The last two weeks I have been focusing on what I am not what I am not. I have too much negativity in my self talk. So, I am in the process of creating a vision board and self-talking positivity. You know what, it is making a difference.
I am feeling more calm, peaceful and centered than ever before. I alway thought self talk was hookey. You know right up there with acupuncture, mindfulness, astrology…you know, you believe what you believe right?
I am finding out my brain is my most powerful weapon in helping to uplift and focus on what is most important.
Heavenly Father sure knew what He was doing as he brought certain people into my life when I needed them most. 2 weeks ago, that is just what He did again.
I have no illusions that change is difficult and it takes a long time but, I am finding I am willing to put in the time for myself. I am worth every minute of my time.
What are your “I am’s”? It is harder than you think to believe what you say. I learned that I must say it out loud and if I can look at myself in the mirror-bonus points!
Think about your purpose, your value, your mission and be brave as well as strong enough to figure out what it is. What does He need you to be?
So, my son Jacob was married on Saturday! All about that is in another post.
What I wanted to work through were my feelings on having his birth family in attendance.
Disclaimer: I knew they were going to be there. Jacob kindly asked our permission before they were invited.
I had no reason to worry or be upset by his BM coming. It was for him and that was fine with me.
They were in attendance and they were incredibly kind and gracious.
It was really hard to see his bio siblings upset. At first, they started crying, were angry and upset. (Their ages are 17,16&13 ) Then, they were resentful of certain requests. (i.e., family pictures) It wasn’t an easy time.
However, as the day progressed they were getting a little more relaxed and handled the tummy family better.
Then came the daddy daughter dance. I was asked to dance with Jacob for a mother son dance. Of course, I was thrilled but what happened next was really what made me grateful for so many reasons. This boy. The one who disliked me for years. The one who fought against the rules. He left a few times. This boy was angry about his circumstances and I was an easy target. This boy who valiantly fought against all that was good. He took me in his arms, started and crying and told me how much he loved me. How thankful he is that I am his mom.
Halfway through the dance, I invited him to dance with his birth mom. He politely declined and danced the whole dance with me.
So, I was okay with everything up until a certain point. There were some things that went on that were very hard for me to deal with. It really was okay but for some reason it grated on me a bit.
I guess the point of this is that I survived. I thought I would feel insignificant.I thought I would feel challenged. I thought I would feel that I wasn’t his mom. I was so scared that I wouldn’t measure up. I built this moment up in my head. I made myself out to be less than I am. My son sure showed me though. He showed me how much love and respect he has for me and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. He helped me to realize I have worth and value in his eyes. What mom could ask for more?
You got this!
The theme from an amazing conference. The speakers were beautiful and their words inspiring.
That leads me to a question I was asked. Name 3 things that bring me joy.
Now, I wanted to really think about this. I wanted to be sincere, thoughtful and heartfelt in my answer.
So I thought…and I thought…and thought some more.
I got my blue pen out. Opened my journal. I wrote these words.
3 things that bring me joy
I couldn’t think of anything but the standard answers. So, I pondered some more.
I realized I was really trying to make sure my answers were mine. I am a people pleaser. I often say what I think people want me to say. I wondered if I was really ready to put my answers there or if I was just being trite.
Hours later, I was still trying to find the 3 things that brought me joy.
Now, 2 days later…I am ready to put my 3 things that bring me joy.
*My husband, John. He truly brings me joy. He is my life. He makes me laugh. He helps me in so many ways. I can’t even begin to express how much I love this man.
*My kiddos…they are hard. I struggle with them. I have so many different feelings for them. Deep down though they bring me some of my fullest joy. The cuddles, the unconditional love, the running to me and excitement when they see me. I feel the most joyful hugging my kids.
*I don’t want to put the rest. I don’t want anyone to feel that I am ordering the things that bring me joy. Also, some of these are very sacred and special to me.
Here are some more of my quick thoughts: balloons, pinterest, my heated mattress pad, green grass, swings, butterflies, kids laughing, crayons, the smell of elementary schools, new socks, hot fudge sundaes and clean laundry.
Example: Student ownership is the level of investment a learner has in learning, teaching and leadership anywhere throughout the education system.
I went on a trip to San Francisco last week to learn about schools who are actively involved in 21st Century learning and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). These schools, while still working on the common core, take education to the next level by doing more hands on activities and learning. This kind of learning also allows students to take responsibility for themselves, it teaches real life problem solving and how to interact and work in groups, as well as a variety of other things.
As I was touring the schools one common thread kept coming up, ownership.
I was pondering ownership in a variety of different ways.
First, I will apply it to school. Too often students/ parents/teachers place blame on why something isn’t working. They feel the need to justify that they are not the ones causing the concern. They need to shift blame to something that alleviates the responsibility from their shoulders. We have to be very careful in this type of thinking. We need to teach students to take ownership of their learning. I talked to a 7th grade girl who said this, “I am responsible for what I am learning. It is not the teacher’s responsibility if I don’t do my part and work hard to understand what is required of me.” Our society has slowly been changing from taking ownership to blaming educators. It has no longer become about the students behavior but what the teacher is or is not doing. Often, I feel defensive as I try to explain what I am doing in the classroom. I also need to take ownership of why a child is struggling.
Second, I was thinking about life. I have several kiddos who blame me or John for their problems. As I as thinking about ownership, it occurred to me, they are not taking any responsibility for what they did. They are only blaming us for the end result. As a parent I feel like I take on far too much responsibility/ownership of the problems that arise in our family. I analyze and second thought my decisions all of the time. I apologize and try to be better next time. However, that in no way excuses my child’s behavior. In the course of life, we are all going to do things we regret. We are going to make mistakes of all different magnitudes. When do children begin to take ownership for their part in what has happened?
I get so tired of the blaming. There is so much of it going on in the world. It is this persons fault that I______________! Why don’t we recognize more of the good that has gone on and continues to go on? We need to be able to take ownership of our problems and our lives. We are not being inflicted upon. We have control of our lives.
It is way too easy to lay blame than to look at ourselves and make the changes necessary in our lives. I feel like we all do this to some degree. I often look at my childhood and blame my reactions today on things that happened as a child. While yes it is true, earlier experiences have helped to wire my brain in a certain way, I am still responsible for my reactions.
Ownership can be hard.
I am going to start now. I am going to start today in teaching ownership. I am not exactly sure how to do that. (So, if you have any ideas…please share!) I do know, it will start today.
I will no longer allow others to determine what kind of person I am.
I am me.
Mistakes and all.
I will determine who I am and what I do with my life.
Sorry, I couldn’t put the whole question in the title. Erik asked, “What are the qualities of each of your children you admire?”
Rather than go through each and every child, I know the one quality they all share that I admire.
My children have been through many experiences most adults don’t have to deal with. Many happened before they were 5. Not only have they had trauma (which varies with each one), they have been removed from the very people who were supposed to keep them safe.
They have had to adapt to new smells, new routines, people, beds, clothes, schools, language, food, sounds and environments. They have had to change parents, birth order and more.
My children have had to become someone else’s child. How hard that must have been and continues to be for them.
If nothing else, they are resilient. They have done their best to let go of the past, trauma and realize life moves forward.
Are they perfect? No way! Like me they continue to make mistakes and have to make changes. This is the quality I think about most in regards to my children as a whole.
They have so many unique and individual qualities, I could go on and list them all day long. They are each an amazing asset to our family. While I never imagined I would still be actively parenting children, I can’t imagine my life without each and every one of them. They are my heart and my life.
So, I have thought a lot about writing answers to the questions I am most asked.
So, welcome to my first series entitled “You asked…._________”
It is really easy to participate. You just have to ask a question and either John (if I can finally get him too) or I or both of us will answer.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love that you do laundry. willingly!
I love the way you sleep with your arms all tucked up.
I love the way your blue eyes look into my hazel ones.
You willingly do
your share more than a person should.
I love the way you laugh when someone starts laughing at something you say.
You are incredibly quick witted. It is fun to see you have a response before the person is even finished speaking.
Flowers are appreciated and every couple of weeks a new bouquet graces our counter, without me buying them.
You turn on the heater on my side of the bed well before I climb into it.
You think about ways to make my life better/easier.
You really listen to all of my rambling. I say my hands are cold and a new pair of gloves show up, for example.
You set up a spreadsheet or type computer things for me whenever I ask or you offer BEFORE I ask.
You make dinner every.single.night.
You don’t complain about my long hours, the work I do when I get home or me reliving my day.
You fill up the gas in my car when you get in and see it is lower than full.
You get me a Culver’s hot fudge sundae, because I need one every once in awhile.
You listen to my wild dreams and figure out ways to make them come true.
You love our children.
You love our grandchildren.
You look for ways to help people.
You listen to our older kids talk about their work day.
You video chat with our grandsons every day.
You gave me the opportunity to have you for eternity. That will be the easiest task I have been asked to do.
Really…the list could continue on for pages and pages.
That is how much you do for me.
Most important, you love me for me. My weight doesn’t matter. My grumpiness (while not pleasant) doesn’t alter your love. You support, strengthen and encourage me to dream big. You help me to realize I have value. I am worth your love and devotion.
I am so incredibly blessed we met at the airport almost 27 years ago. It started as pen pals and has continued to a wonderfully amazing life.
I had a few thoughts on Sunday evening that I have pondered and wanted to share.
For the last 15 years, Christmas Eve has been spent with our dear friends Adam and Kenice Whitaker. We have gathered together, had dinner, played the left/right game and had many laughs.
Over the years, as expected, our families have changed a lot. We started with 7 kids between us. As I sat and watched this year, 2017, I noticed we have grown to a family group of 32.
While pondering the group all around me, I realized that we were the parents of the group. We were the “old” people. I was watching the married kids talking and laughing about silly stuff. I remember when we were the silly laughing group.
This time, we were just the observers of the conversation. Of course, we were still having fun, included, laughing and talking but the next generation had become the center.
I am not sure if I am saying this correctly but I guess I realized that some of my children are adults. They have full lives that don’t revolve around me anymore. More and more I am trying to revolve around them. I am trying my best to still be an important part of their lives.
They are the generation that is going forward in faith. They will become the center of their siblings lives. They will be having these dinners without us someday.
However, for now, I am grateful to be in their universe. I am grateful watching them laugh, joke, hug and talk. there is such a satisfying joy in knowing my children are talking to each other, encouraging each other and supporting each other the best way they can.
I am terrible at setting goals. I do great with them in my mind but I don’t like to write them down because then I feel more committed. I guess I should say, I feel more like a failure when I don’t complete them.
So this year, I decided to take a different approach. I wrote down 19 things that I wanted to improve on during the month.
Each day that I complete them, I will be able to color in a box, check it off or whatever…
This way, I am keeping track of where I am at and how I did day to day.
I am going to try this for a few months and then allow myself to tweak it if need be. So, I took a picture so you could see my goal sheet. I created it on excel focus areas. It wasn’t hard.
I think this will make me more aware of my habits and then I will be able to analyze where I can improve.
As you read these you can see some of my goals.
What are some of yours?