Fear

I’ve lived a lot of my life in fear.  The more I feared things, the more those things came true, which kept me in this cycle believing all those fears because some of them had come true.

Last night my son had a bad thought, which made him fearful he’d have nightmares.  Oh bless him, I couldn’t hug him tight enough.  I encouraged him to say his fear out loud, breaking it’s power, praying with him, and checking on him as he fell back to sleep.

It felt right.  I could tell he was calm.  My heart swelled with love for him.  I didn’t think less of him because he had a bad thought.  I didn’t tell him to quit it and get it together.  It didn’t make sense to say those things.

But how often do we say those things to ourselves?  Just stop worrying, get it together, no one else thinks this way.  And in our silence we’ve given power to those thoughts.

Negative thoughts are normal, it is what we do with them that gives them power or dissolves them.  

It also hit me after Caleb went to lay down, just because you think something doesn’t make it true.  Our brains need this reminder.  We are hardwired for protection.  Our brains know how to do this well.  And if we’ve had any sort of trauma we are hardwired for more protection.

A thought is a thought and we get to choose what to do with it.

  1. Speak it out loud.  So our brains have a chance to look at it differently.
  2. Share it with someone else. Maybe a friend or a counselor.
  3. Pray.
  4. Let others check on you.  People who love you and encourage you.  Reminding you that you are not alone, no shame.  Just joy shared in this journey.

 

Hopefully this encourages you, by reminding you, you are not alone.  How we speak to our kids is how we should speak to ourselves.  Or speak to ourselves the way we want to speak to our kids.  Parenting continues to teach me more and more about myself.  Grateful. img_0228

What’s your never?

These are the areas I’ve struggled the most: the areas I told God “never.”  Never would I share, never would I do that, never would I say that, never would I treat someone like that.  Never, never, never.

My heart was so intentional about saying never.

For example, my two year old just cried himself down for nap.  I said I would never.  I know not realistic, but my heart just aches when my kiddos are crying.  However, my two year old needs a nap, and he won’t go with others in the room.  So I shut the door, and he cried for less than a minute.  And I hear a gentle whisper say “see he is okay.”  And maybe more importantly “you are okay.”

Lots and lots of parenting things I said I’d never do (pre kids of course because you are always judgmental until you walk through it-am I right?).

When I have claimed “never” over an area of my life those are the times I’ve struggled the deepest in my faith.  When I’m actually faced with the reality that “never” is now a possible option or just the reality of life at the moment.  I hurt, I resist even more because I’ve promised myself never.

Maybe for you it is medication to help you stay sober, or the keep you calm.  Maybe you said never to counseling because you had a bad experience.  Maybe you said no to taking care of yourself, because we are supposed to serve right?  I won’t be like them…on and on we go.

Our mind keeps track of that inner voice, and when we say no I’d never, our mind has a hard time letting us do it when it actually is good for us.  Or a good option for the time.  Allow yourself freedom, because others around you need that same freedom to move and live and make decisions.

What are some of your never-s?  Maybe some are funny, and maybe some need an evaluation.  Let God search you.  It is for freedom.

Parents: Enjoy the process

I like to get things accomplished and check them off the list.  Honestly I like to just to get through them, not to necessarily enjoy them.  Its the checking off I like.

This poses a problem with kids.  

It’s hard to tell when our kids will make that next step whether with sleep, with potty training, with new chores, or discipline.  How do we know what to do and when?  Isn’t it all laying on our shoulders to direct and mold them?

Whew that last question has about killed me a time or two.  The pressure of getting it all right pushes down on me and causes anger and impatience with my kids.  Because if it’s all depending on me, then I have this pressure to get it right.

“They won’t go to school with a pacifier!”

“They won’t come into your room at night to sleep with y’all in high school!”

“He’ll get it.  She’ll stop.”

Those are some of the encouraging things I’ve heard along the way as a mom.  And you know what, so far they have proved true.

For example, with my son I tried the natzi three day potty training, and whew all I had at the end of it was  a headache and hurt pride.  And then one day just before three he decided he was done, potty trained pretty quickly and slept dry through the night.  Please don’t compare any process with yours.

All kids are different!  (explanation point, explanation point.)

Sleep with my first born was tough, he had eczema so it made it hard for me to let him cry it out, which also felt completely against my nature.  So we didn’t.  But kindergarten has come and he sleeps through the night on his own.  He’s grown.  So now, I enjoy the occasional snuggles at five am.

My daughter has been different.   Again, all kids are different.

With sleep, we let her cry it out at nine months and she slept great after that until we moved her out of her crib.  Now, she needs me to lay by her until she falls asleep but it’s ok.  It’s a good time for me to calm down too and realize I’m not in control of even sleep.  It’s a natural process for us to fall asleep.  If we make it something bigger then pressure and sleeplessness result (personal experience).

With potty training though, our girl was the same.  We pushed a little but I learned my lesson with the first no natzi camp.  Just before three she came out of the bath and decided it was the day for potty training.  And it stuck.

A few thoughts on regression.  Regression is a normal process for all of us right especially when we are learning?  We don’t always get something the first time, so why do we have such expectations on our babies to be different.

Parenting is so rewarding.  Maybe because it doesn’t all depend on us.

These are a few things I know:

  1. My kids are watching all I do.  Good and bad and they love me still.  And they are turning out ok.
  2. My kids are resilient.  They can do hard things.
  3. Most of the things I’ve feared or worried about with my kids have ironed themselves out.  They’ve grown without my constant control. Maybe in spite of it.

I’m hoping a mom or dad needed to hear this today.  You got this.  You’re doing it.  Even if you don’t see results.  Relax.  Enjoy the process.  Because one day you’ll wake up and that phase will be over.

Reminding myself.  Relax.   Enjoy the process.

It’s pretty miraculous, this raising kids thing.

 

The Good Life

Life with littles.

I have learned a lot.

As a parent you say a lot of, “no don’t eat the sand.”

“You just had a bath.” (mud from head to toe)

“Don’t put that in the toilet.”

It is a constant roller coaster of ups and downs and doing the same thing over and over.

Maybe it is the point, because I am a slow learner.  It takes me a few circles around the block for me to get the point.

I feel like the best mom when my kids are off their tablets/away from T.V., but there is a trade off.  And it usually means the house is a complete disaster.

Disaster equals play.

They have to see where the toys are, which means lots and lots of dumping toy buckets and picking them up to be dumped again.

Just writing it feels overwhelming.

But it’s not all parenting is.

Eventually, the evening slows to lulls.  The kiddos get a little sleepy.  We read our stories for the night.  Brush teeth (that is not the peaceful part).  And I watch those sweet kids fall asleep. Their eyes begin to drift slowly, slowly, until they close.  It’s beautiful.  They are content.  Happy I’m beside them.  And it’s quiet.

Life feels like a whirlwind, but there are these moments where it pauses.  Where it slows to almost standing still, where you can take it all in.  Don’t miss those moments.

It’s not just parenting, but marriage too.  It is the quiet in the car where you are just happy to be in each other’s presence and content to be quiet.

Maybe work, all the sudden you feel a groove in your job and you understand someone more and appreciate all they do.  The frustrations start to fall as you sit and just embrace where you are.  What you have.

Content.

Being content in the quiet has taken me a long time to embrace.  I used to believe silence meant something bad was about to happen, but it’s not true.  The quiet is where God tells you who you are, who He is and why He can be trusted in the busiest of moments.

Life is both.  Crazy and lovely.  Content and fast-paced.  Slow and powerful.  Meaningful and mundane.

Embrace it all.  And make those quiet moments count; loving those around you, listening to the songs of birds outside on this spring day, the sun shining, and the breeze blowing.

I’m sitting in my hallway, listening to my kiddos get along, the birds are chirping, my coffee cup is almost empty, and I’m writing.  Life is good.  It is not perfect, but it is good.

Importance of quiet: God is in the whisper, so we should probably make time to hear it.

Psalm 46:10 says “Be Still, and know that I am God.”

I like how the NET translates it, “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God.”

Be still, embrace whatever moment you are in, and allow God to speak straight to your heart, I promise it is good, a gift.