Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Vulnerability // Keeping it real

My little helper 💙 This morning I felt I failed as a mother... there was far too much shouting and nagging and frustrated groans on my part... the school run always feels like a disruption, no matter how prepared we are. I sent one teary little girl into school and came home feeling dreadful. Teaching and training these little ones is a tough gig... and it's the biggest means of sanctification in my life right now. Because as they show their selfishness, mine is revealed too... and seeing your two-year-old angrily shouting words at his sister that you have just uttered yourself is a painful glimpse in the mirror. So thankful for the cross. So thankful for grace. So thankful for new mercies every morning. Every. Single. Day.

I posted this on my Instagram account yesterday. Within moments the comments started rolling in. Clearly I'd hit a nerve. After a rough start to my morning, and an all too vivid reflection of my parenting, I wasn't the only one feeling like a failure as a mother sometimes.

Instagram is a funny old world - a world of pretty pictures and perfect squares. It's often criticized for being an unreal representation of life. And in many ways it is - but isn't that the beauty of it? After all, who wants to look at a grid full of someone else's washing up, ironing pile, or general clutter? We all have it, we know we do... and yet instagram is this wonderful little world where we all pretend it doesn't exist. It is our best life on show. And that's inspiring and creative and beautiful.

But it's not reality.

 Reality is masks off, filter-free living. Honesty and openness... and that's actually what I love about Instagram too... if you look beyond the pretty picture to the caption below, you realise there's a lot of very real people behind the pretty pictures. With very real struggles. Just like you.

And when you have a bad morning, or a rough start... its good to put it out there. Because some people look at your pretty feed and think your life is flawless... when we all know full well its not.

I know it can appear sorted, and idyllic and "the grass is always greener" but the reality is family life is family life... there is bickering and selfishness, harsh words and frustration. Of course, we try to train and teach our children, and in the training and the teaching comes sanctification for ourselves (we too demonstrate allllllll the traits above!) and we rejoice in growth and kindness... and the good moments are the ones we want to record, to remember in thankfulness... but the tough moments are also worth documenting, because they are where God will do his work in our own hearts.

So if you find yourself on Instagram, or Facebook, or any form of social media and wondering why everyone else's life is so idyllic and yours feels such a mess... just remember... we're all in the same boat, recording the good stuff, learning through the bad, and so relieved when someone has the guts to be vulnerable.

And maybe we'll all keep keeping it real together.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Our Little Football Fan // What's matter Juan Mata?

Learning sight words is a big aspect of Heidi's homework at the moment, and, after a slow-ish start, she is now on an absolute roll with it! So much so, that one little brother looking on, decided he wanted to get in on the action.

Key words, it was not to be... instead, Jonas has started memorising his Match Attax cards!

These are the little things I want to treasure and remember. Their little personalities and interests developing, and this little guy is so full of fun at the moment!

I think "What's matter" Juan Mata is my favourite!


Monday, 15 January 2018

Nine Months Old // Our Darling Elias

I have felt particularly emotional this week! I'm not entirely sure why... I walked home on the school run last week and chatted to a Mum for the first time in ages about Heidi's illness. All those old emotions flooding back... I've been reminiscing too, throwing on those dangerous rose-tinted glasses and realising all the lovely things I used to do with my girls, and feeling guilty that I haven't perhaps been as creative with my boys. And then there's this little one, who has hit another milestone... nine months.

Nine months with our darling teeny tiny Elias, who is now a chubby, chirpy sitting little man.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Siblings in January // Finding their places

The Christmas period wasn't the easiest for our little sibling tribe... with Elias still being small, and not yet really able to join the pack, the dynamic of three can be tricky. Any combination of two of them, and peace reigns, but the minute three of them are in the mix, it seems to get complicated. The first week and a half of the holidays was lovely - they played to their hearts content and enjoyed being in each others pockets again. But the last week was tough - housebound with no car and bad weather, the bickering drove me slightly insane at times.

I don't want to paint the picture that life is always rosy round here!

Friday, 12 January 2018

Back To Basics // A New Year's change on the blog...

I've missed my blog... I've been missing it for a long time I think. I've been here, yes, updating and posting - pretty pictures and sporadic thoughts... but yesterday a post popped up on my feed from when the girls were small and I realised, somewhere along the track my blogging has changed. I think I've succumbed to the pressure to only post when I have something really important to say, or beautiful pictures to post, when what I've always really just loved about blogging is recording the funny things, the precious memories, the day to day normality of life as a stay-at-home mum.

This is such a short season.

I felt quite teary yesterday, looking at pictures of my precious baby girls... and wondering when on earth they got so big. The chubby cheeks have thinned out, the dolls have been replaced by thick chapter books... the friendship with each other, now shared with many other little girls too. They are no longer all each other have got.

On Wednesday afternoon I had a little time with my oldest girl. I expect so much from her, and yet I was reminded she is not even 6 and a half yet. Still so much growing up to do... I realised that while I savoured and cherished so much of her early years, the past couple of years have whizzed by in a haze... school does that... as do multiple siblings.

But I think a huge part of it has been that I have stopped recording. The little daily quirks and funny conversations... the everyday memories. And therefore I'm not capturing them... but instead they are being swallowed up in daily busyness.

This year I want that to change.

I want to stop worrying if what I post will 'land' with my 'audience'... and instead, post what's on my heart... pretty pictures or not.

So I'm going to stop planning posts, three weeks in advance... I'm going to stop putting huge amounts of time into a small number of posts, and start going back to writing on a whim... recording what the Lord is laying on my heart and what these precious little people are up to.

I don't know what it will look like... but I'm throwing off the professionalism.

Back to basics.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Thankfuness in the Throws of Life // An Unexpected New Year

It's been the longest break from blogging I've had in a while... and its felt healthy, and right, to be with my family in this season. To have invested time focusing and preparing our hearts for Christmas, and spending the aftermath sorting and minimalising... preparing for the fresh start that a new year always promises.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Eight Months... and a special milestone!

Last Friday marked a very special day for you, our little Elias boy...

Not only was it your 8 month birthday, but on that day, you had been in the world exactly 34 weeks and 6 days.

That is exactly the length of time I carried you for.