Posted in Family, Motherhood

You Are the One (Ode to My Superhero)

“There’s a boy who stole my heart.  He calls me mom.”  (I have no idea where this came from)

YOU ARE THE ONE, Joshua Brian Goetz, who burst on the scene on April 4, 1996, weighing in at 9 pounds and 13 ounces (yikes!).

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YOU ARE THE ONE who started out with baby acne and a fairly largish head and I felt mild pity for (just being honest) and a lot of extra love.

YOU ARE THE ONE who became the most adorable baby with your year-long toothless smile (so much for my pity party).

YOU ARE THE ONE who took three naps until you were one, giving this tired mommy a much-needed respite from handling three little ones under five!

 

 

YOU ARE THE ONE who sat with books in your crib for hours, happily “reading.” (Little did we know then that you are a high introvert and this was your plot to have some peace and quiet away from your hovering and excitable siblings.)

YOU ARE THE ONE who would only color with the orange crayon.

YOU ARE THE ONE who had all 150 Pokemon characters memorized and their “moves” when you were only three!

YOU ARE THE ONE we called Spot because you have had EVERY. SINGLE. POSSIBLE. RASH known to the medical community (you just had another one two months ago)!

YOU ARE THE ONE who hid behind the couch every time I left the room and jumped out and yelled “SURPRISE!” when I returned (one of my all-time best memories)!

YOU ARE THE ONE who wore some kind of cape everywhere we went, which morphed from a bandana to a full-fledged home-made BAT cape!  You were my little superhero for sure!

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YOU ARE THE ONE who drew on the hood of our friend’s brand new SAAB with a rock you found (cha-ching, cha-ching).

YOU ARE THE ONE that ONLY wanted a State Quarter Map for Christmas when you were four (we still have it in your room and it is full of quarters)!

YOU ARE THE ONE who organized all your outfits in your drawers and were mildly (okay, not so mildly) obsessed with shoes for years and years and years (who gets Famous Footwear gift certificates when they are just a young boy)!

YOU ARE THE ONE who fell sledding and ended up in a country hospital emergency room with stitches (which I had to take out because we moved three days later)!

YOU ARE THE ONE who asked this question when you were just 5 1/2:  “Mom, if Jesus was Jewish, did He believe in Himself?”

YOU ARE THE ONE who did a cannonball into our indoor tub (it was kind of a big tub; I will grant you that).

YOU ARE THE ONE who filled our house with singing.  I knew you were sick when it stopped and you were better when it started up again (you still sing today)!

YOU ARE THE ONE who always had a bucket and a net in your hand, catching all the creatures in lakes, gardens, ponds, rivers, and our backyard!

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YOU ARE THE ONE who was rushed to the emergency room with a tonsil abscess and needles were poked into your throat and you threw up all over the doctor!  You obviously lived to tell the tale!

YOU ARE THE ONE who had every kind of lizard and reptile as a pet (from anoles to geckos to bearded dragons).

YOU ARE THE ONE who was Hot Rod Hanson in the summer musical, girls swooning around you as you belted out your notes.

YOU ARE THE ONE who almost caught our house on fire with your water gun filled with lighter fluid in one hand and the BIC grill lighter in the other.

YOU ARE THE ONE who was fascinated by your lacrosse stick, walking constantly around the house with it, and eventually figuring out how to string it yourself!

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YOU ARE THE ONE who made weird faces when playing on your game system, your mouth moving in all the directions of the controller.

YOU ARE THE ONE who broke your clavicle because you were chosen to play in a lacrosse tournament with the big kids.  Emergency room #3!

YOU ARE THE ONE who was Gaston in the middle school play, Beauty and the Beast, again girls swooning around you as you belted out your notes (this time right before your voice changed – Gaston never sounded so feminine – and I don’t think “every last inch of you was covered with hair”)!

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YOU ARE THE ONE who played on four basketball teams in Eighth Grade (no wonder your grades slipped into an uncomfortable place for this mama)!

YOU ARE THE ONE who watched the Office non-stop for about four years (I think you are still watching it).

YOU ARE THE ONE who grew about eight inches in one year, going from one of the shorter guards on your basketball team to one of the “big men.”

YOU ARE THE ONE who was obsessed with purple and penguins and hats (with the flat brim) and game systems and legos.

YOU ARE THE ONE who had a kids’ Batman backpack all of high school (yes, even into your senior year)!

YOU ARE THE ONE who had a 1 in 100,000 people knee injury your junior year playing basketball.  After surgery, nine months of recovery and two more surgeries, we are crossing our fingers it’s finally healed!

YOU ARE THE ONE who got your ears pierced at sixteen much to my chagrin (you did take care of them much to my happy surprise – and you don’t wear them any more much to my “I-don’t-care-anymore-what-you-do” attitude).

YOU ARE THE ONE who bought kitten and lamb folders for your senior school year (you never ever ever ever ever cared about what anyone thought about you).

YOU ARE THE ONE who wrapped your arms around me one day when I was afraid and said, “It’s all going to be okay, Mom”  (I recall you doing that again just last week).

YOU ARE THE ONE who beat everyone at Poker all the time.  Enough said.

YOU ARE THE ONE who told your basketball coach not to put you in the starting line up your Senior Year, that you wanted to be the Sixth Man coming off the bench (WHO DOES THAT?!?).

YOU ARE THE ONE who proudly donned your “Raritan Valley Community College” t-shirt on “Decision Day,” while all your friends sported their VIP universities.

YOU ARE THE ONE who broke your hand playing in a Charity game and pretended your cast was a fashion accessory.  (Most of our mom/son memories have come in that “room” at the doctor waiting endlessly for the knock on the door.  We have had more than enough time to solve all the world’s problems).

YOU ARE THE ONE who wore a Batman shirt under your prom tux and painted (well Sarah painted) the Batman symbol on your graduation cap, a constant reminder of the superhero that you are!

YOU ARE THE ONE who took a Gap Year before you went to college, again being your own person and not falling in line with everyone else.  (It was one of the best decisions you’ve ever made and we loved having the bonus time with you.)

YOU ARE THE ONE who jumped off a fifty-foot cliff into the waters of the Pacific Ocean on a whim (so so so glad I found out about this after you lived through it).

YOU ARE THE ONE who built your own computer with Lego Batman holding up the graphics card.

YOU ARE THE ONE who decided to major in psychology even though you don’t like people all that much.  Of course.  Of course.

YOU ARE THE ONE who wants to know a million random facts about anything and everything from why non-poisonous snakes flatten their heads when they are threatened to whether or not “pronunciate” is a real word (those are just the two from this past week).

YOU ARE THE ONE who became fixated on headphones and you actually write reviews on the internet for the subculture of headphone lovers.  (Your college graduation gift is to get custom headphones made for your unique ears.)

YOU ARE THE ONE who did not walk at your college graduation because ceremonies just don’t cut it for you.

YOU ARE THE ONE who I can talk to about everything spiritual, cerebral and you always have an opinion about the subject matter at hand (kind of like your mama).  Our banter is my favorite.

YOU ARE THE ONE who is still pulling Batman shirts over your head some mornings (I personally think you are way cooler than Batman)!

YOU ARE THE ONE who I am so thankful to have shared the last 25 years with.   There is no one else quite like you.  Really.  Seriously.  No one.

IMG_1252YOU ARE THE ONE who will always march to the beat of your own drum (or play a completely different instrument).

YOU ARE THE ONE who has stolen my heart.

YOU ARE THE ONE who calls me mom.

YOU ARE THE ONE who is my personal superhero!

Happy Birthday!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Childhood, Family, Motherhood

Mom Things I Wish I Knew (When It All Started)

I’m going to be okay no matter what happens. (Amy)

No parent has it all together. Not even the person that just came to my mind.  (Karen Gavreau)

Escaping to the grocery store at 9:00 pm BY MYSELF after every kid of mine had gone to bed was better than sex! (Anonymous, mom of five).

I am the guardrail, not the driver.  (Andi Fulton Singh)

I don’t have to discipline my child so that they don’t embarrass me (in public) – especially the child that has a real knack for that!  (Jennifer Holmes)

My popcorn-eating, ice-chewing, overall-wearing, quirky teen actually grew up to be a popcorn-eating, ice-chewing quirky adult (she stopped wearing overalls thank goodness)! (moms of one-of-a-kinders)

Being stuck in a certain stage for the rest of my life is a total lie! (Martha Grimm Brady)  No stage lasts forever. (Kelly) Being up at 4 am with my newborn sixteen nights in a row doesn’t mean it will be seventeen nights in a row.  (Melony)

Always err on the side of grace. (Kim)

A plus B does not equal C.  (Ella King Herlihy) There is no formula to parenting.  Every child has their own journey.  (Lea Turner)

Sleep is one of my very best friends.  Make it my personal mission like my whole life depends on it.  (Esther)

Parenting is a roller coaster, best to not ride it alone.  (Kerry Campbell)

“Different” does not equal “less than.”   I am not doing anything wrong just because I have unique kiddos.  (Sue)

Being a mom exposes my vulnerability like nothing else.  Brave into it every time. When I feel overwhelmed, lost, and emotionally spent, I might be surprised to find the deep peace of God.  (Brenda Seefeldt Amodea)

I do not have to take everything SO seriously!!  Have FUN and relax.  (Karen)

I’m glad that I was, in the words of my daughter, committed to leisure 😊❤️ (Marilyn Gardner)

The everyday moments are the glue and foundation of my future relationship with my adult children. What seems ordinary at the time becomes precious.  (Debbie)

Let them see me sweat, cry, try and fail and say I’m sorry! (Brooke McGillivray) . Just because they are little people doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a big apology.  (Carrie)

A mother’s gut instinct about her child is just about always right. I don’t have to second guess myself.  (Val)

How important it is to surround myself with other moms, especially those who are a season ahead of me.  It takes a village to care for the village.  I am not alone in how I feel.  (Shelby Spear)

99% of the time what I worried about NEVER happened!  (Susan)

Parent my kids according to their unique needs.  Study them to figure that out.  (Debbie Jones Warren)

Beautiful, firm boobs are highly overrated.  (Every mom everywhere)

What my kids did wasn’t personal even if it felt like it.  It was all part of them trying out things appropriate to their stages of growth: like my busy little guy doing toothpaste art on the bathroom mirror or my teen keeping secrets.  (Julie Miller Elder)

Make them get a job and pay for their own cell phones.  (Pam)

It’s healthy for my kids to ask questions about their faith.  I didn’t need to have all the answers and it would take bravery in working it out alongside of them.  (Therese)

The impact of sugar and carbs on the body and mind.  I might have cooked a little less pasta.  That’s tough to say coming from a big Italian family.  (Shirley)

Having a half-naked two-year old running around my house peeing on the carpet (and once every so often making it to the toilet) is completely normal.  (Desperate potty-training moms)

Get into my kids’ world and discover what makes them “them” AND also invite them into my world and what makes me “me.” (Aimee Welch)

It’s NOT all up to me.  I can’t take all the credit, but more importantly, I can’t take all the blame.  (JoAnn)

This mom thing is not for sissies.  It is  a wonderful gift AND the most challenging thing I will ever do. There is nothing that could have prepared me for my heart to be walking around outside of myself with no way to control what happens. But the joy, oh the joy that comes from driving out to the boondocks at 3:00 in the morning to pick up a bunch of tipsy high school seniors. That joy comes from years of building trust, it is worth every minute of dusty floors and unfolded laundry, every book and every lego you step on in the middle of the night. (Katie Spiller Kibbe)

It’s so important to ask for help.  Don’t wait to throw up the white flag.  (Sue)

My five-year old wearing a full-Batman suit or Disney Princess costume with high heels makes every other mom in the grocery store give me the “I get you” mom side-eye.  (subculture of moms of costume wearers)

In the very painful moments of parenting when God seems to say nothing, when my children are suffering,  He is not resting, but active.  (Roey)

Provide time for myself.   Purposeful self-care might have helped me enjoy the kids more.  (Sandy Sheridan)  Put your own oxygen mask on before you assist others. (flight attendant moms)

It’s not about being the perfect mom.  It’s about having the perfect God.  (Bethany)

They WILL sleep through the night.  (Recovering sleep-deprived moms)

It’s just as important to accept, value, nurture, love, honor and delight in myself as well as my kids!  (Annie)

I am going to be okay no matter what!  (Esther)

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WE ARE IN THIS GIANT MOM LIFE BOAT TOGETHER!  LET’S KEEP PUTTING PRESERVERS ON EACH OTHER AS WE NAVIGATE THIS SOMETIMES PEACEFUL AND OTHER TIMES STORMY SEA!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Faith, Family, Motherhood, Podcast - Dolly Mama and the Millennials

Holding Space for Yourself

And that’s when I heard it, “Hold space for them.”

“Hold space for them? What does that mean?” I asked God.

I sat there in my car in the parking lot of the addiction rehab I taught at and knew God was calling me to embark on a journey with these women. As I hung up the phone, I was caught by a sweep of His presence, as I felt the answer to my question settle in my spirit…Just show up every week and be there for them. Be present to their pain.

It’s been almost a year since I heard those words, “Hold space.” I’ve learned to stay present without a response. Without turning away from the pain of others. Loving without saying a word, giving each other space to feel. I’ve learned “holding space” is a beautiful way to sit with them in their pain. It’s finding the depth of love necessary to allow them to feel without judgment, without rushing in to clean it up or fix it. It’s standing beside one another offering hope without saying a word.

A few months ago, the Holy Spirit sweetly asked, “Yeah, but do you know how to hold space for yourself?” 

Hold space for me? There’s no time for that.

I’m learning what this means. In a season of five active kids, a dad fighting for his life, and a husband with a demanding job I’m finding I need more time for me. Often times our own self takes a back seat during busy seasons. The thing is, we can’t afford not to take care of our own soul. This is why David spoke to his soul, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone” (Ps. 62:1,5). We live unawakened lives when we neglect our souls.

Join as I’m a guest on The Dolly Mama and the Millennials podcast where we talk about ways to hold space for ourselves and why it’s important. Laugh and cry with us for thirty minutes as we explore the need for soul-care and how to do that during this busy journey of motherhood.

–Lea Turner–

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

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Thank you for taking the time to listen!  Please share this with anyone and everyone you know who has someone in their lives called children 🙂

Posted in Family, Motherhood

Hopefully No Mini-Mes on My Watch

“Today you are you.  That is truer than true.  There is no one alive that is youer than you.”  (Dr. Seuss)

Being a parent means supporting our kids to be fully who they are, not who we are or think they should be. It’s not about creating “Mini-MEs” but about birthing “YOUs”!!

For me, it means processing math lessons and listening to crazy student behavior with my teacher daughter, along with reminding her of how great of a mom she is on those tough days with a toddler (#allofthem)

It means hearing stories about ride-on mowers almost flipping over and buying chocolate muffins from Costco for my landscaper son.

It means asking (and then actually listening to the response) about the latest headphones on the market and being okay with my senior not wanting to walk at his college graduation.

Today, it means sitting in the back of a dark Sony sound studio after a very long flight and short night of sleep with my recording arts major watching her heart come alive and her dream come true! She does know what all those buttons do!

It’s not easy. It means we are stretched farther than we ever thought possible as we put aside our longing to hold them close and safe with the better choice of releasing them into the adventure of their own journeys!

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What ways (big and small) are you doing this today for those you love??

 

Posted in Family, Motherhood, Podcast - Dolly Mama and the Millennials

You Cannot Bestow What You Do Not Possess

What happens when your child can’t fall asleep because they are beating themself up for their mistakes made that day? You as a mom grapple with your own perfectionism?  See the same struggles in your child that you have?  Join me as I interview Jackie Thompson, a very gentle, wise, honest hope-bringer of two young children ages 5 and 8.   Jackie is a fourth-grade teacher and pastor’s wife who juggles working full-time and caring for her two precious children, along with being a wife, daughter, friend and mentor.   Explore a key parenting concept we’ve both learned the hard way, and how we imperfectly navigate it along our own mom journeys.  Laugh and cry and say, “Hmm.  Me too.” with us for 30 minutes as you get a sneak-peak behind the scenes of the beautiful, but messy motherhood path we are on.  The good news is that you will find hope for your own!

CLICK ON PODCAST LINK BELOW:

You Cannot Bestow What You Do Not Possess (An Interview with Jackie Thompson)

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Thank you for taking the time to listen!  Please share this with anyone and everyone you know who has someone in their lives called children 🙂

 

Posted in Family, Health, Podcast - Dolly Mama and the Millennials

SORRY NOT SORRY!

CONFLICT!  Some of us engage in it, enjoy it and view it as a form of communication that brings connection.  Others of us avoid it, despise it, and deem it the destroyer of relationships.  What about all that fighting we are in the middle of as parents?  Among our kids and also with them?  Who should say they’re sorry?  When should they say they’re sorry? How should they say they’re sorry?  What about forgiveness and reconciliation?  How do they happen?  When do they happen?  Who should forgive?  THIS BIG QUESTION is worked through:  should I make my child say “I’m sorry” when they’ve done something wrong and “I forgive you” when another apologizes?  Join me with Josh, my super wise 22-year old, as we let you in on my “fits-and-starts” journey with this never-ending parenting battle.

 

CLICK ON PODCAST LINK BELOW:

Sorry Not Sorry!

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Thank you for taking the time to listen!  Please share this with everyone who has conflict in their lives  (HINT:  it’s not just for parents)!

 

Posted in Faith, Family, Health, Motherhood

Ungrace (#NOT living from this place)

√ TELL ME SOMETHING YOU LIKE ABOUT ME
√ SEND ME A THANK YOU TEXT OR NOTE
√ SAY “I GET WHY YOU FEEL THIS WAY” WHEN I’M SPEWING THE LATEST “UGH” LIFE MOMENT
√ CELEBRATE MY BIRTHDAY WITH SPEECHES, POEMS, CHEESY SONGS ABOUT WHY YOU LOVE ME
√ LET ME BE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION

Enter Little Me.

I love being cheered for when I got an “Excellent Work” on my math assignment.
I love being clapped for on the sideline at Field Day.
I love being praised for singing a solo in the school play.

It spoke to my soul that what I was good, approved of, and I should do more of the same.
It fed the very normal parts of me that longed to be liked and enjoyed by others.
It saturated this “words of affirmation” girl with a bucket full of love.

Enter Bigger Me.

This beautiful, God-given love language of mine twisted into something called UNGRACE, the view that I HAD to perform in order to be accepted, wanted and loved.
Praise for accomplishing
 morphed into earning the approval and love of those in my path.

I believed if I did not do these things, I deserved nothing and should actually be punished.

No wonder I strived so hard.
Many times, I wanted to just give up because it was too hard.
It seemed never enough.
The bar was too high, always just beyond my reach!

Enter Motherhood.

No one cheered when I was up in the middle of the night with my newborn.
No one clapped when I painstakingly folded the laundry every single day.
No one praised me for driving to
(78,453) after-school activities.

I wasn’t sure if I was doing a good job, approved of, or even liked.

Sometimes I was told (hold your breath) that I wasn’t doing a good job by the wonderful children I bore from my very loins (insert sarcastic emoji here).
I wondered if anyone knew what I was doing at all, or even cared.
I felt unnoticed and under-appreciated.

Said love bucket barely had enough water in it to wash my face.

Other times, I completely blew it as a mom.

I yelled in frustration when I knew it only made things worse.
I argued back to a teenager (imagine that!), escalating the problem instead of bringing calm.
I used guilt and fear words to get my kids to do what I wanted.

It was not a pretty picture.  I didn’t even like or approve of myself, let alone what others might think if they knew.

Aforementioned love bucket drained to the place of “I still think I might see faded wet stains on the bottom.”

Enter God.

I couldn’t hide any of the good or bad from Him.
Maybe He wasn’t happy enough when I was doing good.
Maybe He was angry when I was failing.

What was I to do?

First choice: get on the hamster wheel of “trying harder.”

Carry UNGRACE with me everywhere. 

Be the classroom mom.
Get a “thank you” from the teacher.

Have an “over-the-top” Victorian Tea birthday party for my 13 year-old.
Receive a “hug” from my teen.

Make cookies for every high school basketball game.
Get acknowledged at the end-of-the-year awards banquet by my 6’5″ son. 

DO.
GET LOVE.
DO MORE.
GET LOVE.
OUTDO MYSELF AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.

The loop viciously perpetuated and I was an absolute slave to it, never finding a way off the “round-and-round-it-goes-where-it-stops-nobody-knows.”

Enter Exhaustion. Thirst. Depletion.

It wasn’t working.
I was a wreck.
I finally wanted to jump right off the never-ending, life-crushing shiny wheel.

But how???

Enter people just like me.

Authors.
Friends.
Preachers.
My husband.
Counselors (YUP!  Had to go to one of those!)
#EVENMYKIDS

Healing “words of affirmation” began to shatter the lie I was living under.
They revealed the truth of grace to me.
Instead of running frantically, I began to walk, able to catch glimpses outside the cage.

I found out that grace is fundamentally unfair.
Grace says love does not have to be earned.
Grace tells me I don’t have to gain approval to receive it.

I could keep going “round-and-round” for false approval and supposed love, the kind I had manufactured by doing and doing.

BUT I DIDN’T HAVE TO.

I could receive true approval and sincere love, the kind where I don’t have to do anything to get more or less of it.

I could get off the hamster wheel.
Maybe I could even live outside the confines of the cage.

Re-Enter God.

I found out He is the ultimate source of GRACE.
He gives it willingly.
In fact, He longs to pour it into my hole-in-the-bottom bucket.

There’s nothing I can do to make Him love me more OR less.

HE IS FULL OF GRACE!  OVERFLOWINGLY FULL!  He’s got more than enough.

GUSH.

My love bucket fills.  And quickly.

Of course, there is still a hole in the bottom.

That’s just part of being a person.

I need GRACE every moment.  Every day.  All the time.

But it never runs out.
It flows freely, a never-ending stream that keeps my bucket full.
The hole in the bottom is no match for the FREE and UNEARNED approval and love that He keeps pouring out.

Exit UNGRACE.

Enter getting off the wheel and out of the cage.

Posted in Charity, Faith, Family, Motherhood, Podcast - Dolly Mama and the Millennials

Getting Down With Rachel Joy! The Baby’s Got A Lot to Tell! (Link to Podcast)

What do “getting down,” “giving up birthdays” and “making MINI-MEs” have to do with this beautiful and messy parenting journey? Join with me as I interview Rachel, the baby of the Dolly Mama family. In just 20 minutes, she breaks out her wise voice, even though she can’t even break open the bubbly yet! But don’t worry! She’s produces enough bubbly herself!

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO LISTEN TO 20 MINUTES OF CAN’T MISS THOUGHTS!!

Episode 4: Get Down with Rachel Joy! The Baby’s Got A Lot to Tell!

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Thank you for taking the time to listen!  Please share this with anyone you know who is beginning the parenting journey, in the middle of the mess, or still navigating it all with adult children!!  It’s powerful stuff!

 

Posted in Family, Motherhood

Is IT All Worth It?

Licked a dark smear off my finger and then thought, “Phew.  It’s chocolate.” (Moms Everywhere)

You’re up in the middle of the night for the second or third time rocking your colicky newborn to sleep (and this is the 28th night in a row).  You are walking zombie during the day at this point and can’t remember how to tie your shoes or even where your shoes are.

You’re carrying out a screaming preschooler from the grocery store because you won’t let them have a second lollipop.  They are a sticky mess from the first and now they are hitting you and pulling your hair.  You are beyond embarrassed as you feel the burning eyes of others on your frame.

You’re breaking up the 27th fight today between your two youngest children (and they only got home from school two hours ago).  You lose it and yell at them, angry with yourself for not having enough patience.  Your brain runs to that verse in Isaiah and you plead with God:  “WOE IS ME!  I AM RUINED.  I AM A (WO)MAN OF UNCLEAN LIPS AND LIVE AMONG A PEOPLE OF UNCLEAN LIPS.”

You’re watching your daughter roll her eyes at you and go “huffing and puffing” out of the room all because you said no to that middle school sleepover.   It doesn’t seem to matter to her that tomorrow is your mom’s birthday and the whole family is coming over and she told you she would help you get ready.

You’re waiting for sound of the garage door opening for the 10th Saturday in a row.  It’s now 11:30 pm and your new driver’s curfew is later than you’ve been awake in 20 years.   Your mind races ahead to worst-case scenarios as to why they are not answering your texts.  Sleep is futile.

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You’re waiting for your child to bounce in the door for spring break, picturing puzzle-making and long talks about her future, only to be met with a quick hug and “Can I have the car keys?  I’m headed out with my friends.”  Your heart takes a dive as you realize it’s never going to be the same.

You’re talking on the phone with your daughter, a new mother.  She informs you that they are NOT coming home for Mother’s Day this year.   Images of years gone by and the tradition of the “whole family” being together are wiped out in a moment.   You choke out the words as best you can, “It’s okay.  I understand.”  Tears flow uncontrollably as soon as you hang up the phone.

IS IT ALL WORTH IT?  The question circles around in your head, haunting you as you wonder if taking the giant leap into parenting was the worst choice you ever made.  What were you thinking?

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You’re gathering your baby from the church nursery and the moment they notice you, their eyes light up, their two-toothed smile fills the room, and their little arms reach for you as if to shout, “You are mine!  I am yours!  All is right again!”

You’re coming back from being at the grocery store, having only been gone for 30 minutes while your spouse watches your preschooler.  You are met with “look what I made for you” and handed a Froot Loop necklace that you proudly display for the next week or two around your neck.

You’re at back-to-school night, sitting at your fourth grader’s desk, listening to the teacher drone on and on about the expectations of the classroom and what is hoped to be learned.  You peak inside your child’s folder and they’ve scrawled a note to you, “Surprise ahead.  Check under the chair.”  You reach down and pull out a green paper heart (at least that’s what you think it is)!  A smile creeps to your lips.

You’re sleeping and it’s Christmas morning!  Your 13 year-old (who has to be bribed out of bed every morning for school with promises of her favorite bagel) comes bounding into the room at 6:00 am, leaping on you and wrapping her arms around your neck, squeezing tightly.  “Can we get our stockings and come onto your bed like we always do?  Can I wake everyone else up?”  Her child-like, unfiltered excitement tugs your heart strings and you feel full inside.

You’re making dinner and you have forgotten to buy one of the most important ingredients.  Your teenager plays video games in the family room.  Without realizing it, you berate yourself aloud, “How could you not remember to get this?”  A voice shouts from the other room, “I can go get whatever you need from the store.  I can drive now.”  You send your budding adult on his way, money in hand.  You beam inside, thankfulness rising.

You’re reading the book for your woman’s group.  Your college daughter left two days ago.  You open to the page where you left off and there is a note doodled at the top.  “I love you mom.”  Happy tears spring to your eyes and you send a text to your two daughters, asking which one of them wrote it (which makes it even happier).

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You’re texting your 25 year old what they want for their birthday.  They say all they want is a puppy.  You work your butt off the next couple of months and find just the right one.  You arrive with her and your man-child greets you with hugs and laughter and a stream of “thank yous.”  You watch as this giant, tough, bearded landscaper cuddles in the grass with his new baby, letting her crawl all over him, giving gentle words of kindness and love.  Your heart swells with pride and joy!

IS IT ALL WORTH IT?  The question again circles around in your head, this time sparking renewed hope that taking the giant leap into parenting was the ABSOLUTE BEST choice you ever made.  What were you thinking is right!

IT IS ALL WORTH IT (AND THEN SOME)!

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(PS:  ALL OF THESE ARE TRUE STORIES FROM YOURS TRULY.  YOU HAVE A WHOLE BUNCH OF YOUR OWN!  I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR JUST ONE!)

ALSO CAN I SHAMELESSLY ASK YOU TO LIKE THIS POST OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA IF YOU READ IT AND LIKED IT!  IT HELPS IT TO MOVE UP IN THE RANKS INSTEAD OF GET LOST IN THE GIANT SOCIAL MEDIA POT.  MEANS THE WORLD TO ME!!!

 

 

Posted in Faith, Family, Health, Motherhood, Podcast - Dolly Mama and the Millennials

OUR BIG THREE (According to Josh) – Link to Dolly Mama and the Millennials Podcast! YAY!

I am so excited today!  I am launching my first podcast entitled the Dolly Mama and the Millennials!  This podcast will be mostly for moms and dads to get help navigating the very beautiful and messy journey of this thing we call parenting!

You will get a behind-the-scenes look at the secrets, struggles and successes of our typical American family (if there is such a thing as typical).   My desire is that you would come away from listening to it encouraged on your own journey and receiving the grace you need to keep up the good work you are already doing!

To whet your appetite today, join with me as I interview Josh, our third-born of four adult kids.  We explore “our big three” according to him, what he believes we highly valued and esteemed in our parenting and family life.  You’ll find out about my mom mantra, “TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR STUFF” and how that kept us from continuing to have those never-kept behavioral contracts I had my kids sign but never followed through on (you can read more in detail about this by clicking HERE).  You will also hear what other TWO (what this Dolly Mama would deem) SUPER important life values somehow made the leap across that seemingly giant chasm between my heart (and Allen’s too) and his!

If you are just at the beginning of this crazy journey of parenthood, somewhere in the messy part, launching your kids into adulthood, or “been there, done that” and just want to be reminded that it was all worth it, this podcast is for you!  We are parents from the moment they are born until they moment we take our last breath.  I’ll never get away from being their mom, nor would I want to.

ENJOY (It’s only about 20 minutes!) BY CLICKING HERE!!

AND SHARE WITH ALL YOUR PEOPLE!