Category Archives: (flourishing) mama

White-Knuckle Motherhood (And How To Trade It For Something Beautiful)

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”*

At what point did I stop seeking? Asking? Knocking? At what point did I decide I needed to ride out the storm instead of cry out to the one who cares?

Last weekend, my 2-year-old daughter locked herself inside her bedroom. I had heard stories of this happening to other moms, confident this tragedy would never happen to me. I know how to open a locked door. My bobby pin skills are strong.

Only this time it didn’t work. The lock was jammed. The screaming half-breaths peppered with “mo-m-m-my” were enough to rip my heart out. But I made a decision not to join in the panic.

I resolved to stay calm for my daughter’s sake. To stay strong even when I wanted to crumble with empathy. This was the time she needed to know she was safe. Having a meltdown on both sides of the locked door would have leveled-up this experience from scary to traumatic for everyone.

It was probably less than 20 minutes. My husband worked at the doorknob. My neighbor, like a heavenly warrior disguised in her Saturday morning sweatpants, brought over a “key” thingy and words of courage. My fingers stayed pried beneath the crack of the door as a small effort of being present with my girl.

Finally, the doorknob clicked. Out rushed a sweaty, exhausted heap of tears, pink pajamas, and swirly blonde hair, into my arms for immediate calm. We snuggled on the couch, just quiet, together.

At last, I uttered a half-hearted, “Thank you, Lord,” and it hit me: I didn’t even think about praying. Through that whole fiasco, I didn’t cry out to God for help, or comfort, or peace, or wisdom.

Of course, He was with me, but I didn’t notice. His presence is more than a couple fingers under my emotionally closed-off door, but I didn’t care to reach for them. My resolve was to endure the storm.

Looking back, I have been this way for a few months now. Just get through it, I tell myself. Get through the packing, get through selling our house, get through the potty-training, get through winter, get through the tantrum years. Focus on surviving the storms.

Mark 4 tells the story of another storm:

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:37-41)

How long did the waves beat that little boat down before the disciples cried out to Jesus. I imagine their thinking “we can handle this on our own,” while Jesus rested, waited, unfazed by the storm. I can see their white-knuckles, gripping the boat, riding it out.

After all, logic tells us the storm will cease…

Locked doors will get open…

Stubborn toddlers will get potty-trained…

Bosses will reward hard work…

A friend will come along…

…Eventually.

Unfortunately, this expectation of eventually keeps us stuck in the determination to endure. Get through one more week, one more hour. It will all be fine in the end.

Or it won’t, but then at least it will be over.

What if we, like the disciples, grab a lightbulb moment of SYMOTA and remember that Jesus is Immanuel: God with us.

Not only was Jesus present through the storm with the disciples, he also had the power to calm it. More importantly, as our pastor reminded us last Sunday, Jesus cared about the disciples.

Without a doubt, Jesus always provides, even when we ignore his presence. And clearly, endurance has its place in the Christ-followers journey. However, these truths cannot substitute the beauty of embracing the presence of Jesus. 

He is with us and he cares.

This relationship with Jesus is so simple on our end: seek! And Jesus meets us with His beautiful, fulfilling, awe-inspiring presence.

At last, color is returning to my knuckles as I release the grip on survival and cling to Life Himself.

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Mimicking Rhythms

Wham! A guttural wail rose from my sons throat as he expressed his pain and frustration.

This is not the first time he has whacked his big toddler head into a dresser. Which is probably why he was more angry than hurt. Putting on pants like a big kid is hard.

I scooped him up into my arms, holding the full weight of his body, and his emotions, against mine. He pressed in closer for comfort and assurance. I patted his back and whispered in his ear.

Then he did something that surprised me. He patted my back in return.

This unexpected, sweet moment has stuck with me. His gentle mimicking of my motions. His chubby hand finding rhythm against my shoulder blade. His sobs quieting as his body relaxed.

In the intensity of my own hurt or frustration, Jesus does the same for me. He scoops me up in his abounding grace. He presses a rhythm of truth to my heart:

You are loved, unconditionally. (Psalm 86:15)

I cherish you. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I won’t let you go. (John 10:29)

This too shall pass. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

You will get through this, whole and victorious.  (Romans 8:37-39)

I understand what you are going through. (Hebrews 4:15)

I want to respond like my son, leaning fully into Jesus’ care, anchoring myself there when the tides of my emotions overwhelm me.

mimicking rhythms

I want to mimic the rhythm of truth which Jesus taps like morse-code onto my heart. I want to tap-tap-tap that same truth over my circumstance, my attitude, my temptation, my fears, my doubts. I want to share it with others who, like me, keep banging our heads against our proverbial dressers.

We need this precious memory to bring us heavenly perspective.

Perhaps, like my son, we will then have the courage and strength to put on our big kid pants again. God doesn’t promise it to be easy, but He does promise to be with us, every step of the way.

The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

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Transformation Tuesday: How Does Christ’s Resurrection Impact You?

 40 Days.

That’s how long Jesus walked this earth after he rose from the grave.

“After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭

The disciples had 40 days to sit at his feet.

40 days to soak up the new perspective of “Kingdom” His resurrected body was providing.

40 days to get to know their Friend, Brother, Teacher, face to face and step by step.

Then Jesus ascended, fulfilling His promise to send the Holy Spirit, so that EVERYONE who accepts Christ as Savior, can know Him intimately. (See Acts 3:4-5, 8; also John 16:7-17)

I am grateful for the Holy Spirit, who makes it possible for me to also intimately know Jesus. So I have embarked on my own journey of 40 days, post-Easter, to investigate and draw close to our resurrected Savior.

Sunday marked the end of my 40 day fast, exploring His sacrifice. I think these next 40 days of celebrating Him will help me linger in the promise of new life.

Every day, I will explore ONE thing Jesus’ resurrection provides for my life. Today, it is…

A Fresh Start!

hair cutLike a new hair cut, the resurrection completes its work in my soul making me feel lighter, fresher, and at ease.

When I donated my hair a few weeks ago, my neck muscles started to spasm from the relief of weight lifted. I think we all need to take a moment to let the full weightlessness of Jesus rising from the grave sink in to (or rather, lift off of!) our souls.

How burden-less we should become when we trust Jesus. Not just because He crucified the weight of our sin to the cross, and buried it in the grave, but because He left it there!

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah. Psalm 68:19

How at ease our hearts can be in light of Jesus’ power. If he can rise from the dead, He can surely carry our anxieties if we but cast them onto Him.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” ‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:6-7‬ ‭

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭12:25‬ ‭

Activity:

Today, freshen up your appearance as a tangible reminder of the fresh start we received at Easter. If you don’t want to brave a hair cut, try a new nail polish color or a Spring-time blouse. Freshen up your home with a little Spring Cleaning in honor of the Fresh Start.

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I chose to give someone else a fresh start too, by donating my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Another way to give back through your fresh start is to shop home and fashion goods at Bought Beautifully, a site dedicated to collaborating gorgeous items from organizations and companies around the world, giving jobs to keep men and women and children out of poverty and slavery.

He is Risen! Be refreshed.

Campfire Check In:

What is one thing Christ’s resurrection does for you? 

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Let Go of Tidy Faith 

I am not a neat freak. At least when it comes to our home, my bedroom, and my hairstyle.tidy faith large

Unfortunately, I can be a perfectionist of presentation when it comes to my faith.

When life presents difficult moments, moments when I doubt God’s provision, I cling to this concept of tidy faith. When exhaustion, discouragement, and loneliness settle in for a siege on my soul, I cling to truth of Scripture as my life-line. I busy myself with life-giving tasks that remind me I am not defeated. I pray, hard. This is absolutely the appropriate response in difficult times… save for one missing piece: acknowledging the distress.

Recovering perfectionists like myself would never say out loud that we have it all together, but we try to present such confidence in our faith.

Tidy Faith skips the relational step of crying out to God: this hurts! It jumps straight to the part where we preach truth to ourselves (which, of course, is crucial). However, we should not pursue the strength to move on without acknowledging the need for an intimate outpouring of our hearts to God. (Psalm 62:8)

tidy faith

Messy Faith provides this avenue for intimacy with God. He is inviting us to just be real with Him for a change.

Tidy Faith is a breeding ground for false humility. False humility is, in fact,  pride. Often, I think so lowly of my struggles that I assume God does not care about these little battles. Because I am still thinking of myself, albeit negatively, my pride is still on full display. I rewrite first Peter 5:7 to say “cast all your cares on yourself, Becky, because they are too insignificant for God to be concerned.”

Messy Faith gets me thinking about God’s greatness, His kindness… His closeness to invite me, with all my own small problems, into His embrace. With eyes on Him, I can experience the true humility required to let go of presentable faith. Engaging in messy faith gives me permission to be real and honest with my emotions and discouragement. God says that He cares(!), so we should be humble, messy enough to cast all our cares on Him!

messy faith

Tidy Faith upholds a sense of respect and honor towards God. It drives us to worship Him instead of complaining about our distress. While this perspective is necessary and admirable, I believe God wants more than respect and honor. Many of the Psalms exemplify the reality of messy faith. To cry out in anguish, question the Almighty, and lay all burdens of woe at His feet, and still proclaim His faithful lovingkindness. God desires intimate relationship in the untidy moments of despair.

Messy Faith gives us that intimacy.

I should note that we cannot remove faith from the equation. It is tempting to simply allow ourselves to be messy, but we must not let our emotions run rampant, trampling down truth so it can’t heal our hearts. Trust is a choice that should not be confused with emotion.

Can we let go of Tidy Faith.

Can we embrace a messy faith which acknowledges pain, uncertainty, and discouragement?

Could we welcome a wild-haired faith, which brings all the real feelings of a fractured heart to the feet of our Savior?

Dare we champion a disorderly faith which, before moving on to strength-getting and onward-marching, relishes those uncomfortable moments where Jesus meets us, right where we are?

Campfire Check In:

How do you let go of Tidy Faith?

Join me in #40fasts with author Alicia Britt Chole’s book 40 Days of Decrease. Day 5 challenges readers to fast from Tidy Faith, the inspiration for this post.

 

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Am I a Good Mom? Confessions of a Mama of Twin Toddlers

am I a good momI wake up with a jolt. My husband is already up and in the shower and I ignored my alarm again. With less than 2 hours till the twins wake up (let’s be honest, they are probably already awake), I need to capitalize on these morning moments.

I struggle to slow down enough to stretch tired muscles before checking off a brief cardio session. I mean 10 minutes, my friends. “Ten has got to be better than nothing, right?” I think. “Am I any good at this mom thing?”

Aware of my weakness, I get on my knees desperate for Gods power today.

  • Power to say no to temptation, to my insatiable appetite for control.
  • Courage to choose to be present.
  • Self-control to refuse food as my comfort.
  • Physical strength to carry my bruiser of a son without redefining the alignment of my skeleton.

I beg for God to be strong in my weak areas as a wife, mentor, sister, and friend.

Coffee percolates, and I rush through a hot shower, wearing my retainer for the first time in months. Will my kids need orthodontic work like I did, I wonder. Trying not to add up the worrisome financial numbers, I tell myself “lets just get through teething first.”

And realistically, “get though” is all we can do. Pacifiers are a dentists nightmare, but right now, they are a family’s sanity saver. Not sure if this is a move in the “good mom” direction or not, but today will not be the day we quit the pacis. But it will be a day we fire on all other cylinders.

With my self-applied pep-talk hitting the spot, I intend to start the twins’ day with physical and spiritual nourishment. Groggy kids wake up to a feast of potato and spinach omelettes, whole-grain toast, oranges and bananas… and bit of Bible reading at breakfast to sustain our souls for the day as well.

  I snap a pic of this ambitious venture. These days, my Instagram posts are much different from the polished journal entries and pretty Bible-next-to-coffee set up. However, I must admit, I get as much truth from the Rhyme Bible as I do a daily devotional by a favorite author.

I barely get my first bite of breakfast in, much less two words from our Bible story, and the kids are giving me the “all done” sign. Food flies as 2 toddlers wave their hands frantically, exclaiming their discontentment.

Abandoning my hot eggs, I scoop toddler A out of his chair, wipe banana slime from little pink fingers, and plop his tush in the living room for some quiet playtime. Repeat for toddler B.

Trying not to be exasperated by the untouched orange slices and unread storybook Bible, I wonder again, am I a good mom?

And the Holy Spirit whispers to my striving soul, “you are asking the wrong question, Becky.”

This great God, having bent low not only to save me through Jesus on the cross, but also to breathe life and liberation to my mothering in this moment… This sweet Savior invites me to ask a different question: “is God a good Father?”

I start seeing the events of the day though the lenses of this new question. Each failure of this day is a canvas on which God paints his grace. Each achievement is a snapshot of His provision.

No longer concerned with my own ability to be good, I start to I notice His goodness over the next few hours:

In a moment of sweet-hearted kindness, Evi finds her brother’s lost pacifier and races it to plug his fit-throwing lips. (This molar cutting business is high class drama).

Becalmed for the moment, Titus drags his feet to my side at the couch, to which I have migrated with my half-eaten breakfast. He proceeds to demand and munch down my leftovers, sprinkling crumbs across the carpet like a farmer sowing seeds. At least he does so with a smile.

“Good Father,” I pray, “help Titus grow up to be a man who scatters spiritual seeds of truth and grace and Your great love for all mankind.”

Titus not so subtly reminds me that, right now, he is stubborn limit-tester, who hoards crackers and sippy-cups in the bottom of the blanket bin. So I pray he has the same kind of tenacity hide Gods word in His heart someday.

We have a dance party. I show Evi how to feed her baby doll a bottle. She lines up all 4 of her dolls and feeds them one at a time. I give Titus a light-saber tutorial. The kids read books, throw fits, trip over invisible obstacles and cry because it hurts to fall down. I put down my phone I’ve been staring at for far too long and kiss the invisible bruises.

My daughter brings me her baby doll for wardrobe assistance. I cram in a bite of room temperature eggs and adjust the doll’s hat. Snatching her from my hands, Evi swoops the doll in for an affectionate squeeze and a knowing look back at me.

“You are a good mommy, Sweetie,” I whisper in her ear. And I realize that Jesus is saying the same thing to me.

I have spent almost an hour writing these short, rambling paragraphs, fitting in the dictation between sharing lessons and rescue missions from the black hole in our home called a toy box.

Amazingly, I have almost finished a whole cup of coffee too. If the rest of the day doesn’t prove it, that cup of coffee reminds me that God is a good, good Father.

Humility helped me choose to notice His goodness today, and record it here to celebrate it again tomorrow. I’ll need these sweet memories to muse over my cold eggs next week.

Campfire Check-In:

Do you ask yourself the “good mom”, “good wife”, “good _________” question? How do you see God’s goodness setting you free from impossible standards in your life?

The High School girls’ Bible study I am leading, #joiedevivrebiblestudy, is currently accepting the #solongselfiechallenge in effort to recognize and celebrate God’s goodness instead of our own. Follow me on Instagram for more information: @campfiregrace.

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Release: Letting Go of Last Season’s Expectations

These last few months, I have enjoyed a season of confidence and competence in managing my home, my social life, ministry, and mothering. It wasn’t perfect, but I had some weeks where I got all the laundry and the dishes done each day. And I didn’t have to compromise my connection with God, my husband, or my kids to do so.

Like the winter chill that clings to my breath, the signs of a new soul-season have appeared.

I feel frail. Brittle. Exhausted. Lonely. Overwhelmed.

leaf seasonsActivities and expectations which used to be simple accomplishments, now escape my efforts for productivity. With shorter naps and higher needs for attention in play, delighting in my twins requires my conscious neglect of housework and personal time. Certain ministry prerogatives which once were invigorating, have become exhausting. These days, I seek refuge under my covers instead of the clicking of my keyboard to share heart-felt words of grace.

God’s grace remains strong, but my heart feels empty. The only words I have to offer most days are from “The Icky Sticky Frog” which I have read so many times I have it memorized.

There’s a cracking in my spirit. Like branches under pressure, the expectations I give myself now groan and strain. Lysa Terkeurst illustrates this in her book, The Best Yes. She recommends a divine “letting go” or release, in preparation for each new season:

“It’s is a gift—a gift to a woman weighed down, grasping her leaves in the midst of a snowstorm, desperate, so desperate for help… She must listen or she will break. Her tree needs to be stripped and prepared for winter. But she can’t embrace winter until she lets go of fall. Like a tree, a woman can’t carry the weight of two seasons simultaneously…Release brings with it the gift of peace.”

Lysa Terkeurst, The Best Yes

Reading her words remind me of an important truth:

We need time to rest, restore, renew our strength.

Winter’s barrenness can be beautiful. Powerful, even.

I must learn to exhale.

Let go.

Release control.

Let the good and beautiful leaves of last season fall.

Learn to delight in bare branches.

To sleep.

To find refuge in a blanket, like the cold ground finds covering from thousands of unique flakes glittering white.

To understand my true blanket of comfort is the faithfulness of Christ:

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 93:4

Please understand, I am not allowing my feelings and emotions to supersede truth. My sense of lowness is not the author of my story or the bully of my joy. I have joy! But yesterday, today, and maybe even tomorrow, it is a quiet joy, fueled by God’s faithfulness. His steadfastness is immensely satisfying, regardless of my internal climate. After all, His word promises:

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

As I enter into this new season, both climatically and existentially, I cling to these truths.

His constancy is reliable.

My identity will never be a barren tree, though my emotions might resemble one every once in a while. God will always be producing good fruit through me when I cling to Him.

seasons leaves restI will not always feel like a tree in springtime. However, I will experience the sense of blossoming again if I take full-care to embrace this winter-rest well.

For me, this means

  • lowering my to-do list expectations.
  • Receiving help from my husband when he so graciously offers it.
  • Living free of the mommy-guilt, wife-guilt, friend-guilt, Bible-study homework guilt, etc. (Romans 8:1)
  • Tightening my grip on Jesus as I loosen my grip on certain ministry goals.
  • No more internal words of punishment or self-degradation for my body.
  • Celebrating the victory and finding satisfaction in deep intimacy with God, Shane, Titus and Evi, rather than in my own sense of accomplishment.

Each season is simply, and beautifully, that: a season. We would be so wise to encounter each with such perspective.

In Faith,

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Campfire Check-In:

How is God preparing you for a change in season? What might the Holy Spirit call you to release?

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Happy 6 Month Birthday to the Rosty Twins!

6 Months…

We made it! The Rosty twins are 6 months and thriving. A year ago I didn’t think we would make it this far. In the back of my mind I figured we would be such a mess, that Jesus would take pity and come back before now.

In his gracious providence, God has given us further chances to seek Him in this parenting business, and use our experiences to share His love with others. I feel that being a mom is one of my greatest accomplishments, by Gods grace. Specifically, breastfeeding twins for 6 months has been one of my “least likely to succeed” goals that I am so blessed to have met.IMG_0091

In honor of this milestone, I brought up a post from this time last year (while I was pregnant), and would like to compare it with today (last year’s posts are in green).

Week 13 flew by! We started the spring semester of BCM, enjoyed a weekend in the hot-springs of Thermopolis, and thoroughly relished in the joy of becoming parents! 

We enjoyed Thermopolis again this month, in 2015. The babies LOVED the water!

13 Weeks: January 19-25

6 months6 Months: January 23, 2014

Babies are the size of: Lemons!

Babies are the size of: my entire torso. I cannot believe they fit into my tummy at one point, particularly as the size of lemons!

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Mama Weight gain: 0 (I have hovered around 168 for the last 3 months or so.)

Baby Weight gain: Titus is about 18lbs, and Evi is probably close to 15. We will get an official weight in a couple weeks at their next check up.

Sleep: Shocking news: I was able to get great sleep on a trip this weekend while sleeping on an air mattress.

Sleep: Shocking news: The babies now sleep through the night!!! 7pm-7am, with a 10pm dream feed.

Exercise: started a water aerobics class this week and I LOVE it. I’ve also been upping my “squat routine” to prep for labor and delivery.

Exercise: This month, I (yes, the tired mama) started jogging 2 miles twice a week. It is so hard to make this a priority right now, however I am looking forward to this healthy habit rubbing off on my kids as we pursue being a fit and active family together.

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IMG_0095Best moment this week:. Singing songs of worship with my husband for hours in our make-shift studio (in the laundry room… the acoustics are awesome in there.) I know these babies are going to grow up proclaiming the truths of Christ through music along side, and it is fun to start the tradition now.

Best moment this week:. Watching our daughter sing and bang on the piano. She seems to be very musically inclined. Titus on the other hand would rather inspect the wood of the piano. I am excited to see how he will be a hands-on worshipper.

Miss Anything? I know it was never a healthy routine, but I miss being able to go, go, go, without HAVING to stop to eat or pee or nap every 1/2 hour. It’s just how I got stuff done. With twins, I suppose I’ll have to learn a whole new way of accomplishing things tiny moments at a time, so it’s good training.

Miss Anything? I still have to pee every 1/2 hour! Staying hydrated to nurse twins is a constant activity. Also, I am learning to do things in tiny moments… today I clean the bathrooms, enjoyed reading a book with Shane, and wrote this blog post, all during nap times! I am thankful I had a realistic perspective and was already preparing for this life last year.

Movement: Not yet.

Movement: Titus is a major mover! He is crawling backwards, doing 3 second planks, and sitting up like a champ (his activity is more proficient than my work out routine). Evi is a girl after my own heart: she likes to lay around and talk to herself. I’m sure she will start crawling eventually, but for now I adore listening to her chats.

Food cravings: Mac and Cheese, all the time! Also, I ate a whole carton of strawberries in one delicious sitting. I think I could eat a whole carton a day if they were as cheap as mac n cheese 😉

Food cravings: The babies are embracing solid foods! They love to gnaw on cucumbers and gum up pieces of banana.

Anything making you queasy or sick:. A bit of french toast almost made me throw up (see “sweets” below). On the plus side, I had some chicken strips and they tasted lovely, so maybe I am on my way to incorporating poultry into my diet again.

Anything making you queasy or sick:. Evangeline’s poopy diapers, for sure.

Gender prediction: The cravings test says: citrus/sweet=girl. Salt=boy. I have been craving pineapple, and strawberries and all kinds of sour things. But I cannot stand chocolate or super sweet desserts! Also, initially all I had was all salt cravings. So I guess that’s another point for one of each (Though Shane still thinks they are both boys).

Gender revelation: We have a man’s man for a son. He is the Ron Swanson of babies (for those of you who watch Parks and Rec). When it comes to food, his dog (yep, Mr. Darcy is now Titus’ dog), being active, and meeting new people, he is all business. He has the most jolly smile though, and is so eager to connect over a wrestle.

titus 6

Evi is all girl: giddy over fluffy stuffed animals, cozy blankets, and smiling men with beards. We pray about the last one daily. She loves worship music, and is pretty fond of mirrors, and we hope she is always as happy with her appearance and beautiful smile as she is in these past few weeks.

evi 6

Lullaby of the week: You Know Me” by Steffany Frizzell (Bethel Music). It speaks of Psalm 139’s truth that God knows each and every bit of who we are. I love that when I can’t see my babies, God can. He has them memorized inside and out. That is incredible intimacy!

I love this memory from last year, and knowing that even now that I can hold my kids in my arms, their lives are still outside of my control. Thankfully, I know God will never let them go!

Truth I’m dwelling on: That Psalms 139 applies to me as well. My God knows me! He knows what today looks like, and what tomorrow looks like. And He is GOOD! I am memorizing verses 5-7:

You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!

Truth I’m dwelling on: That he has proven faithful to “go before us” and bless us, as I read last year. I didn’t know how year was going to turn out, but it has been the greatest blessing and privilege to walk with God through.

Looking forward to: The birthing class on Monday!

Looking forward to: Developing healthy habits over the next 6 months. I feel God challenging me to become strong spiritually, physically, and emotionally to set a positive president for myself and our family in the years to come.IMG_0081

 
Thanks for keeping up with our adventure!
 
In Faith,
 
Becky
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Embracing the Unadventure of Motherhood

My Beloved Bighorns
My Beloved Bighorns

I have a deep affinity for hiking in the mountains. Something about the wildflower hills, spaced sporadically among thick walls of green trees, and a path with untidy growth happening all around my feet makes my heart sing.

I’ve lived my life as an adventure seeker. International travel, camping, road trips, big projects, building our own home–its just me. I approached motherhood with the same intentions. In fact, my motherhood journey began with applying for international adoption (which is on hold for now, but still growing steadily in our hearts). When we found out I was pregnant with twins, I thought to myself, “all the more to adventure with!” I wasn’t expecting to ease into anything. I’m a jump-in-the-deep-end kind of girl, and this seemed right up my alley.

In the middle of a hot summer week, my beautiful babies were born, and life became chaotic: blessed, beautiful, wild-flowers-in-a-field kind of crazy. But as a family, we weren’t exactly thriving in our newfound adventure. We had heaps of helpers coming in and out of the house each week, which was an immense load off our shoulders. But eventually, I knew I had to do it. I had to create some structure.

unadventureTo me, structure is like nails on a chalkboard. Take away my freedom, my spontaneity, my late nights of writing and long days of sharing the truth of Christ at one coffee date to the next… might as well take away my sense of adventure.

However, to ensure my children grow steadily and healthily, and to provide a smidgen of sanity for my husband and me, I bent over backwards to create an achievable schedule.

Other ladies might agree, that living a highly structured life can feel monotonous and repetitive:

  • Checking off the to do list.
  • Adding more things to the to-do list.
  • Thinking of a change-the-world-size idea, and forgetting to write it down.
  • Making time with Jesus, but getting distracted every time (I think I could be diagnosed with prAy-DHD).
  • Finding babysitters so we can work-out, grocery shop, have a date night, participate in a gospel-sharing opportunity.
  • Feeling guilty that our kids spend way too much time with babysitters.
  • Brainstorming how to streamline the efficiency of our homes.
  • Striving to be more available to our husbands, emotionally and physically, when we often feel drained and over-focused on the to-do list.
  • Wondering why we even get our babies and preschoolers dressed every day?
  • Planning meals.
  • Charting chores.
  • Maintaining the structure.
  • Drinking more water.
  • Finding time to use the bathroom after drinking so much water!
  • Mindlessly checking Facebook, for who-knows why.
  • Denying the desire to snack all day, but really wanting something to munch on.

(Anybody feel me here?!)

For me, nap time comes and I’m on the clock for a shower, laundry, clean up, maybe a little writing. Suddenly the low echoes of a groggy but awake baby approach my ears with subtle urgency. I try to squeeze in a little more time on whatever task I have set before me, at least to clean it up before round two. Within seconds however, I have two howling creatures trying to get my attention. Perhaps they mean to give me a sense of being in the mountains?

Bedtime comes, a choppy night sleep awaits, then it’s back to the same activities in the morning. Day after day, I face the “unadventure” of motherhood.

Lately though, Set Apart Motherhood, by Leslie Ludy, has given me a new perspective. In almost every chapter, Leslie gives practical advice and achievable examples for how to foster a greater sense of orderliness with small children.

This push for order was a turn-off for me, at first. I am not the OCD type that likes to have all my picture frames hanging in a perfect row. I appreciate the aesthetic beauty of things like a field of scattered daisies.

Ixiolirion tataricum
However, in my rant about the appeal of wild-flowers, God beckoned me to take a closer look. Did you know that all flowers have some sense of structure? They are designed so intricately and precisely. Two types of flowers, monocots and dicots, will always bloom with specific sets of petals. Monocots have multiples of 3 petals (like a lily), and dicots have multiples of 4 or 5 (like a rose). (Give your kids a fun science lesson here.)

Even the wild-flower fields of my beloved hiking days have a sense of order, structure, and design! It just takes a different perspective to see it.

Though I sometimes feel like I am living a very repetitive, unadventurous life, there is still wild-flower beauty in it. Like a blooming lily, God has created me with an intricate design that allows my body, mind, and soul to function well. And in His power, my mundane tasks have lasting purpose.

J.D. Greear says it well:

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With Gods perspective, I am learning to embrace the “unadventure” and see this structured life as an opportunity to blossom!

  • A chance to smile at my kids at the same time, every day, and watch how their reaction develops over time.
  • A chance to prioritize the important things, like studying my Bible and giving the kids a bath. I can structure the useless uses of my time (like TV and facebook) right off the daily schedule.
  • A chance to cherish my partnership with Shane, in our family and ministry, by fostering better consistency in our time together at meals, in prayer, and on date nights.

I can aim to give glory to God in the highly-structured, or rather highly-designed days that I live. And therein lies a beautiful adventure to be discovered.

Do you appreciate or avoid structure in your life? How do you help your family to thrive?

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27 Ways my Twin Pregnancy Surprised Me

surprised by twin pregnancyAround this time last year, I took a pregnancy test that changed my life. We didn’t find out we were having twins until a few weeks after that. However, this is the year mark that we have been aware of the new lives we now know as Titus and Evi. In reflection, I came up with the following list of things that surprised me about being pregnant with twins:

  1. There are 2 in there?!?!
  2. I didn’t have strange cravings, however, I had some intense food-aversions, including chocolate-chip cookies all the way up until D-day.
  3. I threw up a total of 0 times during the entire pregnancy (but several times during the delivery!).
  4. That I lost 10 lbs during the first 3 months.
  5. The next 4 months, I had gained 10 lbs at each appointment. I knew I felt heavier every day, but 10 more pounds each month was a shocking number on the scale.
  6. I experienced hormonal shifts and acne reminiscent of my 13 year-old PMS days.
  7. How invaluable the Psalms of the Bible to keep me mentally and emotionally healthy during the season of unknowns.
  8. That I wasn’t bothered by people touching my belly.
  9. How I became really irritated when people tried to talk to or kiss my belly (except my husband).
  10. How much I cherished the candid humor and practical honesty of the book, What to Do When You’re Having Two.
  11. That I learned to smile and nod at people who said, “a boy and a girl? Now you’re done.” (even though we were already in the process of adoption before we conceived twins, and look forward to the day we bring our “world-traveler” home to make us a family of 5).
  12. I didn’t become a whale. Or a planet… In fact, the majority of commentators kept exclaiming how small I looked for twins (which wasn’t always comforting, by the way).
  13. The dreaded swelling wasn’t that bad.
  14. The sweating in summer heat WAS that bad.
  15. Twiniversity became my go-to website very quickly.
  16. How fun our gender-reveal party was.
  17. How heavy my belly really was.
  18. I actually stopped caring that I wore the same 4 maternity pants/shorts combo for the last 3 hot months of pregnancy.
  19. That all our baby-supply needs (and lots of our “wants”) were met by friends and family.
  20. That I would go stir-crazy for two months after everything was ready at the recommended week 30, “just in case.”
  21. That I never went into pre-term labor.
  22. I never felt braxton-hicks or contractions (until pitocin).
  23. Apparently my uterus is a fortress to write hymns about: “A mighty fortress is my womb, a cervix never failing.”
  24. I’d have more trouble getting babies out in time than keeping them in before it was time.
  25. My intense love for the humans growing inside me.
  26. How hard it was to keep our babies’ names to ourselves until their birth.
  27. The depth of truth found in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

Did you/are you expecting twins? What surprises you about your pregnancy?

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How We Decided What To Name Our Son

How We Decided What To Name Our Sonhow we decided what to name our son

Choosing a name for a human being is an overwhelming task. The amount of power involved in this decision seems too much for two people to hold. The recipient of said name must bear it for life. The name will define them. Before ever meeting an individual, people tend to make assumptions and definitions of that person based on their name. It is often the first word a child learns to write. It’s how they will label every exam in school, every letter or email, every official document.

Because my husband and I felt such gravity in this naming business, we decided to take it very seriously.

We started talking about what we would name our children when we began the adoption process. I’ve had names in my head since I was little girl, but none of those seem to fit the new child that was growing in our hearts. When I found out I was pregnant, we had already picked out a couple names. However, we both agreed to reserve those names for our adopted child when he or she would enter into our family, even if that would be years down the road now that we were pregnant. So we started dreaming up new names.

We prayed for a long time about the kind of people God had in mind as he was designing our son (and twin sister) in my womb. The word “intercessor” kept coming to mind with our son. An intercessor is “one who stands in the gap.”

This sermon, by Eric Ludy, was highly influential in our understanding of the role of an intercessor.

In our prayers and daily interaction with the world around us, we began to understand the great need of someone who could be a bridge between God and humanity. We understand that all people are, by nature, not perfect. We choose to do things our way, not God’s way. This imperfection, also called sin, leads to a brokenness. This brokenness means we cannot have relationship with God, not now and not after death. There is no heaven for individuals who are unholy… the only thing we deserve is death and separation from God. Only by becoming perfect can we relate to God as our Father and Lord. Since we can’t be perfect, even if we try, we need an intercessor.

Isaiah 59:16 says about Jesus: “He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.”

Jesus, God’s Son, was the only perfect human being. He became our intercessor when he offered an exchange for us: our sin-nature for his perfect one. For all who receive this gift, their sin nature is put on Jesus on the cross. In his death, the punishment we deserve for our rebellion against God, was served. In it’s place, we receive a new nature: holiness, perfection, and therefore relationship with God!

When humanity could not help itself, Jesus stepped in, sacrificed himself, and bridged the gap. In his great power as God’s son, Jesus raised himself from death (our deserved punishment, not his). He claimed holiness yet again and now stands before God, constantly pleading, or interceding, on our behalf.

This is a monumental truth. Its implications for a broken humanity are beyond liberating. The fact that we have an intercessor should change the way we think, love, act, feel, and speak.

It is so epic in fact, it even affects the names we choose for our children.

 

May I introduce Titus Zachariah Rosty.

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The name Titus means defender, a meaning similar to intercessor. Titus was also a Greek missionary and disciple of the apostle Paul.

We chose the middle name Zachariah to honor a dear friend who passed away last year. This man left behind a genuine Christ-centered legacy. His zeal for God and compassion for others deeply impacted his community and family. The name Zachariah means “remembered by the Lord.”

We see in Scripture that God did remember to send an intercessor. He did not forget his creation, but made a way for all of humanity to choose restoration through Jesus.

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” 1 John 4:9

Our son’s name is our reminder of that. We pray daily that our son’s heart and mind recognize the gravity of Jesus’ gift of salvation. We hope he will share this truth in his daily life. And because we also want to prioritize this truth in our own lives, we chose an applicable name to constantly remind our own souls.

God has already designed the steps Titus will take as a boy, young fella, and eventually (hopefully) a strong man-of-God. What glimpse the Holy Spirit allowed us of that destiny was that Titus might:

  • Share his faith with friends on the playground…
  • Boldly stand up for truth in his college classes…
  • Forge awareness for the orphaned and abandoned…
  • Champion the cause of the hurting and the lost…
  • Be a defender of the weak (all of us), and a reminder that God did remember to send an intercessor.

“Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” Psalm 82:3

Whether he is a banker, or a street-sweeper, or a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, (after all, his name does mean “defender”), we pray his life will be a giant arrow pointing to Christ, our Savior.

Titus 2:11-15 (NIV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”

Check in soon for a post on how we chose our daughter’s name!

What did you name your kids? I’d love to hear any special meaning or reason behind your decision to name them!

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