that’s the good stuff

I started writing this post about a week ago. I struggled with deciding if I should even post it. I didn’t want to let anyone know that I’d been going through anything. It’s so much easier to pretend things are great. But that’s the problem with our social media obsession–we think things are just fine with everyone. We feel abnormal if our life isn’t perfect. I want this blog to uplift people. This is where I tell my story–where I share the things I’ve experienced. That is what this heart needs. To share, to vent, to learn. That’s what this is all about.

Soooo if the creative arts don’t spark your interest or you’re not too keen on reading about the discovery one’s self, this post is probably not for you. Jarrett, you’re totally excused from reading this one! ;)

cre·a·tive

krēˈātiv
adjective
1. relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work.
  • (of a person) having good imagination or original ideas.synonyms: inventive, imaginative, innovative, experimental, original, artistic, expressive, inspired, visionary, enterprising, resourceful
noun informal
noun: creative
1. a person who is creative, typically in a professional context.
 

I’ve struggled with myself for a long time—with thinking I’m not good enough–wondering what is enough? The enemy has played upon my insecurities for far too long and I’m starting to figure it out. This post is about that discovery and then some. If you’ve ever dealt with that same struggle, I hope you’ll keep reading.

I’ve loved the arts for as long as I can remember. I’ve always looked for ways to exercise my God-given abilities in some creative outlet: I danced. I sang. I played piano. I played the trumpet. I made jewelry. I wrote. I drew. I painted. I took pictures. I did makeup. I stitched. I crafted. I love all of these things. They each make up a tiny piece of me that can never be taken away. But I never considered myself good. I never thought I was creative enough or interesting enough or inspired enough to create something that someone else could enjoy. I did these things for me, of course; but I wanted to create something that someone outside of myself would love. I never once thought that maybe I wasn’t seeking the right audience—I just thought I wasn’t creating the right things. So I stopped. I stopped creating. I stopped thinking about creating and I lost a little part of my happiness. Now, I can see the bigger picture.–bigger than East Texas. It excites me to know that my work can travel farther than I ever could. Knowing that someone in another country is viewing my blog, for example, is so awesome to me. However, it’s not about my recognition–it’s about making HIS name known. My blog has a platform {however small it may be} to tell someone about Christ and I pray that He is always at the center of each one of my endeavors. With that being said, here are a few things I’ve learned along this journey:

  • When you stop worrying about how things are “supposed” to be, you can start creating something that’s worthwhile.

  • Stop apologizing for the things that you love.

  • Learn to let yourself be vulnerable.

Anyone that has any kind of talent and puts it out there for the world to see is putting themselves in an extremely vulnerable position. If you fail, at least it means you tried. If someone else doesn’t like what you do–WHO CARES? You should be creating things that YOU love. That’s the good stuff…the stuff that matters. Do things that make your heart happy! Creativity aside, I feel like these little bits of “wisdom” {for lack of a better word..I’m so not calling myself wise!} can be applied to so many aspects of life:

Family: every single family is different. Just because you’re not a Pinterest-ing, stay-at-home, home-schooling, fashion-blogging, every-single-meal-cooking mom does not mean you’re not a great mom. Just because you don’t send your child to a private school or make scrapbooks to document each month of your child’s life or make all of your child’s clothes does not mean you don’t love your kiddos! You have to find what works for you and your family. There is no right or wrong. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Remember that everything is not what it seems–people choose what they put on the internet. The rest can be pretty messy. Trust me.

Fashion: this goes back to the creative thing. Style is something so personal and expressive that no two people should have the exact same look. It’s one thing to be inspired by someone’s style but it’s another thing to completely copy it. Be yourself. Don’t buy things just because they’re trendy or popular. Buy things that you love–things that you know you’ll wear for years to come. Guess what…I still wear clothes from high school! I have some really great pieces that have held up well over the years and the best part is I still love them. When you buy into the trends you’re wasting your money. Do you really want to sink your hard earned money into a new wardrobe every season because it’s trendy? I know I don’t! Stick with what you love. Don’t let your own personal style be defined by someone else or by what’s on the runway. If you must have that tribal print top {or other fashionable item} search at places like TJ Maxx and Target. Don’t sink your money into something you know you won’t wear that often anyway. Look for bargains and shop clearance racks. Shop your closet, shop your mom/friend/grandma’s closet. You would not believe the things I’ve found in my Nanny’s closet. Just a little Macklemore style. Ha! It’s way more fun to find a bargain on something and then save that cash treat yourself to a latte. Am I right?

Faith: I will never, ever, ever apologize for what I believe. I will never apologize for loving Jesus. I will not be quiet about a gracious, loving God that has redeemed me. I am REDEEMED! I can’t keep something like that in. I pray that I can fully understand the power of that statement. I’m feeling quite vulnerable as I write about this, but I’m also feeling confident. Confident that someone needs to read this. I don’t want to be shy about my faith. I want to share it. I want to obsess over my relationship with Jesus before I even think about my first cup of coffee in the morning. I want to encourage others just as I have been encouraged. It’s easier said than done, but I know that’s what God wants for me and for you. I also know that when you pray for the will of God it will happen every. single. time. That’s encouraging!

Goodness gracious! If you stayed til the end, props to you. I always start out with an idea about where my post is going and before I know it, all of the million other thoughts in my head spill out onto the keyboard. Just imagine what’s going on inside this red head of mine 24/7! Yikes! And I’m pretty sure I just came up with a new tagline: Family, Fashion, Faith. Except I’m not fashionable. At all. Awkward. Maybe it’s a good tagline for someone else!

And because a post is not complete without a Remi picture….remi laugh remi sleep

As Remington would say, “See ya lata, addigatuh!”

humbled.

Has it really only been a week since I posted? It seems like ages. I think this has been one of the most trying weeks I’ve had in a long time. It all started with Remington running a fever then the tell-tale eye boogers. Ugh, please don’t let it be pink eye. It was. The pediatrician went ahead and wrote us a script for an antibiotic in case Remi didn’t get well over the weekend. He didn’t. By the time I got the antibiotics on Saturday afternoon I couldn’t get Remi’s fever under control and I knew we would probably need to take him to the ER to get him checked out. 105.2 is a pretty high temperature, folks. I was so calm. Strangely calm. God definitely had his hand on me. Mom, Jarrett, Sisters, Dad…everyone was out of town. My step dad met me at the ER and we waited. Turns out that Remington had an ear infection and what looked like strep (although the test came back negative) along with his pink eye. Poor kiddo. Thankfully, the folks in the ER were great and we were able to come home by bedtime. I thought the worst was behind me. All I had left to do was administer meds, love on my baby, and enjoy a little down time. WRONG. Each time I gave Remington his medicine it was a battle. I totally agree with what the X-ray tech at the ER said: “He may be small, but this kid is stout!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a baby this strong.” He IS strong. He had to prove his strength each time I tried to change his diaper. Any mommy knows antibiotics + not eating = tummy troubles.  Tummy troubles leads to lots of diaper changes and diaper rash. And a fight. EVERY time. I was physically so exhausted that my arms, shoulders, and back hurt by the time I would get in bed every night. Praise the Lord that Remi is feeling better now. Aside from a runny nose which I can totally deal with, he seems to not be in pain anymore. However, his behavior is off the charts. Crazy-acting, fit-throwing, biting-holes-in-pacifiers, momma-kicking tantrums. Where would I be without my husband? In the corner rocking back and forth, no doubt. It’s been bad, y’all. So in all of my poor-pitiful-me mess, I carried myself to Bible study today. It came time for prayer requests {SO thankful for sweet friends who pray me through the hard times} and I recounted my week to them. Then, the quietest lady in the group told us of what she has been going through with her foster and adopted children. I was humbled. Next, my sweet friend praised Jesus for the fact that her father-in-law will be able to receive chemo close to home. I was humbled. Once again, I had gotten so caught up in ME that I was blinded to how completely blessed I am. My God never forsakes me, even in my darkest hour. He loves me. That makes everything else seem trivial. If having a screaming kid is the worst thing I have to deal with this week–I can handle it. That’s all for now folks. I just wanted to get that out there. It’s my way of taking a deep breath and starting new. Speaking of newness, I just started a She Reads Truth reading plan on my YouVersion Bible app. I’m so excited to see what God reveals to me. Sometimes we all just need a fresh start.

Be blessed friends,

Kelsey

burden or blessing?

This post isn’t anything exciting—it’s just something I needed to write for me.

As I type this, I’m waiting for my Advil to kick in, then I’m going to bed. I always say the Devil works harder on Thursdays. I have a great time at Bible study and fellowshipping with my ladies, but the start and end of the day is usually hectic—even more so when Mr. Remi decides he doesn’t need a nap. That kid is something else. I don’t know what to do with him. The past two days he has been a straight running NUT! I’m exhausted just keeping up with him. For starters he has been talking…a lot. That in itself has me all emotional. He’s not just saying the usual bites, milk, daddy, mickey, ball, etc…he’s actually carrying on conversations. With himself mostly. Yesterday, he spilled water on the couch and said “Uh-oh, made a mess!” Um, What? Or later when his recording of Mickey Mouse stopped playing he said  “Fix it” and started trying to press buttons. Then, instead of cuddling on the couch with me like normal, he flopped on the ground, yanked the blanket off of me and said “Let go!” No, not my baby! He’s 19 months old. He is supposed to still cuddle and let me love on him. Or better yet, how about how he was being sweet {so I thought} and rubbing my arm then plucked an arm hair and said “Eww, gross!” Where has the time gone? I talk a big game about soaking it all in and writing down all of the sweet/funny things that he does, but am I really in the moment?

When J is out of town, Remi and I get a lot of alone time. It’s me doing all of the diaper changing, bathing, cooking, and sacrificing hot showers for myself. As a mother, I sometimes wish I had help. As a wife, I sometimes wish Jarrett could spend more time at home. But you know what? I am so blessed. God has given my husband an innate desire to provide for his family. He does that to the fullest extent and then some. So what it all boils down to is this: will I view these things as a burden or a blessing? Will I whine and complain about how wild Remington is or will I thank God for his creative mind? Will I grumble about not having a 50/50 workload as a parent or will I make the most out of the time together with my child? I know one day it won’t be just the two of us. Will I be fully submerged in this moment, today? The one where he decides he’s sat on the potty long enough…I hurry to his room to get a diaper only to come back to a tiny little turd and puddle of pee on the bathroom rug. Lovely. Guess what? I didn’t get mad. I laughed. I couldn’t help but laugh. It was just cute because Remington was so concerned. He says “uh-oh” about everything and that was definitely one of those moments.

oven mitt

Yes, I really caught him putting on an oven mitt when he heard the oven timer go off. I have no doubt that he would have attempted to open the oven. I can’t let this child leave my sight!

Motherhood is not glamorous. It’s real, it’s messy, and it’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. I’m having a hard time explaining my thoughts, so I’ll leave you with these wise words from a dear friend:

You will never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow they will be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift. Breathe and notice. Smell and touch them. Study their faces and expressions. Pay attention. Relish the charms of the present. Enjoy today.

–Paige Mayes

xoxo,

Kelsey

why God gave me a son

I’ll never forget the day Jarrett and I went to find out the gender of our sweet baby. It was January 11, 2011. I remember being cold and thinking that despite my barely-there baby bump {is she pregnant or just chunky?} I was looking pretty cute. I was around 17 weeks pregnant and was fairly certain I was having a girl. I guess I’d entertained the fact that I MIGHT have a boy, but I definitely didn’t know what to do with one so I just had pink on the brain. We were practically giddy in the waiting room. I don’t remember how long we waited or even walking back to the room. Jarrett held my hand and we watched our little baby on the screen. We saw fingers and toes, a sweet little yawn and…wait a minute…that can NOT be a penis!! The lady announced that baby Lange was indeed a boy. OMG. Why hadn’t I thought this could be possible? We don’t even have any boy names picked out that I like! How am I going to potty train a boy? So many thoughts were rushing through my head, but I was ecstatic. Jarrett was over the moon. I felt different—a little relieved and a little confused.

Fast-forward to 2013. I’m a mom to a BOY. Life could not be more perfect. Sure, there are days when I think how fun it would be to dress a little girl, fix her hair, paint her nails. But, I’m loving life as a boy mom with each day that passes. I get head butts and “squeezes” {because R seems to think he might melt if he gives me a kiss or a hug}. God has revealed something to me recently and I think it is so cool. God gave me a son because I wasn’t ready to be a mother to a daughter. I don’t take my role as a mother to Remington lightly. I don’t mean to undermine the male gender whatsoever. However, I do think a daughter needs a mother with a tender heart. Given today’s society—so obsessed with beauty and fame—it’s CRUCIAL for young girls to be taught what’s truly important. You see, I’ve never really been comfortable in my own skin. When I was young I hated my red hair, chubby cheeks, and freckles. When I was in middle school/high school I hated that I was “developed”. I always wanted to look like, talk like, act like, BE like someone else. Why did I not realize that God created me this way? Why did I not realize that God’s creations are always PERFECT in his eyes? I’m learning to be ok with who I am. I never realized that I was basically saying my Creator “messed up” when he made me. I’m grateful that I’m learning to love what’s on the inside. One day, if I do have a daughter, I pray that she won’t have to struggle through my insecurities. I pray that she will know her worth in God’s eyes. No, I wasn’t ready to have a daughter. I needed to have a son first. I needed to pray over this little boy—to pray for his future wife. I needed to come to terms with myself as a woman before I could teach a little girl how to love herself. I needed this little boy to love me so much—to build up my confidence. This child has made me feel worthy—in ways that no one else can. I’m so blessed to be a mother. I feel so honored that God chose Jarrett and I to be Remi’s parents.  My heart is full tonight because I’ve witnessed first hand that God has a plan for all of us. It may not come the way we think it should. It may seem crazy to some. But for me, it makes perfect sense. I know why God gave me a son, and for all of His blessings I am thankful.

Jesus, you’re all this heart needs

I really have no idea what I’m doing here. I never thought I would start a blog–heck, I didn’t even know what a blog was until I discovered Pinterest. Really? Really. So for those of you that are reading, here goes. I named my blog thisheartneeds for many reasons. One, it’s a partial line of a song. If you’ve never heard of Telecast you should definitely look them up. I’m pretty sure they disbanded years ago, but I had a wonderful experience at church camp worshipping with them live. I Just Need You is the name of the song I pulled from. It’s always stuck in my head as a wonderful reminder that the things I often say I “need” aren’t true necessities. I really only NEED Jesus. He supplies the rest. Two, My husband (we’ll call him J) always jokes that I don’t know the difference between wanting and needing something. I do, honestly. I’m not as bratty as he makes me out to be! It’s just that I really NEED that Starbucks latte to get through the day. KIDDING! Three, as a mother and wife, sometimes I just need a break. A break, and a cup of coffee, and to go to the bathroom by myself. Oh, and for someone else to sweep the floors and clean the toilets. Can I get an Amen?! It’s not that I don’t LOVE my family and my job as a homemaker/mom. It’s just the fact that I am human. I am selfish. I fall from God’s grace daily, and sometimes I just need to regroup. That’s what this blog is about; admitting my failures of the flesh and seeking God’s perfect will for my life and for my family. Sometimes, I won’t have a lot to say. Sometimes, I’ll be so full of words that I’ll start to ramble. I’ll try to keep it coherent.

Until next time,
K