Why do we all have to compare? At the end of the day we should all be :
1. Pro feeding children (breast or bottle I don’t care – FEED THE CHILDREN!)
2. Let your baby sleep ( If that means co – sleeping or in a bed all to themselves awesome!) Whatever helps you sleep because if you aren’t getting rest guess what you can’t take care of anyone else!
3. Educate your children (formal or informal! Homeschool, public, or private it doesn’t matter! Find what works for your family in your home for your current situation!)
4. Screens – (Educate yourself on the pros and cons of using them and go from there)
5. Vaccinations – (Educate yourself and do what feels right for your child)
Basically – Understand that we as Mom’s – It doesn’t matter! Life is hard enough stop worrying about everyone else and start worrying about your child and what works in your house- We are not always aware of what is going on in everyone else’s homes or lifes and that’s okay, but we can be supportive! We can agree to disagree! We don’t have to believe the same things. We just have to do the best we can do with what we have!
Let’s take a step back and just breathe! We are all fighting battles for our kids! I promise! We need support not criticism and I promise you until you walk in someone’s shoes you do not know what you would do! It’s very easy to be on the outside and say what you think you would do in that situation, but until it’s at your doorstep you have NO idea how you would feel or what you would do!
The one thing we all can do is offer a shoulder or an ear! Sometimes that’s all we need as people we just need someone to hear us! Someone to see us! Someone love us!
It’s very easy to get lost in our kids, but we have to remember that we have to show our who we are because they are learning from us! Let’s show them and strong and independent we are by embracing who we are! Let them see you be weak because if they see that they can then celebrate your strength! Let them see you be kind to someone different than you! Let them see you make a mistake and apologize for it! Let them see you work hard! Let them see you!
Talk with them in a way that they can hear you! A lot of times as our littles turn into biggs we forget to talk with them – and they need that they need to hear stories from your youth! They need to hear you laugh! They need to see you cry! They need to hear every aspect of who you are!
Let them love you! It’s okay Mama- slow down!~ Sometimes they just need be with you without a schedule! It’s these moments that they can really see you! Really hear you and really love you!
While doing all these things – make sure that you remember to See yourself! Hear yourself! Love yourself! We all need to take a step back and really see ourselves! We need to see what we do and how we do it! We need to see how strong we are! Take a moment and really listen! WE all have that inner voice and need to listen to it! Listen to when we are tired, listen to when we need a break, listen to when we need to slow down. We need to learn to love ourselves because everyone in our lives loves us! 🙂
Mama – you are beautiful! I know the days are long! They really are, but those years short! Super short! Try and embrace it! Try and remember to try and not over think it all. You are doing great!
There I was a single Mom playing with my baby boy – First word – Ball other than the sounds of Ma ma – 🙂 His first actual word though – ball! This meant that anything round that remotely resembled a ball was going to get thrown in some fashion… As time went on this boy grew a love for golf – under 2 and had the patience of a saint to line up the golf club and hit the ball. First set of real clubs at 3 🙂
Next was baseball at 4 years old this tiny tyke wanted to play baseball (I had played as a kid and this helped) I took that knowledge and built on it- We showed up to every practice early so that I could play catch with him and get him warmed up…. we would go to parks and play catch – grounders, pop flies, quick release – no holding back on my part. Throughout the years of baseball I have tried to volunteer to help when coaches have expressed a need and well, I have been told, “We are looking for Dad’s” I have been told, “You? You want to volunteer” and completely been dismissed! I had one coach laugh in my face – 🙁 We had one baseball coach tell us that if he got outside help that we should remember who determines play time…
Oh it has been fun – All the meanwhile we still show up because again we are there for OUR child!
Next came 5 – FOOTBALL Oh this boy wanted to play football…. There we were first practice of flag football and this sweet boy cried because he was so scared! We got calmed down and thankfully we were there early and we had time to play catch – This helped to calm his nerves, I had him running out for long and short passes… Then trying to get around me without letting me get a flag…. Wasn’t long and he was feeling better and more confident, but then the other kids started to show up and the nerves came back… We sat and watched for a couple of minutes while we chatted and I told him he had to play because we had already paid and we are not quitters! We will finish out this season and if he doesn’t like it he doesn’t have to play anymore… Thankfully the coach came over and asked him if he could throw the ball – Jacob was sure to answer yes, but then reassured the coach that he didn’t want to throw the ball he wanted to run the ball like “Ernie Davis” 🙂 From that moment this boy has been in love with football! Next came tackle football with the big kids and they were big kids – There he was the youngest and smallest kid on the team, but probably the biggest drive! This is where he found a love for tackling “Defensive Back” became the position for this kid! He was little and quick and definitely overlooked as a threat….
Throughout the years he has continued to play all over place with all kinds of coaches! This sports journey started in Fort Wayne, to Ligonier, to Columbia City, Cape Coral, Florida, then to Cornelius, North Carolina and here we are back at Columbia City, Indiana…
The insults didn’t / haven’t stopped with baseball – We had a coach tell him that he couldn’t keep up with other players on his team because he was from Indiana (that practice he’s the only one that didn’t puke :). We had one coach tell him that he was too small to play – He proved him wrong and sacked his quarterback every practice.
Then he had this awesome coach that told him to always give a firm handshake! Stand tall and when asked what position he played to own his answer!! We are so thankful for this coach because it’s this coach that helped him find his love for the sport after being beat down! It’s this coach that has shown him that he can and should always continue to work hard no matter what!
The workouts don’t just happen on the field, they happen at home too – speed drills, stairs, running 40’s, weights – Not because of us but because he wants to put in the work.
He is all football during football and all baseball during baseball and works hard on and off the field. He runs with us and works out here at home to help with speed and agility and endurance. We are hands on parents love to be at practices and games. We aren’t there for any other purpose than to watch our kid.
Understand this we as parents aren’t trying to tell you how to do your job… We are there merely for the benefit of our child as are each and every other parent. These are still our kids and soon very soon they will be grown ups and they will have a life that is filled with young adult stuff… We are just trying to savor these moments with our children. The days feel long and exhausting, but the years are short and fly by… There is something special about watching your child work hard at practice – Watching them mess up, but continue to try it until they get it right… Something about seeing that perseverance! Watching the team work together and then seeing all that hard work fall into place at the games.
This is high school – most of the players that you are coaching are done after high school, very few will go on and play at a higher level and that is okay! It’s not the goal to make NFL or MLB players (I promise coaches if a kid has that has a dream they will make it happen they will push themselves at practice and at home in every aspect…) Really the only goal that you should have as coaches is for the players that walk on your field to leave that field better people! Can you make them better than when they walked on your field? Will they leave your field and be more respectful? Will they work harder? Will they push through or quit? What kind of character will they walk off with?
Coaches are you showing them how to communicate? Are you showing them how to show appreciation for the huge village of supporters that they have? Are you showing them how to be patient? Are you teaching them the struggle? The struggle is real on and off the field! Are you showing them how to play as a team? Are you teaching them that the team is only as strong as the weakest player? Are you showing them how to take responsibility when they mess up or are you teaching them how to point fingers?
This is a tough job! A super tough job! It’s also super rewarding! Don’t waste these moments – Don’t lose sight of the real goal! Those years are going to fly by…
Now comes the question: Why am I writing this? Well, I have read a ton of notes from coaches wives to the parents – from coaches to parents
We as parents are entrusting you as coaches with our children! Even as high School students they are our children! We appreciate you taking time and coaching (it’s a lot! I know! I have coached) It’s also what you are choosing to do. Whatever sport it is that you are coaching please take time to see the parents! Take time to understand that we all want the same things! We all want these players to love the sport, work hard, and have fun! It’s really hard to keep teens vested in sports or anything really so let’s work together coaches! Work with us parents that want to be involved! They are still our kids.
Football / Baseball Mom
Lately it’s like I can’t find the words to even explain what I am thinking or feeling – Here I am sitting in this coffee shop – watching my sweet boys play a marble game, listening to Mom’s chat about how they can help other kiddos, and watching as the barista works hard to complete the orders… The music is weird and the atmosphere is completely eclectic, a place that you feel like you can just come as you are… This is what I love about small coffee shops – they have that strange yet comfy feeling.
Today though – a lady seated behind me with her computer apparently waiting for a friend – Here comes the friend (home computer in tote) just kidding it was just a really large laptop. At any rate as she walks up to the table – she was talking to her friend about a group of women she saw on her way back to where she was, “Oh, they must be with MOPS or something and her friend says that she was wanting to try that out… I overheard the conversation and decided to chime in, “I said oh actually I think it’s a PTO thing… The friend that had been sitting there smiled and said oh that makes sense… Then the friend that brought her home computer to the coffee shop starts to pack it up and says let’s move- as she gives me a look that could have gouged my eyes out!
They moved, but not just a couple of tables – they moved to the front of the coffee shop!
How shitty!! I am sorry women, but this is the problem! Why do some of us have to act like little high school bitches!~ Like oh your not good enough to talk to me! Ugh
Don’t worry I have another one for you!
Last Friday I take Chan to gymnastics – we ended up getting there 2 minutes late, but lets face it it’s a homeschool gymnastics class with 4 kids- Any way we run in there mind you I have like 3 bags 3 water bottles oh and a coffee in my hands…
We walk in the door and I start laughing because the instructor is my friend and she looks at me like this is totally you! I say quickly, “oh you know us, flying by the seat of our pants” and I laugh because let’s face it it was funny! The other 3 mom’s look over at me with the most grimmess looks on each of them! OH my goodness – I whisper under my breath – “Tough CROWD”
It’s these moments that absolutely drive me crazy!! Get the hell over yourself – Kudos to you if you have never been late to a class! Kudos to you if you have never ease-dropped on a conversation! Kudos to you if you have never take a screaming child to the store! Kudos to you if your kid has never ripped your face off! Kudos to you if your teenager has never told outlandish lies about you! Kudos to you if you don’t have any dirty dishes in your sink! Kudos to you if your home is completely in order all the time!!!
Understand this!! Just because I am not as together as you make yourself out to be doesn’t make you better or worse than me or anyone else!! We as women should be building each other up. We are not in highschool! Clicks are over! Where you bought your shoes I don’t care! How much your house cost or your car!! I don’t care! These things do not determine your worth or my worth! As a Mom, we are all just doing what we are doing! Stop breaking women down! Stop!
I had a Mom at my CHURCH ask how old my daughter was, when I explained that HE was 5 at the time- She then POINTED to him to all of him and looked me in my face and said oh well, how could I ever tell!! This my friends was at CHURCH!! Then a week later we saw her and her kids at the library and she didn’t let her son play with my son- like as if he was going to give him the sudden urge to wear purple clothes or some shit!!
This post has a few cuss words and GUESS WHAT – SORRY NOT SORRY!!
I am pissed! As a women what is wrong with you that you don’t want to see other women succeed! We are just doing what we can do! We don’t need to broken down by other women! If you see a women and her life is in shambles do NOT judge her offer a helping hand – If you see a women give her baby away do not judge her thank her for making a selfless act! If you see a women in a broken relationship understand that she probably feels broken – like really broken she doesn’t need your criticism! If you see a woman with a screaming kid at the grocery- I ASSURE you she doesn’t need your nasty looks or words!! She is already feeling DEFEATED!! If you see a woman that looks like she just rolled out of bed do not look down on her for that! SHIT- maybe she was up all night with a sick kid! Maybe she is sick, but still has to do like because other people depend on her! If you see a working mom do NOT mom shame her!! For goodness sake!!! If you see a SAHM – DO not ASSUME that you can ask her when she is going back to work! If you see a woman that looks pregnant do NOT just touch her belly! Do not ask her how far along she is! Do not ask a woman that gave birth when she’s having more and for the love of everything holy do not ask a woman who has a few kids if she’s done having them! WHY WHY WHY do people think they have any right to ask any of these questions!
Do not judge me when you see me walking down the isle and my son is wearing purple everything! Do not judge me when you see me strolling in a couple minutes late to an appt! Do not think that you know a damn thing about me!
My people are the misfits! My people are the people that can own up to a mistake! My people are the ones that look in the mirror and see that we all need a little help and encouragement! My people that are the ones that aknowledge that NONE of us know what the hell we are doing! My people are the ones that can appreciate that teenagers are little dicks sometimes and it’s not because I did something wrong…. My people are the ones that leave the house in a ball cap because ain’t no one got time for hair and makeup some days, my people are the ones that can laugh at ourselves because we know we have NOTHING figured out! My people are the ones that can look at another woman and say, “I see you!! I hear you!! I love you!!
This school year started off as a bit of a struggle for me emotionally, mentally, and physically – Emotionally draining because I felt like I was at a constant battle with myself over sending Chandler to school and getting a job or continuing on the path we are on… This battle is hard and drained me to the point that I felt sick and tired and completely defeated.
I kept telling myself that I don’t know how to work with a six year old, I kept telling myself that I was failing him and myself… That what we had planned just wasn’t going to be enough… I kept thinking of how a lot of people just drop their kids off at school and they get “me time” I have been longing for that- or I thought…
Here is the reality- Last week I decided to get out of my head and stop allowing peoples opinions along with my own internal battles sway me and my beliefs and the path we are on. We are all victims of this type of thinking… I was chatting with a friend the other day and I asked her what she had been up to – she responded with “Oh Just……” and she continued to talk about what she was doing as if it were not important. This same type of conversation happens all the time with so many people- We all start out our story with “oh just….” I am so guilty of this!
Stop doing that! We have to stop devaluing ourselves! We have to stop feeling like we aren’t doing enough! Society has ingrained in our heads that we should basically be so busy that we act like chickens with our heads cut off… NO!! I promise that is not what life is about! We do not have to be completely scheduled!
This last week I decided to get back to the basics with our homeschool journey and I am starting to fall back in love with it! We have our own system and it works! Our schedule is a bit unorthodox- with a 15 year old that plays sports- We generally eat dinner like rock stars – you know the 7:30-8 o’clock range that means bedtime doesn’t happen until about 10 or so… Thankfully – that means Chan gets to sleep in because there is no reason to need to get school or life started until you are well rested. 🙂 I am finding that if I get up a little early – I can have some “me time” for about an hour in between the time that Jacob leaves for school and Chan wakes up. This is a beautiful time! I clean, organize, blog, or read, sometimes just sit on the porch… ya know whatever I decide! Hence “me time”
I feel privileged that I get to stay home with our kids! If Jacob needs something throughout the day he just sends a text and we are able to get it to him… being there for his sports and just embracing who he is…
Being home with Chan is really something… Our approach is a little different this year and that had me stumped for a little bit, but now I am realizing that each year our path will look and feel different as it should. I am learning how to take a step back and focus on day by day… Learning is a beautiful thing and I don’t want to not feel good for either of us.
Chandler challenges and teaches me – He has from the beginning.
These kids are only ours for a little bit before they are out on their own- it goes fast and there’s not turning back. We are all told that our kids need this or that… but what they really need is us- They need us to meet them where they are! They need us to see who they are! They need us to hear them! They need us to just love them.
I know these things sound easy- but are they really? When children are little, parents look at them and love them to no end, but then this thing happens they grow up a little and they start doing things in a way that isn’t what you envisioned – It’s in these moments can you really see your child, hear your child, and love your child? I have personally heard a Dad tell his 22 year old son that he wasn’t his son any more because he found out he was Gay – So for the 22 years of his life the Dad loved him and accepted him, but then found out one thing about him and all of a sudden….. or how about the parents that kicked a kid out of this house because he wouldn’t cut his hair? Even though he had had long hair for years…. What about the little 13 year old girl that told her mom she was a lesbian and her mom sent he to a camp to help fix her??? What about the 5 year old little boy that wanted to do gymnastics, but his Dad played football and any son of his was going to be a football player… The stories go on and on…
People – be better! Do better! Stop with the preconceived notions of who our children are! They are who they are! For instance- from the time Chandler was 3 days old we were either at a football, baseball, track, or cross country meet, then at JROTC meets after that… This child has no interest in any of it and that is perfectly okay! Understand that just because you are older doesn’t make you wiser… Allow your child to make his/her own path….
Wow, I totally got off track- I’ll tie it all together in a pretty bow. If we can learn to let our kids travel down a path that is all his/her own, they might be better equipped as adults to feel good about what they are doing!
As a kid I didn’t feel like people took me serious- in my family Cheerleading was a joke and I definitely heard a fair share of Church jokes… Then as I got older I was told on several occasions that waitressing wasn’t a “real job” oh and coaching was a nice hobby… bla bla bla bla bla then now I hear, “do you think you are going to get a job soon?” lol
I used to really allow these things to eat at me and bring me down – now I just brush it off because I realize that I can’t please everyone and I don’t want to! The people that made the mean comments to me are still doing the same thing they were doing 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and 5 years ago… Do not let people bring you down! Stand Tall in what you are doing and where you are in life! A step is merely a step!
I am proud of where I am in life! I get to experience my kids! I have been able to create this awesome curriculum and write and publish a book! I get to inspire people with my story! I made a CHOICE to be a STAY AT HOME MOM!
I am a Proud Stay at a home mom! I am a wife! I am a friend! I am a creator! I am STRONG! I work hard everyday for me and my family!
What do you do? Who are you? Know this if no one else in your life sees you or hears you… I do!!
Today is the day that the Lord has made. Psalm 118:24. I love this verse and all it stands for- The truth that it holds and it’s ability to bring us back from the cliff. You know the cliffs that we are stand on- the cliff of uncertainty, frustration, sadness, the feeling of losing control, the emphamis Why questions that we all so wonderfully ask… The cliff of losing people close to us- This is the cliff that we are all standing together on as a community! This my friends is a cliff that is daunting – It’s terrifying, it’s maddening, and it’s one that we can and probably won’t understand, but just for a moment while we are standing on this cliff… One person steps up and reminds us, “Today is the day that the Lord has made! Psalm 118:24”
In that moment, a bright shining rainbow appears, we for a moment can smile because we realize that we are all so blessed! In that moment a flood of memories and moments appear, and it’s almost as if they happened yesterday, but in reality it was 20 plus years ago.
The loss of Schlemmer – is one that our community will feel and continue to feel as we all should because he was/is/and will be a reminder to us all how important it is to live your best life. He treated everyone with respect… As a student to feel seen and heard by a teacher, there isn’t anything sweeter than that! I didn’t have Schlemmer as a coach, but my locker was right across from his room all four years and everyday he made an effort to razz me about something, but more importantly if I was having a bad day he would ask the question….
So many times he would ask me to come out for cross country- my response was always the same, I would laugh and shake my head, and tell him that I would stick with cheer. 🙂 I knew my limits and running was nowhere on my realm of possibilities, but every time he would respond the same, “Everybody can run”
Well, a decade plus some and I agree with him! Everyone can run!
My heart breaks for our community because there are so many students and people that will never get to experience his awesome first hand…
Then as the comments are flooding in with memories and moments – the one thing that holds true is Schlemmer took time to see us! He took time to hear us! He definitely loved us! That my friends is something in itself.
Schlemmer wore lots of hats as most of us do, but he wore them in such a way that you didn’t realize how many – He made it look easy!
Son, Husband, Dad, Brother, Teacher, Coach, Friend, Mentor, and so many others.
Schlemmer will be a tough act to follow- Let’s all try and be a little more like Schlemmer. Let’s take time to see, hear, and love people! All people! Not just people in our circles.
To the Schlemmer family – Thank you! Thank you for sharing your husband and Dad with us so selflessly! We as a community pray that you feel the love and support from us and know that you are not alone!
I do not disagree or agree with these statements- I will say that my mindset has changed I am in a different place – emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, and experiences have been different.
I’m sure this post will strike a nerve with some of you and that’s okay- It’s healthy and normal to have disagreeing points as long as each party is able to stop for a second and actually listen-
I know there has been a lot of controversy with different athletes not standing or placing hand over heart for the National Anthem and how it is not okay and a completely awful disrespect to our country and the countrymen and women that have fought.
Growing up I didn’t really look at color or race I just saw people and so in my mind racism wasn’t “real” because it just seemed foreign to me that someone would really judge based on race or skin color or sexual orientation, then as the years went by I became more and more aware of the awfulness of some people and there thoughts of others because they were different. I didn’t really experience this first hand, but I remember writing a persuasive speech to legalize gay marriage as a freshman in high school. This was back in 1999-2000 – so a few years ago. I remember my teacher pulling me aside after giving the speech and she said something along the lines that I followed all the criteria, but maybe next time I should reevaluate my topic.
Any rate- I think it’s very easy for someone like me (middle class, white, American) who has really never been a victim or noticed being a victim… That means I have never been excluded because of my sexual orientation or my skin color or my hair color or ethnicity-
It became personal to me when our daughter came out as a lesbian and the comments flew- Aren’t you Christian? Aren’t you scared she’s going to hell? How do you feel about that? How it being unnatural and not right and bla bla bla – Then the fact that the laws basically said hey if you are different from the “normal” don’t plan on getting married- :/ This struck a chord.
Have the laws changed yes, are things getting a little better? maybe?
Now, we have a sweet 6 year, who is gender – nonconforming, this means that he knows that he is a “boy”, but he likes most things all “girls” This sweet child definitely walks to the beat of his own drum as he should, but the ridicule that we have faced for years regarding his clothing choices, toy choices, and the friends we have lost- It’s disgusting!
Experiencing this first hand has really changed my mind- I know a lot of people will say something along the lines of just don’t give it attention that a lot of people bring all of this stuff up and it just makes it worse- I am sorry that you feel that way, but if it isn’t brought up how will it change?? So many people are saying bring religion back to school and I don’t disagree, but just so we are on the same page- Religion was in school’s when segregation was legal. We as a country said that people couldn’t get married because of different skin colors – Then we as a country said you can’t marry the same sex based on religion… in fact our country has a made a lot of laws and rules and judgements based on “religion” This means that maybe just maybe we need to reevaluate excluding people for being different because that is not my idea of religion! At least not Christianity!
So, I get where these athletes are coming from! I understand the frustration of not feeling heard, not feeling accepted, and not feeling loved! But yet we are we all supposed to just love the country that we live in because ????????? What because the laws support everyone? Are people supposed to love the country that suppressed them for so long and continue to suppress them? If you think for one second that it doesn’t happen I promise it does- we were at Cedar Point less than a year ago and I watched as the people at the gate let person after person go through without opening bags and then it was our turn and I had 3 bags – None of them got checked…. A couple of young black boys behind me had small cinch sacks and they got stopped and had to show the contents of the bags and then get patted down – Tell me that wasn’t racial profiling???
We all need to understand that when someone doesn’t stand for the National Anthem that isn’t anything against the men and women that have fought for our country- The men and women that fight for our country didn’t fight for the national anthem, they fought and continue to fight for freedom – freedom isn’t the national anthem.
Plus, when we have a president that bully’s people and belittles people – how are these people supposed to be seen or heard???? without doing something drastic! They have to make a stance-
Our country has a long long way to go- Our country has to give respect to it’s people all of it’s people! Our country and law makers have to set an example of treating people with respect! Our law makers have to stop bashing other candidates! Our law makers have to start seeing people and hearing people and loving people! Our country can’t just expect that everyone should respect it- respect is earned!
Another big topic – citizenship Everyone wants to say well, do it the right way!! What does that mean? I know someone right now that has paid thousands of dollars had multiple lawyers trying to become legal – Again until you understand that process please don’t make assumptions like you can just walk in to a place a become legal! People are people! We should not be allowing people to live in cages because they tried to cross the boarder! There has to be a better way! Just because we were born here doesn’t make us better or worse! WE ARE ALL PEOPLE!!
Please for the love stop judging abortion- stop saying that women are using it as a birth control! Please have a conversation with a woman and try and understand- Stop holding your damn picket signs! That does not make you a CHRISTIAN! Stop bashing people on social media!
Until you have walked the footsteps of someone that doesn’t look or act the way that people want them too please understand you don’t understand what that feels like!
Please understand that just because you are friends with someone of a different culture or race or that has a sexual orientation – you still do not fully understand what they go through.
Try for a moment and understand where they are coming from and why they are doing it- stop taking it so personal… They are not disregarding the hard work and dedication of our country men and women that have fought for this country.
Stop using social media as a platform to promote hate! Stop being a keyboard warrior judging everything you do not know or try to know!
Over the last few weeks at church they have been talking about “stories” Stories about how Jesus and different things he has done and continues to do, also individual stories – testimonies from people in our congregation… Heart wrenching, tears rolling down my face, God stories! Today our church basically hosted an open mic for people who felt nudged to share- I felt a nudge from the Lord telling me that I should tell my story, but I wasn’t brave enough to stand up and do it – I am a little stage fright when it comes to speaking in front of big groups of people especially if what I am speaking about is from my heart… It’s probably the fear of judgement or the fear that I won’t be able to articulate what it is that I am trying to say because I will cry, a lot!
I was so touched by the bravery of the people that shared! It was amazing to see both young and old – Listening to them tell all the trials and tribulations and how with each one it was part of the plan and how things worked out and are working out and how the only way to explain it was because they were all God stories!
I believe that we all have them because God is present in all of our lives all the time even when we don’t want him or there or think that he is there…
It was in 2010- I was engaged to a man that I thought I would spend my life or most of my life with- Life was hard, we were just not healthy for one another- Have you ever experienced someone like that. When it’s good it’s really good, but when it’s bad it’s really bad like hell on earth, and you know that you both bring out the worst in one another, but the fear of change keeps you from soaring- Well, that was me… The stress of our relationship and life in general was enough that it caused my body to just react in a way that made no sense- I couldn’t keep anything down, I was rapidly losing weight and fatigue was an every day occurrence… Then it happened I got admitted to the hospital – I was admitted for 14 days – They couldn’t figure out what was wrong- They kept thinking that I was pregnant, after multiple tests and ultrasounds that wasn’t the case- finally they found that I had scar tissue build up on my uterus from delivering my 6 year old boy at the time through a cesarean c-section.
They went in to do the surgery and the surgeon wanted to do a hysterectomy because “it was a real mess in there” his words- Thankfully, he saw that I was engaged and he spoke with my niece and she said no, not to do that – to just remove what he could and close up. The doctor explained to me after the surgery that I would probably never be able to get pregnant because my right ovary didn’t work and my stomach wall is attached to my uterus and so even if I got pregnant carrying the baby to term would be detrimental to me and the baby…
This was news that devastated me. I didn’t think that I wanted more kids, but when you are told that you won’t be able to do something that your body as a woman can do- There aren’t any words
This relationship ended a few months later right before our wedding, this forced me to start over- I mean from scratch- There I was a single mom, no car, no job, no money, no phone, and feeling light as a feather – weird I know, but as messy and confusing as this time was- The only way I can explain it is that God was just there with a smile on his face and his arms open so big!! He placed the right people at the right time in our lives- Friends and family that helped me get a car, a phone, a place to stay, a job… There I was starting over – and feeling more accomplished and loved than I had felt in years of my life-
Along came this sweet sweet man that inspired me -He still inspires me! I knew after one face to face conversation with him that we were going to do life together- because this man saw me! He heard me! He made / makes me want to be a better person, he makes me laugh, he was someone I could just be me – even if I didn’t know the me that I was – he accepted me where I was personally, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and continues to accept me for where I am in those areas – God had a plan
A year and a half in- I start feeling a lot of feels! Emotionally I was a wreck, I was getting sick, and feeling completely drained – I equated this all too the fact that I was busy, I substitute taught, I worked as a bartender, and coached Cheer leading, while taking classes and raising a little boy… Josh asked me one day if I was pregnant and I was quick to let him know that I knew my body and no- number one we were careful and I was on birth control and more than that my right ovary didn’t work-
2 weeks later after all the signs were pointing in that direction I decided to get a test. This was terrifying because if it was positive how would that work out and if it was negative then what was actually wrong with me-
I called a few of my closest girlfriends and decided it was time- I took the test – POSITVE – I texted Josh and just let him know that the thing that we had talked about was happening!
I remember just feeling every possible emotion you could feel! I called the doctor first thing Monday Morning and made an appt. after reviewing my case she put me as a high risk pregnancy… With the expectation of huge amounts of pain and failure to carry full term – the first few appt’s were hard emotionally and physically and mentally!! As the pregnancy continued it was crazy! I had no pain! The baby was on point at every appointment and things just went super smooth- The doctor couldn’t explain it other than a miracle!
That is right – this baby was a miracle!
From the beginning this baby has defied the odds, this baby is now 6 and in his short six years he has opened our eyes, ears, and hearts to a whole new understanding of life and the importance of the little things. I am so very thankful God chose us to be his parents! I am so very thankful God stayed faithful to me even when I didn’t stay faithful to him! I am so thankful that he didn’t give up on me! So very thankful that he kept showing me the path and even when I would choose the darkest, hardest, most scary path he showed up!
Yesterday we decided to make an afternoon community pool visit- This isn’t something that I choose to do very often, I get a lot of anxiety. I turn into a serious helicopter parent, while our 6 year old wearing a life jacket and our 15 year old is right beside him in the pool. Then I start watching everyone else’s kids like as if they are mine, then I see so many bodily fluids coming from everywhere…
Yesterday wasn’t any different in these areas, but the difference is that I watched so much more- I watched this sweet family with a 3 year old encourage him to jump off the diving board and this tiny tyke stood there looking at his Mom and Dad and smiling so big, he counted with his little fingers to five and then he asked if his “Daddy could be right there” while he pointed directly in front of him, and his Dad jumped into the pool without even thinking and that little guy jumped so willingly into the pool, then he was on instant repeat except now doing it by himself. His Mom was so proud she physically called like 5 people to tell them about her amazing 3 year old and how brave he was, then it happened, he stood on the step to the diving board and mid phone conversation the Mom asks him, “Are you peeing and without hesitation he said yes with the happiest most proud smile on his face, then quickly yelled, “I’m a big boy”.
I watched our 6 year old conquer his fear and jump off the diving board! I watched him make 2 new friends, I watched him help a toddler out of the water! I watched a couple of the life guards high five him and encourage him!
I then watched my 15 year old, Jacob, with such admiration. He so lovingly plays with his little brother! The smiles and laughter are just the best sound in the whole wide world, then it happened… Jacob said to Chandler you wanna go down the slide and Chan was quick to say, “But, I’m so little to do that”, then Jacob told him not to worry because he was going to make it happen. Then the big moment came I stood there at the end with my phone camera in my hand waiting and watching… They got to the front of the line and I watched as Jacob and the life guard had a little conversation. Then all of a sudden the life jacket came off and up they went. The young life guard quickly yelled over to another life guard to stand closer to the slides to help the cute little boy in a purple shirt-
The smile on Chandlers face as he flung out of that slide like a cannon ball! Oh my goodness! Talk about my heart exploding! Then to watch Jacob with his bout of confidence! He walks over to me and I just smile at him- He says, “I told you Mom”! I asked him how he felt about it and he grinned and shrugged his shoulder and then came the biggest smile and he said I feel pretty cool – We high five’d and they were at it again!
The whistle blows for a quick 10 minute break- Chan lays down and so do I (Relax time) Jacob says he’ll be back he’s going to chat with his friend- I send him on his way and watch as he makes his way over to the group of life guards and staff heckling it up… As soon as he arrives he is greeted with smiles and hand shakes and fist bumps!
What a great feeling as a parent to see that our kids are accepted! He was totally in his element! The best part about this is these are not kids that he plays sports with they are just kids at school-
As I am watching all of this play out – right in front of us is Jacob’s Principal with his family, his girls were tugging at him and his wife’s hands and they were quick to follow – It was sweet to me because they were totally present in the moments that were taking place – Kids and adults alike were coming up to him and his wife and chatting a little each kid seemed to have his or her own handshake with him… How cool is that – This man has made each student feel special, not only feel special but him and his wife have made it a point to show that they see these kids! Then he approached me after saying to his kids okay we are packing up and I kind of giggled, he said you know I have to be stern, obviously joking because it wasn’t at all and I responded back, “Oh me too especially with that one as I pointed to Jacob” He was quick to let me know how much he enjoyed Jacob! He said Mom, “you’ve got a good one” He talked about how kind and respectful Jacob is and what a good heart he has! Tears filled my eyes (thank goodness for sunglasses) I smiled and said oh I know we are very proud of him for sure and we tell him all the time. We chatted a bit more and he said, “Mom, you’ve done something right”! As sweet as this is – I responded back with I am positive that God has just been placing amazing people in our lives that have helped shape and mold him. He smiled and agreed you know you are right we are all impacting our youth!
I watched as tiny tykes smiled so big as they splashed in the kiddie area! I watched as the little biggs made there way around the whirl pool laughing, smiling, and playing! I watched as the biggs were playing water basketball and they were letting the little biggs join in if they wanted. I watched as the young girls laid out on chairs without a care in the world and how sweet that was! How I remember those days and how bitter sweet that was! I watched as the 20-30 somethings were holding there little babies, and or chasing toddlers, I watched as the 30-40 somethings were watching there big kids and trying to get a little sun on our totally “Hot Mom Bods!” I watched how the 40 and ups sat in chairs and just took it all in, some had books, some were watching away from the pool…. It hit me-
It wasn’t that long ago that I was that young girl laying out hair and make up on point! Then I was the 20 something with a young child clueless and confused at where I belonged, now I am the 30 something trying to navigate being a Mom to Biggs! I know now that I need to hone in on where I am today and soak it up because the other stages have flown by!
What ever stage you are in-
Embrace it! Embrace where you are in your journey today! Do not tell yourself – I’ll wear a swim suit when I lose a few more pounds. Do not miss out on precious moments! Open up your eyes and see the good in those chaotic moments because there is so much good to see!
Experience – each moment as it happens, stop trying to rush your kids to the next stage in life, stop trying to rush yourself to the next stage in life! Stop trying to skip these important moments! Start creating memories for yourself, your children, your friends, your family! Experience life in the skin you are in! If you are working at improving things! Yesss! So excited and proud of you, but please do not forget to love the skin you are in because it’s that skin and body that is helping you get where you want to go and that has gotten you where you are!
Enjoy It! Even through the snot, urine, chaos! Even through the teen life, Even through the long lines, traffic jams, laundry and dishes – Enjoy this beautiful life! Just think about it like this if there were no dishes in your sink or no laundry for you to wash or no traffic jam for you to get through or snotty noses, urine and other bodily fluids there to clean up… It would mean that you are alone! I for one have learned and am learning that I want it! I want it all. Kids or no kids Enjoy your life and what’s in it while you are working to change the things that do not bring your happiness!
There was a time that I thought I had it all figured out- I judged what I didn’t know and stood completely firm on the foundation that was built around me without even thinking of taking a leap of faith or even a tiny step. I am happy to report that in my 35 years of life I am learning that life is bigger than me and my thoughts.
There is so much happening in the world around us and we all seem to have “the right answers” We all seem to have it all figured out and we all seem to be standing firm on the foundation that has been built around us.
Let’s take a moment and step back- Let’s take a moment and understand that we do not have it all figured out, instead we are making huge mistakes. We are basically repeating history- We are putting ourselves, our beliefs, and our ideas at the forefront of everything and crucifying those that are different. We are dismissing ideas and thoughts that didn’t come from us or what we have been taught.
A lot of us claim to be Christians – but we forget to follow his lead! He doesn’t say love those that are like you! Love those that do what you do! Love those that follow you! He say’s, “Love your neighbor” That doesn’t mean the house next to yours in your little neighborhood or the person that sits next to you on Sundays- It means loving everyone. That doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything that those around us do. We do not have to do what those around us do. Instead, we have to simply live a life of constant pursuit of being more like the father.
An awesome pastor once said, “you can’t judge those that aren’t Christian based on your Christian beliefs” Instead you have to be willing to educate them and yourself. We have to understand that it’s not our job to crucify those around us!
Right now the hot topic’s are abortion- I have read posts on social media platforms that down grade women that have gotten abortions- People posting about it being a birth control- Do you know that? Did you talk to the person? How about the hundreds of people that stand outside the clinics with there hate signs- I have an idea, instead of shoving your hate signs maybe stand outside those doors with a helping hand and less judgement. Be a voice of reassurance and offer help. Try to understand why this woman feels like this is her only option because maybe she doesn’t know that there is help because maybe she has never been shown that there is help! Knowledge is power! Shoving a hate sign and claiming to be a Christian seem to be opposing things.
Everyone seems to have to answer on social media, but maybe step away from that screen and touch someones hand, offer a physical presence- you might change your mind on how you judge others.
We have to be truth and grace- besides that who are we do stand up on our soap box, as I know it we all are sinners, we all fall short every single day.
I think sometimes we look at those that are younger than us that are making foolish decisions and we judge- For instance a 40 year old woman looking at an 18 year old girl and making comments about how she is dressed- meanwhile forgetting how she used to dress at that age. We can’t expect an infant to act like a toddler. In the same way, we can’t expect a 2 year old to behave like a 5 year old- it’s ridiculous. This is true for a young adult the age of 18, we can’t expect this young adult to behave like a 25 year old. We all reach maturity’s at different level’s and maybe if we would all step back and remember that we were young and foolish once too, and that we are now just old and foolish that we are in no place to judge instead we should see people, see ourselves! Hear people, hear ourselves! Love people and love ourselves.
Jesus didn’t pick the most perfect people to be disciples, he picked the most broken- and he gave mercy! Grace! Truth! FORGIVENESS!!!!
Why is it so hard for us as humans to do the same thing? Why do we decide that we are so much better and we crucify! Why do we not try to understand and help? I get that we can’t help everyone, but we can pray for everyone, we can have compassion.
We have to understand that we can’t force people to do what we do! We can’t force people to believe what we believe! Jesus never forced himself on anyone- That is why he gave us free will! Plant seeds, offer prayers, and live the best life we can. Learn that we ourselves do not have it all figured out and posting ridiculousness on social media isn’t solving any worldly problems.
You have to put in the work! Seriously, put in the work-
Ahhhh this is the normal conversation that I am constantly having with our 5 year old, 15 year old, and most days my self. lol
The struggle is real people! It is hard to put in the work – especially when you are used to things coming easily to you. For instance- Most of my life I have been a relatively small girl. I didn’t have to put in much work in my younger days to remain that “small body.” As the years have progressed and continue to progress this is something that I have to work pretty hard at. Some days I do and others I fail miserably.
When it comes to the kids the same is true- Our 15 year old has this mentality that he will just show up and be GREAT- God love him, and I think this is partially our faults as parents- we are always bragging about how great our children are (Why wouldn’t we? They are pretty Great!) The truth is that as great as our children are the child next to them is also pretty great- Then the question becomes what separates our Great child from your Great child??? I don’t know the answer- maybe interests, maybe work ethic, maybe priorities… this list goes on, the only thing that I know that I tell our 15 year old is that you have to put in the work.
This work needs to happen in every area of your life- You need to work hard at school, you need to work hard at communicating, you need to work hard at keeping up with your chores, you need to work hard at keeping up with your sports, cleanliness, having a good attitude. I mean this list also goes on. There isn’t anything in life that we can just show up for and be Great.
This is a hard hard pill to swallow- trust me I’m still trying to swallow this little pill down- I mean what the what??? You mean I can’t just wake up and the stars will align and someone will just give me everything in the world that I want? hahhaahahaha No, sorry it doesn’t work that way- The truth is that we have to work hard.
Everyday we have to make a conscious choice to get up, show up, and do life. This means doing things that we don’t want to do- this morning our 15 year old informed me that he knows that he needs to put the dishes away, but sometimes he just doesn’t want to do it because he doesn’t like too.
HMMMMMMM- That’s nice- I’m sorry son of mine that you don’t like to put away the dishes. ahahah Well, okay great well, I don’t like washing the dishes, I don’t like cleaning toilets, I don’t like washing laundry and everything that goes along with that, I don’t like scrubbing the floors ect –
Things I do like: I like living in a clean house, I like knowing that my family has food to eat, clothes to wear, essentials to be able to do life, I like knowing that my family is taken care of. I like the end result after putting in the work. I like that. I didn’t like most parts of pregnancy, but I am thankful God opened up the path of Motherhood to me and I love love love being your mom!! You see child of mine- it’s not about what we don’t like doing- It’s about what we like the result to be! Putting in the work isn’t always the fun part, but reaping those benefits is pretty great and without that hard work there won’t be many benefits to reap.
After this conversation- I reflected and realized- Everyday we all experience moments that we do not like. We all have to do things that aren’t exactly fun, we all have to put in the work, but more than that we get to experience the results-
-Pregnancy- Oh so hard! Holding your sweet baby in your arms ahhhhhhhh Are there even words?
-School and learning – holding that degree feels pretty amazing!
– Cleaning your home – sitting back after it’s all done
– Working out – Seeing those before and after pictures Wheeeeew
– Sleepless nights working on a project- watching that project come to life 🙂
There are so many examples- but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what it is- That end result is pretty GREAT! Focus on that!
We got this! The sunshine is on it’s way!