Finding New Mercies (& gardening!) in the Drama of Raising Toddlers

Levi tried to "wash my computer for me" with some soapy water left over in his body wash bottle about 3 weeks ago. Then we found out that our "Black Tie Warranty" expired in April, and it was May. This means no computer for momma.

And honestly, it was OK. I don't want to get over spiritual about the sovereignty of God, but my first thought (OK, maybe my second thought...) was, "This is good. Thank you, God. Less distraction. I need this." And you know what? It has been good. And after all, we aren't without a computer (we still have Waylon's). I just don't have a computer with easy access all throughout the day. And I like it.

So I've been spending time tackling my new favorite hobby: gardening. It is something that involves more family participation than a zone out time that can often occur for me in front of the computer. It's funny though, the running joke in our house is that I most definitely DO NOT have a "green thumb" because our first year of marriage I killed a cactus house plant Waylon had gotten for me. A cactus. Yeah, that takes skill. 

But here we are in our awesome home with raised beds ready for action, rich compost, great soil, and already established strawberry beds, blackberry bushes, a few blueberry bushes, and a pear tree. We would be crazy to let this stuff go. And so, we have begun learning and just going for it. 
Pears coming!
Blackberry bushes are going crazy!
Blueberries beginning :)
Our first attempt at planting anything (and it was from seed...which felt even cooler!) was last fall when we did fall crops. And to our astonishment, we enjoyed carrots, lettuce, spinach and onions from our garden beds planted by us. (Our beans and broccoli didn't fair so well, but we were so excited about the rest of it all, we did not care!). 

So we are going for it again this spring and summer and having so much excitement in the whole process. We have been eating fresh lettuce, spinach, and green onion daily in fun salads for lunch, ending many meals with bowls of strawberries, and just snacked on our first carrots last night. I had no idea how rewarding gardening would feel and how much I would love having dirt in my hands! Plus, again, it's time outside enjoying the sun and fun with the kids and teaching them as we go, too. A win all around! Though I didn't take the initiative to set these computer boundaries on my own, I'm grateful for the change in my days. Thanks, Levi.

And yet, though this no-computer-more-time-outdoors season has been awesome, I'm challenged as I read my favorite blog lady's post today as I'm also in a season of "nesting" and feeling SO much demand internally to have all my ducks in a row: 

"What do I want my children to remember — my joy in clean floors, made beds and ironed shirts — or my joy of the Lord?
You will be most remembered — by what brought you most joy.
The joy of the Lord is your strength and the person of Christ is your unassailable joy – and the battle for joy is nothing less than fighting the good fight of faith." -Ann Voskamp

Oh yuck. This hits at my heart.

Just today I was boiling over Judah going into his bedroom and dumping all his puzzle pieces, all his Imaginext toys (both buckets), and most of his clothes from his drawer on his floor. Did he not know I had a list a mile long in my head that "needs" to get done before Samuel comes? How did dealing with this crazy mess fit into it all? 

Waylon gently led me to not go into "freak out mode" and think about the bigger picture. Would I allow this mess to control me for the morning? And would I hurt Judah in the process by handling him in anger? 

Now, don't get me wrong, he had a responsibility with this mess, but how would I go about getting him there? That is the important thing. Yes, he must learn responsibility, consideration of others and his things, but how do I come alongside him to get him there, especially when it messes with "my agenda?" 

It takes a shift in our perspective. What is the most important thing in my heart? Is it really a clean bedroom for my boys? Is it "To love the Lord your God, with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength...and to love your neighbor as yourself?" Yes. This is Truth. This is right perspective. Crushing Judah to ensure a clean room is not loving him as myself. 

So glad His mercies are new everyday. And grace is available immediately. I need it. And learning to be grateful that Levi "washed" my computer and Judah makes his room look like a tornado hit it. My boys help me see the condition of my heart and challenge me to walk with the right gaze. 


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