Ten Blue Eyes

life as we see it


2 Comments

8 Things My Dad Taught Me

DSC_0954It happened again just recently. A new friend was asking about my family and when she learned that my dad was the pastor at a local church she said, “Oh! You’re Denny’s daughter?!”

Yep. I’m Denny’s daughter. I’ve been known that way all of my life.

It used to get on my nerves to be known as “Denny’s Daughter” instead of just as Christy. I have an identity outside of being the pastor’s kid, you know. But, I have to admit that being called Denny’s Daughter has grown on me over the years. It’s a title I’m honored to carry.

I’ve learned a lot from having my dad as my pastor for more than three decades. What a blessing it has been to sit under his ministry. However, it’s been even more of a blessing to grow up sitting around his kitchen table. Sure, I’ve learned things in church, but I’ve learned even more while riding in a Toyota Previa mini-van and while playing video games as a family in the basement as a teenager.

I’ve been so fortunate to grow up with such a wise dad. He’s taught me many things. And so today, in honor of Father’s Day, I thought I’d sit down and list a few.

8 Things My Dad Taught Me

8. Trust Earns Freedom.

My Dad always told me that if he could trust me, then I could earn freedom to do what I wanted to do. For example, if I wanted to go places on my own after getting my driver’s license, then I could earn the right to do so in increasing measure. If I was told to only go to my friend’s house and then home again- I’d better follow the rules. If I did, then maybe next time I’d have the privilege to drive somewhere else as well. If I had a 10pm curfew and I respected the clock and got home on time, then I’d be given a later curfew in the future. It was pretty simple. If I could be trusted to follow directions, then I would be given more freedom over time. I always liked that, because I knew the opportunity for more freedom and privilege was possible and it made me desire to be responsible.

7. Get Your Head in the Game!

I have to admit (embarrassingly) that I can clearly remember my dad yelling this phrase to me during one of my middle school basketball games… and I had no idea what he meant! Get my head in the game? What on earth is he talking about? Of course now I understand that he was telling me to be mentally present on the court and to think about what I was doing. Where did I need to be? Where was the ball going to be next? How should I react to this play, that pass, that shot? I needed to be mentally present and not allowing my mind to be thinking about something else when I should be focused on the game at hand.

That advice has stuck with me long after my basketball career (and I use the term ‘basketball career’ very, very loosely!) I’ve often thought about hearing my dad yell “Get Your Head in the Game!” while working on various tasks throughout my life. Whether it be studying for a final in college, planning an event in my first job out of college, or having an important conversation with one of my children, I need to be mentally present and focused on the task at hand.

6. The Apple products don’t fall far from the tree.

We’ve always joked that my dad is so far on the cutting edge of technology that he’s bleeding. The man loves his technology and he LOVES Apple products. We were getting email in our house growing up (I can still hear that noisy old modem and the voice from AOL saying, “You’ve Got Mail!”) before most of society knew what email was. My dad talked me into buying an iPod before most bands had probably heard of iTunes. And, my dad gave me a laptop in college and encouraged me to carry it to class to take notes.

“Dad, that is so embarrassing!” I said. “Nobody else carries a computer to class!” But it turns out he was on to something there. It seems that now several (million) people have laptops and carry them with them on college campuses.

And Dad’s love for the Apple product has truly been passed on to me. What’s that other kind of computer called? Window something?

5. You are very special, but don’t think too highly of yourself.

Humility is a trait that I’ve always noticed in my dad. He’s not one to “toot his own horn” and I appreciate that about him. I remember being taught a lesson in humility from my dad when I was a freshman in High School. It’s a lesson I’ll never forget, and yet my dad didn’t even say a single word. He didn’t have to.

I was playing on the JV basketball team as a 9th grader, but one week the JV team didn’t have a game so I was bumped down to play with the Freshman Squad… at least “bumped down” was how I saw it. I was proud of the fact that I’d played JV and I was wrongfully quite full of myself during that freshman game. In fact, I’m embarrassed to tell you that during a time-out our coach called a huddle and I stood about 10 feet outside of the huddle thinking that I didn’t need to hear whatever it was that the coach had to say. (Ugh!) I remember tipping my head back to squirt my water bottle into my mouth and when I did my eyes drifting up into the bleachers. There sat my parents and my eyes locked with my dad’s eyes. Not a word was spoken verbally, but I could hear a paragraph’s worth of words coming from Dad’s eyes. That was all it took. I walked into the huddle and changed my attitude from that moment forward.

4. If the ship is sinking and there’s something we can do to help, we’re going to try to fix the problem… or we’re going down with the ship!

In the early years of my dad’s pastorate at our current church, the church building was tiny. As the church grew in membership it also needed to grow in size and so we experienced several building programs. I remember one time in particular that it had been announced that the new building and all of it’s sparkly new classrooms would be ready to open on a certain Sunday. The day before it was to open Dad got a phone call that things were almost ready, but there hadn’t been time to clean the carpets or new rooms and move in the furniture so we’d have to delay the opening for at least another week.

My dad told us to get in the van and off we went to spend a Saturday at the church. We vacuumed, cleaned, moved furniture and more to prepare the rooms, just in time, for church the next day. Dad told us that cleaning toilets was not below the senior pastor’s duty and if we could expend a little elbow grease to help the situation then we were going to do it. We were going to do something to help or go down trying. I’ve never forgotten that Saturday or the lesson I learned.

3. When in doubt, don’t.

I can remember my dad telling me that if I wasn’t sure about saying something or doing something, than I’d better not because it can never be taken back. I often take that into consideration before saying something I’m not 100% sure I should say. I think it’s saved me some heartache over the years and I’m grateful for that.

2. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Life is going to be rough if you can’t learn to laugh at yourself. And laughter is one thing I’ve certainly done… both with and at my dad.

One time when I was in college our extended family rented a house on a large lake for week. We decided to also rent some wave runners. All of the potential wave runner drivers had to go attend a short “class” and watch an instructional video about how to operate the wave runner. The video stressed multiple times that there are no brakes on a wave runner. You must stop pulling the throttle and allow time for the wave runner to slow to a stop. I repeat, there are NO BRAKES on a wave runner.

Yeah, yeah. We signed the papers and rented that thing and off we went. Dad was driving and I was riding along behind him. We were flying through the water and we went into a channel where there were several homes with piers in the water. Did I mention that we were going really fast? Did I also mention that they had stressed to us that the wave runner has no brakes. Well, apparently Dad didn’t catch that part because he drove us way too close to one of the piers and when he tried to brake (um… yeah, you know.) we SLAMMED into one of the pier’s wooden ladders and that ladder exploded. After we shook the shock out of our heads we looked around to see hundreds of pieces of wood floating on the water and a huge gaping hole where the ladder once was. Ooops.

We still laugh about that today. And I am thankful that I am alive to tell you about it. Seriously Dad, you’ve got to pay attention during the safety class next time. (And to whoever’s pier we crashed into… we’re sorry about your ladder.)

1. My dad is not perfect, but he’s taught me about my Heavenly Father, who is.

As I’ve written about before in “One of My Worst Moments,” my dad had the wisdom and courage to teach me the most valuable lesson of all during the worst moment of his life. His wife, my mom, had just died suddenly at our kitchen table at the age of 34. As we stood around her body in a sterile hospital room, my dad reminded me that God was still in control and that He loved us and had a plan for us. If God is good during the worst moment imaginable, then He is good. I can trust my Heavenly Father, and I do, because of my earthly father’s wonderful example in that moment and throughout my life.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you!


Leave a comment

A Pain Around the Neck

DSC_0703Almost every Spring for the majority of our marriage my husband has hosted a fundraising banquet for his local ministry, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. And, being the good wife that I am, I buy him a new tie every year for the event.

I know, I’m pretty sweet.

What’s more, I don’t just buy any tie, I buy him a tie that is color coordinated to match the keynote speaker for the event. For example, if we have a former Indianapolis Colts coach speaking I find a tie with a blue and white motif. If it’s a coach from Butler University, I go for “butler blue.” A Detroit Lion, you say? How about light blue and silver? How do I know what color each of these teams are, you wonder? That’s what Google is for, friends.

So anyway, I’ve been on a roll for years with these ties and quite pleased with myself and my husband’s neckline. But, as they say, pride goeth before the fashion blunder and this year proved that to be true.

This year we had a sports commentator as a speaker and this gave me such freedom in my choice of colors, since he’s not currently tied to one specific team, that I got a little carried away.

I decided to go with a pretty light green for the occasion.

I bought Kraig the tie and actually gave it to him for Christmas. This was fine, but since the banquet was not until April Kraig did not try it on until the day of the banquet when he stopped home to put his suit on and head up early to the venue.

Only I accidently bought him a kids’ tie.

Yep. When Kraig put the tie around his neck it only came down to about mid-chest.

The green was really a nice color on him though.

And so Kraig had to digress back to a tie from the 2010 banquet. I’m sorry to those of you who attended this year’s banquet and noticed we repeated a tie. We’ll try not to let it happen again.

I just needed to get that off my chest.

And Kraig’s.

 


2 Comments

If You Give Your Grandma An iPad

DSC_0703

Perhaps you’ve heard of the lovely line of children’s books called the “If You Give” series. We personally own “If You Give A Mouse and Cookie” and “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake.” They are adorable circular tales in which you follow the consequences of what shenanigans would ensue if you were to indeed give a rodent a cookie.

Only they’re fictional.

The mouse in the book is wearing bib overalls and doing cute things like drawing pictures and sipping on a glass of milk. Obviously these books are not describing what would actually happen if you had a mouse in your kitchen. Let’s just say any mouse that would show up in my kitchen would not be shown quite this level of hospitality. No matter how cute it looked in its bib overalls.

But this is not a book report. I just felt the need to explain about this series of books because I’ve got an idea for a new title… although we’d have to switch the genre to non-fiction. Because this scenario is real, folks.

“If You Give Your Grandma an iPad.”

Now, I’m not here to cast blame, but I am not the one who actually gave my Grandma an iPad. The person who did shall remain nameless but they know who they are. And they happen to be related to both myself and my Grandma. And I call this person “Dad” (What?! I didn’t say his name.)

Anyway, thanks to my Dad’s generosity my grandparents own an iPad. And they deserve any gift they’re given because my grandparents are some of the sweetest, most loving, and special people I’ve ever known.

They are in their 80’s and are a part of what’s been called the “Silent Generation.” Their generation has been described as hard-working, loyal, supportive and patriotic. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something I’m guessing they’ve never been called… tech savy.

And that’s putting it nicely.

So in my imaginary new book that I’d like to pitch to my imaginary editor I’d describe the perils of being the granddaughter who lives the closest to the Grandma with the shiny new iPad. And the shenanigans that ensue. And by shenanigans I mean phone calls for help. And visits. And much entertainment. Because who said that non-fiction books can’t be funny. And believe me, this stuff is funny.

Grandma’s Facebook account alone has given me hours of entertainment. Sometimes when I need a good laugh I go over and help her clean out her “likes” on Facebook. Most people “like” businesses or pages that they want to read more about or have an interest in. Grandma apparently has a different strategy. She likes random things. A nail salon in Vermont, a mechanic in Nebraska, a church in Idaho, and she claims she has NO IDEA how they got on her page. I have explained to her that when you touch someone’s name on the iPad and then click “Like” that you are now “following them.” She nods her head and then calls me two weeks later with the same problem. Do you see how this could be written as a great circular tale?

One morning Grandma called and told me she’d hardly slept the night before because of Tony. “Who’s Tony?” I asked. “I don’t know,” she frantically said, “but he’s hardly wearing anything in his picture and what if someone thinks I really like him?!” So I logged on to Grandma’s account and found the scantily clad Tony… from West Seneca, New York, where we know no one… and clicked, “Unlike.” All was right with the world again.

Except maybe for Tony in West Seneca.

And I won’t even go into the perils of Grandma leaving comments on Facebook other than to say that I’ve gotten some phone calls for assistance once or twice. Or thirty-eight times.

Ahh yes, having Grandma on Facebook has been entertaining. But do you want to know what’s even better? Having Grandma on Facetime.

Facetime is pretty amazing. The fact that you can call someone and see them live on your screen as you talk to them is really fun. Especially if the person on the other end doesn’t know you can actually see and hear them.

Now before you think I’m cruel and that I called Grandma on Facetime and tried to trick her, let me tell me what really happened. She called me.

Kraig and I were sitting at home one evening when all of the sudden we get a Facetime request from Grandma. “Look here,” said Kraig. “This should be interesting.”

We accepted Grandma’s call and proceeded to see the bottom of her chin and the ceiling. She apparently had the iPad on her lap and had no idea that she’d called us on Facetime or that we could actually see and hear her.

It was epic.

We said things like “Grandma!!” “Hey Grandma! Look down here! Look at the iPad!” “Hey there! Yes, it’s us.” “ Can you see me Grandma? I can see you!”

I was almost in tears from laughter by the time she picked the iPad up and realized that we could, in fact, hear her and see her. She wasn’t pleased with us for apparently spying on her and wouldn’t believe us that she’d been the one who actually called us. How dare we look at her when she’s wearing her housecoat and doesn’t have her hair done.

For the love of Steve Jobs.

I’m not holding my breath while waiting for Grandma to catch on to this modern world of technology. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s more likely that a mouse wearing bib overalls will show up in my kitchen. But I admit, I’m a little honored to be Grandma’s tech support. I think she really trusts me.

In fact, I realized recently just how much she trusts me when she approached me after church one Sunday with an urgent message. “Christy, when I die I want you to get rid of my Facebook.”

“Oh Grandma,” I said with a smile, “that’s when the fun really begins.”

Tell Me A Story

Leave a comment

I sat across the table from a gentleman with slumped shoulders and a cardigan. He wore his more than 80 years on his wrinkled face. Beside him was another similar-looking man who was putting ketchup on his onion rings, and beside him was a grey-haired woman. The seats at our rectangular table were full of these people. Other than my presence on this day, it was just like every other lunchtime at the assisted living facility. I was there to visit my grandmother and I was grateful that her table-mates had allowed me to disrupt their meticulous routine.

The conversation was sparse. Actually it was mostly focused on the fact that because of my presence, we were short one bowl of tapioca. I offered to part with mine, but they wouldn’t hear of it. Instead, the woman with the walker slowly made her way to the kitchen to request another cup of pudding. This is how they did things at their table, and I wasn’t about to argue.

I was so intrigued with them all. After the tapioca situation was resolved I listened to the snippets of conversation between these weathered friends. One man had finally sold his home. His children had helped work with the realtor and now finally their father could rest assured he was officially living in his last earthly residence. Others talked about their grandchildren, their health, and their plans to play BINGO or dominoes later in the day.

The mealtime came to an end and they all slowly rose and shuffled away, but I wish they would have stayed longer. I wanted to hear more. These people had lived so much more life than I had. They each had so much history and so many stories that I would have loved to hear.

How many children did they have? How long had they been widowed? Did they serve in the war? What were their occupations as young people? How did they fall in love? What were their biggest regrets and greatest accomplishments?

So many stories… yet, so little tapioca.

That mealtime reminded me how much I love to hear about people’s lives. I love true stories. Just as I could have sat there all day listening to those senior citizens share, I could spend hours reading or watching biographies. There is so much to be learned from hearing about other people’s lives.

Stories make things real. Stories pull us all in and level the field so that we can find ways to relate and understand.

Stories are powerful.

But, sometimes we shy away from telling our stories.

We may think it’s fun to hear the stories of others, but we don’t see the value in sharing our own.

Does anyone really want to hear about my childhood? Is there any benefit in sharing about the way my husband and I met and fell in love? Can I really help another mother who has a child dealing with the same disease that plagued my son? Does sharing about my frustrations with the daily, mundane tasks of being a wife and mother really touch another’s heart?

I’m pretty sure the answer is yes.

Yes.

Even if we don’t think our stories are special, they may be special to someone else. They connect us to people in a real way instead of through a virtual network or screen. They strip away the fronts and perceptions and make things real. And we like that, because life is real.

When I hear a girlfriend talk about the fatigue she feels from disciplining the same child for the same issue day in and day out, I’m encouraged. I’m reminded that I’m not alone.

When I hear an older woman tell me her love story and how she was married to the same man for decades, I’m inspired. I’m reminded that I can strive for a stronger marriage and deeper love.

When I hear a mentor share about their weaknesses and fears, I’m uplifted. I’m reminded that no one is perfect and we all deal with failures and pain.

When I hear a friend share about their loss and heartache, I’m broken. I’m reminded that I need to help carry the burdens of others and reach out to those who are hurting.

It doesn’t really matter if the people who are telling the stories are old, wrinkled, young, trendy, close friends or a new acquaintances. They may be wearing a cardigan, hospital gown, mom jeans or a jersey. It doesn’t really matter. I want to listen. And when the opportunity arises, I want to share my story too.

Sharing our stories helps us live better stories.

And sometimes you even get a bowl of tapioca to top it all off.

DSC_0721


Leave a comment

GPS is bad for your marriage.

I am not exaggerating to say that my husband and I have a harmonious relationship. We rarely get to the point of raising our voices with one another or driving each other insane. We are both pretty laid back and we get along great.

However, there is a formula that we’ve discovered in our eleven years of marriage that sets us up for spousal frustration. It’s not complicated. But it is somewhat dangerous.

 Kraig driving + Christy using iPhone GPS = Uh oh.

And I’m telling you, it’s not all my fault. Sometimes I think the GPS lady and Kraig have schemed against me to set us all up for failure, but no one else is buying it.

I will admit, that I am directionally challenged. When receiving directions from someone I don’t like to hear terms such as; “head east,” or “It’s on the southwest corner,” or “go north on the highway,” etc. These terms are confusing to me. If instead the GPS lady would say things like, “Turn right when you are beside Wal-Mart,” or “Do you see that Applebee’s up there? Great! You’re going to want to slow down and make a left there,” I’d be all over it. But the GPS lady never uses landmarks.

What’s her deal?

But anyway, I want to help Kraig out, and more importantly, I want to live and not have him get us all killed while looking at his iPhone while driving. So I take it from him and then I pass on to him what the GPS lady tells me.

And somewhere in this step of the process is where things begin to break down. Sometimes that thing is me. But most the time I don’t cry. I just get us lost.

For example, we recently drove to visit my cousin who lives out of state. We had never been to her home before and so I put her address into the phone and we happily followed the little voice until it told us we had arrived at our destination. However, since I know my cousin doesn’t live in a tanning bed called, “Sun Your Buns” we were actually not at our destination.

The GPS people are out to get me.

Kraig says that I didn’t put the correct address into the phone but I think I did.

Maybe you’re beginning to see our problem.

The “Sun Your Buns” debacle is unfortunately not the only time my skin’s gotten hot with embarrassment and frustration. In fact, it was in the beautiful, sunny state of Florida where our Spousal Frustration Formula was really in full swing while on a family vacation.

We were headed from Orlando to Daytona Beach. It was a nice day. Kraig could sit back, relax and just drive. I had the phone in my hand and I had the address of our destination correctly entered into the phone. All was well.

I began to tell Kraig each and every turn he was to make on our 90-minute trip to Daytona Beach.

And we made a lot of turns.

We turned into a mall parking lot and followed it around the perimeter of the mall where we came out and then entered a subdivision. We made several turns in the subdivision before entering another parking lot… and another subdivision.

Kraig was beginning to sweat.

He was trying not to rip the phone out of my hand because I kept telling him that I was watching the GPS and this was EXACTLY what the lady was telling us to do. AND I had the address inputted correctly. SO JUST FOLLOW MY DIRECTIONS!

Kraig was really getting antsy now and telling me that he understood I was following the directions, but when did we get on the highway that connected Orlando and Daytona Beach? “There is a highway!” he stated. “I can see the highway over there!!” “When do we get on it?!” “Pleeeeeassse tell me we get on the highway!!!!”

So I checked the phone.

“Nope. We never get on the highway.”

“WHAT??!! How can we not get on the highway?! This is going to take us forever to get there on back roads! Why is it taking us on back roads? How long does it say this is going to take?!”

This is when I knew we might have a problem.

I looked at the estimated time of arrival and it said we’d be in Daytona Beach in a mere 2 days and 14 hours.

Maybe we should get on the highway.

Suddenly I realized the GPS was giving me walking directions from Orlando to Daytona Beach. Therefore, the GPS lady with the monotone voice was apparently kindly keeping us far away from dangerous highways to walk beside and busy roads where we could get hit and instead was directing us around mall parking lot perimeters where we’d have a nice cozy sidewalk.

Uh oh.

And so I switched it over to driving directions and told Kraig to get on the highway.

I hate GPS.

But, I love my husband, and he loves me and he even still lets me ride shotgun in the car. And sometimes he even lets me hold the iPhone.

We have a pretty harmonious relationship, Kraig and me.

If only the GPS lady would stay out of it.

 

 

 


3 Comments

25 Years.

DSC_0707I panicked. I should have known what to do, but instead I was frozen in fear. My dad was shouting at me to call 911 and even though I was almost eleven years old, I just couldn’t remember how. So instead, I traded places with him and I held my mother on the kitchen chair as he used the phone to desperately alert the help we needed.

I held my Mom upright in the chair and I was terrified. What was wrong with her? Why was she falling over and not responding to us? Could she hear me telling her how much I loved her and that I thought everything was going to be okay?

After a painfully long wait we finally heard the sirens of an ambulance as it pulled into our driveway. To this day, I feel a pit in my stomach when I hear an ambulance wailing.

The sounds of that night changed my life forever.

I can hear the murmurs of neighbors who had gathered outside in the dusk to watch the tragedy unfold.

I can hear the doors of a police car close me in as my dad, brother and I followed the ambulance to the hospital in shock.

I can hear the silence in the awful little room where sat and waited for news. It was small and sterile and soon held neighbors and a close friend who sat beside us.

And I can hear her words. The doctor who came into that room and told us the news… news that shakes me to the core even today.

“I’m sorry. We couldn’t save her.”

I can hear the crying of those who had gathered.

I can hear my thoughts as they flew through my head and swirled in confusion and painful, piercing shards of realization.

I try not to do it, but sometimes I hear the sound of my grandma wailing as she walked onto the front porch of our home a few hours later.

I can hear my grandpa crying. I didn’t like it then and don’t like to hear it now.

I can hear the sound of my dad talking through his sobs as he called family to deliver the awful and life-altering news. My mother had died suddenly at the age of 34 from a heart arrhythmia.

I can still hear it all. Even though it’s been 25 years.

25 years. How can that be?

Instead of being almost eleven years old, now I’m almost 36. My life has changed drastically since that night… and because of that night.

Time really does march on even when our worlds are rocked.

And though it’s been a long time, I haven’t forgotten the sounds or the emotions.

I haven’t forgotten her either.

In fact, I can still hear her sometimes too. It’s not as easy as I wish it was, but I can. I can hear her laugh and I can hear her voice.

I can hear the sound of the lid popping off the plastic tub as I open it and look through her things. I love to look at the pictures, flip through her Bible and open her purse.

I can hear the healing that comes as I tap on this keyboard and process this loss in my life… so many years later. It helps my heart to remember her.

It’s been 25 years since that awful night. My life has been changed forever because of all that I heard and saw on March 24th, 1989.

And as difficult and painful as it is to remember, I don’t want to forget.

 

 

 

 


1 Comment

What A Mess.

I jolted upright in my bed awakened from a deep sleep by the sound of crying. I clumsily got up and walked down the hall in a stupor. The crying was coming from the Pepto Bismol pink bedroom of my girls. As I entered I continued to hear wailing sounds, saw two pj clad girls writhing on their beds and I smelled vomit.

What was happening here?

I kept blinking my eyes and tried to get a clear view of the situation. Had my girls gotten sick at the exact same moment? Who had tossed their cookies? Why were they both crying? What time was it? Why did it smell so awful?

I was so confused.

I continued to stand there assessing the damage. I tried to shake the fog of sleep out of my head.

The reports were coming in now and I was beginning to get word that one daughter had gotten sick and had made quite a go of it and had sprayed both beds. The other daughter was (understandably) crying because her pillow had been hit. As I continued to stand there looking back and forth from bed to bed the crying children got up and walked past me downstairs to get a drink of water. Thirty seconds later the youngest came back upstairs and said, “But Mama, where is our water?!”

At that moment I wasn’t really sure either.

Motherhood is like that for me. At times I see it with bright clear eyes and I feel like I’ve got things figured out for the time being.

Other times I have no idea what is going on.

Just the day before I had a brief moment where I felt like I not only had my head above the motherhood waters, but I was actually swimming along quite nicely. I had the laundry done, the house cleaned and my children were playing together outside in the sunshine. Yeah, I felt pretty good. I’ve got this.

And then the Pillow Puking happened and started a chain of events causing me little sleep and much frustration. One kid sick on the couch, laundry in nasty piles, a little one wanting another breakfast and a son asking me questions about the Iroquois Indians for a school project.

I go from feeling like all is calm and under control to feeling stretched thin. Sometimes in a matter of minutes. Okay… seconds.

But I’ve been learning that it’s just going to be like that. I’m never going to have it “done.” I’ll never be “all caught up.” It’s not like I can accomplish all the needs and demands of motherhood and then just sit back and feel the wind on my face as I smoothly sail through these years.

On the contrary, it’s a bumpy, smelly, mess.

I don’t want to wait to feel good about my life and my role as a mom until my kids are grown and the laundry piles are small and simple.

I don’t want to feel like I’m failing just because my kitchen table is covered in toys.DSC_0717

I don’t want to base my worth on appearances-whether it be of my home or my family, but instead I want to realize how much the mess is worth to me.

So I roll up my sleeves and hold my daughter’s hair as she looses her lunch once again. I act like I care deeply about Native American festivals and I put peanut butter on crackers for yet another snack time.

This place is a mess and there’s much work to be done. That’s the way it’s going to be.

And what a privilege it is to be the mom of this mess!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 89 other followers