I Voted...but.

Like so many, I feel a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. For weeks and maybe months I’ve felt this pit in my stomach. 

There’s been a lot of unkind words tossed around. 

 

A lot of passionate opinions. 

A lot of division, a lot of hate. 

 

And I’ve looked on and I’ve judged those who don’t see eye to eye with me.

And I’ve wondered how people who follow the same God I follow don’t see these issues the same way I do. 

And I’ve wondered if maybe I’m the one who is wrong. 

Maybe their view is more Christ-like, maybe I’ve got it all backwards. 

 

And I’ve spent too many hours wrestling with these thoughts.

And Lord, the truth is, I don’t know if I voted for the right person.

I don’t know if I voted for who You would have wanted. 

 

But I know that I prayed 

and I thought 

and I wrestled 

and I read Your Word 

and I prayed some more 

and then I filled out that ballot 

and begrudgingly mailed it off. 

 

There are those of us who love you Lord, and who serve you Lord.

And I’ve been thinking, how is it that we aren’t voting the same way?

How is it that we feel so differently? But do we really...

because isn’t what we believers are truly voting for that Your Will be done?

 

I may have cast a ballot but Lord you reign over all. 

You’ve got the whole world in Your hands. 

You have plans for our nation, plans for Your people.

 

And regardless of how I vote. regardless of whether or not I got it right, Thy Will be done. 

 

Thy Will be done.

Slowing Down.

these days go by quickly

a little too quickly for me

and in the midst of these days

i lost a whole month to two misdiagnosed illnesses

and a confirmed case of mono

there was whining and weeping 

and re-watching of the office

and here i am

here august is

and we are just going to slow down

be a little more grateful

a little more intentional

dust off that camera a little more

capture the chaos and the quiet

start something new

explore somewhere new

be joyful for small wins and simple moments

be joyful in hard days and boring ones

and love this ordinary life i am blessed to be living

What Self-Care Is and Is Not.

it is not another thing to add to the list

it is not a guilt trip.

it is not highlights

or lowlights

or lacquers 

or liquor.

self-care is a mindset that believes

you are worthy of forgiveness, of grace, of belonging. 

self-care chooses simple over stress

it knows, or maybe just whispers, that you are more than pinterest parties

and instagram photos

it accepts that sometimes practical must come before perfect

that somedays the meals will have been previously frozen

and there will be more than the daily recommended screen time

and the dishes are going to keep sitting there

and the laundry can wait

it looks at the messy life it is standing in

and knows that compassion is always greater than comparison

that we are not competing but we are conquering

conquering small mountains, day in and day out. 

that everyday,

our presence,

our pouring out of ourselves,

is enough.

When Everyone Is Bouncing Back & You Are Falling Flat.

And they call it bouncing back,

as if it were as simple and natural as a rubber ball that hits concrete

and shoots back up.

And for some, maybe it is, that simple.

 

I see photos of mamas nursing in bikinis,

while my hands nervously tug at the hems of my shorts

hoping the extra inches of my in-seam

might hide my insecurities.

 

The day she arrived, I fell apart.

who I was crumbled

that I might become who she needed.

 

And it was more than just flesh that was sacrificed

my house, my hair, my mental health

it all fell apart.

And I wandered into this new role

without a clue, or a plan

just a heart that beat hard for this girl

and hope in the unknown plan, of an Eternal Father.

 

And three years deep

I’m still bouncing back.

Still recovering, still adjusting,

most days all my efforts seem to fall flat.

 

But when all I see is failure,

You see me.

 

And you don’t judge worthiness

By how quickly we bounce back

But how quickly we fall to our knees.

 

And while the world may overlook

Those of us that don’t measure up

You’ve been using us,

Who fall flat, fall short, fall apart,

As a measure of Your love.

 

When our hearts ask,

Am I enough?

You whisper, I can fill you up.

Enough Is Enough.

Saturday was simple. Just a children’s museum with a friend, so the kiddo could run around and the adults could talk. And I welcomed the break from standing alone on the edge of a playground. For me, it was a great joy, just to be in a space with a friend. To share pleasantries, to exchange everyday news…but as we parted ways and I began to drive off, I felt this nagging pit that I had been a disappointment to my friend. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this. I’m blessed to have a tribe of women who share their lives with me. Who show up and eat meals, share laughs, and share tears with me. And afterwards, I always wonder if they found the moments worth their time. If what I had offered, had been worthwhile. I find myself desiring to keep them engaged; keep them interested, keep them inspired not to waste their time. Driving home Saturday this hit me hard. Why do I feel like my presence isn’t enough? That I can’t just share a space and quiet moments with the ones I love so dearly? Why do I feel this nagging that I need to offer something more?

 

When did I become the girl who believed she, in and of herself, was not enough? That I need to prove myself valuable in order to be accepted. That love is conditional and not freely given. Is that really how I feel? And if I feel that way about myself, is that how I treat others? Will my daughter wonder if she has to earn my love?


You are enough, I whisper.

 

The kiddo is asleep in her car seat now. Head cocked slightly to the side, and hanging forward.

 

You are enough. It’s my mantra now.

 

Without entertaining, or counseling, or inspiring…just you, standing there, with your attempts at being present and your mind that is spinning and your fragmented sentences and your incomplete thoughts.

 

You are enough.

 

There have been so many who have shown in different ways that their love must be earned. That it comes at a price. And so I found myself believing that everyone feels this way. But there are those, who will sit silent on a couch with you and feel joy. There are those who will stand in a crowded museum, listening to your scattered thoughts and feel happy. There will be those who call just to hear you say everything is good, there is nothing new…to hear you mention grocery shopping and rattle on about potty training and laundry and oh you know, same old same old.

 

There will always be those and even if not, there will always be Him, who knows just how simple and quiet and scattered and noisy your brain, your life, you, can be. And oh, how He loves you.

Good Friday.

and there i was. feeling all sorts of nothing. 

nothing worth noticing.
nothing worth knowing.
nothing worthwhile. 

with a heart that was hurting. 
and a head filled with questions. 
and a list of lies, i was keen on believing. 

and i was alone in my mess. 
messy hair. messy house. messy life. 

on the night it was finished
the only it that truly matters. 
the it that says, to me, you are worth everything. 

worth suffering for.
worth being humiliated for.
worth dying for. 

your heart that beats
and feels
and breaks
is what i'm after. 

i gave up everything, my own life, 
for that heart. 
and in me alone, is that heart safe,
is that heart home. 

there is good in suffering. 
he suffered that we might be saved.
may our earthly suffering
be the kind that saves as well. 

saves us from greater suffering,
saves us for greater joy. 

Thinking Out Loud.

having it together.
i'm still chasing that
giving my days and my hours to that
still believing that it is obtainable
and i don't know

because i paused today
between yelling
and striving
and cleaning
and crying
to wonder if this is it

if i'm running towards something,
or just on an endless wheel.
does anyone have it together?
and what does that mean?

when i seek that
what am i wanting?

order.
order in the chaos of life.
a moment to breathe, to pause,
when everything is in its place
and i can move forward.

i'm crying out, lord!
abba, father
life is uncertain and overwhelming
and i need control
because i'm afraid

i like neat boxes
that i can check off
i like lines on paper
that i can cross off

but now, there is only messy
and broken
and hurting
and chaos.

when i should seek you,
i strive.
when i should rest in you,
i organize.
believing that i can make sense of it,
put this life into boxes with pretty labels.

help me, lord, to learn to look for you
when the mess is too much. 

I Used To Be Cool.

"you're not kayla" he says grinning, "you're rooney's mom" ...

yes, i am.

when those lines appeared and a new life was formed
i was transformed.

no longer the girl who read agatha christie obsessively
but rooney's mom.

no longer the teen who started a business
but rooney's mom.

no longer the young lady who up and moved to los angeles
but rooney's mom.

no longer the woman who lived in europe
but rooney's mom.

my life ebbs and flows with her rhythms.

she is all the words on my tongue, and the thoughts in my brain.
she is my first worry, and my last prayer.

i didn't plan for this.
yes, she was unexpected, in every way imaginable
but i didn't plan for this loss of identity.

no one told me that when i became a mom
i would cease to be kayla to the world

and that while i will treasure this role
and while i won't be able to properly express my love
i will desperately ache to know kayla
because i, too, have forgotten her.

i look at photos
and recall memories
as if kayla is an old friend that i've lost touch with
and i'm curious how she's doing.

i am not the very best mama
i don't have any profound wisdom or insights
but i want to shed light on motherhood,
and its unshared shadows.

sometimes our struggles
outweigh our hearts

sometimes our loneliness
overwhelms our souls

sometimes our identities
are lost in the chaos of our lives.

and though we offer our bodies
and we offer our hearts
our souls still long to be known,

to be seen, as more than mama.