I’m Supposed to Enjoy This?

When our twins were infants, we were in the pediatrician’s office (probably dealing with acid reflux and mind-numbing screaming for hours on end) for an appointment. He told us his youngest child had just begun kindergarten. His comment was something along the lines of, “Enjoy it. The time goes by so quickly.”

I remember thinking then, Enjoy? Enjoy what? Which part of my life should I enjoy? The screaming twins part or the destructive two-year-old part or the post-partum depression fog part?

Seriously, I haven’t “enjoyed” much of the last four years. Sure, once we got past the reflux and PPD and everyone was sleeping on a regular, predictable basis, we had moments of pleasantry. But for the most part, these years of having twin babies with a toddler have been a real blur, with survival as the primary objective.

One of the highlights of the last few years has been my Tuesday morning Bible study. Weekly, I’ve taken the children, left them with the childcare workers, and then enjoyed my Bible study.

I remember one week when the kids were about 4, 2, and 2, it was pouring rain. As we were leaving, I decided to leave the kids inside the church door while I went to pull the van to the curb. I felt that Susanna would do a good job of keeping things “under control,” while I was gone for all of 90 seconds.

I pulled up to the door to find three hysterical kids and a crowd of concerned Bible study ladies trying to console them. I felt like a big, fat, loser mom.

Then last year at the Christmas luncheon, it was—once again—raining. As we left, I was dreading the whole load-twins-in-the-car-with-stuff-in-your-hands-while-holding-an-umbrella routine.

A friend said, “Let them stand here with me under the awning while you get the van.”

Relieved, I said, “OK,” feeling fairly certain I’d return to find two wailing kids with a crowd of concerned Bible study ladies trying to console them.

I hate it when I’m right.

So, today, we arrived for the Christmas luncheon. It was pouring rain this morning, which brought the memories flooding (pun intended) back. Loading. Unloading. Umbrellas. Wet kids. Crying kids. Crowds of concerned Bible study ladies.

Taking a real risk, I pulled up to the awning at the front door.

“Boys, I want you to stay right inside the front door and wait on Mommy. I want you to sit on that bench right there and wait on Mommy and then we’ll go to your class. Do this for Mommy and show Mommy how big you are!”

“OK! OK! Mommy, we will. We can.” A chorus of affirmation came from the backseat.

I walked them to the front door and inside the small lobby area. I parked them on the bench.

“I’ll be right back. Stay right there. Show Mommy how big you are!”

“Alright, Mommy!”

I parked the van and trotted through the rain clutching my umbrella, hoping and praying I could avoid the panicked expressions, wailing sobs, and crowds of concerned Bible study ladies.

I pulled open the door to find my two smiling little boys seated on the bench, right where I’d left them. They were happy, content, and calm.

Best of all, I saw Bible study ladies in the hallway, but they were going about their business and not concerned about my kids one little bit.

I let out a sigh of relief.

I think I’m starting to enjoy life now.


Maybe I’m a little bit ADD.

Or just hopelessly idealistic.

I know I definitely struggle with discontentment.

But I just have the worst time focusing on what is in front of my nose.

“Living in the moment” is not something at which I excel. I’m usually daydreaming about the future or reminisicing the past. This present moment is just too mundane to command my attention.

Today, though, it occurred to me that next year when I turn forty, I guess I really will be “middle-aged.” You know, like, I’ve lived half my life, give or take a few years.

That’s really sobering.

Add to that realization today’s Bible study lesson on Deuteronomy 6 (teaching our children to love God and keep his commandments), and I am just about ready to crawl under a rock.

You see, the task before me is wrapped up in dark blonde hair and three pairs of bright blue eyes. Focusing on my present is the best and only thing to do right now. I start having a little panicky feeling when I think if I keep waxing nostalgic or living for tomorrow, I just might miss today.

Today. My work is cut out for me: this diligent, deliberate, and constant teaching and training.

So while I’m convicted and challenged, I’m also hopeful and encouraged.

Because God is faithful to equip us for that which he requires of us. And if we never give up doing good, we will reap a harvest.

Quiet? Me, Quiet?

“Are you OK?” a friend at my ladies’ Bible study asked. “You sure were quiet today.”

Quiet?, I thought. I never feel that I’m quiet. Most of the time, I think I’m hogging the discussion in my Bible study group.

At my small group discussion on Tuesday, I did “tornado” in late, was distracted by a phone call that I received just as I came through the door, and had a pretty painful headache.

Still my friend’s comment was unexpected.

I love Bible study discussion and always answer the questions and add my “two cents.” Most of the time, I say helpful things (I hope!), but I’m always kind of wondering in the background if I’m talking too much or saying irrelevant things.

If you knew me in high school or college, you may be stunned to read this. I never—NEVER—spoke in class or answered questions. Ironically and surprisingly, I guess, I was an excellent student, but—AHEM—I was rarely prepared for class discussion.

That’s right. I was the kid who never read the assignments.

I’m pretty sure I failed every pop quiz I ever took. I’ve really never read Oliver Twist, To Kill a Mockingbird, or For Whom the Bell Tolls.

And those chapters in history and science textbooks? Are you kidding me?

I remember skimming through Jane Eyre and most of Shakespeare’s plays. Pretty sure I only hit the highlights of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Those yellow and black Cliff Notes books were my best friends, and I learned a wonderful trick to get through 350 pages the night before the book report is due: Read the first sentence of every paragraph, and you’ll get a good gist of what’s going on. Good enough for a book report, anyway.

So, being the poorly-read and under-prepared student that I was, I didn’t have much to add to any discussion and was always terrified the teacher would call on me and blow my “cover.”

In my college sorority, I even won the “Most Likely to Be There but Never Heard” award in my pledge class.

These days, I read and read and answer my Bible study questions and ponder the nuances of the lesson.

I’m ready every Tuesday for thought-provoking, soul-stirring discussion.

Making up for lost time, I guess.

Watch Out For An Exploding Mary! and other thoughts

I’m not sure, but I may explode within the next few days.

During the last 24 hours, I have logged some time working 3 of 4 of my part-time jobs. I am writing/editing, doing bookkeeping/admin work for church, doing admin work for PureSafety, and marketing Melaleuca products.

Oh, yeah, and I have a full-time job of wife and mom.

Chris and I decided that we would work really hard to get on our feet and tackle our debt in an effort to reduce some of the financial stress.

I love doing all of of my jobs. But some days there’s just not enough of me to go around, to meet the deadlines, to keep all the knowledge sorted in the brain, to drive here and there.

We are grateful for the extra work. GRATEFUL. And I really enjoy it. I just need a few more hours in my days.


As if I didn’t have enough going on, I’m also teaching our Ladies’ Bible Study this summer. Yikes! Yikes! and Yikes! This is something I’ve wanted to do for ages, so on one level I am thrilled. On another level, I’m scared to death. I’m humbled (and properly so) as I remember the verse that says:

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. James 3:1


Also, I’m writing my own study (you didn’t expect me to take the easy route, did you?). It’s all about the centrality of the Word in women’s lives. We are looking at all the distractions and deceptions of our culture and how we Christian women open ourselves to being swept along with the culture primarily because we neglect the Word of God.

Prayers, please!


Today we met some friends for a little swim time in their neighborhood pool. We had fun, and the kids did great. I really can’t believe that I’m taking all 3 to the pool now by myself. Whoa! What a difference a year makes. Anyway, today, I was pulling Spencer around on a noodle and he asked, “Mom, could Jesus swim?”

How cute is that?

I said, “I don’t know.”

What I should have said was, “He didn’t have to. He could walk on water.” But Chris was like, “Of course he could swim. He made the water.”

But I’m like, “I don’t know. In his humanity, swimming would have been something he would have had to learn. Humans aren’t born knowing how to swim. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t.”

What do you think?


I totally have some strong opinions about Jon and Kate and the debacle their marriage and impending divorce have become. I think the biggest lesson for us here is to be careful, lest we, too, are led astray by whatever sparkles and catches our eye.

My sense—and this is only my rather uninformed opinion—is that her constant berating pummeled her poor husband to a shell of a man. Instead of responding as he should have, he rebelled and did, indeed, commit indiscretions. The two of them are now so far past preserving the integrity of the marriage that their relationship is irreparable.

Sadly, I don’t think either cares much. I don’t sense either has much to lose by being divorced. They will still go on with their show, their speaking engagements, traveling, and book deals. By now, the fame and money have outfitted them with nannies and bodyguards and housekeepers. Heck yeah—this “new arrangement” is preferable to actually living together, turning off the TV cameras, stopping the cash flow, working on the marriage, actually being at home with 8 kids all day, and dealing with the mundanity of ordinary life.

Of course, the children are the victims. I fear that once all of this blows over—whether it’s within the next few months or few years—the relationships between parents and kids will be forever altered. I think Jon and Kate mostly see the effect on themselves. My concern is they are not really evaluating from a “big picture” view because they really don’t want to say goodbye to the fame and the money.