Wednesday, March 9, 2011

wildly random

I am gleefully perceiving that my hands have been much too tightly wrapped around my life. My heart and my thoughts have been too filled with me. My cares and worries, my dreams and imaginings have draped across me like a well liked fur. Beautiful death surrounding slim shoulders pretending it's stylish when it's really just a dead dog. So, let's shed some skin.

I am not as important as I think I am. I am more important than I realize.
I am beautiful. I am not the most beautiful woman in the world.
I'm the only person who cares how much I weigh. Unless I weigh 300lbs then the world will want to watch me lose it.
No one cares if I have gum on my shoe. I care. I care very much.
I am not a perfectionist. It would do me well to be at least a little perfect.
I should eat better. I should not worry so much about how I eat.
I am talented. It would serve me well to be talented at more than keeping my house clean.
My heart cannot contain more love. I should love others more. It would make room.
I have amazing friends. I am not the best listener. They truly are amazing.
I have never done well with restrictions. I am so thankful I live under grace.

And wistfully I sit, watching the clouds roll by, head on a rock, my breath lets out on a sigh. It could be enough to rest in this place, unmoved, letting life pass, while I live it out simply in my mind. But the laughter of children rings through the cool air and swings that are waiting to be pushed, little legs longing to kick sit limply in the air. Waiting til I push past my thoughts to be present in the moments of their lives. Rather the forefront of their minds, not a shadow passing slightly behind.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Single Focused.

Having a double mind. Being someone who is unstable, unable to make up their mind.

It is a terrible place to be desperately divided between two things. Especially when you know what is right, what you should be doing and longing for something that is not for you at this time. My job, my whole life at this moment is dedicated to my family. It is my purpose, exactly what I have committed to and what I should be doing. But, I daydream about going back to work, finishing school, beginning a career. I get giddy just thinking about putting on clothes that won't be stained with blueberries, shoes made just to be pretty, doing my hair without worry of little fingers pulling it apart and going to get a cup of coffee on my way to my job. Where I work very hard and focused, receiving the esteem and paycheck worthy of my efforts. I miss having thoughts that make sense and knowing more about our political state than I do about Elmo. It sneaks up on me every now and then. This desire to not be just, a mom.

It takes me a little while to reign myself in and to remember my dedication to the purpose of raising my children. To focus on their needs, their hearts, building an unshakeable foundation. Giving them every opportunity to choose right and live to realize their desires. My dreams have not gone away, they've just been placed on the back burner for a little while. While I wholeheartedly live out my obedience to my family and my God.

But I haven't been fully committed and in this place I spin wildly, losing all focus and determination, while everything blurs in the background. I daydream about where I could be, robbing my children of me here and now. It sneaks in every now and then, if money's tight, the little dreams we'd love to give our family, when I see worry in Eric's eyes. All I want to do in that moment is feel like I'm contributing that I'm pulling my weight. I start talking of what I could do around Eric's schedule and how I could still be a full time mom and work and then I'd be super woman. I think I even get a little proud just thinking of what a good job I would do. I am amazing in my mind.

Eric is always incredible at pulling me back, refocusing me. Reminding me the sacrifices we make our for our children, our family. While we may have been plunged head first into parenting, we want to do the best we can. When I stay focused on this being exactly what I am called to, everything seems to fall into place. I find joy in the little things because I am present to catch hold of it. Rather than filling my mind with dreams about me, I fill it with adventures and finding new ways to nurture and educate my children. When I am given over to my purpose at this moment I can excel. When I am double minded I flounder, leaving nothing but chaos in my wake.

So, I am refocusing myself right now. Reminding myself that there will be a day when I fully realize all of my dreams. It will be bitter sweet, my children walking beside me not needing to hold my hand.

There is a verse that says 'he who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God.'
I must admit to times not only looking back, but running as fast as I can from the plow. I'm doing my best to hold my hand steady, if I must I'll tie myself to this plow til the field is ready to be planted.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I went in to parenting feeling open on this subject. I had watched my sister with her children and chatted with other parents on the subject. How much, if any, tv is okay for kids? It seemed to me, in my untried state, that if one restricted the television then kids just wanted it more, more, more! I tend to think that making something 'off limits' just makes you desperate for it. Therefore I didn't make tv off limits, if Judah wanted to watch something he could. We've had a very loose system in place the last three years.

Eric grew up with tv (he had one in his bedroom *gasp*). We didn't have a tv until I was 11!! It was handed down from my great grandparents and only played movies. For movie nights prior to the tv, we'd trek over to my grandparents house and watch old black and whites with big bowls of popcorn while we brushed my mom and grandma's hair for a penny a minute. I was raised on a farm and Eric in the suburbs of Boston. Needless to say our childhoods were very different. While Eric can rattle off all pertinent current events from the eighties and nineties I could only recollect CARMEN, a little DC Talk, some country, any movie by Nelson Eddy and Janette McDonald, Doris Day. . . my past knowledge is so small I wouldn't even bore you in the retelling.

Back to today, since Judah's been interested in movies from about a year on we've been pretty lax about it. Internally I've been freaking out at the amount that he would watch, but it quickly became a cycle that felt impossible to break. I figured that if I could at least get him out for part of the day either to a friends house or the park then he wouldn't really watch too much. Really it just assuaged my guilt that he was watching a ridiculous amount. Fast forward to moving to Eureka. It rains a lot more, the parks are often wet, we're in an apartment, we don't have very many friends and the tv has become our very best friend. My house has been clean for the people we never see and my children have sat like drones on the couch watching countless hours of Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh, Elmo and etc. Every day felt like a waste. We weren't living and it's amazing how much sitting on the couch can suck out of you. I assumed they'd get up and play, that it would become background noise. Instead Judah would sit in the same spot on the couch, unless he was sitting at the cutout in the kitchen watching, while eating lunch. Avi could play and has always had a greater interest in toys than in watching movies. Judah has only loved movies and would choose it over playtime, food, toys or any distraction we could think up.

I melted down. After another day of not knowing what to do to interest or motivate Judah away from the tv I asked Eric to 'break' our television set. He turned off the power strip. No matter how many buttons you push it won't turn on. We try every day.

All of this to share how the last television free days have gone. Can I just say that life has been infused into our home?! Toys that have never been played with are seeing use, Judah recently was playing Dr with Avi, giving her shots and medicine, they've been playing hide and seek and chase. Prior to our shift if the tv wasn't on I was the only option. It was as though my kids couldn't imagine ways to play outside of me, this made the tv even more necessary as there are times when I need space. The first day without, it was as though Judah was lost, he clung to me the entire day. The next he began to learn to entertain himself. Last night I was open to doing a movie night, instead we popped a great big bowl of popcorn and played Toy Story operation, then read stories. The quality of our days has increased, our time together has become so much more rich and enjoyable. We ate breakfast under the table with blankets draped over to make a fort. Life is opening itself with possibilities and while I have nothing against television, for my home it is like a black hole sucking all imagination into itself.

I don't know how long it will be 'broken' , but I wouldn't mind if it remains for the rest of time an empty box that eventually we'll decorate with a nice doily and maybe a picture of the life we chose to live instead.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

held in life

Breathtaking life you surround me. You minister and direct me, your praise explodes through my soul and I take flight as your hand lifts me up. Round and round we twirl and spin, your glory rains through my life and in the midst of darkness you shine brighter than my deepest fear. Heartbreak and death begin to consume and I cry aloud don't take your Spirit from me, Please don't leave me here to stand alone. I beat my chest and fall, the weight of your presence removed and I am shivering and cold. Agony that only losing you can bring, holds my face in the dirt and my tears mix with the dust to cover my nakedness in mud. Then like colors on a blank canvas your arm surrounds me and lifts me up, your eyes stare into mine, your voice like water rumbles through my being and you sing over me. In this moment, in my foolishness, my tantrum, I am restored, I am clothed with light and my heart of passion finds it's strength in your steadfast loving kindness. As you pour truth, that you will never leave, never forsake, that in the midst of doubt and despair you are there. That I am filled with you and despite all of my shortcomings, your love is stronger, it is pure. It restores. I am free. To be forever yours.

Seasons come and go. There are seasons of crazy, amazing, insane life where it feels like a constant state of blessing, then others that feel as though you are being squeezed and there is not any breath left and all you can do is close your eyes and get through. Then so many in between. Here I am, being pressed.