Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Turn (5 minute prompt)

I bought a picture this summer of a women looking off to the side, while Jesus is looking right at her. He is right beside her, but she doesn't see Him because she is looking away.  It seemed like a sad picture at first, because how many times do we do this?  Turn away when we should be turning toward Him! The one who can and does make all things better.  The one who helps without prejudice or repayment. 
As I looked at that painting, it reminded me of, well, me.  It reminded me of all the times I am trying so hard to do better or help the family better or be a better wife and mother and I look inwards.  Instead I should be looking to Him, the one who can truly make me better. The one who knows me so perfectly that He can improve me with just a mere question from me.  If I just turn my focus to Him, I will have peace. 
Sure, my questions might not be all answered. My situation might not improve.  My life won't become perfect.  But in looking to Him, I will find hope and happiness and an understanding.  An understanding of who I am and why I am here and what my purpose is.  I will be filled with peace.  And all I have to do is turn.
This isn't the picture I was talking about, but it is the way I want to be.  You can find more about what I believe here.

Blake, my hero


            I have been gone since last Thursday.  It is currently Wednesday.  I was supposed to be home last night, but ice and snow in Denver is delaying flights and I keep getting texts, “Your flight will leave at 130”, “Your flight will leave at 530.” They might as well say, “Your flight will leave never!”  But in the course of this craziness, I have had the chance to fall in love with my husband all over again from approximately 1,200sh miles away. 

            He has stayed with the kids on his own the whole time.  In the course of my time away, we have had three with the flu (one of them, Blake) and two with colds.  He has taken them on outings, to school, picked them up from school, went grocery shopping, did laundry, cleaned, did dishes, and even took all four kids to Hailey’s cheer practice, which starts at 7.  I mean, those days make me crazy!  But he has done all this with grace and with patience.  He has put me to shame almost!  I am thinking he is making my job look a little too easy!

            Blake has always been a great dad.  Fun and structured and nurturing. I used to joke with him about how he should be the stay at home mom and I should work, because he knows how to do it so much better!  So, in the midst of all this craziness, I called to let him know that I “might” come home today depending on flights.  Instead of freaking out, he just laughs and says, “That’s fine. I wasn’t feeling to well today anyway.”  What a guy!  He has shown stability and awesomeness throughout all of this uncertainty. 

            I have always wanted to be a bit calmer and relaxed.  I think that is why he and I make such a good match.  He knows when it’s time to chill out and take a break.  He knows it’s fine to have a movie day. He knows that every day doesn’t have to be productive to the last second.  He doesn’t sweat the small stuff with the kids.  He is a daily reminder to me to slow down and enjoy these moments.  I wanted to write this all down so I wouldn’t forget.

            And isn’t that why we write?  To have a chance to look back on old feelings and memories that have faded a bit with time.  To relive these precious moments that we might not ever have the chance again.  So, the next time I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed or annoyed, I can take a look at my husband as a parent and take on some of his characteristics instead of becoming more rigid.  And I will remember how much he sacrificed this week so that I could have a little break and hold some sweet fresh babies.  That he gave up a week of flex time to “relax” with the kids and take care of things at home.  So I will remember this all the time. 

            I love you, Blake!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Leave (5 minut post)

I am joining the five minute prompt group over at Kate Motaung's blog.  She took over from Lisa Jo Baker.  It is a great exercise and can really open your mind and clear your thoughts.  You don't have to link up if you don't want to, but they are all great starts.  I am always a bit surprised to where my writing goes!
Leave

Disclaimer: Blake and I are very happy together.  The “Don’t’ leave me” portion of this kind of just evolved into me needing him all the time.  Although I know that isn’t realistic, it would be super convenient and awesome!=)

“Don’t leave me.” I mumble to Blake in the early darkness of the morning.  He is headed off to work and I am lying warm as a caterpillar in its cocoon under my baby blue down comforter, king sized on a queen sized bed.  The only way to live.  I look to Blake as my steady rock.  My helper, my understander, my hugger, my everything.  Because he knows me so well. He gets my moods, my needs, my dreams and wishes.  And he accepts them. He doesn’t try to change them or tell me that I shouldn’t do that or that I won’t be able to do that.  No matter how far-fetched it might seem. Or no matter how many times I claim to have discovered a new way to help the kids listen or keep the house clean or to get rid of belly fat.  He just agrees that all my plans are awesome.  So, that is why I don’t want him to leave me.  Don’t go to work!  Be a self-made millionaire so we can travel to Spain with the kids, so we can visit Ireland’s rocky shores, so that we can lie on the beach in the Caribbean.  Don’t leave me, so that we can hang out on the couch all day watching food network or picking up the kids toys or rake leaves.  Don’t leave me so I have an excuse to go to breakfast every morning and lunch every afternoon.  Don’t leave me because you have great facts to share from NPR and Bloomberg Business and because most days, you are my news source! Don’t leave me because you remind me to sit down in the day, to snuggle the kids more, to get things done quickly so they don’t bother me the rest of the day.  Don’t leave me because after knowing you only five months, I married you.  And I know you will never leave me.

 
Blake on his last birthday eating red velvet cake. He said it's the best cake he's ever had.  See why I love this man!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Our Mini Miracle of Glasses

                Today we had a mini miracle.  A lesson learned that I won’t forget.  I hope the kids won’t forget either.
                We were raking leaves outside and the kids had gotten a bit rambunctious.  Brooke threw leaves in Spencer’s face, so he took off his glasses.  Of course, he dropped them accidentally into a pile of leaves.  A mountain of thousands of leaves.  All colors, black, brown stems and a maze of a mess.  We searched and searched through the leaves and couldn’t find them anywhere.  I was telling myself to not get mad, because what does getting mad ever do?  It just brings up bad feelings and causes more anger.  So, we prayed that we would be able to find the glasses. 
                We raked all the leaves into a pile and carefully tried to put them into the leaf bags, while also watching out for the glasses.  It was tricky with three “helpful” kids.  They really were trying.  Especially when I reminded Brooke and Spencer that they would be paying for new glasses if we couldn’t find them.  We had bagged eight huge bags of leaves and still couldn’t find them.  I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to empty them all and not find them glasses, but they had to be somewhere!
                I told Spencer to go somewhere quiet and pray to find them and to listen afterwards to see if any ideas came to his head.  I wanted to give him the opportunity to understand prayer.  Brooke and I were still looking through the leaves and not finding anything.  We had been listening to music and I had the feeling to turn off the music and be still.  To not have any excess noise entering my head.  So, I turned off the music and I could hear the birds singing and the leaves blowing and it was so peaceful.  I had the feeling that we should look through the bags again.  But there were eight of them!  Brooke and I went over to the car to decide which one to go through first.  We said a prayer that we would be able to find the glasses.  After the prayer, Brooke pointed at a bag and said, “This one.”  What did we have to lose? 
                We grabbed the bag and started going through it, a little bit at a time.  Spencer came over and took Brooke’s spot in the search.  About halfway through the bag, there were the glasses!  I couldn’t believe it!  We had found them and on the first bag.  That was awesome, but it wasn’t the miracle.  This was the mini miracle.  Brooke said, “I heard a voice tell me ‘This is the bag’.”  And you know what, I believe her.  I believe that the Spirit told her where to look because she is innocent and will listen.  She will listen without question. 
                I know that Heavenly Father cared about our situation.  I know that glasses are important to him, because they are important to us.  Sure, we could have bought more glasses, but why buy more glasses, when Heavenly Father is there to help us.  When all He wants is for me to put my trust in Him, so that He can teach me and help me.  I am so grateful for this experience.  It gave me the chance to be patient. It gave Brooke the chance to feel the Holy Ghost.  It gave Spencer the chance to pray for something He needed help with.  It brought us together.  I won’t forget that on a beautiful Fall day, Heavenly Father sent us a little miracle through a little girl who was willing to listen.
 
Moments before the "incident".  See, I'm talking leaves!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Long (5 minute prompt)

Long

Days as a mom can be long.  They can be drawn out and dragged through and just plain long.  They are sometimes very repetitive and routine and the same.  But the moments in these long days are the best moments.  The snuggles and hugs and the puzzles and books.  The bike rides and baking and dish washing and bathroom scrubbing.  The laundry and coloring and shows and music.  Those are the moments that break up the long days. I can't count how many times I have been dragging through a day and the kids have come up with a fun imaginative game or asked me to read a book or started a dance party to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and suddenly a long day has become a fun day.  And when I look back on the day, I don't think "Man, that was long."  I think, "That was pretty fun."  Yes, we had to work and do chores that nobody was interested in.  Yes, there were arguments and fighting and apologies.  Yes, there were ten towels used to mop up the bathroom after bath time.  But I don't think of those at the end of the day.  I am thinking of the good.  The good times that made a day less long and more adventure filled.  A day of memories and good.  And I wish that days wouldn't go by so fast. How can a long day feel so short by the time you get to the end of the day?  The long can be made fun. The long can be made creative and imaginative and adventurous.  The long can be the best days of your life.
 We went to Target one night and the kids tried on Halloween masks.  This definitely was the highlight of an otherwise "long" day.
 The girls and I being goofy on a day off of school.
Was about to lose my mind one day because the kids weren't listening and they ran inside to show me this late summer harvest from the garden.  That was a great moment.


Move (5 minute prompt)

Move on
Move on from relationships that aren't fulfilling, loving, helping.
Ones that don't make you feel better
Ones that make you feel like you are worse
sad
lonely
less than
afraid
grumpy

Move on from the toxicity of words said in
anger
jealousy
fear
meanness
bullying moments where someone finds you an easy target.

Move on without guilt because that relationship didn't do you any good
It didn't uplift or
inspire or
create togetherness
or even make you smile.

At the end you are exhausted, not because of
so much time well spent or
so much cleaning done together or
baking days or
lunch dates or
late night get togethers or
deep and involved chats.

But you are exhausted because you wonder if
they are really your friend
if they are taking advantage of you
if you are less than them
if you make less money
or are less cute
or less educated
or less children
or too many children
or all the other reasons that we invent sometimes to have a friendship that is much less than we want it to be.

Embrace Friendships that are well meaning
well seasoned
well cared for

Even if I have two friends who are my favorite and best friends of all time.

So be it.

I would rather have two friends who love me for me.
Bring me cookies when my kids are throwing up all night
Text me to check up on me.
Watch my kids at the last minute at my house because I had a miscarriage.
Bring food to my family after I have had a baby.
Clean my house secretly.
Go on walks with me just for fun.
Bring Dr Pepper (when I drank it) to my house in the woods
Let my kids come play.
Let their kids come play
And don't look at my house like my house, clean or dirty, is a reflection of me as a person.
So to all those friends, whether you are new or old, thank you.
Image taken from Here

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

When Playing with your Kids feels like blah


When Playing with your kids Feels like Blah

                I am sure all of us mothers, or most of us, have the moments where we just don’t want to play with the kids.  We don’t want to do anymore trains, dolls, legos, barbies, blocks.  We know that doing these things can help grow our relationship and can help us to see the world from our kid’s perspective, but we’re just not feeling it!  Am I wrong?  Well, I had one of those days a few weeks back.  Things in the house were mostly caught up. It was a lazy morning with just Brooke and William.  They wanted me to play kitchen with them.  My first thought was, “blah”.  But then I decided to make a conscious effort.  I was going to play with them and I was going to like it, dang it!

                So, I played and while I played, I noticed all these super cute things about my kids.  Little characteristics and actions and sounds that I would have missed out on if I had been busy doing other “more important” things.

William “w sitting” and pushing his little fire truck he loves so much, saying “wee o, wee o” in his little boy voice that won’t always be a little boy voice.  His messy bed head, a dirty blond head, needing a hair cut.  His tan line on his chubby foot from his summer sandals.  His little shoulders hunched over his activity, so snuggly and juicy that I could just hug him forever.  His voice saying “stuck” and “oh” and discovering the world and the joy that can be found in a little truck.  The scratch on his face from a run in with Brooke during a tantrum and his cherubic chin and his elbow dimples and his chubby hands, such a symbol of his toddlerhood.  His belly button pokes out over the top of his diaper.  A clean diaper bum is something I will always miss seeing when the kids have grown.  Not the mess inside the diaper, but the diaper bum.

And Brooke, the leader of the pack for now, sitting in her pink underwears because she just doesn’t like to get dressed.  Her little girl chest that she calls, “peachies” because who doesn’t want to be a big girl when you are five years old!  Her glittery toenails peeking out underneath her crossed legs.  Then I notice that she and I are sitting the same way and I smile.  Her big old lips, don’t know where they come from, but she has them and they are talking to William, to me, to anyone who will listen.  The bruises on her legs from so much summer playing and adventures outside.  Her raven hair hanging down in her face, which she pushes back over and over again. I try to put a clip in her hair to keep it back and she replies, “I like it this way.” 

And this is what I discovered on the morning I didn’t feel like playing with toys.  I discovered that there really is beauty in the routine and in the simplicity of playing.  There is something to be said in closing out the world and noticing the details in your children.  The details that won’t be there forever, because they will eventually grow.  And the dimpled elbows and the pouty lips and the diaper bums will be exchanged for other things.  And I will be so grateful that I paused and played and wrote this down.

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