{FDF}: I Let Her Wear the Fancy One

Happy Friday All!

So I feel like all week I’ve been having these little moments that all have been telling me the same thing…okay so maybe only two moments…but still…I was all like “wow!”….so I thought it might be good to share one with you.

The most memorable moment was with my toddler, although in all honesty she likely got this from her older sister who is all-things-girl wrapped up into one creative and quirky little five-year-old.  So my five-year-old is always dressing up in either her princess dresses or her fancy “church” type dresses, her pastimes include watching YouTube beauty tutorials for kids by kids, and then mimicking them with whatever “make-up” she can get her hands on…and I use that term loosely because we’ve had to wash markers and gel crayons…and nail polish and I’m sure many other things that I can’t remember at the moment…out of both of our girls’ hair and off of their faces on more than one occasion (several times this week alone in fact); she also has a flair for the theatrics and I’m pretty much convinced that in her mind her life is one great big musical (I’m serious…she sings all day er’ day…she even walks to the bus stop singing dramatically and moves to the rhythm accordingly…even when the rest of our crew is literally running to the bus stop)  But I digress.

So her younger sister has caught on to this behavior (and I’m ree-e-e-e-e-ally hoping we can curb it before she’s five because I don’t think my poor laundry machine can handle two girls changing outfits 5 times a day) so I had been getting used to her dressing up with her sister in the princess dresses for play, but I was caught off guard a little bit this week when she came to me during the day (while her sister was at school) and grabbed my hand and said “mama dess” and then seeing that I couldn’t understand, led me into her room where her closet was, and pointed up at her fancy purple dress and again said “mama, puple dess”.  Her message was quite clear at that point, but not wanting to dirty one of her good dresses on a regular old home day my answer was a quick “not that one”.  However she was not about to take no for an answer, and again she pointed up and said “mama, puple dess”.  Again I tried to redirect her to the box of princess play dresses but as I pulled each one out of the box and laid it on the floor in front of her she persisted with her request.  In a last-ditch effort I found the purple Sofia the Princess dress and dramatically waved it around trying to convince her that it would be even prettier than the other one…but she wasn’t having any of it…not at all.

It was at that point that the thought crossed my mind, “why not?”,

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{FDF}: When you Want to Give up

I’ll be honest with you guys, some weeks I feel like I’m killing it so to speak, but other weeks I feel like it’s killing me.  The last few weeks have been the latter unfortunately. Last week I was fighting off something physically so I was drained and exhausted every day. I’m not normally one to nap, but at that time…I was napping for (at most) a half hour most days (which explains my absence on here). The worst part though was that I couldn’t even take a break without feeling horribly lazy and guilty.

So this week I felt like I was on catch up and while some things were accomplished (yay for mopped floors finally!), I just couldn’t kick others into gear – at all…. Such as finding writing inspiration, eating well, and exercising…I mean….I even wore my workout attire in hopes that it would kick start me, but nope… Nothing!

I’m finding that the temptation for me on those off weeks is to just throw in the towel altogether, raise the white flag and admit defeat. I battle self criticism in those times and when I haven’t caught it in time it’s often been the cause of much guilt, shame, and hopelessness… Which has only ever led to despair, depression, lost purpose and defeat.

Maybe you can relate… You feel you’re going strong, nailing everything in your path and then bam! Something happens and you have a setback… And it’s not quite the setback itself that causes the problem, but rather it’s the reeling from the setback that inflicts more damage than anything.

If that’s you, I’m challenging you to join me today in these simple steps:
  1. Choose to focus on your accomplishments
  2. Recognize that a setback is not a disqualification
  3. Give yourself permission to slow down and take a break when needed.
  4. After you fall, get back up and keep going

We all face setbacks from time to time, and I’m almost positive that no matter who you are or how long you’ve been doing what you do…the temptation is always there to give into discouragement in those times.  But it’s not the setbacks that hold the power…it’s your response to it that determines your outcome.  So be encouraged today that it’s never too late to start again; go back to your reason for starting…whether it’s a relationship, a hobby, a new mindset, exercising, healthy eating, following your creative pursuits, learning a new instrument, or something else altogether…go back and remember your why…restore your purpose and then begin again.

Have a wonderful weekend and let the newness and freshness of spring be a reminder that you too, can begin each day anew!

 

 

 

 

Thank you to Angie Makes at angiemakes.com for the pretty Free Watercolor Splash and Leaf Image shown above! Be sure to check out her lovely site. 

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{FDF}: March Break Madness!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Happy end-of March Break!

In light of it being March Break and all I’m basically just touching down here to say hello.  We’ve had a busy week with everyone coming and going and let’s be real…with kids home during that whole time…there wasn’t much of anything that was going to get done.

So I’ll just highlight one of the key moments that was a common theme here this week: Mr. Sketch Markers

Who knew they doubled as excellent lip sticks?  Sadly I washed my toddlers face before thinking to take a picture…it was during a very busy time (when is there not a busy time with kids? Can I get an Amen?!), but anyways, if you picture the Joker you’ll get a fairly accurate visual.  As for the door decor…well that’s not a first for us….but it hadn’t happened for a while so we were likely due up for some fresh artwork.  I’ll also note that thankfully, everything washed off rather easily.

We really didn’t get up to too much this week as we did our bigger family outing last month at Great Wolf Lodge (which I highly recommend if you’re thinking about it).  So this week has been filled with lot’s of sleepovers with family and visits with friends, as well as a conference at weeks’ end for my husband and myself (I’m bunking with my girlfriends for 2 nights…I can’t even remember how long it’s been since I’ve done that…needless to say I can barely contain the excitement).

I hope you’ve managed to survive your week and even make a few good memories along the way, and if not…there’s still time!  I know March Break can be a tricky one if you don’t have plans, but remember, it doesn’t have to be elaborate for it to be great It doesn't have to be elaborate for it to be great Click To Tweet…and come Monday the house will be back to normal…so try not to stress too much about the chaos now (at least that’s what I keep reminding myself).

Until next week, keep it real…

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{FDF}: A Return to Simple

Happy Full Disclosure Friday Friends!

So in the spirit of keeping things real here on Fridays…I must share with you that I’ve come to a realization.  If you’ll recall, or if you’re new here and don’t know (welcome by the way!), when I first started {FDF} I had initially set out to keep these posts short and to the point; to center them around snippets of my real-life, with the point being to simply encourage you that we all have a less-glamorous side of life and sometimes we just need to not take ourselves so seriously and have a laugh at those moments.

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{FDF}: When Grace Stepped In

Well friends, this week’s’ Full Disclosure Moment was brought to you by broken coffee machines, smudged nails, unravelling jeans and sad sad tears of frustration.  Tis true; while my jeans were unravelling, I’m afraid my emotions were even more so.

What started out as a beautiful Monday evening (getting out for a haircut while my husband supervised the children for thorough room cleans #BestHusbandEverAward) quickly fell apart by the typical bedtime battle…and if you asked me now what the battle was over this time…I wouldn’t be able to tell ya if my life depended on it…I just know that by the time everyone was in bed…I was exhausted and ready to relax for the evening.  (I’m sure none of you can relate to that though right? 😉 )

So anyways, rarely do I decide to take the time to paint my nails, but given that the weather had me feeling all sorts of spring and festive, I thought I’d give it a go with some nice light polish.  And that was where it all went south.  No sooner had I finished my second coat of polish, than my husband was calling me into the kitchen to check out something amiss with the coffee machine.  I entered to find that our 2 month old fancy coffee machine, with the attractive one-cup Keurig feature as well as the regular pot, the one that we were able to score for next to nothing with a left-over gift card…the one I had been super excited to upgrade to – was leaking water out of the bottom and onto the counter creating a huge mess everywhere.

Enter mess number two….so as I tried to clean up said mess and help my husband locate the source of the problem…the inevitable happened and reminded me ever so quickly of why I never paint my nails…smudge city…I’m not sure if that was what set me off, or if it was my hasty decision to rub off all of the still-gummy polish rather than repaint one nail…or if it was my husband’s announcement that the machine was broken (somehow making it more official than the water leaking out the bottom)…but either way…at that point…there was no coming back…the waterworks had begun and were in full force (and I’m not talking about the coffee machine here).  Sometimes ya just gotta cry it out – you know what I’m sayin’?

Anyways…fast forward to Tuesday evening and there I was…yet again…with another frustrating moment on my hands…or rather on my back pocket.  After finally crawling into my pj’s I discovered that the back pocket on my newest, most favorite pair of (non-ripped) jeans was unraveling and in time would fall off.  Fun fact: the jeans (like the coffee maker) cost me nothing as they were purchased with birthday money at the time.  Thankfully though this time around I was able to stay better composed and hold it together in hopes of a solution.

So long story short, I was able to contact customer service for the coffee machine and found out that I could return it to a location relatively close and that they could have the replacement sent directly to me with no extra shipping fees.  Whew – what a relief (especially after reading in the manual that shipping there and back would be at the customer’s expense)!

Next up was the jeans…I wasn’t really banking on much for that one as I no longer had the receipt…but thought I’d try nonetheless.  Now here was where it got interesting…the Store Manager’s name, who happened to answer the phone, was “Grace”.  Now being that I’m a Christian that name stuck with me easily…which is not the norm (trust me…I’m horrid…absolutely horrid…with names…I’ve learned to adapt…and by that I mean…find ways to address people without using their name…I apologize profusely if you can recall an incident where I’ve done this with you….I blame it on my mom brain..anyways…I digress)….but I didn’t think much about it beyond that.  By the end of the conversation (actually it was pretty short and sweet) Grace had assured me that my pair of jeans could be returned within the next few days when she would be working and they could be replaced with the same pair at no cost to me as it was most likely a manufactures’ defect.  I was more than pleased to hear that!

By now I’m sure you’re wondering if I’m going to make any point at all today…or if I’m just rambling about my less-than-exciting week.  Well…here she be.  As I was pondering on these little incidents I started seeing the parallel between the broken objects…both items had come at no cost to me whatsoever…both were less than 3 months old…yet both items, although new and well-treated had a manufactures defect.  And then as I thought about both items being replaced free of charge, it struck me….Grace…the Store Manager…Grace stepped in and fixed what I couldn’t.  That was the bigger picture here…that was the ultimate parallel.  A picture of grace (not to be confused with Grace my new friend).

That's what the grace of God does; it offers favor when favor is neither earned nor deserved Click To Tweet

You see, that’s what the grace of God does…it offers favor when favor is neither earned nor deserved.  Regardless of how new and shiny we look or feel on the outside…we all have this inward bent to sin, to be selfish, to be unkind, to be unloving…it’s a defect…but if we stay focused on those defects we only become frustrated and discouraged – and grace stands off at a distance.  But just like when I turned my attention from my broken items and sought help;

when we chose to turn from our place of brokenness and look to God for help, His grace can then step in and offer us what we couldn’t find ourselves….an exchange of our brokenness for His wholeness…His message in the midst of our mess and fresh strength to take a new grip and courageously carry on.

This grace is not a quick fix band-aid for our wounds.  No, rather, it is the kind of enabling power that causes us to fearlessly conquer our deeper inadequacies as we look to our Heavenly Father; for it’s in the looking to Him that we find the reassurance that He is more than adequate and able to shape us into the beautiful image that He sees us as.  So take courage today because the grace you need is waiting to step in…you need only look up.

 

 

 

 

Thank you to Angie Makes at angiemakes.com for the pretty Free Watercolor Image shown above! Be sure to check out her lovely site. 

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{FDF}: When Life Throws You A Snag

Happy Friday Friends!

If I’m going to be completely honest with you here though, I must admit, that first of all…it’s actually Thursday…and while it started out to be a great day today, it all quickly went south when I ran into some computer issues. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ever had that problem!

So I was thinking about how I respond when something happens that is beyond my control.  Computer’s are a biggie for me, as I know the bare minimum in order to keep my Blog up and running but when I run into a snag, and it’s happened a couple of times now in the past few weeks, I’m very much at the mercy of Help Forums and Google Search…and that can leave me feeling very frustrated and powerless…two words I’m not very fond of.

Looking back at how I usually react in times like these…well I can see why I’ve left feeling less like a champ and more like a chump.  Most times I repetitively do the same thing – close the program, log off, log back on, open the program, recreate the scenario, hope for different results…and when I get the same…hit the help button…and start through the whole cycle again.  Talk about spinning your wheels!  It’s no wonder I’m feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and powerless by the time I finally give up!

Maybe you can relate.  Maybe you’ve been in situations beyond your control.  Maybe you’ve felt that powerlessness and frustration that I felt.  In fact – I’m positive you have, because that’s just life.  So how can we respond when things like this happen?

Well, in my instance today…I could feel the wheels spinning…I could feel the frustration rising…and well…the tears were already beginning to stream down my face as I helplessly stood up…BUT…that was where I did something different!

I stood up!

Simple right?  But powerful!

You see, in standing up, I was choosing to step away from the situation that was causing me so much frustration; to do something different, and really – it wasn’t until after I changed my position that I realized how important that decision was.

Did I do something drastic?  Did I call every techy person I knew?  (while the temptation was there…common sense told me that they’d all be busy at work at the moment anyways..sooooo no I didn’t)  Nope, instead I saw that it was lunch time, and while I’m usually terrible at breaking for lunch if my toddler is napping because I like to keep barreling through to get as much done in that time as possible (which is also why events like this cause so much frustration being a busy mama with so little time) I decided to break for lunch and some fresh air (since this week has been crazy warm for February in Canada – bring it on!).  And it wasn’t until I was away from the situation that I could feel the weight of it all lift off of me and new perspective move in.

And that’s the ticket right there.  In order for us to stand up, we must change position; that means that as we interrupt the current crazy cycle that we’re in we become free to see things from a new perspective, an elevated perspective.  It’s like we become detached for long enough from the situation and the emotions of it that we are then free to see it in a new light.

As we interrupt our crazy cycle we become free to see things from a new elevated perspective Click To Tweet

So what did I see from my new perspective?  Well, first off I could see that I needed help because this was beyond my reach.  It’s interesting because this morning I read and wrote this verse out for the day:

“Come and listen to my counsel.  I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.”  ~Proverbs 1:23

So first off, I went to God while I was having my lunch and I dumped my frustration off on Him, then I asked for help.  After that I felt like I was in a much better position to seek help from the good old-fashioned “help/contact us” feature without losing my mind on those poor folks.  You see, when we’re in the midst of that cycle and we’re being overwhelmed by it all, just like someone who is drowning at sea – we can completely miss the help that is right there, literally within arms reach, and sometimes we can even fight it without meaning to.

I recall being in swimming lessons and being taught that in a rescue, the victim can be so fearful that their adrenaline will actually increase their strength so that they could potentially drown their rescuer…so the solution…punch them if need be – but do not let them overpower you…or you’ll both drown.  Now punching ourselves out is a little drastic of a solution…well….a lot drastic…ha hah I bet it even shocked you reading that just now….but the principle remains the same… the punch interrupts the situation so that the individual is in a place where they can now receive help.

When you're overwhelmed, you can completely miss the help right within arms reach Click To Tweet

So after seeking out the help I needed I switched gears and moved on to something else while I waited to hear back on my questions; and while it was tempting to return to that cycle of figuring it out myself, instead, I held off until the answer came (something I’m learning to do…although I will admit, the abnormally warm weather also helped…’stay indoors with the stupid computer or get out in the lovely sunshine?’…sunshine you win – hands down!).

Friends, I know the temptation can be huge to jump back into looking for an answer when you’re in that period of waiting, whether it’s something little like my frustration (which I’ll point out – certainly did NOT seem little at the moment! ha hah), or whether it’s something larger, like waiting on your dream, your career, a spouse, a baby, healing, to get out of debt, to move, to change…whatever…but just trust me…it’s always better to leave it in God’s hands…and I’m not downplaying the difficulty of your situation…I know what it’s like to wait for something that you have no control over, and all of the pain, the thoughts and the emotions that go with it..but friends…it’s better to trust.

Trust that He has a plan, believe that He has your best interest in mind…and every time the temptation comes up again to figure it out – remember the weight of it when you were in that cycle of frustration and hopelessness and let Him have it.  He’ll show you the next step to take when the time is right – you won’t miss it.

God will show you the next step to take when the time is right - you won't miss it. Click To Tweet

Now, I’m happy to report that this story has a happy ending.  The solution did not come from the help that I sought, but it did point me in the right direction for more help, whereupon I indeed found the answer to my dilemma (and guess what? I actually learned something techy!).  Upon reflecting, I think what struck me the most in all of this was how frustrated I initially was…and could have been had I stayed on that path.  I obviously didn’t consciously think this, but I think somewhere I had this expectation that life should go smoothly and shouldn’t have roadblocks; so then when I did encounter one…all of that frustration would come up almost as a way of saying, “I can’t believe something went wrong! Everything’s supposed to go off without a hitch!”

Maybe you can relate?  Maybe you can see that same reaction within yourself…frustration, feeling overwhelmed at your inability to do anything, angry, hopeless.

Friends, can I be so bold to say, that perhaps it’s because we’ve believed a lie…a lie that’s told us that “everything is supposed to go smoothly and if it doesn’t then it must be because we’ve done something wrong”?

Well I for one, have believed that lie for far too long…it’s caused me to get stuck, to be selfish, and to have tunnel vision.  I think it’s time that we start believing the truth; that life is bumpy, it has detours, and yes, some are self-inflicted, but for the most part…it’s curveballs…things we didn’t plan for, or see coming…and the important thing is not if or when we get out No, the important thing is how we come through.

You see these situations will either make you bitter or they’ll make you better, they’ll either best you, or they will bring out your best.  Your troubles of today are someone else’s triumphs for tomorrow.

Your troubles of today are someone else's triumphs for tomorrow. Click To Tweet

Allow every roadblock to shape you into the person that you want to be, because when you do come through it, there will be more challenges…but with every challenge comes the opportunity for growth to better prepare you for your future.  So let’s be individuals who expect challenges, who grow through them for not only our benefit, but for the benefit of those around us, and who run out to greet them with tenacity, leaving our timidity in the dust.

 

 

 

PS: I do apologize for getting long-winded & all serious on this Full Disclosure Friday…I swear I had no idea it was going here when I first started!  But see look…my trouble became your triumph…and mine…gonna have to review this again I’m sure! 😉 )

 

Thank you to Angie Makes at angiemakes.com for the pretty Free Watercolor Tropical Flower Image shown above! Be sure to check out her lovely site. 

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{FDF}: My slightly jaded Valentine’s

Well friends,

Valentine’s Day…It came and went without a hitch…I know that because I saw it posted everywhere…on the feeds of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…and I’m pretty certain every other media platform.  Happy pictures of happy couples, little heart filters decorating profile pictures, status updates of love stories, sentiments, and declarations of undying love, pictures of gifts given and received…tokens of love and affection.

And while it’s all good and great to celebrate love…somehow I just wasn’t buying into all of it this year.  Maybe it’s because it was on a Tuesday (a busy night for this household with students coming and going for music lessons), maybe it’s because I was feeling physically run-down with a headache and achy in general, or maybe it was because all of those love declarations out there on display for the general public to see hit me as more of a competition…a who-did-it-better moment.

Please forgive me if I’m stepping on toes here…and hey…I’ve put my fair share of “love declaration” posts out there myself…but I’m just saying…and maybe it was just for me…but perhaps we need to look less at everyone else’s love story, and focus more on our own.  We all like a happy love story, whether it’s real life or the movies (which are totally not true to life just in case you’re still day-dreaming about that last rom-com you saw and how that could totally be you one day), but we don’t all like to look at the regular day’s…the one’s where real love is worked out…when it’s tough…and the good feelings aren’t necessarily there…when love means choosing to believe the best in one another…when it means not getting our own way….those days that pave the way for the “feel-good” day’s.  Sometimes in the over-saturation of everyone else’s stories we can be too quick to disregard our own, too quick to take the happy posts at face value – forgetting all of the hard work of love that takes place under the surface…and ladies…please don’t tell me I’m the only one out there that’s seen those “love posts” by the men-folk and thought “well why doesn’t my husband do that?”…seriously girls….we’ve just gotta stop it (I’m talking to me here too)!  The comparing – it’s not fair to our husbands, to ourselves, or to our marriages.  It surely doesn’t cause us to believe the best in one another…either of our own marriage or of the one’s we’re comparing to…and it doesn’t lead us down the path of thankfulness to see all that we do possess in our own relationship.  Comparison will only ever make us ungrateful and miserable and those are definitely two words we don’t want in our love stories.

So while I admittedly have wrestled with these things in my heart from time to time (and felt absolutely ridiculous doing so at the time), I’m also incredibly thankful for my own love story and that we don’t have to save our celebrations for one day only….we celebrate it with every word spoken and every action done in love…on both the happy heart days and the working-it-out days…and only then, without taking away from our own story, will we truly be able to celebrate each other’s stories.

(Oh and just for the record – my super thoughtful husband did give roses to myself, our three children, and to his own two sisters. Aaaannnnnd…made me a super tasty steak dinner on the weekend. #grateful #thankful #blessed – not that I’m bragging or anything 😉 )

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{FDF}: Productivity

G’day Friends!

Today we’re taking a look at productivity.  Sometimes productivity in the life of a mama looks like unproductivity to the eye of the beholder because the mess can be constant and the children ever-present.  Monday was one of those days for me this week.  Besides a load of laundry and getting the grocery shopping done for the week, I’d have to say that after spending much of the afternoon unsuccessfully brainstorming for the blog while the little one napped – my greatest accomplishment came later when I successfully dislodged a piece of cheese which my toddler had thought to creatively cram into a sippy cup lid while my back was turned.  (Because why wouldn’t you think to shove cheese into the unreachable crevice of a lid? I mean, she knew what it would taste like, but how it would fit into a lid…well that opened up a whole new world of possibilities!)

We all have those kinds of days.  Sometimes it looks like rejoicing over a cup that was saved from a lifetime of inevitable mold and consequently the garbage heap, and other times the victories and accomplishments are only visible to the unseen eyes of the heart.  The days where it takes everything within to get out of bed and fight for your peace within; to silence the voices of doubt and discouragement and boldly embrace the voice of Truth over and over and over again until you actually start to believe it.  Those days aren’t easy, and I know them all too well, but rather than letting them envelope us in defeat, let’s choose to both receive God’s grace and give ourselves that same grace so we can remember that every battle won, whether seen or unseen, is an accomplishment and a victory worth celebrating.

Until next week…keep it real,

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{FDF}: Mom Fashion

Hey Guys!

So today we’re talking fashion… More specifically… Mom fashion. If you’re anything like me, you likely have a Pinterest page a mile long with outfits that you’ll never actually own, let alone wear… It’s the dream closet so to speak… Great for inspiration but also great for breeding discontent. Mix in a little bit of social media, a dash of comparison, and we can be left feeling pretty defeated and inadequate at the worn-out reflection in the mirror.

So today I thought I’d share with you a typical outfit of the day when I’m doing mom-life at home (please ignore the slight belly ponch… I’m a little behind on those”eat healthier” New Year’s Resolutions).

Real splashy right? Prior to mom-life I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing matching colors on top and bottom… But when the bus is coming and you’ve gotta hustle to get the kids out the door you flip into survival mode.  Not gonna lie here… That t-shirt was totally the pj shirt from the night before, and yes – it does read “I Sleigh” because that’s totally something I say often..not really…but for that reason I love it even more. I do apologize for cutting off my head… You’re not missing much… Just bed head, glasses, and a make-up free face… Seeing as my selfie skills are at the “shallow end of the dream pool” (shout out to Scar circa 1994 courtesy of The Lion King), and I lack a selfie stick I had to resort to carefully arranging my phone in a Kleenex box and selecting the least awkwardly posed picture – which meant settling for what happened to be a headless shot.

Anyways, there ya have it friends. We’re not all fashion models and we don’t always have to have it all together. Focus on the things that really matter and let’s agree to invite perspective into our social media lives. (And I find on these half-pajama days sneaking in a quick shower.. Even if it’s at 2 pm does wonders for the morale 😉)

Until next week… Keep it real

 

 

 

 

Thank you to Angie Makes at angiemakes.com for the pretty Free Watercolor Swash shown above! Be sure to check out her lovely site. 

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{FDF}: Toddlers & Tantrums

So this week’s Full Disclosure Moment is brought to you by Toddlers and Costco.  I really have to wake up on the right side of the bed in order to brave a trip into the mammoth sized grocery store that we all know and love…and with a toddler in tow…trust me…it’s not for the faint of heart.

I probably should have turned and tucked tail at the first sign of trouble (which may or may not have been when my toddler refused to get into the cart…in the parking lot); however, being as it takes us a little over 45 minutes to get to the closest Costco from our house, and (likely this is the larger reason) being that I’m somewhat (ahem) stubborn (only paralleled by two of my three children), I chose to dig my heels in and head into battle…armed with snacks, juice, toys, books, my secret weapon, (the soother)…and conveniently arrived in time for the free sample buffet.

One could say things didn’t exactly go swimmingly….however between the free samples, my weapons of choice, and some strategic distraction maneuvers of rehearsing nursery rhymes, counting, and some extremely kindhearted employees…we somehow managed to survive.

The truth is, that some day’s parenting isn’t all sunshine and roses…some day’s…it just plain sucks.  Sometimes the tantrums outweigh the patience we can muster up and we find ourselves torn within trying to maintain every shred of peace we can so that the captain doesn’t go down with the ship.  Sometimes we question our ability as a parent, and even our desire to do this parenting business at all…and in all honesty…that was where I was on more than one occasion during this trip.  Seriously, never in my life have I ever experienced the wild emotions that parenting can bring…one minute I can be furiously frustrated, overwhelmed with anger…and the thoughts…oh the thought’s…”why did I ever become a mom?”, “this job is too demanding for me…I want out”, “how can I possibly love anyone else when I’m struggling to love my own child right now?!”….and then the next minute when the matter has settled and I’m looking into that sweet little face saying “I Sow-wy ” the just-as furious love that floods over…fierce and wild makes me a force to be reckoned with for any fool that would dare pose a threat to that little one.  If one didn’t know the reality of those emotions or the frequency of them, they could be led to believe that there was something wrong with me….but I’m almost positive that I’m not alone in this and that it’s something that all of us, as parents to children – young or old – experience.

Here’s the thing…in those moments when the anger, the frustration, and the hopelessness seem more than we can bear…we need to remember that eventually it will melt away, the moment will pass, and life will go on.  Take a moment, breathe, get out of the room if you need to, and don’t bite the lie that you’re a horrible parent for feeling/thinking that way!  Accept that frustration is normal (because you’re a human being!!), and look up to receive God’s grace and love so that you can extend it outward to the little one (or older one) needing it so much.  Love is not an emotion…otherwise our children would be doomed…ha hah…Love is a choice, love is commitment…and friends…love is a miracle….That’s how it was intended to be…so that when our strength becomes limited and our love supply runs dry, we can go to our Heavenly Father, the very source of love  Himself, to be filled up in order to let it flow out.

It’s not easy this parenting thing…but it’s so worth it for those moments of joy and bliss (over a $1.60 hot dog and pop).

Until next week…keep walking in grace and love one to another…and keep it real.

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