Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Against the Grain

I've never been all that competitive.

In grade school, I enjoyed playing soccer.  And my best games were when I wanted to impress a certain boy who played on another team.  The other games?  I stopped and picked dandelions.

In high school, I loved swimming on the best team in the area.  And while my times continued to get faster, I was content to stay in the middle of the pack.  I never understood why my coach always told me I was my own worst enemy...until I headed to college, watched a swim meet at the University of Iowa, and realized I could have kept up at the collegiate level.

My last year of college, I finally grasped that my personality & talents combine in ways that make me...well, me!  While I enjoy leadership, I like to take on tasks that allow me to lead in quiet ways; I prefer the praise of a few over the recognition of many.  Above all, I do my best to be authentic--not merely in my relationship with others, but authentic to myself, too.

And my authentic moments for today?

  • Bake a loaf of bread...using a box mix.
  • Hard boil a dozen eggs.

Somehow, in our media-rich, Facebook, Pinterest society, things are again feeling like a competition. And, I can't bring myself to participate.

The real trick with competition?  We place it upon ourselves!  

  • Bigger house.
  • Better cook.
  • Best yard.
Today, I'm reminding myself that God has placed me right where he wants me.  And, I can't be the authentic wife & mom my family needs if I stress & try to become someone else.

So, from my messy house to yours (be it clean or messy), I hope you find contentment in just being you.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

~Today My Toddler~

Today my toddler...
  • Rubbed yogurt on his legs as if it were lotion.
  • Got a matchbox car stuck in his mouth as I drove down the highway.
  • Trapped his head under the screen door as he tried to go outside.
  • Stood in the laundry basket, full of clean yet wrinkled clothes, and ate a piece of pizza.
  • Choked on orange juice and spit it out on the floor.
  • Bumped his head.
  • Busted his lip.
  • Tripped down the stairs.
  • Climbed into his brother's loft bed & spun the ceiling fan.
  • Teased the dog with pieces of her dog food.
  • Teased the dog with pieces of his own food.
  • Chased the dog.
  • Cried when the dog chased him.

Yet he also…
  • Greeted me in the morning with a squeal & a hug.
  • Gave me more kisses than I can recall.
  • Took a nap in my arms.
  • Laughed and giggled so much he could barely stand.
  • Somersaulted around the room.
  • Entertained his sisters.
  • Played with his brother.
  • Held his daddy.
  • Snuggled the dog.
As we put him down for bed, I am overwhelmed with a thought--we will never experience today again.  The crazies will still occur, the special times will still take place.  But today?  Today can never end with, "Thank goodness it's over!". Instead, I need to finish everyday with the words, "Dear God, thank you for every moment."

**While these thoughts and experiences are completely my own, I've been impacted by watching many dear St. Jude families who treasure every day in ways I can't even begin to grasp.  Julie Locke, the mother of Dax Locke and the founder of The Dax Locke Foundation ends everything she writes with "Cherish Every Moment" and has made this the foundation's slogan.  Julie's walk with her Savior & the way she celebrates both of her children have convicted me to never wish away my current season of life.**