The Warrior Within

During night feedings, I often find myself perusing numerous mommy blog posts, and I’ve noticed a pattern of topics:

  • How hard motherhood is. And it is hard. SO HARD. Like the kind of hard that doesn’t feel fully explained unless you add some expletives in front of it.
  • We are all getting through this together. Solidarity sister.
  • How weak and broken the author feels.

It’s this third topic that I want to address. Momma, you are not broken.

We are currently in the throes of three-year-old temper tantrums, a tightly packed schedule, a self-dirtying house, and a teething baby who sleeps even less than normal. And, I am stressed and exhausted. Usually, this perfect storm brings on tears, a sense of guilt and failure, and feeling broken and alone. How? How?! How do all these other mommas get it done?!! However, this perfect storm also brings on something else—a cry so deep in my soul for the Lord that it cannot be contained. All of my cries out for him.

Romans 8:26 explains this type of prayer very well: “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

Recently, as my weary soul was crying out, this passage came to me:

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you that that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it’s full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

And, as I read this passage from James, I thought about other types of training that are hard. I’ve never personally been through basic training, but I assume that every soldier at some point, feels exhausted, broken, and not enough. And these men and women are being trusted to protect our country. They are not weak. They are being made into warriors!!

Momma friend. You may be exhausted. You may be at your wits end. You may feel beat down. But, lift your head up proudly. Scream out your prayerful battle cry. Because you are mighty. You are a force. You are a warrior. And, you are so important and loved.

 

But Seriously, Who Does That?!

Men! Ugh!! Who can understand them?! I mean, who does that?!

Have you said (or thought) one or more of those phrases in the last 48 hours? Was it in reference to your husband? Go on, admit it. If it helps, I’m over here raising my hand. Now, think about the same husband. How many good comments have you said about him in the last 48 hours?

Often times I find myself sharing more of the annoying moments of marriage with people than the good moments. And, when I share them, I dwell more on them. And, that’s completely dumb because those moments make up a negligible amount of our time together. It also paints a much bleaker picture of marriage in general and encourages others to complain about their husbands. Because who doesn’t love a good husband-razzing session?

But, I’m calling crap on this now. Not to say there aren’t genuinely appropriate moments for lamenting or advice-seeking. That’s why God made girl friends. But, we are prone to misuse these moments, sliding right past the zone of appropriateness into gossip and complaining. Let’s do something about this, friends! Let’s challenge ourselves to praise (I said praise, NOT WORSHIP) our husbands. Let’s focus on the amazing things instead of the dirty socks on the floor. Cough, cough. I didn’t say this would necessarily be easy.

Here, I’ll go first:

599956_10100542609029078_567909000_nBecause of my faith, I believe that marriage is a picture of God and the church. That, in essence, it is to mirror that relationship. Recently, during a meeting with some wonderful women, we began discussing how God lavishes his love and gifts on us (feel free to read Ephesians 1 for more details). And, as we were discussing how he gives us his best gifts, how he almost obnoxiously lavishes us with them, I immediately thought, “This is what my husband does!!”

Every holiday, I know that I will get a present that is hand-picked for me, and it will be the best on the market. Because that’s what my husband gives to me. He spends an enormous amount of time making important financial decisions (almost annoyingly so, sometimes), but he picks out the best. He gives the best for me. I don’t even have to worry about there being something better or more perfect out there. He already gave it to me.

This is just one small snippet of how amazing he truly is. But let’s just embarrass him with one thing at a time.

How is your husband amazing? Feel free to be as cheesy as you’d like, just keep it G-rated, because I only have so much space in a trashcan to lose my lunch.

Sleep is for Dads

You know the drill, mom of young kiddos. You are staring down the 5th (or more) sleep-deprived day in a row. But you soldier on, through the runny noses, spilled juice, spilled milk, spilled unidentified liquid (or did someone wipe her nose on the couch?), and you survive. Then Daddy comes home and asks what’s for dinner. And the tears pour down your face. And he knows it’s his turn for the night shift.

You are thankful for the help. So, so thankful. Even though you know that tomorrow he will be exhausted–more exhausted than anyone has ever been before. It will take him weeks to recover. There is no way that you, mom, would be able to understand the utter exhaustion he will be feeling. “It’s different,” he’ll say. And, you’ll roll your eyes.

But, in the back of your mind, you know it’s true. Sleep is for Dads. Coffee is for moms. And you need somewhere to put said coffee. What better place than in your very own “Sleep is for Dads” mug. Which, conveniently for you, are now stocked in the blog “store” (I use the quotation marks because there is currently only one product). Snag yours now until 10/31 for 20% off with the code SLEEP20!

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Cookie does not come with the mug. But, go ahead and grab yourself a treat to go along with your much needed coffee! No judgment here!

Words of Encouragement: An Experiment

Words hold incredible power. They have the ability to build a person up or tear a person down. And, they can literally change the course of your life. Recently, I had the opportunity to share with someone how her words of encouragement 5 years ago had real and present affect in my life in a pretty powerful way. And, we chatted about how God uses the seeds others plant in our lives for years to come. The whole conversation left me ready to conquer the world via encouragement, and made me think back on something one of my favorite bloggers does. She sits down each month and writes others letters of encouragement. .

And, I would like to offer the same, not because I have it all figured out, but because sometimes it is just as fun to encourage others as it is to receive encouragement. So, I am introducing the monthly letter of encouragement club (the name still needs some work). Participants will receive from me one hand-written words of encouragement via snail mail each month (everyone loves fun mail, right?!) for 6 months.

If you would like to like to be a part of my first-ever monthly letter of encouragement, please send your name and address to honeycombandpearls@gmail.com! And, I thank you in advance for grace as I figure the details out as I go.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Rachel

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Obligatory, heart-melting photo of these precious two hearts I get to daily encourage.

Share the Rainbow

Typically, I shy away from giving my opinion on a variety of political and social issues. For one, I find that those who are more than eager to offer their opinions are doing so in such away that divides and hurts people (and I am looking at both sides of the aisle here). Second, I have more than enough to deal with in my own life before I can start picking apart the actions of others (for instance, today I could have fed an entire family in need on what I spent at Starbucks…hello, selfishness).

But, then there is this hashtag, #shoutyourabortion. And, it’s a thing. Like a real, trending thing. And, my heart has shattered and landed in my gut. And, I’ve realized that I just can’t be silent. You see, there was a time I didn’t think I could have children. Which was a relief, because I definitely didn’t want them. In fact, I faked being excited about having a kid up until the point I was pushing my daughter out.

nature-person-hands-girlMy first pregnancy wasn’t planned. Actually, many would label the pregnancy as an “irresponsible choice.” You know what is also an irresponsible choice? Calling it that (also, my Starbucks visit…see above). The only time I contemplated abortion was when I thought, “man, I wish there was a way I didn’t know this was a baby.” But, I did. From the moment I saw those 2 lines, I knew there was a baby. Not a group of cells. A baby. A child. A person. A life.

And, I chose to walk through an incredibly difficult period filled with judgment. Just a few of the not-so-quiet whispers behind my back (or sometimes straight to my face) I heard were as follows:

  1. “Wow! She should have been more careful.”
  2. “Her poor parents. They must be so ashamed.”
  3. “I bet she was trying to baby-trap him.” (only got this one from people who didn’t understand my independent streak)
  4. “A baby is the last thing she needs.”
  5. “That was irresponsible.”
  6. “That’s what you get for whoring around.”
  7. “Slut.”
  8. “Wow! That baby does NOT look like a preemie.” (in response to our daughter being born 6 months after we were married)

As you may have already guessed, most of these comments (for which I have come up with VERY, VERY harsh responses in my head) came from people who were active in the church. The very people who are supposed to be a beacon of God’s grace!! And, with every plunge of sworded-tongue, I was so glad that I knew without a shadow of a doubt that there was a baby. A child. A person. A life. Because if I hadn’t been sure, I might have been shamed into making a much different decision.

While my heart cries for every child we lose to abortion (I would, quite literally, take them all in if I were allowed…or if it were humanly feasible), I am absolutely disgusted by the way we, as Christians, treat women who are walking in this period of confusion and guilt. We have to change the way we see these pregnancies if there is ANY way to end abortion. We cannot shame away abortion (you would think The Scarlett Letter would have taught us this by now). But, we have been given two extremely powerful weapons in this fight: hope and grace. Hope and grace. Hope and grace. Hope and grace. Say that out loud as many times as it takes to sink in.

My daughter (the one I never thought I wanted) constantly makes me see things in a way I never have before. Recently, she has insisted that she is the My Little Pony character Rainbow Dash (she even has the glitter costume to prove it). And, I will admit, at first I was NOT on board with this obsession. My Little Pony!! Glitter Rainbows!! But, as she prances around, shouting “I LOVE RAINBOWS!!! Rainbows make me happy,” I am reminded that I, too, love rainbows. They symbolize the hope and grace I have in Christ. The hope and grace I am supposed to share with other. There is a promise and freedom in rainbows.

Today, as I was trying to figure out how to piece together all the feelings, I came across a note I wrote to my daughter about her name:

Dearest Lillian,

One day you will hear a famous quote by a man named William Shakespeare: “What’s in a name?” Your daddy and I took very special care in picking out yours. While you might not share our last name forever, you will carry around “Lillian Grace” your entire life. And, we hope you do it with pride.

Lillian means in Hebrew “My God is a vow.” You will learn the overwhelming truth in this statement over the hopefully many years you are here on earth. For God’s promises will not fail you, even where you fall short. And, trust me, you will fall short. But, don’t worry, you are not alone: every single human has failed at some point or another. And, it is when you do that you will understand the meaning of the word (and your middle name) Grace.

However, the meaning of the name Lillian is not the only reason that you have your first name. One of Mommy’s favorite verses is Luke 12:27. It says to “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” As you will soon learn, the overall context of this verse is telling us to worry about nothing; God has it under control. Mommy and Daddy will spend our lifetimes trying to teach you this, and you will spend yours learning to comprehend the magnanimity of this lesson.

Mommy and Daddy can’t wait to meet you, and we can’t wait to watch you grow up! We know that you are a wonderful blessing, and will teach us so much more than we can ever hope to teach you.

Love Always,

Mommy

So, there you go, friends. God’s promises will not fail us. His hope and grace will not fail us. Embrace this. And, share it. #sharetherainbow

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*I do feel it particularly important to add that we were also afforded grace by many individuals. And it was refreshing and greatly appreciated.

Why I Exist: A Blog’s Perspective

Hi, friends! Have you ever wondered why there are so many words floating around on the internet? So many click-throughs and just pointless articles? Me, too. I hope that never happens here. I hope that your precious time spent perusing through my pages is not time wasted.

FullSizeRenderAs a blog, I am going through a transitional period. Most of my posts are dedicated to two adorable tiny humans, Lillian and Lucas, and the lessons that they help teach their mother, “Mom, Mom, Moooooom, Momma, Mommy” formerly known as Rachel. And, let’s face it, most of them will probably continue doing so, because those kiddos are just so adorable and motherhood is so ripe with lessons (for the adults, not just the kiddos).

But, I hope to grow past just showing off these two precious little souls, and provide a place of encouragement, laughter, and resource to others (even, gasp, non-parents). In the coming months, you will see new pages being added, which will include recipes, reviews, life hacks, and maybe even a (super duper tiny) online shop. I’m pretty excited about this next step, and I hope you will come along and join me as I grow.

It is my genuine hope that, as you glance through my posts, you are encouraged (or, at the very least humored). And, if that isn’t happening, then I am not serving my purpose.

All the Best,

H + P

(aka, Rachel)

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My little blogger-in-training

Easy, Mouthwatering Turkey Meatballs

It’s a holiday weekend, and if your house is anything like ours, then it may mean you need to be prepared for the unexpected guests. And, that means it’s always good to have a handy (and EASY) recipe up your sleeve. These meatballs are good enough to impress many pallets, yet easy enough to make while entertaining your guest.

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Ingredients:
2T olive oil
20oz ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup crumbled Ritz crackers
1T Penzey’s Italian Herb Mix
Penzey’s Garlic Powder, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with the olive oil.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground turkey, egg, crackers, Italian herb mix, and garlic, using your hands. Form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs. Place about 1 inch apart in the hot baking dish. Press down to flatten the bottom just slightly.

3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over, and continue baking for about 5 more minutes, or until somewhat crispy on the outside.

4. Serve with pasta and sauce or however you’d like (pairs great with arrabbiata sauce).

And if you were worried, this recipe is completely picky-toddler approved!

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