Monday, April 28, 2014

pretty woman was right

i was watching pretty woman the other day and i caught a line that i had never noticed before. 
edward (richard gere's character) is speaking to vivian (julia robert's character)

edward: you could be so much more.
vivian: people put you down enough you start to believe it.
edward: well, i think you are a very bright, very special woman.
vivian: the bad stuff is easier to believe, you ever notice that? 

yes vivian. i have noticed that. especially if i'm telling it to myself. 

i've had a really hard series of days. which is ironic because i just shared my story for the first time on thursday to a group of women and felt so encouraged by it. then yesterday hit and that feeling was gone with the wind. that's the problem with feelings and emotions. they are in-the-moment based. my moments have been hard. 

my kids ages and stages are starting to get to me. i am the enemy, the squasher of fun, the adversary rather than the ally. or at least that's what i tell myself in my head. things are messy at home. the laundry grows, the floors are cluttered and wear the signs of little people all over them, and the beds go unmade. i feel like i can barely keep up. if i retreat and go to my parents house for help, then i return home to all the undone responsibilities of the day. if i stay home i battle overwhelming defeat. 

why do i battle defeat? because just as vivian said it's easier to believe the bad. we, especially women, are so good at remembering the hurtful and harsh things ever said to us. i will never forget the countless times i was told by dear friends that i was too {fill in the blank} or not enough {fill in the blank again} for them to remain friends with me. i fear so much the words of rejection and loneliness. when words of encouragement is your primary love language the smallest of harsh words will remain and resurface time and time again. that fact alone makes me so afraid for the words coming out of my mouth and being absorbed by my children. i have been so harsh with them. and that in turns makes me harsh on myself. i do not want this to be their legacy. i do not want the words in their head to echo the ones i have said lately. words laden with guilt and condemnation rather than grace and a hope. 

the honest truth is that there are a lot of them and i am juggling all the time. if i'm not nursing the baby, i'm changing a diaper or making a meal or putting someone in time out or folding a load of laundry or playing puppets or coloring or taking someone out of time out or putting everyone in time out. even mommy. i have a lot on my to-do list, all good intentioned and things that need to or i would really like to get done. nothing from pinterest, or a crafting blog. those days are completely gone. i would love to get my pantry inventoried. or get the back of my car organized with an emergency kit and appropriate clothes for all the kids. all good intentioned. 

but there is no time. NO TIME. i make time for myself and things that enable me to shut my brain off  after the kids are in bed. i wake up early just to make sure i get two essentials in, coffee and christ. yes it is a season. i've said that. you've said that. we all say that. but the reality is that i will die to myself everyday for the rest of my life. because i am a mom. and being a mom is a huge responsibility. but a great privilege too. 

 i am the boo boo kisser. the soother and snuggler. i get the squeezes and smooches. laine told me how beautiful my voice was and that he loves that i sing to him every night. {melt} and cora talks about how she's going to be a mommy and love her babies. {melt} and hazel tells me 'i yuv yu mama.' {melt melt melt} and anne. well, she smiles the most wonderful smiles. and those make my fears, pain, frustration and hurt melt away all at once.

the ebb and flow of my emotions and motherhood seem to be a wild ride right now. i am doing my best to be strong and firm in the lord. to know my limits and to accept the new ones i need to make. i find that change, though hated, can be a welcome blessing. acceptance, true acceptance is the hardest part. and remembering this is not how my story will end. i refuse to let it be.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

ordinary days

i would be the first to say i'm not anything special. i am just a mom. a wife. a daughter. a sister. a friend.  i am trying to find my way thru the script of my life that was handed to me. it is not always what i wanted or thought it would be. the boxes i had put my expectations and dreams into have at this point been dismantled and destroyed. my hands are wrinkling. my eyes puffy and weary. my skin softer and looser where four lives grew within me. i am not youthful anymore, or at least i do not feel youthful.

i'm only 31 and yet i feel so much older. my days take so much out of me. and i remind myself frequently it is a season. but, a season of storms makes one tired of trying to swim and keep her head above the waves. the phrase "trying to keep our head above water" would perfectly describe how we have been transitioning to life as a family of 6. things are hard. i cry almost every day from pure fatigue and the overwhelming exhaustion that comes with having a 5 year old, 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 year old, and a 1 month old. 

yet, we are not the first to have to face life with many littles. it makes me think that i am not cut out for the job title of 'mama.' maybe it's us. maybe we struggle because we are not cut out for the life of parents. but, that is a lie. my husband is a wonderful father. and i know that i am a good mama. some days.

these hard, long, tiring days are filled with whispers in my head of defeat and failure. simply put, it's easy to believe a lie. there are so many reasons why i feel defeated, but many of them come with the territory of being a mother. our days are filled with so much repetition, correction, redundancy it can feel that we never make any progress. i recently told my husband it feels like we are in a giant pit trying to climb our way out to the day light and just like that someone will turn on a hose and the dirt becomes mud and we are buried up to our necks.

it's easy to believe that's all it will ever be. we love to see life in polaroids. yet, we don't realize we are only seeing snapshots of a beautiful panorama. and it is full of ordinary days. these days that we have don't have to be defeating. i don't have to see my day, my children, myself as being failures. i must choose to see that in the beautiful simplicity of an ordinary day there is freedom from the feeling of defeat. this is an ordinary day. it is full of tantrums. full of rebellion, both in my heart and my children's. it is full of laundry, dirty dishes, night time kisses, hugs and 'hold me mama.' it is full of fatigue, and crazy toddler energy. it is full of dirty floors, legos, princess crowns, and tears. it is an ordinary day and it is beautiful.

i am a boo-boo kisser and that makes me special. i am mama. and that makes me very special to four little people. the ordinary is special.

i am striving to see, thank, and relish in the beautiful ordinary of our life. i am striving not to feel that i am standing still while others are moving forward. constantly thrust back into the newborn stage while others have kids growing and moving on. fighting the feeling of being left behind. but to find gratitude for the lives i've been given charge over. to not mess this up, and have grace for the messes.

it's in this stage of life that words mean so much to me. words of encouragement are life fuel to my heart and soul. i have been extremely encouraged by songs, books, and real words spoken directly to me. i hope to be that to others. this is hard, but we can do it. and, not in the survival sort of way, but we can thrive in this role of motherhood. we have the most important job. we shape hearts. and to be able to shape hearts in the little ones, we must first allow our hearts, my heart to be shaped. change is never easy, but to surrender the negative feelings and change within ourselves is life altering to say the least. 

rachel jankovich said, “Motherhood is hard work. It is repetitive and often times menial. Accept it. Rejoice in it. This is your toil. Right here. Those are their faces. Enjoy them. The days of your life are supposed to be full of things like this. But joy is not giddy. It is not an emotional rush–it is what happens when you accept your lot and rejoice in your toil. So rejoice in your children. Look them in the eyes and give thanks.” 

and that dear friends, is what i must do. i will give thanks. thanks for the ordinary day of today. and tomorrow. and the day after that. 
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