Husbands ~ consider your wives. We sometimes wonder if you still see us as the attractive bride you married. Now that the kids and the chaos of the daily routines have added gray hairs and jiggly pounds. A kind word is like your 'super power' to charge our hearts!
Wives ~ consider your husbands. He sometimes wonders if you have any thing else in your wardrobe other than yoga pants and men's t-shirts. Dress 'up' for him like you used to when you were *trying* to attract him. Throw on that shiny lip gloss he likes, and fluff out your hair five minutes before he gets home from work.
Sure, our value doesn't lie in the surface props... but it goes both ways, doesn't it?
It's been a while since I've done a quick *foodie* post - and today it's all about my favourite type of cuisine: THAI!
Back when my guy and I were young(er)... and had this crazy thing called 'disposable income' we used to eat out... like, a lot. But, the debate would always be about where to eat - because I constantly craved all things Thai, while Ben wanted a good pub meal of fish + chips. Thankfully there's some awesome local restuarants that met both our palettes.
Anywho, now that we're old(er) and cheap(er)... we have to make the fine dining from home.
So recently I decided to whip up some spring rolls for some friends and our family.
This is a bit *labour intensive* simply because it's a lot of fiddly work.
I like to have all the ingredients chopped and ready on one side, with my large fry pan filled with (sugar) water on the other.
1) Soak a piece of RICE paper in the water until it softens to the touch (like the consistency of a deflated slobbery balloon that your toddler lets off in your face...).
2) Slip a new sheet into the water to start softening while you make the current spring roll.
3) Place a small portion of your ingredients on the lower third of the rice paper - like so:
(Ingredients seen here: basil leaf + red pepper + mango + cooked chicken).
4) Roll up bottom piece over the ingredients, then flip both of the side panels over the middle and roll them up nice and tight.
Serve fresh with a sweet chili sauce.
You can also pan fry (deep fry) them for an extra greasy treat.
For a mama who is literally *never* alone, there are still times that feel painfully lonely.
Maybe it's true for most mothers - this battle with isolation.
It seems odd, that in light of all these wee ones around us continually vying for our attention, that we could feel alone. It seems confusing that despite all the frequent play groups and visitors throughout the week that this feeling can persist.
I'll tell you when I feel most alone... is after an especially difficult day with the kids.
After all the wailing, rebelling and disobedience has pushed me to the brink.
After the anger has boiled my blood and shook me down to my very marrow.
After my hands are quivering from the strain of trying to hold back this wild beast inside.
The battle of speaking firmly - but calmly - while my insides are screaming.
Trying to keep that monster of anger stuffed inside is isolating.
Because it feels like you're the only one who sees it.
Like, a dirty secret.
Secrets separate us.
When my husband comes home and asks 'how was your day?'... and I give him that wild eyed stare. The 'PTSD (post toddler stress disorder)' kind of stare that says, "I'm barely keeping it together here".
He gets it.
He knows me.
But still, not enough....
There's a loneliness that runs deeper than your soul mate can reach.
This is the kind of heart ache that is a megaphone crying out for the deepest connection.
The reunion of my heart to the heart Who made me.
He alone knows me deepest.
Sees my heart.
Loves me still.
Every other distraction we seek to fill this void will leave us empty.
Feasting on Facebook, tuning out to television, burying ourselves in books, pursuing pleasures, exercising excessively.... any good thing we try to turn in to the ONLY delight, becomes an added obstacle to true fulfillment.
'Our hearts are restless, till they find their rest in Thee' - Augustine.
Weary mamas, fatigued friends, I hope you know where to find the deepest rest.
To be known in the deepest intimacy possible, and loved extravagantly through grace.
That moment when some one unexpectedly shows up at your door... and you look like a deer caught in the headlights?
You're wondering if you've even brushed your teeth yet today, while your eyes frantically comb the room for any signs of disorder that may appall your guest? You've just lost your temper with the kids and everyone - including yourself - is about ready to wail again.
You're not feeling very hospitable.
You're feeling horrible.
I wonder, do you know that moment?
That moment when you've got the dishes and laundry put away. You're actually dressed, and the kids are too. The dinner is sweetly simmering, and you're all happily reading a book together on the couch...
... and you think: 'gosh, I hope some one drops by right now, and sees how wonderful our family is'!
So, I'm not sure about you, but I'm pretty sure most of us mamas struggle with balancing a home and being hospitable.
I've been thinking about it a lot lately.
Hospitality has become a big scary concept to many of us.
We assume it means: put on a good show.
As in, make Martha Stewart proud. As in, have your home be the rival of any picture on Pinterest. As in, be the smiling mom with serene children.
We feel apologetic when people come over and see us caught in our mess.
"Sorry, it's not usually like this" and "I was just about to do those dishes" followed by "I haven't even washed my hair today".
Are we trying to convince everyone that we usually have it all together?
Are we trying to pretend that our kids are actually maids, and keep the house spotless?
Why do we all get so caught up in these ridiculous pressures to maintain the facade?
One word: pride.
Because pride is the real dirt.
Pride wants others to believe we have it all together.
If my house has to be spotless for you to visit - I'm showing the real dirt of pride - by trying to impress you with how clean I am.
How in control I am.
How 'not-a-mess' I am.
But humility is the best cleaning agent.
Humility says 'welcome, friend!'
I am what I am.
Our home is caught in the 'act' of life.
Life is messy and beauty-full.
Learn from our mistakes, learn from our dirty stains, I'm not here to lord over you.
Or, in the words of that movie we've all memorised:
"Love is an OPEN door".
Has love for others unlocked your doors?
Remember, most of us feel more at home in the chaos... because... it's real.
P.S: Dear local friends.. consider this your public invite/challenge to 'just show up' at my door for tea. I really want to practice this humiliation humility posture. Honestly, do it.