Skip to content

Guest Posting for Magnifications

May 18, 2015

hunger always wins

I am guest posting today for a beautiful website called Magnifications, a blog of theological reflections written by women from the Churches of Christ. Check it out!

Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve had issues with food.

I used food as a means of controlling something when I wasn’t in control of anything. By taking authority over what I put in my mouth (or didn’t) I disassociated myself from that which I could not control – my mother’s illness, for example – and put the focus back on myself. Food gave me a sense of control and power when I felt out of control and powerless.

Unfortunately, false security and power don’t really stick to your ribs. Hunger can only be denied for so long. Even to the most authoritative anorexic, hunger will, eventually, win. The body will do whatever is necessary to regain balance, sending up red flags and warning bells, hunger always wins. No anorexic remains in control forever.

Hunger is something that dwells deep inside, a mortal ache of emptiness. It is not a quiet longing but an urgent yearning. For fullness. The yawning emptiness of depression, loss, grief…they mimic this mortal ache. So often we confuse one longing for another. So often we seek to end our spiritual emptiness with the temporal and temporary substitute of food.

Read more…

 

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

Do you Pinterest? Join me over on my new Pinterest Board: Pinterest-y Disasters – a place to collect all the crazy ideas we know will turn out just awful, or to post a really glorious Pinterest Fail!

Windshield Time

May 15, 2015

Four feet nine inches.

A mere 57 inches, and already, everything has changed. It’s only been a week.

57 inches and you are sitting in the front seat, beside me. Your precious self safely tall enough to survive the airbag, so there you are, beside me on the short trips to and from school, and already everything has changed.

Windshield time, I’ve heard it said. For a boy-mom, invaluable.

Side by side, staring ahead, hearts wide open.

You tell me things I never would have heard from the backseat. You pray with me, aloud, tumbling out daily petitions for each other and those around us.

You sing along with the radio. “…if you want to know, how far my love can go, just how high, just how deep…” To hear your voice speak those words, engraving them on your heart, makes it hard for me to breathe.

I worry still, that you are safe. I won’t let you, not yet, on the freeway, or longer rides, but for our three mile commute each morning, this side-by-side but heart-to-heart connection is so precious, invaluable at a time in your life when you could be slowly shutting me out instead of letting me in.

I wave good-bye to you through the open door as you grab your backpack from the rear, when suddenly you turn and duck back inside the car.

A quick boy-kiss on my cheek, electric shock stopping my heart at this adolescent impulse of affection.

“I love you mom. Thanks for driving me to school.”

We wonder, parents, if this is ever going to be worth it. When they are screaming at us in anger and frustration. When the LEGOs underfoot and dirty socks abundant. When the water all over the floor and the toilet overflowing. When the voices raise, and the defiance roars…we wonder if they will ever appreciate what we’ve done, or all we’re doing. We wonder if they will ever truly see us, as humans, not parent-shaped servants and slaves.

And then the fragile moment appears, a filament of days to come, perhaps. Manna, to sustain through troubled hours and family famine.

Reassurance that, yes, it’s worth it. It truly is.

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

Do you Pinterest? Join me over on my new Pinterest Board: Pinterest-y Disasters – a place to collect all the crazy ideas we know will turn out just awful, or to post a really glorious Pinterest Fail!

surprise connection

A Big Revelation After 12 Years of Parenting

April 29, 2015

Adelle's Phone 2014 2015 031

I’d like to think, after nearly 12 years of parenting, that I’m getting pretty good at this gig.

If I’d been doing anything else for 12 years, I would likely be considered an expert.

With 12 years of higher education, I could be a doctor. Twice.

But after 12 years of parenting, the big “a-ha” has finally come and it’s not what I thought it would be.

It’s not “I’ve got this!”

But rather,

I have no idea what I’m doing.

The rules keep changing. Every time I think I’ve nailed the routine, the playing field alters.

The big revelation after 12 years of parenting, is that there is no such thing as a parenting expert.

We’re all just parenting survivors. Comrades on the battlefield. We need to stop trying to be experts and tell everyone else how to raise their kids and just help each other survive. Share a canteen and a chocolate bar.

It’s not going to get easier when….

It’s not going to get easier when they sleep through the night.

It’s not going to get easier when they start school.

It’s not going to get easier when they can tie their own shoes, make their own bed, or pour their own bowl of cereal.

It’s not going to get easier when they graduate high school, or move out, or get a job.

I hate to be the one to break it to you.

There is one bit of good news, however.

You are not alone. We’re all lost. We’re all confused. We’re all trying to feel our way through this quagmire in the dark.

There isn’t anyone who has it easier than you. It feels like there is. I know you’ve thought (as have I) that parenting just comes so easy for them….

But it doesn’t. Not for anyone. Whatever phase they are successfully striding through at the moment will quickly be replaced with another, more complicated phase down the road.

As such, give that parent next to you some grace today.

Tell a mom she’s doing a good job.

Tell a dad that he’s an inspiration.

Tell that couple over there that you can see how much they love their kids.

grace

 

It’s the best we can hope for, grace from each other, and the knowledge that none of us really have this parenting thing figured out.

I’m not the only one who’s lost. Neither are you.

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

Do you Pinterest? Join me over on my new Pinterest Board: Pinterest-y Disasters – a place to collect all the crazy ideas we know will turn out just awful, or to post a really glorious Pinterest Fail!

On My Fear of Class Parties (and why it was so selfish)

April 21, 2015

class parties

Confession: I used to be terrified of class parties.

All you parents of elementary-aged kids, you know that of which I speak. Class Parties. The holiday-themed extravaganzas our kids celebrate in school, involving Pinterest-y towers of fruit and pretzels? Homemade, organic carob and agave cupcakes? Carefully crafted goody bags and intricate, hand-made party favors made by stay-at-home moms who look down on us Working Moms as selfish, child-abandoning monsters?

At least that’s what I always thought.

Class parties, to a not-so-crafty mom like me, were a celebration of everything I was not.

I was not gifted with the patience to hand-frost cookies made from scratch.

I was not gifted with the creativity to make darling, cut-paper treat bags.

I was not gifted with the patience to sew fabric birthday banners that matched my child’s handmade birthday attire.

I’ve attempted such things, many times, in the past. It usually resulted in tears and frustration. It’s not my gift.

One thing, I promise you, this blog will never be is one of those “Look What I Can Do!” blogs. Like, look at the incredibly-ornate-and-complicated-mermaid-costume-I-made-for-my-dog, or, look at the hand-painted-and-decoupaged-plant-stand-I-made-out-of-seashells, or look at my homemade-facial-moisturizer-I-made-out-of-cream-I-churned-myself-and-flowers-I-hand-gathered-in-the-foothills-of-The-Alps.

Uh-uh.

I don’t decoupage.

I don’t sew.

I barely cook.

If I am responsible for more than one pan going on the stove at any given time, I start to cry.

On the rare occasion I do post a food photo or a recipe, it’s because it was such an enormous accomplishment for a girl like me I can’t help but want to tell the world.

All that being said, I always felt that class parties were a mirror by which my inadequacy as a mom was reflected. (Realizing the lack of rationale that even if I were a stay-at-home mom, I would be no more patient, crafty or creative. Who said shame was rational?)

It’s really just another manifestation of Working-Mom Guilt, aka, The Inner You Stink.

I’ve suffered from this ailment far too long. I wrote this the summer of 2013 about my son’s birthday celebration at summer camp.

As I dropped my smallest prince off at camp this morning, lugging in three bags of doughnut holes so that he could bask in the glory of HIS day, this last day in our marathon of celebrating, I overheard another child say:

“My birthday is on Friday and my mom is bringing in cake pops for everybody!”

Store-bought, processed, high-fructose corn syrup infused doughnut holes. It was the very best I could do and he was thrilled. I felt good about it until her words slapped across my fragile ego, and the inference dug it’s nails into my arm. As if her mother were standing next to me, with agave nectar on her cheek and whole wheat flour on her apron, waving homemade cake pops in my face and calling me a loser.

I Am (NOT) a Birthday Planning Failure

This year, I can honestly say, has been different. So much is different this year…when you’ve been walking alongside a monster for so long, you grew familiar with its shadow.

Now that it’s gone, the world is so much easier. And brighter.

The first party I attended with my second-grader this year featured tiny vintage glass milk bottles in a vintage wooden crate, filled with fresh milk and paper barber-shop striped straws.

And for once, I could appreciate the effort that went in to that and not see it as a reflection of my inadequacy..

Comparisons, doubt, shame – it’s all so selfish.

I’ve spent so much time feeling bad about myself, I never thought about how those other moms must be feeling.

I’ve grown to appreciate the giftedness of those moms who prepare the hand-frosted cookies.

I can appreciate the creativity of those moms who come up with the crafts and goody bags that my sons have always enjoyed.

I can appreciate the patience of those moms who sew, and create, and craft and do it because they love to, not because they have to.

I don’t, and that’s okay. I do other things, good things, valuable things.

In the combination of our giftedness, we, all of us, create beautiful and worthy events for our children. We each contribute in our own way.

Sometimes our best offering may be the box of frosted sugar cookies from the grocery store, or the hands we bring to wipe the sticky faces and desks, and clean up afterwards.  Sometimes our best offering is to just show up and be there, yoga pants, day-old ponytail and all, letting that frazzle room mom know that she’s not going to be doing this entire party on her own.

It’s all worthy. It’s all worthwhile. We, none of us, are certain we’re doing this right. The best we can do is do this together. 

********************************************

logo

Do you Pinterest? Join me over on my new Pinterest Board: Pinterest-y Disasters – a place to collect all the crazy ideas we know will turn out just awful, or to post a really glorious Pinterest Fail!

 

Have you ever been intimidated by a class party or other children’s event?

What is your area of giftedness? Do you craft or bake? Sew? Write?

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

The Selfish Art of Worry

April 14, 2015

If I knew then…

That breastfeeding was not going to be my greatest accomplishment as a mother, I would have cried a lot less tears over my failure to successfully breastfeed…twice. I would have recognized that healthy kids drink formula too, and that my worth was not dependent upon how I fed my children.

That the biting would stop, and my kids were not the only ones on this planet to respond impulsively with their…teeth, I would not have owned their biting behavior, nor owned any of the other misbehaviors that manifested during the following years. I would have held on to the fact that my worth and value as a parent is not dependent upon my children’s successes or failures.

That one day I would not care as much about what everyone else was thinking, I would have spent a lot less time worrying and a lot more time trying to be a friend to someone else. I would have realized that everyone else is worrying about what I’m thinking, too.  In reality, we’re all too tired and weary to be thinking about anything but ourselves at all.

There have been so many moments in the past 12 years that I have lain awake at night fretting about what What Everyone Else Must Be Thinking.

I’ve allowed friendships to pass me by, because I was too afraid to open up.

I’ve neglected someone who was just as weary and hurting, because I was too afraid to be honest.

I’ve spent so much time thinking about how I was feeling, that I forgot to consider the feelings of others.

Fear, self-doubt, and worry are inherently selfish behaviors. We spend so much time looking inward, we miss out on all the good going on around us. There are people all around you who are hurting just as much. Who are lonely, and afraid.

The best part? When we stop looking inward at our supposedly miserable lives, and we take the time to get to know the stories of others, we find that our stories are not so very unique.

It’s hard to be lonely when you are standing side-by-side with another parent who is struggling just like you.

It’s hard to be lonely when you know you’re not alone in your worry over your kids.

It’s hard to be lonely when you realize your grief and pain is shared by another whose experiences are similar to your own.

It’s hard to be lonely when you find out that yes, that’s completely normal, and all little boys do that.

The fastest way to close the gap between strangers and friends is to share a story of our broken places. The cracks are how the Light gets through.

friendship

When was the last time you took a risk and shared your story with a stranger? 

Tweetables:

Tweet: The fastest way to close the gap between strangers and friends a story of our broken places. @ReadyGoGetSet http://ctt.ec/Y39eL+

Tweet: Fear, self-doubt, and worry are inherently selfish behaviors. . @ReadyGoGetSet http://ctt.ec/_gh1t+

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

We’re Gonna Miss This (Really, We Are)

April 9, 2015

Hurry, hurry, busy, hurry, hurry. Every day the same.

My life is so very full of things – especially now, it seems. Somehow, I thought when the boys were babies that it would get easier and in many ways, it has.

But not in every way. In oh, so many ways, it’s harder. Our schedule is tighter, the amount of down-time is less. Most evenings we race into the house after 6pm, to shovel food into hungry mouths (never mind that mythical “family dinner” concept – have you tried having a conversation with three hungry guys? Not possible.)  simultaneously bathing, correcting homework, emptying the dishwasher, gathering up all the loose ends and finally tucking them into bed, what seems like, only minutes later, then summoning the wherewithal to have a meaningful moment with each other before saying goodnight. *gasp*  Blink once, and it’s 9:30, and my 5am wake-up call feels just minutes away. We rush to bed so we can get up and do it all over again.

While older children are more self-sufficient – they can pour their own glasses of milk (but they don’t always), make their own lunch (but they don’t always), bathe and dress themselves (pretty much always, thank goodness). They let the dog in and out, feed the cat, help around the house…I even bribe them – screen time for walking the dog. Shouldn’t that make it easier? Shouldn’t there be more time?

Those long, leisurely evenings of cuddling on the couch, watching Noddy on the Good Night Show until 7pm and then leisurely singing and Bible-reading them to bed….where or where have they gone?

Those Canaan days, we used to know, where have they gone, where diiiiiiid they go…

There is so much more. And we aren’t even CLOSE to being a “busy” family. We keep a tight rein on these schedules, carefully adding and eliminating to maintain balance, but when you have two…it’s everything times two. What choice do we have?

Stepping back, taking stock, and a big, deep breath in and out. This too, this busy, shall pass. I accept that this, too, is a phase. It will be over before we know it. There will, one day, be long, slow, leisurely evenings on the couch, and there will be no one to tuck into bed but Gabe and the dog.

The paradise we long for, the promised land we dream of— it’s already here. This is it, all of it. The big things, little things, easy things and big, hairy, hard things. It’s all part of the beauty, the mysterious beauty of parenthood.

This is what "tired" looks like.

This is what “tired” looks like.

When I think of “tired” I always think of this photo. This is the most tired I’ve ever been in my entire life. It’s about two weeks into that little life that began eight years ago. He was early, and small, and dear Lord, that baby cried. All. The. Time. I wanted to smile for this picture, I remember that. But I was too tired.

Would I go back to that day and do it over? To hold that tiny, bird-like baby against my skin for another hour, another day? With all the tired, and sore, and drippy, swollen, mess that is new motherhood?

In a heartbeat.

We long for each phase to be over, only to cry for it once it’s gone.

Me? I’m going to go home and try to appreciate what few minutes I do have with the boys tonight.

I’m not going to think about the laundry that needs folding, or how messy their rooms are.

I’m not going to worry about the dog hair, the dishes, or the errands I need to run tomorrow.

I’m going to admire the LEGO creations and the drawings of volcanoes and dragons and dismemberment, and really mean it when I say that they are amazing.

I’m going to listen to the silly jokes, and laugh even though I’ve heard them all before.

I’m going to look them in the eye and really listen.

I’m going to see them, and memorize their faces just as they are at this moment.

I’m going to breathe them in, boy smells and all.

Because deep down, as much as this is such a hard place in life, I know that one day, I’m going to miss this.

You’re gonna miss this

You’re gonna want this back

You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast

These Are Some Good Times

So take a good look around

You may not know it now

But you’re gonna miss this

Trace Adkins, “You’re Gonna Miss This

 

Have you found your promised land or do you long for the next phase?

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

were going to miss this

Huntington’s Disease: There Are Others

March 30, 2015

“Huntington’s Disease is a hereditary, degenerative neurological disorder that has been called the most devastating disease known to man.”

~Alive  & Well

Maybe our family was unique. Maybe it’s not like this in other families who suffer from this illness.

Maybe not. Now that I’m breathing again, I’m looking around and finding so much. Stories that inspire me and break my heart. All different, yet all the same.

We’ve all watched someone we love be destroyed.

Once a week, if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to share with you some of these stories. Because they need to be told.

We can’t keep our hurt and pain in the dark. There is healing in the telling. There is hope for a cure.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 156 other followers