Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: 2018

Monday, May 7, 2018

Martha's work wasn't the problem...

The story of Mary and Martha was always a story I particularly liked in the Bible when I was a kid. Not for any super spiritual reason... but because it seemed like the best way to get out of some chores.

A simple read of the story makes it sound like Martha is getting fussed at for doing chores and Mary is praised for sitting and listening and hanging out with Jesus. Well, that sounded nice to me!

But as I re-read that passage today, I noticed that Jesus didn't chastise her for working. He didn't even look down on her work. After all, her work was important. She was being an amazing hostess and she was serving Jesus and His crew well by providing meals and bedding and everything that they needed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Looking Like a Bride Everyday

My wedding day was the most amazing day of my life. It wasn't perfect, and there are things I would change... but it was a day I love to look back on.

Besides marrying my favorite human on the planet, I think my favorite part was my dress. The way I felt in it, the way it moved with me, the way it felt like mine. I never expected to love the way I felt in a dress like that. But I had never felt more beautiful.

It wasn't just the dress though. I had a spray tan, and my cousin did my hair and  make up, I had acrylic nails... things that aren't normal for me. They made me feel special. They made me feel like a bride.

But nothing made me feel more beautiful than the way that Jon looked at me coming down the aisle. The picture of his face is the best. It truly doesn't matter what I was wearing down the aisle... because his face just says it all. He loved me! And I knew it! The feeling you get after seeing so much love on someone's face... indescribable.

I have yet to feel more beautiful as I did on that day.

After the wedding day...

That's not real life, though, and I only had one wedding day. I couldn't waltz around life feeling and looking like that forever. My wedding dress doesn't even fit over my "new and improved" mom bod. 

Today is Tuesday, and it already feels like it's been a long week. I'm feeling defeated. I'm feeling deflated. I'm feeling "less than." I'm feeling like I'm going to be making the same mistakes over and over again for the rest of my life.

And in my moping, the Lord reminded me of this verse:

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Is. 61:10

"Like a bride adorns herself..."

So here I am today, feeling "fluffy" and deflated and a little stir-crazy from being home with Jonah so much.

But here's the best part: when Jesus looks at me, He doesn't see the cabin-fevered, hot mess that I am... He sees the most beautiful, perfect version of myself. More beautiful than I felt on my wedding day!
He does not see my flaws.
He does not see the extra pounds.
He does not see my shortcomings.
He sees a bride who is completely decked out, dolled up, and presented in her best dress. 
Not because His love is blind, but because His love is accepting.
Not because He doesn't see the flaws, but because He loves me in spite of them.

I have something more beautiful clothing me than a wedding dress: His incredible, unending love for me. That's my best dress. And I get to wear it all day every day. During the witching hour, the late night feedings, the sleepless nights, the disappointments, the sink full of dishes... 

On the small, messy, mundane days, God doesn't shake His head at me and say, "What a hot mess you've become!" He looks at me with eyes full of love, just like Jon did on our wedding day. 

Years later...

It's almost been 3 years, and I am far from that pretty bride that I was. I'm fluffier around the edges, 20 pounds heavier, and I haven't had a spray tan since. I never ever do my hair, and haven't put on a full face of make up since that day either. But thankfully, the look of love in my husbands eyes hasn't changed. 
Because that's what truly made me feel beautiful in the first place: how much I knew he loved me.

I am sinful and imperfect, and I'm going to make mistakes til the day I die. But what makes me beautiful and desirable and someone worth dying for is how much Jesus loves me. That's my best dress. And I get to wear it all the time.

And so do you. Whether your wedding day was Pinterest-perfect, in a courthouse, or a tragic day you don't want to look back on. Jesus looks at you and sees the most beautiful and perfect bride, and His eyes of love are what clothe you. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

I Can't Tell My Son to be Brave

I'm not a big movie gal. The only reason I went (and went with a baby I knew I would just be holding/bouncing/pacing with the entire time) is because my family - all 12 of them - were going and #FOMO.

So there I was. In the Greatest Showman.
Sure enough, by the second song I was standing in the dark stairwell bouncing a 5 month old who wanted to watch the screen instead of take a nap.
And that's when it happened.

Monday, February 19, 2018

How I Used Everything in My Young Living Starter Kit in 25 Days

I got the best Christmas present from my sweet husband this year. It was a Young Living Premium Starter Kit! *insert happy dancing emoji here!*

For those who don't know, the Young Living "PSK" is an amazing package full of incredible, all-natural goodies. They will change your life, your home, your health, everything.

Seriously, everything. The way you eat, the way you clean, and the make-up that you use!

But even though I knew what was inside, it was still super intimidating to open the box and see 11 bottles of oils staring back at me.

And I've spoken to soooo many of ya'll who also think this kit is the shiz... but have no idea how to use all of it either!

What are you actually supposed to do with all these?
Where the heck do you start???

I started by searching "using your young living oils" on Pinterest. (lol) ...but there weren't very many resources out there that didn't involve buying more accessories or more oils!

So I am here to make this process super easy on you, and make sure you are using all those beautiful products in your life ASAP.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Why We Named our Son after the Rebellious Prophet

"Jonah! What a sweet name! Except you're going to be obedient to the Lord, aren't you, sweet boy?"

For what seems like the 49th time since Jonah was born - and named - folks hear his name and remind him that the prophet he was named after was rebellious. Disobedient. Not a role model.

It's ok. We knew those comments would be inevitable.

Jon and I were aware of this before we named him. It was a big part of our consideration because we wanted to be able to share with him the story of Jonah and why we wanted to give him that name. But we were also aware that not many people read the small book of Jonah and say, "Wow, what a guy. I want to be more like him!"

So why Jonah?

Monday, February 5, 2018

What I Read in 2017

I'm a starter not a finisher. It's just a part of who I am. I used to hate it about myself and ignore it, but now I'm learning how to embrace it and to form my life in understanding of it.

For a while, I tried to only read one book at a time, thinking that my desire to read the next book would motivate me to actually finish a book.

It didn't work.
But I'm not too discouraged, because apparently smart people read more than one book at a time! At least the smart people I listen to on podcasts say so;) (Listen to Tsh Oxenreider talk about reading here and Phylicia Masonheimer talk about reading here)

SO, I am guiltlessly embracing all the books I have cracked open and admit that I can't read one book at a time. Truly, how could I? I'm not going to always be in the mood for something deep and spiritual, but I also need more than a fiction some mornings.

Without further ado, here are the books I'm reading, have read, and want to read!
(Books that are on sale, too!!!)
(Me trying to read & nurse Jonah at the same time, lol!)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Year of Vision: My Word of the Year

"Word of the year" is not something new. Actually, my mom was the first person to tell me about it, and she's been doing it for years... so obviously I give her all the credit;) I like the idea, but with the newness and unpredictability of motherhood, I wasn't going to force any of it... unless it came to me.

And it did!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Defaulting to "Nothing"

Hello, 2018! And a big "long time no-see" to you readers.

I used to roll my eyes when blogger friends of mine would become mothers and promise "just wait until he's sleeping through the night and I'll get back into a routine!" or, "man, I didn't realize how little time I would have with a newborn!"
But, dang. Here I am. In their shoes. #humbled