Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Grown-up Christmas

Christmas is different. The magic is different. Our lives are different our family is different. I used to love the mystery and beauty and the excitement. I didn't worry about materialism or who got what present or whether what I picked was thoughtful enough. I didn't worry if I was making someone feel bad by what I bought or if that delicious cookie just added a pound to my waist. No, Christmastime was simpler and it seems that wasn't long ago.

Tonight our children are nestled all snug in their beds sung to sleep by last-ditch desperation. The 12 days of Christmas start out easy to remember but who knows how many Lords, Pipers, Drummers, Ladies and Maids we have? Which ones leap? Pipe? Dance? Milk? At least we know who drums. Eyes were drooping at 8 Maids a Milking so I could hummm 11 hmmmers hmmming on down and no one was the wiser. I'll need to visit wikipedia I just have to know.

Jesus, your birthday is fun. We all get presents. I'm not sure it makes much sense. I'm not sure we should be making wish lists but tonight I'll make two lists. One of the things I'd like to give:

1) Glory and credit: After giving Santa the credit for a few measly gifts I realized that you are the great giver and often I get the glory. May I point to you. May I give you glory.

2) Grace: In my own pride I take grace, demand grace, withhold grace and begrudge grace. May I look at your face an feel generosity not because someone is watching but because you gave first and I want to give freely.

3) Time: Oh that valuable and rare resource I once had so much of and now is hard to find. Please let me give freely to others, use wisely and use thankfully.


Others I pray to receive:

1) Your eyes: Please let me see things the way you do. If only in blinks and flashes let me see with your eyes so that I can love more, give generously, improve, continue, persevere, trust, focus and surrender.

2) A slow tongue: You know how fast I talk, quip, respond.  Give me a slow tongue that I may wield it more gracefully. Give me a slow tongue that I may use it for good. Give me a slow tongue that I may become patient and humble and more like you.

3) Soul-focus: Daily I focus to train my body. When I don't get to work out or run I'm a grump. "Physical training is of some value..." (1 Timothy 4:8) "but godliness has value for all things..." Oh that I can grow to know more than my daily physical training because this body is like a breath or a flower it is here today and gone tomorrow.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. May the love of the baby born, grown, given and received for our salvation be yours today. May his gifts be many and your eyes open.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm called to three... (priorities)

I feel like I'm on a roller coaster ride. Every day is an adventure, either in wiping snotty noses (last week) or discovering the fall leaves through new eyes (today). The Thanksgiving season causes me to desire togetherness, special moments and most of all time with my family. I'm learning that I can't fit everything in every day but I can fit in the things that I make a priority. I have been (slowly) reading Meg Meeker's book 10 Habits of Happy Mothers which is fantastic, by the way. It gave me pause to think about her suggestion to write down all the things I'd like to do in life... it was a long list from exercise goals to book club. Then she suggests making a short list of your main goals in life right now, in this season. Wow. I'm still thinking about it but I think the following are the main ones:

1) Live life as a servant and Jesus-follower, consistent and real - mind body and spirit
2) Love my family well: husband, daughters, parents&brother, church, the poor, the lost
3) Raise up my two daughters to follow God and be women of character and influence

That's it, my friends. I can't add to that my fashion, scholastic, decorating, traveling and vocational goals. Those things are sometimes a part of my life I'm not saying I won't do them at all. I need to remember that I meet my goals when I accomplish just those three because first at least in this season, I'm called to these.

Will keeping that in focus help me to spend my time well? I think it will. Can I let go of my perfectionism long enough to simplify my life and in so doing manage to experience it? We will see. In this busy season, we will see.

Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Temper Tantrums

Being that I'm the mother of a nearly 3 year old and a 6 week old you might think the title of this blog refers to my sweet little lady and household "big sister." Well it does (unfortunately), but it also reminds me that when I look at her it is like looking in a mirror. Today's saving grace is my mother. I was launching into my own version of kicking and screaming on the floor (tearing up while nursing "little sis" in a rocking chair) while listening to my daughter sob in her room. Clearly neither of us could get a hold of our emotions long enough to see the irony or the big picture. She's 2 years old. She has an excuse. I'll be 31 next week (oh goodness it's this week). I don't. Temper tantrum.

You see, I have a list of excuses to offer as long as my list of un-done chores. I'll spare you. If you have lived any number of years you might guess them. The laundry isn't finished. Potty training is hard. The dog escaped. There are puddles in our driveway. The mosquitoes are ferocious and we can't go outside. My hair was not blow-dried after my shower. No one slept soundly except the dog. Temper tantrum.

Those are just the excuses that are funny and don't really hurt any one's feelings. You should have heard the sob story I spilled on my unsuspecting mother when she floated in the door this morning to help me. God bless her, I needed help. I needed a time out. I hope she still loves me even though she can see what a mess I am on a daily basis. I hope she thinks I'm a worthy mother even though I know I won't be half the mother she was. I love my children when they mess up. I feel it necessary to remind my eldest: "I love you when you make good choices and when you make bad choices." God loves me when I make bad choices. Sometimes as I remind her, I remind me. It's not mother's day, I know. Today is, for me, the opposite of mother's day. It's whiny, feel-sorry-for-myself, anti-mother's day. It's the day that I most need mothering. Our dog always answers a loud whistle. My mama can whistle, LOUDLY. I am not so talented. I can not whistle and the dog does not come when I try. Temper tantrum.

Some days my good friends mother me. I do so depend on them for advice and even a swift kick in the derriere on occasion. Some days my husband mothers me (in a good way) fussing about and cleaning up messes I haven't the heart to tackle. There are other mothers who have contributed regularly to mothering me and I know that's how I make it. We are a community of "mother hens" in a good way whether or not we have any children.

If you read my blog mom, thank you. Thank you for today and for all the days I didn't thank you.

I am over my temper tantrum now. I would like to stay in time out a bit longer. When you're 2 time out is a punishment. When you're (well I don't think I'll remind myself again how old I'm getting) my age time out is a blessing. I hope the title of my next blog is "self control."

Fat chance. Temper tantrum.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Post Post Post

I can't say how many times in the last month I've thought "I'd like to write a new blog." There is so much to say and life is so full with a new addition in the house. What with potty training (for the 2.5 year old not the infant) which is the bane of my existence, nursing, the house, the laundry monster... which is fueled by cloth diapers and constant spit up I must have something interesting to say! Or maybe I just need to make the coffee.

Coffee made, infant screaming, big girl on the potty I guess I'll try again another day. Seriously! But life it too sweet to skip it in order to record it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Baby Sierra's birth Story

After waiting a week past her due date the Worsham family was thrilled that Sierra Rena finally arrived. It's funny, we kept hearing and saying "she's late" but the truth is she was right on time. There are a million little reasons that Tuesday August 16th was the perfect day for Sierra to be born but one of the largest reasons is that my friend and nurse Carol was going to be returning from her vacation at the beach that morning. Her shift started at 6:45AM. I could have scheduled an induction for Tuesday morning but I chose to schedule it for Friday... with the hope that if Thursday's appointment was good we could move it out to Monday. I prayed for labor. What woman who plans on natural childbirth (no drugs) prays for labor? I would argue that any woman who's baby has not arrived on her due date! It is really a mystery how we can be ready for an ordeal like that but oh boy was I ready! Monday evening we were at lifegroup (Cove Church Bible study) and I asked again that they pray for us to have a baby! It was kind of a joke at this point. They all knew I was ready and wishing I could just go into labor on my own no induction, not anything. I started thinking "I wonder if my body is malfunctioning? Am I one of the women who will never go into labor on my own?" Secretly I think my fear was that I wouldn't be okay with it if I was one of those women. Why was I judging them? Why was I judging myself? I had an "induction" with Sophie and things had turned out fine. Birth is about letting go.

Monday night I prayed went to bed with little to no expectations and planned to wait for Friday. Let go, be uncomfortable, be okay with whatever happens. Thank God for a healthy baby when she does come. Try to ignore the way it makes you feel when you hear the phrase "you haven't had that baby YET!" By the way, never tell a woman who is 9 months pregnant (or more!) - "you haven't had that baby YET!" First, it's obvious by her physique that she has not. Second, she is already frustrated by this fact. Third, no matter how she smiles and pretends not to care she probably cried that night when she was alone in the bathroom feeling like a huge and unpleasantly plump pregnant person no matter how cute she might look to you.

Now I'm trying to decide if I should tell my birth story with gory details and warn you off now if you don't want to read them or if I should focus on what was going on in my heart. I think for this post I'll focus on the non-physical details.

I went into labor on my own - yea! I got to labor during stage one at home while reading a novel - yea! I got to take a shower! I got to wake up my spouse at 4:30AM to tell him to take a shower (haha) he looked groggy. I called my mom over to the house at 4:55 (I was waiting until 5AM I thought but my dad swears it was 4:55AM - excuse me). I tried to tell Mike to wait a while longer at home. Mike got to tell me NO WAY! We stopped for coffee on the ride to the hospital. The smell of coffee (usually a lovely aroma) made me throw up. We arrived at the hospital at 6:20AM. By the time we were settled Carol showed up, at 7 my water broke (on it's own - yea) and at 10:42AM we had baby Sierra and a HUGE mess that both Mike and I were grateful that we didn't need to clean up. I knew that she would be born soon on Monday but how soon I wasn't sure of. Waiting for baby Sierra was an act of faith. It showed me that I do really want control - more than I should. The result of waiting and having faith was that I got the desire of my heart even though I had to cry and sweat it out waiting. If it was more laid back I probably would have had the same result without all the struggle but then maybe I wouldn't have needed this lesson. Having a newborn is beautiful. I'm enjoying it so much. Every day is a gift and I'm thankful that we waited for it. I also realize that this is different for everyone and judgement is totally unhelpful... I'm just not going to do it (to myself or others).

Welcome baby Sierra!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Daily Bread

"Give us this day our daily bread..."

For the Israelites it was manna, bread that fell down from heaven to feed them on their desert trek from Egypt to the promised land, and they didn't really appreciate it. For Jesus' followers it was only what they needed for that day whether it was knowledge, power, grace, a lesson. For me it's another day of being pregnant. It is actually a gift.

I was thinking of all the things I've done on the days I thought I'd have a new baby from spending quality time with Sophie to cleaning and organizing. I realized how difficult most of the simple tasks will be while recovering and taking care of an infant. I am anxious to get on with "the next stage" because I know what that side looks like. It's fun and exciting and it's the goal of this whole pregnancy thing and darn it I'm goal oriented! Every day "could be it" and that feels like a whole lot of pressure. God doesn't call me to stress out every day that I don't have a baby. God doesn't ask me to be goal oriented and feel like a failure when I fail to meet my own perception of other's expectations. God calls me to turn to him for the energy and patience I need daily. He asks me to seek him (and his kingdom and righteousness) first and he will add everything else as well (Matthew 6:33).

That's nice. I don't think I like daily bread all that much. It sounds like a good idea for the Israelites. I hear myself saying: "Seriously people, God gives you food from heaven, all you have to do is pick it up and eat it and you're complaining about the flavor or that you don't have enough meat." But doesn't that just sound like me? I hear myself: "Thank you God that my doctor's appointments are uneventful. Thank you that my blood pressure is down. But can't you hurry up with this baby? We're anxious to meet her and you know I like to be on time. The nurse I know is on vacation after tomorrow. My doctor also leaves town this weekend. God I don't think you understand that my time table included a baby this week!"

Daily bread didn't rise this morning? Don't like the flavor of the manna?

The most encouraging thing Mike said all week was: "I'm not leaving." I was complaining about how my nurse was out, my doctor was headed out for vacation and this baby seems to have no plans to make her debut anytime soon. I was griping about my fears and that I was "on my own." The best thing, the kindest thing he could have said to me in that moment was what he did say: that he would be there. I've thought about that over and over since he said it just a couple of days ago. Who would I say was most crucial to me at Sophie's birth? Without a doubt, my husband. I love the professionals but Mike is my partner and coach, the one person I depend on daily and the one who loves our babies as much as I do. How could I take his presence for granted? Some women birth babies without their husbands present for one reason or another (I'm thinking soldiers or others with obligations away from home). How could I forget that I am blessed to have him with me!?

I love when my husband reflects Jesus' character and ministers to me. This was one of those times. He reminded me that like he is there for me when I need him even if all the other people I've decided that I depend on are not; God is faithful and He won't ever leave me or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6). I can't help but mention that Deuteronomy 31:6 starts out by saying "Be strong and courageous..." Isn't that just the right thing to say!? Doesn't it make me more strong and courageous knowing that I have God behind me and also the man (Mike) he sent specifically to take care of me?!

On this day, which also happens to be my due date, I'm going to embrace my daily bread and be thankful. I won't do it just because I have to or in order to finish up another task on my to do list. Let's face it: if it isn't done now it wasn't that big a deal. There must be a reason I'm here even with my limitations and frustrations. I don't want to always rush into that next season of life without taking time to enjoy the current one. How many more days do I have as a mother of one? Most likely not too many. But in any case all I really need is His strength and purpose, just for today.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Waiting

You might notice the lack of post after this week's doctor's appointment. The truth is, there was no news. My blood pressure has stabilized, the baby looked good in the ultrasound, I feel fine and there is no reason I can't wait out this pregnancy. My doctor supports my decision not to rush baby S. I feel that I'm making the best decsion. So, nothing to discuss, nothing to do but wait. A part of me totally understands why people are anxious for induction. There's something about being ready and having to wait that is frustrating. I think we have control of so much in our lives the healthy reminder that we really aren't in control is a shock. So I guess that's it. I've been in shock. I think I have been trying to avoid talking about how close baby is to her arrival because I'm ready whenever and saying "any day now" doesn't make it today. I didn't have all the physical signals I'm experiencing now when I was pregnant with Sophie so I think that each set of new things had me on edge. This weekend would actually be quite good for a baby. I'm up for it, my doctor's on call, my nurse is on until Monday and my good friend who works in Labor & Delivery will be around. The only problem is... I'm not so sure baby will arrive. I feel peaceful about that. Baby will be here soon. She can't stay in there forever! Until then, I'll swim and snuggle extra with Sophie. I'll enjoy sleeping (as much as someone 9 months pregnant can enjoy sleeping) and feeling strong and swimming. I really did enjoy cooking an all Produce Box dinner of spagetti squash, eggplant/mushroom/red pepper, kale chips and convincing both my husband and 2 year old to eat it. (Okay so she was bribed with ice cream and cashews but it worked.)Things are about to change. I don't know why I'm so anxious to rush the process because life is a series of present moments and this present moment is just as precious as tomorrow's.