The other day, Luke looked out the window and said, “Mommy, it’s my favorite kind of day. The clouds are covering the sun so my eyes won’t hurt.” I smiled and told him that I too loved the clouds covering the sun. I love sunshine, the brighter the better for me, but I also love whatever makes him more comfortable. His comment, so simple, got me thinking about heaven. Think about this for a minute. Heaven will be and feel like everything that brings comfort, happiness, and all else good. For Luke it will be like light that doesn’t hurt his eyes. For me it will be like warmth, to never feel cold again. It will feel like the peace of holding one of my boys, the joy of hearing my boys giggle, the feeling I get when my eyes meet my husband’s during an inside joke, the magic of getting lost in a good book, and the relief of a lazy Sunday. All of these (plus so much more) all at once, all the time––for all of eternity. All I can say is wow, I truly can not fathom.
To feel my child’s pain, to experience his affliction as my own, brings my heart to ache. It is an agonizing predicament that I can not take away…what I can do is love. I can accept. I can encourage. I can show. I can pray. I can trust in You.
I pray for the strength to carry out what I can do…love, accept, encourage, show, pray, and trust. I know I will always love my son but I pray that he will always feel my love for him. I pray for acceptance for his afflictions that I can not control. I pray he feels my acceptance, always. I pray for the strength to encourage him to see his strengths and accept his weakness––to turn his weakness into strengths and/or use them for the greater good. I pray to show him what an amazing person he is and how all these things, especially love, will help him gain happiness. I pray that he prays; that prayer will be what he turns to first in times of despair…in times of need…in times of happiness too. I pray to always trust Your plans for my son. I pray that my trust will give him trust in You, and trust in me as well.
I thank You for giving me my two amazing sons. I know as my second son gets older and has afflictions of his own, I will be saying this prayer for him. I also pray that the relationship between my two sons give them both strength in their lives. I pray that their differences balance each others. I know that they will argue but I pray they can get through each fight and come out stronger. I pray they protect each other and are always there for each other. Thank you for trusting in me and giving me this precious gift of being a mother. It is the hardest job I have been responsible for carrying out, but I know You will be there with me though it all.
We finally found a house and (as it should) all is falling into place. The offer was accepted, inspection complete, and appraisal in process. Needless to say, I have moving on the brain. I can think of nothing else. This has the potential to be the house our kids will remember as their childhood home. The home filled with traditions that shape them into the adults they will become. The home they will bring their kids to and replay their youth; watching their own play in the same grass they played in as kids. The home Matt and I will grow old in. The home I never had growing up. My parents moved us a lot. I have quite a few (ten) houses filled with segments of my childhood memories. I am not saying there is anything wrong with moving. Stability can be given no matter how many times you move…it can also not be given to one who has never moved. Some people have moving in their blood. They yearn and thrive on change. My husband and I are not of that kind. My kids may be, so I will never raise them to feel that they can not venture off in life––to be caged in the life Matt and I believe is best. Although I will be devastated if they move far away.
As you can see, our holiday season will be busy. We will be packing, getting the house ready, having holiday festivities, and so forth. Doing all this with two kids will bring some challenges. We will have to sacrifice some holiday traditions but it is only one year. Next year and the years to come will make up for it. I am so excited and so thankful to have found our new house, our home.
On a side note, here is a conversation I had with Luke this morning.
Me: Luke what do you want for Christmas this year?
Luke: I want games.
Me: What kind of games?
Luke: Like Candyland, games for kids.
Me: Oh, boardgames. Do you want anything else? What other toys do you want that you don’t have?
Luke: Nothing. I already have all the toys I want.
Me: You already have everything you want?
Luke: Yes Mommy, I have everything I want already.
“Every one of you are unique, there is no one else like you…” the pastor said. As he went on, Dr Seuss’s quote popped in my head, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” It seems so simple, but yet most people struggle with finding their uniqueness or just accepting their uniqueness. Every one of us has God given talents but if I ask you what yours are, would you know? If you know what your God given talents are, do you use them for the greater purpose? I started asking myself these questions. I felt awkward answering. I felt arrogant even though I was having the conversation in my mind. Why is it that I feel like that? How am I suppose to live the life God intends me to if I am not confident in what he has given me? Why am I not using most of my talents for the greater purpose? I have no excuse.
Years ago, I was at work and a patient’s family member looked at me and said, “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?” I smiled and replied yes. What she said next was the best compliment I have ever received. She said, “I can see God’s light shining through you.” I teared up, softly thanked her, and thought about it the remainder of my shift. Back then I struggled with my christianity. I had my days like that one where I let my guard down but mostly I fought it. I could go through the psychology of why but I don’t feel like it matters. At least not today. Maybe that will be another blog post. My point is––I want that light shining through me every single day. I want to live my life with purpose every single day. I want, no matter how crazy my life is, to be confident with my christianity every single day. I want to use my God given talents every single day. Yes, every single day.
So what are my God given talents? The other day I had two people point out how patient I am. I never thought much of it but yes I am very patient. I am a kind empathetic person. I sacrifice when people need me. But I feel there is more in me than that. I wish I could receive a phone call or an email from God. He would say, “Stacy, you are good at….you need to do this… and stop trying to do this….do this instead.” Someone I know actually just said how it take three times of God showing her something before she realizes it. She could not have said it better. I need to open my eyes to what God is showing me. Once I can achieve that, I will be one step closer.
First and foremost I would like to thank God. God has led and I have followed Him on the path of my beautiful life. Thank you to my parents for all you have done and especially for moving back to Michigan. I remember being in despair, loathing the winter and everything about the town we lived in. My mom would say, “There is a reason we moved back. Everything happens for a reason. Your future spouse may be here in Michigan just waiting to meet you.” Well Mom, you were right. Thank you to my husband’s parents as well. They raised quite the man. He is strong when I am weak. He never tires of my touch (he especially loves when I scratch his back). He protects and provides for me and our kids more than I could ever dream of. Let’s not forget that he is absolutely handsome. His eyes still make me weak. When he looks at me it is impossible to stay mad long…not that he ever makes me mad. (Chuckle.) Thank you to my friend Casey. If she wasn’t such a weirdo then we wouldn’t have been such good friends and then I would never have met Matt. Thank you to Heartland Home Finance for employing my friend Casey and Matt. If it wasn’t for that crazy place. Wow. What would my life be like? Makes me queasy just thinking about it. And last, thank you to Ruby Tuesday’s, for feeding our faces on our first date.
In all seriousness…I really want to thank the Academy. No. I want to thank every word, every step, every right choice, every wrong choice, every heartbreak, every person, every butterfly, and whatever else brought Matt and I together. But mostly, thank you God (again). Without God my life would be a complete mess.
I am also thankful after two kids that I still fit in my wedding gown. Hey, I work hard to stay fit so yep I am proud. Happy Anniversary, Matt!
My heart was racing the entire day. My mind was a jumbled mass of anxiety filled thoughts, I could not focus on anything. Oliver was only three months old and helped keep me busy. But––I don’t think a minute went by that I didn’t check the clock. When it was finally time to pick Luke up I practically sprinted to the door. As soon as I saw him my anxiety vanished. No that’s a lie. But I did feel better having him back. I kept asking him how his first day of school was and he answered it was ok. Just ok? Did you meet a lot of new friends? What did you do all day? How were your teachers? He answered with one word replies and it about killed me. I realized I may have been a bit much to handle after he said that he would talk about it later.
It took a long time for me to be comfortable with him being in school. Luke had never been in daycare or any similar setting before and it was hard putting faith in other people––strangers really. Luke had some adjustment issues that we worked out and I too worked out my own issues. I soon realized (after I calmed down) what a great school he was in. They never seemed to push him to do anything he wasn’t ready for. They let him lead in terms of learning and that made all the difference (main reason why I chose a montessori).
Today was his first day of his last year of preschool. We dropped him off and he did not look back once. Come to think about it, I don’t think he even said goodbye to us. That is Luke though, he is a secure little guy. Last year after we dropped him off I cried uncontrollably and I admit, I did shed a tear today as well, but not for the same reasons.
He has grown so much over the last year. I didn’t realize it until today when I sat down and thought about who he was a year ago. I have to give credit to his school for a lot of his growth. They did an amazing job and I can not wait to see the impact they have on him this year. I too have grown as a parent. I now know how important it is to allow other people in––to guide and mold him into the man he will one day be…it really does take a village.
If you ask––I would tell you that I am not a morning person. But yet there I was at 5:30 this morning on my couch (coffee in hand) and inspirited. There is something about early morning that brings an immense peace that no other time of day allows. My days run smoother when I am given the time to warm up. To describe this, let me start over from the beginning…
Oliver is engrossed with his blocks and I engrossed in thought. I feel a peace, a lightness in my soul. The quiet semi-solitude will be gone soon and the hustle of a busy day will emerge. So I absorb all I can. I slowly drink my coffee, the warmth flows down my throat and I savor every ounce. My body awakens at its own pace, not like some mornings when I am forced to get up and instantly start mothering my kids. Oliver is hungry and I feed him. Now content––he plays some more. I am finished with my coffee and take him in his room. He brings me a book and plops on my lap. When the book is finished he brings me another. We go through about five books and then move on to puzzles. As both our energies rise, our play enlivens. We play basketball and Oliver starts running around laughing. It is now that Luke wakes up but I feel ready for the day. So all is good.
When I see someone struggling, my heart swells with sympathy. I am mostly socially awkward and don’t know what to say face to face. I guess sometimes I also feel it isn’t my place to bring up someone else’s issues. So I will express my feelings here. This goes out to more than one person…
It pains me to see you struggling, hurting, and tired both physically and mentally. Know that when I see you like this, I am there for you although I may not know what to say. I do not claim to be or want to come off as a wiseacre, but there is a solution––an easy one. You place the weight of life and all the problems life gives on your shoulders. Just stop. Stop right now. Take a deep breath and then pray. Pray for clarity, pray for strength and pray to see all the blessings that are right in front of you. Pray for the faith of a child. To see life’s awesome wonders. To be excited for each and every day that you and your loved ones are alive and breathing. To be reminded of what really matters. To find your very own passion(s) and to go forth and walk your own path (sounds lame but I don’t care). To know that you are enough and that you are loved. To allow others in and know that you can’t do it on your own.
I hope this helps. I hope you know I care about you and will always be there. When life gets the best of me, I hope you remind me of the easy solution.
I confronted my fear. I looked the treadmill in the eye and stepped up. (Deep breath) I pressed the go button and….nothing. I pressed another button and….nothing. Perplexed. I looked to the guy to the right of me and he looked away. Well thanks nice guy. (Really big deep breath) Ding ding ding the emergency stop was pulled out. Don’t laugh, I was really nervous. I pushed it back in and (boom) started walking on the treadmill. It took fifteen minutes of tedious walking to pull out the courage to run. But I did it. I ran on the treadmill and I am still standing, still alive to tell the story.
Next goal is to run the indoor track…
Oliver has been waking up around 5:30-6:00ish. Out of desperation, we lay him in bed with us in hopes that we can gain more rest. It usually lasts a half hour or so. He climbs on me laughing and poking at my face until I finally get up. I sit up and he climbs out of the bed. First thing he does? Grabs my phone and hands it to me––with a proud look on his face. Adorable, isn’t it? Well not so much. It is sad. Sad that he knows that my phone is that high on my priority list. The funny thing is that phones have always been a pet peeve of mine. I get irritated when people are always on their phone. It is pathetic when you are at a restaurant and can’t have a good old fashioned conversation because you are too busy checking updates on Facebook or sports scores.
I now am that person. I irritate me! I pick up my phone for no reason, hold it in my hand, and feel anxious when it’s not in my sight. Why? Habit or addiction? Ugh. I will say, that when I am playing with my kids I set my phone down (most of the time). Another thing I don’t do, maybe because I am paranoid in public places, is play on my phone at a park. Your kids are playing and you can’t see what they are doing. Hey! Your kid just pushed my kid but you didn’t see it because you were too busy playing Candy Crush. What if someone took your kid and when asked what you were doing you’d have to say, “Uh, playing on my phone?” While my kids are eating a snack or lunch is a different story. My first thought is me wondering where my phone is. Wow.
I know I am not alone in this habit/addiction. I see it everywhere I go. I don’t even want to carry on into the texting while driving issues. Ok, I feel the need to give just one example. The other day a car cut me off when the driver was making a left turn out of a grocery store. The road is a very busy road and she in no way had the space to be turning. My heart sank when I swerved to not hit her (two precious kids in my backseat) and so I look over and she was on her phone…obviously texting! That is brave to be making a left turn while playing on your phone. Think about it, she was leaving the grocery store so I assume she lived close by…why couldn’t she wait to get home to play on her phone? Was it that important that she put her life, my life and, my kids life in danger? I know I may not be as bad as some like the car texter but I am still bad enough that it distresses me.
Will I throw my phone away? No. Do I think phones are the devil? No. Phones have many great qualities and are essential in many ways. I just want to be more present, again. I like having real conversations and feeling the connection it brings by looking people in the eye and conversing. The most paramount possessions are the people right in front of me. No device can replace them. The most precious moments flash by so fast. Did I miss some because I was on my phone?