Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

I love sending out Christmas cards. I feel so blessed that I have so many people in my life that I love. For those who live far away, the pictures on the card tell a story about us… they serve as a reminder of what we look like… they show how much our son has grown… they send a Christmas wish of merriment.

But, I think that sometimes our Christmas cards tell a fairytale story… or the story that we want everyone to believe.  Please don’t mistake my family’s Christmas card pictures for what our everyday life looks like. Our pictures tell the story of a picture-perfect family. Although we are in-love each other… we certainly are not perfect. We have to say we are sorry, we cry, we hurt, we disappoint, and sometimes we struggle with everyday life. Even though my pictures don’t depict those struggles… they are there.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

My goal is to continually be as happy as my family’s Christmas card pictures resemble.  

Monday, December 24, 2012

Letter to my son to answer the question, "Is Santa real?"

My 10 year old son has questioned the validity of Santa. So, I researched how other parents have handled this question (why reinvent the wheel) and I came across a lot of letters from parents to their children . I borrowed from a couple to create this letter...                                                                                     

                                                                                         December 24th, 2012


          This year you asked some really good questions, “Is Santa real?” and “Are Mom and Dad really Santa?”. We know that you wanted to know the answer, and that you demanded to know the truth. Here are the truthful answers, “Yes, Santa is real.” and “No, we are not Santa.” Let us explain.

There is no one, single Santa. Yes, we are the people who fill your stocking and choose to wrap the gifts under the tree… just as our parents did for us, their parents did for them, and you will do for your kids someday. These simple acts could never make any of us Santa, though. Santa is lots of people who keep the spirit of Christmas alive. He lives in our hearts…not at the North Pole. Santa is the magic and love and spirit of giving to others. What he does is teach children to believe in something they cannot see or touch. Throughout your life you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your family, in your friends, and in God.

So, our prayer for you on this Christmas and always is that you keep believing in Santa because he symbolizes so much more than just the gifts beneath the tree.

We love you! Merry Christmas!

~Mom and Dad

Friday, December 21, 2012

Broken Anxiety Meter

I’ve thought throughout the years that I suffered from anxiety. What I’ve realized recently is that I don’t suffer at all… my anxiety meter is just broken. Anxiety is actually a good thing. We feel anxious when something isn’t right in our lives. We experience anxious feelings when something needs to be different. We have anxiety when our balance is off kilter. We are anxious when we need change… anxiety is our change indicator.

However, when I feel anxious I don’t make the changes that are necessary to bring my anxiety meter back down to zero. I just press on… I just put on my big girl panties… I just keep truckin’. My change indicator is flashing and I ignore it. As a result, my anxiety meter just keeps climbing. I become more and more anxious. My meter dial bounces in the red.

Then… I break. My springs pop. My meter glass cracks. My dial flies off.

My anxiety meter is broken… and, I am going to fix it once and for all. When I feel like I need a break… I am going to take one. When I feel like I need separation from my responsibilities… I am going to separate myself. When I feel like I can’t go on… I am NOT going to press on… I am NOT going to put on my big girl panties… I am NOT going to keep truckin’. When I feel anxiety… I am going to listen to my meter and readjust.

I need some tools to get the job done though. The readjustment tools that I need for my broken meter are to learn to lean on others for help, acknowledge that needing help isn’t a weakness, and that allowing the people in my life to help me gives them the opportunity to love me… or teaches them how to love me. I think that these tools are a start to fixing my broken anxiety meter.

Once it is working properly again, it is going to take a while to learn how to read my anxiety meter. I sure hope it comes with an operator’s manual.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Confession Wednesday

Welcome to Confession Wednesday! I believe that sometimes admitting our behaviors is the first step in correcting them…or laughing at them…either way…here’s what I am confessing to this week:

For Christmas, I asked my husband for a nose hair trimmer… he told me to just go buy that myself. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t have bought a nose hair trimmer myself because I could. In asking for one I was really asking my husband to help me save what dignity I had left… to keep me from having to endure the humiliation… to shield me from the cashier’s judgment. As if it is not hard enough to wake-up one day with a bush growing out of your nostrils… then, you actually have to draw attention to the hair by purchasing a trimmer.

So I did it… with my head hung low… I went and bought it myself.

I swear the cashier looked at the nose hair trimmer and then at my nose… maybe it was my paranoia… but, I swear she did. I had a pretend conversation in my mind with her that went like this… “Oh honey, you are young. Just you wait… someday when you are old like me you too will be cutting your nose hairs. Or not… but then you will lonely!”

I almost told her I was buying it for my husband... but since I chose the nose hair trimmer with purple accents I decided that it might not help my situation to say that.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I bought a nose hair trimmer…  my nose hairs aren’t the only thing getting trimmed…  I am trimming my dignity too!   

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Confession Wednesday

I attend a mega church in Arizona; therefore, our campus is like a town, complete with restaurants and a Starbucks. At church the other day, I was watching a woman eat a slice of pizza. To say she was eating it is a slight understatement. She was mauling that slice.

She was tearing off each little bite with her greasy fingers…picking the pepperoni off and eating it separately…licking her fingers after each bite…then she turned the pizza to her child offering the child a bite. For the love of God make it stop!

As I was watching her I threw-up a little bit in my mouth…but kept watching. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I was rooting for her to redeem herself before she finished it off. She must have known I was ogling her…I wasn’t being discreet. I was even making my sturgeon fish face as I was experiencing the death of this slice of pizza.

So, here’s my confession for this Wednesday…

I have issues with people’s eating habits and I judge them for it.

There I said it…now I can move on and try to be a better person.

Do you have issues with people’s eating habits too? 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Homework Woes…and the reason I drink

My son hates homework and I am taking responsibility for most of that hatred…because it is shared! The one aspect of parenting that brings me the most anxiety is homework.

Since my son was in kindergarten, he has had homework. His attention span has never been his strength. There are a million other things trying to grab his attention…like the eraser shavings that surround him. He gets distracted and discouraged. This results in arguments and consequences… and drinking wine on my part (and by wine I mean vodka…vodka just doesn’t seem very Christian of me to say).

His attention span is not the only aspect of homework that stands in his way. I don’t get him at his best. I get him at his grumpiest… when he’s tired. His peak has come and gone by the time homework time comes around… it was from 11:00am-12:00pm… at recess and lunch time. My peak has come and gone too… it was from 8:40am-8:50am… yep, about 10 minutes then it is all downhill.

My son and I began to have conversations about our homework woes. He needs to change his perspective and attitude because homework isn’t going away. Here are the highlights of our conversations (I won’t burden you with the lowlights):
     Bring glory to God, even in your homework:
o   Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” ~Colossians 3:23
·        Homework prepares him for a career:
o   He is a professional student.
o   Just like Mom and Dad have jobs, his job is to be a 4th grader. Part of that job description is to do homework.
o   Next year his job will be to be a 5th grader…hopefully.
·        Homework develops character and skills that will serve him well:
o   Time management
o   Priorities
o   Problem solving
o   Independence
o   Planning
o   Organizing
·        Homework teaches life lessons:
o   There will be things in life that you don’t want to do…but you still have to do them.
o   You are in control and responsible for your education.
o   We are all life-long learners…for the successful person, learning never stops.

After our conversations and our decisions were made to change our perspective about homework, my son and I were talking about it with my husband…his Dad. Well, I guess all that we talked about and agreed upon didn’t stick too well because my son didn’t remember much of our conversation. I am just hoping he absorbed my words as they washed over him and they just became a part of him.

My responsibility in this was to get my priorities in check too. Realizing that I too am tired after a long day, homework needs to be in a more relaxed environment…for both of our sakes. I have to stop rushing him through homework so that I can move on the next thing. I have to stop being selfish with my time. Instead of me trying to get dinner ready and the dishes done while homework is trying to turn me into an alcoholic, I am going to sit close by and read a book so that I am available…not hovering. Reading will be my homework. This is beneficial in three ways: 1. It sets a good example 2. It encourages and reiterates habits of a life-long learner 3. I get some much needed down-time. The dishes will wait for me, unfortunately.

I’ve had to learn how to be a good Mommy…much of that through trial and error. I shouldn’t be surprised that I had to learn how to do homework too. Through the changes that I am willing to make I am showing my son that I am invested in his education, his success, and his future. I love my child enough to put down the dishes (and my shot of vodka…oh, I mean wine glass)… and pick up a new attitude, a book, and an investment. I am buying-in to his future one evening of homework at a time.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blurred Vision

At a young age I had to start wearing glasses. It was unfortunate for many reasons… mostly because it was the early 80’s and there were some funky eyeglass styles back then. I have the pictures to prove it… again, very unfortunate.
I was so blind without my glasses. I literally could only see clearly the first 6 inches in front of my face. The rest of the world was blurry. I can remember losing, misplacing really, my glasses and having to blindly search for them. Once I found them, it was such a relief because I could actually see again… my world came into focus.
There was a time during my junior high years (before I wore contacts) that I refused to wear my glasses because I thought I looked like a dork with them on. Hindsight… I probably looked more like a dork without my glasses running into things. I could never see where I was going. I just stumbled along through those days.
Slowly my vision changed and the way I handled my lack of vision changed too. I wore glasses (or refused to), then I went to contacts, and finally I got the Lasik procedure done… each step helping to give me better visual focus.
All these years later, my vision still gets blurry. Not my eyesight vision, but my perspective vision… the view of the world around me. Sometimes my world is blurry… sometimes I misplace my perspective… sometimes I blindly search for clarity… sometimes I stumble along on my journey… sometimes my priorities are out of focus.
It is in these “sometimes” that I am reminded that the solution is as easy as the days when all I had to do was remember where I left my glasses. I’d search and search until I found them… retracing my footsteps… reflecting on where I might have left them… figuring out the last time I saw them.
When I follow these same steps to find my perspective… I always lead myself back to the same spot… God. My vision is regained when I look up and refocus on God. He is my world, my perspective, my clarity, my guide, and my priority… He is my looking glass. When I look to God for focus, only then is my vision clear.
I had a “sometimes” moment recently...when my vision was blurred. I was overwhelmed with the obligations in life. I was focusing on those obligations rather than upward. I thought I had lost my perspective. Then, I found it in God… turns out I had only misplaced it.