All posts by kferguson724

What’s Next

God has taken what has been 2016, so far, to show me new things, make stronger some seeds He’s planted already, and where and what he has next for me. For the first time in a while, it hasn’t involved things with my husband or children. Instead it’s been incredibly specific to the things God has designed and willed for me that are outside of my role as wife and mom. I’m grateful for the richness and depth of my relationship with my Lord to get to hear and feel His spirit in my life in this way. But, what happens when what is being revealed and communicated are things you don’t like or don’t want?

Well for me, there has been a good amount of fighting, wrestling, and debating with God. Of course, that doesn’t move God even for a second. He has remained that steady calm voice, repeating the same message He came to me with at the beginning of all this. (Yes, note taken that if this is how God handles this strong willed child of His, it’s the approach I should remain steady with for my own strong willed daughter He has placed in my life. But I digress.) The message:

Phoenix is your home base, your mission field.

Seems simple, but there is so much packed into what this means for me personally. I won’t be going into all of them, but for a long time, if not most of my life, I’ve yearned to be somewhere else. I’ve come to understand that I live in a vacation spot. I see a lot of what is great about living here, but it hasn’t settled that longing. I had kids and honestly thought about how I need to get out of here by the time my first born goes to kindergarten, because I don’t want to raise my kids here. We haven’t bought a house and I’ve always struggled on where in the city we would have our home base, in part, because of the anxiety and discontentment I feel in this city.

Just recently, my husband and I took a prayerful step to see if it was God’s will for us to leave here and plant our roots somewhere else. A week ago, the message was clear, we are supposed to be here. At first, I was unaffected. I’ve now realized that the relief of dealing with the logistics and process of moving my small children across the country covered the truth of what is deep within me. I still don’t want Phoenix to be my home or where I raise my children. God’s message:

Phoenix is your home base, your mission field.

I hear Him. My faith and love for my Lord are strong enough to know and understand that I’d much rather be living my life within His will, then blow Him off and step or force my way outside of it. But it’s hard and my heart is broken. I’m in need of an attitude check, heart change, and transformation within my mind. I need to not just know things, I need to allow and work at having them manifest completely within me. It’s going to take time.

Because God is good, there is a divine friendship He has blessed me with that began in Jr. High. I have watched her walk almost this exact journey recently. I’ve been so proud and encouraged by her journey and transformation (you can check her out on Instagram or her website here). But honestly, there was that dark hidden spot inside of me that was prideful and foolish to think that isn’t going to have to be me. Oh sin, I hate you.

So my journey has just begun. Hello 30s. Hello new chapter of life. Hello kindergarten paperwork that I finally picked up today for my first born, because I hadn’t wanted to accept the reality of what it meant for me personally. It’s time to stop fighting, wrestling, and debating and start renewing my attitude, mind, and heart.

What I’ve already learned and will remain truth in my life is that Phoenix isn’t my home. It’s my home base, my mission field. My home is not anywhere on this Earth. My Lord, and Savior has gone and prepared a place for me in heaven, where I will get to reside in his presence forever and ever. I will not be fully satisfied anywhere and I actually pray that longing for my permanent home never goes away until my work here is done and get to enter into that place. But again, until that time, God has created and placed me here with great purpose. I will continue to seek that purpose and fight against the lies and thorns in my life that will try and steal the joy and blessings that await me here.

 

**Featured in image: Phoenician tank– Dovetail Vintage and Book “Staying is the New Going”, by Alan Briggs

A Moment in the Trenches

It’s 11:30am. Thank you Jesus!

Baby boy is finally sleeping. I’m going crazy! I totally forgot about this stage (14 months). He’s so busy, obsessed with being outside, and wants to snack every second, but he can’t do any of it by himself! He loves to swing, but the swing isn’t going to move itself. We don’t have any soft grass in our backyard. He could hurt himself out on the rocks. He doesn’t know how to steer the big car he loves to push around. The water table keeps his attention for two minutes. Then, he wants to move around the other riding toys he is not big enough for. Frustration arises from him every time he wants to do something but is then hit with the reality that he is not capable yet. Try to take him back inside though, and he will let you know that that is NOT where he wants to be.

Lord, help me. I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin. I can’t walk that car with him another second. His smile is so big splashing the water around, but now there is so much on the floor. I can’t go too far because the cement is now very slippery and I might have to protect his head any second. Please stop the whining at every frustration. I know he’s just one, but can’t he accept the things he can’t do yet? I know he can’t, but I don’t have the patience for this.

It’s getting hot, and I want to go inside. It’s been an hour or so. We are going inside. Everybody drink water and snacks for the kids.

Did I finish my coffee? Husband texted about something important. Be an encouraging wife. I can barely think right now though. I’ll answer when I can think more clearly. Don’t want to make an impression that I don’t care about this. Lord, be with my husband right now.

Oh gosh, baby boy is flailing, trying to tell me he wants out of his high chair. But dude, you’re hungry!! Grr, he won’t eat. Fine, I’ll get him out. He walks straight to the pantry. “Dat” he says. Telling me he wants something in there, aka he’s hungry. AHH! Then why wouldn’t you eat in your chair? Fine, I’ll grab the snack and spread it out on the ottoman and he can move while he eats, since clearly it is currently against his morals to sit still and eat.

Ok. Maybe I can go tidy up the kitchen a little bit. Sister is in their watching a show on the iPad while she eats her snack. I can keep an eye on her.

Not even five seconds later, in walks baby boy. He pauses, then walks to the pantry. “Dat.” NO! I already gave you your snack! Come on! Back I walk him to the ottoman. “OH! Right!” His little brain kicks in. “I like this snack.” Good. I head back to the kitchen. Three seconds later. In walks baby brother. He pauses, then walks to the pantry.

Oh dear Jesus, PLEASE help me.

Looks like I need to sit next to his snack so he stays and eats. So much for cleaning up the kitchen. I’ll try again later. Sister should be fine. She’s captivated by the show. Baby boy seriously can’t stay still, but he won’t play with anything. The only way he will play is if I’m next to him or engage in toy with him. Dare I walk away and the wining, tears, screams, or pulling at my leg begins.

Lord, I don’t want to sit here! I have things to do. Plus, I’ve barley spent time with older sister all morning. I need to give her attention too. She’s been really good today. I need to reward that. She has wanted and needed so much attention these days. I want to continue to teach her that she has my attention during the good times and not just when she acts out or acts like a baby. She’s almost four. Growing up quick! The numbers of days I have left with her feel like they are slipping away faster than usual. Instead, she’s had the iPad for a while now, other than our outside time. But she won’t play outside unless I’m out there with her. It’s getting hot. I don’t want to be outside all day.

Lord, I can’t do this! I physically and emotionally cannot satisfy these two at the same time. I want to be a good mom to both of them. I hate having to pick one’s needs over the other. Please take care of my daughter while I’m with her brother.

Finally, it’s time for brother to nap. Now, I can spend time with her. Breathe.

Oh my gosh, I’m so hungry! What time did I eat breakfast? There is no needy baby. I should really make lunch right now. OH! There is still a little coffee left in the pot from this morning. I’m gonna heat that up. Wait, back to lunch. What am I gonna eat? I am so tired. I just want to go crash on the couch. I don’t want to cook anything. What can I do that won’t make more dishes?

Shoot! I haven’t texted my husband back yet. Lord, please still be with him. Help me remember to talk to him when the kids go to bed so he can have my undivided attention over this and see that I care and am listening.

A sandwich! Ugh. There are so many components to a sandwich. I want as few ingredients as possible. Breakfast burrito! No, that will make more dishes. Plus there are a lot of things you could put in that too. Screw it. Just eggs in a tortilla it is. Mmm, hello brownies from last night on the stove. I’ll just eat some of that. Ok, back to lunch. Oh, heat up that coffee. Now, lets make this egg and tortilla. Good enough. Scarf. Well, all that work for two seconds of eating. Pathetic.

Sister is still on the iPad.

Gosh, I’m a terrible mother today. I need to go spend time with her. But I’m so tired. I need a break. I REALLY need a shower! Girl doesn’t nap anymore. When am I supposed to have a break? Naptime is my only time for one on one with her though. As soon as brother wakes up, he sucks up all the attention. It’s not her fault. If I don’t get a moment to be alone though, I might loose it. Maybe if I write, get this all out, I’ll feel better.

 Worth a try, so I start typing.

 Lord, I need you so much today. I’m breaking down. I know the mother I need and want to be, but I don’t have it in me today. These all-consuming, nothing days, are sucking the life out of me. I know there is importance and significance to being the one to support and fill in for every one of my children’s needs that they are not capable of fulfilling themselves yet, but I’m on empty. Lord, please fill all MY holes. Cover this home with your grace, and within my husband and I, please fill us with a renewed energy. Grow our capacity for the mundane. I feel like I’m starting to suffocate in this home. My brain feels like mush. I can’t focus. THANK YOU, Lord, for being my example on just how to get through and do all of this by doing these exact things for me.

I hear baby boy crying through the monitor. Look up at the time- it’s 12:30pm. NO! It’s only been an hour. This cannot be all you sleep all day. “Mom I need help.” Now? You’ve barely needed me all morning. “Sorry honey, I’ll be right back. I need to try to get brother back to sleep.”

LORD, PLEASE CARRY ME!

 

**Welcome to about an hour inside my brain.  People can say all they want: “This too shall pass.” “Enjoy these days. They go quick. You’ll miss them.” But some days, weeks, or life phases are just flat out hard. Don’t feel bad about the struggle. I love my children more than anything. Being a stay at home mom is a choice I couldn’t live without, but the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I know the significance of this role and time, but I’m human. And some days I struggle hard.  This role of parenting requires so much selflessness that sometimes I feel like I’m suffocating and loosing my sense of self.  Those feelings set off this survival mode that immediately has me desperate for selfish things.  Things as simple as watching a TV show uninterrupted, to getting in a car and driving for who knows how long with my music blaring.  Through it all, I’m grateful for a Lord and Savior who covers and fills in for me as I wrestle through these moments.

Hallelujah, Easter!

There is a heaviness. A weight on my heart. On my soul. It’s hard to see past the darkness. Past all that is broken and against me in this world. Most of this time, this feeling tempts my weakness towards depression. This time, with Good Friday approaching tomorrow, it has brought me to the cross, falling to my knees with my face to the ground.

 

This world is so broken. I am so broken. Sin is real. My sin is real, and I hate it. I hate it with a feeling that exists deep within myself that I never knew existed. And while I have grown and strengthened my personal faith and love for my Savior to a place of ultimate surrender and dependence on Him, a place where I can live secure in my imperfections and know that Jesus is victorious over it all, there are three very important lives that surround me everyday that I ache over.

 

I married an imperfect man, but a man made up of so much good and potential. A man made in the image of the one true God. His heart wants what the Lord wants for him and for this world. But cursed is he. Cursed are we. Especially those of us who desire what the Lord desires, we have an extra target on our hearts and minds.

 

I have two little children. My one year old has just begun his journey, and my other is almost four. Her target growing bigger as we do our best to raise her to know the Lord, His teachings, and hearts desires for her. While at the same time, her sin nature is growing stronger as she gains more knowledge of the world around her. They were born with both strengths and weaknesses. How are we, two imperfect and broken parents, suppose to succeed at raising them well, help them navigate those strengths and weaknesses, so that together we can do our best to keep them from some of the shackles that will try to capture them and keep them down? How do we get them to want nothing more in this life than to follow Jesus with every last breath within them? To want to put on their armor every day and fight with grand fierceness against the enemy of this world and every soul in it?

 

I can’t. I, on my own, cannot do a thing. Do you know how hard that is for me? The fury that it causes to boil deep within me? The very thing that brings me broken into more pieces at the foot of the cross than my own life and struggles?

 

Easter. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Easter. My life exists because of Easter. My life is saved because of Easter. My life is victorious because of Easter. I can because of Easter. Jesus Christ, Son of God, was and is and is to come. His promises are real and His words are truth. I don’t have to because He did all. He covers all. Where I lack and where I am weak, it’s been filled and made strong because it’s where He is able to shine brightest. Fear will not claim victory in my life. Jesus died on the cross so that I may approach Him in confidence, knowing that the enemy has no strong hold in my life. At the cross, all is made possible and new, for everyone, at any moment, Amen.