Friday, October 31, 2014

31 Days with Mama A: The Weary World Part II (Day 31).

We made it!  We made it!  We made it!!!

If you have made it through this whole month with me--thank you!  Thank you for coming to this space.  Thank you for your encouragement.  Thank you for sharing this road with me this month.  I've greatly appreciated your kind words. 

This month has taught me a lot about myself and my writing "voice."  I used to believe that my Mama A posts had to be all sass and common sense, but we all know that Mama A is really Mama Amanda and sometimes just plain ol' Amanda.  And if I'm going to truly be me, then there has to be a mix of the high and the low as well.  

But all of this talk of Mama A has me simmering on some expanded ideas.  
Maybe there will be more on that topic another day.  

Yesterday we talked about the weariness and burden we carry around every day.  
I don't know about you, but I get exhausted just thinking about it.  

In my house, we're about to get all Christmasfied in t-minus 24 hours.  We've already got a few decorations out and I'm more than ready to get my tinsel on.  Baby Jesus is about to find a sweet place to lay His head, Charlie Brown is about to have the most pitiful tree, and Rudolph is going down in history.  

Pre baseboards. . .

But my most favorite part? 

Isaiah 9:1-7

For to Us a Child Is Born

But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Oh, the best part is the knowledge that the burdens and the yokes that we carry have already been taken from us.  

If I could leave you with any thoughts from this past month, let it be that we don't have to work so hard to be everything we feel like we ought to be.  We don't have to make it so dramatic, we don't have to be perfect, and we certainly don't have to do everything on our own.  We don't have to carry everything on our shoulders and we desperately need to accept the fact that we weren't created to be the Savior of the world. 

Because He has already come.

With much love and all the smooches (and still expecting you to get your circus under control), 
Mama A. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

31 Days with Mama A: The Weary World part I (Day 30).

I'm so glad you're here!  I hope you've been keeping up with the series since the start.  You can find all of the posts on this page.  You can also read what other folks like my dear friend, Caroline, are writing this month as well.  

Today is an unexpected day at home with two of my three girls. 

Unfortunately, I've become so accustomed to the rush and hustle and bustle of life that my mind began ticking down a to-do list that's a mile long because I now had 8 new bonus hours added to my day.  I think about all of the things that I could do with my time--laundry, dusting, bathrooms, cooking, neglected projects. 

And yet all my body really wants to do is drink coffee and take a nap. 

And then I felt guilty because my mind tells me that would be a complete waste of the gift of time.

I think it's funny how He whispers over and over about finding rest and yet we refuse to allow ourselves to take advantage of it.  I know my family calendar is absolutely full to the max most days and while it's all good and important things, there is little margin left for rest and recovery.  I have been walking around with a perpetual headache and exhaustion and my little hamster wheel spins spins spins when I think of all I have to do each day.  

But tell me--why on earth are we so afraid to stop?  Why are we so afraid to admit that our houses aren't straight, that our performance was less than stellar, and that we don't measure up?  In my mind, not completing things the way they should be done is merely acceptance of failure--or at least acceptance of a lack of effort.  My brain doesn't believe in settling for less, and therefore I kill myself each day to take care of everything that I believe must happen.  

And when it doesn't?  

Shame, shame it knows my name. 

I think that it comes back to our pride and inflated egos.  We like to hide behind our awards and accomplishments and our abilities to make it look so easy when we know on the inside that we are doing our best to put a bandaid and a smile on to cover it up.  So many women I know (myself included) like to post the best things on social media meanwhile skirting around the real issues and insecurities that we deal with on a daily basis.  

Smoke and mirrors.  
And sometimes Spankx, black pants, and pixie dust. 

And even those of us who shout about being transparent aren't willing to really let our guards down and be honest with the daily struggle we have just making it through each day.  We carry loads and loads of stress and expectations like they are accessories until our bodies and minds just shut down.  We may tell our closest family and friends most things-but we aren't going to share with them the very things that make us feel like dirt.  The things that plague our minds and weigh heaviest on our hearts.   

Why do you think so many people suffer from depression, anxiety, heart, and weight issues?  

I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure there is a strong correlation between our stress levels and well-being because our minds can only handle so much junk before it starts seeping into all parts of our bodies.  

Today my body is clearly telling me that I've got to stop, too.  I need to give myself permission to not be all of the things that I tell myself I have to be.  I'm reminding myself (and you, too) that it's ok to be human--frail and dependent.  I cannot do all of these things on my own.  I simply cannot.  Life is too big of a job to tackle by myself.  

I don't think it's an accident that my soul hangs tightly to the the words that have been rising in my heart these past few days.  

. . . A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. . .
Fall on your knees. . .

Love and smooches, 
Mama A. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

31 Days with Mama A: Sick #2 (Day 29).

Today I've got nothing except sub plans because my #2 child is sick.  

I'm putting the Mama back in Mama A this evening and preparing for an unexpected day at home tomorrow. 



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