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Friday, August 31, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Change


The word terrifies me.  To have it, to not have it.

I'm generally unbalanced like that.

I am forever, always, unquenchably chasing after the next, the new, the achievement over the hill.  Change, I think... I'm craving change.

I'm terrified of not changing.

Sitting in one spot, faithful at the small things, not always and forever pushing for more, for shiny, for different... scary.

To even think the word "change" whets my appetite.
What's next?  Where to?  Let's go.

But sometimes, I'm learning, it's not always about the change.  It's about the sameness.  And how God lives here, too.  He is in the big, in the loud, and in the silent, the slow, the moment when I feel like nothing is in our future, like I'll be right here forever, like there will be no change.

There's the drive to change.
And then there's the determination to abide, to sit, to wait.
And I let His presence wash over me in the stillness.

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On ministry and being terrified

The next tab in my browser is open to "Manage Group Leaders" on MOPsguide.org.
Deep breaths.

I've only been a mom for 6 months now.
6 months of experience.  Life changing, exhausting, emotional, uplifting experience.

I am unqualified to start a ministry for mothers.

My husband and I are starting to dig into the young married ministry (as in, take it over).
He is just a worship leader.
We've only been married for 3 years in October.

Who will want to connect with us, be on our team, support us?

Tears fill my eyes because it sounds so pitiful in my head yet the thoughts threaten to take root in my heart.

The other night I complimented one of my very best friends (who's husband also works at our church) on how well they do at pouring out and giving and being who they are called to be.

The first words out of her mouth: "You really think so?  I don't always feel like that."

And I think, 
maybe we're not so different, 
and thank you Jesus - I'm not alone, 
and yes, I really do think so.  
(She's pretty awesome, raising two boys six months apart and all.  Read her story and you'll think so too.)

And Jesus whispers in my heart that this is why we are qualified.
Because we are not.
Because somehow, He chooses us anyway, and He works in ways that don't make sense.

Because He can make something unwise wise, and something ugly beautiful, and sometimes, simplicity and empty-handed-ness are the best places to start.

Because it's not about us, it's about Him.
We get to join our willingness to His capability and our little match joins His big fire and we give Him glory.  And the match doesn't go out.  It just keeps burning His story.
And it doesn't matter who we are or where we come from, though somehow He uses those things, too.

And this is what He chose us for, in this moment, and He does not make mistakes.  He doesn't take away His gifts or His call.  He knew us before He called us, before He planted the passion in our hearts.  He's not surprised.  I don't have to be either.

This is going to be good.

This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nowhere but Right Here

Our savings account laughs at us.
Liam has recently been needing and wanting me and much of me and my arms only.

...and I'm struggling to even finish this list of things I could complain about, because something in me just refuses to choose the negativity.

A year and a half ago, Joanna Weaver taught me about processes and she changed my life.

Instead of aching for the outcome, for the finish line, I learned to cherish the moments I would have otherwise rushed through:
The first half of my pregnancy (though it was spent hanging my head over the toilet),
giving birth (though it was long and painful), 
or having no plan and no settledness (which my heart usually needs).

And I feel the same today, this minute.  Somehow, I'm imminently thankful for the things we are lacking, the parts of our future that are unsure, and even the moments where our belts are just about as tight as they can be.

I want to be right here.  This is the moment God has for me, and He's doing something right now.  Any unsureness, exhaustion, stretching, or even discomfort is part of my process.  God's doing something beautiful, and I embrace it, and in the unsettledness, I'm settled, and in the tiredness, I'm refreshed, and it's all gorgeously complicated.

And I wouldn't change a thing.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Putting Up Walls

We're learning about boundaries here in the Rogers household.

My son doesn't yet understand that when I give him walls, I'm keeping him safe.

He looks at me through mesh with accusing eyes.
His mind does connect much yet, but he does remember that batting those baby blues usually gets him somewhere.

He needs to know, however, that though he's capable of exploring, boundaries are wise, even if they're not always fun.

I see our future laid out ahead of us.  His pleading eyes and pouty lip.  Reminding myself that I'm laying a foundation.  Hoping that some day he'll put his own boundaries in place.
Today, I'm keeping his head safe.  Later, it'll be his heart.

When he grows, when he's older, he'll need boundaries to guard his thoughts, his relationships, his time, and he'll need them to achieve the balance that God desires.

As I give him boundaries, I remember that all things are permissible, but not all things are helpful.

And I tell myself that I need to guard my thoughts, my relationships, my time to stay healthy, to stay balanced.
My Father keeps me safe when He tells me to flee the bad and focus on the lovely.

And I think, Hey! Maybe we're both learning!

Or, um, maybe it's just me.

We'll keep working on it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Joining the Ranks of the Uncool

This is my very first Five-Minute-Friday.  About a week ago, I read Lisa-Jo's blog for the first time.

I felt like I'd been missing out.  Where had I been?  All of these women here, congregated, desiring to share in the raw, to go deeper, to be ok with having a bad day or loving motherhood or both at the same  time.

My heart has been thirsty for this, and I didn't even know it.

Blogging from the heart has been intimidating to me for a long time.

I have admired women who so seamlessly merge their very cool, chic, flawless lives with blogs that reflected their awesomeness.  I've admired them while knowing that I would never join their ranks.

I actually graduated college with a Creative Writing degree.
This means nothing when all you have to give to the world is a processed funky and sometimes tired mess.  I knew that Jesus saw me as beautiful, but I didn't think anyone else would want to hear about it.

And then, suddenly, my blog world changes.  And I find a ton of women who want to share, who need to connect, and who are very just plain and real and true.  And I get to join just by being me and by watching you be you.  And my heart is finally relieved that the trying so hard is finished and I can breathe.

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Art of Being For Reals

Some days, I sit down to blog and think, "If I am too raw, nobody will want to read."

It's funny how even my brain uses cover-up.  If I tell myself people aren't interested, I won't be forced to dig out the fleshy, raw, sometimes (or often) unsure process that makes up what I call me.

So I try to dazzle with pictures, charm with cleverness, or I just don't blog at all because I'm either afraid of being too fake or too real, and I'm not sure which one scares me most.

Also, I'm a little terrified of what you will think if you know that I wrote this the night before I'm posting,
that I have today's mascara flaking onto my cheeks,
that I am wearing my husband's t-shirt,
that I'm cuddled in a chair in a corner of my beige, non-chic bedroom with an old blue blanket pulled under my arms because I just like it that way,
and that I didn't know whether I should smile for this gritty iPhone picture.
See, it's really true:

Despite all of that, I have this desperate desire to write and to connect by being raw, by being real.

I don't have it down yet.  I'm not even close.  But I want to try.  

Sometimes being real is glorious, celebratory, marvelous.  Sometimes it's messy and gross.  The only hope I have is that in some moment of every day, we each desire to pull off the film, to be in the raw for just a few moments, and to connect with the hearts of others in a different way.

It takes effort to go there.  For me, it can be kind of painful.  However, I also find my wings when I let myself feel and think things that require extra depth or extra effort because it just doesn't always come up in everyday life.

I want you to know that I expect you to maybe be sitting there with flaky makeup feeling a little insecure.  
I want to tell you that I want you to feel wonderfully complex in these moments, because I want to feel that way too.  
And I want to hug you through my words for no real reason except that you need someone to tell you that being raw and weird is something we all long for, and if we're the only two people who understand that longing, it's ok.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Because being a Mom can be hard...

I firmly believe that God knows my comings and my goings and that He is lovingly teaching me something in each season.

I also believe that there are some seasons that are common.  And sometimes, those seasons are just plain harder than others, and it's normal for them to be that way.

I wish I could fling open the doors of the Christian women world and proclaim:
"It's ok if you don't always have things together, because you are living life, and because life can be hard!"

I felt like the first couple of months of motherhood often saw me drained of the ability to give much to anyone except for my baby.  I had moments when I only had enough capacity to make sure he was taken care of.

I should have understood that this was more than normal.  I should have reminded myself that all through life, there are different stages (and even different days) that just will take more out of us than others.

However, all I could feel was guilt and shame.  The burden of my desires versus my capacity weighed down on my shoulders.  Even as I type, I feel it teasing to jump right back on if I do not choose to cast it off.

I have multiple friends who just recently had babies.  If I could say anything to a brand new mom, it would be that sometimes, being the best mom possible will take everything you have.  Sometimes, it takes all your energy.  Sometimes, you have little left to give, and God only fills you for that day's tasks.  This is ok!  It's easier to find joy for the moment God has equipped you for without worrying about tomorrow.

There is no guilt in that, no shame.  There may be lonely days.  It can be hard.  It can be thankless, yet it is also possibly one of the most all-encompassing ministries you can even think of taking on.  It is fulfilling in the biggest possible way and draining at the very same moment.

Thankfully, we can be relieved by the fact that our Father created these processes.  He knows that there are moments when we feel like we have more to give and moments when our children need all of us.   Somehow, He made motherhood so rewarding that we wouldn't want it any other way. 

Thanks, Dreampop Media for taking pictures of us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Blue Side Table

I was 36 weeks pregnant when we moved into our house, and I was in nesting mode times 5 million.

I had lists of house things that I knew I needed to make sure happened before my baby came.

A side table was high on the list.  I was desperately sure that I had a perfect spot for one and perfect stuff to put on it.  (Did I really need it?  No, but try telling a waddling 3rd trimester hormone hurricane that she's being unreasonable.  Actually, I advise against that.)

Commence scouring Craigslist for dirt cheap side tables.  I found one, emailed the owner, and set up a time to come pick it up for fifty dollars.  It was a great deal.

Well, fifty dollars is usually a great deal.  But if you are getting ready to have a baby and just moving into a new house and your husband has just taken a job at your church and you've fairly drained your savings, fifty dollars is not in your budget.

I was disappointed when I realized we would have to back out of my cheap find, but I understood.  I emailed the owner back and told her we couldn't afford it, that I was pregnant and we'd just spent a lot moving into a new house, but I thanked her immensely for her time.

Then, she responded.
She wanted to give us the side table for free.  I emailed back politely refusing as I thought she'd expect. Nope, she was serious. 

Kind of reluctantly, we borrowed my mom's minivan and drove to pick up our now free table.  For some reason, I expected an older couple.  In her email, the woman had explained that God had blessed them, and they wanted to bless us.  It made me think of a grandmother.

They were far from old.  They lived in a small, simple home, and we found out that they work for a local ministry as well.  Before it was over, we were hugging, exchanging stories, and basking in the companionship of sharing in the body of Christ.  

Even just remembering makes my heart a little happy and my eyes a little moist.

Every time I look at that blue table, I remember God's specific care for my unnecessary nesting weirdness.  I remember the day that another young couple taught us about blessings and humility and having open hands.  I remember that somehow, a huge God desires to show us that we are not forgotten and that He simply loves to make us smile just because.  And I do just that.  I remember, and my heart smiles.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Liam has been out in the world for over six months now.

It's a painful kind of happiness to know that I'll never have this first half year of his existence back.  I find myself grieving over those first moments all while rooting him on as he grows and discovers new territories.

Nothing has surprised me more about motherhood than the conflicting emotions that run over me daily...

I'm exhausted and can't wait for bedtime, yet when he goes down to sleep, I miss holding him.

I am thrilled watching him push for more growth, more accomplishment, but there are moments that I almost want to hold him back, not let him do any more, keep him just the same as he is now.

And as Lisa Jo Baker reminded me, I've lost a part of my identity that I must grieve, yet I have found a part of myself expand with love, protection, and I am learning how to be this new mother me.

Oh, how this little life has changed me so much already.  And we're only halfway to a year.

Happy six months, sweet boy.

(this is my everyday... sigh)

Monday, August 6, 2012


The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind.

Because Billy works with the student ministry at our church, we headed off to camp with the youth a couple of weeks ago, but Liam got sick there, so we didn't have much time for fun.  Before he felt too badly, we did get in the lake for a bit and let him splash around.

We came home early to deal with the sick baby, and it's taken lots of attention!

Also, my sweet cousin decided last week to move her small wedding plans from November to last Saturday.  Some wonderful friends helped put things together, and the wedding was a success!  We are so excited to welcome her awesome husband into the family!

He prayed over her before the wedding... As if we didn't already think they were perfect together...

It's amazing how a sick baby and a wedding can take up lots of mental and emotional time.  Today, I am sitting on my couch, a little overwhelmed to have a moment to myself (it's nap-time, of course).  I'm so thankful for moments of fullness and moments of rest!

Linking up today:
miscellany monday at lowercase letters