Doing Life

Here in Oklahoma it’s been spring all winter. I am genuinely terrified of what this may mean for tornado season.

Life for us is moving at a rate of 80,000 times the speed of light. All the sudden my oldest daughter moved away and my little ones are in elementary and middle school; and I inexplicably have a two-year-old and a baby in my tummy. I am classifying my children into subgroups at this point in order to wrap my head around parenting on so many levels. I’m convinced that not only will I drop the ball (which is covered in spikes and on fire), but that I’ve never had the ball to begin with and I’m not even sure where it is or when it’s coming to me. Y’all pray for my children because they’re growing up with Toni at the wheel.

Here I am monitoring subgroup B’s progress in school this past week while we all had the flu and the stomach bug and Caleb was out of town:

Mia: “I need to bring dessert and $10 for our Indian Taco fundraiser dinner by tomorrow.”

Me: “What?! 2 DESSERTS? Did I know about this? I have to make TWO? I can’t bake! I can’t move! I don’t have cash! What do I DO?! This is overwhelming! Catastrophic! What kind of desserts again?! I guess I can buy some. Ok yes. I will buy desserts. I can do this. This can be done by me.”

Mia: “And $10.”

ME: “OH SWEET LORD! I AM IN OVERLOAD! THIS IS TOO GREAT A BURDEN TO BEAR! I CAN’T THINK OF THE BEST ATM TO STOP AT FOR CASH, AND ALL OF THEM ONLY DOLE OUT CASH IN INCREMENTS OF $20! WHAT AM I, A MAGICIAN?!!”

Merrick: “Where is the stapler so I can finish up my science project which I have done completely on my own without bothering you for a single thing up until this moment?”

Me: “Love God and love others, son. The rest will work itself out.”

These are the actual days of our lives.

In other news, money is tighter than it’s ever been in our married life. Something about having 5 kids and medical bills out the yin-yang due to unexpected high risk pregnancies really drains the ole already empty bank account. Our Kia bit the dust hard this week so we are on the verge of becoming a one-car kind of family. You know, harkenin back to simpler times and whatnot. This is fine because of school buses and my husband’s very flexible work schedule. One car means only one car payment, less gas and less insurance. It also means money saved from me not hitting up Target on the regular.

Please keep my husband in your prayers. The past two years have been gut-wrenchingly difficult for both of us, but he in particular has been fighting demons left and right.


At the moment, Caleb is taking heat from loved ones for doing what he knows in his heart to be the absolute right thing to do. Following Jesus in a literal sense is so hard. Forgiveness is not a theory–it’s an action and a decision. The devil throws everything he can at you when you’re on the right track, and this has never been more evident for us as it is now. I am so proud of how Caleb has handled himself over the past several months despite how much heart pain has come from actively doing the crazy crap Jesus commanded–loving the unlovable and forgiving the unforgivable; living as an ambassador, as a beloved son; shining like a light in the dark places. He isn’t perfect, but he is trying.

And I have never admired my husband more. He is truly a brave light. I hope one day he is able to share his amazing story with those that can only understand their own anger and hurt right now. There is so much good to come out of even (what may rightfully be considered) the worst offenses.

God is at work, and we are happier than we have ever been.

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About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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