#YesIAmAChristian, and it’s time I acted like it.

Phillipians

Never did I think I would write a blog about this topic. Ever. That being said, I am not sure how the topic can stay off limits. As usual, my disclaimer, I do not have all the answers, so take what I am about to write with a gain of salt.

November 12, Beirut lost over 40 people to suicide bombers. ISIS claimed responsibility.
November 13, Paris lost roughly 130 people, plus hundreds more injured. Again, thanks to ISIS.
And now, our country is facing a decision to help, or not help thousands of Syrian refugees who are trying to escape the very group who is deliberating killing people, daily.  Initially my feelings were like that of many others: ‘No. Don’t let them come. The Boston Bombers were refugees, at least one of the terrorists from the Paris attacks entered the EU as a refugee, I have 3 YOUNG boys, and I am scared. Protect your citizens.’ A friend of mine on Facebook challenged that for me though. She said (and I’m paraphrasing) that she is so fed up with “Christians”, and how we are essentially spewing hate, while preaching God’s love. Um, wow. She’s not wrong.  I really strive to live in a way that when people find out that I am a Christ Follower, they aren’t surprised. And, my Bible does say, many times, that we are to help the poor, feed the hungry, love our neighbors as ourselves. James 2:8-13 It also says that this world, is temporary. James 4:13-17 Our job here is to show God’s love, preach the gospel of Truth, and trust God.

I know what is happening is terrifying. I know that the idea of having what happened in Paris, happen here, is more than you can bear to fathom. It is for me too. I also know that God is in control. Completely. Have we forgotten, that it is God who allows the political rulers that we have, to be in power? Romans 13:1-5 Whatever you might believe about our current President, or past presidents, or the presidential candidates.God has a plan. Whatever happens, whether it be a huge influx of refugees, or the next World War. God has a plan. And it won’t fail.  So, have faith friends. Stay strong. Show love and compassion when it isn’t easy. Be light and salt in the world. And don’t be the kind of “christian” who turns the world away from our God, when we start to do that, we’ve failed in our mission.

I will end with this. Pray. Not just for Paris, not just when you’re scared, not just when a kind of evil we witnessed last week happened. Pray always.  James 5:13-16  Philippians 4:4-7

Changing my view of my husband, day by day

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Irony: Starting a blog about husbands being under-appreciated, and then having this image posted on your wall the very same day.

Truth time. I am so guilty of viewing my husband as my oldest kid. I’ve even said the following (more than once…): “I have 3 boys, and then my husband.” “My husband is 5, on a good day. It’s not a good day.” Slowly but surely though, I am realizing that I am way out of line. This is a very hard trap not to fall into though, we are hit with this from every angle in the media. It is a topic of discussion in all the mom groups I’m part of, and I know that myself and my girlfriends have talked about how frustrating our guys can be. Let’s take a step back for a minute though, and realize what we are saying to ourselves, and what we’re teaching our kids.

My husband graduated top of his class from his tech school. He had multiple job offers before he even graduated. He bought our first house when we were just 22, and I was still in college. Currently he works full time at a job he enjoys, and in turn I’m able to be a Stay-At-Home mom. He is an AMAZING dad. Bed time, bath time, diaper changes, you name it, he does it. He is also a pretty stellar husband.

Now before you start rolling your eyes, or think I have Superman for a husband, let me tell you, that is NOT the case. This is also a man who takes his dirty socks off and leaves them in the weirdest places for me to find later. He is insanely handy and can fix most things, but mostly because he has broken a LOT of things in his life. He never changes the toilet paper roll, and he and I could not communicate more differently if we tried. He’s messy, he rarely cleans up after himself, and he is pretty forgetful. It makes me crazy. He is also the man I chose ‘for better or worse’ and ‘until death do us part’. I picked this dude to be the father of my kids, and to be my partner in raising them.

This may have been an incredibly backward way to make my point, but I do love words, so #sorrynotsorry. In case my point isn’t as crystal clear as I’d like it to be, here it is. We need to decide as women, wives and mothers, to consciously monitor how we see our spouses. When I tell my husband he’s an overgrown 5 yr old, I am belittling him. When  I say he’s my oldest child, I’m teaching my kids that Dad isn’t a figure they have to respect. Sometimes we don’t have to be so overt about it either. We have dear friends who have kids, and every time the husband says anything, the wife immediately says the opposite. How confusing for the kids! Parenting is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, parenting with a person who has a different means to the same end, can make it even more challenging. So my challenge to myself, and anyone who wants to join me: fight that lie we’re being fed from the media. Treat your husband as the man you fell in love with, if you and he disagree about the kids, do it respectfully. Choose to see the best, and understand that different doesn’t mean wrong. I’m still working on it, but my goodness, what a difference it’s already made!

PSA: I have no idea what I am doing, and you don’t either

Everyone knows kids don’t come with an instruction manual. Well, the more kids you have, the more you need a manual, and the less you have figured out. Here I am, 6 months into my journey as a mom of three, and I have pretty much only learned one thing: I have no idea what I am doing.

When we had our oldest, Will, in January 2014, we knew that he would be our guinea pig. We brought him home, my husband and I having just enough experience with babies to know to feed or change him when he cried but not much else. I am pretty certain Will was actually Jordan’s first diaper change. Well, come to find out, Will was our trick baby. He tricked us into thinking we knew something! So we decided that if one was fun, then two would be amazing! God had other ideas, because in April 2015, when Will was just 15 months old, we welcomed our TWIN boys, Sam and Alex. Now before you judge us too harshly, our plan was to have our kids about a year and a half apart. Sam and Alex were due in June of 2015, but were just over 5 weeks early, and that shortens that age gap a bit. After 12 days (Alex) and 14 days (Sam) in the NICU we officially became a family of 5. Week 1 of them being home, Jordan took off work. Week 2, my mom came over and hung out. And then it was just me. Don’t misunderstand, my mom would have happily stayed had I needed her to, but we recognized that this was our family, and that we needed to find our new normal.

The beginning of any new chapter is always daunting, this was no exception. Having a crazy toddler, who RUNS everywhere, and two newborns in one house was, at best, organized chaos, and at worst, insanity. I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t times I didn’t use one of those baby gate play yards to keep Sam and Alex safely sleeping in their bassinets and away from their brother’s love. Three boys, three incredibly different personalities, and three different approaches to every problem. Everything I thought we had ‘learned’ with Will is constantly challenged with Sam and Alex. Will and Alex are great sleepers, Sam…well he is a very cute and cuddly insomniac. Sam and Will could have ridden roller coasters after eating a bottle or nursing and never once urped. Alex, he has reflux and urps all the time. No matter what. We bought stock in bibs.

The fact of the matter is that I have to provide something different for each of them. Their needs are different. Their demands are different. They are all my guinea pigs, and that will probably never change.