October 25, 2013

Beauty in the Breaking.

Today I finally grasped a simple concept.

...the concept that unexpected things are always going to happen in life. I realized that the only control I have is how I choose to handle them. I'm making the decision today to survive it using courage, humor, and of course, His grace. I realized that the choice is mine.

If most of you didn't know already, I am rather on the tender side. I'm sensitive towards expressing my joy, and sensitive when it comes to expressing pain. Both of course, make me cry.

I know I cry a lot and for many things like sad movies, or a bad day, abandoned dreams, or songs that remind me of the past. Stupid things too, like someone's tone towards me, and all the problems I've created for myself in my head. But then I heard a quote from Zooey Deschanel that made me think of crying differently.

"Being tender and open is beautiful. 

As a woman, I feel continually shhh’ed. 

Too sensitive. 

Too mushy.

 Too wishy washy. 

Blah blah.

 Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. 

Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart.

 Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things.

Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep, 

feel it all – look around you.

 All of this is for you.

 Take it and have gratitude.

 Give it and feel love."

-Zooey Deschanel

The last few years I have found myself becoming increasingly sensitive as life takes its toll: For a while I was constantly suppressing it and getting so angry at myself when I would cry at certain things or feel too much. Then a woman I go to church with was talking about our collective tenderness as women and that it is in our nature to be sensitive because we are nurturers, and we cannot nurture without empathy. I hadn't ever thought of it that way and it has helped me slowly come to terms with my sensitivity.

So here I am admitting that I cry when I am overjoyed. I cry when I'm overwhelmed. I cry when I watch Ellen DeGeneres bless someone in need. I cry in pure joy and awe at the sight of Henry, his laugh, his cuddles, his sweet little spirit. I cry at military coming home pictures, and new babies being born. Sometimes I cry when I am singing in my car and I have this epiphany of my existence and I feel overcome by love for my family, friends, God, and all the goodness that He brings to all of us. If someone cries in front of me, I will cry with them, and for the first time in my life, I am not ashamed of it.

Showing emotion and feeling puts us in a very vulnerable state and all of my reasons for hating it are because of pride. I have wanted to look put together, "tough", strong...and if I let myself fall apart, I cannot appear as such. I have been oppressing the very gift that God has planted in all women: The gift to love and nurture and mourn with those that mourn.

So this is my ode to feeling. I will not beat myself up for it any longer. I will love it because it is my nature and it's everything I am supposed to be.

Have a great weekend friends. If there is anything I can do for you, PLEASE...please let me know. A prayer, a hug, a smile, coffee, friendship, a listening ear...I'm here.

XOXO, Kess

October 19, 2013

My little pummy-ummy-umpkin.

Have you ever found yourself in a moment that you know is going to make a great memory? Ever found yourself stepping back in delight at something going on, knowing that is going to be a lasting joy you will look back on, knowing those moments are what makes life good?

Last night was one for the books. We had picked out a pumpkin for Henry at the Boise Fire Station's pumpkin patch a couple weekends ago with my sister (which was an amazing amazing weekend), and we finally decided to carve it! Henry was in his highchair holding a baby pumpkin, smiling and watching in pure curiosity as Hank carved the pumpkin and I scooped out the seeds. There were smiles, laughter, visiting, and happiness all around. We had the laptop on the table and had the "Thriller" music video going, as well as "Monster Mash" too, and it was so fun for Hank and I to sing it and be silly, and for Henry to laugh and nod his head and raise his shoulders to the beat!

These are the moments I will cherish with Henry.

These are the moments I will cherish with Hank.

These are the moments I will cherish as a mom.

We then took Henry out on the front porch and began to take his picture. Can I just emphasize how difficult it is to get a picture of a semi-mobile baby?!  Add a pumpkin and neighborhood distraction and you have quite the photoshoot!! There was so many fun pictures, it was hard not to pick just one we liked. So here they are; here are some pictures of the pumpkin patch and Henry's first Halloween pumpkin:

October 13, 2013

Fill in the Blanks. {October}

Making : A "Happy Fall Y'all" Decoration Banner.
Cooking : Baking actually. Brownies mmmmmmm.
Drinking : A pumpkin spiced frappe would be amazing right now.
Reading: Desperate by Sally Clarkson & Sally Mae. More than half way through <3
Wanting: to get my hair done. Needs it BADLY and it's my favorite thing to do.
Looking: At gifts for others for Christmas.
Playing: With makeup and hair tutorials on YouTube. SO FUN. 
Wasting: Time on Pinterest. Obviously.
 Wishing: I was on vacation with my sweet little family.
Enjoying: Fall, and church.
Waiting: For finances to get better.
Liking: Papa Murphy's new $5 pizzas.
Wondering: What God's purpose for my life is.
Loving: Phone calls from my sisters and mom.
Hoping: To make lasting friendships that will bless my heart, not destroy it.
Marveling: At God's promises.
Needing: A date night. Followed by a girls night.
Smelling: Bleach haha (just bleached my kitchen sink & counters) and my pumpkin candle from Kait:)
Wearing: my tan and black polka dot sweater, black scarf, jeans, and boots.
Following: People who make me want to be better.
Noticing: That time goes by oh so quickly when you have a baby.
Thinking: About how to be a better wife.
Knowing: My own worst critic is myself, need to change that.
Focusing: On letting God live in me and love through me.
Bookmarking: ideas for creating fun childhood memories and traditions for Henry<3
Opening: A new foundation. Such a simple pleasure.
Giggling: At how cute Henry looks with his two bottom teeth poking through :)
Feeling: Humbled. Hopeful.

October 3, 2013

Dear Weary Mom♥

Dear Weary Mom,

I see how you are dragging through your day,

 worried about tomorrow, and regretful of yesterday.

How there’s an endless to-do list always waiting, one child crying and another yelling.

 How shoes are strewn and toys scattered all over the floor, with the fridge empty and tummies hungry, because there’s not been time for the store.
I see how you want to clock out and run away from it all.
How do I know?

Because I’m living this weary-mama life right alongside you.

I’m in the trenches with you, struggling to prioritize, fighting to seize moments, longing to slow down time, and not lose my own self in the process.

I’m with you, living in the tension of giving, giving, giving, with the desire to be cared for too.

And I’m convinced this tension is the life of a mom … sacrifice and service walking hand in hand with needs and desires. A life-call to be humbled low and laid down, alongside a deep longing to be appreciated and affirmed, upheld and seen.

Sometimes it doesn’t feel fair to live this way … to feel like the giving is emptying us dry.

How often we think we’re too busy for God, concerned we don’t have the perfect quiet time to give. Or feeling it’s not practical in light of the craziness we’re enduring.

But may I encourage you today? :)

You, who are too numb to imagine feeling worthwhile again?

Don’t run away. Run to Him.
Because you’re too desperate to not take the time.
Too empty to not be filled.
Too rundown to not be refreshed.
Jesus has come to ease our load.
He humbled Himself low and laid Himself down. He knows.
As we serve, He serves us.
And as we give, He gives us more.
And I’m learning more and more, to run to Him.
To sit at His feet. To open His Word and let the words of His love letter soak in–this love letter I so desperately need.
Because He says I’m His.
He says He’s near.
And He says His strength is perfect when my strength is gone.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

In our times of frantic rushing and frazzled trying…

When we long to run away, may we run to Him.
Spend time reading His Word,
Listening for His voice,
And interacting with Him through journaling or prayer.
And so today, weary mama, in your run-down, bone-tired moments,

When you’re about to collapse and wave your white flag high in the air,

May you remember to run to Him.
Open His love letter to you.
Read just one verse.
Meditate on one Psalm.
Sing just one song.
Be still and let Him fill your weary heart with truth.
The truth that He loves you, and adores you, and thinks you’re doing the most marvelous job.

Sit a while in His love for you. Let Him fill you back up, that you may know His sustaining power for your tasks at hand. That you’d sense His presence and be carried by His strength.

And that you’d be filled up, to be emptied again … this flowing of His perfect plan through you.

XOXO, Kess