Posts Tagged '#mothering'

Taking Stock

I’ve been fighting the winter blues for weeks. January is notoriously hard but this year probably takes the cake. Lots of looming questions about the future, short days, cutting out sugar; it can make everything feel terrible so quickly. The fog and damp cold gray days feel like a wet blanket clinging to everything and my tendency to brood has obviously gone into overdrive. After yelling at EVERYONE this morning, even the poor dogs didn’t escape my fury, I realized I need a new perspective. As soon as possible.

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So I cleaned my carpet and washed my windows. Two things I really didn’t want to do, but when I finished it felt like I’d scrubbed away a little of my bad attitude.

I went to bible study. I didn’t really want to go. But I went and I was encouraged and listened to and I noticed I felt a little better.

We talked about being grateful. About saying thank you and making that the focus of life…not all the stuff that makes us feel bad or consumes us with worry or draws us away from the truth. And the truth is that God is love and He never changes that way.

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So I’m wrestling with that, wondering how to change the way I think and drinking a cup of tea and listening to Mumford and Sons. Little by little my life is coming back into perspective. Just a little.

Today I’m grateful for a clean slate to start over. For random phone calls from my husband and texts from friends. For the peace lily on my kitchen counter and the sweet toddlers sleeping cozy in their beds.

When I take stock in my life, I am overwhelmed by its goodness. And I feel sheepish for being so cranky. Here’s to holding onto a simple truth: gratitude beats out brooding every time.

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I figure I have 10 minutes max before my dilapidated laptop crashes on me, but one of my resolutions this year was to write again and four months into the year I haven’t done a thing.

I decided my desk in the kitchen is no longer good inspiration. The debris from daily life is too distracting. So I unplugged and went outside. I even took a picture for proof…or maybe as a reminder to try this again another day.

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A mom at preschool drop-off this morning asked the ever-loaded ‘what are you up to these days?’ question. Why does such a simple question feel like a punch to the gut some days?

‘Just momming,’ I answered casually.

But it stopped me in my tracks. What am I doing these days? Mothering. Cleaning. Pushing swings, wiping butts, countertops and toilet seats. Driving my car, reading stories, cooking food, saying no, saying maybe, doling out timeouts, jobs, discipline, hugs and kisses.

Also, I’m working out. And as I was running today, the thought occurred to me that for literally six years to the month my body has been working hard at sustaining other people’s lives. I have literally been pregnant or nursing with only a tiny 3 month window from January 2008 through January 2014.

And when my body was working so hard during that time I was proud of it. All those flaws that bothered me faded to the background just a little bit. That stuff that eats at me when I look in the mirror and echoes in my brain; it was just background noise. I had this intuitive respect and kindness for my body. It gave me three precious babies and I fed them with my own body, watching them grow and thrive. You can’t hate yourself when you have such tangible proof of its usefulness.

And then that season came to an end. As it was supposed to. My baby and nursing years are over. And I’m all wrapped up in relief and grief. What is my purpose now? Of course it’s to continue mothering…

But I am connecting how much I appreciate the feeling of my body at work. And so instead of growing babies, I’m hitting the pavement. Slogging along, huffing and puffing, feeling equal parts deflated and elated as I compel my body towards strength, resilience. The soreness in my legs and the burning in my lungs, pushes all those thoughts into the background. Those flaws melt away just a little and I’m simply me. Breath in. Breath out.

All to say, I’m not really sure what I’m up to these days. It’s a loaded question. Surely the sweet spot of balance is out there somewhere, maybe I’ll find it this year?

A New Day Rises

A post sitting in my drafts for two weeks and finally the words came. Little glimpses of the kids, what they are doing, talking about, the things I want to remember.

And when I go to grab a few photos to add to the post, the computer shakes and smokes, freezing up and forgetting those precious words.

Grrr.

Stupid technology. Stupid me for taking two weeks to write a dang post.

And now the baby cries from her crib, because that’s how it works. So much has happened this winter, packaged up in the regular everyday. The kids growing and changing and I want to remember. So for today, just pictures, and hopefully hopefully when I look back a few years now they will remind me and I will laugh. Luke’s first trip to the doctor for glue on his forehead three days before Christmas, Jack’s never ending love for all things Cabelas, an unbelievable family vacation, Scarlet’s infatuation with shoes and jewelry and babies. The sweetness and the chaos.

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Grace in Small Things

Her:

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Him:

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Him:

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Us:

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This…all of this…a gift, a refiners fire, a hidden gem, a mountain top view, the hardest work, the ache, the joy, the pleasure:

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It’s all grace.

 

Squeemish

I don’t think I’ve ever watched an entire episode of Fear Factor (remember that show…wait is it still on?). Even Grey’s Anatomy can be a little gross for me. I don’t mind blood, as long as it’s a run of the mill scrape or bruise. Don’t get me started on broken bones, weird rashes and hacking coughs. Oh, and I really hate puke. Like, really hate it.

This does not bode well for motherhood.

I probably should have thought that through a little more before having three kids in rapid fire succession.

Luke woke up a little pale and slow-moving on Sunday. We pushed ahead with getting ready for church until we saw his waffles again. My darling, fearless, completely NOT-squeemish husband took one for the team on that one.

Lu layed around like a limp noodle the rest of the day and then seemed fine. Until today, when the other half of his digestive tract decided to rebel.

In a decidedly violent and surprising way. On the carpet.

Oh parenthood. You humble little devil.

Enter super hot, super helpful, completely wonderful, calm, amazing, (did I mention handsome?) husband who shampoos the carpet. Oh yes he did.

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And I know I’m a ridiculous cliché right now. But I don’t care.

He and all his barf-catching, rug-cleaning glory are mine all mine.

Life Is Messy

But this song helps.

As my college roommates used to tease me (and my husband wholeheartedly agrees) I can be a bit of a brooder. Maybe a little glass-half-empty sometimes.

The daily grind of raising children can be so tough. The monotonousness of it all. The never-ending cycle of laundry, snacks, meals, crying, diaper changes…the list goes on an on.

And that doesn’t even touch the agony and worry over whether you are raising children who are kind, who love Jesus, who won’t turn out to be total degenerates.

Sometimes I look around at the swirl of chaos and the 12 timeouts that have taken place before noon or the scratches on the boys faces from getting into it with each other meanwhile the baby cries for who knows why and I just think…I am failing at all of this.

Nothing is more humbling than trying to raise children.

But…and it’s a big one.

This song reminds me that it’s not about ME. It’s just not about me at all.

Just when I think I’ve hit bottom, Luke brings me a stuffed dog wrapped up in a blankie and tells me his baby went to sleep. Jack begs me to hold Scarlet. The boys sit side by side and color together.

I offer my humble thanks. Thank you for making beautiful things out of the dust.


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