Permission to Say “YES”

Let me set the scene.

It’s one pm-lunch is finished, and all the munchkins are down for their naps. I have some decent energy for once, so I stare at the blank wall in the living room. I’ve been longing to hang pictures on it since we moved in this March.  My brain commences to formulate placements, colors, arrangements, etc…

And then….

“I really should wash another load of laundry.”

“The bookkeeping needs updating.”

“The sink is full of dishes from both breakfast AND lunch.”

“The entire yard needs cleaning up and mowing.”

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Odds are, if you’re a mom of little munchkins (or children of any age), you too have dealt with the mental battle of duty vs desire. And when you have a VERY TEENY TINY bit of time to handle anything alone, more often than not, duty wins.

Now don’t get me wrong, household chores, meal prep, caring for your husband and children need to be and should be done. It’s one way we show our family that we love them dearly, a way to serve and grow. But they also need us to be…well….US.

I realized recently that I had stopped giving myself permission to do things that I loved to do! Obviously no one had asked me to do so (I did it all by myself..) God has given me passions and loves, and expects me to use them for His glory as well as enjoy those gifts. And I had suppressed them under the guise of caring for my family, when ultimately, my family needs me to be me, not a robot version of what I thought I should be.

They don’t need a wilted Natashya.

So I decided to start giving myself permission to say, “yes”.

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Do not attempt while toddlers are awake….

 

“Yes” to hanging the picture frames.

“Yes” to planning and researching how to decorate this house, even though we may not be in it long.

“Yes” to reorganizing closets (because I LOVE to organize, whether it really needs it or not)

“Yes” to setting aside the chores for a while so I can sit and marvel at the life moving within me.

“Yes” to turning up some Sia and getting my preggo samba on for ten minutes.

“Yes”

And surprisingly, since then, I have found it easier to say yes to the kids.  Jump on the bed for a while? Yes! Drink your morning cup of milk using the play tea set? Yes! Wear your princess dress and dance to Disney music? Yes! Drag out all the beach towels and name them? YES!

Can I tell you something? It feels good to say “Yes”.

Give yourself permission today, fellow mama. Permission to do something you love, no matter how simple, silly, or unproductive it may seem. It will produce more than you know.

Weekend Sips

Looking for a good book to browse, idea to chew, or inspiration to marvel? Here are a few I’ve come across and would love to pass on to you guys!

So cozy up with a lovely cup of tea, iced coffee, or whatever weekend treat you prefer, and enjoy this beautiful day!

Every heard of Little Free Libraries? Oh goodness greatness, not only are they a fantastic way to encourage reading and draw more communities together, they are just so gosh darn cute! Check this one out!

Building Relationships When You Have No Bandwidth by Ruth Simons. “The older I get, the more I realize that when it comes to relationships, leisure is a luxury, but intentional is something all of us can afford.”

And last, but not least, this:

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Season of Planting

I recently read this blog post at Finding Joy and a mini revelation hit me between the eyes like a Lego brick:

I am once again in a season of planting.

Now, that may not sound like much, but you must understand, lately I’ve found myself fighting against the reality of this current season of my life. Against the constant-no end in sight-mundane tasks and  needs that often seem to yield no great crop.

I imagined myself to be still in a season of harvest, but I’m not…..not yet.

Ten years ago, I was. It was a time in my life where reaping the benefits and results of the prior years was more prevalent. But I had to experience a time of planting, then a time of tending before harvesting was an option.

And here I am again.

Motherhood is still new to me, and I haven’t been a wife for all that long either. Along with planting and tending these kiddos daily, I myself possess tiny seeds that require time, care, and patience to grow well.

With three children under the age of four, and a fourth expected soon, the days can be exhausting in their repetition and demands. The task list is long, the nights short, and the daily work…..hard.

I have returned to a season of planting.

There is grace in that knowledge. Beauty in the slow, sanctifying process. Accepting that slow does mean fruitless, and mundane does not equal purposeless.

And that, ultimately, how and when the harvest is ready for reaping, is not in my control.

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A GARDEN is a lovesome thing, God wot! Rose plot, Fringed pool, Fern’d grot. The veriest school Of peace; and yet the fool Contends that God is not—Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool? Nay, but I have a sign; ‘Tis very sure God walks in mine.

Thomas Edward Brown

 

When Renting =Frustrating

Always a renter, never a homeowner.

Well, someday that step will finally be ours, but until then, we continue our adventure of living in various cities, apartments, houses-and the numerous experiences they offer.

From a 200 square foot room that we called home in the early years of our marriage, to the current brick abode filled with echoes of little munchkins, we have learned to adapt and enhance each temporary space we have been given.

But to be honest, renting can be frustrating.

It becomes so easy to be swept up with what you cannot do: can’t repaint the walls, can’t plant a garden, can’t remodel, can’t replace old windows, can’t sand and re-stain the hardwood floors,  can’t repaint cabinets, can’t have a playground for the kids in the yard, can’t build a shed, etc…

Can’t. Can’t. CAN’T.

Before you know it, you are so frustrated by the restrictions that come with renting that you look about your home no longer with an eye of thankfulness and opportunity, but with discontent and resentment.

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The home no longer a gift, but a burden to bear.

But it is a gift. An incredible gift! And as Myquillyn Smith at The Nesting Place says, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”

So I sat myself down, and penned a list of creative or practical tasks I CAN accomplish here in our rental home.

I CAN:

  • finish repainting all the trim and doors in the house (white on white-they’ll never know) the prior tenants left countless dents and marks all over the house. Never underestimate how much cleaner a house feels with freshly painted trim
  • find a temporary shed (I am intrigued by this tent model) in which to store our lawn equipment, bikes, etc.. (currently on the back patio)
  • spruce up the back patio and transform it into a cozy +fun outdoor family area
  • hang curtains in front of laundry closet
  • DECORATE! hang pictures, guitars, mirrors, paintings, etc..
  • replace the throw pillows on the couch to update the living room a little
  • transform the spare room into a dual guestroom/writing room
  • clean and Rainex the exterior windows. Sparkling windows make everything inside all the more beautiful
  • replace and update bathroom towels +rugs to freshen up the bathrooms
  • fill and touch up paint the various holes and marks all over the walls (the owners left touch up paint under the sink!)
  • plant as many flowers, herbs, and veggies I want, so long as they’re in containers. It may not be my dream garden, but I can work with that!

You know what? That is a big list!

When I kick myself into examining exactly what I CAN do while we live here, I realize that I have plenty that can make our home more lovely, more beautiful, and a little more ours.

The truth is, I don’t have time to focus on what I can’t do. That list is long, I better get busy!

 

Weekend Sips

Looking for a good book to browse, idea to chew, or inspiration to marvel? Here are a few I’ve come across and would love to pass on to you guys!

So cozy up with a lovely cup of tea, iced coffee, or whatever weekend treat you prefer, and enjoy this beautiful day!

Chasing After More When You Already Have Enough  by Crystal Paine. “While there can be good things with some of those “more’s”, it’s time we stop spending our life chasing after more and really stop and ask ourselves, “When is enough, enough?”

I love tiny houses and stumbled upon this tour. IT’S A BUS?!?!?!?! If you’re interested in seeing more of this cool little home, part 2 is right here.

I may have only been a thirtysomething mom for a little while now, but this mom struck a cord when she wrote To The Thirtysomething Mums. A little morsel of encouragement goes a long way.

 

I Was Terrified to Have a Daughter

I love to watch her play. Alone or with her brothers, it doesn’t matter-she amazes me. I call her “Goose”, for it reflects both the silliness that dances within her, as well as the subtle grace that I know will one day take flight.

Yet there was once a time when I was terrified that she was to enter my life. A daughter.

Not that she was unwanted-far from it! Her very presence helped to ease the pain of losing the one before her, the numbing loss of a child unborn but forever felt. She was loved before we even knew she existed.

I simply didn’t know what to do with a girl. I was more used to boys with their rough and tumble ways-their little versions of manliness. I was comfortable with them because I did not feel the crushing weight of modeling an honorable man to them. I was a woman, and could guide, teach, and love them, but could never fulfil the role of father and man in their lives.

But I was having a daughter.

And I found myself very much afraid.

How do I teach her about being a woman when I have barely begun figuring that out for myself? How do I save her from pain I know she will face? How do I protect her from being used and manipulated, from knowing the same horrors I had to battle? How do I guide her? Teach her? Love her the way she needs to be loved?

How?

The truth is, I can’t.

I can’t save her from pain. I can’t protect her from all that would harm. I can’t teach or guide, or even love, her perfectly. I won’t be able to model the perfect godly woman to her, for I am not perfect.

But I can love her imperfectly. I can show her a sinner saved by grace striving to be more like Christ each day. I can show her failure and forgiveness. I can teach her to arm herself against evil from both the seen and unseen worlds. I can show her beauty in simplicity.

I can be her mother.

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Goose will be four soon. If I could simplify everything I wish she could know right now down to three truths, here is what I would want her to know:

  1. Return to God. Always. Every day. Nothing is satisfying aside from Him.
  2. Your worth is just as great as your brothers.
  3. In this world kindness is seen as weakness, honor as folly, and sweetness as naiveté. Never believe it. Virtues are given to us for strength.

I am forever grateful that I am not my daughter’s perfect model in this life.

And I am forever grateful that I am blessed to be her mother.