Yourself

Some stories are worth a second read, listen or watch. I have often wondered why I tend to watch a specific movie more than once. There is one specific movie that I watch every time it comes on. It doesn’t matter how much of the movie there is left, I am still going to watch it. “Eat Pray Love,” is based on the memoir written by Elizabeth Gilbert. I can connect with the main character on a scary level.

For starters, she is a writer. I know that’s not much, but I think that when you feel connected to something, it starts at the basics. Julia Roberts’ character is trying to find her “balance.” She has made this fairy-tale life with her husband but she quickly realizes that she isn’t cut out for it. She decides to leave him and she travels around the world for a year looking for her balance.

I think at some point, we all feel like we have lost the balance. It is hard to maintain a working life, a social life, a family life and a spiritual life. There are no life-hacks or self-help books to teach us the way to deal with hard things. We either give ourselves the grace we need to figure it out or we lose our (excuse me) shit.

I feel connected to Gilbert because I feel this way. I want to do things, I want to accomplish things. Life is scary and life is quick. When you think you have the chance to find balance, you have to jump at it. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this movie, but I watched it today. There are so many things I heard today that I have never heard. Maybe, I have heard them, but have not understood them. I am going to credit this to the fact that you have to have some life experience in order for some of the ideas to resonate with you.

One of my favorite scenes is when they are in the barber shop in Rome. The conversation that takes place with Luca Spaghetti when he tells Liz that Americans don’t know how to enjoy themselves. He says that Americans know about entertainment but they don’t know about pleasure. His reasoning is that Americans think they have to work hard in order to earn pleasure. Italians just take pleasure whenever they please. This applies to everything in life from food to relationships. Luca said that Americans work so hard all week that by the time the weekend comes, their idea of pleasure is sitting in their pajamas and watching television. What exactly do you think I did this weekend?

On her next leg of her trip, Gilbert visits India. She forms a bond with Richard from Texas. He teaches her to forgive herself. She is holding guilt from her failed marriage and he shares his story. He was an alcoholic who lost his family because he wouldn’t stop drinking. He pulled into his driveway drunk one day and almost ran over his child. It’s a very hard scene to watch because the actor, Richard Jenkins, is so emotional. He talks about his son growing up to be a sweet boy and how he missed all of it. Coming from a family with a father as an alcoholic, it’s hard to watch. It is hard to not have feelings of guilt. It is hard not to think (and hope) that maybe my dad had some guilt of his own.

The last thing that I connect with is the struggle. The main character or the author is struggling. She doesn’t want to lose herself while loving others. I feel the same way. I love being a mother and a wife. I love being a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece, friend, and teacher. Here is what I don’t love. I don’t love depleting my tank so that I have nothing left for myself. I don’t love giving up dreams because I think there is no room after everything else. The scariest thing to me is losing who I am because I have spread myself too thin. I don’t want to look ten years older than my actual age. I don’t want to be the person who is too tired to pick up the phone or go on a date.

The reason I connect to this movie is simple. It has valid points. The most valid point being this:

Listen, balance, my darling, is not letting anybody love you less than you love yourself.”

Loving yourself to me, means not losing yourself. So, that is exactly what I plan to do, NEVER lose myself.

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Sweet Rowen

I have been following a family on IG. Their daughter is struggling with sudden heart failure. She is three. THREE YEARS OLD. She is one year younger than my middle child. Every single time I have a free moment, I am checking her feed. She has this amazing talent of communicating her thoughts through words. It is beautiful. Her trust in Jesus is beautiful too. Here are a few samples of her writing and thoughts:

The first morning I found their story, I cried silent tears laying in my bed at 3 a.m. I have continually prayed since finding them. I feel drawn to them. She also keeps posting screenshots from people all around the world who have contacted her. It makes my heart so happy to read that people who have lost Jesus or turned away from Him are climbing their way out of the pit because of this sweet woman’s unwavering trust in him. I just wanted to share that God is doing amazing things!

If you want to find their story on IG, her handle is @amandaauer.

I didn’t post any pictures of her sweet girl, because as a mother, I think that is our choice about what gets shared of our kids. I do recommend that you go follow her.

Please join me in praying for healing for sweet Rowen.

Eight

*If you don’t work every day to be happy and find the good in something, then you will never be happy.*

Lace.

The snug feel of my cinched bodice.

Time seemingly has slowed way down.

I keep checking out the window, for what, I don’t know.

There is a constant flutter of movement,

and yet, I remain calm.

This little garden party is the setting.

He and I are the characters.

We have dreams,

we have plans.

When the time comes,

I hook my arms through the arms of the ones who came before me.

As I brace myself, I exhale a long breath.

Standing at the end of the path is my future,

smiling.

Happy 8 years (yesterday).

Update

I feel really tired today, so I am just going to do a quick check-in. Today was day 8 and I am feeling pretty good about how I am doing overall.

I have only missed one day of writing. I think I have that taken care of for next week. Friday was the hard day for me for last week. There is just a lot going down on Friday.

I have missed 3 days of my burpees. I have been struggling with some lower back pain, so I may need to make a visit to chiropractor. I got them in today though!

The last 90 day challenge has been good! That’s all I can really say at the moment. I have almost dropped the phone 4 times because I keep falling asleep!

Goodnight!

Sorrow

There is so much sorrow in the world. How do we not let it eat us up in one swift gulp? How can I prevent this anxiety from crawling up my spine? I can feel it. It’s a slow slither. It feels like a drug being released into my veins by an IV. It’s cold at first. The pumping is pronounced, as it rhythmically shimmies it’s way to my brain. All the while, I am preparing my mind. “Don’t freak out,” I am telling myself. Just remember to breath. Then my mind races. If all of these horrible things can happen to all these wonderful people, what makes me any different? That limousine just crashed in upstate New York and killed 20 people. Then, I start playing out the scenarios related to me. What if I have a wreck on a bridge? What if we go into the water? How will I get my three kids out? Or, how are some children just as healthy as can be and others are struggling to stay alive? I worry about these things and then I remember, God doesn’t want us to question him. How can things like this happen? What are we supposed to do? Are we naive if we don’t think about these things? Is it wrong to have these feelings and be confused about how to deal with our emotions? Days like today are just hard.

Prayers for those affected by tragedy.

And prayers for all who suffer from anxiety.

Drawing the Line

I love that we are building a home. Building a home makes me excited and happy. It also makes me evaluate every single thing I buy. With the exception of food and things our children need, I can talk myself out of buying just about anything.

It really is amazing how much you can save when you set up guidelines. Just five minutes ago, one of my favorite bloggers posted a picture in a sweater that I have been eyeing for over a year. Look, I am a nerd at heart. If you tell me that a sweater is soft and comfy AND it is cute, I am probably going to buy it. This one is no exception. Here is the blogger, Kilee Nickels, wearing the sweater.

She makes it look so easy and fun! I can totally picture myself sitting in bed with all white coverings, in my pajamas, propped up with 25 pillows, this sweater on, a good book, and my coffee in some fancy mug. My makeup is perfect and my top-knot is on point. Oh, wait a minute, that’s how social media makes me think I will look in this sweater. Now, the reality is that I have three kids, so unless they are all asleep at the same time, that picture of me cuddled up probably isn’t happening.

Still, I clicked the link and added it to my cart, because here is the other trap I fall into. Next week is our anniversary. I’m not exactly the kind of woman you buy flowers for. It’s not because I don’t like flowers, it’s because they open up and shoot their evil pollen and spores into my home and clog my nose. After two days, I wake up with a giant headache. I start to have disdain for the flowers. I don’t water them for 3 days and then they die. Part of me just screams, “God did not make these beautiful things to wreck so much havoc on my sinuses!” Flowers are a waste for me. So, when I get flowers, all I can see is the $50-$60 that was thrown down the drain. Look, I know this sounds negative, but I promise it’s not. Flowers are just not this girl’s best friend. How does this fit in with my spending? Hubby and I are not big gift givers. When Christmas rolls around, we would much rather spend money on the kids. This has turned into us not exchanging gifts for anything, which I am fine with. I don’t need a present to know he loves me. So, every time my birthday or Christmas or our anniversary comes around, I have an easy excuse. I tell myself, “well, we aren’t going to exchange gifts, so I might as well buy this (insert item here) because I deserve something.”

I have drawn the line. There will be no more of that kind of spending. If it is not essential to my every day living, I don’t need it. This has been a big game changer for me. It has made me evaluate every single thing I buy. I want that sweater, but I don’t NEED that sweater. I NEED lights, fixtures, flooring, walls, faucets, cabinets, etc. for the house. It’s time to be strong.

Happy Weekend!

Scary Things

Be kind. Be kind. Be kind. I whisper this over and over again in the doorway of my kid’s room. It’s dark. They are asleep. Somewhere in their sub-conscience, I need them to hear me.

I don’t know what their day was like at school. I don’t know if one of them helped a little girl who tripped on her shoes. I don’t know if one of them hurt their best friend’s feelings. All I know is that I see good and bad examples of humanity every single day. I see kids standing up for each other when needed. I see adults stabbing each other in the back because they are afraid.

All of these things are scary. You have no idea how much of what you teach your child sticks with them. When they are little, you just hope they understood what you were trying to communicate and that they know when and how to use it.

As they lay there in bed and I stand whispering in the dark, I wonder how many thousands of years mothers and fathers have stood over their kids and worried about the same things.

I guess the test will come soon enough. Love your children. Love your children unconditionally. Teach your children. Teach your children unconditional love.

The rest will just have to work itself out.