Thursday, June 19, 2014

Trust the Process

Amongst all those instagrams and facebook posts of perfectly glistening chiseled bodies (NOT mine) there are always these really catchy “get fit” encouragement quips and sayings.

I really love them, and, if I’m being really honest, it’s the BIGGEST reason I don’t hide your photos (there are just some things you sacrifice to give life to three beautiful babies!!).

There is one that is circling around right now that I just love the mostest:

“Trust the Process.”



I.LOVE.THIS.

I love that it encourages those trying to lose weight, or get fit, or eat clean, or lower their cholesterol, WHATEVER, that it’s not always going to be, like, BAM instant results.

That you have to take baby steps, each and every day, and that some days are going to be really, really hard.

But isn’t this saying (I still don’t know if this is a meme or not?) just so applicable to our walk with Christ?

When temptation comes along and you hear the enemy slithers and whisper, “What does it really matter? Isn’t your Jesus all about grace…”

When we pray and pray and pray and … silence.

When we read our Bibles and it just confuses us even more then we were before we started.

                (side note: I once heard someone say that a science experiment wasn't a success unless it raised more questions than it answered. I love thinking about this when I’m going through my Bible reading because this happens to me often. But faith and growth isn't something to be achieved. It’s to be journeyed.)

The Bible says that we can “Trust the Process.”

Even when we see no results.

Even when it hurts.

Even when we feel like we’re going to puke.


We, fellow Christians, can “Trust the Process.”

Isaiah 40: 28-31
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the end of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who HOPE is the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint."



*image from runnersworld.com*

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Parenting Hacks Numero Uno

I have been asked a lot about advise (see one of my previous blogs) and, true to nature, I usually over think it and it ends up in a “just be yourself” / “trust in God” / “don’t take anyone’s … stuff” type of talk.

However, there IS something to be said for community and sharing tips that might help fellow mommies (and daddies) “in the trenches” out!

I’ve compiled this small list (only TWO today), and, as I think of more handy dandy tips (much like a handy dandy notebook) I shall pass them on as well for those who are interested!

TRUTH NUMBER ONE

Kids don’t like to play with toys. 

They like to play with NEW toys for 5 minutes only over and over.

TIP NUMBER ONE:

If you’re Jay Z / Rockefeller: have your “toy specialist” (I’m sure someone has one) constantly buy new toys and give the old ones to the Goodwill / charity of your choice.

If you’re NOT Jay Z / Rockefeller: we have to get a little creative here.

I’ve found a couple different ways to make this happen for both my boys and my sanity:

                #1: Old toys; New place

                                Take the dollhouse from the bedroom and put it outside under the tree in the backyard

                                Set up the train set in the garage

                                Take all of your pots out from that giant cabinet under the stove and fill it with cars

                                Dry out the bathtub and set up the train set in there (trains are very important around here…but you get the idea)

                                Sometimes (quite literally) just moving the same toys into a new environment will provide some new opportunities to enjoy them for your kids.

They will FEEL like new to them (at least for 5 minutes).

                #2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind

                                Take some of the toys that your children just throw on the ground in process of finding other toys and hide them from your children. 

                                For, like, months.

                                And then, when the timing is just right, BAM “NEW” puzzle!

                #3. The Holiday Stash

                              This one takes a little panache.

You don’t want to offend family members who offer your children gifts (because, well, they’re GIFTS) BUT I always JUMP on the sentence, “He can open it later if he wants.”

 GREAT. By later I’m hoping you mean five weeks from now when I have to take all three of them to the doctor’s office and only one of them is getting their shots.  

Or, I’ve also done this with the gifts that I’ve personally purchased for my children’s event. Sometimes I buy my little something for their birthday to find that they’ve been graciously SHOWERED with gifts in all their birthday glory. So, I’ll set mine aside (they don’t even notice) until the opportunity is a little more convenient for mommy.

 Like that inevitable meltdown JUST as the water starts boiling for the macaroni and cheese.

TRUTH NUMBER TWO

There inevitably comes a time in parenthood where going without basic hygienic necessities becomes more appealing (at least to yourself) then schlepping the kids to the store for just that one item. 

And when you DO get to the store, it’s to buy milk, and you then FORGET said hygienically necessary item.

TIP NUMBER TWO:

Buying toothpaste? Buy three. My mom used to do this when the big sales were going on. I do it not only to save money (when I get lucky) but also to remain gainfully employed which requires I have items such as a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Also, this is the ONLY time I warrant / suggest Googling ANYTHING mommy-related on the internet.

Usually it will leave you just frightened or sad or guilty or a weird special Mommy Emotional Cocktail that calls for healthy doses of all three.

But, there are times, like this week (I’m out of shampoo. Have been for a while), where you can learn things like a little bit of baking soda and olive oil will do the trick in a pinch!

Hope you enjoyed these tips!
Swing me a “like” or a “comment” or a “share” so I can keep better track of what people enjoy reading!



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fatherhood: Chasing Sons

Happy Father’s Day: Chasing Sons

(See what I did there? His name is CHASE. )

Today I thought I would take a moment and share one of my life’s highlights: my husband as a father.



My husband, Jeffery “Chase” Evans, and I knew immediately that we wanted a large family.
If you’ve met either myself, or my husband, you know that we aren't exactly shy or quiet.

The last thing we wanted in our home was silence.  

Having many older friends, who have had their struggles with fertility, we decided to try and have a family as soon as we were married, assuming it would be several months (maybe even a year?) before we actually got pregnant.

Note: Yes, I was naive. I was 22 years old! Who let me get married at 22?! 

The Lord blessed us with a Hecho en Mexico / honeymoon baby.

The first moment that Chase knew he was a father we were sitting in church and worship was about to start. I figured if I told him, “Hey husband of four weeks…guess what…” in a public setting where the Lord would surely throw lightning at him (or is that Thor?) if he were to be anything but delighted, that would be a good plan.

So, cue the beginning guitar notes at our beloved church, and… 

“Hey babe…I have something to tell you.”

“Is it....?” he asked looking at me.

I just nodded. 

He knew.

He sat through the rest of the sermon utterly and ghostly silent.

The calm before the storm that would be our happy, laughing, feeling, crazy, LOUD family.

Of course he was excited and we held hands on the way home wondering when to tell family.

On July 2nd 2010 we brought our first child into the world. A boy. Chase cried. I cried.



And our world was never silent again.

On April 27th 2012 we met our second child. A boy.

On October 2nd 2013 we met our third child. A boy.

The man that my husband has become in the last four years is nothing short of an incredible, caring, compassionate, strong, fearless, leader: a father.

If you ask me why my husband is the best father for our children I would tell you…

            It’s because he asks to take our oldest to his swim lessons where the kid is barely not drowning and dad is shooting photos on his friend’s borrowed super fancy camera to savor the moment as if it were the Olympics.



            It’s because he gets up in the middle of the night (every other time in our house!) and rocks the babies back to sleep and gets them milk.



            It’s because he stays home with them while I go to work, and when I offered to find somewhere in the budget for some summer daycare for them (because their normal pre-school is off summers) he declined. He said that he’d rather have them at home and that he could just do stuff with them.

            It’s because he makes me a better mother by making sure that I am not drowning in mommy-ness and recognizes when I need to go have a margarita with a friend and even though he’s watched them ALL day, watches them an extra two hours. And texts me that I am not allowed back before ten.



            It's because if anything were ever REMOTELY dangerous about to happen to any of my children I have ZERO doubts in his ability to kick some bad guy butt. And, in a slightly violent way, that is a very peaceful feeling as a mommy!! 

                     *I wish I had a really cool picture of you with the punching bag here LOL*

If you ask my son (the one that can talk) why my husband is the best father for our children he would tell you…

            (as he did this morning when I asked)

            “It’s because he makes me hot chocolate after I play in the rain!”



            “Because he’s the best dad I have!”

So, Happy Father’s Day, Chase. Always know that I love you SO MUCH.
 I cannot believe I get to live parenthood with someone as dope as you.

*High Five* *Team Evans!*

Wanna try for a girl? Haha -- JUST KIDDING.

Kind of.


"My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass!""We're not raising grass, " Dad would reply, "We're raising sons!"Harmon KillebrewBaseball Hall of Fame-r


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

THIS is Redding

One of the most amazing things about God is that he talks to us softly. Just a whisper.

(After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:12)

I think he does this because what angry teenager (and who here isn’t REALLY just an angry teenager who has learned to fake it a little (or a lot) better) listens to their parents when they’re yelling?? They tune it out!

God, the Father to the fatherless, whispers his love and joy and direction and peace.

Not so that we miss it, but so that we have to pay attention.

This blog is a series of four events that have happened to me in the last, oh, week or so.

Each stuck out to me and this is really just documentation of the Lord speaking to me in bits and pieces and how the Spirit has led me to throw it all together like a really delicious chili. Heaven chili. Mmmmm.

Wow. That was terrible.

Okay, moving on.

God Speaks #1.

I was at the grocery store.

I was rushing around, buying cheese, then putting back the cheese (because we’re trying to cut back on dairy), and then actually grabbing the cheese again (because grilled cheese/quesildias/etc. are just easy).

This little boy was sitting in the front of the cart. He was probably…eighteen months or so. He had blonde hair (dirty, like the dirt not the color) and piercing blue eyes. 

His parents (maybe?) were fighting over…something.

And he just LOOKED at me. I mean…LOOKED AT ME. We locked eyes and I stopped my cart.

I had this overwhelming and inexplicable sense of pain for this little boy.

And, short of being charged with kidnapping, I walked away.

I don’t know that I’ll ever forget that. It was THAT strong.

God Speaks #2.

My husband told me that he heard from his friend, “they” (whoever “they” are) have just dropped off a couple hundred of Southern California’s least desirable criminals onto the streets of Shasta County.

 Now, I do NOT know the details, I presume few of our community actually do.

But, apparently, there is some sort of tax deduction, agreement, whatever (?) that literally buses hundreds of criminals, upon their release from Southern California prisons up to Shasta County and, apparently, just drops them on our doorsteps.

I prayed the prayer I always pray. “Lord, help them find an alternative to this! Don’t they know we have CHILDREN, and GOOD PEOPLE here, Lord? And we are getting hurt. Haven’t you seen the news Lord??? We’re FIFTH in the NATION for most DANGEROUS cities!! Certainly this is NOT your plan for the town that I raise my children in!”

God Speaks #3.

I read the official statement from the student at SPU who disarmed the gunman:

“When I came face to face with the attacker, God gave me the eyes to see that he was not a faceless monster, but a very sad and troubled young man.” Jon Meis 

God Whispers #4.

What if…what if…these criminals…these sex offenders and gang members and the least of these…what if they’re the Lord’s children?

What if, just WHAT IF, Redding is where God is calling "THEM," just like he has called US who reside here?

What if, when God looks at these men and women as they tumble off the buses and looks into each of their faces and feels the PAIN that I felt looking into that small boy’s eyes?

I believe many of the boundaries that we perceive are absolutely false.

This is one world. There are one people.

Instead of praying, "Lord, get these people out."

What if our prayer was, "Lord, how can I help? What do you need me to do?"

For the Kingdom belongs to the least of these.

We know this, because we are the least of these.

The saying is sure and true and worthy of full and universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost. 1 Timothy 1:15 

Who can you invite to church this weekend?

Redding has some AMAZING ones. Let’s USE THEM.