All posts by Only Hsuman

I'm wife to a fabulous husband Ryan, mom of three sweeties, Ella Kate, Joseph and Davis, worship leader at Reynolda Church, and follower of Jesus. Shine on.

A Lifestyle of Prayer

This piece originally appeared on Everyday Exiles.

I recently got a list of questions on self-care (Buzz word!) from a counselor to journal my way through, to help gauge my “level of health” in several areas.

WOW, it was tough.

But one of the most interesting ones was “Is prayer your lifeline and lifestyle?” I had to really ponder this one. Lifestyle was an easy image to conjure; a lifestyle of prayer must be what Paul means when he says in 1 Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing”. A lifestyle of prayer to me suggests a closeness with God at all times, a reaching out as the first idea, not after a few other ideas have fallen short. But “lifeline” to me felt like a throwback to that show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” The contestant used a “lifeline” when they didn’t know the answer to one of the questions. It wasn’t the first thing they did, and it often took two or all three of their lifelines to get an answer they felt confident about keeping for their own. Using prayer as my “lifeline” seems more like a last resort or a second thought than a first reaction.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about making prayer my lifestyle, and how difficult that can prove to be when I have so many things (ie: children) vying for my attention and just plain making noise when I’m trying to have “quiet time”. (Why does it have to be quiet, anyway?) I’m reading a book called Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman with a group of friends, and she says early on in the book that we shouldn’t be deterred from our time with the Lord because we’re busy with little children or chores or anything else, but rather that we should submit all of those times to the Lord, just as we would submit our “quiet time” to Him. I literally wrote in the margin of the book “Don’t make ‘silence’ or ‘quiet time’ an idol.”

How lovely would it be if I had hours to set aside each day for worship, studying the Scriptures, prayer, and journaling?! That would be a dream, but it just isn’t possible in my life as a mom of young children who also works part time. I’m guessing it’s not possible for many, or even most, of us with our busy lives in 2018. Monks in monasteries may have time for quiet hours set aside for Jesus, but my time with Jesus usually looks a lot more like worship music while I scramble eggs, and praying over booboos and sibling skirmishes. Is that my ideal? No, not always. But will these years of tiny people needing me but unfortunately short and certainly missed? Yes. So I’ll continue to pray for sibling altercations, and for patience in the midst of sleep deprivation and unwashed hair. If you’re in the trenches, Jesus will still meet you there.

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, y’all! Enjoy these funnies!!

J: I love chocolate chip cookies with all of my heart.

D: This dog bite my arm like I bite J!

EK: Scottie one time saw a spider that was bigger or as big as her HAND!
J: You’re making me think it was as big as my BUTT!

EK: When Jesus takes us to heaven, it’ll be like we’re going on a long trip to Georgia.
J: Or Disney world!

D: Mom, I got quack-quack toots!

D: I gonna keeyull you!
Me: *gasp* No, D, you can’t say that!
D, interrupting me: I gonna keeyull dis bug!

Hubby: Do you guys want Biscuitville or Chick-fil-A?
EK: I want Chick-fil-A! Those baby chicken nugget sandwiches where the biscuits are tiny and have honey!
Me: Those are yeast rolls but okay. *dies laughing*

J: When you toot, that’s when you need to poop… soon.

D, defending himself: But I don’t want to be at trouble!

There you have it – another weekly installment of sillies from my kids. What silly things do your kids say?

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, friends! It’s been a great week over at our house getting back into a little bit of normal, with a splash of Vacation Bible School, and EK going to FARM CAMP this week! So fun! Here are a few goodies for your enjoyment. Hope you laugh like I did!

Playing a game…
J: I’m on D’s team.
EK: There aren’t teams!
J: Yeah, there’s no such thing as friends.
Me: …..?

J, jumping from my headboard to my mattress: Canyonball!

EK, singing at VBS: This is better than Disney!

J, speaking truth: It is dumb hot out here.

D, wakes up from a nap super hard.
Me: Good morning!
D: ….yeah….

J, dressed in a winter coat and dragon wings: Feast your eyes on this!

D, pointing to the backyard: I saw a sheep, mom! Like a ghost!

EK, witnessing a glitter spill at VBS: This is wonderful!

D, praying at dinner: Dear God, thank you for dis family, for EK and J and mama and daddy and in God’s names, amen!
Me: *all the heart eyes*

EK, after attending one day of farm camp: Mom! Can we please, please, please make a farm?!?! I mean, we have the space for it….

Me, talking about something random: …a stupid lot. (Like, a lot a lot)
J: Why’d you say “stupid”?! You’re gonna go to jail!

Well, what are the funny things your kids have said recently? Let me know in the comments!

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, folks! Here are some great funnies for the week – enjoy!!IMG_0026

D: I want chocolate!
Me: Maybe we can get some at the grocery store!
J: Oh, I hope it’s the vanilla ice cream kind of chocolate!

D at the park…“I gonna eat the mushroom!”

EK riding a balance bike: I’m so delighted with… me!

J, randomly: I’d love to share a beautiful day with you!

J: I’ve been creating this rainbow flower for you!

D at bedtime: But I want the other half!
Me: What? Other half of what?
D: My PBJ!
He had a half a PBJ with his dinner, and an hour and a half later, he wanted the rest.

EK’s question of the day to Hubby: Well, dad, why did you choose to be a musician?

When D doesn’t have a sheath for his sword:

EK: I’m a little man!Me: Not exactly…

What are your kids saying these days? I love to hear your funnies, too!

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! Here are our funnies for this week (including D’s birthday!) – Enjoy!img_0391

EK: Can we have spaghetti tonight? We haven’t had it in like eight months!
J: Yeah, it’s been like a hundred years.

EK, with longing in her voice: J, do you ever wander what you’re gonna be when you grow up?
J: I already know! I’m gonna be a fisherman!
EK: well sometimes you don’t end up being it. Like mom really wanted to be an astronaut.

D, while celebrating a friend’s bday a few days before his: This is so fun!

J: I tooted ’cause I ate those corn chips.

D, randomly: Guess what! There’s a scary dream in my room.

D, holding a stuffed animal: Dis is my baby. Could you be sweet to my baby?
J: I’m always sweet to babies.

Since we are on vacation with family, J and D shared a room with Hubby and me the first two nights. On D’s bday (very early) I heard this…
J, whispering: D! You know what? It’s your birthday!
D: *gasp* We’re gonna have a cuhcake!

J, running in angrily: EK chose me a choice! And she’s not the one to give me a choice!

Hubby to EK: How do you spell lava?
EK: L….
J: Ahhhh. Laaaaahvah. Laaaah….
EK: A!
J: Lavvvvvvva. Vah, vah, vah.
EK: V!
J: Lavaaaaah.
EK: A!
Me: He’s never heard us help her spell something before, has he?

And a zinger from a friend…
A, pointing at her dad’s nipple: Mole?

Nervous About Summer

This piece originally appeared on Everyday Exiles.

I don’t know about y’all, but I went through a few weeks where I was a little nervous about summer.

You know what I mean, right? No schedule, no plans, wide open space… sometimes that’s a little scary for a mom with three younguns, who also tends to get frustrated sometimes (on my best days) or get full-on angry (on my worst days) about stupid little stuff. I don’t like getting angry or being frustrated with my children, and so having all that unstructured time with any number of options as how to fill it? Lord Jesus come quickly.

So I signed them up for some camps, went ahead and put our VBS on the schedule, and looked at a good time to go visit my parents in Georgia. We’ve recently renewed our children’s museum membership and our pool membership, so things are already looking a little bit less boring. You know what else I did? I came totally clean about my fear and anxiety about the summer with a friend. I asked her to pray for me and with me about multiplying my patience and dividing my frustration. I shared with her something I’d heard recently about how we pray so often for God to GIVE us things… stuff, people, jobs, circumstances… and how it might be that sometimes, we need to pray for God to take some things away.

So this summer, I’m asking God to take some things away – right here on the internet so y’all can see and keep me accountable if you notice I’m trying to hang on to them.

God, please take away my anxiety about unstructured time. Take away the fear that it won’t be “fun” or “easy” without a few hours of school each day. Take away the anxiety about sibling fights or complaints or whines that get under my skin quickly. Take away my concern for filling every moment of time with fun or learning, and allow me to just go with the flow.

God, please take away my need for control. I don’t need to micromanage as many things as I think I do. So take away my desire to control every variable of every situation. Take away my tendency towards being in charge of my children, instead of letting them tell me what they need and want, or DON’T need or want.

God, please take away my short temper. Take it right away, because this mama ain’t got time to get mad about stupid little stuff, or to just to conclusions that make me angry, when I haven’t checked out the situation fully. Take away my frustration and anger that creep out, even when I don’t want them to.

Lastly, please take away any expectations I have about how the summer will go. Anytime I have a perfect vision in my head, it doesn’t come to pass quite like I think it will. That isn’t always a bad thing, but there is disappointment even if it still goes well. So take away any ideas I have of perfect park picnics or easy trips to the pool. My children are small and unpredictable, and I want to enjoy them in this way instead of expecting them to ask like they’re older.

Sometimes, all it takes to dispel your fears is a little vulnerability, coupled with prayer. In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together, he says much about how praying for each other is an essential part of living in community. Take your anxieties and fears to a friend or mentor, and ask them to pray with you. That first step might be the hardest, but it’s also the most effective.

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! Enjoy our funnies!

Me: Would you like some applesauce?
D: Applesauce is my life!
Me: Quoting Frozen again?

D: I want watermelon!
Me: I don’t have any cut. How about cantaloupe?
D: Yeah! (Proceeds to eat approximately half a cantaloupe, right after lunch.)

D about everything (inanimate objects, that is) he likes: ______ is my best friend ever.

J, seeing a teenage boy riding his bike, obviously without training wheels: That is a really talented boy.
Hubby: Here ya go, D. Your smoothie is ready.
D, running to the stairs: J! EK! Smoothiiiiie!
Me: You’re such a good brother.
D: I’m not brother, I’m D!

D, potty training naked, toots, then looks behind him on the floor, sees a piece of a brown leaf: Mom!! Pick up that toot!