March 28, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 89

Happy Weekend, y'all!  We made it! The weekend is here!

Even in this desert town, green is starting to come to life!

It was a full week, with LOTS of great reads around the Interwebs!  Featured today are posts by Jen Hatmaker, Ann Voskamp, Ashley Hales, Colleen Mitchell, Kim Adam, Lisa Jo Baker, Jen Hatmaker (yes - again!), a post from right here... and - of course - a video to wrap it all up! 

Happy Reading! 
(Ya'll know to click on the authors' names below to read the entire post, yes?)

This post by Jen Hatmaker over at TODAY ParentingTeam with I Wish Someone Would've Warned Me About These BIG FEELINGS...
"I quit my job to stay home when I had my second baby just after her big brother turned two. Those first few months as a SAHM to two were, let’s say, mildly traumatizing (I am underselling this). I used to call my husband Brandon at 1:30pm and ask, Are you almost done with work? and he was all It’s 1:30 and I was like YOU DIDN’T ANSWER THE FREAKING QUESTION. ARE YOU ON YOUR WAY HOME OR SHOULD I CALL 911 TO COME HELP ME MANAGE THESE TWO BABIES????? Because no one told us not to, we added a third two years later and were ruled by a tiny army we created.

Three babies in four years.

It was a whole thing.

(Re: Photo's in post: These pics are terrible because it was the late 90's and THIS WAS THE BEST WE COULD DO. Also, we cut our original pictures and scrapbooked them all. I need therapy.)

I wish I would have known how new babies make all feelings MORE (and this from a girl who was already fairly high on melodrama): more thrill, more love, more anguish, more adoration, more fear, more gratitude, more doubt, more crazy. You may have been an emotionally sturdy professional just a minute ago, but a newborn takes your heart and mind, squishes them into pulp in her fat little baby hands, and turns you into a woman face down in despair over a Subaru commercial. Who is this sloppy woman in the mirror? Good lord, put on some clean pants and get your crap together!"

* This one by Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience with How to Recover the Lost Art of Dying Well: What Kara Tippetts Taught Us...
"She’d said it brave into the camera, the liquid of her heart brimming like light in her eyes:

“I feel like I’m a kid at a party, whose Father said it’s time to leave and go Home already…..

And I am not afraid of dying — I just don’t want to go.”

Her wondrous little boy, Lake, had curled into her in bed and he had looked into her eyes and whispered: “I don’t want you to go…”

Kara hadn’t wavered, she was 38 years old and the mother of 4 children, dying of cancer, and she hadn’t looked away — She nodded and stroked his cheek with the palm of her hand, like she could etch her love right into his grief.

I had choked it out last night before I turned the last light out:

“I feel like I am a kid still left at the party — and I’m at the window watching her go… watching the life of the party go.”

The strange hush about things now, in the wake of her really going, feels like a lingering holy.

* This post from Ashley Hales over at GraceTable with When We Celebrate Mercy Around The Table... 
"I just keep justifying myself. Desperately wanting to see my life around the table as worth it — as evidence of loving God and my neighbor well. But do I love my neighbors right under my nose well?

In response to the Teacher’s question, Jesus tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan. At its conclusion, Jesus asks the Teacher who was the neighbor to the hurt man; to which he replies, “the one who had shown mercy.” Mercy. In case you’re a bit hazy on your terms, here’s the definition for “mercy”: “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”

Because even if I don’t physically harm or punish my children or husband with my body or my words, there is often an internal justification of my own desires or point of view at the expense of theirs. My husband needs to help out more because I’ve had a hard day, my children need to be quiet, responsible and obedient because I’ve given up so much for them; those I counsel should accept my wisdom because I’m so good at giving advice. It’s all about me. It’s all about how I justify myself, how I try to make myself right – whether it’s giving the homeless man a meal, or throwing a great dinner party, or loving my family."

* This post by Colleen Mitchell over at blessed are the feet with The One Woman I Want to Be Better Than... 
"I don’t want to be a better woman than you.

People have said this to me quite often as they learn more about my life and the “yes” I live: “You’re a better woman than me.”

And of course, I take it is the affirmation that it is meant to be.

But truthfully? I don’t want to be better than you.

The only woman I want to be better than is me.

I want to be better than the woman who wrote about moving as a spiritual discipline the other day and then spent the better part of the last three days hiding in her room on the verge of tears because it has all just been too much.

You see, I think whatever your “yes” is, it is a hard “yes”. That is what makes it your “yes”.

When God is stretching us and growing us into dangerous women, we feel just that: stretched.

Outside of what is comfortable for us, across the line we would draw as reasonable, beyond boundaries we would set.

Stretched thin and wide and long and high, we are lighter than we ever thought we could be and riding faster, flying higher, falling further than we ever thought we could."

* This post from Kim Adam on Good Mom, Bad Mom...
"The truth is we are all doing the best we can at this parenting gig. No one’s perfect. No one approach works for all kids. Some moms stay home, some  work, some work at home in between parenting kids. Some kids need strict discipline and some fare just fine with loose boundaries.

The “right way” doesn’t exist.

There’s no magic formula for parenting. We’re all scientists in the lab of real life conducting our own on-going experiments with wildly different results.

But I did come up with a short quiz to let you sort of take your Momming temperature and see how you’re doing..."

* This post by Lisa Jo Baker with How to Uncomplicate Being a “Good Neighbor”...
"A friend, a fellow mama and writer, is throwing stew in the crock pot at 9 am and wants to know if I’d like her to drop half of it off for dinner at 6pm?

I don’t even hesitate.

I pick up the phone to reply, “No thanks, we’re fine.”

And then I remember how it’s only when we admit our un-fine moments that people can actually get to us to help us.

It’s one thing to write that; it’s something else to actually live it.

I just sit in the car with something sticky underneath my shoe and consciously breathe in and out. And in and out again.

Then I pick up the phone and just say four words, “Thank you, yes please.”

I text her my address and then put my head down on the steering wheel and cry. Because comfort can undo you. Kindness can unglue you."

This post (yes... another one! Gah... I can't help it!) by Jen Hatmaker over at TODAY ParentingTeam with What Would My Mom Do? (Drink Tab and Lock Us Outside)...
"I’m about to tell you the truth: parenting has become very precious in our generation.

This very morning, a mom posted how on her son’s birthday, she assembles a comprehensive “time capsule” including items, photos, and products related to that particular year, stores it in a set of antique trunks, and plans to present them all to him on his 18th birthday as a tribute to his entire life.

Holy. Crap.

Cannot. Deal.

When I think about upping the joy in parenting and diminishing the stress, I propose that much of our anxiety stems from this notion that our kids’ childhood must be Utterly Magical; a beautifully documented fairytale in which they reside as center of the universe, their success is manufactured (or guaranteed), and we over-attend to every detail of their lives until we send them off to college after writing their entrance essays.

It becomes this fake pressure, which results in its trusty sidekick: guilt. And nothing steals joy away from parenting more than believing you are doing a terrible job at it. And nothing confirms you are doing a terrible job at it then thinking you should run out and backfill eight antique trunks as a memorial to your third-grader’s life.

So here is my trick for keeping the joy and losing the stress:

What would my mom do?

I was born in 1974, good readers. It no more occurred to my mom to coddle us Precious Snowflakes than it did to quit drinking a case of Tab a day. If you told my mom to craft a yearly time capsule for each child to store until graduation, she would have cried tears of laughter all the way to Jazzercise.

(Seriously - click over and read this post, y'all! I cannot add enough Amen's to this one and I know I am an empty nester now so it's easier for me to say - and no, I did not always remember this in the growing years - but oh how I wish I had!)

* This one from right HERE with When it turns out that He makes a better Boss after all...
"You know how it goes...

It can be with anything... you can fill in the blank, but God opens a door and you begin to make a plan.  You start to decide how things will go after you walk through and you start to flesh it out and make it happen.  

It doesn't matter if it is something new or something you have done a thousand times... in your mind you see the open door and immediately begin to create an outline; a safety net; you know --a comfort zone of how it's gonna play out.

Sometimes He lets us play like that. But sometimes He likes to stretch us and grow us and remind us that He moves inside and outside of time and that He makes a better Boss."

Lastly, we close This Thing up with a video each week, and sometimes it may be a worship song, or a funny, (or Jimmy Fallon! What?) but we like to end our time together here with a little something uplifting. Enjoy this walk down memory lane with Tom Hanks:

Have a great weekend, friends! 


  1. Such great posts! Those are some of my fave posts from this week too!

    1. Yay! I love to know that we are hanging out in the same spaces, friend!


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