Religion Feed

...of my whole life


Sometimes I hear young people say so-and-so was the best whatever of my whole life.  I've said it, too.  When I was younger, I didn't realize that life hadn't even started yet.  Even now, I know that telling younger people that life really doesn't start until you are well into your 20s or 30s sounds ridiculous.  Unbelievable.  Absolute garbage.  But it's true, and I wish that there was a way I could tell every young person.  But young people don't find stats as cool as I do.  They don't want to listen to an old happy person talk about the pleasure of watching their small children do homework at the kitchen table or how fulfilling it is to grow an avocado tree from a seed.  They need info quick and now and to their liking.  I often wonder if there is a way to get the point across without sounding like an old codger stumbling over "when I was your age..."

I worry.

I think kids are the same as we were when we were kids, but with different surroundings.  They know so much more about so many different things than we did.  They have access to anything they want to know within milliseconds of typing in a word.  They don't even have to finish typing that word and the world responds with information.  It's that fast.  Processing all that information can sometimes be scary and intimidating.  Their brains can sometimes be overloaded with information about things they know exist, but haven't actually participated in themselves, giving them false senses of experience. They think they are worldly.  But they are just kids.

 I try my best to step back into my own kids' shoes and remember what it was like when everything I did was the best thing of my whole life.  I remember that that statement was actually true at the time.  When I was 12 I entered a cooking contest and thought winning 2nd place was the best thing in my whole life.  Then in high school when the guy I liked called me, that was the best thing in my whole life.  

Then I think about now and how I still have the ability to say that about experiences.  What does that mean?  It means that when I was young, those experiences that were the best ones of my whole life have gotten even better.  Now I can cook for my family.  Now I am married to the man of my dreams.  These are the best things of my whole life.  

The point is, the best things keep getting better and better with age.  They don't stop once you say it once.  You can continue to have the best every single day and that best will always be better than the one before.  It's important for kids to know that.  

Bad days happen, but so do good days.  So do the BEST days.

Right now

Did you ever just sit and think about the people close to you and miss them terribly?  They could be sitting right next to you, and yet you yearn for something that's not quite there at the moment.  

You can glance at your son and see a flash of him the way he was as a chubby baby.  Or your daughter could say something that gives you a glimmer forward to her college years.  Or your husband might peck you on the neck while you are standing in the kitchen and you think of that same kiss happening over 10 years ago in a different kitchen.  In a different house.  

I love and hate those feelings because they make me both smile and lower my eyes at the same time.  Those feelings make me nostalgic for different times that both occurred and will occur in the future.

But they make me discount right now.

I don't like that.

Because right now is fantastic.  Right now there is snow falling like feathers outside.  Right now the lighting is just right for writing.  Right now I'm anxiously awaiting those smiling faces who will tell me about their days and give me hugs and hold my hand without thinking about it.  

And then tonight will be filled with Right Nows that are even more magical.  The Right Now that involves reading Harry Potter to my son.  The Right Now that lets me touch my daughter's ever-so soft cheek and wish her a good night's sleep after prayers.  The Right Now when I lay on my favorite spot snuggled to my husband's chest with his arm draped over me.  

No more missing them.  I love them right now.


Letter to my son at 18 (about 12 years from now)

IMG_4657My dear lamb lion...the one who is sweet and tough...the one who will be King of the Forest by smiling so dear son,

You are reading this at 18, but I'm writing it when you are 6.  To me right now you are a freshly thrown pebble making a small ripple in the world.  I can only imagine where those ripples will take you by 18.   

I can see you among friends.  Some of those you will have had at age 6.  Some you will make along the way.  All of those friends will have been chosen particularly using your impeccable sense of trust, loyalty, and love.  

You are probably reading this on some sort of holographic device that hasn't been invented yet.  So what is it?  Some sort of wristlet?  Or maybe this message is flashed onto your college dorm wall.  Although, at 6 you swore you would NEVER go to college if you had to live away from home.  I can tell you now, I smiled inside every time you said that because seeing your face every day, gathering you up on my lap when you came downstairs each morning, watching your eyes twinkle with anticipation of the day was what I lived for.  If it were up to me, I'd keep you home with me every single day for the rest of our lives.

Thinking of you in a future tense is difficult, but fulfilling at the same time.  I will miss you, my beautiful child, when you are off doing your own thing as a young adult.  I will miss being a part of your everyday.  I will miss your freckled face staring at mine like I am all-knowing.  

But by this time in life, you probably know that I'm just a normal person.  I don't know everything.  In fact, I don't know much at all.  Of course, I will always share any bit of knowledge I have with you. But when you question my answers, I know that you are growing.

While I will miss your childhood years that we spent laughing and cuddling, I can and will enjoy the new role I will take in motherhood.  The things I taught you will have been stepping stones for the knowledge you will now gain in your own life.  And you will teach me.  

I love that thought.

I'm writing this when you are two days away from starting 1st grade.  Your first "number" grade.  This is when it all starts to count.  This is when your life as an acedemic student begins.  I hope you will always be the boy you are now.  But at the same time, I'm looking forward to watching you become who you were meant to be as an adult.  You are sweet, kind, smart, empathetic, sympathetic, funny as all get out, adventurous, and more than anything you are mine.  I am truly blessed.  

Thank you for the life you have given me.  I love you love you love you...


PS: I promise to never come to your adult home with a ladder on top of my car and sneak into your bedroom window unless your house is on fire or there is some other type of emergency.  But I would love it if you would give me a hug every once in a while, just like when you were 6.  Your hugs are the best.  

Yesterday it rained...

I had a truly awesome experience with divine intervention yesterday* and wanted to share it.

After a day that seemed to feel like it would never end, my husband and I got into an argument.  Not an argument that was uncalled for...but we never really get heated, so it felt huge.  

Afterwards, he brought my daughter to soccer practice leaving me alone with all my angry thoughts that lingered after our discussion.  I walked to the kitchen to clean like I always do when I'm upset.  I got to the sink and started washing the dishes.  Halfway through the first pan, I glanced up to see that it was raining.  This was peculiar because it really didn't look at all like it was supposed to rain out there.  

The rain called to me and I walked outside.  The first thing I noticed was my favorite smell in the universe: rain hitting hot pavement.  

This smell always reminds me of happiness.  Of being a child playing in a sudden sun shower on a summer day.  Of eating watermelon on a beach towel in the driveway afterwards.  It has stuck with me my whole life and has always made me smile.

But last night, that wonderful happy smell took a back seat to my emotions.  I couldn't help but think about the argument my husband and I had only an hour before.  He was wrong.  I was right.  He was out of line.  I was perfectly stating my points and he wasn't hearing me.  

But then all of a sudden, I realized I couldn't smell my favorite smell anymore.  It was gone.  If I took a big sniff in, I could get a tiny whiff of it.  But that was it.  

And then I heard God.

He said to me, "Notice that you can not smell even your favorite smell in the universe right now?  It is because you have gotten used to it.  Even your favorite things can become commonplace if you experience them too long.  It can happen with ALL things in your life.  Think about it."

So I did.

And it clicked.  

God was trying to get me to see that my husband WAS right.  I was wrong.  And I have been for a long time now.

I became so comfortable in my actions over time that I didn't see that I may be upsetting someone - my most important someone-  in the process.  I had been treating him a certain way and not even realizing it because I was used to it.  Being used to it does NOT make it right.  And I felt sorry.

When my husband came home, I told him about my talk with God and apologized for our argument.  We hugged and talked and smiled and became fine again.  

Then I went upstairs to put my son to bed and prayed thanks to God for letting me see. 

*For the record, this didn't actually happen yesterday.  It happened many yesterdays ago, but I never hit Publish on it for some reason.  After re-reading it today, I thought maybe now was a good time.  

We deserve it


Yesterday was my birthday.  I turned 40.  

I know it's supposed to be this milestone birthday.  Forty.  It used to sound old to my naive ears.  But in truth, it's just another year.  And I feel better than ever.  

Every birthday, I spend time talking with God.  Once you leave school, you don't really get report cards in life, so I feel like spending time with God is important.  It helps ground me and make me understand what I need to improve and what I need to keep up with.  He tells me what I'm doing right and what I should be doing better.  

Sure, I pray every day and give thanks for all that God has given us.  But these talks are different.  They come from deeper within me.  They come out not as full sentences...more like parts of my soul that whiff off like mist.  God grabs those bits and processes them and returns them to me more complete.  

Yesterday, I was sitting in the middle of the most beautiful botanical garden staring at all the foliage and flowers.  I started my conversation then.  I always know when it will start, because I well up.  I can feel God's presence and just know that it's time to chat.  So I immediately thanked Him for all that I could see.  So many greens and colors.  So much quiet.  So much time and effort put into this beauty by loving hands.  

Then I asked Him why?  Why do we have all these beautiful things on earth?  Why did he give them to us?  

Some days it is so hard to see beauty because it is drowned by news or sadness.  But when it is all around you, like in a botanical garden, you can't see anything else.  It's almost blinding.  

As I shielded my eyes from the beauty, He spoke an answer to my 'Why?':

"Because you deserve it," He said.  "People deserve it."

The first thought I had was, "No, we don't."

But He replied with a smile and said, "Yes.  You do."

It took some time for me to accept that.  Why should we deserve anything beautiful when we do such bad things?  We hurt each other.  We corrupt the land.  We pour smoke into the air.  We hurt ourselves.  

But we DO deserve good things, too.  Because we ARE good.  And we can BE good.  And beauty is there if we look for it.  It is everywhere.  

Yesterday's beauty was so concentrated, it was hard for me to see anything else.  But now I know to look for it no matter where I may be.  Because it is there.  And we deserve to see it.  God told me so.

Yesterday was the best birthday I have ever had.  The good news is I have said that every single year since I can remember. 

If I were your friend...

If I were your age, my sweet daughter, would we be friends?  Would you sit next to me at the lunch table?  Or pass notes in class?  Would we sleep over each other's houses on Friday nights and giggle well after our parents told us to quiet down?  

Or would I be the shy one in the corner always wishing for a friend like you?  I would be too shy to approach you, because of the aura you emit.  I would be afraid that I couldn't possibly be enough for a girl like you.  

But you would see me.  I know it.  You have X-ray eyes that see directly into souls.  You would quietly smile at me and ask me to play at recess.  You would send me a text one day with some funny emoticons.  We would be inseparable.

If I were your friend, I would hang on your every word.  I would trust that you speak the truth.  I would dress like you on Twin Day and paint my nails all different colors like you.  I would strive to be more like you.

But you wouldn't let me, would you?  You would insist that I be my own person.  That I pursue what I love.  You would dress like ME on Twin Day.  You would be my champion.  

But I'm not your friend, am I?  No.  I'm your mom.  Even though I so badly want to be your friend, I can't.  I am supposed to mold you into a fine young woman.  I am supposed to be the one you look up to and ask for answers.  I am supposed to discipline you when you do something that goes against the rules I have set forth.  

It's hard sometimes, my sweet daughter, to be a mom.  It's hard to not cross that line between being a friend and being a parent.  

I want us to run in the sunlight together without thinking about making it home in time for dinner.

I want to see what your smile looks like when you aren't with me.  Is it the same?

I want to be young with you again.

But...  when I was young, I dreamed of being older.  Of being a mom.  YOUR mom.

You are the exact person I wanted in my life.  God answered my every prayer when you were born.  Being your mom is exactly what I prayed for when I was your age.  I am exactly where I have wanted to be for my entire life.

I will always wonder what it could have been like if we were friends.  I promise to break through sometimes and pretend I'm not your mom.  But I love the roles we have in this world.  I hope you do too.  

Snippets of the past few years

I was just going through to see if I had any old, unpublished posts on here that I could work on finishing today.  As it turns out, I don't think I want to finish any of them.  And I don't want to leave them sitting there all alone by themselves in the blogging abyss either.  So, here are the snippets of unfinished posts for you to enjoy.  Or delete.  Or whatever.  They are all related and unrelated at the same time.

Whatever happened to birthDAYS? - Oct 10, 2011

We've been celebrating my daughter's birthday for about 4 days now.  No reason.  It's not a "special" birthday or anything.  No milestones to report.  No fantastic news attached with it.  It's just the birthday that never seems to end.  It started with the mandatory school cupcakes.  Then birthday dinner.  After that was the kid party that night.  Then came the family visit with presents and cakes and fun galore.  We were afforded a small break in between events that some like to call "sleep", but for me it was more like "lay in bed and figure out how to dye a Pringle orange so it matches the bill of Perry the Platypus so I could use it on yet another cake."  It was all one big run-on sentence.

Contrary to popular belief- Oct 31, 2011

Contrary to popular belief, I love animals.  I think bunnies are the cutest things alive.  I won't intentionally kill an insect unless it's biting me or someone close to me.  We have bird feeders outside that I love to look at during the cardinals' feeding times.  I love animals just as much as I love people.  That's the main reason I don't want a pet.

I've had pets before...bunnies, guinea pigs, fish, parakeets.  They were all hard work, and I loved them.  I was so sad when they all passed away.  They were all members of my family.  It was heartbreaking to watch each and every one of them fall asleep and never wake up.  Having a pet is the same to me as having another child. 

Predicting the future- March 16, 2012 

I wonder if my parenting instincts are right.  Every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of what I think my kids will look like as teenagers or even adults.  I also envision them acting in certain ways when they're older.  I wonder how much of it will come true. 

My daughter currently is much deeper into her emotional side than I thought 8 year olds could be. My son is a wack-a-do.  He's only 3, so he's got time.

Things that will never change- March 30, 2012

Chip bags will never be closed properly resulting in forever stale chips.

dirty socks on couch

"I know"

clothes on bedroom floor

toothpaste in sink

What blogging has done for me- Oct 1, 2012

When I first started blogging, I thought I may have finally found a great avenue for my brain spillage.  I could write down some of my thoughts to see if anyone else shared similar ones with me.  I had no idea it could possibly lead to everything it has so far.  

Over the past year and a half, blogging has given me something much more than just an outlet for my innermost thoughts.  

Stay away from the news- Oct 26,2012

I try my best to stay away from the news.  I know, I know... I'm supposed to stay abreast of wordly things and know what's going on around me.  But do I, really?  Lately the news has gotten so bad that my head hurts constantly.  I don't sleep and when I do I wake up with a large crease between my eyebrows from apparently horrific dreams.

I've decided to focus more on that  "around me" bit.  There are so many things going on around me in a MUCH closer vacinity that I should concern myself with.  Bye bye news.  

Talking with God- November 15, 2012

I've been talking with God a lot lately.  As everyone who watches the news knows, we had a terrible storm here almost two weeks ago that ripped apart a lot of shore towns, left northern town without power- some who still don't have it- and just shocked everyone.  Shocked.  Numb.  Sad.  

I rush around like an ant trying to help rebuild my community one little grain of sand at a time.  Everyone acts the same. We all go right to work.  No one is slacking.  Yes, there are some unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of the situation by selling back donated items to stores and taking too many pillows, but they are few.  The majority just want their homes back to normal.

I feel guilty for having a bubble placed around me.  No damage.  No nothing.  My children are safe.  I can still go get my hair done and go about my life the way I normally have in the past.  But I can't.  Someone told me the term is "survivor's remorse".  I like that better than guilt.  I'm not guilty of anything... I'm just feeling remorseful.  

Blogging- July 18, 2013

Every time I sit down to write here, I think of an episode of House I watched a long time ago.  Laura Prepon played a blogger back when blogging was sort of new-ish.  Her blog was basically a public daily journal that had many followers.  She wrote in it religiously which made her husband (boyfriend?  I don't remember) question her actions.  Why did she feel that she had a connection with people she didn't even know in real life?  Why did she write there so much?  

I think I figured it out.  

Same day- July 18, 2013

Today I can't shake the feeling that something is wrong.  Who? Where?  What?  I don't know.  But my gut is telling me something needs to change.

I have been inside the past three days writing my face off...trying to meet deadlines...trying to get everything done.  Am I missing something out there?  

Purpose- Oct 23, 2013

I have always had a very hard time buying or owning items that do not have more than one purpose.  One of the two (or more) purposes of each item has to be one that is actually physically useful.  The next requirement is that the item makes me happy.  Anything else is gravy.  

So some of the normal things that happen in life don't come as easily for me.  Everything I do has some sort of purpose.  In some cases, that purpose may only be known to me and it may seem strange to outsiders looking in.  And that purpose might not be relavent in the grand scheme of life, but it is important to me at the time.

So that's it.  That's all my unfinished thoughts over the past few years.  I don't have as many answers as I wish I did.  But sometimes just getting those thoughts out of my head and into the world help get me on my way.  Thank you to anyone who read this post.  I really appreciate it.


Re-embracing motherhood

Re-embracing Motherhood

One of the things I've learned while dabbling in the social media field is that people like to read statisics.  Well, here's one for ya: I've been a mom for more than 1/4 of my entire life.  

For the past 10 of my 39 years here on this earth, I've spent a lot of time changing diapers, fixing lunches, arguing the importance of completing the before school ritual before playing video games, making beds -ok, not really so much on the "making beds" part because I do hold to that theory that Hey, you're just going to get back in it in a couple hours so why make it, BUT I digress...  

Bottom line: I'm a mom.

Out of those 10 years minus time spent completing all the motherly tasks and sometimes sleeping, I think I have spent the majority of my time playing with my kids.  After about year 8, I got tired of it.

Yes, you read that right.  I didn't want to play anymore.  

I got tired of Candyland.  I didn't want to make forts.  I completely stopped enjoying the swingset.  

I just wanted to sit back and observe.  

I started to get annoyed when my kids would ask me to join them in every single thing they did.  No, I don't want to ride bikes.  No, I don't want to jump in the sprinklers.  

No, I don't want to play.

Then one day I heard myself say that out loud.  And it sounded so incredibly horrible that I wanted to jump out a window.  I felt like Mommie Dearest.  What was wrong with me?  Why couldn't I just play?  

All I could think of was the term Seven Year Itch, but in my case it was about motherhood.  At the same time my kids craved my attention, I craved to go off to foreign any store other than Target, Justice or Five Below.  My kids wanted another teammate for a pick up game of tag, and I wanted to sit in the sun.  I wanted quiet.

Was I becoming a horrible person?  Was I really done with all the fun of motherhood?  Did I give up on my kids?

No.  To all of that self-depricating bullshit...  Just no.

When I was playing all the time and not enjoying it, I was feeling down on myself.  I wasn't really playing; I was fake playing.  And how is that good for anyone?  The kids might have an extra body to complete their basketball team, but that's it.  I wasn't teaching them anything.  I wasn't smiling.  I was actually quite childish when I forced myself into their games.  I'm not proud of it by any means.

I felt very selfish about wanting to be alone for a while.  But I realize that I must have needed it.  In some way, God was telling me to step back and reevaluate the situation.  

So I said no when my kids asked me to race them in MarioKart.  I declined their invitation to a dance party.  I chose to talk with my friend on the bench instead of climbing the equipment at the playground.  

I needed to show my kids that I am a person outside of being Mom.  They needed to see me doing things that I like.   And to be honest, I needed to remind myself what activities and things I actually do like!

 As weird as it may sound, it made me feel strong again. Once I re-embraced my own self, I was able to re-embrace motherhood, too.  Now I feel like I can do anything.

...Even play a game of Monopoly all the way through.  



Mom's beach day: Ten years in the making


Last time I came to the beach alone, I was very pregnant with my first child. I remember my ugly red maternity suit and the need to dig a big hole in the sand for my belly so I could lay down. I also remember having the fear of going into labor or worse - having to pee.

I was nervous about those little things but more importantly about the fact that a new person was going to be in our lives very soon. Would I still be me once that baby came? 

Every mom's fear of losing herself. 

I needed to get that last solo beach trip in to just be before the little one arrived. That's all I remember about that day.

Ten years have past. Almost exactly. Now I'm here once again alone with my thoughts on the beach.

I've been wanting this day to come for so long. And it is glorious.

Since that last beach trip ten years ago, my first born has grown into a beautiful almost ten year-old breathtaking girl. I've also had a son in that time who has been making my heart skip a beat every time I think of him for the past 5 years. There have also been some sad times and some stressful times, but it has all been so wonderful I can't complain. 

Now both kids are in school full time and I can take a breather to see if I am still me.

So today I sit here alone, but not lonely. First thing I did when I got here was say a prayer of thanks.

Thank you God for this life.

For putting me in charge of two children who are perfectly molded to fit in my arms and my soul.

Thank you for giving me a husband who loves me and is my partner in every way possible.

Thank you for this beautiful day.

I am thankful for school to teach my kids all that I can not.

I am thankful for the sun and the ocean and the beautiful sounds I hear right now… a mom and her young son playing Frisbee… the waves quietly roaring… the occasional cackle of a seagull.

 ...And quiet.

I do not feel guilty being here. I feel full. I feel like this day was made for me. To let me know that while this life is nowhere near done, it's going great so far.

And I am still me. 

I have not lost a thing, only gained more love, happiness and appreciation for all that surrounds me.

So I dig my fingertips and toes in the sand to stay grounded and breathe in the salt air. 

...And smile because life is truly good.


60090_10201685088992022_437971543_nI've been having a lot of good conversations with God lately. I've had so many questions that I just don't know the answers to.  

Funny, but when I ask God these questions, He responds with the exact same answer for each.  After every thought bubble leaves my head and floats to Him, I hear the word compassion.  Every time.

At first, I didn't get it.  Why compassion?  Why not understanding or empathy?  

Because they are not enough.

Having compassion means you step into the same situation you are questioning and really feel it.  You feel a different perspective than your own.  You embrace those feelings you don't undestand and make them yours.  You suffer.  You then understand.

In doing that, you teach yourself how to make it better.  How to soothe your mind.  How to be a better person, friend, daughter, mother, whoever... How to see more than your own side.  How to look through someone else's eyes at the same situation.  How to better understand your own feelings.  How to accept differences.  How to forgive and how to ask for forgiveness.  

How to let go.

God is good.