Wednesday, July 22, 2009


As always, no time to rest and catch up on my reading.... :)

This is one of those wonderful days where I feel totally and completely in awe of God's wonderful mercy and his guidance in my life. So many things went wrong, but as always, the bigger picture is making more and more sense to me - like the fitting together of pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.

A friend recently sent me a quote - saying something like "just when I think I'm all comfy, sitting in a chair without a care in the world, the bar comes over my lap and God says, 'Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle, and enjoy the ride!'" To me, every day in my life is an adventure with the Lord directing the ups and downs. No matter how scary things become, I trust that the ride will land me safely in His arms, exactly where I am supposed to be. When circumstances become more dire than I'd like, I just hold onto that bar for dear life and pray.

I am exactly where I want to be. Someone from the outside may view what I do ("just" motherhood) as being counterproductive to my overall life goal. I make sacrifices to be in the position I am in, because I see the bigger picture at work. I may live on a meager budget and pull my hair out being at home all day with three little boys, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. I rarely get a break, and when I do, it is on a strict time schedule. I never have the comfort of getting to "unload" to a spouse, and have him nod in understanding. I can't just run to the grocery store. When I am running low on something, I have to plan days in advance and take three screaming children with me. Pushing a cart teeming with groceries and attempting to maintain my handful of coupons, I dextrously make my way through the store with my aisle-coordinated shopping list. When I leave the bag boy has to re-pack things into a new cart, and then help "shoo" me out of the store so as not to disrupt the sanity of the other customers when my kiddos have "expired". Imagine this scenario once a week....! The closest thing to "adult" time I have is watching TV dramas by myself with a cup of hot tea at the end of my day. I have conversations about trains and poop and sharing most of my waking hours.

But, even though my mind is rotting away as we speak from lack of true intellectual stimulation - I get to be the one to bandage the boo-boos. I get to be the one that my children run to when they are scared or sad and comfort them in the way only a mother knows how. I get to be there with each new milestone completed and cheer like I'm at the Super Bowl and my team just scored the winning touchdown when one of my wee people stacks twelve blocks all by himself. I practically paint my face with my team colors (team Barnhart!).
Who wouldn't with moments like this:

So, while most people my age secure their careers and their futures, I am securing tabs on diapers and high chair trays into place. And, I'm ok with that.

(Shane, in the rolling toy box. I always find him here. He thinks he's hiding... :))

The incredible thing is, that in spite of my challenges, God is working in my mud puddle of a life and making beauty appear all around me with no effort of my own. Ugly things happen to me nearly every day, and God has taught me to first deal with these circumstances with grace and prayer.

I am human, and have my freakout moments, but the overall theme in my heart is a record on repeat, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, through prayer and supplication, make your requests known to the Lord..." - and it is like an instant shot of peace to hear the words reverberate in my mind. I have seen God take my circumstances and make tiny miracles happen. For some, they may sound silly and frivolous, but at the time, it was all I needed to re-direct my attention to the one who gives.

One week, about a year ago - I was completely out of money and in very low spirits. I had a tube of mascara that was way past its expiration date, and it made my eyes itchy to even put it on. But, I felt so *ugly* due to recent circumstances surrounding my divorce (which was another one of Satan's lies to disrupt my life), I put it on every day anyway. I couldn't afford to spend any money on anything but true necessities. Just when I was feeling my saddest, someone had just bought two tubes of mascara and offered to give me one. They weren't happy with the formulation, and had it right there to give to me. Yes, frivolous, but I knew that it was a "God thing". He saw my sadness and perked me up when I thought my entire life was hopeless. At least I had mascara. To me, that was a start, at least!

Then, recently, someone openly criticized me to a group of my friends, saying I should just "get a job" if I need a break from my kids. I was devastated by the sentiment, because I work very hard providing what I can for my sons, and give up so much to do what I feel is the right thing for my boys in this situation. Three days later, I was offered a small job writing a blog and posting corresponding pictures for a photographer - without any effort of my own... this job was placed in front of me. Just enough to make a little bit of extra money, and now I am able to just stay up late a couple of nights a month, get out some creative energy and help someone I care about attract new photography clients. It couldn't be more exciting to see God work when we just sit back in prayer. So, in spite of the snarky comments of others, God knows my heart and my desire to be a productive individual, AND my current financial need.... right where I am.

A friend shared this amazing verse and corresponding note with me. Actually, she's better than a friend, she's my dear friend in Christ and my son's great aunt. God put it on her heart to write me over a hundred letters over the past two years since my divorce. REAL hand-written letters, which in today's world REALLY says something! Even though I never have had time to write back, I appreciate her friendship and care more deeply because she did this without a pat on the back.

"'The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.' Psalm 37:23

Thought you might enjoy this phrase I read in a book about this verse. The book gave a thesaurus definition for 'delight': laugh, smile, get a kick out of, hug oneself, rave, bask in, enjoy, wallow, have fun, exhilirate, relish, elate, thrill, ravish, entrance, enrapture. Isn't that neat?" - M

Although to some, what I do is boring and dull - God *delights* in my simple life. He sees the love in my children's eyes when I make their storytime more special by acting out the words, the wonder on their faces when they discover a whole mess of caterpillars on a bush in the backyard, and the joy they emanate when they throw dirt sky high covering their tiny faces... making them look like chimney sweeps. He also sees the look of disgust on my part knowing the mess I have to clean up with the aftermath of the latter, and then that look quickly changing to a giggle when I realize how incredible life is from a child's eyes. What adult enjoys being covered head to toe in dirt? When I feel all alone, I talk to God in my heart about the wonderful works of his hands - my boys. I know without a doubt he shares my joy. (Can you say, "Dirt!")

(Doesn't care that his head is stuck, he thinks it's a helmet!)
(Help, mom! Flowerpots don't taste very good - can I have my juice?!?!)

God has great plans for me, here, at home. This is where my heart will continue to be, and where I feel the greatest sense of purpose and accomplishment. With my sons.

(Putting their hands in the air and saying "whee" up the windy road to our house - which they do every day!)


  1. I love love love you. And I am SO glad that God decided to bless YOU with the job of those precious boys' mama. There really is no one more suited for the job. And I mean NO ONE. You are a treasure and a gem, and you radiate Christ in all that you do. Your attitude is amazing and one that I look up to as inspiration for my own circumstances.

    did I mention how much I love love LOVE you??

  2. Meggin H.July 22, 2009

    Excellent Read! I loved it and I think you are amazing!

  3. very well stated!

  4. Erin I love your blog :)

  5. Jennifer T.July 22, 2009

    I just wanted to say that you are an inspiration to me.I was sitting in mymessy living room down and discouraged and you gave me hope.I have also recieved such comments as"you should just get a job" and I do have a husband with a supporting income.I think who ever siad that to you is clueless.It's comments like that that steal a mothers joy.Even though there are days when we as stay at home moms worry that we are leaving ourselves behind,when you truly look at the picture it is a priceless gift we are giving to our kids and ourselves.babies don't stay babies forever.I'm so glad to know you the little bit that I do ,and I hope to get to know you better.You make me smile :)

  6. Ladies - thank you so much for your encouragement. It means so much to me! :)