Leaves of Fire

I love fall. I love everything about it; I love the apple cider, pumpkin everything, the color of the leaves, the smell of the wind. It’s almost always the perfect temperature outside. Jeans and hoodies make a fashion comeback, what’s not to love?

It’s also the most abrupt change of seasons. One day, everything is green and lush, and the next all the trees have turned to beautiful colors of fire. Blink and you’ve missed your opportunity to hike through the nature trails to enjoy the colors. Even with winter, the cold temperatures ease into the eventual snow, and it eases out. I realize that doesn’t always hold true in the midwest, but that is typically the norm.

We all go through seasons; some are hard and unyielding like winter during the polar vortex. Some seasons bring a relief, a beckoning to return to the outside like spring does. Some seasons are full of busyness that overtakes us like those summer vacation months. Then there are the seasons that see you preparing for something, trying to savor the last bits of something you’re not sure of, like fall.

Continue reading “Leaves of Fire”

Mirror, mirror……You got me.

I don’t know about you, but I have an interesting relationship with mirrors.  There are some days when we are best friends and those, of course, are the days when it tells me how thin, beautiful, kind and level-headed I am.  There are other days when all I want to do is hurt it.  I imagine doing something like throwing my hand into it or putting a sheet over it.

I’m realizing, lately, that the problem I have isn’t really with a reflective inanimate object.  To be honest, I would have preferred that problem to the one I actually have: the problem with myself.   I’m getting deep here – metaphorical and real mirrors, people.  Am I alone in this?

The worse my attitude is the less appealing my body appears to me.  It’s not something I ever thought to put together.  There are days when I wake up well rested-ish (I was going to say well rested, but that doesn’t really happen to parents), I have my coffee in hand and it’s drunk while still hot, my face is good and clear, my kids aren’t fighting and I get to work on time.  On those days, it’s a pretty good bet I’m going to feel and act great for most of the day.   Now, if my coffee spills, or my kids are stressing me out, or work has gotten away from me,  my attitude shifts and BAM; there goes everyone’s day.

It gets worse if my good fitting pants are in the wash and the only shirts I have left are loose and/or ratty. Those are the moments that I know the world is ending. Continue reading “Mirror, mirror……You got me.”

You might be a parent if…..

1.   Someone asks you if you know the name to that song, but all of your guesses involve Daniel Tiger or the ABCs.  Remember when you used to know the title of every song and artist on the radio?  Luckily you still know those songs.  Unluckily, they are no longer in vogue.  I get a lot of, “Who is that?  Never heard of them.”  The only new songs you know are sung by children and/or animals.  Fake animals.  You aren’t that far removed.  I hope. Continue reading “You might be a parent if…..”

It didn’t take long to become a failure.

At this point in my life I’m a pretty sarcastic person. I think I’m hilarious. Hysterical, even. A riot. See what I did there? I’m can also be seen as a cocky person, but it’s always sarcastically cocky. There are a few who think I’m sincerely cocky. A few who think I feel I’m better than most. There are a few who think I’m judgmental, probably because my sarcasm as viewed as something truthful instead of the joke it was intended to be.  Or maybe I do something else to offend them.  I really don’t know.

No matter what people are saying or thinking about me, it’s got nothing on what I feel for myself. We’re the hardest on ourselves, aren’t we?  If you’ve read my last post, you know how I’ve struggled with hatred toward myself.  I may not have said it explicitly, but the hatred was usually for me.  Even now, I find a lot of things about myself that I associate with failure. Like it’s just part of who I am – a failure. Continue reading “It didn’t take long to become a failure.”

Who I was is not who I am.

I want you to have an idea of where I come from mentally, so I’ll give you a (hopefully quick-ish) background on me.

Once Upon a Time……

JUST KIDDING. When I was younger I was pretty depressed.  I don’t know that it started off with a reason.  I was mad about my parents getting divorced, but really, so many people have divorced parents, and they didn’t all make the decisions I did.  I’m not saying it didn’t affect me, but I had a choice to make in it.  I chose to hate (for a while) my step-dad.  I don’t know that I’d call it easier (do you have any idea how much energy goes into actively hating or even despising someone??  A hint: a lot.), but it sure did give me an excuse to do and say the things I did.  I felt about the same for my step-mom.  I can’t even remember being mad at anything or anyone else that affected me except for guys.

I developed quicker than most girls in my grade, and boys picked up on that.  There were 3 instances that I can count were I was….violently pressured, sexually, with guys my age. That was in junior high. Continue reading “Who I was is not who I am.”

They were meant to be courageous….And so much more.

Did you know that today is a holiday?  Well, technically not.  Much like mother’s day, if I haven’t gone to sleep yet I’m counting it.  It’s even celebrated in 59 countries.  I know that because I looked it up on Wikipedia and everything on Wikipedia is 1000% truth. Continue reading “They were meant to be courageous….And so much more.”

We don’t need to settle, so why have we?

*Editor’s note: This piece was written 4 years ago (2015), and while I still believe these things, I don’t feel they were represented or stated clearly. To be clear: We serve a sovereign God, a God who is capable of complete control, but who does not TAKE that complete control. He has given us free will, and we can (and detrimentally often do) choose to not allow Him in. When we become born again Christians, we give ourselves over to Him; we give Him the reigns and He will steer us. Without doing that, we aren’t allowing Him to move in us or through us. We cannot blame Him for every death, disease, hurt that comes our way when we won’t allow Him in. The death, disease, and hurt that are rampant in the world are because we live in a broken and dark world; a world that the devil roams and devours. Things happen because we either are or are not following His plans for us. In short, if we are not for God, walking with God and following after Him, we are going the opposite direction. If we aren’t for Him, it counts as against Him and we do not have His protection. At anytime, Christian or not, we can cry out and say, “God, I can’t do this anymore, I need you,” and He will come. But don’t demand separation and be surprised that He gives it. He waits for you. 

There is that devastating moment in life when someone close to you dies, or someone close to someone you’re close to dies.  It’s sad and it’s hard.  You know what doesn’t make it better?  Saying that it was God’s plan.  Saying that God ordained that death or that He needed another angel.  Saying that we can never understand God’s plan until we get to Heaven.  God does allow death, obviously. God does have a plan and it is perfect, obviously. God’s plan will always be better than any plan we come up with, obviously. We are not meant to understand His plans until Heaven, obviously.  However, knowing the obvious as truth doesn’t make those statements truth. Continue reading “We don’t need to settle, so why have we?”

Marriage is a work in progress.

Marriage is beautiful.  It’s rainbows and sunshine.  It’s simple.  It’s very cut and dry.  Getting married  automatically instills open communication in the two people getting married.  It causes the two people to be so changed as to become perfection in the relationship.  It’s angels singing and endless smiles.

I’m sorry.

Give me a minute.

Gotta control the laughter and catch my breath.

If these are lines anyone has every fed you, they are so very misguided.  Sure, those are all partial truths, but not complete truths.  Marriage is beautiful, but not for the reasons listed above.  Parts of it are simple (and cut and dry) but we are complex in nature, joining with another person is bound to be complex as well.  The open communication comes with hard work – a lot of hard work.  Marriage changes us, yes, but not always in the way that we think.  There are moments – so many moments – when it seems like everything is perfect and you swear you can hear angels singing, but those are moments to look for and try to attain.  They aren’t constant and they aren’t necessarily the norm. Continue reading “Marriage is a work in progress.”

Shades of something.

I’m sure that it wouldn’t take much for you to figure out what this post is about.  I mean, everyone and their brother has written about it; their brother, their brother’s friend, the friend’s cousin, the cousin’s sister, the sister’s mom – you get the picture.

In the interest of full disclosure I need to preface this by saying that I didn’t do any sort of in-depth research on the subject.  I have watched interviews with the author and cast of the movie.  I’ve read excerpts from the book and clips from the movie.  I’ve read articles for and against the books and movie(s).  I’ve talked to friends who both like and dislike the series.

What I see a lot of is people saying that it’s a love story.  A tale of two people who meet and fall so madly in love that it hurts to be apart.  How romantic it is to have these consensual relations that gratify a person (yes, that was meant to be singular).  An instance of a woman allowing this man to have a relationship in his brokenness – how brave, how courageous of her. Continue reading “Shades of something.”

Freedom! Sort of.

I am officially the mother of a preschool graduate.  I have a whole lot of emotions about this (sadness, pride, joy), but I think the one that stands out the most is excitement.  There are some parents that may dread summer break (maybe once my kids are older I’ll hit that point), but not me.  Summer break means not having to wake up at the crack of dawn to get my tired preschooler ready and out the door 20 minutes late.  Yeah, I said 20 minutes late.

Friday was a normal day off from school, but since my husband woke up with the girls, I’m counting it as day 1 of summer vacay.  Yes, vacay; this break is turning me into a tween.  I laid in bed until 11 AM.  11 AM, people!  It. Was. Glorious.    I have this beautiful vision of waking up at 10 every morning to the birds tweeting and my children singing love songs to me.  I felt so great getting up.  Then I realized how much my body hurt from the awkward position I laid in for so long.  But, hey, that’s not bad – I was in bed until 11 AM.  11 AM; if I stop saying it, it’ll become more like a dream. Continue reading “Freedom! Sort of.”