What DO you do all day? #Write31Days

It’s back!  #Write31Days is back! 31 days, 1 Topic, Lots of thoughts…

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Are you familiar with this joke…

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A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.

Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.


In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened.

He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door.

As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap, and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.

She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked:

“What happened here today?’”

She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?”

“Yes,” was his incredulous reply.

She answered, ‘”Well, today I didn’t do it.”

*****

This always makes me laugh! There are a million little things we do each day that keep our worlds from entering full on chaos.

In past years I’ve reflected on my life with a special needs child and life through the words of hymns. This year I’ve decided on something a little lighter – a daily reflection of sorts.

This month I’ll daily be answering the question: What DID you do today?

Every day I will pick one thing that I did, why it mattered (or didn’t!) and give a short reflection.

Some of them will inevitably be mom thoughts (I do have 5 kids after all!) but keep an eye out for thoughts on friendship, love, joy, sadness, hope and fun.

So join me! Let’s venture into moments and make them opportunities.

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Thanksgiving: Motherhood

This week I’ll be sharing with you a few short stories of things I am thankful for and why…today, Motherhood.

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You know those girls you grew up with. The ones that were just naturally maternal. When you planned your imaginary grown up life they had get married, have kids, be a mom on the top of their list.

Yeah, I was not that girl, ever.

It’s okay, you can laugh. For those of you that don’t know me I have 4 kids and am expecting…it is a *little* funny…

It was shocking that my sweet husband and I ever got married. We were in the car once when we were dating and he asked me about kids and I said bluntly “I don’t know if I ever want kids.” He didn’t say a word, turned up the music and gave me the silent treatment.

He married me anyway.

10 months after our wedding I stood, hot tears streaming down my face, positive pregnancy test in hand. He grinned from ear to ear, and really, he’s never stopped.

I didn’t choose motherhood, motherhood chose me. And, I haven’t always liked it.

In the beginning I wasn’t “good” at being a mom. It was so much emotional energy. I wanted to work and eat out and have a flexible schedule, it wasn’t exactly easy working and nursing and being home at a reasonable hour so everyone could rest.

As if this hard wasn’t enough BOOM, baby #2 was coming and at 7 months pregnant I lost my full time job. With my husband having just accepted a new full time job we decided I would “take some time off” and “stay home with the kids” and “enjoy the baby” for awhile.

I’ve never really gone back to my full time, live to work life, ever. And, I am so thankful I haven’t.

Somewhere after Baby #2 my heart began to change. I was the same me. I still wasn’t “good” at the emotional side of motherhood, I still dreamed about working full time, fine dining and just one weekend without a schedule but something was different.

I was still me but maybe version 2.0.

Version 2.0 of me looked the same, sounded the same, was just as driven and still full of energy. She was just a little more compassionate. A bit more emotionally brave. A lot more tired. And, a lot more of who she was meant to be.

I’m not a great cook (although my husband says I make great reservations!), I’m an okay homemaker (okay, not really, but I have friends that help me pretend to be) and I am still learning about the emotional side of motherhood (I can help my kids with robotics but can I teach them the meaning of unconditional love).

BUT, I have learned about love. And grace. And joy. And calling.

Love is so much more than a feeling and is intricately woven into our words and thoughts and actions and gifts.

Grace is so much more than forgiveness and embraces the impossible and unconditional sides of love.

Joy is more than fun but instead a gut punching side glance from a mischievous 3 year old that reminds you that she knows she’s loved.

Calling is irrevocable. The independent, strong-willed, leader, pursuer, teacher and dreamer in me were always meant to be. Motherhood has shown me that I am who I am and it is GOOD, regardless of what people see me as.

We all arrive at Motherhood differently, this is how I arrived here. The path has not been easy or gentle on my soul but now, my soul is easy and oh so gentle on others as they tread their own motherhood paths.

Today I am thankful for Motherhood.

Small Wonders: Friendship

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This weekend a friend said on Facebook “We have downgraded friendship in our society.” You could almost hear me shout my agreement from the other room. The idea that we have made friendship less than important yet live in a world where we need each other was stunning to me in that moment.

Yet, while I believe this is true for many and at times even I too have felt the loneliness of friendlessness, I am struck by the small wonder of friendship in my life. It carries me every day.

Stop for a moment. Think of what you have done with your friends just this year. Have you downgraded friendship or embraced it?

By DaPix Studio
By DaPix Studio

I am so thankful for this season where, despite small kids and busy work schedules, our lives are full of friendship, it brings us so much joy!

…For friends that care about the small stuff.

…For friends who laugh with me until I cry.

…For friends who have the hard conversations and ask the difficult questions.

…For friends who willingly lend me things when I need them.

…For friends who help vacuum birthday cake off the fellowship hall carpet.

…For friends who try and trust, even when trusting isn’t easy.

…For friends who love the same city you do and see life through those eyes.

…For friends who invite us to birthday dinners.

…For friends who will spend a day with you, just to be together.

…For friends who give beautiful and unexpected gifts from the heart.

…For friends who will stop and catch lunch at the last minute.

…For friends who see your children as you see them, not as a handful but as a heartfull.

…For friends who persevere when your schedules and distance makes it hard to be together.

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Friendship is a small wonder these days. It takes time and energy that a lot of us just don’t have. It takes patience and commitment to really get to know someone.

There are so many choices in this world of things to do, places to go and life to experience. But what is the joy of doing and going and experiencing if we have no one to share it with?

Linking up today with A Field of Wildflowers: #SmallWonders

Only compared to some, on bravery

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Over the Christmas break we introduced our two oldest children to the movie The Princess Bride. It’s one of my favorites. It has such a great story told from such a creative perspective, plus it’s one of the most quotable movies ever.

There’s a scene with the princess is being stolen away on a boat. She tries to escape by jumping overboard only to be nearly attacked by screeching eels. As she’s pulled back into the boat by her captors the leader says to her “I suppose you think you’re brave, don’t you?” Princess Buttercup replies “only compared to some.”

I was thinking about what it meant to be brave when we are watching the rest of the Princess Bride. What will the next year look like for me? Is it time for me to set some new goals? How proactive should I be and how much can I just live day to day?

As we end this year and head into the next we are about to be bombarded with a lot of advice. Blogs, newspapers, magazines and more will tell us what is going to make the next year the best year. If we can just be brave and ____________. It’s all a little overwhelming sometimes.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison and the conversations about who is brave, who is conquering what and what more I can/should/could do.

I look at the mom with more kids than me and think “she’s definitely braver than me.” I look at the writer who is more consistent and transparent than I and think “that’s so brave, I could never be that.” I look at the woman who is taking greater career risks and think “she’s a risk taker, so very brave.”

And then I remember Princess Buttercup’s words… “Only compared to some.”

There are two things I take away from this…

First, there will always be someone who we perceive as being braver than ourselves. This is a good thing. We need people to motivate us, inspire us and challenge us. Those who we see as braver than ourselves are many times people who have great qualities that we would like to emulate. Seeing others as braver than ourselves keeps us humble. It reminds us we are unique in our callings and those people and their stories encourage us to keep going, keep trying.

Second, we are reminded that we are someone else’s brave. As I watched the above scene, I was reminded that no matter what, I am meant to be me. Sure, I won’t be climbing Mount Everest, curing major diseases in foreign countries or solving any large political crises, but I can be my own kind of brave.

I can do what I was meant to do to motivate, inspire, challenge and encourage someone else.

In my parenting I can be my own kind of brave and sow seeds of peace amongst the chaos of four small children. I want them to think on these years not as rigid and crazy but as peaceful and full of exciting growth and to be that kind of brave to their own friends.

In my friendships I can be my own kind of brave by deciding to be really present and listen and respond with my whole heart. I can be the friend that I want others to be for me and maybe they can be that person to someone else.

In my marriage I can be my own kind of brave by really committing to be my husband’s best friend and greatest advocate no matter what the year might bring. I want to make my marriage work, and not just work but lots and lots of fun, trying begins with me.

In my church I can be my own kind of brave by giving what I can when I can, even if it cost me something. I can be the catalyst for small change that might change a life forever.

In my own life I can be my own kind of brave by taking the time I need to be quiet and to work and do so without guilt. If I’m going to be my kind of brave I have to commit some time to it.

So what does next your hold for you? Who knows. I have no great advice. I don’t know 10 steps for the perfect waist, the top 5 recipes to make your kids eat their veggies or how to stay cool calm and collected 100% of the time.

What I do know is that there is only one you. You have to be your kind of brave or fun or creative, the world needs you.

In the end, Princess Buttercup was exactly brave enough, she ended up where she wanted to be, happily ever after.

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I Love My Littles…

I think I have been trying to deny it for quite awhile. I mean, I am not that bedraggled mom with 3 kids under the age of 5 who looks like she might need 3 weeks of sleep, a good shower and some (more) coffee.

oh. wait.

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Yes, yes I am.

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And before this stage passes I want to stop and relish it. I really do love my littles. Our oldest just turned 6, with girly about to turn 4 and baby not so far behind. This stage will not last forever.

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Part of me is a tiny bit sad that I may not have taken it all in like I could have, but then there is grace. Then there are so many fun things, sweet things, forever things that I will remember about these moments. The little moments matter.

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So today, this last summer with all the kids home, I want to live it and love it, every little bit. For tomorrow will come and the littles will be something new, different and I am sure just as wonderful.

Sleep can wait…

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The thing about blogging…

The thing about blogging is that it is not a complete picture. This is true for both the reader and the writer.

500 or 1,000 words can never sum up a whole day, sometimes it isn’t even enough to complete a whole thought.

I’ve not been writing because I can’t seem to find the right words, the best words, the true words or the most encouraging words.

Blogging is a hobby for some, an income for others. For me, blogging is a small piece of who I am right now. It is words and moments and thoughts that just are. But know dear reader it is not the whole of who I am. The whole of who I am is still unknown even to me. I am uncovering it day by day.

Here, this place, I want to breath grace and encouragement to all who stop by. Grace and encouragement also require truth and honesty.

The words found here do not come easily. They have been lived through, cried over and celebrated. Moments that seem simple or short have sometimes been weeks or months in the making.

Dear reader, I tell you these things to let you in, to open my front door to you just a little further.

What you see is all I have to offer in this moment, our very present. Broken, imperfect and ever changing. Come on in, curl up with some tea and have a seat, something new is happening…

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Thoughtful Thursday: So many thoughts…

My favorite thing about posting on Thursday’s is that I get to put a little bit of my heart on paper and share it with you…This week my heart is so full and overflowing I don’t even know where to start.

So here is a piece of my week…how has your week been?

  • I had a great time away with my husband.  I have decided he is best described as my calm in the midst of chaos. I love that we sat and listened to beautiful live music together and just let it roll over us both. Beauty in this love I have.

  • There are some moms who I study the Bible with and I love them. From advice on what to do with my earlier riser (thanks ladies!) to the miracles God is doing in their life.  They remind me that God is alive and active.

  • I’m experiencing Advent in a whole new way this year.  Every day I am learning something new about the Gospel. I’d say it is like an Advent high ; )  If you want to talk about this or have resources you love please, pass them on, let’s talk!

  • Life is full of constant ups and downs. It is a wonderful place to have peace about both.



“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” 
Romans 5:1-5