… doing it just right.

godIt is the best feeling to hear your kids in their room, snuggled together, saying their prayers together. I grew up saying Grace, Our Father and Hail Mary. I remember one Church School teacher breaking down the ‘Our Father’ so we understood what every verse meant. I still remember it…

We grow, we change, we see, we hide, we make, we break… but those things we learn will always be the same. We pray… even if it doesn’t look like praying to some.

Tonight, was Church School, I had to find a lesson to teach even though it was cold and January… ugh. I thought about Lent- but Lent begins next month. I decided to focus on Baptism, Sin, Adam and Eve… Jesus’ big day in the Jordan. We talked about Adam and Eve, how amazing they had it. They were created in the Earth of no pain, no sickness, no death, no broken, no suffering… and no shame. They were created to live in a world of amazing, perfect… and beyond. Then came the breaking of the ONE rule… we now live in a world of rules… Adam and Eve broke the only rule. They gave into the lie… that they could ‘break the rule, enjoy the fruit, not worry, nothing would happen…’. That rule solidified the future of humans… sin was born in that choice.

So… we talked about baptism, sin and more. Then we played Charades because I did a terrible job timing my lesson. But then I came home…

I came home to crazy, normal… you know. The girls got ready for bed, Lucy pre-dressed for tomorrow (and even her brushed teeth without prompting) and Meme got ready to burrow. We watched some National Geographic and then it was time. It was time for reading- reading and bed. I sat on the couch in listening distance- and heard giggles, reading…. I reminded them to do their job quietly. I then heard “Our Father… who art in heaven…” and I smiled.

I was sitting, watching a silly, addicting show after my girls hit the hay… and hearing them Pray like crazy… and I felt grateful. I felt full. Some parents have to wonder… have to question their choices. They wonder if they are doing ‘it’ all right. I am not doing it all right, but I am doing some things right… and I think that is enough. I am working hard to make good people- down to the core. They are becoming what I always hoped for- exceptionally mediocre amazing people.

We watch too much TV in the winter, we rock out to a couple PG-13 movies, we sometimes eat crappy dinner, I sometimes wake up after the bus drives by… my girls fight, they fail, they can be great friends and little terds. I let the girls enjoy screen time so I could binge watch a show. I am guilty of failing, and they are as well.

… But look at what we did right.

On a random Thursday night with no prompting, no reminding they thanked God, and brushed their teeth. They regularly help plan Best Day Evers for other children who are sick, without wanting that special experience for themselves. They have days where all they can talk about is the cranky afternoon bus driver- then later they tell me about how they stood up for a friend when others picked on his autistic brother. They are exceptionally mediocre amazing girls… just as we hoped and worked so hard to create.

I have to be honest… I am not working to make an Olympian, a Prima Ballerina, a Brain Surgeon, a Major League Baseball Player. I am totally not the mom who pushes hard for my children to be crazy involved in extra stuff. I can’t. I don’t want to. I want to see what they have to offer, who they are becoming… I want them to have time to do NOTHING and something. I love to watch them play and perform, but I am working hard to build some exceptionally mediocre amazing and FAITHFUL girls. I believe that they will be just that- and I am grateful for the little nudge and moment to remember.

Thanks to my girls for the reminder that we are on track… Thanks to The Big Guy for always poking us when we need it.

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Just do better…

A new year, a new you… or maybe this you looks a hell of a lot like the lady who rang in the New Year. I have successfully written 2017 on far too many forms, notes and incident reports. I am a creature of habit… it will happen though, 2017 will disappear from my present notes and such soon, just in time for February. I know this year my hope for myself is to see myself better… to see improvement in my body, mind and soul. Sounds simple… we shall see.

My hope is to see the me that ends this year in a better light than I see the me that ended 2017. I don’t care to be skinnier- but I long to feel stronger. I don’t really need to be richer- but I hope to be more established and flexible with my time and income. I don’t long to be the best mom ever- but I strive to be more in the moment and less addicted to screens. I don’t need to run another marathon- but I will be a more determined version of me, a little more like that marathoner. I don’t plan to have future plans- but I am thinking that I will be more focused on a plan for the future (as much as He allows). Last but not at all least… I need to rekindle my connection to The Big Guy. I know Him, I love Him… but I feel like this 2018 me needs to find the road home to His comfort.

This past year brought a lot of hard stuff for me, so much that I procrastinated writing this because I didn’t want to go all ‘Negative Nancy’. I don’t even care that I turned 35, I think that is pretty cool- age is a privilege denied to many. After months and years of battling and ignoring a bum hip- I used to just joke that I must be a pure-bred lab, because I definitely have hip dysplasia… I found out through the grace of an MRI and great Doctor that I have pretty advanced hip arthritis and some lovely and cool bone cysts. I finally knew why I would be walking and my right hip would just not work. I was hoping for the simple answer to the scan- like we’ll operate, fix it and you’ll be good in 6 weeks. Instead we talked about management, in time treatments and a future bionic hip. I honestly slumped after that doctor’s appointment. It was not the news I hoped for…

But when is life exactly what you hope for…

After a really rough allergy season I developed asthma, and had some smallish asthma attacks. It was not.so.fun and has inflamed all of the upper respiratory issues I could have this winter. BOOM.

Everything I learned about being strong and getting strong was hard and high intensity… long runs, HIIT workouts, plyometrics… all the good stuff. All the stuff that inflames and hurts my body now, especially being heavier. This year I am just trying to be better, to make habits out of the new different way that I need to work out and get my eating habits back to the good ones. I want to just move forward and not be mad at my backward. That is my 2018 goal- to be better. I want to be better to this Erin and that Erin… I need to give her some props. She looks a lot like this 2018 Erin, and she made it through 2017. One more year of missing, one more year of moving forward. One more year of sorting and building better. One more year of getting to be almost 36- a gift that not everyone gets. I want to remind myself often in 2018- time is a gift, a gift not granted to all.

What if 2018 is laden with difficulties and challenges? I will work to do better and stay connected to what is important… so maybe I will have the scaffolding to handle it better. 2018 might look a lot like 2017 or 16… I might look like I do right now on December 31, 2018 and it will be good… I will love me more for being better. I will work to repeat to myself the ‘better’ that I am working for and the ‘better’ that I become. I have got this… I made it this far…

I keep coming back to this letter, this letter of a 27 year old woman. She spoke with perspective so many lack… her time was ending- not by choice. She had amazing perspective on what matters… and I think if I just try to do better I will be doing well with my time. If you haven’t read- DO. Holly loved life, but knew what she wished she did more of some pretty simple things. So… maybe your 2018 should be doable and livable… just do better.

http://people.com/human-interest/dying-australian-woman-leaves-note-goes-viral/

Just do better, it feels doable, you know?

just-do-the-best-with-what-you-have-and-youll-soon-be-doing-it-better-quote-1