Stop asking her when she's going to have a baby

Stop Asking Her When She’s Going To Have A Baby

It happened.

A pause in the conversation. A lull in which someone thought it would be a wonderful time to direct her attention toward the newlywed in the group and ask, “So, when do you think you two will be having a baby?”

I could write a book.

That question, “So when are you two going to have a baby?” – or any derivative of it – makes me lose my mind.

It’s not because the question is invasive. (Which it is.) Or that it’s awkward. (Seriously. Totally A w k w a r d.)

It’s just that she doesn’t know.

She can’t know.

And you don’t know emotions that could be associated with such a question.

Carson's Shoes

What about the woman who has been trying to conceive for months, but is walking through infertility?

Or the woman who just suffered a miscarriage?

Or the couple who’s not sure if they want children yet, or ever?

Or the already-mom who feels completely overwhelmed at the thought of more kids?

Or the woman who is pregnant, but not ready to share?

For the love, people, STOP ASKING WOMEN THIS QUESTION!!!

I realize most folks are making harmless conversation. They don’t really mean anything, but that’s just it. Asking a lady about her reproductive plans is mindless at best, horribly nosy at worst.

Life comes from the Lord. “In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:10) To presume we have control over when God chooses to dispense breath is, well, presumptuous. And to casually quip about scheduling babies in conversation just seems…wrong.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t ever talk about new babies, but I am saying it’s a topic that we should let the mom-in-waiting bring up, if she chooses.

Babies are markedly different topics of conversation than, say, home buying or new recipes. Babies are personal. Creating them has tender implications for both a husband and a wife. Don’t pry open their bedroom door.

I’ll put my soapbox away. But, let me suggest a myriad other questions you could ask a woman of childbearing years:

  • Have you read any good books lately?
  • What’s your jam these days?
  • Are you planning a vacation this year?
  • Where do you shop? I love your outfit!
  • Do you like purple unicorns?

Anything other than a very tender question to which she can’t possibly know the answer.

The Love of God

The Love Of God

We sang this hymn at church on Sunday. The words melted my writer’s heart, especially the last line.

The Love of God | Frederick M. Lehman

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain:
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

The Love of God

 

What It's Like To Be A Super Christian

What It’s Like To Be A Super Christian

Growing up a pastor’s daughter, marrying the pastor’s son, and well on my way to becoming a pastor’s wife, people often assume that I’m a super Christian.

Which, of course, I am.

I’m blessed to be a super Christian. When my eyes pop open in the morning, the first thing I see is our “This is the day the Lord has made!” decal on the wall. It fills my heart with overwhelming joy and helps me set a positive attitude. After tenderly kissing my husband’s head, I slip out of bed to grab my coffee mug and Bible. My quiet time is always so rich! It’s never interrupted and I always get so much out of the day’s reading. Then, I pray using the ‘ACTS’ acronym; it’s a helpful way to make sure I don’t leave anything out and avoid focusing too much on myself.

I cheerfully make breakfast for my family and send my husband off to work, praying over him before he leaves. When we’re finished with breakfast, I put on some praise and worship music while Carson and I make memories playing on the floor. During her morning nap I often find time to read a Christian book, or write an encouraging note to a friend. Why would I waste the gift of a few moments alone?

After her nap I try finish to up the household chores quickly. If there’s time, we like to bring a treat to a member of our church or witness to an unbeliever. As a super Christian, I always know just what to say to someone in crisis.

The rest of the day is clockwork, really. Our family routine is down pat; it’s so important that a Christian home be managed well. Proverbs 31, y’all.

As a super Christian, it’s great not to struggle with ugly sins anymore. At this point in my walk, my only real sin struggles are for good reasons. Envying someone’s close walk with the Lord. Getting angry when we’re late for church. Stuff like that. I’m especially careful to not sin in front of (or against!) my husband and child. Having God’s glory in mind with every situation is so freeing.

And, of course, the last four paragraphs were bull. Continue reading

Kristel Acevedo

Welcome, Kristel Acevedo!

Hey y’all! I am delighted to welcome Kristel Acevedo to the blog today. She is a wife & work-at-home Mom living in Miami. Kristel is one heck of a writer and I’ve loved getting to know her more through her blog and our connection via The Influence Network. I’m especially impressed with her drivenness. Kristel is a contributor to Disney Baby and Mom.me – impressive, I think! I’ve learned a lot from Kristel and cheer her on as her writing career develops. Read two of my favorite posts from Kristel here and here.

Blog // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter

I’ve been writing on the internet for a long time. When I first started blogging I didn’t know if I wanted to write about my faith. I kept thinking that maybe I should step away from that sort of writing because I didn’t want to offend anyone. I didn’t want to alienate anyone who didn’t share my beliefs. So I often shied away from those topics.

I started my seminary education in 2008 and was consumed in the Bible. I was learning so many things about my faith and my relationship with God was growing. I couldn’t keep it to myself. I had to share. It was just too good not to share. That’s when I decided that if I was going to be me on my blog I had to write about my faith. How could I not write about such a huge part of my life?

Over the years my relationship with God has been up and down, but through it all I’ve continued to share about my faith – the good parts and the not so good parts. Because that’s life and that’s what “gut-writing” means. It means sharing the truth, and sometimes the truth ain’t pretty.

There have been times when motherhood was hard or my marriage was experiencing growing pains or I was left wondering where God was in the situation. The thing is, God really has been there through it all. I’ve experienced growth and refinement and my goal with my blog has been to keep it real and share how God is showing up in my life. I want to write about hard truths, but I want to glorify God in the process.I can’t say I always do this perfectly, but I’m trying and I think God is honoring that.

Something I love so much about this blogging world is connecting with other ladies who are like-minded. There’s a camaraderie and an accountability that happens among us. We’re all encouraging each other to keep it real and keep it God-honoring. Through our writing friendships are forged and community happens. We realize we’re not alone in the struggles we face. We’re not alone in the victories we celebrate. We have a community of honest, vulnerable, faithful women in this great big internet. Gut-writing brings people together, it really does.

So if you have a blog maybe you should consider what it means for you to be the kind of person who is “gut-writing for God’s glory.” And if you don’t have a blog, be sure to read the bloggers who are faithfully “gut-writing for God’s glory,” (like the lovely Victoria here). Because something special and beautiful happens on these blogs. We find God here and we also find each other here.

Kristel
Don't Stress, Just Write

Don’t Stress, Just Write // A (slight) Blogging Change Of Plan

A portion of my 2015 goals read “pursue a few opportunities that will allow me to compensate my time online.”

I have been pursuing such opportunities.

And it’s been totally stressing me out.

Building a blog that attracts brands. Applying to ad networks. Signing up for affiliate programs, and trying to include affiliate links without being too sleazy. Growing a social media presence.

It was starting to get way too strivey.

Over the weekend, I shared these struggles with my husband, my sounding board. (Because he is super gracious to patiently listen to my #bloggerprobs.)

My concerns boiled down to the fact that I feel blogging is an indulgence. To pour lots of time and thought and resources and prayer into this blog, without it making any sort of difference to our family’s bottom line, felt irresponsible. After all, we pour time and thought and resources and prayer into jobs. Jobs that make money and put food on the table. Could I truly run a blog, without expecting a return on the investment?

IMG_1694

“God has given you a platform, babe. That’s a gift. I’m not worried about what you’re investing into the blog. Don’t stress. Just write.”  Ben said.

(DID I MENTION HE’S A FLIPPING AMAZING HUSBAND!?!??)

And with that, the burden fell away.

Not only have I married a man who likes to see his wife flourish in her giftings, I also feel freedom to pursue those gifts.

It is with a lighter heart that I writing this post, and the ones to come. I honestly don’t think pursuing an income online is wrong (I think it’s fabulous!) It’s just that for me, on this blog, it isn’t a good fit. And I am more than okay with that. I’m delighted to be able to write. That I have the margin to do so. That my words help others, even in a small way.

What if I start viewing blogging as a kind of ministry? My ministry of words.

That feels way less strivey. Much more surrendered. And that’s a place I want to be.

We Like Kids, As Long As They Look Like Baby Gap Models

We Like Kids, As Long As They Look Like Baby Gap Models

In my fourteen months as a mother, I’ve observed that we, a society, generally don’t expect kids to act like kids.

In other words – we like babies, but only if they look like Baby Gap models.

Ideally, we want our babies to wear pin-able outfits, be immaculately clean, to only say cute things at appropriate items, and always be smiling with dimples. Yes, they must have dimples. We want to cuddle all the babies, but only if they are wearing pristine outlet store layettes, not covered in yogurt, and aren’t too obnoxious: throwing tantrums, slapping their sibling, making a mess.

Proof of the fact that we want kids to behave like mini-adults (only cuter) is by the way parents react to their children acting like children in public places. When a threenager flops on the floor and wails in Aisle 6, her mother feels compelled to ask loud enough for onlookers to hear, “Why are you doing that? Come on! You know better!”

Or when the mom profusely excuses the carrot-colored stains on her son’s clothes. “So sorry, we had lunch just before we came, he’s a little messy.”

We, the society of grown adults, need to accept reality. Kids act like kids.

I have a sneaking suspicion many moms and dads attempt to conjure a sort of parenting mirage for strangers in public. I can’t give you hard facts or figures, but I can give tons of anecdotal evidence. It’s a common occurrence to witness parents disciplining their children in pronounced ways, obvious enough that onlookers won’t think they’ve been lax in their parenting duties.

I’ve heard this phrase “let them be little” repeated a lot in the mommy blogging world lately. It’s a great reminder.

A kid might run around all day in his superhero outfit.

Heck, a kid may run around all day in only his diaper.

Is it really that big of a deal?

One day these tiny humans are going to have to deal with flat tires and bosses and mortgages.

Let them be little.

Don’t freeze up if a child you’re around cries or tantrums or throws food on you or does anything quantifiably un-adorable. Sometimes kids do look like Baby Gap models. And sometimes they just need to get out some good ol’ fashioned, messy, romp in the dirt kid energy.

Let them.

Okay, Fine. So Maybe I Can Be A Morning Person

Okay, Fine. So Maybe I Can Be A Morning Person

Historically, I’ve taken a bit of pride in the fact that I’m not a morning person.

You know morning people. The ones that wake up at 5am with sick, Cinderella-esque glee. Pretty sure that bluebirds bring them a cup coffee. “Good morning, Darling! Lovely to see you looking so chipper!”

Yeah. Those people. I’ve always been adamant that I’m not one of them.

Despite my assumed identity as an anti-morning person, my daily routine just wasn’t working out. My evenings were turning into Bible reading with glazed eyes and prayer that sounded a bit more like, “Father, Thank you for this beautiful day. Tonight, I bring before…Zzz…I bring before you a…Zzzzzzz…..” #crash #burn

Other nights I would find my work flow and hustle until I could barely keep my eyes open, only to collapse into bed too exhausted to talk to my husband, waking up grumpy and sluggish the next morning.

Something had to give.

Okay, Fine. So Maybe I Can Be A Morning Person Continue reading

Do you feel cold

Do You Feel Cold?

Do you feel cold?

I’m not talking bundling against freakish sub-zero temperatures.

I mean do you feel cold?

Is your heart chilly?

Has frostbite crept into your soul?

What to do when your soul feels cold.

Have you ignored a pain so long that it’s become numb?

Do you harbor bitter resentment toward a friend or situation? Toward God?

Why?

Tip an iceberg, dig beneath the surface.

Why are you shivering out in the elements?

What to do when your soul feels cold.

Ask the hard questions. Today.

Grab a pen and write like mad. Scream your answers to the sky.

But don’t look at yourself too long. When you find yourself shattered, invite the whitehot power of the Gospel into your life.

Confess that you can’t, but Christ did.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9)

If you’re feeling cold today, wrap yourself up in Christ.

The Life & Death of Mrs. Perfection

The Life & Death of Mrs. Perfection

Mrs. Perfection woke up precisely at 5:45am, as was her daily custom, and silenced her analog alarm clock. LED lights create bad sleeping habits, you know.

She drank one 12oz cup of coffee as instructed by her doctor, not a sip more, and ate a perfectly balanced breakfast. Not too much cholesterol, not too little protein.

She successfully completed thirty minutes of yoga, fifteen minutes of journaling, and ten minutes of scheduling before two sets of tiny feet pitter-pattered down the stairs.

Her children slurped their bowls of steel cut oats and drank hand squeezed orange juice at the seasonally coordinated kitchen table. Speaking of, they would have to visit the Farmer’s Market to purchase more oranges soon. She sent her CEO husband off to work with a kiss for now, and a knowing look for later. Their romance hadn’t so much as buckled after ten years and two children.

Breakfast consumed and cleared away, not that her children were terribly messy, Tuesday commenced.

Morning playtime and cuddles until ten. Not a smartphone in sight, Mrs. Perfection was perfectly discipled to focus entirely on her children. At ten-thirty, the trio walked down the block for their weekly playgroup. Mrs. Perfection placed her homemade gluten free muffins on the counter, a small token of hospitality. Mrs. Perfection never so much as raised her voice to the toddlers, and had only kind words to say to the mothers.

After playgroup came errands and after errands came naptime and after naptime came chores. Clockwork. Husband home from work at fifteen minutes past five, why would he want to linger at the office? Dinner served at half past six, delicious and nutritional. The children soaked up their baths and bedtime stories. Kisses goodnight from mom and dad, then mom and dad shared kisses of their own.

Mrs. Perfection laid her head on goose down pillows and fell asleep.

The next morning, Mrs. Perfection was perfectly dead.

My temptation is to believe that a perfectly ordered life is automatically a fulfilling one. Despite my often-felt frustration over not having a life that looks like Mrs. Perfection’s, I must remember that a meaningful life isn’t created in well-followed routines, no matter how lovely they look. Rather, a meaningful life is one that derives its meaning from Christ. I‘ve been reading Make It Happen by Lara Casey with The Influence Network book club. If you want to learn more about living on purpose, I invite you to grab a copy! Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose* is available wherever fine books are sold.) 

The Life & Death of Mrs. Perfection | Victoria Easter WilsonStock Photo via Lillie from Redeeming Love Photography

*affiliate link, thanks for helping me keep the lights on!

I feel Entitled. Yuck.

I Feel Entitled. Yuck.

There’s no pretty way to admit this, so I’ll come right out and say it: I feel entitled.

I’ve noticed the dissonance in my soul for months, but I’ve only recently put a name to it: entitlement.

Some people feel entitled to things because of who they are. My entitlement is based more on what I’ve done.

Motherhood, ever the sanctifying journey, was the magnifying glass that revealed this yuckiness in my heart. (Incidentally, I’m guest posting thoughts about motherhood for Jen Weaver today. Pay her a visit when you’ve finished here!)

You know how there’s a bit of truth in every joke?

I’ve made tons of lighthearted comments on social media over the past year about deserving a gift or accolade based on the hard work I’m doing mothering Carson. Recently, I made one such quip about push presents. Some of my friends laughed along with me, others pointed out how my daughter is present enough.

“Seriously!? She’s my thank you gift? Do you know how much work raising a child is? Having a baby is great and all, but I deserve a little something extra. I’ve earned it.”

Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

I Feel Entitled. Continue reading