Crazy, Raw, and Real.

I have debated for several weeks now on how I'd spin this post.  Funny?  Completely vulnerable?  Sweet and sappy?  Raw and real?  Because I have surely felt all of the above emotions...and then some.... on multiple levels these past few months... 

So, let's just roll with a little stream of consciousness conversation, shall we? 
Here's my heart these days...

I have come to the conclusion that being a mother is a very vulnerable occupation.  In some ways, one could argue - it's one of the scariest.  Can I get a witness?  Our lives are out there - naked and raw for all the world to see - in the forms of our small children walking real.  And in the cases of my own anyway --- completely filter-less. 

Very humbling.  And sweet.  And insanity-inducing.  And comical.  But....mostly humbling.  :0)

I was saying to Kev just recently - where I am at in life right now - this stage of the here and now, today - there is no conceivable way that I can even begin to pretend that I have this mothering thing down.  I think when I had just one kid I maybe thought that I had life by the horns a bit, and I could at least pretend perfection - although that never did anyone a bit of good.  Three hoolies later -  (with one we affectionately call "the twins") - there's no point in even trying to act like I have everything altogether.  Because I don't.  And it's out there for all the world to see.

 I'm kind of getting over it.  And in some crazy way, I'm finding real freedom in that.

Because there are some things that I think I'm pretty decent at.  And there are also some things in which there is absolutely no question that I royally rot.  But, the truth of the matter is--- someone will always be better at the things where I think I rock, and someone will always maybe stink a little worse at the things in which I am no good.

So, honestly - what's the point in looking around?  Comparison really does destroy contentment.  And worrying about what others think is really just a waste of brain space. 

Easy words to write.  Hard words to live by.  Especially for women, maybe...

Someone will always be skinnier.  Eat healthier.  Run farther.  Be more organic.  Make more things homemade.  Have better behaved children.  Less cluttered homes.  More exciting lives.  Better ideas.  More intentional family plans.  Less debt.  Loftier goals.  Make better use of their time.  And have better structured days.

But, those are just some of the things that I struggle with...

And it's when I start to worry about what other people think - that's when I can make myself crazy.  And when I start to worry about the future - well that's an exercise in pointlessness because no-one knows what the future holds, anyway. We trust.  We have faith.  We try to listen to and follow Jesus' heart.  And we do the best that we can.

Because, life's a journey, right?  And it twists and turns in ways that we never expect.  There are good surprises, there are crappy chapters, there is Crazy, there is newness, there is pain, there is growth, there is sharpening, there is refining, there is loss and letting go, and there is healing.

And through all of this, we grow.
We morphe and we change - and we are not today the person who we were just a year ago, even.

And our kids.  They play hugely pivotal roles in this game of life and in the molding and the shaping and the birthing of us into all of these various stages of motherhood.  They are some of our greatest teachers. 

*     *     *     *     *
But, anyway...
Here's one of those new, crazy, twists and turns that I was just writing about:

That would be a baby.
In MY belly.
Right now.
Almost fourteen weeks old.
Holy Hannah.
Yes, indeed.
What ONE test confirmed...the other four made sure...

And so, going back to the whole worrying about what people think....

:: There will be some who will say we are NUTS.
 ~ We would readily agree.

::  There will be some who will wonder how in the world is she going to be able to handle four?
 ~  And I will ponder that one right along with you.  Just keeping it real.

Are we surprised?  Kind of.  Not really.  We know how babies are made.

 And I also know myself.  Big changes initially make me pensive and really thoughtful.  I kind of go into internal freak-out mode for a bit and wonder things like:  Have I just gone and ruined our whole family dynamic?  What WERE we thinking?  We just got out of diapers!!  Now we need a bigger car!  What if I'm too old for this?  What if this is the baby where I never get my body back?

You know - really important things like that.
 I'm trying not to stress - I know this about myself by now.

But, Kevin knows me too - and he knows how to soothe me.  He quiets my fears.  He eases my doubts.  And he calms my worries.  When I'm exhausted and overwhelmed, he's excited and brings perspective.

He called my bluff, anyway.  For two years I talked about a fourth baby, a buddy for Ransom, an "even"-ing of the odd numbers.  And for two years, Kev reminded me that we were at maximum capacity and there's really only so much one couple can handle.  My response was always:  "We're already in the thick of chaos mode.  Might as well just EMBRACE it!"

So here we are.  Embracing it.  And it is with equal parts fear and excitement that I enter this next chapter of Crazy and put my money where my mouth was, all along.  And yes, we know we are nuts - but feel free to remind us. 

And once again, I am reminded that life is not about trying to impress, or faking that I have it all together, or having a house that is immaculate.  It doesn't matter what people think, and my success is not based on my income or my bathroom scales.  My kids might not ever be perfect, and we might look like a circus -- but their Mama's not even close to perfection either - nor will she ever be, so we will learn and we will all grow together. 

And for this Mama's heart - as we slowly tell each loved one, and as we watch our own three boys get excited.....and as I see this fourth little miracle on screen and as the reality of this new little life continues to grow within me....

My heart is oh so quickly catching up with my belly.
And with great humility and thanfulness, I am embracing the wonder.

"Slow...and see the sacred in the chaos." ~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts


Shay said...

OH AMYLOVE!!! I'm so happy to read this news and rejoice with you! (Although I'm starting to feel like the only person from MOPS who didn't have 4+ kids, lol, you, Jen, Kate, Keri...)
I realized when I read this that I always hoped that you would have more kids, though I can't even say why. I have such joy for you & your beautiful family!!!

Katie Dionne said...

So excited for you guys! Seems like there are going to be a lot of babies coming next year!

Cheryl said...

I always thought four was a great number, too! Embrace the chaos, it will be wonderful. So happy for you! And I love how raw and real you are. =)

Emily said...

Yeah Kevin and Amy ;) One more Hoolie for your clan!!! That is sooo very exciting. Congrats to you my friend. I love you post and your honesty.

Anonymous said...

I am SO happy for you! People like you and Kevin should have lots of kids!

Debby B.

Anonymous said...

Amy, Your post made me cry. Not because I am not so happy for you, but because you put words to how I feel so often. Comparing myself to others. As a woman feeling less than capable for the tasks God has given and so many other lies from my enemy who wants to destroy me! I am in the midst of trying to write lyrics to the story of my life and am struggling...words seem to flow like a river out of you so easily! Again..the comparison. Whether easy or hard I want to obey God in my crazy "twists" of life. He paid the ultimate I willing? I love you my dear friend. Thank you for being used to sharpen me! :-)
Love, Brenda

Angelica said...

You always know how to speak straight into my heart .. Thank you for truth and honesty and beauty~~
..and for making me cry at work! ....

I love you dear friend, even from all these many miles away~~ You are a gift to me~ Praying that you will be blessed with much energy and peace~~ oxox

Sarah said...

You my sister, are a blessed woman and blessed is the child in your womb. Jesus has a special place for this child in His heart. Just like all other children of His. The child is so important to Him <3 may your joy and peace in Christ be full as you trust in Him so that your hope may abound in the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13 love you dear amy.

Jeff and Meg said...

Congratulations to you all! You're not crazy at all! :)

Laura Riopel said...

Congratulations!! and I agree, you are not crazy at all!! I think it is awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh what joy! I am so very happy for you and Kevin ... and a tad jealous! I would've had 12 kids if my Kevin would've let me! I'll never forget the day you came into my kindergarten room to tell me you were pregnant for Kaden! Thanks for sharing then ... and now! My heart rejoices for you and yours!
Sarah S

Anonymous said...

Way to go guys

Lajeunesse Family said...

I am so excited for you!!! We are slowly finding our way through life with four kiddos and it is messy and chaotic but God is glorified even in that if we acknowledge Him in the midst of it. You guys are amazing parents and I agree with one of these replies that people like you and Kevin should have lots of kids! :). I love how you bear your heart to us so openly. It is refreshing. Praying for you and the family during this transition!!! xoxo

Kristi said...

YAY!!!!! I've been waiting for this post, as I already told you!!! I am soo happy for you -- 4 little kiddies running around -- how wonderful!!!! Can't wait to meet the babe next summer!!!! Awesome! you're not crazy!! You guys are an amazing family - I love you all so much!!

Angie said...

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS my beautiful friend! We truly MUST chat! I got your number from Kristi, so i will call you sooooon! Seriously, I am so happy for you guys!! This baby is so wonderfully blessed and doesn't even know it yet. :):):) So much LOVE for you and your sweet boys! xoxoxo

Jillian said...

Yay! I LOVE that post! So happy for you! And you hit many things that moms today struggle with right on the nose. ;) I just love reading your blog.

Jillian said...

Yay! I LOVE that post! So happy for you! And you hit many things that moms today struggle with right on the nose. ;) I just love reading your blog.