Tuesday, December 16, 2014

God is Not Safe

I believe in God.
That statement will turn you off, intrigue you or make you feel indifferent.
Lately I’ve been reading a lot of opinion pieces on what a turn off it is for some people to read that statement. Followed with comparisons of believing in God to believing in Santa; wondering where God is when horrible things happen; assuming that people believe in God for the ‘comfort’.
All of these generalizations make me think two things. One, Christianity is misunderstood to be rigid religion of rules; really it is first and foremost about a relationship with God. Two, Christianity is everyone’s favourite religion to flush down the toilet. Which is easy to do when there are so many extreme sects claiming to be based on the bible, splattering their skewed ideologies onto the title of Christianity.
I can’t defend all the aspect of my belief system in a simple post. Maybe I can address some of the main points I see being made in the ‘anti-Christian’ posts.
Believing in God is not about having a trouble-free and safe life. God always calls us to do difficult things that are completely out of our comfort zone. From something as simple as singing on stage, to loving someone who seems unlovable, to starting a business, to moving our entire family across the country, to leaving a relationship, to walking up to a stranger and offering them friendship, to leaving a career. In the stillness of our hearts we can hear these callings and they are usually scary and wild and against our instincts, therefore we tell ourselves it’s not from God. We like to put God in a fenced off yard where he only keeps us safe, well hydrated and lounging in a cushy hammock. But really, the things we are called to do come with no guarantees, no safety net, no finish line with a cozy retirement fund and sundrenched buffets.  Having faith in all this uncertainty is not intuitive. We want to protect ourselves, our routines, our happy mediums.
Believing in God is does not make me think I am a perfect person. God is constantly showing me areas of my life where I am weak, I am petty, I am unforgiving, I am judgmental. It is humbling, but it is a mirror showing me how to be a better partner, mother, sister, friend. Because God loves imperfect. He will fill in all the gaps with His Grace and we become stronger in areas we are weak.  
Believing in God does not mean we have to be the same. There is no ‘Christian Cookie Cutter’. All ‘Christian women’ don’t have to be housewives homeschooling five kids, plaiting homemade bread and singing in church on Sundays. If you do that, great for you, I salute your ovaries and baking skills. God made us all different with unique talents, views and skills. We should swan dive into a pool of  differences. Let ourselves be unique and stick out and make mistakes and look stupid from time to time. We should surround ourself with variety in the people we love and how we love.  If we don’t, we are fuelling our life on only one single food, all day every day. 
Believing in God is not akin to believing in fairies and pixie dust. It’s true I can’t see a physical God in front of me, but I can feel Him, hear Him, and see Him in your circumstances. I couldn’t word it any better than CS Lewis: “‘I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else”. Yet, there are also times God is quiet. He is still. These are times I am angry with God, confused by Him, yelling at Him. I’ve struggled for years trying to ‘hear’ God but He doesn’t always ‘speak’, rather sometimes He ‘does’. He is a God of action, even unexpected actions that I disagree with, but can look back on and understand why He ushered me toward the hard path. 
Hand in hand with this is the misconception that Christians believe this world is like Heaven. There is this notion that if we believe in God we have this ‘protection’ from all evil and peril. This is an entitling stance that allows us to blame God, or our being ‘ungodly’, for bad things happening and praise ourselves for the good. I can’t do this justice in a few sentences but being a Christian doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen to us. It also doesn’t mean we are ‘bad people’ if they do. This world is a fallen world; we all have free will to make our own decisions. God isn’t controlling us like puppets. He is walking along with us, constantly trying to make our circumstances work for good, constantly trying to strengthen us, to use us to help each other.
I could go on and on yet. Tell you things like, I believe God made each one of us for a wonderful purpose, and He doesn’t want us to be ‘perfect’, God loves imperfect (the bible is full of God using imperfect people to do great things).   I believe that Jesus gave his life for each and every one of us and that we are loved by him no matter what.
I believe that being a Christian is not about following a list of rules and dramatically preaching to the public but it is at the core, about having a relationship with God.
I also believe that God is not comfortable, but where there is discomfort I have hope in Him.  God is not safe, but where there is uncertainty we must rely on trust and faith. My life is not easier because I believe in God, but even in pain and desperation, there is always patient and steadfast love. 
This post first appeared on BLUNTmoms 
For more on this topic, I recommend reading “Your God is Too Safe” by Mark Buchanan 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Week Four of #moms30for30


Well, week four! Here it is in all it's timer cam glory!

Day 22 - I've actually made two other attempts to wear this shirt this month but someone had better ideas (no names, but it rhymes with Shmawson). Headed out for brunch at a friend's house. Kids included of course.  I mean who is else gonna leave their half-eaten french toast for me to get some guilt-free second helpings by eating their leftovers?

Day 23 - Three things: 1. Every time I got Dawson almost sleeping his sister 'needs' to use the potty. 2. These PJ pants may be my secret wildcard item in my 30 picks. 3. Everyone wore pajamas all day. 

Day 24 - Yesterday's 'awesomeness' spilt over into today and everyone woke up feeling extra...'spilly'. My mom bestie to the rescue and took Levi to school for me. Also, I'm on day two of trying the 'beachy waves' by Maskcara, but I think I ended up looking more like our ole dog Goose.
Day 25 - I've got plaid on the brain and some babysitting swaps to do with my mom bestie. 


Day 26 - The power went out last night from a huge snowfall. There was no TV and no 30for30. Levi had a rage nap over the lack of technology.

Day 27 - Still without power but since I have a back up of laundry there are no pjs to wear.


Day 28 - This outfit is an example of one that I think looked better on Pinterest. Either way I had a holly jolly drink while wearing it and we put all the Christmas decorations up.
Post by Dovetail Blog.

Day 29 - Waffles for lunch and dreaming of power tools. True story.

Day 30 - This photo was taken by an adult who owns an iPhone....or so he says. Levi and I went to church then we left early to drive to the city and pick up a piece for our furnace. No we didn't have a working furnace in this -20C, but we had love and that kept us warm. Just joking, kids were freezing and had to sleep with us, translation, nobody slept.

I also wore this when we went to the Big City later this day. Thought I'd share in lieu of my pajama day.

Stay tuned for a riveting recap of my outfits and what I liked and didn't like about this 30for30 challenge.

Link up with my co-hosts! Salma from the Write Balance, Raj from Pink Chai, Margarita from West Coast Mama and Taslim from Let ME Out Creative





Tuesday, December 2, 2014

These Are Good Podcasts


So in my free time (read: the thirty minutes from 11pm to 1130pm that I spend all alone steeping in a hot epsom salt bath) I like to listen to podcasts.

Podcasts are wonderful. They are free, entertaining, about almost anything and can be audio or video. They are easy to pick up where you left off, you can download them and listen to them while driving, you can stream them on your AppleTV.

Here's what I'm listening to lately.....

Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey
Its like having coffee with your Texan Jesus-lovin, FNL-watching, foodie girlfriends.


The Longest Shortest Time
When you need a safe place to be as a mom, just listen to one of these podcasts.


Beyond Your Blog
This site is all about submitting your writing to other places. The podcast is a series of Editor interviews on what some popular sites are looking for and how to submit to them.

I'm Right & You're Wrong
My girl crush on Brooke from Miss Teen USSR is about as secret as that time 11-year old me tried add a stripe of masking tape on my runners to pass them off as 'Adidas'. This is a podcast by her and her brother. You will laugh. You might pee. But if you are me, you are doing both anyways.

POPSUGAR
This is one of my links to the outside world that goes beyond facebook and instagram. It's just all the hollywoodesque trash that everyone seems to know but you.

Seacoast
So maybe I can balance out this list with some good ole church time. The video podcast isn't available anymore, the audio one is, but they are worth watching and listening to

There are different apps you can download to find and subscribe to podcasts, and of course the Podcast app.

 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Week Three #moms30for30 {Interview with a closet}

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Welcome to week three of #moms30for30 where we wear 30 items of clothes for 30 days in 30(ish) ways.

So I had a little challenge epiphany.When I did this challenge last February it was my goal to take the 30 items and remix them into outfits. Preferably ones I was okay to smatter across the Internet.
This time round I'm sporting a three month old who likes to 'mark his territory' and a social calendar that consists of text messages to fellow moms and writing my husband notes to take out the garbage before work. So my pizazz level is right around 'throw on red lipstick' and 'who hid my other slipper?'.

So, I'm out of 'make an outfit' mode and into 'analyze all the items' mode. What I'm getting at is, I have started to think about this challenge as an interview for my clothes. I don't love every outfit I put together and that's a good lesson. The process of trying to put pieces together, attempting and failing at looks I had in my brain, taking dorky pictures of myself are all teaching me what I like, what I don't, what works and what doesn't. I've found myself throwing some items to the side that I had my heart set on making work, but they just don't.

Of course I'm also doing this for other reasons like, to simplify my wardrobe, get creative with what I have, to actually make the point of getting dressed when I can (some days I can't), and other things I've yet to form into concepts and sentences.

So here are my outfits for Week Three.

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Day 15 - Headed out of town for my nephew's birthday. It looks like I'm forcing my kids to be in this photo but truth is they are my little quail babies and I'm their quail mom and they opt to go all the places I go and do all the things I do. Smiling is optional.

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Day 16 - Who slept in til 10am, tucked her flannel in and out all day and acted like her hand was on her hip for a very intentional and carefree purpose? I'll give you a clue, she's been banned from cutting her kids' hair

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashiondovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion

Day 17 - Hanging out at home in the comfiest sweater ever. I once called hoodies the modern mom-apron. Meet it's partner, the giant blanket sweater, a modern-housecoat. Though I think it could use some pockets....or maybe a fanny pack!
dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Also, Levi has started taking hundreds of pictures on my phone, I came across this one and loved that it was a picture of me and my kids that wasn't a selfie. Even if it is blurry and I'm yawning with the grace of a muppet baby. (Sharing, just in case I haven't bored you enough with my outfit selfies)

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Day 18 - Headed out to a ladies lunch here. You may have heard my reputation for saucing it up a little at ladies lunches but since I was nursing and had no DD I ate my feelings instead of drinking them. I'm a mature adult.

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Day 19 - This look subtly states a combination of 'my husband was home all week and now I'm all alone with three kids' and 'a mom who layers is a mom who knows she's gonna be puked upon'.

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashiondovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion

Day 20 - If I look the least bit calm today it is because I had an out of body experience after my wonderful toddlers were playing quietly in a bedroom and dumped all the toys out and doused the room in an entire bottle of baby powder....twice.... If I joke that Dawson was my favourite child on this day don't feel bad for my toddlers, they were tied for third favourite.

dovetail blog, #moms30for30, closet remix, mom fashion, mom style, project 333, shop your closet, capsule wardrobe, 30 for 30, challenge, mom style, fall fashion
Day 21- Had a couple moms over to feed them tea and the dried-goods section of my pantry. While our kids played in clouds of leftover baby powder from the confiscated toy collection. 

I realize these weekly updates have turned into a diatribe of my less-than-glamorous life. But hey, write what you know, eh!

Also link up with my co-hosts! Salma from the Write Balance, Raj from Pink Chai, Margarita from West Coast Mama and Taslim from Let ME Out Creative




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

On Being a Bystander {The Breastfeeding Chronicles}

video
Bedtime snacks for kids who hated mom's dinner.

Dad home after a long day. He pulls off his coveralls and is eating a semi-warm dinner before leading the bedtime routine with these two.

My little girl has two tiny feet tucked under her like two little white roses. When Dad is home he always lets her sit beside him on the bench, rather than her high chair.

My little boy has wide eyes that I can decode with growing ease. The code is usually, play with me, sing with me, let me help. 

I've had a lot of downtime these few months. Which is something I haven't loved in the past. 

Nursing every two hours means I sit a lot. I sit back and watch.

It means I can't be swooping in and wiping crumbs, reheating dinner, ushering kids to bed

Maybe it took three babies for me to entirely appreciate the subtle beauty of what was playing out around me, rather than feeling anxious about everything (that I thought) I had to get done. Get it all done. 

Sometimes the best lessons are learned by being still, and not getting it done. 
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