Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Balance is in Motion

A friend asked me recently how my yoga practice was going.
I told her, "Slowly."
She asked me to explain.
Before I could self edit, I said, "I think I was searching so hard for Balance through my yoga, that I lost all my Peace."

I was so glad I had not edited because I didn't know that about myself. Ha.

That interaction set me back about 6 months. 
Then I was inspired by Glennon's "Sacred Scared" series over here.

I was not as familiar with Jen Hatmaker at the time (now I am!!) but was moved by her statement:

I love my family; my children are a gift and this time is short. I so want to be a good mom and good wife and good disciple and good leader, and balance is a lie and I can’t find it even if it is true, and it makes me so afraid.

IKR?!?!? The "balance is a lie" part I found especially free-ing.

So now I am most comfortable with the image of balance being in motion, perhaps swinging a short or long spectrum, depending on the day.

Balance would not be holding hands at equal heights, the good and bad equalling each other. 

The space in the closet matching the dirty laundry pile, the goods and services needs matching the funds in the bank account, the sacrifices matching the gifts in marriage, the mostly-brown bananas making great bread.

Balance would be moving, swinging, knowing the hard swings back to good and that movement is what we seek, what we grasp at, what we live.

I am grateful for that motion today.  

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Quotes Can Save Your Life Sometimes

After I became a parent, I started searching for quotes and advice to help get me through a discouraging night or an endless morning.

Eventually, I made some friends who were also parents and over the years we have continued to collect quotes and advice.

I used to print out quotes like these and cut them into strips for new mommies to pull out while nursing or rocking or pumping - a quick little ditty to encourage them through the tough moments...and maybe even squeeze in a laugh or two:

“Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” Lady Bird Johnson

It’s okay to not feel 100% excited about parenthood and all of its joys.

 “… worse than just about anything else is the agonizing issue of how on earth anyone can bring a child into this world knowing full well that he or she is eventually going to have to go through seventh and eight grades.” Operating Instructions, Anne Lamott, p. 10

“People search and search for the meaning of life until they hold a baby – then they know it.” Christina Talleda

Parenting is hard enough without an audience. Try not to judge.

“As you conduct your life, be serene and joyful, content and at peace. This will be your greatest legacy. Nothing nurtures a child like a parent who takes great pleasure from a simple activity and is content with the present moment.”
The Parents’ Tao Te Ching, William Martin

“Having a baby is like suddenly getting the world’s worst roommate: like having Janis Joplin with a bad hangover and PMS come to stay with you.” Anne Lamott

“… my personal belief is that thin smooth thighs do not necessarily speak of a rich inner life.”
Operating Instructions, Anne Lamott, p. 240

 “I’m learning to call people all the time and ask for help, which is about the hardest things I can think of doing. I’m always suggesting that other people do it, but it really is awful at first.” Operating Instructions Anne Lamott, p. 97

 “I watch Sam be a baby and crawl backwards, and it’s such an alien concept because it seems so natural to think that all the action is forward. Actually, backwards is just as rich as forward if you can appreciate the circle instead of the direction.” Operating Instructions Anne Lamott, p. 163-64

 “I’ve documented everything – each tooth, your first haircut, your first bath in the sink. Later when you claim neglect, I’ve proof of my side for your husband or your shrink.”  Tender Hooks, “Say Cheese” Beth Ann Fennelly

“Everything is temporary. This means that it's important to pay attention to the sweet moments because they are so very fleeting. It also means that you shouldn't get too focused on the hard stuff (middle of the night feedings, kids whose favorite word is "no") because by time you figure out how to handle them, they're onto some new challenge for you!”
– Jessica, mother of 2

“Everything happens for a reason. You may not understand or like the reason, but it is a reason. Be practical. Use the resources available to you: friends, family, co-workers, and enemies. Someone has been through what you are going through and they have survived. ”
– Beth, mother of 2

“Make a promise with your husband to forgive each other for what is said in the middle of the night.” – Erin, mother of 2

“Becoming a mother doesn't cancel out all the other things you are. Don't lose yourself in this new identity. Maintain your "me time," your marriage, your faith, and your friendships. You will need all four to survive motherhood.” – Beth, mother of 2

 “Believe that your husband can wash, change, and feed the baby with the same amount of love, precaution and tenderness as you. Let him do it. Everybody wins."

Be aware that sleep deprivation can affect your perspective on everything.

Remember that taking care of yourself is also a gift to your child, both in the present and for the future. Be the woman you'd want your daughter to be or the woman you'd want your son to marry.” – Marisa, mother of 2

Your children and spouse cannot read your mind.

"Be confident that your instincts about what is best for you and your babies is the right thing to do. While you always want to try to be a better parent, don't second guess yourself too much and do not compare yourself to other mothers. Parenting books have all have great ideas, and a million of them, but ultimately, but no one else knows your situation better than yourself, and you will be a better mother if you can do it confidently.” – Barbara, mother of 2

YOU are unique. Your CHILDREN are unique. Your problems are not.

So those are some of the helpful quotes.

We are in a new phase now and our play dates have changed, our worries and concerns have shifted. 

We mostly sleep through the night and only recently, wipe our own bums.

These are the new quotes that have been helpful to us:

Air and light are like spiritual antibiotics.
Anne Lamott

Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It is a covenant between equals.
Father Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart

Imaging God can be so different from wishful thinking.
Anne Lamott

The exchange zone [in relay races]is the transformation zone. It is where I show up, ready and willing, for the next baton – the next work of God in me and through me to the world SO THAT my transformation to Christlikeness continues.
Christine Caine

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
That sings the song without the words
And never stops at all.
Emily Dickinson

Let unconquerable gladness dwell.
Quote on FDR’s desk

We try to find a way, then, to hold our fingertips gently to the pulse of God. We watch as our hearts begin to beat as one with the One who delights in our being. Then what do we do? We exhale that same spirit of delight into the world and hope for poetry.
Father Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart

How many things have to happen to you before something occurs to you?
Robert Frost

I’ve done everything I can today for your church. But it is Your church, and I’m going to bed.
Pope John XXIII

We are not called to be successful, but faithful.
Mother Teresa

Here is what we seek: a compassion that we can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it.
Father Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart

All things are inventions of holiness – some more rascally than others.
Mary Oliver

Jesus was always too busy being faithful to worry about success. I’m not opposed to success; I just think we should accept it only if it is a by-product of our fidelity. If our primary concern is results, we will choose to work only with those who give us good ones.
Father Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart

Live your way into a new way of thinking.
Richard Rohr

Jesus doesn’t think the harder thing is the better thing. He just knows it’s the harder thing.
Father Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart

I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.
Rabindranath Tagore

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lesson My Impact #2

I love Burt's Bees products. ALL of them.
I also love fresh herbs.

I remain conflicted about buying small containers of products I love, and then chunking the containers to the trash.
So when it got cold outside, I transferred some parsley to my empty face scrub tubes and when it's time to water them, I can just flip the bottom cap open and let the extra water drip out. It's like it's MADE for this!

I am also loving Preserve Products which recycle Burt's Bees chapstick tubes!!!
Their web site says:
We accept clean Burt's Bees lip balm, tinted lip balm and lip shimmer tubes along with Burt's Bees Face Care airless pump packages and all plastic caps.

There is a receptacle in the lobby of Whole Foods here, or you can find a bin near you here.  Or, love the postal system, you can mail them in.


Henry Celebrates America

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

And There Is Love...

Brian bought a pop-up camper.
He drove to another state to buy it (on a school night!).

I've mentioned before, we are trying to be THAT family.

Here is our progress.

Our progress is standing our driveway and making a scene with the neighbors.  The camper is restored to its original avocado green, though.
I love avocados.

It has an air conditioner. Brian gutted the carpet and put in wood floors.  The he rebuilt the table and benches.  He re-did the electrical and put the fridge back in with a new wood covering. He made the stove look pretty (that's the technical term).

I am working on my attitude.
I will learn to camp.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I Need a More Inspiring Closet

Brian and I share a closet.
We are committed to not outgrowing the space.
But it seriously was too depressing in there so I pulled everything out.

There was old paint in the garage, so Corinne became Madame Helper.

She LOVED painting and has since tried to start new projects painting in there. Now the challenge is to direct her powers towards good and not evil.

Here is the final-ish product:

Oh, Svea.

Moving In...Finally.

Farm Night, Last Month

My Parking Space

Maddie D went and made me a place on the street!

The Latest From Svealand

She can see from the front...

....and the back.
Srsly, y'all.

Not that it matters, but this was on the way to church Sunday morning.