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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's NOT the coffee....

I have been experimenting with eating whole foods. Well...as much as I can. I am trying to cut down on the refined foods we eat. There are some things that just aren't worth it at this point...but others are much easier. Such as sugar.

The reason for my new foray into the unrefined is this horrible indigestion. Whether it's age or maybe just stress - there seems to be certain foods that just set it off moments after I ingest them.

Coffee is one of them. Or I thought it was coffee.

It's not.

It's the dairy I put in my coffee. I love milk, cheese, dairy - anything.

But it looks like I may be having to sidestep it now and opt for other things.

I love my coffee in the mornings. I love my tea too - and would be fine just drinking it...but I still love coffee.

So - my new found happy to sidestep the sugar is organic, raw blue agave. It is pretty good. It does not give the bad aftertaste like stevia does.

It gives me hope that I can find happiness after giving up the unrefined. Speaking from a "I'll eat anything" standpoint - it used to seem that it would be impossible to find a new norm.

I feel better now.

Do you have food substitutes you have found to replace what you thought you never could?



Let me know about it....I need help!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mental Prep for the "I wanna's".....

It is All Star season for Little League Baseball. This season is full of highs and lows for me. They are my kids and I want them to be happy. I want them to feel good about what they do. I would LOVE them to win a tournament.

This is my problem.

Of course I want the important things to be taken care of. The important things being:

being kind
working hard
enjoying your work

The not so important thing

winning

And you know good and well...as much fun as it is to get to play for a few more weeks....it sucks to lose.

It. Just. Does.

Of course we can leave happy from a game we lost. We should leave happy from a game that we have lost. As long as we worked hard and gave it our all...it should not be the cause of long faces.

But still...

Human nature. So dealing with the down side is important. I think there is a way to prepare for it.

Instead of LaLaLa'ing my way through each day (which I do a lot), I think preparing myself for the big things is important. I do this with my boys, I should do this for myself as well.

When the boys have situations at school, or at the park, I always talk through the scenarios with them. If this happens what should you say? What should your reaction be? How can you say the right thing? What would be best for you to do in this situation?

Hugely helpful for them to be prepared - to have the tools to deal with the possibilities.

Something I have never tried for myself before.....and it is a little odd because I am a pretty big list maker.

But - I need to prepare myself for my day.

Today:
S's percussion lesson: What will I do? Questions I should ask his teacher? Anything I should thank him for, ask him about?
Call Mortgage company about refinancing. My reactions, my plan if it is not what I thought it should be.
G's game tonight. Kindness and understanding of other teams coaches. Enjoying the kids. Understanding when our coaches scold my baby...or put him in positions that make me nervous.
What should my reactions be? How should I behave?

Well...all but the game should be easy. The game makes me nervous.
But - hopefully by preparing my heart and mind for it, it will be enjoyable no matter what the outcome is.

I think this would work with most things. Going through any scenario and what my preferred reactions should be would give my mind a better path to go down....other than my go to path which is to blow up, get frustrated, embarrass myself....yes, I would love to be a naturally kind, generous and gracious mom. Well...maybe if I prepare it will become easier to react better and better without having to rehearse. But I say it's worth a shot...

I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Life is hard...

But who wants to wear that t-shirt? We love wearing our "Life is Good" T's and proclaiming it on Facebook when things are so fine. And they really can be.

In our obtuse, finite minds we see a moment as being wonderful and our joy abounds. We proclaim it - in whatever way we feel at the moment. And we are to have grateful hearts! Thankfulness is a great thing.

But - in reality, life is hard. That is why those tiny moments feel so good. So fine. So gloriously perfect. For what frames it, is usually hard. And if it isn't, I think we should be looking at why it is so good. Because it really shouldn't be. It isn't meant to be. Not here. Not now. Our present trouble is meant to cause us to long for heaven.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I live in a bubble. My neighbors are blessed with many worldly goods - as am I. But I see the tragedies, I see that many are in need...and not just of the latest and greatest handbag or shoe craze. Their needs are greater than that. It is of a more basic need. It might be a shoulder to lean on. It might even be food. It might be a ride to the doctor, money to cover a hospital stay. That is just here in this affluent area I live in. Every once in a while - by God's mercy - I am able to see outside this bubble. Even in my hardest moments I do not really understand what it means to need. To lack for my basic needs is not even on my radar. But my gift is empathy. I can imagine and I can absolutely be where I can meet some of those needs - by design. It might be here in my own neighborhood - in this community. It might even mean that I have to step out of my comfort zone and go somewhere. There is a great big world out there.

Much of that great world - the majority of that great world is struggling. I do not know why. I cannot answer why some are in such abject poverty and others are not. It could be me. It should be me if I get what I deserve. I am a sinner - saved by grace. But that is not why I have what I have. Many believers struggle with need.

I am asking God to open my spiritual eyes. We ask for eyes to see what is needed in the folks we meet day to day. We need to have the care to offer it - to see beyond our own comfort, our own schedule, our own struggles to meet those needs that are calling out every day. They are there.

We are called to be God's hands and feet. And much of the time we are failing.

Galatians 5:13-14

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[


Praying we are moved to serve....
 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Divergent

We got in from our tournament cross pool play at about 11:30pm last night. I got the boys (my twins were at a friends and the 10 yo had a friend over) showered and settled for bed. I went down stairs and emptied the coolers and treated all the red dirt stains on the baseball pants. I think I fell into the bed around 1:00AM.

I was tired.

My husband and I both kept hitting the snooze button this morning. But he had to get up and I rolled out of bed to make coffee and get things started for the day. The boys were still sound asleep. I had to do something quiet to let them sleep as long as they could. So I picked up the boys summer reading and took a look at it.

Divergent.

It started out foreign to me. Just like all books do. But I soon found myself glued to it. It is the same as usual. I start something with a good story line and I can't quit until I have devoured it all.

Read the whole thing by 2:30PM. That was with stops for breakfast when the two sleepy heads woke up at 10:30AM and then lunch at 1:30PM.

Nothing else accomplished. I loved the book. I have many thoughts about it but I am going to think about it some more before I put it down in black and white.

If you haven't read it....I encourage you to. Fun stuff.

You have to love summer book reading. Though my house does look like it exploded. Not kidding.

Happy Summer.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

You should have seen it....

It was a glorious, emotional, vomitous free-for-all.

What am I talking about?

Well.......it was me. Pitching a fit.

Typical summer day. 6 boys, one at VBS, looking forward to the beginning game of pool play for the tournament and I had it all under control.

The six 13 year olds were having a great time. Of course they didn't want the party to end, so one calls his mother and asks if she can come pick them up so they can all spend the night with him. Bells go off in my head. It is the youth group's lake day in the morning they have to be there early. My 10 year old is in VBS and he will be picked up at 8:20AM. It will be tight. I am always overly optimistic about time. But sure - I got this. I will just leave right after the 10 year old is picked up and go get them and pick them up from the friends house and take them on to their youth leader's house.

No big deal.

So I am up and dressed and running out the door. My hands are full of bags with swim trunks and sun screen and 2 bags of chips and brownies. I throw the chips and brownies on top of the car and set everything else down in the front seat. My intention was to get the brownies and chips off the top of the car and place them in the seat so they did not shift and get squished. Something happened in my head that made me forget to do that. Probably the dogs deciding they wanted to go upstairs and my having to go get them back down and secure the door of their pen.

So I get in the car and take off. I pull up in the driveway of my friend and I say hello and she tells me they just got up. They walk up to me. "Good Morning guys". I kind of get no response... "I am starving to death, mom." No problem we'll stop and get something on the way. What is getting me is their hair. And that stuff is not going to go down without some serious water. "Why didn't you brush your hair and your teeth?" They are THIRTEEN - that is why. "Do you want me to take you to John's looking like that?", I ask. There are going to be girls at the lake. I know they do not want to go looking like they do. "No, take us home we need to change". Ummm. It is 8:50AM - we are supposed to be there at 9:00AM. We were already going to be a little late. I have clothes in the car and tell them they can throw those on...but the hair. Dang.

What to do.

Then I realize that I don't see the brownies and chips in the seat next to me. Crap. At a stop light I put the car in park, open the door and look at the top of the car PRAYING those chips and brownies are there. Nope.

So driving home I look all along the route. They are not there. How in the world can I show up LATE without the brownies and the chips I said I was going to bring?

The poo hits the fan. I  explode in the car in front of my twin 13 year olds. I seriously feel like banging my head against the steering wheel repeatedly. I manage to say things like - "DO I HAVE TO THINK FOR EVERYONE?", "SHOULD I HAVE TO CALL YOU AND TELL YOU TO BRUSH YOUR HAIR AND TEETH?" and YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO COMMIT ME SOON IF SOMEONE DOESN'T START HELPING ME HANDLE ALL OF THIS MESS". All the while I am still scouting for the brownies in the road. I can replace the chips...but not those delicious brownies.

Let me tell you about those brownies. They were just right. I let them cool before I cut them and they were in perfect squares stacked on the cutest paper plate and I was PROUD of them.

My righteousness on a plate.

So I get home and my husband calls and I am CRYING - no - not crying - I can hardly speak to him I am sobbing so much. I finally get out the words about how late we are and that the BROWNIES are on the road somewhere. He says it will be ok. Get the boys and go to John's.

Some small sanity returns and I mentally hitch up my britches and thumb my nose. I hear a still, small voice ask me what is important.

Well...not those brownies I can tell you that. My boys are scared of me right now. I have one of them (the sensitive one) on the verge of tears himself. I am a raving lunatic over brownies and being late.

Why?

Because it makes me proud of myself. It defines me and I am failing at it.

Plain and simple.

Misplaced my efforts...again.

So I adjust my thinking. I tell them both I am sorry. We get our ducks in a row. I get them in the car and we get to John's. Thirty minutes late.

And guess what?

It is OK.

I have talked to God. I am pleasantly exhausted now. I think I am going to take a nap and start over again in an hour.


  

P.S. I found the brownies in the road on my way home from dropping the boys off. They were face down...a little smushed...but they still were in the bag and they tasted great. Had 3 of them.

 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The way I am....

I have written about this before. I have an overly competitive nature.

It has been recorded here:
So of course I think I know...
and here:
Reconciled
and here:
How's your heart buddy?

I think my favorite expression for it is "wretchedly competitive".

That's me.

Baseball season makes it particularly difficult for me. I lose all sense of reason and have to talk to my husband to find my balance. When I see myself going all sideways...just talking to him gets me back on course. I am so thankful for his "real" outlook(there are times I call it cynical). I have no such thing. Just as a friend's mom told me, I am the balloon and he is my basket that keeps me from flying out into the ozone.

Even when I see skid marks on the ceiling from him throwing the football in the living room and broken rungs on my favorite chair from rough housing with my boys, I am so thankful for him. My oldest child is a blessing to me. (smile)

So - I am in the midst of All Stars and we are playing our National team, which is the team they stack with all the best players (not that my child doesn't deserve to be on it - ahem) we are on the American team. Of course my mom instincts cloud my ability to see straight during these games. I see someone (my boys team mates) safe when they are called out by the other teams "ump". I am running around to the dugout asking my husband if that was true or not.

Now - am I embarrassed to be sharing this with you? Yes.

My intention is to purge myself of this heinous need to be the best - always. It is exhausting. It is also the reason I give up. It is all just too much! There is so much to be done and done well - that I have a hard time managing it all. I really believe that this may be the reason I fall into a ditch so often. I find myself depressed and unable to function at times. I do believe it is because I cannot do it all. And I want to. The fact is - my best efforts fall short of what my mind envisions. It is discouraging to say the least.

Just recently I read that this is a different type of "perfectionism". I have never considered myself a perfectionist...but I think I am - in a way. I have a vision of how things should be in my mind. It is grand and beautiful and when I cannot make it happen, it makes me sad.

But there is no way around it except to get up every morning and do my best with what we have. To temper my expectations and to preach the Gospel to myself. I am not my own salvation. I cannot be or do all that I envision. I forget to take one moment at a time. So - I slow down - get done what I can and not worry about the rest.

And when I find myself getting all strung out over little league all stars
 - remember that it is not being the best that matters. It is the little lessons we learn...not just the kids - but the parents as well.

Ephesians 2:8-10

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 
 
It helps to remember that my works are not what save me. It is the work that has already been done. And not by me. By the Son of God.
 
This should relieve some of the burden - but it is something I have to revisit often. I forget so easily.

Here's hoping I do better.