Thursday, May 25, 2017

Our Life: Living in a Season of After and Spinning Plates

This has been a season of "after". I think many of us live our lives in seasons of befores and afters. This is how we organize our lives, our memories, the small details of our daily experience. We have before we got married, after Moose was born, after Bo was born, and now, a new season of after Alan died. I know that somewhere in the distance we will begin to think of the time as after Moose started kindergarten, after Bo started school, and so many other categorical labels, but for now, it's still a season of aftermath. After the fact.

Days go by. You get back to the routine of "normal" life: a new normal.

I kind of hate that phrase.

Did you know the world record for spinning plates is 108? There's a man out there who spun 108 plates at one time. I will never hold this world record. I will never spin that many plates, but there are definitely times that I feel like I'm wearing the hats of more jobs than is realistic. I'm thankful that (for the most part and with the help of many) I've never dropped a plate.

So key the chords and listen for the changes... Spring has sprung and the time has come to change. Change what we were because there is no going back. I've said it once; I've said it a million times: Time waits for no man. If you try to go backwards you'll only make yourself miserable. Doing the same things over and over and expecting something different is the definition of insanity. Alas, what is it that I am saying? Sam and I are leaving our very comfortable jobs in Midlothian. We are starting a new season, giving ourselves a fresh start with new opportunities and new perspectives. I am dying my hair back to brown, and we are embracing all the change and all the new.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Our Life: Easter Reflections 2017

Life is full of seasons. This season is full of the unknown; it's chalk-full of change and figuring it out. I can't say that's all a bad thing, and I know that you have to look up and trust in the Lord. Doesn't mean that it's always the easiest thing to do in the flesh. There are times that you have to have more grace and dig deep to find that tucked away sense of joy. This season will ebb and flow and eventually shift into another. These are things I know. So for now I will keep praying to see the details: "God reveal yourself in the details." And some days he shows me the memories of good times and some days I am still haunted by my lack of a last goodbye.

I am no longer surprised to hear anyone shrieking, “Mommmm” at me. In fact, now, anytime, I hear the delicate squeak of a toddler crooning, “Mommy,” my head whips around to take stock of my two little ducklings. It's natural. It's normal. It's a piece of who I am. I am flawed and far from the perfect matriarch of my cluster of four, but I try. I try to be the mom that my boys will be proud of; the one they will someday thank for raising them to their walk. I aim to be the wife that is worthy of honor and respect. Scott Wilson from the Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak said that once in a sermon I listened to, and it's stuck with me from that point on: “be worthy of respect.” That's the type of woman I want to be when my feet reach the ground each morning. I long to be worthy of respect.

And yet, I some days, I sit down and reflect to see that I was too impatient, too shrill, too self-focused to have been the best I could be. I am emotionally, physically, and socially exhausted. This holiday is such a powerful one, and one spent nearly every year with my step dad. The hole in my heart feels gaping this weekend. As we tackled new projects and to do lists full of “handy” tasks, I missed that I had never fully respected the craftsmanship that his hands were capable of. I missed that I had never appreciated the ease with which he could tackle anything. I missed his company in the small town and watching him play with his grandsons. I just missed him. More than I knew I would.

I asked my husband what time of year he felt like he missed his parents the most. “Christmas. I miss my mom at Christmas.” His dad has been gone for two decades now, and it hurts him to realize that he can no longer hear the sound of his dad's voice in his ears. He can't place his dad's smell in the traces of his mind. I hate those pangs of loss that I now can relate to in the makeup of my husband.

Easter is supposed to be full of joy and blessings, and don't get it wrong: we are blessed. I am lucky, lucky to have two handsome boys that call me, “mom.” I have my own mom who is tougher than nails and softer than I ever knew. She is incredible and breakable and changed. She is impressive, and I love her more in this year than I have in all the ones combined. I have a husband who has proven that in a storm he is the shelter. Sam has stepped up in unexplainable ways to shift his soul in a position of “being there.” He has always had a gift for taking care of others. His listening skills are superior, and yet, this season has revealed to me another layer of this man I thought that I could know no more about. He can sway and bend with deftly maneuvers; he is 100% the linebacker in our family’s life. It's like all this time I knew him to be an athlete, but now, I am seeing him in action: seeing the injuries be ignored, seeing the way he tackles the opponent, seeing the way he fights for his team. Y'all, it's insane that God can take the worst moments, the saddest times, and use them to shape your views.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Journal: Fierce File First Month Pictures

In my last post (Our Life: A New Year 2017 - Goals), I talked about my goals for this year. The thing that has been keeping me on track and focused on those goals has been my journal.

I have Pinterested and Pinterested... "Smash Books," "Wreck this Journal"s, and "Bullet Journals" and from that I have made my own journal. It's most closely feels like a bullet journal except that I'm not using it for the key tenants of bullet journaling.

Some of these layouts have been inspired from others on Pinterest. I will try to note which ones (if I miss one please don't presume I am taking credit... lol!).

This favorite TV Shows comes from THIS PIN 

 The Heart page is sort of like THIS PIN
And the February Goals was inspired by THIS PIN

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Our Life: A New Year 2017 - Goals

The first month of this new year is quickly approaching its close. 2017 is fully underway, and most thoughtless resolutions have been discarded already or are nearing their end. This year, as I have in the past several years, I prayed and picked a word of the year. As many of my people know, my word this year is FEIRCE. This year I am vowing to live fiercely, love fiercely, run fiercely... just to be a stronger woman than I have ever been before.

This year will be filled with new and unique challenges, some of which have already begun. I have started my first class for my Masters degree! Being more fierce means I will study hard but complain little. It means I will be proud of my accomplishments without boasting. Being fierce means I resolve to be a fierce competitor but also a fierce companion. I will help my classmates and will accept help graciously.

Instead of resolutions, I opted for monthly "goals/challenges." January has been a month without added sugar. No dessert. No soda. No added sugar food items. Natural sugars like fruit area different story. I, so far, have been true to my challenge, and I am beginning to see and feel the results.  My skin took a crash during the detox phase, but now it is clearing up.  I do admit that I'm going to have to break my sugar fast this week which leads me to my February goal.

February 19: I'm running my first marathon. This is a goal I've been trying to check off since before my wedding. Life has been allowed to get in the way and take this victory from me too many times. This time I will conquer. I ran long distance sugar free two weeks ago and struggled with eating real foods. My next and last long run before race day is Friday. I have decided to make the one event sacrifice for fuel and Gatorade on this run. It's not cupcakes or candy, and I think it's an important exception.... I'm giving myself that grace. Maybe I'll even add February 1st on in lieu. Be fiercely accountable, eve to yourself.

My March goal is about a return to my spiritual focus. In the hubbub of work, school, exercise, diet, family, and so on sometimes keeping the focus where it belongs gets lost. I'm challenging myself to listen to 10 extra sermons outside of the Sunday morning routine. That's going to mean 2-3 a week this month. It's my prayer that my eyes will be opened to reveal big signs and directions for my next steps. I'm going to pour in the prayer, and then I will make myself available to hear God's reply with my April challenge.

In the month of April, I am going to watch no tv. I'm going to give up my shows, my Netflix, my Hulu, all of it for April. I hope to get a few books read and really listen to the world around me in this month. This is additionally great because it is in April that I plan to add four more goals and challenges to my year. I don't know what I will feel called to do or focus on, but I hope that as that time approaches I will be able to see clearly the answers.

I can't wait to continue this journey and experience 2017.