You

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Someday

I hope you understand

I was trying my best

I loved you the best I knew how

My intensity must have been

Confusing

Displeasure disappointing

I never meant to be so hard

I wanted to be fun

I don’t know

how.

You I love

Your song

Your laugh

Your tears

Your hurt

Your anger

you.

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Enough?

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I’ve been thinking about writing again. It’s been ages. I now have 5 little people. (Ten years ago I would’ve laughed that off)

So this idea keeps coming to me. I’ve been struggling with self-hate. I’m a few months post-partum and this is usually what happens.

So my oldest and I were in the car talking and she comments how she sees these amazing people who can create robots or machines or code, etc and that she feels she should be interested in that but she’s not. At all. And so I ask her why does she think she’s supposed to want to do those things. “I don’t know isn’t that what smart people do?” And so I proceed to remind her of all the really cool things she can do that she’s interested in and how other people wish they could do what she does.

And this light bulb went off for me. Why are we, as people, always trying to be someone we’re not? Why do we think we’re supposed to be whatever the trend currently is? Right now the trend is STEM. Everybody be an engineer right? But some people are not wired for it. Why aren’t we enough as we are?

And then my thoughts went to Paul in the Bible. Which honestly is pretty surprising because I haven’t been very invested in that for quite some time. Back to Paul. He has this whole “thorn in the flesh” conversation with God and says take it away. I really identify with this. For the first time in my life I can see it. But not for a specific weakness. It’s more my personality, my intensity, my misjudgments, my temper, my nitpicking.

God can’t you please take this? Why am I like this? What is wrong with me? Am I crazy? Am I just wired differently? How am I parenting? Pretty sure it’s terrible.

And do you know what? God said-nope. This is you and I like you. And those things that frustrate you about yourself? Let me be there. You’re enough.

You’re enough. Not too much. Not too little. Enough. This is what I think when I look at my own children. Who they are is enough. Do they make mistakes? Yes. Do they have flaws? Yes. But so what. They are also wonderful, kind, funny, etc. and they’re growing, in process. So why not give myself the same grace? Why be so demanding? Why expect perfection? Why assume that I’m doing it all wrong? I’m not. In my mind for as long as I can remember, whether self-imposes or not, there was never any room for failure. But failure is important, it’s how we learn.

I should tie this all up, wrap it into a neat conclusion. But I don’t have one. I’m just going to sit and think about this novel concept to my brain. I am enough. And where I lack-there is God. And I am ok.

Positive

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This turn into a new year has been an interesting one for me. Normally, I’m in the middle of things choosing my “word” and vowing to eat a bit better and exercise more. But this year….no. None of that. I’ve come to the conclusion that what I really need to do is BE. Be who I am, be present with my children, be kind to myself, be with my husband, be my honest self with the people around me. I am enough as is. I don’t need to work on some new and improved version of myself. I can rest. I can relax and I can enjoy being who I am.
Truly, I’ve got plenty going on without adding marathon training, detoxing, challenges, etc to the mix. I’m getting ready to have my 4th child. I’ve decided that’s enough right there. Ha!
One thing I’m trying out was spurred by 2 incidents. One-my friend told me a few years back that she had come across her mother’s journal from 7th or 8th grade and how funny it was to read her thoughts. The other incident was getting a book for Christmas by a favorite author that was essentially a journal of her son’s first year-her first year as a mother. First, I cannot fathom my children ever reading some of my journals. That is stormy territory, reserved for my most brutally honest self-reflection and emotional upset. Second, I hated that book I got. It was awful. It was angry. It was depressing. I became very snappy and bitchy after reading for 2 days. My husband and children wondered what was wrong with me. So, this one thing I’m trying-writing in a brand new journal all of the positives, all of the good. I don’t want to fill it with frustrated, whiny, emotional junk. I want my children to be able to read it in 20 years and know how much I adored them and not be mortified that they’re reading it. I’ve realized that I’m at a place where I can continue to use journal writing as therapuetic, but in a positive format. I’m actually looking forward to it. it’s been a good couple of days. Reflecting on the good of the day, even if it’s just a couple lines.
So, there you have it-I’m going to be and I’m writing about positives. (Because otherwise I’d be writing every day about how much I hate heartburn and food)

So I finally read Harry Potter…

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So the thing is, if I tried to explain to you my upbringing and why it prevented me from reading this amazing series, it would take far too long. Plus, it’s not that interesting. Suffice it to say that anything having to do with magic, that wasn’t overtly Christian in theme, was off-limits.

About 2 months ago I just felt this need to read all things Harry Potter. It wouldn’t go away. Then I was faced with unexpected grief and just knew it was time. I checked them out from my library. People-I read for about 10 straight days and finished the whole thing! Obviously the housework suffered but has now recovered. If you’re like me and have avoided these books for the last 18ish years…..just do it, check them out and start reading. It has been worth it more than I know how to say. For all of you that have read them, loved them and read them over many times-I get it now.

They are brilliant. I was swept up in imagination in a way that hasn’t happened in I don’t even know how long. It was captivating and heartbreaking and thoroughly entertaining, while laying out profound truths. Rowling is incredible, really and truly. The way she brought this all to life with a pen commands my respect (and awe). My biggest takeaway…..that who you become really is the culmination of your choices no matter your start.

I’m going to start reading them to my daughter. She just watched all of the movies with me but I really can’t wait to see how much she enjoys the depth of the books. The films are good but don’t possess quite the same power as the books. As it is, she’s still captivated by the story and has been making wands. Yay for hot glue, paint and chopsticks.

finish line

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Oh my gosh! School is almost out. We homeschool and I am so happy to not have to think about any type of instruction for the next few months. This is our second year and it’s better than last year. But I have this nagging feeling it could be better or that maybe I’m doing it wrong. We started out with an online public charter school-learning fund anyone? But the added pressure of being ready for state testing and assessment every quarter was too much. This year we did it again and added a once/week homeschool co-op. Because I am a glutton for punishment and need to bite off more than I can actually handle. So I’m looking forward to a break and next year. Because next year we aren’t doing the online thing and we aren’t doing any extra groups. Thank you Jesus. They will be busy doing violin and aerial silks to help them be around other kids. I am also going to lazily start my 4 year old in Oak Meadow preK. Just to help keep her entertained since her favorite playmate is starting full-time preK in the fall and they won’t see each other as much.

Believing the best

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I have this daughter. She is the most loving person I know. She insists on loving people, on believing the best about them. Even when they hurt her, she is quick to forgive, quick to want to give the benefit of the doubt. I’m learning a lot from her. What I find intriguing is that she is not like this to a fault. She is no doormat and she is learning to stand up for herself. I watch her and am fascinated by the way she will set aside her own preference to allow another to have theirs. I used to think this sort of thing was a weakness. I used to see it as a bad character trait-a pushover. But in truth, she is not a pushover. She has her priorities in line. She knows it’s better to love, to give, to help, to share. She knows that a mistake is just that. It’s a mistake and not the truth of a person, their heart.

I, on the other hand, am the complete opposite. In meeting people, I am simply waiting for the novelty to wear off, for people to show their true selves. And a mistake is the first sign of “Oh I see-this is the real you.” I am not generally disposed to seeing the best in others, to loving despite injury. It’s takes a lot of effort to not write people off. There is this one person who, through repeated injury, I had basically put in a box with a “crazy, do not trust label.” But recently I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I see much more good. There’s a generosity and overall good-natured quality that exists. So, I’m learning to be willing to hold off judgement, to trust God with my heart so that I can love more freely. My daughter is a walking example. We help each other that way-I help her not get taken in and she helps me see the true, the good. 

Writing and thoughts

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I just want to write. I have been reading Glennon Melton and Anne Lamott and Brene Brown lately. There are all of these thoughts, musings, wonderings swirling around in my brain that I need to get onto paper….well, the screen I guess. It’s not really paper anymore is it? I digress. There is this creative urge to make something of value-even if it’s only to me. Something that says-Yes! I made that. I wrote that. Here is a part of me. For the time being I will just do it-even if it means I’m writing for 5 minutes a day. Just to do it.

At the moment, Anne Lamott is my new favorite. I went to see her in public once. I hadn’t read a thing she’d written, but my best friend insisted we go because Anne is amazing. So, I went having no idea what to expect. I laugh now. She was passing out anti-Bush number stickers. And I really don’t remember anything else. That was over 10 years ago. For Christmas this year I received 2 of her books. Small Victories and Help, Thanks, Wow. I have been missing out. The latter book perfectly captures how I’ve been feeling about prayer since having children. I don’t have much more than those 3 words, but they succinctly capture what I’m trying to say. The first book-Small Victories-has me thinking a lot.