toddler trenches.

y’all, if anyone was there right now….this has been such a challenging week of parenting for me.  Think knots on my forehead from a certain child hitting me over and over with his sippy cup.  crying on the couch as Asher comforts me, “it’s ok mama” while she hugs and kisses me.  lots of frustration, and sighs, and embarrassed looks as my children run wild and free at our local natural foods store.

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it’s been tough, but y’all I’m so thankful for this community.

for my friends in my city who speak life to me.  who text me encouraging words and scriptures and bring me “am I messing up my kids” book hours after a meltdown [by my child, and frankly me too]

for my instagram friends who gave me some stellar advice on said knot on head, thank you.  #boymom problem

something happens when we open up, and show our real selves with each other.  when we admit we don’t have it all together.  when we ask for wisdom and advice from each other.  when we simply let our guard down.

this past weekend Stephen was at a retreat with his Man Up guys, and since I hate being home alone, me and the kids loaded up and drove 300 miles to spend 2 days with my best friend Brynn and her family.  If there was any of my peers that I look up to/would strive to model their parenting- it would probably be Brynn.

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she’s the fun mom.  she’s creative and spunky and full of energy.  she and I were church rec majors together in college for goodness sake.  she’s on the floor playing with her girls.  making up games, building forts, going on scavenger walks around the neighborhood, playing “jake and the neverland pirates” at the park with all the kids while us moms chat. she’s not only fun but she’s kind. she’s intentional.  she loves well and listens hard.  I’ve never seen her raise her voice or get frustrated with her kids [not saying she never has, but just saying I haven’t seen it].  She’s up early and up late and doesn’t even like coffee [what’s wrong with her?].  She inspires the crap outta me.

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to say we had an absolute blast at her house would be an understatement.  my kiddos [and their mama] were worn out at the end of our two day fest.  I digress…

you should also know that her home is amazingly beautiful, her girls are well dressed, and she knows how to throw a legit party.  am I making you not like her?  for real, you would love her!  no, you would adore her [like I do].  let me go on.  she’s the most encouraging and affirming friend.  I watched her affirm the gifts of her friends every chance she got.  She looked them in the eye and spoke truth and encouragement.  I watched as her house [much like mine] is a revolving door of friends.  people coming by to borrow something, drop off a gift, bring their kids in to play for a min….her home is an open door and so is her heart.

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ya want to know something really ugly about my heart?  the first day - I totally got stuck in the comparison trap.  I couldn’t simply celebrate all the amazing things my best friend is gifted in, oh no.  I had to feel insecure in my own abilities instead.

what is it with us women and our comparison game?   why do we let the enemy in our head and tell us these lies?  lies that we aren’t good enough.  or we won’t ever measure up.  or because I don’t do it their way, it must not be the right way.

I don’t know about you, but this has been a very real struggle for me for most of my life.

I want my house to be as picked up as hers, and as beautiful as hers.  I want my peers to respect me as much as hers respect her.  I want to really want to get on the floor and play with my kids instead of “getting stuff done” all the time.

I think we, or at least, I idolize people.  I see them from afar, or even from close up, and wonder “how does she do it all?” 

Well I woke up this morning [Wednesday] with a new mindset.  why do we continue to play comparison?  why can’t we CELBRATE how God made each of us?  He made some of us to love to clean, and some to love the chaos, some to be crafty and some to be business-y, some to cook all organic and some to not even care.  it doesn’t matter!  we are ALL his precious daughters, and we can celebrate who God made each of us to be!  

I love my best friend, Brynn.  even though she doesn’t love coffee, wine, or accessorizing.  [I know, how are we even friends?] even though she schools me in crafts + party planning + baking + a host of other things.  I’m learning that those things don’t matter – what matters is we are each secure in who we each are in Christ! 

I’m going to stop comparing my parenting to her’s [and other mom friends I have] and be content to be ME.  I’m the best mom  for MY kids, just like my friends are the best moms for THEIR kids.  

there is such freedom in that.

and at the end of the day…we are all just in the trenches together.  I would like to submit that we can more than survive – we can THRIVE.  let’s encourage each other, speak life into each others giftings, and LOVE the heck out of each other.  we need each other.  and mostly, we need Jesus every step of the way.

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is there a mom friend in your life you can call today and encourage?  we all need it, let’s give it!   how about it….

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*I stumbled across this blog [House of Rose] and she’s super passionate about what I just wrote about!   She says on the end of her blog promo…” love the life you are living!”  YES!!!!

  • Debbe Trippet - “To compare is to despair”
    Very good post. I think every woman can relate!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Worley - Love, love, love this! it’s so easy to get caught up in this trap and forget that god has made us uniquely his own. you’re so right, let’s celebrate each other, build each other up and encourage one another. i think this goes not for just mamas but for all women really. mom or not we as women need to stand by each other and build each other up no matter what are stage.ReplyCancel

  • Claire Hogg - Amen! A great lesson to learn young… and unfortunately for me, relearn often. You are the best mom for your children–and your life… Embrace that gift!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn Perry Shirey - Have SO been there in those moments where parenting is tough and we’re caught in that comparison trap – seeing other moms doing everything so seemingly right and effortlessly, while we’re struggling and not seeming to measure up. Love your call to celebrate, not compare. We’re each called to different families and different children. We can each be the best mom for our children, even if we’re different moms from each other. Great post!ReplyCancel

  • Chantel Klassen - This post was so timely Wynne. I read it and then the very next week I met a mama that made me feel like a bad mother -not because of anything she said but just because she is such a good mother. She’s so sweet and gentle, two things I am so often NOT. It was great to come back to this post and be encouraged. Keep writing sister :)ReplyCancel

so, #write31days is over.  whew.

are you still with me?

I’m thinking that at this point, I [well mainly YOU] deserve a much needed break.

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but here’s the thing…I missed writing in real time.  and so much has happened the past month-ish since I’ve been writing on my note to self series.  I have some writing to do, and some big things to catch you up on, but before we get to that, let’s just recap.

  • we announced that we are moving to Bryan/College Station, Texas to be apart of a new church plant, Declaration church
  • we launched the carry camp!  and small groups.
  • one of my closest “people” here + her family left to be a full time missionaries
  • I did a 30 day beach body challenge called fit for fall with some college girlfriends
  • I started sharing more of my oily journey with young living + have a pretty fun team so far!
  • we’ve made 4 trips to Bryan [almost 7 hours drive away] to look at homes
  • collectively been to 5 college football games [all outta town]
  • had several noonday shows
  • a trip to the human + animal hospital [we’re fine now]
  • celebrated the kids being home forever 2 years
  • started packing my house….

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(19 of 25)

(3 of 3)

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wow.  seriously a lot has happened.  all while trying to keep up with this writing series.  sure, I didn’t hit 31 posts – but I’m pretty proud of myself.  I stuck with it.  I gave myself grace.  and I challenged myself.

I learned that it’s ok to “go back” and share stories, even if they aren’t in real time.  but I’ve also learned that I like writing and processing in real time.  not sure where the balance is on that, but it will be nice to put my fingers to the keys again to really express what I’m currently feeling and going through.  I learned that it doesn’t really matter how many people read it, or how much exposure it gets, and it’s not at all about that.  I don’t know what I expected, but even if I wrote just for my kids to have these stories and thoughts and voice memos from their mom one day, it was worth it.

so, there you have it.

the next few months will be sorta crazy with packing/selling/buying/moving/saying goodbye – and I now know why God has us in a season of stay.  it’s going to be bittersweet to leave this town, and the 6.5 years of friendships and stories I’ve lived here.  I want to be intentional with my people, face to face, and so that might mean not as much here on the blog.  but it also might mean late into the night free therapy  writing to write.

I don’t know how to end this post….talk soon friends!

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this guy has stood by my side, loved me, cheered me on, brought me soup + meds in bed, made me laugh, driven me across the country, dreamed with me, cried with me, endured all my emotional hormonal times of the month, taken us on family adventures, and led us well.

who would have guessed 8 years ago today where we’d be now?

I keep having to remind myself, that Gods plans are better than any we could have come up with on our own.

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here’s to the next 50 years!

the best is yet to come.

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engagement + bridal images by Huy.

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[us in our “new home” when we moved to Midland in 2008!]

 

well, I said it!  news is OUT! there is a really amazing God sized story that I need to tell you, so hang with me.  before you listen to the voice memo, I”ll give you a hint….we are moving our family to Bryan/College Station, Texas to be a part of a new church plant in Bryan called Declaration Church.

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I can’t believe I’ve been holding this in so long, y’all a month is long for me, and honestly I wish I knew more.  I wish I could tell you when we’re moving, or about the home we bought, or about how we sold our house in 2.5 seconds here – but none of that has been made clear to us yet.  We are simply taking the next step saying YES. moving in faith and obedience even when we don’t really know where we’re going yet.  

God has been preparing my heart for this for over a year.  I’ve had this feeling in my spirit, that change was coming for about 1.5 years.  I’ve known that our “job” in Midland was close to over, and at times I really wanted it to be.  I love this place, I love my people here.  our church home.  our community.  we’ve been here 6.5 years – most of our married life.  it’s the only home we’ve owned.  we are plugged in here, but at the same time I’ve had a fear of really planting roots, feeling in my gut we weren’t going to be here forever.  but regardless, we’ve made friends that we’ll have forever here.  we became mama + daddy here.  we walked through our entire adoption process + our infertility journey thus far with our people here.  it’s a special special place, this desert town.

now god is moving us, taking us to a new place.  doing a new thing! [ isaiah 42:9] before it springs forth, he tells us.  and I’ve known in my heart.  In April of 2013, Stephen and I took the kids out for lunch in Waco at one of our favorite spots, Food for Thought, down by Baylor.  As we stood in line, we met a nice man named Blake.  He asked us about the kids, showed us pictures of his family [he’d also adopted] and we learned he was a pastor at the Village church in Dallas.  [thanks to my google stalking skills, we found him on the inter webs]  fast forward to September 15th, 2013.  I was in Dallas for my sister Rachel’s birthday and that Sunday we got up and went to her church, the Village.  before the service started, and before I even put my bottom on the chair, I picked up a card with a picture of that nice man Blake + his family!  Little did I know it was “church planting” sunday….

Blake began to share his story of who, what, when and why of his family picking up from their life in Dallas to move back to his hometown of Bryan to start a church.  to declare what God had done for him.

 

Church-Planter-Sermon from Blake Chilton on Vimeo.

I was so  moved, I literally texted stephen when we left church and said something like “babe, I think we are supposed to move to Bryan/College Station to be a part of this guys church plant”.  he knows me, and he knows that I get excited easily and he probably just thought it was another one of my crazy ideas.  [oh like, adoption?, going to africa together..ya know, crazy ideas]  I wrote a note in my phone on the way home from Dallas that day…

The timing of being at the village on sending Sunday was not lost on me. Lord do you have church planting in our future? I would love to be a part of a church planting team. In a city. A multicultural, multigenerational & multiethnic community. I want to see people set free. I want to proclaim what you’ve done in me! I want to TELL your story.
Whitney wrote in her email & said “thanks for being a fighter”. Thank you for that. I want to keep fighting. Fighting against my against my against my  

that sometimes wants to live the life I always thought I would. I need constant reminders of this new life I have in you. Lord, bind my wandering heart to thee.

and my prayer was….

Let us dream big & pray big circles around what you want for us. My heart has been stirred for the city but I’m not sure about Stephens. If the city is where you can use us best, show us a city to circle. If Africa is where you want us, point us in the right direction. If midland is where we are to build our roots, help me accept that.

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and y’all, there’s SO MUCH more to the story.

the part where God confirms + calls and we say YES!

[YES GOD, more than any comfort, YOU are better. ]

like one full years worth of confirmations and god stories, and I want to tell them all to you.  I don’t want to skimp on one.  so this will be turned into a 2 [or maybe 3 part] series.  also, because each time I type it, it mysteriously erases.  so, there’s that.

please come back to hear more in the next few weeks.  it’s full of God’s goodness, his faithfulness and the faith and trust He’s building in us.

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I can’t believe this series is over…it’s been quite the month!  Thank you for journeying with me, for your sweet words and comments and encouragement.  I’ll share a little more later what I learned, but just wanted to say a big fat THANKS for now!

  • Molly - Oh Wynne! I’m so excited for y’all! Wow! I can’t wait to hear the rest of your beautiful stories and I know God will do something AMAZING with your “yes”!!!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline - wahoo! Love this! So awesome. Love how God was preparing you for this all along! What an exciting change. Keep us updated!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Worley - That’s so exciting, and even more so that God has called you to this. confirmed it even! what an exciting time for your family. new adventures are always so fun, and I personally love church plants. there’s nothing more fun (and hard work) than watching a new church that god has grow! seeing lives changed that way.ReplyCancel

  • Chantel - I have LOVED reading your journey the last few years, Wynne! Honestly, I feel like in so many ways we are on very much the same journey just a few years behind you so I always just love seeing God open up does for you. Will definitely keep you guys in my prayers!ReplyCancel

  • Sally Shake - Hey Wynne! My husband and I moved to BCS this summer and Declaration has become our family! The Lord is completely present here and he is making this church and this town more like him everyday! I look forward to meeting you soon! ReplyCancel

  • Paige Leverette Knudsen - so excited for ya’ll!!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Madeira - I just LOVE God stories like this! I’m so excited for you guys as God leads you! :)ReplyCancel

  • Jenna Harrison - just saw this post via a friend + am living/working in bcs and attend declaration! excited to welcome your sweet family to town!ReplyCancel

  • lets bring it back. » Gloriously Ruined - […] announced that we are moving to Bryan/College Station, Texas to be apart of a new church plant, Declaration […]ReplyCancel