Thursday, March 17, 2016

I'm Not Cool Anymore. (not even a little)

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I'm an early thirty-something homeschooling Mom with three rowdy kids up in mah house. I haven't watched cable television in YEARS. (Downton Abbey doesn't count because it's PBS. Obviously.) THERE WAS NO iPhone AROUND the last time I carried a purse that wasn't filled with diapers, wipes, stale animal crackers and 37 random broken crayons.

I went to the mall about month ago to buy jeans and left feeling like I'd visited another planet. SOMEONE ACTUALLY CALLED ME MA'AM. I've been immersed in growing babies and birthing babies and nursing babies and teaching babies so much lately that a lot of pop culture has passed me by. It's left me realizing there's a lot nowadays that I'm too old for. 

1- Trampolines. 
I had three not-at-all-tiny babies in three short years. Things have happened. Gravity is not my compadre anymore. Boom. Motherhood.

2- Less than three cups of coffee. 
I have a lot to do everyday. Jesus and coffee help me get it done. 

3- Sleeveless shirts. 
Awkward. Next.

4- Jump Roping. 
(See No. 1)

5- Movies that start after 9:30pm. 
Unless you want to watch me nap.

6- Technology. 
I own a MacBook Pro (I'm currently typing on it. Hypocrite, I know.) and I can operate approximately 1.7% of the things on it. My friend Cindy thinks I'm pathetic, and I probably am. WHAT IS THIS 'CLOUD' THEY SPEAK OF??

7- Spaghetti O's. 
I tried some of those last year and y'all- GROSS. What was 8 year old Katie thinking? Now Funyun's and chocolate milk out the jug- THAT IS A DIFFERENT STORY ALL TOGETHER. Manna from heaven.

8- Gossip. 
Seriously, nothing tears people apart and ruins friendships and isolates women faster than talking about other people. We are better than this y'all. DROP THE HABIT. I clung to it in my insecure 20's. I'm beginning my 30's with confidence in myself without dragging others down AND IT FEELS AWESOME.

9- Cheap cream cheese. 
We live on one income and I'm a master at budgeting. I can scrimp and save and stretch our grocery dollars like nobody's business. I am a store brand believer, but DO NOT EVER THINK FOR A SECOND that I'm not gonna buy Philly. Treat yo' self, y'all. 

10- Sun damage. 
A couple of summers ago I bought a gigantic, gaudy red sun hat. That thing has an SPF of 50, a 27" brim and I wear it EVERYWHERE. It's ugly and I don' 

11- Jumping jacks. 
(See No. 1 and 4)

12- Giving up my Birkenstocks. 
Part of my newfound confidence is proudly wearing my decades old Birks with everything. Florida only gets like 2 months of too-cold-for-flip-flops weather and my Birks have never let me down. Hooray for rocking feet that look like baked potatoes! 

13- Hip slang.
Because what on Earth does 'on fleek' mean?? Why should my eyebrows aspire to attain this description? Someone, help me. I'm lost. I'm thisclose to opening a permanent Urban Dictonary tab on my Safari browser- IF I ONLY KNEW HOW. (see No. 6)

Y'all, I'm sure that I'll think of other things to add to this list but for now, HERE SHE IS. I'm officially uncool, unhip and completely out of sync. I'm about two weeks from perming my hair, teasing my bangs into a curly donut forehead crown, throwing on a denim jumper (hold on- I think those are back in style now. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE WORLD??!) and completely transitioning to the stereotypical homeschool Mom persona. 

Or maybe not. ::wink::

Whatever I decide, thanks for stopping by y'all. I'm gonna go pour myself some more coffee and get ready to start my day. I won't hit my 3 cup minimum today by just sitting around here typing. Be blessed and bless someone else! 

Saturday, March 12, 2016


I heard it before I saw it- and I knew it was going to be bad.

I was in my room when the noise of the crash reached my ears and I immediately knew who the culprit was: my oldest, Luke. 

When I turned the corner into my dining room, I saw just exactly what I feared I would: 5,723 seed needs scattered on the floor, an empty bead box amid them and a petrified little boy staring up at me with fear in his eyes. "I-I-I-I'm so sorry, Momma. I was just tryin' to put it back on that shelf and I dropped it. Please don't be mad with me, I'm sooooooorry." 


You see, I'd only just told him that he wasn't supposed to be carrying that box around. I'd only just reminded him that there were drawers in our school supply bookcase that were off limits to him.(For the like 47th time. Grrr.) I'd only just shooed him out of that room and away to play with other things because I'd only just finished vacuuming in between and behind and around and underneath every single one of my dining room chairs in preparation for his sister Josie's 4th birthday party. Because there ain't no cleaning like the cleaning you do before your Mom comes to visit. AmIright??

I walked away, into my bedroom to put clothes away when I heard the scattering crash and knew exactly what it meant: a mess. A large, wildly scattered, enormously aggravating task was going to await me in the one room that had just been freshly cleaned. WHY DOES IT ALWAYS HAPPEN IN THE CLEAN ROOMS?? Mopping my kitchen is the No. 1 surefire way to guarantee that someone will spill milk or apple juice or an my entire 3lb. can of coffee onto the floor. And also y'all, those tiny seed beads can really travel. I'm pretty sure I found a few in my front ditch like a week after this happened. 

I stood there, in my formerly cleaned up, straightened up, everything-has-finally-been-put-back-in-it's-place dining room and my ears were ROARING. I felt my blood pressure rising by the second and my mind raced. I wanted to scream. Cry. Pout. Collapse. I'd been working on school in the mornings all that week and birthday party preparations during all the afternoons. I'd become busy and bothered and burned out. Seeing those teeny, tiny beads spread out like my last shred of fortitude, I knew this was it. The end. The nail on the coffin of my patience. The last chapter in the book titled: The Day I Shaved My Own Head In Despair. 

Only, it wasn't. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. And shout. And pout and shake and wallow in a big ol' pool of self pity. I wanted to yell. To scream. To holler at Luke for making a gigantic mess in my freshly cleaned room. But I didn't. Somehow, some way, some strange thing kept me together that afternoon. Kept me from falling apart and losing my temper and behaving in a way that I would have soon regretted. (Nothing is more humbling than having to ask your kids to forgive you for losing your temper. Trust me. I've done it before. Like 4,719 times.) 

Just that week, as I was finishing my daily Bible study in the date's corresponding chapter in Proverbs, I'd run across a verse that cut me to the quick. It punched me in the face and stuck out to me because I'm guilty. And ashamed. And defenseless. I've fallen in love with it and it's become a sort of "Mom-tra" that I've started clinging to. 

"Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a woman who has no control over her spirit." -Solomon, Proverbs 25:28 (gender changes mine, obviously.) 

I surveyed the mess and got to work. Out came the vacuum and dust pan and tiny broom that my kids love using. Luke and I talked, and instead of over reacting I was able to address the situation calmly and without losing my temper. (This may have been the first time that's happened y'all because I can sometimes have a flair for the dramatics. SHOCKING, I KNOW.) We worked together and the mess was cleaned up much quicker than I'd anticipated. We came away from the situation with cool heads, tear free faces and new lessons learned. 

That verse has taught me so much about how losing control of my spirit- my temper, my frustrations, my anger and my patience- about how allowing those to reign unconquered within myself is actually breaking me down and exposing me to attack. When I lose my temper and raise my voice at the kids, it becomes easier and easier to let it happen again. And again. And again. My fuse gets shorter, my patience thinner and my walls are weakened every time I snap. The more I yell, the harder I fall until one day, there will be nothing left to stop my anger and I'll be consumed by it. I'll be sitting around screaming "SERENITY NOW!" at the top of my lungs like a lunatic.

Controlling my spirit and asking God to abide with me as I navigate trying times helps me to rebuild my defenses. Taking time to begin my day in prayer and study and casting myself down before His throne allows me to let Him provide the brick and mortar that will be a wall and shield for me instead of trying to do it on my own. When He builds my walls they are hard to tear down. When I do, they crumble immediately. 

And when I think about it that way, the answer is simple. I need Him. 
I need Him 

Or I'm defenseless.