Mommy Moments

16 Jul

Most of the moms I know are busy. We are trying to get about 50 hours of stuff done in 24 hours. I don’t know about you but I strive to be organized. I feel like I work hard. I feel like I have my priorities in order most days. But do you ever have days or weeks where the plans you had in your head for how the week would go just don’t happen? Don’t fret, you are not alone. If you scroll through my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feeds, yes I may have a social media problem, you will find a beautiful little girl all smiles in adorable outfits. The only pictures of my house are ones where it is clean. There are no dog nose prints on the glass doors, no dog hair covering the couch, the floors, oh let’s face it, on most days dog hair covers everything in my house. The dishes are not only washed but also put away. But I am going to let you in on a secret. Even my life doesn’t look like that everyday. And guess what? I don’t always pack a Pinterest worthy lunch for my daughter.

I am going to let you in on some of my best #mommymoments from this week. It started Monday morning. I always picture a new week starting off with a clean slate. This is my week. I will conquer! I am #supermom. This usually lasts about 7 1/2 minutes.

My super hero shirt

My super hero shirt

On this particular Monday morning, my daughter was sitting at the bar eating breakfast watching her iPad. I know #momfail #1. Shouldn’t I be playing classical music in the background and talking about things that will mentally stimulate her 9-year-old brain? But I digress. So as she ate breakfast I was packing her lunch for camp. I went to the pantry,  pulled out the bread and realized we only had one slice left. This lonely piece of bread along with the one slice of cheese and two slices of ham in the fridge would have to make her sandwich. I thought, at least she is watching her iPad so I can sneak her pitiful sandwich into her lunchbox and she won’t find out until she opens it at lunch. Am I awful? But no such luck. I hear her say, “Mom, why are you only using 1 slice of bread?” To which I replied, “You have not been eating a whole sandwich the last few days so we will try half a sandwich today.” Moms have to be quick on our feet. Now I know what some of you are thinking, you just lied to your kid. But I think this is one of those gray areas for us moms. Who’s with me?

Tuesday was actually pretty uneventful. So uneventful in fact,  that instead of finishing the dishes and doing laundry I decided it was a great night to go to the neighborhood pool with the family, eat ice cream and watch NetFlix. It wasn’t until 10 minutes before we were supposed to leave on Wednesday morning that I discovered the error of my ways. I told Reagan to get her camp shirt, the one she is required to wear, out of the dryer. I guess in my mind I did the laundry. When I came upstairs she wasn’t dressed. I asked her, “Why aren’t you dressed?” To which she replied, “My shirt isn’t in the dryer.” I looked at the pile of laundry on the guest bedroom bed. The laundry that was clean but that still needed to be folded and put away. We began to dig through it. No camp shirt. I ran back to the laundry room and began going through the piles of laundry that were on the floor instead of in the basket. I found one of the two camp shirts we were provided with. I smelled it. It wasn’t awful. I grabbed a dryer sheet and threw it along with the dirty camp shirt into the dryer. In the meantime we brushed teeth and did hair. I grabbed the sort of clean smelling shirt out of the dryer and off we went.

The dishes that were left undone!

The dishes that were left undone!

Today I could beat myself up because I had some #mommoments that weren’t Facebook status worthy and I didn’t do the things that needed to be done. But the bottom line is, my child didn’t go hungry. She went to camp fully dressed. We had a nice relaxing evening the other night. And while I still need to buy bread and finish the dishes and the laundry is still piled on the laundry room floor,  I can say that while my life might not be perfect it works for us. I am learning to embrace my life, flaws and all. I am a #perfectlyflawed mother and that is o.k. Some days the house is really organized and clean. Some days I cook a really nice meal. Some days we eat frozen pizza. Some days we dress cute and some days we just get dressed. And some days we don’t even get dressed. I love a day at home in pjs. Some days I get up early and go for a  run before work and some days I decide my body wants sleep. Some days I eat healthy foods and don’t drink Diet Coke. Other days I down a 44 ounce Diet Cherry Coke and eat junk. I am striving for balance. I am trying to eliminate perfect from my vocabulary. I tell my daughter when she is practicing the piano, gymnastics or working on school stuff that practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes progress and #imperfectprogress is still progress and that is what we strive for.

My 44 ounce Diet Cherry Coke

My 44 ounce Diet Cherry Coke

I would love to hear about your #mommymoments from the last week. Let’s be moms who let go of perfection and share how we are making #imperfectprogress. We need each other. I love what Ann Voskamp says:

ann voskamp for my blog

Let’s be Key Women!

Jesus, I ask that you help each one of us to remember that while you are perfect we are imperfect humans. Help us to not let our imperfections make us lazy or complacent. Help us to strive to be our best selves but to realize that we do not have to live up to impossible standards. Help us to be free from the voices that tell us we are not enough, that we have failed if our homes do not look like a magazine cover. Help us to realize that we are created in your image and that reflecting your love, mercy and grace to our families, friends, the world and to ourselves is the most important thing. Help us to make progress in the areas where we are struggling and help us to not be discouraged by #imperfectprogress. Help us to be the women and mothers that you have called us to be not the ones the world tells us we need to be. Thank you for the ones you have blessed us with. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Exploding Milk, Dog Pee and Missed Buses

4 Mar

Do you ever have mornings you wish you could just do-over? I have had a few just in the past couple of weeks. One morning everyone in my family was running late. So not normal for our family, O.K. this is pretty much every morning. But this particular morning things went downhill fast. Before we even made it downstairs to get Reagan’s coat we saw her bus go by our house. So we missed the bus. Then as I ran down the stairs I ran right into a puddle on the carpet. A puddle of what? A puddle of dog pee. So now am I not only late but I have a pee soaked sock. My hubby was able to take Reagan to school so when they left I decided it was time to tackle cleaning up the puddle. It was only after I finished cleaning up the mess that I realized that I had used the hard wood floor cleaner on the carpet.
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The carpet survived and Reagan made it to school on time. Then just a few mornings later the temperature had dropped very low. We get our milk delivered from Oberweiss and it comes in glass containers. They had called to let us know that the delivery man would be ringing the door bell when he dropped the milk off this week because they were afraid the milk would freeze. I expected to be jolted out of my slumber at 4:00a.m. so I was surprised when I woke up at 6:30a.m. My hubby went downstairs as I lingered under the covers. I heard a very loud crash. Then I heard his voice saying he needed my help. I walked down the stairs and there was glass and milk splattered everywhere. Either we didn’t hear the doorbell or our delivery man forgot to ring it. Abraham said as soon as he brought the milk in it just exploded in his hand. Then he slipped and fell which is awful but the mental image still makes me laugh a bit. I know, I am awful. So he is bleeding and I am trying to wipe up half-frozen milk and the dog is trying to lick it up and I am trying to keep him away so that he doesn’t accidentally eat glass. I had to mop the floor twice that morning before work. And this happened on a Monday morning. It is days like these that I just want a do-over.

The guilty party!

The guilty party!

Unfortunately,  we can’t go back and repeat the moments that have already passed. So what can we do? Well,  I am comforted by the words found in, Lamentations 3:22-23, “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Isn’t it nice to know that each morning we get new mercy? I am encouraged by 2 Corinthians 4:16, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” Believe me on some days my outer self feels like it is wasting away. I just want to throw in the towel. Because life throws more at us than spilled milk and dog pee. This life can be really brutal. But it is also beautiful. And as one of my favorite bloggers, Glennon Doyle Melton says, life is brutiful. But because of the power of the Holy Spirit and because of God’s relentless love for us we can make it through the darkest moments. We can trust that in the end it will all work out because His word tells us in, Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Our future is secure in Him. His love never fails. His mercy endures forever and His goodness and mercy are following us all the days of our life.

He is with us in every moment. The moments we want to forget. The days that are filled with mistakes and missteps. The days that feel too hard to endure. He is with us. He is loving us. He is patient with us. Rejoice in that today even if it has been one of the days you want to forget.

Prayer for the days we want to do-over:
Lord, there are days when I really just want to start over. Things don’t go as planned. I am faced with struggles and battles that I don’t feel like I can handle. Help me to remember that even if those struggle and battles are due to things that I have done and choices that I have made, you are still with me. You still love me and you give me forever chances. Help me to remember that everyday is a day you have made and help me to find the reason to rejoice in it. Help me to remember that you see me and you won’t abandon me in my time of trouble. I trust in that. I trust in you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

It’s a New Day

23 Jan

How is it that there is only one more Friday in January? Resolutions have been made. Goals have been set. Resolutions have been broken and goals have been abandoned. It is at this point every year when us well-intentioned folks are already feeling like failures because we have already slipped up on the 335 resolutions we made on January 1st. This year I am taking a different approach. Well at least I am trying to take a different approach. While I still set some goals I am refusing to give up just because I have already slipped up. Here’s what I mean. By nature I am a person that is all or nothing. For example, one of my goals is to drink 44 ounces of water each day. When I set that goal it was hard for me. Why?  I know I should be drinking more water than that so there is this all or nothing part of me that says if you are not going to drink the correct amount of water each day, why bother? Why bother? Because drinking more water is always a good thing. So here I sit on January 23, 2015 and I have not had 44 ounces of water today. I have probably had 6 ounces. And look what is on my desk right now.

diet coke

I know Diet Coke is awful for me and water is so much better. So why should I bother trying to keep up with this goal to drink 44 ounces of water each day? I have already failed. This is where I mess up every year. I set a goal. I mess up and fail and then I throw in the towel. But this year I am saying no to that mindset. Today I got my Diet Coke even though I have not had my water yet. But there have been days where I met and even exceeded my water goal. For me setting a specific goal is very important. To just tell myself that I need to drink more water isn’t good enough for me. I need that specific goal to work towards. And it is important for me to celebrate the days I meet the goal and then offer myself grace on the days when I don’t. Maybe I will get to celebrate tomorrow!

My approach to New Year’s goals and resolutions has always been the same. I set them and most of the time I break them pretty quickly. Mainly because I set unrealistic goals. Again, it is the all or nothing mindset or I should probably say the all and perfect mindset. It is easy to throw in the towel when we mess up. It is much harder to stay in the fight. But I want you to really think about who you want to be? What do you dream about accomplishing? When you look in the mirror who do want to see looking back at you? Who do you hear God calling you to be? For me it used to be the same every year. I would list out a bajillion things I wanted to accomplish. One main goal was the word DIET.  I would start and fail at another diet. I have always been convinced I need to lose weight, so every year I would start a new diet plan. One year I made that resolution and no lie it was like January 5th and we were sitting at an Outback and we ordered The Chocolate Thunder from Down Under.

chocolate-thunder-from-down-underNow remember just 5 days earlier I had resolved to start a new diet and lose the weight once and for all and 5 days later I was shoveling bites of brownie and ice cream into my mouth. So I gave up. I thought I can’t even make it a week. I am a failure. Why try? I will never change.

But this year I am reminded that God’s word tells me in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” In Isaiah 42:9 the Bible says, “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”  I truly believe that we can become who we are meant to be. It won’t be with perfect progress but with something I read about in Lysa Terkeurst’s book Unglued. Imperfect progress. It suddenly became clear to me. I don’t have to make perfect progress everyday but I can make imperfect progress as I work toward my goals. I don’t have to give up when I am not perfect.

I have always been the sort of girl that if I was starting something it had to be at the first of the year, month or week. On a Monday but I couldn’t set a goal on Monday, mess up on Tuesday and then start over on Wednesday. If I messed up I had to wait for that fresh start of the new week, new month or new year but the Bible says,”This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 So I decided everyday could be a day of rejoicing. Every day could be a fresh start. God is the God of second, third and five hundred chances so why couldn’t I offer some of that to myself? So that at the end of 2015 I may not have made perfect progress but I will have made progress. I may not have drunk my 44 ounces of water everyday but maybe I will drink more water this year and that is a good thing. I choose to embrace my imperfect progress in 2015. I choose to let God make me new everyday and on some days I have to start over and be made new in the middle of the day and that is o.k. too. Will you join me this year on an imperfect journey to being the best version of ourselves?

What goals have you made for 2015? Have you already messed up? Have you decided it isn’t worth it because of your mistakes and mess ups? Today is a new day! Get out your list and take an imperfect step with me.

My 2015 Goals

Run 100 miles in 100 days( 13 days done and 37.75 miles ran)

Do the MO Cowbell 1/2 marathon for the 2nd time (last year was my first time ever doing a 1/2)

Start my morning with hot water and lemon before my coffee ( I am doing o.k. on this but just today I failed but tomorrow is a new day)

Read my Bible through in the year ( I use the One Year Bible) It really works for me!

Drink at least 44 ounces of water each day(We see how that goes some days)

Eat more whole foods and continue to cut back on sugar and processed foods. (So this one is hard. Let’s just say I used my Living Social deal at Jilly’s yesterday and I have 8 cupcakes at my house. Talk about imperfect progress.)

Floss my teeth daily! (Doing better but yeah well we shall see)

Use my eye cream and moisturizer daily! (I turned 40 this year)

Take my vitamins and other supplements everyday!(Good thing my husband and I juice a few times a week because I struggle with this one)

Read at least 1 book a month( I love to read but as a busy working mom it is hard for me to take this time for myself)

Organize my guest room and office closets. (I have all year right?)

I have a few other really personal ones that I am not sharing with anyone other than God and I know He will help me make progress with those too.

Prayer for us imperfect people: God, I know that you are the only perfect one. As your children we desire to be the best we can be. Your word tells us that our bodies are the temple of your very spirit. We ask that you help us take better care of these temples so that you can be glorified. I ask that you encourage each person who is struggling with the feelings of failure. Help those that feel like giving up. Let the Holy Spirit encourage us and empower us to make progress towards our goals even if it is imperfect. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

Magical Elves and Dog Poop-Christmas is Coming

2 Dec

Today is December 1, 2014. This is the day for the past few years that Misty the mysterious, mischievous elf comes to our house with a special North Pole breakfast. My daughter was so excited last night talking about how she hoped Misty would come. Since December 1, 2014 came on a Monday morning I was wondering if Misty would make it. I had hidden Misty somewhere safe and I couldn’t remember where. I rummaged around the basement. I looked in all the closets and then I finally remembered I had put her on a high shelf in the garage. I didn’t have a step stool handy so I climbed on top of my car and finally found her. I didn’t fall so I counted this a major victory. I went to bed wondering if Misty would actually show up or wait until Saturday. I mean Monday mornings are hard enough without throwing an elf into the mix. And this Monday our dog decided that he needed to go out around 4:00 a.m. But my husband and I neither one could bare the thought of freezing our faces off that early to take him out. So we didn’t. His whining finally stopped and I knew he could wait. I went back to sleep. When the alarm went off 2 hours later I didn’t really feel like getting up and dealing with the elf especially since my sleep had gotten interrupted, but I have to admit I get sucked in to the magic of the holiday.I decided I could get up earlier than I had to so that I could make a special elf breakfast for my beautiful girl who still believes that all of this is real.

Because life is life and I don’t always make it to the grocery store when I need to I had to use on hand supplies. Luckily marshmallows and Hershey’s kisses are normal food groups in our home. I had the stuff for french toast and Christmas cookie cutters so the North Pole breakfast went off without a hitch. I had printed a letter telling Reagan how excited Misty was to be back with us. I also typed up a letter from Santa talking about the real reason for the season, Jesus. Because while I love the magic of Christmas my heart gets overjoyed at the real meaning of the season. I get teary eyed every time I hear a song about Jesus as a baby. Maybe it is being a mom but thinking of my Savior as a tiny baby, it gets to me every time. I truly am overwhelmed at the love of Jesus. Reagan came downstairs and her smile said it all. It was worth the extra effort. It was worth less sleep.
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Look at that smile! Success!

I decided the dog had waited long enough to go out so I walked into the living room to get my coat from the closest. That’s when I saw it. Dog poop behind my husband’s chair. I knew that if I looked hard enough I would find the pee and then before I saw it I felt it. I suddenly had wet socks. I thought, seriously, this is the happiest of all seasons and I am standing in dog pee. All of a sudden the magic of the morning was slipping away because real life got in the way. But I stopped and said, no I will not let this hurried pace rob me of this moment. I love what Ann Voskamp wrote, she said to make space in the pace for Emmanuel and then you will have pEace. Who doesn’t need more peace? More Jesus? Certainly I did this morning.
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The Guilty Party

I took a breath. I cleaned up the mess. I changed my socks. Reagan went to school. Abraham and I went to work. After work and school we went to Macy’s to mail Reagan’s letter to Santa. Reagan even had the chance to visit Santa tonight. We got our canned goods for the food pantry which was one of our 24 days of kindness for Christmas. Reagan did homework, I did dishes and my husband worked on a video project. Real ordinary life sandwiched between the extraordinary moments of the holiday season. As I reflect I think this December 1st was just about perfect. We can’t let a little dog poop ruin the magic of the moment.
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Prayer for the hurried and harried days: Jesus, thank you for showing us that even in the real-life moments we can have peace. Help us look for miracles in the everyday moments. Help us not to miss you in the midst of the hustle and bustle. Let your love be evident in all that we do and say. I pray that every hurried mom and dad keep the focus on Celebrating you this Christmas. You truly are the best gift. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I’m Sorry: Confessions of a Good Enough Mom! Linkup Tuesdays

15 Oct

After a couple of weeks off I am back. Still trying to work on consistency. One day I might be the blogger I aspire to be in my head.

So this weeks topic from the lovely Charity at The Wounded Dove is I’m Sorry. This topic is scary. This topic is big. This topic is necessary. I have found that the attitude of, we hurt the ones we love the most to be so true. I do it. My husband does it. My child does it. Why? I know that we all love each other so very much. Our home is normally a place filled with laughter, music and fun. We enjoy being with each other. But in the midst of these idyllic moments are moments when we lose our tempers. Our words become our weapons. Our frustrations rule the moment.

The two I have to say I'm Sorry to the most!

The two I have to say I’m Sorry to the most!

Confession time, I am the one who loses it most often. I become unglued. Sometimes I am justified. When I have reminded someone over and over of something that needs to be done and it continually goes undone then a consequence, sometimes a harsh consequence, is appropriate. However, there are many times when I have had a rough day. I have overextended myself and my family and I am tired and I begin to spew forth all the junk that is bubbling just near the surface instead of recognizing that I need to take a break to regroup.I read a book this year by Lysa Terkeurst called Unglued. It is all about making wise choices in the midst of raw emotions. Great book. Great advice. I am a work in progress. I have read lots of Bible verses about the tongue.Proverbs 18:21 says, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 21:23 says, Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. Such great advice. But I tend to be more like the words found in James 3:8: But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Just this week we had a late night and I knew the next morning would be rough so I decided to let everyone sleep a few extra minutes, mom included. When it was time to get up I told my daughter that I had let her sleep a little extra so I really needed her help to get things done on time so that we would not miss the bus. Those few extra minutes of blessed slumber caused everything to short-circuit that morning. My husband normally takes our daughter to the bus stop but he had an early meeting so he couldn’t take her. This meant that I had to be ready earlier than normal and since we were already late I felt my anxiety begin to rise as I looked at the clock. It seemed like every task was taking twice as long as it normally does.  It was time to leave for the bus. We were going to just make it. I was trying to get the dog on the leash and was telling my 8-year-old to get her jacket. She asked if she could get a different jacket. I don’t even remember the reason why she wanted a different one. All I knew was that I already had a jacket laid out and now she wanted to mess with my organized plan. I very harshly told her to hurry up and get the other jacket and that we better not miss the bus. I asked her why she had to wait until we were leaving to decide to switch jackets.? Why couldn’t she just wear the other one especially since we were running late? I could hear that the tone in my voice was harsh. As I kept going she looked at me with her big, beautiful eyes and said, “I asked nicely if I could wear the other jacket?” Ouch! I felt like a knife was being placed into my heart. She in fact had asked very nicely. Why did I have a melt-down? Why hadn’t I asked her what jacket she wanted to wear? I had forgotten to ask her the night before what jacket she wanted to wear so I just grabbed one and laid it out. We were running late because I had decided to let everyone sleep in. I was tired too and an extra 15 minutes under the covers sounded so nice. Her switching jackets didn’t make that much of a difference and truthfully added maybe 3 seconds on to our time. But in that hurried pace of the morning I let my frustration get the best of me. It would have been easy for me to ignore what she said and continue on about how no matter how nicely she asked the point was we don’t have time for last-minute changes when we are late and why can’t she just go along with the original plan? I realized my over reaction had hurt her. She seemed confused as to why her simple request was met with such harshness. She was right and I was wrong. I think it is important for our kids  to see that we recognize when we are wrong. If I expect my daughter to own her mistakes then I have to own mine. They need to hear us say, I’m sorry. They need to know that moms and dads are human and that we make mistakes too. So even though it was hard to admit to my 8-year-old that I was in fact taking out my frustration on her and that I shouldn’t have reacted that way, that is what I did. As we walked to the bus stop I told her that I was sorry. I told her that because we were running late I was afraid she would miss the bus and I let my frustration rule me in that moment and that was wrong. I gave her a big hug and told her that even when I am frustrated I always love her.

I wish I could say that this was an isolated event but it isn’t. Just this week, and it is only Wednesday I have had two that I can remember. One over the jacket and one over her lunch that I felt she had not eaten enough of. I will spare you the details of that one. I guess the point I want to make is that all us are going to come unglued. We are going to do and say things to our families that we wouldn’t fathom doing or saying to an acquaintance or stranger. I have beat myself up so many times and have felt like I am the worlds worst wife and mother. Truthfully though I know I’m not. Maybe I am one of the best. Why? Because even though I come unglued more than I’d like and I totally see where my daughter gets her flair for the dramatic, I have learned to say, I am sorry. I have learned to say, I was wrong and I will try harder. Here is one of my favorite quotes from Lysa Terkeurst and describes me perfectly: “I keep messing up with my reactions to things. I have a tendency to process my emotions in an unhealthy way. I am either exploding with angry words or stuffing it down while saying, “I’m fine”. After many failed attempts and many cries of frustration, I realized what was keeping me from change.It was the feeling that I wouldn’t do it perfectly. Sometimes we think if we don’t make instant progress then real change isn’t coming. Well that is not true.There is a beautiful thing called imperfect progress. It comes when we take slow steps of progress wrapped in grace. The day I realized this is the day I gave myself permission to believe I really could be different. I challenged myself to just start having one better reaction each day. Little steps forward, imperfect progress, that’s what we need.”

I used to think admitting I was wrong and telling my family I was sorry would diminish me in their eyes and that I would lose their respect but the opposite is true. Because even though I make mistakes they know that I own them and apologize for them and I am making imperfect progress each and every day.

From unglued! My desire!

From the book, Unglued! My desire!

Prayer for the unglued moments: Father, there are so many days when I feel so tired, stressed and frazzled. I know that I should turn to you when I am feeling this way before I try to tackle one more thing on my to do list but so many times I push time with you to the side. I have to realize that I need to be empowered by your Holy Spirit so that I am responding according to your will and not the will of my flesh that wants to lash out. Help each person reading this to realize that while we are not perfect in our reactions in every situation if we are honest, own our mistakes and are willing to say I’m sorry then we are making imperfect progress and that is o.k. I pray that you consume our hearts with your love and that it would spill out in our words and actions. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Confessions of a #GoodEnough Mom Tuesdays: Taking Care of Me, So I Can Take Care of You

24 Sep

I missed Charity’s link up last week and am running behind this week. How does that always happen? This week the topic is something I have really struggled with as a wife and mother. By nature I am someone who likes to take care of others. I have a hard time just sitting and relaxing. I have this guilt complex that if I am doing something for myself then I am taking away from someone else and that bothers me. I don’t say that so that you will think I am such an amazing person who always thinks of others. I say it because it is a real struggle for me and I have often times found myself so depleted that I get stressed and angry because I feel like I don’t have any time for myself. But the fault is all mine. I think that is why I have struggled with staying consistent on writing my blog because if feels like I am doing something for me and so I feel that guilt creep in that tells me I should be spending my time doing more productive things. I felt bad taking time to exercise or read. But a few months ago I decided to change that. What happened? In January I realized that this was the year I would turn 40! Yikes! Now I know age is relative and supposedly 40 is the new 20, blah, blah, blah. Well I was having a major freak-out over the fact that I was turning 40 and I decided this was the year I would finally start taking care of me because I want to be sure to be around for another 40. I started thinking, it really is now or never. Do I want to get to the end of my life and have a bucket list of regrets? I mean I know there will be regrets. Choices I wish I had made differently but there are things that I can change and I told myself this was my year.

I have never been a runner. Always had a secret desire to be one. Would watch people out on their runs and think, I wish that was me. This is my year so I started thinking, maybe I could be a runner. I began taking my dog on short jogs at night after my daughter was in bed and when no one could see me. I could barely do a mile. I felt like such a loser. Then a friend of mine said I should start running with her because she wanted to start running again more consistently. I kept saying no but she is pretty persistent so I finally gave in. Not only did she want me to start running but she wanted me to run in the morning, at 6:00a.m. Now people who know me well know that one, I have never been a runner and two, I am so far from a morning person that when someone says 6:00a.m. I’m like, you mean they have one of those in the morning too? Seriously, I have always been a hit the snooze like 3 or 20 times before I get up. Drives my husband nuts. But I thought maybe if I am meeting someone I will be motivated to do it.

My first run was really hard and I didn’t really like it to be honest. But having a friend to meet me and motivate me really helped me stay accountable. Then other friends started joining us and before you knew it we had 4-5 of us running most mornings. We started out doing 2-3 miles 3-4 mornings a week. Then all of my friends started talking about doing the MO Cowbell 1/2 Marathon. I laughed when they asked me to start training. But once again their persistence wore me down and I said, maybe. So we kicked up our training and started adding miles and days. Soon we got up to 4- 5 miles each day. We started doing hill repeats and speed drills.

My 40th Birthday Run! Hill Repeats!

My 40th Birthday Run! Hill Repeats!

I was about 2 1/2 months in and feeling pretty good about my training and then I saw an ad for the Lozilu Run on August 16, 2014 in St. Louis. It was a mud/obstacle course run for women only benefiting cancer research. It was only a 5k and it was 2 days after my 40th birthday. I asked my running buddies to join me. They said yes. We did it and it was so much fun. My husband and daughter came to cheer me on and it was such a great feeling of accomplishment.

Here we are at the Mud Run!

Here we are at the Mud Run!

I knew then that I was for sure going to do the 1/2 marathon. The training got harder. The miles got longer. This past Saturday, 9/20/14, was my longest run to date, 12 miles and a 2 mile cool down walk. That is 14 miles!!

I have started feeling so much better. I have started blogging more but feel like I want to do it even more. My husband got me a Kindle for my birthday so I can do more reading. I realize that taking time for me is allowing me to be a better wife and mom. Now I am not saying I never feel guilty. There are still days when the guilt wins but I am realizing that it is true what they say when you take care of you then you can take care of the other people and situations in your life better. It doesn’t mean that everything is perfect all of the time but I find I am better able to handle certain situations because I feel more balanced and centered.

So my big race is on Sunday, October 4th so this is my last hard week of training. I went to the doctor this week and he asked me about my weight because I had lost 13 pounds. Happy Dance!! I told him what I had been doing and he was very pleased. I left his office feeling good. I know that after the race I won’t have to train as hard but I plan to keep running. It has taken me many years to build this habit of taking me time and I plan to keep taking it. I have to sacrifice a few things like this weeks massive pile of laundry that needs to be folded. But how I feel and how I am able to take better care of my family is worth this pile.

The Laundry Pile

The Laundry Pile

Maybe running isn’t your thing. But you know what that thing is that makes you feel centered and most at ease. I challenge you to take time every week doing that thing. You will be better for it and those you are taking care of will be better for it. We have to get over the guilt. The dishes can wait. The laundry can wait. Yes I need to fold that pile and maybe tonight I finally will, I will keep you posted. The laundry can sometimes wait and some nights soup and grilled cheese is o.k. for dinner so that you have time to read, or blog, or take a bubble bath or go for a run or walk. I always wanted to be the perfect mom and I think I might have finally found my perfect formula for what makes me the perfect, #GoodEnough mom for my family.

Prayer to help you get over the guilt: God, so many of us struggle with feelings of guilt when we take time for ourselves. You have put into us a desire to care for others and that is a good thing. But help us to remember that we also need time to rest. We need time to recharge. We need time to ourselves. We need time with you. I pray for each woman who is neglecting her spiritual, physical and mental health to be empowered by your Holy Spirit. Help her to find that thing that will help her to create the balanced life that I believe you desire for us, your children to have. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Be sure to check out The Wounded Dove. You won’t be sorry.

Be sure to visit Charity at www.thewoundeddove.com

Be sure to visit Charity at http://www.thewoundeddove.com

My Parenting Fear #GoodEnoughMom

10 Sep

I debated publishing this post because once again I missed the linkup Tuesday deadline but it is such a great topic I just figured Charity over at The Wounded Dove would let my tardiness slide again:) She really is great at opening up her blog to us other bloggers and I am thankful for her writing prompts.

So this week she asked us to write about a parenting fear we have. As I began to think about it I almost became overwhelmed because I realize I have so many of them. I have so many parenting worries that they almost suffocate me at times. The Bible tells me in Matthew 6:25-34 that I shouldn’t worry and that my Father in heaven knows my needs and will provide. The Bible is filled with verses about God being my peace and my strength. And even though I know all of this there are still moments when worry and fear creep in. Especially when it comes to my daughter.

So what is my biggest fear? I think for me it is knowing that everyday I watch my daughter who is now in 3rd grade, venture off into her own life without me. Her own adventures without me. Her independent life has begun. She is venturing off to new places filled with new people, new ideas, scary and wonderful things that are molding her. Things she needs. Things I am not part of.

First Day of First Grade

This was the first day of first grade 8/9/12

Because I have already lived through the school years I know some of the things she will be faced with and it scares me because I want to protect her. When I see her get off the bus every afternoon I immediately know what kind of day it has been by the look on her face. Most days she bounds off the bus all smiles talking about what a great day it was. But there are other days when she gets off the bus with a sad face and slumped shoulders and I know that today was a day that had hard moments. A day where feelings were hurt and friends didn’t get along. A day when she was left out. A day when she didn’t do well on an assignment. All these life moments that I wasn’t there for. All these things that I couldn’t fix. Things that she needs so that she can become all that she is meant to be.
Reagan crying

As her mom I want her to have the best life. I want her to know joy. I want her feel love. There are days when I just want to keep her home tucked away with me so that she doesn’t have to experience the feelings of loneliness and heart ache. But I realize the tiny baby I held in my arms has somehow turned into a capable young girl who is heading toward her own life. Her life. A life that will hold both horrible and wonderful moments. A life that will know much happiness but will also know sorrow. A life that she is ready for. My mamma heart may not be ready for her to walk into this great unknown everyday without me but she is ready. And she is not alone. Her heavenly father walks with her every step of the way and he loves her even more than I do and he sees every moment and he has a good plan for her life. A better plan than me keeping her tucked safely away from this big scary world. Because as scary as this world can be and as awful as a broken heart feels there is so much beauty to experience and I don’t want her to miss a single moment. I want her to continue walking bravely into the great unknown to the adventures that are waiting for her. I will always be waiting at the end of the day to hear all about them. I will always be there to offer advice when she needs it and to give hugs and snuggles after a rough day.

Letting go is so hard. With each passing day I see her maturing more and more and it is hard to not jump in and solve every problem for her but I know she needs to do some of these things on her own. What is that saying? Mistakes just mean you are learning or trying. So even though it would be easy to tackle every tough moment for her, she has to learn. She has to not be afraid to try new things, scary things, hard things. And what do I do? I put on a brave face for her and cheer her on and then sometimes retreat to the bathroom and let the tears fall because as I watch her walk away I still see the toothless grin of my infant child who depended completely on me and my heart aches more than she knows. I wish I could say it got easier with each year but it doesn’t seem to. I think I will forever feel this way about my baby girl. But ready or not that tiny baby is gaining more and more independence everyday and sometimes it scares me to death. So I will cherish the way she grabbed my face yesterday and kissed me on the cheek when I dropped her off at voice lessons and later asked if I would sing You Are My Sunshine one more time while rubbing her back at bed time.

My big 3rd grader

My big 3rd grader

Prayer for the fearful days: God, being a parent is so hard and so wonderful. I am thankful you chose me to be ______________’s parent. This world is so big and scary and beautiful and I know you are with our kids in all of it. Help us as parents to remember that you love our kids more than we ever could and that your word tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Help us fearful parents to rest in this promise and to know that not a single moment of us worrying or fretting will change your plans. Help us to be godly examples of faith to our children. Help us to model a life filled with love, joy and peace that comes from you. And in those moments when our hearts ache because childhood is just going too fast please wrap your arms around us and encourage us by the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Be sure to visit Charity at www.thewoundeddove.com

Be sure to visit Charity at http://www.thewoundeddove.com