Friday, January 3, 2014

The Overwhelmed Battle



The third day of the year
My mind already can feel overwhelmed.
Deadlines at work, messiness at home
Slippery snowy roads yet responsibilities call.
My mind slips easily into overwhelmed.

Yet my heart can hear differently.
My heart says, "Yes, you're overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed with the love of Him.
Engulfed by His still amazing grace.
Submerged in His peace and joy."

To focus on the mind overwhelmed
To focus on the heart overwhelmed
The choice, as always, is mine.



Linking up with Adrienne at Six Word Fridays
Please join us! 





Fight: Five Minute Friday Attempt

Fight
Even the word makes my stomach clench tight, and the anxiety tiptoe in...well, more like elephant stomp in..to my head.  I have always disliked conflict.  I know some people thrive on it...grow from it...and use it to keep their blood pumping and reactions sharp.  

Me? Not so much! I like the warm embraces, the snuggling in and holding tight, the smiley voices not the angry voices.
Yet, I realize that there are times that a fight is necessary. There are things and people that are worth defending.  There are times that to just retreat would mean harm to others...to myself. 

So I've tried to remember that it's not the fight that is wrong. It's the way in which we fight that can rip our hearts and leave us bloodied on the side of life's road.

Fight fair is often overused ... a cliche for many because when your emotions are stirred up who always thinks of fairness. But I have found if I pause before I react and think~ 
"Will this comment hurt more than heal?" ~
I have less regrets after the fight is fought and kisses are bestowed.  





*First time linking up to Five Minute Friday and all I can say is WOW! I never realized how fast five minutes go and how hard it is to publish a post that feels as if I've stopped in the middle...well, at the very least not wrapped it up.  But...rules must be followed so I'll dare greatly and post this unedited, unfinished, & unsatisfying attempt...and embrace the fact that I tried something new.  As Martha Stewart would say "That's a good thing!" 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Embrace 2014

January 1st.  

A date that signifies new beginnings.  Although I know that each day, actually each moment, can be the beginning of something there is a feeling  that stirs inside when the calendar page shows it's the start of a new year. Actually there are usually several feelings stirring which include anxiety, hope, and pressure.  Can you tell I have mixed emotions about the whole New Year concept?

I love a new beginning as much as most people.  However, I think my "New Year" still begins in September... that signifies new crayons, new routines, and a crisp smell in the air.  January 1st seems to be a lot more pressure.  People recapping the year past, counting down the big ball drop, making sure that the party smiles keep flashing, and all the resolution making.   I admit it makes me a bit anxious because I feel the pressure to be as those around me are being.  Even if I'm feeling more reflective and less "party-ish".  You know what I mean?

Before I sound like a total New Year Grinch let me say that I do love how the date looks....January 1, 2014.
I like knowing that for right now, right this minute, I haven't messed up the year.  Kind of like those first few moments when I held my babies in my arms at the hospital.  I knew at that point I hadn't made any mistakes yet! 

I also like the fact that many people show a sense of hopefulness, a sense of possibility, that may not be as evident the rest of the year.  I wish I could just bottle up that optimism to pull out later as the year rolls on. Again, kind of like when I held my babies for the first time.  If I could have bottled that emotion and pulled it out when need be, I'd have had a secret weapon for any feelings of discouragement or negativity.  

One of the biggest obstacles for me has been making, and breaking, New Year resolutions.  They work for some people...I know they do. But for me? Not so much.  I seem to choose the ever popular "lose weight/get healthy", "organize my life", and "write more" as my go-to resolutions.  I have to say that the feelings of failure that creep in by February seem to overshadow any feeling of hopefulness I once had.  So I gave up making the resolutions a few years ago and instead chose a word for the year.

Some people may say it's the same as a resolution just spun a bit differently.  Or others may say that choosing a word for the year has become a gimmick...a fad.  I say that it has worked for me and this action of prayerfully choosing one word to help guide me for the year has produced growth in my life. The secret for me is to take time selecting that word...and in all honesty let the word select me back.

A word in which I knew there would be much for me to learn.  A word that would stretch me beyond my current self imposed limitations but not dishearten me completely.  A word that God could use to help my spirit grow.  

After much thought and prayer I realize that embrace will be my guiding word for 2014.  Embrace in all it's forms.  

Embrace what is....about myself and my life.  By embracing I show loving kindness toward who I am, acceptance of myself  and my life at a very deep level.  
Embrace the changes that are going to come into my life.  Changes such as another child leaving for college which will greatly change the dynamics in our home, and changes in my self-care that are needed in order for me to experience the joy and energy of life fully.

Embrace those around me as they are, not withholding that full embrace until they conform to my ideas or plans for them.

Embrace the gifts that God gives me every single moment of the day and not hold back because I'm afraid if I enjoy these blessings too much they will disappear.  

Embrace my creativity more and judge it less.

Embrace my relationship with my husband without always thinking we could be "better".

Embrace my relationships with our children without always thinking I could be "better".

Embrace my relationships with my good friends and enjoy all that they bring to my life.

Lastly, allow myself to be embraced. Allow myself to be held, both physically and emotionally, in the way that I hold those around me. 

As I look at all these statements they could start to suspiciously look like resolutions.  But as I look deeper I realize none of these have a measurable goal to reach....such as 30 pounds, a clean closet, or a blog post every 3 days. 

These statements are... 
All about process.. not completion.
All about being... not performing. 
All about growth...not failure. 

These statements are just the beginning.  If I knew all there was about the word embrace there would be no reason to spend a year living it. So I look forward to all the discoveries that are yet to come and I pray that I will be able to (wait for it!)EMBRACE them!  


Linking up to:  Mama Kat's Workshop








Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013



They grow.
They change.
But the little child is still within each of them...
and the tradition lives on!  

May you all carry the joys of 2013
 and the wisdom gained into this next year...
and leave behind any shame or regrets.
May you be truly present as 2014 unfolds,
 moment by moment,
 and may your hearts be brave enough to stay open to it all.



Sunday, June 30, 2013


"...I will follow You wherever You go."
Luke 9:57


Lord,
May I have the humbleness to ask for guidance
and
the strength to follow wherever You lead.
Amen


Linked with: Deidre at The Sunday Community


Monday, February 11, 2013

A Bit of Reality

I notice that as I look back many of my blog posts
are tinged with bittersweet~ness.
I bit of sadness just edged around the corners.
Especially when I write about my children.
And that fact alone makes me a bit sad.
There are still many moments of happiness.
Moments of pride...moments of joy...moments of pure love.
Yet there are other moments that weren't there 20 years ago.
 
So many of the moms I see blogging
are at the stage where the children are little,
snuggled around them,
still under the umbrella of mom.
 
Yet, I began blogging when my children were teenagers...
some of them now adults...
and it has been a different experience
I wish I had a record of those days of Play-Do, Pop-Rocks,
Power Rangers and princesses.
Those years had difficult times but in retrospect it seemed easier.
The laughter was easier to capture. 
The innocence much more evident.
 
My posts now deal with the letting go.
It's a joyful process for me.
It's a painful process for me. 
I do have other things in my life that fulfill me
yet for some reason letting go of my children
has been a bit anxiety-ridden.
It's also a time that many of the big topics...
like pot smoking,
drinking,
less than stellar grades,
lack of faith in God,
unplanned pregnancy,
unsafe driving, 
depression,
rebellion,
peer pressure,
eating disorders...
can make an appearance. 
Maybe not all of them....and maybe not to everyone. 
But some of them have made an appearance in my parenting world
 and I must say I don't like it. 
And if I was honest...
I don't know if I'm doing a good job at handling it.
 
When your kids make the right choice...the choice that lets them soar and shine...your heart sings.
Its easy to rejoice and revel in their independence...in their growth...in their lives.
Other people are happy for you...
they congratulate you...
you are modest yet deep inside you bask in that glow.
 
Yet the other side of the coin. 
Those things that I mentioned....
they are often unmentionables. 
Parents don't want to share that side of their children.
A Christmas card perfect family is the ideal
and oftentimes the expectation in our competition driven society.
They don't want anyone to think less of the loves of their life.
Even if the parents know that other people know about the darker side...
they usually choose not to speak.
And that silence is deafening.
And isolating.
And sad.
 
Judgement is pervasive. 
The thought that poor decisions are contagious. 
The belief that poor parenting is the cause...
for of course it MUST be the way the kids were parented.
It's easier to blame it on the parenting because you can then have that sense of security that you parent much better and those unmentionables won't happen to you. 
It is such a false sense of security.
For you can look at
3 different children,
or 6 different  children,
or 10 different children....
all raised by the same parents
and they will each be an individual. 
They will each make their own choices.
 
There are some families who seem to never experience the unmentionables.
Maybe they ARE better parents than the rest of us.
Or maybe luck has just smiled down on them a little more during this stage.
 
But the stress of knowing that your big kids
make big mistakes.
Mistakes that can change their future
is overwhelming at times.
At least to me.
 
I'm thinking I"m not alone.
 
Yet I can't help but hold on to these thoughts.
The joy still far outweighs the pain.
My kids need to write their own stories.
The twists and falls will help them become
who God means for them to be.
The good and loving hearts that they pocess
 will always prevail in the end.
 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and forgiveness.
 

Galatians 5:22

My beautiful girl is going to be confirmed today. My prayer is that she will cultivate the beautiful gifts that the Holy Spirit has bestowed on her.
God bless her.
 
 
Linking up with: Deidra at The Sunday Community


 
 
 
 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Good Butt Jeans

Here is my vain post.
The one I almost didn't write.
Yet, the one I think a few of you might identify with...deep down in your woman heart.

I'm struggling with my weight...which as we all know is struggling with things that are NOT my weight...but reveal themselves in weight.
You know what I mean?

Yesterday while shopping with my daughter for her confirmation dress I impulsively pulled a pair of jeans off the rack and headed to the check out. Yes...I did not try them on.  That's another part of my struggle.  Dressing room lighting and mirrors.  I prefer the soft, dim, fuzzy lighting in my own home.  If I don't like them, there's always return.

Dressed for a night with my friends I walk out for my 15 year old daughter's inspection.  She murmured the appropriate "I like that outfit.  Looks good Mom." but as I turned away I heard her voice again...a lot more enthusiasm in her tone.
 
"Hey! They make your butt look great!"

The magic words!
"They make your butt look great!"

Yes, I know that it is much more important what is in my heart.
I know that it is more important that I let Christ's spirit shine in my eyes and through my actions each day.
I know that beauty is only skin deep and that aging is a blessing and with it comes wisdom.

But I need to confess that I would like to know and do all of the above...while wearing my "good butt jeans"!

May I please have an "amen" of agreement from any of my other sister friends out there?!




Thursday, January 17, 2013

Explore

I want to be... confident.
I want to silence the voice that says I'm not enough
and remember that I AM enough.
God created me beautifully
with an innate desire to explore.


I want to be... brave.
I want to look past the fear that feels like fire 
and see the possiblities. 
Then move forward with my fire extinguisher
ready to explore.
 
 
 
I want to be... joyful.
I want to snip off those threads of worry
that wind themselves
around each part of my life. 
Cut myself loose and be free to laugh,
to sing,
to twirl
and to explore.
 
Be authentic.
Embrace vulnerability.
Explore what is within.
 
Be myself.
Unleash the possiblities.
Explore the world.
 
 
 




Saturday, January 12, 2013

Faith and Daring

 

“Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see”

William Newton Clarke


 
This picture of my son Cameron inspires me...and this quote speaks to my heart.
With Christ I can dare to do those things that before I only dreamed of.
Here's to daring greatly!
 
Linking up with Jumping Tandem