On being a mom: lessons of life

I think the most surprising thing I learned when I became a mom is that as you raise your children, your children are raising you. Life lessons are never a one way street.

I have learned to never try to guess the end of the story, life is like a map being drawn as you put your foot out to step, and not every path leads to where you think it will.

The kids have shown me that no matter how hard you try to avoid education, it happens anyway.

Being silly sometimes makes life worth living. Laughter is a great way to defuse stress.

Trying/retrying something you never thought you could do or like can open up adventures and abilities that bring joy and relaxation. You might be surprised what you ‘can’ do.

Surprise! The same DNA/family culture does not equal sameness in children! Everyone is unique.

Always ask, “will this matter tomorrow?”. Don’t sweat the small stuff, as the quote goes, it is all small stuff.

Most importantly, no matter how bad you think you have screwed up, LOVE is ALWAYS the answer. If you do nothing else, love your kids fully and they will be alright.

Thanks kiddos for helping to mold me into me!

P.S. As the kids get older the size of your family may grow.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle: letting go of the “diet mentality”

Big boy! (Or girl) Garden friend.

I was disappointed with myself at the end of the day yesterday. I had reinstalled another “step counter” on my phone to track my activity and I was no-where close to my goal of steps taken when I went to bed. Crazy thing was my body was screaming at me. Why?

I started cleaning up my gardens yesterday and my two hours I had alloted before I chained myself to my desk for a few hours, turned into five hours of joyous work in the sunshine. Doing hundreds of squats, digging, pulling and activating muscles that have laid dormant since last year.

I worked HARD, so why was I so disappointed about a stupid number on my phone?

The conversation my mind was having with my soul, was not very nice! Instead of saying good job today, it was talking down telling me, “I would never reveal the skinny (healthy)person inside that is disguised in an excess layer of fluff(fat).”

The problem with a mindset of diet is it is equal to scarcity and want vs a mindset of health and well-being which is a mindset of delicious fresh abundance and ability.

Ironically like many other lessons in my life, the most impactful person to give me this lesson about diet vs lifestyle, was my daughter Stephanie. One day I was talking about preparing lunch and said the word “diet”. She spoke up and said,”no mom, not a diet, it’s your lifestyle now.”

A lifestyle is about daily sustained choices for the long-run, as apposed to a short term denial for “quick, unlasting results”.

A lifestyle is about making choices and taking action on a daily bases to bring self closer to your own type of beautiful and joy.

Maybe I should have slipped away yesterday for a power walk, to boost some calorie burning. That would only have worked on one area of my lifestyle dream.

I chose instead, muscle building, weight-lifting, beautifying, garden building, weeding: with the hope that someday soon, my body will be fit AND my gardens will be beautiful. Not to mention the fresh, healthy, local abundance of home-grown food. Payoff for this lifestyle choice!

Where in your life do you need to make a mental shift from lack (diet) to abundance (lifestyle)? What can you do today to level-up the impact of your actions?

“Date” with my son

Ready to go!

My kids are growing up so fast. I had been warned that “time flies”. I realize now that it seems that as we age time really does speed up.

Fred’s sixteen already, and although I may be slightly biased, he is a great kid.

He is a young man that works hard, cares much, and rarely complains. In fact he complains so little that his clothes were ‘shrinking’ more everyday and he would just squeeze into them and go on about his day.

I planned a day. I made appointments at the salon (Fred’s first professional hair cut), let him pick where to have lunch, and dragged him through the extremely limited clothing stores in town (well men’s clothing stores).

The time in the salon was lovely. The tacos for lunch were delicious. Shopping was…hard, the boy doesn’t care what clothes he wears, and he didn’t show me ‘how’ the pants fit, he just said they did. (I really hope they do, 🤞.)

The very best part of our day, I think, was taking him to the nursery and letting him pick out some plants to love. I had not realized that he had never been with me before when I went there. It was love at first sight as we walked into the giant green house. It reminded me of my grandpa, how he loved his garden. On this trip Fred picked a crocodile fern and a fun succulent to decorate his room with. “Look at this mom! And this! Look over here!”

I think I have found a gardening partner as he chatted about how excited he was to get our gardens cleaned up and planted. What else we should get on a later trip. JOY!

Our day ended too soon. I really can’t wait for the next chance we get to go out together again!

Tired but happy!

Sneaking up

Sandhill Cranes

I love these guys. I don’t know if it’s the size, or their awkward shape, or the little babies they have with too long legs.

These guys were picking in a field near my friend’s house. She was teaching the young people kung-fu and slipped away to tell me to borrow her rubber-boots and go.

I stuck to the edge of the first field, and started picking my way through the thorn brush at the edge of the next when I was spotted and the warning cry went up.

Maybe I should have been more patient? What was the rush anyway? I snapped a couple of pics and tried to move closer.

I should have kept my camera up! They rose up from the far-side of the field. The beauty of their flight took my breath away.

Snippets of Spring 2022

Continuing a new lifestyle, gluten-free, nearly “added” sugar-free, not “processed”, aim to hydrate and feel great.

Walking with purpose for exercise, or meditation, or socialization.

Enjoying the birds, the gardens, the outside clean up, and the sunshine.

Stepping outside my comfort zone, target shooting in public. Surprised I can do so many things I didn’t know I could.

Trying new or retrying things I haven’t done in years. Learning to not be so self-concious and relaxing into fun.

Campfires with friends. Meeting new people.

Strolls with old friends enjoying the blessings around us.

Just a little taste of spring. A glimpse of thoughts and changes for the season. My beautiful colourful life!

Walking Back Out Of That Grave!

Yesterday was Resurrection Sunday, a rather BIG deal in the Christian church. Tim, Fred and I hustled to get ready and went to service at the little chapel we attend regularly. Pastor Chris told a joke at the beginning of the service(as is his style) . A piece of that joke really hit my heart. ” A teacher had asked her students what Easter was (various answers are given)….and then a little boy answers, Jesus dies Friday, is laid in a tomb, and on Sunday He comes out and if He sees His shadow He goes back in for six more weeks.” Lol funny right~except when it’s YOU who has seen their own shadow and run back into the tomb.

Once upon a time, I was a people-pleaser, the proverbial “good girl” or at least part of me pretended to be… or did strive to be…. worked at being even. Maybe slightly or a little more so; passive/aggressive and definitely a warrior of the under-dog. All wrapped up with a bow of life experience that taught me the importance of doing what one was told, holding it together (a.k.a. suppressing ones) especially negative emotions (although sometimes a good giggle fest did not go unpunished if it was “poorly timed”). I seriously thought I had worked all this out… mostly.

But what happens when you wrap yourself so tight up in “being good” especially a “good christian” and a pile of hurts and crap gets thrown your way? What happens when your persona slips and your world spins out of control and Lord have mercy “YOU SEE YOUR SHADOW!!!!”?

Me personally? I ran back into the grave and slammed the bolder tightly, sealing myself in with hopelessness!!!

Good, good Lord how did this happen? How can a smart, well educated, loving, caring “christian” person listen to the “you know better, how could you do “that again” ” voice whispering to my soul. That ugly, dirty, deceitful voice! The exclamation point of seeming silence from the Spirit made the voice louder dirtier, “truer” somehow.

How could I forget, that the giver of my very life, who knows all and sees all, who knows the end of the story when I myself am stuck in the middle, how could I forget that He chose to spread His arms out in my place, to take the wrath intended for me, just to show how important our relationship is to HIM, HOW COULD I MYSELF ME FORGET? How could I forget unlimited grace? How could I slip so deeply into this despair?

How seemingly easy it was to slide back into a space of deadness. “Don’t feel… don’t process… don’t acknowledge the pain… make it unreal in your head. That’s it, good cover story, don’t you feel so much better now?” “Your tired, your unmotivated, it’s all pointless anyway, here today~gone tomorrow…sleep a little longer, watch another video, play another game, just get out of your head…stone wall your heart. Oh your body aches? I wonder why?” DEPRESSION!!!! LIES!!!! DEATH!!!!

This time the pit was deeper, darker, scarier, deadlier without hope than ever before. The light slipped! Source was invisible, silent!!

WHO AM I??? WHERE AM I GOING??? SEPARATION! HOPELESSNESS! Shadow person.

Then one day a friend told me, not even knowing the whole of the battle for my soul, “it seems dark right now, but you will come through this and grow through this trial.” “If she only knew,” my mind whispered to me. Another young person mentioned “my light seemed dim some how, was I okay?” (Uncomfortable question when your are hiding a war inside that is raging on for your very soul! A good girl would not admit that!)

A question came as I started to push myself to move (not because I wanted to, just because it was more uncomfortable not to look like I was putting in an effort {classic people-pleaser move}). The question was “what do you believe?” It started out small and quiet, and the words never changed but the intensity and the word You became louder and louder.

A while later a second question came, “who do YOU say I Am”? But, but, but…

“God this darkness is killing me! OR am I already dead? I AM THE WAKING DEAD!!! I need to feel! I need to feel anything, am I even alive?”…”but I am so afraid.” the words quietly trail off in my head.

It is familiar, comfortable even, pretending going through the motions. Fooling no one, not even myself. Dark.

Back track to last week, my underdog of the day: Tim, is having a rough week, HE is tired, HE needs rest. A quick plan and by afternoon we are off. A bottle of wine, some lavender scented bath products, and a longing like my very life depended on it to “feel”, “feel something anything intensely”. Just one night!

“Am I even alive?”

Morning comes. “YES, YES I AM ALIVE!”

A new level of energy, a tiny little ember of hope, the kind still voice, “child”, is all it says. This was Friday.

I am in the tomb, but the rock is shifted. There is a sliver of light shining through. It is shining on me. The shadows are shifting. But “I am okay, bruised and dirty, but cautiously breathing.”

A long walk with the kids on Friday afternoon, wash the ceilings in the dining, livingroom and hallway on Saturday. “Good, good.”

Sunday comes: put my exterior together, drag my body to church, plan in my mind to celebrate Jesus my God (“even if He doesn’t celebrate me”).

Then something happens! With one small joke and the words “JESUS TOOK IT ALL!” Pastor Chris goes on to say, “I am still a ‘sinner’, but HE is still my SAVIOUR.”

I hear the Father say, “Child what are you doing in that ugly grave, step out into the light and live, just live.”

Must say my legs are still shaky after such a long “sleep”, but I breath deeply, I look to see the bright sun shine and I am thankful, so very thankful that maybe, just maybe if I decide today to be the messy, occasionally mixed up daughter of the King, like HE made me to be, I can experience the joy of feeling, and experiencing this whole messy life and LIVE!

The questions are still there: “who do you say I AM”, and “what do you believe”. These are the life saving questions I realize.

We worry so much about so many things, what mistakes we make, what others think of us, how we look, what needs to get done, are we good enough. Why do we do this to ourselves? Do any of these things really matter?

The Creator made us, He made us unique, and I think in His ultimate wisdom He allowed imperfection in the creation, so that He could work in us and refine us. He made us like little children, with curiosity, the ability to learn, and the sensations to delight and to feel at a spectacular soul shifting level. If HE is who He says He is, why do WE worry, why do WE strive so hard, with such devastating effects?

He is good, I am not! He is perfect, I am not! He is loving and I am receiving! He is the source of my light and my life the very air I breath, and I am responsible for living and feeling, growing and learning and sharing my gratitude and praise with Him!

I stepped out of that grave. I am alive. I chose to live! Why don’t you step out of yours also and choose life too?

***To anyone that was brave enough to read this far. I apologize that this is not grammatically correct, as it is the rantings of my internal heart, mind and soul. I also apologize for any personal triggers I may have pushed, although now maybe the time to expose those triggers to the light.

AWAKEN, ARISE, YOU ARE ALIVE!

Look right in front of you, what do you see?

Morning has come again, night is over.

What will you do with this day, this here, this now?

Days have passed on, one after another, gone like the wind.

Stalled, low, waisted.

Mourning!

But “I” am alive. “I” am here. “I” can rise.

There is still beauty when the darkness like blinders is removed from one’s eyes.

Today I am alive! Cleanse off the mourning. Breath deeply to the core. Allow ‘heart’ to beat again, feel deeply the rhythm of the song of life.

Be kind, and live.