw food away...
or, let it sit in the back of the refrigerator until my 
amazing Type A husband throws it away.

(i know you are out there-
you are either standing and saying
a big hello no to leftovers...or, 
you are rolling your eyes because
i'm making such a BIG deal out of them.)

well, i may not be making such a big deal out of them 
after reading chapter 1 in the book, 7.
my whole world is changing - thank you jen hatmaker...i think.

our fearless leader, Amanda {Rosencrantz} Lutz,
is the one who made this spiffy reminder of what
fasting is all about.
 she was one of my roomies in college-where  
we affectionately nicknamed her rosipantz.  
makes me smile just saying it.
love you rosie!  

there are 36 of us from across the U.S.
and a few other countries as well.
love the grace she extends to all of us
as she reminds us that each fast will look
different because each of us so is uniquely different.

including the sexy 7-10 girls!
we are all soOo unique.
my college bff's.

and because my girl jodi, aka spritz, aka sasha
isn't pictured above...

i had to include a pic of this supamodel too.    

when i was thinking about re-joining this 
"long distanced book club for awesome people" 
(that's the name of awesome is that??)
these girls kept coming to my mind and my heart.
we have never done anything like this together
and i was sort of nervous to even ask.
but, one by one...i kept getting responses that they would
join me in this.  i can't wait to see what God has in store for us!