The #1 Thing To Do This Summer

A title as catchy as that should have something profound beneath it.

I’m not sure I can be “profound,” but I can be real.

This summer has been much-anticipated and much dreaded in my house.

We wanted to enjoy this summer with our 6-year-old and also share sweet moments with our newborn babe.

We still will, but this summer will be difficult.

Our 6-year-old has major eye and ear surgery in June and I have my ACL & meniscus repair surgery in July.

Not exactly how we want to spend our first summer with our 3 month old.

However, as I have battled through the levels of grief with my ACL injury, I have come out (for the most part) on a pretty positive side. (Some days you can catch me down and out about my knee – I’m trying to stay positive-I really am.)

Last summer was my first summer as a mom and I wanted very badly to just “be” in all the moments I had with Aiden. I wanted to be present and there and whole for him.

What I didn’t know last summer was that it was easier when I didn’t also have a baby to care for on top of everything else.

Aren’t they cute?!?!

This past month has had me hobbling on crutches, battling a bunch of different knee braces, therapy twice a week, not being able to carry my kiddos because I can’t trust my leg, trying to still make lunch and pack snacks and do normal activities with my kiddos but all while one leg down, etc. On top of all the Mom and Wife duties, I am exhausted from just getting myself from room to room.

So after I had a pity party about this summer and all my limitations that will take away from my children’s fun –  I looked up from my poor self and realized –  the same truth of last summer is still here.

My sons still need me to just “be” with them.

kissing my boys after a long day

My 6-year-old needs me to be present and focused and interested in his days. My baby needs me to be attentive and loving and whole for him.
 

They need me to BE.

They need me to BE THEIR MOM.

Krystal and Ryman

Aiden riding his scooter
(the same scooter Krystal tore her ACL on- ugh!)

When I am struggling with what to wear to the pool because I still have Ryman love cells hanging on my hips and because I have a leg brace that is uncomfortable without leggings on…. My kiddos don’t care, they just need me to BE THERE. My boys do not look at me and see extra love cells or uncomfortable clothes or the flaws I feel right now –  they both look at me with these lovey dovey eyes that I could only dream about. My kiddos don’t see me as the struggling cripple I feel like right now –  they see me as God does –  perfectly made for them.

So suck it up Krystal. Find a moo-moo and drape yourself up and go enjoy the freakin’ pool with your kids.

From one Mama to another  : The #1 thing to do this summer is to BE. 

Let’s BE AMAZING for our kiddos this summer.
Let’s BE REAL for our friends this summer.

Let’s BE AVAILABLE for those that need us this summer.

BE YOU. It’s the only you that will do. 

-KR

Life After The Black Hole

Today is October 10. I checked my blog today and the last date I posted was June 28. I mean…..black hole much?

For years we have had friends with school age children tell us that their summers get crazy when the children aren’t in school and Jared and I have never understood that. Can’t you put them in camp? Aren’t they visiting grandparents? Don’t you let them watch TV in the summer?

And then I became an instant mom to a 4-year-old who completed preschool this past May and all of a sudden my world halted. I had him scheduled every single week this summer with some sort of activity. So what happened to me??
I spent the whole summer managing his schedule only to realize that was all I had time to do – if I was going to also see my husband, clean my house, get some of my own work done here and there, and feed my family – The only thing I had legitimate time to do was manage my child’s summer schedule.

I just now (after he has been in kindergarten for two months) feel I am shaking off the black hole dust of summer. I honestly have no idea what happened, but I do know that as my priorities have needed to shift since becoming a mama, I was right on point to have been wrapped up in his little universe for his summer break.
We were both ready for school to start, but it was a good first full summer home with him.

Aiden at Disney (he went to Disney World this summer. Swoon!!)

Since getting my feet on the ground again, new things have been happening in the Ribble household. I can’t specify at the moment ALL the things, but I want to mention one of them.

Last year, I felt very strongly God asking me to become involved in the college ministry my church supports with a group of Belmont University students. I was able to write a bible study for the gals of the group and go through it with them. I was so excited for this time with them and greatly appreciated getting to know them.
As God would have it, the beginning of this school year brought about the current college minister moving on and the church approaching me about being the new College Minster for our church.

Because of the size of our church and the current involvement of the college students, this is a part-time position. I have a lot on my plate with my adoption work, writing, and wife/mom life, but it was very clear that I had already set my life up to be involved with these students and that God was carving a path for me back a year ago.

I accepted the position and my sweet husband jumped in with me. We have been going non-stop getting ourselves accustomed to this new ministry and adding new activities for them to be a part of/serve in. There’s a million times in my life being on staff at a church made sense (and was a reality at one point) but I never expected to be a collegiate minster.

I love it. These students are amazing. I don’t feel old enough to be their elder, but I am and I just have to deal with it and appreciate that they tell me I look like I’m still in my twenties and I am cool. Thanks kiddos. I will cherish those words. 🙂

I leave you with this, which is something I will write about again soon :

Bob Goff Quote
I have been taking the students on a journey this semester of looking at Jesus in different circumstances throughout the bible and dissecting his temperament and his compassion. I want to teach them to look for the character of Jesus and to emulate it to those they come in contact with. If they learn nothing else while under my leadership, I want them to know how to love others in a way so fitting of the King of Kings. It’s the least we can do.

My challenge to you my readers… If you haven’t jumped ship over my sabbatical…. Is this :

Pick up your bible. Find a story about Jesus (there are a lot of them by the way). Read about how he interacted with those he came in contact with. Why did he speak the way he did? Why did he love the way he did? Why did he stop his world for certain individuals?

The very first story I presented for the students to look at about Jesus was the story of the paralytic being lowered through the roof to him.
Bob Goff said this, “We are throwing people off of roofs we should be lowering them through. We’ll be remembered for our love, not our opinions.”

We need to love well. We need to bring people to Jesus at all costs. And we need to be the Jesus who will stop for them when they need us.

Can we be this Jesus to those around us?

Let’s try.

It’s good to be back friend. I love you all.

-KR