Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's the countdown til Dolly's birthday.  Its so hard to believe she was just about a week old in this picture and now she's almost 5!  I can't say that time flew by and just yesterday she was just a baby because truthfully it seems like she was a baby so long ago, like 5 years ago.  

I have enjoyed every moment with Dolly.  She has been such an easy baby and toddler. (Can I consider an almost 5 year old a toddler?).  

She's full of yummy kisses and hugs and many "I love yous" just at the right time.  I'm so glad that I didn't stop at one.  She has given me so much joy.  I'm so glad she's my Dolly.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Strong Enough?

I wish I had the words today, but, I dont.

Strong Enough by Stacie Orrico

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How did I start out in one place but, end up in another?

The plan was to do Pilates but I ended up at Zumba.  I couldn't take the heat so I left 30 minutes before it was over.  (The class is 60 minutes mind you).  I used to be able to keep up but today I thought I was going to collapse. I  was hungry, weak and felt like my blood sugar was dropping.  I got Dolly from childcare and as I put on her coat she kept hounding me about eating out. I caved in and said "Okay, where do you want to go?"  She said, "Wendy's!"

Before I knew it I was sitting  at a little table, with a mound of fries, a drink too large to finish, and a burger that was dripping with mayo, onions, ketchup, pickles and cheese.  I think there was a little lettuce and tomato in there somewhere.

"Didn't I just leave the gym?" I asked myself as I stuffed more fries into my mouth and licked the mayo and ketchup that was about to drip on to the paper wrapper. Part of my brain said,  "I can't believe that I 'worked out' and now I'm eating all this salty goodness that is no good for me".

The other part said, "Wow, I'm really digging this meat by-product cheeseburger.  These fries are a little salty but, they are soooo good.  How are they disappearing so fast.  Did someone take some fries when I wasn't looking? Am I woofing down the fries that fast?, Maybe I should go back up there and get myself some more fries.  Do I really need all this xtra ketchup on my tray? How many calories did I burn today?  Did I just gain them all back?"

Then I looked across the table and Dolly offered me a fry and told me to dip it into her frosty.  "Isn't it good Mommy?"  I said, "Yeah Dolly! That's really good".  She just smiled and continued to dip her fries in her frosty and eat them happily.

I should have gotten a frosty.    Suddenly  I didn't feel bad anymore.  Suddenly I didn't feel like I wasted a work out.  I ate t every last bit of  that combo meal  and piled the wrappers and used napkins on my tray like a little volcano.

What a great day! I think I'll supersize my combo next time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Supermom & her dutiful world of imagery, isolation & happiness.

The Truth of the matter is is that staying at home while  others on the street go to their respective jobs is just part of the package when you stay at home.  I've been told by many over the years how they either wish they could stay home or they are glad its me and not them.   Here's a little insight to the Stay at home mom (SAHM) life.    

If you think I make it look easy- Its only because I have been doing it a long time and  I'm constantly crying out to  and running to God for help and ideas. My other secret: from day one I have tried not to be a Nervous Nelly or a  Worry wart.  Which does not mean I haven't been concerned or  I haven't worried.   

If you think I have it easy because I can kick back all day, eat junk food & watch cable- you're wrong.  I can't kick back all day, only some of the day. I don't eat tons of junk food, although Altoids are my cryptonite and I don't have cable (although I occasionally go on Hulu to sneak a peak at the Real Housewives of Atlanta).  If you think I'm and other's like me are supermoms-We are.  Not because we have superpowers- although we can't deny that we do, but, because we are caring for one or more little people- or not so little people or somebody else's little people and that makes us moms- and that to me  is super.

Getting back to the opinions- about staying at home: "I wish I was you or I'm glad I'm not you". What can I say to those opposing schools of thought?  11 plus years ago, when I put away my heels, and business casual attire, I took on a job that has been the most challenging and rewarding experience all at the same time. 

I traded in my cute little  Ann Taylor neck scarves for  burp cloths.  I traded in power lunches for baby food,   I traded in my one little Luis Vuitton for a gargantuan diaper bag.    

I said good by to the office pool, the water cooler, the office politics and said hello to a baby girl who came with no instructions- or at least the hospital didn't give them to me, mounds of laundry,  the world of nursing, and figuring out what to do with a little 6 pounder when she wouldn't stop crying. And when I couldn't figure out what to do, I joined her and cried too.

When the house was quite, and I thought I'd nap, the time never lasted long enough.  When I was drowning in new motherhood, feeling lost, overwhelmed, sore from nursing, isolated,  and lonely-no one rescued me.  No one ever told me the deep isolation I would experience when it was just me, the house, the baby, the responsibilities day in and day out. No parenting class, no friend, no relative and certainly no Home Economics class clued me in on this one.
So I got myself out- when I finally could,  and joined different moms groups, walked the mall, chit chatted as much as I could after church, and hung out occasionally with other people with little people.  

But then the cycle of isolation happened again when I had more babies. With more babies came more responsibilities, more laundry, more highs and lows, more schedules, then homeschooling was thrown in the mix, and it became more stuff to keep me busy and isolated from the outside world.  An isolation that is lonely and sometimes dark, no one wants to admit to and  no one wants to talk about yet still a reality for some stay at home mom's nonetheless. 

Isolation is a world that plunges you deep into to an abyss of  where you struggle to do what you have to and all the while longing for someone to share the load because you are drowning and you can't swim fast enough to get back up to the top of the sea or worst, you can't swim at all because you were never taught how to.  And the life preserver-well, that is still on the boat and the boat is somewhere at sea perhaps being helmed by a dear Supermom Captainess who has surfaced from the sea at some time in her younger years and she is no longer drowning but not compelled to help those who are because she is basking in the freedom of not having to deal with  the abyss or the seaweed that causes one to get stuck in it.  She's is just happy that she made it out and she is determined to live her life, seaweed & abyss free.   

In my heart I know that there is another boat, its a little boat with a dear Supermom Captiness, rowing and rowing on top of the choppy sea. Whose voyage  in motherhood has not been the greatest or the most perfect but over the years she has learned from mistakes and has tools in her toolkit and a life preserver that she is willing throw out to any young Supermom who needs it.  The only problem is, is that the sea is overpopulated with the former type of Supermom Captainess rather than the latter.

In the abyss you find yourself being the glue that holds everything together, the family, the house, the activities, the lies, the image people hold of you.  All the while something inside keeps crying and crying,, "Help me! Help me!"  But no one hears or answers because your cry is silent.  Your cry is hidden under all the roles you play, your cry is hidden under  the image you have to uphold, your cry is hidden because the louder you cry, everyone elses' cries and needs keep screaming louder. 

  Four Blessings that still hug and kiss me even when our day wasn't perfect.

Four Blessings that have kept me on my knees and into books. Four Blessings that have asked both poignant questions and embarrassing ones- all in the same conversation.  Four Blessings that  have made me ask "What in the world?!!!", Four  blessings that make it clear that right now- I am their world.

I wish I could say its all glamorous and easy.  Some things in motherhood  flow almost effortlessly- a lot does not.  I wish I could say that I go to lunch with girlfriends each week, play tennis a couple times a week and go to the hair salon.  But  right now, I can't say those things.   I wish I could say that there is no toy or paper monster living in my house-but there is. His job is to spread his love of paper and toys everywhere and he does a good job at it.    I wish I could say I  always know where lost items disappear to but, I don't.  I wish I could say that my car doesn't have snack rappers on the floor- but it does.  I wish I could say no one farts or burps at the  dinner table- but they do.

I wish it were easier than  what it has been but, its not.  The truth is I am the cook, I am the housekeeper, I am the chef, I am the nurse, I am the psychologist, I am the chauffeur, I am the activities director, I am the referee, I am the hair stylist, I am the Devotional Leader, I am the monitor, I am the friend, I am the mean one, I am the coolest one, I am the hip one, I am the not so hip one, I am the laundry attendant, I am the language interpreter,  I am the phone operator, I am the advocate,  I am the comforter of bad dreams, I am the boo-boo- kisser, I am the ice cream man, I am the bill collector-I collect plenty of them from the mailbox, I am all of this plus some.  I do all of this and more because I am in love with four little people.

So If  I don't answer my phone right away or at all, chances are I'm doing kids,  having dinner, I'm tired, or I am trying on a new lipstick.  If I don't volunteer for certain things, don't hate. Consider the fact that I volunteered to do alot of xtras during the week already that weren't part of my plan.  If you come over and you see dust, cobwebs or the same cheerios on the floor week after week, there are only a couple options with that one- you can ignore it all and continue to smile and chit chat with me or come over and grab a broom.  If I'm outside  goofing off and there is a sink full  of dishes and beds are not  made, excuse me if I ignore it all and choose not to feel guilty any longer about it.  The beds and dishes will be there when I come back in  and not doing them right away doesn't mean  us SAHMs (stay at home moms) are lazy or dirty.  

I'm done apologizing and feeling guilty that I can't keep up.  I'm done apologizing  for wanting to go outside and enjoy the sunshine. I'm done not celebrating when I do keep up and everything is in its place.

Is there a fun side- of course.  I wouldn't dare of leaving that out.  I get to play Nail Salon with my girls.  I get to have concerts  on the drums and piano and jam sessions by with my lyrical masterminds as we  ad lib to whatever  is being played.  I get to color  and play princess and ponies.  I get to show eager learners how to cook.  I get to take credit for teaching 3 out of the 4 how to read, count, recognize colors, shapes, and get dressed.  I get to have little people whisper secrets in my ear so very quietly I can hardly make out what they are saying.  I get to go to the park and watch them run around.  I get to cheer them on at sporting events-even if it was an ordeal to pack everyone up to get there.  I get to ration out the Halloween & Easter candy-  then enjoy as much of it as I want when I decide that candy season is over.  I get to be the guest at Kids Cafe-when they decide to take over the kitchen and make a meal, complete with a host/hostess, waitstaff & manager. I get to plan "field trips" for my homeschoolers.  I get to snuggle with them during movie night-and fall asleep while they are watching the movie and wake up just in time to see the credits roll.

Truthfully after several wake up calls, I finally woke up and concluded that the worst thing you can do to yourself and for yourself as a SAHM is to forget yourself and let the happiness of everyone around you mean more than your own happiness, your own health, your own sense of who you are and what you were meant to be.  You get lost so quickly and can't figure out where you begin and where they end.

Looking to the future I have to literally build into my day things that are life giving to me- outside of the kids, outside of people.  And after I build those things into my life, I have to make sure at some point in the day before I close my eyes at night, I share my God-breathed moments of happiness with someone or something- namely my journal.  So if I danced with Dolly, I let it be known.  If I made something pretty, I share that too.  If I went for a walk, I bask in that.  If a prayer was answered, even if it seemed small- I don't keep it  a secret.

Looking to the future, as I navigate this calm and sometimes rough sea, I'm putting tools in my tool kit, and stockpiling life preservers and  not waiting  till my boat is docked and I'm lounging on the beach of life in my latter years to open the  toolkit and share my tools, share my lunch or toss  a life preserver  when people all around are clearly drowning. 

Why  would I let them do life alone?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lies,Lies & More Lies. Yet Truth prevails.

We are 10 days into the New Year and I didn't quite know what to blog about first.  Should I blog about how our New Years Party went?  Should I blog about, how Me and Dolly sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" a song I haven't sung for years?  Should I blog about how when we were driving down the road and she was trying to figure out the words to that song that the lyrics that rang in my head were "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, God has put you where you are"?  & how I felt that God has put us where we are - for a reason?

Or should I blog about the teenager with the new I phone @ church who was  texting during service and as much as I tried not to look, I tried even hard to see who he was texting and what he was  texting without being obvious.  And as I was trying to focus on the front of the room, and peek at  his phone, I could tell he couldn't work that thing no better than I could and I figured he must've gotten it for Christmas and by the time he texted "Man" whoever he was, I lost interest and gave full attention to the sermon.

Well, I decided to let my first post of the New Year be about the Lies that I have been believing. And how Truth ultimately prevails.  I got to be real here.  I don't Bible Bash o or try to shove my version of Christianity down any one's throat but, given the opportunity to share God's Truth, I do, with no apologies. That being said, several days ago I had the opportunity to write out a prayer to God, asking Him to expose the dark parts of my heart, asking Him to shine His light on the hidden little compartments of my heart that I really don't think is sin. 

After writing this letter, I began to think to myself: "What sin?", "What dark parts?", "I don't think, I'm that bad", "As a matter of fact, I'm often right-about alot of stuff". "I think, I'm pretty much good" "I think the people that I associate with are pretty much good peeps"  All the strings of thoughts only amounted to one thing-pride.  I stumbled across Psalm 14:3 & Psalm 55:3 and they both point to the fact that there is no one that does good. Not one person.  No one is without sin.   Now I know that these verses have to be read in context but, I'm just recanting what I have read in light of this pride that  has been making its home in my heart and has now been served an eviction notice. 

Yet the Lie- (capitalization intended) that I have been believing and the reason why I entitled this post as I have is not about pride it has everything to do with me buying into  & investing my heart into believing that the Enemy of my soul- Satan is  and has been more powerful than the Lover of my soul- Jesus. I have been so caught up in "darkness around me" that I felt that this God that I claim to serve was powerless and not as powerful as the enemy and my circumstances.  I have bought into the Lie that Satan is more powerful and more omnipotent than God, and its so not true, and now that I have bought into it, and see the Lie for what it really is I want a refund! I want my time and energy I spent, and invested back. 

But, I cant have it back.  The time can only be redeemed by exercising my Faith in the Truth.  

I have been so caught up in believing that any darkness in me  and around me was so big, and so strong that it  over powered and overshadowed  any  light that has been trying to shine on me or shine through me.  I really have been succumbing to the lies that God is not as strong as he says he is.  Lies that tell me that He is not strong as people have been telling me he is.  The Lie "confirmed" this by pointing out the fact that  the more I commit to Him-Jesus,  the more it seems like evil and darkness prevails. 

This same darkness causes me to spin, on many different levels, (too many too list), it causes me to become off task,  and most importantly it causes me to get off focus, and distracted and loose sight of the Truth.e.

I feel as though the Holy Spirit turned a switch on in my heart & brain  I feel like something has been lifted.  I feel that He wants me to know- wants you to know that despite our upside down circumstances, it doesn't change God.  God is indeed who He says He is!

There is nothing that will change His love, or reduce is love for you.  There is nothing that I can do or you can do that will ruin His love for you.    To me that is life changing.  As simple as it sounds it makes me breathe a sigh of relief.  A huge sigh of relief to think that I can't mess up or ruin God's Love for me.

Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the verses that  has been special to me for so many years.  It seems to follow me during different seasons of my life.  Last week I read the Message Bible Translation of that verse for the first time and it said,   "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for".   Yesterday,  a friend asked what I  heard God saying and one of the things I told them was, Jeremiah 29:11.  This morning I woke up to someone on television speaking about Jeremiah 29:11.  Do you think God is trying to tell a sister something?

This morning I heard the verse differently.  I heard that No matter what you are going through, your circumstances, your situation, and with all of the hurt, and all of the pain that you have experienced up until now, I (Father God) am not going to hurt you.  I'm not going to hurt you .  I have great plans for you.  I will come through for you.  I have a great future-for you!  Will you trust me?

Will you let me be who I say that I am?  Will you let me show you that I am who I say I am for you?

Will you trust me?