Saturday, September 15, 2012

Uncomfy Puke

Oh my. 3 months to the day since I last posted. I guess you could say it was a busy summer!

So. This post. Its brewing some major uncomfy feelings in my heart. Like.... the super convicted uncomfy.

I have that feeling you have right before you throw up. When you know that if you just get it over and done with you will feel so much better, but you are scared of how uncomfortable it will be. How painful it sometimes is. How messy. The toxins in your body are just bubbling to get out though.

I have toxins in my heart. *sigh* Dangit.

Stupid Facebook for one. I keep seeing posts that are speaking to my toxic heart and then that feeling of bile rises up in me every time. Why? Because I know I need to let it out and cleanse myself and let my heart start repairing.

Life gets so messy. So uncomfortable. So annoying. So hard. Like soft bare feet on hard black pavement develop callouses to protect the delicate skin, my heart has built up a hard calloused shell. When I was talking to my "nurse/counselor who prescribes my head meds" the other day, I told her I couldn't figure out if I was turning into a huge *expletive* or if I was just getting older and tired of dealing with what I deemed ridiculousness. ha! Needless to say - I've kind of become a little ugly and withered inside lately.

Sure I'm still nice. Sure I'm still considerate. Sure I still smile. Sure I still love people.

But not all people. Not all the time. Not with a love like Christ - like I claim to follow.

AH! Its SO uncomfortable admitting this. Publicly. Acknowledging out loud (sort of) that I know I've been so wrong for so long now. I've stopped caring. About people. About circumstances. About anything outside of my bubble. Its like my feelings have literally been TURNED OFF. Because my life got messy and uncomfortable and annoying and hard. Its still all of those things, but that is no excuse to allow my heart to harden like it has.

We put up walls so we don't get hurt, but sometimes we get hurt so much that we start to harden if we aren't mindful of the condition of our hearts. Heart Maintenance. I forgot all about it. Now I'm at a crossroads where I see things placed in front of me where I can soften it, and it makes me nervous - much like throwing up. I know it will be good for me to get it out of my body, cleanse myself, but dang....its gonna hurt.

Now, please don't read this as someONE or someTHING has hurt me. Not the case. If you know me in any way at all, you know bits and pieces about my life, but I promise you don't know all of it. Facebook posts are very much like the tip of the iceburg - there is so much more than what you see and read. But really, EVERYONE'S life is like that! I recently spoke with an old friend from high school and was so shocked at how her reality that she doesn't share is so similar to mine.... but I didn't know it. We never know all of it. For some of us, life is just overwhelming. That alone can cause so much strain on our hearts.

Sometimes we do have to have a time of only worrying about our small world in front of us - especially when it comes to taking care of our family. But then there are times when we also need to look outside of ourselves and love others. I have really SUCKED at loving others lately.

I feel like God is calling me to purge the callouses around my heart and stick my neck out there - but dangit - its scary. Truth be told, I like this snobbish way I've fallen into. I like not making new friends right now. I like sticking to my own group of friends and not branching out. I REALLY like not doing stuff for other people right now - and that was so hard to admit. Its ugly. UGLY! I keep saying over and over again that I don't want to be in a place of responsibility outside of my already huge responsibilities at home. Thats okay sometimes, but when I develop an ugly heart because of it, thats NOT okay.

So, I know this was ALL OVER THE PLACE - kinda like throwing up everywhere - but it did feel good to get it out. ;o)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Heart Maintenance

Tonight I am reminded that Aidans medication doesn’t cure him. It helps to maintain…. and MAINTAINING for him is my primary job. I dropped the ball all week (truthfully, I don’t even know where this week has GONE!). I dropped the ball and it all caught up to Aidan tonight. I knew (KNEW!) earlier that he was tired, but he was so awesome for most of the day today that I thought he could handle being out until bedtime - instead of being home and winding down and preparing for bedtime…which is what his little system needs. Especially after a busy week.

After the restraining and the head bashing and the biting and the screaming and pleading and crying and hitting were all out of his system, he returned to my sweet baby boy…curled up in my lap, sobbing. His perseverance for what he wanted was still there though “WHY DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING?!”… His body was tired, but he still tried to negotiate for his ultimate goal… but I held out. And in the end, I won. I won a battle that I didn’t do a great job of preventing in the first place. However, we can’t go backwards. We can only deal with what is NOW. My no meant NO. I know that in the long run, ESPECIALLY for Aidan, that will amount to something great one day.

As he finally gave in and did as he was asked, he then crawled into bed where I stood next to him (loft bed - I can stand and not break my back bending or leaning over!) and I sang his favorite song- and sang - and sang….

....Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile To the One who sees past all I see. 
And reaching out my weary hand I pray that you'd understand You're the only one who's faithful to me......

As I sang I thought to myself “How many parents would just put their belligerent kid into bed, toss them some harsh words about obeying, and slam the door in frustration? How many times have I done just that - back when I didn’t understand?”

Then I thought “How many times as my loving Father held my heart while I thrashed and pleaded and screamed and begged - and even hit and kicked at thin air or a pillow - to get MY WAY? How many times have I cried out to God ‘WHY DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING?!’ And how many times has He just heaped shame on me and slammed the door while I‘m left hurting and wounded?”

Never. God has never been that kind of parent to me…. Which makes it clear that I am not to be that kind of parent to my babies either.

So, while I was physically exhausted, mentally a mess, emotionally broken, and spiritually starving - I tended to my broken boy, and God tended to His broken girl.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I realize that in comparison to others, we haven't been in the military for THAT long.... but Jake comes up on 12 years this summer, and a few days ago we had our 11th Anniversary. I think we are at the point where its no longer new and fun and something to figure out.... I think we are at the point where we are tired and burnt out and realize that we will never figure it out - because every place is different and the people are always changing.

I wannabe settled.

I long for the comfort that comes with knowing we won't be leaving an area again. Houses, maybe. But a state, city, town, support network, etc - will mostly stay the same.

I miss mountains. So badly do I miss mountains. Rolling hills don't count either....

I am tired of wondering when we will ever move again. Not if, but when. Its inevitable. Right now it isn't likely, but it is inevitable.

I miss being close enough to family that we can be a part of special occasions.

I really hate that some of my closest friends are literally spread all over the country. I'll never get used to that.

Mostly, I want a home that I KNOW is mine and I won't be told I will have to move out of it and into a new one in a place I have never been before. The excitement of that is kind of waning for me.

I know I'm blessed and I know I should "bloom where I'm planted" and yada yada yada.... and Ive done that. I've made the most of wherever we are and I will continue to do so. I just really miss familiarity and the comfort that comes from the same places and faces and spaces.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Back in the saddle - Perfection and Failure

So, Ive been a bit MIA since my last post about our Family Pledge.... yikes!

At first it was because the whole pledge thing was going so well that I was barely on the computer! And then it just kind of snowballed..... so, yeah. Here I am jumping back in the saddle with a heavy hitter!

I (don't!) Wannabe a Perfectionist!!!

But I am.  *gulp*

I have actually come a long way over the years with my levels of perfection, but its still there - sucking the life out of me - in other areas. I used to be such a perfectionist that I would NOT leave my house without perfect makeup, perfect hair, perfect outfits, perfect looking kids, perfect, perfect, perfect. I'm not sure if its a good or bad or sad thing that I can now say I will run errands with ZERO makeup, in jeans and the same shirt I slept in, and wearing a hat. In my embarrassed defense I will say that this isn't my norm - but I don't have a panic attack if I don't look perfect. I overcame this a few years ago by forcing myself to go out in my most vulnerable state.... you can read more about that HERE.  I had to learn a balance. I had to learn that it was OKAY to not be perfect - and that looking perfect didn't determine my worth.

One area of my life I have NEVER seemed like a perfectionist in though - my housekeeping abilities. Honestly, I seriously SUCK at it. It overwhelms me to the point of paralysis. The reason though - the perfectionist in me. I can handle the makeup, the hair, the clothes, etc and making all that perfect. Thats EASY (and fun!)... but I don't want to TOUCH something in an effort to make it look good unless I can make it PERFECT. And if I can't make it perfect, I'm not even going to attempt it.

Because I don't want to fail.

Failure terrifies me, even on a small level - like cleaning. I let my worth as a person get wrapped up in the perfection of a task. You would think that by NOT doing something then I would feel even more worthless than if I were to fail at it. Strangely, this is not so. Don't ask me why - I still haven't figured it out.

Have you ever had a moment of clarity about something you have never conquered before? Like, literally been hit with a thought that makes you wonder why it never seemed that clear to you before? You could have heard it from dozens of people before, even read it in a self help blog or book, seen a tv show about, had your mother try and pound it into your head - but it never sunk in - until your moment? I think there is a reason for this, so while it may be frustrating and seem like years have been wasted I truly believe God times everything perfectly. There is a lesson in everything, even in things that you feel you've suffered with for years, things you haven't been able to understand.... until God lifts the veil.

In my moment, God let a truth sink in deep within me. A truth I've known in my head, but never EMBRACED with my heart. I think that is the key to truth - you can know it, but you have to embrace it.

A wonderful friend who has always been like a father to me once told me there is a difference between perfection and excellence. He tried his best to spell it out for me, but I never got it. I was too blinded by my NEED for perfection. My NEED to judge what surrounded me and determine whether or not it was perfect. Who determines perfection?? Certainly not me. Certainly not those of you reading right now. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but so is perfection. And in Gods beholden eyes, I am ALREADY perfect - without even trying. Knowing that means I don't have to earn my perfection by doing a task PERFECTLY.... so I can just DO THE TASK without worrying about the perfectionist details of it.

-I can clean my desk by just straightening it up instead of reorganizing everything every time.
-I can clean the kitchen even if I don't get every single dish done. Before I wouldn't even TOUCH the kitchen if I couldn't clean it top to bottom and side to side and in and out of appliances every single time.
-I can clean the living rooms even if it means I can't pull the couches out and clean under them or take off the cushions and clean the parts you never ever see.
-I can clean the dining room even if I only wipe down the table and can't disinfect it AND mop the floor.
-you get the idea.... I could go on and on per room.

If you know me and have been to my house when its a WRECK, you are probably thinking "ummm you never do those things." And you'd kind of be right - because I only do those things if I can do them all on the same day, and the chances of me being able to do it all at once are slim to none.

I am SO TIRED of being like that. I am so tired of thinking that my best isn't good enough because it might not be perfect. I am so tired of judging myself constantly because I am always telling myself I shouldn't bother doing anything unless its done perfectly - my worth as a person, as a mother, as a wife, as a friend, isn't wrapped up in perfection. At least it shouldn't be....

My worth as a person is wrapped up in how much I love those around me. How much I take care of what I've been given, and on some days - my best might be sitting with my kids watching America's Funniest Home Videos (oh how we laugh!). My best might be holding a sick kid. My best might be taking a nap - seriously, sometimes its an act of love for others that sends me to my room. My best might also be just straightening up - even if its not perfect.

I can't full explain how my moment of clarity has helped me, but this was my best shot. Its not perfect, but it was my best. And there are some who won't understand because this has never been something they have struggled with. There might be some who will want to judge or defend the idea of perfection - but this is my lesson. My moment where God lifted a veil for me on something that has weighed me down for years.

I can't swear that from here on out my house will be spotless, and I KNOW my laundry will never all be done (I hate it so much!!), but I do know I won't be AFRAID to do it.... because I won't be judging myself about it anymore. I won't be expecting myself to be perfect anymore.

last minute add on: there is also an element of control to the need to be perfect. I knew in my pursuit of perfection, I had it in me to be absolutely psycho crazy controlling if things didn't STAY perfect - and that scared me. I did NOT want to become that person, so I went the opposite direction. Again, finding balance is the key, and everyone's idea of balance is different. I hope I can stick with mine.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Family Pledge Day 4 Update

I seriously pick the hardest things for me to do sometimes!

This challenge has been easier for Jake BY FAR than it has been for me. He only has to adjust to a few hours being different in his day. I have to adjust to ALL DAY being different! I am feeling REALLY out of touch with everyone in some ways, but in other ways I am feeling more in touch with my own environment. And really, WHY do I need to be up to date on what everyone else does all the time?? I don't.

So far I have really liked checking in at night, catching up all at once, and then being done. Its just moments throughout the day when I'm bored or want to procrastinate or REALLY need/want to talk to someone else. Thank goodness for texting!

Since I'm not getting sidetracked first thing in the mornings now, I have actually kept to my morning routine - granted this is only day 4. But hey, progress is progress! I'm also getting up earlier like I enjoy doing. And sleeping in is anywhere from 7 to 7:30 which still leaves us an OKAY-ISH amount of time to get ready without running around like crazies. I did go out last night though with some friends and didn't get home until 11:30.... which totally made my morning suck and I'm dragging today - but still on schedule.

If you follow me on Facebook you may have noticed an increase in picture posts. haha! I did disable FB checking from my phone, but I still text pics throughout the day and random updates via text too.... I just can't check them until our agreed upon time at night. This might seem like cheating but technically I'm not getting ON Facebook. ;o) I'm also doing that because I know a couple of Grandparents and Aunts who like to keep on our/my day. Plus its fun to get on at night and see chatter y'all leave me! I may be a homebody but I am definitely a person that likes to stay connected in some way, shape, or form.

I still have some kinks to work out in my daily routine - some things I have been WANTING to accomplish all week but haven't been able to nail down. Like laundry. HOLY SMOKES - if you could SEE my clean laundry piles you would probably run for the hills. Its ridiculous. That is my goal today. After my workout (at 9am) of course. ;o)

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I wannabe PURPOSEFUL in my life and with my family and my home.

Last month I wrote a post about my TIME. I had approached Jake about it right before we left for Oregon but because of the chaos that the last minute trip brought us, it got put on the back burner. Well tonight I brought it back out again.

Originally I had said I wasn't going to ask Jake to do this with me, AND I had said it would be a month long experiment. So, a few things have changed. Jake is doing it with me, and the initial part is 10 days.

We both agreed that we could direct our energies toward more purposeful things. We each have our vices that take us away from being purposeful. For him, its gaming. For me, its stupid Facebook. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE FACEBOOK. I love what it does for me - being home all day can be lonely and boring. Its very easy to get caught up in it though, especially for me. I tend to get very sidetracked very easily. Its also a great way for friends and family to keep up with our day to day lives. I love it for that. HOWEVER, each of our habits have replaced very important things. Instead of being "recreational" they have become habitual.

I have to admit too, that part of my motivation for this is because I am tired of being the primary caretaker of everything under this roof. That sounds terrible, but really, I am. I want to feel like we are on the same team, instead of feeling like I am the coach who ends up playing the game on my own. haha! I am a firm believer that if the mom stays home her job is first and foremost to take care of the kids. A husband who works outside the homes job is to go to work and do that job well. I think there is a middle ground where both have their primary jobs, and then they come together and evenly shoulder the rest. I need more discipline during the day when kids are at school (O is still home with me) and Jake and I need to work better as a team when he is home from work. We have gotten into a habit of keeping score and harboring resentments b/c the boundaries and rules aren't clear. As the boys get older, I really want to make sure we get better at this instead of just winging it. Also, my time as sole caretaker (the pre-school years) are just about over for the last one (Owen) and the other two are doing wonderful in the beginnings of their school age years. We need to transition into a new way of life.

After a nice talk tonight, we came up with a 10 day pledge. We both signed it and dated it. I will place it in an area where we will both see it everyday so we can be reminded of it. After 10 days, we will sit down and talk about the pros and cons of it, and how we want to proceed. Here is what we both came up with and agreed on together.... which felt nice since I didn't come up with on my own and make him sign it. haha!

10 Day Family Pledge - starting Monday March 19th, 2012

1. We pledge to only get on our Games or Facebook (or other internet social network) only after the boys have been in bed for one hour at night. (this is so we can make sure we have an hour set aside to touch base with each other and together finish up the days tasks)

2. We pledge to use our time to serve each other, our family, and our home.

3. We pledge to go to bed by 11:30 every night. We are doing this for our overall health and well being. Friday and Saturday nights are exempt.

4. Saturdays and Sundays are free days after 12pm.

The purpose for this is the spend our time more wisely and learn to serve each other and our family. By doing this we hope to create a more calm and loving atmosphere in our home and establish a better family routine. We will re-evaluate after 10 days.

So, there it is. And seriously, the thought of it already makes me nervous. I suspect there will be some tension and frustration the first few days. For me, it means a lot of social sacrifice. BUT, when I compare it to what I will be gaining, it will be worth it in the end. I also need to develop more discipline during my days, so this will be good for me. For Jake, it means sacrificing his after work hours to be more dedicated to his family and his home. Not that he isn't dedicated, he just needs to be more purposeful about it. As do I. We both agree that we have our priorities backward. Its SO EASY to slip into that. And we are finally at a place where we both want to turn that around. I am so glad he is on board with it, and I am excited to see where we are after 10 days!


Holy Smokes! Where has the time gone?!

We left off last month right before we headed home to go to Jakes Grandmas funeral.

WOW, has a lot happened since then. Lots and lots. So much that there is no possible way I could quickly get it all in here..... it would be way too long. So here are the highlights:

Trip home went well. It was a quickie, but it was nice to squeeze it in, especially since we weren't going to go home this year at all. The bummer is that the boys missed 2 weeks of school, but they were very understanding about that. Jake also had to miss his test for Tech, but they rescheduled that for him. In fact, he just took it this past week. Hoping this is the one!

We had a great time at home visiting with family and we were really glad we got to be with all of them during that special time of saying goodbye. Jake spent a lot of time with his parents and his Grandpa, which was really good for him I think. Jakes brother and his family came down for the funeral too and that was a great time spent with them. Its nice when the boys get to see their cousins, even if it is only once a year. Can't wait for the day when its more!

Jake stayed at his parents house while we were there so he could make the most of our short time. I stayed at my moms with the boys so I could help out with my nieces and be able to see my mom when she was home since she had to work while we were there. During the days I ran around visiting with old friends I hadn't seen in a long time, some of them I hadn't seen in a couple years or more. That was so awesome for me to spend some quality time with so many people!

On our way back to North Dakota we stayed with some great friends in Spokane for a couple of nights and kinda got to take a break after our longest day of traveling. Its nice to break up the trip, especially when you stay with friends who feel like family and at a house that feels like a second home. It was a great way to end our trip.

Boys went back into the school routine quite nicely, and I have to say, we were all craving some of our routine back! However, this time change last week completely wrecked us all! Its been a rough week!

Jake tested for Tech and we find out in a couple of months if he made it or not. We are REALLY HOPING HE DID b/c we want to move off base within the next year we are thinking. That would make it a lot easier for sure!

Minot weather has been AMAZING too, and we are seriously looking forward to our full summer here! Lots of outdoor plans and camping!

So, thats a quick recap of what is going on here. Obviously a lot of the day to day is left out - mostly b/c this isn't a day to day lifestyle blog. I did though want to try to fill in the huge gap.

Now, back to confessions! And boy is the next one a big one! ;o)