one stinky sock at a time

If I ever decide to try to get Changing Your World reprinted, I’m thinking of switching out the Diapers part for something more applicable to my life now. And man, my girls’ feet stink! But it didn’t keep me from kissing my 4-year-old’s tonight as she stood at the top of the stairs before bed. I couldn’t resist. They’re already losing their pudginess.

And yes, my 9-year-old is already starting to resemble a moody girl I knew well about 25 years ago (my poor parents!).

And my 7-year-old. My beautiful, dramatic, knows-how-to-push-my-buttons-but-still-loves-to-jump-in-my-arms-and-wrap-her-legs-around-my-waist middle child.

I love those girls with everything in me. And I’ve been struggling lately as a mom. And a writer. And the meshing of both worlds and feeling like I’m doing a lousy job at both of them.

Leave it to God to use some of my own words to speak encouragement to my heart. My “office” is overflowing with Diapers books (almost done shipping them out!!), and I decided to actually open one up tonight, and here’s what I read:

Do you ever feel that your life–the life you really want–is on hold? While your kiddos are small, should you put your dreams on the shelf to gather dust?

To everything there is a season. We cannot be and do everything all at once. We just have to pray for balance–God’s balance. We have to carefully weigh every choice we make.

There are no easy answers. When I’m struggling with mommy-hood and wishing for something more “exciting,” I try to imagine life without my girls. If I weren’t a mom, I’d have all the time in the world to pursue my writing and my hobbies. I could read for hours and hours, devouring piles of books every week. I could travel and learn photography and have the most organized home in the world.

And I’d be a miserable mess–crying my eyes out every day for a baby because I’ve always wanted to be a mommy.

I dream of writing and speaking and traveling the globe. I dream of family missions trips and sharing book royalties with people in need across the globe. I dream of living completely debt free and having someone else clean my home twice a month or so. I dream of meeting fabulous people from all walks of life and all countries of origin.

But I don’t want to wish today away. Yes, pursuing all those dreams will be easier when my little ones aren’t so little. But I have to build a foundation with them now so they’ll have the desire to serve Christ when they’re older. I don’t want to long for the days when my girls are grown and I am “free to do my own thing.”

I want to enjoy each moment. I want to live my dream now. Sure, it will change and grow as my family does, but I don’t ever want to pursue it at their expense.

I’m 32 years old and in the prime of my life. this is what I was created to do–be a mom to little girls. Why would I want to wish these days away for more time and freedom? Do I really want my girls to be 16, 14 and 11? Do I want to be in my forties? My fifties?

Don’t I want to have something to look forward to? These are the anticipation years–when the best still lies ahead. Isn’t that the place I want to be? Where the best is always yet to come? And ironically, that can only happen if I’m having the best time of my life now, each day I live bringing more joy than the one before it.

Convicting words. Joy is mine for the choosing. And so is unselfishness. And lately I’ve been more selfish than joyful. It’s a crappy way to live.

Speaking of crappy, I’m giving you one more chance to buy One Diaper at a Time at a discount. A St. Patty’s (more poo puns!) Day Special, if you will.

Here are your options:

2 Diapers books = $12

4 Diapers books = $20

21 Diapers books = $70

Just click here to pay via paypal (click to pay either $12, $20 or $70). If you’d rather send a check, let me know. At midnight the horses turn back to mice and the sale’s over for good (at least until Halloween).

Now, off you go to kiss someone Irish! Or a pair of sweet little feet!

13 thoughts on “one stinky sock at a time

  1. sarah m

    Hey! I missed out on yet another discounted Diaper books sale……any chance you’re having another one in the future?

  2. Pam

    Marla, I am a fellow “Siesta” and a recent “lurker” on your blog—I found it through Baby Bangs (or LPM, or both!)—and have appreciated your honesty, compassion, and just all-around excellent writing. My daughter just birthed our second grandchild, and I am buying one of these these books for her, and the other as a future shower gift for my best friend’s daughter-in-law. Thank you for the affordable prices—and blessings on you, your family, and especially on your ministry, both now and in the future! P.S. I’m praying with you for Faith and her family!

  3. Michaela

    I just got my books in the mail and was SO excited! And autographed copies ;o). I can’t wait to give them to my expecting friends and am so thankful for the encouragement and support you give others through your writing. Thank you!

  4. Liz

    I wanted to say something to you about this when I came over — but you know snow stopped that!!
    I want you and your family to consider going with us to Trinidad on our Family Mission Trip sometime. I don’t know if it would work out for you this year – it’s from July 1 – July 11th. We help out at a camp in Trinidad – but we could set up something with a speaking thing for you too if that worked out!
    OR… maybe next year! I really had been thinking about this for a while – and then saw that in your blog post today and knew that I needed to mention it!!
    I also need to get fabric to you and get books from you!

    Would love to hear your thoughts about the Trinidad Trip!
    We have 34 people going this year and 17 of them are children 7th grade and under!!!!! 🙂

    Love ya…..

  5. Betsy

    Looking back 26 years to the time when I had a new baby, a 2 year old, and a 4 year old, I didn’t have a clue how fast time would pass. No job God gave me was more important to His plan than raising them! Time will fly! Remember my words. Before you know it, they’re married and having children of their own.

  6. Teresa Henry

    Thank you SO much for sharing this today. This morning before I read this, I was sitting on my bedroom floor…in despair (crying) and in paralyzed fear that I have taken on too much in my life as a single mom and now I am not the mom my kids need…but I still want to do all the “things on my plate” but I can’t right now…yet God has my heart clearly on alert to what is in front of me…and ready to pray and examine if I am within His will for the “right now” of my life. Your blog today pricked at my heart and allowed God to show me what I needed to set before Him to find out if I need to reprioritize my huge list of dreams and committments.

    I will be praying for you today!

  7. Omom

    Praying for you today that you will completely feel the JOY of the right now. He has big plans for you, so just trust in His time. Kiss some more stinky feet because it does go way too fast, and I would trade any dream in my heart to be able to go back kiss my 16 year olds baby feet. 🙂

  8. Jen South

    This is so true. I’ve thought those same thoughts before, and now I look at my kids — 8, 6, and 3 and wonder where my babies have gone to? No one is nursing, no one in diapers, everyone sleeping through the night. Isn’t that what I wished for a few years ago?
    And now.
    Now I’d take it all back, just to have one more night of snuggling and nursing in my bed.
    One more time to give the boys a bath. Now all I hear is “MOM! Shut the door!!!”
    Sigh. Time. It moves quickly.
    Good advice, to take each day and make the absolute most of it.

  9. Missy

    Too funny! I was kissing my two-year-old’s feet last night and said, “ooooh how stinky!”

    Thank you for the reminder to live in the moment, loving what I have and not longing for what is to come.

    Have a great day!

  10. Kimberly

    I’m in the exact opposite boat…but this still speaks to me. It may not be what I dreamed my life would be, but I don’t want to wish away a minute of what God has for me.

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