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First, an update on the sourdough adventure.
My starter is alive and kickin’ and I love it! The only place I think I’ve ever had sourdough before is at Panera, and honestly I didn’t like it. So I was a little skeptical when I started this adventure.  Now I can honestly say that I would give my left foot for some fresh, homemade sourdough bread.  IT IS AMAZING!  today I think I’m going to try making sourdough bagels, but I’ve been telling my husband that for the past week, so we’ll see if it actually happens.

 

Second, before you read on, I want you to go read this blog post: http://lovingmylot.com/2013/08/23/mom-vs-mom-the-war-i-didnt-see-coming/

So good, huh?  I want to take her thoughts a step further.  I don’t think that this is just a “mom war,” it’s a “woman war.”  We are constantly comparing ourselves to each other.  I’m pretty sure I’m way worse than the writer of that post, because I can feel my pride bubbling up when I’m sharing different experiences with other women and trying to bore the message into their heads, “Don’t you wish you did that, too?”  I have such a huge struggle with pride!  And in this war-zone it’s all because of insecurity.  I want to share what I’ve done with someone, because I don’t really feel like I’ve measured up in these other ways.  So if I can make someone else feel like they wish they were more like me, then the playing field is a bit more even.

Makes me want to puke.

There shouldn’t even be a playing field in my mind. I wish I could express the turmoil in my brain as I think through this.  I know the truth.  I know there’s no competition.  I know that there is absolutely nothing that I could say or do that would make God love me any more.  I don’t deserve his gift and I can’t win it, he gives it freely, but yet daily I still try to somehow measure up.

I know that this isn’t just a women thing.  Ty struggles a lot with wanting us to be proud of him, to feel like he’s enough and there’s always a little voice whispering to him that he’ll never be enough.  He’ll never be a good man, husband, or father.  I can tell him the truth constantly, but I can’t seem to get it to stick into my own head.

Please pray for me.  Please pray for those you meet in life.  It’s such a battle, and even if it’s not obvious what’s going on outwardly, it’s there.  Pray that we can truly accept and relish in God’s gift.  He is more than enough, so we can stop trying so hard and rest.

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oregon trail

This is going to be short, but I just wanted to tell you how excited I am!

I just got my sourdough starter in the mail!
I’ve been making our bread instead of buying it at the store for almost two years and I just absolutely love it. I never do it the same way twice, but it’s almost always turns out great and is always an adventure! It’s like a little science project that I get to do every month. I just love to watch the yeast bubble and rise. It’s like there’s a living thing in my kitchen…well, technically I guess there is.

Well, Ty loves sourdough bread so a while ago I started to research what went into transforming my boring oatmeal sandwich bread into glorious sourdough. I was a little overwhelmed. It seemed like too much work for me! And then to realize that I needed something called a starter? What the heck is that? Basically (and I still don’t have it all sorted out in my noggin’), there will be a living thing in my fridge that I have to feed to keep alive and I can make delicious things out of it. I’ll take a little of it, instead of buying yeast in the store to make my bread, and however much I take away, I feed back into it with flour and stuff.

I’m super excited to reactivate the starter that I just got (I haven’t even opened the envelope!) and experiment! One thing you might be wondering is why I didn’t just make my own starter? Well, I was going to, but through my research I found that it can sometimes take YEARS to get a good starter, and I wanted bread now! There are places you can buy starters, but through a lot of the resources I found, they talked about Carl’s Friends. This dude named Carl Griffith has an 1847 Oregon trail sourdough starter that has been preserved in his family for over 150 years (it kind of creeps me out that these things can last that long!). All you have to do is send them a self addressed and stamped envelope and they will send you back a starter of your very own, without the years of perfecting, I might add!  So if you’re at all interested, you should check them out! I plan on making our sandwich bread, waffles, pancakes, and who knows what else with this baby!

But speaking of babies, I’m gonna go now, since my little Flintster barely needs any support to stand up and it freaks me out. He’s going to be walking across the room tomorrow. Okay, he won’t really, but that’s what it feels like and I want him to go back to the days of immobility!

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Grammy time

So my mama has been here for the past week visiting us and getting to know her grandson better.  It’s weird to me that she’s a grandmother…it’s weirder that I’m a mother.  Sometimes I just look at Flint and think, “Are you seriously my kid?”

But anyway, it’s been lots of fun. We still have a couple of days left with her, which I’m thankful for.  Flint has just loved spending time with her.  Before she came she was so nervous that he was just going to stare at her blankly or scream because she was a stranger.  It didn’t matter that I told her that Flint doesn’t do that with anyone, she was still convinced that he was going to do that with her.  And it makes her heart full to watch him smile when he sees her and giggle up a storm when she plays with him.  It’s fun for me to watch them interact.  With her here it also gives me a break from doing the dishes, so I’m definitely not going to complain! 🙂

I truly cherish these moments.  Even though Flint won’t remember these times, Mom and I will, and I think that’s what’s important.  When those teenage years come when he wants to be dropped off a block away so he won’t be seen with you or when he rolls his eyes with I try to hug him or yells, “Mom, get off!” when I try to wipe something off his face with my spit.  I can remember these days when he was so sweet and giggly and just loved to be held in our arms.

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what’s my job?

You’d think that after 8 months of not working a “real job” that I’d have this stay-at-home-mom thing totally under my belt with no problems at all. Who would ever want to look back, right?

Since Flint is such an easygoing kid, most days are a breeze and I forget that this is my “job” and have a blast giggling all day long with my precious one.  But every once and a while I feel a little bit lost. After working full-time for five or six years it’s hard for me to not have structure.  Don’t ask me what day of the week it is, ’cause I most likely don’t know.  Mondays feel like Fridays and I don’t have a calendar where I keep track of every little “to do” list.  My days are filled instead with messy eating, “babababas”, and tickles. Who keeps track of time when they get to do that all day?

I honestly love staying at home!  I wouldn’t dream of it any other way, but there are times I let myself believe the lies whispered in my ear.  When Ty is worried about money, I think that if I had a job he wouldn’t be worried. Or he jokes about how if I eat his chips, then I owe him 69 cents, but I don’t have a job so I can’t pay him.  Or when I want to pick up and move somewhere else, but it’s all contingent on Ty’s job, so we can’t go, since I don’t really have any say in it.

Notice how these all revolve around my precious husband?  Whenever I let him know that I’m feeling one of these things he is immediately repentant (not as if he did anything wrong in the first place), telling me that he values and appreciates me and that I do the biggest job of all, running our home. It is a big job. Laundry is my boss and it never cuts me any slack! Personally, I believe that the reason these insecurities all revolve around my husband is because our relationship is the glue of our home. If Satan can attack our marriage and get me to resent Ty for these silly little things, then the glue slowly starts to unstick.  This life then becomes about me and what I want and “need,” not about what is best for our family.

Although submission is such a scary word in our time, I think that’s it’s worth mentioning.  When I submit to Ty and to what he decides is best for our family, it’s not that I have no voice in the matter.  On the contrary, he doesn’t buy chapstick without calling me and asking if that’s ok. That may sound extreme, he’s not too timid to spend a buck without my permission, it’s just the agreement that we came to when we first got married.  We want completely open communication with each other.  After our relationship with God, our marriage is the most important thing…even more important than our kids.  So whenever we’re thinking through something, even if it’s running to Wal*Mart to get something, we run it buy each other.  We’re partners in this life and without open communication and complete honesty that partnership would start to break.  It’d be easy to become too reliant on our own selves, instead of on each other.  So when I submit to him, it’s not me bowing my head and saying, “Yes, Dear. Whatever you say, Dear.”  It’s me backing him up and saying, “Yes, Sweetheart, that’s an awesome choice. I’m so proud of you for taking leadership in that area.”  It’s easy for women to take control, that’s part of the curse in Genesis 3, so I think it’s important that we humble ourselves and encourage our husbands to step up.  I realize that this is a very sensitive issue and it makes women bristle at the mention of it.  But no matter what your stance is, hopefully you can agree that you are not alone in your marriage.  You have a partner in this life and to make things work well you need to work together constantly!

It’s so hard for me to humble myself and to think that God knows best.  And even harder sometimes to relinquish control and let Ty lead us.  Not because I think the choices he makes are not the best, but because I want the credit.  I want to be recognized as the one who makes the decisions…the funny thing is, though, that Ty doesn’t get that credit either. Because like I said before, we’re partners in this life together.  But my pride blinds me most of the time.  I want to see only the bad and unfair, when there’s really only beauty and greatness.

I pray that you have unity with your spouse.  That you truly are one, and not just in bed.  Marriage is so much more than that.  Can’t you see it’s purpose?  And when you’re like me and want control or recognition in some way I hope that you can step back and see the big picture.  I don’t like to because I know that I’ll be humbled, and I honestly prefer to stay in my “ba-humbug,” self-righteous mood.  But that’s my prayer, too.  That god will give me the desire to change. To really want the best for my family, not just what makes me feel good at the time.

I tell you what, it’s rough…but such a good journey.

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nostalgic

My older brother posted on Facebook about missing Midwestern thunderstorms, and it completely threw me back to my childhood.

We used to sit on our huge stone porch and watch storms as a family. It makes me tear up just remember those wonderful days of being snuggled up together on the porch. Did your family ever do that? That porch has a lot of memories for me. I remember listening to Steven Curtis Chapman in my CD player and dancing on the porch, swinging around the pillars. I was convinced that those who drove by and saw me were so jealous and thought I was amazingly cool.

Whenever Ty and I talk about what our home will someday look like, I insist on a large porch.

Another memory that thunderstorms bring back to me are how scared I’d be if there was a tornado warning….or maybe watch….I never remember which one means what. But we would go down to our basement and sit in laundry baskets full of blankets and pillows and eat a frozen fruit dessert. Okay, so maybe that only happened once, but it’s one of my favorite memories.

And another memory, that has nothing to do with storms or porches, is Star Search. (Does anyone remember that show? Ick, I’m old.) We used to perform for our parents as if we were on the show. I know. We were pretty much the cutest.

keller kids

I love to think back on my childhood and the things my family did together. We were a pretty fun bunch. 🙂 But now we’re spread across the world (quite literally) and it will never be the same. I’m so thankful for those times, though, and I’m so thankful for where we are in life now. I can only hope that my kids can make just as many awesome memories as they grow up.