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Monday, January 31, 2011

What Gives?

It's important to find some kind of joy in every single day.  The aroma and warmth of your morning coffee?  Your perfect lunch sandwich (and a few uninterrumpted moments to enjoy it)?  The silence on the drive home?  The hero-adoration when you arrive to collect your children?  No matter how stressful or unfulfilling many moments of the day become, there has to be something to value in each day.  When I try, I usually find lots of little moments that strung together create a life of meaning.

Often for me, it is at the close of the day.  After my liitle ones are in bed, I go into a mad dash of packing lunches, folding laundry, running the vacuum, loading the dishwasher...whatever I've put off all day.  Then, shortly before I wind myself down, I sneak back into the children's rooms and stroke their sleeping little heads or backs, I often say prayer over them or give little kisses.  It puts the whole day into perspective to see their innocently slumbering selves.  My goodness, all that I do each day is mostly for their sakes, for their provisions, their comfort, their security.  To see them basking in it is great reward and gives such joy!

If there are any mothers out there reading, what gives you joy each day?  How do you keep it all in perspective when you're stretched beyond what you're able?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Something Sweet

Recently, my daughter had a birthday party and we overloaded with candy.  OVER-LOAD.  So, to avoid snacking on all those bits and pieces of sweetness, I packaged up the extras and sent them to cousins, to our babysitter's daughter, to our neighbor lady.  Then I created a candy tray and placed it in the conference room at work.  Everyone has been so pleased by the unexpected fun of candy for no reason!   And in the process, I'm having fun sharing.   Isn't that how it goes?

Often, I think I have nothing to give.  Somedays I feel only depleted, empty, drained.  But finding what I do have, sharing - even leftovers - blesses others and ME!

I'd love to hear your ideas of what to share.  Here are a few others we've done:
  • Hand-me-downs: I'm thankful to give and receive the clothes that help our wardrobe.
  • Not-so-loved Toys: you know, the ones that are rejected, abandoned, still great.
  • Party Supplies: Once you've had one Hello Kitty party, you know you're not having another one. 
  • Seeds from the Garden: Harvest those zinnia and marigold flowers for the seeds next year and share!
What else?

Monday, January 24, 2011

When He Leaves

There are many ways a woman finds herself arriving at the place where her man leaves, but no matter the journey thus far - it is a pivotal, signifcant moment.  Twice my husband left, both times I asked him to go.  Still, I cannot think of anytime in my life where I felt more alone, more vulnerable and more rejected.  This is a time to be gentle with yourself.  Below is an excerpt from my journal on the night my husband left our home for the final time:

Laying alone in a bed you once shared with the person you love, the man you planned your life with and around, the father of your little ones is so isolating.  I feel uber-responsible for the three little lives harbored in our home.  As I double-checked all the locks, turned off the lights, packed bags, lunches and prepared for an easy breakfast, I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of it all.  I still haven't worked out a budget that balances each month.  Decisions about childcare and schedules need to be made.

The tv in our my room was taken to his place and the silence was good for me.  I was able to pray, allow my mind to wander, to imagine the making this room more my own, to visualize peace and safety in my own space.  I spoke to Christ, opened myself to His leading and prayed for common sense, wisdom, diretion and clarity.  He is with me and for me.  I'm learning that each day is a step forward and learning I don't have to have all the answers, just the next step.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I've been having a difficult time sleeping lately, even though I'm trying to do the "right" things by taking time to unwind, no late night computer or tv, in bed at a decent time, avoiding caffiene.  Still, I often find myself still awake at 1:30 or 2:00 am.  My human self can handle a night or two of this, but the cummulative effects are not good as night after night becomes a pattern.  
This is my youngest, I pray they remain this carefree.
Obviously he has no trouble sleeping!
Today I feel drained, physically weak and I can tell my body is fighting an infection (sore throat, swollen glands).  I'm trying to stay on top of it with vitamins and healthful food - this single mama doesn't have time to be sick!

Sometimes, I write down what is bothering me so that I can release the need to dwell on it and hopefully sleep.  Sometimes it really works!  Here was a recent list:
  1. Childcare (my babysitter recently accepted a different, ful-time position)
  2. Money/Provision (I missed about 3 days of work last week because of snow!)
  3. Party Plans & New Bed (current projects)
  4. School performance - first grader showing some troubling patterns of behavior
  5. Work performance - me
  6. Personal ambitions
  7. Loneliness, weight of responsibility, lack of partnership
M left a message last night that he will be unable to get the children this week because of work conflicts.  Usually I don't want to send them away, but this week I was really hopeful for the alone time to renew, rest, plan for an upcoming party and even get a haircut.  Now all those things will be scratched or worked in to the normal daily routines of homework, baths, meals, etc.  It's okay, this is my life - they are my life.  I'm so learning to hold my schedule loosely, and that is a lesson I do not enjoy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bright Spots

January can be a long, cold month and experience has taught me to prepare in advance to add some cheer.  I learned to love growing things from my mother, and seeing something bloom in January is an instant pick-me-up!  So during December's busy, busy days and in between gift purchasing, wrapping presents and parties, I plant something to hold promise of life in winter.

Try it! Here are a few more lovely ideas:
  • Something warm in the late afternoon - whether you like coffee, tea or hot chocolate, fill your insides with warmth and you'll feel better all over. 
  • Candles - the flame actually imbues warmth and a scent can invoke calm, energy or sweet memories.
  • Soups - let them simmer for a long time to fill the house with comforting flavor and hearty bellies.
  • Leave a light on - I can't stand to walk into a dark house, so I leave a lamp or hall light on constantly.  Yes, use the newer energy savings version, but don't deny yourself the light.  In winter shortened days, we cannot get enough!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's Time

I've decided to commit more time and energy here on my blog and try to make it something productive for others to read.  Perhaps sharing some of my story, what I'm learning, will help others and perhaps others will join with me along the way. 

I'm nervous, excited and then again perhaps this means nothing.  It will be an exercise of dicipline and risk for me. 

Happy 2011!