Reading Hosea – “I will betroth you to me Forever”

So I’ve gotten behind in my reading already. I know I know. Right this very instant I’m catching up, but then my mind started going and I had to get it out my blogging. Of course.

Oh Hosea!!! This guy KNEW he was going to marry a chick who would not be giving sexy time only to him! HE KNEW THIS and he still married her. God told him Gomer is going to tell you you’re the only one, but you won’t be. You’ll be shattered. You’ll be heart broken. You’ll be angry, But….. you’ll forgive her time and again. You’ll take her back. Because you LOVE HER! MIND BLOWN!!! I mean who would do that?? Think about it. Your spouse has done the UNTHINKABLE. Shattered their vows. Basically spit in your face, and after all of that. After all of the heart break, lies, shame, and anger. You place your arms around your spouse and say I FORGIVE YOU!!! I don’t know about you, but I’d be more likely to punch my husband in the face then to forgive and stay with him. At least that’s my initial reaction!!

As I’m reading Chapter 2, yes, like I said I missed a few days. My throat starts to tighten up and I’m trying to hold back the tears. I’m really trying to put myself in that place and then I realize that this is God! That He LOVES me this much! That all those times I’ve “cheated” on Him He still wants me back. He forgives me no matter how much I’ve done to break His heart.

Do you SEE?!?!???! Do you see what Gomer did to Hosea?? She even had children from other men. Such a disgrace & he took her back! God has done this so many times, and I Still struggle with embracing WHO HE IS!! I still can’t believe that anyone much less God could love me unconditionally, and He knows EVERYTHING I’ve done. Everything I think! Even as I type this I’ve taken many breaks to grasp what my heart is beginning to understand. In this moment. Right now. I’m hoping is sticks.

Hosea

This scripture broke me down. I was reading along. Ready to move on. Ready to read more of the Bible study and BAM! Just like that this verse knocked the wind out of me.
“I will betroth you to me FOREVER” Hosea 2:19

I don’t know what that means to you, but to me it just blew me away. He wants me forever. He Loves me forever. He will fight for me forever. I am Gomer! HE is Hosea!!! And yet HE LOVES ME!!

Reading Hosea

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If there is ONE thing I’ve learned as a mother. It’s this: IT.IS.HARD.  This doesn’t mean that it’s not full of love or tender moments or realizing that this is the BEST thing that you’ve ever done. It just means it’s all of that wrapped into one.

Since becoming a mom I’ve realized a few things. I’m a MOM!! I promise you’ll have that moment a few times a day and many times a week. I look at my 4 year old and 16 month old and I kind of have this moment where I realize for the millionth time that I’m in fact a mother to 2 very amazing and adorable little people. Another thing which I’ve stated is that it’s hard. And yet another thing that I’ve found important is raising them for Christ.

I’ve fretted over how I was going to do this. How can I make my kids be like those other little kids that can say verses word for word & know the love of God? How could I be that mom who saturates her kids in God 24/7? I’ve wanted to be those moms. I have failed miserably. I’ve learned that you can tell your kids this & that, but if they don’t see you do it. If they don’t see you live it then they themselves won’t do it. I’m the worst when it comes to reading the Bible. THE. WORST. I will even go as far as saying since having kids it’s been worse than that. Which I never thought possible, but it’s possible. Trust me! I’ll pick it up and start a Bible study only to set it to the side and never finish it. Hello! I have more important things to do like wash the dishes, laundry, change diapers, dust, make appointments, worry about my husband finding a job, worry about the lack of money coming in, worry, worry, worry……………………………….. I come from a long line of worriers and I’m winning!

I’m sort of getting off track here. I struggle daily with a lot of things. Wanting to be a good mom, wife, friend, Christian, person. It’s been a rough year. I’ve struggled with God. Or fought with God. Or went between what’s the point to look at what He’s done for me.  I honestly feel like my kids have seen it. They might now have understood it, but it came out through my crying or yelling or just not trying. In those moments when I’m talking to God or trying to understand why things have happened the way they have  I end up coming back to what I know. God. Christ. What He’s done for me. 

I desperately want to be in love with God. I yearn for it. I feel like I don’t know how to get there. I feel like the walls are in place and because of that my kids can feel it. See it. Hear it. I don’t want my kids to grow up not knowing what God can do, not knowing the LOVE of God simply because I can’t wrap my brain around it. I want to raise them for Christ. I don’t want it to be words in my mouth. I want it to be a reality.
So because of that I thought I would pick up my Bible again. I thought I would open it and see what He has to offer. I went to shereadstruth.com and figured I would just read whatever they had on tap for this week. Instead I randomly picked a Bible study to study. I’m that person that likes to close her eyes & put my finger on a verse in the Bible in hopes that God will magically speak through that scripture. I’ve landed my finger many a time on those verses that read something like (this is the land of ‘ites) and thought well what am I supposed to get out of this?? Today however I randomly chose one of their studies and I chose Hosea. I wasn’t expecting it to be any special message from God, but I think that it is. And I’ll tell you why.

“If you feel like a mess today, the book of Hosea is for you”. This is me EVERYDAY.

“If you long to love Jesus more, but there are idols towering over your head and heart, the book of Hosea is for you”. I imagine that my constant worrying could very much be an idol. I mean I focus on that much more than I do the Word of God or I don’t know anything else.

“……….and you wonder if He’s walked away, the book of Hosea is for you”. I have felt the void of God for close to a year now. Since the death of my uncle and I’ve had such a hard time getting back to where I think I should be.

Maybe this is what I need. I’m going to finish this study. I hope someone holds me accountable. Maybe through this I can begin to finally see God. See my kids being raised how I want them to. Not because of what I say to them, but because they see me live it. They see me open my Bible. They see me BELIEVE it. Now isn’t that the proof.

We’ll wait and see………………

Road trip, wedding week, and family fun Part 2

Well my niece done got herself hitched. It was a beautiful wedding, and she was a beautiful bride. Of course. The venue was the perfect little oasis amongst farm land. I would’ve never known it had existed if not for her wedding.
Shay & Tyler were married in this cute little place called Coolwater Creek in Meridian, ID. It was such a perfect spot for their big day.

We are back from our trip to Idaho, and I still haven’t uploaded any pictures from the wedding or our fun little adventures while we were there.

Here are some of the pictures taken by Alisha Wilkerson Photography. Can’t wait to see the rest.

Alisha Wilkerson Photography

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Of course I couldn’t resist taking multiple pictures of my cute little cowboy. Cassius had the honor of being one of the ring bearers for Shay & Tyler’s wedding. Cash was even more excited to be co-ring bearer with one of his best buds & cousin Gabe.

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Here are a couple pics of the Coolwater Creek

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I’m pretty sure I have the cutest munchkins around

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Here are a few more shots I snapped on my iPhone.

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Road trip, wedding week, & fun with family Part 1

We packed up our stuff and headed out on our 1st road trip in over a year. We were Idaho bound and it was going to be interesting traveling with a 4 yr old & 15 month old. Ordinarily I would’ve scoured Pinterest for travel activities in order for my kids to have educational options rather than slap a movie in the DVD and hit play. This road trip I threw some books in a bag, toys in a travel toy box, and some DVD’s for them to watch. Those items helped us get to our halfway point where we stayed in a hotel. Apparently, hotels are the coolest thing since Disneyland to 4 year olds and 15 month olds. My kiddies were so wound up we didn’t get to sleep until 10ish pm.

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The next morning we quickly realized we were no longer in CA. Although I’m happy to be in cooler weather and away from the ridiculous hot temps CA is experiencing right now.

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The next day we finished our trek to Idaho with some stops along the way & some beautiful scenery.

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Once we arrived we quickly headed to Uncle Tony’s house to see him. Cash loves his Uncle Tony. Talks about him All. The. Time. As soon as he saw him though he got shy. After our visit with Uncle Tony we went and saw another one of Cassius’ fave people. GABE!! 🎶Reunited and it feels so good🎶. You know you’re singing it.

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Tonight was the Wedding rehearsal so the boys got to break in their cowboy boots. What better way to break in your boots then dirt and rocks.

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While they rehearsed many pictures were taken.

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Tomorrow the wedding……..

Manic Monday

This is where she ate soap

This is where she ate soap


Today is Monday………………..

I feel like I don’t need to write much more because everyone will understand. For some reason I also feel like I need to put this out in the blogosphere and get it off my chest. Maybe it’ll make me feel less anxious.

Today was filled with busyness on my end. I spent the whole day applying for CalFresh or what others call…… food stamps. California is trying to spin it in a positive light or some kind of light, but nothing is more difficult then to come to a place such as this and not have some kind of shame or frustration or embarrassment. Yes, I just put that out there. Food Stamps. This is where I’m at in my life right now and it is hard. My husband is currently unemployed and wouldn’t you know it I’m a stay-at-home-mom. It is really hard to write it, to put it out there, and yet that’s what I’m doing. The hubs is actively looking for work, and applying for everything in his field. I have dusted off my resume and I’m trying to explain my 4 year absence from the work force. I’ve sat and stared at my computer screen a lot more than I’ve freshened up my resume. Which means I’ve stared at it, typed, erased, typed, erased, and then walked away in frustration to return to it at some later date.

So there’s that. Then my knight and shining armor watched our kiddos while I did some exhaustive work applying for CalFresh. Who knew you had to have the blood of your first born child on hand to get this stuff???? You don’t, but it certainly feels like I should have that on hand just in case they need it. Gah!! I did sort of forget something important. I never ended up getting my daughters birth certificate after she was born so now I have to go to the county office to get that. Fun!! It’s only been 15 months. No biggie.

To really understand my day it went something like this:

6:50 am: Eisley wakes up crying & screaming “Mama, MAMA, MAAAMAAAA, MAAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
I ignore her. Although she’s right next to me in her Pak N Play

7:00 am: Cash starts stirring & waking up. Eisley hears the sound of his movement and begins to cry for me more.

7:04 am: I turn over & grab her to lay next to Cash and I. This is where I should explain that I stayed at my moms last night because the house we rent has some “issues” with lack of insulation and the house heating up like an oven no matter how much the AC runs.

7:30 am: We finally get out of bed. I quickly rush breakfast so that I can get home & start ticking off things on my To Do list.

9:00 am: Get the kids in the truck, drive home, & I don’t remember what I did.

9:25ish am: Get home drop all our things in the living room and start bustling around, Laundry, sweeping, feeding kids.

9:30am – 2:30pm: Hole myself up in the office/spare room/laundry room (Multi-purpose room)
Spend FOREVER applying, scanning, typing, hitting the back key too many times where it logs me out completely & I have to start over. All the while Eisley is screaming MAAAAMAAAAA A LOT. I did take a break to put her down for a nap & grab something to eat. Oh I did some laundry too.

2:30pm I come out of my cave & realized I haven’t grocery shopped and I don’t know what we’ll do for dinner.

3:30 pm: Panic cause I still haven’t made a grocery list & we don’t have much food in the house. Manage to figure something out for dinner. Meanwhile I send Brandon to the store to buy Alfredo Sauce & French Bread.

3:30-6:00pm Cooking dinner, more office work, and playing with kids, changing diaper, etc

6:40pm : Dinner is over.

7:00pm: Brandon heads out with Cash to take him to the park while I bathe Eisley. This is when she ate soap & cried the rest of the bath

7:30-8:00 Bath over, she peed on me, & story time.

8:00-10:00 pm: Both kids fought bedtime & I still haven’t written out my grocery list.

That was my day & I know you all are excited I stopped to write about it. I feel better. :)

And then she peed on me

And then she peed on me

…..and she laughs without fear of the future.

I can see her. She is fearless. Worn by time. Worn by life. Worn by fighting the unseen. Striving to always be good enough. Trying to fight the battles she hides from others. She has fought through years from one side to the other.

In the beginning………….

She was full of fear. Full of questions. Full of tears. Wondering what the future held. Wondering why these things had to happen. Questioning. Always questioning. With each question she received no answers. The silence filled her up. She began to wonder if there really was an answer to any of her questions.

And then………………..she laughs without fear of the future.

I love this verse Proverbs 31:25
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

The first time I read this my throat tightened up and I could barely squeak out a word. Tears fell from my eyes and I looked up and prayed to God to make me just like her. Strength. Dignity. Beautiful to me. What struck me was she laughs without fear of the future. SHE LAUGHS! Laughs as if whatever the future holds will not phase her. Will not sway her. Will not cause her to stumble. Will not falter her. Anything and everything can come her direction and SHE. LAUGHS. I try to imagine from my lense what that could possibly look like. I can’t quite see it. For fear has seemed to set up shop in mind, heart, and soul.

I imagine that she was once like me. Fearful of what could be. Fearful of what has already happened. Fearful of what she knows is to come. Fearful of the present. A laundry list of fears. Yet she has come through it and …..”she laughs without fear of the future”.

When I grow up I want to be her.

Mom’s Night Out

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My friend From Faye threw down a challenge. She challenged me to start blogging again. She challenged me to write about the 5 best toddler activities that I’ve actually done with my toddler. I’m here to say ……… this is not that blog post. I tried to get the juices flowing, but it disappeared quicker than Lois Lerner’s e-mails.

So as I wipe away these virtual cobwebs I thought I’ll accept her challenge to start blogging again. At least this one time.

Towards the end of the day I started planning my escape. My husband comes home from work, dinner, dishes, getting the kids off to bed, and that’s when I’m too tired to actually escape, But TODAY was a different day! I did everything except put the kids to bed and then I headed out the door. I’ve been wanting to ride the carousel at the Nut Tree all week. Every morning this week I’ve been determined to pack up the kids and head the 35ish minutes to ride that blasted carousel. And as usual I talk myself out of it by going through my long laundry list in my head which prevents me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I guess that’s why my husband says I’m not the fun one. TODAY though TODAY I was going to throw caution to the wind and head out all by myself to ride that carousel. I had visions of fun, laughter, iPhone photography, creativity, watching the sunset, and then heading over to my friends house for a quick catch-up, head home, walk into my house relaxed and rested, and then head to bed.

Here’s what really happened…………………..

As I was headed toward my destination I realized I had no idea when the carousel stopped running. It was 7:30pm and I didn’t have a clue as to whether or not it was already closed or if they had summer hours. So I texted my friend and prayed that she’d answer immediately. No dice. So I keep driving and thinking and driving and thinking and thinking and thinking. Which happens to be a dangerous thing when I want to be spontaneous. My thinking won out so I thought I’d pull into a parking lot somewhere and just check to see what time they closed. After a few minutes of searching on my handy iPhone I discovered that the carousel stops running at 5:30 pm. Boom! Spontaneity gone!

I sat in that parking lot wondering what to do next. My inner struggle went something like this:
I can just go home and help Brandon put the kids to be. No! I’m going to do something fun! I’m ALWAYS doing what I’m supposed to. This is my night and I’m going to do something. What IS there to do? I could go to a cool hipster coffee shop and contemplate my future. Or read. Or Blog. Ah no! I don’t want coffee I want to sleep tonight. Hmm…maybe I’ll go get a tattoo. ( This is where I try to Google search the tattoo parlor one of my friends frequents) I wonder how much it would cost? Probably too expensive. We still have bills to pay and the birthday party is Saturday and I still haven’t bought all the food for it yet. I have to pick up the tables & chairs for the party and I still have to get gas. I wonder what kind of tattoo I should get? Maybe just a small tattoo. That won’t cost much, right? What’s the cost of tattoos these days? Ugh! Nevermind I’m not going to get a tattoo. I could just crawl in my backseat and take a little nap. That’s if it wasn’t full of car seats and snack crumbs, clothes, baby carriers, garbage. What happened to my truck!!?!??! I REALLY need to clean my truck out this weekend. My poor truck! So disgusting! I’ve been trying to clean this thing out since 2010. This truck used to be my baby. So did my dog. Before kids. Oh we need dog food.
And then it happened………..like a beacon in the night Target heard my cry. I looked in my rearview mirror in that moment and realized I had parked in a Target parking lot y’all!!! That’s my southern alter ego coming out. She comes out only on occasions like these.
I had no idea I pulled into a parking lot that would lead me to the Stay-at-home Moms mini getaway spot. I parked so far in the back and didn’t even realize it. So I grabbed my purse and gave into that beautiful sign. I grabbed a shopping cart and wandered that store far longer than I should have. I didn’t want to be there anymore, but I didn’t want to go home either. I walked every inch of that store and then I finally bought my things and headed home. I’d like to say that when I got home I was refreshed, but I was more tired than when I left. I felt like I squandered my spontaneity time with a flippin trip to Target. Getting things I NEEDED and nothing I wanted.

Oh wait! I did watch the sunset though. I watched it set right behind that big ol’ Target.

Any other moms out there have a night of spontaneity that didn’t go as planned?

Critically Critical

It’s Friday night and my greatest accomplishment is that I’ve managed to mop my kitchen floor. It’s been 2 weeks……… ok it’s been like 3 ish weeks and it desperately needed it. My Friday nights rock!!

I’m in confession mode. Or maybe I’m just feeling sorry for myself. Or maybe I’m really struggling with this particular issue. I pick D) all of the above.

I’m going to pour my heart out to all that will stumble across this long abandoned blog. I suffer from compareatinitis. This is my feeble attempt to be witty and make up a word. Which apparently I don’t rock at. I confess that I compare myself to other mothers!! GASP!! The horror!! I know, right? Who does that!?!?!? Me. Everyday. All day. It seems that way lately. In this social media world with Pinterest, Blogs, websites, and anything else I can manage to stumble upon. It shows a world in which Super moms exist not only to run a stellar house, but now they blog about it. They blog about how to clean, entertain, homeschool, be a fashionista, cook, be green,interior design, have a wonderful marriage, run a business from home, etc, etc, etc…………….

Then there’s Pinterest which connects me to all the blogs and shows me how I pale in comparison to all these super moms.

For example: I’m not the girliest girl out there. I haven’t always been the make-up/hair stylin kind of girl. I prided myself on going make-up free & not caring. All the while wishing I could be that girl that loved all that girly stuff. So lately in my attempt to be that girly girl & stay up-to-date on the cutest hair styles/make-up/fashion trends I decided that I would do something cute, quick, & easy to my hair for a night out with friends. Ummmm……..never happened!! That quick 5 minute chic hair do that I was doing badly was making me cry. I spent so much time on that 5 minute quick hair-do that I began to lose feeling in my arms. I started tearing up. Said screw it. Slapped on my daring on trend red lipstick I just bought and prayed that it didn’t look like I was America’s Next Top Street Walker.

I wake up everyday with a laundry list of things to do and I never seem to accomplish them. Maybe I’m still adjusting to having 2 kids. A 4 month old and a 3 year old. I’m exhausted! I’m lucky enough to get a shower every 3 – 4 days. No joke. There are days where I think I’ve got this 2 kid thing down & then my little goose throws a tantrum because I took the lid of his yogurt and he wanted to do it or he couldn’t watch a show. Or one of those days where I’m looking forward to nap time & neither one of them nap or they sleep at opposite times so I have zero time to recharge my batteries or pee. Or I lose my cool and yell at my son when it wasn’t even worth getting upset about or how I would love to have at least 5 consecutive hours of sleep. Or my To Do list never seems to end & then I try to remind myself that babies grow up too fast & to enjoy my time with them. However, my self diagnosed OCD kicks in & I have to get everything done NOW. It’s this horrible cycle that I get into and I beat myself up because so & so does this, that, & the other and doesn’t even seem phased by it all. I am forever hard on myself and forever telling myself to CTFD.

I know that comparing myself to other “super” moms is ridiculous but it seems impossible to use logic when sleep deprivation makes it all so much BIGGER than it really is.

Then I stumble across this and read through tear-filled eyes knowing that this is what I do and knowing that it’s not helping me at all. This truth about what comparison does to your soul. How can I be present for my babies when I’m always comparing myself to others. When I’m down on myself because she has it all together. Or look this pinterest mom says you should never say this to your son, but only this because if you don’t then he’ll grow up to hate woman. I feel like I’m forever screwing up, not measuring up to that woman over there, and all the while robbing myself and my kids of a mom they love no matter what. They love me just the way I am with my typical hair in a pony look, wearing the clothes I wore to bed the night before, and long since abandoning all modesty and peeing with the door open. They don’t care and maybe I shouldn’t either.

Confession of an Imposter Domestic Goddess Part…..3?

I’m already losing track……Mommy brain! It’s real!!

Confession #4 I don’t find cooking as enjoyable as I did before kids.

I know I’m a terrible mother!!! Before babies and when I was first married I looked forward to cooking meals. Baking. Creating. Making up as I went along. Impressing my hubs with all my mad cooking skills in the kitchen and making him enjoy food that was fresh and not processed. Now that my baby girl is here and I have a full of life toddler cooking/baking seems much more like a chore.

Like right now. I’m making a grocery list. BORING!!!! Actually right now I’m blogging while I should be making grocery list. Figuring out meals for the rest of the week! Double Boring!!!! All the while trying to stick to a budget along with trying to stick with a Paleo menu so that my baby girl doesn’t stay up in the wee hours of the morning gassy!! I know. Poor me, right? Infinity Boring!!!

I miss the days where I would find something to cook. Make a trip to the grocery store. Get all the ingredients and then create or follow a recipe. Whichever. Now I go through my cookbooks a.k.a Pinterest and try my hardest to find something yummy, Paleo worthy, and something that can stick to my budget. Not fun!

Cooking/baking would relax me. I enjoyed spending time in the kitchen playing with food. I would often think about the next fun thing I could create in the kitchen. The irony is I constantly think about food and what I’ll be cooking next but not in the way I used to. Like I said feels like a chore these days.

Break out the violins!

Anyone out there feel the same way? I hope I’m not alone

Confessions of an Imposter Domestic Goddess- Part 2

Confession # 3 This cake isn’t entirely from scratch. Meaning I did make the frosting & filling from scratch. I confess I used a box cake. Gasp!! I enjoy baking and I love experimenting with different cake recipes, but this mama was short on time. Plus having a toddler & and 2 1/2 month old I think I rocked this out!!!

The good thing is I won’t be having a Miranda Moment with this cake. This is my hubs birthday cake and he is taking the rest with him to work. Thank the Lord!!!

This cake is freakin delish!!! So worth making!!!!

If you have zero will power against yummy cake like myself refer to my previous post!

Dish Soap. Nuff said!

Update: I’m off my Paleo diet as of…..well….as of this morning when I actually had the chance to taste this glorious cake!! I’ve since had 4 very small pieces of cake. I’m wondering if I can get my husband to leave for work early so that I won’t have to throw his birthday cake in the garbage and pour pour dish soap on it.

Eating another piece in 5…..4…………3……………2……….

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