My Unsolicited Advice

A year or so ago I ran into a friend that I see every three
or four years.  She is my age, with kids
my age so we had a lot to talk about.  Of
course she asked me “How is motherhood going?”
I didn’t answer right away, because that week it had been stinky.  Not like depression, or spousal abuse kind of
stinky but more like piles of manure-coated laundry, and sick children stinky.   Not bad compared to some people, but no
picnic with puppies either.

So, she asked the question, and I thoughtfully considered
what to say.  I went the honest route and
said something like “Well it was pretty tough this week.  Being a mom is hard”.

Oh dear.  A well of
knowledge bubbled up out of her mouth and poured over me.  It was complete with a four step program to
be a better mom, a book I needed to
read, and lots of real-life illustrations.

When the conversation was done, I was annoyed.  I felt angry that because of my honesty, she
felt compelled to help.   I didn’t want
help; I wanted the assurance that I wasn’t alone.  I wished I would have said the normal thing,
Oh it’s tough, but so fulfilling. I
wouldn’t change it for the world
.” ( I cannot tell you how often I’ve heard
people say that.)

Gene, naturally thought I over-reacted, (I had) and thought
I need to take in consideration that she meant well (I wasn’t in the mood).

When I love my kids like I should, when I’m living a
disciplined lifestyle, when I try a new discipline technique and it actually works, then I feel like I’ve
found the key to successful living.
Sometimes those weeks happen to me, and while it’s very fun, it doesn’t really
breed brokenness. Usually it starts to bug me when other people gripe about their
lives.  I want to yell “just do what I do;
and it will all turn out A-OK.” 

Then I get a stinky
week again, and I realize that I am at the receiving end of both wonderful
weeks and stinky weeks.

In contrast to the friend above, our close friends have a live and let live mantra.  So much so that when we first had children I
was trying to figure out sleep patterns and how to get babies to sleep through
the night.   Ignorantly I asked about
crying it out vs. rocking to sleep.
Well, I was met with “Do whatever you want”, and I was frustrated
because I didn’t know what I wanted.   That’s why I’m asking ok?!  (Also I was ignorant to the fire-storm an
innocent question can raise, and my wiser friends knew better than to even

My advice is this: Do not give advice to anybody, unless
they ask for it.

If they
ask, they truly want it. Give it.

The End.

This, That and The Other

Right now I’m feeling like a terrible failure.  I know that I am in fact not a failure, but I
still feel like one.  The last weeks I

potty trained my youngest

read books to the kids in bed

hugged them multiple times a day

Got to the bottom of why Elena was “sick” and wanted to skip school

Taught Brandt to carry a big stick while he walks around the house, all the
while speaking softly “God is with me, God is with me”

Made chicken stock that is really good and really handy

Sounds Ok right?

Well, I also:

Let my kids watch WAY to many movies

Let chicken spoil in the fridge because I didn’t take the time to freeze it
(this one bothers me very badly)

Let my house become a smoldering pot of disarray

Barked at my child. Then preached at him.
Then scolded some more. Until he said: “Uhhh, I TIRED of all the YELLING”

Gave my husband the cold shoulder because I thought he was working too much

Let some wash on the line for an entire
, because I was too lazy to take it off

(please mom don’t be embarrassed, the
issue is not that you didn’t teach me, the issue is I don’t put into practice
what I know)

Kissed Madelyn and made her cry (its true she said “ouch ouch don’t kiss,
it burns me!)

Plus many, more failures, these are the ones I could think of in five minutes.

So there is good, and there is ugly twisted together into the lumpy braid of my
life.  Right now the knots in the braid are
glaring at me, demanding my attention.

But Christ the loving hairbrush untangles all my split ends,
and conditions the strands of my life.  He
gently whispers “I will be your permanent refuge”.

I am sensing that I have taken the hair analogy a bit far.  Be glad I stopped, because I was trying to
work the words fringe, bob and highlight into the sentence too.

THE POINT IS:  Yes the point, I can’t
find the point because now I see golden hairbrushes floating around the sky,
plus I have the giggles.  The point is…that I am noticing all my flaws lately and keep beating myself up about them.   I keep waiting for the grand and glorious day, when I will have my act together. And I’m realizing that that day will never come.

Carrying on.  Why am I desperate to get
my act together?

A heart-longing of mine is coming true.
A dream that I’ve had for years is creeping
to a reality.

We are DONE with our home study.  We are adopting.  Somewhere out there is another little person
who is going to join this laid back, get nothing done, messy-haired family.

That is why, the reality of who I am, and who I am not, is hitting home.

When I say creeping to a reality I mean creeping to a reality. Home studies
should take two to three months, ours took nine. Yes, we move at a
snails pace.

And now we join a multitude of other people in the waiting game.  Waiting for God’s timing, and praying that
this dream won’t vanish in thin air.
Praying for a nameless little person who will have to suffer much loss,
and come bearing hole in his heart that we cannot fill.


Frequently asked questions:

Where are you adopting from?


What age?

Under two, good chance it will be a baby

Boy or girl?

Don’t know

How long will you have
to wait?

Again don’t know, ball park figure- 4 months to two years.


So if you wake up at 3AM with insomnia, and our faces flash in your brain say a
prayer, because like all the other parents on planet earth, we could use them.

Ps. If I have offended anyone by comparing Jesus to a hairbrush, my sincere