I had scripts to write, carpets to vacuum, laundry to fold, dishes to wash and rooms to clean. There was also food to cook, floors to mop, creative ideas to develop and shopping to do. So how did I spend the day before my birthday?
Going for a massage, having a lunch date with my hubby, dancing around with the kids, laughing and playing, running and jumping, enjoying life. I want to say goodbye to one year and greet the new one with the same attitude … one of gratefulness, thankfulness and joy!
I’m Happy! Here’s to another year of blessings!
I can hardly believe it. Here I am on the precipice of yet another year. Another year older, or another year wiser, as I like to say. As I take a look at where I am in life, where I thought I’d be and where I want to be, I can’t help but be exceedingly grateful. I am so grateful for this life I live. No, I am definitely not at the point I envisioned in “my” master plan, so to speak. Yet I am so thankful to God for how richly He has blessed me. This past year of life was absolutely amazing.
– I had an incredible birthday celebration, courtesy of my loving husband
– We spent time with a number of our family members
– I was privileged to provide help and assistance to my mother
– I watched my baby start his non-profit organization, hold a drive to help foster children and win a school spelling bee
– I had a number of awesome freelance writing assignments
– My hubby and I celebrated 12 years of marriage
– I learned that slowing down, saying no and pulling back are not signs of weakness; but rather of strength
– I can love and accept people for exactly who they are – no more, no less – and not try to change them
– I grew to appreciate even more the lady I see in the mirror
Happy Birthday to me!
I was stressed. Neck tight, lower back ache, and head hurting. I hadn’t been this stressed in a long time, after months of carefully structuring my schedule and my life to avoid being overwhelmed. But somehow, this situation snuck up on me. And here I was, in a battle to regain the orchestrated simplicity (or organized chaos) that has been working so well. Just wanted to share a few very simple methods I used that did a world of good….
1. A nice, long, hot bath. Man oh man. If I could have taken a nap in there, I would have.
2. Laughter. I watched a hilarious sitcom and it seemed to just melt the stress away.
3. Ice cream. Everything’s better with ice cream.
4. Sleep. Underestimated. Often ignored. Things really do look better in the morning.
5. Reprioritizing. Yet again. But as long as I’m willing to keep doing it, I’ll minimize stress.
6. Prayer. Just a few moments of refocusing on God and His Word gave me the right perspective.
Ah. Balance (of sorts) restored ….
In a world where many deem it okay for children to call adults by their first name, where “please” and “thank you” seem to have fallen by the wayside, and where kids can seem to run the household, it’s paramount to teach my boys respect. To respect me, of course. To respect proper authority, yes. And to respect themselves, absolutely.
When so many images, even in cartoons, can illustrate a blatant lack of respect in these areas, how do I instill it in my guys?
1. I respect them. Before I tell you what that means, let me explain what it does NOT mean. It doesn’t mean giving them whatever they want. It doesn’t mean doing what they say. And it doesn’t mean they control the household. It means I speak to them with dignity. It means I answer questions on their level instead of ignoring them. And it means I let them know they are loved and feel secure in that love.
2. I talk to them about respecting others. When someone, especially an adult, is speaking to you, look that person in the eye. Respond to them appropriately. Shake hands when the situation calls for it. As young men, hold the door for women. (The younger one hasn’t started learning this skill yet).
3. I properly discipline them. The first two points will be of no affect if this point doesn’t come into play. Proper discipline will usher in respect for me, and thus what I say and teach carries a greater impact. Discipline is not to scare them or make them like mindless robots who must obey. It’s to teach them that there are rules that must be followed, and respect that must be rendered. It starts at home, and the rest grows out of that.
My sons are still works in progress, but modeling respect for them and training them in it, is a lifelong endeavor. Good thing I’m up for the challenge.
I recently came across a picture of myself while in college, I think junior year. I can’t believe how young I look! (No, I don’t look old now, just seasoned. Lol.) It started me thinking of all the things I wish I’d known then. So I decided to make a list … of the things I wish I could tell my 20-year-old self….
1. Stop making decisions for your life based on what other people think. Don’t choose or not choose jobs, professions, friends, activities, etc. solely based on others’ opinions. Now you do want to listen to wise counsel, but don’t let others’ judgments be the final word on your choices.
2. Love yourself. You are a beautiful, smart woman made in the image of God. You’re not perfect and won’t always get it right. But you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Be thankful for every quirk, every nuance, every unique thing that’s a part of your personality and who you are. Embrace that. Embrace you.
3. Don’t shy away from the unknown purely based on fear… fear of what could happen, fear of what other people will think (see #1). New experiences can make you grow. Moving out-of-state or even across country could be a thrilling experience. Just go for it.
4. Stop trying to plan every aspect of your life! First of all it won’t work. Secondly, you have no clue what lies ahead or what things God has in store. Third, it just won’t work.
5. One day you will look back on all of this and smile. Every hurt, every pain. Every loss and every triumph. You’ll thank God for the courage and perseverance to make it through each situation. And will see it really has made you stronger.
You will turn out to be someone incredible. God has richly blessed you, beyond what you could ask or think. Just relax. And enjoy the ride.
A friend recently told me that she loves reading my blogs, because I am so transparent. She said I tell it like it is, lol. It caused me to really think about the purpose of my blogging and what I want to convey. And she hit the nail on the head.
I like being open and honest. I think a lot of us, especially women, believe our thoughts and feelings aren’t valid, or that we’re alone. I’ve gone through situations, and just finding out someone else has experienced it instantly releases a positive feeling in me. I realize that “I’m not the only one who’s gone through this”, and “if this person made it through, I can too.”
I am also encouraged myself by knowing I’ve touched or helped someone else. If you can see a little bit of truth for your life in what I say and it helps you, then it makes it worthwhile.
Here’s to continuing to “be seen”….
How do I respond to the unknown? Now, to qualify the statement, when I say unknown I’m not referring to danger or a harmful situation. I’m talking about facing some circumstance or situation in life, where you don’t readily know the results.
I’ve got quite a few unknowns in my life right now. Some parts I caused, but mostly because of things I can’t control. And that’s hard. Really hard. Even if for brief moments, I’ve had the perceived “normal” responses. Fear. Anger. Frustration. Panic.
But thank God, those feelings are brief. And fleeting. I am now approaching each unknown situation by learning as much as I possibly can, praying and believing God for wisdom, and moving out full steam ahead. Is it fun? That’s not necessarily the word I’d use to describe it, lol. But it’s empowering. And moment by moment, it’s making me stronger.
Here’s to embracing the unknown. Let’s get it.
I saw this. And loved it. Laughed out loud. Just a few other Mom Moments I thought I’d share to brighten your day:
– Getting the kids to bed, lunches packed, clothes ready for the next day so you can curl up with a good book or watch a good movie. Then fall asleep within five minutes.
– Being proud of yourself for washing loads of laundry … that sits unfolded for days.
– You know that meal you made to last two days … uh, yeah. It’s all gone.
– The kids want to sleep in during the week when they need to be up for school. But Saturday …. 6am, here they come!
– It just doesn’t matter how many times you clean that room. It won’t stay that way.
– The kids will trade every possession for TV time. I’ve even seen vegetables eaten for that trade.
My husband is a laid back guy. Cool, level-headed, rational – you know, my opposite in many ways. Though I like to think I have all the answers, especially as a parent, I must admit I’ve learned a thing or two from this man God has blessed me with.
Here’s a few things I’ve learned from the hubby:
1) If the boys aren’t bleeding and no bones are broken after a fall, they’re fine.
2) Having the kids sleep in our room every night is NOT a good idea
3) If you’re tired, you should go to bed. My to-do-list items will still be there tomorrow.
4) Our kids have it pretty good. They’ll be okay without the latest gadget or toy.
5) Overreacting gets us nowhere.
6) Living within our means really is a lot smarter.
7) My husband has been graced by God to raise our boys to be men. I need to let him do that.