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…


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…

Chicken Soup

16 Sep 2014 Posted by Jillian in Blog, Infertility, Motherhood, Quest for Contentment

  Everyone knows that chicken noodle soup is a good food to eat if you are trying to acclimate your body back to the land of eating after your body has involuntarily been purging everything you have put in it.  There is something about chicken noodle soup that brings good nourishment to a weak body.   My son, Joshua, got sick over the weekend and has been laying on the couch watching movies for the last couple days.  Today it seems like he is almost back to normal.  As I sat and watched him finish the last of his chicken noodle soup, I was reminded of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  These books are filled with real stories of real people.  Right then, I realized why the authors named those books after the miracle soup.  There is something medicinal found in hearing another person’s story.  It does not matter if your story mirrors the other.  Encouragement and hope can be found in sharing in another’s suffering, their joy, their perseverance, and their triumph.  The stories of God’s people can bring nourishment to your own soul as you realize that the same author is writing a story in your life – a different story, a unique story, but a story with the same trust-worthy God as the Author.   It is with that sentiment that I hope my story helps you trust deeper in the unchanging God of the universe, brings you hope, and encourages you to persevere through whatever trial you are facing.   Here is a blog post I wrote a couple months ago and feel the time has come to share:   This is a blog post I really did not think I would write.   I am surprised.  I am shocked.  I did not think I would be where I am now.   As many of you know, Todd and I have spent the last 4.5 years (since Joshua’s birth) hoping that we would have a 3rd child.  I can vividly remember holding Joshua in the hospital after just delivering him and thinking to myself, We are not done.  I want another.   I just knew we would have a 3rd child, even though I had literally just delivered a…

Does God Poop?

30 Mar 2014 Posted by Jillian in Becoming More Like Jesus, Blog, friendship, Marriage, Motherhood

  It’s an honest question.  Does God poop?  I have wondered many things about God, but I can’t say I have wondered about that.  I understand that putting God’s name in the same sentence as the word poop can be offensive to some people.  If that is you, I am sorry.  I mean no offense.  This is a valid question from the heart of a 4 year old who genuinely wants to know his Maker better.  As him mom, I will let him ask his questions, and I will encourage his genuine, childlike wonder.   We learn in school that there are no stupid questions.  Maybe that is true and maybe it isn’t, but one thing is true:  asking questions is what opens the door for greater understanding, if it is understanding we seek.  “Stupid” questions are usually not seeking greater understanding.   We know that God is more than capable and strong enough to handle any question we throw his way.  He is not shocked by our blatant honesty nor our sometimes flagrant disrespect.  He receives each question, knowing the longing in our hearts that fuels our questions (Luke 16:15).  He looks beyond what is said to the heart that the words come from.  He understands.   Asking questions can help us know God better as well as help us know others better.  We do not grow in relationship with someone by waiting around for them to offer information and insight.  We have to ask.  We ask because we want to know.  We ask because we want to show that we care about them.  We ask because that is the only way to grow closer to a person.   When we ask questions, we have the opportunity to grow in understanding, but merely asking questions does not guarantee we will gain understanding.  We have to WANT to gain understanding.  In doing so, we will ask good questions.   I don’t know about you, but I have been a part of many conversations where questions are asked, but the person ends up backing you into a corner rather than drawing you out.  Their questions are really yes or no questions and aimed at getting you to agree with them, rather than trying to understand your…

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