Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Um… I think I think I can

You all remember the little train that could, right? I’m not sure where the story began, but I remember that clip from dumbo…

I’m not sure if I should say I feel like that train or what, but I feel like I’m about to attempt something I’m not sure I can do.

Last week I got a Facebook invitation to run the Bolder Boulder (a 10K) with my friend Erin. I don’t know why, maybe Erin made it sound like a lot of fun or I put on my rose colored glasses, but I started to think That is a really good idea. I should do that! On Saturday I ran a mile for the first time in probably ten years and felt awesome. Like I could conquer the world.

Today I ran 1.5 miles. Let’s just say it was a very different experience. When the treadmill said 0.75 miles I found myself praying to God. “Oh God, I can’t do this. Please help me do this. I can’t do this.” A much different running dialogue from that cute little train.

Here’s my question to you. Has anyone ever gone from “Couch to 10K?” Cause that’s what I’m essentially trying to do. Did it ever feel better? Did the training make you feel good? Because ever since .75 miles, I have felt like I need to have a really good cry. I didn’t expect such an emotional response to pushing myself so hard physically! I now understand why The Biggest Loser contestants always break down.

I just need some encouragement.

I remember that the end of this clip was inspiring to me as a kid. It brought me so much joy to see that little engine so happy! I hope that when May 31st comes around I will be running into that stadium feeling exalted and saying to myself “I thought I could! I thought I could! I thought I could!”

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oh yeah, this is what it is to be a mom...

I just found this post that I wrote on my birthday (February 16th) and apparently never published. Well, I want to share it now. It looks like I never quite finished it which is probably why I never published it. Oh well!

It's my birthday today. This year's birthday feels so much different from previous birthdays. Last year was my first birthday with Jack. My sister-friend Krysta sent me a card telling me to let Jack and Tim care for me that day. While I appreciated the sentiment, the reality was that Jack was still completely dependent on me for nourishment so I couldn't exactly "get away" or not take care of him. And I'm pretty sure Tim had to work.

That was a hard time.

I was hopeful that this year would be more special, more selfishly devoted to me. But last night when I went to care for Jack who had a fever of 101.8 and was screaming out of pain or.... something (it's still a guessing game, you know?), I thought, yup. Just another day. With only 5 hours of sleep. Yawn.

But really, when is it just another day? I feel when I start getting this attitude I begin to feel entitled to so much more than I am. I want to be thankful for each day and everything it brings. This is so much easier said than done, but I don't think it's at all off-base.

So here's what I'm thankful for and what I love on my 28th birthday.

  • My wonderful husband who arranged for a babysitter and is taking me out to play games at an arcade tonight because I want to. (I know, I'm a dork - but I'm so sick of the usual dinner and a movie...)
  • My adorable son Jack whose smiles, cuddles and laughter warm my heart. He's wonderful.
  • My parents who I can call at any time (like my dad at 12:30am his time last night) and who support everything I do.
  • My sisters who have all wished me a happy birthday birthday (I love you guys!).
  • I now have a job I love with coworkers I respect who sang "Happy Birthday" to me this morning. (I am special today!)
  • The fact that I don't have to worry about food and can go to sleep tonight under a down comforter.
  • The free cold-stone "like-it" creation I ate last night and the Caribou coffee mocha I drank this morning that were FREE because it's my birthday! (sign up on their websites to receive emails... for all the junk mail throughout the year, this is definitely worth it) - oh, the other stuff I got for free was awesome too (DQ, Noodles, Qdoba...)

Having it all Together - what does that even MEAN anyways?

I was mall-walking with a friend of mine who is navigating the choppy waters of working mom/partially working at home mom and she said to me “I feel like I’m failing at everything. I’m failing as a mother, as a wife and as a kung-fu instructor." [Job title changed to help my friend remain anonymous. ;)]

I look around my apartment right now and holy cow, if you’re judging me as anything based on the state of our home, yes I am failing. There are dishes piled in the sink, shoes scattered around the front door, toys in the strangest places, crochet projects half finished draped over my chair… and on and on. Oh! And on top of all of that mess, there are Subway wrappers and a Little Caesars box in the trash – actually, the box is still on top of the stove, but you get the idea. I have not been cooking homemade meals much this last week because I can’t figure out when to get to the grocery store or what to make for dinner in the first place. It’s as though that part of my brain has been replaced by other things that need to get done.

And the thing is, I don’t care. I’ve given up on keeping everything tidy and I know that when I get into the swing of things I will be back to making meals again. I recently read somewhere (can’t remember where at the moment) that we need to stop apologizing for our messy homes because 1) it gives off the perception that we have everything in perfect order other times and 2) it makes others feel that their homes shouldn’t be messy either.

I also think that if I try to compare what I was able to do before Jack was born with what I am able to do now, I will feel miserable. Life has changed. I have experienced a huge transition and with that I have been able to see what is really important. My relationship with Jack is more important than the fact that the dishes need to be done. So I get on the floor and roll around with him. The dishes can wait. My relationship with Tim is more important than the laundry. So I get on the floor… never mind. ;)

What I’m trying to say is that our standards need to change. What we might see as mediocre is actually huge success. And we need to encourage one another to feel that way too.

So, for all of you moms who feel like you should’ve done more, know this: I am proud of you. You have done exactly what it is you are able to do and that is exactly enough.

Oh, and you shouldn’t should on yourself. ;)

Love you all!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jesus was NOT a mom.

You know, it has once again been “one of those days.” It started out well. I was in a groove, getting work done, feeling good, when Tim and Jack came home. Immediately life was disrupted and it hasn’t really calmed down. Oh sure, we weren’t busy all day, but I never got back to work. And I felt like Jack and I were bored. I would have left if I could, but you can’t exactly leave a 15 month old child at home alone (he’s fifteen months today! Isn’t that crazy?). We did go to the park, but that’s only stimulating for Jack, if you know what I mean.

I tried to feed Jack dinner, but he kept throwing everything on the floor. Already feeling worn out and testy, I pulled him from his seat, put him in the hallway for a “time out” and firmly said “NO throwing things on the floor. NO.”

I came back to him a minute later and, though he wasn’t upset, he said “No. No. No!” Copying me of course. I gave him a bath after he peed on himself and I have finally been able to put him to bed.

Now it’s my alone time, but I still have work to do.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible says, For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16) In other words, Jesus has gone through all of the crap we go through and understands what we go through every day. Therefore, he will help us as we struggle through each day.

As I was rocking Jack to sleep I thought, but Jesus, you were never a Mom. You were never a working mom. How the heck do you know what I’m dealing with?

And then I started remembering this story when Jesus had been healing people all day. The next morning, he went away, up a mountain to spend some time alone with God. And the disciples followed him. They said, “Jesus, there are more people for you to heal.” And I’m sure, inside he was screaming (without sin of course), “Leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone!!!”

He had so many people coming after him all of the time, demanding everything from him. Yes, he was God, but he was also human and that kind of ministry must have been exhausting.

And in a way, he did say to the people, “leave me alone.” He told the disciples, “Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” (Mark 1:38) He did not just do whatever everyone told him to do. He knew his purpose and did it.

So often moms and wives and women in general are “yes-women.” We’re taught to be that way. But if we follow Jesus’ example, we take time with the Father and do what He wants us to do.

I wonder what that would have looked like for me today. Maybe it wouldn’t have been trying to accommodate Jack’s every whim, but instead would have been preparing my lesson for Sunday while keeping him on my radar. If I had done that, I wouldn’t be dreading an evening of study right now and I’d have some alone time.

So, what should I do now? Probably take that alone time. With God. And rest in the fact that Jesus knows what it’s like to have other people/things demanding my attention. Yes, I’ll do that. And try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

reluctant update with a fun ending (at least I think so)


Once again it has been a long time since I have written. Whenever more than a week goes by, I feel like I need to write this huge update and I don’t like writing updates. They’re so boring to me. Not creative enough. But I want to catch you up on me and explain why I haven’t written, so here you go. ;)

Things have been so crazy for me. I am settling in to my new job at Scum of the Earth Church. I received my license on Sunday (woohoo!) and am now officially a pastor. And guess what. I love my job. Love it.

I get to teach. And study. And talk to people about God and stuff. It’s so cool! It’s exactly what I hoped for. Plus, it’s really flexible with Jack because I can do a lot of work from home.

But that’s also the problem. I do a lot of work at home.

I can’t seem to figure out how to balance everything! It didn’t help that Jack was sick for nearly two weeks. Oh, and then Tim got sick. And I wasn’t feeling right. But beyond that interruption, it is still tough to say, “I’ll work during his nap.” Because naptime comes and I am hungry or need to shower so I do those things and have thirty minutes before Jack gets up. When he was sick I did all of my work in the evening that week. THAT was exhausting.

But, here I am. I was able to work for four hours today at Solid Grounds and I hope to continue having Wednesdays for that. Once Tim starts working full time again I hope to find childcare at least one day a week. That would be a nice rhythm.

Here’s an update on Jack. Ready?

He’s crawling!!

I feel like we have a pet, because he comes up behind us so that we nearly step on him. And he gets into things he couldn’t before, tearing up papers and making a HUGE mess. It’s pretty cute. The other day he was in our bedroom with me and Tim. I went to the kitchen and a moment later I could hear grunt pant pant grunt It was Jack coming after me. So so so cute! He looks even smaller when he crawls all balled up. I love it.

We are finding so many things that need to be childproofed. I’ve given up on the DVD/VCR/HD box. He could push those buttons all day long. It keeps him occupied, so I let him. :)

Well, that’s all for tonight. I hope to soon be settled and back to my normal self. Sweet dreams!