Overwhelmed in the Best Ways

You guys, I have been so freaking busy the past couple of months that I feel like my head is spinning on the reg. I really hate when people talk about how busy they are as a competition for who is somehow the coolest, but for realsies I am overwhelmed with busy. But in all the very best ways. And it's kind of hilarious and fun because I think it's that sneaky God guy again.

A few months ago, after God snatched me up and was like "Hey you! It's time!", I felt like I was constantly searching to figure out what He wanted for my life. I knew He had called me to something, or some things, but I didn't feel like I had any direction. I spoke to the girls in my bible study about it, talked with my mom and hubs, and started praying about it. My main issue is that my little brain is fullfullfull of ideas at all times (pretty sure I've shared that multiple times before), but I can't ever commit to any one thing. I have business ideas and ideas for groups and this and that, but nothing ever comes to pass because it's TOO MUCH. And it's also not THE THING. Like, I always knew there were certain things that I was meant to do, just wasn't sure how to get there.

Funnily enough, God seems to be the key to figuring it all out. Who knew? So after chatting with all these people about my conundrum, I decided to pray for all of my ideas to stop. Like, please God turn my brain off and just don't let me have any more ideas because I can't deal with the battle in my head of having the ideas and not having the answer for how to pursue them.

And this was probably the first time I have ever KNOWN that God answered a prayer, because I went from rattlerattlerattle with ideas all day long, to nothing. Like, silence. It was honestly like He just flipped a switch and the ideas were gone. And it was AWESOME. It was so relaxing and freeing and all the things I needed it to be. 

After enjoying that silence for maybe a week or two, I started praying a different prayer. I started praying for the right idea. The idea (or ideas) that God wanted me to pursue. And within no time at all I had a new idea that I'd never had before, that I wasn't even sure that I loved. But I talked to my mom and husband about it, and they both thought it was a great idea. I brought it up to my dad, and he said he thought it was really smart. And I was so surprised, because what a random idea? So I started pursuing it. And instead of pursuing it for a few days and getting frustrated and giving up, things just seemed easier and I kept at it. And before I knew it, it was a real thing that was actually happening.

And now we have Haven Gray Kids.

If you would have told me three or four months ago that my mom and I would have an online shop for boys clothing I would have thought that was kind of ridiculous. But also, if you would have told me like six months ago that I would be a crazy Jesus lady I would have laughed in your face. So basically, what do I know? Now I've got my shop and I've got Jesus and here we are. And I'm loving it.

So this gave me the "career" that I think I've been longing for since becoming a stay at home mom. Which I love that I have the opportunity to do, but man I am not cut out to be a stay at home mom 24/7...I admit and embrace that fact now. This little shop is giving me a purpose, a to-do list to check off which I need, and still lets me be home with my babies. Win-win.

But I also knew there was more. I knew there was something I needed to be doing that gives back to other women, that helps them build community, that gives them something to look forward to. I started a little Thursday night dinner club with a bunch of random friends of mine earlier this summer that has been fab, and I'm going to be a table leader this upcoming year for MOPS. Both of those things were exciting and fun, but I still felt like there was more.

And wouldn't you know, all of the sudden my MOPS group needed a publicity leader. I don't know if anyone knows this about me, but I have a degree in Public Relations. I read the job description and was like "Huh. That's crazy, that's sounds exactly like a job I would apply for". But I thought I'd let someone else take it on. And then a week later they were still looking for someone. So I was like "God? Is that you?", and I reached out to the girls leading MOPS and they were immediately on board and suddenly I'm on the leadership team for this ministry at a church that I just started regularly attending a few months ago. Like, what? But I'm telling you. God is so funny.

So I went from searching nonstop to find my "thing", and all of the sudden I have so many things. So many wonderful fun things that are filling me up to the tippy top with contentedness and joy. I am super overwhelmed, but it really is in all the very best ways. I know there is more to come. I attended Declare, which is a Christian women's blogging conference last weekend (again, what?), and I feel like I had a few experiences that gave me a glimpse into some things that are to come. I don't know when. Years from now? Next week? Neither would surprise me. But it's exciting stuff.

So. I haven't been around here as much as I would like because of all these things, but I am happy and loving life and planning to make my way back here. Even if blogging, writing, whatever, isn't the "thing" like I have always thought, I do know that it's something that I love and will always keep up to some degree. I felt like I got a VERY clear message that I needed to "let go of the idea of what it's supposed to look like" at Declare, so I'm not going to force anything anymore. I'm not going to try and force myself to come here and blog regularly or anything that doesn't feel right. So I hope I'm here often, but I'm just not sure. Life is a crazy mystery, I'm apparently just along for the ride ;)

Gavin - Eight Months


Gavin, 

Oh, you sweet little thing. You are the craziest little baby I have ever known, but you are so sweet that I just can't be mad! I just told your Daddy the other day one of my favorite things about having kids is watching their personalities develop. It's such a surprise because you have no idea what you're going to get. And let me tell you, after the sweet, calm baby that you were, you are definitely a surprise. 

I've thought for quite some time now that you are going to be a bit of a daredevil, and you certainly are. Your brother started climbing up the outside of the staircase for the first time the other day, and when Nana asked him why he was doing it, he said "Gabin does it!". So at just eight months you are already influencing your cautious big brother to do wild and crazy things. You are going to be a handful I just know it! 

You are constantly into things that you shouldn't be. Eating rocks out of the fireplace is a major attraction these days, as is attempting to stick your fingers in power outlets and chewing on electrical cords. You escape into empty rooms all the time, and the fact that they are pitch black doesn't bother you at all. You just crawl right in to the dark and find something to chew on. You also just discovered the little trampoline in the playroom, and if I can't find you that's typically where you will be, perched up there trying to bounce. Unfortunately it's way too tall for you, so I'm pretty sure you're going to dive off head first before long and hurt yourself. 
You have gone from laughing and smiling nonstop to becoming quite studious. Grayson was studious as a baby, but you're developing the trait later. You are always looking around, studying every little thing with a serious look. But you're still easy to make giggle, and you love when Daddy tosses you in the air, when I put you on my legs and pump you up and down, and when we tickle you. You also love when Grayson chases you through the house and then catches/tackles you. Mommy does not love the tackling as much, but you're pretty good to scream at him if he takes it too far. You guys wear me out. 

We are having the hardest time getting you to eat anything other than milk straight from Mommy. Just within the last few days you've gotten a lot better about eating about a third a jar or pouch of baby food at a time, and you're really into eating pieces of bread or veggies that I put on your highchair tray for you. We've been attempting some formula because I'm so busy that it's getting hard to exclusively feed you myself, and it is NOT happening. You straight up refuse that. But you loooove to drink water. If you're freaking out about something, giving you a drink of water generally will calm you down. Strange, but helpful. 

You are crawling like a little maniac, but you still don't crawl normal. Now you crawl with your legs almost completely straight, and you look like a little jungle/cave baby. It's hilarious, and you are so fast! I actually took you to the chiropractor to see if something is out of whack, because you refuse to crawl normal. I'm hoping now you're all fixed up and can crawl like a normal baby, but if you do I'll honestly miss your crazy little cave baby crawl. You also pull up and climb on everything, but you have zero balance if you're not holding on to something, so I don't think you'll be walking anytime soon. 

Just in the last couple of days you've been doing A LOT of the "mamamamama" thing, and yesterday for the first time I got a few DEFINITE "Mama"s, so I think it's safe to say that Mama is your first word! Yaaaay! Grayson's was Addie, so I'm so happy I won this time! (Although I'm sure if Addie were still around she would have beat me). You only really have said it when you've been upset and crying for me, but hey! I'll take it! Last night you woke up and started SCREAMING "MaMaaaaaaaaaa!!!!" It was kind of hilarious, but it sure made me come running quick! 

You and your brother are playing together so much these days, but are also starting to fight a lot more frequently, too. So far nothing too extreme, but he hates when you don't play the "right" way with him or come touch his toys when he's playing with them, and you absolutely do not like when he takes a toy from you. But the way you two light up around each other sometimes is the BEST thing I've ever seen. When I picked Grayson up from his class at church on Sunday and told him we were going to get you, he said "I missed Gabin!". Ugh, I love it so much. 
One of the cutest things going on these days is all the dancing and singing you're doing. If you hear anything that even resembles a beat, like something thumping more than twice, you start moving your little shoulders and hips and it is so cute! You go fast or slow depending on the beat, so I'm thinking you got your brothers natural rhythm. You have no idea how exciting this is for your parents because we both like to think we are excellent dancers ;) You also sing along with me and Grayson when we sing to you, and it is hilarious. You're basically screaming/squealing, but you'll do it through an entire song of "ABC's" or "Twinkle Little Star" and stop immediately when we do. So cute. Also, anytime I start singing "You are my Sunshine" you almost go into a trance. It's what I sing when I'm rocking you to sleep, so I think it just turns on some type of sleep switch in you. So funny. 

The only way I can get through a diaper change with you is to sing "ABC's" or distract you with something you shouldn't have, like a remote or diaper cream or something. Getting you dressed is no easy task, either. Basically, any time you have to sit still you can't stand it. You are ALWAYS on the move. Like, never ever are you still unless you're about to pass out. I'm excited for/secretly dreading the day you start walking. You will be unstoppable. 

Once again, 8 month old Gavin is my favorite Gavin, but there seriously has not been one single bad phase with you. I think I say it every month, but you are a true JOY, baby boy! You are so smiley and happy and funny and ornery and sweet and cuddly and smart and cute - I know, I know all mamas think their babies are the best, but I swear, you are the best little angel baby out there! I adore you so much, sweet Gav, and I love watching you grow into this crazy sweet little mama's boy you're becoming! 

My Heart Hurts

When I first opened up my laptop, it was with the intention of writing a Thankful Thursday post, since I haven't done one in a couple of weeks. But this morning I just can't write a happy go lucky post about all the trivial things in life that make me happy. This morning, my heart hurts. Like, physically, my chest feels tight and I find myself constantly on the verge of tears. Because our world is so, so, so broken. And the weight of that, of the things that we see on a daily basis, of the hatred that is constantly spewed out of people's mouths, of the horrific injustices that happen regularly - the weight of that feels like it's just too much today.
I know there are two sides to every story, I know there are "reasons" and "excuses" for the way things happen, I know that I most certainly don't have any answers, I know that I am completely ignorant to so much of what goes on in our world - and that's largely by choice, because I can't bring myself to read or watch the news most days because it is sickening. And terrifying. And absolutely, positively heartbreaking. But what I do know for sure is that this world is broken. We live in a world that scares me. It scares me that my sons will have to grow up in this world.

I have always had a heart for the underdog. I have always been compassionate to a fault. If a debate comes up, I am siding with the "other", the person without the privilege, the person who may be misunderstood or at a disadvantage. I have always been painfully aware of the advantages that I have in my life, because I have so many. I am a young, relatively attractive white girl who grew up with all of the material and monetary securities I could have ever hoped for. I had parents who loved and protected me from all of the "bad" in the world for as long as they could. I have never actually feared for my life, I have never felt like a true outsider, I have never felt as if I didn't belong in a certain place because of the way I looked or dressed or the color of my skin. If a cop pulls me over, I play dumb and smile a lot and they send me on my way. If I walk into a room, I can guarantee that no one feels threatened or uncomfortable or nervous. If I encounter any type of tension, I can almost always smooth it over without much effort. I am privileged, there is no denying that.

Instead of making me feel entitled or judgmental toward other people who may be different than me, this has filled me with a sense of responsibility. I have ALWAYS wanted to help those who aren't able or aren't sure how or feel like they don't know where to begin to help themselves. I feel such a burden for anyone who is hurting, who is confused, who is angry, who is unfairly treated - my heart honestly feels like it could break.

I have no answers. I don't know where we go, I don't know how we begin to heal in our communities, as a country, as a human race. I don't know how you fix something so horribly, horribly broken. The only thing I know to do is to pray. To pray and beg God to please give us answers. Please guide us, please help us, please open people's eyes on both sides of all of these horribly divisive situations in our world. Let us see the common thread, let us view the "other" out there as human. As someone's mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, mommy, daddy - whatever they may be, they are HUMAN. They are someone's person. They are someone's whole world.

I feel like no matter how much I try to avoid all media, all the crazy stories, almost every day there is something horrifying that goes on. Terrorists killing massive amounts of people around the world and right here in our own country. Children being abused and neglected and murdered. Men being killed by people who are meant to protect us. Politicians that speak hatred and judgement and spew lies out of their mouths. How will any of it get better? How?

All I can do this morning is sit here with worship music on and lay my broken heart here before God and pray. I don't even know what I'm praying anymore. I feel raw and bruised and broken, and I can't imagine how people that are directly affected by any of this must feel. The pain is almost too much for me to bear, HOW is anyone surviving this?

If you're a believer, please pray with me. Please pray for our country, for all of the hurting people out there. Please pray, no matter who you believe is right or wrong in any situation, just pray for all of the human beings who are being directly affected by the horrible things in our world. Pray for direction, for something to do, for a way to make a difference. That is my prayer. That I won't only hurt this way, but that I'll feel some direction for something that I can do to make the tiniest difference right here in my own little piece of the world where I have influence. Because something has to be done.