This post is a bit of a ramble, so I am warning you from the start. But there are some things on my heart that I have been pondering as we approached today. Rosie’s 2nd birthday.
I have been taking a bit of a social media break. I had my family here from the states and our kids 7 of them between the age of 1-8 only get to see each other twice a year (sometimes more.) So when they are here I really try to be intentional and focused. SO much so that I forget to even take pictures, so I am thankful that my sister is law is so great about capturing memories.
I have been pondering a lot of things lately. I am an introvert through and through and even though I love spending time with people it drains me.
A while ago I went through a really devastating loss of a friendship. It has majorly effected me and I truly hate how this situation is still something I grapple with 2 years later. But in my pondering and time with God I see so much purpose in it.
In the area of friendships with other women I have been floundering the past couple years. I prayed for a long time for a solid Christian friendship, and when that prayer was answered I was so overjoyed. But after just a few short years the friendship disintegrated and left many parts of my life in heartache. I withdrew, throwing myself into being the best mom I could be and putting up walls between myself and other friendships. I was trying to protect my heart.
Well God has really been working on me in this area in 2019. It started with the thought of starting a moms group, I knew I was lacking community in real life. And I think that is maybe why I love blogging and social media, because I connect with so many women that I love to chat with and share life with, but it is of course, at a distance.
That thought turned into being invited to a weekly moms group that has been so life giving for me. Then I was asked to be in a woman’s leadership program at my church where a table of 9 women poured into each other. Friendships have blossomed and I have allowed the walls to start crumbling because as a dear friend said “what is the point of life without community and vulnerability?” Her words ring in my head whenever my introverted self wants to retreat and protect my heart.
Through our fostering and adoption journey over the past 4 and a bit years we have walked through a lot of ups and downs. Painful goodbyes, hurt, anger and joy. I have been through the ringer in some moments but God has always been faithful. I tend to either face the hard things alone, or share it online but I never really connect with a close friend to share my heartache or joy. Up until recently.
I know this post is a bit rambly and all over the place but I just need to share my heart. Because as my friend says what is the point of life without community and vulnerability?
Sometimes I struggle being a Christian and having a presence online. I never want my online platforms to be about me, I never want to come across as narcissistic and self absorbed which is what so much of social media entails. Francis Chan’s words about Facebook always ring in the back of my head. Where he talks about our world being so self absorbed, that we have created a platform where we boast all about me me me. Look at what I am doing, look at what I am eating.
And as much as I love Francis Chan, this is an area that I don’t fully agree. Sure that is how many people use social media but I believe social media and having an online presence can be a powerful tool to help others. It is how we steward that online presence and the time it takes that is the difference.
Running a blog and being a content creator is a lot of work. So much time and research goes into creating a piece of content. Sometimes, I get frustrated with the lack of time I have as a busy mom because I want to be creating more content.
But what is the point of doing that and trying to help other moms if I am not stewarding my gift of motherhood well in order to do so?
It could be saying no to playing dolls or going to the park because I have a blog post deadline.
It could be the grumbling when I get up early to work only to hear our youngest rise for the day at 6:00am (come on kid don’t you know this is my writing time.)
It could be not putting my husband before my blog when he wants to spend time with me in the evenings.
There are so many ways that having an online presence can pull us from our motherhood.
There are times where I think of giving up the blog all together. Getting off social media and just simply living my life. But I know I would feel unfulfilled because I truly believe God has called me to use this platform to help others.
He validates that by having a reader send an email through anytime I am feeling discouraged. Someone letting me know how I helped them or how they finally said yes to fostering because of my videos.
It is in those moments that I see so much purpose in social media. We can share so much good, we can serve so many people on such a large scale. But it doesn’t replace real life community. And it can’t distract from my most important relationships – my family.
I must not forget my gift of motherhood.
I woke up at 4 am today, not able to get back to sleep, so I decided just to get up. I had my devotional time with the Lord and then decided to watch some Netflix. I’ve been fighting a summer chest cold and it has kind of zapped my energy so even though I should be using that time to work I decided to just watch Netflix.
The new documentary The Long Goodbye: The Kara Tippets story showed up as a suggestion to watch. I had never heard about her before but after hovering over and seeing the title mundane faithfulness and seeing Ann Voskamp in it I thought it looked right up my ally.
Kara was a young mom with 4 kids who recently lost a battle to cancer. She blogged her way through it sharing her heart but also sharing how cancer was a gift in a way. Being more intentional and parenting with kindness were some of the positives that came out of her diagnosis. The movie had me in tears through most of it.
She said one thing that really struck my heart. That she was afraid of her absence. Not of dying because she knows she has eternal life with Christ but of her absence. And of course it got me thinking about my kids and how my absence is the greatest fear for me as well. I just would never want them to grow up without their mom, which is exactly what Kara’s 4 beautiful children have to face.
It was just another reminder for me to practice what I preach about being intentional and purposeful with our motherhood.
We are one week in to summer break and I am already feeling like wow how am I ever going to get any blog work done this summer. My kids love to be with me, they don’t play independently for long and are always needing/wanting me to play or cook or entertain them. And as much as sometimes I wish they could just go play and leave me in peace so I can get some work done which is something I see many other kids doing, I know that is not the relationship God has for my family.
He is calling us to a super close knit bond. And my kids are only little once so I know I need to snuggle more, play more and be undistracted and completely available more.
This is my reminder that my motherhood is a gift and to honor Kara and her family I am committing to being even more intentional about my time with my family. We never know when our last day on earth will come and I for one want to live with no regrets.
God calls us to love others. We were created to be in community and I am going to be more intentional with that too. Not only pouring into people from behind my computer screen but by the little moments in everyday friendships.
I’m 18 months into a minimalism journey because I truly believe that is the first step. Getting rid of the excess in your life so you can focus on what really matters. When we are so busy managing our stuff it is easy to let life’s simple pleasures and quality time with our families slip on by.
The black sky turned into a beautiful sunrise this morning, which then turned into a bright and sunshiney day at 7 am as I finish typing this post. In this simple pleasure I am reminded of God’s love for us. My family is such a gift, my home is such a gift and TODAY is an extra special gift.
You see two years ago today my life changed. That morning I had no idea I would be getting a call about a little girl who needed a home who would become our daughter.
What a gift these last 2 years have been. Two years ago our hands were full with another little foster love, my husband seeing me worn down and stressed from loving kids from hard places said we had to say no to this little girl.
But I heard God whispering “this is your daughter. This little girl is who you have been praying for.”
So I said to my husband “she is the one, I know other families have already said no to her, we have to say yes” and (God bless his heart) he said said “you are going to do what you want to do anyways so whatever you think.”
Not fully saying no, but certainly not saying yes. I don’t want any of you to think he was being cold hearted, in fact the opposite he was trying to protect his wife. Fostering can be really hard and we were in the midst of a hard placement that required a ton of time and emotion from me. But despite that I knew I had to say yes to Rosie.
I called that social worker back and said “yes, we will bring her home.” I had such great peace even though my husband and I were a bit at odds. Even though in the next few days a friend deserted me when I needed her the most. Even though caring for her and parenting her has been very challenging. God has been whispering all along that she was meant to be a part of our family.
She is a gift. She brings our whole family so much joy.
2 years ago I got a call about a baby girl who didn’t yet have a name. I visited her in the hospital and fell in love with her dimple and her rosy cheeks.
1 year ago the plan changed to adoption for her. Which ended up falling apart in the fall where we really thought we were losing her. I surrendered being her mom to God and God has been so faithful. Today we are in the middle of the adoption process and Lord willing by this fall everything will be official.
These last 2 years have been life changing, challenging, and isolating but I have learned so much. I have learned to let my walls down, the importance of friendships even when it hurts, the real, raw, amazing gift of motherhood and family and the love of a little girl we call Rosie.
Happy Birthday to my sweet girl. I cannot wait to show you all her beautiful face. To be an official forever family. Today is a gift. She is a gift and being mom partnered with an incredible dad to my 3 beautiful girls, is the greatest gift God will ever give me.
Happy 2nd Birthday Baby Girl. We love your forever.