Friday, July 25, 2014

Lessons From My Children

It probably isn't fair. Sometimes I think I learn much more from my children than what I actually teach them. They are constantly teaching me to be a better person, a better mother, a better Christian. Can I take credit for their brilliance? Probably not, but they sure do make me proud.

Hard Lessons

"You still act like you weigh 300 pounds."  This, from my son. At first I was confused, then I objected. His words sank in and I realized.....he was right. There were still things that I wasn't doing. Activities I wouldn't attempt. My thinking was still stuck at my former weight. I was still of the mindset that I couldn't do anything until I reached my weight goal. Only then could I start behaving the way I always wanted to. 

So we made a pact to engage in a fun physical activity every day. Yesterday was kayaking. It was something that I thought I was too big to do. It turns out I'm not. And my kids and husband and I all loved it. Kayaking is something we are going to be doing quite often. Today is boxing. I can't wait for that this afternoon. Also on the list is canoeing, hiking, running a 5k, karate, a trampoline, horseback riding.....

So now I play on the playground equipment with my youngest. I laughed when I went down the slide. My son helped me realize that I wasn't acting my weight. I was walking in a shadow of my former self.

Time Well Spent

Standing in line at the store, after hurrying through to get the items on my list so I could go on to the next errand, I heard a sound. I looked down to see my youngest daughter quietly crying. I immediately asked her what was wrong.
"You don't spend enough time with us."
In defense mode, I replied, "Yes, I do. I am with you all of the time."
"No," she sniffled, "You don't. You are always on your phone or the computer or taking pictures or in your room or reading."
My heart had been gutted. Blood pulsated through my head and I could barely breathe. Was she right?
And then I heard my son say to her, "My friends see their parents even less than we see ours. We're lucky."

Lucky? They didn't look lucky to me at that moment. And I certainly didn't feel lucky. My daughter was right. Boundary lines had blurred for me. I was taking business calls in the evening. I was being available at all times to all people....except the ones who so desperately need me the most. And I had convinced myself otherwise because I saw them all day long. Only....I wasn't really seeing them. 

Working from home is a difficult thing. I am here, but not really. I realized just how hard that is on my kids. And I realized just how much I am on my phone - calls, emails, texts, messages. Only half listening to what my kids were trying to tell me. 

It's a hard habit to break. I've been leaving the phone behind more. I am setting up clear work boundaries. Family time is family time only now. I am no longer easy to get a hold of. My focus is moving back to where it needs to be. With my family. And me time is now out of the house, away from the kids so that they aren't feeling ignored. We are slowly inching our way toward balance.

Love and Blessings!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Asking the Right Questions


That's a great question, isn't it? Where am I going? Where have I been? Where are you? Where is this relationship headed? Where? Where? Where?

Always searching for that pivotal place that screams - "This is IT! I've arrived. I matter. I'm a success. I've achieved.......IT."

Where Do we even recognize it when we see it? Does it even exist? How do we know when we have reached that destination? The destination that we long for. The IT that validates us. The goal of pure perfection.

Is it really perfection we're after or is it merely the dream that we chase? And then, when the dream becomes stale, we stop chasing. We tell ourselves that weren't going anywhere with that dream. We justify our reason to not persevere. We find a new "it" to chase for awhile, until it too grows cold.

Where do you chase something you can't identify? And are you really chasing it or are you really following it's shadow? It's in the shadow that desire wanes.

We run after something without knowing why. Then, if we finally reach it, the victory is hollow. Regrets of why become our new anthem.

Why did I want this?
Why did I waste my time?

Maybe the real answer is to ask ourselves why before where. Maybe if we knew the why first, we could save ourselves some heartache. We could follow the right path to the right destination. We could realize that we already matter along the way. We could find our successes in every step forward. Walking in the light of "it" instead of the shadow, blinded by the chase.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Overwhelming Schedules and Panic Attacks

"Calm down."

Those two words came out of my husband's mouth a few days ago. He could see my panic rising. Not that it's easy to miss when it gets going. I looked up with a tear filled frenzied look in my eyes and responded, "We're trapped again."

I was writing our church volunteer schedules onto the calendar. Our calendar was looking so full now and suddenly I couldn't breathe. Flashes of another time and place bombarded me and I just wanted to run away.

Some people thrive on a completely filled schedule. They embrace having something to do every minute of every day. Kudos to those of you like that. I am not one of those people. I tried to be that once and it nearly destroyed my family and me.

Fear. I was letting it get to me. The only option with fear is to chase after it and face it head on. That is when I find I grow the most.

So, I calmed down, as my husband so lovingly suggested. I focused on the blocks that were not filled in with ink. My husband reminded me that it is not like before and that my little free spirit self was safe to fly when needed.

Deep breath in and deep breath out. Okay, I felt better. He was right (again, ugh!). My family is still able to come first. And I really love the areas I volunteer in. I walk in knowing that my identity in Christ is not found in my identity in the church. The pressure is off (unless I put it there). My focus is longer on how I am not....enough, but in Christ and who I am in Him.