Monday, April 06, 2015

I lied

I just had one of those moments as a mom.

I am sure there will be many more to come. And I have, in fact, already had many of them with my second-born. But with my first child, we have not had many moments like this yet. Until tonight.

Let's back up and give a bit of the background. On Friday, Jeremiah had a friend over for a playdate, a boy from his class. This boy told me, toward the end of the playdate, that Jeremiah has a solo in the community gathering coming up on Monday. "...Um, the what? He has a solo? What is this, is it a concert? Can I come?" The friend looked at me pretty matter-of-factly and said, "well, yeah, I think you could come, it's just a community gathering." To which I replied, "Why has no one told his family!?"

He just looked at me. "But I just did."


You did, son. You're absolutely right. But, in an adult world, I feel like the music teacher or his classroom teacher or someone at the school, or, I don't know, maybe my own SON would have informed me of such a momentous occasion as a music teacher's child having his very first solo!

But, no one did. And I meant to email them and find out more information. But I did not.

And then briefly remembered last night that I needed to remember to attend this community gathering in the morning.

But guess what I forgot to do?

Not only that, but I didn't even remember that I forgot to attend until my brown-eyed bean pole of a 7 year old boy looked up at me when I finished checking his teeth tonight before bed and asked "did you think I did a good job with my song today?"


I contemplated for, maybe a full five seconds what the consequences of lying vs. not lying would be...and then I lied into those trusting eyes and told him, yes, you did a fantastic job...I was so proud of you.

And he beamed and said (a bit uncertainly) ,"I didn't even see you there."

And I lied some more, saying I had to scoot out quickly afterward.

He kept prying, in his innocent way, wanting more information. Why did I have to leave early? Where was I sitting?

And it snowballed, as lies often do. And I felt sick. Not only had I missed something that I could never get back, but I had disappointed my son in, now, more ways than one.

I ushered him upstairs and we prayed and sang a song, and he told me he loved me more than all the blades of grass in the world...and I couldn't keep it up. I told him I had to confess something to him.

I told him I had lied to him, and I wasn't there this morning and had forgotten and I felt terrible and then I lied to him to make him feel better that I wasn't there, but that was wrong and I am so very sorry and can you ever forgive me?

He turned his head from me and sobbed into his pillow. It was a feeling I have never felt with my oldest until now. 

I had let him down.

But, after a minute, he turned his red face to me and said, "I forgive you for everything."

My beautiful boy with a big heart.

I hugged him and we talked for a while about how I didn't want there to be dishonesty between us, and how mom forgets a LOT of things right now, how even adults aren't perfect, and how he can help remind me ("I can tell Dad, and he can help remind you, Mom!"), how we can maybe reenact the solo so mom and dad can hear it, and how this does not in any way mean I don't love him. He seemed to accept this fact, and I hope somehow that God can use this for good.

I feel like a heel.

This just makes me sad on multiple levels. I CAN'T BELIEVE I MISSED MY SON'S FIRST SOLO. I can't believe I didn't even remember something that was so important to him.

But, unfortunately, I can believe that I lied to him about it.

What is actually a new thing for confessing the lie to him. Not that I've lied to him about things very much at all, because I haven't. But, if I have a pet sin, lying is it. Especially what we in polite society like to call "white lies." It is so easy to use them to get out of accountability:

"Oh, I'm just swamped right now, can I call you back later?"

"Sorry, I ran into some traffic. It's pretty bad on route one right now!"

"Oh, yeah, I sent it in this morning!" (quickly runs back and puts letter in the mail that afternoon)

I tell myself I'm doing it to spare others' feelings or worrying...but really I'm doing it to save my own face, name, and reputation. And it's absolutely wrong and it's absolutely sin. And I do NOT want to set a precedent of that with my son.

I was caught in the wrong, and I lied to him. He forgives me, God forgives me, maybe I can forgive myself here someday. Jeremiah's disappointment in my absence there this morning is now mingled with his disappointment of his own mother lying to him. Two wrongs do NOT make a right.

But thank you, Lord, for giving me the courage to confess to him. May you use this, somehow to work out your glory in him and in our relationship.

While I feel like a terrible mom, I think this way is better than letting him believe I was there...because he really seemed like he did accept my alternate truth before I confessed the lie. Who out there disagrees with me? Is this not a big deal? For me, it came down to conviction. I felt the Spirit prodding, and I obeyed. And pray that God will use my brokenness to shape my son better than my pride could.

Thursday, March 05, 2015


I have been slowly transitioning our way of eating the last few years - into a more or less whole food or real food diet. We're not fanatic about it (, especially with CHIPS. Who can not eat CHIPS!?) and there are fairly regular deviations from that way of eating. But for the most part, we don't eat a lot of processed stuff, I make a whole lot of things now that I never really knew that I'd want to make. I thought I would chronicle the changes here, since I realized the other day that I use this blog as a bit of a memory keeper, since my memory is pretty terrible.

*Disclaimer* (or *note* or *something...*) - THIS IS NOT TO JUDGE YOU OR MAKE YOU FEEL BAD OR MAKE ME LOOK GOOD OR ANYTHING AT ALL IT IS SIMPLY FOR ME TO REMEMBER BECAUSE IT HAVE A TERRIBLE MEMORY. This list has been years in the making. One day I won't remember all the things I decided were important to do when the haze that living with three young kids is lifts. 

So, I have been, for about half a year now, making a few things that I used to buy:

- plain yogurt (in my crockpot)
- bone broth
- sourdough bread (and sourdough pizza crust and sourdough pancakes)
- homemade granola
- cloth wipes (to go with our cloth diapers)
- cleaning supplies (disinfecting wipes and sprays)
- hot chocolate
- salad dressings
- laundry detergent
- nuts (ok, not physically growing them, but soaking and roasting them)
- herbs (again...growing them, not making them)
- toothpaste
- essential oil medicinal remedies (like homemade vapor rub)
- playdoh

I find I like the challenge of running out of something and trying to either make do without it, or make it myself so I don't need to get it at the store. There have been colossal fails (um, like the time I tried to make apple cider vinegar and instead was breeding disgusting maggoty fruit flies...<shudder>)  But, the above successes are a viable part of our lives now. And our grocery bill has gone down because I can make these things instead of buy them.

Who knows where we'll be in a few years. I don't think I'll be the type to want to grow my own barley to grind my own flour to make my own sourdough bread. But I never thought I'd care enough to make my own yogurt either. Life changes you...and you should never say never.

I'm not opposed to occasionally buying things, either, FYI. I just like to save money.  That is literally, most of my motivation.

Over and out. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

God wants you!

So, being a mother of three and wife to a seminarian and working out of the home is HARD. There is no other way around it. It is hard and frustrating. It is also rewarding and fulfilling. But sometimes, it is hard to get past the point of seeing the hard and frustrating. And I don't know about you, but sometimes I get into a stage of not-so-rosy-colored-glasses days. It becomes so easy to indulge in self-pity and the comforting self-talk of others' problems making my own. It makes me feel so much better about how much work I'm doing and how I'm just so under-appreciated and how could I possibly be hard on myself when no one else I know is doing the things I am doing?

mom, how could I possibly make life hard for you?
My cuteness cancels it all out, don't you know?

The problem is, comparison is an ugly game.

I end up feeling better for a short amount of time, but then needing the self-talk soon enough again.

We women do that, don't we? We compare haircuts, fashion statements, laughs, attitudes, work history, reactions, prejudices, kids, shoe size, spouses, spiritual walks...

Sometimes it's innocent enough...little comments with a best friend about the stranger walking by ("ooo, I wish I could wear that!" "my hips would never fit in that style of skirt"). And sometimes it's judgmental...thoughts about that 4 year old kid in nursery who cries/screams very obviously for his mom until she comes and he calms right down ("well, if she didn't cater to that behavior, it wouldn't happen!")

sometimes a child's behavior is SO much more than just a parent's prior reactions to it...
...we should err on giving a little (a lot?) of grace with parents
But really.

What does all the comparison talk, whether to tear ourselves down or build us up, do?  What does it DO? It sets us against each other, and against God. It gives us a reason to think we are all-knowing and prideful, or a reason to doubt God's good creating of us exactly the way we are.

I happen to be a fairly insecure person who many folks read as very secure. When they tell me this, I'm not always sure how or why that happens, but I think it is because, in recent years, I've become more secure in God's knowledge of me. I don't always trust Him as I should, I don't always like what He puts in my path...but I do trust that He knows me and has created me and has put people in my life to help me become more His.

the many moods of J - , er...Despina

This has been, and continues to be, a work in progress. I go through many, many days of insecurity and taking my eyes off Christ and noodling around wondering if anything I am doing is making any sort of a difference to anybody and WHY am I even here. Especially since quitting my job and starting this First Steps business, and having three kids who, really are pretty terrible on my self-esteem (need to be knocked down a few pegs? Have a few kids and you'll never recover...ha!) is tough!!

So, anyway. This post is a little reminder to myself to not fall into that trap of comparison. The only one I should be comparing to is Jesus, and well...that's really no comparison. But rather than throw myself in the mud (or growing pile of dirty dishes) in despair, He reaches out to show me my value as His. Regardless of what I do or how I do it or how much I do. We think it's important - but He doesn't. He just wants us.

ok, so this still makes it seem like God wants something from you...but I thought it was funny.

If you see me in the depths of despair some days...feel free to speak this truth to me. I don't want the "oh, you are doing just fine, look at this thing, or that that you're doing..."  That's a nice salve, but I want the true healing truth. I am important because I am God's child, and not because of what I can do or be.

p.s. - don't you love how many italics I used? :)