It’s How We are Wired

On Sunday evening I was sitting in a friend’s living room surrounded by 11 of the finest women I have ever had the privilege of knowing. It was a time of hard laughter..like so hard, my “smoker’s laugh” took over my body. It was a time of openness; real, authentic, and vulnerable openness. It was a time of AMAZING food…AMAZING variety and AMAZING tasting.

I drove away that night with a FULL belly (I may or may not of had to undo my top button of my jeans) and an even fuller heart. The overwhelming sense of gratitude for my community has stuck with me over the last few days.

Last night we had our last meeting for this current women’s Bible study session at my church.  As we went around the table there was a common theme of appreciation for the the women sitting around the table. For a lot of us, Tuesday night was a hi-light for our week and we were sad that it was our last meeting until May.

This morning I sat with 2 friends as we are going through our church’s small group curriculum based on the book, Jesus Called – He wants His church Back. This week the topic was on the role of the church and its importance in our lives as Christians. There was a question that asked about our favorite part of the church and all 3 of us simultaneously said, “the people.”

It does not matter if you are introverted or if you are extroverted, you are wired by God to need people. For some of us, it may just be one person, for others, 10 people. Even Jesus had His people. No matter our predisposition, we need people around us. Not just any people; healthy, caring, wise, and safe people. Life is a journey with a lot of crazy turns and dips and we cannot go it alone. We can try, BUT we will not make it very far.

For me, personally, my community has carried me in times that I could not walk on my own. The prayers, coffees, cards, text messages, phone calls, and the shoulders to cry on have gotten me through my journey of infertility, failed adoptions, marriage troubles, financial droughts, parenting difficulties, and the ongoing daily battles.

My community hasn’t just been there for the hard stuff, they have been here for all of the good stuff too. Whether it was standing by our side in the court room as we adopted our boys, helping us pack up our old house and then unpacking it all in our new house, celebrating holidays,  birthdays, and all the ongoing daily victories.

If you are lonely today, I am sorry. It is a lame and a sad feeling. There are some days with even the community that I have, I still feel lonely. In those times, I find that Jesus is calling me to Himself. There is definitely a void in all of us that only Jesus can fill and when we try to fill it with stuff or people, we will feel very lonely.

The lonely feeling I am addressing here is the loneliness that comes from the lacking of a community.

Life is busy. Especially with really young ones that are stealing our sleep. What I hear is that the busyness doesn’t stop, it just gets worse. It goes from sleepless night fatigue to running around like the family taxi to school, games, and activities fatigue. Community doesn’t usually drop in our laps. It is something that we have to pursue and be intentional about. It is extending invites for dinner or playdates. It is signing up for your local Bible study or mom’s groups. It is making attending church on the weekends a priority.

It can be so scary to step out. Especially into a room of women when you don’t know anyone there. If we can always just keep in the back of our minds that we are ALL just tender daughters of the King that are the subtotal of all of the relationships we have ever had in our lives. We all have hurts and insecurities that we are operating out of, but if we could treat each individual we come in contact with the way we want to be treated, God-honoring community would easily flow. We all need…Grace for each other. Love for each other. Gentleness for each other. Acceptance for each other. Understanding for each other. Forgiveness for each other. Authenticity and vulnerability with each other.

Find your people. Whether it is one or 10. Step out and do what it takes to find them. We were not made to do life alone. We NEED each other. Get past the awkward first interaction and build the relationship. You won’t be sorry and like I always say, it will be worth it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

37

I am sitting here on the eve of my 37th birthday, reading Love Lives Here, listening to my Spotify playlist with 28 of my favorite worship songs, reflecting on the last  year, and dreaming about the next.

I can currently hear Dubs in the backyard talking in the only volume that he knows how and Molly in her in crib alternating from talking gibberish to pounding her bottle on the wall. Between Spotify and 2/3 of the kids, I thought that it would make a good soundtrack for a post 🙂

I’m feeling somber. I’m feeling blessed. I’m feeling excited. I’m feeling reflective.

September 23, 2016 changed my life forever. You can read about it here. So,  just under 6 months ago I encountered God in a way that has altered the course of my life. Because of that encounter, there is excitement for the next year. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT excited about the whole turning another year older aspect, especially since it now puts me in the “late 30’s” category. With my slow metabolism, unwanted grey hairs, and weird placed wrinkles I have never felt more alive.

In this next year, I want to love like I’ve never loved before. I want to be more gentle and kind with with my words to those around me. I want to be more present in the lives of Jason and the kids. I want to focus more on their eyes and less on my phone screen. I want to value the cuddles, laughs, and play time more than the completed “to do” list.  I want to be more aware of the needs around me with an open wallet,  ready ear, hand, smile, or hug. I want to be a contributing tribe member.  The circle of women that the Lord has given me are gifts that I don’t want to ever take for granted.  I don’t want them to ever feel alone or neglected. I want to be ready to babysit for them, bring them a coffee or a meal, pray over them, speak truth over them, encourage them, and point them to Jesus.

For the year 2017,  Jesus gave me the word “joy”. This is my quarterly check in and I can honestly say that I have seen time and time again in the last 3 months, the power choosing joy in any and every circumstance. It isn’t easy. It can sometimes be the hardest response on the planet. But EVERY single time, WORTH IT!  Perspective shifts, awareness of God’s presence is enlightened, gratitude spills out, and most importantly, God is glorified. So, I will continue the year wholeheartedly choosing joy!

I think time of reflections and dreaming are important . It shouldn’t just be on January 1st of the new year or our birthdays. It needs to be ongoing. It needs to be on the forefront of our minds. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to become stagnant. I want to be a world changer and history maker for God!  In my mind, making an impact for Jesus while I am here on earth is such an exciting and life-giving purpose!

I believe the only way to do this is by being intentional. Choosing to guard my eyes, heart, and mind. Picking up the Bible and asking God for passion for His word. Making it a priority to actively invest in my church. Being in a small group. Surrounding myself with people of the like mind. Refusing to settle and always looking for ways to jump out of the boat towards Jesus, no matter the cost.

It’s not always comfortable. It’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s stupid scary. But I know that it is preparation for what is to come. It is being ready for when God asks me to do something freakishly scary and saying “yes!”without hesitation.

What does it look like to you? Is it, staying in and fighting for a marriage that feels loveless. Having integrity at your job. Standing up for what is right when you are surrounded by the loud disapproving voices of your peers. Choosing to be your child’s parent instead of their friend.  Getting out of a relationship that is toxic, be it plutonic or romantic.  Let’s put down the bottles, burgers, and/or  Benjamins and pick up the only lasting and fulfilling option: Jesus!

He will always be enough. He is faithful to always be your hope, strength, and peace.

 

Jesus Has Deep Pockets

It has been a week.

A week of frustration, anger, exhaustion, and worry. It has also been a week of whispering Jesus’ name even when I can’t utter anything else. A week of, once again, seeing the power of choosing joy and of choosing to look for God’s perspective.

It has been a week of fighting to be the best momma possible to Weiland one minute and then failing in a bad way the next. Doing my best to raise a little disciple to know and follow Jesus, but then alternating throughout the day from raising my voice to a complete scream to choosing my phone and all that it has to offer.

It has been a week of little sleep. Both babies are teething and or fighting horrible colds. My guess is a little bit of both. Either way they are both extremely clingy and fussy without appetites, fighting naps, and waking up at night.

It has been a week of WAY more money going out than coming in. Unplanned and unbudgeted surprises leaving me feeling more financially vulnerable than I prefer to feel.

Yesterday morning I woke up to the knowledge that someone had hacked our checking account number and stole $1,000.  I spent the first hour of my day on the phone with the bank, finding out that because it was our actual account number and not our debit card, I have to go through and change all of our bills to the new checking account number. Wait 7-10 days to get new checks and new debit cards.

That was my tipping point.

At about 10:30, out of desperation, I loaded up the fussy babies and my fussy self and left for a change of scenery.

I didn’t know where to go, I just new that I needed some time with Jesus. So I drove. I put on Pandora, because it gives room for the spirit to supernaturally meet me. (Just let me have this belief 🙂 )

I was driving along highway 111, crying out to Jesus telling Him that I was desperate for time with Him and His word. He whispered, “I am the word and I am here”. Comfort came, He sees me in the midst of fussy babies. He sees that it is impossible for me to sit and read the Bible, and He reminded me that He is the word! (John 1:1) I started saying verses out loud that I have memorized talking about His faithfulness and goodness. (Once again, reminded of the importance of memorizing scripture! )

Then Pandora….

An instrumental song came on and I got lost in it. I saw Jesus and me. I saw myself punching His chest and crying. He was just holding my upper arms and letting me beat His chest and cry. I eventually got tired and just went limp in His arms while sobbing. He held me. SO tightly and SO lovingly. He then pulled me away and looked me in the eyes and gently wiped away my tears. With the kindest smile, pulled me away and asked me to look into His pocket. I looked and it was SO deep. It was like Mary Poppin’s purse. I saw laughter, I saw goodness, I saw money, and I saw amazing memories to be made. He then looked at me and said, “I’ve got you. I will provide for you. Good things are coming. My pockets are so deep with blessings that you cannot even begin to fathom.” Dang!

I drove thru a fast food place I would rather not mention, okay, okay.. McDonald’s… and got the babies and I some lunch and drove home. By the time we got home the babies were ready for their naps. I laid them down and opened the Bible to the first designated verse from the reading plan that I am doing and it was John 1:1-3… God is the word.

I don’t know what your week looks like. Maybe it is awesome, maybe it is meh, and maybe it just flat out sucks. All I know is that Jesus is walking through our seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months, and years with us. He is in the midst. He sees us. He loves us. He has good stuff in store for us!

Maybe you too need to be reminded of God’s deep pockets. His blessings that never end. His goodness that never ends. His love that never ends.

Take a few minutes and ask Jesus for a sneak peak into His pocket for you and watch Him meet you so intimately and perfectly like He is always capable of doing!

Sometimes I act like a 18 Month Old

It was about 16 years ago. I was babysitting my niece and she was thirsty. Being the brainiac that I am, I put orange juice WITH  pulp into a bottle. Now that I am a mom and 16 years wiser I would not give a baby orange juice that could potentially be too acidic. But more than anything, I would definitely use a strainer if I were to give a baby orange juice in a bottle.

I remember it had been about 30 minutes and she was still sucking away but the bottle was still just as full as it was when I first gave it to her. I took the bottle, well…wrestled the bottle out of her tight little grip, to examine as to why none of the juice was coming out. In the meantime she is screaming and then eventually flailing on the floor in a massive tantrum. I unscrewed the top and saw that the nipple was completely full of pulp. So, I cleaned it out and then used a strainer to put the juice in her bottle. I remember as I was cleaning it out, I muttered under my breath, “Hold on! I am just trying to make it better so that all of it will come out!”

Immediately, Jesus spoke to my heart, “These are the tantrums I’ve seen you throw when you don’t understand, the timing is off, or you want something that I may not be giving to you at the time that you want it.”

WOA! It was such a significant interaction with Jesus that it has stuck with me throughout the last 16 years.

The times that I cried,  begged, and threw a tantrum when the fertility treatments didn’t work only to find out that he was hand – picking out the most incredible little Shafer kids for me. Or that time that my dream college was way out of budget so I felt like I had to “settle” and I ended up meeting my husband where I attended! The times when I was the last of my single friends and I threw tantrums that my husband wasn’t in my life yet, only to find out that the man I eventually married was everything I had ever hoped or prayed for and for the first time ever I wasn’t settling. Or the time that I was in escrow on a house and it fell out and I threw a tantrum because “I really wanted that house!”, only to be able to buy the house a year later for $67,000 less. Or what about that time that I was so overwhelmed with anxiety and depression because we couldn’t find church to hire us for over a year and a half and it turned out that during this time of waiting,  God was healing my marriage and bringing us to a place where we would be hired by the most incredible church family that I have ever been a part of! Or one last example tantrum out of THOUSANDS, that time I lost my marbles when the adoption didn’t go through, only to find out that Jesus had created my Marty the month we lost Bella.

What about you? What are you throwing a tantrum about right now? Getting pregnant? A new job? A house? A spouse? A failed adoption? Finances? A new car? A move? A promotion?

It isn’t wrong to mourn or cry out of disappointment of how life is looking currently, but if we let the tantrums steal our joy and trust in Jesus than we miss out on so many blessings that are available in the midst of the storm or waiting period.

Jesus wants to take the good stuff we are praying for or pining after and exchange it for THE BEST. He wants to lavish on us in ways that we cannot ever fathom or imagine! He is a good daddy with good gifts!

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The Deposit

 

Yesterday I was doing laundry and I had to wait for Marty to wake up from his nap before I could put away his and Weiland’s clothes in their room. He finally woke up and so I went to go and get him but he didn’t want out of his crib yet. This week he has been a bit clingy with me so since I had my phone in my back pocket playing music,  I left my phone in the room so that he knew I would be coming right back. As I was walking back down the hallway to grab the clothes to put them away in the room Jesus so predictably gently whispered to me that like I left my phone as a guarantee that I would be back for Marty, He left His spirit here with us as a guarantee that He would be back for us. I smile came across my face. The comfort in knowing that God’s spirit was left because of His love for us warmed me all up.

His spirit wasn’t only left as a deposit of His return but also left as our companion and help today. All access pass to the power and goodness of God.

In 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, it says, “Now it is God who establishes both us and you in Christ. He anointed us, placed His seal on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a pledge of what is to come.”

I love this verse, yes, ultimately heaven is what is to come. But what about today!? How exciting that He has amazing and incredible things in store for us NOW!? Heaven on earth is available. Power. Forgiveness. Love. Joy. Peace. Strength. Miracles. All for the taking. He has anointed us and brought freedom upon us to embrace His goodness and then in turn share His goodness with those around us!

I know for me this brings me so much comfort, confidence, and freedom. I know that in my own strength I can not have the patience, grace, and love that my kids and husband deserve, but because of the spirit in me, Jesus can be where I lack.

With the help of the spirit let us embrace and lavish grace, love, forgiveness, and acceptance on ourselves. Let us allow Him to be all that He is capable of being in our lives.

Allow Him to embrace you today. Allow Him to speak love and life over you today. Walk out your anointing and the power of the spirit and watch miracles happen in you and all around you.

Heaven on Earth.

Trusting in The Dark

February 10th came and went. Just as recommended by the the social worker, it was ruled for Molly to be reunified with her birth mom.

Our community has been incredible through this entire process. The morning of the hearing 2 of my close friends each took one baby while Weiland was at school. Jason and I were able to hike to the cross, talk, pray, and process. After our hike we had an awesome breakfast. Just us. It was perfect way to spend the morning.

Molly’s mom is amazing. She is selfless and hard working. She loves Jesus and she is pursuing Him with her whole heart. It is beautiful to watch her persistency with Him. Her love for this precious baby girl is beyond obvious. I have grown to really love her and enjoy my time with her. We text daily and get along well when we see each other. Everything about this entire situation is miraculous. God’s hand is all over it.

Although the judge ruled to reunify Molly with her birth mom, her mom has chosen to leave the baby with us until her apartment becomes available. Just another example of her selfless love. She doesn’t want to move Molly more times than necessary. So every day off from work she has, she takes Molly for the day.

The day after the hearing I was sitting in church and during the message, the pastor said, “You can trust God in the dark.” This is an uncharted territory for us. I cannot predict or see what tomorrow holds, but I don’t have to. My Captain will guide me in these open seas! When we got home from church that night, Dubs called me and Jason outside to look at the moon. It was so beautiful! So beautiful I took out my phone to take a picture. Through the lens of my camera on my phone was this picture:

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There wasn’t a cross to my naked eye or in the lens of the iPad, just my phone. As I was staring at the picture, Jesus whispered so gently to me, “You can trust Me in the dark.”  He continually speaks, comforts, and carries me. He is SO good. He can be trusted. The dark has nothing on Him!

I don’t know about you, but knowing that my God can be trusted in the dark gives me such peace, confidence, strength, and joy. He offers you the same! Does it feel dark for you in your life? In your marriage? Parenting? Work? Finances? Health?

One day at a time, friends. Look to the cross and be reminded that your BIG, LOVING, and CAPABLE God can be trusted in the unknown. He loves you. He delights in you. He cares about the details in your life. He wants to meet you in the dark and walk hand in hand guiding you.

Will you take His hand and let Him lead you through the unknown?  You should, He’s a good guide 🙂

Our Nanners

This girl…she is so amazing she gets her own post. I met Savannah the summer before she was going into her sophomore year of high school. She was one of the brave ones to ever take a Vantage class. (Short lived organization that I started to teach teens about their worth and sex education)

We had JUST been place with Weiland and she wrote me the sweetest message on Facebook to tell me that she would love to babysit him anytime and she didn’t want us to pay her. She just wanted to help us. Being that she was 14 and it was my first child, I was so touched but scared to really leave him with anyone at all.

A little while later my friend Rachel and I decided to start a small group for sophomore girls and so we asked Savannah to join. What I noticed about Savannah was that she was SO sweet, quiet, attentive, and had the best little laugh! After just a couple weeks I knew after watching her mature and sweet demeanor, she could be trusted with Weiland. This began one of the most rewarding relationships in my life yet.

We met Nanners 5 years ago. In the last 5 years we have grown to love her like our own. She is apart of the Shafer family..whether she likes it or not 🙂

This girl LOVES Jesus. This girl loves those around her so well. She is kind. Gentle. Selfless. Generous. She is funny. She is passionate about showing the hurt, lost, and broken God’s heart for them.

Three weeks from today our Nanners will be coming home from a 5 month mission trip with YWAM. (Youth With A Mission) She spent the first 3 months in the UK and then she has been in Peru for almost 2 months. She is about $500.00 short in paying for her school. I would love to help her pay that off before she comes home so that she doesn’t get here with that debt over her head when she doesn’t have a job yet.

So, I come to you, my kind and amazing and generous readers 🙂 If you find it in your hearts to help this amazing girl out, you can click here and it will take you to her blog where you can read about her time with YWAM as well as donate.

I know that money is hard earned and I wouldn’t come to you to ask you to give if I didn’t 100% believe in my girl and the work she is doing!

Thank you for linking arms with me on this!

 

Watch Out for Counterfeits 

A friend of mine started a make up business and so I have been asking her to show me how to do my make up. We finally arranged to get together today to pick up some necessities and then come back to the house so that she could teach me some techniques. 

When we got to the house she asked me to go and grab my make up brushes… I came out with my case of brushes. Several years ago I got them on Groupon for only $19.99! For those of you that don’t know, QUALITY brushes tend to be somewhat expensive, so I thought I got these for a steal! Well… they would be, IF… they were quality! I was sucked into marketing and purchased counterfeit make up brushes. They look good to my untrained eye. I felt like a pretty legit adult woman owning this many fancy brushes. But to Courtney, one glance with her trained eye and she gracefully informed me that my brushes were horrible and then educated me why it’s important to own quality ones. 

This got me thinking… how many times do we fall for the counterfeit? How many times do we find ourselves settling in life? In a relationship? With a job or position? Looking for counterfeit joy and peace in food, shopping, drugs, alcohol, or sex!?  

So then I was thinking, how do we know if it is counterfeit??  No one goes out and starts the day looking and holding out for the fake. Well, this is what I came up with… 

If God is true peace. True joy. The real deal that meets all of our needs then we have to KNOW Him and His heart. The more we know about Him, the more the counterfeit will stand out. The more that we know His love for us and His pursuit for us, the less time we will waste on the counterfeit. It will be like Courtney with the brushes, she knew with one glance that they were fake because of the time she spends with the real. 

This week try to get to know your loving Father a little bit more! Journal. Hike. Pray. Put on some worship music. Join a small group or Bible study. Maybe it’s time to start making attending church a priority. 

I don’t know what it looks like for you to get to know Jesus. We are all wired so different. But I do know that He longs for you. He delights in you. He would love for you to get to know Him and His character better. 

Counterfeits are no fun. Life is too short to settle for the fake or even “good” version. Be patient and hold out for God’s best! It’s always worth it! He is always worth it! 

Momma Knows

Weiland has always been a source of laughter, energy, and crazy smarts. He started crawling at 4 months, talking at 8 months, and taught himself how to swim at 2 years old. Because he is my oldest, I didn’t have first hand experience of what was normal or not. I would always have people tell me how smart he was or how busy he was, but I didn’t know any different so I would just smile and say, “Thank you.”

Weiland’s birth mom did meth amongst several other drugs while she was pregnant with him. We have always been told by doctors that if there weren’t any immediate effects at birth, they would probably surface once he entered school. At that time it is very common to see the signs of ADHD in children that have been exposed to meth in utero.

When Dubs was 3 years old we had him evaluated by an incredible licensed educational psychologist named, Brent Cooper.  He spent so much time with us and Weiland. He was kind and patient and extremely knowledgeable. Because Weiland was only 3 years old, ALL BOY, and had just lost his foster sister, we all decided that it would be best to just watch him and then see how he did once he started Transitional Kindergarten.

Anyone who knows my Dubster, knows what life he brings into a room. He is the most confident and independent 5 year old that I have ever met. He is fearless. He is brave. He is hilarious and creative. He is stubborn. He is strong-willed. He never stops, unless he is sleeping 🙂

I can’t tell you how many tears I have shed over the feelings of failure, frustration, and discouragement over parenting this sweet boy.

Recently as Jesus has been speaking to me that my kids are the disciples that I need to focus on making, there has been a new excitement that has surfaced when it comes to parenting my kids. Especially Dubs, since he is older and interactive.

This month I decided that once a month we will go on a date, just Weiland and I. We will get dressed up and he will pick where he wants to go to dinner. We went a couple weeks ago and it was amazing. He talked about it ALL day. He picked out his clothes, showered, and made sure daddy helped him smell good for me. He then made up a song and sang it into my phone so that we would have a “date song”. He responded so positively to that date that I realized it needs to be regular. We have our next one scheduled for March 15th and he wants to go to Islands 🙂

I had his parent teacher conference yesterday. His teacher confirmed everything that I already knew..He is kind. He has a big heart. He is funny. He is confident. He is independent. He is a “genius” with the computers. He LOVES to talk. He has a short attention span. He is busy. His teacher and I got talking about ways to explore helping his energy level and attention span. We came up with an idea to experiment. I immediately left the conference to get him a bottle of Mountain Dew. You should have seen his face when he was told this morning that he got to have soda with his breakfast! 🙂 It worked! He didn’t get in trouble today! WHAT?! Mountain Dew to my 5 year old before he heads off to school calmed him down!? PRAISE JESUS! 🙂

All of us have different children. Even those of us with multiple children, they each have their own temperament. What works on one may not and will probably not work on the other. All I do know is that you know your child better than anyone. You know them better than your best friend, your parents, your siblings, and/or the lady judging you with an evil eye at Target while your child is having a melt down laying in the middle of the aisle. There is nothing that can replace a mother’s instinct. It can cause you to jump up and go check on your kid in the other room just as they are shoving a lego head up their nostril. We just know.

The next time you feel pressure about……

  • Which school to put your kid in
  • What kind of food to feed him/her
  • When he/she should be sleeping through the night,
  • How old they are potty trained
  • If they are still using a pacifier or bottle,
  • Why or why don’t you have a structured system in place
  • Do they know their letters and colors
  • Are they walking yet
  • How many words do they know

Stop! Remember.. Momma knows! YOU know your child. As long as you love your babies and they are happy and well taken care of, you are good! Don’t let pressures steal your joy of being the best momma possible to the little ones God has entrusted you with! Live today, in the present. We are doing the best that we know how and Jesus will meet us in our inadequacies.

You were given your children. No one else, YOU are who God picked to raise you kids..Love yourself, shake the pressures off, and take your kid to Rite aid for the best ice cream cone on the planet 🙂

Never Stop Dating 

Magic Mondays. They were exactly what it sounds like. Every Monday, after Jason and I would drop off Weiland to daycare, we would head over to Wilma & Frieda’s. (Best breakfast in the desert) After about an hour and a half of delicious food, amazing coffee, and good conversation we would head home. Jason would go on a long ride and I would either get a pedicure or just have some quiet time at home. We would then come back together in the afternoon to do some kind of job around the house. I’ll admit it, Mondays were my favorite day of the week. Yes, my favorite day of the week did not include my son. Just keeping it real 🙂

Jason and I didn’t always have Magic Mondays. Once Weiland came into our lives, it turned us upside down. I never knew how selfish I really was until I became a mom. By far the hardest adjustment for me was going from no kids to 1 kid. Then I struggled with so much guilt since I wanted a baby so bad, and then complained so much once he came…that’s for another post at another time 🙂

We had been married 5 years without kids so we had a routine of spontaneity and doing what we wanted, when we wanted. Double income and no kids meant awesome vacations,  coffee dates, hanging late at night with friends, and then of course, sleeping in just to name a few amazing realities when you don’t have children.

When Dub’s turned about 18 months old it hit Jason and I that we needed to date again. And, then Magic Monday was born. It was during this season that I realized the importance of dating our spouse. Weiland is now 5 and now that we have multiple kids it is no longer financially responsible for us to do Magic Mondays. But, dating has not stopped. We make it a point to go on a date at least once a week. It may be breakfast, coffee, or a hike. It doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is that we have that time to connect without the distraction of the kids.

I get it, life gets busy. Sports, work, homework, and/or church consume our days. If we don’t make our marriages a priority we may survive, but we will not thrive. I know for me, outside of the Lord, my marriage is my most important relationship and I have to take care of it as best as I can. Right now we are in a really busy season. REALLY BUSY. Because of this, I knew I had to fight hard to make sure Jason and I don’t lose our weekly date. Because of this I will text one of our sitters the beginning of the week and ask her when she is available for the week. Then I will pick one of her available times and make that our date.

I know that if you are married and reading this, you know that marriage is hard. It is SO HARD. Because of this, we need to do everything in our power to make it and keep it a priority. You may be thinking, “I don’t have money for a babysitter or to go on a date.” It doesn’t have to be anything expensive. Two hours would be $20-$30 for a sitter. Then you can go on a hike, a walk, a drive, or maybe just go and get coffee. You will be a better parent if you and your spouse are doing well.

Life is too short to be too busy for those we love. Take care of yourself and take care of your marriage. Nothing good ever comes out of neglect.

So, pick up your phone. Text a sitter. Schedule a date. Let me know how it goes! 🙂