I Don’t Do It All

idon'tdoitall

 

(You can listen to this blog post by clicking the “play” button above if you prefer the podcast-style.)

It seems to be that for some reason people think I’m extremely busy and can’t imagine how I “do it all.”  I hear this often.  What’s funny is I intentionally don’t talk about how “busy” I am because I think busyness is a disease that is pervading our culture.  We make it seem like if we’re “busy” then we’re somehow more important and people should be proud of us.  But busy doesn’t always equate to better. Oh, we say we know that but do we really?  It feels so good to say we do a bazillion different things . . . that we manage to juggle it all and keep it all in balance.  Really, though, are we?  Are we truly capable of “doing it all?”  I argue no.  Seemingly, we’re superheros.  But in reality?  Something has got to give.  Sacrifices are being made.  Any time we commit to something, something else is sacrificed.  That doesn’t always mean it’s wrong; it just means that when we place priority on something, other things aren’t priority.  That doesn’t mean they’re totally ignored; we just aren’t as focused on what isn’t priority.  If we’re multitasking, something is being sacrificed–we aren’t capable of devoting our entire attention to more than one thing at any minute in our day.  Just reality.

So when people ask me how I do it all, I simply say that I don’t.  I’m not actually that busy.  I was for many years, yes.  I said yes to everything and tried to fill my plate with as much as possible because it made me feel accomplished, important, and as if I were contributing to the world in a greater way.  But what ended up happening was I neglected other areas of my life, like my own emotional health.  If we’re so busy that we don’t choose to have time to relax and reflect on our lives, for example, then our emotional health just gets pushed deeper and deeper.  It doesn’t disappear but just remains untouched.  Eventually it can’t get pushed down any further and it explodes and needs addressed.  For some this is a complete rock bottom breakdown.  For others, it’s a slow process of muck coming to the surface. [Read more…]

Thank You Notes

So I’m reading an ah-mazing book right now that was so worth the wait (For the Love by Jen Hatmaker, if you care to know).  And she honors Jimmy Fallon and his Thank You Notes by writing her own and putting them in her book.  Brilliant.  I’ve laughed so hard I peed.  No shame here.  She’s hilarious.  Let’s just give her the credit she’s due, even if it’s in pee.  Ok, things just got weird, I understand.  We’ll move on.

These will not nearly be as hilarious as Jen’s or Jimmy’s but I just couldn’t help myself.  It’s just too fun.

thankyou

  • Thank you tissues for helping me to rid my nose of its mucus only to leave it on my hands instead.  Clearly it’s put to better use as slime on my fingers than dripping down my face.  #yougetwhatyoupayfor
  • Thank you full-panel maternity jeans.  You help me not feel pregnant while also giving the appearance of being one month less pregnant because of your belly-sucking capabilities.  You know how to love.  #noshameinwearingmaternitypantswhennotpregnant
  • Thank you drive-thru everything.  I know I should hate you because I’m all about the healthy stuff.  But let’s be honest: bringing a bunch of little kids into the bank/restaurant/coffeeshop just isn’t worth my time or yours.  I saved you money because my kids didn’t break something.  You’re welcome and thank you.  #weneedmoredrivethruplaces
  • Thank you Magic Eraser for actually living up to your name and for not being called what you actually are which is melamime foam.  Magic Eraser is just way cooler and you’re less likely to be bullied in the aisles by your peers (who are definitely acting out of insecurity because they’re not even close to as cool and original as you).  You have made me not fear markers on the walls and instead I can worry about tomato sauce stains.  #youshouldgetonthat
  • Thank you ice cream maker for making me feel that because it’s homemade it must be okay to eat 3 cups.  #youcanfoolme #caniplaythepregnancycard
  • Thank you nutrition facts for being responsible for my daughter asking if there is calcium or protein in everything she eats.  #youcanpaythepsychiatrybill
  • Thank you Brain Pop Jr for basically being a $99/year teacher for my kids.  I thought you may not be worth the investment but you so are.  I owe you for my children’s incessant trivia-sharing and future screen addiction.  You give me a non-guilt-inducing break.  #noshame #ipadbabysitterclub
  • Thank you McDonald’s for having all-day breakfast.  I once got over my addiction to sausage egg & cheese McMuffins because I couldn’t have them after 10:30 in the morning.  Now you are trying to persuade me back into your health-sucking sandwiches because you know I love me some breakfast and you are Satan trying to drag me into your world.  I will not succumb.  I will not succumb.  Ooooo that smell . . . NO, I will not succumb.  #realfooddontletmedown #healthygirlproblems

Ok, Coffee Breakers.  Come up with one of your own and share either in the comments or over on the Facebook page.

You Are Seen

You are Seen

To the mama at the library: I saw you today with your toddler.  He was testing your patience.  Girl, I’ve been there more than I’d like to admit.  You said he’d been that way all day . . . wanting what he can’t have and being persistent at getting what he wants.  He was in true toddler fashion.  I put my hand on your arm and said, “It’s okay.  I’ve been there.”  You will find no judgment from this mama.  Maybe before I had kids you would’ve but oh has God humbled me since then.  We can only pray that the persistence and strong will of our children can be nurtured for good as they grow.  May they be the ones who aren’t afraid to stand up for what is right, to speak out against bullying, and to say no when pressured.  But for now, just know you are seen and you are doing your best and I saw that in you today.  Your job as a mom is not an easy one and yet God knew you could do it.  He sees you when you’re hitting the highs and when you’re at your lowest of lows in your parenting.  He gets it and extends so much grace.  Keep pressing on.  Tomorrow is a new day and God will give you strength each morning to handle what comes your way.  You made it through today, right? 🙂 [Read more…]

Coffee Date {Oct 2015}

If you’ve been keeping tabs over here for some time, you know that I ::try:: to share some of my favorite finds from across the web every Wednesday.  But I’m not going to pretend like I actually do that.  Try as I may, life gets in the way and I forget . . . or I simply don’t have as much time one week to catch up on some bookmarks and therefore have nothing to share.  So we’re going to try something a little different that seems to work well for other people.  We’re going to make Midweek Espresso into a monthly post.  Because it’ll be accumulated over a month’s time, I want you to take it in slowly.  Use Pocket (it’s free) to help you save anything you want to look at but need to save for another time. It’s like bookmarking but you can put tags on them and everything. I LOVE it.  And then just sip all this stuff in and enjoy.  I’ve entitled this, for now, Coffee Date.  It’s our time together for me to share with you what I’ve been into and you, in turn, get to share with me (in the comments, on Facebook, via email, by linking up to your own post) what you’ve been into.  Let’s share and enjoy each other’s company, k?

Coffee Date

What I’ve Been Watching

I finished up the first 5 seasons (out of 6) of Parenthood.  I talked about it last month and I pretty much fell in love with it.  Netflix was supposed to release Season 6 a few days ago but ran into some glitches with licenses or something.  So I’m not watching anything right now.  Some shows have been recommended to me via the amazing Facebook group for the Sorta Awesome Podcast (seriously great group to get ideas, chat about random stuff like MBTI, etc.).  I was going to pick one to try out but then the book I was waiting for at the library was finally ready for me to pick up and, well, the book trumps TV.

But what are YOU watching?  Any suggestions for when I do decide to try out a new show? [Read more…]

Stay Strong Mama

 

Stay strong

There is some major power in another mom who is in the trenches cheering you on as you make your best attempt to train and guide your child.

Today was a rough one, guys.  I mean, really, a lot of days are when you’ve got little ones.  It’s constant disciplining . . . being attentive to their needs, finding the balance between helping and enabling, letting natural consequence/reality kick in instead of stepping in, etc.  It’s just a lot.  (Amen, fellow parents?)  But today was especially difficult.  My 3 year old now joins us in the church service for the first portion so it’s me, my 5 year old, and my 3 year old.  And when the 3 year old hates singing?  Ya, it’s not so much fun.  Hands covering ears, flopping around on chairs, trying to talk to the little girl behind us.  Classic.

“You have your hands full with that one I bet.”

“You’re going to be pretty busy with 4 kids soon!”

“I couldn’t do it.”

Ya, I know.  I can’t either.  Thank you Jesus for somehow stepping in to make me not end up in the psych hospital.  Yet. [Read more…]

Coffee Date {Sep 2015}

If you’ve been keeping tabs over here for some time, you know that I ::try:: to share some of my favorite finds from across the web every Wednesday.  But I’m not going to pretend like I actually do that.  Try as I may, life gets in the way and I forget . . . or I simply don’t have as much time one week to catch up on some bookmarks and therefore have nothing to share.  So we’re going to try something a little different that seems to work well for other people.  We’re going to make Midweek Espresso into a monthly post.  Because it’ll be accumulated over a month’s time, I want you to take it in slowly.  Use Pocket (it’s free) to help you save anything you want to look at but need to save for another time. It’s like bookmarking but you can put tags on them and everything. I LOVE it.  And then just sip all this stuff in and enjoy.  I’ve entitled this, for now, Coffee Date.  It’s our time together for me to share with you what I’ve been into and you, in turn, get to share with me (in the comments, on Facebook, via email, by linking up to your own post) what you’ve been into.  Let’s share and enjoy each other’s company, k?

 

Coffee Date

What I’ve Been Watching

I am so late to the game on this but I am hooked on Parenthood.  I don’t watch it daily but would if I could, believe me.  But life calls and well, we can’t always binge-watch on Netflix.  It’s probably good that way.  But really, if you haven’t watched it, you should.  I laugh and cry most episodes.  And it has Loralei from Gilmore Girls so really, how can you go wrong?  Right.  You can watch it on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or even get some full episodes on the NBC website (as of now).  No excuses.

Give Your Ears Some Love

Mud Stories Podcast with Amber Haines (Episode 54):  I can’t even put words to this one guys.  I need you to just go listen to it.  And then you’ll likely want to read Amber’s book (which I’m currently reading).  It’s not the kind of thing you want to listen to with kids around (no language issues–just the nature of the content).  But I think that’s why I loved it so much.  It was real and raw and so relatable. It’s all about shame, forgiveness, brokenness, and healing.  It was by far one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to in a while.  If you listened to it, would you please let me know?  I’d love to hear what you thought.

It’s All Part of the Plan (Aug 29/30):  This is a sermon by Steven Furtick of Elevation Church.  I haven’t gotten to the others in the series; my husband just specifically said I should watch/listen to this sermon.  And I am so glad I did.  Big takeaway?  I don’t have control but I always have a choice.  Lots of good stuff as he unfolds the story of Sarai/Hagar/Abraham.  I highly recommend for anyone who is frustrated (maybe with parenting/motherhood?), has a tendency to blame others for how they are acting, and/or has some control issues.  But really, doesn’t that describe all of us at one point or another? [Read more…]

When it’s not a setback

setback

Let me set the stage for you.  We had a rough visit with my family up in New England because, while there were good and fun moments, there was little sleep in a not-so-familiar environment.  If you’re a parent or have any experience with kids, then you know how that turns out.  Oh don’t think I’m being all judgmental on my kids either–I was a total wreck myself.  Recipe for disaster that ended up in us just coming home a little earlier than expected (originally planned for a couple days, switched to a week, then ended up in the middle).

So we’re getting back into the routine of things . . . slowly (and that’s being generous).  This morning, I decided enough is enough and I’m tired of reacting rather than responding to my kids.  I’m tired of being tired and using that as an excuse for setting a bad example to my kids.  So I woke up and chose to do some yoga/stretching with some Bethel music in the background and then read from Invitations from God, a book given to me by the non-profit I do some work for/with, LiveWell!Ministries.

I’m reading a chapter on what it looks like to follow (specifically to follow Jesus).  What does it take?  What do I have to give up?  What results?  And here are some snippets that stuck out to me as I read this morning:

“In Deuteronomy 15, God said, ‘There need be no poor people among you . . . Be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need’ (Deut 15:4, 8).”

“Following Jesus means caring about more than me and my family.  It means identifying with God’s broken heart over poverty and his holy anger at injustices in our world.  It means following his lead on who and what matters.”

“God cares that his kingdom of fairness and justice comes.  He cares that I buy fair-trade commodities.  He cares that profits reach those serving at the bottom of the production process.  He cares that those who work in sweatshops in Mongolia, China, and Nepal–those who make my cashmere sweater–get a livable wage.”

“God created a world with enough for everyone.  There is enough land and water and even enough food.  The problem is not supply.  The problem is distribution.  But there is a more basic problem still: a problem of caring and sharing.”

In talking about how she sees others live these things out, the author mentioned a friend who “makes it her goal to give others the same things she buys for herself and her family.”  She continues by saying, “It’s how she has chosen to love her neighbor as herself.”

I was totally convicted by all this.  It was heavy on my heart.  As a family, we do give and we have a certain budget line item for giving specifically.  But often times we end up breaking that budget and if I’m going to break one, that’s where I want to be in the red.  But do I really give to others as though I love them as I love myself?  Really?  It kills me that there are kids in Uganda getting paralyzed by jiggers embedded in their feet simply because they don’t have shoes to protect themselves.  It burdens me that there are so many without access to clean water and yet we can use water in America to just fill up a pool or play in the sprinkler.  But more so, it makes me weep that I say I care and that my heart breaks . . . and yet I feel helpless at times, not sure that I should really spend that money on a kid’s shirt that’s going to support a small business and help them get out of poverty when I could just buy a cheap one at Walmart.

Is it wrong for me to buy the Walmart shirt?  Not necessarily.  (I did buy a Walmart shirt for Colby this morning and leggings for Lily . . . so ya, who is feeling hypocritical now?  I’m certainly not judging anyone else).  But it’s just one example of how easy it is to not really think too much about where my money goes . . . to not think long-term and really put others before myself.

So my past week was rough.  My morning was rough.  We’re still struggling with obedience and normalcy.  And so while my morning started out great, once the kids woke up, it was back to reality where I was dealing with issue after issue.  I finally decide to try to get to Walmart to get a few things and Colby is giving me a hard time.  He had another accident (which he hasn’t had in a long time and yet this was like his 4th for today).  He then didn’t want to wear anything except pants (and it’s like 90 degrees out today).  Then he said he’d just go in his underwear (yep).  Finally I get shorts on him and he wants to go barefooted.  Totally looking for battles.  I get it.  So I finally get the kids into the van only to see that Lily’s carseat is in my husband’s car, which is at work with him 30 minutes away.  So I tell the kids we can’t go and we’ll have to go later.

Bawling.  Screaming.  It was delightful.  Why the fits?  Because I usually let them have a lollipop or something if they are decently behaved when we have to make longer trips to the store (I gotta do what I gotta do with a 5, 3, and 1 year old and another cooking in the oven).  So no Walmart meant no lollipop and it was not pretty.

My neighbor, who has grandkids, went to see if she had an extra seat still.  Nothing.  But then, as I’m about to head inside, my other neighbor (with kids my kids’ ages), came home.  And he let me borrow one of their carseats to make the trip.  Life saver.

That’s an example of caring and sharing.  Not a big deal to him but huge deal to me.

So we finally go and I’m already stressed because it’s lunch time at this point and I’m afraid it’ll be a rough trip.  Leila was crying a lot in the store.  She’s just not been herself.  And I just want to get out.  I keep thinking, “If only we had gotten out of the house earlier maybe this would be going better.”

We pull into one of the checkout lines and we see a girl who Lily met at the library (and then at summer camp).  She lives 2 towns over so we don’t see each other super often and it’s ironic that we’re seeing her at our Walmart and not the one that would be closer to her house.  Is it really ironic?  Not at all.  Here’s why.

I see her mom, who I’ve grown to just adore, and I see she’s stressed.  She apologizes for not seeing me sooner and says she’s having a breakdown.  I then realize from her talk with the cashier that she forgot her card and couldn’t pay for her stuff.  But she was just passing through town and it’s not like she was going to go home to come back to pay for the stuff.

“It’s how she has chosen to love her neighbor as herself” was on repeat in my head.

I had no idea if her cart was full or what was in it but I acted in faith and said I’d pay for her stuff.  Something simple I could do to stop her breakdown and love a woman who is in the same shoes as me as a mom of young kids.

No, this wasn’t some case of a poverty-stricken mom who needed money.  It wasn’t a case of needing to meet her needs because she couldn’t meet them herself.  But it was a reminder that we’re in this together.  We are mothers together, parenting together, trying to hold on to our sanity.  And sometimes we need to just share what we’ve got and remember that what we have isn’t our own anyway.  It’s all given to us to be used to care and share like Jesus did for us with His life.

So while I was all frazzled and frustrated this morning because my day wasn’t going as I had hoped, God knew.  He took what I saw as major setbacks (maybe even roadblocks to having a good day) and turned them into something so good.  He showed me that we need others and others need us and sometimes we need to let go of what we think and remember He really does work it all out for good.

Longest {Blog} Nap Ever

The Longest {Blog} Nap Ever

Okay okay, I owe you all like a huge apology.  I took the longest blog nap ever.  It started with just being busy with preparing for my sister-in-law’s wedding.  Then we had people here for a while and then everyone left but I was exhausted.  Normally I’d still be able to take some time to write here and there because I so enjoy it.  But it just wasn’t happening.  I stopped reading for fun and writing and just did regular life stuff.

So if you’re still here reading and getting updates, thank you.  Thanks for not giving up on me while I took a hiatus.  And as a thank you, I’m now going to share some big news with you. 🙂

You know how I said I was exhausted?  Well I was more exhausted than usual because there happens to be this little baby growing inside my belly.  Yep, a 4th kid.  And hopefully now you’ll understand why I needed a little blog break.  I was having a really tough time with the news because it was TOTALLY unexpected (well, for me, not on God’s part).  I didn’t take the news well and kind of retreated for a bit in “real” life too.  I cried a lot and threw a little fit to God.  But now we’re good.  I got to see the little one via an ultrasound and that helped so much–something about seeing him/her move that little body just makes things a little more real.  I’m still taking 2 hour naps most days when the kids nap, which is so not like me.  And that’s tough.  But it’s needed.  So I will still not be writing as frequently as I’d like but know you’ll hear from me here and there and I haven’t completely disappeared.

I started homeschooling my 5 year old this week, which I’m loving, and may from time to time share what we’re doing in case anyone needs any ideas for stuff to do with their own kids (whether homeschooling or not) that doesn’t cost much and is still fun.  But it’s going really well, even with her being a little sick this week (go figure).  Otherwise, life is back to normal and as a family we’re just slowing down as best we can and doing lots of praying and talking about what our future holds since #4 has thrown us for a bit of a loop.  We knew before we needed to take some stuff off our plates for the health of our marriage and family and now with #4 coming and me not feeling at all equipped (though I know God will equip me), it’s even more necessary that we are super intentional with where we spend our energies.  I’ll keep you all posted on our journey toward living slower and more intentional, as always.

For now, can I hear from YOU?  If you’ll take the time, I’d love to hear from you on any of the following:

  1. Have you been able to slow down this summer at all?  If so, in what ways have you been and how can you continue to do so once the school year begins again?
  2. When it comes to meals, have you tried any of those subscriptions like Hello Fresh/Blue Apron/Plated?  If so, what was your experience?  Been looking into it, thinking I probably waste too much fun in our house and want someone else to do ALL the work for me so I can simplify a bit in that area, but it costs money to do that too.  So just looking for some feedback. 🙂
  3. What is one area of your life you really want to focus on for the rest of the year? (health, delving into a hobby, marriage, a character weaknesses to improve, etc.)

You can email me your thoughts (naptimecoffeebreak@gmail.com), leave a comment on Facebook, or just comment on the blog post itself.

Again, thanks for reading and being patient and forgiving.  Looking forward to getting more regular and interacting with you more!

What I’m Learning {July 2015}

What I'm Learning{July 2015}

Yes I’ve been totally MIA for way too long.  I promise to write “real” posts in the future.  But for now, I’m going to share a little of what I’ve been learning lately while I’ve been quiet on the blog.  I’d love to hear what you’ve been learning too either by way of sharing a link to your own blog or simply writing in the comments.  Enjoy and thanks for your patience and grace during this quiet season.

  1. I am so much better at responding appropriately to my kids when others are around.  I know this is the truth when I’m at the grocery store and can handle my kids’ not-so-stellar-moments with supermom excellence.  But at home, I lose it.  I now have family in for my sister in law’s wedding and while I don’t put on a happy face when I’m having a rough time, I am able to keep my cool.  So what’s the lesson here?  I need someone else living in my house from 7am-8:30pm.  I’ll take applications and potential rental fee suggestions via email.  🙂
  2. Having a physical book (not on Kindle) sitting beside me means I’m more apt to pick it up and read it.  I’m cringing just knowing I typed that because I’m waiting for my husband to say that’s so typical of me to go on and on about ebooks and then say maybe a physical book is better.  However, I still like my Kindle for traveling, just to have a book on hand no matter where I am, to read outside, and the fact that unless it’s from the library, the Kindle is cheaper.  So I still stand behind my words.  But a pretty book sitting at my desk or on my bedside table that I can feel and touch?  Not much beats it.  This also goes for my devotions.  I love the ease of She Reads Truth of IF: Equip sitting in my inbox.  But I’m so easily distracted that I often just delete them or quickly read through them.  I don’t have to write anything in response to them–just read.  And that’s not good for me.  I love having less stuff in my house (fewer books=less stuff) but if I’m going to read to learn or to grow closer to my Jesus then I need something that’s going to actually work.  So that means spending the extra money and getting a book I can write answers in, something that is sitting beside my desk calling for me to open it.  I knew that but thought I’d try just the email type and have learned it’s not for me in this season.  It worked for a while and might again another time.  For now, the physical is needed.
    Pretty books
  3. Sometimes sleep wins over good intentions.  I’m in a season when I just need my sleep.  Lots of reasons for this but I’ve had to come to terms with being okay with not waking up at 5:30 anymore in order to do a lot before the kids wake up.  I still wake up earlier than them to get my shower in, read a little, and drink my coffee.  But if I don’t get enough sleep, then I’m not the best mom.  So some days that means I need a little more sleep to make sure I am replenished enough to pour myself out to my kids.  And other days it means I can get up early and do some yoga.  And both are okay.
  4. It’s okay not to blog consistently  because I’m not doing it as a job.  Because I’ve needed to prioritize and my mind has been elsewhere lately, I haven’t taken the time to write as much.  It isn’t because I don’t want to but it’s more because it’s just not what is most important right now.  And that means that sure, some people may stop following me (or so the research says) because I’m not writing regularly.  But I’m okay with not following the “rules” and just writing when I want to write because really, I’m not doing it for everyone else right now.  Would I love to be at that place in my life when I am some popular blogger and have a book deal or something and all these sponsors?  Sure, that sounds great.  But it’s not what I’m looking to do right now because I need to prioritize my time.  And for me that means working on some soul stuff, spending time with my kids, and not feeling the pressure to have to write because others are expecting it.  Some day that’ll likely change but I appreciate the grace while my blog is a little quiet.  And as they say, we should rest and then work and work from a place of rest.  So maybe that means in the future this blog will be something so fantastic because it’s doing more resting than working right now. 🙂
  5. I have been quite assuming of homeschooling when I really shouldn’t have been.  Ok so this is not something to get into in this post in great detail.  But long story short, I’m going to attempt to homeschool Lily for kindergarten and see how it goes from there.  None of the reasons for us doing this are related to trying to shield her from bad things.  That’s just not us.  And I always assumed that’s why people homeschooled.  A big apology to you homeschooling parents out there–I totally judged you because I generalized and made assumptions.  I now know that people homeschool for a variety of reasons and I think your choice in schooling is totally all about what works for your family.  For some it’s because they travel a lot (intentionally, as a family).  For others it’s because they want more flexibility in their schedule.  And still for some, their local schools aren’t stellar so they choose to homeschool unless things change.  So for us, in this season, I think homeschooling is best for our family and our child.  And again, there’s a lot of reasons behind this decision.  It’s not something I want to debate or anything.  But this process has been a good reminder to continually ask questions, do research, talk with people, and then draw conclusions . . . not the other way around.  And that goes for everything in life.  🙂
  6. I need the sun and fresh air.  We’re totally created that way but I really do need them both.  I knew that when I changed the sunroom from the kids room into my space.  But with the change from winter to spring and spring to summer, it’s become very obvious to me.  I do better emotionally when I have time outside and can take in a little sun.  It’s nothing novel or anything; there’s research to back that up.  But I didn’t realize how much it affected me personally.
  7. It’s important to know what you believe and why for yourself, not because someone else told you.  Again, not going to get into this at any length.  But I’ve come to realize that the more I read (reading=dangerous), the more my eyes are opened.  And the more my eyes are opened, the more I’m seeing how prone I have been to just blindly believing what others have told me is true, without really questioning.  For those of you who read into things, know that I’m still totally into Jesus, probably more so than ever.  ‘Nuff said on that.  Now let it go and don’t try to make assumptions. 🙂
  8. My propensity toward being merciful and erring on the side of grace is coming out more than ever.  I have known for a while that by way of spiritual gifting, I’m high on mercy and exhortation.  But I don’t think I ever realized how much that translates into my views, not just strictly my desire to want to help people.  This has come out by way of the acts of racism lately in our country, the same sex marriage ruling, and just some more local/personal stuff.  While I love that I’m this way, it’s been challenging to me to be merciful to ALL, including those who aren’t naturally merciful. 🙂
  9. Just because it’s not my plan doesn’t mean it’s a bad plan.  In other words, when my plan gets thwarted because God has something different in mind, I need to remember that it’s good.  I’m a little bit of a control freak in some areas of my life.  And it’s tough when I think I’ve got it all figured out and then BOOM God comes in and is like “PSYCH!”  I throw little hissy fits when this happens.  But after I’m over my emotional roller coaster I remember that God knows better than I do and He’s not going to leave me in my mess alone.  It doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy but I always grow the most through those tough times so while it’s not delightful, I know it’s often necessary.
  10. I need to embrace the attitude that my kids are an invitation, not an interruption.  A dear friend told me this the other week and man did it hit hard but in a much-needed way.  When I feel like my kids are just constantly interrupting me, asking me questions, wanting my attention . . . it helps to view those moments as invitations to be a part of their lives rather than purely interruptions.  They want me and that’s an honor.  It may not be my preference and of course there are times I have to say no, but just the mental shift is huge.  I don’t want my kids to be 15 and not want to come to me with the big stuff because they think they’re a bother.  And that starts now.  Hard but good truth.

What have you been learning?  Share by commenting below or including a link to your own post.

We can do hard things

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A friend of mine just went on a plane with a 3 year old and a 1 year old by herself.

Another friend took her 3 little boys on a trip too.

And so, I decided to pull up my bootstraps (that’s the phrase, right?) and do something hard. Ok, so it wasn’t going on a plane (please, I just went for thte first time myself . . . let’s get me some practice first). But I was inspired.

I went to some event 40 minutes from my house, all outside, up and down hills with a stroller, mostly on the grass, with the sun beating down on me. Oh and I was brilliant and wore a black t-shirt. And I forgot money for some things.

BUT I did it with my three kids and we made it. And we had lots of smiles and fun times on the way home. How many meltdowns? Only one minor one from my son who gets a bit cranky in the heat. I’ll take it.

Times like that make me feel like I can do more than I think I can. And it’s because some of you others out there are reminding me that we don’t have to say, “Not in this season of life” (though sometimes that’s reality, I know). We can choose to live our lives rather than wait for “someday” when it may be easier. Will there be times we regret doing what was difficult? Probably. But how many more times are there that we say, “YES I did it?”

Let’s do some hard things and share about them so we can inspire each other.