Caught in a familiar trap

“Action expresses priorities”. – Mahatma Gandhi

I saw this quote roll across my Facebook newsfeed this morning. I stopped and stared at it and allowed it to quickly pierce my heart like a paring knife. Swift little jabs and twinges of guilt in acknowledgment that my actions really DO express my priorities.

Sadly, this is nothing to be proud of.

Lately I have been busy getting ready for camp, a cousins wedding and my family reunion. I’ve been busy and I prefer it that way. I’m a gal that likes pressure and a deadline. But my ol regular ho-hum daily routine would express that my priorities are snuggling with my kids, napping, internet rabbit holes, reading (a ton) and basically anything other than housework, yard work, or a general beautifying or primping of myself in any way.
(Make-up? bahahahah! )
This is shameful to admit, but this is Realology so I am bound to divulge the dirty, ugly truths as much as the golden ones.

I have good days where I’m on point and have my stuff together and things accomplished with a fabulous meal bubbling on the stove when my husband arrives from work in he evening. But most days, I allow myself the funk. My sister says these may be the signs of a depression? Gandhi says they are an expression.

Who knows?

I’ve been pondering the reality of a “stay at home mom depression”. When I google it a ton of things pop up. There has even been a Gallup poll done on the topic. (Check it out: http://www.gallup.com/poll/154685/stay-home-moms-report-depression-sadness-anger.aspx ) I have had many conversations with friends my age, moms who stay home. Moms who don’t. It seems we all suffer from this in some measure. But nobody really wants to admit it may be them. None of us really want to share that we need help and even if we did we wouldn’t accept it. We want to conquer and reign victorious as women. We want to give our families and households the very best of what we can, so when the best we’ve got is microwaved leftovers we feel like losers.

Boo.

So, that being said, how do we turn our priorities around?

How do we stop the cycle of feeling bad about self, perpetuating slack off, perpetuating more feelings of self loathing (which in my case, leads to a food binge) which only fuels more negative fire…so fourth and so on?

Ladies, am I all alone in this? How do you combat these kinds of feelings and avoid this deadly trap?

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Musings from a hot car

July.

I can’t even believe it. Before we know it it’ll be the start of the holiday season. Time rushes by as an adult. As a kid, the summers were long and drawn out. Sticky and hot. Somehow the hotter the day, the more time seemed suspended. As if the hours would get stuck in the stale heat that left us bound in front of open windows, fans and Nickelodeon. We weren’t the kind of kids who grew up with air conditioning. But there were endless amounts of otter pops.

Yesterday, while waiting for my husband to run inside a store to pick something up real quick, the kids and I waited in the car for him. We had all 4 windows down and were only waiting for my hubs for about 8 minutes. You would have thought my children were gonna die. They couldn’t handle being hot. I couldn’t believe the fits that were thrown. They live in a comfortable, air conditioned existence.

Hmmmm.

This got me thinking. My husband and I both want to give our kids a life we didn’t have. We both came from families with lots of kids (me being the eldest of 4 and he being the second oldest of 5). When a family has lots of kids the money for extra curricular activities, sports, movies, and vacations is almost non-existent. We both wanted a small family so that we could afford to do these things with our kids, and raise them comfortably. Even having the TWO kids gets expensive! I honestly don’t know how people do it with more! Our friends with large families have often teased us about having more kids,
but we are confident in the decision we’ve made. But sometimes I wonder if we aren’t creating entitled and apathetic monsters in the process. I think that I am pretty strict with my kids. We have rules, chores, and consequences in our home. Yet, I still find myself asking so many questions. How do you take the best care of your children without spoiling them? How do you teach them work ethic and responsibly without cracking a whip? How can we instill gratitude and empathy from this air conditioned point of view?

Everyone has their opinions and techniques. Once upon a time I would have thought I knew exactly how to execute these things with my kids. Having worked in child care for 10 years I was confident that with every new stage I would know exactly what to do. Well, was that ever WRONG.

Bottom line? My kids are amazing. They have tender little hearts for people and animals that they have acquired in spite of me and my parenting. I know that God has a plan for their lives and loves them even more deeply than I do. I just want to get it right!

Sometimes it’s just hard to let to and trust.

Love covers over a multitude


“But LOVE. Love is eternal. Love never ends. The love we offer and receive in this world we’ll carry with us into the next. The greatest of these is love. When in doubt, I choose love above any particular ideas offered to me about faith.
And that means that I love my gay friends, without agenda. And I love my friends who believe that homosexuality is a sin, without agenda. And I love my friends who are terrified for my soul when I write this way, without agenda.”
– Glennon Melton, Momestary

This quote couldn’t be truer for me.

I used to be filled with agenda. I still battle my agenda creeping in and rearing its ugly head from time to time. I’ve allowed other people’s agenda to navigate my thoughts and actions. It has taken work to deprogram. I have had to trust in God and pray for faith and confidence to just go ahead and stand for what I believe, even when people think I’m crazy. It’s funny, when people get self righteous about their agenda, that’s when we see the ugliness start to ooze. I know I have been guilty of it, and I have friends in both camps of this issue who I’m sure have had similar experiences.

It boils down to this: I wouldn’t know how I’d feel if someone or groups of someone’s told me it was wrong or disgusting for me to be in love with my hubs. He is my very best friend, my partner, my love. I believe he is a gift from God in my life. His love makes me better. His love shows me God’s love and grace in a tangible way. Who would I be to make judgements on anyone else’s LOVE? Who am I to say I understand anything? Who am I besides someone who believes that God has called me to love…love Him, His people and myself?

I’m just gonna have to go ahead and believe that Gods love is big enough and mighty enough and supernatural enough to cover ALL sorts of loves. I’ll have to gulp down the furrowed brows of disappointment from some, but what is that compared to the harassment that so many gay people have endured in the “name of Jesus”?

On her blog, Glennon also writes,

“I don’t know much. But I know that each time I see something heartbreaking on the news, each time I encounter a problem outside, the answer to the problem is inside. The problem is AWAYS me and the solution is ALWAYS me. If I want my world to be less vicious, then I must become more gentle. If I want my children to embrace other children for who they are, to treat other children with the dignity and respect every child of God deserves, then I had better treat other adults the same way. And I better make sure that my children know beyond a shadow of a doubt that in God’s and their father’s and my eyes, they are okay. They are fine. They are loved as they are. Without a single unless. Because the kids who bully are those who are afraid that a secret part of themselves is not okay.”

It’s like she crawled into my head and perfectly scripted my heart.

Read the original post here:
http://momastery.com/blog/2012/01/22/a-mountain-im-willing-to-die-on-2/

Why I am not a mommy blogger

I have resisted the term “mommy blogger”.

I kind of hate it.

Not that I have anything against “mommy bloggers”, I just don’t want to be labeled one. But then I have to ask myself why? Is it because I feel the term leaves so much out about who these women might be as human beings? Maybe, knowing all my inadequacies keeps me from feeling worthy to dub myself as such, implying some sort of expertise in the field…which I am far from?

Perhaps? Who knows.

It makes me sound like a jerk for insinuating that there might be more to a woman than just her being a “mommy”. (GASP!) Many of the faith based mommy blogs are so…well…sweet.
They are nice.
Lovely.
They are perfectly color coordinated. They are filled with triumphs as moms and tender accounts of motherhood. And it seems, all of them beaming with spiritual maturity. Some women find these inspirational, I find them to be more of bright gleaming light on my insufficiencies, stained carpets and frumpy clothes.
I am not well put together or polished. I have dirty dishes and unidentified smells going on around here. (My project after writing this post, lucky me.) No matter how hard I try, I am not organized or scheduled. I sometimes long to be. This could very well be my aversion to the “mommy blog” world. That perfectly cleaned, frosted and accessorized realm of the Internet that bids the “mommy” to come on in and have a cup of coffee while we swap some tips on how to be awesome?

I’m just not invited to that party.
I’d have nothing to wear.
My attempts at making hand made invitations to perfectly themed birthday parties to impress my friends lasted about 2 1/2 years or so…my poor second child will never know of these sorts of grand affairs and she is perfectly content with her Walmart birthday cakes, thank you very much.
My scrapbooks? Don’t even ask.

The truth is I am a mommy and I also am (for whatever its worth) a blogger.

I have talked very openly here about my battle with food addiction/recovery and self esteem. Sharing this process of learning how to genuinely love myself and be kind to myself. (Still working on that one!) I’ve grappled with beauty and body issues. And YES, I’ve confessed much about my efforts as a mommy and a wife.
But also as a sister, friend and daughter.
I want evaluate my life for REALS and look upon my friendships and relationships in a real way. In hopes of growth.
Not just because I am a mom, but because I am a human being trying to get it right with this one life I get to live.

Throughout all of this I’ve been constantly examining my faith. Steadily combing out all of these different layers of my life with fine toothed bristles of honesty, especially where my faith is concerned. If there is anything I can say about myself, it is that I DO NOT want to be a phony. This might put some people off…but this is REALOLOGY, so we gotsta keep it real.

I was set free recently and resonated with Rachel Held Evans when she wrote in her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, “As a Christian, my highest calling is not motherhood; my highest calling is to follow Christ.”

Wow. Stop.

That’s all I really need to hear to get me through the rest of this day. What a wonderful reminder that despite all of the different denominations and camps…controversies, interpretations and commentaries and yes, even bloggers, there is but one thing I am called to as a woman of faith…

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
(Matthew 22:37-39 NLT)

Love God.
Love people.
Love myself.

Okie dokie.

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