About Me

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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I never would have admitted it, but I am definitely a five-year-planner. I LOVE knowing where I am headed, even if my plans don't go as planned, I like to plan and feel like I have some kind of control. I like to say things like, I am doing this right now so that this and this and this can happen and bring me here. Over the last few years God has been teaching me to focus on steps instead of goals. It sounds silly and maybe even wrong. Of course we should focus on goals, right? So that we can take the right steps? But when the goal is in God's hands, not mine, He has taught me that simply taking the steps He lays out before me is a much wiser plan. When I focus on the goal I tend to make up my mind about what the steps should look like. I worry incessantly about taking the wrong steps, about diversions and set backs, and most of all about provisions. Instead of laying my life before Jesus, my prayers are more like, "Hey you! I've got these plans I'm working on and things keep going wrong! Why can't you just change everything and make it work out smoothly for my plans, huh? Do you even really care about me? What about MY PLANS?! My plans.. my plans... my preciousssss..."

Yeah, it get's down right annoying. And creepy.

As I finish the final details of my application for Nursing school, I can't help but feel amazed. Am I finally here? It's been over 3 years since I started pursuing this degree and I am only just applying for the program! Of course, it's not that time has been wasted. Life has been lived, mountains climbed, babies born, hearts changed, moves made. No, time has not been wasted at all, and it's flown by so furiously fast that I sit here almost 4 years later thinking, Am I finally here?

"Here" is really not anywhere but a continuation of this journey I call life. I still don't even know if I'll get in the program or when I'll start it, or what will happen after that. And yet to be sending in my application is a point I have been waiting for... for a very long while. I like to look back to the time when the thought first seriously planted itself in my mind. How full of doubt and fear I was. The things I thought, like how I wouldn't be smart enough, would be a bad mom, wouldn't be able to afford it, or that it just wouldn't work out because I wanted it to. God has used the last few years to transform this goal from a lofty dream, to a calling, to a part of a much bigger picture. So I worry less about whether I'll be good enough as a student, a nurse, a wife, or a mother, and I focus more on the joy God has put in my heart as I learn more about Him and continue to take the steps He has laid out for me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

At the end of the day.

My husband is at soccer and I have just finished the most enthralling trilogy, so what's there to do? I scan through hulu, facebook, blogs, and still find myself restless. Bored. Then my mind starts to dwell on my day. The things I did. The things I didn't do. I'm hungry but the only thing to snack on is some home made zucchini bread that turned out much too dry. Just like the last two times. Why do I insist on trying to keep things healthy? Why don't I have a bag of potato chips in my cupboard? Why can't I make a damn loaf of bread that isn't dryer than saw dust?

I start to think about why I am so tired. I wake before dawn--which isn't hard to do with winter quickly approaching, how depressing--before I can even make my way to the bathroom I've been asked 13 times by my son if I can make breakfast, get him juice, let him watch a cartoon, help him feed his fish, etc, etc... the list goes on and on. By 8:00 a.m. I have made breakfast, cleaned up, showered, dressed both the boys, fed the dog, remembered it's my day to bring snacks for Aiden's class, gotten the snack together, packed Aiden's lunch, and started on my now luke warm cup of coffee. I do all this in a fog. I don't really wake up until 9 or 10 I swear. Sometimes I spend the down time before school reading books with the boys or playing cops and get-away-cars, but sometimes I let them go crazy on their own, or cave and turn on a cartoon so I can finish getting ready in peace. By 8:55 a.m. we are walking Aiden to school, by 9ish he is settled in class and Gabriel and I stroll back home.

I always imagine Gabriel and I spending good, solid, quality time together while Aiden is at school, but let's be honest, I probably spend 30 minutes really playing with him, and the rest of the time cleaning, running errands, feeding, changing diapers, occasionally meeting with a friend. Somedays this feels perfectly fine; I put away the dishes, he takes out all the tupperware, I sweep the floor, he "vacuums," I fold the laundry, he empties my underwear drawer, I put away the tupperware, he dumps my box of receipts. Other days I get the feeling he needs extra attention. Sometimes I take that as an opportunity to sit and read just for him, play knock-over-whatever-I-build without his big brother getting upset, or simply destroy my freshly made bed with a tickle fight. And sometimes I ignore that feeling and keep us busy. I hate it when I do that.

By the time Aiden gets home I am ready for bed, but apparently the day is only half over. Gabriel takes a nap and Aiden and I eat a snack and then he searches for bugs and brings them to me to inspect, or I attempt to answer the half a million question he has about everything (How do you make chicken nuggets out of pizza? Why does the sun set? Why do feet stink?). If he's being particularly observant, I use this time to read in between bug inspections. Sometimes I make him "nap," though he rarely actually does. Sometimes I let him watch a cartoon so I can soak up 30 minutes of quiet to write a blog post, finish a chapter, or just sit and stare blankly at the wall.

Sometimes we have an afternoon outing. Sometimes we spend it all in the back yard. Dinner feels like a grand production. With all the interruptions it often feels like it takes hours, even when I've prepped the meal. I find myself thinking, What you want can wait. Your whining can wait. Your tears can wait. Your everything can wait. I WILL finish cooking this meal! And sometimes I end up cooking with one child on my hip and another eating crackers by my feet.

If I am lucky, Aaron is home by dinner and we can share bed time duties. It always seems to feel like the last stretch of a race that part of the day. Bath, get dressed, brush teeth, book, song, BED. It takes so much energy, all I have left. Unless Aaron does dishes, I rarely do them till morning. And then I find myself glued to the couch, finally able to do anything I want. And all I want to do is sleep.

Sometimes what best makes me ok with my "failings" is just being honest and writing about them (hence the blog, I guess). I often find that what I felt so awful about earlier, isn't so bad. And when I thought I did "nothing," I really did lots of things. Sometimes it helps me see what I focused on that day and helps me to prioritize. Sometimes my failings are just that, failings, and I have to accept I'll always have them. If you find yourself overwhelmed by your daily failings, try writing it out, and see where it takes you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Coming Back to Life

After a year (or years) of being stripped from lies that I have clung to as truth for so long, in moments of weakness (that come quite often) I have found myself slightly afraid. Afraid that maybe what I think I'm learning is actually more lies. Afraid that what I think is coming from God is actually just my own twisted head trying to come up with solutions to help make sense of this world I so rarely understand.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the pastor at our new church has been teaching from Ecclesiastes and Job since we started going there. Each week I feel such solid confirmation in all the truths God has been speaking to me this last year. This is truth. I hear Him say, and I lap it up and beg for more. Hearing these truths reconfirmed is like having fresh water poured over my parched soul, replenishing my healing heart, mending it together piece by piece. Each week I want him to keep teaching--an hour to speak this kind of truth?? It's like dropping bread crumbs to a starving child--I want more! The pastor clearly struggles himself, preaching until the very last second before he must race to another church, his passion for the truth as evident in his speech as what I feel in my own heart. It's times like these that I curse the society that lives by the clock so closely.

I still struggle to read the Bible on my own. I was so hard on myself and self-condemning that as a child and even up to adulthood I couldn't help but read the Bible in a way that it heaped coals onto my head. The stories and passages are all so familiar but instead of comforting they carry hurt and fear cast on me from the past. Slowly God is reinterpreting His word for me. Healing my wounds by speaking truth over the lies. He is patient. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say I am excited--not for what I am doing for God, but for what He is doing in me.

(If you would like to listen to the sermons you can find them here: http://www.renovatuschurch.com/)

Friday, October 12, 2012

More on "Me"

I have always been told I am "bright." Apparently I look good in pink, yellow, green, or blue and those are colors I should wear. I have spent most of my life wondering why the person I am told I am and the person I feel I am don't match up. I constantly felt I had to convince myself I was what people were telling me I was and try to quiet the person I felt I was so I could be what I was told I was. It sounds ridiculous (probably because it is) but I didn't realize that that was what I was doing. It's really hard to embrace yourself when you are constantly at battle with who you think you should be. Especially when it even comes down to things as simple as the colors I should wear. You see, I like colors in the very few accessories I wear and occasionally on my nails, but for the most part, black and gray are my colors of choice. Not because I don't care about what I wear (I do), not because I'm too afraid to step out of my comfort zone (although I do like it), but because I like those things.

I am not bright and bubbly. I am a trained extrovert. I think I was originally somewhat of a melancholy introvert who adapted to survive the life style I was brought up in. I am not girly. I love femininity and most things that that implies, but for the most part I prefer neutral, semi-uni-sex things. Maybe it's growing up with five brothers, or having all boys in my home. Either way. Despite that, I am most certainly not a tom boy. I'm no good at team sports--even though I would have killed to be a part of them growing up, I am afraid of getting hit by the ball. I am anything but competitive. In cross-country meets I would partner up with a slow girl from an opposing team so she wouldn't have to run alone and end up making a new friend (my coach loved that). I used to love climbing trees, now I am afraid of heights. Meeting new people used to make me feel sick to my stomach, now I love it. I believe my life is never too full for another friend. But I also love to be alone. I need to be alone. I like going to new places on my own; feeling sick with anxiety until I convince myself I have nothing to fear. I like challenging my weaknesses every once in while to see if I've out grown them. To push boundaries I set for myself earlier in life, to see if I was wrong to set them up to begin with.

What is my point? I am who I am. Some of me born, some of me made, and most of the time not what other people tell me I am. Always changing, but always me. It's freeing to remove the uncomfortably fitted jackets, hats, and shoes others have put me in, or those I have put on myself, and realize I don't have to feel bad about not wearing them. To realize once again, it's ok to be me, whoever that may be.

Monday, October 8, 2012


Some days I want to run. Do you know the feeling? I want to run. Escape. It's not that my life is horrible or even particularly difficult. In fact, it's quite the opposite comparatively. It's just some days I look at myself, my life, my responsibilities, my goals, my heartache, and I just don't feel up for it. I look at the dark clouds and the shedding trees as they are moved by the bitter winter-like winds and I think, I don't want you. As though my cold-hearted words will send them back where they came from, leaving summer with me forever.

I look at my husband, my children, my friends, and I think, Move away from me before I hurt you. I am not enough. I will drain you. You are too much for me. And I don't like these thoughts because they speak of cowardice and selfishness, and I am reminded of who I don't want to be, but can be so easily. I can only be so selfless, giving, and present. I am not limitless. There is a piece of me that will always long for a shack on a beach, with an endless supply of books, coffee, and no sound but the waves crashing and the breeze whispering soft nothings in my ear.

I am learning a new way of life. One that does not include me being the heroine. Learning to let go of images of the someone I am not. The someone I never was. The someone I never will be. Learning to accept life for what it is. Accept myself for who I am. As one under renovation.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I don't know about you, but I'm pretty tired of apologizing for being a girl. I'm tired of excusing my feelings as though they are irrelevant, blaming my hormones as though they are a defect, and hiding my emotions as though they are embarrassing. I am a woman and I was made a woman for a reason. Here are a few things I love about being a woman (in no particular order):

Strength. Yeah, I throw like a girl and I can't even lift my body weight, but God gave me a strength that allows me to hold my children for longer than should be possible. A strength that holds my husband up when he is worn and tired. A strength that holds on to hope when everything else is falling apart. I may cry when I watch a romantic comedy or read a good book, but should the earth collapse, I'll still do my best to stand as a pillar for my family, even if it kills me. Not because I am super human, but simply because it's the way God made woman.

Beauty. I've mentioned this before, it's more than just a material beauty. Woman is the definition of beauty. We are damaged and imperfect, but there is a piece of God's beauty that can only be seen in a woman. In the depths of her eyes, the shape of her body, and the grace she carries in her presence. Beauty does not equal perfection (who are we to define perfection anyway?), it's unique in each who carry it and goes much deeper than we can even fathom.

Emotion. I have apologized for being "emotional" more times than I can count. But you know what, tears can soften hearts and open doors long slammed shut. Joy is contagious and laughter heals like medicine. Anger leads to change and defense for the voiceless. Emotion is a gift that allows us to relate, empathize, love. Sometimes, action based on emotion is the best we'll ever take.

Girl time. No one bonds like women do. When women get together, burdens lift, hearts mend, change happens. We know how to disperse lies, speak truth, and challenge each other in ways no else can. We know how to push each other forward and carry each other when we are weak. Nothing can replace relationships between women.

Passion. There is a passion in women that embodies strength, beauty, and emotion.  We have often been told to quiet it, but this passion is VITAL. Without it, the world wouldn't last a day.

Now I am not bragging about myself or even my gender. I am just so thankful for the way God created women. The world has spoken so much hate and lies into women about who we are. But we are made in God's image. We don't need to prove anything to anyone. So let's instead spread truth by living life embracing what God has given us.

I challenge you to consciously think about "woman" and what it means to you. Whether you are a woman or not. And please leave a comment sharing one thing that YOU love about being a woman or what you love about a woman/women in your life!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Life: More musings on that four letter word.

I am so glad that my purpose here in this world is not to figure life out. Phew. Isn't that a relief? Of course, I don't always realize that. Some days I feel it is my mission to figure life out, and when I can't I get pretty frustrated. Do you ever find yourself thinking, Wait, I thought I had this part figured out and now it's all gone to shit and I'm back at having nothing figured out! 

I hope so. For my sake.

A friend and I decided that you aren't truly a "grown up" until you've accepted the fact that you don't have things figured out and that you never will. That moments of clarity are just that; moments. But don't discredit moments. A moment can change the direction of an entire life. And life itself is made up of moments. It's not an uphill journey where each step we take takes us up. Sometimes we walk backwards, or in place, or trip and fall on our butts. Sometimes we jog comfortably, sometimes we sprint with ease, sometimes we pass out from exhaustion. Sometimes we crawl on all fours, or simply lay still and wait to be lifted. Life is an ever changing terrain, and we can never see what's coming next. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we'll allow ourselves grace to take each day as it comes with what we have. Not what we think we should have.

I wish it was as easy as writing down all the ridiculous expectations I have of myself and then crumpling it up and tossing it out.