Tuesday, March 27, 2018

TURNING 40


I still have a couple of days to go, but this week, I turn 40. I have forty years of life stories to tell, but most importantly, I have the courage to tell them because I realize my life so far is the sum of all those parts. Even the chapters that are cringe-inducing or heartbreaking, from this side of the ill, are obviously part of what God has used to get me here. As my friend once said, “The things that I’d remove are the things that make the story mine.”

After decades of discovery/trying to find out what I stand for, I’m finally far enough down the road to ‘declare.’ Aware of who I am and more importantly, who I am not. I’m more comfortable in my (aging) skin to be me and walk my road without always feeling like it means the way you are doing your thing and walking your road makes me right or wrong. Other people’s choices no longer feel like personal affronts or indictments of mine. I absolutely have my moments, but they increasingly end with peace that my lines have fallen in pleasant places.

I no longer hear song lyrics, but I comprehend them more deeply – the ones about searching, knowing, loving and losing. I’ve been in each of those places with allows for greater grace as I walk through this broken world.

I enjoy being mature enough to realize how cleansing it is to simply admit when I'm wrong. Knowing I don’t have to be perfect or even completely understood to be loved. This deep security of mine is incredible.

I like being old enough to realize that no one has it all figured out. There is no longer the elusive dream that one day I will have my crap together and be a walking self-help book. This has released me to ask questions instead of faking competence, which as it turns out, allows me to learn a great deal. It has also allowed me to take myself a LOT less seriously.

I am sure there are people out there who don’t like me or get me, and it’s okay. As long as I am being loving and pursuing the Lord, I don’t need their vote. Life is not a popularity contest, but rather a grand adventure where it is never too late to try and learn new things.

If there are any Annie fans out there, “I really think I’m gonna like it here.”


TWO TOMORROWS


He tells me he wants to have two tomorrows. One for what he wants to do, and the other for the things I’m saying we need to do.

Reef William. That boy. To think he can demand a double day. Gah, I love him and his vigor.

On the threshold of forty, I feel it all in my bones, the beginnings and the ends. All the trauma and the joy of having been so young, it is leaving me a little bit, maybe. Just think of it all–the bumpiest sledding hills, the sunburn after floating all day on the lake, and the nights of partying, eating too much processed food, not wearing glasses while staring at the computer, keeping the mittens off in the winter. I remember the long sleepless road trips, or the even more sleepless newborn baby years, and the hours spent outside or in, bending down, reaching up, hauling and lifting. Over and over like machines, we use up our only bodies, living like we have two tomorrows.

Most of all, our wear and tear comes from the inside out–the avoidance of feeling too much but feeling it anyway, somewhere in the deepest parts. The stress hormones rushing through. The adrenaline biting at our organs. The anxiety building up to depression sometimes. The grief, the heartbreak, the roller coaster of loving other humans.

Standing in the middle, the temptation is to feel defeated. My shoulder hurts, and really, so does everything else, on a bad day. My babies are growing too fast. The oldest generation is fading, dropping, at their end, with so little dignity.

At least once an hour, Ripley Glenn blurts out, loudly, I love you, Mommy! He’ll say it while grabbing my legs for a hug, or while seemingly otherwise occupied. He says it over and over at bedtime, and right away when he wakes up. At some point, he added more, totally catching my heart off guard.

I love you, Mommy….just the way you are. 

He is not looking for perfection, which is good, because I am only their middle-aged mother.

I carry those words with me when I go to work every day. I am wilting a little, and all the drooping and sagging began quite a while ago. The kids point out the lines on my face, and the swagger under my arms. And they love me just how I am. And I try to remember to be embrace exactly where I am, exactly as I am, like my Reef William.



A NOTE ON MOTHERHOOD



I might not embrace (or be good at) all of Motherhood but I love being their mama. And they know it. 

Go be proud of the mom you are today. Treasure her. Pluses, minuses, & all that lies in-between because the way you are shapes your kids FOR THE BETTER. And don’t use this space to gauge how you are measuring up. And don’t believe the nonsense that you need more of ______ to show you care. And please don’t write #goals on another stranger’s filtered picture of their perfect kitchen or flexed abs. Seriously. Stop scrolling, if you start feeling icky. Take inventory of who you’re following too - as what goes in must come out. Let your heart be your daily guideline, not social media. Acknowledge that stuff is just stuff. And yes, IG can be so inspiring but it can also be a giant magnify glass to what you’re lacking. And lastly, be your own purpose of action to the life you already have...and to the person you already claim...and to the children you already cherish. Without anyone watching.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

MY ORDINARY LIFE


I could give two hoots about the algorithm or trolls or monetizing. I can’t be bothered with making sure everyone see my posts or likes them or, even better, likes me. Or if my following is increasing/declining or if my filters are all in-sync or if my feed is maintaining the same look or theme or vibe. Blah. I don't have the energy for it. Because it means very little to me but this community is still my chorus.
 
Life feels fragile. My kids are growing at lightening speed, as I am -- so I just wanna document my ordinary here & write from my heart's riverbank & love the ones at my table well & invite you all in along the way. 







Saturday, March 10, 2018

I KINDA SUCK AT IT


In direct response to: "YOU are awesome! I love following your life on IG, FB, and your blog. YOU are such an inspiration & a beautiful person through and through. I hope we can see each other soon!" 

Listen up, people.

I am stuck between trying to figure out how to foster/adopt another child so we can do it all over again & “Let’s close up shop today!” My standard pendulum swings fast & far in this season of Motherhood. And it’s emotionally exhausting.

I can be high as a kite & ready to throw in the towel, all before 10am. I can walk into Target feeling like a badass & leave completely defeated. I want to raise independent free-thinkers but then I whine when they don’t ‘need’ me enough. I usually count down the minutes until bedtime, only to be eager to start all over again in the morning. I probably yell way too much & yet I’ve never loved bigger, better. I wonder if what I do each day even matters & still know that I am giving them the best childhood imaginable. I want our home to feel lived-in, all while I complain about the mess. I anxiously await for my kids to return home from school, only to make them go play outside or in their rooms. I am full to the brim & running near empty. I can doubt myself, my capabilities, my direction & remain assured in my gut that I got what it takes. I was born to do this. This is my true calling. But I kinda suck at it. Or maybe not. I still don’t know.

Gah. I flip-flop a lot. I struggle even more. And I often wonder how normal this is. And then when it all gets too heavy, I just give a long exhale and whisper “help me, Jesus.”
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