A Wife Loved Like The Church

Monday was my birthday.

I had my day planned out. I was going to sleep in and start my day off refreshed. The girls had school, so while Joseph napped, I’d relax and enjoy the silence of my house. Maybe watch a show. Crochet a bit. Eat some cake. Then Joseph and I would meet Jonathan for a birthday lunch date. I’d go shopping before picking up the girls. Then dinner and maybe another date once the kids were in bed. Perfect.

But, the night before Julia got sick. Then that morning Jonathan had to be at work early, foiling my plans to sleep in. Once mid-morning rolled around, Hannah got sick. And my well planned day crumbled down.

Not gonna lie, I was disappointed.

My quiet birthday celebration while the kids napped {unaware that it was actually my birthday}

My quiet birthday celebration while the kids napped {unaware that it was actually my birthday}

At one point, I almost wanted to selfishly remind Julia that today was my birthday. But, God pricked my heart and reminded me of something –

My life is about His plan, not my plan.

That reminder didn’t make me jump for joy at cleaning up throw up or feeling glad that my plans had so drastically changed. But it did make me soften my heart toward my children and see that this mess was the plan for my birthday. It wasn’t my plan {and I wasn’t loving it}, but it was God’s plan.

And when I was brought to tears at just how hard the day was going {how hard the last two ten months have gone}, my sweet sister-in-law spoke these words to me ::

Blessed be the Lord! For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults and with my song I give thanks to Him. Psalm 28:6-7

My situation never changed on Monday. The girls didn’t feel better. In fact, Jonathan and I both got sick too. I’m still struggling with feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. But God is reminding me that He’s heard my pleas, that He is my strength and shield; He is my help. And that’s all I can hold on to.

Julia loves dinosaurs. Like, love-love. Almost daily, she tells us that she wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up. She can tell you all about what dinosaurs eat, why certain ones have pointy scales, or why flying dinosaurs aren’t really dinosaurs. And don’t ever, ever, ever mispronounce herbivore. She’ll never let you live it down. {Also, five year olds that are too smart for their own good are indeed too smart for my own good too.}

DinoParkSign

 

Before ever having children, I vowed to myself that I would encourage them in whatever interest they had. So when Julia started getting into dinosaurs, we started reading dinosaur books and watching dinosaur shows. As her interest has grown, my effort to encourage her has grown. Yesterday we went to a Dinosaur Park, just outside of Austin.

JuliaTRex

To say Julia was thrilled may be an understatement. She was ecstatic. She was elated. She was… you get the point. She identified most of the dinosaurs before I even told her what they were. And when I told her I never knew stegosauruses were herbivores {pronounced correctly this time}, she looked at me like I had lost all my marbles. Who doesn’t know that stegosauruses are herbivores? I mean, really, I’m slacking in my paleontological studies.
KidsWithDino
Julia and I spent part of yesterday afternoon researching paleontological societies here in Austin. We found a couple that do fossil digs once or twice a year for kids. But, the jackpot was coming across the Texas Nature Science Center at UT. It’s free and open to the public, which means – we have this week’s field trip planned out!
Julia is only five and I don’t actually expect her to maintain an interest in dinosaurs, but I’m sticking to my vow and walking down this path of interest with her for however long she wants. And come tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year, when dinosaurs are no longer her thing, I’ll go with her down the next path. And it will be just as fun.
In the mean time, here’s to raising a paleontologist!

I’ll be straight forward in saying, I don’t own a gun. But I still have opinions about gun ownership. I’m not writing this post to be offensive {or defensive}, but as a means to open up some conversation.

I don’t like guns. I don’t feel comfortable around them {or people openly handling them}. But honestly, I don’t even know how a gun works.

That, my friends, is why I fear them. I believe that a lot of our fears are based on ignorance. We tend to fear what we don’t understand. And so, I fear guns, because I don’t understand them. While I fear them, I am moving forward to understand them. Jonathan has suggested we go to a shooting range {something that frightens me a lot} so that I can see how guns work and perhaps even shoot one.

Even in my ignorance, I stand behind the 2nd amendment to own a gun. I think people should be able to arm themselves, to feel like they can defend their family. But I wonder… what are saying when we have pictures like this floating around the internet ::

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I’m not even sure where to begin on my disdain for this photo. The fact that it sexualizes war, or that it’s equating our need to own a semi-automatic rifle to needing toilet paper?  Either way, I find it highly disturbing.

And this is where y’all come in.

What is the point of civilians owning a weapon used by the military? I’m not being snarking, I really do want to know. I understand owning handguns and shotguns. But why does someone ever need a semi-automatic weapon? I’ve heard it said that they are for hunting. Really, if you can’t shoot and kill a deer with 30 rounds of ammo, chances are good you shouldn’t be hunting. What’s the true point then? What’s our need for civilian semi-automatic gun ownership? 

Let me make this clear  – I’m open to conversation and discussion on this matter, because I really do want to better understand this issue. If you choose to comment, keep your comments respectful. I’m not here to argue, so don’t try using my post as a sounding board to be mean. I have a low tolerance for mean people and your comment will be removed. 

Life is funny, how it goes round and round like a revolving door. I think what makes it even funnier is how it catches me off guard. I get a little bit shocked at seeing old issues crop up, when that should be expected.

I’ve had this scene from Elf on repeat in my head {the hilarity of that is not lost on me}. It makes me laugh, realizing I feel the same way about life sometimes.

Remember that blog challenge I mentioned? Well, in classic Sarah fashion I have so not stuck with it, and now am randomly choosing ideas off the list. I mean, do y’all really want to read an entire post about my favorite ice cream? Probably not. {It’s chocolate mint for you curious minds.} But, one  post idea I think is really fun is “my dream job”. You ready for this….?

A Secret Agent.

james-bond-marathon

I’ve had a crush on Sean Connery since I was a little kid. Weird, I know.

I’m talking full on James Bond. Or, maybe just some Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies. Either way, going all covert and sneaky-sneak seems pretty awesome to me. Granted, I could be the worst liar in the world, so I’m not sure how well that works in the secret agent world. But, I’ve seen enough Bond movies to at least figure something out.

What’s your dream job? And if you don’t have one, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

photo credit

 

 

 

Two very dear friends are having their first babies this spring. I am so thrilled for both of them. I have no doubt that they will embrace motherhood like the wonderful women that they are. But today, I wondered – “Will motherhood embrace them?”

You see, too often as mothers we can feel like we are competing against each other. We inadvertently {or intentionally for some} measure our children against other women’s children. Who had the longest labor? Who had the biggest baby? Who rolled over first? Who crawled first? Who walked first?

And those are just comparisons in the first year. It seems like the stakes get higher as the children get older.

We mothers use our children as measuring sticks for how well we are doing. “Julia might not be reading independently, but she can make her own lunch. At least she is doing better than Susie Q down the street. See, I’m excelling over Susie Q’s mom as a mother.”

That is an obviously ridiculous thing to think or say. But we do it. Maybe not about Julia’s mad lunch making skills, but about other things. We see what our child can or cannot do, compare it against other children and then against their moms.

And we are damaging a special bond when we compare each other. Motherhood is not a competition, it is a sisterhood. And we moms would do well to remember that. When we compare {for good or bad} our mothering skills against others, we are focusing on the wrong motives. I didn’t teach Julia how to make her own lunch so that I could somehow be a better mom in comparison to someone. I did it because she showed interest and I wanted her to learn. Motherhood is about training and loving your children. It’s about encouraging other moms in the same quest. How they train and love isn’t dictated by you. And how you train and love isn’t dictated by them.

But what is dictated by you is how you help encourage and strengthen your fellow mom. Are you genuine in your advice {and even more importantly, is your advice necessary or wanted}? Are you speaking words of encouragement? Are you standing beside the moms in your life and fighting for them or against them?

If 5+ years of motherhood have taught me anything, it’s that I don’t always know what is best for my own children let alone another person’s children. And that when I tear other moms down, it hurts me just as much as it hurts them. But when I build them up, they build me up. Then we all win.

And if you were to ever ask Julia, she’d tell you everyone likes a win-win.

All of us have an inner critic. A voice within that tells us we can’t achieve our goals, we can’t be victorious.

I spent yesterday morning silencing that voice within me that said I couldn’t finish a marathon. I did finish and it was great.  ::

MarathonFinish

I ran with my two friends, Adriane and Erika. The weather started off a bit chilly, around 40*, so we made sure to layer up. At Mile 6, we dropped our first layer with our support team. Then at Mile 8, I stripped down to my base layer and dropped it with our next support team.

Let me stop here to say something – This race, all the training, could not have happened if it wasn’t for the support of my amazing husband. Jonathan spent so many mornings taking care of our kids while I was out running. He spent hours Sunday tracking my progress on the course, finding spots to meet me so that he {and our kids and my brother} could shout and cheer for me.

The first 10 miles were nice and easy. I was in a good groove, felt mentally and physically good. At Mile 10, we stopped for water and GU. And that’s when I hit the runner’s wall. If you’ve run a marathon, or read about marathons, there is an infamous “wall” that runners hit. Most experts say it’s around 20 miles. Mine hit at 10 miles. But there’s a reason for that…

You see, I’ve run the Austin Half Marathon twice before. The first 10 miles of the course is the exact same as the marathon course. At Mile 10, you see this sign ::

MarathonSplit

On the right side of the street is a sign that says :: “13.1 —>” The last two years, I’ve always gone to the right. When I came up to the split, my body said “go left” my mind said “go right”. It was awful. I spent the next 3 miles struggling mentally to get over the idea that I could be done if I had just stayed right.

But I didn’t stay right. I went left. And I kept running.

After getting over that wall, I was able to regain my mental strength. I turned on some music and let myself get lost in the moment. Things went really well till around Mile 21. By this point, Erika had gotten a good break away, but Adriane and I were still together. We were starting to have some serious pain. We took a few walk breaks and even joked that our butts were on fire because our glutes hurt so much. Surprisingly though, the pain seemed to lessen when we ran {or maybe it didn’t lessen, we just ignored it}.

At Mile 22, we saw all our families and friends. It was so, so, SO good. It was the boost we needed to get us through the last 4 miles.

Mile 23-25 are nice downhill miles. See, most people think of Texas as being flat. Well… Austin is part of the Hill Country. And it is called the hill country for a reason. If you’ve ever been to Austin, you know that it is not a flat city and has some pretty nasty hills. Especially if you have to run them.

Having those two miles of easy, made running Mile 26 possible.

As we got closer to Mile 26, you can see one last steep hill in the distance. That hill is literally the only thing between you and the finish. You top that hill, take one right turn and you’ve crossed the finish line.

That hill. Oh that hill. That hill became the voice within that told me I couldn’t do this. After beating my body for 26 miles, that hill represented every person who said this wasn’t possible, every time I wanted to quit, every moment that seemed impossible. But I just made it possible. I just beat that hill and crossed the finish line. I just became a marathoner.

MarathonMedal

When I crossed the finish line, a flood of emotions erupted. I was yelling and shouting, yet nearly in tears. Six months of training for this one day. Incredible.

Now, here I am, on an ordinary Monday. I’m drinking my coffee and blogging. I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that I accomplished a life long dream yesterday, that I became a marathoner. It’s a bit overwhelming. But it’s a good overwhelmed.

Now, once my legs stop hurting, I’ve got another race to plan.

I love movies. And TV. And pretty much anything else that provides entertainment. But, even though I love movies/TV, I’m pretty picky. I don’t like scary movies, or overly dramatic TV {think Grey’s Anatomy}. I prefer my TV to be funny and my movies to either have action or romantic humor.

I tend to watch my favorite movies and shows over and over again. One summer, I watched You’ve Got Mail every day. That ain’t no joke. Literally, every day. Here are some of my favorite {most used} movie/show quotes ::

1. hello, mcfly – Back to the Future

2. can you deal with that? – Meet the Parents

3. not that there’s anything wrong with that – Seinfeld

4. there’s no crying in baseball – A League of Their Own

5. you’re killing me smalls – Sandlot

Funny enough, I say those last two quotes to Julia and Hannah so much that I think they have them memorized.

Do you have a favorite movie quote? 

I came across this fun blog challenge on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. It’s technically suppose to be for March, and technically suppose to be done in 31 days. But we all know I’m not an overachiever, so I figured I’d start now and maybe be finished by May. Or you know, sometime.

Today’s challenge is a self portrait and 5 random facts. Drum roll please…

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1. My hair holds curl about as long as Kim Kardashian stays married. So the other day when it still had curly waves to it at 9 pm, I formed a total crush on my hair. I snapped a picture {you know, since it’ll last longer} to prove that one time I did have sexy hair. Sadly, I’ve not been able to recreate the awesome since.

2. Most people complain about the frosting on cakes. “It’s too sweet” they claim. I actually prefer the icing. I’ve never met a dessert that was too sweet.

3.  After 7.5 years of marriage, I just updated my passport to my married name this past month.

4. I got pulled over this morning for failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Thankfully the cop just gave me a warning. Whew.

5. I love high heels. I own at least 5 pairs. And I never wear them.

I’ve always dreamed of being a runner. When I trained and ran my first half marathon 3 years ago, I finally allowed myself to believe I was a runner. And while I day dreamed of pushing myself to run a full marathon, the idea of starting {and completing} a 26.2 mile race seemed like a monumental feat.

Not any more.

This Sunday, February 17th, I will be racing in the Austin Marathon.

Last summer, I convinced two of my closest girlfriends to train and race along side me. {Clearly, crazy gravitates to crazy.} We have spent the last 6 months training for two half marathons and now the Big Mama race this weekend.

Adriane, Erika and Me - post 18 mile run

Adriane, Erika and Me – post 18 mile run

Erika and Adriane have challenged and encouraged me. They have stood beside me through injury and flu {well, they kept their distance while I was sick, but did send sweet texts}.  They have pushed me physically and spiritually. Without them, this race wouldn’t happen.

Come next Sunday, I will proudly bare the title “Marathoner”. It has been an incredible experience, a journey of discovery – learning not just how much punishment my body can endure, but how much I need good community and how unbelievably faithful the Lord is when we commit our body and soul to Him.

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