Those 12 Letters…Middle Scho

 

imageThe view from my hammock this morning…..swaying slowly, trees dancing back and forth above just enough to give me that slight twinge of motion sickness….

Thinking about the upcoming week…total serenity buzzkill. Why do Mondays creep in on the weekends where they have no business? The twins will start 7th grade. New school…Middle School and all that those 12 letters bring with them. The good, the bad, the nervewrackery that is junior high.

Oh, I know they’ve got this…I’m quite certain I’m just remembering the fun that I had in Middle School. Yes, that’s it.

So, as I lay in my hammock I’m saying a prayer and lifting up all of the kiddos as they approach “the first day”. Take care of our Babes, handle them with care. Give them the courage they need to stand tall each and every day, and let them know that we are waiting for them each and every day to love and hug them…to fill them back up. #lovedoes #middleschool #wecandohardthings

Slowing Down

Ann VoscampIt’s not entirely our fault, really. Instant gratification is what we’ve become accustomed to… Sure, we can blame it on society…maybe we should take a look inward at our own impatience. “We want IT, and we want it NOW!” Why are we in such a hurry? What are we missing as we fly through life?

We order movie tickets online, call ahead seating. If the line at the drive thru is too long they come to the car…so we won’t have to wait too long. Oh, hell! Amazon will deliver within two hours, and throw in a cookie…because Heaven we need a TREAT!! My own kids forgo half the rides at amusement parks….Wait for it…Because the lines are too long. My heart truly bleeds for them.

What have we done?

This racing around, demanding things happen this instant…It’s creeped into my heart and soul. I’m impatient in all areas of my life. Instead of enjoying the day to day, and trusting the journey I’ve been given. I find myself restless about the future. Constantly questioning and Praying about where I should be; where my family should be….what our path should be.

But, here’s the kicker…I haven’t been Praying…I’ve been “demanding”. That’s really no different than when my kids demand something of me. Seriously, Talk to the hand!

Only He knows exactly what I need, and maybe…just maybe I should be Still. And Quiet. And Pray.

There is no reason to rush; I’ve missed so much. I’ve always believed that things happen for a reason, and somewhere along the way I’ve let that fade from my heart. My heart and Hands are open. I will trust the journey…

Breathing in. Breathing out. Being conscience of every moment. Everyday.

Ann Voscamp: Fo all Us Hop-ers

Love Others As Themselves

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This. Is. Everything. Love others, but as THEMSELVES. Embrace others…all their quirks, messiness, decisions, beliefs, everything. Just love them. Don’t try to change them to fit your mold or ideal; or question how they run their house. Truth be told you’ll never understand everything that makes another person tick…

We all do this judgy thing. Only when it’s small we call it gossip…you know what I mean. We’ve all been on the giving and the receiving end. Jen Hatmaker in one of her preview essays from her new book  For The Love brings up a fabulous list that I am all too familiar with: stay at home Vs career, private school vs public, free range vs tight ship, Christiany vs non-Christiany, formula Vs breastfeeding, glitter & glam vs yoga pants, attachment parenting vs traditional. No matter what you call it…Gossip or judging it serves no purpose. So many of these things seem to center around women…why are we so hard on each other?

I’ve been on one side of all of these “differences”, but the one that sticks out the most is Breastfeeding vs Formula. I’ve had five kids, and I kid you not; one of the first questions I would hear usually from an a acquaintance, or a total stranger…”Are you gonna breastfeed?” Why is that? Not, “Congratulations!”, or “when are you due?” And, the minute I would say, “No, we’ve (feeling the need to throw John under the formula bus) decided to use formula.” I would get this look~~the look that said my formula fed baby would have 3 eyes and 12 toes look~~that would compel me to defend my decision on how I had chosen to feed my baby. When I really wanted to shout, “Look lady, I tried it for a painful two weeks with my first kid…(I still need therapy from the trauma). I’m now on kids 4 & 5, and I want Dad to do his share. I’m just not a nurser.” Guess what? I’ve got 5 formula fed, healthy, happy, smart kiddos. Nurse if you want…I promise I’m good with that. I won’t give you “the look”.

Same with families who let their children sleep with them. I myself am not a fan. My kids know they can snuggle with us until 10…then off to their beds they go. We just need our peace and quiet. But, if others are ok with that in their homes; then go for it. I don’t recall reading about college dorms that have space for the parents of these “attachment” kiddos. They’re going to be just fine.

I gotta tell you…if you are raising an eyebrow at the decisions and choices of others chances are they are raising one right back at you. So, why not just enjoy the different beats of all of our drums? Seems to me that if we all marched to the same beat it might get a little boring around here.

 

 

 

Never Cut What You Can Untie

Never cut what you can untie

 

Never cut what you can untie.
Burning bridges, kicking down the ladder, closing doors…those are all pretty easy escapes, aren’t they? I know I’ve mastered them. When someone tears at our soul to the point of tears or anger we want out, and we want out fast. Often times our first reaction is to slam the door in their face without listening or giving the other person a chance. Without giving the relationship a chance. We base our entire relationship on that one turbulent moment. It’s such a knee-jerk reaction. You hurt me and I’m done with you. Forever.

Forever! Gone. In a flash. Time goes by and of course you second guess yourself; your rationale. But, if you’re stubborn like me you dig in a little deeper and applaud yourself for being RIGHT. Well, whatever!!! Can you even remember what the argument or issue was about? If you can I’m sure it seems trivial now. If you can’t…well, there ya have it.

Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s experience. Maybe it’s the number of doors I closed in the past. Maybe it’s the fact that life is too damn short to be frivolously getting rid of the important people in our lives. I know one thing; this anger thing we carry around is a heavy burden.

I am much more willing to extend an open hand and reach out now. Humility and Grace have played a huge part in how I handle my relationships. I no longer feel the need to be right….it serves no purpose, honestly; except to add fuel to the fire. If each person spends their time voicing how “right” they are then no one is listening.

Listening is where it’s at.

Listening=Understanding.

Listening was/is a hard one for me. The old me used to listen to reply, and as soon as the other person shut their mouth I couldn’t wait to get MY words out. I promise I never heard a word they said simply because I wasn’t listening. This changed everything. And, Grace! What power that word holds. YOU have this power. Give it freely!! Give others and yourself forgiveness and mercy. Remember that no one is perfect, and that we are all fighting some kind of battle…depending on the day you don’t know what someone else is bringing to the table. Cut them a little slack.

Before you walk away next time; stop and think about the words that were said. I mean really think about where they were coming from. How was the other person really feeling? Were they coming from a place of anger, really? Or was it pain, hurt, sadness. If you take a step back it might change everything. Take a walk in their shoes. Ask them how they feel. And, then LISTEN.

Friends…reach out. Sometimes it takes patience. Sometimes it takes persistence. Sometimes it takes time for the other person to reach back. I’m learning that that is OK. Everyone deals with their emotions differently; in their own time.

I urge you to take a moment in the heat of anger to breathe; walk away; to just think. Do whatever calms you. Go for a run, have a glass of wine, take a nap. Then and only then think about your relationship. Not just this one moment, but all of the moments. And remember…Never cut what you can untie.

Listen To The Stories

Isn’t it easy to take everyone/everything at face value.  We all fall into this trap of casting judgements based on a person’s “cover”.  Think about your own story; your own truth…What does it say about you?  I promise it is so much deeper than what you show on the surface…often times so many of us hide behind the safety of our “covers”.  The faces and friends you encounter in everyday life are no different than you.  Listen to the stories waiting to be told…help them turn the page.