Thursday, February 03, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama

Even though Kim and I have been gone from Birmingham for nearly 9 years, we still have many friends there and Birmingham holds a special place in our hearts.  In fact, we are planning a Mommy, Esq. retreat there sometime this spring and can't stop talking about all the places we will go and eat.

We're already fasting in preparation for such gluttony.

So...we were excited when the owner of this great website , Childcare Birmingham, contacted us to say hi and even more excited when they featured Kim's post from last summer about all the hot spots in Birmingham to hit with kids in tow.

If you live in the Birmingham area, be sure to check them out.  And if you do live near the 'ham and are a Mommy, Esq., give us a shout out and meet us for a falafel at Nabeel's!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

It's in the Eyes

So I know a few posts back I talked about One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  If you're already reading it, you'll get what I'm about to say.  If you aren't reading it yet, listen to me y'all....

read it.  READ it.  K?

Trust me.

As a friend of mine said when she started reading it...."she speaks to my heart."

I find myself reading and inside screaming "YES!"  "Yes, Ann....YES!"

It's like Ann (again....speaking as if we are friends, which I feel like we would be if we could) found a way to put into words what we....what I.....what all of us as Moms....have felt.  Dreamed of.  Wanted.  Strived for.  Pursued.  Cried over.  Felt guilty about.  Pined for.  Celebrated.

Does that make any sense?   Maybe not.

Listen to this .... from the book.....

The world I live in is loud and blurring and toilets plug and I get speeding tickets and the dog gets sick all over the back step and I forget everything and these six kids lean hard into me all day to teach and raise and lead and I fail hard and there are real souls that are at stake and how long do I really have to figure out how to live full of grace, full of joy - before these six beautiful children fly the coop and my mothering days fold up quiet?  How do you open the eyes to see how to take the daily, domestic, workday vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral?

Just.  Wow.

Since I've been reading this book (and yes it's taking me much longer than usual....typically I devour books.  This one is to be savored.  Word.  By.  Word.) I've found that I look at my life...differently.

Like last night.  I was tired.  It had been a long day.  I didn't get a shower until a few minutes before my husband came home so I was clean and smelled good but u-u-ugly, know what I'm talking about?   Not a dab of makeup, hair hastily pulled back in a ponytail and mismatched sweats on.  With fuzzy socks.  I'm not sure how he restrained himself when he walked in the door but I digress.

I was just tired.  Laundry piled up, toys everywhere, kids running through the house chasing the dog, school books and papers strewn throughout the dining room, and a kitchen full of dirty dishes and we hadn't even eaten yet.  And I was already exhausted.  Bathtime, prayers and bedtime seemed a world away.

But as the buzzer went off on the dryer and I ran in to switch out the clothes, instead of dreading the folding and putting them away I found myself thinking, Oh thank you God that we have clothes!  Look at all these socks and underwear my children have.  And sweatshirts and pants.  And t-shirts.  And sweaters.  They will never know what it is to be cold because they don't have something warm to put on.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Then when I went into the kitchen to finish cooking, instead of focusing on the mess and all the work ahead of me in there, I thought, Oh but by the grace of God we have more food here in this kitchen than we could eat in the next month.  Not only do we have simple sustenance, but we have what we want....what we crave....we are so blessed.  So.  Blessed.

See where this is going?

You don't think you can find a blessing in changing diapers?  Ask the Mom who can't get out of bed to go to her crying baby and would give anything to change Just.  One.  More.  Diaper.  I know a beautiful and very real Mom like that.  Her name is Katherine Wolf and you can read all about her here. Be inspired.  And challenged.

Sometimes it's all in the way we see things.  Sometimes there's nothing wrong with our eyes.

We just need to focus.

I'll be heading over here on Sunday.

I do hope I see you there.