Do What You Want To

21 Oct 2015 Posted by Jillian in Becoming More Like Jesus, Blog, Motherhood, Quest for Contentment

Suspicious yellow puddle next to the toilet.   Toilet leaking or another culprit?   My mom instinct says to call my second born into the bathroom to ask his take on how that yellow liquid could have gotten there.   He comes in and sits on the stool he uses to reach the sink to wash his hands.  He sits there in his yellow (ironically) oversized pajama shirt, thinking very carefully about how he will respond.  The silence grows more and more awkward as does my certainty of his guilt.  I’m trying very hard not to smile because he looks so cute sitting there on that stool looking so pensive.  Every silent moment that passes assures me that our toilet seal is just fine.   Finally the kid speaks, “I think you will be mad at me.  I think I will have to go to the corner, but…I wanted to…pee in the trash can.”  He WANTED to pee in the trash can.  The confession of a 5 year old.   That smile that I was trying to hide erupted into laughter.  The little boy sits there nervously laughing along, ducking every few moments to check my face to make sure I am still laughing as I sit on the floor in front of him and in front of the condemning puddle.  I keep laughing, turning my head toward the wall because that is my only hope at getting it together and figuring out how to convince him that this really is a naughty thing that he did, not a hilarious thing to be repeated.   Oh the teachable moments.   I am thankful I could laugh about the pee puddle I found just last night.  I will confess, I started a blog a month or two ago that was titled, “Why I Hate Being a Mom.”  I chose the title because I knew it would grab the eye and people might read it out of shear curiosity.  The reason for writing the blog was because I was really struggling with being a mom, especially being a stay at home mom.  I never published it, because I really don’t hate being a mom.   But being a mom is hard.  There is no other calling in…

I Hate Death

08 Oct 2015 Posted by Jillian in Becoming More Like Jesus, Blog, Quest for Contentment

                                                                                Yesterday we had to say good-bye to our beloved kitty of almost 13 years.  I had the undesirable task of taking her to the vet to be put down.   That was tough.  Saying good-bye is hard.  Seeing life there one minute and gone the next is baffling to me.   Many snot-filled kleenexes later, I am left in the aftermath to process this whole life and death thing, once again, as I do every time I am confronted with the mystery and certainty of death.  We are all affected by death in one way or another.  Whether it’s a person or a pet, death brings pain every time.  Every. Time.   Death usually brings a measure of contemplation as well.   Before I took Emma to the vet, in my head, I kept hearing the phrase, “death has lost its sting.”  I had to mull that one over a bit because death really stings.  It hurts.  It sucks.  When does death lose its sting because the sting has been very present every time I have experienced death?   I knew God had something to show me by getting that phrase stuck in my head.  So I googled it and found it in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (and Hosea 13:14).   “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   Hungry to have God open my eyes and bring some comfort when trying to understand death, I went back in 1 Corinthians 15 and started reading at the beginning of the chapter.   Apparently, many people back then did not believe in the resurrection of the dead.  They did not believe that there was life after death.  This life was all there was.  There was no hope for something beyond the here and now.  For them, death was the very end.  That’s terrifying.   Next week, I will turn 35.  Everyone hits a mid-life crisis at some point.  I might be hitting mine sooner…


04 Oct 2015 Posted by Jillian in Becoming More Like Jesus, Blog, Infertility, Quest for Contentment

Confession:  I have been avoiding you.  Please don’t take this personally.  I haven’t been avoiding YOU.  I have been avoiding the collective you – all.  I have not blogged for a very long time.  (I just realized I have only blogged twice in the past year)  I have had a million blog ideas swirling around in my head for months, many started and left open in a browser window, but I have not sat down and completed anything.  I have been avoiding it.  Why?   I had ideas in my head of what I needed to do if I were to commit to this blogging thing.  I would need to blog every day, or every other day, or at least once a week.  Committing to any sort of frequency overwhelms me.   I will admit that I am extremely slow on the draw when it comes to social media.  I have never Snapchatted.  I have Twitter and Linked-In accounts, but honestly don’t remember the last time I looked at either.  I only recently learned that Periscope exists and I am sure there are a myriad of other cool, creative ways to stay in touch with people that I have zero clue about.  I have never been the social butterfly in real life, so the idea of flitting around in cyberspace has never really appealed to me.  I remember life without the internet.  It was simpler.  I like simple.   Yet here I am, on the computer, contemplating about sending my musings out into the vast unknown of the internet.  I am not techie, so the whole concept of the internet utterly amazes me.  Somehow I will type these words out and post them on a webpage (that my cousin had to build for me and another friend had to set up on his server) and then the whole world could see it if they want to.   The whole world.   The chances of someone in India or Australia or China or Chile reading these words is slim because the people there do not even know I exist.  I am anonymous to them.  I am kind of okay with that.   I know a few of you can relate to those times when you are…


17 Feb 2015 Posted by Jillian in Becoming More Like Jesus, Blog, Motherhood, Quest for Contentment

A couple weeks ago, I was sitting with Joshua (my 5 year old) in one of the hallways of Alliyah’s school, waiting for Alliyah to be done with an after school meeting.  Joshua observed a mom getting into the locker of her child and leaned over to me and whispered in my ear, “Mom, is that a robber?”  I tried really hard to stifle my laughter because he was dead serious.  I carefully explained that the women getting into the locker was most likely the mother of the student who used that locker, so it was okay for her to get into the locker.  He simply replied, “Oh.”  It was an honest question.   Later that week, Joshua and I were talking about potential names for his soon-to-be-born baby brother.  As you can imagine, we have had some pretty creative and hysterical suggestions.  During the conversation, we were talking about the full names of everyone in our family.  Then Joshua asks, “Is Daddy a robber?”  It quickly dawned on me that Joshua had been mis-hearing Todd’s middle name.  Instead of hearing “Robert,” he heard “Robber.”  Todd Robber Heerlyn.  Again, I had to try hard not to laugh out loud.   All this talk of “robbers” has gotten me thinking about a deeper spiritual reality that is playing out.  There is so much that goes on in the spiritual realm that we do not see.  Because we can not see it, it can be easy to forget it exists.  But the bible tells us to be on guard because the devil is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.  There are spiritual forces of evil at work all the time.  Thankfully, there are also angels fighting on our behalf.  In reality, Jesus broke any real power the enemy had when he hung on the cross.  The enemy just does not want us to believe that is true.   Jesus addressed the enemy and called him a thief or a “robber,” implying that the enemy was in the business of taking things that do not belong to him.   “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).  …

The Matter of Men

20 Oct 2014 Posted by Jillian in Blog, Marriage, Motherhood, Quest for Contentment

I have overheard a few comments this past week that have got me thinking:   “Men are just as insecure as women, maybe more so.” ~My mom   “Most men are insecure; reducing women helps them feel more powerful.” ~Kris Vallotton   “I told my daughter that she can keep the gender of the baby secret if it’s a boy, but if it’s a girl, I’m going to need to know as soon as possible.” ~Random woman at a craft show   This last quote got me thinking the most because I think it captures an undertone I see too often.  If it’s a girl, I am going to want to prepare more by buying cute clothes and decorating her room nicely.  Even from such a young age, the outward appearance of a girl seems to be highlighted and celebrated.  We get excited about little bows, ruffle butts, and huge flowers on their heads.  Because, let’s be honest, all of those things are ridiculously cute.   I understand I am generalizing a lot here, I know I am not speaking for everyone.  I am merely reflecting on a common sentiment I see floating around.  I have bought into it myself, at times, and I am just now wondering how I feel about it.   As I have sat and thought about how I would share the news that we are having a boy, I have worried about people’s reactions.  I have worried that people wouldn’t be as excited for us as they would if we said we would having a girl.  It’s all nice to say I shouldn’t care what people think.  And for the most part, God has freed me from caring what others think, but I still have to fight sometimes.   One of the ways I am fighting is by unpacking why it is that I would perceive less excitement about a boy than I would about a girl.  Does the issue lie solely in my own heart, or is there a an unhealthy mindset that has woven its way into our society at large?  Probably both.   I may not be able to change the mindset of an entire generation, but I can make sure that my heart is in the…

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