Pity party for one

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Today I was supposed to be enjoying day two of The Gospel Coalition* conference. But here I sit having just started my fourth load of laundry and mopped the floors. I posted an instastory about feeding kids and I got a couple messages saying I was a saint. It was a gut check for sure. Because a saint I am not. Lest you think higher of me than you ought (or lest I ever think higher of myself than I should), I’ve been throwing myself the best pity party for one (and it included Netflix and chocolate – that does sound a lot like my normal life but trust me, pit-y part-y). Yep. I have. And I’m not real proud of it. In fact, when I finally admitted it, I was kind of embarrassed.

You see, I have every right to be disappointed that my plans for a a spiritual bucket-filling trip were canceled due to one little person getting influenza. But a pity party? Really, Karlee? You didn’t really need to get that upset, did you? At the time I felt like I did. While I only shared my sorrows with a few friends (who honestly should have told me to snap out of it or threw some Bible about true sorrow at me or just said read the Gospel), I still danced with the disappointment longer than I any person should over a conference.

But in my sinful, selfish heart, I had pity on myself because I am a stay-at-home mom who leads a very bland life. Not bad at all. Just not exciting (and I wouldn’t change one bit of it for something “better” or “exciting”). I don’t get coffee dates with friends. I don’t get to go out for drinks after work. I don’t get to wear fancy clothes. Heck, I rarely get to wear new clothes. This was my chance to put on my non-mom clothes and do something I spent months looking forward to, instead of doing what I do every day.

You know what though? It’s okay to be disappointed when crummy things happen. But it’s not okay for me to sit and stew thinking I somehow had earned it. My heart and flesh are sinful even in this. I took something good and elevated it above the Giver of good things. I had no real reason to drag on the disappointment for days and all the emotions that came with it because I’ve been made alive in Christ! That’s the best thing that could ever happen to me! It’s waaaaaaaaay better than something good I wanted to go to!

I’m not even sure if any of that made sense. But I want you (to the random one and only reader of my blog!) to know, I am no saint because I have a large family or appear to have my life in check. I’m not even close. I get upset over little things that won’t matter when I stand before my Maker. I throw myself pity parties because I am sinful and selfish and I am human just like you. Thankfully God sees His perfect Son when He looks at me and that deserves the best party!

I do want to end on a happier, more picture-filled note! In no particular order – a mini rundown of TGC 2017, my pity party shopping trip, a sick girl, my favorite baby dude (he’s three months old!!!!!!!), a really good album, and my only curly-ish haired son:-)

 

 

*The Gospel Coalition conference is a must! Seriously! It’s the best conference I’ve ever gone to!!!! So if it’s in your budget to only go to one conference go to this one. It will be give you something more than any MLM conference can (yep. I said it. No. I don’t regret it). So sign up and go next year! If you regret it, find me and I will give you a hug (cuz that’s probably what you need).

You ARE going to miss this

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Yesterday at church a few ladies and I were talking about how we knew we were going to miss these days (you know the ones – the diaper days, the sleepless night days, the wiping butts days, the holding sick kids days) but right now it just doesn’t seem like it. One day we will miss the mess.

Can I admit something? As I was letting our one year old eat yogurt by himself, I realized I missed a lot during my older kids’ younger years. I look back and think about how I didn’t cherish their snuggles and their need of me or their messes like I do now. During those first years of motherhood and trying to figure it out and trying to be super mom (which just left me irritable and exhausted), I missed a lot. I didn’t take the time to slow down and soak in the moments of littleness like I do now.

I was consumed in the laundry, in the making everything from scratch, carrying two non-walkers on my hips, cloth diapering, and cleaning up the perpetual mess in our tiny house.

But now I now have a seven year old who freaking reads chapter books. By herself. Without needing my help. And who helps her brother go through his sight words each night. I now have a six year old who can climb trees and who builds crazy awesome things with legos and who enjoys golfing with his dad. I now have a five year old who will fetch her one year old brother from his pack-n-play at nap time if my hands are full (and she does it with such joy!) and will hold a crying newborn with such tender love and care. I now have an almost four year old who can memorize lyrics to a song like no ones business and rarely needs me to cut his food up for him.

They grow up fast. I can attest to that and mine aren’t fully grown yet.

These little people will always be my babies but they sure do grow up fast and need me less and are becoming capable human beings. Gah!!!!!!!

If only I could go back and just savor those first years of motherhood a little bit longer, a lot bit harder than I did, I would. Because those first few years were more awesome, more sanctifying, and more worthy of the mess than I give them credit for.

bennett

Long overdue!

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Hey all! It’s me. I’m alive and well and caring for a newborn (plus six other kids).

Yep. A newborn! Pierce Edward Hufford was born January 5th weighing 7lbs 4oz and was 19.5″ long. He is perfect!

Anywho…I apologize for my absence but we moved our computer yet again and it just isn’t convenient for me to sit and type often anymore. But I promise to post about his birth because it was a good one and I’m positive you all want to know!!!!

But for now I need to get back to organizing a bunch of stuff that has somehow gotten unorganized (#sevenkids) and solve the world’s problems (like how to use a thigh master and do we really need naps and how come we can’t just hide all the garbage instead of throwing it away and can we just eat chocolate for every meal…you know, the important stuff) and snuggle babies (because these are the newborn days that pass oh so quickly)!

REAL mom Wednesday

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You know you are a REAL mom when…

*you’re kids are playing so well together outside on a gorgeous afternoon but you tell them to come in and watch tv because the yard guy decided to come and spray.😡

I can’t say I didn’t want to say some choice words to the guy or at least point out that they were playing so peacefully in the sunshine. Oh well. Here’s to the rainy day today and all the inside play time my kids get to have👍

Part of our story

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Today I was walking into the gym with Nora by the hand, Bennett on my hip, and my belly bulging under my shirt. It was very reminiscent of the days just before Ella joined our family (minus the “working out” part of course) and I was reminded yet again to not pray for the life I want but the life God knows I need.

Most of my friends know this but I’m not sure how many people outside of them do. When I found out I was pregnant with Ella I cried. Not happy tears but tears of what the heck??? See while I was pushing out Cooper I declared (in my head of course) that I was never going to have another baby ever again. Yep. Out loud it sounded more like “lets wait a few years and reevaluate where we are”, but I was donesky. Because, you see, we were dirt poor since I had quit my job to stay home with my babies not too long before that. We weren’t struggling but things were tight. Very tight. And I wanted a more relaxed life, not counting our pennies in and out so carefully (looking back these were some of the sweetest days ever). Maybe a life with more vacations and nicer stuff and new clothes every once in awhile.

Fast forward many years and more babies later. Here I sit living the life I never prayed for but would never trade for the world. Seriously. It’s simply the craziest, most humbling, exhausting, best thing I never knew I needed. And if it weren’t for God knowing what life would humble and sanctify me the most, I wouldn’t be able to share this next story because Ella (none of our other wonderful kids after her) would exist.

Garrett and I have prayed for big things for our kids (and little things, don’t think we haven’t/don’t pray for more sleep or better attitudes). We have prayed and talked to them about loving Jesus and what he’s done for them. We talk regularly with them that Jesus is a friend to sinners and a friend to those who the world says aren’t worthy of friendship and even a burden to this world. We have prayed that they would be a friend to those people because of Matthew 25:40 “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

Anyway, a few weeks ago Ella’s preschool teacher shared with me about what a wonderful friend she is, especially to a little boy in her class named Evan. Evan is completely wheel chair bound and has delays and can’t verbally communicate. He has an aid with him who takes care of all his needs.

God has given our Ella the sweetest, most nurturing heart (maybe not so to her siblings or always to her cousins…she is still a work in progress, right? 😉 ). Her teacher explained that most kids in their class are apprehensive around Evan but Ella is his best friend. She talks to him like a peer and plays with him and can now tell when Evan is getting a bit overwhelmed in class and needs to be left alone. She genuinely loves being his friend and told us all about Evan and didn’t mention anything to us about him being different except he didn’t eat snack with them every day.

God has given her a heart to just see people for who they are and that they have value. God is already answering the prayer that she would be a friend to the outcast. If God had answered my prayer for a more comfortable life over five years ago, I wouldn’t have this to share but I might have fewer ruined things and fewer stained clothes and a cleaner car. But all the praise to God that He knows what I need before I even knew I needed it! Praise God that He can see my own selfishness and need to be softened in ways I didn’t think I needed to be so I could see His command at work in the lives of all my children. Because, trust me, there are endless stories of how awesome the kids God has given us are and I only share any of them because it is truly the work of God in His goodness and kindness, and not us as parents.

So pray for the life God wants for you because His will is better. And if God gives you children, pray the big stuff and pray it hard because He hears the cries of us selfish parents but He knows better than us what we need because isn’t that true of any truly, good father?

“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2-4