Motherhood

No one tells you how hard it is……

Well, they tell you but does any mother to be actually believe them? 

Or is it something you don’t know until you experience it? 

You can’t know how hard motherhood is until you are in it. Until you hold that small fragile bundle of preciousness, feeling the weight, the responsibility of life in your hands. 

You can’t know the long nights, the zombie, dog tired days until you feel it. 

You don’t know how your nerves will strain and threaten to snap as that shrill shriek reaches the highest pitch for the umpteenth time in the last hour. 

You don’t know how you will hold the puke in your throat as you wipe the poop that exploded from the diaper right up to midback. 

You would never dream that you are capable of the murderous thoughts that come in to your mind when the love of your life interferes with naptime. 

It brings me to my knees….it pushes all my cracks until I scream…..and I realize that this is the point of all hard things. To crush my pride, break my independence. 

To bring me near….to bring God near and have him fill our cracks with grace.

To have me cry for him and for him to fill that need. 

For him to show up and give me strength to love when I least expect it. 

And as I continue on, rising in the wee hours of the night, sucking the snot out of noses that can’t blow themselves. 

As we continue on….

As mothers 

We know….

I know that it’s all worth it….

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Thoughts for a New Year 

As I walk through my life, this new wife, new mother life. As the days aproach 2018, three words have been swirling in my head, like a gentle snow blown by a soft wind. 

SAVOUR….SEE….SURRENDER….

SAVOUR Christ. 

SAVOUR the cross.

SAVOUR your forgivenness, your justification and daily sanctification worked out by Jesus in you

SAVOUR the grace poured out daily for you when you can’t even give grace to yourself.  

Then look up and 

SEE….

SEE the people….

SEE God’s image bearers. 

       Fulfill your name..

  Jessica….

God

 SEES….

Ignore subtle hints of what this person’s motive might be or what evil intent that other person might have….and just

 SEE them…human being…

Sit down and listen, ask questions…

 SEE them, beautiful, messy, needy of grace just as you are. 

SURRENDER….

SURRENDER your need to earn God’s favour and rest that it’s already yours

SURRENDER your son to his heavenly Father. 

SURRENDER the hope of a clean house, leave that anxiety when things don’t get done and rest in the Savior….

SURRENDER the hope in money, things, time to yourself, and hope in Christ…

SURRENDER the hope of a perfect Instagram, worthy body and give thanks for the beautiful, mother marked temple. 

SURRENDER, lay down your defenses and trust…….

These arent resolutions.  Those tend to end up failures or another tick on the list of my self righteousness. 

Instead they are prayers….knowing that they aren’t even my own ideas with out my Saviour in me. 

So as I enter the new year, I will pray…

Pray these prayers listed above….and rest in the fact that God holds me.

Hello Again…

Its been awhile since I’ve posted on this page.

Years in fact. In general I’ve hardly written at all.

But today I opened this long forgotten blog and realized I have a platform to express my thoughts and feelings that have been swirling around in my head over the past weeks and months. I didn’t realize how much I needed an outlet until I pulled out my journal just minutes ago and wrote out the many topics that have been marinating in my brain.

I filled two pages.

I know not many people will read this. I won’t even share what I am writing yet past this humble site. But I need to process. I need to express what God is teaching me and how my heart is stretching and…….

hopefully….someone might benefit too.

Cornerstone

In two days, I will stand clothed in my wedding dress. I will stand on the stage of our church’s sanctuary holding my groom’s hand.

Together with our guests, we will sing our favorite song….

“My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name”

This song did not become our favorite song from experiences together. It was already our favorite song when we started dating.

“Christ alone, Cornerstone, he is Lord, Lord of all”

We both sang it separately in our hard times. Trials God chose bless us with.

The song became my favorite after a hard, hard break up. I would stand in the bathroom, look in the mirror and try, try to sing this song. The words would barely come, but they were a promise.

“Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all”

They were a promise I could stand on. A fight song, breathing, whispering that Christ is Lord. Lord over my pain. Lord over my situation.

“When Darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil”

I would sing the song in church. God seemed to have it pop up everywhere. More often than not, I would break down in tears, but these verses kept resonating anyways.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless stand before the throne.

As the pain slowly healed, and I continued walking the narrow road, I kept singing this song. It was a reminder of where I had been, where I was, and that Christ is victorious.

On Saturday, Brandon and I will sing this song. I may barely be singing, because of my excitement and happiness but in my heart it will be a shout.

God is faithful. Christ is Lord. Even when the darkness closes around you. Even when you barely have a thread of hope running through your fingertips. The darkness will not last forever. That anchor of hope will grow stronger.

“Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord”

“Lord of all”

 

 

Come with Me and Visit My City

How do I explain that my city won’t always be my city?

Its temporary…..

My roots are normally planted in Minnesota, surrounded by cornfields, pine trees and long country roads, the perfect rural setting. In the winter snow heavily blankets the ground and the temperatures are bitterly cold.  I run on these country roads through snow, rain and sunshine, putting in the miles, my feet pounding the pavement.

But I am not there.

I am here, in a city half way across the world

…to continue reading please visit this link.

http://www.djiboutijones.com/2014/11/lets-go-flaneuring-in-the-eternal-spring-city/

I have been blessed to be published by one of my favorite blogs! Enjoy!

Thoughts from my Dishwater

I had an epiphany today.

My hands busy, scrubbing dishes.

My mind wandering to this new thing in my life called celiacs.

Someone with celiacs has to avoid so many things. One little spec of gluten is enough for the small intestine to go balistic.

This means that you can’t use pans that have had gluten in them.

If a plastic tub has had any gluten in it, it is forever contaminated.

Non stick pans as well……

Forget about eating out, just having food prepped in the same kitchen with gluten is enough to ruin that food for a celiac.

“Did you know?” my mom said to me as I was baking cream cheese bars as this whole celiac thing was beginning to whirl around us,

“that when you use flour, it doesn’t fully settle for twenty-four hours?”

I rolled my eyes then.

It sounded crazy how careful a person has to be.

Yeah….my mom was crazy….this can’t be what having celiacs looks like.

My stomach is starting to convince me otherwise.

I remember the Israelites….studying Levitus and Numbers last year, I learned about all the many laws God gave to them. Laws that were meant to show them what holiness looks like, that they couldn’t keep all of them, that they needed a Savior.

For sin separated them, us…from God.

One little speck of sin is enough for us to not be worthy to be in the presence, to be in communion with God.

Just like one little speck of gluten is enough to make a celiac double over in pain, one little sin is enough to send us to hell.

I close my eyes, so thankful that the story doesn’t end there. My mom, brother, sister and I will live with celiacs for the rest of our lives.

This disease a constant reminder of the holiness God demands but we can’t obtain.

We need a Savior.

Jesus coming and atoning for that sin on the cross. Washing us clean from all of that sin, so we can be holy.

I am thankful, overwhelmed that God would choose to give us that ever present picture of how much we need him!

I am looking forward to the day when I will be changed, “in a flash, in a twinkling of an eye” and I will be given an imperishable body…one that can handle gluten.

But for now I will cling to Jesus as my mom put it so simply yet profoundly….”I don’t need bread because Jesus says He is the bread of life”.

The Silent Killer

“Should I just call her?”

“Yeah…I want to know…..shes not telling us something”

Two of my sisters and I were in Europe, helping put on a kids camp.

My whole family all had been tested for celiacs just three days before we had stepped on the plane to fly over the pond.

My mom told us that she would tell us when they got the results.

We heard nothing.

Hannah got antsy, so I started texting my mom. She didn’t really say what the results were.

When she said that, we knew it was bad.

So we decided to call her……Late at night the three of us sit and hear the results.

Half of our family, including Sarah and I have celiacs.

Four people out of the eight of us, now have a disease that whenever gluten enters our system our body attacks not it, but the small instestine.

Many people don’t have symptoms, like my brother. He tested positive on the blood test, yet never had a stomache ache. Yet, we are told if he doesn’t go off gluten he will die. Slowly the body will attack the small intestine the part of the body responsible for absorbing nutrients and he will die of malnutrition.

For there to actually be a diagnoses there must be a second test beyond the initial blood test. They put you out and go down the throat, scraping the small intestine and taking pictures.

You didn’t have to be a doctor to see in J.J.s pictures that his intestine didn’t look healthy. It reminded me of flesh that was red and sore.

They said my mom’s small intestine was just one step down from cancer.

I can’t get that test until I get back from being caretaker to an orphan in Asia. Sarah is waiting until I get home.

I hoped…..assumed that I would be like J.J. and not get any symptoms.

yeah…think again.

Last week, I started getting a stomach ache. It didn’t last forever. It would just last for so long and then it would be gone. It would make me not want to eat…and yet my body was getting weak so I would eat. One night I totally ignored my better judgement and gorged myself with pancakes. Yeah….not a good idea.

Yeap…..my body is starting to tell me when gluten enters my system and I am not really sure how to handle it.

I have seen my brother handle a disease…..I  grieved when we found out that he would never be able to live a life not dependent on insulin shots.

But I don’t know how to handle it for myself, to be in a room and know that I can’t celebrate at a wedding by eating the wedding cake…though this Sunday I did.

To know that when the ladies come for study this week, the treats they bring, I really shouldn’t eat.

Its hard….I know God has a purpose and that it will all work out for good, but what do you do with the feelings?

How do you take the feelings and ground them on truth?

“Feelings aren’t reality” I texted a friend tonight….but how do you live that?

I don’t know…..but I do know one thing. I know that I have a rock to cling to.

When my feelings seem to overwhelm me I know that “when all around my soul gives way, He alone is my hope and stay”.

I know that “when darkness to seems to hide His face, I will rest on His unchanging grace”

I know that even if my feelings are crushing me and I don’t know how to handle this reality called “celiacs” I know that God made my “inward parts”. Celiacs was never out of his loving hands for me. And that He “knitted me together in my mother’s womb”.

Stand with me as I will praise him that even with celiacs, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”

Lord give me the grace to live it!!!!!!!!