This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

When Daddies Pray

This weekend, we traveled with a truck bed full of a little girl's best memories: paintings, blankets, trinkets, and yes. Even a stuffed animal or two. We are taking our girl to college. 

She's our oldest, so it's as raw as it can possibly get. However, I don't know how this will ever feel like an old hat-it will always hurt with each of our babies, and next it's our Irish twins. Two at once.

We've sat through parent sessions and scoped out where to find sushi. We've trained her up, so she discovered where to get the best coffee. We hung lights and assembled a swivel chair. 

We even helped navigate the awkward roommate meet-cute when we were in the middle of unpacking, and the roomy's family descended into that tiny room. We did what most people do. We said our friendly introductions and then pretended they weren't there while we unpacked our kid's underwear. It's a learning curve for all of us. 

We are each processing. At different times and different ways. We take turns being quiet for longer than usual. I've noticed we've each hung back at different times, and I assume they are doing the same thing I did. Wiping tears that appear out of nowhere when struck with the thought that this is real. Our baby girl is grown. 

Last night there was a dedication service. She's attending a Christian college, so worship. Then teaching. Then prayer. 

Which translates to tear. Tear. And sobbing. They asked us to pray a blessing over our kids. We grouped as families, so it was just the three of us. 

So many thoughts ran through my mind. I was taken back to the time it was always just us three musketeers. The years between Izzy and Elijah when we tried so hard to have another baby. We lost two in that span of time. I remember praying with all my heart to be content to remain just the three of us. God saw us through. 

I also couldn't stop running through all the things I still have to teach her! Like a ticker tape at the bottom of the news screen. I'm not ready! There's still so much to say. 

So I prayed and thanked God for trusting us with this girl and was mostly a jumble and mess of thoughts and hopes and regrets and wishes. 

But then her daddy prayed and said all the things that little girl and I needed to hear. What we had been trying to say, but couldn't quite place the words. 

To the men here. You need to know something. God has called you to lead your family. You are called to lead in love and prayer and to seek God for every answer. We depend on you. 
From the beginning of man, God has placed you before us. There's a reason your shoulders are broad and your physical strength is great. There's a reason you don't cry quite as easily. You are called to lead us. 

The family dynamic has long been skewed. We could probably trace it all the way to that minute when Eve took that apple and Adam blamed her that he ate it. But this doesn't need to dictate us now. 

Daddies. Pray. Pray for your wives. Your daughters. Your sons. Pray for your legacy! Your words move mountains. Your example creates a ripple effect of boys who became godly men. Your prayers fill in the insecurities the enemy attempts to place in your daughters and they remind those girls of their worth. 

So much has transpired over the past couple days to bring me comfort and hope. To instill confidence that our girl is going to be amazing in this place. That she was in fact created for such a time as this. 

But when her daddy prayed, she knew it too. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

You Are Just A Mom

There's an age old phrase that needs to be lost from our conversation immediately. 

"I'm just a…"

There is no good end to this sentence. I was a stay at home mom for more than a decade. Almost two actually. So you can guess how many times I had the following conversation:

They say: what do you do? 
Me: oh, im just a mom. 

Why? Why would this ever be my response? Why would this be our response to any part of our lives if we know we are in God's will? 

Is it because we let the world decide what is worthy? Is it because we don't trust that God is really moving in the work we do? 

The bottom line is, God writes your story, my sweet friend. Every word is his if you let him in. Are you? Letting him in? 

Are you? In God's will?

 If you don't know, he says you need only to ask. He delights when you ask him for wisdom. Delights in your vulnerability in admitting you don't know. Delights that you take the time to seek his take on any and everything in your life. 

I know I am called to be a mother. And not just someone who has kids. I mean I am called to train them up in THE way they should go, to pass along the real Jesus and all he did for my kids, to guide and govern and love and equip. 

Moms, this isn't small. What about this is small?? What about this warrants a "just"? You know how we can be confident it isn't about just being a mom? Because satan hates everything about it. If it didn't matter he wouldn't care. He would actually make you feel just fine with it all. 

The Word so clearly tells us the enemy's plan. To steal. To kill. To destroy. That's quite a game he's running. And every time he gets us believing we are "just a mom," he wins a tiny bit of us. Of our kids. 

So stop giving it up, your power. Because you have ALL the power. Jesus said so. We are in his wings. We are in the shelter of the most high place. We get to call out to God.

And we are called to create disciples. Which is the number one work Jesus did on this earth! He led in love and gently corrected when his disciples were off course. He taught them the love and safety of the father. He taught them to pray. He taught them to trust and to question. He taught them how to go out into the world and be fishers of men. 

So the next time you find yourself in that same old conversation of "what do you do?" 

You remember you are in the fight of your life and you tell them, "I'm raising the next generation." 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Why I Like Mike #gazillion

When you've been in a relationship with the same person for 22 years, things can get stale. I mean, look. I've been with the same dude longer in my life than I've lived without him! 

I'm tempted to say that's just crazy, but it's not. It's love. It's choosing. It's knowing everything I know about him, and facing him square shouldered because he knows every single thing about me. And choosing him. Every time. 

I'll be real. Sometimes we are butt holes. Like full on jerk faces to each other. But you know what hooked me into this guy from day one? 

He tells me no. 

I was something like just about to turn 17. Big hair down to there. Peace necklace around my neck, a striped tee shirt and boys button fly jeans, both favorite finds from the thrift store by my house. 

We were sitting in photography class. HIS photography class. Not mine. I was supposed to be in physiology. But I ditched every day because I had to see about a boy. And I can't even remember what I wanted, but I wanted something or I wanted him to do something, and you know what that sir jerk face said to me?? 

He told me no. 

I would pay $100 to see my face. It's probably the first time anyone really dared to tell me no.

 I have always been this sassy and sure. When you're sassy and sure, people believe you. 

When you are sitting in a group and you're a born leader, people want to follow you. 

And when you're the youngest of four, the only girl, and your big brothers aren't scared to get a bit scrappy, people most often tell you yes for fear they'll end up on the wrong end of a knuckle sandwich. 

It was the worst and best minute of my life. No one likes to be told no, but that guy? I don't think I could have wanted him more. I knew I had met my match. And I knew I was going to marry him. 

He's the best, that Mike Brewer. Even if he still tells me no. 

This week, we are passing a milestone in our life. A major one. We are bringing our baby girl to college. 

We've blinked and suddenly. I hate suddenly. I want more of him and me and our favorite kid moments. 

Monday, we are taking a slow drive home to remember those days when it was just us. It will be photography class all over again when we forgot anyone else existed. 

I asked if we could stop by a lighthouse. And you know what that guy said!! 

He said yes. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Selfish Much? A GIVEAWAY

We spend so much time with our itty bitty kids teaching them to:

Be nice

Say Please

Share that toy

Did you say thank you?

All five of their beginning years we teach them how to be kind and giving with what ever they have. Of course we never want our kids to suddenly be rude, but by the time they leave for kindergarten, we seem to back off the intensity of this lesson.

Sure, we model by example, but the truth is, we aren't as intentional at teaching this as we could be. As we should be. Maybe because we think we don't have as much say now that little Johnny and little Linda are at school for 7 hours a day. I am here to beg to differ.

During Opening Ceremonies, International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, addressed the world--August 5th from a simple podium amid a techno-charged party scene. His role was to welcome the world, in person or via television, to the 2016 Olympics hosted in Brazil.

Instead he delivered 11 of the most shocking words that should cause every mom everywhere to double-check her parenting.

Bach casually stated, "We are living in a world where selfishness is gaining ground."

Ouch. Stings doesn't it? It's like we want to laugh awkwardly because we know it is just. so. true. But we can do something about that.

First, you can keep reading this article over at Reno Mom's Blog where I give ideas to take back the reigns, even if we aren't with our kids during the school hours.

Next, how about I lead by example and give you free stuff? It's what Jesus would do. And while I don't have one of those bracelets to give you, I have something really so amazing.

I wouldn't joke around about this. It's not only 3:11 aye em as I am typing this, but it's back to school time. You deserve a little bit of love. And you deserve this dress.

Yes. You do.

So, I am giving it to you. Or one like it. The winner will get a gift certificate for $25 to shop at Simply Bliss Boutique. 

Here is the skinny! Follow me on Instagram and sign up to receive emails from this here blog. "That's it?!"

I can hear you.

Yes. Because somethings should just be easy.


Follow me on Instagram over at ParentingNonsense (link at bottom of page as well)


Click that little email icon down there. See me pointing? You will receive my blog updates and the skinny on where my book deals are headed!

If you do both, your name gets entered twice. If you tag a friend on Instagram, I enter your name again. If you tag two friends, I enter your name two more times. See the pattern? It's that easy.

Already follow me? Long time friend? Well, guess what. I am adding your name. You just get to sit there. But, the same applies to you- your name will continue to be added if you tag a friend.

And in the spirit of generosity and teaching our kids to learn to lead the way. Because we want to show them all the beauty they posses inside. Because we want to give them a sense of PRIDE... sorry. Carried away.

Anyway!! If you don't want to risk it OR you want to add this to your winning gift card, I am offering  you all an exclusive code. That's right!! It's only for my people. YOU are my people!

Head on over to Simply Bliss Boutique and use our nonsensical code (I promise it works) at check out to receive money off your purchase!

NONSENSE10 gives you $10 off your $50 purchase,

and NONSENSE5 gives you $5 off of your $30 purchase!

Pair that guy with that gift certificate and you are on the fat receiving end of all my love.

Winner Announced Monday August 22nd.

Affiliate Link

Happy back to school. Happy back to sanity. Happy Here's To Changing the World  One Kid At A Time!

May the odds be ever in your favor!

PS all amazing photos taken by Adam Dahir. See him for all your photo needs.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Your Opinion Has No Business Here

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again. And we all do it, so don't elbow the guy next to you. But texting people your opinion about their parenting helps no one. Actually, it leaves your victim hurting and makes people wonder where your grace was misplaced. 

Social media? Not the place to offer advice when a mom is going through it. 

My daughter got a tattoo. A lot of people have tattoos. A lot of amazing, God fearing, changing the world people have tattoos they don't regret. Not even one little letter. I totally support my kid and her tattoo. But people who aren't for them have to speak up. People not in a real relationship with us. 

This isn't godly behavior. This is wimping out when you want to give your opinion. 

A friend has received more than her fair share of texts from her family. They want her to know that even though her son is grown and has prayed and heard from God, they think his choice is stupid. And maybe it is, but whose job is it to guide him? And how should it be done? Should he have to read that his extended family is disappointed in him? Is this really HIS issue? No. 

But there they are. Picking up the pieces because those words came through a tiny screen and without the love that should have accompanied them. 

The disciples were beside themselves and stepped in the way when a gaggle of children attempted to run up to Jesus. He let them know the business. He coined a phrase we could all stand to revisit. Faith of a child. 

He wants us to approach with innocence and belief. He wants us to mimic their audacity to jump when he says come. But we function in fear. 

Kids don't even know what they don't know. Maybe her tattoo was wrong. Maybe this kid will fall on his face. But you know what I see when I look at these two? 


They are two 18 year olds chasing after Jesus in a way that mostly scares me. They look and see potential. They believe just because God said to. They step because God stretches out his finger and points the way. I want to be like these two and so many other millennials. 

We have to start with encouraging words. Toward these kids and their parents. My kids need it. I NEED it. 

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." 1 Thess. 5:11

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Working Mom Survival: Win the Battle Over School Lunch

Back to school is around the corner and this working mamma of five is about to get her prep on.

Whether you are a working or SAHM you know mornings with littles is the devil's trick to make you punch a kitten. 

Young kids love to "help" and by help I mean they imagine they are doing a task when really they are taking 30 minutes convincing you that whiskey in your coffee is a good idea.

But they have to learn to be independent. Sure it's easy to take over and just get it done: tying their shoes, making their beds, making their lunches. But when does that end? 

Trust me. Now is the time! Instead of taking away their opportunity to figure it out, set them up with baby steps.

Does your four year old want to do chores? Put them in charge of silverware. 

Teaching them to make a bed? Put them in charge of changing the pillowcase or just the left side of the covers. You pulling up the right side models what to do and pills their side up a smidge. 

Your kindergartener is probably so stoked to own a lunchbox that she can't WAIT to make her lunch. This could take an eternity and spark disagreements about what's going in that lunch. And frankly, weekday mornings, I just ain't got time for that. 

Over the weekend, make the main course- make all five sandwhiches, all five homemade lunchables, a week's worth of tortilla wrap pinwheels. Whatever the main course is, get it done and out of the way. This saves you time because you have everything out already! 

You can label the sandwich bags with a different day of the week for some extra reading practice or let your kid let decide. 

In the pantry AND the fridge, create a space in a drawer or bin of suitable lunch sides: cheese, yogurt, crackers, pretzels, fruit, veggies, or whatever you deem good. Your little helper gets all the independence she wants by choosing one or two from each bin. 

You can even pre-size your grasp bunches or baggies of blueberries. It's a small amount of planning for a very big return on your sanity and time. 

This way you've given junior and Jenny the chance to choose, exercise their independence, and created boundaries in which they are able to help. 

Once you see they can handle it, put them in charge of making their main course! Trust me. A five year old can make their own PB&J. I've not made a kid school lunch in five years. 

It's great because it leaves me plenty of time to slip notes in everyone's lunch boxes ❤️. Even my high schoolers. 

You can do it, Mamma. I believe in you. 
~ Nonsense

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