Mirror Mirror…

I have a confession to make…I do not own a full length mirror. *GASP*

 

I have not owned one for many years.  I had one and it broke one day and either I kept forgetting to buy a new one or I was being cheap and didn’t want to spend the money to replace it.

 

But then there came a point when I no longer wanted to replace it.  When I had a full length mirror that meant that every morning I could see all of my body and all of the clothes I was wearing.  That’s a good thing right?

Or is it?  You see, not only could I see my whole self,  I could evaluate my whole self.

 

Did these pants make me look too wide?

Did this shirt make me look “fluffy?”

Do I need to lose weight?

Do I need to gain weight?

Should I work out more?

 

For me, this whole length mirror became the enemy.  Why?  Because we live in a society when we are constantly comparing ourselves to others or being compared to others around us.  We tend to look in the mirror and instead of seeing beauty we see our insecurities, imperfections and faults.

 

There was something freeing that happened when I decided not to replace that mirror.  My mornings weren’t spent over evaluating myself from every angle.  I found myself actually feeling better about myself and my body.  Sure I still had my moments of insecurities but I found myself starting to really love myself and my body for the first time in a long time.  To love this body that was covered with evidence of growing and feeding four amazing children, to love this body that would never look like a super model, and to love this body that was mine.

 

When we redid our bathroom last year we put in a very large mirror.  Until that point we had two small mirrors in our house and I could see my top half, barely.  I love this huge mirror but I started to notice myself over evaluating myself again, comparing myself to others again.  I had to take a step back and remember that I am a masterpiece just the way I am.

 

I don’t say this to sound snobby.  The fact that I feel I need to clarify that I am not “full of myself” for saying that I am a masterpiece may be a part of what is wrong with our society we live in.  Woman(and men) are made to feel that if they are confident in themselves than there is something wrong with them, but at the same time if we put ourselves down we are told we need to gain confidence.

We live in a world that is obsessed with the outside when we should really be obsessed with whats on the inside.  Obsessed with the beauty a mirror can’t show you.  Beauty that can be seen through actions, kindness, love and acceptance.

 

You, yes YOU, are beautiful.  Step away from that mirror and go shine for all the world to see. 

 

 

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The day I yelled at God

(I’m about to get real because I feel like showing your bad moments are as important as showing your good moments)

 

 

Yesterday I yelled at God.

You see yesterday was Monday and that meant that my two oldest would be going to school and my four year old would be going to preschool for a few hours in the afternoon while my youngest son took his nap.  That meant that I would have at least an hour of silence and stillness.

And yesterday I needed that more than anything.  You see it had been a crazy two weeks.  Filled with surgeries and important appointments.

An appointment that I had been waiting 6 months for, an appointment where I was hoping to get some help and tips on how to help my son.  But that didn’t happen.  Instead I left with the words “you son shows a lot of symptoms that make me think he may fall on the Autism Spectrum.” and”there’s a very slight chance your son is having slight seizures in his brain.”  I also left with an appointment 7 months away that will confirm whether he has autism or not and another one to make sure he’s not having seizures.

 

More waiting, no services can start until they know for sure what is going on.  No help with my every day craziness of trying to figure out how to calm a meltdown and how to stop my child from hitting uncontrollably….just more waiting.

 

I was tired and emotionally drained and I couldn’t wait until that small time of silence and stillness I would get Monday afternoon…and then around 3:45 Monday morning my four year old woke up with a stomach bug.

 

That stomach bug meant the little tiny piece of stillness and silence would probably not come and at this point I was barely hanging on.

 

Up again at 5:45 with a sick child and then we are up for the day.  My two year old has a cold and is extra fussy and I walk upstairs to get dressed and……….

 

I yelled at God.

“Are you trying to break me??!!! I can’t do this, I can’t make it through this day!  I can’t do this, I don’t know what to do!!”

 

And I break down and cry because I can’t keep it in any more.  After a weekend of barely talking because I felt like any word that left my mouth would turn into tears.

 

I felt like for the first time I had gotten real with God,  because before I thought I was strong enough, before I thought I was fine and before I thought I didn’t need to admit how weak I could be.

I didn’t want to admit to anyone but in the moment I threw it up to God.  Because I didn’t know what else to do.

 

And through an offer of a ride to school for my older kids and a meal cooked for dinner so I didn’t have to worry about it, that day got a little easier…

 

Both of my children actually fell asleep at the same time and I still got my small time of silence and stillness and it was amazing…

 

And today instead of yelling at Him, I am thanking Him and asking for strength and help….It’s still not easy but I am am pushing through.

 

 

“I’m Fine”

You may ask how I am doing and most likely I will say, “I’m Fine.”

But……

 

Sometimes behind an “I’m Fine” is an “I’m trying my best to be ok.”

 

Sometimes behind an “I’m strong” is an “I’m trying my best not to be weak.

 

Sometimes behind an “I’ve got it all together” is an “I’m trying my best to not let it all fall apart.”

 

Sometimes behind a smile is a frown after a hard morning or a hard day.

 

Sometimes I’m not ready to admit that I’m not fine and that I’m not strong and that I don’t have it all together…..

 

But in my weakness HE is strong…

 

Life can be hard and sometimes all I can say is “I’m fine” because trying to put the truth into words can seem impossible.

 

 

I can do all this through HIM who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:13

 

 

 

 

sometimes you have to say “no”

I would love to be able to say yes to everything.  Every time someone asked me to go somewhere, every party invite and every social event.

But it’s just not realistic.

At first I felt awful, but then I realized that my family has to come first.

I can’t go to your party because my son has SPD and would go off the wall.

I can’t go to your social gathering because even though my husband is amazing, right now its hard to have all four without help until we figure out what works the best.

I can’t go on Sunday morning, because in our family that is church day and we go as a family.

It’s almost never because I don’t want to go.

But I just can’t.  Every day is crazy and I need to put my family and myself first so that we don’t fall apart.

One day I will be able to answer “yes” a lot more but for now its better to just say “no.”

 

Parenting is hard!

Why is it so hard for us to admit how difficult parenting and/or life in general can be.

At least for me it is.

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that things are so different than what we may have imagined them to be.

I could never imagine my oldest being diagnosed with celiac disease and spending my days making sure no trace of gluten enters her little body.

I could never imagine the worry that would come with my oldest son having heart issues while I was pregnant with him.

I could never imagine my third child having special needs.  Imagine him unable to control his body, unable to even look at certain foods, and unable to do things exactly like other kids his age do.

I could never imagine parenting would be like this.  I imagined fun filled days of baking and crafts but that’s not always how it is and sometimes it is so hard!

But at the same time, through every struggle, through every hard day, through every difficult situation my kids are showing me the world from a different point of view.

Yes it is so hard sometimes but I know that in the end I will be a stronger and better person because of it.

You are doing a great job

My mom got me this mug a few months ago.  It was a gift of thanks for planning our big Disney vacation(one of my favorite things to do, i should really pursue a career in that ha!)

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Look at my sweet baby boy sneaking in my picture.

“You are doing a great job” is what the cup says.  And I must admit there are mornings when I go to grab this cup to make my coffee and I think I don’t deserve it.  I feel like its only 7 in the morning and I have already messed up the day.

Have you ever felt that way?

It’s easy to feel that you are far from greatness, especially if you are a mom.

This morning that cup caught my eye and I sat there wondering how many moms were sitting there, just like me, feeling that they aren’t doing a great job.

It’s so easy to knock ourselves down instead of picking ourselves up.  Its so easy to see the bad and ignore the good.  Its so easy to only look at our failures and not our successes.

But this morning I decided I needed to try and change that.

Maybe you woke up early this morning and you have already yelled at your kids because you are tired.

Maybe you forgot to do the dishes last night so you woke up to a overflowing sink.

Maybe the day just started off rough and you feel guilty about it.

But I guarantee your kids still think you are doing a great job.

They still love you despite all your shortcomings.

So take a deep breath, remember that no one is perfect and know that you are doing a GREAT job!

 

 

 

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Sometimes…

Sometimes I wish I could just take my son and the rest of my family to a special place…

A special place where he can act the best he knows how without judgement,

A special place where I can parent him the way I know is best for him without the looks of others,

A special place where he is not expected to act a certain way and not put down because he doesn’t act like other children,

A special place where he is allowed to express himself in the best way he knows how,

A special place where his meltdowns from being overwhelmed aren’t mistaken for tantrums,

A special place where he is accepted for who he is and not expected to be who he’s not,

A special place where he is surrounded with love and not annoyance and hurtfulness,

Yes sometimes I wish I could just take my son and the rest of my family to a special place…

Yet I know know place like this doesn’t exist….But I can make it exist starting with me.

I can make sure I am his special place, that are home is his special place.

It will never be perfect and we will all mess up but he will know he is loved for who he is.

We will be his special place and make him feel accepted and hope that we can show others how amazing someone can be even if they are different than you.

One of the biggest things I hope I teach my children and to show kindness to everyone even if they are different from you.