Being Intentional… Again

I already wrote a post titled Being Intentional, thus the title of this post, Being Intentional… Again.  In my first post, I started out with this sentence:

There’s a lot of things I need to be more intentional about… mothering, eating well, exercising, bible study, etc.

Then I went on to write a post about being more intentional with my writing… because we all know writing is WAY more important than any of those other things.  Not!  (Have I mentioned that I’m bringing back “Not!”?  Because I am.  Geric and I just talked about it the other day.  We’re bringing it back.)

Part of the reason I’ve been so absent from this here blog is because I’ve been being more intentional in those other areas of my life.  And I like it.  So, I thought I would share.

EATING WELL:

I was living in ignorance.  And, as the saying goes, it was bliss.  Then I watched a little movie called Food Inc.  And another one called Food Matters.  And then I read a little book called Skinny Bitch.  And you know what, they changed me.  Number one, I felt nauseous. For days.  No joke.  What really got to me was the part in Skinny Bitch that talks about the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses.  Ugh.  So sad, and so disgusting.  I’m not getting into detail, because you should read the book, and because this is a family blog and I just can’t go there.  But honestly, to think that there are people out there that treat animals like that is just demented!  (Please don’t leave me a comment how there are people out there treating people like that, because yes, I do realize that, but it’s just not the topic of conversation right now.  Mmmm… kay?)

So, anywho, I went vegan for a minute.  That was rough.  I like cheese.  So, then I went vegetarian, and that lasted awhile.  I really like fruits and veggies, but don’t give me fake meat.  I’m now back to eating chicken once a week-ish, but I need to know it wasn’t in one of those dark chicken coops where they’re so fat their little legs break underneath them.  So, only free range and organic.

And we’re in the process of eliminating processed food.  Honestly, this one is really hard with kids in tow.  They’ll go Ghandi on you if you do too much too fast.  So, we’re easing into this one.

We aren’t food Nazis (there’s an example of people treating people similarly to the way people are treating animals in slaughterhouses, but still, don’t leave me a comment about it… maybe another post in the future… don’t hold your breath), we’re just trying to make healthier choices.  And so far, we’re feeling better about it.

MOTHERING:

This one is a biggie as far as my absence from this here blog.

Does anyone else feel like someone has pushed the fast forward button on life?  I mean, it was just yesterday that Caden was going to his first day of preschool, yet I just got a letter about ordering a cap and gown for kindergarten graduation.  (Which, by the way, is ridiculous.  Yet, I did it.  Because, God forbid my kid be the only one walking across that stage without them.  Yes, I still care what strangers think about me.)

So, I’m trying to relish the moments before they are gone.  And honestly, it’s changed my perspective a little bit.  I still have my days of wanting to rip my hair out (or pull my ears off, depending on the noise level) but mostly, I really, really enjoy my kids.  We went to the aquarium the other day, and I was caught up in a moment of realizing, These are my kids.  And they are great.  They are great people.  I really like them, and not just because I’m their mom and they grew in my belly and I have to love them.  I really like them.  I think they are funny, and smart, and compassionate, and joyful.  And honestly, I really like spending my days with them.

So we’re bringing back Family Nights.  Can I get a “woot, woot!”  (And not a girly “woot, woot,” more of an Arsenio “woot, woot.”  Thanks.)  The boys have been asking why we haven’t done one in so long.  So, I’m planning  Cinco de Mayo one ahora. (That means “now” in spanish.)

PRAYING:

I would LOVE to say I get up at 5am and pray and read my Bible, but then I would be perfect.  So there, you’ve found my weakness.  I like sleep.

But I am being more intentional about praying and reading my Bible.  And I’m kinda glad it’s not just a morning event for me.  It’s more of all day thing.  A moment to moment thing.  I’m getting good at listening to God’s voice and praying what He puts on my heart.  I also stumbled upon this blog called MOB Society (MOB stand for Mother of Boys.)  They are doing a 21 day prayer challenge that started May 1st, and it’s already so awesome.  Peeps, if you have boys, you must participate.  It’s that awesome.

The other thing that God has put on my heart is Honduras and my Teamer T, Robin.  I never wrote about it on the blog, but she lost her husband in a fatal car accident last December.  It was tragic and awful and all things bad.  But since then, she and Honduras have been on my heart on a daily basis, so when I was presented (that sounds so formal… it was more of a mention in an email about cakepops, but still) with the opportunity to go on a trip there with a team from North Hills Community Church, it was kind of a no brainer.  Actually, I had to make sure my babies would be taken care of while Geric works and that God really, really, for reals, not kidding, totally sure, write-it-in-the-sky, was saying to go.  And He was.  So I am.

But more about that in another post.

So, that’s what’s been going on.  Nothing big, or major, or earth shattering, but it’s good.

And just so you all know, I am planning on being more intentional about blogging, again.  And this is where I would normally say, “but don’t hold me to it.”  But you can.

And I’m not even gonna say “Not!”

Keepin’ the Faith Fridays

I’ve decided to dedicate Fridays to the things that God is showing me.  It’ll probably be lighter on the humor and heavier on the personal insight.  Hopefully, it’s still your thang and you stick around.

And hopefully I stick to my word and really do this on Fridays!  Haha!

Tuesday night was tough as far as sleep was concerned.  Elijah woke up at his usual 1am and 4am wake up calls.  But Caden and Jacob decided to add some fun to my night by waking up in between because they had decided to share a bed… but then Jacob was laying on Caden… and Caden kicked him out of his bed… but wouldn’t give him any of his stuffed animals… so yeah.  I was breaking up fights in my sleep at 2am.  Awesome.  Needless to say, when everyone woke up for the day at 6:30am (nice) I was exhausted.

I had told my sister that we would meet her at the beach on Wednesday, and even though I tried to text my way out of it, she guilted me into coming.  (I’m easily guilted, by the way.)

We arrived at the beach before my sister and parked a few blocks from the sand.  After slamming my whole hand in the van door (Who does that?  Fingers, understandable.   Whole hand?  Just me.) I unloaded the entire back of the van, got Elijah in the stroller and made my way down the three blocks, baring an uncanny resemblance to a pack mule.

Once we actually hit the sand, I set out the umbrella, broke up a fight over the blue bucket, laid out towels, broke up a fight over a yellow shovel, sunscreened three kids (and my shorts and shirt because the nozzle was broken), tried to make Elijah stop eating the sand, set up my beach chair, passed out PB&J to my “starving” children, and finally sat down.  Ten minutes later I was nursing a baby.

My sister showed up with a couple of her friends. And here’s how their beach day went.  They all dropped their half filled tiny beach bags on the sand, laid out their towels, took off their clothes to reveal their skinny stretch-mark-free bodies, and laid down.  The end.

I told my sisiter about my lack of sleep and she said, “Well, at least you get a ‘lounge around’ day today.”

Yah…

I was so envious.  I get envious a lot on family beach days.  I look around at all the younger girls and think back to when I spent whole summers at Laguna Beach with my best friend.  We would get there around noon and literally lounge around until sunset.  It was beautiful.  Not a real care or responsibility in the world.  Those were the days.

As I was thinking of all this on the drive home a verse came to mind, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  It says, “Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  I specifically remember memorizing that Bible verse in the back of my Dad’s car during a long drive up to Northern California.  And thank God I did.

The grass is always greener on the other side and I can stand at the fence in the middle and gaze over at that luscious green grass of my sister’s, or I can turn around and be thankful for mine.  Not just be thankful, but rejoice.  Because let’s be honest, I have more than just grass.  I have a whole garden over here!  God has blessed me, indeed.

And not only should I rejoice, but I should be thankful, because this is God’s will for me.  So often we wonder, what is my purpose in life?  Or, am I truly making a difference in the world?  But I can say with confidence that if you’re in God’s will, then you are exactly where you should be.

See, God has this whole plan mapped out and all of us play a part that He has designed, and it may not feel big now, but who knows what the future holds?  Being a mother (or a father for that matter) on a day to day basis feels tedious and sacrificing and unrewarding, but think about it in the long run.  Who are you raising?  Even Billy Graham, Mother Teresa and Bono had a mom, right?  And I guarantee that somehow, their mom shaped their future.  Even though passing out juice, and cleaning up messes, and folding laundry seems so menial, my job is HUGE, and for that I am thankful.

So, my real job?  My real role?  To pray continually.  Because prayer is powerful.  Not only do I pray for these little reminders about how blessed I am (even though beach days are far from relaxing) but I pray for my children.  I pray for their futures and for their todays.  I pray that they see Jesus everyday and grow to be men that desire to make a Kingdom difference.  I pray that I am raising passionate followers of His and men that will stand on the front lines in His name.

So how about you?  Any circumstances that you should be thankful for?  Anything you should be rejoicing about?