Monday, May 9, 2022

Hello Monday


Happy Monday, friends! I'm linking up with Holly and Sarah for this weekly blog post. I hope all of you had a great week. I don't remember if I've ever said this here before, but most of my close friends know that I love Mondays. I know it's different because I don't work outside of my home, but I love fresh starts. It can be a new day, week, month, season or year—I love them all. Fresh starts remind me of one of my favorite promises from God's word.

Because of the LORD's faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! I say, "The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24

I had a good weekend and I hope you did as well! Mine got kicked off with my dad. I had to miss Friday with him last week because I was sick, so it was great to see him. We had kind of a crazy day and we both needed to get some running around done. We do that a few times a year—for Mother's day, my stepmom's birthday and at Christmas. It's always a fun time together and we love actually get out and doing things like that. We started with lunch at our favorite Japanese restaurant. We both had chicken fried rice and I had sushi as well and Dad even tried a piece and loved it! We had a couple of different stops to make, but the crazy part was that everywhere we went, we kept getting caught in rain. We would get in the car and it would stop and it just made us laugh. 

It was a great day. Todd worked that night and the others were gone, so I enjoyed pizza for dinner and I watched a couple of movies. One was another Diane Keaton movie—she's one of my favorite actresses—called Loving Companion and then I watched Dear Evan Hansen, which was so good that it surprised me. Have you seen it? It's a musical with Ben Platt. The music is good and the story is relevant for today and about people struggling with depression. 

Graham left to go out of town, so we were in charge of Oakley. I wasn't sure how it'd go with her going to bed with me, but she did good. I'm such a light sleeper, so when a dog gets up from or onto my bed, it wakes me up. She conked out. I was up early Saturday morning and then I spent the day with my mom and Trish. We had a yummy lunch and shopped at an adorable boutique that was next to Jason's deli in Memphis. We all tried on things and I came home with a new necklace that I love.

I had some money to spend from a gift and this is what I used it on. We also went to my favorite store (Home Goods) and I came home with two new bottles of hand soap and a new candle that is my favorite brand (DW Home) and that smells like summer.

Todd and I ate Mexican food for dinner that night and then came home and watched Red Notice on Netflix. Have you seen this? It has Dwayne the Rock and Ryan Reynolds in it and there's some language, but it was really good. Sunday I woke up to a card and some flowers from my husband and sweet cards from my family.

I have to confess something. I kind of dislike Mother's Day. I actually dislike most holidays that I feel like were designed to sell cards or to show off on social media. If you know this about me and disagree, can we still be friends? Here's why I dislike these type of holidays—I am all about honoring the people we love in our lives, but instead of one designated day, I think it's much better if we do that kind of thing everyday of our lives. I love the moms that the Lord has given to me and I think I honor them everyday by loving them, praying for them, calling them and seeing them in person. I always feel a little bit of a letdown on this day because I feel like I have unreasonable expectations and I hate that feeling. I try not to be like this way, but it always happens. 

I was very thankful for the cards that I woke up to, though, even though I had a moment of, "That's all?" thoughts that ran through my mind. (I'm just being completely vulnerable here and throwing myself under the bus, because you know that's how I try to be here. There are no pretenses.) There were some years that wasn't the case and I feel the sting of what moms who go through that must feel like as they scroll social media. I try to be sensitive to this of thing and also to the ones who didn't have a loving mom or who don't have children. I know it's not an easy day, just like Christmas is hard for some people. I would never want to be the one to cause someone to stumble. I try to always pray my way through these feelings and that does wonders, though sometimes I'm stubborn and it doesn't seem like my prayers are being answered. I know, that's ridiculous, right? Thankfully by the time I made it to church and prayed, the Lord gave me a new perspective.

We sang a song that I loved yesterday in worship. It's called Have Made Me Glad and the lyrics say this:

I will bless the Lord forever
And I will trust Him at all times
He has delivered me from all fear
And He has set my feet upon a rock

I will not be moved, and I'll say of the Lord
You are my shield, my strength, my portion, deliverer
My shelter, strong tower
My very present help in time of need

I love when we sing this song, because I truly sing it from my heart. I was singing it to Him this morning as we worshiped in the choir loft yesterday morning. Every word of the lyrics are true and are taken from Psalm 18:1-2.

I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I love it when songs come straight from Scripture! I happen to love that the camera zoomed onto me in a moment that I was caught up in worship.

The rest of my day was low key. Drew came over for a while and brought me Zaxby's chicken tenders for lunch  as he ate our leftover chicken fajitas from last night and everyone was in and out for the rest of the day. I had a glorious nap and then I sat and read for a long time. Todd never worked again this weekend, so it was nice having him at home. Graham eventually came home and that's how we ended our weekend. I have a few things on today's agenda—I have a meeting with the writing team at ten this morning and then I'm going to pick up the groceries I ordered from Kroger Clicklist. We're experimenting with leaving little Oakley out of her kennel for small segments of time, so I'll get back home right after that and do things around the house for the rest of the day. I always use Monday to reset from the weekend. 

I'll leave you with what I posted yesterday on social media about my sons.

About these pictures and all the moments of motherhood—not every moment was beautiful and easy. Most of what goes unnoticed about motherhood is how demanding, ugly, exhausting, hard and frustrating it can be. I messed up countless times and always seemed to be apologizing for how I reacted or what I said. Just ask them, they can attest to this. I was and am a very flawed wife and mom, but by the grace of God, He helped me through and gave me humility, wisdom, patience and love. There were many nights when I sat straight up in bed and thought to myself how I must be ruining them. I still wonder that, but I trust God and the fact that there are loads of great counselors available to them should they ever need them. 

I tried to never take myself too seriously in the years of raising four boys. I tried to laugh often and to enjoy every moment and I think I did. Like I said, it doesn't mean each moment was perfect, but the good moments far outweighed some that were the opposite. That would be the advice I'd give to a young mom—to remember to laugh, to let go of what's not important, to let them be little, to let the grandparents spoil them rotten with love and affection, to teach them all about Jesus. My pastor gave this statistic yesterday: by the age of two years, their worldview is already developing. Teach them to love to Jesus and to walk in His ways. That's far more important than anything else, I promise.

How was your weekend? What do you use Mondays for? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all!


  1. I think your sentiments are spot on regarding Mother's Day and raising kids in general. I'm glad you got to spend the weekend with the ones you love and doing some fun things together. I hope you have a great Monday, friend!

  2. Thanks, Maria! I always hesitate to put my true feelings out there because I feel so differently than lots of people...but I always appreciate your encouragement. In spite of that, it was a really great weekend. I was glad I got to do all that I did, especially because my previous weekend was spent with me home alone and sick. Ha! Anything is an improvement over that! I hadn't seen my mom in two weeks, which is a long time for us since we live so close. I hope your weekend was good as well, my friend. Have a great day!

  3. This sounds like a great weekend and I love just the simple things of just being with family & appreciating them and being mindful of those around us. I'm glad you are feeling better and was able to enjoy such beautiful weekend weather we had. Happy Monday!

  4. Amen! Love honoring my people all year and motherhood is hard- yes! Not always beautiful and insta worthy- glad your weekend was a great one XO

  5. I love your honesty and everything you said about Mother's Day... I think you hit it on the head. (Love your new necklace!) And I love Mondays too!!! Happy new week, friend!

  6. Jen - I just love your blog and the encouragement your share - as well as your heart. I have similar thoughts/opinions about Mother's Day...but maybe for different reasons. I wish there was a way to "skip it" but I have yet to discover that! But, how nice that you were able to spend some time with your mom (and your dad, too) and with your family. Like you said, enjoy the little things! I have been so behind in commenting on posts - but wanted to thank you for your sweet comments lately on my blog! They are more timely (and encouraging) than you could possibly know....but thanks!! Here's to a week ahead full of sweet, lowkey moments with the ones we love!!

  7. There is so much wisdom in the second to last paragraph. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thanks, Marilyn! I love all those simple pleasures as well. I am truly a quality time type of person and that's what I want, maybe along with some verbal affirmation and a big hug. 😉 I'm glad you had a good weekend too!

  9. Thanks, Holly! And thanks for hosting us each week for Hello Monday! ❤

  10. Thank you, Bri! For all the sweet words. I loved texting with you on the night of Mother's day! ❤

  11. Thank you, Jennifer! I have a friend who posted something about this day as a stepmom and how it made her feel as one who didn't have biological children. She began the tradition of skipping this day of church each year. Don't you think that's a great idea? It's so hard for so many people! My best friend and I were just talking about this very thing. I will start recommending that to people I know who struggle on that day. She and her husband actually ended up going out of town, since their girls were with their mom that weekend. I think most pastors (our own included) do a good job on that day, but it's still hard and disappointing for many.

    I'm glad to hear my words were encouraging to you on your own blog. I love your heart!

  12. Thank you, Cathy! I appreciate the kind words. By the way, I saw your adorable porch on Instagram and I love it too! I have always loved a front porch. I hope you're having a good day, friend!

  13. I understand your thoughts about Mothers Day. At one point I feel weird and thought this should be the case


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