Monthly Archives: July 2015

Dreams

IMG_1546Today, my husband, J, told me about his many dreams: to live in a place with no neighbors where he could step out the back door and fish. He asked me about mine. And I had nothing. Then he asked me what I liked to do. And it’s like my brain went stagnant. (To be honest, they first thing I came up was “drink wine.” Ha!) I realized I always had the to-do list in my mind, causing my dreams to get pushed to the back and I couldn’t come up with them on the spot! I had very practical dreams: save enough money now to not be penniless and dependent on anyone else (my Republican father would be so proud) in retirement years. I started to feel depressed that this was all my dream was! But then J reminded me that it’s a great dream for our family! And he told me another dream: that Baby O would grow up to be a good man. Well, if that isn’t some perspective for a woman trying to come up with some adventurous dreams! Simplicity is so much more impactful.

So, Lord, today I pray for all of us with dreams. May we recognize our dreams don’t have to be some elaborate way of living, adventurous travels, or what have you. But may we enjoy a little time dreaming about the future and what you have in store for us – even if we don’t even know what it might be.

What are your dreams, y’all? And to add some practicality: are they far-fetched or are you doing actual things that can get you there?

P.S. This photo is of J and I celebrating 5 years of marriage. We enjoyed an evening talking about our past successes and dreaming of the future.

Gratefulness

IMG_1353Once a month,  J and I get out all the receipts from items we’ve bought over the past month and check to be sure there are no “surprise” expenses in our online banking account transactions list. Today was such a day. And after we realized we paid Baby O’s birthing hospital bill IN FULL (hallelujah!), bought a new camera (fun! especially for taking video of Baby O), as well as a new dishwasher (not so fun; ours was leaking water and a new one was necessary and bought within 20 minutes of walking into Lowe’s), we got a little depressed. How are we ever supposed to get ahead when the major expenses take place? Then it hit me. We are so dang blessed! We have a healthy family, a comfortable home, all the food I could ever want (did I mention J made a brand new recipe: he roasted spaghetti squash, then mixed it with fresh veggies, feta, and spaghetti noodles for a crazy yummy dish!). How blessed am I that I can buy a new dishwasher when ours went ka-poot, or we have such great insurance that the hospital bill wasn’t the worst amount I can imagine that kid costing us (hello, college education in 18 years!). I have to stop being so negative when everything is clearly so good in my world.

Lord, thank you for taking care of us – that all our basic needs and beyond are met. Would you help my perspective to be more grateful? And to share that gratefulness with others, so they can see the something different in my life is my blessings that come from you.

How do you keep a perspective of gratefulness when it can be so easy to see all the things gone wrong?

Bad Mama?

IMG_1589“Holla” if you feel guilty a few times day and wonder if you are a “bad mama.” Because you didn’t spend enough one-on-one time with your kid? Because you stopped nursing when your supply dropped? Because you let your kids scream for 15 minutes in the middle of the night ‘til he cried himself back to sleep? You’re old enough to sleep through the night, kid, so do it! (I have no shame sharing these, obviously.) So why do I feel this way? I consider it a success for J when I come home to a baby who is still alive. (He’s a very good dad and this should not be construed as a lack of his abilities. His and my standards are much higher, but still, survival is the first desired outcome.) But why do I tear myself down for things I don’t have much control over? I work full-time, I can’t control my milk supply (mostly), and we have all got to sleep (seriously, child, STOP CRYING!).

I know, I know. I put too high of expectations on myself – and others, for that matter. But how can I stop feeling that way? How did I honestly chill out about not being perfect all the time?

Last weekend, we attended church with my in-laws in their town. It totally messed up O’s nap schedule. When we got home, I tried to put him in the crib, but when I checked on him after 15 minutes had gone by, his was on his knees, gnawing on the side rails. (Which, by the way, is ridic cute AND hilarious!) I took him out and went onto the big bed and let him nurse. Eyes started to roll back in his head. He was feeling very sleepy…but when the milk ran out, the kid was up again! So I laid us down side-by-side, and I gave him a kiss, yawned a couple times, then closed my eyes. I waited about two minutes before I opened them again. The kid was staring at me with a sweet smile on his face.  (Not the, “You fool. Just fall asleep and see what havoc I will wreck.” or the, “You think you’re getting me to sleep? Think again, mommy!”) No, this was a cute smile. A smile that seemed to say, “I love you mommy, and I’m so glad we’re having this cuddle time.” Melt.My.Heart. (And I don’t melt often, y’all. It’s a downside of being a hardcore Martha. Less feelings and stuff.) So I closed my eyes again with a few more yawns and waited him out. I felt his fingers check out my nose and he did get a good hair pull in (lil stinker), and after another 3 minutes, I opened my eyes to see his big eyes and that same sweet smile. So…commence kissing fest. I’m not even mad you’re not asleep, kid! I just love you so much!! Ok, ok, no more of that! It is time to sleep! Last shot, I close my eyes and wait. Wait a LOOONG time. And when I open them again? The kid’s out. Success! And, oh so good to experience. I laid there for 20 more minutes before I snuck out of the room. But this was a moment to remember. It’s been a week since that happened, and I’m still on cloud nine, remembering this time of connection with my little human. That one moment reminded me of what matters. O wants me for me, and in the midst of the messy of him not going to sleep, he showed me I’m a good mama.

Lord, help me to chill out. Nothing’s perfect. Not even the next hour. Help me to enjoy the messiness and recognize when something really amazing is happening. Help me to then dwell on that, instead of everything that didn’t go well – at least in my mind.

What tips do you have to avoid “bad mama” syndrome? What amazing moments helped you to remember what a good mama you are?

Bucket List

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Have you made a bucket list? A list of things you want to accomplish before you die? I’m publishing mine (in progress – I add stuff to it often) and encourage you to do the same. This list totally speaks to my desire of accomplishing things on “the list,” but in a healthy long-term way. And they are fun things, in line with enjoying life (and not cleaning toilets). And I’m ok with just the list for now. I like considering what great adventures I have yet to experience. So here’s my always-in-progress bucket list! (And seriously, J, I hope you’re reading this post because the birthday/Christmas/anniversary gift ideas here are oozing).

Personal:

  1. Author a blog – YES!! Success!
  2. Have someone say to me, “You’ve changed my life.”
  3. Author a yoga devotional
  4. Write letters to friends and family to read after I’ve passed, sharing their significance in my life
  5. Heal a broken relationship

Skills:

  1. Play the piano well
  2. Tie a variety of knots on command (my inner Girl Scout is starting to shine)
  3. Be an expert in constellations – finding them in the night sky and knowing their stories
  4. Write and publish a song of a favorite Bible verse

Experiences:

  1. Country dance in a truck bed under a starry night in the dark country
  2. Play in the rain with my family
  3. Have a home dance party with my family (this will be easy once O can keep himself vertical)
  4. Plant a tree and watch it grow (our yard needs about a dozen trees, so I’m now taking cash contributions)
  5. Fly a kite with my family (again, grow up, O! But not too fast)
  6. Plan an over-the-top picnic celebration with friends and family, complete with yard games and the food recipes you see on Pinterest that are ridiculously cute but too time consuming for any human to accomplish in real life
  7. Go paragliding
  8. Fly in a hot air balloon

Travel

  1. Go on a romantic get-away with my husband (somewhere outside the US!)
  2. Go an an African safari
  3. Trek the Inca Trail in Peru
  4. Go ice skating in Central Park at Christmas (‘cause that’s what all the movies do)
  5. Lay on a beach overlooking the ocean – all day long (I’m in Nebraska, so this is a bit harder than it may be for some of you)

Lord, thank you for giving this life to live so many experiences. I pray I wouldn’t be overwhelmed by this list, but that I would feel unburdened by the many adventures I have yet to experience. Help make these experiences possible, and I pray I would recognize your presence alongside me when I’m enjoying them.

What’s on your list?

Where’s the Beef?

kristinToday my husband showed me a blog he found on Facebook about a woman who went “postal” on her husband after he came home with the wrong kind of hamburger – 70/30 instead of her preferred 80/20. She yelled at him for not knowing what kind of meat she buys every week. And kept yelling about how he can’t do anything right – ever. Then she started to find out that he was hiding mistakes: his own socks in the trash, blue instead of white. She asked him why and he said he accidentally mixed colors in the wash and hid the mistake so he wouldn’t get yelled at. Wow. Talk about a mirror into the way I speak to my husband way too often.

When I get too involved with the list of projects to tackle, I get off course with what God desires in my life: to grow in relationship with others and Him. And worse, I hurt those people I am in relationship with. Jesus spent his time on earth meeting the needs of people. And He wants me to do the same!

Lord, it’s so hard when I hurt the people closest to me. Help me to be more Christlike by following Jesus’ example to put relationships over things.

Have you hurt a relationship by going “postal” over something that really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things? What insights did you gain from the experience?