Boys of PHB

Boys of PHB
Barefoot boys

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Questions of the heart

     I have learned a lot this year.  Looking forward to what I can learn next year.  What I still don't understand is why learning has to sometimes come at such a great cost.  I'm not talking about money cost, I'm talking about emotional and physical cost.  I'm talking about why sometimes we have to sacrifice a part of ourselves to learn what we need to and change what we need to.  I still don't understand the choices some people make that hurt others so deeply and the reasons why they seem to be happier when they hurt others as they do. 
     I guess in a lot of ways I see things simply and very black and white.  There's a right and a wrong, a good and a bad, a good and an evil, black and white.  There are not many grey areas in my mind.  I don't see things like that.  I simply see things as a right or a wrong.  That's not to say there aren't some deep, hard decisions to be made in life.  That's not to say there aren't some difficult things to do in life.  It's just there is usually a right thing and a wrong thing.  Sometimes it's two good things and it's hard, or sometimes two bad things and it's hard, but I rarely find I don't know what to do in a situation.
Now I've learned a lot this year.  I've had some good times this year.  Last year was hell, and this year was a lot better.  I'm so grateful for the things that went on this year.  However, this year is ending on a bad note.
     I have a real talent for making people mad and for others assuming I'm thinking and feeling one way when I'm not thinking or feeling that way at all.  Now I'm at the wrong end of someone else deciding what they've decided and I can't change their mind.  I have no way to talk with them and explain myself or what I think or feel about the situation.  I've once again had my hands tied, a brick wall placed in front of me and these people laughing at me saying to just get through it. 
     I don't like impossible situations.  I feel seriously that nothing is impossible, unless people make it impossible with stubbornness and willfulness. 
     I always say life is fair.  We've all been given the opportunity to live, laugh and love. We've all been allowed 24 hours in a day, a blue sky above us and air to breath.  The only thing that doesn't make things fair is people.  People with minds who are determined to believe what they are going to no matter what. People who are determined to control others and have no empathy or sympathy on how they feel.  People who go off of looks, not off of the heart. 
     I've run across a few people like this.  I won't say names.  They won't realize it's them I'm talking about because from their perspective everyone else is offensive and hurtful.  I'm the one who is hurting them and ruining their lives.  I've been told by people I love very much that I'm judgemental and horrible.  I've been told that I'm an awful person.  I've been told that I'm not worthy of them in my life.  I've been told that I am not worthy to be with my wonderful nieces and nephews.  I've been told a lot of things from people who should know me better and love me more than they seem to that I'm just not willing to believe about myself.
     What I believe is that if they gave me time to let them know what I mean they'd understand my heart.  They'd understand I'm not trying to hurt them, and they'd love me.  My heart aches for those I love and I so crave friendship and love from those around me.  My heart has so much in it to share and give.  I always think if they just knew me as I want them to, they'd love me and couldn't help but maybe like me also. 
      I know it's probably not true.  I can't make them love me, or even like me.  I want them to, and I'd love if they did.  I question their intent and wonder if they think they are teaching me a lesson, because all I am understanding with their estrangement and their actions is that they don't know me and don't love me as I love them.  Why not?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Adulthood

     When I was a kid I remember being so nervous about being an adult.  I remember wondering how I could ever hold an adult conversation and observing others and defining what made a conversation.  I sometimes am still not very good at conversations because I let myself just talk and sometimes even think out loud.  No one wants to know what's in my head so I should often keep it to myself.  I remember thinking adults were amazing because they knew how the world worked and could figure really hard problems out.  I thought it was really cool to be so confident and knowledgeable. 
     Then I turned 12.  I sat in the back of the primary room at church hoping they'd forget my birthday.  I didn't want to get big.  I wanted to stay little forever.  I liked being a kid.  I had no desire to know so much, grow so big, have answers to hard puzzles.  I didn't want to become an adult.  To this day I claim I'm 12.  Why get older.  I'm with Peter Pan.  I'm never going to grow up.
     The thing is, somehow along the way, even though I still make tons of mistakes I did grow up and gain wisdom.  I'm a lot smarter than I was at 12.  I'm still putting tons of things into conversations that probably shouldn't be there, but I have dear friends who have loved me along the way and have learned to laugh at the way I am, which is exactly what I hope for and expect.  I somehow am living in an adult world, solving adult problems.  I'm paying bills, holding down a job and raising kids (which has got to be one of the most amazing and challenging jobs of being an adult yet).  I have to see a bit into the future even and decided where each and every choice will take not only me, but my family as well.
     I can't believe sometimes that I'm here.  Where did the years go?  When did 12 year old Christine turn into 37 year old Christine?  I'm still me.  I still see the world through kid eyes a lot of the time.  I look up at the sky amazed at the color.  I look into people's eyes and am amazed that our bodies work like they do and that God built them like He did.  I look at a rose and think it's crazy that such a simple thing can make me pause.  I love wrestling with my kids.  It's one of my favorite things to do.  I love being a kid with them.  Sometimes I think that I never really grew up the 1st time anyway, I stayed a kid inside so I'd have the chance to grow up with my kids.  They are wonderfully amazing and I wouldn't want to miss this chance for anything.
     Then I look around me at the other adults.  I realize that even though we claim to be adults and have learned a lot over the years, non of us are really adults.  We still have tantrums, we still play mind games, we still get jealous over stupid things and take things to heart that others don't mean.  We act like children.  We get mad when someone touches our stuff, we stop talking to those who make us mad instead of talking things out and we expect everyone else to apologize when we ourselves feel justified in not doing so.  We are grown up kids.  Life is like the Lord of the Flies.  We are big kids let loose and hoping we know what we're doing.  Everyday we have choices to make, decisions that will influence those around us.  We look for friends and family who will justify how we feel and what we did and how we reacted.  We want to be acknowledged as being right all the time. 
     Is it just the times we live in?  Is it just the kids from the 70's and 80's all grown up deciding they will act like this?  Maybe it's just the 20's and 30's . . . .  the age.  I don't know.  Maybe this is one of those things where the answer won't come until I'm older.  I don't know.  I'm all for being a kid, but I've decided I can be a mature kid.  I've been telling my children there's a place and time for everything.  I've known that my whole life.  I'm going to be mature where I need to be and a child when it's time.  I can still be myself, I'm just going to remember there's a place and time for everything.  There are certain places children aren't allowed.  I'll have to keep that in mind.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Expected vs. Accepted

     There is something that I'm working on and what usually brings me trouble or makes me shocked when I find things out about those I love.  Why don't things I see on the news shock me?  Why don't I feel as bad about things I find out go on in the world?  It's not only because I'm not as close to those people, or because I don't love the world.  I've come to accept that the world is a certain way and I can't change everything.  I can only work on making my little corner of the world better.  I'm not capable of changing everyone or everything.  I'm only, trying to do my best.
     I have a problem with people expecting certain things out of me and then getting mad when I don't perform to their expectations.  I would rather everyone just accept that I'm doing my best and trying hard all the time to do better.  So why do I do the expectation thing to others?  That's just wrong.
     Some things have come out lately with several people I've known for years.  Some have been friends, some have been family.  These things have shocked me and made me re-think things I thought I knew and believed about people.  I am still a learning and growing person (hopefully mostly spiritually and mentally).  I started thinking that I do this to others when I really want just acceptance from them.
     I usually try to look inward towards my own actions before I complain about others.  I don't want to have the same problem that bugs me in others so if I find I'm just as bad with something I'll either say that I hate that I do it too, or be aware that I don't do that.  I don't like what I saw when I looked into the mental mirror and realized that I expect certain behaviors from those I know.
     I have decided to try harder to just accept people for the people that they are.  Oh, I'll still complain, I'm sure.  I'll for sure still speak my mind and insult everyone.  It seems to be my talent in life.  I've just decided to accept things from people as they are.  I'll be less shocked from the things they do and less disappointed.  I am wanting to follow the advise to love the sinner, just not the sin.  That's a balance I've had a hard time with.  How do you separate something people do from who they are when sometimes they are who they are because of what they do?
     I've realized it's as simple as accepting them for who they are and still sticking to my beliefs and standing strong so they know what I believe and that I won't stand by certain things or support it.  I can still support someone when they are going through a hard time.  I can still support their emotions without being apart of bad choices or behaviors.  I can still love their souls and their hearts.
     I am determined that I will start accepting people for who they are and what they can become rather than expecting them to be a certain way based on past behaviors or what I thought I knew about them.  Previous opinions can interfere with happiness in so many ways.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Judging

     So there are a lot of reasons I believe we shouldn't judge each other, but one reason has come out more and more the past few months.  My thinking this way more seriously lately started with my favorite author saying she likes to treat everyone she comes in contact with as if they are having the worst day of their life, cause they just might be.

     We never know what is in someones heart and mind.  We never know where they are coming from, or what kind of life or hard times have made them think the way they do.  We are here to help others and enjoy our time here, learn from our experiences and help others learn and grow and for all of us to become the best we can be. 
  
     When I feel judged or when someone says something mean or hurtful I usually usually hate it not only because I'm feeling judged, but also because they are usually just backing up every bad thought I've already had about myself.  So I am usually not wanting to say something mean and hurtful to someone because I'm concerned that I'll only be backing up some negative thought they've already had about them self.  It's hard to know if they haven't already not only had that thought, but wondered constantly if it was true or not.  Then the statement is said and there it is, their negative thought about themselves has just been solidified as a truth when it isn't necessarily true. 
    
     I've felt this way.  I've thought negative things about myself only to have someone say something later and I take it to heart thinking it must be true now.  I've really tried hard in the past few months to change my view of myself.  Now there is less negative to take to heart since my mind isn't focused that way anyway. 

     I do worry sometimes that my sarcasm will hurt feelings and I try to control it and make sure that everyone knows I'm joking and for certain refrain from saying things that could be taken to heart and could hurt.  I know I'm going to say things to offend, but I really am not a spiteful, hurtful person and don't like to be the cause of pain.

     I am a very opinionated and have strong views of what is right and wrong.  I'm certain I've said things that don't make everyone happy all of the time.  I'm a work in progress and hope everyone I know will accept that I'm working on it.  Though very opinionated I don't judge what others think as something that they shouldn't or something that makes them a bad person.  I'll argue and have fights over what I believe, but I don't want to hurt others by my actions.  I hope others can feel that through all of my opinions lies someone who loves people and believes we have a heart and it needs to be protected.  
     Therefore, I've taken to heart to try my best to treat everyone as if they are having the worst day of their lives, because they just might be,  That could explain a lot where some people are concerned.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Politically Offensive

     They all tell us to be politically correct all of the time.  Then they say you can't please everyone.  My question is, which is it?! 
     I've decided I've got to offend someone.  I'm going to offend some because I'm Christian.  I'm going to offend some because I'm Republican.  I'm bound to offend people of other nationalities because I'm a Caucasian and an American.  I'm going to offend people I meet just because I'm me.  I'm going to offend my kids because I'm a mean mom (this I hear more often than necessary).
     I've decided I'm not into politics, therefore I can never be politically correct.  It just isn't going to happen.  I will try not to hurt feelings, because everyone wants to be respected.  I want respect.  Where respect is due I'm there to give it.  This includes giving respect when I disagree with some one's viewpoint.  However, it doesn't mean I won't offend them with my differing opinion.  I plan on it.  I will stand for what I believe, raise my children the way I see fit and enjoy every moment of making people squirm and become upset because I said something totally wrong in their viewpoint. 
     Sometimes I'll explain myself, and sometimes I won't.  Most people don't want to know why you've offended them, they just want an apology and for you to admit you were totally wrong in the way you see things and to finally see it their way.  That's when the nod comes into play.  It's a way of agreeing to disagree when no more words are needed.  I use it when I know they are never going to believe or like what I say because they've decided there is nothing more to be learned by listening to some one's take on something.
      I realize that listening to an other's opinion is a good thing because it helps me expand my own.  I can grow and change with the best of them.  As opinionated as I am, I am in no way close minded.  Though I do admit to coming across that way and offending people because they have thought that about me.  There I go again. 
      I'm OK if someone speaks their mind.  I'm OK if they don't want to say prayer, because I expect they'll be OK if I do.  I'm OK if they don't like something that is important to me, because I expect them to be OK that it is important to me.  I don't mind a good argument because it can make for a great exchanging of ideas. 
     I do have a problem with things like the census.  I've noticed that all of the other Americans who were born and raised here are allowed to state their genealogy on there.  I still must state my skin color as being white.  I'm thinking that if everyone were to be politically correct we could start with me being able to either say I'm American, or to state European American.  I mean if a 6 or 7 generation black or Hispanic gets to state where their father's came from, shouldn't I get to? 
     I feel offended over several issues out there, but I don't go changing everyone else to fit my viewpoint because you simply can't please everyone.  It just isn't going to happen.  Someone will always be unhappy with something and we're an imperfect people trying to live together on the same planet. 
     We all need to chill out and agree to disagree listen with our ears and understanding rather than taking every word out of every one's mouth as a direct attack on us.  I'm not attacking, I'm just saying.
     (Just a side - I wasn't offended by the spell check telling me I'd spelled so much wrong even though I disagree.  It was just saying.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Leap of Faith

     I heard a saying once that went something to the effect of - If you have to take a leap of faith God will either catch you, or teach you how to fly.  I totally believe this.  I think the saying was worded a lot better, but the point is the same.

     I've jumped several times when I wasn't really sure what was going to happen when I landed.  A leap of faith is called that for a reason.  You jump and it takes a lot of faith to realize it could go either way, but you trust you'll do your best and hope it'll all end up being OK. 
     I took many leaps in the past few years, but the one that always sticks out the most is the one when I was having my first child.  I had the full time job with benefits and Aaron had just finished school and still couldn't find a job to do what he'd graduated for.  It was that same old loop of trying to find a job after graduating with no or little experience and all of the positions required experience.  The problem was he wasn't going to get the experience without getting the job.  Well, that's where we were when we were nearing having our first child.  I knew I didn't want to go back to work after having a child.  Being raised in a traditional home with my mom being a stay at home mom I knew I was hoping to do the same for my kids.  I just wasn't sure how to make that happen.
     I had Joseph.  15 hours of labor and 3 1/2 of that pushing he came into this world ready to overcome everything.  He's been amazing from day one.  We've gone head on even from then because we both have strong personalities, but he's been the most amazing experience and blessing.
     I was able to have a choice up to 4 months off after having him.  Aaron was able to get a job finally, though not for what he'd gone to college for, and he was happy with his job. Joseph was born in September, Aaron got his job in November and my work called me in January. 
     The phone call from my supervisor went along the lines of her asking if I was coming back on Monday and me hesitating.  I didn't know what to do.  How could I leave this helpless little guy?  Financially I didn't know if we'd be OK.  We had bills from the hospital, my medial insurance and peace of mind would fly with my solid job.  Aaron hadn't even had his job for 2 months yet.  I was terrified and unsure.  I remember taking a deep breath, holding it, saying a quick prayer and responding I wouldn't be back on Monday and wouldn't be coming back at all.  She was not happy and was not hoping that was how it would play out, but I wasn't going to take it back.  I didn't know how things could work out, but they'd have to now
     I'm a planner.  I like to plan things out as much as possible, for as far into the future as I can.  I have learned to "plan variables."  Children are an uncertain thing.  You can have a planned life until you add someone else into the mix.  Children are something you can't be sure of one day to the next. Sometimes you take one day at a time.
     I'm happy to say now that I'm more than grateful it played out how it did.  Joseph came right on time to make it play out the way it was supposed to.  I realized looking back that if it hadn't played out like it did then we would've had a harder time had it played out differently.  Amazing how some of our trying times can be some of our greatest blessings.  What would I have done without that lesson?! 
     We can learn to fly in our lives.  We can jump out into nothing and know there will be a way to overcome the moment.  It does only last a moment in the scheme of life.  I've learned a valuable lesson and so was willing to sacrifice and have 4 more of these boys.  It's not that kind of world we live in.  The world doesn't make room for many children, or having faith in much.  I couldn't have gotten through without it though.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Heroes

     I don't really have many heroes I really admire and want to emulate as far as famous people, or anything like that.  I don't put people on pillars because everyone is human and everyone has flaws.  However, I do very much  believe in heroes, princes and princesses.
     My son Jonas decided the other day to clean the whole house by himself.  It was one of those days that I just wasn't going to.  I sometimes just sit down and don't clean like I usually do because it's so discouraging to clean and have it look like you haven't cleaned in years by the next hour (if it takes that long).  So I was stunned to find him buzzing through the house and doing so many chores - all without being asked that I couldn't help but praise him over and over. 
     That is when someone is a hero.  Anyone can do amazing things.  Amazing things aren't always changing the world, and being a hero doesn't always mean you're being a hero to everyone.  Sometimes it's making a huge difference to that one person whose world you change.  Sometimes it's doing such a simple thing like cleaning when mom seems so exhausted that she isn't able to that makes the big changes.  Jonas doing that made a world of difference to me.  I knew for a moment I was noticed and cared for.  He doesn't do it all the time, but because he was that awesome I was able to get dinner done that night.  The next day I heard him tell his brother he now knew what mom feels like when she cleans the whole house. 
     I may never be a hero to anyone, but I'm grateful I have heroes in my life that set a good example to me and my family.  I'm grateful that my kids are my heroes.  They keep me going and give me a reason to not give up when I feel overwhelmed and am not sure I can go on.  Aaron is my hero when I've had a nightmare and he's woken up in the middle of the night to hold me.  He's taken time out of his day and his to-do list to do the things I want or feel I need done.   That's a hero.  Someone who does something and most of the time doesn't even know they are doing something amazing.
     I have friends I look up to, but not because I think they're better than anyone else.  I look up to them and think they are amazing because I've watched them go through a hard time and they've come through on top.  Sometimes they have a harder time and that's when I hope I can be there for them.  I'm so thankful that my life is filled with people who have learned to overcome and become better because of their trials.
     As far as the prince and princess goes.  Aren't we all?  I tell my boys all the time they are son's of a King.  They are son's of a most High God. They are my princes.  They therefore need to act accordingly and treat everyone else like they are a prince or princess as well.   Especially the girls.  I'm so surprised I have such amazing children. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fear of Failure or Success?

     One thing I remember my dad telling me is that people often don't move forward with what they want to do, not because of the fear to fail, but of the fear they'll succeed.  I agree with this to some degree.  With success comes much responsibilities and changes.

     I've had a problem that's been going on for 3 years now.  The burden of this is completely on my shoulders and no one else.  I've been told by numerous people what I need to do, what I should do, and what I haven't done right.  I've actually tried to solve this problem several times, but it's one of those things that gets thrown back in my face just when I feel I've come to terms with things again. 

     In relationships there are at least 2 people involved.  Usually only 2 because no one else is really apart of your individual relationship with anyone else.  With relationships taking 2 people, then fights also take 2 people, which goes to say that fixing the problem or resolving problems in a relationship also require 2 people.  If one person is putting forth all of the effort in the relationship and only one person has decided things need to move a different direction to make the relationship better and only one person has decided to work for that goal, it won't work.  It takes both of those people to make changes or to better the relationship, a partnership to better the circumstance.

     I've been told several times by various sources that I'm needing to change somethings in what used to be a relationship I had with someone.  What no one knows except me and this someone is that I've tried on several different occasions.  I may have gone about it the wrong way, and I'm sure I've done a lot wrong, but I know I've tried.  It's been thrown back at me all the times I've tried.  On a last attempt I tried again a year and a half ago.  This person told me in no uncertain terms I was to stay away from them and out of their life.

     Now, I had a decision to make.  I could have kept trying and kept having them upset with me.  I had that choice.  I had thought about it.  I also had the choice to follow their direction.  I'm normally a more forceful person.  I'm sure that's one of the things I did wrong in the last conversation, among many other things.  I was determined the mess should be handled and we should fix the gap that had been separating us.  This person disagreed, very obviously.  So with these 2 choices in my hand I decided I was causing myself too much pain and heartache by trying to make someone want a relationship when they so obviously didn't.  I took what they said to heart and stayed away.

     I guess it goes back to that saying - You can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.  I feel I've tried.  It's been put back in front of me recently and I've been told I'm the one dragging this on.  I took myself out of the equation and was just starting to find some peace when a new puzzle piece was added.  I am certain I can still do nothing to change this person's mind, therefore am still not going to make an effort at this time.
     Due to this decision I've been told I'm judgemental and I am dragging this out and holding a grudge.  I really don't feel that in my heart, but who's to know what's in someones heart unless they ask.  I have resolved myself to let others believe and act as they will.  I'm at peace with that.  I have been blamed recently also for some other peoples actions and I'm at peace with this too.  I know fully I am only responsible for my own actions and my own thoughts and what I do with it all.  I'm in no way perfect.  I'll never be able to control others or be responsible for their actions, reactions, choices,or decisions.  I'm sad I have people who should know me well deciding they know what's in my heart and being so far from the truth.  However, I'm fully aware I can't change their minds.
    
     With a brick wall in front of me and my hands firmly secured behind my back everyone was looking at me like they couldn't understand why I hadn't scaled the wall and overcome my binding.  I felt it an impossible task so therefore saw a path leading another way and decided to take that path.  It wasn't an easy decision.  It was quite difficult.  I'd gladly go back if I felt there was a chance of success.  And yet........
    This is where the fear of success comes to play.  How could I ever trust that my heart wouldn't be ripped out again?  How could I ever trust if we were able to mend the relationship that they wouldn't turn on me in a heartbeat again?  How could I trust I'd even have a chance to change their minds when for three years they've kept their affirmation to keep away too?  I don't know if I could.  Fear of failure with trying again has been a constant companion for years.  It's only just now I've realized I also have a fear of success.  What if.........

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mine

     I realized something not too long ago.  Something is not truly yours until you've worked for it, cared for it, and in essence made it yours.  My boys I call mine, but in truth I'm making them mine.  They weren't mine because I gave birth to them, they weren't mine because I paid the hospital and they weren't mine because I wake up every morning and send them off to school.
     My boys are mine the same way my house or my car is mine.  Sacrificing and hard work are making them mine.  I could sit down all the time and do nothing in teaching them right from wrong, do nothing in helping with their education and leaving it to the teachers who my tax dollars are paying, or I can spend the time and energy to help them grow, learn and become the amazing men I know they can be.  I can let me house go down hill and never work on it.  It's an older house and requires more work than I sometimes want to give, but if I did that then it wouldn't really be mine.  It's the sacrifice and hard work that makes something mine or someone else. 
     They boys can't understand for their life why I want a clean house.  They can't understand why I want them to take care of their things.  This is why.  I have been telling them lately that if they don't care about it they sure are showing me well.
     Family, friend, husbands, wives - all require work.  They aren't our family until we've worked on those relationships.  These aren't my kids until I've put in the hours and effort required to make them mine over the years.  That's why marriage and adoption can work.  As in "you love those you serve," it is the same with this.  My marriage wouldn't be mine if I weren't willing to do what it takes to call it mine.  I know this is something that most people pick up along the way long before they're as old as I am.  I knew this the whole time.  Maybe I just didnt' appreciate it like I do now.  So much more is at stake than when I was younger.  I could lose so much more now if I'm not willing to keep working on things than when I was a child.  However, due to now noticing this years earlier I've missed a lot I should have worked for. 
     Here on out the priorities are stronger and more reachable.  I'm more determined than ever that I'll be worthy at the end to call my family mine and they won't need ask why.

Perception

     My dad used to say there are three kinds of truth - truth as you see it, truth in advance, and truth as it is.  Truth in advance is when you are writing the check for the bill collector who is on the phone and telling him you just mailed it.  It's true that the payment is basically in the mail.  Truth as it is would dictate that you are going to mail it out as soon as you get out again and off the phone with the bill collector.  Truth as it is would be hard to discern.  The reason is because truth as you see it gets in the way so much.  If there is a car accident in an intersection and four different people are standing in four different places then they will all have a different perception of what happened.  Especially different in that accident would be the perspective of the two or more drivers in the accident themselves.  It's all true that there was an accident, but the people in the cars are not going to want to say they are at fault because they knew what they were doing at the time.  The people on the corners watching the collision could say different things depending on where they stood. 
     When my boys get into a fight I know they both see it as unfair.  Both boys (or even several of them sometimes) see it as the other person's fault.  They see themselves as the victim and that they have been unfairly dealt by their brother.  I agree.  Both are usually being unfair.  However, it takes a listening ear and an outside perspective to hear both sides to let both of them know how they are each being unreasonable.  The fight in either perspective is truth as they see it.  Be it that their brother took a toy from them and they "had it first", or whatever else.  They are viewing it from their perspective and therefore it's truth as they see it. 
     We all have issues with the truth in our heads vs. the truth as it is.  I have what I've found to be a unique view point when it comes to some things.  I'm able to take myself out of the situation and see it from all angles.  Even with this, sometimes it's hard to use it when the truth as I see it comes out in droves.  I have some situations that I would like to resolve or fix, but am unable at this point to take myself out of it all and see truth as it is.  It's especially hard when the truth as it is is skewed so much by every one's truth as they see it. 
     I'm very happy with life.  I've found peace in many aspects and situations.  I've been through some hard things and found myself on top at the end.  I want to be a better person and try for the real truth and not just the truth that is in my own mind.  If I can remember it's always about the other people I'm around and how they feel, it'll be better.  One step at a time.  One lesson at a time.  I'm grateful for a Dad who always told me that I'll never make all the mistakes I'll have to make in this life to learn all the things I'll need to know.  He taught me to learn from other's mistakes and build my knowledge on that as well as my own mistakes.  I'm hoping to remember to look at the truth as it is and learn my lessons of truth rather than the truth of my mind.  They are much better lessons and much more deeply rooted that way.  Now, on to teaching the kids what I've learned.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

video
15 years of marriage summed up in just over 3 minutes. 
Thank you, Aaron.   

Unexpected

     I never dreamed I'd have the life I live.  I never knew I'd find a man who would love me for who I am, faults and all.  I never knew the All Knowing Lord would send me 5 amazing boys who would teach me far more than I'll ever teach them. I never could have thought up all the blessing that are constantly thrown my way.  I'm constantly amazed that I've been this blessed and that I have so many people surrounding me that help me be reminded every day how watchful my Heavenly Father is of me and all of us.
     I am an undeserving person.  I have the most amazing husband who just celebrated 15 years of marriage with me and we're working on a 16th year.  I can't believe that I look at him and think that he picked me out of all the rest.  I'm astounded that he would stick with me through all of the things we've gone through.  It hasn't all been easy, but loving him and the boys has been.  He is an easy man to love and a patient and giving soul.  I don't like to think about where I'd be without him.
    My boys keep me on my toes and make me have to run like crazy getting everything done, but I wouldn't trade my crazy everyday life for anything in the world.  My boys are making me learn and grow in ways I would never have thought I could.  I've been pushed over my limits so many times and really believed at the moment that I'd not be able to do it or get through it.  Then I find at the end of the moment that it was all worth it and I came through unscathed and even better for the journey and trial.  I know it sounds emotional and mushy, but I say it all with a smile on my face and thoughts of excitement when thinking about how much they've helped me grow. 
    With that in mind I've learned something my parents tried to instill in me all my growing up years.  When you think you can't, you're right.  There are NO limits.  The sky isn't the limit, there are no limits.  You CAN do whatever you want, dream or are determined enough to make happen.  I've built bridges across those chasms I was sure I'd never cross.  I've built ships to sail across oceans full of storms and was sure I'd drown at the time.  I've build hot air balloons that have helped me float above the stress of the moment and helped me get to the other side of the issue.  I look down and realize I'm still here in the calm of the storm and I'm not destroyed.  I'm alive, well and stronger because I had boys to teach me things I couldn't have learned otherwise. 
     I love telling people I'm the mother of 5 boys.  I get the most amazing responses.  I love when people tell me they knew someone with 8 boys.  There are the ones who look at me like that's the most amazing thing.  The comment that I've only heard twice, but makes me think the most is "there is a special place in heaven for people like you."  Why?  I'm not doing anything special.  I'm just here.  I'm just a mom like so many others.  The difference is I'm selfishly using my children to better myself and glean what I can from them before they fly away to have their own families. 
     Having 5 boys isn't a trial, it's a blessing that can't be described.  My crazy run, run every day life keeps me busy.  I hope I'm always this busy.  Life goes by fast, but I don't think I'd be a good person if I wasn't constantly learning and doing something.
     On the other hand, the unexpected moments of peace and calm, when the boys are listening to me read, or one climbs up for a snuggle (very rare indeed), are the most pleasant times.  Deep breaths in and a sweet boy to hold for a bit.  My life has been an unexpected miracle and I'm grateful for the crazy times as well as the unexpected joyous moments of peace that will always be a treasure.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nicole and Mr. Nash

     When I was in kindergarten I had a teacher who simply didn't like me.  She was an older woman and would hit, pinch, and humiliate me as often as possible.  In this class was a fellow student who noticed what was going on.  Nicole.  I wish now I knew her last name and could find her.  Somewhere out there is a woman who saved me as a girl.  She noticed how the teacher treated me and defended me when the boys laughed after the teacher slammed my head down on the desk.  I had trouble counting to 100, but was told by the teacher that I wouldn't be able to move onto 1st grade unless I got this down.  She had a large abacus and made me stand in front of the class and count the beads to 100.  Nicole knew I had trouble with moving from the 9 in a number to the next set.  She mouthed the words to me from sitting on the floor with the other students watching me.  The teacher put so much pressure that I'd sometimes mess up on the numbers I already knew.  In front of the whole class I stood there and pretended to think while my friend mouthed the numbers to me to help me pass.  Cheating?  Possibly.  I still see it as a young girl saving my heart and spirit when I felt so scared, nervous and humiliated in front of everyone.  Today she still has dear part in my heart and soul whom I wish I could find and thank.  She'll never know what she did for me.  She got me through kindergarten, which looking back is still the worst year of my schooling.
     Years later in high school there was a rule that if we didn't run the mile in a certain amount of time then we wouldn't graduate.  I could pass all of my classes, but running the mile was something my body just couldn't do.  I tried and tried.  I would get about 1/4th done and end up in an asthma attack.  I love to run.  I simply can't do it.  My lungs close up and I struggle to breath.  They put me with a special teacher named Mr. Nash.  He was to make me pass the mile so I could graduate one day.  The problem was always the time limit.  So on our last day in that class he said he'd give me and a friend - who also struggled with asthma and was the same pace as I was - the rest of the period to get the mile done.   We'd run some and we'd walk some.  At the end we heard the bell and were almost in tears as we got done with our 3rd lap, knowing we didn't finish and that we couldn't walk another if we tried.  We were both wheezing and strained.  We stood there in front of him waiting for him to tell us we'd failed.  He said instead that we'd passed.  We looked at him as best we could, stunned, while doubling over to catch our breath.  We couldn't believe it. My friend still couldn't speak so I protested saying, "but we didn't finish!".  He looked at me and said, "What did I tell you when you started?"  I responded, "you told us to do our best."  He asked if we did.  We looked at each other, then at him and said seriously, "yes."  He looked at us just as seriously and said, "that's all I asked, you pass." 
     I may have not been the best at everything.  I did learn how to count to 100 when I got into 1st grade and didn't have the pressure on me.  I still can't run very far without my lungs closing in on me, but I love to run short little distances.  A few paces now and then.  I will always remember the kindness that these two people showed.  There are many people in my life who have changed me and my life by a simple word or gesture they probably didn't think about ever again.  Great changes and amazing things happen sometimes when someone just does something simple.  I will always love the story of Rosa Parks because she was just too tired to move.  Look how much came about just because she'd worked hard that day.  It was such a simple thing that made a world of difference.  I have been blessed to be surrounded by people who make a difference.
     I have 5 boys and a husband now who daily make a difference in my life.  They are my family.  My extended family I'm not so close to.  I wish I was.  They have likewise influenced me in more ways than they know.  My boys teach me something daily.  I'm not in college like a lot of my friends at this time.  I'm learning different lessons and expanding the love in my heart.  I'm constantly learning about how far a love can stretch and how much people can learn.  I'm a believer in change and 2nd chances ( even 70th chances for I've been given that too).  When thinking about what I want to be and who I want to become I just want to be someone who has helped someone in some small way.  Maybe they won't even remember, but I'd like to know I made a difference to someone.  I'd like to be a Nicole or a Mr. Nash.  The world has too few.  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Time For Everything

     There comes a time in most of our lives when we take a moment to re-evaluate what we believe, who we are and where we are going.  I'm going through something like that right now.  I'm 37 years old and entering a different time in my life.  For years I've had "babies" in the baby stage with the diapers, crawling, or learning to walk and talk.  I've been in the younger child state of my mothering career. I've been where at the end of the day I can't believe a full day went by once again and I've seemingly accomplished nothing.  I've had few showers in these past few years.  Sometimes only accomplishing one shower a week, sometimes less.  I've been so busy with go, and run when the kids make a sound demanding my attention again that I'm a little lost at this change in my young family. 
     When I went on my mission (short as it was) I found myself trying to become something I thought I needed to be to serve as I thought the Lord wanted me to.  When I got married I realized I'd never thought anyone would ever want to marry me really and went into a little bit of shock to realized that not only was I loved, but I'd somehow managed to snag a pretty amazing man.  (I'm still a little shocked over that one).  When I had my 1st child I wondered who I really was and who I wanted to be as a mom.  What did I want to pass onto the next generation and was I up to the task?  Well, I've learned a lot over the years, gained a lot of experience and I'm not done yet.  I've had a friend tell me this may be a mid-life crisis, but I think it's just another turning point in my life where I can learn and grow.  It's just another change too and I'm not good with change, though that is another thing I'm learning to appreciate.
     Now I find myself at the threshold of being out of the baby stage and the realization that in 3 short years I'll have all of my kids in  school.  I already have them all talking and my youngest, little Jeremy thinks he's the boss in the home and gets quite put out when he realizes he's not.  He's been potty trained for a few months now and my oldest started Jr. High. 
     I have wanted to start exercising for years.  This baby belly just isn't going away on its own and needs to be helped to exit my life.  I found that I was wanting to still walk my son to school even though he'll be 13 years old next month and not having to cross any streets and only walking a short way.  I'll miss the young man.  So I found something I didn't expect.  They have a track up there.  I walk him up, say good by and start walking a mile on the track.  It's an amazing feeling to walk at any speed I want without someone stopping me,  telling me to wait up, or calling my name because they need something.  I don't take any music yet, just me and my ambition.
     I'm sure my pioneer ancestors are embarrassed to say I'm related when one mile of speed walking is making me long to go back to bed, but I'm hoping I'll get stronger over time.  My body seems to think I've been in a coma for years and not running after young children, wrestling with boys, doing house work, and anything else the past years have consisted of.  I just now find myself with a few minutes here and there where I have a choice that doesn't consist of someone else telling me what needs to be done.  I feel selfish in some ways.  I'm wondering if I should be doing something so time consuming.  But my 2nd son will be watching the younger kids until I get back and the times work well for now that I can, so selfish or not I'm taking this opportunity. 
     I still don't know what the future will hold.  I'm still very overwhelmed at times, but now instead of feeling like I'm sinking or barely treading water, I feel like I'm floating and enjoying the bobbing of the waves around me.  It's an amazing feeling to feel like I'm going to be OK.  There's been some huge struggles lately and I'm still working through some of them, but now I know that I'll make it with my sanity (what's left of it) in tact for the most part.  I couldn't have gotten this far with plenty of examples and help, but I'm here.  I'm learning what that means, and enjoying the journey instead of being scared out of my wits.  This will be a fun adventure. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New To This

     I've never done anything like this before.  I was encouraged to write a blog by several friends and though not usually one to succum to peer pressure, I figured I would.  I'd been thinking about doing this for some time and just decided, with the encouragement of friends that I'd finally dive in.  I love to write and haven't taken the time to do so for years, literally.  I've been so busy with raising a family that the time has cruzed by without me hardly knowing how it has happened.  I find myself so busy with the family and constantly going that weeks have gone by without me knowing how it happened.  I find that friends don't get called, chores don't get done and projects remain unfinished.  Yet my little men are strong and healthy and way too independant and self assured for me to feel I've missed something. 
     I can't imagine how others seem to get so much done with more kids than I have.  I don't know how, and it doesn't really matter.  I do what I can, how I can and find it's enough for my husband and children.  If I let anyone else down I'm always sad, yet I know I've been there for the most important people in my life.  They are the ones who ignore my bad habbits, love me in spite of how I am and sometimes don't realize I'm even in the room, but I know they love me and are dependant on me staying the course.  When I feel like there's no point in the struggle then I look into those beautiful eyes and remember why I'm doing this, the course I set is important and the ultimate goal must be reached at all cost and any sacrifice.
     I don't know how often I'll get to this, I don't know if it will be something I'll like to do, but writing has always been a release for me and I'm hoping to find that release in this blog.  Hopefully, I'll reach some wonderful friends and family along the way and they'll know how much I think of them and love them all as I run this chaotic race.