Sea Legs

Just before my junior year of high school my family took a trip on an Alaskan Cruise. My aunts and uncles, cousins, parents, and siblings were all there. It was my first trip on a cruise ship and I can remember how enormous it felt compared to the little blue boat I grew up waterskiing on. I remember how odd it was to be sitting out by the deck pool wearing my swimsuit on a warm, sunny day watching enormous glaciers and ice capped mountains go by. I loved the restaurants with the all-you-can-eat food and even enjoyed the lame entertainment that was obviously planned for people three times my age. I remember the stops at the quaint, lovely cities and the beautiful scenery I just didn’t appreciate enough as a high school kid.

One thing that also sticks out in my memory is the moments I would briefly forget we were on a boat instead of dry land…which led to some incredibly funny instances of re-learning how to walk. One minute the ground was level and steady and the next moment we were bumping into the sides of the hallway or grabbing at the railing on the stairs. I remember laughing hysterically as we tried to walk ever so carefully taking some steps super fast and others extremely slow so as not to lose our balance. It was like learning a new dance with an unpredictable partner.

Life right now is sort of like that. In a way I’m learning to walk all over again. Years ago, I heard it said that we experience fundamental change every seven years.  Maybe that’s what I’m going through. Maybe it’s a cycle. Maybe it’s life circumstances of the past few years. Maybe it’s having 5 babies in 6 years time. Maybe it’s feeling like it’s never just raining and instead always “pouring.” Maybe it’s God trying to get a hold of my heart in a new way.

Regardless of the cause, I can tell you with all confidence that a change is taking place. Something is shifting, and has shifted, in my soul. Something is being stretched. Something is growing. For the past few months I’m learning for the first time ever to say no to some very lovely things in order to say yes to the most important things. I’m learning to prioritize. I’m learning to stop rushing. I’m learning to slow life down, to get rid of excess, to lay aside what hinders me. I’m beginning to close off my ears to the people who speak death and discouragement, including my own voice at times, and I’m learning to listen to the ever so soft voice of a loving Father who speaks nothing but Truth. I’m learning to make decisions for myself, like a grown adult should, and I’m learning to celebrate the beauty in that.

I’m in a season of wanting less, of throwing away more, of down sizing. A season of learning and simplifying. I’m on a journey of adjusting my life to the small whisper of what He is calling me to, rather than the loud obnoxious demands of what other people say it should be. I’m comparing my life less and celebrating it more. I’m becoming less and less concerned with competition, disillusioned with comparing and no longer interested in busying myself for the sake of being busy.

I truly desire more than ever a life of beauty, simplicity, and joy. The kind of joy that can only be found in full freedom within His calling and most of all in His presence. I desire to fully embrace who God has made me to be, not shrinking back and not muting it for the fear of what others might say. I desire a sound mind to navigate these new waters, but also presence of mind to not be distracted in the midst of it. I really want to nail down what it is He has created me to be about, not just thinking and day dreaming about it but actually living it. I desire to live a life of celebration (even in the hard things), marked by meaning, passionately enjoyed, with rich connection, care for others, and a rightly prioritized list of what matters most. And I want to crush the fears within me telling me lies along the way.

Deep down I know what is happening is not only a good great thing but that it is entirely necessary and in some ways long overdue.  My high school self is telling today’s self that I should also take in the beautiful scenery on this journey a bit more. But I have to confess…this process feels a lot like having wobbly, shaky sea legs.

What is it that entangles you? What is it you’re afraid to let go of? What is it that you are being called to, but are hesitant to embrace because of what people might say? What is it you’ve stuffed into your backpack that you need to take out and lay aside? Are you enjoying the scenery or are you wearing blinders that keep you from looking to the left or to the right? Are there dinners you want to plan? Or people you want to connect with? Are there things you need to cancel or big changes that need to happen? What is it you need to say no to? And what’s stopping you? What keeps you from making the adjustments you know you need?

 

barefoot motherhood

“He thinks only of what he wants and he does not ask himself whether he ought to want it.”
-Bernard Of Clairvaux

 

There is rich beauty in our mundane, normal, ordinarily insignificant lives.

I recently received a call from a friend who had worked ever so diligently toward a huge goal. She entered her name into a competition and then proceeded to sacrifice her time, sleep, money, effort, energy, marriage, and family in hopes of her winning it all. In the end, when her name wasn’t chosen, she was not only depressed, but angry. At one point in our conversation she voiced the true reason for the anger in her loss. Her response was weighty. After a long pause she said…

“I want to be more than just a mom.”

Being ‘just a mom’ simply isn’t enough for her. The role of motherhood is no longer significant enough for her.

Mom + something significant = happy, meaningful life.

And gosh her words were convicting.

Nowadays it would seem that adding all sorts of roles on top of motherhood is the only appropriate lifestyle. I too have become restless with the mundane. I have allowed my thoughts to wander with desire of making an “epic splash in the sea of ordinary.” Just like my friend, I want to stand out too, to make a difference. To matter.

“I desire to be common, mundane, normal, unexceptional, monotonous, routine, average, usual…” said no one ever.

The ordinary, at times, is unsatisfying.

Often I dream of walking in patent heels on red carpets not hanging out un-showered with bare feet in my unswept kitchen.

Thoughts of doing more, of accomplishing more, of BEING more fill my heart and mind. I am distracted. I race with the desire for new ideas, new plans, new hopes and new dreams…

…but desires are like fireworks…

Handled wisely, they fill the night sky with light, color, beauty, and delight. Handled poorly and they can burn an entire home down.

My home. Your home.

The absence of my consideration to these misfired desires is making me ragged. Why am I bored with the routine? Why do I groan at the mundane? Why am I dissatisfied with the ordinary?

Why do I think my “job” is insignificant?

James 4:1-2 says “Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.”

The desires for celebrity, consumption, immediate gratification, and attention have tainted my views of my God-given role in motherhood. 

“I’m made for more,” I mutter under my breath as I sweep up the goldfish crumbs for the 16th time today.

“I shouldn’t be the one to have to clean this mess up,” I say aloud as I pour out the bathwater that has been dumped into the bathroom trash can.

“There’s got to be a better, more meaningful use of my time,” I tell myself as I sit down to fold the 14th load of laundry this week.

Something more eloquent. Something more glamourous. Something more influential. I should be somewhere else, doing something else.

The normal, every day is not enough. And pride is at the root of it.

The focus on something grand “out there” steals the joy
of the ordinary “in here.” 

At times I catch myself daydreaming of my own desires and completely miss the little voices right by my side. Often I am interrupted in the midst of my big, grand daydream of marvelousness by the sound of my name being called to come and wipe my toddler’s rear after he has pooped.

It’s humbling to say the least. But such a great reminder.

I often do not realize how these distracting thoughts of doing something “better” are like a disease that eats away at the joy of my soul.

And that disease doesn’t just affect me. My family suffers for it.

  • My desires are misguided if my idea of greatness involves looking past the eyes of those little ones who look up toward me every day.
  • My desires are off track if my role in motherhood becomes nothing more than a stepping stone toward something better and beyond.
  • I completely miss the mark when those who are most precious to me suffer for the sake of the fulfillment of my “other” desires.

“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly” (1 Peter 5:2, emphasis mine). Of course, Peter speaks to pastors here, but I honestly believe the truth is relevant for us mothers as well.

To love, serve, and strive for the sake of our family is a noble and honorable task. It requires a great deal of patience, love, joy, steadfast determination, humbleness, a whole lot of grace, and tunnel vision for what matters most.

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

-Mother Teresa

Daily I must choose to redefine and reprioritize what I value most and continue to bend my definition of greatness to the one Jesus not only gives for us, but was the perfect example of:

“But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43-45 ESV)

barefoot motherhood; meg marie wallace

 

 

Time Away, Family and I Quit

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family
Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family
Big Bear |Wallace Family
Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family
Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Big Bear |Wallace Family

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

untitled-50-of-75

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear

Wallace Vacation 2016-Big Bear


I’ve been away from my blog for almost an entire month!!!! So I’ve shared a TON of photos! This past month we took some time away to enjoy one another as family. We went to a cabin way up in the mountains, shut off our phones, set aside our computers and played! We climbed rocks, trees and mountains. We swam in beautiful lakes, made fishing poles out of sticks, had picnics, relaxed in a hammock, flew down a mountain on an alpine slide, played in an arcade, rode on a boat, spent time with friends, stayed up late, baked chocolate chip cookies, read stories by a fire, and laughed a lot.

Despite the ever so painful and terrifying story of us all going for a hike and getting attacked by a swarm of hornets like something out of  a horror film….aaaaaaand the car sickness on the way back down from the mountain that ended up with us all on the side of the road with vomit everywhere in our car…we had a wonderful time. 🙂  (Gross I know, but hey, I promised I’d always be real!!!)

Taking time away from the routine was something like a cocoon for me. It felt sort of like a pressure cooker of growth. I had so many questions swirling in my mind and so many topics that needed to be thought through, talked about and prayed over. Matt and I used the time while driving and the quiet late nights with no technology to sort through these things on our minds.

We left the mountains with clarity, direction and an excitement for some big changes…but it doesn’t mean those changes are easy.

The sum of our conversations could be whittled down to two words:  

“I Quit.”

Now, before your mind goes crazy with what it is I am quitting, let me be more specific….

I quit closing off my heart to the things I’m afraid of.
I quit the rat race.
I quit doing things that I’ve always done, simply because I’ve always done them.

 

Very practically, those big themes look something like this….

  • I’ve decided to pull my children out of public school to homeschool instead. (I used to swear I’d NEVER EVER homeschool…more on this later….)
  • I’ve intentionally stopped investing in two very toxic relationships with unnamed individuals.
  • I am throwing many things away that I no longer use even though I’ve held onto them for years.
  • I am opening my ears to listen to others who know more about certain topics than I do in regards to healthcare for my family (more on this later too…)
  • I am asking the question “Why do I do that?” instead of saying “I’ve always done it this way.”
  • I am finding new ways to organize our lives to work FOR us rather than us just living in survival mode.

These things make for huge changes, and are choices that require a great deal of time, money, intentionality, patience, boldness, a sound mind and a relentless determination to not give up…because gosh, can I just say, it’s so easy to give up?! At the same time, though, I am more convinced than ever that this life is short, our days are limited and I refuse to continue on not examining how this could go better.

I’m tired of saying I’m tired…

I cannot imagine a caterpillar feels comfortable in it’s cocoon. I would imagine that a caterpillar feels cramped, tired, overworked, frustrated and hopeless at times. I often wonder if caterpillars have any idea what their life will be like when they get out of that tight space…flying must seem like a fairy tale for a creature who has only known incredibly slow crawling. But oh how worth it the struggle in the cocoon must be in the end when that bug begins to soar!

So, I’ll just put this out there….I have no idea what soaring is like right now either, but I’m making every effort to bust out of this tight space to try and find out….

It’s your turn! Share with me…

Are there things that you do or don’t do because you’ve just “never done it that way” or “always done it this way?”
Is there something that you know is not best for you or your family that you need to eliminate?
Is there something that you should be doing but you are afraid to try?
Is there a time when you’ve just said “no” to something to be able to say “yes” to what matters most?

I can’t wait to hear from you!

signature