Thursday, July 3

the beginnings of something fun...

I'm probably not the first mom to relish in the excitement that summer can bring. I'm most certainly not the first mom to look forward to sunny days and playing outside...but, I may be the first mom who can finally say THIS SUMMER STUFF IS FUN! I seriously find myself marveling at the fact that this summer has been really, really fun! We've laughed a lot, we've played a lot, we've had a few little colds here and there, we've had some crabby days...but, overall we have been having so much fun that I can hardly believe it.
Maybe it's because the last 3 summers have been really, really, really hard. Maybe it's because my youngest kids are 2 1/2, so I only have one little one in diapers and I'm finally getting out of the "baby stage" with my kids and entering the little kid stage.  Maybe it's because the last winter was such a long, dark, cold, depressing one. Maybe it's because we've done a lot more fun stuff. Maybe it's the fact that God has been working on my heart and that so far it's been a summer full of grace and forgiveness and sweet moments and moving on after blow ups. Maybe I'm learning to give grace to myself, to my kids and to my friends. Maybe it's that instead of setting the timer and spending 20 min with God and the rest of "rest time" cleaning up, I've been spending 20 minutes cleaning up and the rest of my hour or so worshipping, reading and spending time with God. Maybe I'm more content this year. Maybe I'm learning to embrace the moments and the mess and the dirty rings around the toilet and bathtubs. It could be any one of those things...or quite possibly all of them together. 
Whatever it is I am so incredibly thankful. I feel so blessed to be  able to enjoy even the simplest of moments without feeling the rush of overwhelmed anxiety. I feel so blessed to enjoy the smiles and the giggles and the laughs of my kids without doubt and fear and worry creeping up. I feel incredibly blessed to just sit and laugh with my kids- to go on bike rides and to play outside- to push them on the swings and simply watch them ride their bikes- to wash the dishes and watch them all outside playing on the swingset- to clean up the living room and fold laundry to the sound of their giggly little chatter outside. 
I am so thankful for God not giving up on me, for continuing to work in my heart to bring me to the place where I can rest in the shadow of His might wings. I praise Him, because I know that there's nothing in me that could bring me to this place. I know what my heart is capable of and I know that it's not even close to letting go, relaxing and enjoying life. I've always been a "do-er" a worker and someone who felt like she needed to earn God's good favor and I can't even begin to describe to you how amazing and freeing it feels to be letting some of that go. (I can almost guarantee I'll have the worst day ever tomorrow and I'll be freaking out about everything...that's just how it always seems to work...I'm still a work in progress...but, as slow as the steps may be at times- at least I am making some progress) :)
To feel confident in God's love and confident in the fact that He promises to and will supply all that I need for parenting these littles- has given me so much more freedom to be myself, to be who God created ME to be. I'll never be super organized, I'll never have a spotless house or a super routine. I'll most likely never have super clean, pressed and properly dressed kiddos-(they may even be sporting Minnie mouse tattoos on their foreheads as I write this and just this past weekend I took my youngest to the Mall of America in her pajamas and thought nothing of it). I'm sure I'll still forget something (or everything important) when I go somewhere- that's just how I roll. I'll never be a super consistent disciplinarian type mom whose kids jump when I snap my fingers or give them the evil eye- I'm just not that disciplined or consistent with my own life. I'd much rather throw stuff away than organize it (no kidding- my son has nightmares about me throwing his stuff away...). I don't love or thrive in a messy house, but I'm able to function in it, for a while, and I'd much rather have it be messy than stress myself, my kids and/or my husband out to keep it in tip-top shape...and I'd much rather spend the day puttering around in the yard, weeding the garden or pushing the kids on the swing than vacuuming or cleaning toilets (who wouldn't, right?!) I love teaching my kids to be independent, even if that means they choose crazy outfits, put their shoes on the wrong feet, get into a bit more trouble or it takes 5 minutes longer to get out the door. I've been known to feed my kids ice cream for supper and use movies as a babysitter so I could quick clean up. I pretty much never had much of a brain, but now that I have 4 kids I don't have much of one at all- I think the lack of sleep and continually trying to keep track of everyone has basically fried it! To be able to work on being kind, loving and forgiving with my kids, has been way more fun than constantly redirecting and correcting behavior.
It's been fun to be able to relax a little bit, to let myself be me, this summer. To get back to the spontaneous, spur of the moment girl that I used to be. To get some of my energy back, to feel a little bit less like I'm drowning every single day has just been an amazing blessing- thank you, Jesus.


  1. I loved reading this post, Jenni! You are such an incredible mama and I'm thrilled to hear that you're enjoying your summer with your family! Miss you!

    1. I miss you, too, Christina!! I think you're one of the best moms out there and I wish I had more time to learn from you!