Just Be Quiet Already!

I have this little, teensy, tiny problem.  I am sure some of you also have this problem.  At least, I hope I am not alone in this!  I cannot, no matter how hard I try, keep myself from interrupting; especially when it comes to my husband!

I do it ALL the time.  And, not just while he is talking!  I keep him from hearing something he’s been trying to listen to during a really close football game.  I start talking right at the very moment something super intense and plot changing is about to happen on Homeland (seriously, who saw THAT coming last night).  I have even been known to open my mouth right about the time his favorite song is about to play, or the interview he has been waiting to hear, through about a hundred commercials, is finally on the radio…..oops!

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or TV show, or football game, or movie, or favorite song…

 

It’s become such a thing at our house that sometimes he just waits, expecting it to happen.  Then, as if on cue, I open my mouth, and blurt out something that could probably wait.  Sometimes, he even pauses the TV and looks at me.  And, I’m all like “What?!!!” with a silly grin on my face.  Then I proceed to tell him about some random article I read about the population of New Guinea, and how they have found the secret to raising the perfect hamster (yes, it’s that random).  I really should make more of an effort to control this flaw.

But, I still do it.

It’s almost like I can’t help myself.

Then, the other day, while I was running, don’t hate…I’m sure you all have things you do that would make me to roll my eyes too, I realized I do this with God.

All the time.

As much as I don’t want to admit it; I am the queen of interrupting.

Oh, it’s not as random as the hamster thing.  As a matter of fact, it’s usually with things that most would deem important…I ask that He would help me be a better wife, parent, or friend.  I pray that I would be able to make it through this Christmas season and not freak out because of stress.  And, most importantly, I pray that I would have self-control!  I really may hurt my kids!  I have one teenage son and two dangerously close to teenage daughters; it’s a real possibility!

As important as all of these things are, and even though I know that He wants to hear them, I can’t remember the last time I just listened.  Without interrupting, or putting in my two cents; just let Him work on my heart and show me His…

So many times, I am convinced that what I have to say is the most important.  My heart and my head are so loud!  Filled with the noise of the things I want, or how I think things should happen, and where I feel I should be at this particular moment.

It’s like everything is a battle.  And, the louder I get, or the more I interrupt will somehow impact the outcome in my favor.  It’s not until I force myself into the quiet that I can really hear the words that change everything….

 

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These words!  This little instruction that I so often forget.  This little passage in Exodus that gets kind of overlooked because of all the plagues, commandments, and disobedience.  These words are a powerful reminder that sometimes I just need to be quiet.

I am going to choose happy this warm December day because I am not forsaken.  He is faithful and will fight for me I just need to close my mouth, listen, and stop interrupting.

Keep Calm and Wait a Little Longer

In 3 short days, I am going to be 19 years from my 18th birthday.  That’s right, I will be further from 18 than I am close to it, yikes!!!!  Don’t get me wrong, the past 19 years have been great!  Let’s see; I planned a wedding, got married, started a family, graduated from college, and became a nurse.  We also moved 4 times, bought a couple of cars, built a house, and changed churches.

I have seen people come into and walk out of my life.  Some of whom I have been happy to see go, and others I still grieve over.  How can 19 years sound like such a long time, but in reality go by so fast?

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IMG_9294It seems like just yesterday Clint was proposing!  We got married and bought our first home.  Then, all of a sudden, Jaden was taking his first steps and we were finding out that he was going to have a sister.  Then, a few months after Isabella was born, we got the surprise that has always been Olivia.  Now, Jaden is talking about drivers training, and the girls are starting to rethink this whole sharing a room thing!

This birthday just feels different.  Like I can’t possibly be that far from a time in my life that held so much possibility.  Mostly, because I still see such hope and possibility in front of me!  And, of course, suddenly 40 is really, REALLY close!

And time keeps flying, and we wait for the next milestone….

Sometimes, I feel like all I do is wait.  For a baby, to finish school and become a nurse, to get a job in the NICU, to be able to stay home with the kids, to be comfortable with where and who I am…waiting, waiting, and then more waiting.

I can be really impatient most times (okay, ALL the time), and that leads to me trying to fix things.  I try to get everything exactly HOW I think it should be, exactly WHEN I think it should be.  I get so frustrated realizing that there are some things completely out of my control!

EVERY.  SINGLE.  TIME.

Then, this really wise and handsome guy (who I get to call my husband), pointed out that without waiting it’s really hard to trust.

I always seem to forget there are situations where the only solution is waiting and trusting.  Waiting to see God come through; because He is enough.  Trusting He has my best interest in His heart; because His love never fails.

That His timing is perfect.

The thing is, when I take a step back and look at that list up there; that list full of waiting.  His hand is everywhere in that list.  During those times of waiting, those times that seemed so frustrating, the times that felt so quiet, where He seemed silent and almost indifferent to my waiting…to our waiting.  Those are the times that forced the most growth.  The times where all we could do was wait, those are the times we were forced to find refuge in Him.  Those are the times we learned to trust.

 That list up there is full of answered prayers.

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During these last 3 days of my 36th year (and hopefully from here on out),  I will choose happy because He ALWAYS comes through!  He is always showing me how trustworthy He is, even especially in the waiting.

 

 

 

 

October is My Happy Place

I’m sure if my hubby had to guess, he would say my favorite month was either May (Mother’s day, our wedding anniversary, and nurses week), or December (my birthday, his birthday, and Christmas).  It’s one of those questions we would get wrong if we were playing the Newlywed game!  But no matter what he says, my favorite month is October.  The world around us gets more beautiful with reds, oranges, and yellows.  We get to have soup, chai tea, and lots of pumpkin.  Jeans and sweatshirts, cute fall boots, and fall bonfires are commonplace.  And best of all: FOOTBALL!  Needless to say, this is my absolute favorite time of year!

So, it is with a grateful heart that I say,

Hello October!

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Another thing that I cannot help but remember during these crisp mornings and shorter days is being pregnant.  I was like wayyyyy pregnant with Jaden in October during 2000.  He was born November 3rd, so October was the last month that Clint and I were just, well…Clint and I.

We nested together while the leaves turned beautiful.  We turned our little starter house into a home ready to welcome a baby.  Looking back, we should have slept the entire month of October! But hindsight is 20/20, and how did we know then that we probably wouldn’t sleep another night all the way through?!!

I even remember the last day of October that year….I was leaving home to be induced.  I was also praying, with all my heart, that I would NOT have this baby on Halloween!  After all, he needed his own day; not a day filled with pumpkins and little goblins!  Little did I know, that by the end of the whole experience I would have done anything to have had that baby the minute I walked through those hospital doors; no matter what day of the stinkin’ year it was!  But, like I said, hindsight is 20/20.

Now, that little 5# 11oz baby boy is taller than me, weighs more than me, and fills my heart with more joy, frustration, love, and pride than I could ever imagine.  We left home that day a couple and returned days later a family; a family that just kept on growing!

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Still, this month, in my humble opinion, is the best!  It’s my favorite for all the things that it is, and for all the things that it held for us during that time before Jaden was born.  I hope that we will be able to hold those days in our hearts and remember what it was like to be two.  Because soon, there will again be Octobers where it is just the two of us, and we won’t need to talk about homework, or homecoming, or parent/teacher conferences.

What?!  Wait….really?!  There are days that I cannot even imagine this scenario!

Do you remember the days when it was just the two of you?  Is it hard to find those memories buried beneath the falling leaves of a growing family?  I want to challenge us to find that time again.  I want to encourage us to make each other a priority even when it would be so much easier to make the kids, and the schedules more important.  It’s not going to be easy!  There are going to be a thousand excuses; most of them valid.  However, we all get the same amount of time each day, let’s make an effort to remember how we became us.  Let’s take a little bit of that 24hrs we all get to look back at who we were and who we are becoming together.

As hard as it can be during these days when the kids are all consuming and the schedules are overwhelming, it’s important to remember why we chose each other.  It’s important to remember going to movies at midnight just because we could.  How fun it was to jump in the car and end up in Chicago because the weekend was wide open.  I know that taking long walks with no where to be, sharing long kisses while watching TV, and sleeping in on Saturday morning may be a thing of the past, but the reasons why we chose each other shouldn’t be.  I have a responsibility to make my relationship with my husband a priority, and not let it get lost in the chaos of these new Octobers.

I love this guy who I chose with my whole heart!  But, you know what?  I love the guy who he has become even more than I could have dreamed on the day that he chose me too!  Today, I will choose happy because I have the best partner during these beautiful and chaotic October days!  It can be as little as leaving me a note on my coffee cup and making me laugh during homework, or as big as holding me when life is overwhelming, but he still shows me he loves me.

 

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I have to admit, I am kinda looking forward to the Octobers of the future, especially with him by my side!

 

My Happy List

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Not to sound selfish but this week was made for me! I should probably explain…..it’s Nurses week (I am a nurse), Mother’s Day is Sunday (I’m a mom), and my wedding anniversary is Saturday (yep, I’ve been married 17 years).  If only I had been lucky enough to be born in May too!  Anyway, what I am trying to say is that this week I should get a ton of presents, right?!!!  Okay, maybe not but I do have a lot of reasons to choose happy this week.  Plus, it looks like Spring has actually decided to stay around, yay!

In honor of it being Mother’s Day I wanted to share a list of mine.  This is a list I made to remind me of why I love being who God made me to be; the wife to a really great guy and the mommy to three really great kids.  This list reminds me to choose happy even on not so happy days!  Here it is:

1).   I am chosen.  Everyday.  God chooses me, my husband chooses me, and my kids choose me (for the most part anyway).  I’ll be honest, some days I wake up and can’t imagine anyone willingly wanting to be around me!  I am sure you can identify with the days you realize that you can’t even stand yourself…..even on those days I am chosen.  Even on those days it’s me who is put on this earth to be the best I can be for those who love me in spite of myself.

2).  I was known by God before time.  That is pretty outstanding!   He knew me, the real me!   The me who loves to laugh with her husband, and can’t stand to be talked to before 9 am (that doesn’t work so well when you have children).  The me who wants to make everybody happy, the me who argues with Him all the time, and the me who is grateful beyond words for this life.  He knew all of me before he even created this world, and even though he knew all of this he did it anyway, for me! Wow, just wow! Read Psalm 139; it’s pretty awesome!

3).  I get to be part of THESE lives!  I get to walk alongside a guy, who is so great to me I don’t have words to tell you exactly how great; seriously we were made for each other!    I am the one who got to witness Jaden’s first breath, see Isabella’s first steps, and hear Olivia say mama for the first time.  Even though on some days it doesn’t seem so glamorous, I’m still the one who gets to experience never ending track meets, endless laundry, and late night hugs when they just need their mama.  And it’s only gonna get better from here on out!

4).  I get to laugh pretty much everyday.  If you have ever met my husband or any of my children, especially Isabella, I don’t even need to explain why this is on my list.  Jesus knew I was gonna need some levity in my life and he gave me Clint.  We laugh a lot, to the point where I was getting some strange looks from the nurses when we went in to deliver our youngest  8 weeks early.  But I was stressed and he knew how to calm me; we just get each other.

5). Finally, I love my family! Bottom line, end of the day, after all is said and done I love them more than life itself.  So, no matter what the day brings or how little sleep I get at night that love makes me happy!  This love gets me through the failed math tests, the drama that is picking out clothes in the morning with the girls, and makes me a happy girl even though my husband is still working even though it’s 11:30 pm.  And what really makes me choose happy is that this love doesn’t even compare to the love God has for them!

So there it is, my list of happy!

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Are ya Havin’ a Happy Wednesday?

What am I gonna write about?  It’s already Wednesday and I have nothing to write about……..

I am pretty sure no one wants to hear about my grouchy kids, their insane amount of homework, or the fact that the ground is STILL covered in snow.  No one wants to read about how I cleaned out my refrigerator, what we had for dinner last night, or that I stepped in syrup this morning and tracked in all over the kitchen (with bare feet).  No one really wants to see me write about how it’s only Wednesday and I feel like the weekend was forever ago, that I am sick to death of my stuffy nose, or how the dogs are making me crazy.  I also cannot figure out what to make for dinner tonight, whether or not it’s worth the tired kids to go to church this week, or if we should have small group this weekend; because I really need to let people know!

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There is just so much whining in my house this week; myself included (obviously)!  So far this week I am having to make  a very deliberate choice to be happy, because my little world feels kinda down.  Has your week been kinda whiny too?  Maybe your daughter had a meltdown this morning because you didn’t have any bagels!  Maybe you cannot stop dropping things and finally dropped a glass full of milk.  And as it shattered all over the floor you just wanted to cry (or crawl back in bed, because both seemed like better options than facing the day ahead)!  I know it could be a lot worse.  What am I saying, I’ve seen it a lot worse!  It IS a lot worse for many of my friends; especially this week!  Maybe that’s why everything feels so much heavier than it actually is?

 So, I’ll choose to find joy Olivia’s laugh, even though she was the one who had the meltdown (that’s right it was about bagels).  I can definitely find it in the amazing guacamole and chips Clint brought me after he heard about my morning (I love him so much).  I’ll choose to see happy in Belle’s beautiful hazel eye’s while she tells me about her reading group (for the thousandth time).  And Jaden will help me find it as he tells me about the guest teacher he has in Social Studies, who always seems to say the wrong thing to a large group of 7th grade boys (you can only imagine).

Tell me about your whiny day and how you are gonna find the happy in it!  Or don’t and just listen to me vent.  Either way I hope we can all find a way to look past the little things that make us want to spend our time whining!