Contrasting Ezra.

A little video of the two different sides to Ezra, posted to Facebook a few days ago.

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A Month in Instagram Photos – March 2012

I took way more Instagram photos this month than the past couple!  I love seeing them all together like this.

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A Month in Photos – March 2012

March was full of simple things like Isaac swinging in his swing and his brother and sister fawning over him.  We actually said goodbye to the swing this month… it quit working!  We celebrated Ezra’s 2nd birthday, just as a family (I was pretty sure that he wasn’t ready to have a friends party… which he proved by throwing a fit when we suggested he open his presents!  Glad it was just us!)  We went on a trip to the Bailey’s cabin for our Young Adults Retreat and then we went to Regina for Western Christian College’s final Homecoming and a weekend with the Roberts family!

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A Week in Photos – Week 15 – Project 365

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April 7, 2012 – my boys.

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April 8, 2012 – Easter Egg Hunt followed by a wiener roast at the Zorn’s farm. Ezra was so excited about finding eggs, both at home and on the farm.

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April 9, 2012 – Eva and Ezra had fun playing with sidewalk chalk.

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April 10, 2012 – Playing outside again.

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April 11, 2012 – Isaac had a loooong nap on mama. I got a lot of cleaning done!

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April 12, 2012 – Dropped Eva off at school.

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April 13, 2012 – Eva and Ezra playing nicely on the window seat.

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Weary.

I’m having a hard time keeping up to the pace of blogging with which I once kept.

Right now, I feel like every moment of every day is taken up by something.  I can hardly start a task before Eva and Ezra start fighting, or the baby needs something, which starts me onto some other task, with possible interruptions, and little task after little task begins and begins and it feels like I’m never really finishing anything, and by the time I’m done all that I can hardly remember what the first task was!

I remember this happening when Ezra was a baby, so I’m sure that it won’t last forever, but not being able to accomplish anything is kind of wearing on me.  Day in day out of fighting against the build up of laundry, dishes, and clutter starts to feel a little pointless after a while when it just keeps coming back.  Right now, I hardly seem to have any time to myself, except for at the end of the day when Isaac finally falls asleep.  A couple of weeks ago I texted Bethany and was telling her how everyone was finally in bed and I was laying down in bed to read for 15 minutes of me-time.  15 minutes.  And you know what?  I only lasted for 10 minutes because I was so tired that I couldn’t even keep my eyes open anymore.

It makes me feel like I’m failing, despite my last post on how I’m amazing and God loves me and the only expectations that matter are his.  Even though I might know this, it is still hard to believe it and I still feel like God’s idea of me loving my children includes much less screen-time and much less Kraft Dinner than what they are having.  I also know this is a hard season, anytime a new little baby is around everything gets put on hold for a while and no one blames me for not having energy or time to accomplish everything, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still hard.  And I just need to to voice that right now.

Jesus said that anyone who is weary or burdened should come to him and he will give them rest (Matthew 11:28) and I’ve been taking him up on his offer.  I have really slowed down my social media life, it had become an idol to me, replacing time with God and taking my heart for God, and I’ve been trying to lean into God as much as possible.

It doesn’t always look like a peaceful sit down, bible study and prayer time with a candle lit and a latte in my hand.  Sometimes I’m reading my bible while rocking the baby.  Other times, I’m reading it on the couch while the kids run around around me and its anything but quiet.  Sometimes, it is quiet and of course that’s my favourite and I can focus more and really take it all in.

I originally came here just to write a post and get some things of my chest but now I think I’m going to go and spend some time privately journalling (a way of prayer for me) and spending time with God.

I think I’m gonna feel a lot better after I do.

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A Week in Photos – Week 14 – Project 365

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March 31, 2012 – having fun playing with cousins and Uncle Mark. Eva was up in the night with a sore ear so off to the doctor we went. She fell asleep on my lap while waiting. An ear infection in the opposite ear.

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April 1, 2012 – LaVonne and Kerry hosted a BBQ for any family members that were still around on Sunday night. We got to see Auntie Susan & Uncle Blair (Isaac is passed out on his lap), Uncle Jack & Auntie Karen, Bethany & Ryan and family, Grandma Peterson, Grandpa Bert and Cecile… and I think that’s it past immediate Roberts family. Isaac got passed around a lot!

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April 2, 2012 – the looong drive home.

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April 3, 2012 – Happy Birthday Peter! Isaac went in the bumbo again today and did better! His neck is getting stronger!

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April 4, 2012 – Isaac went in the exersaucer for the first time. Needed to be propped up a little bit with blankets, but did pretty well!

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April 5, 2012 – wishing I were him… He had me up 5 times between 12 and 7, at which point I just stayed awake because Ezra and Eva were awake. We moved Ezra to the bottom bunk when we got home from Regina and he’s been doing pretty well in his new bed! The best is that he doesn’t scream when he wakes up!

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April 6, 2012 – Eva wrote her second book in her series of books. She draws all the pictures and then we staple it together. After that she tells me the story and I write it down for her!

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Why You Are Amazing

I’m a perfectionist, did you know that?

I didn’t.

I really didn’t.

I mean, I knew that I had high standards and high expectations on others and myself, but I honestly thought that those standards were really just the standard.  And I wasn’t making the cut because I thought that perfectionists were people who actually just did everything perfectly, but that’s not true.  Perfectionists are also people like me who find an ideal and try to bend and shape themselves into it, even if (no matter how hard they try) they don’t fit.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve beaten myself and pushed myself to tears over trying to, quite simply, be someone else.

I do it all the time.  Innocently, I have an idea.  Could be for ministry (like moms and tots or a women’s book club), a blog (Inspired Mama or simply blogging my family life), photography, motherhood, wife-hood or even for my own spirituality.  Then I google something or read something or somehow find something that is intended to encourage me along in my task.  Suddenly, I find myself searching for every little detail available online for “how to do {insert task here}” and find myself bombarded with ideas like “how to write the perfect title so everyone will read your post”, “how to insert the perfect keywords so that people will find your blog on google”, “how to write and market your ebook”, so on and so forth that I can’t even think straight anymore.

I do it all. the. time.

Do you know what happens when I do that?  I overwhelm myself with so many good ideas that it makes me feel like a tiny little piece of crap — good for nothing.  It overwhelms to me the point where I can’t even do the basic anymore, suddenly I’m aware of so many better ways to do “it” that I can’t even do “it” at all.

What this all boils down to, is that I’ve never believed that they way that I am is good enough.  Peter always says things to me that are basically along the lines of “who cares what other people are doing or how much they can handle, they aren’t you“.

My response in my head?  “Yes, but I’m not good enough.”

And I have really believed it.

Now, I’m not writing all this to have you comment and tell me how awesome you think I am (though, I’m not gonna stop you if you want to!).  I’m writing this because I’m worried that many of you feel the same way about yourselves.  I’m worried that so many of us think so little of ourselves that we are trying to hard to make ourselves into something we just aren’t.  After reading Holley’s book, I realized that it is okay to be me.  I am okay.  The way I do things is okay.  If I can’t make my own yogurt, homemade bread, kombucha and can’t get my kids to eat kale chips and drink raw milk, it’s okay.  If I can’t write a New York Times Bestselling book, it’s okay.  If I can’t juggle a home office and taking care of three kids at the same time, that’s okay.  If I send my kids to school, even public school {gasp}, that’s okay.

Do you know why that’s okay?

The honest answer is: It’s okay because of God.  I know that might sound super cheesy and just so-Christian and just the right thing to say, but stay with me here.  This whole time, my entire life, even, at times, in my walk with Jesus, I have been trying to please men.  Not literally men, but people and people’s standards are always changing and are different than God’s standards.

Galatians 1:10 says “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”  I think I have spent most of my life trying to win the approval of so many different people and it is honestly too hard to keep up.  Sometimes I find myself crying.  Sometimes I find myself curled up in my bed thinking about how I suck at life and I should just run away, and my kids would be better off without me, and I’m killing them anyway because we don’t eat organic and I can’t even keep my house clean, what on earth is my problem!?

And the answer is that my problem really is on earth.  I keep searching for my value in all of these earthly ideals and every time it doesn’t satisfy or I don’t make the cut, I berate myself and do you know where that comes from?  The enemy.  The enemy had me so believing for so long that I wasn’t okay that even now it is scary and difficult for me to believe it.

I am okay.  You are okay.  And if you still don’t believe me, here’s the proof in the pudding (actually, in Micah 6:8):

“And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”

Oh and you know what else?  God also said this: “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 2:9).

What good news to hear!  God doesn’t care so much about all these things that I have deemed so important.  He just wants me to act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with him.  His grace is enough for even me,  and when I fail, in those places where I just don’t quite meet the “standard”, he says that his power will be made perfect (meaning, he’ll be able to really shine).  And honestly, hasn’t God used a lot people who just weren’t quite good enough (Moses, a murderer who also wasn’t a very eloquent speaker; David, also a murderer and an adulterer; Jonah, who kept running away from God, too scared to go into Ninevah; all the apostles, who weren’t technically “good enough” in their culture to have already been called by Rabbis).

I feel so very free right now.  My heart is dancing.  I feel a bursting from within, wanting to shout it out from the Calgary Tower (probably more people would hear than if I shouted from a mountain) that there is no law, no impossible expectations from God, he just wants to love us and us to love him and love others too.   God is the standard and we just have to come to him, we don’t have to bend and shape ourselves to try and make ourselves fit.  If we come to him, he makes us new and perfect.   We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and he said we are okay.  Actually, better than that,  he called us “good“.

Happy GOOD Friday!

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