The things you never thought you’d say

Sometimes as a Mom you get a glimpse of yourself from the outside, and it totally cracks you up. Here’s some things I’ve said that are either funny because they are taken out of context, or funny because this is just my life now.

To Jeremy:

  • I’m so tired.  We just have to watch some TV.
  • (Because of dairy restrictions) I love you, babe, but you have Doritos and Cheetos in there that I am super jealous of and if you eat one more of my barbecue chips I’m gonna smack you.  

To Malachi:

  • It’s not a TV, honey, it’s a chalkboard.  And I can’t turn it on for you.
  • Honey, it’s bread. I can’t put it back together. Just eat it.
  • Malachi, if you want to wear earrings you have to say please.  You can’t just go in there and grab them.
  • If you’re just gonna sit on the grass and say “fub” I’m going back inside.
  • Malachi, don’t lick the wall, that’s gross. 
  • It’s not gonna stand up, honey, it’s an apple.
  • It’s not any more expensive to buy glass cleaner than to buy white vinegar. I mean, my kids lick the windows occasionally but not that often.
  • It’s really just a noodle, Malachi, you don’t need to put it back together.
  • Drink your coffee.*
  • Put your pee-pee in the hole.

*1 part decaf, 50 parts milk, lest you have a panic attack.

On revelations, pain, prayer, and hair-raising shivers

I was just about to get Malachi set up for lunch when he walked into the room saying “ouchy.” He was holding the left side of his forehead. I said, “Is your head ouchy, baby? Did you bonk it?” And then he scared me – he started saying “Ouchy, ouchy, OUCHY!” and grabbing at his head. He was in obvious pain. He started screaming and looked at me with panic in his eyes, getting more and more upset. In my gut I knew this was not good. He was in serious pain – it was probably a headache – but why did it come on so fast and so strong? I carried him into his room, shut off the light, and rocked him. He clutched at his eyes and cried. It seemed like a fast-onset migraine but it didn’t feel right, and I was scared.

But then something happened. With a feeling inside me that I’ve never had before, I put my hand on my son’s head and said, “In Jesus’ name, take the pain away. In Jesus’ name, take the pain away. In Jesus’ name, take the pain away.” I’ve never felt like that – it was all authority and faith and helplessness and confidence and eye-of-the-storm calm. And my crying, screaming, panicking boy sat up and stopped crying. I said it again and he slowly opened his eyes. I said it again and he looked at me. I carried him out to the living room and gave him a snack and some juice. About five minutes later he started saying “ouchy” and grabbing at his head again. And again, I walked up to him, laid my hand on his head, and said “In Jesus’ name, take the pain away.” And again, he immediately stopped crying, opened his eyes, and relaxed. And then he said, “Ouchy all gone.”

I don’t really know how to describe what I felt. I’ve prayed for healing and seen answers before, but never quite like this. Never so immediate, and never in response to a command (not just a request). I watched him like a hawk all afternoon and he was absolutely perfectly fine. My hair stood on end every time I relived my prayer for him and the Spirit I felt inside me.

My sophomore year of college I got paired up with a prayer and accountability partner who is still one of my closest friends. My relationship with her that year was one of the most spiritually profound of my life. Every week – every. week. – she and I would each, separately, hear extremely specific and out-of-the-blue things from the Lord to pray for each other. We would write down the day and time and then find out from each other what happened when we met again. Once I started praying as fast and furiously as I could for safety, safety, “Keep her safe, God!” And then about five seconds later my heart-rate slowed and I prayed, “Now give her peace.” When I asked her about it later I found out that she had almost been in a car accident and she had to pull over to calm down afterwards. Once when I was in one of the happiest times of my life I was privately struggling with some major doubt about a specific relationship and that doubt was tearing me apart. No one knew and I was too embarrassed to admit it. It came to a head while I was out of town, I prayed for the millionth time for clarity and peace, but this time – boom – it came. And I had complete and total confidence in the way I should move in the relationship and complete peace that it was the right decision. Beka had prayed in that exact moment that I would see truth. And she had prayed that all week for me until God let her go.

Much to my sorrow, this prayer relationship only lasted that one year. But occasionally we each still feel pushed to pray something very specific. After Malachi’s headache I texted Beka and asked her what she had just prayed for me, and she told me safety and calm.

Well then. If she felt led to pray for safety then maybe the gut-feeling I had that Malachi’s head pain was not a small thing was true. And the calm – Lord knows I needed that.

A couple times that day Malachi talked about what happened again. He would say, “Mommy Jesus ouchy all gone.” And I said, “That’s right, baby boy. Mommy prayed and Jesus made your ouchy go away.” And now almost every time he hurts himself just a little bit he immediately folds his hands and says, “Mommy, Jesus!” because he wants me to pray for him.

God has given me this incredible responsibility and opportunity to guide my children up in the way they should go. With my husband, to shepherd their hearts and lead them to salvation. Is there any greater responsibility in this life? Any greater privilege? It weighs on me and it’s a good weight most of the time. But lately it’s become too heavy and Jesus says His yoke is light. The incredible thing is that now my son associates both healing and comfort with prayer. I know that he will have to face pain. I know that there may be times when he begs God for relief and instead of being met with healing he is given a hand to squeeze through the pain. But in this moment, God chose to heal him. And in this moment, God taught me that my responsibility is not to do His job. It’s to point my son’s attention to the ways God is already working. God will reveal Himself to my son, and that is magnificent to behold.

Mommy, Jesus, ouchy all gone.

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7 Quick Takes

Fashionably joining Jen one day late.

  1. First of all, I hate going so long between posts. It seriously annoys me and sometimes I wonder how I could possibly not have found enough time to write a post but somehow I managed to stay up-to-date on all my shows. I guess it’s because I almost never watch my shows with out simultaneously doing something else more productive, which further confirms for me that I am too busy. And this post is going downhill fast because holy boring so let me entertain you with the list of shows I watch on a regular basis and include a clip from each because it’s Saturday and I know you need to fill your useless video quota:
    -Parenthood – Maybe my favorite show ever. It is so real and relate-able and I’m pretty sure I’ve cried in at least 50% of the episodes I’ve seen.  If that’s not a recommendation I don’t know what is.

    -Parks and Recreation – Not entirely appropriate – full disclosure here. But it is HILARIOUS. (this clip contains a bad word)

    -Big Bang Theory – because my husband IS Sheldon Cooper.

    (And perhaps I am Leonard.)
    -Downton Abbey – because the British accents and cool outfits fooled me into believing it wasn’t a shloozey soap opera for about 10 seconds.

    I’m just gonna do us all a favor and stop there.
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  2. K so. We went camping. All four of us. And thankfully we waited until mid-October so the weather would be nice and fallish and Virginia accommodated us by being 86 degrees on Saturday. But the nights were cool and Malachi got to go swimming so it all worked out. The kids had all sorts of fun swimming, hiking, getting dirty, playing on the playground, notsleeping in the tent, and doing really rustic, campy things like watching the iPod for hours on end every time we needed one of them to be still long enough to cook dinner. It was really great though – we will definitely do it again.
    camping.
  3. So. You know how people say things sometimes like, “She’s so happy she poops rainbows” or whatever? Well.  Pooping rainbows is not a skill that any of the Dillingers possess, and believe you me, if it was this whole potty training thing would be a lot more exciting. I think rainbows would be easier to clean out of the carpet. And I know you are thinking, “Yay!  More potty training talk!” so I will be a good little blogger and indulge you. We started again yesterday and after I declared that the star chart would fill up faster if we renamed it “I went on the carpet,” Malachi finally got the message and has done really well since. Let’s hope he gets it down by Tuesday (don’t pop my bubble, I know) because this whole sitting at home all day staring at your naked kid thing is getting kind of old. Kind of fast.
    booty
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  4. Although yesterday I did venture out of the house to go grocery shopping.  I waiting until the kids were in bed and dragged my exhausted self to the store to buy a flipping MOUNTAIN of groceries because I knew it was better than waiting til Monday and taking both kids. Got all the way through the check-out line and got carded for the first time in a looooong time (my theory is that they never card women with kids) and discovered….crap. No wallet. No ID. No money. No card. No dignity. The nice woman behind me offered to buy my “mommy juice” because “you need it” (I blamed my brainlessness on potty-training) but I had to put my cart in customer service, drive home and get the wallet, drive back and pay for groceries whilst having a panic attack when I realized I had almost 0 gas, get gas, drive back home, put groceries away, and then collapse on the couch with crackers and cookies and TV. But the whole time I was just grateful. Thank you God that the lady behind me is nice. Thank you that I wasn’t buying ice cream. Thank you that I didn’t run out of gas. Thank you that no one hit me when I ran that red light. THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU that my kids weren’t with me. Thank you that they didn’t make me start over. And let me tell you – that was totally a God-thing because God-in-Allie is grateful even when life stinks but Allie-in-Allie is just ticked off. And then I got home with 29 bananas. I’m not sure where the 21 came from that I didn’t pick up but I’m pretty sure some other late-night shopper is pretty annoyed now that they have to go back to the store before they can make their banana pudding or whatever.
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  5. I bought a new pair of Tom’s this week and I’m so excited. I joined ebates and their cash back combined with the 10-dollar coupon and free shipping Toms was offering caused the rational, must-save-the-most-money-possible-at-all-times part of my shopping persona to feel like, THIS IS IT. BUY THEM NOW. But after I bought them I started feeling really conflicted because, although Tom’s one-for-one thing sounds great in theory, in practice it actually can be really dependency-producing and local-economy-stunting. But on the other hand, maybe it’s still better than buying shoes made by some underage kid in a sweatshop somewhere? I really don’t know.
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  6. The steam…. it runneth out. Oh! Let’s make a case for impulse buying because it’s Saturday and you all just got paid. A few months ago my sister and I went to an Avett Brothers concert and I said it then and I’ll say it again – if you don’t like the Avett Brothers you are no longer invited to my life. Anyway, there was this awesome poster they were selling there – designed by an artist, unique to the city we were in, numbered, high-quality, etc. My sister bought one and I thought, “That’s appropriate. Her house is all musical and quirky and it fits.” And then I looked at the price and thought, $25 bucks for a poster? Uh. No. And you know what? Three months later I STILL regret it. Like, you’ve heard of buyer’s remorse? This is called tightwad’s remorse. Anyhoo, occasionally I’d look on ebay or something in vain but yesterday….I FOUND IT. And it’s beautiful. And I will either buy it or beg for it for Christmas but either way… it’s 40 bucks. FORTY. And if I had just bought it on impulse in the first place it would have been 27.5% cheaper but:

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  7. Well look at me getting to number 7 already (already = hours later). I’m getting new glasses today for the first time in four years and I am super, super psyched but also nervous to pick them out myself for the first time ever. Hopefully I don’t post a picture of myself next time looking a hot-mess, but hey! At least it will be a different kind of hot mess and I guess that counts for something.

L8r t8r.

The Hammer

This post has been a long time in coming. I keep waiting until I’ve processed, or waiting until I’m “ready” and I think this is as good as it’s going to get.

For as long as I can remember I have claimed to be pro-life. I have fiercely declared it, defended it, argued it, wept it, and bled it. I never memorized the pro-life arguments because I never had to. I feel them in my bones. I never needed a picture of a dismembered fetus to convince me it was a child. I have felt them in my womb. And I never needed anyone to explain to me why their right to life is more important than my right to my own body, because God has written that on my soul. He declared long ago on a cross that a parent’s own body is a sacrifice for the life of their children.

And yet here I am, realizing that I’m not that pro-life at all.

If there is one thing God has pounded into my soul over and over this year it is that my actions, not my convictions, define my faith. I say I want the world to know Him, but what am I doing about it? I say I want to love my neighbor, but when was the last time I talked to them? I say I follow Him, but exactly which of His footsteps am I walking in? And like a hammer, over and over I hear Live it out. Live it out. Live it out.

I may believe that I’ve been pro-life for 26 years, but I’ve really just been anti-abortion.

Being anti-abortion is sharing blog posts and reading articles and debating and spouting facts and voting. But being pro-life is kneeling down in the trenches and lifting someone out of death. It’s not just saving a life, but giving it a chance to be truly lived. Life is sacred. Every life is sacred. The unborn child’s life is sacred. The pregnant teenager’s life is sacred. The irresponsible father’s life is sacred. The post-abortive woman’s life is sacred.

And God keeps hammering. What are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing?

I’m raising awareness. I’m staying informed. I’m voting. I’m praying. I’m getting angry at lawmakers and the president and Planned Parenthood and women and I am grieving over the thousands of children who die every day so that someone else might live as they wish. I’m wishing I had the courage to be a sidewalk counselor and the money to March for Life and the power to change someone – anyone’s – mind.

And then God reminds me that I don’t need any of that, because I have Him. I have a spring of life welling up to overflowing inside me, and I am called to share this water with the weary, the angry, the innocent, the guilty, the broken, the selfish, and the afraid so that they might have life in abundance.

He reminds me that if I am not for Him, I am against Him. And I wonder, if I am not for life, actively for life, am I against it?

Obey. Obey. Obey.

I contacted a pregnancy center this week about volunteering. My heart is full.