Creativity · Faith · Family · Parenting · Perspective

Keeping My Wits

Perspective. It’s all about perspective.

This past week was a doozy! Dance dress rehearsal on 8th. Church + Dance Recital + birthday party on 9th. 1st Grade Program on 10th.

dance recital bow

Birthday treats for 20 and some mild flooding at our home (which required a large pump for almost 4.5 hours) on 12th. Birthday treats for daycare on 13th.

dirt worm cups
Dirt – Worm pudding cookie cups

Playdate and more birthday treats on 14th plus a family party at the bowling alley to celebrate.

Bowling Form
My 2yr old nephew’s bowling form.

Easter egg hunt and sister-mom time on 15th. Early church service followed by fellowship with friends and Easter lunch with my family on 16th.

And a full time job during the week.

It’s safe to say I was a grump by Saturday morning. My morning run left me coughing and sputtering instead of feeling energized. This was insane. Betty Crocker I am not. Egg Hunt? Rarr….

giphy-downsized1

Perspective. That powerful thing called perspective.

Two options here: Me sitting in a corner drinking coffee refusing to talk or make eye-contact — OR — Choosing to look at this as “WOW” my family is happy, healthy and engaged in spending time together. I should make sure I’m involved!

Option 2 is ALWAYS the better option. We enjoy each other’s time and company. It makes me feel great to make others feel good with time, friendship, and yes – birthday treats and Easter egg hunts!

The aftermath: Claustrophobia began to rise up as I looked around the house last night. The dirty laundry was piled counter high when my husband emptied our three strategically placed hampers in the bathroom. At least 3 days of clean dishes sat on the counter- each new load pushed to the side and another batch washed and laid out to dry. Paths had to be cleared from the kids’ doors to their beds so we could do our bedtime routine.

Thank goodness for perspective.

We have clean water, clothes, food, shelter, and love. All are blessings that are not to be overlooked! I promise not to go Maslow on you with a chart of the hierarchy of needs, but it bears witness that if those basic D-needs are met there is little room for complaint.

 It would be easy to look at the last 10 days and curl up in panic mode. (I did come close a few times in the moment!!!)  Instead, as my mom says, I (with my two sisters’ help) mindfully “flipped” as quickly as possible to the constructive side to keep my wits and appreciate the people and situations around me. It’s all about your view.

PERSPECTIVE.

Eternal question: is the glass half-full or half-empty?

**Here’s the recipe for the dirt-worm cups. They really are a treat! If you have to go non-dairy, almond milk works better than soy. Coconut milk would probably be good too but I’m not sure how well the pudding would set? I quadrupled the recipe for his class and put 6 short gummy worms in each cup- three under the cookies and three on top. The kids had a fabulous time digging the worms out of the pudding and cookie mix before eating!

 

Perspective

feelings – minions – perspective

Basically, I accomplished nothing yesterday except enjoying the day with my children- one of whom was sick and both were home from school for an inservice day. It was a wonderful day of frisbee, mud “pupcakes,” a bike ride, and a hike out by the pond. And while everything is exceptionally muddy, we just slip into our galoshes and carry on.

m-muddy-bike

I think I needed a day like yesterday to help keep this week in perspective.

So much anger, vulgarity, and bashing going on. Maybe I’ve been sheltered for the majority of my life? 

I’ve never been witness to so much anger and frustration.

I’ve never been inundated with the wide swath of feelings and emotions being poured out from all directions. 

I’ve never heard such vulgarity and sharp tongued one-liners in everyday dialogue.

Thank goodness that for the most part, I can turn off social media and in turn, crank that noise down for myself and my family.

Ladies and gentlemen, please let us remember that we are all allowed an opinion and feelings, but that should come with the stipulation in big bold letters – I don’t have to internalize all of them.  You are entitled to your opinion, yes. I am allowed to agree or disagree. I can still love you, care for you, and support you in word, action, and prayer.

Goodness help us – there are big big feelings all over out there. Social media has turned this country into some funky reality where people selfishly think that his/her opinion is THE OPINION or his/ her FEELINGS matter the most of the most-est.

It’s like a house full of toddlers or teenagers.

What do we tell our children when they are unhappy or are having a disagreement with another child? At my house, I tell my child to look at the other child and use respectful words. “I don’t want to play right now, but we can later.” or “You are making me angry. I need some space.” I tell them that their feelings are valid, but that they may or may not change the outcome. “Fits don’t get us what we want, but asking nicely might.”

chyxn9bnkmc3sAm I running the perfect household? Oh my goodness- NO. My 6yr old tried to put on the same underwear he’d been wearing for 2 days after his shower last night… and he almost accomplished it! (Fortunately those Minions are pretty bold and obvious.) Do I get dinner on the table every night? NO. Does my husband juggle it all perfectly? NO. Do my kids behave all the time? If only you could have been peeping in my window yesterday morning… We have faults, but man, we TRY. We TRY hard.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this – Could we all try a little harder to be kind? to be tactful? to selflessly love others as much as we selfishly love ourselves? to see the other side of the fence instead of instantly discounting it? to listen without instantly formulating a reply?

I saw this quote from Lysa TerKeurst today on my social media:

“We can’t look to our feelings to determine truth. We must look to truth to reign in our feelings.”

This isn’t for “alternative fact” or my emotional feelings. This is about actual TRUTH. Not philosophical truth. Not opinionated truth. TRUTH.

There is much suffering in this world and social media has brought the angry and miserable together. As a pretense to voicing those ills, let’s pause for a moment to self-reflect, let the anger pass, and figure out how to constructively deal. We might find that if not acting in anger, the listening ears of those around us will remain open.

Faith · Family · Health · Love · Perspective

Socks on the Floor

I read a woman’s journal entry today on her site. It is titled “Stop Being a Butthole Wife.” It was blowing up on Facebook news feed. Most of my friends are young wives or husbands. Many have children. It fits for where we are in life.

It is obvious by the number of times it has been shared that it touched a nerve. So here’s my perspective on relationships and what I took from her writing:

  • I can’t even fathom what it means to lose a spouse. I don’t think devastated is a deep enough word for that level of hurt. My husband and I joke about who would be on our “list” if something ever happened to one of us. Honestly, it ends up being a humorous analysis and conversation. At the root of it all is the FACT that he would want me to be happy and move on if he was no longer alive. I reciprocate that sentiment.
  • All those little nitpicky things like socks on the floor, his belt and pocket contents on our kitchen counter, and his mug next to his chair where he ate graham crackers and milk before bed – TINY inconsequential occurrences. These really don’t matter in the panoramic view of our life together. That I know they exist feels comfortable to me. This is his house too. He rarely comments about my bra hanging on the bathroom doorknob and when he does, it’s because company is coming… We try to extend grace to one another.
  • There is so much beauty in a committed relationship. We submit to each other daily thousands of times a day. Why do you always have to be right? You don’t. A huge weight is removed once you confidently are able to recognize that. Do we agree all the time? No, we aren’t playing make-believe house. Disagreeing is healthy. It means we both have a voice. It allows us to maintain ourselves as individuals.
  • I ordered flowers for two different funerals today. My nephew had brain cancer at 18 months and is now a healthy 9 year old. My dad had cancer twice – stage 4 the 2nd time. He is 5 years with no detectable cancer now. We lost my mother-in-law at age 54 two years ago in March to a sudden brain bleed. The innocent get sick. We are helpless to fix it. Those we love pass away.

People – socks on the floor don’t matter.

Maybe I’m writing this because I learned a number of years ago that perfection isn’t possible. I was a perfectionist until I united my life with my husband’s 11 years ago. I was a butthole wife at that point. Young. Naive. Ridiculous. Trying to make my life pinterest-perfect. We’ve had this conversation. I’m still a work in progress, but I know we are in this together for the long haul.

I’ll keep picking up those socks and he’ll keep reminding me about my bra on the doorknob before our company walks in the door. It’s a partnership of love and grace. And it’s totally worth it.