Friday, October 16, 2015

No Time

No time for a breakdown
Dinner would burn
And I'd have to scrub the pot

Not today
Or who would fold the laundry
and put it all away?

I'll try to schedule it next week
On Wednesday afternoon
When everyone is clean and fed

I don't even have
ten more minutes
to finish this thought


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Inspired

Lately inspirational quotes have been jumping out at me left and right. 
I am a believer in intuition and signs or omens, if you will, and that there are seasons where God and the universe are clearly trying to teach you something. 
These are the quotes that have rattled me awake within the last week. 
They all have themes of release, acceptance, love, and simplicity, but to be honest, I don't quite know the exact message I am supposed to be receiving. 
I do love getting hints, though :)





"Oh, the differences that often are between
everything we want and what we really need."
-Nichole Nordeman
Gratitude

"It's the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; 
only wise men are able to understand them."
-Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist

Did any of these speak to you, too?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Choose People

Congressman Pete Sessions,

Hello, Mr. Congressman. As your constituent, I wanted to address the issue of gun control. I have sent prior emails to you on this top since Newtown Massacre. But since then you and your colleagues have done nothing to prevent the repeat of that tragedy (or the 986 mass shootings that have occurred since [1]), I feel I needed to address it again.

I know that in Texas we like our guns. However, this is not an all or nothing situation, there IS a middle ground. Guns need to be safe and accessible to those who use them for hunting or protection. Strengthening the rules surrounding owning a gun will make it better for all - including those who own guns. In fact 74% of people who identify as an "NRA household" are in support of stricter background checks (2).

I am a firm believer in the right to bear arms, but let's keep in mind that the second amendment begins with, "A WELL REGULATED militia..." Regulations were, in fact, built in to the Founding Fathers' ideas regarding gun ownership. And a nation where more preschoolers are shot dead than police officers in the line of duty would not be one that was considered well regulated (3).

Often when these conversations arise, it is quickly shifted to the mental health of the person who committed the crime. Mental health is hugely important and access to quality care is in great need of improvement in our nation. However,only about 7.5% of crimes are committed by someone with a contributing mental illness (4).

One of the most concerning aspects of gun control to me is that research into gun violence has been completely de-funded since the mid 90's. The NRA effectively had congress ban the CDC and remove funding from research involving gun violence (5). We need to have empirical evidence on behaviors, patterns, etc. of these incidences so that we can keep guns out of the hands of those who intend harm. It is hard to imagine anything political about wanting more information on guns and gun behavior, considering 87 people die each day from gun violence (6).
I see that you are third most NRA funded congressman, congratulations (7).

Mr. Sessions, as your constituent, I am asking Congress to take productive steps towards decreasing gun violence deaths, especially those from mass shootings. Choose people over the NRA's money.

References
1. http://www.vox.com/a/mass-shootings-sandy-hook
2. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/04/24/5-facts-about-the-nra-and-guns-in-america/
3.http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/04/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-a-new-way-to-tackle-gun-deaths.html
4.http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/04/mental-illness-crime.aspx
5.http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2015/01/14/why-the-cdc-still-isnt-researching-gun-violence-despite-the-ban-being-lifted-two-years-ago/
http://www.businessinsider.com/cdc-nra-kills-gun-violence-research-2013-1
6. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/16/16547690-just-the-facts-gun-violence-in-america?lite
1.http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2012/12/18/5-House-members-who-have-received-most-nra-money/





Monday, October 5, 2015

Three Things


At MOPS this morning we were challenged to write down three things we would like our kids to say about us when we die, and then keep them on a note card as a reminder as we go about our daily life. Oh, well, that's hard and makes me want to cry and also, that is impossible to narrow down. There are so many things I still have to teach my kids, and so many things I am still learning myself.

It reminded me of one of my favorite Amy Grant songs from my childhood - Father's Eyes.

I may not be every mother's dream for her little girl, 
And my face may not grace the mind of everyone in the world.
But that's all right, as long as I can have one wish I pray:

When people look inside my life, I want to hear them say, 
She's got her father's eyes, Her father's eyes; 
Eyes that find the good in things, When good is not around; 
Eyes that find the source of help, When help just can't be found; 
Eyes full of compassion, Seeing every pain; 
Knowing what you're going through And feeling it the same.
Just like my father's eyes, My father's eyes, My father's eyes, Just like my father's eyes.



Here is what I would like my kids to say about me:

1. I showed them what it is to be human.
I want my kids to see that I mess up and get emotional and overreact and lose my cool, and they do see that. Often. I also hope they see me apologize and take deep breaths and try harder next time. Because I'm nowhere near perfect, and chances are they aren't going to be either. I hope they don't see a facade; I hope they see me, the real me. And when they make mistakes in life they aren't disheartened, because they will know that everyone does, even (especially) their Mama. I hope they will know that it's not your mistakes, but how you handle your mistakes that's the real test of character.

2. I am compassionate.
Empathy is my thing. There is very little armor between my heart and other people's pain. This can make life hard for me at times, especially with how readily available horrible news stories are. But I also feel like it is my gift to the world. Sometimes when I am so deeply upset about someone else's tragedy I feel like maybe I am carrying just a bit of their burden for them, lightening them just enough so they can remember to breathe in and breathe out. I want my kids to be caring and kind and see people who are hurting and in need of love. And that they will respond in any small way they can. It's just the most important we can do on this Earth - being kind to one another, and I hope I can be a good example of that to my children.

3. I love them.
I have never for one second in my entire life questioned if I am loved. My parents always made it abundantly clear that I am loved and delighted in by them and by God. As I became an adult, I realized how wonderful and rare of a gift that is. We come into this world so fragile and innately trusting, and not everyone had the parents I had. I hope my kids know in the deepest parts of their soul that I love them completely. With all the mistakes we are all going to make, and all the places I feel that I fall short as a mother, if they know this at the end of my life, my life will have been a success.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Gratitude

Gratitude

This family o' mine
A drink from the vine
Secrets with friends
Contact lens
Warm cupcake
View of a lake
Coffee, oh coffee
How do I love thee?
Feeling understood
A meal that's good
Cool breeze
Let out a sneeze
Ah-choo
Bless you
Sex, drugs, and rock and roll
Goodness, gracious, oh my soul
Flowers picked by my kids
Sippy cups with leak proof lids
Candlelight with my favorite guy
A crisp and blue October sky
Christmas trees lit up in the dark
Swings and slides at the park
Good hair days
Broadway plays
Mail in the box
Warm fuzzy socks
Sunshine on my skin
A home team win
Ins and outs, ups and down
Make this little life go round.




Friday, October 2, 2015

The Jar

It was almost time. She felt dread, and she had to actually feel it because her jar was almost full. She didn't want this to top it off. So she sat with her dread for a minute until she decided to just do it. Let's get this over with, she mumbled to herself and grabbed the large, opaque jar from its hiding spot in the dark recesses of her closet. It was so heavy she could barely lift it. She sat down with it in a corner of her bedroom. 
Here was everything she had put off over several years. Discomfort from a small tiff with her husband that had been avoided by looking at her phone. Jealousy that had arisen from subsequently seeing fabulous vacation photos on Facebook from the girl who had lived next door to her in college. Anger and frustration from that time(s) her toddler threw a fit in the Target aisle. Those feelings were forced aside by two new sweaters, a cute pair of boots and a cheap toy from the dollar section. Shame from remembering the hurtful words she had said about her friend's parenting skills, before she had even had children, of course. Shame that was deepened later when that friend was so gracious with her when she was a fragile new mother. Fear of several varieties: middle of the night "what does it all mean?", and the near miss of her kid almost running in the street, and that abnormal lab test that later turned out to be OK, and on and on. Some were ignored with a large glass of wine. Others with reality dating shows. But here it was now, a jar full of moments like these, where she felt she just couldn't deal. And she had to face them. She had heard what happens if you never empty your jar... It explodes. And those feelings are like shrapnel that hit every area of your life. That didn't sound pleasant, so she was going to do the responsible thing and empty her jar completely this afternoon. 
She took a deep breath and slowly unscrewed the lid. One by one they hit her. First it was just the uncomfortable ones, nothing too painful, but there were so many. So many moments that probably weren't that bad at the time, but piled up like this were becoming unbearable. But then came the anger and frustration. She felt white hot with indignation and rage. She had spent so much of her life trying to be nice and pleasant, not rocking the boat. No one had ever said it out loud, but women who showed their anger were rarely admired. So down it had been pushed with tight lipped smiles and polite words. But now that she was overcome with all that anger someone calling her a bitch didn't seem like the end of the world. In fact, she dared them to do it. Shame came next. Things she had said, things she had done and things she had thought. Hateful things, ugly and mean, about other people, but mostly about herself. She shut her eyes tight to try not to feel it. Shame overlapped with fear, of course. Fear that she was a bad friend, a terrible wife and an unfit mother. The fear then turned to all of those worst case scenarios she had ever let take root in her mind. Car crashes, accidental poisoning, divorce, death, loneliness, abandonment, the list went on and on. She found herself thinking there was nothing but horror in the world. What was the point, really?!? The apogee of the experience was hurt. The times she had felt lonely and isolated and ignored and dismissed. It pierced so acutely she almost couldn't breathe, tears were following abundantly down her face. She has reached the point where she wasn't sure she could stand it. All these feelings might actually kill her. She felt weak and hopeless. 
Of course this jar was only filled with things she hadn't wanted to feel, so there was no joy, no pleasure, no goodness at this time because that she hadn't pushed away. But what she didn't realize all this time is that the lack of these difficult emotions had dulled the pleasant ones just a bit. So at once she was flooded with the crisp edges of delight and joy and happiness. And this brought freedom and hope and an amazing strength. This strength enabled her to open her eyes, take several deep, cleansing breaths, stand up, pick up her jar (that was now as light as a feather) and smash it to pieces on the hardwood floor. She looked down at the shards of glass and how powerless the jar was now. She smiled walked away smiling.