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I’m Not Super Mom

To Do ListI can’t do it all. It’s true. Actually, I struggle to do most things. I fall into bed exhausted and many times I wake up still tired. And this is nothing new. I had a hard time “doing it all” when I was a teen…single…married and working. Even the months I was on bedrest with seemingly nothing to do, I found myself overwhelmed many times because of my limitations.

And I still have limitations. Lots of them. They look different now than before I had babies. And now, with three M&M’s hanging on me during the day, it’s pretty dang difficult to accomplish much. And I’m sure my limitations will look different in 5, 10, 15, 30 years.

Most days I accomplish little else besides getting food on the table, getting poopy diapers changed and picking the house up (some days not even that!). It seems so small, so insignificant. I want to accomplish a lot.

  • I want to write an ebook.
  • I want to go back to school.
  • I want to get window treatments for my living room.
  • I want to make baby books for my babies.
  • I want to play the violin again.
  • I want to write those guest posts she asked me for.
  • I want to clean the baseboards (ok, not really this one).
  • I want to plant a garden.
  • I want to become a lactation consultant.
  • I want to volunteer.
  • I want to figure out how to spend less on my groceries.
  • I want to organize the guest room closet.
  • I want to read those books piling up on my nightstand.
  • I want to date my husband.
  • I want to get a pedicure.
  • I want to minister on the sidewalk at the abortion clinics.
  • I want to do lots.

And yet. 

  • Each poopy diaper I change is an expression of love.
  • Each “owie” I kiss is an expression of care.
  • Each fight I intervene is an expression of love.
  • Each meal I make is an expression of care.
  • Each load of laundry I switch to the dryer is an expression of love.
  • Each time I prefer my husband is an expression of care.

That’s a lot of love and care. And it takes time to do all of these things. I mean, right?? When I think about it, it’s not surprising that I can’t carve time out for a “hobby” or “me-time” that our culture tells us I should have. And when I start feeling like I deserve a break…that’s usually when I start getting overwhelmed. I don’t know about you, but that’s the time I get frustrated because I can’t get to what I want to do (even if it’s not “break”-related).

But the truth is, life isn’t supposed to be easy. (Genesis 3:16-19)

It’s supposed to be really hard. And my craving for ease is something I constantly have to battle. Of course I’m definitely not proposing we never stop, never rest, never enjoy doing nothing. God showed us how to rest when He rested after creating the world (Genesis 2:2). So rest is definitely a good thing!  David and I recently enjoyed a whole weekend of doing nothing! And I can hardly wait for the next one.

But often this desire for rest gets in the way of what needs to be done. And so does the desire to be able to do it all. God doesn’t command me to do it “all.” He doesn’t require that I check everything on my task list off every single day. When I am weak, He is strong. He wants me to draw from Him the strength I need to accomplish what I can. Good news, isn’t it?! So that pressure I feel? I can take that load off. And that long list of pinned ideas on Pinterest? I can enjoy seeing what God has enabled others to do until I find time to fit that in. Until then…I’ve got lots to do in my world:

  • I have babies to breastfeed.
  • I have bread to make.
  • I have cloth diapers to bring in.
  • I have a meeting to get ready for.
  • I have dinner to finish.
  • I have snacks for my M&M’s to prepare.
  • I have a chapter to read in “Rid of My Disgrace.”
  • I have a husband to bless.
  • I have friends to pray for.

I probably won’t accomplish all of these, but my goal is to work hard and do my very best – releasing what I cannot do (Colossians 3:23-24). And that’s ok. Right? =)

Does what you’re doing seem small and insignificant? What are you struggling with right now?

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Forty Years in the Making

Benny was one of the officiates at our wedding.

Benny was one of the officiates at our wedding.

Every once in a while you encounter a moment in time that you realize will be life-altering. You know the kind? Life is just happening…when all of a sudden it dawns on you that this present moment is a bit bigger than you had thought.

I’ve had several moments like these. Most recently, was when I learned that I was carrying triplets. The world around me stopped and life as I knew it – life as I’d hoped, planned and dreamed it – was shattered. (The Good News Is – It’s Triplets)

These moments can be good but they can also be terrifying and tempt us with serious doubts, worry and flat-out fear. But I think even in these scary, life-altering moments we can be propelled towards a more Christ-honoring response as we become aware of how others around us have been carried through difficult times like the one through which we are about to walk.

Saturday night held a good life-altering moment for me. David and I were super excited to celebrate our dear friends’, Benny and Sheree’s, 40th anniversary that evening. Prior to having the babies, Benny was one of my bosses at Metro Life Church and Sheree and I worked closely on many ladies’ events for years. They were heavily involved in meeting with the two of us for pre-marital counseling and instrumental in our short post-marriage relationship. To say that we love them dearly and respect them highly would be an understatement.

But that’s only how they affected us.

Forty years of marriage to the same person is an amazing length of time in this day and age. Think about it…how many 50-60-somethings do you know who are still madly in love with the same person they married in their teens? Sadly, there are statistics that say that as much as 90% of couples will be divorced before their 40th anniversary!

Forty years is also a very long time to affect other people’s lives. And this is where the “aha” moment happened for me.

The evening began with some individuals honoring them for the way they loved God, served the church, invested in their family, made sacrifices, and loved one another. …And this theme was repeated over and over for an hour and a half. It was truly incredible to hear person after person – even some relationships from several decades ago! – sharing how affected they had been by various aspects of their lives. We’re talking kids who came to Christ because of their involvement in their broken homes. And people who chose to ignore the culture’s mocking voice that many children are tedious and impossible…and welcomed many children into their home because of Benny and Sheree’s example. And people who watched them walk through intense suffering, only to emerge bitterness-free and still trusting in their Saviour…giving these individuals hope for their own struggles. And people who saw major sacrifices later in life when many are getting comfy with empty nests. People who saw a woman following a man, laying down her own desires to see his dreams fulfilled – and finding her own desires being fulfilled in new ways. People who saw a man love his wife in the little things, both from the pulpit and with the dishes in the sink. People who saw a couple loving God more than comfort, ease, reputation and accomplishments. And their children rose up and called them blessed (Proverbs 31:28).

{Enter my life-altering moment.}

You see, the people at the celebration that night were not viewing this couple through rose-colored glasses. No. We have lived life with this couple and their family. We’ve seen the sin. The tears. The offenses. We know and have been affected by some of their flaws…as they have been affected by ours. But underneath it all, motivating them for 40 years through intense life circumstances, has been a love for God and a passion for His church.

Is all I do fueled by a love for God?

Or am I more concerned with how others view me? By what people will say about my accomplishments after I’m gone? By how obedient my children are? By how successful we are in raising three teens at once? Am I more aware of the present moment than I am of the eternal weight that this present moment has?

Do I love Him above all else? When my husband asks me to follow him somewhere, will my response be fueled by a love for God or a desire for ease? When my children hurt me beyond belief, will I respond with trust in God – as I sought to do during the fear of carrying multiples, a high-risk pregnancy?

Do I want to be more like Him than anyone? Am I willing to confess sin, exposing the hollows of my deep and pervasively rebellious heart? Are there any costs too high in pursuing Christlikeness? 

Do I view the church as the highest priority, as Christ does, outside of my marriage and family? Have I allowed my attendance to become a duty? Do I cherish the people inside that building (or in any building across the world that professes Jesus Christ as their Saviour)? Do I allow love to cover a multitude of sins?

Certainly, having all these things in place does not guarantee me a stellar 40th anniversary celebration, thrown by three children who want their marriages and families to reflect ours. It doesn’t guarantee that everyone will adore me and that I’ll be as cute as Sheree was this night, dancing with her high school sweetheart. =) But it does paint a picture of a life that has eternal effects. It pulls my view from “the daily” – the endless tantrums and diapers, dishes and laundry – and pushes it towards heaven and the realization that I have the opportunity to affect people (as do we all!) in ways similar to Benny and Sheree.

Benny & Sheree Phillis

Benny & Sheree Phillips

David and I are just starting out. We could barely be more “starting out” than we are with these three 18 month olds. We have the pitter-patter of feet, the grubby hands and the long-but-short childhood and teen years before us. Benny and Sheree have the pitter-patter of grandchildren’s feet and can look back on raising their family with both regrets and happiness…

My hope is that in 37 years, David and I will both be able to look back and see, more often than not, a marriage fueled by a passion and love for God.

Benny and Sheree, happy, happy anniversary. We love you. Like family. ❤

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If You Were Born With Your Siblings…

Any mom can attest to the crazy joys of parenting several children all at once. The fights over…well, everything. The tattling. The “ick” factor. The exhaustion. The laughs… but think back to when you were “one of the kids” growing up. Remember?

Daren as David's best man at our wedding in 2010!

Daren as David’s best man at our wedding in 2010!

Well, the other day David’s identical twin brother, Daren, and his family were at our house. They were in town vacationing and we were super excited to have them visit. Pretty much anytime I’d been with David’s twin was when we were visiting his family in Georgia – David’s home state. And of course pretty much everyone had watched them grow up and were used to their identical-ness. But this time they were on our turf. They came to our church. And people did double-takes. The girl at the check-out counter at the grocery store kept looking at them and finally asked if they were twins. And they replied that they had just met. =)

Which one is which??

Which one is which??

I often forget that the craziness that I deal with on a daily basis (looks, stares, questions, whispers, shouts and pointings) are things that David has always dealt with…with his identical twin brother! Now, take a moment and imagine what it would be like to have a you that’s not…well, you. I mean, I’d love to clone me and just set her loose on cleaning the house every day. But to have an identical me that’s completely different than me? Wow!! And being married to David and being around his brother is sometimes so twilight zone-like! The other day they both said something at the exact same time, with the exact same voice…whoa! And Emma loved snuggling with Uncle D – because he is so like Dada???

Sissies born an exact 18 months apart!

Sissies born exactly 18 months apart!

People get my sister and me mixed up all.the.time. Which is so weird. Because we look nothing alike. Right? We just decided early on to not bother to correct people, to answer to each other’s names. (Cruel, I know.) But being born with your sibling? Growing up as a multiple? Being one of two or three or four or more babies born at one time? Well, if you were then you can attest to the fact that:

Two of you will sit on the same toilet at the same time to pee – without batting an eyelash. Or one will stand to pee between the legs of a sitter.
You can expect to bathe in the same bath water with the sibling that just spit up.
You never have – and never will – bathe alone…especially after you learn to sit up.
You have no concept of a “personal bubble.”
You always have someone to blame your pranks and bad behavior on.
You do not need friends.
You share the same spoon, steal bottles, get crawled over.
You have no boundaries when it comes to imagination and pretend play because there’s always someone the same age as you to play with.
You don’t have to speak to achieve a common goal.
Each night of your childhood is like having an awesome sleepover!
You have a constant side kick and a look-out or an accomplice and an alibi for whatever naughty thing you are about to do!
You get to eat “recycled” food: passed from plate to plate to plate until somebody finally eats it!

You have your own language.
You lose your food if you’re not quick enough.

You will think nothing of smelling a sibling’s bottom (or two) to report to mom who pooped.
You will never really have anything that is just yours.
You have your best friends with you from the day you were born – a bond that no one will understand.
You have a hand or foot being gnawed on by someone other than yourself!
You never want for company… although you may want for silence!
You always have a “best friend” to laugh at you when you bust your butt!
You get your diaper changed – whether you’re dirty or not! – because your brother did.
You laugh and have two others laughing along with you who have no idea why they’re laughing.

You share underwear and clothes.
Your diaper is the only one that doesn’t get changed…in six hours. (This, sadly, was my booger-boy yesterday!)
Your secret middle name is “Wait”…never mind what your birth certificate says!
You sleep in a “pile” and don’t mind it!

What can you add to this list???

Happy Friday, folks! =) Have you liked us yet on Facebook? Give us a shout-out there and tell us what you think about today’s post!

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Family, Friday Funnies, Polls, Triplets

 

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What He Said…

#marriagediscussion, #biblicalresponse http://growinguptriplets.com/2013/03/27/what-he-said/Gay. Straight. Marriage. Hate crime. Tolerance. Intolerance. Wackos. Religious. Homosexual. Homophobe.

These words are pretty much everyday words in mainstream media these days. Seems everyone has an opinion and few want to listen to those opposing their viewpoint. If you disagree, you must be intolerant. If you fall on the other side of the line – in a different camp – you must be made to accept my convictions. It seems fear is often at the base of the motivation of many who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, who trust in Him for their salvation. But this ought not to be so! For this earth is just our temporary home! We are journeying through! We are guaranteed that the world will hate us (John 15:18). Why are we surprised when we are mocked, ridiculed and called intolerant? We shouldn’t be surprised…but we are.

Joe Dallas, author/speaker/father/husband, recently wrote this:

This week we will hear arguments presented to the US Supreme Court which will, most likely, settle the legality of same-sex marriage once and for all. So far the justices are predictably divided – 3 for the traditional view; 3 for revision; Justice Kennedy providing the swing vote. Two cases are under consideration here: The Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, voted into place by California voters in 2008 as a defense of traditional marriage. Whatever the outcome, there’ll be anguish and elation, simultaneously, nationwide.

Personally, I’ll be shocked if the court doesn’t vote in favor of same sex marriage, officially ushering in a new era with untold ramifications. But even if I’m wrong, no doubt America will see homosexual marriage ratified, if not now, then soon. It’s impossible for even the most hopeful traditionalist to deny the trends, and they run decidedly in favor of revising, rather than maintaining, the status quo.

What to do? (Read the whole article here.)

My favorite sentence from his article is, “Because what looks like midnight in America will dissolve, perhaps very soon, into a morning we’ve talked about for decades and hope more than ever to see…” 

So…how will we respond if the result is not what we would hope for it to be? In love? With patience? Gentleness? A humble willingness to be mocked and not always proven right? Trusting our Saviour to care for our children and their future? Acting and getting involved to raise up and install godly men and women who share our convictions?

Yes! Let’s do it! Let’s show this world Who Christ really is and what His death on the Cross means! Let’s speak gently but firmly. Let’s fight sin and not the sinner, the enemy and not the ones He created. Let’s love and challenge. Let’s be above reproach, confessing sin and walking in the Light. Let’s get involved at the local level. Let’s do it!

 

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Another First – Staying with Papa and Yaya

David and I haven’t been away from the babies in 539 days…or since they were born. (We did take a very short overnight, two weeks after they were born and still in the NICU for a quick breather. But I was hooked up to my friend, the Pump, every two hours so you can imagine how crazy that was!) I haven’t been away from them for more than four hours. Ever. I have been entangled by three babies 24/7 for 18 months solid. Because of our breastfeeding schedule (which I l.o.v.e.), nobody has taken one or two and left me with “the baby.” I’ve eaten, slept, dreamed and breathed baby x 3 for the past year and a half. And I have loved it. Of course there are times I’ve been touched out (every day!) and times I thought I would go crazy (or am I already?!). But for the most part, I have loved every minute of it. I had no idea I would love it this much. But everyone needs a break every now and then. The stress of having three babies with massive wants and needs is exhausting. Keeping up with them, breastfeeding them, changing 18 diapers a day, putting three babies in and out of cribs and high chairs and car seats and strollers is a serious workout every day (I might suggest it to Bob and Jill on The Biggest Loser!).

And the work never stops when they sleep. I joke that I traded in my full-time job at the office for a full-time and part-time job at home…which any mother can probably attest to. But somewhere in there fits my husband. My amazing husband. My husband who has given up all hobbies. My husband who sadly watches the weeds take over our yard and joyfully changes another diaper instead. My husband who empties the dishwasher so I can throw another massive load of laundry in. My husband who has been every bit as important in this breastfeeding journey as the babies themselves. My husband who tirelessly serves because I cannot do this alone. My husband who prays on his drive home that the Lord will help him serve his family. This man. I love him. So it was time to work out some time away for our anniversary. Yes, yes. This fabulous event was February 5. (Three years and three babies. I promise they’re all legit.) But part of the challenge was how to get away since we are still breastfeeding. I’ve had many suggest to me that I would be fine for an overnight. And I probably would. But then, my body is producing milk for three babies, not just one, so the ramifications of this might be very un-pretty and potentially final for our babies’ love of milk. (To give you an idea, collectively they drink less than 18 ounces from a sippy cup a day. A toddler supposedly drinks about 32 oz a day. This means that skipping just one breastfeeding could have backed me up with a good 24 oz, caused mastitis, tanked my supply, etc. A little different than skipping a feeding with one baby. =) So after I worked out the logistics of how to make it happen, we scheduled it for a weekend in early March.

But it was not to be. My mom got sick, the babies got sick (with their first ear infections – which I got rid of naturally!!!) and then my mom pulled a muscle which means no holding babies. After a week of non-stop fussing and crying and whining and clinging from three sick babies, you better believe I was ready for that weekend!!

So we reschedule for the next weekend! Only….my mom got called in for jury duty. No biggie, who really gets picked for jury duty??? My mom. And of course it wasn’t a simple traffic violation. Oh no, it was a murder trial. A week long murder trial. (If any of the family for the defendant is reading this, her vote didn’t even count. She ended up being an alternate. Boo.)

Let’s try for the next weekend, shall we? We shall. Leading up to the first “try” I was counting down the days on Growing Up Triplets’ Facebook page (have you “liked” us yet??). At this point, I wasn’t allowing myself to believe it might actually happen. But it did happen! I was so excited to finally get away and take a nap spend time with my hubby!

The plan was for me to nurse the babies after their morning nap and head out. Of course getting away by yourselves still takes massive efforts when babies are around, even when said babies aren’t going! So it was after 1pm by the time we left. We headed down to the Grand Bohemian (David had racked up some serious rewards points so we cashed in). We checked in and took a nap. No lie. And it’s also no lie that I heard Noah crying during that time. All the way in our downtown hotel. He’s that loud. (Not really.) We woke up (sadly) and headed to the mall (aw, thanks, Love!) and did some window-shopping (who are we kidding, we have kids – not money!). And then headed home. Wait…what?!?! Yup. We were staying close by so that we could go home and I could nurse the babies before bedtime. I wasn’t up for dealing with skipping breastfeeding for 24 hours but I was up for skipping one feeding – in the morning. I was also concerned with how they would do without that calming time with mama before bed. If one gets set off, more than likely both of the others would join in. Ever heard three screaming babies? It’s a massive undertaking for David and I to get them settled down if they decide they want to do this (three babies, two parents) and can take a really long time (and I can nurse them!). We can get two settled down but the third is still out of control. Lay the two back down and rush to get the third and…nope. The other two start up again. (Are you seeing my hesitation in leaving them yet?)

I nursed and was out of there in 45 minutes. (Mama ain’t messin’ around!) We headed to dinner which was super yummy!! (I’m not sure which I was more excited about: 24 hours of meals I didn’t cook, a nap and sleeping in, or all that time to myself with David – not shared with a little booger…or 3.) We took dessert back to the room and watched all the shows we don’t get at home since we don’t have cable (how boring are we?!).

The next morning we slept in. We.Slept.In. I never knew that 8am was considered sleeping in, but it is!!! And it was wonderful. We got breakfast and watched more tv and checked out. I was so refreshed and relaxed and that was exactly what I was hoping for! Because when we got home, it was chaos, of course.

I remember when I was single and my bestie, Kristen, and I would go away for a study retreat or something. Upon our return, I would watch her three blondies come running with excited shouts of “mommy!” And I thought how sweet. I want that. And then moments later, reality set in as life inevitably swept her back into her role as fight-breaker-upper, bottom-wiper, meal-maker, and spill-cleaner. (Kristen, my respect for you was massively greater in those moments – did I ever tell you that???) So I was preparing my heart. Praying and asking the Lord to help me to love the little munchies who were “intruding” upon my 22 hours of R&R. And He did. I happily left them with my parents and didn’t miss them hardly at all…but was eager for them when we returned. I love it! And wow, what great reports we got! There’s benefits to needing two people to care for them as this means they got nearly one-on-one attention the whole time! Mom and Dad, thank you! We are so grateful! And David, it wasn’t Mexico but it was wonderful. I love you more every day.

And, just for fun, please enjoy the debut music video of the Sweet Pea Band:

Have you “liked” us on Facebook yet? If not, you can click “like” on the right and get all the updates and goings-on at the Fountain Circus!

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Breastfeeding, Family, Triplets

 

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“The Least of These”

holding-handsJesus calls us to care for those in our community and the world abroad in whatever ways we can (Matthew 25:31-46). Some are called to go and do. Some are called to prayerfully or financially support those who go and do. Some are called to rescue. Some are called to heal. Some are called to preach the Gospel. And some are called to adopt. David and I feel we fall in this last category, especially. Before we had even met one another, we each had a burden to add to whatever family God gave us by adoption. For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt called to rescue a little girl from China. (For months into my pregnancy with the trio I felt a stronger connection to our little girl who most likely wasn’t even born yet. Strange, isn’t it??) We have no idea how to make this happen as we are still swimming in toddlers, tantrums and diapers. =) But we trust the Lord will give us wisdom in how to move forward, and when! For now, we are being as faithful as we possibly can with finances…

For this family, though, the call to rescue children is enormous. The sacrifices they’ve made, the joy with which they do so – amazing! Check it out:

For those of you have already rescued through adoption, how did you raise money? What helped you to save? I’d love any suggestions or ideas! Thanks!!

I’m only one. But still, I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
– Edward Everett Hale

Don’t forget to check out these recent polls before they close!

  1. What’s in a sign?
  2. Potty-training!!!
  3. :nom, nom, nom:
  4. The Great Shot Debate
  5. Car Seat Dilemma
 

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Harlem Shake…Exodus Style

This made me laugh so hard. I love that they can have fun like this.

Yes, that was my husband. And yes, this means I am Cat Woman. For those of you who thought so, you were right. I was waiting till now to tell you. Ha!

Happy Friday, y’all!

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Friday Funnies

 

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