Surviving Elly’s World


My daughter is driving me crazy.

(Disclaimer: I can say that, because I am her mom. If anyone else ever says she is anything less than freaking awesome, I’ll be doing prison ministry from the inside.)

She is driving me crazy.

Not angry…Like certifiably nuts!!!

One minute, I want to run and hide from her until she is five. Surely by five, she’ll have learned to use her words and not just scream her face off.

The next minute I am just in awe of her beautiful, spunky, adventurous self.

Elly see’s life through Crayola-colored glasses in a land where outside of the lines is exactly where beauty is meant to be. She’s fearless, fun, and confident in who she his. She is just the kind of little person part of me wishes I could be.

She has captured my heart in the most complicated ways!

And, to be honest, this roller coaster ride through toddlerville is stinkin’ exhausting!!!

I know I am supposed to be enjoying every second of being her mom, because tomorrow she’ll be getting married and I’ll long for all the extra excitement of the preschool years.

BUT… here is the thing,…I can’t think of tomorrow.

I can’t think past today… or even right now… and right now is hard.

I am not looking for well meaning parenting advice. I am in no position to hear it anyway. I would likely just smile and thank you, all the while fantasizing about punching you in the eye. You can try me again tomorrow. I am usually kinder tomorrow… you decide if that is a risk you are willing to take… I already told you I was crazy.

I also know my daughter might see this some day. And that in seeing this, she will know that she brought me more joy than I ever thought possible; but she was also my greatest challenge.

I hope she does see it.

In fact, I might print out a copy for her and hang it in her bedroom to remind her that mommy spent more than a few afternoons huddled in the corner doubtful I would make it through the day… but we always do.

Why would I want her to know that? Because I AM IN CRAZY MOMMA MODE that’s why!!!!

No… that’s a lie… half-truth.

I also want her to know because some day, if God wills, she might want to be a mommy! And she might have a baby who makes her question her parenting abilities… or even her mental stability. And I want her know that toddler mom me is rocking back and forth, biting her nails, and humming “Put on a Happy Face”.

I want her to know that I’ve been there.

And, I want her to know how God shows up every day and faithfully carries our family from one crazy, fun filled/nail biting/ sanity bending day to the next.

On the days I scream and holler, and then weep bitterly in my room ashamed of my behavior, His love covers me (1 Peter 4:8).

Then a week later, when…er, um… I do it again, His grace comforts me (Romans 8:1).

On the days when I swear one more game of hide and seek will literally kill me, He gives me strength (Isaiah 40:29).

And on the lonely days, and yep there are lonely days even in a house full of precious laughter, He is a friend (John 15:13-14).

On the days when tears fall freely from both our cheeks, He catches our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8) and brings a peace that surpasses understanding (Phil 4:7).

On days when I don’t know what the heck I am doing, He guides me with wisdom and understanding, and I am blessed (Prov 3:13).

When fear creeps in, His love drives it right out. (1 John 4:18).

And on the days, and there are so many, when my heart feels like it will explode with joy and thankfulness for the gift of motherhood, He is here for that too (Psalm 16:9, 11).

But most of all, I want her know that He’ll be there for her. In the very moment she’ll need Him, He will show up. He will be there for her and give rest and encouragement just when she needs it.

Just like today.

And He’ll be there for you also.

“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” Ex:33:14

To the mom’s who are hanging on by a thread, can I just be your friend? And as a friend, can I just tell you, you got this girl!

Our kids drive us crazy because we are crazy about them!!

And God is crazy about you!

He loves you so much He sent a Savior to die for you! And as if that wasn’t cool enough, that same power that raised Christ from the dead is living inside of you!! Tap into it daily, and you wont just be a good mom, you’ll be like super-mom…Jesus-momma! DANG!!

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have a tea party to attend…

NOT A MOM???? The treasures of Jesus apply to every challenge you face, in every season of life. Take the Truth of God’s word and let it speak to the things that make you feel a little unglued. Tell us about them, I’d love to hear your story.

Praying for you this week. That you will find joy and rest in His presence.



Like Trees Walking


People watching is sort of a hobby of mine. Not in a creepy way, but, you have to admit there is something fascinating about observing human behavior. I love to sit and watch people pass by and imagine what they are like, what kind of life they have lived, and what the future holds for them. I imagine the children that added wrinkles to their face and the exciting adventures that add pep to their step. Each one of them is unique, special; not necessarily to me, (that would be creepy) but special to someone. There is something so special about seeing people for the first time.

The gospel of Mark tells this beautiful story about a blind man whom Jesus heals. Jesus takes the man by the hand, spits on his eyes (which evidently, if God is about to perform a miracle in your life, a spit in the face is not rude ;0) )  and asks, “ Do you see anything?” The man, whose eyes are now blurry with spit, replies:

“ I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

And then this amazing thing happens! Jesus puts his hands on the man’s eyes, they are opened, and he can see clearly for the first time.

How do you see people? When was the last time you slowed down long enough to really see them?

The girl at the check out counter with the warm smile.

The man who always sits alone at your coffee shop and never smiles.

The teacher.

The truck driver.

The arrogant.

The rude.

The humble.

The kind.

These are the people Jesus died for. He has a plan and a purpose for each one of them. To Him, they are precious.

The people in our lives are not meant to be a part of our landscape, they are a part of God’s legacy. If we aren’t careful, our eyes become blurry. And instead of seeing these people as Jesus sees them, they are like trees walking.

I don’t know why we don’t always see people clearly. Maybe there is spit in our eyes. I wonder what would happen if once more we allowed Jesus to touch our eyes. Would we believe He is able to make our vision clear?

Maybe we would see each other.  Maybe… for the first time.

Praying for you today. That your eyes would be open to the people in your life, and that you would see them like Jesus does.

The 1 gift you can’t return

Words are a gift, use them wisely.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who live to give, and those who live to receive. Here are 8 characteristics of each:

  1. Receiver’s motto, “The gift is for me, so it’s about me.”
  • Will return a gift card (there are websites now that make it possible for you to sell your gift cards for cash)
  • Difficult to surprise because they are particular about what they like
  • Easy to shop for because they usually tell you exactly what they want
  • Don’t usually consider the givers feelings when returning gifts
  • Give less often but with more consideration
  • Gifts from them are well planned and thought out
  • Gifts from them rarely need returning
  • Are not offended by returned gifts
  1. Giver’s motto, “The gift is from me, so it’s about me.”
  • Rarely returns gifts
  • Will withhold gifts if they think they wont be received
  • Easy to surprise because they rarely tell you what they want
  • Hard to shop for because they rarely tell you what they want
  • Don’t always consider the receivers likes/dislikes when buying gifts
  • Give often
  • Gifts are spontaneous
  • Takes offense to returned gifts

Whether you consider yourself a giver or a receiver, there are some things that can never be returned, words. Words have the power to hate and the power to heal, and once you give them, you can never take them back. Similarly, if you fail to give the words that bring healing, you may not get another chance.

What is the solution? Watch your words.

Psalm 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.

When God monitors our mouth we can be sure that the words we speak will bring others healing or bring us conviction.

If you’ve spoken hurtful words, you can’t take them back, but there is something you can do.

  1. Remember– Take responsibility for your words by remembering them. This might keep you from re-using them in the future.
  2. Repent– Admit that what you said was hurtful and make no excuse for your lack of self-control. Ask God to forgive you and help you speak kind words in the future.
  3. Reconcile– Go to that person. Don’t assume it will just blow over. Humble yourself by apologizing and ask them to join you in praying for self-control with your speech.

If you’ve held back encouragement, start today! Don’t let your own insecurities hold you back; tell someone how special you think they are!

Join this conversation:

Are you a giver or a receiver? What are some characteristics I missed? What are some obstacles that cause you to speak hurtful words or withhold encouragement?

I’d love to pray for you.

Asking God to edit our words this week.

Lv Shaena