Confessions of a domestic … pursuer

 

I tried. The sweet fall aroma permeated the kitchen, leading one to believe things were cooking properly. I turned the oven light on, not daring to open the door, lest I ruin it all. But it still sank in the middle and came out dense and undercooked.

Company was coming and my first attempt at chocolate zucchini bread was not to be shared. I cut off what parts seemed cooked through, and covered the rest up and hid it away in the pantry. I’ll decide later what to do with that. No one saw the mound of pathetically cut up chocolate loaf tossed aside like a forgotten favourite dress that got shrunk – unsuitable for public consumption. I got out the pretty napkins and cut a few pieces onto our robins egg blue plates. Perhaps the colour of spring will mask the mistake of fall.

I tried to show the perfect and hide away the mistake; the attempt that caved. Oh how many times does this happen in our homes? Where we clean up before people come over, only showing the good stuff. As though we live like that 24/7. We are all responsible for our perceptions of others, yes, but I believe vulnerability goes a long way in leading people down the right path.

So, if you, like me, have ran the domestic marathon over and over with failed attempts, take courage. We all fail. And this chocolate loaf to me now symbolizes a growing seed of unmasking for me. Admitting where I fail. Embracing my weaknesses so that Jesus can really shine through. Being okay with not being okay Every. Single. Day. I don’t know about you, but I could stand to release some control and let go a bit more. Control is exhausting.

And for the record? Marriage and motherhood is work, no matter what Instagram worthy picture you see on social media. I fight with Troy in my head way more than we fight in reality. (you know, to see if vocalizing something is worth it, I play it out in my own writers reel first). I told him this the other night as we went to bed at 9pm, chuckling, only to get up twice more before 11 to a crying baby. “Parenthood is not for the faint of heart,” he said. There were many midnight calls to Troy while he was working away where I was crying and Elizabeth was crying. Where I had no idea what to do but hold her and pray God would help us get some sleep. In the past I’ve put things on credit card I shouldn’t have. I’ve literally swept things under beds and carpets, temporarily, that are then forgotten. I buy pie, I don’t make it. And I let our dog Pippa clean up way too much spit up, and don’t wash the floors for days after.

It happens. We make allowances for things we can’t live up to when we think others believe we should be able to. It’s called pride, and Lord knows we all have it.

But in the middle of what often feels like our threads are unravelling in chaos or calamity, God is actually pulling at them, ever so gently with His Father touch, to weave something more beautiful on the other side. He is faithful, even when we are faithless, for He cannot deny Himself. (1 Timothy 2:13). The kind of grace that sustains my heart on days when I know I fall short is that God is always faithful, and His work in me is ongoing.

I love home. I love the responsibility God has given us as women to create beauty and peace for our families. Homemaking is an art – ever evolving and looks different for all of us. But, I think there needs to be an element of reality where we can admit what we’re not good at, and be okay with it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I still need to look at myself in the mirror and see if I’m really ready to NOT tidy up before you come over 😉

 

 

Advertisements

Remain

 

Sit, remain, don’t rush off just yet.

Let me share with you.

Trust like a child. Get wet.

My hands are here to protect.

 

I am your Redeemer and Friend,

Remain, just wait a while.

In every situation, I will defend.

I delight.

 

For in remaining you will find,

All the things you strive for are found.

To cease and unwind,

Let me transform.

 

I am your Father, fiercely devoted to you.

Never leaving, always caring.

Stand, be still, in the moments that you need to.

I never give up.

 

{John 15:9 “…Remain in my love”}

 

Copyright Lani Lupul 2016

Monday Minute: Just keep doing what you’re doing

My girl turns five-months-old tomorrow and a couple weeks ago she was teething, fussy, and not napping very good (she’s a catnapper to begin with). I was exhausted by the end of the day (thankfully she sleeps through the night!), and cried on Troy’s shoulder at the end of it.

As a new mommy with my time suddenly on her schedule, my quiet moments with the Lord are often tired moments or short moments before she wakes up or before I go to bed (if at all!). It’s not the same as before she was born. I find I meet the Lord while taking care of her the most 🙂 After reading Heart Made Whole by Christa Black Gifford, I’ve been trying to practice just meeting God in daily moments, quieting my heart, asking Him to lead me, be with me, speak to me. And He does. Oh, He does.

But on this frustrating day when I was googling schedules and how to help babies nap, along with wondering if she was getting enough to eat or if I should be stretching her schedule more (you know, aaaallllll those questions and doubts you have in trying to figure things out!)… I honestly felt the Holy Spirit just speak to my heart, “Just keep doing what you’re doing.”

And I felt peace as her mommy, to just keep doing what I was doing. Close Google, and just keep being her mommy, the best I know how.

Frustrating days will come. But so does peace when you ask God to meet you in it. The results might not always be there, like I like them to be, but sometimes, we just need to keep doing what we’re doing. And be okay with not having it all figured out, and just doing our best, and letting Father God hug us on a day when we don’t know what to do!

 

 

Dying to ‘should’

We live a lot of our lives in the “land of should”. Or at least I have.

What do I mean?

What should a single person do with their life? What should my career look like at this age? How should I be interesting in order to catch a man? (totally how I thought!)

And then… what should dating look like? What should I be feeling during engagement? What should our wedding night look like? What should our first year of marriage look like?

It’s exhausting. And you end up chasing an illusive expectation of ‘should’ that doesn’t exist. The barometer, more often than not, ends up being someone else’s life snapshot or their opinion.

Photo by Jacqueline Foss Photography

Photo by Jacqueline Foss Photography

Troy and I are six months away from becoming parents. Crazy and amazing, hey?! We’re excited to discover whether it’s a boy or girl, watch their personality unfold, and help them become what God gave them to us to become. But you can guarantee, when we have another (God willing!), their personality will be so different, that I know it’ll bring new parenting challenges and joys and we’ll have to go about it differently; because no one person is the same as another.

So why would we think God is any different in the way He fathers us? I can’t frame my life expectations based on what happened to someone else. I have to know my God personally. I have to follow His Word. What is He saying to me through this season? That question will likely beckon a different answer for each of us; as it should.

The letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Galatia is all about liberty of the gospel and for them to stop trying to earn their salvation through works and effort. Sacrifice. Circumcision. As though the work of Christ was incomplete. “Should’s” if you will.

Galatians 5:1 says, “It was for freedom that Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

Freedom wasn’t so that I can reach my ideals, my expectations, my ‘shoulds’. It was for freedom. In Him.

Paul was emphasizing that the work of Christ on the cross is complete. And our job is to stand and submit to that work. It is meant to be liberating, not obligating.

In the Matthew Henry commentary, he writes on this text:

“It is therefore our duty to stand fast in this liberty, constantly and faithfully to adhere to the gospel and to the liberty of it, and not to suffer ourselves, upon any consideration, to be again entangled in the yoke of bondage, nor persuaded to return back to the law of Moses.”

What would it look like if we all walked so closely with the Lord that we could hear His voice for our life and seasons, and our barometer of whether we were on target with ‘should’ was His Word? That we could truly walk in liberty, and not these illusive expectations we place on ourselves?

I want to die to my idea of should… to what standards I have set for myself based on duty, comparison, and expectations…Die to my expectations and entitlements from the Lord, in each season, so that He can breathe what He wants….Die to what my house ‘should’ look like according to the people I follow on Instagram (and my expectations!)… to my expectations of what marriage should look like, even though there’s only one Troy and I, and with Christ at the centre, we can’t go wrong…Die even to what I expect I’ll be like as a mother, because I have no idea, and God’s grace is sufficient for me, in that moment, in that season. I can’t anticipate what ‘should’ should look like.

‘Should’ defeats liberty. Creativity. Life.

How do you need to ‘die to should’?

We all place unrealistic expectations on ourselves, in some way or another. It’s tiring isn’t it? Living under the dome of should is counterproductive to growth. Instead, let our barometer be what God speaks to us in His Word, and how He leads and Fathers us from there.