To Be Continued

20 Mar

So hear’s the thing…I am a sh**y blogger.  I mean, I enjoy writing, I love reading, if led I comment, and by night I am becoming a professional pinner.  But, the timing and consistency of my posts is completely unreliable!   The truth is, each time I sit to write I feel like I am drawn to other priorities.  Priorities I love…

Memory making with my three sweets.  I have treasured our nature hikes, like the one below.  My youngest snuggled close as I snapped away at my older two munchkins.  There have been other fun times, like afternoon baking, teaching my three-year old to ride a bike, painting, block building, and car races. I suppose I could have blocked out evenings, but stolen moments with my love, shared stories and glasses of wine with girlfriends, and even precious moments of solitude have been more fulfilling.

I lost a sweet friend this week.  She died during childbirth.  I will miss her dearly.  Her passing was a reminder for me to savor time with loved ones.

The blank canvas of an unwritten post is an opportunity for creativity but it does little for my soul.

And, as a perfect, unplanned example, I just sat to write this little ditty and my handsome devil of a son just asked me to play.  So, I am off again!

Little Blog, thou shalt have to wait patient!

To be continued…

Image

Don’t Should All Over Yourself

18 Feb
SuperMom

SuperMom

This week I had the awesome privilege of catching up with a former co-worker.  During our conversation, she expressed a desire to stay home with her children and an overwhelming sense of discouragement, convinced that full-time employment prevented her from being the mom she longed to be.

I understand.  Up until Baby #3 I worked full-time.

I understand having to rely on others for help, the pressures of finding an amazing (affordable + trustworthy) nanny, and a full-day, loving preschool.  I understand the guilt that accompanies a sunrise drop off and a sun set pick up.  And, in the same breath, I realize how fortunate we are that I can stay home with the kiddos.

It is a blessing.

I love it

…don’t get me wrong.

But, to be honest, when I was working outside of the home, I envisioned “stay-at-home life” as days filled with friends and their kids, manicures and pedicures, flowers, rainbows and such.  Somehow the ideas of constant entertainment, teaching and rearing, sibling rivalry, laundry, chores, and days filled with adolescent interaction were not as exhausting as they most definitely are!

I used to feel guilty for leaving my child.  Now, I feel guilty for wanting to leave.

It’s important to remember that leaving and staying are two very drastic ends of a spectrum.  As mothers, we need a sense of balance!  Day in and day out I have to remind myself that I am a Woman, I am a Wife, and I am a Mama.  Each of these roles requires nurturing and respect.

Each day I must deliberately ask myself:

How am I appreciating myself as a woman?  Am I taking care of my body (emotionally, spiritually, physically)?  Am I exercising? Eating right?  Cultivating relationships?

Am I  a good wife?  Am I meeting my husband’s needs?  Physically?  Emotionally?  Dutifully (Yes, I said that!)?  Is my man confident he is valued, respected, loved, and appreciated?

How am I doing as a Mama?  Do my kids wake up every morning confident they are loved?  Do my kids crawl into bed each night assured they are special, irreplaceable, treasured?  Do I respect their personalities, encourage their strengths, and challenge their weaknesses?

Life is overwhelming.

On any given day I am happy to self talk about all the things I should have done better; about all the things I should not have done; about all the ways I should have reacted.

Enough.

I cannot should all over myself!  Don’t should all over yourself!

Take each day hour by hour.  Some hours are better than others!  Cover yourself with grace.  YOU ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB!!! And, if you royally suck one hour, make the next hour twice as good.

Pick yourself up and move on.

Ultimately, we need to support, love, and encourage one another towards greatness.

What a privilege it is to work both inside and outside the home.  One works to provide shelter and one works to cultivate it, both work out of love for those they love.

Enjoy Yourself.

Blessings

8 Feb
Blessings

Blessings

Yesterday.
Wake Up.
Throw my feet over the side of the bed.
Move to stand.
Can’t stand.
Stomach cramps.
Hunch over.
Go to bathroom.
Can’t go to bathroom.
Shuffle to couch.
Cry.

Thankfully I woke up before Brett left for work.  He called  his Batallion Chief and took the day off work.

Me…well,I headed to the Emergency Room.

Ultrasound.  CT Scan.  Pelvic.  Blood Work.  Lab Work.  Every report clear.  I am a clean bill of health.  After 8 hours of hard ER time, I was released with Vicodin and an a recommended Laxative.  What just happened?

I shuffled out of the ER as I shuffled in, in pain, in the dark.

Home. Hug from the family. Bed.

Today.
Wake Up.
Throw my feet over the side of the bed.
Move to stand.
Stand.
Less severe, localized pain.
Back to doctor.
Antibiotics prescribed.
Cause: ovarian infection.

As much as I felt out of control and as much as I lacked answers and energy, I was inexplicably thankful!

Allow me…

1) Thankful my husband has a job where he can call and (honestly) take the day off work.
2) Thankful to have insurance to go to the hospital.
3) Thankful I made it to the ER early, which allowed me to miss a three-hour wait.
4) Thankful for tests, which eliminated serious illness or injury.
5) Thankful for an amazing team of nurses and doctors who worked diligently to locate a problem.
6) Thankful for a family that takes care of me and loves me.
7) Thankful for a warm bed where I can rest my head.
8) Thankful for a heater on a chilly night.
9) Thankful today for a last-minute opening with my Primary Care physician, eliminating the need for Urgent Care, leading to personal attention and diagnosis.
10) Thankful for Dr’s advice:  When I asked my doctor (40 years of practice, married 50 years, 4 daughters and 2 sons of his own)  if the antibiotics were safe for breastfeeding, my doctor, with his thick accent replied, “Clean breastfeeding with no drugs is next best thing for baby.   You know what first best thing for baby is? A healthy Mommy.  I give you antibiotics.  They may give baby gas.  He be okay.”
11) Thankful for Dr’s humor:  “Would you like me to make a sign for you to wear for your husband?  It read Out of Commission One Week.”

These past two days, nothing went as planned.  Even still, those things MOST important were addressed.  How do I know?  My husband took care of business.  The kids are happy, healthy, and loved.  Mama’s on the road to recovery.

And even when things were in complete disarray, there was still so much for which to be thankful!

I want to share the lyrics to a song by Laura Story.  I first heard this song as I drove to the ER yesterday.  Again today, I heard the song as I drove to my follow up appointment.

Coincidence?  Maybe?  But, I’d like to think God is much more intentional.

Blessings
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

…Lovely sentiment!

Enjoy Yourself.

 

The J Word

2 Feb

We are almost done with probation.  I say “we” because of that fact that although Brett is the Firefighter, I am the Woman who must endure his stress, study time, and crazy schedule.  Although February 17th will not bring an end to bumps and hiccups, it will bring the certainty of a long career and dream long sought after. The past two weeks have brought additional shifts, study groups, manipulative tests, and many fire practical exams.   Translation: many days and hours without my man and lots of long hours with three kids five and under.  I’m not looking for a pat on the back here, many women endure the life of a Fire Wife, an Army Wife, as a Single Parent.  But, it is the reason I have been MIA.

Ultimately, being a wife and a mother are two of my primary roles so I know I have made the best choice prioritizing those jobs above writing.

Throughout this year of probation, I have been forced to look at each day as a gift, a blank canvas full of possibility.  And, in my life, each day includes three priorities:

(a) My relationship with Jesus; spending time with My Savior; gaining a fresh perspective; Daily Bread; sitting at the feel of Jesus
(b) Being a Wife; making my house a home for the man I love, the man who works  hard to provide for our family, in words and actions taking the time to love him more each day
(c) Being a Mom; allowing time for interruptions, being available, playing, listening, being patient, creating, teaching, loving

These priorities are my Purpose.  These priorities have  caused me to slow down, live intentionally, create, reflect, breathe, and ENJOY myself.

I love to write and I truly believe I have something to say.  But, I lack focus and direction.  My priorities offer a clear mission and the purpose of Mighty Sweet Mama, “to be a better woman, wife and mama,” is reflective of that mission.  But, what I’ve been missing is the number one factor: “Jesus.”

Jesus makes me a better Woman, Wife ,and Mother.  Period.

And…let it be known…My voice and thoughts about Jesus may be offensive to some.  Although I aim for propriety, I am 100% comfortable with the fact that the Lord gave me a heart for those who do not seek Him, which means I might offend of a couple of y’all on this journey.  Please forgive me.

That being said, there are a couple of things y’all should know about my relationship with Jesus…

Gladys Hardy Quote

Gladys Hardy Quote

Jesus Loves Me

Enjoy YOurself

Elle Magazine Book Reviews

18 Jan

I am an Eager Reader for Elle Magazine.

Throughout the year I have the privilege of reading a handful of nonfictional proofs, ranking them in order of preference and writing a 50 word (approx.) review for each manuscript.  My reviews appear at Elle Magazine online.  I feel really cool about myself when they do!  I know it’s not a “real” book review, but I take it seriously, like I’m writing for Publisher’s Weekly or the New York Times.  Here is my most recent submission, minus my book reviews, as it was sent to the panel.  I will highlight the reviews once published.

If you have the time, read each and every one of these books.  They are remarkable!!

My submission to Elle Magazine:

1) Lindsey

2) Rank

1) Making Babies, Anne Enright
1) By the Iowa Sea, Joe Blair
1) Some Assembly Required, Anne Lamott with Sam Lamott

I know I ranked them all as #1, but at least there is an order.  Haha!  Does that still count?  I loved each book, each voice, and the life-transforming act that is childbearing /child rearing from three perspectives: Father.  Mother.  Grandparent. The need for balance resonates from each perspective. I will feel better if I rank them in order of greatest surprise, but consider it a rank of Favorites if you prefer.

Without a doubt I knew I would adore Making Babies and Some Assembly Required.  I love Anne Enright’s dry Irish humor.  Her unbiased, unsentimental tone and raw revelations spoke to my soul.  I found myself laughing out loud and reliving the peaks and pangs of motherhood.  And Anne Lamott, her ability to speak blatantly, to “say it like it is,” and draw a spiritual meaning from each and every occurrence, makes for an intense and touching journey through “grandparenthood.”  But, my greatest surprise vote goes to Joe Blair, author of By the Iowa Sea. I read this book first, certain I would enjoy it the least.  Instead, the conversational writing and honesty of a father’s journey blew me away.  Blair’s memoir reveals a man who struggles to recapture his dreams and reignite passion with his wife, while performing everyday routines and learning to interact with this three “normal” children and one autistic son.

3) Official Reviews…should appear mid March at Elle Magazine.

Happy Reading.

Enjoy Yourself.

Making Babies, Stumbling into Motherhood

Making Babies, Stumbling into Motherhood

By the Iowa Sea, A Memoir of Disaster and Love

By the Iowa Sea, A Memoir of Disaster and Love

Some Assembly Required, A Journal of My Son's First Son

Some Assembly Required, A Journal of My Son's First Son


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