The Macs

Thursday, February 25, 2010

a little messy

Sorry about my absence.
Do you ever have weeks where everything feels like a mess?
That has been my week.
My house has been a mess.
My emotions have been a mess.
My spiritual life has been a little messy.
Levi has had a few days where he has been a mess.
And the Cora's for Calla fundraiser...
well, it had turned into a mess.

mess #1
It turns out that my little Levi DOES cry. I know, it is hard to believe. Earlier this week he spent lots of time trying out his lungs. He found out he can scream pretty loud. I think the poor guy has had some belly aches. And maybe a growth spurt. It is hard to know. But every time I started to get frustrated or tired, I just squeezed him a little tighter. I reminded myself of how blessed I am to be able to hold him at all, even if he is screaming. Although sometimes even my exhaustion overtakes my common sense. Thankfully Joel is around to keep me level headed. Oh, and the past few days have been much better. And Levi has started smiling at us all the time (when he is not screaming of course). And cooing too. It is SO sweet.

mess #2
I have been struggling. Struggling to find time to spend in the Word with little Levi around. Things are all of a sudden busy again--life has changed, again. And just like so many times before, I am having a hard time keeping my priorities straight. I remember going through this same thing after Cora was born. But this time I feel the absence so much more. My time with the Lord has been so sweet since we lost Cora. He has been my friend, guide, comforter, and so much more. I needed Him desperately to get through each day. And I still do. I have never longed for time with the Lord like I do now. I miss Him. I can tell a difference in my day and emotions and attitues when I haven't taken time out to talk to Him. Everything else starts feeling like a mess. And I don't want to keep moving forward like this. I am making it a priority from here on to set aside time each day for the Lord. At least I am praying that this would be my priority. My time with the Lord may look a little different now, than what it did before Levi was born. And that is okay. But I still need it. Not just a few passing seconds, but quality time. As my life becomes busy again with being a mom, I don't want to be so distracted by other things that I miss out on what is most important. I need to be solid in my relationship with the Lord so that I can be the best wife for Joel and the best mama for Levi. I need Him.

mess #3
I was getting so frustrated with the Cora's for Calla thing. I have been praying that the Lord would work in this "mess" and that I would be able to continue to love my friend through this fundraiser. Every idea I had or someone else suggested seemed to lead to a closed door. I thought I had everything cleared up with PayPal and then I got another e-mail saying that my account had been restricted again. Really?? I called, sent in more information, wrote several e-mails and then finally resolved the problem yesterday. I found out that they WILL allow me to accept donations as long as it is just a donation, no strings attached. NO RAFFLES. Apparently they are illegal, so I wouldn't suggest hosting one on your blog. And auctions are okay too.  So here is the plan for Cora's for Calla...

I am going to try a combination of giveaways and auctions. I will also be putting up the donations button again. This time we will just be taking donations from anyone who feels led to give, any amount. Even a few dollars, when added up with everyone else, goes a long way. The giveaways WILL NOT be tied to a donation. Although if you want to give and enter the giveaway that would be awesome...but you don't have to. Anyone can enter the giveaways. All I ask is that you would pray for Calla and her family and maybe even hop over to their blog and encourage them. The giveaways will be smaller and more frequent. And then every once in a while I will auction something off too, with the item going to the highest bidder.  Believe me, I have looked into a lot of things, and this just seemed like the least time consuming and best way to finish off Cora's for Calla. I have okayed everything with PayPal, so I think we are good. I know this is different than the original plan, so if you donated an item for Cora's for Calla and have a problem with what I am doing, please e-mail me. Otherwise, Cora's for Calla will resume tomorrow. Yeah! I am so relieved and excited to have this all figured out. I can't wait to see the Lord continue to work through this fundraiser. I am praying that this will be a huge blessing to the Johnsons.

I know that a lot of you think that I have it all together. I don't. My life is...well...a mess sometimes. But I am so thankful that my God can still use the messes in my life to accomplish His purposes. All that He asks is that I draw near to Him and He promises to draw near to me (James 4:8). I am so thankful for the hope and grace we find in Jesus. I am thankful that I don't have to live in fear of failure because of all of my messes.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11:28-30
The Message

I read this translation of Matthew at my Bible study a few days ago. I just love it! See you all tomorrow!


Blogger Jamie said...

Thanks for the uplifting post today. I know you may not feel like it is one but trust me --- It is! We (as wives and moms) all have those "mess" weeks and while mine is not 100% identical to yours I know exactly what you mean and I pray that these next few days will be better for you.

February 25, 2010 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking time out to share with us..Continueing to think and pray for you and your sweet family. Love that Cora's for Calla will continue..I do visit their blog and pray for them daily..Sweet Calla is filling out!


February 25, 2010 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

When Life is overwhelming, your best friend is the Lord. I always ask myself how to the non-believers go through life? God Bless you all.

On a lighter or heavier note, Little Levi definitely had a growth spurt. He is so cute.

February 25, 2010 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

praying the rest of your week is stress free.

Levi looks so adorable in that picture, what a beautiful baby boy.

Thank you for such an honest post. Look forward to tomorrow!


February 25, 2010 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger cd said...

One thing that helped me was to read the scriptures while I nursed one time a day. I wasn't going anywhere and it gave me about 20+ minutes to read with no other distractions. I found doing it at the evening or one of the early morning feedings worked best because everyone else in the house was asleep.

The other thing would be to remember that as a young mother Heavenly Father knows that you can spend countless hours with Him. One of my religion teachers talked about how many mothers feel like they neglect God while being a mother because they can't spend the same amount of time as they used too. But according to him he felt that wasn't always the best way a young mother serves the Lord. We serve the Lord by raising righteous children.

Also, (sorry this is so long!) you will be surprised what a little taste of the scriptures will do for you. Start the day with a verse then come back to it later when you can.

February 25, 2010 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger The Rouse House said...

When it rains it pours :) Thanks for sharing that translation of those verses. Such a beautiful picture of God's love and provision for us.

I've been waiting to donate to Cora's for Calla based on the raffles. Now I'll make my donation and watch :) I pray this works out even better than the raffles!

February 25, 2010 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Tricia said...

Oh Jess, none of us have it all together. I am a mess probably more times than not. I hope that none of my words have ever made you feel down, unhappy about how I see you. Just the fact that you both were able to get up and function in those first hard weeks and months alone was mind-blowing to me.
Your faith, and love, and belief that God would bring you through this trial has brought me encouragement that I can never really put into words.
Thank you for all that you do. Noone expects you to have it together all of the time. I hope they don't expect that of me either. They would be sorely disappointed. ;)
So glad to hear that Levi's exercising those lungs. Just not so glad to hear that you are sleep-deprived. Those are the hardest days, I suppose.
You are all in my prayers. I hope that the coming week will bring a bit less stress, a whole lot more sleep, and some precious time with the Lord.

With love and prayers,

February 25, 2010 at 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life is messy. It the grace that you handle it with that makes you an inspiration.

February 25, 2010 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Mrs. H said...

Thank you for sharing this verse! I love it! And may have to post it on my bathroom mirror as a reminder! Praying that everything falls into place soon! It's hard with a newborn and honestly if you are able to work out the kinks now I think you are doing amazing!

February 25, 2010 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Lane said...

I am totally with you on mess #2. I have an almost 5 month old and am struggling so much to fit Him in.

Thanks for your honesty. It's so refreshing.

February 25, 2010 at 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit I was beginning to worry about you since you hadn't posted :) Sleep deprivation is used as a torture tactic in many countries and as mothers of infants we understand why! This too shall pass. When I think back on the first 8 weeks of my daughter's life all I can remember is feeling like a mess as well in all aspects of my life. Doesn't it make you feel good that you're not alone? You don't have to have it all together for us to appreciate you. We appreciate you for the Godly woman you are -- messy or not :)

February 25, 2010 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger purejoy said...

wow. i can imagine the emotions of being a new mom again can be overwhelming on a good day… but with all you have swirling around you i can imagine there are days…
i've been having a week like that too. i just put my burdens down at the foot of the cross. i've traded my ashes for beauty. sigh. i love jesus!
so thankful for his redemption.
may he give you comfort and peace during this time of transition and little levi will be smiling more than crying here very soon. i feel it!
bless you!

February 25, 2010 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Sarah Joy said...

thank you for your honesty today. My mess is over taking my life and well your words just made me feel not alone over here on the east copast. Life is just messy soem times, isn't it but God is bigger than the mess. I trust he will help me and you through all the messiest of times we have.
Praying for you this evening...

February 25, 2010 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Two Little Tots said...

praying for a less messy week for you. i have never meet you, but jess i think you are doing a wonderful job...and everyone's life is a messy, don't beat yourself up.


February 25, 2010 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

thank you for this post. ive had a rough day, and had 'skipped' my time with God today... feeling like I did not know where to go. I do now. Matthew 11:28-30. Thank you.

February 25, 2010 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

thanks for the pot..& where did you get levi's cute romper?

February 25, 2010 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger merlin said...

Missed you. Glad to read today's post and see the adorable photo of Levi.

One of the religions, Quaker I think, believes that every act is a prayer, a conversation with God. Every dish washed, every diaper changed, every stitch sewn, every kind word, every piece of food chopped, diced and cooked, all are acts of prayer.

Whether I have attributed this to the right faith or not, I hope that you will see that all that you do, each day, from sun up to sun down can be interpreted as prayer.

I understand that hunger for "quality" time in worship, the great thing is that God meets us where we are.

February 25, 2010 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

oh i have those days/weeks too! thank you for sharing that verse, it was just what i needed to hear(read) today! God bless you and your sweet little family.

February 25, 2010 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger Let Love Grow said...

Can so relate... i have no babies or husband but plenty of "mess"... love that translation too!

February 25, 2010 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger Townsendpartyof5 said...

Wonderful post. Can you share with us more about how you spend time with the Lord? I want to learn from you what that sounds like. What does that look like? What tools do you use? Do you memorize (as Julie wrote about in her blog recently) and recite? Do you sing? Teach me. Teach us. How does a mom do it in the midst of broken up moments, alone, and looking for Jesus our days? Thanks for your continued model of faith and grace! Sorry-- don't mean to ask you to give us more, when your words and faith already give me so much!

February 25, 2010 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Mum2twopreciousgifts said...

Dear Jess

About a week ago, I posted a long overdue little package to welcome Levi. I have no idea how long it will take to get from Australia to you but I hope when it arrives, it puts a little smile on your face.

Your blog is marvellous, you are marvellous, your example is marvellous, your generosity for Calla is marvellous....and messy is completely fine as you can't be marvellous 110% of the time.

With prayers for your family and Calla's from our little family in Brisbane, Australia.

February 25, 2010 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Your post hits home for me. I feel like this many day. Do you know how Calla is doing? I haven't seen an update in a few days and I've been praying she's doing well.

February 25, 2010 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

It's good to hear your update, Jess, I know I have been feeling like life is a little overwhelming too this week...I hope you got the package I sent a few weeks back for Levi's and Calla's knitted blankets...I am working on another one now for another sweet baby just born to a young couple at church...I know what you mean about needing time with the Lord...I am right there with you! Praying you will have that time with Him..!

February 25, 2010 at 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to post today - I know how busy life is with a newborn! Levi is so cute, I started smiling and laughing out loud when I saw your pic. What a sweet little face! He looks so much like my nephew. Hang in there. I think we all need the reminder that we need to reprioritize and spend some time with the Lord each day. Lately it seems like I only get that time Sunday at church, but that is definitely not enough. Motherhood and teaching keeps me so busy most days, but you remind me that I need to make time for the most important relationship that I have, my relationship with Christ.
God bless!
Ashley in AZ

February 25, 2010 at 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Ashley said...

Reminds me of a book I own called "God Loves Messy People" by Bonnie Keen. We all have messy days! Praying that yours get better!

February 26, 2010 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

We learn some of God’s biggest messages through the messes in our life!!! Just know that we’re all a mess, not just you, ha!! :)

February 26, 2010 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Sherryl said...

As a mom, things are never perfect. But you look into that sweet little face and then all of life's imperfections are sudden worthwhile.

Love that little Levi - he is a cutie.

February 26, 2010 at 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Audrey said...

I have a feeling that Paypal considers raffles gambling which can be considered illegal without the proper permits. Paypal truly are a bunch of idiots anyway so I wouldn't worry so much about it. They are only losing business and hurting themselves by continuing to give their customers such a hard time.

February 26, 2010 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Donna H said...

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2Corinthians 1:3&4

Young mothers need encouragement and are finding it here. This is a valuable ministry.

God uses The Macs because they are willing. It's the 'messes' in our lives that teach us the things God wants us to learn.

February 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger La Familia Garcia said...

Just seeing that through all this you still take the time to "praise him in the storm." When we are a mess, and God STILL uses us to reach others, we see it is all God, not us at all. Thanks for being a mess, and still sharing God's love!

February 26, 2010 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger The Mershawn's said...

Hey Jess...
I wanted to leave a comment to encourage you....but after seeing all of these sweet comments, I have nothing left to say:). Except, from one mom to another I'm starting to think, there will ALWAYS be messes! Makes me crazy, but so thankful for the reasons I have my messes.
And hang in there. I always try to remind myself, the 2 month mark is where things finally start to settle down. And life just gets more & more sweet as time moves forward with those little bitty ones. They are so good. Levi is precious! Give him a good squeeze...

February 26, 2010 at 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Julia said...

Praying for you daily. Both my children had terrible colic. Something that worked for my first daughter was called Baby's Bliss Gripe Water. There are other brands out now too. But this one worked the best. It's all natural and was a miracle. There was a point where I would have paid $100 for a bottle! It did not work for my 2nd daughter but may be worth a try with sweet Levi.

February 26, 2010 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Hi Jess -
Thanks for sharing and my heart goes out to you, especially in regards to your time with God. It's something that I've definitely struggled with and thrown a fit over every time God changes a season on me and I have to readjust to finding a new quiet time that works. God knows your heart on this and He will lead you through it. Something I've been learning lately through a variety of sources and has been an encouragement when I've felt He is in a time of hiddeness, is this: God is often so close to us that we are unable to perceive Him. Perhaps He is casting that shadow in the valley (for something has to be present for a shadow to be cast) or maybe His hand is covering our eyes asking us to believe He is there on faith.

I hope that makes sense and helps.

Loving seeing the pictures of Levi.

Love in Christ,

February 26, 2010 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, Jess. I'm a mess too.

That little boy is one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

February 26, 2010 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

SWEET baby boy. LOVE the romper!
Thank you for the post- great perspective and we have all been there! :)

February 26, 2010 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Our Naquin Family said...

What a wonderfl post...We just moved to Germany in October, my life has been a mess or so I feel. This post was wonderful, thank you! The picture of Levi, is precious! :)

February 26, 2010 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Elz said...

You are brave to share all your struggles with us. Don't forget to take time to just breathe and be.

February 26, 2010 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Miranda said...

Things tend to get out of control when your routine changes. It might take a little while for things to get in order, but you're doing great!
I love Levi's little outfit! Where do you purchase his clothes? Too cute!

February 26, 2010 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Miss G said...

Jess, our lives all get in a mess from time to time. :)

I do love that version of that verse from Matthew. I just read it recently and it was wonderful to see it again on your blog and to have it reinforced in my life.

AND . . . I bought those same adorable elephant pjs for our little one on the way! love them! :) Kelly

February 26, 2010 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Paula Aspacher said...

Gripe water! it is the best and is dr and pharmacist recommended for babies who have excess gas or tummyaches. use regularly for the best results! picky moms use it and get great results! happy babies! i had a baby with reflux and colic 22years ago and wish we had something like this then!

February 26, 2010 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Boot said...

Hi, wow Levi is a beautiful baby :-) I agree with the others, you are doing fantastic, life with a newborn is tough in any circumstances, I found it was 12 weeks before I drew breath!!! Take time for yourself, very important, I particularly like the idea of reading your scripture when nursing, heaven knows you're probably doing alot of that given how fast Levi is growing lol. Another sanity saver is a sling, something like on (think you'll like that style). They're very handy for trips to the farm to see daddy later on too and trips into town where the stroller is a pain but they are fantastic for evening colic or general unsettledness. HTH xx

February 26, 2010 at 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the picture. He looks like he is quite pleased with himself.

February 27, 2010 at 11:59 AM  

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