Roar – Katy Perry
Brave – Sara Bareilles
The first time I heard “Brave”, I was driving with both girls in the car. I just about had to pull over because I could hardly stop the waterworks. It have since become one of our staples in AJ’s music repertoire. She knows most of the verses & the entire chorus.
Both of these songs speak so strongly to me, especially as having come from a background where the peer pressure & expectation of being the “good little church kids” got to me. I don’t remember my parents ever applying that pressure, I just picked it up somewhere along the way.
Ultimately, denying what I was truly feeling and going through led me through some dark places. My parents helped me find medical help and I took medication for a while to correct the chemical imbalances that contributed to my state of mind.
I believe that God has healed me of my depression, though I still have my dark days every now then. They don’t last as long or get as dark as they used to. One of the ways God healed me was by bringing me a group of friends later in high school who accepted me for who I was & didn’t expect me to fit into any particular mold.
As I have listened to AJ sing this song, I have often prayed courage over her. But I have also come to realize how much I am still hiding in fear of what other people will think of me.
I tend to be a little bit of an outlier in my social circles—what I’m interested in, my politics, and even in some cases my theology. But I self-censor constantly.
I sit quietly… Agree politely
I’ve come to realize: How can my girls practice walking in courage if it is not modelled for them?
So I am entering a season of engaging conversations and topics that I have typically shied away from. It has lead to some interesting experiences, but I think they were good, and I hope they were thought provoking.
I am learning how to be brave & gracious & loving all at once. It’s an uncomfortable tension, but I believe it’s the way forward.
I don’t always cross post photos to my various social media accounts, so the best way to find pictures of the kiddos or daily life, hit up my Instagram account.
That being said, here’s a collection of what’s been going down around here.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
I know this is true, but today it sure doesn’t feeI like it.
The nice thing about doing dishes is that you can’t tell the difference between the teardrops and the water splashes.
KP is waking up every two hours.
The job with the shorter commute hasn’t led to earlier nights and the next quarter with less classes has led to more work because the class is harder.
I’m one marker on the furniture incident from complete meltdown.
Strength in weakness, weakness in strength.
His grace is sufficient.
Even when it doesn’t feel like it.
Which will look exceedingly odd to those of you coming over here from Facebook.
However, since most of you use Facebook to keep track of our little family, I haven’t turned off the WordPress cross posting. Just be aware that any comments over on Facebook will not be responded to.
A few days ago, I posted a link to an article about Facebook (and social media in general) to Facebook about thinking before you post. I know, it’s rather ironic, but it did get me thinking. And, I realized a couple of things that I do.
1. Searching for approval
I tend to post things on social media in the hunt for likes, loves, and comments to validate that my kids are cute or funny or that I am witty, or any number of other things. This is an extremely addicting portion of social media, according to psychologists, and the part that usually keeps us coming back for more. “Likes” produce an endorphin response similar to rewards responses in behavioral modification. By allowing myself to fall prey to this kind of Pavlovian marketing, I am allowing a stupid website addictive control over my life and time. There are far more important things for me to be spending time on. I suspect that Facebook will draw me back in again, but I hope that this time off gives my brain the break that it needs to recover some psychological balance.
2. Replacing community
I have been using the “social” aspect of social media to replace actually spending time in face-to-face community with my neighbors and church family. I am hoping to use this time offline to develop some habits to spend time with others without being separated by screens.
I am still on Instagram, because I find it to be inspiring, uplifting, and challenges me to see the beauty in my everyday life.
What this means for you is that you cannot use Facebook to get a hold of me. I have completely uninstalled Facebook off of my devices & removed the “stickied” tab from my browsers. I do not trust myself to be able to ignore that shiny red counter that tells me I have notifications.
Hopefully, what this means for me is a more balanced online & offline life.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Go warm up your cold coffee, and pull up a seat. It’s okay if you have to shift the unfolded laundry onto a bed to sit down. I won’t tell anyone, it can be our little secret.
Well, January is half-way over. How does that happen? I have stacks of Christmas/New Years’ cards still sitting on my dining room table. Maybe I should get some red envelopes with hearts on them & call them Valentine’s Day cards? Every year I tell myself I’ll start earlier, but I think it actually ends up being later & later each year. I didn’t even get a bloggy Christmas letter written this year.
Ah, well. You win some & you learn some. As a particular football team is apt to say. Although, I think their record for winning is about on par with my record for learning… You win some & learn most?
Anyway, on to the main attraction, which is what y’all want to hear about anyway: the kiddos.
AJ is 2 1/2. Scary smart & observant. Case in point: She found a pair of placemats at our Life Group Leader’s house last night. Behind the buffet. “Look Mama! Pictures!” How does she even see those?
We watched the Nutcracker ballet a couple times during the Christmas season. What did she take away from that? “Mama, I wanna dancing!” At which point she runs around the house to locate a floofy skirt, butterfly wings, and slippers. All items must be worn in order to dance. Or draw. Or watch Netflix. This outfit formula is in pretty heavy rotation right now.
KP is 6 1/2 months old. Holy guacamole, Batman! I don’t even know how that happens. She’s sitting up, trying to crawl, and rolling all over the place. She is so, so strong, and not afraid to try anything & everything in her power to get moving forward.
So that’s what’s happening with these crazy kiddos that call me “Mama”. :D
Kalliope Anne -
It’s hard to believe you graced us with your presence starting a whole six months ago. The summer and fall have flown by, and now we find ourselves in the bleak of winter. Your mama has had a rough go of it emotionally for the last few months, but I think we’re over the hump and moving on.
January is traditionally the month for resolutions and fresh starts. While I’m not making any big resolutions or trying to hard to start over, it feels like a good time to pick up the recovery of our lives from illness and depression.
You often get the short end of the stick when it comes to my attention, since sister is so much louder & more insistent than you can be, but you take it in stride. You are so laid back & content to work on your crawling, unless you really need me. Then, oh then, you let us know.
As from the first, you are not afraid to speak your piece. Or sing it. Or scream it, if need be. I hope & pray that you will always be able to find your voice when you need it. I pray that fear, shame, and any other force that would attempt to silence you will be always be drowned out by the passion in your heart.
Baby, you are so, so physically strong. Your sister is in for a bit of a shock when she realizes you can push back. I don’t know what your path holds for you, but I suspect that the athleticism that skipped a generation flows strong through your veins & courses through your neuromuscular system. And however that chooses to express itself, whether it’s football, weightlifting, dance, or softball, I promise that we will be there to support you.
We love you and the person that you are becoming. We can’t wait to see where your passion takes you.