WDIDT: Got Excited #Write31Days

#Write31Days. 1 Topic, 31 Days, Lots of Thoughts.  This year I am reflecting on one small moment a day and why it mattered (or didn’t!). What did I do today?

pexels-photo-106225-large

Everyone seems to talk about balance. Work life balance. Marriage and parenting balance. Selflessness versus selfishness balance.

It’s tiring.

The cultural conversation surrounding balance has frequently made me a crazy person.

The idea that having a balanced life, of being many things to many people, having it all – it is a cultural lie. One that shapes us.

A lie that keeps us from joy.

I’m trying to fight that lie in my own life. I’m trying to be present in the every day moments and experience them mind, heart, soul and strength as they are meant to be experienced.

That means today I got EXCITED!

At this juncture in my life there are a handful of exciting opportunities being presented to me…partnering with my city in city government, serving in my job as a visionary, championing growth and possibility in my community…it is all SO EXCITING!

In the past I would have been very meticulous and made lists of pros and cons for all these things. Really spent a lot of time mapping out possible future paths for each one. I would have tried to figure out how to say yes to each and every one just so I wouldn’t miss out on a good thing.

I would have sacrificed my right now reality for an undefined future ideal.

Now, now I find joy in the opportunity. I walk patiently and slowly into each one. I say yes with enthusiasm when it makes sense and no without guilt when it isn’t the right fit.

Let us find JOY in the daily opportunities!

What made you excited today?

Advertisements

WDIDT: The Big Cover Up #Write31Days

#Write31Days. 1 Topic, 31 Days, Lots of Thoughts.  This year I am reflecting on one small moment a day and why it mattered (or didn’t!). What did I do today?

pexels-photo-29992-large

It’s fall, it’s chilly, my husband is off for a week of work travel. The kids are up, I’m struggling.

The kids are dressed, ready to head to church in a little bit. Everyone is sitting down at the table and I’ve just served them breakfast. And I’m still struggling.

So, with everyone munching away, I head back up to my room, plop down back on my bed and pull the covers over my head.

It’s not anything in particular. All the kids are healthy, things are good at home, work has been busy but good.

It is just that gut feeling. Where it just “feels” like a hard day.

I know, raising the white flag at 8:15am on a Sunday morning and throwing the covers over my head is not the must adult response. Yet, it was.

In those few quiet moments, with the kids giggling a few rooms away and the calm of the dark enveloping me, I started to pray.

Maybe plea is a better word. It wasn’t a gratitude filled, joy filled, reflective prayer. This prayer was full of my weak, tired, incapable self. I asked, begged, for hope, for help, for the sun to shine in my soul and my attitude and heart to be changed.

I laid there until I heard one of the kids asking for more breakfast. I took a deep breath, threw off the covers and headed back to the kids.

The day, was fine. It was more than fine. I was full of peace, felt rested  and enjoyed my family and friends.

So maybe hiding under the covers isn’t the most mature thing to do but it was sure good for my soul.

What did you do to take care of your soul today?

WDIDT: Examples #Write31Days

#Write31Days. 1 Topic, 31 Days, Lots of Thoughts.  This year I am reflecting on one small moment a day and why it mattered (or didn’t!). What did I do today?

pexels-photo-102155-large

Do you ever look around your house and think ‘Man, I wish some one would _______.’

Yeah, me too.

The last couple weeks have been really busy. Between work projects and my husband being home on vacation, seasons changing, babies teething – the thing that has seemed to get away from me is my house.

It wasn’t a disaster. We all do chores and my husband has been great about keeping up on laundry and the kitchen while he’s been home. But the little things…

Dustbunnies on the stairs

Piles next to the mailslot

School papers from the last 3 weeks

Clean towels stacked at the bottom of the stairs

Bins that needed returned to the basement

When I see these things in the midst of busy days I think ‘Man, I wish someone would just sweep the stairs’ or ‘Can’t someone just throw those papers away’.

And they can, and often they do. Our kids do fairly well at managing their rooms, homework and assigned chores. But what about all the unassigned things?

Well, today, I tackled those before I did anything else. And, instead of adding to my kids to-do list on their day off school, I chose example over effort.

Sometimes our kids need to see us doing the things we often ask them to do. Our kids need to see us serving them in practical and tangible ways – with a smile on our face. Maybe every once in awhile our kids need to be invited to join us in the tasks of life without the obligation of saying yes – knowing that their presence is still welcome if they say no.

Yes, I want my kids to be self-sufficient. Yes, I would have rather been doing other things. Yes, they are big enough to help.

Yet, I want them to know what it looks like to practically be a part of a family where EVERYONE participates in big and small tasks. I don’t just drive people around, pay bills and give orders. I also organize books on the shelf so you can see them because you love to read, go through school papers and put a really excellent mark on the fridge to celebrate you, fold the living room blankets and make sure to put your most favorite one on top.

It was lovely. The little kids played with the baby and the big kids sat in the living room and chatted with me for a bit. One decided to go play outside and the other offered to help. Eventually they both found themselves helping, without being asked or told.

Today was a day of example setting. Let us show others what it looks and feels like to live loved.

Where were you an example for someone today?

WDIDT: Car Care #Write31Days

#Write31Days. 1 Topic, 31 Days, Lots of Thoughts.  This year I am reflecting on one small moment a day and why it mattered (or didn’t!). What did I do today?

light-car-display-shop-large

Get excited. Today, I took my car for an oil change and tire alignment!  I know right, SO EXCITING!

But really, there are so many every day, life things that we just do because they have to be done. Today was one of those days.

When I was thinking about the whole experience I was struck by how much even the small every day things can have an impact:

    • I walked home from dropping off the car and walked back to pick it up. Look! Exercise!
    • I listed to a podcast on my walk to pick it up, part of some sermon prep I’m working on. Look! Productivity!
    • I enjoyed talking to the mechanic who was thrilled at my excited response to the final cost of work. Look! Supporting local business! Encouraging a business owner! Community!
    • Our van is in good shape. Look! Safety for the whole family!

I guess what I am trying to say is that the every day things may have just as much purpose as the once in awhile things. Stop, look, see the impact in the small things.

What did you do today that seemed everyday but made an impact?

WDIDT: Class #Write31Days

#Write31Days. 1 Topic, 31 Days, Lots of Thoughts.  This year I am reflecting on one small moment a day and why it mattered (or didn’t!). What did I do today?

people-woman-girl-writing-large

Today I taught.

I gathered in a classroom with 20ish other moms of varying ages and stages, we opened up our study books about the sacred text of John and I taught.

I do this every week in the fall.  I spend days and hours reading supporting texts and mulling over what it is we should learn together.

I enjoy it. It is one of the things I do in life that just comes out of me without much work. As much as it is a pouring out of time and energy and words it is also a filling up of my own soul.

But here is why it really matters to me.

Often as moms we sell ourselves short. We fight the battle of “enough”. Our perspective is tainted by our own fears and worries. And many times, when opportunity presents it self, we say no. No, I am not enough.

We shouldn’t do that. I shouldn’t do that.

As moms, as women, let’s acknowledge our yes moments. The ones where we say yes to something not out of guilt or peer pressure but JUST BECAUSE our yes will make our soul sing…these are GOOD moments.

These moments are each of us stepping into a part of our true selves. The part that was created to mom but was also created to teach, to read, to bake, to create, to play.

Sure we do the laundry and dishes and car pool and homework. Some of us even pile on work, career, philanthropy.

But we also ARE! We are gifted, we have passions, we are life in our community. Our JUST BECAUSE yes might be the best yes we say all day…

What did you say YES to today that made your soul sing?

WDIDT: Taco Tuesday #Write31Days

#Write31Days. 1 Topic, 31 Days, Lots of Thoughts.  This year I am reflecting on one small moment a day and why it mattered (or didn’t!). What did I do today?

pexels-photo-95212-large

I made quesadillas for dinner.

Today, I ran. Non-stop. I would have given the Energizer Bunny a run for his money. I did not intend for it to be a go go go kind of day it just happened that way.

And then dinner happened. And it was quesadillas (I even managed to make meat and non-meat options!) and tortilla chips and salsa for dinner.

I had hoped for more. I had hoped to do better. The day just got away from me.

After I nursed the baby, our daughter set the table and I put out the food. Everyone sat down and we prayed and we ate. I was tired. Worn out.

But dinner! Dinner, is like MAGIC at our house.

To have all our small people (Kids Age 9, 7, 4, 2, and 7 months) around 1 table, sharing 1 (very un-fancy) meal for almost 1 hour…that is MAGIC.

Over quesadillas I learned all about the kids author that came to school today and how shocked my son was that she was in her 70’s. I learned that our preschooler got to play in the gym (her favorite thing) but was tired ALL DAY because of it. Our toddler was trying to tell the other kids the best part of his day was school (except he doesn’t go to school) and then my 7 year old surprised us all by saying there wasn’t one part of her day she thought was hard or difficult to overcome.

We wiped out every last one of those quesadillas and we all laughed as our toddler asked for yet another huge spoonful of salsa for his chips.

So maybe it wasn’t the most delicious or nutritious meal we will have this week, but it might be one of the most memorable.

What did you have for dinner today? Who sat at your table?

WDIDT: Sheet Music #Write31Days

#Write31Days. 1 Topic, 31 Days, Lots of Thoughts.  This year I am reflecting on one small moment a day and why it mattered (or didn’t!). What did I do today?

pexels-photo-104084-large

 

3:30pm I hopped in the car and drove the 15 minutes out into the country to the little white church with the tall steeple and sweet old bells that only ring on Sundays.

I parked next to the field and could hear the hum of the grain bins across the street. Up the sidewalk, through the back double doors and I am flooded with almost 180 years worth of history.

Today I joined the Christmas Choir at my church.

I’m not a great singer. I don’t really have a ton of time in my schedule to fit in another thing. Overall, it seems like a rather out of character thing to be doing in the moment.

However, I really enjoy Christmas. Every year it serves as a reminder of all things being new and redemption coming to all. A time to pause and celebrate and connect.

Also, I feel pulled to be a part of the community of people I worship with every week. I don’t currently attend Sunday School or Small Groups because of the ages and stages of our 5 kids in conjunction with having a traveling husband, but a few short weeks of commitment is something I can do.

I enjoyed being challenged and encouraged by our wonderful choir director. Her love for music and joy as she watches people of all skill levels sing is contagious.

It was fun to listen to a mom and daughter lead the alto section as they both attempted a new song, together.

And for me, the lovely people in the choir are not folks I have a chance to see often. They are not my peers in age or stage and yet, they are my brothers and sisters.

So today, I joined the Christmas Choir at my church. It is a small thing, it was less than an hour of my day.

Yet, when we take time to be a part of a family, is it ever really a small thing?

Who are you spending time with today?