Monday, January 9, 2017

"grown up" mom...BLESS IT PLEASE!

Lately. No. Mostly always. Ok. For the WHOLE duration of having children, I have feared the future ...and wept (that is a very accurate word...) over their growth. How many times as a young mama have you found yourself saying..."its going so fast?" "stop growing?" "how can they already be one, two, SIX???"

I find myself in a constant tug-a-war. Please don't grow up...holy crap grow up I AM SO TIRED...AWE you cute little boy never get big...for the freakin love of all that is good PLEASE LEARN TO PUT SHOES ON...Oh this sweet time, where did my baby go?.....IF YOU WAKE ME UP ONE.MORE.TIME.....

I mean. I get on the beloved world of hijacked "life is perfect" facebook and find myself scrolling through articles that have everything to do with embracing where you are, do more, leave the dishes play a game..., to grace for the tired mama..I feel as though we are blasted with every perspective and everything mamas of bigs wish they had done or not done...to wishing they were still little. And I am here screaming. HELP ME WANT THEM TO GROW UP. I mean. COME ON...I seriously think at this point I am going to hate my kids, or at the very least tolerate them when they get bigger... Way to make me want them to grow. We are doomed. "You have 4 boys? oh just wait until they are teens..." Anyone else heard that????

I have worked with youth...God love them they are the most awkward of bunch and I am sure my boys will be just as awkward and smelly...and big...and  GROSS. UGH, Jesus COME NOW. I can't even.

I have the greatest of friends, and one way we survive our endless crazy days it to text about them. it keeps us weirdly sane. To know someone else is doing something, cleaning something, screaming something, or banging their heads on the wall (ok mostly me..) you have a moment of solidarity, "
We are one WE can CONQUER all.." or at the very least, laugh while we die. Catch that? We are dying.  I see us struggling through each day. I see us trying, I see us doing our best. So here is the thing.

Moms of bigs, of teens, of graduates, of tweens, of anything beyond a 10year old- Please for all that is good and right and true encourage us! I know it is awkward and your kids stink to high sky and the challenges you face are difficult and if they roll their eyes at you one more time...but I promise you...you would not want to come back here...stop dwelling in the past and enjoy that moment you have. You would NOT want to come back to sleepless nights, and being covered in poop, and never having one moment to have one thought....As I am, clearly this post has to show that...... I promise. You just can't be that dumb. Don't say to be "The days are long but the years are short..." or "oh raising the littles is physically hard..but nothing compares to the emotionally hard it is as they grow." For real. What is the point? Clearly I need to quit when Jaden blows out 11 candles. I guess I'll just wave my pretty white flag as I walk out the house. WHAT?!?! Please don't tell me this. Don't encourage my FEAR.

One of my dearest friends texted such a truthful statement about how if are kids are growing and doing all the things kids of that age are doing we should be rejoicing. They are healthy, they are growing...THEY SURVIVED YOUR CRAZY HELLISH DAYS AND ARE LIVING PROOF. Holy crap you should SO get a reward for that. I mean. You did it. And they lived through your crazy moments, days, nights...you know those crazy moments where you turn into some unknown creature? Yeah you survived. And your kids are living proof. What?1?! I will be celebrating it to no end. Hand me the chocolates, the applause, and the pats on the back. My son just walked across the stage to recieve a diploma. I mean. I can hear it now "mom, they are cheering for me.." "yes yes son, but I also got you here so move your tiny hiny out of the way for this mama..." As I do my best waltz and princess wave across the stage. For real, It just can't be all bad. Please, please, tell me it is not all bad!

I don't want to live in my baby days forever, and I don't want to constantly look back and and think I somehow someway missed it and then think about how much I miss it. Can I get an AMEN?!?  AND I don't want to be reminded that sleepless nights are good and one day will be missed...Are you even kidding me? No one misses the sleepless nights who are actually doing the back to back sleepless nights....because right now as the exhausted mom...they are not good...they are HARD. I don't want to be told to hold them tighter, play more games, do more things...."the house will stay clean one day..." because that is not reality...have you met my boys? I swear they pee going around in circles. If everyday I left it for another day so that I could play another game, so that I DON'T MISS IT.. the Tanner Crew would be swimming in urine. Gross. But real.

I am a young mom, looking at the "grown" up mom thinking...you have slept solid for a month (more) and NOW you are looking at me saying...oh you will miss these days... I look at you.. as I am living it right now saying NO. Hell NO. Move over lady, I am coming your way and instead of looking in the past and missing your days cheer me on as I come to your arena!

We have to stop looking in the past. Stop living in the past. Its like telling a couple before they have kids "enjoy those days when you can sleep in..." you CAN'T enjoy it until you know a world different from it, you can't appreciate it until you know a world without it.(Babymoon? stupidest thing I have ever heard..don't even get me started. no no...you need it AFTER the baby comes....moon.) but at that point trying to get your kids a sitter to stay more then two nights...good luck.

 So teenage moms, stop making me feel bad about NOT spending more time, or not playing enough games, or being annoyed or tired...because this is MY reality. Sure I get what you are saying, and I am doing my best...but I need you to STOP living in the past and enjoy where you are. I can almost guarantee that if you came back, you would be tired and remember why your grown kids are so AWESOME. Help me want to come into that part of motherhood, and stop making me feel bad about my exhaustion. And please list out some awesome things about your tweens and teens. Like they sleep, and dress themselves, and pee in the toilet...well that one is no guarantee...ok that they can make their own breakfast and laugh with you. You can have conversations and actually play a real game with them.

Facebook, Timehop, Instagram. As awesome as they are every.single.day. they catapult us back to the past. That is not where we are called to live. We are called to live in the present. In the moment, literally as though it is our a last. And as awesome as pictures are, we can't wish to go back, we thank Jesus Himself that after raising the young crazies they didn't take our ability to remember like they took our ability to hold pee for longer then 30min. For real.

I am thankful God has brought me my "grown up" mom into my life. One that says "yeah I miss they are little...but no way Im going back..I love my older kids...its awesome to actually like your kid...oh and don't hate me...I wont get up till 9am tomorrow." Yes, YES!! Thank Jesus for giving me a grown up mom as a best friend!!! Please grown up moms find us and Tell us young moms that! And when you sleep though a night, and sleep past 7am, rejoice...REJOICE, it is a slice of heaven...remember....it is a SLICE OF HEAVEN. And when your kid makes you laugh, does something amazing, graduates from college, CELEBRATE! You did it mom,, you made it thus far and your kid survived...well done. And maybe, its still scary and hard and dark at times...but girl...you came so far, and they came so far...and you both survived the far!

And also, when you have an uninterrupted poop, and while you had that uninterrupted poop you had an uninterrupted thought, BLESS IT!  BLESS IT TO MY BONES JESUS! PRAISE!

So. From a young mom to the "grown up" mom. Speak life, and encouragement, and celebration over us tired moms. We need it. WE NEED IT DESPERATELY...like yesterday.

With Love
The tired, weary, urine covered, butt wiping mom of the Tanner Crew.

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Secrets From The Stable

It has been such a long time since I wrote a blog post. I have thought about revamping my blog, giving it a new look and start posting more often. But I have 4 boys, and a crazy life, and I well…Can’t. And if I am to be completely honest, everyone and their mom and their mom’s mom blogs. Have you noticed this trend? My time blogging has come to an end. But that is not why I am posting this. I won’t take down my blog as I know it is still to this day a source of some kind of comfort for girls walking the journey of infertility. I know now why that is a subject that is difficult for me to say anything in anymore. I am no longer climbing that mountain. That was a season for me, and a short one compared to the years and sometimes life some women have to walk it. I have no voice for that journey any more. My voice that went through those hard days is written for anyone who would ever need to read it. I am so thankful, so so very thankful that during that time I did not listen to people who did not agree with my complete and honest approach of living in a glass house and allowing people to see me stumble, fall, question and even be really angry with God. Jesus was glorified in that blog time and time again. AMEN?!? (I can hear you all!)

Okay, the real reason I am posting!!! Secrets From the Stable. ((If you don’t know what I am talking about you can read “Meet Gabe” on the right hand side of my blog or email me and I will tell you all about it!))  I can’t even. Really, I have thought about writing this since the advent season started. This year was by far the absolute best year my family had during the month of December. All the pieces of the puzzle came rushing together. Jesus in His sweetness made my paths cross with a sweet Girl who designed a Shepherd. In all my days y’all I had never thought of a Shepherd to go with my sweet animals, but can you make any more perfect?? I can’t. So this year Gabe and Shep teamed up. I wasn’t too sure my kids would remember Obi, the sweet Owl who helps them piece together the Nativity Scene. But boy did they. When he wasn’t there on the first day they were very concerned. But he came as promised and they were thrilled with his arrival each and every time he flew in and out. And this year we also had Kia the camel join in!! He brought three sweet boxes for the kids to fill up with pictures, drawings, and gifts for Jesus. It was truly incredible. I have 7 animals, with 7 different themes, and 7 different stories. By the time Jaden and Ty are  9 (only two more Christmases, stop it. Stop it now) We will have all of them in my home at once.

It has transformed our Christmas. It has brought it into focus, but not just for the kids….for Kevin and I as well. We have seen the transformation in my kids as they focus on the true meaning and realize that the gifts are all extra. They see now that Christmas Trees and lights, and decorations are all for one of the grandest most exquisite birthday parties you will ever be invited to. One for a King! They speak less and less of Christmas day because all month we are celebrating. In fact, all my boys separately took time to tell me they were sad a bit for Christmas day to come because our Stable friends would leave. I don’t brag, or boast about SFTS to gain anything, I am not trying to sell it….I truly share with you because If you haven’t considered doing this I really wish you would.
I posted on the Facebook page that I was closing the page and the website until next season where I will relaunch it. We have so many things We want to improve so that it is easier to navigate and understand. I still feel people get a bit confused by it and I need to make it more simple. I have prayed over and over and OVER if this should be something more? As in published and copyrighted and sold in a book store. That all sounds so dreamy. I have of course had moments of fear that someone who I have shared my ideas and dreams with would take it and make it their own without me involved in it. I would be lying if I said I never had those thoughts or concerns. But I REFUSE to live in that fear. Jesus has told me time and time again to share without reservation, it has been my whole life. To be transparent and to live in that glass house. There was a season when I tried not to be this way. That I allowed the voices of man to speak louder than the voice of God and I lost my identity of who I was IN Christ. And when I find myself doing that, stepping outside of my wholeness IN Christ…. I get anxious and worried and concerned. BUT JESUS. Oh y’all, Jesus just on repeat says “I got it.” And I breath deep, and step back into my Identity of His daughter who HE will protect and guard. He is not concerned; so why would I be?

I allowed myself to go down the what if path of fear once. And you know what? It isn’t all bad. My focus, my heart, my desire is that Jesus would be brought into homes all across the world. However, He chooses to use me I say yes to even if it wasn’t what I had hoped for. His way will be greater and so much more gift filled. I rest. Yes, I rest in that!

So I am not sure what the future will hold for SFTS but We have plans on stopping or not sharing. In fact next year we plan on sharing more! As you know my girl Jamie is my partner in all of this. I can’t take credit for all of it ever. Jesus knew I needed someone and she has always been that someone. She has inspired, she has invested, she has stood with me in my fear and walked with me back into our identities IN Jesus. She has spent HOURS on the phone with me brainstorming and talking through each animal and what each animal’s theme would be. She has written me a poem in I kid you not, no less than ten minutes. She is my soul sister. As we remain open handed about SFTS Jesus has put even more into those hands. That is the beauty of living our life in openness, there is always room for more. The more closed off, the tighter the space. Try letting go of your squeeze…Jesus never ever disappoints. He has been giving us gifts for new things left and right. We feel overwhelmed with His goodness and trust in us.

We have never felt like we should advertise. Every single time I would post something on FB it would say “Do you want 5,000 people to know more about your page? Pay us $10 and we will make that happen.” Every. Single. Time. And every time I would pause and think…. yeah…. Jesus 5,000??? And he would say “No.” I rest in that answer. We have 174 people who have liked the Facebook Page, Y’all that was all your doing. You shared it on your page and passed the word out to your friends. What a sweet gift it was to see you comment or share on that page. I wish you could have seen my face light up each and every time. So thank you!! I believe that SFTS will be passed along in ways that are way bigger then we can see or even know. And at the moment in time the only reason I would ever want to “sell” anything would be to make it more simple for you guys. I know some of you love the package idea. But for now, Jesus has asked me this “is there anything free in this world?” Very rarely.  Right now, free is the theme until He says otherwise. I have zero desire for profit. That has never been a motivator for us in any of this.

So I ask this, pray. Please pray that we would never allow fear to be a driving force for SFTS and future projects Jesus is releasing in our hearts. Pray that Jamie and I would be open handed in all things, and never tighten our grip with ownership…it is not ours. It has always been HIS. Pray that Jesus would do what He wants with it so that more families can experience Him in their homes next Christmas. And more than anything, pray that everything we do drips with His goodness and praise and that He is Glorified in it all!