Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weaknesses and Super Powers

I started to realize a few years back, that our weaknesses and struggles are all part of the bigger plan. How would we be able to build up others if we never had to build up ourselves? Of course, the things that we see as our weaknesses are no fun. The struggles we face can sometimes be so heavy. I think it's clear by now if you've been reading my posts, I truly believe we all have gifts to share. Sometimes, the thing we are meant to share is our struggle, and our pain, so our brothers and sisters can rest in the fact that they are not alone.

When I became pregnant with my first little dude, the prayers started immediately. "Please God, don't let this baby have to fight their own mind. Let this little soul grow into the person they are meant to be without having to face anxiety." Pleading with God on a daily basis to spare my baby from something I have carried my whole life. Some moms-to-be probably focus their prayers more on their little cherub's physical health. I wasn't so concerned about that. I was worried about my baby having to carry the same burden I, and several people in my family, carried...Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In my mind, that was the worse case scenario.

Of course, hindsight is somethin' else isn't it? There could be so many things worse than anxiety disorders. Things that are much harder to overcome. But at the time that is all I saw. My little dude was born healthy and sweet as could be. Looked just like his daddy then, looks a lot like me now. Fast forward 9 years later. I start noticing fear and anxiousness in my little man. My heart turns and squeezes inside of my chest and I feel like I am going to throw up each time. I know what it looks like, and even more, I know what it feels like. I don't want him to feel that! I try to believe that I am only "seeing" it because it is what I fear most. Until it becomes apparent even to his dad. Yep, passed on the good ol' frickin anxiety gene, just as I feared I would. DAMN IT! Damn it God, why did this have to be? Didn't you hear me all these years?

But just as quickly as that dread and grief came upon me, so did my strength. I will fight with him! I will be an example for him. I have done this for almost 40 years. I have been able to get passed most of what anxiety and OCD have to offer. Has it sucked at times? Hell yes! Have I wished all my life I never had to deal with it in the first place? No doubt. There have been times that it took up so much room in my brain, I barely had room for anything else. But I have learned how to make it smaller. It only occupies a little piece of me now. Not nearly as much as the strength I have because of the battle. Not nearly as much as the faith I have in myself. I didn't start working on myself and learning how to handle this until I was 20 years old, and really didn't get the appropriate guidance until about 5 years after that. He is 9. He will learn now. He will not have to fight so hard. He will obtain his tools now, and sharpen them as he grows.

I know in my heart and soul that we are all made the way we are for a reason. I truly believe it. I know that I was meant to be his Mommy for a reason. I know that these "weaknesses" can become our strengths in so many ways. The sensitivities can be hard when you don't look at it in the positive. The superb imagination can be a very scary thing, if you don't see it for the blessing it is. The sharp analytical mind can be tiring, if you don't realize all that it can accomplish for good.

I will remind him always that these are not weaknesses but super powers. He need not be afraid of it. He need only learn how to use his powers for good like Thor or Captain America. For the good of the whole world. He has something inside that will bless others. He is an extremely bright, creative, sensitive soul. He will change this world. I believe it and will help him to believe it too. We can't become who we are meant to be without a little work. A little work and a lot of faith.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Nice Mom, Mean Mom, In Between Mom

Ever stop to ponder, what kind of mom you are? Am I a nice mom or a mean mom? Am I an encourager or dream squisher? Do I yell too much? Do I coddle too much? Am I real with my kids, honest and true? Do I over protect? Maybe I don't worry enough? How do my kids see me? Duh, of course you do dang it. I'm sorry, I know, lame question.

Some days I feel like rock star mom of the year. Nice Mom. Patient, supportive, calm in my discipline, or shall we say, redirection. I encourage their creativity and love of nature. I help to bring to light their strengths and remind them that every one of us has our weaknesses, no one is perfect. I feed them organic snacks and limit their sugar intake. We stay busy, in a healthy, not overly rushed way of course, and we even remember to say our prayers. Sigh, isn't it magical? It can happen ya know? Once in a blue moon, when all the stars align and the winds blows just the right way. And it usually lasts about....oh...a couple of hours tops.

Yesterday, Mean Mom. I caught myself telling, okay shouting, at my oldest little dude to "shut his mouth now - just shut up!" The little and big had been arguing off and on all day, par for the course. It was now bed time, and it was late. I was DONE. And it's summer so sleeping arrangements are all a skew. They are sleeping together in little's room, instead of in their separate quarters. And because of my stupendous rock star mom super parenting skills, I get the privilege of laying between the two of them until they are almost asleep. That way one can play with my hair until he doses and the other can lay horizontally across me, feet nearly touching his brother (God forbid!) Even almost asleep the two were digging at each other. Who's right, who's better, who's a big dumb head, who's a poop butt. The older little dude is often the one to instigate the littlest dude with his words, his tone, and his manipulation. Sets little off into a screaming, fists flying rage, then comes crying to me that his brother is being mean. The day had taken it's toll and before I could hold it back I said it..."SHUT YOUR MOUTH, just shut up! I don't want to hear you!" After I said it everyone quieted down. I slipped out to my bed, and of course felt guilty for lettin' it fly. The psychological damage must be huge! I am a big fat farce of a Mom. No patience, no consistency, just willy nilly, shootin' from the hip.

There must be an In Between Mom somewhere in the middle of this shit right? Not over coddling, but not screaming like a banshee. Just right, like baby bear's porridge. That is where I strive to be. I don't want to be a perfect mom. I don't believe in perfect. But I would love to be consistent, and level headed, an example of self control and positive thinking. I would rather model the appropriate way for us to talk to one another instead of feeding the fire with yelling. I don't want to be a "do as I say not as I do" parent. This mom thing is a big ass job, with so many implications. It's also real life, with real people, real feelings and frustrations, disappointments and dreams. And so, today, as I write, I take a deep breath. Deep into my belly, deep into my soul, and forgive myself for not being the In Between Mom yet. I understand that I will flutter back and forth. I'll have great mom days, and crappy mom days. I'll do things wrong, say things I maybe shouldn't and loose my cool sometimes. I'll be an inspiration, a rock of support, cheerleader and their safe haven too.

I'll be the best me I can be, each day, knowing each day is a different day then yesterday, and tomorrow is a new one. I'll try to give myself and my kids grace. I'll drink my coffee in the morning and my wine before bed and keep putting one foot in front of the other. That can't turn out that bad right?!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Growing Pains

Often my littlest little dude will come to me to let me know he has a growing pain. "My ankle hurts right here Mamma, I think it's a growing pain." I give it a little rub, smooch his sweet face and tell him "Yep babe, growing pains hurt. But that means we're growing and growing is good. It won't last long, and before you know it you'll be stronger."

Growing pains do hurt while they last though don't they? I find, that annoying little growing pain, can become down right excruciating if you try to ignore it. We feel the pain for a reason, and the reason is, it's time for change. My littlest little dude is getting taller by the day. Heavier, thicker, stronger. Stretching into a big boy. He feels it in his ankles and knees. Although we feel aches and pains in our physical being as adults, it is usually due to our bodies getting older, not from actually getting bigger. We feel growing pains in the center of our being, and it hurts worse then any sore joint. It takes our breath away. It makes our minds loose focus and thoughts spin out of control. It hurts inside but you can't really pin point where the pain is coming from, or why you feel it. You want to crawl out of your skin, or sleep until it's over, or run away as fast as you can.

You may have heard, pain changes people. When the pain of remaining who and where you are is great enough, you will either die inside or change. We need not look at pain as a bad thing, as a death sentence. We need not fear the pain. No it doesn't feel good, but keep your focus on what is to come. The poor chubby hairy little caterpillar probably thinks it's dying before the actual metamorphosis. It may be longing to stay the same fearing what it all means. Not knowing what kind of butterfly it will be, not knowing how to fly, wishing it could just stay the way it has always been, even if it isn't a life of health, happiness or fulfillment of purpose, at least it's a life that it understands.

We carry so much around inside of us. Such complicated beings we are. So many contradictions right? From the day we are born into this world we start learning. We start feeling. We start drawing conclusions and choosing a perspective. We start reading other people, gleaming good and bad from the world around us. Sponges, soaking up every bit of it. And rarely getting squeezed out. Just soaking up more and more, it all getting swished around and stagnant inside. The joyful and the sorrowful. The pain of rejection, of not being heard, of being abandoned. The pride of accomplishment. The confusion about what you believe or should believe. The desire to be someone special, and the fear that you never will be. All the wonderful and tragic things inside. There comes a time when you have to get squeezed. To let go and release all of that stuff you've been holding on to. To just come clean. To realize it's time to start anew. You can take a look at the pool at your feet after you've wrung yourself out. Really look at it. Determine which of those things serve you in your next stage of life. Which things build you up, bring you true joy and satisfaction. Which things are part of who you want to be. Keep that stuff. Soak it back in. Notice the other parts too, but just notice them. They served their purpose, the catalyst to growth and change. Some you wish never happened, but it all did. It all happened for a reason. Now it's time to say goodbye to that stuff. It's time to leave it there, in the puddle. Never to be soaked up again. Washed away. Say goodbye.

We were not made to stay the same guys. Remember, the true you, the soul inside the body. It is SO beyond skin and bones. It is SO much more beautiful then you realize. The experiences, the people, the life we live, it is all here to help us become our true selves. Try to remember that when the pain comes.

Grow! Change! Be True! Love you <3

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

All the Damn Doubt

Doubt. Doubt sucks. Doubt drains. Doubt is a dream killer. Doubt can stop us in our tracks. Doubt suppresses your true you...makes you worry that maybe they are not really possible, those dreams you have. That spark you felt, that light that shined so brightly for those few seconds, that changed the way you looked at yourself, at your life, at your possibilities...doubt makes you begin to disregard those, to not trust yourself, what you felt, what you saw.

Doubt if just fear dressed up in a different outfit. We think of fear as this big looming dark presence. Fear makes us shake with fright and anxiety. We FEEL fear, we don't THINK it. Wrong. Fear can take so many forms. Fear likes to dress up in an unexpected disguise and trick you. Doubt is fear. It's is fear of rejection. Fear of weakness. Fear of loss. Fear of change. Doubt kills creativity. It kills adventure and authenticity. It kills connection and intimacy. It makes life boring, and easy and safe. Bleeech! Safe from what? From passion and trueness. From color and light. From doing those things you were put in this world to do that's what! It stops us from being who we are and sharing that super special something that is unique to just us, that is meant to bless.

Before I published my last post, I had a moment of doubt. "Is it good enough?" "Do I sound a little cray cray?" "What will some of my friends think if I say this out loud?" "Is this really what I am supposed to be doing with my thing? I mean there are millions upon millions of really talented and trained bloggers and writers out there, what makes me think I can do this?" "What makes this special to anyone besides me?" Then I clicked "publish". Screw it! Who cares if there are a bazillion other people writing and blogging, that doesn't mean that I can't. Who cares if one or two or a bunch of people read my post and think it's far fetched and makes no sense. There will be someone that reads it that needs to read it. That needs to hear it and feel it, this I am certain of!

It's often easier to see our circumstances for what they are by looking at it from someone else's perspective. What would I say to my Soul Sister if she were denying herself an opportunity to be true to herself, to share her special something and bless the rest of us? What would I say to my little boy if he were being beat up with self doubt, not trying new things or being the best little dude he can be because he were afraid to fail, to look stupid, to be different? I don't think I have to tell you what I'd say....but I will. I'd say, "You are special! You are strong! You have a gift! You can do this. You NEED to do this. I believe in you. You will never know unless you try...and you try with all of your heart and soul! What is the worst that could happen?" The worst that could happen is not doing, not trying, not giving it your best shot. The worst that could happen is you never knowing how awesome it could have been. The worst that could happen is not fulfilling your purpose. The worst that could happen is....nothing. Just nothing. Safe, boring, nothing.

I believe in us! I believe in me. I continue to hold on to hope for this world, for the people who are willing to be real and true. I continue to hold on to hope for the people who are willing to encourage and build up. I rebuke doubt. I refuse to give it power over my dreams and my truth and my heart. I hold on to hope that you will do the same.

Believe in you. Jump! Fly! Dream! <3

Thursday, June 18, 2015

5 Senses and Heart Eyes

Most of us have had at least some sort of weird psychic moment, deja vu, or gut feeling in regards to a situation we just couldn't deny, right? I mean, I know it can't just be me. I'll admit, I have probably had these types of "moments" more often then some folks. I've always held something inside, something kind of different. Something that enables me to "get a vibe" and trust it every time. Some people have said they can see it in me. The intuition, the knowing, the old soul. There have been times it's been undeniable to me as well. And there's been years when I gave it very little attention and almost forgot all about it. For some reason, it's quite evident presently.

I'm not proclaiming to be some kind of clairvoyant, mystic, palm reading yogi here guys (although I am currently LOVING my yoga time). I'm not saying I can see the future, or read your mind. I don't practice magic of any kind and have a faith rooted in the Lord himself. But I think there are certain souls in our midst that are much more sensitive then others. Certain souls that can see other souls disguised by their flesh and bone, for what they truly are. People who can feel things before they happen, or know things inside, that seem out of the blue. People that see with the eyes of their heart not their head.

Now just because you see with your "heart eyes" doesn't necessarily make you a more compassionate, generous or faithful person. Just because your sight comes from a little further down your anatomy then your head, doesn't mean you are blessed with a more loving and understanding heart. God knows most of those traits did not at all come more easily to me than others. As a matter of fact, a few of them took work on my part, to grow them and cultivate them, and still need my purposeful attention at times. But when you see with your "heart eyes" it is a stronger deeper kind of vision. Sometimes it's hard to grasp. Why do I have this feeling? This person or situation or opportunity seem one way, but "the gut" is clearly telling me something else. Something feels weird about this person or this place. Do you follow common sense or do you follow the sixth sense? My motto has always been to "trust the gut".

There are lots of ways you can look at "the gut", "the vibe", "the ju ju".....whatever you wanna call it. Some will call it a gift. Some will call it crazy talk and voodoo. Some will call it the Holy Spirit. Although these knowings are often in response to the presence of something or someone, they can also come as irruptions of inspiration. A sudden burning passion. An instantaneous grand idea that must be acted upon. Like this blog. Like so many other blogs, books, plays, music compositions, paintings, photographs. Like someone's immediate and unstoppable desire to suddenly develop a ministry for people in need. Like someone else waking from a dream in the morning to head out on a mission to save the ocean, or the elephants, or the WORLD. Like someone's desire to run across the country in the name of freedom and self expression. Their "heart eyes" saw something their head eyes didn't, suddenly and so strongly, and now they must move on that vision, that knowing.

I most definitely believe God has blessed us with more than five measly senses. I mean jeez, He breathed this entire universe into existence and we still believe He only gave us (who were made in His image) only five senses? We all have extra senses, gifts, talents, that are unique to us, that the Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us for a reason. We need to embrace them. They were not gifted to us to be dwindle away. We don't positively impact the people or world around us by stifling or quieting ourselves, by ignoring our vibes or our volcanic eruptions of purpose and intention that flowed out of no where. Because they didn't flow out of nowhere. They flowed from the Creator to the soul that He designated to move on his behalf. He gives us intuition. He gives us uncanny knowledge. He gives us sensitivity to the motive of others. He gives us that crazy hair brained idea that popped into your brain in the middle of the night, that is burning in your soul, that will make a difference, big or small, a meaningful difference that is meant to be made.

Go Mamma's, follow your gut and believe in your crazy dream whatever it may be. Trust your vibe and use your "heart eyes".


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Path of Least Resistance

That path! The one of least resistance. The one that is smooth, not bumpy, no pot holes, no strenuous steep hills to climb. You aren't a dirty, sweaty, huffing and puffing mess when you reach the end. It's a nice easy stroll. One in which you breath easy, enjoy the scenery, feel the lovely breeze caress your skin as to keep you perfectly comfortable. "That path!" I scream as I jump up and down with my hands in the air. I'll take that path please! That is the one we want to be on....right? The easy breezy path?

First of all, is there such a path? I mean I'm certain there is a path less taxing than the one I'm on now. One that isn't so dark, dry and dusty. One that isn't straight up hill, with too little sunlight, and no cool breeze. One that allows for nice even deep breaths and even might reward you with the smell of jasmine or honeysuckle. One with beauty no matter which way you look. Oh oh, maybe a little trickling water fall to be discovered when you turn a corner. That path sounds divine doesn't it? But my current path is far from lovely. I'm tired of this damn path. Of it's damn weight. There is something on this path that makes me feel like I'm carrying a very heavy coat which is making the steep incline of the fricken rocky dirt hills even harder to climb. I'm out of water and my mouth is so dry. I'm dirty, tired, and running our of steam. 

One foot in front of the other, I keep trudging along. "I think I can, I think I can". "I am strong, I am fierce, I am not a quitter, I can do this!" Do I believe it? I'm not sure anymore. But I'll keep saying it until I do. I mean what else am I going to do? Stop right here, in the middle of this ugly path and give up? Just lay down and surrender? Let the wild animals come eat me alive? No, even though that doesn't sound half bad, I will not be coyote food. As I near the top of the hill, I see a fork in the road. For better or worse, I can not keep going straight up. I must decide now, which path to take. Right or left? Which is the path of least resistance?" I ask myself. "Which is the path of enlightenment?" "Which way do I turn?" "Which way is the RIGHT way?" "Will one of these paths get me HOME?"

Now I must decide. Oh good Lord how I hate decisions. For as long as I can remember, making a decision has been a very difficult process. Back and forth, the pros and cons, over think, over analyze, all the what ifs and what thens. Once I have a decision actually made though, I'm pretty much a tunnel visioned bullet train. Full steam ahead, going for the gusto, in the least amount of time possible, breaking through any obstacles with a steadfast determination. No looking back. But getting to the decision is flippin agony. There are so many consequences to making a decision, especially if I make the wrong one! This has very often held me back from taking the undiscovered path. There is too much that can go wrong, and if it does go wrong, everyone that is affected by MY bad decision will be hurt. Their pain would be because of ME. My pain, well that is livable. I am strong, I am fierce, I can handle it. But I can't handle hurting them with my bad choice. All of this piled high on my shoulders as I consider the two possible directions ahead. There is no clear indicator as to which way will be easiest on me or on my loved ones, or which one will give me relief from my current gnarly hike. I can't tell just by looking right then left, which one will provide my soul with what it longs for, which one is my destiny, which one is my blessing. There is no rainbow hanging over one turn off and black cloud over the other. I don't have an angel on my shoulder telling me which way to go.

So I stand there, beat down, dirty and out of breath.  I fall to me knees and cry. "God, give me wisdom. God, give me discernment. God put it undeniable on my heart, leaving no room for doubt or over thinking. God give me peace. God let my soul stir and sing and know which way to go. God protect my loved ones so fiercely, hold them so close, and fill them with peace and joy and unfathomable love. God push me down the right path for my feet can't move!"

There is something within me that knows whichever path it is I choose is for a reason. Part of a bigger picture. More than I will ever know. I can think and think and agonize and think, and what is meant to be will be. We are all here with a purpose. We all struggle to find that purpose, to put it to good use, to make it count. We struggle, because without struggle we wouldn't break. We wouldn't fall down and turn our face up to heaven, if it were all easy. We wouldn't be able to be encouragers if we never experienced hurt of our own. We wouldn't look for light in the darkness. We wouldn't need to hold on to hope.

So here I am. Chipped and cracked and breaking to bits. And that is where the light will come in. And that is where my healing will start. And that is where I will mend, stronger, brighter and more beautiful than I ever imagined.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Sandlot

In less than 24 hours the final school bell of the year will ring! My kids are too excited to sleep, envisioning the later bedtimes, more xbox, and all those sleepovers they are convinced will be happening. I am a nervous wreck. School it out people! How did that happen so damn fast?

Summer is my favorite time of year. I am solar powered. I love the sun, the warmth, the beach, the long days and the slower pace. Well, that is what I used to adore about summer. Once you are a working mom and have school aged kids, summer takes on an entirely different feel. PANIC. I'm looking head on into 9 weeks of no school. Of no structure. No plan of attack. Trying to figure out which days they go to camp, which days they stay home, and how to keep my kids from turning into complete Minecraft zombies. Oh good Lord, how I wish I was Elizabeth Montgomery and could just twitch my cute little nose and time travel back to The Sandlot. A place where Mom's really didn't work outside of the home, Dad's all arrived home from work by dinner time, there were no video games or ipads, and kids played outside ALL day. No one had to give them ideas and suggestions on ways to keep themselves busy. No one had to make up games for them or plan park dates. Parents didn't have to negotiate active time vs tech. time. Mom's didn't spend the weeks leading up to summer break creating a "Summer Planning" Pinterest board so they could nail down a daily schedule of creative, fun, and healthy activities for their kids.

I have visions of myself, in a cute little 1960s short outfit, sitting on a multi colored plastic stripped lawn chair, ice tea in hand, reading a book, soaking up the sun. Boys can be heard, but who knows where they really are. Somewhere in the "neighborhood" with the kids from the block. I can hear playful yelling and laughing. Every now and then one of them runs by, sweaty and dirty from head to toe, hiding from the others, because they are playing a game of hide and seek tag for hours. I call them back at lunch time. Not by texting or using a cell phone, but by screaming on the top of my lungs. They sit down on the grass, under the shade of an old tree for 10 minutes and scarf down the bologna and cheese sandwiches cut into triangles that I have so thoughtfully provided, give me a quick rundown of the day so far, and they're back out. This goes on all summer. Days filled with PLAY. Real play, not electronic play. Days void of planning and scheduling. Days that create joyful memories, and real true friendships for years and years to come.

Sigh. I ask myself now, "how can I do THIS life, in THIS time, and make it matter?" "How can I give my kids a Sandlot summer?" Well Mammas, I can't give them a summer like we used to have. That ship sailed a long time ago. Unless I had thought about this about 10 years ago, and moved to the fricken hills with my little family. Away from the new fangled gadgets of this day and age. Away from the dangers of our "big city" neighborhood (which is totally a 'burb'). To a place where all they knew was the sweet little farm animals we raised and the acres and acres of land they had free roam of all day every day. Enjoying a simple life with the handful of friends whose parents also decided to live off the grid. No danger of too many hours of screen time. No danger of them getting snatched up by some perv. on their bike ride a couple of blocks away. Baseball and tag, climbing trees and swimming all summer long. There I go daydreaming again!

So once again I bring myself back. I AM A MAMMA on FIRE. I will not give up on my dreams for myself or my family. I will work with what I have, and make it matter. We don't live in 1960. We live in 2015 (WOW). This is where we are supposed to be. This is the life we are meant to live. I will use it and live it and love it. I will choose joy in THIS time. I will do my best to teach my boys to cultivate joy, find their gifts, make the most of each day NOW. Yes, they will play video games. Yes, they will be bored when they aren't playing video games if I don't make them do other things. No, it isn't as easy as it was 40 or 50 years ago. But, it's OK! We will spend lots of time at the beach. We will hike and bbq outside when I get home from work. They will fill water balloons and play chicken in Grandma's pool with their cousins. They will jump in the trampoline with sprinklers on. We will find balance and enjoy the summer we have. This is our time, here and now, it has it's own blessings. We just need to choose to see them!

See your blessings Mammas,  the here and now blessings. Let's encourage one another to notice all that we have to be grateful for now. The difference we can make now by choosing joy and gratitude and deciding to do this life well. Now is what we have, let it count. <3

Monday, June 8, 2015

Do Good Things She Ra

The closer you get to the long lost girl inside, the closer you are to your soul. That's who she is ya know. Your TRUE you. The more you actually listen to her her, and pay attention to her voice, the more your perspective on things shifts. You remember all of your potential. Not potential in worldly things, your potential to change the world!

You begin to realize every thought and action has consequences, for the good or the harm, of others and yourself. The littlest things, that before seemed inconsequential, like no biggie, kind of are a biggie now. Not in a bad, heavy, burden kind of way. Just a in "wow, I affect everything that I touch in one way or another, and what do I want my hand print to be" kind of way. Just a new awareness about your impact, a new desire to make that impact be a positive healthy one.

One of the biggest challenges for me is how I treat myself. And if I were a betting chick, I would put a couple hundy most of you reading this are the same way. We self sacrifice on a daily basis, an hourly basis, okay....every fricken waking minute usually. We put the health, strength, and happiness of our families before our own. Because if they are healthy and happy, so are we right? Because we are She Ra Princess of Power (yes, I totallllly just aged myself) and don't need as much care and attention as everyone else does. We'll get by on enough sleep, snacking instead of sitting down to eat, mega doses of caffine, and occasional work outs. As long as we stay positive and FOCUSED we are good to go, right?

The little girl inside says, "no way Jose". In order for us to be true to ourselves, and to be a real, meaningful, super duper blessing to the world around us, we must be nurtured too. How can we share our gift if we are exhausted and spent? We can't. How can we contribute to our families well being, encouraging their wellness and growth, when we are running on fumes? We can't.  How can we celebrate this life we've been given, this opportunity to be something special and do good things if we are dragging our feet?  We can't.

I really wanna do good things! I really wanna use this life to make people feel good, and be strong, and be real and be happy. I don't want to let it all go by in a blur of rushed days, too much coffee, not enough sleep, not enough time, not enough experiences or joy. And so, I promise to care for myself. Because to love me is to love you. To care for me is to care for you. To do the things I need to do in this life to stay healthy and strong, is to do those things for you. I can only do good, if I am good.

And so. my sister She Ra's....take care of you. Love you and cherish you. Treat yourself like you do your best friend, sister, children. Coddle yourself a little. Give yourself a pep talk. Nurture yourself and strengthen yourself. If you're in a slump, try something new. Hike and enjoy God's creation, breathe fresh air and notice all of the natural beauty around you. Try yoga or meditate or both. Maybe a new class at the gym or walk with the dogs. Maybe start to take a little time to explore your "I wish I had time for a hobby" hobby like photography or writing or crafting. Start your own blog! Just do what feels good inside and be true to you.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Plank

Warning: This might hurt a little. This might make you uncomfortable or even mad. This might make you realize you've been behaving like a real douche bag. With that being said, I ask you to please continue.

When you think of the word plank, what do you picture in your mind? A pirate walking the plank? An exercise move in which one lays stiffly across some random object as straight as they can? A nice dark velvety smooth piece of wood? Or, like me, do you think of an old weathered dry piece of broken off tree? Jagged, rough, surely to leave splinters if you dare to touch it. Now picture THAT plank in your eye. Stuck in there good. So painful, and ugly, and most definitely making it very hard to see clearly.

Each of us lives with a plank in our eye. Sometimes we live a long time before we even start to notice how uncomfortable it is, how difficult it is to see, how much it hurts. Worse than that, by the time we realize we have that big ugly hunk of wood stuck in our eyeball it's already done a lot of damage. Not damage to you, or your eye, but to all the people that you mistreated while you were so busy noticing their eye splinter. It was really easy to see the wood in their peepers. It was so obvious!  All the ways that they did everything wrong. The way they made life difficult for themselves and others. The way he broke the law. The way they were bad parents. They way she always picked the wrong partner. They way they didn't work hard enough, or drank too much, or were too "friendly". Even with that tree in your eye, it was clear that she couldn't drive and should not be on the road. That he was loud and mean to his wife. That they needed to quit having kids already. Why do they need to act like that? Why does she need to wear things like that? Those poor kids with that mom that drops them at the curb at school instead of walking them to the playground, what a shame.

We are all a bunch of judgey judgey judgersons. Every single person. There is no one person so enlightened that they haven't judged. We are all broken people living in a busted up world. We take out the pain of that reality on each other. We fear what we don't understand and instead of trying to wrap our hearts and minds around why people do the things they do, and just love them, we judge and push away. Not one of us was put on this earth to be the judge and jury of mankind.  Not one! Not one of us is perfect, by a long shot. Everyone one of us has been hurt and has been the reason for someone else's pain, in big ways or in small ways. Most of us probably in small ways, or what we figure are small. But all the little things add up right?  It' all about the little things.

What are the littles learning from us? Do they see the way you look at people? When you roll your eyes at the guy on the corner holding a sign that says he is hungry and God Bless. Do they hear you make comments about certain groups of people that you have deemed less desirable? Do they see you treat people with understanding and love or with impatience, confusion and disgust? Do we want to see our children treat each other with such lack of compassion? Hell to the NO we don't! I don't ever want to see my boys judge some other kid at school based on the way they dress, or the car their parents drive, or the way that boy in class is just different and peculiar and weird.

I am not saying we are all a bunch of a-holes, I promise I'm not. I'm just saying let each one of us look inside of ourselves. To remember every person that you cross paths with, you encounter for a reason. Every single one. Don't you want to leave them feeling accepted? Feeling like someone cares. Wouldn't you like to feel that way? All it has to be is a smile. A knowing glance. Eye contact for goodness sake. Help out that mom in the store with the tantruming toddler. Instead of looking at her and making judgments about her pathetic parenting or the possibility of her kid's health issues, give her the "I know what you are going through Mamma" look. The "keep your chin up" smile. The "I know it's not your fault that little turd is freaking out on you right now" nod. Encourage don't discourage.

Give attention to the plank in your eye, not the speck in your neighbors. Work on you, on your heart. Let's pay attention to the way we treat one another. Let's love one another, differences and all. Let's leave someone feeling better to have known us. Let's bless one another in little but significant ways every day.