Buckle up.

We’re all searching aren’t we?
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Miles, he’s searching for Waldo.
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Me? I’m searching too, but what it is I’m searching for, isn’t as easy as a man with a striped red and white shirt and glasses.
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At any point in life we are trying to figure out: what’s next, what do I need to change? What can I do to make __ better/different?
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This pandemic has made a lot of people (self included) wonder; is this a time to pivot? We search. We question.
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I wish there was a magic place to find all the answers. I wish there was someone who would just say “This is what’s next”.
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But instead, I feel like I’m being told to buckle up, keep my arms in at all times, and enjoy the ride… without being able to see whats in the distance.
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It. Is. Scary.
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But if there is one thing I continue to learn, it is that we are never alone. Even (and especially) in the midst of uncertainty.
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He sits with us in the quiet, in the still. He gives us community in friends and family. We aren’t meant to go it alone, ever. It is up to us on who we do life with. He hopes he can be part of the equation, but he also gives us choice in our community.
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We are all searching. Maybe, it’s for life’s next chapter, or maybe it’s Waldo….
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But whatever the search, remember this; You. Are. Not. Alone.
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So buckle up. Arms in (or out, because let’s be honest, rides are more fun that way) and enjoy the ride.
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Don’t shut your eyes. Keep them open. And if it gets scary, hold the hand of the one sitting with you, and give a squeeze.
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You got this.

Dirt.

I have buried deep in the dirt for awhile.
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Floods have been rampant (years of pain, denial, anger, abuse)… I’ve been buried really F***ing deep, not quite ready yet to see what’s happened and why.
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I’m learning all the things that make me, my life, and my purpose beautiful, no matter how messy my past.
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I’m putting in the work to unlearn all the lies that have been said to me, pushed on me, and imprinted for far too long on my heart.
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It. Is. Hard. Work
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But I’m realizing like a seed that needs time, water, and sun, or a flower that’s stem strengthens with every storm or wind…
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I am growing, I am withstanding all that’s blown my way, and I will continue to. My roots are deep, my faith shielding the adversity that’s trying to knock me down..
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And I will be better for it.
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A better follower of Christ.
A better wife.
A better mother.
A better friend.
A better servant.
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My prayer for you today is that you don’t give up on yourself. Beauty awaits… be patient. Put in the work. Gods plans for you will be bigger and better than you could ever imagine. No matter how ugly the past.
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It’s a beautiful thing.
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❤️
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Seasons of life

Big is 6, little is 4. Time is fleeting, watching a morning ritual slowly fade.
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One boy, then the next, waking up from their deep sleep, to come crawl in my lap.
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We talk about what dreams we had, what’s for breakfast, what should be accomplished in the summers day.
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Then they hop down, 1 quickly, while the other (typically little) stays to snuggle a little longer.
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Eventually there will be a day where this stops. No more hops in the lap, their legs will stretch and surpass mine.
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It makes me sad sometimes.
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Then, I remember, as with everything so far in parenting…
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There will be new traditions, new ways to find joy and gratitude in the different seasons and phases of the boys growing up.
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But for now, I’ll sit in the beauty of two little boys with their summer feet, snuggled up in my lap. Dreaming of what adventures we’ll take on today.

Reach.

Tired. Seeking comfort from his dad after a long day. Holding his dads hand (which is a rarity).
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Miles didn’t fall, he didn’t get in trouble, and lose his scooter. He was just tired and wanted to know he was ok. He wanted to be close to his dad. Micah said, “ It’s ok, I’ll walk with you”.
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This moment (captured last week) feels like me, this week. I’ve been trying to listen, to learn, to pray, to love, to encourage. But today, I am just, so, very tired.
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The world seems to be carrying such heavy loads of grief, pain, anger, and injustice. It doesn’t feel like things are getting better.
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I can’t watch the news, I’ve had to limit my social media, because the weight of it all can, and has made me physically sick.
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I struggle with understanding what is so hard about love? About compassion? About generosity? About selflessness?
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I am tired, but I have hope. I see Miles and Micah in this snapshot of everyday life, and am reminded, we are all children.

I (and you) have a dad who is waiting to hold hands. Ready to say, “It’s ok, I’ll walk with you”.

We have to be willing to admit, we can’t carry these burdens on our own. Maybe your burden is your relationships, your job, the uncertainty of the future, maybe, like me, you’re trying to understand this very messed up world we live in, and what you can do about it.

We can continue to learn, to love, and to encourage, while holding hands and remembering we are not now (or ever), alone in our struggles or burdens.

We just have to be willing to reach.

“Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

The Hill and the Choice

Today, Calvin, Miles and I went for a walk. I walked our oldest pup Eddie (13), while both boys rode their bikes. Miles chose the way to go today, which isn’t our “typical” route. This stressed Calvin out. His type A personality, tried to coerce Miles into going the route we usually take. After some pouting, a little stomping of the feet, he submitted, and we went in the direction Miles chose.

The thing about our typical route, is that there are minimal hills. No real work involved, you just ride/walk, and thats it.  You see and hear when cars (or tractors in our case) are coming by. But today, as with almost everyday with my Miles, he wanted a challenge. The path Miles chose today had hills. 4 total.

As they coasted down the first hill, Miles laughed, balancing on his balance bike, feet lifted. Calvin coasted cautiously, often checking to see how far behind I was, or if the car he heard in the distance, was behind him.  He would jump in the gravel after 5-10 feet and stop, only to look back, see everything was ok, and get back to coasting.

Once we reached the bottom of the hill, we had to climb the next one. Miles, with no words, started pushing his bike up hill, one step at a time. No words, just focus. 

Calvin, frustrated, said, “ Mom, I can’t. I can’t get up this hill. It’s too hard”.

“Calvin, you have a choice in how you get up the hill”, I said. “You can choose to walk your bike, or  you can choose to get on your bike and push those pedals as hard as you can. This isn’t where we turn around and give up.  Either way, we are still going up the hill, and you still need to move. So… you choose.” Eddie and I kept walking, as he sat back and contemplated.

Reluctantly, and again, with some hesitancy, Calvin got off his bike, pushing (with heavy breath and grunts loud enough for neighbors to hear (insert the momma eye roll)). We got to the middle of the hill, and he stopped, took a deep breath, and jumped on his bike. With a few more grunts and groans, he got up the hill, and smiled. The next hill, didn’t seem so bad, so he stayed the course, on his bike, and pushed just fine.

I had to pause in the moment and reflect. How often, as ADULTS, are we exactly the same way? We like things our way, where we can see whats coming, hear whats happening, and just have a straight shot. If uncertainty, change, or challenge comes our way, how often do we have a temper tantrum?

If I’m honest, I’ve had more internal temper tantrums in the past 8 months than I’ve had (in what feels like in) years. Changes, hills, grief, a pandemic, remote teaching, homeschooling, isolation from others…

UGHH. ENOUGH ALREADY $%*#!. Sound familiar?

But then as I sit and reflect on the moments with Calvin and Miles I realize.

We have the choice.

We have the choice in how we respond to those changes in routine, changes in our job, changes in our relationships, changes from within. 

Change, hills, challenges…whatever you are facing now, or will face in the future, WILL happen.

What will you choose to do about it? How will you choose to push through? What ways will you change your thinking in order to get through the difficult?

My hope for myself and both of my sons, is that they will see adversity. They will continue to pursue their ultimate goal, with heads held high through the uncertainty. That they (and I) will embrace the hard, with arms open, and a choice to see past the challenge, with the finish line in sight. They will put their feet on the ground, and move.

What was great about watching Calvin in that 30 minute walk, was the transformation that took place after that first hill. He made his choice to walk, then to jump on, and when he made it, he looked back and smiled. The next hill, he stayed the course on his bike. By the time we had turned around and gone back up the hills he had coasted down before, he didn’t say a word, and didn’t hesitate to stay on his bike. We all  got back to the house unscathed and laughing (and maybe sweating a bit) under the warm glow of the sun.

Sometimes we have to “embrace the suck”. Because what waits on the other side, is worth so much more than the momentary troubles. It may not get easier, but you get stronger.

Make a choice in how you will respond, and then..

Get moving.

Be well my friends ❤️