You could see my naked bum at the palace!

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Okay. So it wasn’t my naked bum, but it very well could have been.

You see. I am married to a pastor. And he has been the pastor of an international church for round about 12+ years. And with great strength comes great responsibility. No, wait. That’s Spiderman.

With an international church comes great weddings! Oh, yeah. That sounds more like our slogan.

And a great wedding it was…At the palace in Wasowo, Poland.

You read that correctly. A palace. Pretty spanking awesome, eh?!

Funny thing is, the couple that married, yep. You mine as well call me the matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof. No. I really didn’t have anything to do with them falling in love, but the guy came from America to work with our foundation here in Poland. And we had him and his teammates stay with us for a week, where they got to go to our church, henceforth meeting his future bride. So, in a very far-fetched round about way, Cody and Zofia, you are most welcome for your love!

Okay, okay.  Again, I had nothing to do with their fairytale romance.  I just love receiving accolades I really didn’t earn.

But back to them falling in love and having their wedding in a palace.  And my bum on display—canvas, mind you—at that palace.

So, we were gifted a room at the palace for the evening, and we were so excited about that.  Excited and very grateful.  It had been a long journey back to Poland.  And then a long first two weeks in Poland.  The travels to the palace promised to be the ice cream on top of our sundae of travels!

Sure enough.  We arrive to a sprawling estate.  Rolling hills, beautiful lake, gorgeous palace, play area for kids, and a wedding spectacular.

We were given our room key.  And we entered.  That’s when I saw it!  The oil painting displayed right next to our bed.

A woman.  About my age.  Naked as the day she was born.  Lying on her stomach on a sofa.  Lounging with her bum for the entire world to see.

To be fair, at the time of the painting, perhaps she thought only her husband would see.  After all, I am sure oil paintings back then were not the “social media sharing” of the century.  Or were they?  Did she know that one day her bum would go viral?  Probably not.

Anyhow, I took one look at that photo.  And then another.  And then I became a student of that picture.  I looked at the woman.  And her body.  And her cool confidence.  No, I am not saying lie around naked and allow others to put you on canvases.

I am simply saying this…She was about my age.  And her body was about my shape.  If not just a wee-bit shapelier.

She had curves.  And she had life (also known as more curves than necessary).

Her bum was not toned and fit.  It was squishy and real.

And I liked it.

I liked that the oil canvas in my room next to our bed was not a photoshopped picture like those you see on display in magazines.

I liked that the original oil painting in our room was an unedited version of a beautiful woman displayed in all of her splendor.

Her real bum was beautiful.  And it gave me just enough pep to take a good look at where my body is today and say, “Brooke, your bum in all of it’s aging glory, its birthed children stretch marks, and it’s inability to lose weight like you did when you were twenty…Your bum is beautiful too!”

Don’t worry, though, Mom.  I won’t hang my bum on an oil painting on a wall in a palace.

Although, now that I think about it, one day, a hundred or so years from now, some woman may think that my bum, in all of its “birth day” splendor, as inspiring-ly beautiful too.

Richard, go get your brushes and paint!

Mommies, Remember we need to dance with our children, too.

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We just moved back to Poland 2 weeks ago this past Tuesday. And today I have actually been just enjoying a chill and unpack slowly day. Richard, my better half of crazy, and Ada (our 8-year-old first child) were in Poznan, Maxwell (our 2-year-old middle child) was sleeping, and Josephine (our 6-month-old baby) was rolling around on the floor.

I’ll fly away came on the radio, and I immediately stopped what I was doing and scooped Josephine in my arms. So many times we think that all daddies need to remember to take time to stop and dance with their daughters. But what about the mommies? Are we less responsible for taking the time to dance with our babies???

So I did it. I stopped what I was doing and scooped up my daughter. I held her in my arms. She held my face. We danced all around the living room, twirling and spinning and tilting our heads back and smiling.

I sang to her smiling face, “Some glad morning when this life is over…I’ll fly away!”

One day I will leave behind my daughter. I will fly away. My savior’s face I will see.

But, in the meantime, while I am still here, I want her to remember me. I want her to remember the song.

And I want her to remember the time her mommy stopped to twirl, sing, and dance with her daughter.

You know your husband has been away when…

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So today I fed my son lunch.  He is the cutest thing.  But he ate his chips (of course) first and his blueberries next.  His strawberries and hot dog remained on his plate.  And then he did what any normal human would do—he asked for more chips (I mean, come on, we all love salty potato chips).

I said, “No.”

And then he started to cry.

Typical response of a toddler who has been told no.  So I was not worried.  Not only was it typical, it showed me that it was time for the little man to head to bed.  Nap time.  Obviously he had good food in front of him:  strawberries and hot dog (okay, the hot dog is questionable), and he didn’t eat.  Therefore, my mommy sense picked up that he was tired.

So I did what I would do any other day…I said, “Okay, Maxie…Nap time!”  He didn’t object.  I prepared his milk (coconut milk—the boy has a dairy allergy) and got him down to change his diaper before his nap.

That’s when the man of the house came along…”You want more chips, Max?  Okay.  Eat a couple hot dog bites and strawberries for daddy and I’ll give you more chips.”  Boy walks dad to the pantry and points to the chips.

Oh no!  Sinking ship—and fast!!!  Where are your water pails???  Because it became a tsunami of tears.

“Chips, Dadda!  Chips!”

“Eat 2 bites of hot dog for Dadda.  You are two.  One.  Two.  Eat two bites.”

“Chiiiiiiipppppppps, Dadda!”

Crocodile tears are now cascading down his cheeks.

“Maxie, do you want chips?  You have to eat your strawberries and two bites of hot dog for Dadda.”

“CHIPS!”  Waterworks galore.

At this point, my husband looks at me, “Should I give him chips?”

“Yes.  Give him chips.”  The toddler has won.

One.  Two.  Chips for the sobbing toddler.  Mommy packed up the hot dog and ate the strawberries herself.

“Moh (for more) chips, Dadda!” As I sweep him out of the bar stool and proceed to change his diaper.

Yes, you know that your husband has been away when you try and stick to the routine you have been doing on your own for the past month and in an instant there is another factor—the Daddy factor.  And all of what you have been doing gets flipped upside down and inside out.  And daddy gets suckered in.

But, you know, in the end, I would rather my son take my husband by the hand and lead him to the pantry and ask for more chips, while leaving a perfectly good uneaten lunch on his plate.

Why?  You may wonder.

Because that means daddy is home to ask.  And there is nothing more grand than that.

Except, perhaps, chips…

 

Do Everything With So Much Love In Your Heart…

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I just saw this tonight.  It struck such a chord in my heart.  I want to live this life.

I want to be known by this life.

I want others to see this in my life.

Love.

I pray that you do too.

Live lives that become the epitome of love.

Love for God.

Love for family.

Love for friends.

Love for others.

Love for self.

Make it habit hard to break.

Be known by it.

Beautiful, glorious love!

 

Parenting Mistakes? But I like to RAVE!

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I just read a really good article on “7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders”.  I really enjoyed it.  It was concise.  As much as I tend to ramble in my writings, I appreciate “concise” in others.  Haha!  Two-way street in my world, eh?

Anyway…I really appreciate the reminders of what we, as parents, can do or not  do- becoming aware of how we can help mold our children into good leaders.

I have to, however, humbly disagree with a portion of the “Rave” aspect of the article.  I have a very non-competitive daughter that would NEVER receive a trophy if one was not given to her because that is the way the world rolls now.  And I am VERY thankful for it.

You see—she doesn’t receive podium status (1st, 2nd, or 3rd)…but she still gets out there and competes.  So I am glad that she receives accolades for even getting out there in the first place.

Will she ever win the tournament?

Heavens no!

But will she have fun and try hard anyway?

Heck ya!

So, I am okay cheering on my fledgling athlete.  I am okay telling her that her art piece is perfection.  And I am okay hugging her if she comes in last, telling her she was the BEST!

Because last is always better than not doing anything at all.

And did she have fun?

That’s all that matters to me.

I am okay if her daddy and I will always be her biggest cheerleaders in life.  Hopefully her “reality of our non-objectivity” will not suffer too many consequences.  I guess we shall see.

Anyhow…Like I said, it was a great article.  A great reminder.  And I am glad that I read it.  I definitely need perspective at times.

Perspective and Coffee.

Both, actually, all the time.

And—as any parent that puts God first would also say—

In the end, raise your children to not only be GREAT leaders—but, first and foremost, great men and women of integrity and a passion for Christ!

Both can co-exist in their lives.  Hopefully yours is proof of that.

Have a click and a read and perhaps you will leave with a bit of new perspective for your day, too!

God bless.

xo b

7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders

Ten Reasons to Appreciate Poland…

richiesbabe:

poland celebrated its 25th anniversary of independence—and cnn travel came out with an article about 25 things we love about poland. i hope that you have a reread of my top 10 and then a click on cnn’s page! enjoy. xo b

Originally posted on And 2 Makes Crazy:

So, it’s no secret that we have lived in Poland for the last 12 years.  That’s half of my life (Um…well, quite a few years ago it would be half of my life).  But, really…We have lived there for 12 years, and there is a lot that I have learned!

Today, kicks off my 7 Days of Thankfulness leading up to…you guessed it…Thanksgiving! Each day I will write a blog on something related to that beautiful word.  And I find it perfectly befitting that the first day goes to the country that has housed us for the past 12 years.  The country where our actual home resides.  The country where we legally are residents…Poland.  White and Red!

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I wish that I could delve into the rich history of Poland, but I believe many have already done that.  What I will do instead is link ya up to my friend Wiki…

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