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Five Minute Friday: Opportunity

  • Posted on May 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

On Fridays, Gypsy Mama holds a blog carnival where we all stop and write for five minutes – no editing, no over-thinking, just write. Care to join us?

This week’s topic is: Opportunity.

I fell like I miss so many opportunities.  An opportunity to tell a friend I’m sorry for their loss, missed because I can’t quite find the right words. An opportunity to teach my kids some new truth or skill, missed because I’m too caught up in the everyday chores and the business of it all.  An opportunity to connect with my husband missed because we’re both buried in our technology.  An opportunity to see friends or family missed because I don’t think I can handle the travel with the kids, or because I think it might cost too much or be too stressful.  An opportunity to call and chat with a friend because I think too much time has past, or they might be mad at me for some unknown slight.

These things weigh heavy on me once I feel like I’ve missed them.  But I still do.  How can I be better at grabbing these opportunities when I see them, at not giving into my excuses and insecurities?

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Five Minute Friday: Perspective

  • Posted on May 18, 2012 at 8:53 am

On Fridays, Gypsy Mama holds a blog carnival where we all stop and write for five minutes – no editing, no over-thinking, just write. Care to join us?

This week’s topic is: Perspective.

I had given up.  I told Chad earlier in the week, or the end of last week – the days run together when we’re busy and the hosue is a mess and everyone is sick – I had told Chad that I was done looking for a Life Group.  We had tried so many times since coming to our current church.

It’s like we’re not meant to be part of one, I told him.  See, Life Groups all meet on Sunday night.  But I teach Awana Sunday night – something I’m not really lookign ot give up.  Every time I mentioned it to someone at Church, while looking for Life Groups, I would get a response like “oh, that’s too bad.”

I felt like they were saying, “If you really wanted to connect with us, you would give up your other ministry”.  We thought about joining in the summer, when I have no other Sunday commitments – but Sundays are already hectic, what with Church and getting ready for the week and being home with the kids… and the thought of going for two months, only to be relegated back to the shadows during the school year grated on me.

We just won’t try this year, I said.  Why bother?  And finally – I felt peace about it.  Not bitterness that I wasn’t allowed in the group, not stress about whether I was being punished for my choices, just peace.  That’s it, I thought, we just weren’t meant to be there.

Then out of the blue, I got a message from a girl in my bible study, asking if she could steal my away from whatever life group we were in, because she thought our kids would play well together and wanted more young families in hers.  Here we go again, I thought – I’m not meant to be in a life group.  But I messaged back, and said I couldn’t meet on Sunday nights, but that we could maybe come through the summer if she wanted.

So it turns out, they don’t meet on Sunday nights at all.  Random nights of the week right now.  But probably never Sundays.

Suddenly, “God doesn’t want us in a Life Group right now” turns into “Maybe He just wanted us to wait on this one”… and we’re going to join them for hot dogs and fellowship tonight.

My perspective, is not always (in fact often not) God’s perspective.  But it’s nice when the perspective changes, and I can see a little of His direction.

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Five Minute Friday: Identity

  • Posted on May 11, 2012 at 8:39 am

On Fridays, Gypsy Mama holds a blog carnival where we all stop and write for five minutes – no editing, no over-thinking, just write. Care to join us?

This week’s topic is: Identity

Who am I, really?  I feel like I don’t know sometimes.  I’m a mother, and a wife, and so many other things… maybe too many other things.  I feel like I’m failing in all of them so often these days – the house is not as clean as I want it to be, I don’t spend enough quality time with the kids, I’m not sure I’m preparing Brianna for school enough or in the right ways, I don’t have time to work out or have hobbies or…

My perceived failures define so much of who I think I am.  I know that’s not healthy.  I know it’s not really who I am, and somewhere, deep down, I know I’m not really failing at everything.  But it’s so hard to break out of that rut, to see that sometimes good enough is just perfect, and to let it go.  To see where I’m excelling, and to find my little blessings along the way.  I get so bogged down in the process, in the day-to-day of it all, that I miss enjoying who I am and what my strengths are.

I’m pretty good at having fun, when I’m not stressed out.  I like to laugh, and I can sing every song off the shows my kids like.  I put dinner on the table, more nights than not.  The house is certainly livable, even if it doesn’t measure up to my standards.  I love my kids.  I do well at work, often. I’m constantly working on improving, praying that God helps me change what I need to change about myself and my attitude.

These are the things I want to remember about me. That I’m not the failure I often identify myself as being.

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Five Minute Friday: Real

  • Posted on May 4, 2012 at 9:33 am

On Fridays, Gypsy Mama holds a blog carnival where we all stop and write for five minutes – no editing, no over-thinking, just write. Care to join us?

This week’s topic is: Real

When I saw today’s prompt, it made me think of The Velveteen Rabbit – the part where one of the other toys, I think it was the horse, is telling the rabbit about being Real, and how it hurts, but you don’t mind because you are Real, and how once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.

With this blog’s “new beginning”, I have been faced with a real struggle here on how real to be – it’s the Internet, it’s out there for everyone to see.  And while I’m not trying to build a brand or get a million readers or whatever…  I hesitate to scare anyone off or make them think less of me.  When I have been real in the past, I’ve met mixed  responses – from strangers, friends, and family.  Maybe I’m too real, or maybe I have too many sharp edges to become real – I just don’t know some times.

So here’s to being real.  My laundry is mostly caught up, but always thisclose to being a disaster. Currently, there are towels in the dryer, and clothes on my dining room table – the one we eat dinner at – waiting to be folded when I get home.  My living room looks like it was struck by the toy-pocalypse, even though I’ve cleaned it a dozen times this week. My mom and I are still not talking, almost a year later.  I had lofty intentions of doing crafts with Brianna last night, but after I found myself crying in the pantry because we were out of hamburger meat and I didn’t go to the store and so we couldn’t have tacos, I made tuna helper, helped Chad work with her on some writing, and set the kids in front of the TV for an hour while they climbed on me and I tried to read a magazine.  I yell far more often than I should.  My bathroom counter is a disaster, and even though I’ve tried to fix it, I can’t seem to keep it clear.  I plan a lot more than I do. STOP.

I could have written so much more. Being real is addictive, but also scary.

Five Minute Friday: Together

  • Posted on April 20, 2012 at 8:43 am

On Fridays, Gypsy Mama holds a blog carnival where we all stop and write for five minutes – no editing, no over-thinking, just write. Care to join us?

This week’s topic is: Together

They are amazing together.  Sure, there are moments when they fight over a toy, or push and shove or are unkind, but for the most part – they are amazing.  They love each other so much. Brianna will hold Benjamin’s hand, share her snacks with him, or help him with different toys.  They pray together at night.  They chase each other, playing games I don’t understand, and filling my house with laughter.  So much laughter.  Benjamin can say her name now, and he calls her all the time – “Bran-na! Bran-na!”.  They love playing together and being together, and – as I hoped when I found out they would be so close in age – Brianna doesn’t ever remember not having a little brother. They protect each other and cheer each other on, and delight in each others accomplishments (Brianna is anxiously awaiting Benjamin’s “big boy bed” so he can be like her).

I hope they are always like this – happy, friends, together.

Five Minute Friday: Gift

  • Posted on March 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm

On Fridays, Gypsy Mama holds a blog carnival where we all stop and write for five minutes – no editing, no over-thinking, just write. Care to join us?

This week’s topic is: Gift

Brianna and I were discussing what she learned in Puggles last week, and she was happily telling me about how God and Jesus made her, and love her (and made Benjamin, and Mommy, and Daddy, and her friends, etc).  Then she asked me, “IF God and Jesus love me so much, can they come to my house?”

I stammered. I have no idea exactly what I said, other than I think I mentioned that God was special and he was always with us, and that God and Jesus live in heaven which is really far away. “Like Grandma’s house?” she asked.  Well, kind of, maybe, I guess.

I have no idea when I expected theology questions form her. She’s three years old, so it’s understandable, but I’m so not ready.  I feel totally inadequate to point her to the gift I’ve found in my relationship with God, the gifts I rediscover every day.  I feel like I’m failing at this, and it bothers me a lot – I bought some books, reviewed my Cubbies material, started brainstorming ways to work spiritual truths into our everyday life…Maybe it’s time to buckle down and start devotions, to start her on some Bible memory – the scriptures can teach her much more effectively, I think, than I can.

My children are a gift to me from God – but in turn, I’m responsible for guiding them to him, so they can find the gift of Life… and that responsibility seems so huge right now.

Five Minute Friday: Loud

  • Posted on March 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

On Fridays, Gypsy Mama holds a blog carnival where we all stop and write for five minutes – no editing, no over-thinking, just write.  Care to join us?

This week’s topic is: Loud

The kids are so loud – all the time, it seems.  Loud when they are angry, because I’m not giving in to their whims, or because the other is not sharing, loud when they have a new bump or scrape or owwie – but also loud when they are happy, playing together.  Brianna loves to make Benjamin laugh, usually involving some form of yelling.  Benjamin loves to yell, just to get Brianna (and the rest of us) to look at him.  And while, at the end of a long day at work, the LOUD can grate on me and I count the minutes until bedtime and quiet and peacefulness – so many things happen in the loud that I would hate to miss.  Like Benjamin’s smile of triumph when he jumps out of the playhouse and says “Boo!”, or Brianna’s laughter as they chase each other up and down the hall… like Benjamin surprising us all by counting to ten yesterday, or Brianna telling me I’m her “favorite princess”… like Brianna’s stubborn mornings, just like her daddy, or the look on Benjamin’s face when he wants a banana.

If I can live in the loud, these are the things i can see – and they certainly are worth every minute of loud, no matter how long my day was.

Five Minute Friday: Brave

  • Posted on March 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

On Fridays, Gypsy Mama holds a blog carnival where we all stop and write for five minutes – no editing, no over-thinking, just write.  Care to join us?

This week’s topic is: Brave

I don’t think I am brave.  I dodge conflict like a pro, waiting until things are almost unfixable (or worse) before dealing with them.  I often still sleep with the baby monitors on. I avoid any kind of situation that could lead to confrontation.

But I also avoid deep friendships. Too often, starting a new friendship requires me to put myself out there and be brave, and all too often I shy away from that – because it might hurt. Or because i might fail. Because I’m not brave enough. What if they don’t like me? What if I’m all awkward and dumb? What if… I don’t even know. Too much worry.  Not enough bravery.

Six years in this town, and I still feel like I haven’t put down roots.  Because I’m not putting myself out there. I need to be brave – I need to actively seek out good friends and good situations.  And I need to be brave, and try new things.  But it’s hard. I need to stop whining! And do it!

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